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"Your 'reality', sir, is lies and balderdash and I'm delighted to say that I have no grasp of it whatsoever."
— Karl Friedrich Hieronymus, Freiherr von M√ľnchhausen

ZabaSearch

For those who have not yet heard the buzz, there's a new search engine called ZabaSearch. But unlike Yahoo! or Google, this search engine finds people instead of pages. But unlike its lame predecessors (such as the Yahoo! People Search) that return results no better than your white pages, Zaba takes advantage of the enormous amount of public information available through government agencies and the like. According to Robert Zakari, president of ZabaSearch.com, the data is comprised mainly of

[i]nformation collected by the government, and information that individuals put it out into the public domain. Court records, county records, state records, information that becomes publicly available after you buy a new house or go to the post office and file a change-of-address form.
This, of course, means that the information is often out-of-date, but that doesn't mean it isn't useful to the enterprising snoop. For example, when I searched my own name, it didn't list my current address, but it did return every other address I had lived in since I left college. That was almost a little eerie.

I think ZabaSearch is a good thing for several reasons, and that's only partially because I think it will be useful to me. A public resource such as this one cannot help but bring privacy and information-sharing issues into public view. Hopefully it will spark meaningful dialogue so we can decide, as a society, how much free information is too much.

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The Red Bull Diary is the personal pulpit and intellectual dumping-ground for its author, an amateur game designer, professional programmer, political centrist and incurable skeptic. The Red Bull Diary is gaming, game design, politics, development, geek culture, and other such nonsense.