Geek & Nerd Haven


Geek & Nerd Haven

A group for us Geek and Nerds to talk about things we like. Technology, sci-fi, movies, TV, collecting, games, comics, science, etc.

Members: 185
Latest Activity: Aug 15

Discussion Forum

Beware Blockchain Currencies

Started by Ruth Anthony-Gardner. Last reply by Grinning Cat Jul 31. 1 Reply

Up to Two-Thirds of Bitcoin Transactions Have No Economic ValueAccording to Coinmetrics,…Continue

Tags: cryptocurrency

Personal Assistants are Trojan Horses

Started by Ruth Anthony-Gardner. Last reply by Joseph P Mar 7. 1 Reply

Amazon owns my Echo; I’m just feeding itI found this personal story more disturbing than humorous. It's a dystopian…Continue

Tags: corporate takeover, personal digital assistants

Top Clean Cars and Trucks of 2018

Started by Cane Kostovski. Last reply by Cane Kostovski Feb 10. 4 Replies


Betcha can't tell what's real

Started by Ruth Anthony-Gardner Dec 12, 2017. 0 Replies

SOCIAL MEDIA FROM AUTOMATED INAUTHENTICITY“Artificial neural networks are advancing rapidly in their ability to…Continue

Tags: phony online content

You have no privacy

Started by Ruth Anthony-Gardner. Last reply by Ruth Anthony-Gardner Nov 21, 2017. 2 Replies

HOW PETER THIEL’S PALANTIR HELPED THE NSA SPY ON THE WHOLE WORLDYou'll be floored by the imbalance of information…Continue

Tags: Peter Thiel, surveillance, XKEYSCORE, Plantair

Comment Wall


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Comment by Grinning Cat on August 15, 2018 at 3:50pm

"Google tracks you even if Location History's off. Here's how to stop it" (Wired)

"... the search giant still tracks you every time you open Google Maps, get certain automatic weather updates, or search for things in your browser. There's a way to stop it—but it takes some digging.

The problem affects anyone with an Android phone and iPhone users running Google Maps on their devices..."

Turning off Location History is not enough. You also need to turn off Web & App Activity.

"Sign in to your Google account on a browser on iOS or your desktop, or through the Android settings menu. In the browser, access your account settings by finding Google Account in the dropdown in the upper right-hand corner, then head to Personal Info & Privacy, choose Go to My Activity, then in the left-hand nav click Activity Controls. Once there you'll see the setting called Web & App Activity, which you can toggle off.

On your Android phone, go from Google settings to Google Account, then tap on Data & personalization. You'll find Web & App Activity there."

Read more, including information about Google's deceptive design practices and statements, at the full article:

Comment by Grinning Cat on March 14, 2018 at 12:12am

A bit early for Joan and other West Coast folks, but still...

Happy Pi Day! (3/14)

There are even delicious-looking counterexamples to "Pi r square? Pie are not square. Pie are round. Cornbread is square":

(more pi pies over at "Food!")

Comment by Ruth Anthony-Gardner on December 14, 2017 at 6:13pm

Broadband over 'wet string' tested for fun

Broadband can be sent over 2 meters of string wet with salt water.

Engineers at a small British internet service provider have successfully made a broadband connection work over 2m (6ft 7in) of wet string.

"Here the string is acting as a waveguide to transmit an electromagnetic wave. And because the broadband signal in this case is very high frequency it doesn't matter so much what the material is."

The connection reached speeds of 3.5 Mbps (megabits per second),...

Comment by Grinning Cat on December 1, 2017 at 11:41am

What could happen if Title II (common carrier) net neutrality is killed, as FCC chairman Ajit Pai is about to do despite public comments opposing the move:

Yes, censorship, tiered access, and extra charges for consumers as well as websites and publishers. (click to enlarge)

Comment by Idaho Spud on August 19, 2017 at 1:34pm


Comment by Grinning Cat on August 1, 2017 at 9:56am

Watchdog Group Files Complaint Over Google Tracking In-Person Purchases (NPR, All Tech Considered)

[I already use several defenses against such things: a non-tracking search engine (DuckDuckGo), an ad blocker, avoiding apps with ads, and keeping location turned off on my phone except when needed for navigation. The ExtremeTech article on this also suggests staying logged out of your Google account except when needed.]

A privacy watchdog group has filed a complaint with the FTC over Google's system for tracking purchases Internet users make in person, at physical store locations.

Google announced the new service — a way for advertisers to measure the effectiveness of an online ad campaign — in May. It combines Google's search and app records with credit card purchase data acquired from third-party sources.
For several years, the company has been using location data on phones to track store visits — for example, to see how many people clicked on a PetSmart ad and then visited their local PetSmart.

But the new system goes further, and looks at actual purchases, by relying on in-store credit card transactions. [...] That data gets cross-referenced with information Google already has, to connect user accounts to in-person purchases.


Rotenberg says that Google has never identified who its third-party partners are, "what data is acquired or what steps they are taking to de-identify that data." Without those details, he says, there's good reason to be skeptical of the company's claims of anonymity.

He points to examples like Snapchat, the app that said that photos posted on its platform would disappear forever. EPIC challenged that claim in an FTC complaint. The FTC agreed that Snapchat was being misleading, and the company eventually settled the charges.

Rotenberg says that if Google's anonymizing practices are as robust as they say, that likely alleviate EPIC's privacy concerns. But without an independent investigation, he says, it's impossible to evaluate Google's claims that the process is fully anonymous.

EPIC also complains that the opt-out process is "opaque and misleading," [...]

Comment by Ruth Anthony-Gardner on July 10, 2017 at 9:52am

Comment by Idaho Spud on July 8, 2017 at 12:21pm

Just read that the iceberg that sank the Titanic only made a very small hole, not enough to come close to sinking the ship.  The reason it sank was because of poor quality rivets that popped loose when the ship hit the iceberg.  Read more here:

Comment by Ruth Anthony-Gardner on May 7, 2017 at 10:42am
Comment by Grinning Cat on May 3, 2017 at 3:51pm

Facebook told advertisers it can identify teens feeling 'insecure' and 'worthless' (The Guardian)

Facebook showed advertisers how it has the capacity to identify when teenagers feel “insecure”, “worthless” and “need a confidence boost”, according to a leaked documents based on research quietly conducted by the social network.

The internal report produced by Facebook executives, and obtained by the Australian, states that the company can monitor posts and photos in real time to determine when young people feel “stressed”, “defeated”, “overwhelmed”, “anxious”, “nervous”, “stupid”, “silly”, “useless” and a “failure”.

(read more)


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