I'd been wondering why Lavasoft hadn't appeared to be too forthcoming with any new reference files for Ad-aware (their free spy-ware remover) of late. However, I've just noticed that there's a new build out (build 6.181) that's needed for the latest updates; now that I've downloaded it, I can continue to further my paranoid obsession with keeping The Man (and the bandits) at arm's length. Grrr!
On the topic of spy-ware, or more pertinently, spy-wear, here's an interesting article from yesterday's Guardian concerning the data-protection issues and commercial politics of loyalty card schemes, and, more worryingly, the insertion of tracking chips into clothes amongst other things.
Also on the fascinating (note:irony) subject of online advertising, surfing has been such a more relaxing experience since downloading the Google toolbar 2.0 beta. Banner ads I can take - hell, they can even brighten up a dull web-page if done exceptionally well. But pop-up ads, they used to really get my goat. Take the time it takes to load their slabs of badly-designed image in the first place, add to the equation the hassle of closing their fracking windows down afterwards, and the resulting outcome is my fist going through my monitor. But thanks to the new toolbar, 48 incidents of unwelcome pop-ups have already been blocked on my machine in the 18 days I've had it. Google is such a class company, in so many ways. (And who knows - maybe that shameless bit of patronage will will return Viper Squad Ten to the top of their search results in the next Google dance... c'mon Fresh-bot. Here boy!)