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.

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?

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.

'I monitor my staff with software that takes screenshots'

Found on BBC News on Sunday, 04 October 2020
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Shibu is the founder of Transcend - a small London-based firm that buys beauty products wholesale and re-sells them online.

For the last year and a half he has used Hubstaff software to track his workers' hours, keystrokes, mouse movements and websites visited.

"Employers have an implied legal duty to maintain their employees' trust and confidence, and need to be mindful of how employees might react to the mass roll-out of monitoring software," he says.

There's a good solution for this: quit the job. It's not worth it if there is no trust between the employer and his employees. Or does the boss also let employees monitor his computer as much as they want to?

Your Photos Are Irreplaceable. Get Them Off Your Phone

Found on Wired on Friday, 02 October 2020
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Tons of people keep their most precious data—their photos—on the smallest, most fragile device they own, which they carry around with them everywhere, constantly at risk of loss, theft, and breakage.

There are plenty of apps dedicated to uploading, storing, and editing your photos, and you may have to explore each to figure out which is best for your use case.

Don't store them at one location, but two, because: one backup is no backup, and two backups are one backup.

Too many staff have privileged work accounts for no good reason, reckon IT bods

Found on The Register on Wednesday, 30 September 2020
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In a survey commissioned by IT security firm Forcepoint of just under 900 IT professionals, 40 per cent of commercial sector respondents and 36 per cent working in the public sector said they had privileged access to sensitive data through work.

Worryingly, of that number, about a third again (38 per cent public sector and 36 per cent private) said they had access privileges despite not needing them.

That sort of IT work would be something the management cannot see and it will only hear about it when users complain who cannot access data anymore; and in turn, the IT gets yelled at for making things more secure.

Egypt tomb: Sarcophagi buried for 2,500 years unearthed in Saqqara

Found on BBC News on Saturday, 26 September 2020
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A total of 27 sarcophagi buried more than 2,500 years ago have been unearthed by archaeologists in an ancient Egyptian necropolis.

"Initial studies indicate that these coffins are completely closed and haven't been opened since they were buried," Egypt's antiquities ministry said in a statement on Saturday.

It's really rare to find something which has not been touched by robbers.

Amazon Employee Warns Internal Groups They’re Being Monitored For Labor Organizing

Found on Vice on Thursday, 24 September 2020
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An Amazon Web Services employee emailed a series of internal Amazon listservs and told them that their communications were being monitored for labor organizing efforts and processed in a data farming project by the company's Global Security Operations, according to an internal email obtained by Motherboard.

The email was sent during a period of increased scrutiny of Amazon for its efforts to thwart internal labor organizing efforts, and surveil workers' efforts to plan protests and other forms of collective action. Since the start of the pandemic, Amazon has fired at least two warehouse workers and two corporate employees who agitated and organized for improved working conditions.

Slaves don't have rights. That's not how it works there.