The man who caught Comcast blocking BitTorrents has now turned his attention to NebuAd, the Phorm-like behavioral ad targeting service that’s tracking net surfers from inside multiple American ISPs.
In a new report (PDF) released under the aegis of consumer watchdogs Free Press and Public Knowledge, Robb Topolski accuses NebuAd of more than just nabbing user data on the sly. The freelance networking guru says the ad service is also guilty of forging network packets from third-party sites, including Google and Yahoo!.
Earlier this year, NebuAd launched tests on a Midwestern ISP know only as WOW!, and late last month, a WOW! subscriber gave Topolski remote access to a machine on the ISP’s network. The PC ran a freshly-installed OS and a freshly-installed browser, and when Topolski pointed the browser at Google, eight non-Google cookies turned up on the system, including one for the domain nebuad.adjuggler.com.
This we knew. But with help from a packet sniffer, Topolski noticed another wrinkle. Some of the network packets coming from Google, he says, weren’t actually coming from Google.
If you are doing something like this and you get caught, you end up in jail.
Why are the Nebuad exec still walking around free?
Bell Canada Inc. has been ordered to publicly disclose information that details the level of congestion on its network in regard to a dispute over the company’s internet speed-throttling practices.
The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission on Thursday told the company it has until June 23 to make public data that was marked confidential in a May 29 filing. Bell had said it needed to keep quiet the information, which details the level of internet traffic and possible congestion on its network, for competitive reasons.
Translation of “competitive reasons”: “if our customers find out the crap we’re pulling then they’ll go to the competition”.
Airline travel is set to get even more unpleasant, as hapless airline passengers face being hounded through airports by online advertisers as well as security, customs and perfume touting duty free sales staff.
The airline industry could save $600m a year by tracking passengers through airports and punting ads to their mobiles, along with their tickets and boarding passes, according to a report from airline industry tech supplier SITA.
The prediction comes in a report from SITA, distributed at its Air Transport IT Summit in Brussels last. It gains a little credibility by including research from Cambridge University, though SITA are the one’s who would like to provide the technology.
At present customers receive an SMS asking them if they’re OK with the idea, and if they don’t say no then the third party (in this case the airport) gains access to instant information about the location of the phone, and hence that of the user.
And you’re probably expected to say “no” by sending an sms to a five pound premium number, which will send you another five pound confirmation sms?
Een gezonde en duurzame samenleving begint bij het gezin. Kinderen moeten normen en waarden meekrijgen. Thuis en op school. Te vaak gaat dat mis. Door werkdruk bij de ouders en gebroken relaties. Scholen en hulpverlening kunnen het gat niet vullen. En de hoge kosten voor opvoeding en onderwijs maken het er ook niet makkelijker op.
Ze spreken uit ervaring.
the enormous steel ball you see in the photos (and the incredible video below) is the world’s largest ‘tuned mass damper’ and sits near the top of the world’s largest completed skyscraper on earth, taipei 101 in taiwan. the idea behind a tuned mass damper is quite simple: as a building sways (resulting from high winds, earthquakes etc), its tuned mass damper, essentially a finely tuned and ridiculously heavy pendulum, will move in opposition to the structure’s oscillations and minimise any movement. if that makes no sense, watch the crude gif below.
(check the site for more info)
This is not the Republicans’ year. There are omens all over the place. Some of them cosmic. As you may recall, Rep. Vito Fossella (R) ran a red light a few weeks ago and was stopped by a policeman who determined that (1) Fosella was drunk and (2) Fosella had a family in Virginia in addition to one on Staten Island. Vito Finito as the tabloids put it. With great difficulty, the Republicans managed to find a candidate to run in NY-13, an evenly split district that is the only Republican-held House seat in New York City. The candidate, Frank Powers, was a rich businessman who could finance the campaign himself, something the cash-strapped NRCC can’t do for him. Things were looking rosy for a bit and the Republicans thought they could possibly hold the seat against the Democratic contender, most likely New York City councilman Michael McMahon (Chris Van Hollen’s choice) although there is a primary in Sept. Got it so far? Enter the cosmic forces. Powers died of a heart attack yesterday. So it is back to square 1 for the GOP.
