🖖🏻 Internet 2022 – ONE thing you can do to make it better?

Way back in 2019 (BC), I summarized why, in 2016, I stopped writing about tech and the Internet. TLDR: I felt like I was always writing and reporting about Negative stuff. Ironically, I never published that blog because it seemed way too negative. 🤣 Today we revisit the Internet to see what has changed, and I will give you TechWite’s ONE Suggestion for Making the Internet Better.

Back in the previous decade, before Covid and so much else, I saw the once promising Internet turning into the mess covered in the categories below:

  1. Bad Manners, Shaming, and Other Rotten Behavior
  2. Facebook
  3. Hacking, Swindling, Blackmail, & Ransom
  4. Harassment and Sexism
  5. Amazon, Uber, Monopoly and the New Workplace Overlords
  6. Net Neutrality
  7. New Technologies
  8. Privacy
  9. Resistance
  10. Trends

* DATB – (Details at the Bottom) For details, scroll down and read the article titles (with links) that I collected at the time.

None of these issues have gone away —except maybe Net Neutrality—and regular readers will note that I even see some hope here and there. In fact, before I dive into the worst of it, I want to add a couple more hopeful signs:

Old Data Never Dies“—Or maybe it does! Some companies are actually cleaning up their accounts — allegedly, they respect your privacy and won’t keep your information forever! Here are two examples:

Realism about Likes and Engagement? — There is the whole Elon thing, and I’m not going to give the guy another stage for his drama; we knew months ago that Twitter didn’t have as many users as they claim. So maybe people are catching on to the fakeness of it all?? One can hope. 🙂

eBooks have a future? — Not addressed elsewhere in TechWite, but a long-time issue for me is the limitations of purchased eBooks when copy-protected by Amazon, Apple, et al. They’re often not cheaper than paper, they have some great tech advantages, but basically if you buy an eBook, you are the only person who ever gets to use it. You can’t loan it, share it, give it away, or sell it. So why buy it? I thought Blockchain might be a way that people could “own” eBooks and have all the options of selling, sharing etc. One company is planning to sell textbooks as NFTs. Of course they want to protect the book as their asset, but the technology could be used to allow individuals to OWN and sell eBooks just as if they were “real”.

Pearson plans to sell its textbooks as NFTs | Publishing | The Guardian
Educational publisher’s move into non-fungible tokens is intended to claw back some of the income lost to secondhand sales
— Read on www.theguardian.com/books/2022/aug/02/pearson-plans-to-sell-its-textbooks-as-nfts

The rest of this stuff sounds much like it did in 2017…

#Hacking and #NoPrivacy

LastPass, a Password Manager With Millions of Users, Is Hacked – WSJ
The company said no information was stolen from its more than 33 million users after an unauthorized party accessed its development environment
— Read on www.wsj.com/articles/lastpass-a-password-manager-with-millions-of-users-is-hacked-11661524398

FTC Sues Over Tracking Data That Could Expose Visits to Abortion Clinics – The New York Times
Federal regulators said the sale of geolocation information on tens of millions of smartphones could expose people’s visits to private places.
— Read on www.nytimes.com/2022/08/29/business/ftc-lawsuit-tracking-data-abortion.html

Your Apps Know Where You Were Last Night, and They’re Not Keeping It Secret – The New York Times (2018)
Dozens of companies use smartphone locations to help advertisers and even hedge funds. They say it’s anonymous, but the data shows how personal it is.
— Read on www.nytimes.com/interactive/2018/12/10/business/location-data-privacy-apps.html

And then there’s Facebook...

Read this Felix Krause blog from just the other day. (It’s not much different than the 10 articles about Facebook in the DATB.)

iOS Privacy: Instagram and Facebook can track anything you do on any website in their in-app browser · Felix Krause
— Read on krausefx.com/blog/ios-privacy-instagram-and-facebook-can-track-anything-you-do-on-any-website-in-their-in-app-browser

Facebook, Meta, Zuckerburg and everything he owns represent the biggest threat to creativity, safety, security on the Internet, and life as we would like to know it. For all the times he and the company have been caught lying, stealing data, selling it illegally, monopolizing, crushing competition, etc. etc. etc., they’ve never admitted culpability. Oops! We’ll have to do better! Poor Mark! He wakes up every day to find somebody wants to put him down. He’s a victim!! Right.

