Again, people don't place any VALUE on those things! OTOH,
they seem to place value on being ABLE to pay $4 for a cup
of coffee, etc.
I.e., you can't force people to adopt a particular set of values
(even if it is entirely obvious to you -- or me!)
There's far too much of an incentive for advertisers to
QUICKLY work around such a change in use. Instead of
dropping a cookie on your machine, they'd reference
another "nocookie" domain that bore the cost of tracking you!
A line or two in an included file for each web page...
You're fighting human nature. People are lazy. And, suckers
for anything that *seems* "free". "Buy" music -- and then
pay someone to serve those files *back* to you?? :<
I had a friend who claimed he "had nothing to hide".
To which, I replied, "I notice your bank statements still
come in an *envelope* (surely a POSTCARD would be cheaper for
his financial institution!)"
Here, you must be able to provide proof of citizenship
(or, the legal authority to be here) on demand. Of
course, us while folk figure that;s not a problem
as no one's likely to demand it of *us*...
The Patriot Act went a long way to convincing people
that they *need* to be spied on. "We're keeping you
safe! Besides, WHAT DO YOU HAVE TO HIDE???"
This is primarily a problem in the US -- where business
interests always trump personal liberties. I wonder what it
would be like if these same businesses were willing to sell
this information to The Voting Public? E.g., which movies
my Congressman watches? Which books he reads? Which cell
phone towers are carrying his calls "after hours" (and if
those are the correct towers given his alleged home address)?
What sorts of clothing items he purchases? Any mail order
deliveries (in brown paper boxes)? etc.
Stop being predictable and the value of that data rapidly
diminishes. Yet, the cost of collecting and maintaining
it never does!
Once folks *have* some data, there is a strong incentive
to try to hold onto it -- even if it no longer appears to
be relevant. The thinking being "I've already got this.
If I discard it, I may never be able to collect *it*,
again! Best buy more disk space (and more staff) just
in case it *has* value!"
My automation system has a "long memory" so it can make
deductions based on past observations. Memory is cheap
($100 per installed TB is peanuts!). So, why *not*
remember everything the occupants/users did yesterday?
And, the day before? Why *not* recall what the *local*
(i.e., on this plot of land!) weather was last year at
this time? And, what the *reported* weather (for this
part of town) was at that same time?
Surely all of these "bits" might be of help in determining what
the user might want to do today. Or, what the weather will
*really* be -- regardless of what the local forecaster
claims "at the airport".
Each time I think of businesses, guberments, etc. mindlessly
collecting everything they can get their hands on, I think about
how quickly this pile grows. And, the costs of keeping it as
well as digging through it. When does the pile of data collapse
under its own weight? (again, not wanting to discard ANY of it!)
Ask google what the search results for "foobiggle" *were*
three weeks ago and they'll look at you funny -- "Who cares!
We're concerned with the results for *today* (or tomorrow)"
We (SWMBO & myself) are "terrible" consumers. We are exposed to very
little advertising (minimal "mass media" exposure, etc.). And, are
the types that do our own research before making purchases -- instead
of letting someone else *suggest* a purchase.
We also tend to be "need driven" and not distracted by "wants". So,
impulse purchases are just not in the cards for us. E.g., our shopping
day sees us leaving the house with a carefully prepared list of
items -- and returning home *with* those items, not some random
assortment of other things that "caught our eye".
Finally, we consciously make our own decisions as to the "value" of
items and don't rely on someone else's "price point" to set our
expectations as to what we should expect to pay, etc. ("Who
the hell would pay $X for *that*??")
OTOH, I've watched my sister shop. Totally oblivious as to what
she's putting in her cart, no planning, etc. "I want this; I
want that; oh, gee... isn't *this* nice!! Gotta have TWO of those!"
I don't buy much of anything unless it's on my list, but sometimes I'll
go shopping with a general goal to find *something* that I can use to
make project X with at home. I'll look for items that I can re-purpose
and use in a totally different way than what it was made to be used for
IF I can't find what I'd really like to use to make what I need. I
design what I need if I can't find something in the store that'll work,
and then I'll build it out of odd parts.
We have all of these but up pieces of 3/4" grey pvc, and I wanted to use
it to build a contraption that'll hold up/open garden waste bags. Those
bags are really tall and the store options for things like that are a
joke that wouldn't hold up a heavy duty bag like that, so I bought some
flexible tubing at the hardware store and made a hoop out of it. I used
zip ties to create crossed legs, and I zip tied the hoop to the top and
used chain to attach clips to each side so I could make sure a bag
wouldn't slip off the edges of the top of the holder.
