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Comment: Re:Traditional taxis and payphones (Score 1) 224

by mi (#48479255) Attached to: Uber's Android App Caught Reporting Data Back Without Permission

massive, powerful machines, but vey slow and difficult to maneuver.

the requirement for a flag man and other restrictions were not half so ridiculous

If they were, as you say, massive and very slow, then the red-flag requirement is ridiculous. How could a man with the flag possibly increase the passers-by already abundant awareness of something, that is massive (and noisy, I might add) and slow?

Comment: Not what the app wants -- what Google makes it ask (Score 1) 224

by Old Man Kensey (#48478093) Attached to: Uber's Android App Caught Reporting Data Back Without Permission

The trouble is Android's permission model is crap. If an app has a feature that requires a permission the app may need at any point in the future, it has to be approved by the user at install time, and the app cannot control how the permissions are described or even explain to the user why it needs that permission. And lots of innocuous permissions are bundled up together non-granularly with scary dangerous (or dangerous-sounding) ones, so the app only needs EraseBunnyDrawing permissions but to get that it has to request KillFamily permissions, which doesn't actually mean kill *your* family, it means kill a process family, but all the user sees is "Permission to kill family members without warning" and OH GOD WHY DOES AN APP ABOUT DRAWING FLUFFY BUNNIES REQUIRE MY FAMILY TO DIE?! THIS APP SUCKS!!!!!!1111!!!!!oneoneonetyone1!!!

And then the story hits TechCrunch, where it's summarized so that it sounds like there have been actual deaths of family members, and then the mainstream press and the Today show start calling the app developer asking "Why are you a horrible person whose app killed little Stacey's favorite uncle?? :( :( :("

And all because Google can't get security UI right.

Comment: Re:Explanation of Uber permissions... (Score 1) 224

by Old Man Kensey (#48478027) Attached to: Uber's Android App Caught Reporting Data Back Without Permission

Read Google service configuration.
Modify system settings.
Full network access.

I've bolded the last three because there's no reason for them.

Sure there is. If Uber is doing anything that can't (or for some reason they they don't want to) be handled over HTTP, the app will need full network access. (I don't know what the Uber app uses it for, but apparently WhatsApp uses it for IM communications with other app users.) "Modify system settings" is apparently (per the linked explanation from WhatsApp) the only way to get permission to read system settings. "Read Google service configuration" (again, per previous link) is used for interacting with Google services like Maps, which you can easily imagine why Uber's app would want to do.

Comment: Re:Explanation of Uber permissions... (Score 2) 224

by Old Man Kensey (#48477989) Attached to: Uber's Android App Caught Reporting Data Back Without Permission

The researcher found Uber was SENDING ALL OF THIS BACK TO UBER'S SERVERS.

Sorry for yelling, but it's an important point.

NO HE DID NOT.

Sorry for yelling, but it's an important point.

Go back and read the original GironSec blog post where he even acknowledges explicitly what he (inexcusably, IMHO) failed to do -- that others did after him and surprise! found nothing especially amiss -- before he wrote an inflammatory blog post based on supposition, conjecture and ignorance of context.

Comment: Re:This is clearly futile... (Score 1) 181

by mi (#48474855) Attached to: Google Told To Expand Right To Be Forgotten

a reliable method for financing comfortable lifestyle to a whole class of individuals in the politics theater.

That in itself is not enough to declare the cause "invalid".

war on drugs is one

The cause of the war on drugs is valid.

right to be forgotten is another

And this one is not valid.

It is the validity of the cause, that ought to be the benchmark — not whether or not fighting for it makes somebody comfortable.

+ - Supersonic passenger jets are coming->

Submitted by mi
mi (197448) writes "It's been more than ten years since Concorde made its final transatlantic flight. But there's a new generation of supersonic passenger aircraft beginning to emerge, boasting speeds at least twice as fast as current commercial planes.

Available — like most things — for the rich initially, the plans call for supersonic travel to become available to the poorly washed masses in early 2020-ies."

Link to Original Source

+ - Liars, damned liars, and Michael Brown witnesses->

Submitted by mi
mi (197448) writes "

Some witnesses said Michael Brown had been shot in the back. Another said he was face-down on the ground when Officer Darren Wilson "finished him off." Still others acknowledged changing their stories to fit published details about the autopsy or admitted that they did not see the shooting at all. An Associated Press review of thousands of pages of grand jury documents reveals numerous examples of statements made during the shooting investigation that were inconsistent, fabricated or provably wrong. For one, the autopsies ultimately showed Brown was not struck by any bullets in his back.

All of these witnesses testified under oath. Will any of them be now prosecuted for perjury?"
Link to Original Source

Comment: Traditional taxis and payphones (Score 1) 224

by mi (#48474523) Attached to: Uber's Android App Caught Reporting Data Back Without Permission

core business model is, frankly, illegal in most of its markets as well.

We sure are lucky, pay-phones weren't able to legally block the introduction and use of cell-phones. From what I hear, we weren't quite as lucky with horse-drawn carriages being obsoleted by autos — but sanity prevailed.

Now the traditional — licensed — taxis are being obsoleted by Uber and the likes and that is a good thing, even if the taxi industry and the rent-seeking city halls don't like it.

All, that cabbie-licenses told you, was that the local town considers the driver (if it is even the same man!) and his car to be compliant with its requirements. Well, Uber does the same sort of vouching for you, the consumer. And they are able to provide that guarantee faster and at (much) lower cost. Sure, there are cases of Uber-drivers going bad, but it happens to taxis too.

Comment: Arranging forgetfulness In Soviet Russia (Score 5, Interesting) 181

by mi (#48474471) Attached to: Google Told To Expand Right To Be Forgotten

The Stalin-era edition of Soviet Encyclopedia — a monumental collection of large volumes not unlike Britannica — once had a large article (full of praises, of course) about Lavrenty Beria. When Stalin died, Beria lost to others and was promptly shot.

To erase the memory of those praises, all owners of the encyclopedia (there weren't that many) were required to cut out the article about him — and replace it with an article about Bering Strait. True story...

+ - Poll: Do you worry about the singularity?

Submitted by famebait
famebait (450028) writes "- No, it's bollocks
- It is inevitable eventually, but so are lots of things
- Sure, I expect it to become a real problem in my lifetime
- It is already happening
- No, it'll be fun.
- The singularity should worry about me"

Comment: It is not about KKKorporations (Score 0) 181

by mi (#48474357) Attached to: Google Told To Expand Right To Be Forgotten

We can't stop the government from doing it to us, but at least let's feel positive if they try to stop corporations from doing it to us TOO

Before saying a particular measure is good against KKKorporations (and that is the proper spelling for a rant like yours), apply it against yourself first.

For example, if you want the minimum hourly pay to be $15, remember, that it will apply to you, when you are blessed with a child and need to hire a nanny. Oh, and if she works for you full time — you'll need to provide her with health insurance and a few other things.

Likewise with the right to be forgotten — what you welcome for KKKorporations, may some day be applied to you. Manipulating human memories is already possible. Would you like your ex to be able to obtain a court order requiring you to undergo the procedure to make you forget the good times you two once had?

Comment: Re:This is clearly futile... (Score 2) 181

by mi (#48474303) Attached to: Google Told To Expand Right To Be Forgotten

no better than "war on drugs" or any other method of milking the tax payer..

Well, drugs really are bad for both the Individual taking them and the Collective he belongs to. They may or may not be be sufficiently bad to wage a "war", but they are bad.

Google maintaining their indexing unaffected by the whims of subjects of some of the texts out there is not bad. Not at all.

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