There are a lot of idealistic ventures out there, but to grow, often founders have to compromise them. It comes back to our thoughts at Medinge over a decade ago about āFinance is broken.ā Because of these compromises, we donāt really advance as much as we should, and some brilliant ideas from young people arenāt given the chance they deserve. This needs to change. We already have branding as a tool to help us, and we know that more authentic, socially responsible brands can cut through the clutter. When these ventures start up, brands are an important part of the equation.
How are governments going to fund this universal basic income if they themselves arenāt getting a decent tax take? Itās the same question thatās plagued us for decades.
Douglas sees ventures like Ćber to be the same-old: its customer really is its investor, and thatās not a new concept at all. Itās why we canāt even consider Ćber to be a good brandāand the tense relationships it often has with governments and the public are indications of that. Itās not, as Douglas suggests, even a driver co-op. Itās still all about making money the old-fashioned way, albeit with newer tools.
Worrying but true: some of the biggest companies in the world are required to grow because of their shareholders. As a result, theyāre not creating sustainable revenue. āIf youāre one of the top fifty biggest companies in the world and youāre still required to grow, thatās a real problem.ā
Kids these days arenāt as into all this technology and social networks as we are. Thank goodness. When Facebook reports another billion have joined, youāll know theyāre BSing you and counting all the bots.
Many people see things as though they were created by God and accept them. Douglas gives the examples of Facebook and religion. I can add the capitalist and socialist models we have. If people believe them to be God-given, or natural, then they feel helpless about changing them. We need to wake people up and remind them these are human-made constructsāand they can be unmade by humans, and replaced with better ideas that actually work for us all.
Instagram, on announcing their cancellation, said that not many people used its maps, which is a shameālooks like I was one of the few who did. For those seeking an alternative, the Data Pack has a map that you can use here. It’s not bad, though being on another site, it’s less handy to get to. Here’s mine, and for those who are wondering why the US and Canada aren’t that populated with photos, they’re simply countries I haven’t gone to regularly since I joined Instagram in November 2012.
This is BS. You can remove all you like (mine has tended to be completely blank for most of 2016) but in the last few days, Facebook has been repopulating this page. This is despite my having Facebook interest-based ads switched off. Thereās actually no need, then, for Facebook to keep these, and many of them are inaccurate anyway. Yet various advertising bodies, of which Facebook is a member, are too scared to investigate.
Here’s my ads’ preferences’ page on June 14. I had been keeping an eye on this, and keeping it clear since March 2016.
Even as late as October 25, 2016, there were very few things in there. While Facebook shouldn’t be collecting this data, at least it allowed me to delete itāas it claims you can. And no, I’ve never heard of Mandy Capristo.
Regularly since November 27, 2016, Facebook has repopulated this page, putting all deleted preferences back. This was how it looked on November 28. Within hours Facebook would repopulate it, so any deleting is useless.
Not only has Facebook repopulated the page, by today it’s added even more preferences. I’ve been through five rounds of repopulation now.
More BS (links and a lot of comments here and here). Thereās plenty of evidence to show that Facebookās so-called detection systems target certain accounts. A computer identified as having malware, necessitating a user to download their so-called anti-malware products, still works for other users, who arenāt confronted with the same prompts. Companies like Kaspersky clam up and even delete comments when you begin asking them about the programs Facebook gets you to download. Once downloaded, they canāt even be found in your installed programsā list: they are hidden. No one in the tech press wants to cover this. Scared? Weāve our theory about why they want to slow down some users, and thereās some suggestion that you can ignore the warnings and log into Facebook several days laterāthe same thing that has happened to users in the past whose Facebook accounts have become faulty due to their database issues. Coincidence?
āWeāre also testing a new tool that will let people provide more information about their circumstances if they are asked to verify their name. People can let us know they have a special circumstance, and then give us more information about their unique situation.ā
There have been instances of the drag community, for instance, whose accounts have simply vanished with no means of defending themselves and giving Facebook those circumstances. Facebook claimed that the above applied to the US only in December 2015. However, in 2014, Chris Cox of Facebook wrote, āOur policy has never been to require everyone on Facebook to use their legal name.ā Try telling that to the people who have lost their accounts and never given a chance to give their side of the story.
Facebook has 1Ā·79 billion monthly active users.