It's really lightweight, and I can probably update the thing to be
collapsible by adding bolts to the legs and made the top hoop
We may make a list so nothing is forgotten, but I don't want to be
restricted to it. If something looks good, we may try it. Life would be
boring if we never ventured out and tried something different. Often,
my goal is to come home with something never tried before.
Major purchases like appliances, cars, furniture is researched before
hand and we've been satisfied with what we bought. Minor purchases like
groceries always have some impulse items. A cheese that looks good or a
thick Porterhouse steak may grab me.
Just as I often turn down a road that I have no idea where it goes.
As for Msft tracking me, they will become very bored.
There are two kinds of shopping -- for staples and for a particular need.
The former is largely a constant activity: you need so many rolls of
toilet paper per butt per month, so many calories of foodstuffs, etc.
This is the area where marketers try to influence your purchases with
"impulse" buys. If you don't regularly buy smoked salmon, then how are
they ever going to *sell* you smoked salmon?? And, if they don't
convince new customers to buy their smoked salmon, then sales will
only go down, over time, as the old customers die off, etc.
We are keenly aware of a vendor changing their offerings -- almost
invariably in favor of something more expensive or more uniquely
associated with them (can't buy it anywhere else). And, when a
vendor tries to manipulate our purchases by changing, discontinuing
or repricing one of these items, we make a conscious effort to
RE-decide "is this worth it?" I.e., the vendor doesn't get a free
pass on the fact that we had *previously* made that decision in
Example: SWMBO likes TJ's vegetarian chili. TJ has been out of
stock (for a LONG time). I suspect they would prefer her to
purchase some *other*/similar product that they offer. Instead,
we put "vegetarian chili" on the list and let *all* vendors
compete for that business (figure of speech... we just start looking
for product offerings from EVERY vendor).
Lo and behold, Amy's is the exact same vegetarian chili that
TJ's *used* to sell! More expensive -- but, we can be selective about
when and where we buy it and, as such, end up paying the same as
if we'd purchased it from TJ's (who no longer SELLS it!).
I.e., this sort of practice (common of TJ's and Costco) ends up
typically *costing* them business from our perspective. (We are
seriously considering dropping the Costco membership as our
purchases there have steadily decreased due to their "product
lineup" changes). I'm sure this wasn't the *intention* of their
policies -- they'd be much happier if we were buying the higher
profit margin "Kirkland" offerings, or the imported lemon
juice (are Italian lemons more lemony than ours??), or...
Shopping for a specific need is typically more time consuming. And,
you're more willing to invest that time (ask me how much time I'm
willing to invest buying toilet paper! :> ) because you have
a genuine, specific *need*.
New car is too high and wide for me to comfortably wash the roof.
Other cars I could just reach over and get the entire surface.
So, need something to make this easier: a small step ladder
(but how will that fare in actual use?) or a "sponge on a pole"
(will that end up scratching the finish, over time?).
So, the "in search of" list gets this item added so that as
we find ourselves at places that *might* offer something along
these lines, we *remember* to look at their offerings. It's not
worth a focused effort to find a suitable solution ASAP.
Next, I need to locate some thumb drives (right price, capacity,
We shopped around for a "garbage can" that exactly "fits" (supports)
the bags that we use. This gives the bag the required support
when we need it. And, gives us a garbage can when we don't
(e.g., to collect twigs that would otherwise rip a plastic bag).
To add to *tea*? You;ll never notice the difference! Are you sure
they are juicing *ripe* lemons? And not just the same sort of crud
that is juiced *here*?
For baked goods, I've found lemons off our own tree beat anything
store bought. I don't think people realize how "unripe" the stuff
you get in most stores actually is. Try a *ripe* lemon and you'll
never settle for store bought, again! Think "sweet" not "sour".
The same can be said for limes. Entirely different taste
from what you've grown to expect.
[And blood oranges make "traditional OJ" taste like swill!]
If you have a lemon tree you should not even be considering buying lemon
juice. Even for tea
As I said, my experience in Italy was with fresh, not bottled. My
brother used to send me fresh ripe lemons from his tree so I know what
Last tree died in a freeze a couple of years ago. Its replacement is only
in its second "producing" season. Last year, yield was 60 pounds. I
imagine 100 pounds this year (tree is only about 5 ft tall). Still *much*
less than I consume in the course of a year -- which is how long that juice
would have to last (frozen) after harvest.
