DTNS 2419a – Opting Out of Opacity

Logo by Mustafa Anabtawi thepolarcat.comDarren Kitchen is on the show and we’ll talk about transparency in light of Google’s new commitments to privacy and Reddit’s new transparency report. Plus Len Peralta tries to illustrate transparency. Will you be able to see what he draws?!?


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Show Notes

Today’s guest: Darren Kitchen of hak5.org and Len Peralta, artist!

Check out Len’s show art this week, it’s pretty hilariously awesome.



The NY Times reports Verizon announced Friday it will soon allow wireless users to completely opt out of its supercookie tracking program. Previously customers could opt out of the tracking being USED by anyone but the tracking still happened. This allowed clever third parties to figure out how to track users anyway. Expanding the optout to remove the number called a “UIDH” will be available “soon.”

CNET reports on a recent upgrade to China’s Internet filtering system to make it harder to circumvent with VPN and providing more scope to block unwanted material. A senior official confirmed that popular VPN Astrill has been disrupted.

Bloomberg reports AOL is firing 150 employees and closing TUAW and Joystiq, folding content from the sites into Engadget. Most of the job cuts come from the sales division. A source told Bloomberg AOL is automating its digital ad sales and simplifying its portfolio. TechCrunch reports Parentdish in the UK and MyDaily, also in the UK, are going to become a part of Huffington Post’s UK site. AOL reports Q4 earnings on Feb. 11. TUAW’s last day as TUAW is Feb. 2.

Rap artist Jay-Z has tabled a bid to purchased a Swedish company called Aspiro for $56 million US dollars. Aspiro runs the WiMP and Tidal music streamign services. CNET reports WiMP is popular in Scandinavia, Germany and Poland with 25 million songs, 75,000 music videos, and half a million subscribers. Tidal is a streaming service in the US and UK that focuses on high quality audio in the lossless FLAC format. Shake it off? Oh hell no. Jay-Z’s the new Sinatra, he can make it anywhere, yeah they love him everywhere.

Alameda is not just for nuclear wessels anymore. CNET reports that what seems to be a Tesla Model X was caught on camera, during testing at the former Alameda Naval Air Station near San Francisco. The video shows a car slightly more angular but similar to the Model X concept unveiled in 2012. The Model X is Telsa’s take on an all-electric SUV. The video was caught on an iPhone 5 and uploaded to YouTube.

Engadget reports that British Telecom, known as BT, says faster broadband is coming to the UK. BT has been testing G.fast a technology that uses a wider frequency band to increase performance on copper wire. Two pilot programs will begin this summer in Huntingdon (Cambridgeshire) and Gosforth (Newcastle) with speeds of a few hundred megabits per second which will be increased to 500 mbps over time to around 4,000 homes and businesses. Delivering those speeds to most of the UK, however will take about a decade.

Engadget reports starting today, Google Now will support cards with data from more than 40 third-party apps. For example apps like Pandora can push a card recommending a playlist or if you land at an airport a Lyft card might quote you a fare for a ride. The feature does not share data with the third-parties and works only on Android and only with selected apps.

The Verge reports Google is moving another program from research to regular old corporate division. Project Tango, the 3D-sensing and scanning technology is leaving the Advanced Technology and Projects group, aka ATAP, and into Google proper, though reporting to whom is not yet announced. Google said the same thing it did about Google Glass, namely it will keep iterating and building new devices and this is a step towards a final consumer product. But for some reason none of the headlines seeem to say Project Tango is dead. Hmm.




News From You: 

goofball_jones pointed out the VentureBeat article about Reddit’s first transparency report. Reddit revealed that it received 55 requests for user info in 2014, all from government agencies and all but 5 from the US. It provided some information in response to 32 of the requests. 218 requests were made to remove content and 68 of those requests were granted, all on copyright grounds. Last month Reddit had 3.2 million logged in users.

spsheridan submitted the Huffington Post article that Google has agreed to changes regarding user policy as the result of discussion with the UK Information Commissioner’s Office. The changes, which will apply to all Google users globally, will make its privacy policy easier to read and to find and give users more control over what information is shared. It will also do more to make employees, third parties, and users aware of privacy issues. While Google agreed to changes, ICO enforcement head Steve Eckersley said the investigation found no substantial damage and distress to consumers.

Discussion Section Links: Transparency






Pick of the Day: Off to be the Wizard via Big Jim


Monday’s guest: Christian Cantrell