The one thing you could do to make the Internet a better place? Delete Facebook. I don’t mean sign out and stay off for a few weeks or months and write an article about how you “Quit Facebook” (you’ll find these all over the Internet). They’re fake quitters. I’m saying DELETE FACEBOOK and never go back to it, never. (Most people don’t understand all the thieving corrosive technology behind the “friendly” interface of Fakebook. I don’t. But I AM TECHWITE, and I know enough to tell you to avoid it.)

Facebook is a time wasting, drama-generating cesspool of scammers and criminals that encourages people to treat each other badly. Never, ever, ever use Facebook or have it installed on your phone or iPad. If you are tempted to go to Facebook via a web browser, don’t. Before you do, learn all about private browsing and clearing your cache, and all the other stuff you have to do to wipe the digital leeches that Facebook will attach to your identity just by using a browser. Unfortunately, this probably applies to Instagram and Mark’s Metaverse, and every other company or product he buys and corrupts or destroys. But let’s keep it simple. #DeleteFacebook

—TechWite Peace Out 🤙🏻

*DATB (below)

BAD MANNERS, SHAMING, AND OTHER ROTTEN BEHAVIOR circa 2017


Jon Ronson: When online shaming goes too far | TED Talk | TED.com
AT&T and Johnson & Johnson Pull Ads From YouTube – The New York Times
‘Missing Richard Simmons,’ the Morally Suspect Podcast – The New York Times
U-cant-talk-to-ur-professor-like-this – The New York Times

FACEBOOK


Don’t Let Facebook Make You Feel Miserable – The New York Times
‘10 Concerts’ Facebook Meme May Reveal More Than Musical Tastes – The New York Times
After Posting of Violent Videos, Facebook Will Add 3,000 Content Monitors – WSJ
Can Facebook Fix Its Own Worst Bug? – The New York Times
Why Facebook Keeps Beating Every Rival: It’s the Network, of Course – The New York Times
Cleveland Police Seek Suspect After a Killing Seen on Facebook – The New York Times
Facebook denies targeting insecure users – BBC News
Millions duped by Facebook Live video – BBC News
Facebook Live ‘broadcasts gang rape’ of woman in Sweden – BBC News
‘Sex assault’ streamed on Facebook Live – BBC News

 

HACKING, SWINDLING, BLACKMAIL, & RANSOM


Password manager OneLogin hacked, exposing sensitive customer data | ZDNet
Disney hack: Ransom demanded for stolen film
Russian Cyberforgers Steal Millions a Day With Fake Sites – The New York Times
How to Make $80,000 Per Month on the Apple App Store – Medium
India’s Call-Center Talents Put to a Criminal Use: Swindling Americans – The New York Times
In Cyber Attack Where does Microsoft’s Responsibility Lie? – The New York Times
U.S. Far-Right Activists Promote Hacking Attack Against Macron – The New York Times
Hacking Attack Has Security Experts Scrambling to Contain Fallout – The New York Times
Hackers Hide Cyber Attacks in Social Media Posts – The New York Times  
No, Your Phone Didn’t Ring. So Why Voice Mail From a Telemarketer? – The New York Times

HARASSMENT AND SEXISM


Women in Tech Speak Frankly on Culture of Harassment – The New …
Here are 6 of Our Favorite iOS 11 ARKit Demonstrations – The Mac …
Jake Paul, a Reality Villain for the YouTube Generation – The New …

 

Amazon, UBER, Monopoly and the NEW WORKPLACE OVERLORDS


Amazon’s Move Signals End of Line for Many Cashiers – The New …
How Uber Uses Psychological Tricks to Push Its Drivers’ Buttons – The New York Times
Uber to Repay Millions to Drivers, Who Could Be Owed Far More – The New York Times
The Online Marketplace That’s a Portal to the Future of Capitalism – The New York Times