The "fresh harvest" will first be applied to baked goods (where the
difference in taste is most remarkable). Any surplus will go into
tea or SWMBO's various "salads". I suspect we *might* get through
June before needing to buy "bottled". But, at that time, the use
will only be for tea.
I've been cleaning up my back yard and garden today and used my bag
contraption. LOVED IT! Cleaning up yard waste was a breeze. Now, I
have to decide if I'm going to upgrade it from zip ties to screws and
You have no basis for saying that of course.
I told you before that I am aware of what you term "spyware."
And I've disabled all of it that concerns me.
I accepted the EULA with my eyes open.
"May be?" Well, if that's your proof of "spying" you don't have
Those articles are months old, and I read similar even before I
If MS does anything illegal, I'm sure the feds will jump on them.
There are plenty of people "spying" on MS too.
I don't plan on doing anything illegal, but if I do I sure as hell
won't do it on my computer.
Anyway, I'm not pro or anti MS. It just IS.
You apparently don't like MS.
I don't think the issue is MS breaking the law. Rather, I think
Mayayana is lamenting the lack of concern folks have for personal
I tend to be obsessive about privacy issues -- yet am not about to
move to a cabin in the back woods (drawing even MORE attention to
myself!) just to avoid these "data leaks".
You may not be doing anything technically *illegal* -- yet not want
knowledge of that to become available to others!
My (ex)BinL was "fishing in someone else's pond". When my sister
suspected this, we sat down with his cell phone records, ATM
cards, credit cards, etc. -- i.e., all of the bills that my sister
routinely paid. Instead of just looking at the "Pay this amount"
line, we started looking at the items *listed* as part of that total.
It wasn't hard to figure out which days he had started *out* for
work -- yet ended up traveling in the opposite direction, spending
8 hours "there" before conveniently "coming home from work".
Of course, it's relatively easy to figure out who *owns* the phone
numbers that he was calling. And, see the patterns to all this...
Likewise, his facebook page, etc.
Technically, no evidence of any *laws* being broken. But, I can assure
you, he wasn't happy that this information was "available" to others!
As I said upthread, I don't see the alarm in complaining that MS is doing
something that others figured out LONG BEFORE MS!
In the 70's, there was a TV show (one of those "magazine" shows...
maybe 60 minutes?) that did a piece of these sorts of issues -- long before
folks had email addresses, Intellius, etc.
Basically, they took a couple's canceled checks for the previous 12
month period and, with their consent, flew them to the "other coast"
and gave them to a PI. The PI was instructed not to break any laws,
and not to contact them. But, given 30 days to deduce everything
he could about this couple.
Then, the "show" went back to show you their daily lives, their
home, family, car(s), Dad headed off to work, etc. I.e., to give
you an idea of how they lived.
At the end of the show, they revisited the PI and asked him what
conclusions he could draw from their canceled checks. And, you
saw him deducing much of the same stuff that you'd just been
*shown* (she's pregnant, has her hare neatly coifed, they drive
an older model car, he wears a suit to work, they have two dogs,
Just from the record of those transactions that they considered
worth the time to RECORD on little slips of paper (checks!).
[Imagine what could be done if you could watch their web
searches, track their phone calls, etc.]
Seeing this just at teh time that *I* was becoming a financially
independent actor (i.e., my own credit cards, not relying on
mommy and daddy to buy things for me, etc.) had a profound
effect on the information that I "willingly leak".
[E.g., shortly after moving here, some "religious types" came
knocking on the door. Lots of casual questions that were obviously
intended to "collect data". They were disappointed that I wasn't as
"forthcoming" in volunteering details that were of interest to
them (who the f*ck are you people? what makes you think I'd
want you to know these things?? do *I* get to grill you about
arbitrary questions that *I* might consider "interesting"? :> )]
Well, I'm not concerned beyond what I can reasonably control.
And most people are aware of these "privacy issues."
Mayanaya presumes everybody who uses Win10 is a dope.
Anyway, that's my impression. Could be wrong.
He should have been more careful. But that just shows that such
transactional data has been a "privacy" issue for a long time.
Hell, I didn't give my SSN or DOB to anybody but employers, and
had absolutely no credit history 40 years ago. Yet I got a letter
from my state showing I had been drawing unemployment when I was not.
I reported it, and that ended that.
