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Comment: Straw on the camel's back (Score 4, Insightful) 249

by losttoy (#47217267) Attached to: New Permission System Could Make Android Much Less Secure
Being a Linux geek since '95 (and somewhat of annoyed-by-all-things-apple person), I bought an Android phone ever since they became available commercially. Did that for five years, ran custom roms and put in an Android patch to maintain a permissions firewall. It was one big PITA from a usability point of view. One day, I saw my banking app looking at my call log and that broke the camel's back, for me. I realized Google simply isn't interested in protecting my privacy. The whole you-can-see-what-perms-app-is-asking-for-before-install is a smokescreen. It doesn't scale. Pushing security problems to the user won't work for 99% of the userbase. Hell, it didn't even work reliably for a Linux nerd like me. By contrast, Apple only exposes a handful of data/attributes to ANY app. An iOS app can't look at or even ask look at my SMS, call log and practically most of the stuff - now, that is a sandbox. Also, from a business point of view, Apple makes money by selling me a phone so yes, they have some incentive above that to milk me for analytics but they aren't Google, who don't make much money when I buy an Android phone. For Google, I am the product. So, I switched to iOS (phones and tablets) and actually since then have switched from Gmail to Fastmail, Picasa to SmugMug. With these switches, my privacy is better protected and even usability is better (Picasa, for me, died when Google started shoving G+ Photos down everyone's throats).

Comment: Push ads are dying, if not dead (Score 4, Interesting) 203

by losttoy (#40285861) Attached to: The Billions In Mobile Ad Money Nobody Can Grab
The whole ad industry and it's suppliers (Google, FB etc) are run by marketers. The fundamental theory that drives marketing is that the more you advertise, the better you sell (up to a point of marginal returns). No one has seriously looked at this approach to marketing in a long time. The result is that the billions spent on TV/Radio/Newspaper are moving to online advertising. While online advertising offers improved feedback, it basically is push advertising - shoving something in front of you in the hope that you will bite. Well, think for yourself, does that work for you? I, mostly, am supremely annoyed by push ads and I think the age of push ads will quickly die. In the future, marketers will have to engage more personally with buyers and require more humans to interact with buyers to form some sort of trust. The age of holding (and hiding behind) a big megaphone and blasting your message will quickly come to an end.

Comment: This is news? (Score 2) 161

by losttoy (#39859933) Attached to: "Cyber War" Is Just the Latest Grab for Defense Money
Everything, from serious works of Plato to satire like "Yes, Prime Minister" mention how fear mongering is used to prop up power.

Bernard Shaw wrote "Of government, ‘that foolish gaggle shop’, he says: you will do what pays us. You will make war when it suits us, and keep peace when it doesn’t. You will find out that trade requires certain measures when we have decided on those measures. When I want anything to keep my dividends up, you will discover that my want is a national need. When other people want something to keep my dividends down, you will call out the police and military. And in return you shall have the support and applause of my newspapers, and the delight of imagining that you are a great statesman"

Comment: There isn't a problem at all (Score 1) 195

by losttoy (#39479513) Attached to: Your Privacy Is a Sci-Fi Fantasy
Only slashdot visitors get all worked up about privacy invasions. As far as I can tell, the rest of the world is pretty happy openly letting everyone know of their social, economic, emotional, physical, geographic or mental status. People want to share all this information. We get a kick out of it. Remember that thing about humans - Humans are social animals. Somehow, we want humans to unlearn their biological craving to share information and close themselves in? Good luck!

Comment: Rogue Apps (Score 2) 172

by losttoy (#39216317) Attached to: NSA Publishes Blueprint For Top Secret Android Phone
Remember, double encrypting rogue apps in AES does not make them good. The traditional approach towards security doesn't work very well in the mobile world especially Android. You have to not only do the regular things like encrypt but have a strict login such that they cannot run any app other than authorized. Not even the HTML5 stuff because it doesn't matter how locked down the phone is - once you allow an app on the phone that can access the data, it is game over.

Comment: Re:Old Pot/Kettle drama (Score 2, Interesting) 337

by losttoy (#38984677) Attached to: FBI File Notes Steve Jobs' Reality Distortion Field
So anyone holding a government job, working on a government project or deemed a person of public trust is required to go through a FBI background check, except the political masters at the very top. Boy! that sure makes sense to me :-D Because we all know the masters at the top are beyond blackmail and corruption! Right.

Comment: Old Pot/Kettle drama (Score 5, Insightful) 337

by losttoy (#38984505) Attached to: FBI File Notes Steve Jobs' Reality Distortion Field
Wondering if the FBI does background checks on Senate, Congress and Presidential candidates? Pretty sure 99.9% would have the same issues with "dishonesty". My favourite line from the TFA is "Others mentioned that Jobs couldn’t be trusted and that he was able to create a reality-distortion field." Wondering how strong this force field was and was it able to warp the time-space continuum?? :P

Comment: Undercut and destroy (Score 1) 694

by losttoy (#37277988) Attached to: Solar Company Folds After $0.5B In Subsidies
“It is clear that Solyndra was a dubious investment,” representatives Fred Upton, of Michigan, and Cliff Stearns, of Florida, said in a joint statement. The company “is just the latest casualty of the Obama administration’s failed stimulus.”

Meanwhile China continues to invest is loss incurring businesses and technologies to under-cut and eradicate the competition.

Comment: Dev reaction to security bugs (Score 1) 123

by losttoy (#37071576) Attached to: Why Companies Knowingly Ship Insecure Devices
I have worked long and hard in my profession to get devs to fix security bugs. The reaction mostly falls in one of these categories:
1. I do not understand the issue (read, I am just copying code of the interwebs and have no clue about my job).
2. I understand the issue but we are under the gun to release the product.
3. I understand the issue but the vulnerability is theoretical (read, I don't understand anything about large scale production infrastructure)

Bottom-line: Unless a security big breaks functionality, a dev doesn't care.

Sorry to devs who care but after a decade of trying devs to release secure code, my opinion maybe a bit biased.

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