While I canāt counter this myself, thereās plenty of evidence to show that the site has problems with spammers and bots. If you run a large enough group, thereās a good chance that the majority of new members in your queue are not human. Therefore, you might not actually be reaching the number of people you want in Facebookās calculations. Since the ad preferences have some very strange information on users, Iām not that convinced about the accuracy of targeting anyway. Facebook is complicit in spam by supporting click farms, according to Veritasium.
Iām really impressed with Meizuās latest Flyme OS upgrades. I didnāt know that they were there, but then I have a lot of my notifications turned off. After discovering there was one, I went from my existing 4.5 (I had already upgraded once since I bought the phone) to 5.1, and everything worked fine. There was another sub-version upgrade the same night. US software vendors could learn a lot from this Chinese company.
It wasnāt perfect (I made some notes on my Tumblr) but it was a darn sight better than some of the upgrades Iāve had on Mac and Windows. I accept there is less to go wrong with cellphones, but Iāve heard many a complaint from IOS users about their upgrades. The phone feels faster, and after a bit of exploring through the menus, Iāve turned off resource-hogging notifications and data-sucking settings. I stand by my earlier review of my Meizu M2 Noteāif they keep up this level of reliability, and can remain Google-free, Iād happily buy from them again.
Iāve just switched from Inside, the much vaunted news app from entrepreneur Jason Calacanis, to Wildcard as my principal news app on my phone. I never got to use Circa (which I understand Jason was also behind), which sounded excellent: by the time I downloaded it, they had given up.
But we all need news, and I donāt like the idea of apps that are from a single media organization.
Inside seemed like a good idea, and I even got round to submitting news items myself. The idea is that the items there are curated by users, shared via the app. There was a bit of spam, but the legit stuff outnumbered it.
However, I canāt understand the choices these days. A few items I put in from Radio New Zealand, Māori Television and The New Zealand Herald were fineāstories about the flag and the passing of Dr Ranginui Walker, for instanceābut none of the ones about the passing of Martin Crowe, possibly of more international interest, remained.
There were other curious things: anything from Autocar is summarily rejected (they donāt even appear) while I notice Jalopnik is fine. When it comes to cars, this is the only place where the publication with the longest history in the sector is outranked by a web-only start-up, whose pieces are enjoyable but not always accurate. The only car piece it accepted from me was about Tesla selling in Indiana, but Renault, Volkswagen, Lamborghini, Porsche, Aston Martin and other manufacturersā news didnāt make it. This I donāt get. And I like to think I know a little bit about cars, in the week when Autocade hit 8,000,000 page views.
Now, if this is meant to be an international app, downloadable by everyone, then it should permit those of us in our own countries to have greater say in what is relevant to our compatriots.
Visit the New Zealand category, and you see a few items from yours truly, but then after that, they are few and far between: the Steven Joyce dildo incident, for example, and you donāt have to scroll much to see the Otago car chase being stopped by sheep last January. A bit more has happened than these events, thank you. No wonder Americans think nothing happens here.
According to Inside, these news itemsāseparated only by one about Apple issuing a recall in our part of the worldāare far more important to users following the New Zealand category than Martin Crowe’s death.
The UK is only slightly better off, but not by much. I notice my submission about Facebook not getting away with avoiding taxes in the UK vanished overnight, too.
News of the royal baby in Sweden wasnāt welcome just now. Nor was the news about the return of one of the Hong Kong booksellers, but news from Bloomberg of a luxury home on the Peak, which I submitted last month, was OK. Lulaās questioning by police has also disappeared (admittedly my one was breaking news, and very short), though Inside does have a later one about his brief arrest.
Yet to locals, the rejected ones are important, more important than Gladys Knight singing to a cop or a knife on O. J. Simpsonās estate (which have made it).
This is a very American app, and thatās fine: itās made by a US company, and Iām willing to bet most of its users are American. However, the āallā feed, in my view, should be global; those who want news tailored to them already have the choice of selecting their own topics. (Itās the first thing the app gets you to do after signing in.) And if some fellow in New Zealand wants to submit, then he should have the same capacity as someone in the US. After all, there are more of them than there are of us, and I hardly think my contributions (which now keep vanishing!) will upset the status quo.
Or does it?
I mean, I have posted the odd thing from The Intercept about their countryās elections.
