Privacy watchdog to probe Klarna after email backlash

Found on BBC News on Saturday, 17 October 2020
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The Information Commissioner's Office said it will make enquiries into Klarna after scores of angry people questioned why it had their details despite never doing business with the payments firm.

One Twitter user, vlogger Christine Armstrong, tweeted: "Now why would Klarna have 'accidentally' sent me their newsletter when I have never used their services. Who sold them my email?"

If a shop does not offer invoices, or at least cash in advance, then goods get bought somewhere else.

Who watches the watchers? Samsung does so it can fling ads at owners of its smart TVs

Found on The Register on Friday, 16 October 2020
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Samsung brags to advertisers that "first screen ads", seen by all users of its Smart TVs when they turn on, are 100 per cent viewable, audience targeted, and seen 400 times per TV per month. Some users are not happy.

It is not just that the ads appear, but also that the company continually profiles its customers, using a technology called Automatic Content Recognition (ACR), which works by detecting what kind of content a viewer is watching.

According to its Smart TV privacy policy, Samsung does allow viewers to disable "Interest-based advertisement (IBA) services". This does not affect whether or not you see advertisements, but does reduce the data collected.

So just do not buy this junk. Advertising is extremely annoying already, and there is no reason whatsoever to support this trainwreck by buying such a product.

Designer makes £77,000 from iPhone icons in a week

Found on BBC News on Thursday, 15 October 2020
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After the launch of iOS 14 in September, users discovered a work-around that let them completely redesign their homescreens, changing app icons to whatever they liked.

It inspired Traf to share a screenshot of his own minimalistic monochrome design on Twitter.

It was an instant hit, with users describing it as "clean", "slick" and a "dream aesthetic". For many, it was a first taste of smartphone customisation.

Since there was "no notion of what an iOS icon set should be priced at", he decided to charge $28 (£22) for the set.

Apple sheep even pay ridiculous prices for icons.

Apple's T2 Security Chip Has an Unfixable Flaw

Found on Wired on Wednesday, 14 October 2020
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The flaw is one researchers have also been using for more than a year to jailbreak older models of iPhones. But the fact that the T2 chip is vulnerable in the same way creates a new host of potential threats. Worst of all, while Apple may be able to slow down potential hackers, the flaw is ultimately unfixable in every Mac that has a T2 inside.

The T2 also contains a vulnerability, known as Checkm8, that jailbreakers have already been exploiting in Apple's A5 through A11 (2011 to 2017) mobile chipsets. Now Checkra1n, the same group that developed the tool for iOS, has released support for T2 bypass.

Perfect security does not exist.

Electric shocks to the tongue can quiet chronic ringing ears

Found on ScienceMag on Tuesday, 13 October 2020
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Tinnitus—a constant ringing or buzzing in the ears that affects about 15% of people—is difficult to understand and even harder to treat. Now, scientists have shown shocking the tongue—combined with a carefully designed sound program—can reduce symptoms of the disorder, not just while patients are being treated, but up to 1 year later.

Finally there is a valid reason why you would lick a battery.

Five bar and cafe owners arrested in France for running no-log WiFi networks

Found on ZD Net on Monday, 12 October 2020
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The bar and cafe owners were arrested for allegedly breaking a 14-year-old French law that dictates that all internet service providers must keep logs on all their users for at least one year.

French media pointed out that the law's text didn't only apply to internet service providers (ISPs) in the broad meaning of the word — as in telecommunications providers — but also to any "persons" who provide internet access, may it be free of charge or via password-protected networks.

So, taking this law literally, everybody at home has to keep logfiles as soon as a friend or family member uses their Internet connection.

Covid: Test error 'should never have happened' - Hancock

Found on BBC News on Sunday, 11 October 2020
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The technical error was caused by some Microsoft Excel data files exceeding the maximum size after they were sent from NHS Test and Trace to Public Health England.

The BBC has confirmed the missing Covid-19 test data was caused by the ill-thought-out use of Microsoft's Excel software. Furthermore, PHE was to blame, rather than a third-party contractor.

The problem is that the PHE developers picked an old file format to do this - known as XLS.

As a consequence, each template could handle only about 65,000 rows of data rather than the one million-plus rows that Excel is actually capable of.

Really now? Excel?

Apple Sues Canadian Recycling Firm for Reselling 100,000 Devices Instead of Destroying Them

Found on iPhone in Canada on Saturday, 10 October 2020
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Apple is seeking $31 million from GEEP, plus proceeds made from selling iPhones, iPads and Apple Watches.

“At least 11,766 pounds of Apple devices left GEEP’s premises without being destroyed – a fact that GEEP itself confirmed. These misappropriated devices were then subsequently sold at a significantly higher price than other recycled materials to downstream vendors who refurbished and resold the devices to consumers,” explains Apple’s suit, filed in January.

So that is what Apple thinks of the environment: people should buy new products instead of repaired ones. This is another reason why they will forever stay on the "Do not buy" list.

YouTubers are upscaling the past to 4K. Historians want them to stop

Found on Wired on Friday, 09 October 2020
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The first time you see Denis Shiryaev’s videos, they feel pretty miraculous. You can walk through New York as it was in 1911, or ride on Wuppertal’s flying train at the turn of the 20th century, or witness the birth of the moving image in a Leeds garden in 1888.

The colours that suddenly flood into the streets of 1910s New York aren’t drawn from the celluloid itself; that information was never captured there. The extra frames added to smooth those New Yorkers’ 60 frame-a-second strolls are brand new too.

It sure is impressive, but it also changes the originals. New data is added, changed, moved and adjusted; and that data has never been present in the original, so it is rather random.

Sandwiches in Subway 'too sugary to meet legal definition of being bread'

Found on Independent on Thursday, 08 October 2020
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The court ruled that with a high sugar content, the sandwich could not be deemed a staple food which attracts a zero VAT rate. It rejected arguments by a Subway franchisee that it was not liable for VAT on some of its takeaway products, including teas, coffees and heated filled sandwiches.

The five-judge court ruled the bread in Subway's heated sandwiches falls outside that statutory definition because it has a sugar content of 10pc of the weight of the flour included in the dough.

The act provides the weight of ingredients such as sugar, fat and bread improver shall not exceed 2pc of the weight of flour in the dough.

For years now everybody should know that we consume too much sugar, and yet there is Subway who dumps extra sugar into its bread cookie sandwiches.