- ‘NSA tracking cellphone locations worldwide, Snowden documents show’→
Barton Gellman and Ashkan Soltani:
The National Security Agency is gathering nearly 5 billion records a day on the whereabouts of cellphones around the world, according to top-secret documents and interviews with U.S. intelligence officials, enabling the agency to track the movements of individuals — and map their relationships — in ways that would have been previously unimaginable.
Here’s the fun part:
NSA Director Keith Alexander disclosed in Senate testimony in October that the NSA had run a pilot project in 2010 and 2011 to collect “samples” of U.S. cellphone location data. The data collected were never available for intelligence analysis purposes, and the project was discontinued because it had no “operational value,” he said.❘ ❙ ❚ ❙ ❘
- The Information Launches→
$39 a month, or $399 a year.
Good luck with that.❘ ❙ ❚ ❙ ❘
- ‘Australian Spy Agency Offered to Share Data About Ordinary Citizens’→
Ewen MacAskill, James Ball and Katharine Murphy:
Australia’s surveillance agency offered to share information collected about ordinary Australian citizens with its major intelligence partners, according to a secret 2008 document leaked by the US whistleblower Edward Snowden.
The document shows the partners discussing whether or not to share “medical, legal or religious information”, and increases concern that the agency could be operating outside its legal mandate, according to the human rights lawyer Geoffrey Robertson QC.
See, it’s not just the United States acting all shady.❘ ❙ ❚ ❙ ❘
- ‘That Viral “Poverty Thoughts” Essay Is Totally Ridiculous’→
What Linda is doing here is infuriating. There are people donating to her that don’t realize she’s full of shit. People who have good intentions and big hearts and are attempting to make a difference in the life of a person who, by the sound of it, is living in some pretty dire surroundings. But folks, these are made-up dire surroundings. Stop giving her money.❘ ❙ ❚ ❙ ❘
- ‘Apple’s iOS brings developers 5x more revenue per download than Android’→
For every $1.00 in app download revenue earned by iOS developers, their Android counterparts earn just $0.19, according to data compiled by Business Insider. The gap for up-front and in-app purchases is slightly narrower, with Android bringing in $0.43 for every $1.00 on iOS, while advertising revenue is the closest at $0.77 on the dollar.
The source is, erm, questionable — but that’s a huge disparity even if the data is only close.❘ ❙ ❚ ❙ ❘
- ‘Christmas Special: Mail Plugins Bundle’→
Some solid plugins here, recommended by David Sparks no less. Just started using these and now I’m happy to snag them in a bundle.❘ ❙ ❚ ❙ ❘
- ‘Why You’re More Likely To Buy Something When Shopping On Your iPad’→
In the iPad condition, the endowment effect thrived. On average, test participants using the tablet wanted to sell their item for significantly more than those using the laptop (roughly $213 to $154). Pressing a finger against a digital image on a fake website in a laboratory–that’s all it took to make people feel like they owned an item, and to value it more as a result.
So, perhaps, the smartest way to save money this “Black Friday” is to not use an iPad. I’m screwed.❘ ❙ ❚ ❙ ❘
- ‘The best recipe manager for iPhone, iPad, and Mac’→
I’ve never actually used a recipe manager. Ok, truthfully I have rarely ever used a recipe to begin with, but Paprika is pretty sweet. I just bought the apps so that I force myself to cook a wider variety of things, so be sure to read Steven Owens’ nice review of recipe managers over at The Sweet Setup.❘ ❙ ❚ ❙ ❘
- ‘Here Comes Boreas: The Weather Channel Brands Winter Storms’→
What you call the looming storm threatening the East Coast this Thanksgiving week depends on where you get your weather news. If it comes from the several platforms of the Weather Channel, then you know that the storm has a name, Boreas (the Greek god of the cold north wind), and so are most likely referring to it accordingly. If you get your forecasts elsewhere, then you are probably using some variant of “that shitty storm” as you nervously eye your holiday travel plans.❘ ❙ ❚ ❙ ❘
- ‘End the N.S.A. Dragnet, Now’→
Senators Ron Wyden of Oregon, Mark Udall of Colorado and Martin Heinrich of New Mexico:
Our first priority is to keep Americans safe from the threat of terrorism. If government agencies identify a suspected terrorist, they should absolutely go to the relevant phone companies to get that person’s phone records. But this can be done without collecting the records of millions of law-abiding Americans. We recall Benjamin Franklin’s famous admonition that those who would give up essential liberty in the pursuit of temporary safety will lose both and deserve neither.❘ ❙ ❚ ❙ ❘
- Bitcoin Survival Guide→
Sounds cool, I hadn’t really kept track of it until now. I think I need to add it as a payment method here though…❘ ❙ ❚ ❙ ❘
- ‘How Hacker News Ranking Really Works: Scoring, Controversy, and Penalties’→
Some submissions get automatically penalized based on the title, and others get penalized based on the domain. It appears that any article with NSA in the title gets an automatic penalty of .4. I looked for other words causing automatic penalties, such as awesome, bitcoin, and bubble but they do not seem to get penalized.
