Privacy Statement


Why is this page here?

When our ISP’s checker program said there was no privacy page back in 2012, we decided to cover all bases by putting one in. So here it is, updated in 2014 ...

There are no entry forms on this website and we do not write “cookies” into your browser. As for marketing, we may put in some “search optimisation” fields later on, but you are free to visit this site without worrying about that sales call. We can hardly keep up with populating this site, let alone trying to collect data from all our visitors.

We promise never to sell your data, as we do not collect any, not even cookies. There might still be some cookies in the old jQuery Javascript libraries hosted by Google (for menus that we are slowly converting to straight HTML and CSS).

We are intrigued by the western governments' blatant disregard for privacy, in spite of all the rules they have in place, plus pointing fingers at other governments. We hope we are never forced to log all traffic to this site for five year periods (longer than most terms of government or the warranty period of hard drives).

We shudder to think what effect the FBI, Chinese retailers, or well funded Human Resources companies had on the initial Facebook IPO price. We saw the price tank briefly when privacy issues surfaced. Even LinkedIn offers a premium subscription where you can override a host of things that sensitive users might not want the world to see. (Let's not mention the hack of millions of LinkedIn passwords — the IEEE suggested that users were likely to receive a lot of spam in the near future.)

Information Gathering

“Women, wine and song” are still all time favourites for information gathering (women mentioned further down for the heads of the IMF and CIA), a bottle of wine that caused the head of a NSW government to resign (covered under ‘Politics’ in our April 2014 news), and U2 giving away music in iTunes (we would have bought the album anyway).

We dislike marketing “intelligence gathering” by the large retailers. They were right about us liking wine, even sending several wine offers, but we are holding out to see if their marketing pundits are prepared to up the offers or to move us up into the next category. Tell us nothing, as we are unlikely to even offer you any wine.


Wine gift cards

Fig 1: Not such a good offer. Discount off seriously marked up wine from an outlet nowhere close to where it was posted to, but to be linked to your profile for insurance purposes should the retailers and insurance giants ever meet or merge IT departments in some outsourced location. The same retailer has another branded booze outlet much closer, and they know we buy there, so we are a bit curious and suspect they swap your information. The offer was better than the 4c per litre of fuel, and almost fills up a tank.

In McLaren Vale, there are plenty of cellar doors who sell wine at better prices and take cash for a dozen bottles without pestering you, but then there are others who have asked for your email address and then try to sell you more before you could possibly work through their last dozen.

Privacy invasion

There is little privacy in the digital age, with governments trying to sniff all your electronic communications. Even when they change the guard, the next shift find it convenient to keep the sniffers employed, perhaps even strengthening their powers under the guise of some imminent peril. The UK even proposed a big brother bill in 2012 (as though they don’t already monitor traffic as suspected by some in the USA or here in Oz). It will be nice to see how well behaved the politicians are when the bill is passed, as not even the “recently departed” high ranking international banking official escaped the media's attention. NY Times topics on DSK.

Occassionally, even the spy bosses get caught out, but that is another story that was told by the Guardian (and others). For the curious, CIA director David Petraeus resigns over 'unacceptable' extramarital affair, 10th Nov, 2012. Trolls on the site even suggested he resigned before having to testify to Congress, so maybe he never even had an affair.

Birthdays

If birthdays were not used in Australia by iconic companies as a form of positive ID over the phone, and then continuing as though that was really something only you and they knew, we would tell you ours in the hope of best wishes and the occassional present. We cannot even tell you how old we are, but have been involved in embedded work for over thirty years (just a small hint). We also cannot even tell you the one day of the year when we suddenly become a whole year older. For those of you with accounts in Australia and also still on Facebook — not sure how you view the privacy of your birthday there, but we are a lot more discrete, and consider this a website suitable for anyone able to read — even the elderly as we encroach on that territory one day at a time. Ever since the celebration of birthdays, your date of birth is not such a big secret, but somehow the ones with a zero at the end are less enjoyable than the others.

What we really think about privacy

We are unsure what privacy really means, and do not believe in sending around the sales team as soon as you download one of our PDF files. We also do not like the lack of pricing on websites who then pass you onto the local agent. Mostly we just want budget figures, but sometimes there are companies who discount up to 90% off list for pushbuttons. We do not have standard products, so pricing is on a “time-and-materials” basis or fixed price for longer term stuff, where we take the risk if we under quote on time. So, there is nothing secretive or private about our pricing, however, we have not listed any source code due to the possibility of lawsuites for algorithms we might not have known were patented. As for your privacy, we respect it completely, so much so, that we don't even track traffic. For other takes on privacy, we offered some comments above on what some preach but do not follow...

Once we get to the stage of asking for your money and parting with some intellectual property or boards, we will need to know a few things about you. Until then, keep all that to yourselves. Even your age.

Our privacy staff

Dragon after performance evaluation

Fig 2: Young Albert

In reality, the “we” is just me, a couple of dragons who don't repeat any private matters, plus a bitch in reception managing the privacy portfolio who's bark is worse than her bite — a lovely little grey Staffie who always wags her tail and is pleased to see everyone.


Bailey at a few weeks

Fig 3: Receptionist as a pup — she is a lot bigger than that now, with a pretty bite for privacy transgressions, as her teeth get brushed before she enjoys a daily walk. There she sniffs out everything, and nothing is private. Not sure if she is impressed or not, but she has been known to leave a scent or her displeasure.


Working to remove tracking

Our website staff are working furiously to remove any tracking or analytics. We noticed that there were cookies when using the developer option under the various browsers to see cookies and were rather surprised. We do not have single pixel graphics that are placed hundreds of pixels off the page but render and are not there for your benefit as we have observed on other sites when examining their code.

We had used the jQuery library (which we host) as the Google version appeared to use their analytics and cookies. We were caught out with some sneaky Javascript a while back, even though the anti-virus software said it was safe. The scanner could not check the code that was yet to be downloaded, so we are moving away from Javascript to plain HTML and CSS. In essence, we store nothing about you and don't even know you were here. If we do return to Javascript, we will not compress or encrypt it so that you can look at the library if you want to add us to your trusted vacation places.

In closing, we ask that you respect our privacy, do not deface any pages or launch a “denial of service attack” against us. We hopefully have no foes in cyberspace, love all dragons and most red wine. Thanks.