Tuesday, January 16, 2024

Delete your digital history from dozens of companies with this app

 Gina Rinehart tried to censor Crikey articles using ‘ridiculous’ trademark request to tech companies

Delete your digital history from dozens of companies with this app

Washington Post: “Sick of companies grabbing and selling your address, birth date, location, online activity, dog food brand and even adult-film preferences? Oh boy, do I have some good news. 

A new iPhone and Android app called Permission Slip makes it super simple to order companies to delete your personal information and secrets. Trying it saved me about 76 hours of work telling Ticketmaster, United, AT&T, CVS and 35 other companies to knock it off. 

Did I mention Permission Slip is free? And it’s made by an organization you can trust: the nonprofit Consumer Reports. I had a few hiccups testing it, but I’m telling everyone I know to use it. This is the privacy app all those snooping companies don’t want you to know about…”

Hortus Eystettensis

Open Culture – The Beautifully Illustrated Book of Plants That Changed Botanical Art Overnight (1613). “If you made it big in seventeenth-century Bavaria, you showed it by creating a garden with all the plants in the known world. That’s what Johann Konrad von Gemmingen, Prince-Bishop of Eichstätt did, anyway, and he wasn’t about to let his botanical wonderland die with him. To that end, he engaged a specialist by the name of Basilius Besler to document the whole thing, and with a lavishness never before seen in books in its category.”

Scientists Discover 100 To 1000 Times More Plastics In Bottled Water Washington Post. Bottled water is endemic here. 

Elon Musk Isn’t Getting Enough Sleep Matt Levine, Bloomberg. You have to click through to see what the piece is really about: “Is Elon Musk’s drug use securities fraud?”

A SUNNY PLACE FOR SHADY PEOPLE: Shore To Please. Review: The Once Upon a Time World: The Dark and Sparkling Story of the French Riviera 

If Hieronymus Bosch ran a holiday resort, it would look like St. Tropez in the summer. It’s the same all the way along the coast from Marseilles to Menton. The rocky hillsides are swathed in concrete. The roads are jammed with preposterous sports cars and Germans in camper vans. The harbors are slick with oil and other fragrant discharges from the yachts in the bay. The harborside restaurants are extortionate and smell of drains. In Nice and Monaco, the surviving Belle Époque mansions are dwarfed by glass towers. This is the Côte d’Azur, the French Riviera: a sweaty panorama of organized crime, municipal corruption, tax-dodging, drug-smuggling, money-laundering, compulsive gambling, and gratuitous thong-wearing. I went last summer and had a great time.

The locals joke that Nice gets its name from “Ni ici, ni là“: “Neither here nor there,” neither French nor Italian, a living city and a stage set for a dream. That is what the visitors want, a break from reality on a cosmopolitan shore between the mountains and the sea. They come to escape life, as once, when the Riviera was an al fresco hospital for tuberculosis patients, they came to escape death. The English invented the French Riviera as a home away from home in the 19th century. The Americans reinvented it in the early 20th as a sophisticated alternative to home. The Germans only knocked it about a bit. The French destroyed it as the Venetians destroyed Venice, by catering to the world’s dreams and desires.

Jonathan Miles’s The Once Upon a Time World is the story of the making and remaking of the Riviera. It would be tidy to speak of its “unmaking,” but that has not yet happened and probably never will. A coast of malarial fishing villages and busy ports became an exclusive resort for the rich, then a glamorous gambler’s paradise with artist colonies on its fringes, then the world’s beach in the Jet Age when being a movie star was worth the trouble, and latterly a money laundry for oligarchs. But the view remains unchanged, and so the Riviera will go on forever, like a Disney cruise that has slipped into the Bermuda Triangle.


The last artwork of any significance to be created on the Riviera was made in 1971, when the Rolling Stones, having come south to dodge British taxation, recorded Exile on Main Street in the basement of Nellcote, Keith Richards’s rented mansion on the headland by Villefranche. Jean Cocteau lived on the same headland and filmed his Orpheus in Villefranche’s backstreets. Somerset Maugham lived there too and knew what he was talking about when he called the Riviera a “sunny place for shady people.” Perhaps the only detail missing in Miles’s encyclopedic account is that when the future Andrew Loog Oldham stopped in Villefranche as a teenage backpacker, he was advised not to go near Maugham’s villa, as young boys were known to have disappeared there.