Archive | August, 2015

Removing ClustrMaps

ClustrMap20150827

As of today, this site is no longer using ClustrMaps. There’s no particular reason for removing it. I just don’t use any information from ClustrMaps, so I don’t see the point in having it activated 🙂 For the functionality it provides, it has always worked well for me. If you need the information/statistics provided by ClustrMaps, I highly recommend it.

Clustrmaps: ClustrMaps

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Spotify. Privacy Policy. Oxymoron.

Privacy_smallSo Spotify’s new “Privacy Policy” (an oxymoron by the way), dated Aug 17 2015, all of a sudden allows the company and possibly its partners to utilize things like media files and photos stored on your phone. “With your permission”, according to Spotify.

Some posts on the Internet claims “There’s nothing you can do about this.” and others say that “This is the price you pay for free and/or ad based services.” I disagree with both statements. One such post is WIRED.COM’s by Gordon Gottsegen: http://www.wired.com/2015/08/cant-squat-spotifys-eerie-new-privacy-policy

The second statement is interesting in itself because Spotify uses the same “Privacy Policy” (did I say this was an oxymoron?) for paying customers as they do for users of their “free” services. So it’s not the price we pay for free and/or ad based services. It’s the “price” we pay for using Spotify. Period.

The first statement is incorrect as well. I can think of two solutions:

  • Stop using Spotify. There are other services. If you have a ton of legally acquired music in your collection, walk on over to Google Music and upload some 25000 tracks to it and off you go. Or store the music on your device as mp3s or listen to streaming radio stations 🙂 I am by no means suggesting that Google knows any more about Privacy and Integrity than Spotify does.

(By the way, Sonos has Spotify support built-in if you’re a Premium user, I don’t think Spotify can get a hold of your images and contact data that way 🙂

Oxymoron_SmallOn with the show, so what is the big deal with giving up this particular piece of privacy?

Well for starters, it’s none of Spotify’s business what I store on my phone.

Maybe I have Spotify on my one and only smartphone that I also happen to use for business. So I’m in a project meeting, I shoot some snapshots of a whiteboard, and this becomes available to Spotify?!

Or I happen to have contacts in my address book that do not want their details shared with Spotify and Spotify make me responsible for obtaining that permission.

This is – of course – ridiculous.

I understand obvious data sharing, as in if you choose to connect your Facebook and Spotify accounts. I do not understand intrusive and unauthorized use of private data.

Note that Spotify claims that they will only use this information “with your permission”. They do not, however, state how they will obtain that permission. As is quite common these days, you sign away all your rights when you begin using a service and/or app. So perhaps they’ve already received said permission. It’s an extremely loaded construct from a legal point of view, and I’m quite sure Spotify has done this on purpose.

If you don’t have a problem with that, by all means, keep using Spotify.

If you do have a problem with it, maybe this post will help: Unsocial 2.0, keep your family jewels out of the privacy grinder

 

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Unsocial 2.0, keep your family jewels out of the privacy grinder

Given the number of online services, Smartphone suppliers, app developers, and the amount of data we “leak” to all kinds of companies, it comes as no surprise that it is nearly impossible to keep things separated.

Photos you take of your children, family, or colleagues can be tagged, used, stored, and seen by companies all over the world – and their employees. Photos you take of the whiteboard after that awesome project meeting can and will be used in a similar manner, you can count on it.

Combine this with location data and timestamps, and it’s pretty obvious that there are few things “they” cannot find out about you.

SecurityAlarm

The rest of the data, we willingly give away for free. And we do this because we always get something “for free”, right? We get 15GB of Google photo storage, we get 2GB of Dropbox space, we get to listen to Spotify’s music, and we get to post our project drawings, mockups, and source material for permanent cloud storage.

Some may argue that we’ve been doing this long before Google, Android, iPhone, and Apple. And they’d be right. Credit Card companies “bleed” or “leak” information to various partners. Shops personalize their offerings and discount coupon based on what you have previously purchased, etc.

And perhaps this is simply the way it works. Privacy and Information Integrity isn’t ours to have any more if we want to “participate online” in one form or other. The concept of “my private space” is an extremely confusing topic if you ask any given person born after 1990.

You can actually make it somewhat harder for your data to end up in the wrong place. But it does require an effort where it shouldn’t and it does come at a price. But you’re already paying a price, so what’s a few extra minutes of your time, right?

Use two completely separate identities using two completely separated devices of the same kind. I am not talking about separating your personal life from your professional life. There’s very little difference for many today. I’m talking about keeping your actual communication “safe” from the “social mind” or “global awareness pool”.

The market is over flooded with inexpensive and/or second-hand smartphones and tablets, regardless of your preferences. Get one that you only use for Facebook, Google+, Spotify, and other similar companies/services that don’t have the first clue nor interest in your right to privacy.

The idea of separating your identities is called compartmentation.

  • On your “scrap device”, use a nondescript e-mail address, which is typically used as a common key between various services.
  • On your “scrap device”, don’t take pictures that you don’t want “leaked” or store any useful e-mails.
  • On your “scrap device”, don’t store any useful contact information.
  • Needless to say, when signing upp for new services, etc. that you want to keep separate, you do it with the e-mail address used on the “scrap device”.

This isn’t all that hard actually. And if you want to share something from your “actual” device to your “scrap device” (like posting the latest photo of your dog on Facebook or sharing the coolest party photo on Google+), send it by e-mail (or Bluetooth, or NFC) to the “scrap device”.

Yes. It adds one step to the process. Perhaps that can also act as a useful filter so we can put an end to all these images of half-eaten food on social networks.

It would be interesting if a manufacturer could actually put out a device that was two devices in one, physically separated with the ability to switch the display from one to the other with a simple press of a button. Think “Dual SIM cards”, but going all the way.

SpyFlashMost smartphone and tablet devices today are way too powerful for most users to harness all of their capacity, trust me, you don’t need octacore and 4K HD resolution to scroll through your Facebook feed or read the latest gossip on Twitter.

If your boss at work doesn’t get this, ask her or him if it’s OK that the latest project whiteboard photos are sent to Spotify. Your boss may change her/his mind.

 

 

 

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Look inside, think outside (the box)

20150816_183520_IKEA

Doing things the same way as they have always been done isn’t necessarily a good idea. In the case of IKEA, I cannot recall the last time they did NOT include their “universal tool”. This is the first time I remember opening one of their self-assembly products and finding this type of mistake. Though in the case of IKEA, it may be that they’re just too lazy to change the production system.

You must not fear change 🙂

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Mobilt Bredband Stor frÄn Hallon

title-image-mobilt-bredband-abonnemang-storUnder Juli och Augusti har jag utvÀrderat Mobilt Bredband Stor frÄn Hallon med gott resultat.

Jag har utvÀrderat produkten/tjÀnsten pÄ orterna Stockholm, Gotland, Höga Kusten (frÀmst runt Docksta/Skuleberget) samt Dalarna (Hagge).

Jag testade bredbandet i en portabel 3G/4G-router och anvÀnde tjÀnster som e-post, surf, terminalÄtkomst, film m fl utan problem.

TÀckningen var acceptabel överallt, dÀremot hade jag förvÀntat mig bÀttre 4G-tÀckning i Dalarna. Hallon gÄr i operatören 3:s nÀt och Àr vÀl nÀrmast att likna Halebop som gÄr i Telias nÀt.

Slutbetyget för Mobilt Bredband Stor frĂ„n Hallon fĂ„r bli “Rekommenderas”.

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