Apple’s 2016 in review

I’m not sure what’s less surprising – that one company can’t be good at everything, or that people who are trapped by Apple’s horrendous lock-in spend an inordinate amount of time lamenting about Apple. There’s a free and open market, competition is good. “There are far too many details of bugs slipping into releases, weird design choices (the chaos of trying to use stickers in … Continue reading Apple’s 2016 in review

A Shocking Amount of E-Waste Recycling Is a Complete Sham

To nobody’s surprise, much of e-recycling is like voluntary carbon levies – a ploy to make the consumer feel better about themselves. It’s ineffective mainly because it’s cost-prohibitive or dangerous to break electronics down into their composite materials. Or alternatively, a radical concept – people could simply repair and hang onto electronic devices longer. Choose products which are known to be durable and have spare … Continue reading A Shocking Amount of E-Waste Recycling Is a Complete Sham

A deep dive into mobile app location privacy following the InMobi settlement

App location tracking of user, without requesting for location information. Works on Android <= 5.x and iOS <= 8.x versions. “In addition, applications can still access the BSSID of the currently connected WiFi network without obtaining the location permission. Although this provides a more limited opportunity for surreptitious location tracking since the consumer’s device must be connected to a WiFi network, consumers regularly connect their … Continue reading A deep dive into mobile app location privacy following the InMobi settlement

The Age of Apple is Over

Apple isn’t going anywhere soon, but they haven’t been innovation leaders for many years. They have been copying symptoms of past great ideas, without understanding the why. The string of unexciting products, to penny pinching even on high-end products reek of a chain prioritized by bean-counting, to nobody’s surprise. But it’s not entirely their fault, the age of hardware is waning, the real fields of … Continue reading The Age of Apple is Over

98 personal data points that Facebook uses to target ads to you

No surprises here, the list just keeps expanding, even completely obscure metrics can be targeted. Once the data is sold to third-party brokers, that information gets repeatedly sold till any last value cannot be extracted any more. “But while both the dashboard and the dropdown will rid you of ads you don’t like, neither actually lets users opt out completely of any of Facebook’s four … Continue reading 98 personal data points that Facebook uses to target ads to you

Why I Regret Making My House a Smart-House

Shoving connectivity into everything is not a good idea, not at this stage anyway. There are far too many complexities, lack of standards and security vulnerabilities to make the incremental improvement in convenience worthwhile. Note: The article was published in 2013, but the same principles apply. “My wife and I were on vacation for 4 days and came home to a dead house. It was … Continue reading Why I Regret Making My House a Smart-House

What ISPs Can See

Even with widespread TLS usage, website metadata and DNS queries are still easily collectible. “Today, ISPs can see a significant amount of their subscribers’ Internet activity, and have the ability to infer substantial amounts of sensitive information from it. This is especially true when that traffic is unencrypted. However, even when Internet traffic is encrypted using HTTPS, ISPs generally retain visibility into their subscribers’ DNS … Continue reading What ISPs Can See