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Security / Re: AVG selling search and browsing data
« Last post by dewey on September 29, 2015, 04:20:38 PM »
Google, Bing, Yahoo, Amazon, eBay, GMail, Facebook, and almost any web site that shows you ads, and many that don't, are doing the same thing.  And, unless you look close, read 4pt. text and legalbabel, you would never know what they are doing with your data.  At least they are telling you up front and if you don't want to be tracked, pay for their product. You don't get nothin' for free.  Want a free antivirus program, pony up some info.

I'm not saying it is good; I stay way-away and use ad blockers, always surf in privacy mode and do not allow cookies if given the option.  Still, you are going to get tracked and there is not much you can do about it unless you stop using the Internet.

One thing Mr. Gibson left out of his transcript is that AVG has said you can turn the data tracking off. An AVG spokesperson told Wired, "Those users who do not want us to use non-personal data in this way will be able to turn it off, without any decrease in the functionality our apps will provide..."

My 2 bits...of data
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Security / AVG selling search and browsing data
« Last post by BillB on September 29, 2015, 03:52:50 PM »
This is a transcript of a revelation of AVG selling user data. Listen from about 0:31:30 at https://twit.tv/shows/security-now/episodes/526?autostart=false.

Transcript from https://www.grc.com/sn/sn-526.htm.

Quote
Okay. Now this was chilling. There was a lot of controversy generated by this. AVG, the number three most popular antivirus tool that offers a free version which many people use. Number one most popular is Microsoft. Number two is Avast. And number three is AVG. They've changed their privacy policy, notified their users that a new policy becomes effective as of October 15th, so about three weeks from now, really raising hackles within the privacy community because the new policy states that users of the AVG antivirus will be permitting AVG to sell search and browser history data to third-party advertisers in order to make money from its antivirus software.

Now, the problem is that AV software inherently runs in our system with elevated privileges so that it's able to detect and block malware, adware, spyware, and other threats. And AVG is one of the AV suites which we've discussed in the past that installs its own root certificate into users' machines, like Superfish was caught doing, specifically to allow it to intercept, decrypt, and inspect all web browser traffic. So we're not saying anything nefarious is going on, but essentially what they've decided is that they, too, are sort of going down this path of monetizing the habits of their users.

Now, what's really confusing is that an AVG spokesman explained that, quote, "any nonpersonal data collected and sold to advertisers would be cleaned and anonymized, making it impossible to link it back to individual users." And then the spokesman said, "Many companies do this type of collection every day and do not tell their users." So they're trying to claim some cred for, like, being right upfront with the fact that they're going to start monetizing by selling their users' search and browser history data.

Well, the problem is it's only valuable to advertisers if there's some way to tie it to users. So while AVG may be sanitizing it in some way, it must be that things like the cookies of the queries, which may not contain overtly user identity data, is the token that the advertiser has previously assigned to this person in order to associate them. Meaning that selling data that couldn't be tied back to the user wouldn't generate any revenue.

So it's got to be that essentially, when you're using AVG in the future, essentially they're now tracking you and saying that they're going to monetize this and sell this to advertisers. Which just creates another pipeline for this kind of information, you know, browsing and search history is what they're talking about, to sort of this unseen advertising tracking database facility. So I just wanted to make sure that our users who may be using AVG were aware that this was something that was going to be happening starting the beginning of next month.


Copyright (c) 2015 by Steve Gibson and Leo Laporte. SOME RIGHTS RESERVED
 
This work is licensed for the good of the Internet Community under the Creative Commons License v2.5. See the following Web page for details: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.5/

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General Discussion / Re: Time Warner Charlotte goes "all digital"
« Last post by BillB on June 08, 2015, 09:26:09 AM »
No problems here ...

I dutifully went to the office (3 times before I got there when the line was not out the door) to pick up my boxes. The counterman (whose name I carefully wrote down, and promptly lost) told me "with your plan, you don't need the box."

I went home and held my breath until the changeover came. And then I missed it. Several days later when I next turned on the TV I forgot that I wasn't supposed to be seeing anything.

Instead, there was no noticeable difference in the channels I watch: SD, HD, single digit or extended; even the channels that aren't listed on my plan - they're all there. And I still have the same access I had on my old analog TV.

Since I have the "broadcast only" plan, they probably are not allowed to block anything an antenna could possibly pick up. Despite the published lineup, it's always included a plethora of other junk such as shopping and music. The only thing we watch is TCM, 60 Minutes, and NOVA.

