April 2010

Searching for a vehicle of my own

Now that I got my California driving licence, I think I want to buy a Lamborghini.

Una aclaración sobre las armas de fuego en EEUU

Al contrario de lo que mucha gente cree, en los supermercados Wal-Mart de los EEUU no tienen munición de rifle en las estanterías al alcance de cualquiera.

Lo que tienen en las estanterías son los cartuchos de escopeta; la munición de rifle y pistola está en una vitrina, justo al lado de los cartuchos.

About privacy and secrets

In the last days, I've seen that some people conflate privacy with secrecy. "If you care so little about your privacy, give me your credit card and bank account numbers," they say. However, it is not true that privacy and secrecy are the same thing, or even remotely related. There are many things that are secret but not private, and many things that are private but not secret.

Your credit card number is a good example of that. It is secret (or rather, a semi-secret) because a bad person with access to it might use it to defraud you. However, it is not private: if it were published in the NY Times' front page, it would be an inconvenience, not an embarrassment for you.

Governments also hold many secrets, so important they call them “State Secrets”. Yet, when the ACTA draft was leaked last month, no Government's privacy was breached. Only, probably, some state secrets laws.

As for privacy without secrecy, think about this: if you are in a restaurant and you go to the bathroom, everybody has a very good idea of what you are going to do, so it can hardly be a secret. But, even if everybody can imagine what you do in there, I'm sure you wouldn't like them to actually see it.

Another example: as I type this, I'm at home, sitting in my sofa, with the computer on my lap. If cannot be a secret, as I have just revealed it. I'm not doing anything particularly naughty or embarrassing; I'm just sitting here, typing. And, all the same, if someone were to come and look into a window, and see me sitting in the sofa, and shout out “hey guys, he's really sitting there typing, as he said in his weblog post”, I would consider it an invasion of my privacy.

And that, my friends, is why privacy is not equal to secrecy.


  • I got my California driving licence.
  • I have designed one of those t-shirts with a pun in Galician which is impossible to explain to my English-speaking coworkers.
    This is the prototype to check the printing; I still want to change the typefaces for the lettering. Any explanations will be in person :).
  • Jacobo Tarrío does not use a monitor. He uses two LEDs instead: one for data and one for clock #JacoboTarrioFacts.

Nice juxtaposition

Browsing the “Recommendations” from Google Reader, I saw these two stories, one right after the other:

Why You Should Never Pay More Than $10 For HDMI Cables // 3-pack of 6' HDMI cables $7 + Free Shipping