Keith Olbermann: “If this gets in through the Senate there’s no way to get it out again, is there? I mean, the history of this nation in terms of lost civil liberties is pretty bad about restoring them.”
John Dean: “Well I spent a lot of time reading that bill today and it’s a very poorly drafted bill. One of the things that is not clear is whether it’s not possible later to go after the telecoms for criminal liability. And that’s something Obama has said during this campaign he would do – unlike prior Presidents who come in and merely give their predecessor a pass, he said, ‘I won’t do that.’ And that might be why he’s just sitting by saying, ‘Well, I’m just gonna let this go through but that doesn’t mean I’m gonna give the telecom a pass.’ I would love it if he gets on the Senate floor and says, ‘I’m keeping that option open.’
Yesterday was exactly 375 years ago that Galileo renounced his views before the inquisition.
Thank God that the Catholic church quickly realized their mistake and pardoned him in 1992.
Gravity: Doesn’t exist. If items of mass had any impact of others, then mountains should have people orbiting them. Or the space shuttle in space should have the astronauts orbiting it. Of course, that’s just the tip of the gravity myth. Think about it. Scientists want us to believe that the sun has a gravitation pull strong enough to keep a planet like neptune or pluto in orbit, but then it’s not strong enough to keep the moon in orbit? Why is that? What I believe is going on here is this: These objects in space have yet to receive mans touch, and thus have no sin to weigh them down. This isn’t the case for earth, where we see the impact of transfered sin to material objects. The more sin, the heavier something is.
The way Republicans tell it, the minute we start drilling off the coasts of California, Florida and elsewhere, the price of gas will go down. In fact, it would take five years after the ban on offshore drilling was lifted for oil production to start, and, if it were lifted right now, in 22 years domestic oil production would have increased by only seven percent, according to the Energy Information Administration. Even so, “because oil prices are determined on the international market … any impact on average wellhead prices is expected to be insignificant.”
On the other hand, Congress and George Bush could take a step tomorrow that would create a drop in oil prices of between 25 and 50 percent overnight, simply by closing the Enron Loophole.
This is according to testimony before a Senate Committee two weeks ago by Michael Greenberger, the former director of Trading & Markets for the Commodities Future Trading Commission (CFTC), the government board that oversees commodities markets.
The Enron Loophole is the nickname for a provision written into the Commodity Futures Modernization Act (CFMA) of 2000 that was drafted by lobbyists for Enron and inserted in the bill by then Sen. Phil Gramm (R-Ga.) that deregulated an aspect of the market Enron sought to exploit with its “Enron On-Line” trading program, the first Internet-based commodities transaction system. Phil Gramm is now a key economic adviser for the John McCain campaign.
While it was a technical success, Enron On-Line was based on a flawed business model that drained corporate revenues — even while the company was manipulating the rates consumers paid for electricity in California. Enron On-Line eventually drove the company into bankruptcy, and the cooking of the books to hide its losses led to charges of conspiracy and fraud against Enron executives.
Sen. Barack Obama’s historic victory in the Democratic primaries, celebrated in America and across much of the world as a symbol of racial progress and cultural unity, has also sparked an increase in racist and white supremacist activity, mainly on the Internet, according to leaders of hate groups and the organizations that track them.
Neo-Nazi, skinhead and segregationist groups have reported gains in numbers of visitors to their Web sites and in membership since the senator from Illinois secured the Democratic nomination June 3. His success has aroused a community of racists, experts said, concerned by the possibility of the country’s first black president.
“I haven’t seen this much anger in a long, long time,” said Billy Roper, a 36-year-old who runs a group called White Revolution in Russellville, Ark. “Nothing has awakened normally complacent white Americans more than the prospect of America having an overtly nonwhite president.”
They are the amazing pictures that were beamed around the globe: a handful of warriors from an ‘undiscovered tribe’ in the rainforest on the Brazilian-Peruvian border brandishing bows and arrows at the aircraft that photographed them.
