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The Guardian Reveals That Whisper App Tracks "Anonymous" Users 180

Posted by samzenpus
from the you-keep-using-that-word-I-do-not-think-it-means-what-you-think-it-means dept.
New submitter qqod writes this story at The Guardian that raises privacy concerns over the Whisper app. "The company behind Whisper, the social media app that promises users anonymity and claims to be the “the safest place on the internet”, is tracking the location of its users, including some who have specifically asked not to be followed. The practice of monitoring the whereabouts of Whisper users – including those who have expressly opted out of geolocation services – will alarm users, who are encouraged to disclose intimate details about their private and professional lives. Whisper is also sharing information with the US Department of Defense gleaned from smartphones it knows are used from military bases, and developing a version of its app to conform with Chinese censorship laws."

Comment: Same problem at Wikipedia (Score 1) 60

by yurik (#47411189) Attached to: All Web Developers Should Have Access to a Device Lab (Video)

I am part of the Wikipedia Zero initiative, and we need to ensure that http://m.wikipedia.org/ runs on ALL platforms, including the mostly forgotten flip phones with no JavaScript. Which obviously presents the problem of testing. There are some sites (we have an account with one of them) that provides multi-platform testing, but all that means is multiple flavors of Android & IOS... with possibly the latest BB thrown in. Unfortunately, the bigger problem is the older devices, where capabilities were much more varied. One day I hope we can have access to the most commonly used labs testing, including various Nokias, etc. Hoping...

Comment: "Physics" is not science (Score 1) 292

by yurik (#46721153) Attached to: Nat Geo Writer: Science Is Running Out of "Great" Things To Discover

"Physics" is a fairly artificial concept of separation of knowledge - after all, knowledge is just one. Our brains, on the other hand, are too tiny to fit all of it in. We started learning about surroundings "midway", e.g. F=ma - basic physical phenomenon, and from there started moving towards the very small (quarks), very large (galaxies), and much more complex - chemistry, biology. I think the discoveries tend to go in waves, and when there is an imbalance of knowledge, the area at the bottom shoots up. For example - enough data accumulated and enough mathematical tools were developed to boost physics and chemistry, which helped with computers, which in turn boosted biology. Next step - exact predictions of social sciences, terraforming, ... Time to travel far far away.

P.S. Even though I couldn't find who was the original author, my physics teacher once told me that when governor visited Franklin's lab, and was shown all the electrical research, he wondered what was the purpose... to which Franklin replied "Physicists will tinker with it for a bit, and later you will start taxing it". It might have been someone else of course, but does not change the point - something gets discovered, and later it becomes ubiquitous in our everyday life.

Comment: Only benefits smaller devices (Score 1) 217

by yurik (#46653485) Attached to: .NET Native Compilation Preview Released

The raw speed of the code might actually diminish since the .net runtime could have optimized it better for the specific environment (CPU model, available RAM, phase of the moon, etc). On the other hand, the startup would benefit - no more need to just-in-time compile. Plus there is no need for memory to compile it. On the other hand, the runtime might use some cycles to further optimize code during execution, whereas with this approach the code won't change any further. In any case, great for instant startup, but I suspect conceptually this is not much different from the older binary pre-compiled cached versions of the assemblies.

Comment: Re:Reviewed by volonteers, donated to Foundation (Score 1) 125

by yurik (#46458617) Attached to: Major Wikipedia Donors Caught Editing Their Own Articles

Thekohser, thanks for the reply, could you point me to the correct info? I only found http://upload.wikimedia.org/wi... and that doc is not trivial, so any help explaining your position would greatly help. Where do 49+% go? Is it the same for all non-profits or non-profits in the same sector (if there is such a division). Thank you!

Comment: Reviewed by volonteers, donated to Foundation (Score 1) 125

by yurik (#46454885) Attached to: Major Wikipedia Donors Caught Editing Their Own Articles

Disclaimer - I work for the Wikimedia foundation, but expressing my own opinion.

Donations go to the Wikimedia Foundation, covering various technology/organizational costs, but the foundation is not involved in the actual editing or reviewing process - that has always been done exclusivelly by the community. Donations would never affect the content of an article simply because its a different group of people - those who receive the money spend it on internet/development/building/conferences, while volonteers independently decide what should stay and in what form. An analogy here would be donating money to ISP to support the service, while abusing one of the web sites on the web.

