Three Things

Sears Spyware

“It’s not that Sears fails to notify users it intends to spy on them. Indeed, the email sent to users states that the application “monitors all of the internet behavior that occurs on the computer on which you install the application, including…filling a shopping basket, completing an application form, or checking your…personal financial or health information.”

The rub is that this unusually frank warning comes on page 10 of a 54-page privacy statement that is 2,971 words long. Edelman, who is a frequent critic of spyware companies, said the Sears document fails to meet standards established by the Federal Trade Commission when it settled with Direct Revenue and Zango over the lack of disclosure about the extent of their snoopware.”

Secret Crush on Facebook

“Unlike many social worms, the ‘Secret Crush’ propagation strategy does not rely on phishing or any sort of user-space customisation feature abuse. Rather, it relies on pure social engineering which is based on simple manipulation strategies such as ‘escalation of commitment’. Since users have freely chosen to install the widget at the cost of disclosing their personal information, psychologically speaking it is difficult for them to stop the process at that point.”

And now, something completely different from Mr. Cringely.

“Predictions 2.0: Things that will make you Cringe in 2008

It’s fun, it’s easy, and virtually everybody else does it, so why not Le Cringe? I whipped out the Oujia Board, spit into some tea leaves, examined a few goat entrails, and came up with some of the big trends in tech that will come to pass over the next 12 months. Some may surprise you; others are, well, utterly predictable…

…Apple goes bananas. The first phones based on Google Android will appear, though they will be easily outsold by Apple’s yet-to-be-officially-announced 3G iPhone. Steve Jobs will then sue this blog for revealing that piece of information, claiming it is a trade secret that could only have come from sources inside Apple. Shortly thereafter Jobs will shock the world by announcing that he is retiring as CEO of Apple Inc. He will name the Fake Steve Jobs as his replacement, who will then sue this blog for revealing that piece of information.”

I am Jon, and my vacation is almost over… thanks for waiting.


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