There’s a maxim in life (the origin of which is in dispute) that you can never been too thin or too rich. In the world of IT, that maxim has a corollary: there is always someone out there who knows more (or less) about the subject than you do. And because there is so much to learn and so little time in which to do it, much of one’s high tech education happens on the job or in a continuing education classroom.
Much of my own career in this field (including my time in Libraryland) has centered around being someone who can bridge the communication gap between so-called normal (non-techie) folk and IT people in what is generally a non-techie environment. That’s a huge asset, because it’s gotten me the respect of my coworkers over the years, even if it sometimes seems to me like I’m the one-eyed man in the kingdom of the blind.
A case in point is this gentleman from England who apparently recently asked what a "website" was. This is not usually a problem if one asks it in the presence of, say, IT people or family members. I bring it up only because the gentleman in question is a British High Court judge. Given this fact, I need to bring up two more points with a bit more substance. First, remember that no matter how little you think you know about your PC, I promise there is someone out there who knows less than you do.
A more worrisome prospect is that others of this judge’s level of knowledge will likely be making decisions about the legality of questions like this one. Is it legal/ethical/moral for Apple to encode your purchase and user metadata into the tracks you download into iTunes, for instance? Maybe. Maybe not. As a long time Mac freak I can tell you I am shocked and appalled at this kind of activity. (Shocked. And. Appalled.) But decisions like that aren’t up to me. I’d suggest that if you’re using P2P software to upload your song library to strangers, you might be putting yourself at some risk. Will that stop anyone from doing it? Maybe. Maybe not. I’m pretty sure I don’t make those decisions, either. (But click here to see a well-argued word or two of advice.)