Which? survey reveals customers' least favourite mobile network

Found on BBC News on Tuesday, 23 April 2019
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Vodafone has been rated as the UK's worst mobile network provider for the eighth year in a row, in consumer lobby group Which?'s eighth annual survey.

In a statement, the company added: "We are working hard to understand the issue and what more we can do."

Vodafone will easily turn the eight into ten years.

Amazon will no longer sell Chinese goods in China

Found on CNN on Saturday, 20 April 2019
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Amazon first entered the Chinese market 15 years ago, when it acquired an online book retailer, but it has struggled amid fierce competition. Research suggests that the company's market share in China was miniscule compared to local rivals.

"There is too much domestic competition and Amazon lacks the kind of brand awareness that Tmall or JD.com have," said Ben Cavender, an analyst at China Market Research Group. "That leaves Amazon in a position where it has to spend a lot of money to acquire customers while also competing aggressively with multiple strong players on price."

Amazon is not even a good shop and can only exist because with its current market position it's hard for competition to grow. It's shop itself is rather awful: a ridiculous lack of fine-grained search options meets an inconsistent UI layout; and let's not forget that a product is sometimes cheaper if you order it directly from the seller's own shop.

Mark Zuckerberg leveraged Facebook user data to fight rivals and help friends

Found on NBC News on Wednesday, 17 April 2019
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The documents, which include emails, webchats, presentations, spreadsheets and meeting summaries, show how Zuckerberg, along with his board and management team, found ways to tap Facebook’s trove of user data — including information about friends, relationships and photos — as leverage over companies it partnered with.

However, among the documents leaked, there’s very little evidence that privacy was a major concern of Facebook’s, and the issue was rarely discussed in the thousands of pages of emails and meeting summaries.

Unbelievable that politicians and governments don't do anything about it; or perhaps they would if Facebook would not have data on them?

Amazon 'flooded by fake five-star reviews' - Which? report

Found on BBC News on Tuesday, 16 April 2019
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Thousands of reviews were unverified, meaning there was no evidence the reviewer bought the product, it said.

One example, a set of headphones by an unknown brand called Celebrat, had 439 reviews, all of which were five-star, unverified and were posted on the same day, suggesting they had been automated.

Who reads 5 star reviews anyway? It's so obvious that those are a great way to cheat and attract customers. They are in most cases completely useless; just like Amazon itself has become. Read the 2-4 star ratings and you'll get a better impression; but still take what is written with a grain of salt.

Facebook are 'morally bankrupt liars' says New Zealand's privacy commissioner

Found on The Guardian on Monday, 08 April 2019
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“Facebook cannot be trusted,” wrote John Edwards.

“They #dontgiveazuck” wrote Edwards. He later deleted the tweets, saying they had prompted “toxic and misinformed traffic”.

Edwards was responding to an interview given by Facebook co-founder Mark Zuckerberg to America’s ABC network, in which he failed to commit to any changes to the Facebook live technology, including a time delay on livestreams.

Took him long enough to realize.

Millions of Facebook Records Found on Amazon Cloud Servers

Found on Bloomberg on Wednesday, 03 April 2019
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In one instance, Mexico City-based digital platform Cultura Colectiva, openly stored 540 million records on Facebook users, including identification numbers, comments, reactions and account names. The records were accessible and downloadable for anyone who could find them online.

The problem of accidental public storage could be more extensive than those two instances. UpGuard found 100,000 open Amazon-hosted databases for various types of data, some of which it expects aren’t supposed to be public.

Another day, another Facebook scandal. Fanboys might argue that a 3rd party leaked the data; but that data should not have been made available to them in the first place.

Tough cookies: MEPs call for EU websites to be scrubbed of trackers

Found on The Register on Thursday, 28 March 2019
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The report, published earlier this month, found that all but three EU member states' main government websites were littered with undisclosed commercial ad-tech trackers from a total of 112 companies.

A separate assessment of public health service sites found that 52 per cent of the main landing pages for questions related to conditions such as pregnancy, HIV and alcoholism had commercial trackers on them.

Time for lawsuits.

Facebook Stored Hundreds of Millions of User Passwords in Plain Text for Years

Found on Krebs on Security on Thursday, 21 March 2019
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The Facebook source said the investigation so far indicates between 200 million and 600 million Facebook users may have had their account passwords stored in plain text and searchable by more than 20,000 Facebook employees.

A written statement from Facebook provided to KrebsOnSecurity says the company expects to notify “hundreds of millions of Facebook Lite users, tens of millions of other Facebook users, and tens of thousands of Instagram users.”

How that company is still in business gets harder and harder to understand every day. It's been well known for years know what Zuckerberg thinks about its users.

From MySpace to MyFreeDiskSpace: 12 years of music – 50m songs – blackholed amid mystery server move

Found on The Register on Monday, 18 March 2019
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MySpace, the Norma Desmond of social networking platforms, appears to have lost all the music uploaded to the site since its founding in 2003 through 2015, a blunder the company reportedly attributes to a failed server migration.

The lost files – said to amount to 50 million songs from 14 million artists – appear to be unrecoverable. Videos, photos, and other posted content may have vanished too.

Either it's a massive incompetence (no working backups) or a cheap excuse for getting rid of old data. The former is possible, but the latter more realistic.

Tumblr porn ban: One-fifth of users have deserted site

Found on Independent on Friday, 15 March 2019
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Visits to the Tumblr website fell from 521 million in December to 437 million in January, according to data from web analytics firm SimilarWeb.

The decision to ban adult content on Tumblr proved controversial among many users and prompted a movement known as the “log off” protest to encourage people to leave the site.

Numbers will probably go down even more and soon Tumblr can say hello to Myspace and Geocities.