"Privacy Not Included" is Mozilla's Christmas shopping (anti)-guide to toys and gadgets that spy on you and/or make stupid security blunders, rated by relative "creepiness," from the Nintendo Switch (a little creepy) to the Fredi Baby monitor (very creepy!).
Mozilla's reviews include a detailed rationale for each ranking, including whether the product includes encryption, whether it forces a default password change, how easy to understand the documentation is, whether it shares your data for "unexpected reasons," whether it has known security vulnerabilities, whether it has parental controls and more.
The reviews also explain what might go wrong with each product (some of these are a little unconvincing, like an insecure sous vide wand that could overcook your food).
Mozilla rightly acknowledges that a survey of 70 products shouldn’t be seen as any sort of definitive buying guide. There are thousands of internet-connected presents waiting to be gifted this year, all of them offering a wide range of privacy controls. But that’s not the point.
“The number of products is a drop in the bucket,” says Boyd. “We’re trying to drive a conversation where manufacturers can see that consumers care about this information. We’re trying to give people essentially a way to look at any product and what to look for, what questions to ask.”
Shop Safe This Holiday Season [Mozilla]
Mozilla Makes a Naughty List of Gifts That Aren't Secure [Brian Barrett/Wired]
Veteran reviewer/interviewer Rick Kleffel (previously) has just posted a long podcast interview (MP3) with Neal Stephenson, discussing his latest novel, Fall; or, Dodge in Hell ("a science fiction novel with a fantasy novel stuck inside of it").
A couple of weeks ago, I was thrilled to hear Subgenius founder, the Reverend Ivan Stang, interviewed on the Comedy on Vinyl podcast (previously) and to discover that the Church of the Subgenius was selling a $35 Salvation/Membership/Ordainment kit that was chock full of goodies.
[Randall Munroe traces the phenomenal success of his webcomic XKCD with this Boing Boing post; and I've avidly followed his career ever since (he's returned the favor), so I was delighted to learn in February that he had a new book coming out and I'm more delighted still to host the official announcement of his […]
With the quick-fix appeal of video games and their own cell phones, it can be tough to keep kids focused on supposedly “educational” toys. And while it may seem counter-intuitive to fight tech with more tech, we’re all in when it comes to the Toybox 3D Printer. We’re not sure if anyone had envisioned a […]
Whether you’re an artist, designer or just organizing a photo album, photo editing software is a must. And software designers know it: Platforms like Photoshop and Lightroom have a ton of helpful features, but you’ll pay for them in spades. Luckily, there’s some competition in the photo editing arena. Right now, Skylum’s Luminar software is […]
Who needs a holiday sale? Sometimes there’s no better time than the thick of summer to find deals. We should know – we’ve found ten deep discounts on some must-have items. Whether you’re searching for CBD edibles, exercise gear, chargers or other tech, take a look. But don’t look long – these prices aren’t likely […]