Uh, his wife. And he should have known that.
You can't cure stupid.
And there's a difference here. MS doesn't have my SSN or any other
critical information. They have my IP address.
I've probably done a thousand online CC transactions over the years,
and not been burned once.
Of course others haven't been so "lucky."
OTOH, Amazon, Newegg, Home Depot et al have my CC number.
An unethical person with one of those firms can pull a credit report
and get my SSN. Whatareyougonnado?
You can have no credit and only deal in cash. But a camera will track
you in that 7-11 and see you buying a Hustler magazine.
Did you see the 1980 flick "Atlantic City" staring Burt Lancaster?
He was an over-the-hill hoodlum who dealt in cash only. He was in the
process of going on the lam with a young woman, and she said something
"They can track us."
"Nah. don't worry about it."
"They'll track us by your credit card number."
"Nah, I don't have a credit card."
"Then they'll track us by your social security number."
"Nah. I don't have a social security number."
Only time I really felt jealousy watching a movie.
Probably had just done my taxes.
This is the key point: ---------------------^^^^^^^^^^
How far do you go in screwing up your lifestyle just for the
sake of *claiming* you've protected your privacy?
I don't think most people give serious thought to them.
I think they are busy with things that they *think* are "more
important" (and, which *may* well be -- to them!)
I have a buddy who was obsessive about privacy. One day,
I saw him clean shaven (had previously been ZZTop-ish)
and couldn't help but comment on the DRAMATIC change!
"I had to go get a new photo for my driver's license."
"And they made you shave off your beard??"
"No. I just wanted to make sure the photo on my DL didn't
*look* like me -- and, I want to have a beard (normally)"
Does he think that folks couldn't imagine/pencil-in a beard
on his clean shaven face in the photo??
Dunno. Only he (?) can comment on that.
Friend with the beard (above) once was talking about some case
where he was trying to preserve his anonymity. I commented:
"But, you called their 800 number, right?"
"So, don't you think they KNOW the phone number of all callers?
Even if that is belatedly after-the-fact?"
They don't explicitly have that information. But, that doesnt
mean they can't "accidentally" harvest it in the process of
snooping on other transactions that you undertake during the
normal use of your computer.
E.g., it's simple for spyware to watch for "Password:" and gobble
up any text that you type into that "text box" -- especially if
the text box is set not to echo characters, etc.
SWMBO uses her CC's extensively. She is *routinely* receiving replacement
cards in the mail. Of course, the CC company never tells her *where* the
breach occurred so she has no way of trimming those vendors from her
A "friend" who worked at one of the local banks went snooping into a family
member's account. Of course, bank manager claimed this wasn't possible
(really? then how did this information -- balance, etc. -- get into
that party's hands?). Not worth the time to pursue legal remedies.
Instead, close the (sizeable) account and let the bank manager decide
how "happy" he wants to be with the consequences of this employee's
What you do consider "screwing up" ones' lifestyle? I pay cash for
all local purchases and rarely buy anything online. I use settings and
install extensions on web browsers that help prevent tracking. I don't
use Microsoft, Apple, or Google products.
To me none of this is "screwing up" my lifestyle. They don't even require
a lot of effort. (In particular buying everything with cash is just a
continuation of what I've always done. Using a credit or debit card for
everything would be the strange, screwed up thing to me.)
Roger Blake (Change "invalid" to "com" for email. Google Groups killfiled.)
Ever rent a car? Fly on an airplane? Then, you've used a credit card
(and your travels are now, literally, trackable). I was "forced" to
get (several) credit cards in my teen years as I was traveling
extensively for work; impossible to carry that much cash around the
country *or* rent a car with it!
Buy real estate? Purchase a "big ticket item" (e.g., car, expensive piece
of test equipment)? (Sub)contract a job (have your house painted, a major
auto repair, hospital bill)? Then, chances are, you used a charge card or
wrote a check.
Have a prescription filled? I.e., for most meds, it's a simple step
backwards to deduce *why* you're having the Rx filled! The more meds,
the easier the conclusions drawn.
And, like me, are *more* trackable as a result! Several sites on
the web to check this but here's the first two that popped up:
The first link claims (for me):
"Within our dataset of several million visitors, only one in
2,987,527 browsers have the same fingerprint as yours"
but, only does so when I enable Jscript.
In the second web site my browser reported as "2 out of 103512"
with Jscript DISabled. I.e., the other site *could* conceivably
have included these similar tests (but didn't?).