Whatever the case, I think itās very odd for an app in the second decade of the century to be so wedded to being geocentric. I can understand getting stuff weeded out for quality concernsāI admit Iāve posted the odd item that is an op-ed rather than hard newsābut this obsession to be local, not global, reinforces some false and outdated stereotypes about the US.
Itās like Facebook not knowing that time zones outside US Pacific Time exist and believing its 750 million (as it then was) users all lived there.
My advice to app developers is: if you donāt intend your work to be global, then donāt offer it to the global market. Donāt let me find your app on a Chinese app centre. Say that itās for your country only and let it be.
Or, at least be transparent about how your apps work, because I canāt find anything from Inside about its curation processes other than the utopian, idealistic PR that says weāre all welcome, and we all have a chance to share. (We do. Just our articles donāt stay on the feed for very long.)
Wildcard has an attractive user interface, and its mixture of news is more appealing, especially if you want more depth.
Admittedly, Iāve only been on Wildcard for less than a day but Iāve already found it more international in scope. It also has more interesting editorial items. It is still US-developedāeast coast this time, instead of west coastābut it supplements its own news with whatās in your Twitter feed. Itās not as Twitter-heavy as Nuzzel, which I found too limited, but seems to give me a mixture of its own curation with those of my contacts. The user interface is nice, too.
Iām not writing off Inside altogetherāif youāre after a US-based, US-centric news app, then itās probably excellent, although I will leave that decision to its target market. I can hardly judge when dildos matter more to its users than the greatest cricket batsman in our country.
For me, Wildcard seems to be better balanced, it doesnāt make promises about public curation that it canāt keep, and Iāve already found myself spending far more time browsing its pieces than the relatively small amount that seem to remain on Inside. It is still a bit US-biased in these first 24 hours, probably because it hasnāt taken that much from my Twitter contacts yet. There seems to be more news on it and Iām getting a far better read, even of the US-relevant items. Iām looking forward to using it more: it just seems that much more 21st-century.
Other than for the landline, Iāve never bought a phone before. Each cellphone has come as a result of a company plan or a loyalty gift from the telco, but when my Huawei Ascend Y200 began needing resets several times a dayāIāve had computer experts tell me this is the phone, or the SD card (like any endeavour, itās hard to find agreement; this is like saying that the problem with an axe lies with the handle or the blade)āI decided to replace it. Plus, having built websites for clients it seemed only fair to have a device on which I could test them on an OS newer than Android 2.3, and after a few days I have to say the Meizu M2 Note has been worth every penny. (The Xiaomi Redmi Note 2 was on the shortlist but the Meizu performed better in online tests, e.g. this one.)
You can find the specs on this device elsewhere, in reviews written by people far more au fait with cellular technology than me, but a few things about arriving in the mid-2010s with such a gadget struck me as worth mentioning.
First, I opted for a blue one. Theyāre usually cheaper. Since I have a case for it, I donāt have to put up with the colour on the back anyway, so why not save a few bucks if the guts are the same?
Secondly, itās astonishing to think in five inches I have the same number of pixels as I do in 23 inches on my monitor.
Thirdly, cellular battery technology has come a heck of a long way. (Down side: you canāt replace it in this device.)
But hereās an absolutely wonderful bonus I never expected: itās Google-free. Yes, the Flyme OS is built on Googleās Android 5.1.1, but the beauty of buying a phone from a country where Google is persona non grata is that Iām not stuck with all the crap I had on the Telstra Clear-supplied Huawei. No Google Plus, Google Play Store, Gmail, Google Maps and all the other stuff I had to switch off constantly. I could have had the phone rooted but it never was a big enough priority, even with my dislike of the big G.
I donāt know how much ultimately gets back to Google through simply using its OS, but Iāve managed to keep away from signing in to any of their services. In this post-Snowden era, I regard that as a good thing.
The phone booted up for the first time and gave me English as an option (as the seller indicated), so the deviceās OS is all in the language Iām most fluent in. However, itās not that weird for me to have Chinese lettering around, so the apps that stayed in the Chinese language are comprehensible enough to me. There is an app store that isnāt run by Google, at which all the apps are availableāInstagram, Dolphin Browser, Opera Mini, plus some of the other admin tools I use. Nothing has shown up in my Google Dashboard. The store is in Chinese, but if you recognize the icon you should be all right, and the apps work in the language youāve set your OS to.
