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Google Has Quietly Dropped Ban On Personally Identifiable Web Tracking ( 80

Fudge Factor 3000 writes: Google has quietly changed its privacy policy to allow it to associate web tracking, which is supposed to remain anonymous, with personally identifiable user data. This completely reneges its promise to keep a wall between ad tracking and personally identifiable user data, further eroding one's anonymity on the internet. Google's priorities are clear. All they care about is monetizing user information to rake in the big dollars from ad revenue. Think twice before you purchase the premium priced Google Pixel. Google is getting added value from you as its product without giving you part of the revenue it is generating through tracking through lower prices. The crossed-out section in its privacy policy, which discusses the separation of information as mentioned above, has been followed with this statement: "Depending on your account settings, your activity on other sites and apps may be associated with your personal information in order to improve Google's services and the ads delivered by Google." ProPublica reports: "The change is enabled by default for new Google accounts. Existing users were prompted to opt-in to the change this summer. The practical result of the change is that the DoubleClick ads that follow people around on the web may now be customized to them based on your name and other information Google knows about you. It also means that Google could now, if it wished to, build a complete portrait of a user by name, based on everything they write in email, every website they visit and the searches they conduct. The move is a sea change for Google and a further blow to the online ad industry's longstanding contention that web tracking is mostly anonymous. In recent years, Facebook, offline data brokers and others have increasingly sought to combine their troves of web tracking data with people's real names. But until this summer, Google held the line." You can choose to opt in or out of the personalized ads here.

Cisco Develops System To Automatically Cut-Off Pirate Video Streams ( 66

An anonymous reader quotes a report from TorrentFreak: Pirate services obtain content by capturing and restreaming feeds obtained from official sources, often from something as humble as a regular subscriber account. These streams can then be redistributed by thousands of other sites and services, many of which are easily found using a simple search. Dedicated anti-piracy companies track down these streams and send takedown notices to the hosts carrying them. Sometimes this means that streams go down quickly but in other cases hosts can take a while to respond or may not comply at all. Networking company Cisco thinks it has found a solution to these problems. The company's claims center around its Streaming Piracy Prevention (SPP) platform, a system that aims to take down illicit streams in real-time. Perhaps most interestingly, Cisco says SPP functions without needing to send takedown notices to companies hosting illicit streams. "Traditional takedown mechanisms such as sending legal notices (commonly referred to as 'DMCA notices') are ineffective where pirate services have put in place infrastructure capable of delivering video at tens and even hundreds of gigabits per second, as in essence there is nobody to send a notice to," the company explains. "Escalation to infrastructure providers works to an extent, but the process is often slow as the pirate services will likely provide the largest revenue source for many of the platform providers in question." To overcome these problems Cisco says it has partnered with Friend MTS (FMTS), a UK-based company specializing in content-protection. Among its services, FMTS offers Distribution iD, which allows content providers to pinpoint which of their downstream distributors' platforms are a current source of content leaks. "Robust and unique watermarks are embedded into each distributor feed for identification. The code is invisible to the viewer but can be recovered by our specialist detector software," FMTS explains. "Once infringing content has been located, the service automatically extracts the watermark for accurate distributor identification." According to Cisco, FMTS feeds the SPP service with pirate video streams it finds online. These are tracked back to the source of the leak (such as a particular distributor or specific pay TV subscriber account) which can then be shut-down in real time.

Comment Re:In all honesty... (Score 1) 235

They should have let him continue. It's not like he was contributing anything except masses of data for the cool-aid drinkers to misrepresent. And discrediting himself in the process. Now those cool-aid drinkers will have something unfair to point to.

On a side note, I'll point out that he's been dumping on Hillary with impunity, but as soon as he got into what the banks consider their private business someone gave Ecuador a call.

Comment Re:Clinton, Podesta, Putin and Trump (Score 3, Funny) 435

Respected Avatar or NPC,

We notice that you are vigorously trying to overcorrect for your simulation's liberal bias. If you are unhappy in your simulation you can submit petition KB3035583 to request being moved to another simulation with a different bias.

The Operators

Comment Re:For them theoretically hacking a private org? (Score 1) 352

Do you have any sources? Election systems shouldn't be hackable. They should be networked but not on the internet. That's really poor planning.

I only saw the bit about 32 states on yesterday's CBS Evening News. They focused on Arizona, where IIRC the state voter registration database was breached (but supposedly not downloaded or tampered with).

They said there had been something like 190,000 attacks and probes, of which 11,000 considered serious. Unfortunately I didn't get the context for that (i.e., whether it was just election infrastructure, or what the time frame was).

You're right though - neither the election infrastructure nor any other part of our national infrastructure (public and private) should be exposed to attacks via the internet.

Comment Re:Too Late (Score 5, Insightful) 394

The should have released this stuff when she was running against Bernie.

Everybody knew (and still knows) she's in bed with Wall Street. That was probably the main issue that let Bernie get to the populist/left side of her.

She changed her tune to neutralize that advantage, but no one seriously believes she's going to get tough on Wall Street.

This is more non-scandal in search of a headline. But everyone should have forseen that as soon as they saw "Wikileaks".

Comment Re:OK but misses a larger problem (Score 1) 367

Actually it's just a case of what-goes-around-comes-around. Some of the women have explicitly stated that they were motivated to come out by his denials during the second debate.

Poetic justice, IMO, after featuring Blll Clinton's accusers as the centerpiece of his strategy last weekend. He's outraged that anyone would be interested in the same accusations against him.

Trump's outrage: Donald Trump Calls Allegations by Women ‘False Smears’

“The establishment and their media neighbors wield control over this nation through means that are very well known — anyone who challenges their control is deemed a sexist, a racist, a xenophobe and morally deformed,” Mr. Trump said. “They will seek to destroy everything about you, including your reputation. They will lie, lie, lie, and then again, they will do worse than that. They will do whatever’s necessary.” [emphasis mine]

And *anyone* that challenges Trump ... um, well... pretty much the same thing.

[ He -- and the RNC (establishment) and Fox News (media neighbors) -- really shouldn't be casting these stones. ]

Trump is showing that he doesn't even know how to be a politician. After the tape came out on Friday, a real politician would have rushed to the cameras with his best insincere apology ("in case anyone was offended"), dismissed it as a youthful indiscretion, and put it behind him.

But Trump's ego and thin skin won't allow that. Instead he has to find someone to blame for his self-inflicted wounds, and go on the offensive against them. Rather than defusing the situtation, he escalates it into a battle he can't win.

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