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Comment I think I got dumber reading that... (Score 1) 144

Let's break it down...

"We need a 'trip mode' for social media sites that reduces our contact list and history to a minimal subset of what the site normally offers."

If you don't want things in public, don't put them on social media.

"Not only would such a feature protect people forced to give their passwords at the border, but it would mitigate the many additional threats to privacy they face when they use their social media accounts away from home."

No it wouldn't. The oligarchs who want the data will just get it via other means. "Giving passwords at the border" is a convenience for them, but not the only way to get the data. And what are these "additional threats to privacy"? That's just meaningless add-on to the sentence. You created the threat to your privacy when you posted the information in public.

"Both Facebook and Google make lofty claims about user safety, but they've done little to show they take the darkening political climate around the world seriously."

Facebook and Google never have and never will care as much about your privacy as you do. They MAKE MONEY off of mining your information! And another meaningless sentence add-on... "darkening political climate"... huh? When did governments stop wanting information on travelers, ever?

"A 'trip mode' would be a chance for them to demonstrate their commitment to user safety beyond press releases and anodyne letters of support."

And it would be a false sense of security. All it takes is a subpoena or a claim that you're a "terrorist" to get any social media company to quite-willingly hand over whatever law enforcement wants, without you even knowing about it.

"What's required is a small amount of engineering, a good marketing effort, and the conviction that any company that makes its fortune hoarding user data has a moral responsibility to protect its users."

Or just stop feeding them user data.

"To work effectively, a trip mode feature would need to be easy to turn on, configurable (so you can choose how long you want the protection turned on for) and irrevocable for an amount of time chosen by the user once it's set. There's no sense in having a 'trip mode' if the person demanding your password can simply switch it off, or coerce you into switching it off."

They can switch it off whenever they like... it's called a subpoena. You're fixing the wrong problem putting a "mode" in the user front-end. What's needed is encryption on the back end and even the company "hoarding" the data you willingly gave them NOT being able to read it at all, which... obviously isn't their business model...

The key thought here is, you do NOT need social media. No one NEEDS social media. Whatever you GIVE WILLINGLY to a company about yourself is easily accessed by anyone who can even hint that you are some sort of "threat" to anyone in society. No "mode" will fix that. Just STOP providing the information if you don't want it seen by everyone.

Comment Re:default judgment (Score 1) 277

That depends upon the company's policy regarding storage and availability of those credentials. Many aren't smart enough to create encrypted escrows for a "rainy day" and don't want employee credentials stored ANYWHERE, even in an escrow. In some admin jobs, especially highly secure ones, if you provided credentials to be put anywhere BUT your brain, you could be fired. But those places also aren't stupid enough (like this place) to ever allow all system access to dwindle down to a single person, ever.

Submission + - Sears to sell Craftsman tool brand to Stanley Black & Decker (

OutOnARock writes: After controlling the Craftsman name for 90 years, troubled department store operator Sears said it will sell the famous tool brand to Stanley Black & Decker Inc.

Stanley, which makes and sells tools under the DeWalt and Black & Decker names, wants to grow the Craftsman brand by selling its products in more stores outside of Sears. Today, only 10 percent of Craftsman products are sold in other stores. Sears said it will continue to sell Craftsman, including at its Kmart and Sears Hometown stores. The Hoffman Estates, Ill.-based company first took control of Craftsman in 1927 when it bought the trademark for $500.

When I crack open a computer, more than likely I'm using a Craftsman screwdriver. Am I the only one that sees this as the end of an era?

Submission + - FBI never examined hacked DNC servers ( 2

schwit1 writes: “According to one intelligence official who spoke to the publication, no U.S. intelligence agency has performed its own forensics analysis on the hacked servers. Instead, the official said, the bureau and other agencies have relied on analysis done by the third-party security firm CrowdStrike, which investigated the breach for the DNC.”

Submission + - Chernobyl's new sarcophagus now in place

MrKaos writes: 30 years and seven months since the explosion that set all of this in motion the project known as the 'Shelter Implementation Plan' has been rolled into place sealing the crippled Chernobyl reactor. More than 10,000 people were involved in the project, which includes an advanced ventilation systems and remote controlled robotic cranes to dismantle the existing Soviet-built structure and reactor.

This sarcophagus – or New Safe Confinement (NSC) – is taller than the Statue of Liberty and larger than Wembley stadium.

Comment Re: Yay! (Score 1) 181

On a completely unlimited T-Mobile plan right now, and they haven't "weaseled out of it" ...

I'll add "yet" just to be nice, but it was sold last year, not some 15 year old unlimited grandfathered thing from Verizon or AT&T that someone is trying to keep limping along and not get it cancelled... a real unlimited plan.

They did stop selling them, I believe.

Still seem quite happy to take my money and let me use it, however.

Comment Re: Yay! (Score 1) 181

Not to mention he fails to note that...

  a) T-Mobile has sold unlimited plans as recently as a year ago.
            (Sorry if he missed them... 2 people, truly unlimited, $100/mo, add on 6GB per tablet per month for $10/tablet.)

  b) Anyone can turn Binge On on or off in their user profile, and go back to using whatever data cap they paid for with all streaming services running at their usual rates to mobile device anytime they feel like it.

Basically he's whining he gets something for free. Something he could have purchased. So I can't figure out what he's whining about.

Comment Re:I have no debt and a hefty savings account (Score 2) 386

Agreed. We've paid off everything every month for well over a decade, pushing two. They love us. The reason is -- they get money from the merchants just for us using the cards. (The original business model of the cards, long before exorbitant interest rates and penalties.)

They especially love us when we run large items through a card and pay them off.

Considering most good cash back or points cards give roughly 3% of the value of the purchase back to the card holder, that would indicate to me that the merchant is paying at *least* 5% and the card company is keeping 2% or so.

The very nature of the transaction being against small business, whenever we do business with a small business or friends, we pay them in cash. No point in them eating 5%+ of the sale so I can have 3% of it as a cash-back award, and the card company can have 2%. But large businesses that make it easier to pay them with a card than pay them cash? They can eat it... even though we know they simply pass it back to us as a higher price tag.

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