Deceived by Design

“User-experience designers and marketers are well aware that many people are so eager to start using a new service or complete a task, or are so loath to lose a perceived deal, that they will often click one “Next” button after another as if on autopilot — without necessarily understanding the terms they have agreed to along the way.” — www.nytimes.com

The Norwegian Consumer Council (Forbrukerrådet), a government agency that promotes and protects the rights of consumers, has published a report in English [pdf link] on how Facebook, Google and Windows 10 use dark patterns to manipulate users.” — www.metafilter.com

“In graphic and web design, a dark pattern is “a user interface that has been carefully crafted to trick users into doing things, such as buying insurance with their purchase or signing up for recurring bills.”[1][2][3] The neologism dark pattern was coined by Harry Brignull in August 2010 with the registration of darkpatterns.org, a “pattern library with the specific goal of naming and shaming deceptive user interfaces.” — wikipedia.org

Dash Cams: Coming To A Dashboard Near You

“Dash cams are small video cameras (priced from $50 to more than $200) that can be mounted to your car’s dashboard or windshield to record what happens in front of the vehicle. More advanced models can also record interior audio and video, and rear-facing video, and even display on your rearview mirror or stream to the internet.”

This linked consumerist.com article provides five of the top reasons people buy one, and also compares some models and features: consumerist.com

Kill the Password: A String of Characters Won’t Protect You

The full article originally appeared at www.wired.com.

“What we can say for sure is this: Access to our data can no longer hinge on secrets—a string of characters, 10 strings of characters, the answers to 50 questions—that only we’re supposed to know. The Internet doesn’t do secrets. Everyone is a few clicks away from knowing everything.

Instead, our new system will need to hinge on who we are and what we do: where we go and when, what we have with us, how we act when we’re there. And each vital account will need to cue off many such pieces of information—not just two, and definitely not just one.”

“In many ways, our data providers will learn to think somewhat like credit card companies do today: monitoring patterns to flag anomalies, then shutting down activity if it seems like fraud. “A lot of what you’ll see is that sort of risk analytics,” Grant says. “Providers will be able to see where you’re logging in from, what kind of operating system you’re using.””

 

Boarding Pass Barcode Info and why you should care

This article first appeared in The Windows Club.

“Besides the readable stuff, a boarding pass accommodates passengers’ last name and also the record key for the flight he or she is taking. Flier miles are also present on most of the reputed Airlines’ bar or QR code. Using this data on the website of the airline, people can get much more information such as details about flights booked for future, flier miles and other data that might identify a person.

With that information, anyone can change future flights’ seats, cancel the flights altogether and even reset the airline account so that the original passenger is no longer able to access his account right away.

. . .

There is a good amount of information on the boarding pass. But you need not panic if you can make sure that nobody else can get their hands on the pass slip with the barcode intact.”

Researchers Figure Out How To Put Invisible Backdoor In Common Internet Encryption

Read the full article at consumerist.com.

“Encryption is, basically, a giant math problem: a set of numbers and a set of rules for what to do with them. Researchers have discovered a way to basically tunnel through or end-run around the process by putting in a number that makes the rules — usually hidden — visible. And when you know the rules the math problem is working with, you can break through it.

An encrypted communication that has this “trapdoor” in it is about 10,000 times easier to solve than one without, Ars explains. That puts access to files encrypted this way within reach for anyone with access to a big enough bank of processing power… like, say, the NSA.”