And neither tried to take into account my IP address! I.e., any
"other" browsers that were indistinguishable from mine PROBABLY
were *not* within 100 miles of here!
[Ideally, you want to find the site that has had the greatest number
of *unique* visitors]
We already know you use Linux for USENET access -- with slrn v0.9.9p1.
And, that you post through Eternal September with account
"U2FsdGVkX1+baz31s5YbQ3GRKudpY5+z3TIqssyP5v0=" from a host that
can be uniquely identified as "0db17d4457d3cd163162e46470f0c6bf".
I used to routinely mangle the identification strings in my browser,
mail client, DNS service, etc. thinking "that way, no one will know
which versions of these products I'm running"! Of course, that
just made my network presence *incredibly* unique!
Anyone send you email? Do you *use* a telephone? Send/receive snail mail?
Each of these people/organizations further refines your profile because,
chances are, *they* have had profiles developed regarding their
behaviors. E.g., the "metadata" tells folks much about you even if the
actual "content" is never examined.
E.g., if they tend to spend a lot on alcoholic beverages, then its
likely that *you* probably also do -- just not with "trackable
currency". And, the fact that you *don't* use those mechanisms
further identifies you ("Ah, he's one of these guys who TRIES
to stay off the radar... I wonder what HE is hiding??")
Have a CATV subscription? (If you *don't*, then the value of
HaveCATVSubscription for *your entry* in the tracking database
is just '0' instead of '1' -- but it doesn't remove you from that
Have an ISP? Are you *sure* they haven't been served with a warrant
to disclose your email, IP traffic, etc. and ORDERED not to disclose
said warrant to you (or anyone else)? Even *when* you use the network
reveals something about you (owl/lark). The sites you visit even
I had an associate who would send his finished designs to his clients
in encrypted "envelopes". And, they always seemed to take days to
arrive -- instead of *minutes*. Does the Internet have a "warehouse"
where packets *sit* during transit (like the Post Office warehouses
snail mail)? <grin>
Ever go into a bank? Casino? Walk by a CCTV camera? Each of them
are loaded with CCTV cameras that *used* to just want to "gather
evidence" -- in the event of a crime. Now, the video is harvested.
("The guy at teller window #3 always makes CASH withdrawals" And,
no HUMAN needs to make that observation! A machine can watch what
the teller's machine is doing and correlate that with your image
on the video feed. And, associate this with a *name* on the
payroll check, etc. that you are providing or bank account number
from which the funds are being withdrawn. Or, don't you have a bank
Drive a car down a road? I.e., your license plate has probably been
routinely photographed and sits in a database, somewhere, indicating
when and where it was photographed, direction of travel, etc.
If you're deliberately avoiding all of these "tracking/profiling
opportunities", I suspect your lifestyle has *significantly* been
compromised to make that happen!
If in your name the deed is recorded. You eliminate many, but not all
Some banks will not allow you in dressed like that.
Is the plate visible to the eye? I know some states are making thing
like that illegal so the speed cameras can get you. As long as the
police can easily see your plate you may never get caught though.
The point isn't going deep underground, if that's what I was after
I would not be here. The point is not forking over information carte
blanche during the course of normal day-to-day life. Of course there
is some paper and/or electronic trail to be found, but it is spotty,
particularly compared to someone who pays for everything via credit or
debit card and goes out and details it all on Facetube or whatever.
Actually for me paying cash and staying out of debt is mostly due to having
been brought up by parents who lived through the Great Depression of
the 1930s. Preserving a modicum of privacy in an increasingly intrusive
environment is a beneficial side effect.
Haven't had a problem, but they know me at my bank anyway. (Small community
bank, been a customer there for decades.) It helps being old, of course,
wearing cataract-style sunglasses doesn't raise many eyebrows for people
my age - might not be the case for a 20-something!
A proper fresnel lens or louvered covering will look fine straight on
but will obscure the plate from a steep angle. Probably illegal (in
many jurisdictions any plate cover is) but poorly enforced as long as
the plate is properly visible to the cop just behind or ahead of you.
Here's one, there are others, and some homebrew solutions:
There would probably also be active solutions possible that would work
in a similar manner to those using infrared LEDs to foil facial recognition
For myself, I'm in a rural area where plate cameras and scanners are not
much of a concern - yet.
Roger Blake (Change "invalid" to "com" for email. Google Groups killfiled.)
HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here.
All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.