the most awesome guy ever.

The Blog of Darryl E. Clarke

  Random musings from a jaded coder who just needs a hug.

Posts Tagged ‘privacy’

Google Latitude History

Monday, July 5th, 2010

Google latitude now gives you the option of enabling ‘history’ – you can enable it here.

It’s kind of neat, and I can see it being somewhat fun to use if you go on long trips.  I gave it a little test run while I was on the train back to Toronto the other day – and although I was only using my iPod Touch with WiFi tracking, it was pretty decent as far as being able to keep me pin-pointed as to where I was.

And yes, you get the option to delete parts – or all of your history.  (the lack of tracking between brantford and burlington is due to the lack of wifi in the open country side).

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Posted in Randomness

Oh, Spammers and URL Shorteners

Tuesday, May 11th, 2010

I’ve never really been a big fan of URL shortening services.  My main reason is because you lose a bit of branding and URL recognition from users.  Also the ‘memory’ factor.  Users can’t remember shortened URLs, unless you have an awesome one like bit.ly/hangman.  But now my real reason for disliking the shorteners is the abusive use by spammers.

Spammers are using URL shortening services such as bitly, tr.im, is.gd, etc to make their evil links look a lot less evil.  People have entered a ‘trust’ for short URLs and now spammers are exploiting it.

It’s simple.  Create a nice email, use bitly to obfuscate the destination URL then voila, the user will click it out of interest and wonderment.   Most of these spammers so far have been them drug selling spammers and they all follow the same process – bitly a link to a blog, which has one post linking to their online pharmacy.  Fun times.

The only real cool part is that bitly has public stats available.  Take the bitly url, put a + on the end and bitly will show you stats.  You can see when the spammer started, how many people clicked it and all sorts of fun things.

Ah well. C’est la vie.

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Posted in Randomness

Facebook Changed – Now I Look Bad

Wednesday, April 14th, 2010

This morning I was checking the status of a couple of my Facebook apps when I noticed something strange.

My beloved Hangman! is asking me for my email address.  But.. but.. I never told it to.  Why is it asking me?  I didn’t set the flags that I’m supposed to set. I double checked – the ‘domain’ field is still empty.

I didn’t add any magic to prompt the user. I did nothing, and now I look like an asshole for asking people for email addresses when I explicitly declared this to be bad news.

I hope it’s just a bug and all apps don’t start doing this randomly.

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Posted in Randomness

Don’t Allow Facebook Apps to Get Your Email

Wednesday, March 10th, 2010

Just say no to these prompts. There’s no need a Facebook application has any need to email you directly bypassing the “safe” realm of what Facebook already offers.

Applications that need to contact you can already do so via your in box, application counters, and emailing you via Facebook’s email proxy. (A proxy which protects you from the malicious behaviour I’m about to describe…)  There is just absolutely no reason that Mindjolt (no offense guys, you were the first that I saw this using and the rant below is not directed at you) needs to email me anything, ever… (more…)

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Posted in Security

Don’t Trust Facebook’s Photo Privacy At All

Sunday, November 22nd, 2009

You constantly hear about things happening to people because of things on facebook.  Mostly pictures and how certain people who probably shouldn’t be able to see them somehow managed to see them.

And it goes sort of like this.  I have a photo album called ‘Pets‘ and this album on Facebook.  This album has the privacy setting “Friends Only” and as you will see if you click the link to the album a few things will happen depending on who you are and whether or not you are logged in to Facebook… (more…)

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Posted in Security

GeoLocation Technology is Frightening Me.

Sunday, August 23rd, 2009

Firefox 3.5 added support for “My Location”; Google Maps added a feature “Show My Location.”

One random day I thought I’d try it out and see how well it does. I’m only using a laptop with no real GPS technology built in.  I have a phone, but it doesn’t support anything fancy. It’s just a phone.

When I first clicked the “Show My Location” circle on Google maps, Firefox was kind enough to ask me if it was OK for Google to know this. I said yes, because I wanted to know.  To my surprise, awe, and WTF? It had my location closer than I could have ever imagined. (more…)

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Posted in Randomness