Businesses

Tim Cook: If You Don't Like Our Energy Policies, Don't Buy Apple Stock 348

Posted by timothy
from the quantifiable-vs-unquantifiable dept.
Hugh Pickens DOT Com writes "Nick Statt reports at Cnet that at Apple's annual shareholder meeting Friday, Apple CEO Tim Cook shot down the suggestion from a conservative, Washington, DC-based think tank that Apple give up on environmental initiatives that don't contribute to the company's bottom line. The National Center for Public Policy Research (NCPPR), hasn't taken kindly to Apple's increasing reliance on green energy and said so in a statement issued to Apple ahead of the meeting. 'We object to increased government control over company products and operations, and likewise mandatory environmental standards,' said NCPPR General Counsel Justin Danhof demanding that the pledge be voted on at the meeting. 'This is something [Apple] should be actively fighting, not preparing surrender.' Cook responded that there are many things Apple does because they are right and just, and that a return on investment (ROI) was not the primary consideration on such issues. 'When we work on making our devices accessible by the blind. I don't consider the bloody ROI,' said Cook. 'We do a lot of things for reasons besides profit motive, We want to leave the world better than we found it.' Danhof's proposal was voted down and to any who found the company's environmental dedication either ideologically or economically distasteful, Cook advised 'if you want me to do things only for ROI reasons, you should get out of this stock.'"

Comment: Chrome is a virtual box too - NaCl (Score 1) 201

by yurik (#43261689) Attached to: A Glimpse of a Truly Elastic Cloud

This seems to talk purely about virtual servers, not hardware. Everything above hardware is nothing but programs, even if we call them virtual PCs. They only differ in the level of integration with the rest of the machine and peripheral devices. For example, javascript running in a browser could be considered as much of a virtual pc as Oracle's VirtualBox, with the only difference being the interface with which internal code communicates with the outside. Chrome's native client (NaCl) ability to run native code without any interpretation while still maintain complete isolation from the OS and other processes is the best example of complete virtualization.

Comment: Wikipedia (MediaWiki) is also deploying Lua (Score 2) 311

by yurik (#42925267) Attached to: NetBSD To Support Kernel Development In Lua Scripting

MediaWiki developers are almost ready for Lua scripting to be enabled for all Wikipedia and related sites, and It has already been deployed to http://mediawiki.org./ Lua was chosen mostly because of how easy it is to sandbox and limit memory consumption.

http://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/Lua_scripting/Tutorial -- Introduction

Comment: Concerns (Score 1) 505

by yurik (#42741349) Attached to: Free Wi-Fi: the Movement To Give Away Your Internet For the Good of Humanity

I have had my AP open for almost a year in the middle of New York, and there are usually 10-20 mobile and other users connected. And even though I have assigned the highest priority to my own computer, sometimes network slows down considerably. It might be the "wonderful" TimeWarner messing up as usual, but it could also be some torrent usage which I would rather keep off. Sadly, specifically my revision of the linksys router does not run dd-wrt or any other open stacks, so I have no way to do any custom magic without router upgrade. And even if I do buy a new router, I don't think it is easy to filter torrent traffic. Plus I would really love to have an encrypted portion of my network for my own devices, as cookie stealing is fairly common and easy to do.

Any recommendations? Thanks!

Comment: Screen Resolution (Score 2) 398

by yurik (#42574023) Attached to: Touchscreen Laptops, Whether You Like Them Or Not

The reasoning on Intel's part seems to be that unless the laptop gains as much usability and "coolness" factor as the recent tablets have, Intel will be looking at a considerable laptop market shrinkage. And since Intel is by far better positioned in the laptop as oppose to tablet market, it is as critical for them as it is for Microsoft.

On the other hand, what Intel seems to be missing is that the screen resolution also plays a significant role in user's device appreciation. Microsoft does not seem to have as much say about this (strangely), but Intel could have added minimum resolution to the list of their requirements.

Comment: Dvorak (Score 2) 307

by yurik (#42381363) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Typing Advice For a Guinness World Record Attempt?

I learnt it during a summer internship in about a week, and never looked back to qwerty. This is purely a preference, and I heard both positives (speed) and negatives (fingers don't move as much so causes more rep strain injuries). It def improved my overall typing speed, but caused some grief when using CTRL+ZXCV and also in various games with one hand on keyboard (usually switch back to qwerty for them). You won't have as much problem switching because you already got the motorics skills down, just need to have the new layout in your head. Btw, switching back and forth between layouts takes about a few seconds for my head.

It's time to boot, do your boot ROMs know where your disk controllers are?

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