Or so the story was told and sold. But it has now emerged that, far from being unknown, the tribe’s existence has been noted since 1910 and the mission to photograph them was undertaken in order to prove that ‘uncontacted’ tribes still existed in an area endangered by the menace of the logging industry.
“You can’t be afraid of words that speak the truth. I don’t like words that hide the truth. I don’t like words that conceal reality. I don’t like euphemisms or euphemistic language. And American english is loaded with euphemisms. Because Americans have a lot of trouble dealing with reality. Americans have trouble facing the truth, so they invent a kind of a soft language to protect themselves from it. And it gets worse with every generation. For some reason it just keeps getting worse.
I’ll give you an example of that. There’s a condition in combat. Most people know about it. It’s when a fighting person’s nervous system has been stressed to it’s absolute peak and maximum, can’t take any more input. The nervous system has either snapped or is about to snap. In the first world war that condition was called shell shock. Simple, honest, direct language. Two syllables. Shell shock. Almost sounds like the guns themselves. That was 70 years ago. Then a whole generation went by. And the second world war came along and the very same combat condition was called battle fatigue. Four syllables now. Takes a little longer to say. Doesn’t seem to be as hard to say. Fatigue is a nicer word than shock. Shell shock…battle fatigue.
Then we had the war in Korea in 1950. Madison Avenue was riding high by that time. And the very same combat condition was called Operational Exhaustion. Hey we’re up to 8 syllables now! And the humanity has been squeezed completely out of the phrase now. It’s totally sterile now. Operational Exhaustion: sounds like something that might happen to your car. Then of course came the war in Vietnam, which has only been over for about 16 or 17 years. And thanks to the lies and deceit surrounding that war, I guess it’s no surprise that the very same condition was called Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. Still 8 syllables, but we’ve added a hyphen. And the pain is completely buried under jargon. Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.
I bet you, if we’d still been calling it shell shock, some of those Vietnam veterans might have gotten the attention they needed at the time. I bet you that.
But it didn’t happen. And one of the reasons is because we were using that soft language, that language that takes out the life out of life. And it is a function of time it does keep getting worse.
Give you another example. Sometime during my life toilet paper became bathroom tissue. I wasn’t notified of this. No one asked me if I agreed with it. It just happened. Toilet paper became bathroom tissue. Sneakers became running shoes. False teeth became dental appliances. Medicine became medication. Information became directory assistance. The dump became the land fill. Car crashes became automobile accidents. Partly cloudy became partly sunny. Motels became motor lodges. House trailers became mobile homes. Used cars became previously owned transportation. Room service became guest room dining. Constipation became occasional irregularity.
When I was a little kid if I got sick they wanted me to go to a hospital and see the doctor. Now they want me to go to a health maintenance organization. Or a wellness center to consult a health care delivery professional. Poor people used to live in slums. Now the economically disadvantaged occupy sub-standard housing in the inner cities. And they’re broke! They’re broke. They don’t have a negative cash flow position. They’re f–kin’ broke! Because a lot of them were fired. You know, fired. Management wanted to curtail redundancies in the human resources area. So many people are no longer viable members of the work force.
Smug, greedy well-fed white people have invented a language to conceal their sins. It’s as simple as that. The CIA doesn’t kill people anymore, they neutralize people, or they depopulate the area. The government doesn’t lie, it engages in disinformation. The pentagon actually measures radiation in something they call sunshine units. Israeli murderers are called commandos. Arab commandos are called terrorists. Contra killers are called freedom fighters. Well if crime fighters fight crime and fire fighters fight fire what do freedom fighters fight? They never mention that part of it to us, do they?
And some of this stuff is just silly. We know that. Like when the airlines tell us to pre-board. What the hell is pre-board? What does that mean? To get on before you get on?
