• wdburt1



    Viewing 15 replies - 316 through 330 (of 363 total)
    • in reply to: R.I.P. WP, WMP #136112

      I’m reminded of the way people who don’t vote are demeaned (a better word than deprecated).  They don’t vote because they rationally assessed that it was unlikely to change to the outcome–not that their vote couldn’t be the one that mattered (of course, like you might win the lottery), but because it was not likely to do so.  In other words, these people rationally invested their time and attention, where various busybodies insisted that they pay attention to voting.

      Windows Media Player came with Windows 7 and some previous versions, did it not?  For those of us who use our desktop computers infrequently to play videos (mostly YouTube stuff recommended by friends), it does the job.  So don’t tell me that no one uses it.  Theremay be better players.  I’m glad to mine this thread for a suggestion.  But on my list of things to do today this was at the bottom.

      The thing I want to know is: Will .wav files be playable on other software?  I saved stuff using that format because it saved the files in an uncompressed format.

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    • in reply to: Office 2007 End Of Life is only days away #135577

      Robert Caro writes his masterpieces on a Smith-Corona typewriter and has laid in a stock of them to be sure he has one.  So, yes, there are alternative methods and software for writing a book.  Email is not one of them.

    • Equifax and its counterparts have no more real accountability to you and me than the neighborhood gossip does, if real accountability means enforceable without extraordinary effort.  The lenders who pay its fees have no reason to care about the security of the data in the hands of a credit bureau, either–it’s not the lender’s problem.  Not until the credit bureaus are made truly accountable to consumers will things change.  As this episode illustrates, there is an inherent security risk in gathering financially sensitive information about people, which arguably creates a duty of care toward the consumer.

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    • Epic Privacy browser works well with online trading sites.

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    • Having spent an hour or so in heavy city traffic this afternoon and watching the drivers around me texting, I’d say “zombies” fits.


    • I fully expect someone to contend that this reduces the cost for everyone so we ought to be grateful at what tech is doing for us.  And then to characterize anyone who disagrees as a Luddite.

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    • in reply to: Experian will hand out your details to anybody #133918

      Imagine this.  Instead of continuing to operate as part of a three-way oligopoly, one of the credit bureaus breaks ranks and pitches its services to customers by claiming better-quality, more useful data.  To do so, it sends emails or letters to the consumers who are in its database seeking corrections and additions to the data, and it employs the staff needed to slog through the mass of stuff it receives.  It offers cooperating consumers an expanded “consumer statement” on the credit report and a free toaster.  Oh wait, forget the toaster, it offers a $20 voucher good for obtaining your credit report, placing a freeze, or lifting a freeze.

      Management tells shareholders that the company expects to significantly reduce the annual expense it incurs to settle lawsuits by aggrieved consumers exercising their rights under the law Congress passed giving them the right to recover damages for libel–for recklessly publishing erroneous derogatory information, i.e., without making a good faith effort to verify and document that information.

      Oh wait, until the Equifax scandal, Congress was moving to expand, not limit, the credit bureaus’ freedom to put out such information–to cap the damages that could be collectedm etc.

    • in reply to: US government is banning, bad-mouthing Kaspersky. But why? #133916

      So the real problem is that the US government cannot control Kaspersky like they can domestic purveyors of AV software; and further that the Russian government can control him if it wishes, which it can’t do in the US.

      In other words, he is singled out because he is based in Russia.


    • in reply to: Experian will hand out your details to anybody #133829

      In some ways the most interesting part of Krebs’ critique is his claim that the credit reporting industry is obsolete.  Agreed–everything about it smacks of old-fashioned industrial organization, in which the consumers (i.e., “victims”) go along with the slings and arrows it throws their way.

      I’m just not sure what would replace it.  Obviously, people want instant credit decisions when they are sitting at the car dealership.  The dealership will do nothing more than check some online service for a FICO score or whatever.  So the problem begins at the source.  In order to obtain that convenience (as opposed to pre-applying a week before), we are willing to put up with credit bureaus gathering, scoring, and selling opinion (well-founded or otherwise) about us.  That part of it seems difficult to solve, unless there is a way to organize the credit reporting industry by tiers–cheap and easy and like the current one for some transactions, more expensive and more thorough for others.

