I finally managed to deliver some dearly-required updates. Most notably for visitors other than the Google Bot, I added a new portrait that greets visitors with a smile.

In the wake of the whole 2013 mass surveillance scandal made public by Edward Snowden, I finally severed the last ties to Google. Without thinking too much about it, I had used a customized Google Analytics tracker on all pages. Following the German privacy laws, I instructed the tracker to make the IP addresses anonymous (which amounts to discarding the last 8 bits of each address). After the curiously precise denials by Apple, Facebook, and Google regarding their participation in PRISM, it struck me: I had thrown my visitors to the wolves–without their consent and (sometimes) their knowledge.

The only viable course of action was thus to remove all tracking code. I still count site visits, but only using internal log files that are not served by Apache. I am sorry for not thinking clearly about this. If you value your privacy, I would strongly suggest installing Ghostery.

To end this post on a lighter and informative note: My site now features a news box at last, courtesy of ikiwiki. The main index page will now always show the five latest blog posts, making it easier for me to point out new content.