Weekly Axis Of Easy #87
This week’s quote: “Congress truly is America’s only native criminal Class” by ?????
Last Week’s Quote was “all modern trends point to the spectre of a terrifying, bigger, and more pitiless conformity” by Erik von Kuehnelt-Leddihn, winner was Andrew Wells
THE RULES: No searching up the answer, must be posted in the comments below:
The Prize: First person to post, gets their next domain or hosting renewal on us.
In this Issue:
Your smartphone apps sell your data to Facebook
Purism Librem 5 launch date pushed back to Q3 2019
China is forcing citizens to download a brainwashing app
Facebook conducts surveillance of users who don’t like Facebook
Arizona bill compels citizens to submit DNA
Bad firmware update bricks Nike network connected “smart shoes”
Charles Hugh Smith (and I) on turning this train wreck around
The latest Facebook scandal this week is that the Wall Street Journal ran some tests and confirmed that a good many smartphone apps sell the data they collect on you to Facebook a mere seconds they get it, even if you don’t have a Facebook account. They subsequently published a list of 11 popular apps which are confirmed to do this, along with whether they stopped doing it once they were confronted by WSJ about it. Most of these are fitness apps, one is an ovulation tracker.
Here we go again and I think we need to update the Facebook apology checklist to better reflect reality: If Mark Zuckerberg were to comment he would say (check all that apply):
It just never lets up.
Well one thing I’m doing about it personally is I paid into the Purism crowdfunding to advance order their Librem 5 secure smart phone. The Librem 5 is not based on iOS or Android or any other p.o.s mobile o/s that is designed primarily to harvest your data, pimp it to the highest bidder and surveil you. It’s based on Debian Linux and I dare say it should be a lot easier to put a lid on all this invasive garbage than on every other smart phone.
Only problem is the release date has been pushed back from Q2 2019 to Q3 2019, alas, but still – options are coming and I think pretty soon the floodgates will open.
The hottest app in China is Xuexi Qiangguo, which translates to “Study to Make China Strong”. It’s number one in the Apple Apps store for China with 47.5 million downloads. It’s all pro-state propaganda. Problem is, there are reports of social and state pressure to download the app.
You know China, with their Sesame Credit system that penalizes you for disobeying the state, it would be a snap to decrement your score for not having the app on your phone. A recent report put the number of Chinese citizens who were barred from traveling or even getting better jobs in 2018 at 23 million, all because of their Sesame Credit score being too low. Could you imagine that?
(I’m reading We The Living right now and if they had smart phones back there in Bolshevik Russia, it would look a lot like Sesame Credit).
Nevermind Richard M. Nixon’s infamous “Enemies List”. For those of you too young to know, Nixon was the former titleholder of “worst.president.ever”. He was dethroned by… every subsequent president, in sequential order. Anyway, Facebook has their own enemies list. They call it “BOLO”, or “Be On the Lookout For”. Reports are every fired employee gets added to it automatically, alongside all the real nut jobs who make hostile threats against Zuck or Sandberg or Facebook in general.
Turns out, not only do they monitor your activities while on the website, they monitor your real world movements by tracking you through your mobile device.
Arizona State Senate Bill 1475, sponsored by David Livingston (R) would establish the first statewide DNA database in the country. It would also require that anybody who is currently required to submit their fingerprints for any reason (teachers, law enforcement officers, real estate agents, appraisers) to also have a DNA sample taken for the database. It would also apply to all state citizens who die. The database will be accessible by law enforcement agencies and shared with other national agencies.
All this, for the low, low price of $275 per sample, charged to the citizen.
Text of bill: https://legiscan.com/AZ/text/SB1475/2019
Here’s an old joke I made up once about Internet of Things stupidity.
Dad: Son, eat your vegetables.
Dad: Why not?
Son: Fork won’t boot.
I used to think that was funny, until I told it to somebody and they sent me a link to a page for a bluetooth enabled salad fork]. Life has this recurring tendency to imitate my stupidest jokes, and I find that disturbing.
Anyway, Nike made a “self-tying shoe”. It’s network connected. It has an app. They updated the firmware and screwed it up, now none of the shoes will tie themselves anymore. It’s like going back to the stone ages.
My audiobook sideline recently produced three new audiobooks by social commentator (and easyDNS customer) Charles Hugh Smith. He’s an interesting guy and I make it a point to read everything he puts out. Charles and I had a nice long conversation about the state of the world which I’ve posted over on my Guerrilla Capitalism blog. To anybody who wonders if that is too political, I would tell them, this is not about left vs right politics. This is about business-as-usual systemic atrophy and failure vs post-politics and the scenarios that could unfold as a result.