Facebook apologizes to users, businesses for Apple's monstrous efforts to protect its customers' privacy

New iOS update will rob people of personalized ads, wails antisocial giant:

Facebook has apologized to its users and advertisers for being forced to respect people's privacy in an upcoming update to Apple's mobile operating system -- and promised it will do its best to invade their privacy on other platforms.

The antisocial network [...] is upset that iOS 14, due out next month, will require apps to ask users for permission before Facebook grabs data from their phones.

"This is not a change we want to make, but unfortunately Apple's updates to iOS14 have forced this decision," the behemoth bemoans before thinking the unthinkable: that it may have to end its most intrusive analytics engine for iPhone and iPad users. [...]

Amazingly, despite Facebook pointing out to Apple that it is tearing away people's right to have their privacy invaded in order to receive ads for products they might want, Cupertino continues to push ahead anyway.

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Typewriter Archive

"I asked a few questions about the nature and story of this office, and based on those answers, I said something that I honestly don't get a chance to say that often: We will take all of it."

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"Uber's former Chief Security Officer competes with Roger Stone for criminal incompetence"

Violet Blue:

I was pretty excited to find out on August 20 that some criminals apparently skipped the long line of people waiting to hack Uber and instead just decided to work there. I'm talking about Joe Sullivan, Uber's former Chief Security Officer, who we found out was "charged with obstruction of justice and concealment of a felony for his role in the attempted coverup of a 2016 hack that exposed the data of 57 million Uber customers and drivers."

Use of the word "attempted" here is pretty generous. A year after Sullivan was hired at Uber, the company got hacked hard: the October 2016 intrusion exposed personal information of 57 million users and leaked the license numbers of 600,000 drivers. "Uber didn't report the breach to anyone, especially not victims or regulators," I wrote when I summed it up for Engadget. "The company paid $100K to the hackers in hush money (as if that actually works) and concealed the payment in an expense column called bug bounty."

That's right: Sullivan and his team -- with the full knowledge and blessing of Travis Kalanick -- had the bright idea bribing the hackers with Bitcoin and NDAs, pretending it was a bug bounty, and then when Uber's new CEO Dara Khosrowshahi took over, Sullivan and his cohorts repeated the "bug bounty" lie to Khosrowshahi. [...]

What's also fun to think about is that Sullivan use to work with Mat Henley running their previous employer's security ops: Facebook, where Sullivan worked from 2009-2015. I mean, what are a couple (dozen) felonies between friends? [...]

Look, we know that Silicon Valley is an engine powered by white collar crime (emphasis on the white). But it gets even more awkward when we find out that after Sullivan's absolute poo-flinging shitshow at Uber, he was hired by... Cloudflare.

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SOMA Nature Walk: My Only Friends Are Birds Now

I had the window open for about 15 minutes shooting some video of the crows with my phone and my eyes are burning like crazy already.

Dear Lazyweb, seeking a simple networked video camera whose "custom app" isn't going to rootkit me out to a Moldovan bitcoin farm.

I got a Reolink E1 Pro, and it was... almost ok, but mostly not. It's failings included:

  • It's way too wide angle, doesn't zoom, and can't focus close-up.
  • It's supposed to be able to record only when there's motion, and I couldn't figure out how to make it do that.
  • Live preview was in 4K but I couldn't figure out how to make it save any file that wasn't 360p.

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The date is now Tuesday, March 178th, 2020.

perl -e 'use Date::Parse; use POSIX; my @t = localtime; print strftime ("%a Mar ", @t) . int (1 + 0.5 + ((str2time (strftime ("%Y-%m-%d 3:00", @t)) - str2time ("2020-03-01 3:00")) /(60*60*24))) . strftime (" %X %Z 2020\n", @t);'

Tue Mar 178 10:26:39 PDT 2020

Update: Might as well also have a realtime-updating JavaScript version...

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jwz mixtape 218

Please enjoy jwz mixtape 218.

It is also currently queued up on the DNA Lounge webcast, if you want to watch it in simultaneity.

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Current Music: as noted

Arkham Board of Health Feedback On Miskatonic University's Draft Plan for a Safe Campus Reopening

Herbert West, Health Inspector:

To the Dean and Board of Trustees:

Thank you for submitting Miskatonic University's proposed COVID safety plan. We have a few brief comments and questions.

Social distancing in classrooms:

You write that "through queer and monstrous perversions of geometrical laws, students will be seated at blasphemous angles outside the curves of our dimensions, thus remaining safely six feet apart." Please clarify whether safe distancing could be achieved without resort to "loathsome horrors beyond human conception."

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"Welcome to your dystopian autism arrest experience"


We're going to be at Bishop Kelley High School today for an Autism Awareness event. Stop by between 10:00 and 1:00 to check out our MRAP and hang out with some of our officers.

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Cocktail recipes for academics

pjstelzel: "This fall semester promises to be very challenging, so here's a thread of 25 cocktail recipes for academics in times of Covid-19. Cheers!"

6. The Inaccessible Archive

6 cl gin, 2 cl green chartreuse, 3 cl fresh orange juice.
Stir, serve with orange zest.
Yes, Chartreuse is a bit pricey, but you'll be saving a lot of money by not going to the archives.

5. The Canceled Conference

6 cl gin, 3 cl pomegranate juice, 2 cl lemon juice, splash of simple syrup, cherry bitters.
Stir, serve with lemon zest.
Enjoy after you've finally gotten hold of an airline rep to rebook your flight.

10. The Provost's Pandemic Priority Faculty:

8 cl tap water, 3 cl cranberry juice, 1 cl lemon juice, simple syrup, cherry bitters.
Ass. Deans and Deans: replace tap water with gin
Ass. Provosts and Provost: replace gin with champagne.
Either way: stir, serve with lemon zest.

23. The Furloughed Football Coach

6 cl vodka, 4 cl grape juice, 2 cl lemon juice, simple syrup.
Stir, serve with lemon wedge.
Enjoy, but don't kid yourself: this drink does not exist (he is an essential worker).

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The US Postal Service lost $0

The Postal Service doesn't actually lose money. It relies on public funding to help cover its costs because it's a public service -- and it ought to remain that way.

It's right there in the name -- and it's right there in the Constitution, which authorizes Congress to establish post offices without a word about turning a profit. [...]

Few people think of the National Park Service or the United States military as bureaucracies that "lose" money, even though they cost the government billions of dollars. So why should the Postal Service be treated any differently?

By design, the Postal Service was destined to spend more money than it makes. This was arguably best articulated in the Postal Policy Act of 1958, which stated that the post office is "clearly not a business enterprise conducted for profit." To the contrary, Congress noted, mail delivery is a public service that promotes "social, cultural, intellectual, and commercial intercourse among the people of the United States." Indeed, the post office was thought of by the Founders as a means to connect Americans to each other at little cost, and to ensure that the public is well informed -- a critical need for any democracy, especially a young one as the United States was at the time -- by subsidizing the delivery of newspapers.

For most of its existence, the post office was a federal department and the postmaster general was a member of the president's cabinet. As a result, Congress funded it just as it did all other federal departments. That changed in 1970, when Congress, under Richard Nixon, passed the Postal Reorganization Act, which turned it into an independent federal agency that was required to cover most of its costs, with little help from Congress. Since then, the rhetoric of "profits" and "losses" at the post office took hold.

Fucking Nixon.

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