I observed that many websites appear to automatically get a penalty of .25 to .8: arstechnica.com, businessinsider.com, easypost.com, github.com, imgur.com, medium.com, quora.com, qz.com, reddit.com, rt.com, stackexchange.com, theguardian.com, theregister.com, theverge.com, torrentfreak.com, youtube.com. I’m sure the actual list is longer. (This is separate from “banned” sites, which were listed at one point.
The problems that HN is trying to avoid by doing this is understandable, but I do think it has been gone about in the wrong way. 1
❘ ❙ ❚ ❙ ❘
- Not that it matters, as HN is largely an Android-VC-HackerNews circle-jerk anyways.↩
- Avoid QuizUp→
In addition to sending private data to other users phones, Joseph Keller reports:
Also of note is how QuizUp handles access to your contacts. The game allows you to invite your friends to the game via text message, which you need to grant QuizUp access to your contacts to allow. Once this is done, QuizUp sends your contact’s emails, in plain text, to their servers, in violation of federal privacy laws. This is the same thing that got social network Path in trouble last year.❘ ❙ ❚ ❙ ❘
- “For now, though, it seems rather pointless for the LGs, Sonys, Facebooks and Amazons of this world to keep swallowing down data when they regurgitate recommendations that have barely more accuracy than a horoscope.”∞❘ ❙ ❚ ❙ ❘
- Tech Headlines That Could Be
“How to Solve Email With Carrier Pigeons”
“5 Reasons This Backpack Is Better Than the One I Posted Last Week”
“10 Reasons Why You Hate Facebook, and How That Is Your Fault”
“How Apple Deleted Photos of My Dead Parents”
“Why Google Ads Are Better Than iAds”
“Meet the 28 Samsung Phones That Will Kill the iPhone in 2014″
“Here’s the Tablet That Will Kill the iPad”
“15 Reasons I Love Your Site, but Will Never Pay for Your Shitty Paywall”
“The Best Fork”
“16 Extremely Stupid Things That Will Extend Your Macbook Pro Battery Life”
“58 People Senselessly Beaten to Death (Pics!)”
“Here’s Why This App Is Worth Billions”
“Why Record Profits Spells the Death of Apple”
“Why Record Amazon Losses Means Their Future Is Bright”
“Why Your Remote Office and Open Concept Office Plans Are Shit”
“15 Ways to Value Your Company for More Than It Is Worth”
“20 Reasons Turning Down a Billion Dollar Buyout Is Smart”
“You’ve Been Cooking Your Eggs Wrong, Here’s How”
“69 Things You Didn’t Know That You Needed to Know”
“My 15 Minute Re-Design of Your Well Studied and Thought Out Design”
I really could keep going all year long.❘ ❙ ❚ ❙ ❘
- The New Glif→
Looks fantastic. I ordered one, but was tempted to order three.❘ ❙ ❚ ❙ ❘
- ‘Okay, Google, you officially beat Siri’→
Whatever the future of digital assistants may be, it’s clear that the service must be fully context-aware, super responsive, and most importantly, learn about you. If Apple doesn’t empower Siri with a true digital brain, the service will soon become a joke when compared to the significant improvements Google Now is achieving.
It’s hard to compete with Google on this level when Apple seems to be wanting to give users some privacy.❘ ❙ ❚ ❙ ❘