NET NEUTRALITY


FCC and Congress Work to Roll Back Net Neutrality – TidBITS
F.C.C. Chairman Pushes Sweeping Changes to Net Neutrality Rules – The New York Times

 

NEW TECHNOLOGIES


IoT Opens New Door for DDoS Attacks – CIO Journal – WSJ
Google Wants Driverless Cars, but Do We? – The New York Times

 

PRIVACY


Microchip Implants for Employees? One Company Says Yes – The …
Sonos says users must accept new privacy policy or devices … – ZDNet
Your Roomba May Be Mapping Your Home, Collecting Data That …
Clearing Out the App Stores: Government Censorship Made Easier – The New York Times

 

RESISTANCE


Resist the Internet – The New York Times
Hooked on Our Smartphones – The New York Times
Leave Your Laptops at the Door to My Classroom – The New York Times

TRENDS


Mossberg: The Disappearing Computer – Recode
As Coding Boot Camps Close, the Field Faces a Reality Check – The New York Times
Maybe We’ve Been Thinking About the Productivity Slump All Wrong …
How Technology Has Failed to Improve Your Airline Experience – The New York Times
Platform Companies Are Becoming More Powerful — but What Exactly Do They Want? – The New York Times
Valuation Shell Game: Silicon Valley’s Dirty Secret – The New York Times

#ResisttheInternet #AvoidtheInternet Protect your #Privacy #DeleteFacebook — Why I stopped writing about Tech

Melbourne woman ‘dehumanised’ by viral TikTok filmed without her consent | TikTok | The Guardian

Maree describes being given flowers by Harrison Pawluk in a ‘random act of kindness’ video as ‘patronising’
— Read on www.theguardian.com/technology/2022/jul/14/melbourne-woman-dehumanised-by-viral-tiktok-filmed-without-her-consent

🙂 I agree with her. It’s “patronising” because Pawluk presumptuously assumes—without having an actual conversation with the woman—that he is somehow ‘in a better place’ than her. He is using her as a prop, as clickbait. A true “random act of kindness” would be ANONYMOUS, and not some filmed publicity stunt by a so-called “creator“.

Want to try it? A real “random act of kindness”? When you’re at a restaurant, pay someone else’s check as you are leaving. Make sure the restaurant staff doesn’t tell that person until you are out of the building. Then leave and don’t turn around. No filming. No peeking to see what happens. That’s authentic. Fake or real? You have the power to choose.

Once again, I’ll say: talk to your neighbors, use a telephone for actual conversation, #BewareTheInternet, and #DeleteFacebook.

Peace Out

—Techwite

🙏🏻 Hope for Tech – And the winner is…Microsoft!!

—TechWite’s Do the Right Thing (“Tee DRaT“) Award for 2022!!
As former self-appointed Vice President in charge of Doing the Right Thing at Apple, —known “inside the donut” as the “EViP of DRaT” — it’s my pleasure to announce that Microsoft wins TechWite’s “Do the Right Thing” Award!! In this MS vs FB competition, Facebook says it can identify a user’s emotional state and share that with advertisers and anyone else for $$$, but gosh, they’ll stop doing that.

Meanwhile Microsoft’s response? “Nah, let’s not go there. And BTW, we’re okay if you guys want to unionize.” Is this the same Microsoft that hijacked the code for OS/2 from IBM, tried to crush Apple, insisted on its private standards vs. open Internet standards, etc. etc. etc.?? 🤪

Apple, I feel like I’m in Bizarro world.

Microsoft shares its Responsible AI Standard. Microsoft Corp., as part of its framework for building AI systems, announced that its Azure Face service would no longer include capabilities “that infer emotional states and identity attributes such as gender, age, smile, facial hair, hair, and makeup.”

—Wall Street Journal, “CIO Tech Report” newsletter for 6/22/22

Meta agrees to end alleged discriminatory practices in housing ads. Facebook parent Meta Platforms Inc. agreed Thursday to adopt new online advertising practices to settle an investigation by federal officials, who said its ads discriminated against users by race, gender and other factors.

