Last Updated on: 21st February 2014, 03:48 pm
Ha ha ha. I’m so corny. But I had to write about this, because I find it slightly amusing and extremely disturbing all at once.
Did you know that information that we’re led to believe should be common knowledge is locked up behind password protection by its own publishers? Let me explain. I was on the Canadian Cancer Society’s Website a while ago, I can’t even remember why. Anyway, I was zooming around, and I ended up on the breast cancer page. I found their little booklet on breast self-examinations. I thought, well gee, they say we should all know how to do this, maybe I should learn how. After all, my cousin died of breast cancer.
So I tried to read the thing. First of all, clicking on it caused adobe reader to load up. This is usually ok for most people, but sometimes, PDF’s, for one reason or another, are unreadable for blinks with our happy fun software that makes our computers talk. “Oh well, no big deal,” I thought, “I’ll just feed it through some other happy fun software that knows how to recognize images and turn them into text.” So I downloaded the thing, and opened said happy fun software package. When it tried to open the pdf, I was greeted with this message: “Enter password for breast self-exam en.pdf.” Password? Why in christ does the Canadian Cancer Society, who gives out free pamphlets, feel the need to password-protect their electronic documents? Are they afraid of tampering? If so, why? I would have to not only tamper with the file, but find a way to implant it back up on their website, which I’d think would be quite a feat. It would be easier to tamper with their print documents, I’d think. Why all the protectiveness on information that is supposed to flow freely?
It appears that the happy fun software package had other plans for their trusty password, since it just found another way to the info by taking a picture of the document and pumping it through another way. But oh somebody, if there is a somebody, has a cruel sense of humour, because after all that password-cracking and yelling, I couldn’t even understand the damn thing. Sentences like “move your hands in motions like this.” are really helpful to us blinks. I know they don’t take us into account, since we’re so few, but it just added insult to injury.
I’m going to email the Cancer Society about the password protection of this stuff, because that just baffles me. Hopefully I get an answer worth posting here. I might mention the second point while I’m at it. It probably won’t get anything changed, but if they don’t know, it is guaranteed not to change.