Can you trust FaceApp with your face?

Found on BBC News on Thursday, 18 July 2019
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Since the face-editing tool went viral in the last few days, some have raised concerns over its terms and conditions.

They argue that the company takes a cavalier approach to users' data - but FaceApp said in a statement most images were deleted from its servers within 48 hours of being uploaded.

Privacy advocate Pat Walshe pointed to lines in the FaceApp's privacy policy that suggested some user data may be tracked for the purposes of targeting ads.

It's basically every app that does the same: provide some pointless "feature" and steal all the personal data from the device. So, you cannot trust any app.

Amazon offers $10 to Prime Day shoppers who hand over their data

Found on Reuers on Wednesday, 17 July 2019
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In order to work, the assistant needs access to users’ web activity, including the links and some page content they view. The catch, as Amazon explains in the fine print, is the company can use this data to improve its general marketing, products and services, unrelated to the shopping assistant.

Amazon did not discuss how it uses the data it gathers via the assistant for any unrelated purposes, but a job listing for an affiliated team known as Browser Integration Technologies says the group’s influence “spans across advertising and marketing, pricing and selection.”

Sadly, more than enough people will be stupid enough to fall for that.

Office 365 declared illegal in German schools due to privacy risks

Found on Ars Technica on Tuesday, 16 July 2019
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Although the press release specifically targets Office 365, it notes that competing Apple and Google cloud suites also do not satisfy German privacy regulations for use in schools.

The Hessian commissioner for Data Protection and Freedom of Information (HBDI) isn't just saying that schools would prefer not to use Microsoft, he's stating that their use of Office 365 is outright illegal.

In addition to the physical geography of the cloud, the HBDI is unhappy about telemetry in both Office 365 and Windows 10 itself. Neither can be disabled by end users or organizations, and the content of both remains undisclosed by Microsoft despite repeated inquiries.

Microsoft has since the beginning ignored any questions about privacy when it comes to telemetry and refused to make it possible for the user to turn it off completely. So, yes, it serves them right.

Firm fat-fingered G Suite and deleted its data, so it escalated its support ticket to a lawsuit

Found on The Register on Monday, 15 July 2019
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An interior design tools startup called Mosss on Wednesday sued Google to get it to restore its data after someone at the startup accidentally deleted the firm's G Suite account.

"[W]hile clearly an urgent matter, to our dismay, our case was not escalated, and no action was taken for nearly three days!" the filing says. "From a business point of view, we had no access to emails and lost all contact with our clients and users."

Mosss (Musey) said while investors have put $1.5m into the firm, it's not seeking monetary damages.

So, in other words, Mosss raked in $1.5m from investors, but still failed the most basic and most essential IT lessons: make backups. This case should be laughed out of court, along with this stupid reliance on "cloud" services.

Fatal Accident With Metal Straw Highlights a Risk

Found on New York Times on Sunday, 14 July 2019
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A British woman was impaled by a metal straw after falling at her home, a coroner said in an inquest this week that highlighted the potential dangers of metal straws. Such straws have surged in popularity as cities, states and even countries have banned single-use plastic straws.

Many people with disabilities rely on straws to drink, Ms. Sauder said, but could have difficulties finding them in states and cities, such as California and Seattle, that have banned or restricted single-use straws.

While his is an unfortunate accident, it does not really prove anything. If plastic straws are essential for people with disabilities, then the solution is simple: provide them on prescription. That still reduces he junk of single use plastic by an immense amount; those used by disabled people won't be much of an issue. All that aside, media needs to stop with fear mongering: you can kill yourself in many various ways that would normally never happen; that's why it is called an accident. Teach people to think a little instead of wrapping everything in bubble-wrap.

Facebook 'to be fined $5bn over Cambridge Analytica scandal'

Found on BBCNews on Saturday, 13 July 2019
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The consumer protection agency the FTC began investigating Facebook in March 2018 following reports that Cambridge Analytica had accessed the data of tens of millions of its users.

Facebook had been expecting this. It told investors back in April that it had put aside most of the money, which means the firm won't feel much added financial strain from this penalty.

As was common with apps and games at that time, it was designed to harvest not only the user data of the person taking part in the quiz, but also the data of their friends.

Too much? By far not enough.

Microsoft tells resellers: 'We listened to you, and we have acted' – please keep making us money

Found on The Register on Friday, 12 July 2019
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Faced with continued rumbles of discontent from its reseller network on the eve of its Inspire conference, Microsoft has climbed down from plans to pull free software licences from its channel chums.

The crux of the proposed changes was the removal of the free licences that Microsoft granted to resellers to allow them to run their businesses. With many being relatively small businesses, the proposed wholesale removal of those licences triggered shrieks of pain.

Mircosoft licensing is just horrid. It must be the Tenth Circle of Hell.

Apollo 11: 'The greatest single broadcast in television history'

Found on BBC News on Thursday, 11 July 2019
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When the Eagle spacecraft touched down on the moon's surface on 20 July 1969, a television camera mounted on its side captured the first tentative steps and words of astronaut Neil Armstrong and sent them across hundreds of thousands of miles to hundreds of millions of pairs of eyes glued to television sets.

"Nasa did a brilliant job of marketing the Apollo mission, of feeding reporters rather than keeping everything under the hood," says Tracy Dahlby at the University of Texas at Austin's School of Journalism.

With now 50 year old technology it was possible to put men onto the moon. Today, this is impossible. Think about that for a minute.

Firefox 68 arrives with darker reader view, recommended extensions, and IT customizations

Found on Venturebeat on Wednesday, 10 July 2019
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Mozilla today launched Firefox 68 for Windows, Mac, Linux, Android, and iOS. Firefox 68 includes a darker reader view, recommended extensions, IT Pro customizations, and more.

As part of this release, Mozilla has curated a list of recommended extensions “that have been thoroughly reviewed for security, usability, and usefulness.”

It's always funny how companies seem to know exactly what is useful to you. Recommendations on Firefox will be probably just as bad as those on Youtube.

'The kids emptied our bank account playing Fifa'

Found on BBC News on Tuesday, 09 July 2019
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In Fifa, special players can be bought in packs, but the contents are only revealed after payment is completed.

Mr Carter said his children, who are all under the age of 10, felt very remorseful and had not understood the impact of what they were doing.

However, he also said he felt that the in-game concept of buying player packs without knowing what was inside them was unethical.

So, it's nothing else but gambling; there are laws out there dealing with that.