The China-only apps arenāt hard to dispose of, and the first ones to go were Netease, Dianping (I donāt even use an Anglo dining review app, so why would I need a China-only one?), Amap (again, it only works in China, and it can be easily reinstalled through Autonavi and its folded paper icon), and 116114, an app from a Chinese telco. Weibo I donāt mind keeping, since I already have an account, and I can see some utility to retaining Alipay, the painting app, and a few others.
And having a Google-free existence means I now have Here Maps, the email is set up with my Zoho āboxes, and 1Weather replaces the default which only gives Chinese cities.
What is remarkable is that the Chinese-designed default apps are better looking than the western counterparts, which is not something you hear very often. The opposite was regularly the case. A UI tipping-point could have happened.
I also checked the 2G, 3G and 4G frequencies against Vodafone New Zealand’s to ensure compatibilityāthere are at least two different M2 Notes on the market, so caveat emptor. Vodafone also recommends installing only one SIM, which suits me fine, as the other slot is occupied by a 64 Gbyte micro-SD card.
The new Flyme-based-on-Android keyboard isnāt particularly good though, and I lose having a full set of smart quotes, a proper apostrophe, and en and em dashes, but far more obscure Latin-2 glyphs are accessible. Iām not sure what the logic is behind this.
I had an issue getting the Swift keyboard to install, but Iāve opted for Swype, which, curiously, like the stock keyboard, is missing common characters. Want to type a g with a breve for ErdoÄan? Or a d with a caron? Easy. An en dash? Impossible.
This retrograde step doesnāt serve me and there are a few options in Swype. First, I had to add the Russian keyboard, which does give an em dash, alongside the English one, though I havenāt located a source of en dashes yet. Secondly, after copying and pasting in a proper apostrophe from a document, I proceeded to type in words to commit them to my personal Swype dictionary: itās, heād, sheāll, wonāt, etc. This technique has worked, and while itās not 100 per cent perfect as thereāll be words I missed, itās better than nowt.
I see users have been complaining about the omissions online for three years, and if nothing has been done by now, I doubt Swypeās developers are in a rush to sort it.
Swypeās multilingual keyboards are easy to switch between, work well, but I havenāt tried my Kiwi accent on the Dragon-powered speech recognition software within.
Going from a 3Ā·2 Mpixel camera to a 13 Mpixel one has been what I expected, and finally I get a phone with a forward-facing camera for the first time since the mid-2000s (before selfies became de rigueur). Itās worth reminding oneself that a 13 Mpixel camera means files over 5 Mbyte are commonplace, and thatās too big for Twitter. Iām also going to have to expect to need more storage space offline, as I always back up my files.
I havenāt found a way to get SMSs off yet (suggestions are welcome), unlike the Huawei, but transferring other files (e.g. photos and music) is easier. Whereas the Huawei needed to have USB sharing switched on, the Meizu doesnāt care, and you can treat it as a hard drive when connected to your PC without doing anything. That, too, has made life far easier.
Iāve been able to upgrade the OS without issue, and Microsoft (and sometimes Apple) would do well to learn from this.
It leaves the name, Meizu (é ę), which in Cantonese at least isnāt the most pleasant when translatedāletās say itās all a bit Goblin King. Which may be appropriate this week.
Iām not one who ever gets a device for imageās sake, and I demand that they are practical. So far, the Meizu hasnāt let me down with its eight cores, 16 Gbyte ROM and 4G capability, all for considerably less than a similarly equipped cellphone that wears an Apple logo. And itās nice to know that this side of Apple, one can have a Google-free device.
An interesting weekend on Facebook. Despite regaining access, Iām not allowed to post links (with the accusation that my computer is infectedāsee above), and after considerable research, I know this to be completely untrue. The Facebook malware accusations are targeted at certain users and, from the tiny sample of four that have responded to me, we are all heavy users. Just as I theorized back in June 2014 when Facebook shut down for me for 69 hours, some of us have reached a limit on their servers.