Discrimination by algorithm. According to federal officials, Meta created an ad-targeting algorithm that would consider protected characteristics—including race, religion and sex—to find users who mirrored the advertiser’s targeted audience. The WSJ’s John D. McKinnon notes that it is illegal to deny someone housing based on federally-protected characteristics such as race, religion and sex.

—Wall Street Journal, “CIO Tech Report” newsletter for 6/22/22

— 🙄 Will Facebook Do the Right Thing? Only when they get caught!! And “How long, has this been going on?”

P.S.: You can still #DeleteFacebook and #AvoidtheInternet

—TechWite

Hey Tim. Here’s a “Portrait” icon. See? It’s taller.

There be gremlins? A ghost in the big giant Apple machine? An Easter Egg? Or somebody’s idea of a joke?

Because a couple of important icons have gotten switched!! And “icons”, little pictures that we rely on to represent certain very specific things, are important! You can’t just go switching them around! You’ll defeat their purpose. You’ll make them unreliable. I mean, what if somebody changed all the light switches in your house so that when you click “On” the lights go off? Or swapped faucets so hot water came out when you wanted cold?? What if one day Captain Aubrey decided that port would be starboard from now on?

Details are so important. Attention to important details helped establish Apple as the platform of visual artists. Unfortunately, someone has forgotten the importance of small details, in this case, in the difference between Landscape and Portrait. And here’s what I’m talking about:

On the Macintosh—Look at this Print Dialog from MacOS Monterey 12.1.1.

Notice anything?

The Print dialog has two icons, helpfully labeled “Portrait” and “Landscape”. Two tiny upward-pointing arrows are also supposed to help you figure this out. But if the rectangles were placed correctly, arrows would be unnecessary. The ORIENTATION of the rectangle is the indicator, the rectangles don’t even need anything inside them to make this point. (Ideally, the Landscape rectangle would contain mountains, not people, but we’re not going to fix everything today…).

Remember:

Portrait=long edge vertical (tall).
Landscape=long edge horizontal (short).

The arrows are there because the rectangle of the Landscape icon is turned on its side! It’s in Portrait mode, the same exact orientation as the rectangle of the Portrait icon. This misses the whole point of the VISUAL CUE that icons represent!! The “person” image inside the rectangle does not make it “Portrait”!

The rectangle icons would be more obvious if they were empty. But in this Mac dialog, in the Landscape icon, the “person” is sideways, which only makes sense if you turn your head sideways. Do you look at your screen that way??

That’s one issue. Once this flaw was established somewhere, somebody “understood” that any rectangle with a “person” in it is a Portrait icon. Confused? They were. Now you’ll never guess where the Landscape icon turns up, the one that is correctly oriented, but unfortunately contains a person image in it.

On iOS—Look at this so-called “Genius Pick” from “Tips” for iPad

How about here?

This “Tip” literally tells you to tap on a LANDSCAPE Icon “to turn on Portrait mode.”

Now we have the right icon (Landscape), being asked to do the wrong thing. Where will it end?? What I shouldn’t have to explain here, is that you ought to have to tap on a Portrait Icon to turn on Portrait mode! Does anyone at Apple know who Steve Krug is anymore? Or Don Norman?

And so, continuing my long tradition of helping Apple when I can, I, TechWite, have returned from a long and mysterious absence to remind you, “Think Different”. Remember that Landscape and Portrait are TWO DIFFERENT THINGS, historically represented by TWO DIFFERENT icons, and essentially, by THE ORIENTATION of the TWO RECTANGLES.

🤐 So many words! Try this:

“I’m Portrait!”—a tall image, with longer vertical edge

“I’m Landscape!” —a short image with a long horizontal edge

What’s to be done? I’m not going to correct every dialog and Genius Tip in Apple world, but I’ll give you a place to start. Please fix the icon in the Mac Print Dialog so it looks something like this:

Oh look! No tiny arrows!

