For several years I have been gradually moving to a position espoused by my father over a decade ago. He was most concerned about the security of his online information whilst at the time I didn’t see it as an issue. That has slowly changed and today I’m more careful about the type of personal information I divulge. It’s Google and Facebook that are my major concern and after recently watching a documentary called “Terms & Conditions” I realised just how insidiously they have been changing the “rules” and collecting data. Several years ago it was possible to delete or alter personal data in Facebook and I’m now pleased I took the opportunity at that time to remove all unnecessary data and enter rubbish for the rest. For example, I entered my birth year as 1901 and my marital status as single. My Facebook advertisements now include viagra, funeral directors and online dating. After watching the documentary I am now aware Facebook deletes nothing. The user may think they have deleted the data but Facebook simply hides it. Facebook and Google are also using photo facial recognition software. Several years ago I stopped posting photos of myself, family and friends. I do wonder how many grandmothers realise the potential consequences of posting photos of their grandchildren along with their activities and ‘likes’.
Google is doing something similar. Moreover they want users to combine all their Google activity into one account (eg, Google search, Blogger, Gmail, Picasa, etc). By doing this Google is able to follow your online activity and collect data on you. Of course both them sell this data (no such thing as a free lunch).
I’ve decided to ‘de-link’ my Google activity and use alternative products wherever possible. The most common web browsers are Google Chrome, Internet Explorer, Firefox, Safari and Opera. The latter uses it’s own servers and only has 2% of the market. I’ve changed to Opera. My selection for a search engine is DuckDuckGo. It claims to be the only search engine not to track your activity. Perhaps I’m being paranoid… but I’m comfortable with the idea of being safe rather than sorry.
Back to canal related matters.
We were woken at 4am this morning by a noisy group of young females passing on the towpath. It sounded like they had been imbibing in a few (or more) sherbets. More groups of youths later in the morning throwing stones at the wildlife. This probably isn’t the best location to moor.
In the afternoon we went for a short walk up the Huddersfield Narrow Canal. I wanted to see the route of the towpath at Asda Tunnel. There’s no towpath through the tunnel and the Waterway Routes map shows it going over the top. The big Asda supermarket and car park are located directly above the canal.
We walked approximately 4km of the towpath to Stalybridge. There was nothing of interest. It’s just a grotty length of urban canal. I did notice all the locks were empty and the lower gates open.Looks like we will be half raising a paddle at most of the locks!
The route back was through suburbia and I got a surprise when we turned down one narrow suburban road to see a huge mobile crane blocking the street.
Unlike Australia; I didn’t think It was being used to install a swimming pool. When we got closer I realised it was being used to install pre-tensioned concrete beams for a replacement road bridge over the railway.
A boat appeared to be making the turn onto the Peak Forest Canal back at Dukingfield Junction. But then the boat seemed to go all over the place eventually breasting up against one of the working boats moored beside the Portland Museum.
The boat has gone now so they must have sorted out their issue.