Stuff that occurs to me

All of my 'how to' posts are tagged here. The most popular posts are about blocking and private accounts on Twitter, also the science communication jobs list. None of the science or medical information I might post to this blog should be taken as medical advice (I'm not medically trained).

Think of this blog as a sort of nursery for my half-baked ideas hence 'stuff that occurs to me'.

Contact: @JoBrodie Email: jo DOT brodie AT gmail DOT com

Science in London: The 2018/19 scientific society talks in London blog post

Friday, 8 November 2013

More strangeness to come from 'What Doctors Don't Tell You'

Being not very good at setting health information in its proper context and struggling with critically appraising medical articles is one thing but conspiracy theories are a new strange for WDDTY. I spotted this earlier today.

I'm scratching my head a bit at this one to be honest. Most of the computer-related glitches mentioned can just as easily be explained by successful phishing attempts (where you click on a rogue site that looks like a genuine one, it asks for your password, you supply it and your password is used to open and compromise your real account). These are commonplace on Twitter for example - often a compromised account is used to send a message with a link in it to that person's friends... who click on it, hand over their password... and so on.

In fact it's so common that Twitter has pretty much blocked people from sending links* via Direct Messages. It also provides information on what to do if your account's been compromised

Most 'hacking' is probably 'phishing' as far as I'm aware.

Visiting iffy websites (unwittingly, when clicking on a link from a friend whose account's been compromised) could also explain the viruses.

I've never heard of any skeptic collecting someone's data but fair enough I really don't know what this refers to. Any website with Google Analytics collects some information about every visitor (time of visit, length of visit, type of web browser, what keywords they used to search Google to reach the site) - this is commonly used on pretty much ALL websites and hasn't got anything to do with skepticism. The opportunities to use this for 'evil purposes' are pretty limited to be honest.

I've been burgled, the burglar left a pair of socks - the Police were fairly puzzled too. Since burglary is not a rare crime and not particularly associated with skepticism my assumption is that the burglars were ordinary burglars and not in the pay of Big Pharma. I wonder if the gold watches were dropped in error by the burglars who'd pinched them from another property.

We skeptics should certainly try not to be rude though, no disagreement there. It's perfectly possible to disagree and remain on civil terms, although people calling us thieves doesn't make it easy.

*It's possible that this is a glitch though.

No comments:

Post a comment

Comment policy: I enthusiastically welcome corrections and I entertain polite disagreement ;) Because of the nature of this blog it attracts a LOT - 5 a day at the moment - of spam comments (I write about spam practices,misleading marketing and unevidenced quackery) and so I'm more likely to post a pasted version of your comment, removing any hyperlinks.

Comments written in ALL CAPS LOCK will be deleted and I won't publish any pro-homeopathy comments, that ship has sailed I'm afraid (it's nonsense).