When you’re done with that, then you can tackle the rest of this confusion in all the bazillions of iPhones and iPads and every other iThing. Okay? Glad to help. Now get to it!

I’m back.

—TechWite

Hipsters, audiophiles, and young people like vinyl, but why? 🤔

A friend has been raving about Spotify (or other streaming music services) for several years.

It’s hugely convenient, you have access to TONS of music whenever you want, and the quality is “digital”. Can’t argue the first two points, but as for the “quality”—at least when I had Sirius some years ago—I was frequently annoyed with the “flanging” distortion in streamed music. Same with Pandora, which I gave up due to the ads. Maybe it’s better now? Anyway, this same friend is now getting into vinyl mostly because his daughters are into it. 😎

Hipsters, audiophiles, and young people like vinyl, but why? Me? I’m old enough to have had three or four hundred LPs, and a selection of stackable equipment and big speakers. None of which I miss much. I sometimes miss the aesthetic. With LPs you take time to listen. It’s not immediate or convenient. And there is, the…

  • Visual —large print liner notes, and cover art
  • Tactile —the process of removing a disc from the sleeve, wiping the dust from it, placing it on the turntable, lowering the tonearm
  • Auditory—that first moment when the needle catches music in the groove

Great, and Do you remember these?

  • Scratches
  • Warping
  • Skips
  • Turntable rumble
  • Inter-groove modulation
  • Needle issues—especially proper tonearm weight and balancing

    Only some of this may be resolved with expensive, high end equipment. For others, you have to replace your precious vinyl!

Is it the sound?—Is the appeal the retro-aesthetics of mid-century music reproduction? Or is it the sound? If it’s the sound, it’s not that it is “more realistic” or “genuine”. Because it can’t be. Not if you understand the analog fundamentals of how LPs and tape work. I won’t bloviate about that here, (although I could.) To keep it simple: the specs of most audio equipment don’t even match the range of human hearing – usually 20Hz-20kHz. More pertinent to my point, the alleged analog “warmth” of LP sound has more to do with the “RIAA Rolloff”—a standard process by which the sound is filtered and equalized as it is recorded and played back. It’s not just pure “analog”, unmodified sound. If you want the details, this is a really good article that explains it.—> https://ledgernote.com/columns/mixing-mastering/riaa-curve/

Theoretically, you could use an equalizer to tweak your Music or iTunes player to make all your CDs sound more like vinyl. Or, if you still think an LP sounds “better” than a CD, try this experiment—If you have the equipment, cables, etc., (again, this is your DIY project, not mine). Record one of your favorite LPs on your computer, and then play it back, on your computer (if that’s the only way), but preferably through the same amplifier and speakers you use for your LP. You could even record it onto a CD (If you still have that ability. These days, those are fading fast!) Play that vinyl album from the CD. Is the sound different between the source LP and the digital copy? I’d contend that the digital recording can capture and reproduce all the “warmth” of the LP. Try it. I have.

I’m not against vinyl, I’m just against dumb reasons for justifying its use. Hang onto those LPs, enjoy everything about them that is different, but don’t tell me it’s about the sound unless you can definitively prove that you can always tell, “Is it Ella? Or is it Memorex?”

Cheers!

— TechWite

So-Called “Creators” vs. #GoodTech

Sheesh. “Creators”. Not to be confused with “Creatives”, those UX Designers, Graphic Artists, and other creative people for whom I have a great deal of respect. No, “Creators”—often called “Influencers”—frequently celebrities, but also the kids who make some brain dead cat video or self-absorbed “Hey guys!”, eye shadow review, and thousands of other kids watch it, and brands offer them big bucks for endorsements and product placement on their social media and podcasts. In our mixed up Internet media world, this situation creates the illusion that what Creators do is actually work, and work of value. And of course in that case, they should be paid fairly!! To quote John Mellencamp, “A’int that America?”

…so these two women create an app to compare rates, so the “creators” can be paid fairly and not get screwed by the brands. In a crazy world, that kind of makes crazy sense. The app is subtly titled, “F*** You Pay Me”. (Without the asterisks, of course. This is Generation Z, the free speech generation.) After all:

“[Brands] they need us, more than we need them!”