Bill
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General Discussion / Time Warner Charlotte goes "all digital"
« Last post by BillB on June 08, 2015, 09:08:27 AM »
Previously on ...

Galen Bolin: http://eepurl.com/bpFkFz
Quote
Time Warner Cable is at it again. Now what are they up to? They are dropping all the analog TV channels and every channel will be digital. If you have TWC you know what that means. They will send you a box to use on your TVs'. Yes, every TV. The old TVs' and the one you just bought at the big box store. Do you know why they are doing this? Come to the meeting and I will tell you. Hint, Google is coming to town!
 
Back to the “magic” TWC box, I got mine and had trouble getting it authenticated. Then I had problems getting it to talk to the TV controls. I am not alone. My brother-in-law had problems, the lady down the street had problems. Almost everyone is having issues. Good luck to all of you that have to get the new Cisco DTA.

Steve Marcus:
Quote
I also had trouble with the "magic" box. One of my tv's (an older set) no longer gets a full size picture. In addition, and this is a big one, the set has 2 tuners so that I can get picture in picture. This won't work any more for obvious reasons.

They also claim that the picture and sound will be better on all the sets with this box. Ha!!! Not in my house.

I think it is possible that the purpose of these boxes is to prevent your neighbor from stealing service. Without a descrambler, you supposedly have nothing.

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General Discussion / That paper you wrote in college - saving your content
« Last post by BillB on June 06, 2015, 05:06:47 PM »
continuation of an article from Bytes & Bits, June 2015 (http://eepurl.com/bpFkFz#Article2)

STORY BEHIND THE STORY
Ancient history

When we were discussing Don King’s obituary, several people mentioned his Bytes columns. We thought it would be nice to share his representative writing with those members who remembered it as well as those who never met him.

During much of that period I was editor of this auspicious publication. I knew I had drafts of most monthly issues. More than that, I knew exactly where the electronic files were; but was afraid they wouldn’t be in a readable format. Amazingly, most of the dated folders contained at least 4 files: allFeb.doc, Cal1999.eps, Feb99_1.p65, and 9902.pdf (http://1drv.ms/1B7kVBD).

I now had both a Microsoft Word (97-2003) file of the collected articles, as submitted, and a PDF of the finished newsletter. It’s been more than 15 years, but I was able to come up with a readable sample of his writing in just a few minutes. How did this happen?

1) I could find it. Not only did I keep it in an orderly file structure, but I knew where those files were likely to be. Since home computers came with hard drives, all my household’s data have been saved to a single logical area on a single physical disc. As new computers and technology came along, the data were migrated intact to the new drive in the same location.

I learned long ago that storage was cheaper than organization. When the PC finally drove my typesetting business into the ground in 1995, I had 2,000 to 3,000 floppy discs on the shelf with all of my clients’ jobs for almost 15 years; from resetting a headline to an entire catalog or complex form. Any file was accessible if I had a single identifying number, which was often built into the finished print.

2) It was physically available. With every new computer, I copied the files to it. I know that the disc spins and the bits are still readable. For many files, I still have my previous computer, although it has not been powered on for over five years, now. Now I use Carbonite*, a more reliable, online, commercial backup service.

3) I could read the file format. By virtue of it’s ubiquity and longevity, Word .DOCs are still accessible by most modern word processors. While I wouldn’t count on Microsoft continuing to support it in five years (it was superseded with Office 2007 and they are enforcing their standard 10-year end-of-life), there are a number of other programs that read it now. With even commercial software now being delivered by download, I’m also keeping the installation files for software on that cheap storage. Hopefully I’ll be able to reinstall an old version if I need it; as long as the x86 instruction set survives.

If anything, the .PDF format is even more universal than .DOC with many programs, including most browsers, now incorporating a reader. And I can always do a new install of Adobe Reader 9 from my archives.

Bill Barnes

* Disclaimer
I am a dealer for Carbonite because I am a user and believer. If you are interested in a highly recommended cloud backup system, please contact me. corpv1@zaitech.com or order it directly at http://partners.carbonite.com/thetechnologyinterpreter
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Meeting Minutes / Board minutes 5/26/15
« Last post by BillB on June 04, 2015, 09:53:32 AM »
Board minutes   May 26, 2015

The Personal Computer Club of Charlotte Board met Tuesday, May 26 at the Liberty restaurant. Attending were Galen Bolin, president; Bill Haney, vice president; and Bill Barnes, treasurer.

