On Your Permanent Record

Everything you do in the world of bits becomes part of your permanent record. This isn't necessarily a bad thing, but it does make you think about what you say and do in email, video, and digital pictures. If someone (including you) is making a digital record, it's a permanent record. The Internet is only surpassed by my mom's basement freezer as a long-term cold storage device (should I get hungry for a small piece of my 1975 bar mitzvah cake, I know where to look). Google for my mom's noodle kugel if you literally want the proof in the pudding. An email I sent on behalf of the USENET Cookbook, in April 1986, is so deeply embedded in the mesh of the Internet that it can't be extracted (or, to my mom's dismay, made somewhat less artery-hardening).

Earlier in the week, I had a fun email exchange with Tom Lycan, who blogs about the NJ Devils for the Newark Star-Ledger. He asked me about the Newark Arena, where the Devils will hopefully play next season, leaving behind their concrete-lined dump that not even Bruce Springsteen could make appealing (guess which side of the debate I'm on?) He warned me that he was preparing some notes for a future blog entry, but when you write to a writer, you are giving them free license to use what you say. Lycan did just that, and with what I think is a fair screen scraping of my on-the-record comments about Newark.

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Hal Stern's thoughts on software, services, cloud computing, security, privacy, and data management

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