Monday, July 16, 2012

whipping up spanakopita

Facebook fans beware - the days when you could snoop through your friends, former partners' and work colleagues' pages anonymously are due to end 
The social networking site has announced that it will soon let users see who has been snooping through their pages. The move is expected to dramatically cut the browsing habits of hundreds of millions of users. 
The change to the website - which has more than 900 million members - applies to group pages; meaning users can see who has visited any group which they are a member of. 
But already there are suggestions that Facebook may unfurl the technology across the site, meaning the naughty-naughty-stalky-stalky generation may soon see their fingerprint-free snooping habits curtailed, or face the embarrassment of their ex's new boyfriend/girlfriend realising they were too curious to resist an online-curtain twitch.
There are suggestions; made by whom, one wonders? Made by the author of this piece, one suspects. "The change to the website ... applies to group pages; meaning users can see who has visited any group which they are a member of," she writes, poorly. But then she leaps to her suggestions and descends to  sub-Glucina puce prose: "the naughty-naughty-stalky-stalky generation may soon see their fingerprint-free snooping habits curtailed"

No, Vaimoana Tapaleao, they won't. You made it up. You have no sources, no facts. You are not writing journalism. You have taken an unexceptional event and made it salacious. You have invented a story and found some witless university student, mostly likely one of your friends, to pad it out with her breathless Oh-My-God-this-is-the-end commentary. The paper for which you work (if that is the appropriate verb) has descended from being a source of news and opinion to a purveyor of title-tattle. That is why they employ you, as can be seen from your history.

All of which is a shame, because only a couple of years ago you won a Qantas, for real journalism. Yet now you are making up stuff, and writing about celebrity hair.

It is time to go. Get a real job doing journalism. If you stay at the Herald you will wind up like Shelly. See what she has just done: she has found the 2012 Shopper's Guide to Pesticides in Produce by the "US-based Environmental Working Group" and made a scare story about it, in her own particular way: "Cannelloni stuffed with spinach is my Sunday night go-to dinner and I often whip up spanakopita too. I'll be tracking down organic spinach for sure."

But what, you may be asking, has this to do with New Zealand? Well, nothing, since it is not a survey of New Zealand produce. Who knows what fruit and veges are covered in chemicals here? Shelly certainly doesn't.

Worse still, you might end up with friends like Shelly's. They are not terribly bright, you see. They get fooled by Internet scammers. Yes really; you can read all about it here:
"I just felt so grateful for his help," my friend said later when she'd cancelled her credit cards and generally tidied up in the aftermath of unwittingly providing her passwords and bank details to the con artists. "And I felt so clever each time I managed to do whatever he asked me to do," she added, aware too late that by following his step-by-step instructions she was actually helping him gain remote access to her computer.
Yes, that dumb. And what about her dinner party hosts?
Our hostess answered the telephone. "It's for you, darling," she said and promptly handed it to her husband. "There's something wrong with my computer?" he asked as he wandered into his study, presumably to switch on his laptop.

"This must be a serious matter, darling.  The Computer Company wouldn't phone unless it were important, especially at this time of night. I had better deal with it right away, before it gets worse."

"I always leave this sort of thing to him. He is so good with technical things and I'm just a housewife. Would you like some more cashews?"

I should advise you that made up those two lines of dialogue, just in case you thought it must be true because you read it on Internet. It would be an easy mistake to make.

Stereolab, une fois de plus

No comments: