Mark Zuckerberg reportedly ordered all Facebook executives to use Android phones

Found on The Verge on Thursday, 15 November 2018
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The decision reportedly occurred after Apple CEO Tim Cook criticized Facebook in an MSNBC interview for being a service that traffics “in your personal life.”

Zuck said he found Cook’s comments to be “extremely glib,” and that “I think it’s important that we don’t all get Stockholm syndrome and let the companies that work hard to charge you more convince you that they actually care more about you. Because that sounds ridiculous to me.”

It's like watching preschoolers fighting in a sandbox.

Facebook Is the Least Trusted Major Tech Company When it Comes to Safeguarding Personal Data

Found on Fortune on Sunday, 11 November 2018
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Only 22% of Americans said that they trust Facebook with their personal information, far less than Amazon (49%), Google (41%), Microsoft (40%), and Apple (39%).

“Facebook is in the bottom in terms of trust in housing your personal data,” said Harris Poll CEO John Gerzema. “Facebook’s crises continue rolling in the news cycle.”

22%? So many?

From today, it's OK in the US to thwart DRM to repair your stuff – if you keep the tools a secret

Found on The Register on Sunday, 28 October 2018
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This week the US Copyright Office ruled it's OK for Americans to break anti-piracy protections in a bunch of home and personal devices, and vehicles, in the course of fixing or tinkering with said equipment.

Up until now manufacturers have tried to lock out unofficial repairs for various reasons: partly to stop people fitting dodgy or backdoored replacements, and mostly to ensure customers fork out for official expensive parts and services.

DRM is also used to ensure people use only official printer ink cartridges or ground coffee beans.

Nobody really cared much about DRM in the first place. If you bought something, you own it, and you are free to do with it whatever you want, or use it however you want. The problem has always been the industry which argued that DRM is a requirement for service, security and whatever.

20 top lawyers were beaten by legal AI. Here are their surprising responses

Found on Hackernoon on Friday, 26 October 2018
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The study, carried out with leading legal academics and experts, saw the LawGeex AI achieve an average 94% accuracy rate, higher than the lawyers who achieved an average rate of 85%. It took the lawyers an average of 92 minutes to complete the NDA issue spotting, compared to 26 seconds for the LawGeex AI.

Those who took on the AI are 20 US-trained corporate lawyers with legal and contract expertise with experience at companies including Goldman Sachs and Cisco, and global law firms including Alston & Bird and K&L Gates.

There won't be much pity for lawyers.

branch.io bug left '685 million' netizens open to website hacks

Found on The Register on Saturday, 13 October 2018
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That staggering nine-figure number is because the security issue was actually within a toolkit, called branch.io, that tracks website and app users to figure out where they've come from, be it Facebook, email links, Twitter, etc.

Among the sites found to be using the vulnerable components were reviews site Yelp, cash wiring biz Western Union, Shopify, and photo-sharing site Imgur, it is claimed. Hochstadt estimated the sites together handle around 685 million user accounts.

So basically, all that happened because those websites want to analyze their visitors even more; and then they wonder why privacy addons in browsers are so popular.

Weak passwords banned in California from 2020

Found on BBC News on Friday, 05 October 2018
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The Information Privacy: Connected Devices bill demands that electronics manufacturers equip their products with "reasonable" security features.

The bill also allows customers who suffer harm when a company ignores the law to sue for damages.

More interesting is what happens to users who pick weak passwords. Complex default passwords, or tight default security settings are welcome, but it won't stop users from weaking everything again.

MoviePass is confusing loyal and lapsed customers with new plan

Found on CNet News on Tuesday, 02 October 2018
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Over the weekend, lapsed MoviePass subscribers who opted out of the service's three-movies-for-$10-per-month plan are discovering that doing this did not cancel their accounts after all. On the contrary; their accounts are being reactivated with a new kind of unlimited plan.

The notice was a surprise to many who thought their time with MoviePass had come to an end, several also posting complaints to Twitter about how difficult canceling the service appears to be.

That's a more than just fishy and shady approach to "get back" former customers. Better make sure to charge back every cent and threaten to sue them.

No Cash Needed At This Cafe. Students Pay The Tab With Their Personal Data

Found on NPR on Monday, 01 October 2018
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To get the free coffee, university students must give away their names, phone numbers, email addresses and majors, or in Brown's lingo, concentrations. Students also provide dates of birth and professional interests, entering all of the information in an online form. By doing so, the students also open themselves up to receiving information from corporate sponsors who pay the cafe to reach its clientele through logos, apps, digital advertisements on screens in stores and on mobile devices, signs, surveys and even baristas.

Privacy invasion for a cup of coffee. They should make the list of students public, so future employers can check who freely gives away confidential information.

John Hancock adds fitness tracking to all policies

Found on BBC News on Thursday, 20 September 2018
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John Hancock will now sell only "interactive" policies that collect health data through wearable devices such as a smartwatch.

John Hancock said customers would not have to log their activities to quality for coverage - but they would not benefit from the discounts if they chose not to.

Welcome to the world of Orwell. In this case there will be new chances to make money: those who work out a lot because they want to do it can offer to just wear the client's tracker too and do the workout for several people at the same time. Or, if you want a technical solution, just buy a watch winder.

Linux kernel's Torvalds: 'I am truly sorry' for 'unprofessional' rants, I need a break to get help

Found on The Register on Monday, 17 September 2018
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Torvalds, who created the Linux operating system kernel in 1991 and has overseen its development ever since, also promised to take a breather from the project – like the sabbatical he took to create Git – and do some self-reflection to, well, be nicer to everyone.

The Finnish-born American, perhaps feeling the pressure as the single kernel chieftain responsible for all that, is an absolute stickler for quality and reliability, making his feelings bluntly known if submitted patches are, in his view, substandard.

If even Linus is aiming for politicial correctness and non-offensive speeches, the world has truly ended. Let's hope Linus won't change; for something as important as the Kernel, you need someone who does not beat around the bush and tells so-called developers how to do things the right way.