Telecom companies sold data intended to be used by 911 operators

Around 250 bounty hunters and related businesses had access to AT&T, T-Mobile, and Sprint customer location data, according to documents obtained by Motherboard. The documents also show that telecom companies sold data intended to be used by 911 operators and first responders to data aggregators, who sold it to bounty hunters. The data was in some cases so accurate that a user could be tracked to specific spots inside a building… More here.

Thanks to Bob for the above. It gets scarier and scarier.

Do not track, screen captures etc

Apps like Abercrombie & Fitch, and Singapore Airlines also use Glassbox, a customer experience analytics firm, one of a handful of companies that allows developers to embed “session replay” technology into their apps. These session replays let app developers record the screen and play them back to see how its users interacted with the app to figure out if something didn’t work or if there was an error. Every tap, button push and keyboard entry is recorded — effectively screenshotted — and sent back to the app developers… More at TC.

Sometimes it feels as though there is no way for one person to protect themselves anymore.

As spotted by DuckDuckGo, the release notes for the newest version of Safari say the company has “removed support for the expired Do Not Track standard to prevent potential use as a fingerprinting variable.” In other words, the DNT signal was being used as a way to track people. Irony alert… More here.

Not sure it ever worked for me from the start.

So if you’ve recently lost an iPhone, be very careful about phishing attempts. Especially watch out for emails or texts claiming to be from Apple notifying you your device has been found and asking for your login credentials to prove it’s yours. It would be best to be wary of any messages that seem to be from Apple… More here.

Starting to consider pen and paper, and a Nokia 101 as the way forward.

Yet another eBay scam

As eBay sees that the package has been delivered to the postal area, it assumes it was received and issues a refund. The problem is, Royal Mail’s tracking does not include the full address, just the postal town. We believe this loophole is being exploited by scammers… More here.

I don’t sell on eBay anymore. From countless people messaging to offer silly amounts for items to people who return a different item to so many other problems, it is no longer worth it for sellers. Buyers can literally do what they want.

Digital assets

When Swezey died in an accident two years ago, he left behind his husband, their two kids — and access to precious photos stored in the 45-year-old’s password-protected Apple account.

Now a Manhattan judge is ordering Apple to give Swezey’s surviving husband, Nicholas Scandalios, the needed access to any photos behind the Apple ID… More here.

This brings to mind the fact that we all need to consider our digital assets before we die.


Fakespot determines the trustworthiness of reviews using artificial intelligence… More here.

Simply paste a product URL and see the results. Of course they cannot be guaranteed, but at first glance they may be useful if you are on the fence about a particular purchase.

Self-lacing trainers

Nike has launched self-lacing trainers, which fit themselves to the shape of the foot and are controlled via a smartphone.

It is the latest iteration of the futuristic footwear, first referred to in the film Back to the Future Part II, and made reality by Nike in 2016.

The latest version, called Nike Adapt, will cost $350 and will not require a physical button to activate the laces… More here.

Part of me is asking why this is a thing. When I say part, I mean 100% of me.

The (i)Phone business is not what it was

But that wasn’t all. In an extraordinary letter to Apple investors, CEO Tim Cook also told stockholders what he should have been saying for years: The company’s iPhone business has shifted into a lower gear because of changes in the smartphone market and consumer behavior. This should have been absolutely predictable to anyone who was able to peer outside of Apple’s bubble. Executives have failed in their duty to warn investors ahead of time about all this, and reality is finally and all at once catching up to Apple… More at Time.

There is the expected panic from certain areas of the tech press who love to overblow things like this to get more traffic, but this also represents the early true evidence that the mobile industry is changing.

I cannot count the number of people I know who have owned their smartphones for more than two years, and especially iPhones, because they still work. I still use the iPhone X because the newer phones are so similar and it is working fine and so all I can do is throw some ideas out there as to why Apple is struggling-

The new iPhones are too expensive

The new iPhones offer little over the previous models

Trump’s trade war with China

The smartphone industry is unable to innovate at a level that spurs yearly upgrades – there are simply not enough obvious new features that make people run out and buy a new phone

Android is actually looking competitive in many areas and is running ahead in the ‘new feature’ sector

I don’t know what else, but I suspect the lack of profit will be made up for by AirPods, the Apple Watch and other products. Your thoughts?

The Palm phone

Really hard to know if this idea is silly or if it make sense, and then the price appears ($350) and I go for the former. If you need contact when on a night out or somewhere away from home I would guess that a series 3 Apple Watch makes more sense, although you would lose a lot of style points…

Simon Cowell ditches phone for 10 months

Simon Cowell has revealed he hasn’t used his mobile phone for 10 months – saying the change was “so good” for his mental health.
The media mogul told the Mail on Sunday he became irritated with how often he was using his phone.
The 58-year-old said he has “become way more focused” and “aware of the people around me” since giving up his device… More at the BBC.

Not a compelling story as such, but imagine doing the same. I suspect the benefits would be more positive than expected and much more wide-ranging. I’m not doing it though.