HOW DID GOOGLE KNOW?Thursday, June 20 was my birthday. I planned to take the day off and write nothing. I did go to Tuscany to get my hair cut (the Tuscany Salon in Scottsdale). I also went to Tokyo for lunch (Jasmine Tokyo Buffet in Scottsdale). I was planning to fly to Miami to celebrate with the Spurs, but, well, we know how that went.
My phone rang out of control all day. I have a Stupid Phone, the Galaxy S-III, which was rendered obsolete by the S-IV less than six months after its introduction by Verizon (the company that no-doubt turned over my vital statistics, and likely yours, for Ed Snowden to leak).
Anyway my cell had a virus …diarrhea all day and night. One of the calls was from Glenn Greenwald at the Guardian in London (firstname.lastname@example.org)telling me that Snowden had inadvertently leaked my personal information to his hair-dresser (email@example.com), who secretly implants Google data mining microchips in his clients' heads. From there, the NSA acquired it via blanket subpoena. Seems like the NSA could skip a step and just contract directly with Great Clips (firstname.lastname@example.org)
When I got to my office, Mean Eileen said “take a look at Google.” I googled Google. And it said “Happy Birthday, David.” No kidding! I found it mildly disturbing that Google knew it was my birthday. I Googled Make Google Forget My Vital Statistics. Google responded, “I can’t let you do that, Dave.”
Then, General Keith Alexander (email@example.com), The commander of the US Cyber Command and director of the NSA called.
No Happy Birthday greetings. Snowden had dropped my name and the NSA,IRS, FBI and CIA needed me to renew my DNA. “You’ve got the wrong David Stern,” I said. “You want David J. Stern, Commissioner of the NBA.” I reported this to ACLU.
Eileen then said, "take a look at your Flog." (See post below).
Before Social Media and the postal rate increases, I was overwhelmed with marketing birthday cards. Everybody I did business with and some that I didn’t, either wanted to remind me that I was getting older or that they were still in business … every advertising medium, printer, producer, doctors, dentists, lawyers, synagogues and churches, psychiatrists, mortuaries, insurance companies … anybody who wanted to do business with me.
Greeting cards were the ancestors of social media. They were marketing tools for organizations and people whose professional code of ethics did not allow them to advertise. So they sent greeting cards and sympathy cards.
I gathered all of them together and sent them to my brother whose birthday is July 11, precisely three weeks after mine. I accompanied the myriad cards with my own Sympathy card, reading “Sorry to send these to you. “Please forward these to Mom in two weeks.” Her birthday was July 25. I never could throw anything away and was a recycling expert. Dad’s birthday was August 6, 12 days after Mom’s. But I never suggested she pass my cards along to Dad. I didn't think he'd appreciate this particular ecologically responsible gesture.
Common etiquette was not clear on whether you needed to respond to a greeting card. I once sat next to a woman at a banquet. I turned to her and said, “I didn’t get your name.”
“Emily Post,” she responded.
“You’re eating my salad,” I said.
Now that the NSA has all of our information, I’m sure we can expect a push-key greeting card on every occasion. Great PR from the US … damage control in advance. Let’s all get behind the government’s surveillance/cyber-hype program and stay in touch with our leaders.
You can start by pushing all the buttons and sending Happy Birthday wishes to these guys - they obviously don't have any issues with personal info sharing;
firstname.lastname@example.org August 21
email@example.com March 26
firstname.lastname@example.org January 1 (or call him from your Cricket Phone)
email@example.com May 14