Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Stars and how to be cyberstalked on Foursquare...the old debate about privacy or exposure

UK-led international team of astronomers have discovered the most massive stars to date, one which at birth had more than 300 times the mass of the Sun, with the name of R136a, frankly not a very attractive name considering we are talking about the largest piece of something existing in the universe as we know it so far.

Almost at the same time, I made another discovery almost as important as that, at least in this side of the universe: It is in this article in The Guardian about how easily you can be cyberstalked on Foursquare...scary!? For those who are not familiar with this social network, Foursquare allows you to "check in" in every place you go in your city, and getting some discounts by checking in hence visiting certain places, generally restaurants, cafes or bars. The thing is that the social network is made to let your friends know where you are and let you know where they are as well, but...what happens when you also have among your so called friends people who aren't, or are just acquintances? The writer of the article, Shea Sylvia, a frequent blogger and twitter user explains how she received a misterious call when she was in a restaurant from someone called Brian, who resulted to be also at that moment in that restaurant. of course Shea was scared to death and Brian never showed up, but that made her realized how expose we all are (me included, it's just that i don't have stalkers so far...) but we care?

We all have probably be involved in esterile debates about privacy admitting how easy is for anyone to know about you and how dangerous it is, but, are we restricting our comments on Facebook yelling we are here or there? The answer is no. Maybe we all need a stalker at a certain point to change some habits, but even with that, and as Shea says, in the long term we are not going to change our level of involvement in on-line communities whatsoever!

However, i would like to respectfully recommend Shea -and to you too dear readers- to think it twice when you click on "accept as a friend", at the end it is in your hands to open your data to whoever you want, it's needless to say that privacy options on Facebook are there for a reason and if you guys don't use them is because you just don't care...!

This is a song's blog, and these are today's picks: Miranda! is an Argentinian band almost unknown in Spain but very succesful across the ocean, and "Enamorada" with a very catchy melody that keeps lingers in my head and just pops out of it from time to time. Yo La Tengo's Autumn Sweater is (or should be) a classic of 20th century (of course i am biased, specially since i saw them again live in Madrid a few months ago for the second time 12 years after the first time - in the FIB 1998-)


  1. Gonzalito, que te veo. Acabo de estar con Ynduráin y nos hemos acordado de ti.
    Tú qué!
    You what!

  2. I What? I very good! bueno, vuelta a la vida de estudiante durante un año, muchas horas estudiando pero disfrutando como un enano la vuelta al modo de vida occidental!

    A ver si nos vemos o qué? sigues viviendo donde antes? pues dime cuándo no estás tan liado y en Madrid y nos contamos nuestras glorias/penas!