Weekly Axis Of Easy #91
Last Week’s Quote was “We know where you are. We know where you’ve been. We can more or less know what you’re thinking about.” by Eric Schmidt. Winner was Marcus
This week’s quote: “I will fight for your right to be weird, as I know you will fight for mine ” by…..?
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.
Social Justice pricing goes into effect today
Imminent death of Internet as new EU Copyright directive passes
Moving Beyond Peak-Apple
Twitter suspends Tesla Critic for criticizing Musk
Equifax and FICO working to sell your data to banks
Data Privacy Manifestos, marketing fluff or next big thing?
McDonald’s acquires machine learning start-up
Google’s work on military drone program deemed exempt from FOI act
Planet Hollywood parent admits breach months after 2 million customers records sold on dark web
Australia bans domain name speculation
Enjoying Civilization? You can thank booze and coffee
The DNS is an inverted-tree hierarchy, which is problematic and promotes unequal outcomes among system participants. After a lengthy contemplative process we have enacted a system of social justice pricing which will rectify historical inequality.
The new pricing is effective immediately and takes effect today.
The EU Parliament passed its new copyright reform directive including the dreaded Sections 11 and 13 which provide for mandatory upload filtering by ISPs and so-called “link taxes”, as per Techdirt:
“on the whole the EU Copyright Directive requires laws that effectively end the open internet as an open communications medium. Sites that previously allowed content creators to freely publish content will now be forced to make impossible choices: license all content (which is literally impossible), filter all content (expensive and failure-prone), or shut down. Sites that used to send traffic to news sources may now need to reconsider, as doing so will inexplicably require payment.”
Again, I can’t help but wonder why any non-EU based companies should care. This is a similar situation to the GDPR, which effectively destroyed the domain Whois system overnight as non-Euro companies inexplicably tripped over themselves to comply with some foreign entity’s new laws. That set a very bad precedent for a situation to come along very much like the one we find ourselves in today.
Absent a treaty between the EU and Canada, in our case, or your home country, wherever you are dear reader, then why would we lose sleep to comply with somebody else’s laws?
Nobody has explained that to my satisfaction.
Longtime socio-economic analyst (and recently become easyDNS client) Charles Hugh Smith describes how Apple’s best days are almost certainly in the rear-view mirror.
Compressing margins, commodification and seeking new revenues from outside its core competencies, all this in the face of an oncoming global recession nobody admits is happening all point toward the end of an era. Great read that captures the bigger picture of this 10 year-old, QE-powered Tech Bubble 2.0.
Last week Elon Musk took to Twitter (he seems to spend more time there than he does actually running his myriad flailing unicorns) to extol the success of the Tesla auto-pilot system and team. To which, “Elon Says”, a member of the ephemeral $TSLAQ collective, posted a spreadsheet enumerating a list of Tesla auto-pilot induced fatalities – 23 so far.
His Twitter account was suspended within hours. Elon must have DM-ed fellow billionaire-bro @jack and put an end to that. Problem solved amiright?
Twitter reinstated the account within 48 hours in the face of massive user pushback. The next TSLA auto-pilot fatalities will proceed as fate edicts.
Here’s another article with dash cam footage of a Tesla veering toward a lane divider, in a fashion very similar to one that killed another Tesla driver days earlier. Love that real world embodiment of the Silicon Valley ethos “drive fast and break things”.
(Just another example of why more and more people are moving to Mastodon. I have my account set up so that anything I do there automatically pushes out through my Twitter feed and vice versa. See: https://nojack.easydns.ca)
This article in the WSJ describes how banks are seeking as much data about you as possible in order to lend you more credit and figure out what interest rate to charge (in any case probably a fair bit more than the 2% banks pay at the Fed window…)
To that end Fair Issac Corp (the “FISO” score people) and Equifax – the folks who spilled your credit history all over the dark web, are teaming up to pitch each other’s data to banks eager to lend.
Last year FICO began factoring in how you manage your bank account into your credit score. Another credit data giant Experian, started combining your cell phone and utility payments into their FICO scores.
(It’s all beginning to look like a more decentralized, yet comprehensive Sesame Credit…..)
Dark Reading’s Andrea Little Limbago poses the question around an emerging trend in tech to publish “Data Privacy Manifestos”. Could this be the beginning of a palpable groundswell from within Big Tech to finally take user data privacy seriously, even actively promote it within their operations?
