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Comment Non Sequitur Conclusion (Score 5, Interesting) 281

This study seems to be coming to a completely bogus non sequitur conclusion.

You could use any question that people would be less than honest about. It would be like asking people how often they masturbate and then finding that people who said they masturbated more often were more honest in general. Instead of saying that people who were honest about how often they masturbate are more honest in general, the "researchers" here would conclude that people who masturbate more often are more honest...

Any researchers that find Trump to be honest need their blood alcohol level examined during the research. A decent chunk of the country thought he was more honest than Clinton, but that is grading on quite the curve...

Comment It is BS (Score 2) 183

This seems to be another article trying to put Microsoft in a better light on privacy than reality.

1) What is the option for Diagnostics other than "Full"? If it is "Basic" or "Enhanced" that is still quite a lot of data sent to Microsoft (configuration data including the network which includes WiFi and network connections and IP addresses, software and hardware installed, and performance and reliability data including usage information). Even the "security" level that is available in Enterprise and Education includes data from the Malicious Software Removal Tool which can include confidential data.

I won't be happy with Windows 10 privacy until there is an "Off" option or "Ask before sending data" option and no data is sent without consent. If the Malicious Software Removal Tool asks before sending data and shows me what it is going to send so I can verify that it isn't confidential data before sending, that is fine. As long as I can just say "No" if I don't have time to verify it at the time also.

It looks like one can disable sample submission for Windows Defender (Settings > Update & security > Windows Defender > Sample submission), but not for the Malicious Software Removal Tool.

2) As stated above, why is it Web-based? Does it require a live account?

3) Is there a simple way to disable all of Cortana's data gathering? Cortana is a privacy disaster:

4) Are they updating the Windows 10 terms of service/privacy policy to specify that data is only sent with consent? They probably can't even do that with the current Diagnostic options. The terms of service for Windows 10 are a privacy nightmare compared to Windows 7.

Is it to much to ask for a simple option in privacy that limits information sent to Microsoft to license key verification? Microsoft would also get my public IP from Windows Update in their server logs. Anything more than that I want to have control over.

Comment Re:Better yet - Give manufacturers control (Score 1) 62

Better yet allow manufacturers to police their own products.

1) Allow Apple to take down any product listed with the words "official" and "Apple", "iPhone", "iPod", etc. Allow Apple to ban sellers of counterfeit Apple products (with the right of the seller to appeal). Have consequences (fees) if Apple incorrectly reports sellers so that it isn't like the DMCA with no consequences for false reporting.

2) Allow manufactures to specify a list of approved re-sellers on For products with a lot of counterfeits on Amazon currently, this might be the best solution.

3) Allow buyers to report counterfeit products. If enough buyers report a seller as trafficking counterfeit goods, the seller is banned. Require a field of proof in the report. Some of the counterfeit stuff I've bought off Amazon (I didn't know it was counterfeit when I bought it) were missing stickers and logos and such making it pretty obvious when you compared the real thing and the counterfeit. Sometimes the logos are wrong.

It's not like the counterfeit products are benefiting consumers. The ones I've gotten have been within 5% of the price from other retailers. There is no way a counterfeit product is worth 95% of the real deal. When I see a product on Amazon that's half it's normal price that's a pretty clear indicator that it is counterfeit, but when it's 95% of the price, there is no way to tell until it arrives if even then.

It would be complicated and a lot of work, but I don't see any other way to crack down on counterfeit products.

A lot of products I can't purchase on Amazon anymore because I am almost certain to get a counterfeit product. Amazon needs to address this issue. Lawsuits should be part of it, but it won't solve the problem. Lawsuits should only be part of the solution.

Comment Re:this is stupid (Score 5, Informative) 136

Was this summary written by the oil companies who want to get rid of the EPA or what? It is grossly misleading if you actually read the wired article.

The Hot Air (never heard of it) article is cherry picking the information they want to make the EPA look as bad as possible. Taking "CAFE dates back to 1975" and turning it into "The law requiring cars to meet these fuel efficiency tests was written in the 1970s" is grossly misleading when the statement is followed by " And by 2008, the standards were better; a 2013 Consumer Reports study tested more than 300 cars, and found 90 percent landed within two miles per gallon of their EPA-approved ratings."

90% of cars being within 2 mpg seems reasonable to me.

I understand there are some issues with the fleet-wide tests, but those aren't really what matter to consumers and they are still leading to improvement in the environment which is the goal. I am not worrying about acid rain today like I had to as a child. Fracking aside (which the EPA isn't allowed to regulate), water is mostly safe to drink compared to prior to the Safe Drinking Water Act. The EPA is a very very good thing. I like having air that I can breath and water I can drink.

Slashdot editor FAIL.

Comment WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger for privacy, lol? (Score 2) 74

You've got to be kidding if you think switching on WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger give you more privacy. All it does is change who is doing the spying. Skype is Microsoft which seems to be cozy with the government. Facebook doesn't seem as cozy with the government in public, but I think that is probably all show anyways.

However, Facebook's apps are designed to be spyware, while Skype isn't last I checked. How is installing Spyware more private than non-spyware?