— A. Creator

UMM, no. They don’t really need your cat video that much, or your vapid “Hey guys!” review. With or without a helpful app, you’re not all going to get paid $125 million a year like Slappy Dingdong, or whatever his name is with his 16 bazillion “followers”.

This would all be pretty funny if there weren’t so many people in need, so many hungry, so many people willing to do real labor for reasonable pay if only they could get a job. This is the same aberration as the SVG (Silicon Valley Genius) who spends his days figuring out how to make a goofy mustache and giant eyeballs stick to a face on a video on Instagram. Or for that matter, on Apple Messages (To think, I used to MOCK the Windows Cursor design team!!) We’ve got no universal healthcare, the planet is burning, but Silicon Valley Geniuses are going to fix bad traffic with flying cars, and there are plenty of bazillionaires going into space on their giant penis rockets.

Listen, if you’re smart, creative, or have money to burn, maybe you should examine your priorities?

🌎 Right now, the world needs more #GoodTech !!

— TechWite

🙏🏻QR Code Controversy? Really? Calm down America.

Since Covid, QR Codes have become popular, especially as a “no-touch” tool to view a restaurant menu using a cell phone. Sometimes you can even order and pay using your cell phone. Although this New York Times article doesn’t outright suggest that using QR codes is risky or dangerous or a threat to your online privacy, it doesn’t do much to explain how a QR Code works, leading many readers to assume that the QR Code is some sinister new technology that will steal their identity, or worse.

Reader reactions to the article were just off-the-charts, paranoid-whacko. I tried to help out with this soothing comment:

“QR codes save you typing in a URL to get to a web page. As suggested by others here, any “damage” to privacy etc., results from the security threats already present on web sites and the internet. If this idea drives you to action, then get off Facebook and Amazon, both of which do far more damage than a restaurant web page.”

Christopher Plummer, Reader Comment, on article “QR Codes Are Here to Stay”, NYT, 7/26/2021

By this evening, there were almost 300 more comments about the article, mostly paranoid-whacko comparisons to the dystopias of Huxley and Orwell and horrified exclamations of former customers who swear they’ll never go to a restaurant again…and so on.

America, calm down! There are plenty of reasons to #AvoidtheInternet, but QR Codes used by restaurants are not one of them. If you use the simple camera connection in your phone or tablet that recognizes a QR Code, it:

  1. Translates the text that the “code” represents
  2. Recognizes that text as a URL (the kind you would type in your web browser)
  3. Passes that URL to your browser
  4. And opens your browser to that specific web page

That’s all that is happening! QR Codes can contain other information—addresses, phone numbers—but if all you’re doing is reading the code with the camera on your device (and NOT using a 3rd party QR app), then the not-sinister QR Code is saving you some keystrokes to get you to a web site. THAT’S ALL.

As I imply, once you get to the web site in question, your security and privacy is entirely up to you, and contains the same risks as any other commerce web site that may use trackers, cookies, spy pixels, profiling, blah, blah, blah, all the reasons you have to be smart and consider that you might want to #AvoidTheInternet, #DeleteFacebook, and so on. But please, don’t blame the QR Code.

This code takes you to a photograph I took.

Be Careful Out there! 🙂

—TechWite

😎 Apple Flashback 2001: Dell Fire Hazard

Snail Desktop Picture“I’m a PC, and I’m on Fire!”— Snail promotes Intel, Justin Long promotes Mac, er, Windows…  “Unpredictable Mac”, Explored the difference between Macs and PCs back when it mattered…

 

“Hey, Dell just recalled 200 THOUSAND plus batteries from their Wintel laptops because of overheating. There is at least one known case of a battery causing a fire. This is the SECOND major recall of batteries from BELEAGUERED DELL COMPUTER. Did you hear anything about it? Did Wall Street jump all over them? Is the press drooling for Dell’s downfall??

And That’s The Difference.”