      Nothing much is going to change until the law compels these companies to live up to the legal obligations they currently have, especially their duty to correct errors; and Congress should take a hard look at compelling them to perform reasonable due diligence on the information they receive and repackage for sale.

      For the problem, again, begins at the source: the creditor.  Some types of creditors–notably medical billing outfits–are such a mess that Congress has prohibited their reports from being used by credit reporting agencies.  What kind of solution is that?  Do not the same errors occur with others?  What remedies should be available when they do?


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    • in reply to: US government is banning, bad-mouthing Kaspersky. But why? #133818

      If recent experiences have taught us anything, it is to avoid relying upon assumptions about the intentions of, or constraints upon, overweening companies and government officials.  (Lois Lerner, anyone?) If something is prohibited outright by law, OK–show us that is being complied with.  But you do not claim that.


    • in reply to: US government is banning, bad-mouthing Kaspersky. But why? #133765

      Bontchev: “Russian intelligence officials are probably having some thoughts about what can happen if the US government uses a National Security Letter to force Microsoft, during a conflict with Russia, to push a malicious update to the Russian computers running Windows.”

      They can do that?  If so, how about for other reasons, like “enemies” at home?


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    • in reply to: Experian will hand out your details to anybody #133740

      Class action? A suit will no doubt be filed, but legislative change that would correct the underlying conditions appears to be a long way off.  The credit bureaus have been busily fending off proposals for increased regulation in Washington, and having some success at it by hiding behind the skirts of the push to restrain and reverse Obama-era regulations generally.

      I guess Equifax made that position more difficult to justify.  But the argument is still made that if the current credit reporting system is more heavily regulated it will severely limit the availability of credit, and of course (get out the violins) this will hurt those with shaky credit the most.  So the argument is that we all must tolerate the recklessness, lack of responsibility, and uncompensated harms associated with the current system–to provide credit to a small percentage?

      That of course is not the reason the industry scurries to protect its extraordinary privileges.  It has been granted a license to coin money by collecting the information that lenders send it and more or less automatically repackaging it for sale.  For the rest of us, “republishing” a libel is the same as publishing it in the first instance.  Not here, apparently. Garbage in, garbage out.  If the credit bureaus actually had to hire staff to document the information they sell, and to correct it when properly challenged by consumers, they would be far less profitable.  So too, if they were liable for the harms they cause.

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    • Not a lot of commentary here about the egregious delay in reporting the hacking breach.  July 29 to September 7.  Long enough to permit the executives to sell their stock before disclosing the problem.  That isn’t the main problem.  Waiting more than a month to tell the world what you knew about it is the problem.  How many people were affected in that time?  What kind of negligence does this exhibit?  Class action, here we come.  Justice would be for the company to be sold for pennies on the dollar and a few executives to be thrown in jail.

    • That time will not come until the law requires that such data must be stored and used only as the owner specifies, with penalties for violation.  In other words, it becomes a matter of contract.  Watch EULAs sharpen up when that happens.  They are useless now because everyone recognizes that they are one-sided and often immune from challenge.  Give the consumer some enforceable rights to his or her data and things will change.

      This is a bit like health care.  Until the consumer becomes an active party to the negotiation, we’ll keep going in the same circles.

      “Local jurisdictions” have had about as much influence on this issue as they have had on immigration.

    • Woody, thanks for the heads-up.  I see this is as part of a pattern of operating on the edge of the law, as demonstrated by the credit reporting agencies’ poor record of performing their legal obligations when asked to correct errors in the information they disseminate..

      Fundamentally, they deal in what so-and-so-says-about-you.  If they had been held to the same standards as ordinary people under libel law, they would have developed differently.

      I continue to say that hacking is the single greatest downside to the various spying/telemetry/data-gathering schemes afoot.

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    Viewing 15 replies - 316 through 330 (of 363 total)