How To Block Your Employer's Monitoring

If you work in investment banking, odds are your employer monitors your Internet usage and probably blocks your access to certain sites (some cretinous firms even block WSO!). This is all just part of the game these days, and it isn't necessarily a bad thing. However, there are those (like myself) who bristle at invasions of privacy, and Internet monitoring certainly qualifies.

What I'm about to link to is not something I'm recommending you do. Circumventing your employer's network monitoring on all but the most occasional basis is certain to throw up a red flag in the IT department and could even get you fired in some cases (depending upon your employment contract). So once again I am not recommending that you circumvent or in any way disable your employer's network monitoring. That said, I think it's good to know how.

This handy post from Lifehacker shows you how to tell if you're being monitored and how to get around it if you are. While I find that kind of monitoring creepy, I don't consider it an invasion of privacy in any legal sense. In fact, your employer has every right to do it if you have stipulated as such in your at-will employment contract. In fact, there's a good reason for it - unrestricted and/or unmonitored Internet access leads to employee man-years in wasted time and productivity.

New World Order.

So last night had a good, borderline lunacy and fictional talk with an old pal over some good hash & booze about new world order and the future. You see folks, I am all pragmatic and to an extent will even buy into this rather jaded fallacy of the way the world is heading say 200 plus years from now but what most conspirators, the extreme on both sides fail to understand is humans evolve and the power of choice. Anyone in this damned hardhearted world can make it if you are willing to work hard and aim for the sky.... Discuss.

Looking Through the PRISM

If you haven't heard some leaked NSA documents show that they have been getting direct access to large tech companies servers to gather data on their customers i.e. citizens of the united states and, well, everywhere for that matter. Here's one story for you.

On it's face i want to scream, shout and holler about how awful, illegal and invasive this could be. Then I realize this is the NSA we are dealing with here. They have the capacity to eavesdrop on conversations all over the world and literally pull a needle from a haystack on a second by second basis. You REALLY think that they give two wits about legality and court orders if they want something? I'm not saying I'm for or against large tech companies handing over data but if you think a simple no will even slow down the NSA you are dreaming.

Money Laundering Now Applicable to Virtual Currencies

Just when you thought you could hide your money somewhere on the internet the treasury department has to step in and kill all the fun. I'm sure many people on here are familiar with virtual currencies like bitcoin, which are now straight in the cross hairs of officials.

The U.S. is applying money-laundering rules to "virtual currencies," amid growing concern that new forms of cash bought on the Internet are being used to fund illicit activities.

They are what you eat (and drink)

Uni-lever, Mars, Pepsi, Coca Cola, Kraft, Nestle, P&G, General Mills, Kellogs and Johnson and Johnson. These are the ten companies that rule over many of the brands you buy knowingly or unknowingly.

Ever wonder why you can't get a Coke at Taco Bell? It's because Yum! Brands was created as a spin-off of Pepsi--and has a lifetime contract with the soda-maker.
Unilever produces everything from Dove soap to Klondike bars. Nestle has a big stake in L'Oreal, which features everything from cosmetics to Diesel designer jeans.

No one is saying these companies are like Keiretsu's in Japan, although i will admit that was the first thing that came to mind when I saw this diagram (see below). Considering most of this is retail I'm sure you can do this with other industries. What are your thoughts? Is it slightly disturbing that so few companies have controlling stakes in most of the food/bev products you consume?