— from “Know The Difference” UnpredictableMac Issue #17 May 04, 2001
“It’s a new millennium.”

Back From the Dead—But not using a bootable drive…

My Mac Backup Strategy, was:

1. Backup to Time Machine regularly to have access to that data.
2. Backup regularly to a fast “bootable” external drive “clone” using a nifty 3rd party tool such as SuperDuper.

Having an external bootable backup meant that if my internal drive(s) failed, I could quickly fire up a workable system and continue working, until I restored it all to a replacement drive. But as I discovered last night…

At this writing, you can’t make a bootable backup disk with Big Sur. And the M1 (non-Intel) Macs can’t boot from an external drive. Now what? You could (and should) keep using Time Machine of course, but that is just saving your data and apps, not creating a “boot disk”. You’ll have to repair/replace your drive or Mac first, then recover using Time Machine. Unless you have a backup computer and work with all your data “in the cloud”, hours or days of downtime is inevitable with a hardware failure.

Short version: Make multiple backups of everything that is important to you. Including backing up to (a non-bootable) external drive with SuperDuper or other “cloning” utility. If your recovery strategy is “Make an appointment at the Genius Bar”, make sure you allow for at least a few days of downtime. If your business can’t afford downtime, try to work with all your data “in the cloud”, have a spare Mac, and be sure if you shut one Mac down, you can still do everything you need to on the other. And Test and Verify that this actually works!!

Readable Technical details and workaround(s) at Shirt Pocket Watch (SuperDuper developer’s blog) www.shirt-pocket.com/blog/, and this thorough summary from TidBITS: The Role of Bootable Duplicates in a Modern Backup Strategy.
— Read on

P.S. TechWite is also back from the dead. At least for this one entry. I’ve always been UNPREDICTABLE. 😎


—Techwite

Old Data Never Dies… 🤙

Ladders Bad Data

Date: September 3, 2017 at 8:00:43 AM EDT
Subject:Notice of Updated Terms of Use & Privacy Policy – September 2017
Reply-To: jobs

Somewhere, somebody is looking at a report about job hunters on “the Ladders”. My personal information there is obsolete. There’s a number in that report that represents my ancient sign up on their site as a participant and job seeker, which is bogus. Because? I am not a participant in “the Ladders”, nor an active member, nor a  job seeker, nor have I been for years.

Don’t they take any responsibility for the “freshness” of their data? Of course! They send out Policy and Terms of Use update notices. Obviously anyone who doesn’t respond is still a valid member, desires to remain on their roles, and agrees to the Policy changes. That’s how everyone expresses agreement right, by silence?

This is not just a “Ladders” issue; it’s another example of the convoluted backward logic and misleading or outright fraudulent data that permeates the Internet. It’s in a company’s interest to have more users, more members, more eyeballs, more job seekers. Those numbers are important—everyone knows they are inflated, don’t they? (THAT’s a rhetorical question. NO, I don’t think “they” do.)

A responsible Internet company will periodically roll-off and clear out that data (making the assumption that true data would be more valuable). Most even have a mechanism in place to do this. How? The former job seeker/member logs in and updates his/her information or maybe even closes the account.

But, relying on the user? Asking someone to clean up an old login they used more than a few years ago? This is worse than getting off a snail-mail catalog subscription, where you can usually call an 800 number! If the user has to login, or send mail from an old or non-existent email address, or go through an annoying and time-consuming password upgrade process? Too much work! It’s not happening.

If companies were serious about truthful data, they would make this process easy. How? Notify the user that the account is about to expire, and the data will be expunged or otherwise no longer considered “active”. No response: assume that the data should be cleared, and clear it!

They’d rather have bigger numbers. True data is good, but to these jokers more data is better. More members even if they are imaginary. The companies want your data, even if it is wrong, and they are getting more obstinate about keeping it.

🤙🏻

— TechWite

(And no, I’m not nuts about this. Maybe someone has a reason not to be online and away for…a few months, or years? So put a mechanism in place to put everything in “suspend” or “archive” mode first, before it disappears permanantly. These issues are not that difficult.)