Peter Bromhead: Hydra heads of the Internet

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Cartoon / Peter Bromhead
Cartoon / Peter Bromhead

A number of computer applications have raised my bile levels recently.

I'm particularly grumpy with a "business networking" site, which ensnared me into unintentionally offering everybody in my address book the opportunity to join the same ghastly ubiquitous network.

In return, I'm now receiving responses from a number of obscure people in the international business community - all seeking employment.

Frankly, I don't care for all this chummy electronic stuff.

This week I opened an architectural file and, after forwarding the documentation to my engineer, discovered to my horror that the file had also been dispatched again to everybody in my address book, thanks to the abstruse network link now implanted in my computer.

Editors expecting cartoons from their dogsbody slave will be wondering why they're receiving obscure working drawings of heat-pump systems for educational spaces.

In a fit of frustration, I've attempted to remove myself from the limpet-like grip of the site, but exiting is so convoluted that I'm likely to tick the wrong box and compound my folly by posting further nonsense in cyberspace.

The web link is far too mastodonic for me to argue with - boasting millions of users - so I'm left with only unpalatable alternatives, such as moving to Syria or Iran, where the network is persona non grata, or buying a new computer and starting all over again with a new name and address book.

However, I suspect the site's clandestine recruitment methods, which border on the Machiavellian, would swiftly return me to their clutches - the very first time some vaporous chick called Candy or Tammy invites me to "network" with her, because "she finds me interesting".

Another American marauder earning my ire is a relentless advertiser who locked into my account via the New York Times and is now plaguing me with sciolistic spam.

Hardly surprisingly, I have little interest in what shade of lipstick will be de rigueur next fall in Manhattan, so I'm justifiably weary at being bombarded with obscure fashion tips that deftly slip past my junk security. When attempting to terminate this mindless stuff, the advertiser offers a raft of alternative suggestions, none of which actually closes down the site, but simply introduces me to variations on the same theme.

It's like cutting off the endless heads of the Greek mythological serpent, Lernaean Hydra. If only I had the focused tenacity of Heracles to permanently slay such modern-day electronic beasts.

- NZ Herald

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