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Daily Archives: July 24, 2007

New Category added.

Technology is a wonderful thing. Internet technology especially gives us the tools to communicate with other like minded individuals no matter where in the world they are. It can also have devastating effects when used for obfuscating facts, outright lies, or underground politics, such as the recent claim that the DailyKos advocated a violoent overthrow of the government, to gain some advantage over someone or something else.

I looked at the Kos site this morning after hearing that but didn’t find any recent reference to such a thing. Does that mean that Kos never had it up there? No, not really. A google search netted this. Whether there was anything more, who knows? I know the DailyKos has gotten a reputation calling for the deaths of political figures so I suppose one could call that advocating a violent overthrow of the government since any such deaths would likely cause extreme crises within the government.

Google searches can usually provide some clues as to whether something was on the internet at one time or another, even if the link being provided is no longer a viable link. Google also caches pages. My favorite, however, is the screenshot. I use a free program called 20/20 which is quite old by computer standards and may be difficult to find and download now, but still works very well for my purposes. With a screenshot you can save your evidence to a floppy disk (if you still have one on your system), a cd, or a dvd. Thus it becomes a permanent record of activities that you may need to provide factual information about.

I once had a discussion about screenshots versus saved web pages. The other person argued that saved webpages don’t make large files such as full page screenshots make. This is true, however, when you pull the saved files up on your computer they no longer show the original source of the page but show your computer as the source. A screenshot, if done right, has a permanent record of the original source… because you took a picture of it and you don’t have to be a photoshop expert to hit a “Print Screen” button. Another drawback of the saved webpage is that it is editable once saved, so you’ll have to deal with counterarguments and accusations of such.

The advent of internet technology has made it nearly impossible for the media to keep their stranglehold on the American public. It’s quite likely the same kinds of “revolutions” are taking place in practically every country in the world that is “hooked” into the internet.  People no longer take everything the media says as gospel, whether it is liberally or conservatively biased. Unless you’re extremely gifted at tracking others through the internet, tracks, posts, webpages, statements, or anything else of that nature can be erased and you are left with such resources as Google’s cached pages, the Wayback Machine, and other such tools for re-finding that specific information and all of which can be extremely time consuming, depending how old the information is and if you have a good idea of the time frame of its appearance on the web.

So the message for today in this new category is: Get screenshots, folks! You’ll always have a permanent record of what was said by whom, when, why, and how. You never know when they might come in handy.  In fact, I’d recommend both a saved webpage and screenshots. The saved webpage will give you easy access to any linked references within the page while the screenshots give you the evidence that the page has not been tampered with.

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