Boffins, and Facebook, say that thatās impossible, but there have been countless signs of that over the years. Most were recorded on Get Satisfaction before Facebook shut down that community (how convenient). Among them were things such as Facebook being unable to show me every video I had uploadedāthe list began at 2011 and earlier ones were omittedāand the many occasions where I could no longer post, comment, like or share. Thereās a direct parallel to my experiences on the former Vox.com, which Six Apart confirmed in 2009 and which they had no official answer for.
Whatās the best course of action if Facebook accuses you of malware and forces you to download one of their programs from Trend Micro, F-Secure or Kaspersky? Delete your cookies. Once you do that, you can regain access, though, like me, youāll have a limited account where link-sharing is impossible. Initially, I was able to share a few links after my accessing Facebook, but it eventually became a blanket block, with the odd one getting through (two a day in my case).
If you want to be extra-safe, run the free version of Malware Bytes. The free one wonāt conflict with your existing antivirus set-up (Iām not trying to do Malware Bytes out of money), but, like the rest of us, youāll likely discover that your system is clean.
One woman got around this by downloading a new browser, although she was also limited on the link-posting.
Whatever you do, do not listen to these big firms. Facebook, Google et al are, as Iāve been documenting over the years, particularly deceptive. Iāve still had to deal with the remnants of Facebookās scan switching off McAfee, nearly two days later.
Facebookās apparently had many complaints about this since 2014, so Iām hardly the first to encounter it. Blaming malware for their own databasing issues is cheap, but enough people will believe itāeven with my mistrust of these big Silicon Valley firms I still did their malware scan, not thinking I had a choice if I wanted to access the site again. What it really did during the scan is anyoneās guess.
Iād rather they come clean and tell people: you are allowed x posts a day, x links a day, and x photos and videos a day. I can work around that. But if they came clean about this and the number of click-farm workers and bots plaguing the site, what will that do to their share price?
And isn’t it ironic I can presently share more, and have more freedom of speech, on Weibo, monitored by the Chinese Communist Party?
PS.: As of the last week of April, I have had two reports that deleting cookies does not work, but switching browsers does. Facebook appears to find a way to identify you, your regular browser and your IP address together, without cookies.
P.PS.: Mid-May, and from my other thread on this topic, in the post-postscripts: āAndrew McPherson was hit with this more recently, with Facebook blocking the cookie-deleting method in some cases, and advises, “If you get this, you will need to change your Facebook password to something very long (a phrase will do), delete and clear your browsers cache and history, then delete your browser, then renew your IP address to a different number and then reinstall your browsers.” If you cannot change your IP address but are using a router, then he suggests refreshing the address on that. Basically, Facebook is making it harder and harder for us to work around their bug. Once again, if you sign on using a different account using the same āinfectedā computer, there are no problemsāwhich means the finger of blame should remain squarely pointed at Facebook.’
Above: While the Kaspersky scan proceeded, McAfee was knocked out and could not be switched on. Coincidence?
Unlike most people, I have options open to me, so I began to go on to Facebook using several different methods. A VirtualBox containing XP on the same computer was fine, if incredibly slow while Kaspersky was doing its thing. (Think about Windows XP on a 386.) Lubuntu was fine as well, as was Mac OS X. I Tweeted the McAfee community link, and thought it odd that it did not appear in Facebook (I have my Twitter set up to post there). I then tried to paste the link into Facebook manually, whereupon, in Lubuntu and Mac OS, I was told that my computer was now infected with either a virus or malware. Unlike Windows, I had the option of telling them they were in error, and I was able to continue using the machines.
This really sounds like Facebook and Kaspersky have it in for McAfee and, possibly, rival products, if the scan knocks out your choice of antivirus and anti-malware program, and if the mere mention of mcafee.com inside Facebook results in a warning box saying your computer is infected.
Above: On a Mac, I couldn’t even tell people about the post on mcafee.com. The second I did, Facebook said my computer was infected. The same thing happened on Lubuntu. Facebook accuses you of infection on the mere mention of mcafee.com.
Eventually, the entire system froze, and while I could still move the mouse about, I couldnāt access the task bar or go to other programs.
I was forced to do a hard reboot.
