Even if you block cookies, many sites still track you with "browser fingerprinting," that use the unique combination of your screen resolution, browser and OS version, installed fonts and plugins, and other data that allows you to be reliably identified between sessions and across sites.
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Airhelp is a service that helps airline passengers in 30 countries file claims (for delays, lost bags, overbookings, and cancellations) structured to increase the likelihood of paying out; the bots have made $930m in successful claims to date, and the company behind it only collects a commission when a claim succeeds.
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To quote Doc Searls, adblocking is the largest consumer revolt in history; the rise of third-party tracking cookies, mounting awareness of breaches, and a shift in the balance of power between publishers and advertisers have conspired to make ads more visibly and invisibly obnoxious, driving millions to block ads in their browsers.
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Landscape architects are increasingly in the business of designing spaces that are resistant to mass shootings, terrorists driving their cars into crowds and other forms of murderous, technology-assisted rampages. Read the rest
Nesta's Juan Mateos-Garcia proposes that "entropic forces" make algorithmic decision-making tools worse over time, requiring that they be continuously maintained and improved (this is also a key idea from Cathy O'Neil's Weapons of Math Destruction: a machine-learning system is only honest if someone is continuously matching its predictions to reality and refining its model based on the mistakes it makes). Read the rest
The Mirai Worm is a seemingly unstoppable piece of malware that targets the garbage-security Internet of Things gadgets that have proliferated through the world; these gadgets then used to deliver equally unstoppable floods of traffic that endanger whole countries. Read the rest
The Chinese media report on a man called Zhao from Xi'an who took revenge on his noisy upstairs neighbors whose boy wouldn't stop jumping on his ceiling by buying a "building shaker" -- a gadget that thumps your shared walls until your neighbors capitulate -- and leaving it on while he went away for the weekend. Read the rest
Ad-blockers begat ad-blocker-blockers, which begat ad-blocker-blocker-blockers, with no end in sight. Read the rest
17 minutes of funny and informative notes from the history of DRM from Lazy Game Reviews, starting with Bill Gates's infamous Open Letter to Hobbyists and moving through to the modern era with its activation codes, rootkits and scandals. (Thanks, Fipi Lele!) Read the rest
Adam Harvey, creator of 2012's CV Dazzle project to systematically confound facial recognition software with makeup and hairstyles, presented his latest dazzle iteration, Hyperface, at the Chaos Communications Congress in Hamburg last month. Read the rest