They say they’re going to pre-board those passengers in need of special assistance …cripples! Simple honest direct language. There’s no shame attached to the word cripple I can find in any dictionary. In fact it’s a word used in Bible translations. “Jesus healed the cripples.” Doesn’t take seven words to describe that condition. But we don’t have cripples in this country anymore. We have the physically challenged. Is that a grotesque enough evasion for you? How about differently-abled? I’ve heard them called that. Differently-abled! You can’t even call these people handicapped anymore. They say: “We’re not handicapped, we’re handy capable!” These poor people have been bullshitted by the system into believing that if you change the name of the condition somehow you’ll change the condition. Well hey cousin … doesn’t happen!
We have no more deaf people in this country. Hearing impaired. No more blind people. Partially sighted or visually impaired. No more stupid people, everyone has a learning disorder. Or he’s minimally exceptional. How would you like to told that about your child? ‘He’s minimally exceptional.’ Psychologists have actually started calling ugly people those with severe appearance deficits. It’s getting so bad that any day now I expect to hear a rape victim referred to as an unwilling sperm recipient!
And we have no more old people in this country. No more old people. We shipped them all away and we brought in these senior citizens. Isn’t that a typically American twentieth century phrase? Bloodless. Lifeless. No pulse in one of them. A senior citizen. But I’ve accepted that one. I’ve come to terms with it. I know it’s here to stay. We’ll never get rid of it. But the one I do resist, the one I keep resisting, is when they look at an old guy and say, “Look at him Dan, he’s ninety years young.” Imagine the fear of aging that reveals. To not even be able to use the word old to describe someone. To have to use an antonym.
And fear of aging is natural. It’s universal, isn’t it? We all have that. No one wants to get old. No one wants to die. But we do. So we con ourselves. I started conning myself when I got in my forties. I’d look in the mirror and say, “Well…I guess I’m getting …older.” Older sounds a little better than old, doesn’t it? Sounds like it might even last a little longer. I’m getting old. And it’s okay. Because thanks to our fear of death in this country I won’t have to die. I’ll pass away. Or I’ll expire, like a magazine subscription. If it happens in the hospital they’ll call it a terminal episode. The insurance company will refer to it as negative patient care outcome. And if it’s the result of malpractice they’ll say it was a therapeutic misadventure.
I’m telling ya, some of this language makes me want to vomit. Well, maybe not vomit …makes me want to engage in an involuntary personal protein spill.”
“Religion has convinced people that there’s an invisible man…living in the sky, who watches everything you do every minute of every day. And the invisible man has a list of ten specific things he doesn’t want you to do. And if you do any of these things, he will send you to a special place, of burning and fire and smoke and torture and anguish for you to live forever, and suffer and burn and scream until the end of time. But he loves you. He loves you and he needs money.”
In another study by Rubicon Consulting, the firm asked iPhone owners “When you got your iPhone, what model of mobile phone, if any, did it replace?” The findings are quite interesting. Unsurprisingly, many of the replaced models are high-end smartphones like Windows Mobile phones (14%), Blackberries (13%) and Palm (7%) devices. However, almost a quarter (24%) of respondents upgraded to their iPhone having previously owned a Motorola RAZR.
If we accept that the RAZR was first and foremost a fashion phone, then the Rubicon findings are at first a little peculiar. While it is logical that a smartphone user would be attracted to a feature-rich device like the iPhone, why have so many iPhone owners migrated over from a single handset model which had virtually no technical merits to speak of? As a feature phone, the RAZR’s functionality was indistinguishable from the raft of other feature phones on the market at the time. It is true that the RAZR sold enormously well, but not to the extent that 24% of the US phone-carrying public had one.
The iPhone and RAZR share a common feature and is why a disproportionate number of RAZR owners have moved in Apple’s direction. It is a feature that has nothing to do with technology and everything to do with style. The RAZR was an iconic device in terms of its design and this was its primary appeal to consumers. When looking to upgrade 18 months later, many RAZR owners now want to move to something equally stylish and the iPhone fits this bill. And while consumers may have purchased their RAZR subsidised, they have been willing to pay full price for the iPhone to continue owning a phone strong fashion credentials.
The RAZR had style? Was there a memo I missed?