But youāre asking now: was I ever infected? No. Itās Google all over again. Peter, the very knowledgeable McAfee support tech who came to my aid many years ago, was present again and put me on to two other programs after this restart. Getsusp analysed my system for malware, and, you guessed it, found nothing. Malware Bytes did the same, and found some PUPs (potentially unwanted programs), all of which I knew about, and I had intentionally installed. Theyāve been present for years. In other words, two other malware scanners told me my system was clean. Malware Bytes did, however, restore McAfee as the correct antivirus program, exactly as Peter had predicted.
He also suggested a system restore, which sadly failed, with Windows giving the reason that an antivirus program was running. Having restored this system once before (after some bad advice from Microsoft), I knew it couldnāt be McAfee. The only difference on this computer: I had had Kaspersky doing its Facebook scan. It appears that Facebook and Kaspersky donāt want you restoring your system.
I had fixed the newer issues, but the original one remained: I couldnāt get on to Facebook. The Kaspersky scan never finishes, incidentallyāyouāre stuck on 62, 73 or 98 per centāand while not having a personal Facebook is no great loss, I have businesses that have presences there.
I stumbled across a Reddit thread where others had been forced to download antivirus programs by Facebook, and, fortunately, a woman there had found where hers resided. In my case, it was at C:\Users\USERNAME\AppData\Local\Temp\FBScanner_331840299. Deleting this, and all cookies mentioning Facebook and Kaspersky, restored my access.
What to do if you ever come across this? My advice is to, first, run Malware Bytes, but ensure you run the free version, and do not opt for the trials. Once youāre satisfied your computer is clean, head into your cookies and delete all the Facebook ones, and any from the antivirus provider it recommends.This second Reddit thread may be helpful, too. I donāt know if this will work completely, but anything is preferable to following Facebookās instructions and wasting your time. I really need to stop following instructions from these big firmsāyouād think after all these years, Iād know better.
PS.: I found this video from last July which suggests the malware accusations have nothing to do with your computer set-up:
In addition, I cannot paste any links in Facebook. The situation began deteriorating after I regained access. Initially, I could paste and like a few things, but that facility eventually disappeared. Regardless of platform, I get the same error I did on the Mac yesterday (see screen shot above). Liking things results in the below error, and the wisdom there is to wait it out till Facebook staff get back to work on Monday.
P.PS.: Holly Jahangiri confronted the same issue as I did a few days later. She was smarter than me: she didn’t download the anti-malware malware. Have a read of her post here: other than that one difference, it’s almost play for play what happened to me for four days. She’s also rightly frustrated, as I am, by Facebook’s inaction when it’s legitimately needed.
P.P.P.PS.: I’m beginning to hear that deleting cookies will not work (April 26). Facebook seems intent on having you download their suspicious junk. In those cases, people have switched to another browser.
P.P.P.P.PS.:Andrew McPherson was hit with this more recently, with Facebook blocking the cookie-deleting method in some cases, and advises, ‘If you get this, you will need to change your Facebook password to something very long (a phrase will do), delete and clear your browsers cache and history, then delete your browser, then renew your IP address to a different number and then reinstall your browsers.’ If you cannot change your IP address but are using a router, then he suggests refreshing the address on that. Basically, Facebook is making it harder and harder for us to work around their bug. Once again, if you sign on using a different account using the same “infected” computer, there are no problemsāwhich means the finger of blame should remain squarely pointed at Facebook.
P.P.P.P.P.P.PS.: January 28, 2017: David has come up with a great solution in the comments (no. 103). You can fool Facebook into thinking you are using a Mac by changing the user-agent. He suggests a Chrome Extension. I have Modify Headers for Firefox, which might work, too.
With Google and Ford announcing they will team up to make self-driving cars, I have some concerns.
Iām not in Luddite position on the idea of self-driving cars. Potentially, they can be far safer than what we have today. I see so many godawful drivers out thereāNew Zealand has a very high road toll based on our small population, and itās not hard to see whyāand the self-driving car canāt be a bad thing. Active safety, active cruise control, and other features all point to be a better future on our roads.
However, is Google the right firm? You donāt need to look too far (especially on this blog) to find some Google misdeed, a company that happily does dodgy things till it gets busted.
Imagine the future.
ā¢ The car has no brakes until you sign up to Google Plus, then log in.
ā¢ You cannot enter the car till you load a Google Play app on to your phone. You have to agree to a bunch of settings which you don’t even read, but essentially you’ve let them monitor you.