I’m skeptical. Any corporate drone can write a data manifesto, to that point the article opens up with F-book’s Mark Zuckerberg’s blog announcing that the future of F-book would be as “privacy focused messaging and social network platform”.
Am I too late to be the first to call b/s on that one?
Data Privacy Manifestos are “in” now, so every tech unicorn whose entire raison d’être is to pimp their users’ data will just write some elegantly worded declaration of user rights and change nothing?
Here’s my advice. You really want to know where some company stands on your data, then ignore their Data Privacy Manifestos and go read their Terms of Service and their actual Privacy Policies instead. Here’s ours. (It’s even in Plain English).
The fast-food giant McDonald’s has acquired big data company Dynamic Yield, paying a reported $300M for the Tel Aviv based start-up. The move is part of an initiative to make the shift “from mass marketing to mass personalization” which means “unlock[ing] the data within the ecosystem that’s really useful to a customer”.
Imagine this level of optimization: e-readers vacuum up license plates as they enter the drive-thru queue. Sensors under the asphalt figure out how many passengers are in the vehicle so prior ordering history for every likely occupant in the car (which they’ll get from your digital shopping history and credit files, see prior article) is cross-referenced toward providing a digital menu optimized for maximal up-sells on the kiosk.
Meanwhile, what you do order could be federated with your Fitbit or other wearable health monitor and packaged to your HMO and health insurer so that they can optimize your premiums to adjust for all those Big Macs your scarfing down. They could probably even garner another ancillary revenue stream by feeding the steady stream of plate numbers to automobile repossession companies and law enforcement.
What a time to be alive!
News broke last year that Google had a contract with the Pentagon to supply technology to the US military’s drone program. Dubbed “Project Maven” it was a program to use AI to help military drones better identify and target faster and more efficiently. An employee backlash ensued, and Google purportedly backed out of the contract (I say purportedly because they also purportedly canceled Project Dragonfly, which was a censorship and surveillance enabled search platform for the Chinese government. However, as we reported in #AoE 88, some suspect that work is continuing in secret.)
Google insists its work was never intended to be used for lethal purposes. Is that true? Have they really canceled the contract? It looks like we’ll never know because the Pentagon has designated over 5,000 pages of documentation of Google’s work on the project to be barred from public disclosure because they constitute “critical infrastructure security information.”
In February, security researcher Brian Krebs notified restaurant chain Buca do Beppo that a cache of approximately 2 million customer records, including credit card and debit card info were for sale on the dark web.
A little over a month later, Buca’s corporate parent, which also owns Planet Hollywood and Earl of Sandwhich announced that it had closed off a 10-month data breach within its payment systems across dozens of locations within those chains.
AuDA, the entity that operates the .AU Top Level Domain has long had rules on the books against “domain warehousing” or speculation. Domain investors (“domainers”) register large numbers of domains in the hopes of monetizing them via pay-per-click or selling them in the aftermarket.
Rules against doing this are hard to get right and even harder to enforce, but auDA is going to give it a shot, to wit, a new rule that says:
“A registrant is prohibited from registering any open domain name for the primary purpose of (a) resale, (b) transfer to another entity or (c) warehousing”
I find these types of rules very short-sighted. In the “What exactly is Cyber-Squatting” sidebar in my book I called these rules “purely subjective” and “sanctimoniously Marxist”. It’s not because easyDNS is in the domain name business —we have virtually NIL domainers here because we don’t play the rock bottom pricing game. Although domaining.com – the industry magazine for domain investors does use us for enterprise DNS. (That captures our positioning right there). But rather because this is an example of a command economy type decree that would only succeed in introducing other, worse, distortions into the market. One of these days I’ll write “the Austrian economic theory behind domain speculation” or something like that.
Sometimes, when I write #AoE or just generally feel like we’re all living in some cyberpunk novel, things can feel pretty bleak – I recognize in myself a tendency towards pessimism and I have to sometimes goad myself to look on the bright side of life. For example I recently started listening to Matt Ridley’s The Rational Optimist and it does a great job of putting all of our lives into a certain perspective vis a vis the not-so-distant past.
On that theme I recently discovered the HumanProgress website, which is also runs some interesting material in that respect, including this article (even though it’s 2 years old) that describes how two substances that possibly acted as a defensive poison for some animals, namely alcohol and caffeine, may have helped tip the evolutionary scales in favour of peoplekind.
Personally I haven’t drank alcohol in 20 years, but I still gotta have my cup-o-joe in the morning before it’s even safe to talk to me, so I can relate.