Category: Tech

Dark Patterns: Online Shopping Tricks to Fool Shoppers

Dark patterns are everywhere. When I spot a dark pattern I immediately do not engage. For me this is instinctual. Web sites lure you in with gimmicks such as a great sale, these are the last before they sell out, limited time offers. Most of these are not really new and have comparable examples in real life.

WHAT ARE DARK PATTERNS?
Dark Patterns are tricks used in websites and apps that make you do things that you didn’t mean to, like buying or signing up for something.

Toronto Online Reporting of Parking Infractions

Toronto Police Service online parking complaint, tps.on.ca/core I could not understand the URL from their automated message

Toronto Police Service online parking complaint, tps.on.ca/core I could not understand the URL from their automated message

I see a car parked on the grass portion of the boulevard, between the sidewalk and the road, which is very illegal. not to mention a lack of manners and common sense. I call up the City of Toronto, 311, who then relays me to the Toronto Police parking authority. The not-so-helpful automated machine says I can now fill out an online form instead of waiting on the phone. Great, but I, as a native speaker, cannot understand the URL, and a Google search reveals nothing. Is it:

Curing Internet Addiction at the Adolescent Psychological Development Base, Beijing, China

Adolescent Psychological Development Base 中国青少年心理成长基地, part of the Beijing Tongjun Chinese medicine hospital 北京桐君中医院, in Daxing District, found on Baidu Maps

Adolescent Psychological Development Base 中国青少年心理成长基地, part of the Beijing Tongjun Chinese medicine hospital 北京桐君中医院, in Daxing District, found on Baidu Maps

As I work in IT, I have always been fascinated by internet addiction. While in the West we do not seem to have many formal programs to counter internet addiction, China has gone the radical route of military style boot camps. One such institution is the Adolescent Psychological Development Base, Beijing, run by Tao Ran, an ex-army psychologist.

Google’s Return to China: Seeking Clarity

Information is power, and information, to most people of the world is the internet. For most, this starts with a Google Search. In 2010 Google exited China, due to a massive hack by the Chinese government into Google servers. Now, beckoned by the call for making money, Google is again rethinking China. Can Google stand by its ethics of “Do no Harm” while working with the Chinese Government? There will be some compromizes required.

China Telecom uses US/Canada PoPs to Divert Internet Traffic through China

China is using its access to the North American internet system to route traffic to Beijing, rather than the shortest point of travel. Packets can then be stored, analyzed and changed before they are sent on to its destination. This exploits the openness of the West, to China’s advantage. Yuval Shavitt of Tel Aviv University and Chris Demchak of the U.S. Naval War College in Newport, R.I., published a paper recently in Military Cyber Affairs, called China’s Maxim – Leave No Access Point Unexploited: The Hidden Story of China Telecom’s BGP Hijacking. It is a really good read.

Trump POTUS Smartphone Security Measures

I am sure that the US Secret Service has this covered, but to their consternation and chagrin Trump will not follow their orders. The problem with smartphone security is that it is onerous and difficult to follow. When Trump Phones Friends, the Chinese and the Russians Listen and Learn

Problem: China and Russia are eavesdropping on Trumps’s private calls. China specifically wants to know who influences Trumps so they can influence the influencers. This is standard practice for many countries and not just China.

Playing with SOLID’s POD: Documentation

Solid's logo

Solid’s logo

Sir Tim Berners-Lee, inventor of the World Wide Web, is leading this privacy issue. He is trying to decentralize content so that users house the content separate from commercial apps. Links are provided to the owner’s content so the commercial app can be displayed. Content is controlled by the content owner, a marked change from today.

Today I signed up for a POD from inrupt. There is not much documentation on it, making it difficult to use. I thought that I would write what I have discovered through trial and error.

https://dontai.inrupt.net/

NoScript, Why I use it: Why does PopSugar.com have so many links?

The NoScript plugin allows me to degrade sites such as PopSugar down to what I wish to connect, and not what they wish for me to connect. Look at all those sites that I did not ask for?

The NoScript plugin allows me to degrade sites such as PopSugar down to what I wish to connect, and not what they wish for me to connect. Look at all those sites that I did not ask for?

Social butterfly I am not, but on the web I can be a bit promiscuous, not sexually but the willingness browse near anything. I figured I needed some protection. NoScript, a browser plugin, offers this protection for me by blocking errant scripts from contacting a huge number of web sites that do not ask me for permission and that I do not provide permission.

ThinkPad Wired USB Keyboard with TrackPoint, 0B47190: Disassembly and Cleaning

A friend has this Thinkpad/Lenovo keyboard for a long time, but the right mouse button was becoming erratic. We decided to disassemble and clean it and try to fix the right mouse button. on the back of the keyboard, CEM-2015-05-29 Rev W02 Fru PIN 03X8715

ThinkPad Wired USB Keyboard with TrackPoint, 0B47190. Front of keyboard. Photo 1 by Don Tai

ThinkPad Wired USB Keyboard with TrackPoint, 0B47190. Front of keyboard. Photo 1 by Don Tai

Prying the Clamshell Apart
Turning the keyboard over there are rubber pads on each corner and one in the middle. These do not have screws underneath, so disregard them. This is a plastic clamshell. I used a credit card to pry open the clamshell from the USB port, and then used a flat head screwdriver to pry the two halves part. The front bezel comes apart easily.