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Posts posted by mountaintree16

  1. 7 hours ago, AdvancedSetup said:

    You know what would probably make a real change is if Owners/CEO/CTO/CFO were actually held criminally neglect and if found guilty, complicit in not taking the appropriate precautions to prevent or authorizing excess access or gathering of user data and had to do at least a short period of time in prison I bet you most of these would come to a halt real soon.


    Like here where Facebook was fined $5 billion dollars but made more than that due to the advertising upswing from the news alone. Though a huge amount of money to most people that is chump change to these huge companies. Time in prison for Owners, CEO/CTO/CFO would surely really slow that train down.



    Agreed!!!!! This NEEDS to happen. 

  2. 7 hours ago, exile360 said:

    Yep, agreed, but it'll never happen, at least not in the US thanks to lobbyists who fight to represent these companies' financial and legal interests.  It's the same reason net neutrality died/was overturned and why the likes of Microsoft, Google, Yahoo, Facebook etc. were all called out over PRISM, yet every single one of them had almost the exact same response, nearly word-for-word (curious, isn't it?) when speaking publicly about the allegations made in the leaked document provided by Edward Snowden.  All this data collection is a great tool for governments, marketing folks, and pretty much anyone who has the means to take advantage of such massive data sets; something that is becoming increasingly accessible via modern hardware and AI/Machine Learning, with powerful GPUs to process all that data becoming more powerful and more widely available every year.  Unfortunately it will not be long before the bad guys begin taking advantage of AI as well, and when they do, the cyber-security industry is going to have a massive issue on its hands in trying to keep things secure.


  3. On 7/31/2019 at 5:37 AM, exile360 said:

    My credit's so bad, anyone trying to pull any sort of credit scam/loan scam using my info would likely find that they'd be better off just being honest and using their own, but if any wealthy criminals feel like taking on my debts and paying them for me, they're more than welcome to it :P 


  4. Great pictures Ron!  I thoroughly enjoyed them!

    I wish I could pet the meercats, hehehe.

    I too was unaware that a swan's mouth was like that, very cool to learn about!

  5. I broke down and got a smartphone about two and a half years ago now.  I use Opera for my browser on it and I love it.  

    I used to use it on my computer but I haven’t downloaded it since I moved yet.  I mostly use Firefox in private mode. 

  6. On 1/25/2019 at 8:55 PM, exile360 said:

    Does anyone else see the irony in a survey about concerns regarding sharing data online requiring that participants enter private demographic information about themselves (i.e. age etc.)?  I get why, I'm just saying, I suspect that some of the individuals you probably want to hear from most won't participate specifically because they guard their privacy and info so intensely.  My personal opinion is that you consider making it more concise and only ask questions relevant to the subject at hand rather than including and requiring answers for questions that really have no bearing on the topic itself.  Again, I understand why you ask these things because you want to establish heuristic patterns based on demographics and trends within each demographic/group with regards to their opinions on privacy/how much/how little data they share online rather than making assumptions and probably have some existing assumptions that you want to either prove or possibly disprove if inaccurate, but it's likely to turn some people off for sure (even when you offer more vague responses as options like a specific age range).  This is especially significant for those of us who understand how machine learning/AI works and how such seemingly anonymous/ancillary data can actually be correlated with other seemingly innocuous data from other sources (both public and held by individual companies' private databases) to determine precisely who an individual is, at least within a very high probability of accuracy.

    Just to cite a widely known and acknowledged example, Google can easily determine who a user is based on their searches based on past searches and data they've collected even when an individual starts using an anonymized service such as Startpage or any other aggregate privacy related search engine that queries Google or any other large data harvesting search engine service provider (Yahoo, Bing/Microsoft, Yandex, Ask etc.).  Machine based profiling is a real thing, and regardless of how much or how little we share deliberately online, these machines and algorithms can and do track far more of our activities and are able to determine far more about us (even outside of our page visits, public postings and search tendencies) than we realize.  They can (and do) even go as far as recognizing our typing patterns which some researchers say can be as accurate and unique as an individual's fingerprint in identifying them (this is no different from the way AI can recognize a person on a video feed or through motion sensors based on the gate and rhythm of their steps/body movement as they walk, even if it can't see or recognize their face, clothing or any other markers related to their physical appearance).  Just like playing a game of poker with a single deck, if you do the math you can easily determine the probability of winning or losing based on the cards that have turned up so far and the cards in your own hand without knowing what your opponents have in their own.  AI and complex mathematics allow these organizations to do the same thing with people, using metadata, public info and the aggregate to determine more specific things about them, both based on connections within the data itself as well as assumptions based on knowledge of other individuals with similar data that it already knows more about as well as what it knows of people and the data sets in general (i.e. if it determines you are not an infant, which is likely always assumed, that's one possibility eliminated; if it sees you visited WebMD on multiple occasions and at least a few of the items you viewed were specific to one biological gender, then that's another; if it sees you looking up the weather for a particular country/city/state/province etc., there's a hint as to your probable location) and all of these things add up to a profile that is retained and constantly cross-referenced and refined until it either identifies precisely who you are or determines a sufficient amount of data about you to satisfy its classification requirements for whatever its purpose is (obviously many of these entities behind these programs don't actually care about identifying individuals, but would be interested in things such as your purchasing habits, tastes in entertainment, topics of interest, political leanings etc. etc.).

    On top of all this, the things we've learned about what certain governments have done/are doing is just downright terrifying and I'm pretty convinced that privacy is essentially an illusion at this point if you use any kind of digital device (including a television now that they exclusively use digital signals which are 2-way and service providers now know what you watch and when without any kind of 'Nielsen' box in your home) and with smart home/IoT devices becoming commonplace as well as 'always on/always connected' devices in our lives such as cell phones (especially smart phones, equipped with everything a surveillance organization could ever want to put on anyone they wanted to track/spy on, including a camera, microphone, motion sensors, GPS along with all the usual call logs/text logs and internet logs that go with such devices), anyone with access can learn more than they'd ever want to about any and all of us without us volunteering anything knowingly/willingly.  It is the ultimate sacrifice of personal privacy and security for convenience and we all go right along with it all the while as AI gets smarter and the technology that powers it becomes orders of magnitude more powerful every year (for example, both major GPU manufacturers are now far more interested in building the most powerful 'compute card' than building the most powerful 'graphics card' like they used to be, and even Intel has plans to get into the GPU business within the next couple of years for that very reason).

    It's like we all woke up one day and the world had changed completely while we slept without us realizing it, with the most powerful organizations now being those with the most data rather than the most assets and the consumer/user now being the product rather than the buyer/user of products.  Coke and Pepsi still taste the same, but their purpose has changed, and TV is still entertaining but now you are the show that everyone tunes in to.

    That’s creepy :(

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