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Comment They simply remember your UDID (Score 1, Interesting) 63

The *tracking* is based on Uber saving device UDID, so that they know who you are even if you later reinstall the app and use a different account. While Uber is evil in many ways, this UDID "tracking" is not what the article makes it appear - Uber certainly cannot "track" anyone in any way once their app has been removed.
In fact, I am not sure why go to such great lengths to obtain UDID when device MAC address is readily available (and must be for variety of software to work) and globally unique.
This also smacks of those scaremongering sites that start with a banner like "Your computer is broadcasting a unique IP address" and lead to hard sell of overpriced VPN service or bs apps to "hide your IP".

Comment I feel old (Score 1) 128

For the last 25 years or so I've been using "traceroute -n" as a quick and dirty way to see what the route "outside" looks like (because that assignment was one of the most "permanent" features of the Internet). It's a right move, to be sure - there is absolutely no reason MIT should control that many addresses. Just a small piece of nostalgia. Still can traceroute though ;)

Comment Old is new (Score 3, Interesting) 444

The concept of rumors and false information disseminated across the world isn't new ("I've heard she's a witch"). The concept of false narrative driving major social and political decisions isn't new (the entire religion thing anywhere, basically). Technology simply makes it more convenient by giving voice to millions of idiots who theretofore were limited to only their immediate surroundings.

Comment Opt-in (Score 1) 325

According to the bill, selling of search history requires "explicit user opt-in". I am not sure how providers will obfuscate the "opt-in" checkbox for the rest of us, but for members of congress that "opt in" will not be granted - I can assure you of that. So, nothing to buy.

Submission + - Amazon cashierless store hits a snag (

ugen writes: The Wall Street Journal says Amazon is having trouble tracking more than 20 customers at a time and keeping tabs on merchandise moved from store shelves. ...
For now, the technology functions flawlessly only if there are a small number of customers present, or when their movements are slow, the people said. The store will continue to need employees to help ensure the technology is accurately tracking purchases for the near future.

Comment Re:Isn't the cloud great? (Score 1) 55

Same reason they use banks to store money (and not keep them under the mattress in cash).
However, with that, comes expectation of some duty of care on the part of those storing such information. I.e. - not releasing it to unrelated 3rd parties without appropriate authorization (which depends, in turn, on document type, storage mode and document owner selections). The default should definitely not be "everyone can easily search and read".

Comment Seems familiar (Score 3, Informative) 250

Something about road to hell being paved with good intentions.

The issue is not SSL, certs or lack thereof. The issue is the fact that among human population there exist several fairly consistent groups. One of these groups is "low information people" (not to call them "stupid"). Another group is "dishonest people". Yet another is "well intentioned people" who want to protect the former from the latter. But, as the "wily" are, by definition, loath to play by the rules and, in general, fairly smart - they will surely find ways to exploit whatever well intentioned thing to take advantage of the "low informed".

There isn't really any solution here.

Comment Don't need to test that deep (Score 1) 185

Just your elementary grammar, math and, perhaps, social studies test (non-biased, stick to the facts and dates only), administered once in a while, would keep all public social media discourse much more civil.

It's not the "fake news" - it's just that loud morons with too much free time and nothing else to do are, well, just that.

Comment So what are we to do? (Score 2) 77

"And another 38 percent either store tax documents on their computer's hard drive or in the cloud, approaches that are susceptible to a variety of hacks." - really? So, other than a local storage ("hard drive") or remote storage ("cloud"), what other approaches are there to storing documents that are not susceptible to any hacks? Paper printouts? :) This article is brought to you by association of paper manufacturers.

Encrypt your hard drive, choose good passwords for your cloud storage and don't share them with others. Your data is at most risk at your doctors office, btw (where they have all of your personal information, along with SSN and family records). I had 2 notifications of personal information theft from doctor's billing processor's offices in the last 2 years.

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