ā¢ If you have a car accident in a Google car, thereās no phone number for anyone to call. You have to sign up to the support forums where youāre told by Google volunteers that itās your fault for misusing the software. Or they just ignore you. You spend several years trying to get your case heard.
ā¢ Google listens to all your in-car conversations so it can deliver targeted advertising to you, until you opt out of this feature in your Google Account settings.
ā¢ Google hacks your devices while you are near the car, even if you have Do Not Track or other privacy settings turned on. They continue doing this till the Murdoch Press writes an article about it or they get reported to an industry association.
ā¢ Doubleclick targeted advertising appears in the carās central LCD screen.
ā¢ All routes that the Google cars choose go past advertisers’ brick-and-mortar stores.
ā¢ Google Street View is updated a lot more, which sounds great, till you realize it’s been updated with images from your latest journey.
ā¢ Unless you opt out, Google actually drives you to the store which has the goods you mentioned in a private Gmail message, even though you don’t need the product and it just came up casually in conversation.
ā¢ When US state attorneys-general sue Google over wasted time with the cars driving you to these stores, the penalty is roughly four hours of the companyās earnings.
Autonomous cars are part of our future. But I’ll opt for the tech of a firm I trust more, thank you. And right now, I even trust Volkswagen more than Google.
With the mouse being the culprit on my main computer causing mouse and keyboard to be unresponsive in Windows 7(Iāve still no idea when Windows 10 arrives and Microsoft has been no help at all), I decided to shop for a new one again. The failed mouse was one I bought in 2012, which also made it the most short-lived. Made by Logitech, I had expected better. It replaced a 2002 Microsoft mouse which was my daily unit, and that had failed around 2013. Another Logitech, a few years older, was already giving up the ghost when plugged into the office Mac, and I transferred that to an old Windows machine that we use very irregularly for testing. It was fine there, but the fact it only works on Windows (and Linux, as I later found out) meant that itās faulty in some way.
One thing I did know, although mice fail in my care less easily than keyboards, is that quality was important. Some months ago, Corporate Consumables advertised old-style Microsoft mice for NZ$12. Considering that type isnāt made today, I assume it was old stock they were trying to get rid of. It was the most comfortable I had used last decade, but it appeared that the NZ$12 sale was successful: there were none left.
I headed again to Atech Computers on Wakefield Street, as Matthew had always looked after me and knew I could be fussy. He sold me a Lenovo mouse (above), which he believed would have better quality than the Logitechs, and let me try it out. It was fine at the shopāit was more sizeable than the Logitechābut after prolonged use I discovered it wasnāt wide enough. My ring and little fingers were dragging on the mouse pad, but since there was nothing technically wrong with it, it wouldnāt be right to return it. Lesson learned for NZ$30: itās not just the length, width is important, too. That Lenovo is now plugged into the Linux PC and the older Logitech put aside for now. I might wind up giving it away knowing that itās not in the best condition, having given away quite a few recycled PCs of late from both myself and a friend when she got new gear for her office.
Corporate Consumables had let me see a dead-stock Microsoft Laser Mouse 6000 on my earlier visit and I decided I would give that a go. Armed with the Lenovo, I went to the Wellington office to compare the two and the width was, indeed, right. It was a bit closer to the 2002 model I had. It was narrower, but the sculpted design meant I had somewhere to rest my ring finger, within the body of the mouse. Although manufactured in 2005, it was still in its packaging and Corporate sold it to me at a very low price.
I donāt mind that it left the factory a decade ago, if, roughly, the newer the mouse, the shorter the life. A 10-year-old mouse might last me another decade or so. A few years back, I bought a Microtek Scanmaker 5800 to replace a faulty 5700: although it was obsolete and I bought dead stock, it was at about a third of the price of what it was when brand-new last decade, and it plugged into my system without any software alteration. As long as a gadget delivers the quality I wantāand the 5800 gave better results than a newer scanner with a plastic lens, for exampleāthen I donāt really mind that that particular model isnāt the latest thing. Even the office printer was in a box for about five or six years before it replaced something we bought in 2003 that had gone kaput.
Have mice changed that much between 2005 and 2015? Not really: they do the same thing, more or less, and the old ones might be better made. Iām perfectly happy with bringing something forth into October 2015 that isnāt a De Lorean DMC-12 with a Mr Fusion on the back.