We wished happy birthday to the absent Maryanne Dailey.

Business needs being light, so was the discussion beyond confirming the meeting topics for the remainder of the summer. On June 1, the Board consented via email to move the BBQ picnic to August, away from the Independence Day holiday. After completion of networking upgrades, we will return to meeting in the same upstairs classroom as in April. Some program topics are listed below. If you have any suggestions or input, please contact president@pc3.org.

The Treasurer’s report will come next month.

May
Laptop vs tablet. Bring your favorite portable device and tell us why or why not.
Alternatives to buying Microsoft Office. We’ll discuss Google Docs and Microsoft online, and possibly others.

June
Security. This month will not be just a rehash of the common tips we’ve been giving out for two decades. We may include critical information for any PC or smartphone users; late model car, appliance, and home entertainment owners; air travelers; medical patients; and all others who interact with modern technology. Don’t miss it!

July
• Continued discussion on leftover topics from May and June.
• Windows 10 is coming for every owner of Windows 7 or higher. How and why to jump in the first day.

August
• Our annual BBQ picnic! Mark your calendar and watch for details to sign up to attend.
- Volunteer to organize or help with this event.

September (tentative)
Windows 10
• Virtualization

Fall
To Be Determined - Send your ideas!

December
• Holiday party.
- Volunteer to organize or help with this event.

The next Board meeting will be Tuesday, July 14 at 5:30 pm at Chris’ Deli, 3619 E Independence Blvd. Tentatively we will look for a meeting site in the University area to accommodate other members. All members are encouraged to come; contact president@pc3.org for more details.

Submitted by Bill Barnes
7
Meeting Minutes / Board Minutes 4/21/15
« Last post by BillB on April 23, 2015, 07:51:58 AM »
Board Minutes 4/21/15

The Personal Computer Club of Charlotte Board met Tuesday, April 21 at the Diamond restaurant. Attending were Galen Bolin, president; Bill Haney, vice president; and Bill Barnes, treasurer.

Discussion centered on confirming upcoming program topics for the general meetings. After the good response to the April directed-open discussion, we will follow that model for the next few months. We will also continue to meet in the same upstairs classroom as in April. Some program topics are listed below. If you have any suggestions or input, please contact president@pc3.org.

May
Laptop vs tablet. Bring your favorite portable device and tell us why or why not.
Alternatives to Microsoft Office. We’ll discuss Google Docs and Microsoft online, and possibly others.

June
Security.

July
• Our annual BBQ picnic! Mark your calendar.
- Volunteer to organize or help with this event.

August (tentative)
• Windows 10
• Virtualization

Fall
To Be Determined - Send your ideas!

December
Holiday party.
- Volunteer to organize or help with this event.

The next Board meeting will be Tuesday, May 26 at 5:30 pm at the Liberty Restaurant on South Blvd. Tentatively we will look for a meeting site in the University area to accommodate other members. All members are encouraged to come; contact president@pc3.org for more details.

Submitted by Bill Barnes

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Meetings and Events / Microsoft's Ten Immutable Laws Of Security
« Last post by BillB on April 09, 2015, 12:22:37 PM »
A member asked us to discuss Microsoft's "Laws of Security" at a random topic meeting. For your convenience, articles he was referring are included in a .doc at http://pc3.org/news/programnotes/Apr15_MSFTs10LawsOfSecurity.doc.

Security, including this topic, will the the discussion at the June 2015 general meeting.

(Many of our program notes are listed at http://pc3.org/news/programnotes/)

9
Member's Talk / Re: Snopes; can you trust it?
« Last post by dewey on November 20, 2014, 09:41:00 AM »
I am not certain who/what "Spirros" is and why it would impact if we trusted Snopes or not.  I always point people to Snopes when a decade+ old Internet meme, hoax or scam shows up in email or, as usually now, on Facebook.

Please explain why you think Snopes cannot be trusted and who/what Spirros is and what the connection would be.
10
Member's Talk / Snopes; can you trust it?
« Last post by Dr Paul on October 08, 2014, 04:20:40 PM »
I recently got a response from a cousin when I said that "Snipe is really two people who work for Spirros"
What do the other members think of this? Can we continue to trust Snopes?
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