With Windows 10 and patches to earlier operating systems, Microsoft entered the spyware business big time. Maybe the Skype app is spyware now too, I haven't seen anything posted on that? Microsoft has always been cozy with the government like the daily scans for NSA provided keywords on all Microsoft OSes, but this move to being more like Facebook and Google has been more recent.

Skype's privacy policy:
"However, we do not use what you say in email, chat, video calls or voice mail, or your documents, photos or other personal files to target ads to you."
Facebook messenger policy:
"We collect the content and other information you provide when you use our Services, including when you sign up for an account, create or share, and message or communicate with others."
"We use the information we have to improve our advertising and measurement systems so we can show you relevant ads on and off our Services and measure the effectiveness and reach of ads and services."

So Skype = NSA spying.
WhatsApp/Facebook Messenger = Facebook spying and almost certainly the NSA even though Facebook tries to imply otherwise.

What we need are more options like Signal Private Messenger that actually seem to care about privacy.

iMessage probably is one of the more privacy oriented messengers (with the exception of Signal). Apple hasn't seemed to be big on spyware other than the stint in Yosemite.

Comment Shazam type apps? (Score 1) 223

Could this be built into phone apps like Shazam? Shazam needs microphone access. That app seems built for collecting information for advertisers so it seems a likely candidate to me. There are lots of popular phone apps that request mic access even on iOS: Skype, Telegram, Dolphin Browser, Shazam, Snapchat, Instagram, etc. We need a way to tell which apps are doing this.

It also appears that even on iOS if you give an app microphone access then the app can access the microphone in the background:

Comment Disinformation? (Score 3, Interesting) 306

I wonder if these fights are just disinformation to try to convince criminals/terrorists that they can use iMessage. The government lets a criminal get away with it in a case they don't really care about or can convict them without it anyways and makes a lot of press, and then has access to it in all the cases they do care about.

iMessage is designed with warrants in mind if you read over the protocol documentation. Each device has its own key and is tied to your Apple Id. If you have a iPhone, a Macbook, and an iPad each device has its own encryption key. When someone sends you an iMessage, Apples sends them the public key for each of the 3 devices and then the encrypted message is sent to each device which uses its private key to decrypt the message.

When a warrant is issued, all Apple has to do is add a 4th, "FBI device" to your Apple Id and anyone sending you an iMessage also gets encrypted with that key.

As Apple controls the user interface and they provide no way to view how many keys an iMessage is being encrypted with, there is no easy way to see if an extra key for ease-dropping is being used. There may be ways if one monitored the size of the traffic, but I am not aware of that work being done. Anyone who had the need to make sure they weren't being spied on by the government, wouldn't use iMessage.

Comment fix10 (Score 1) 492

I found the following instructions:

It looks like it gets everything that is currently known about, but no idea how much spyware is hidden in Windows 10 that isn't known about yet.

The link above actually contains 0 trackers according to Privacy Badger, one of the few Web sites where that has been the case.

There is a tool that was mentioned on Fox News (I don't watch, but I heard about it), DoNotSpy10 by pxc-coding, that is supposed to make it easy. Of course DoNotSpy10's installer itself contains spyware (OpenCandy), so using a tool to remove spyware that installs spyware is just lame.

Comment Re:How good is it? (Score 1) 136

And of course, some people are saying that DoNotSpy10 itself contains spyware in its installer (OpenCandy):

It is not open source, and does not appear to be trustworthy.

I think it is probably much safer to just follow instructions for oneself, like these:

Comment Re:Get What You Pay For (Score 1) 163

ISPs are like all you can eat restaurants. In your example it would be like an all you can eat restaurant making enough food for one person and letting 1 million through the door. They have to estimate what the average person eats and make sure there is enough food for everyone they let through the door.

The difference is that most all you can eat restaurants will start turning people away at the door when they know they are going to run out of food. ISPs just keep selling to more customers even when they know they don't have enough bandwidth.

Comment This is probably not the site you are looking for (Score 2) 148

Anyone else getting "This is probably not the site you are looking for" at the top of the page, and at the bottom of the page after the blog it says:

"You attempted to reach, but instead you actually reached a server identifying itself as a shape shifter humanoid reptile alien. This may be caused by a misconfiguration on the server or something more serious. An attacker on your network could be trying to get you to visit a fake (and definitely harmful) version of You should not proceed."

The SSL certificate matches so according to my browser I am going to the correct site. I am not sure if this is meant to be humor or if there is some sort of additional interception detection. I have no idea what it would be doing beyond the SSL checks?

Comment Re:most biometric sensors have significant issues (Score 1) 127

It is my understanding that retinal scans can be effected by health conditions. Pregnancy, diabetes, glaucoma, retinal degenerative disorder, AIDS, syphilis, malaria, chicken pox, lyme disease, leukemia, lympoma, sickle cell, congestive heart failure, atherosclerosis, and significant cholesterol change can all apparently cause a retinal scan to change. While some employees may find detection of these conditions as a good thing, other employees may find it invasive.

Research seems to indicate that iris scans change over time. Companies that use Iris scanners need to rescan everyone every year or they get false negatives, which may or may not be an issue.

I think using an ID card scan like was mentioned above, makes the most sense.

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