Tuesday, August 12, 2014

My reading list 8/12/2014 - Another Comcast Horror Story plus Up to 23 Million active twitter accounts are bots - Everyone of them has more followers than me

Ars Technica - Comcast conveniently forgets “no fees” promise until confronted by recording -
another call surfaced on Sunday that will likely be just as painful: a fellow named Tim Davis called Comcast to contest some bogus charges on his bill and only managed to get them refunded because he had recordings of previous Comcast calls.
It's pretty much what you think - obnoxious customer service and no realization at all of the damage it is doing to the company.  The tape is at the link.above.

Endgadget - Up to 23 million active Twitter accounts are bots -

I used my best joke in the post title, which explains why they all have more followers than me.

The Verge - Being Mark Stone: how to hijack an abandoned identity
Reassembling Stone’s identity was easier than you might think. Farid looked at environmental forums Stone had posted in and found his email, now long since abandoned. After guessing some security questions and chatting with a Yahoo service rep, it was easy to reset the password. He set up a DIY mailbox on a public fence, labeling it with an unused address and signing it up for mailing lists so he could receive mail as Stone. He used that mail to get a bank card, then used the bank card to get a photo ID from the British Library. He stopped short of buying a SIM card with Stone's old phone number, but only because he didn't want to spend the money.
I wish they hadn't spilled the beans on how easy this actually is since it was my fallback plan when things really went to shit.  Now all those little loopholes will get closed.

The Register - NIST wants better SCADA security -
“The goal of this system is to measure the performance of industrial control systems when instrumented with cyber-security protections in accordance with best practices prescribed by national and international standards and guidelines,” the RFI states.
Probably not the worst idea, but a better one is to hold operators responsible for improperly configured systems.  Once it costs money businesses / utilities will pay attention.

Wired - I Liked Everything I Saw on Facebook for Two Days. Here’s What It Did to Me -
See, Facebook uses algorithms to decide what shows up in your feed. It isn’t just a parade of sequential updates from your friends and the things you’ve expressed an interest in. In 2014 the News Feed is a highly-curated presentation, delivered to you by a complicated formula based on the actions you take on the site, and across the web. I wanted to see how my Facebook experience would change if I constantly rewarded the robots making these decisions for me, if I continually said, “good job, robot, I like this.” I also decided I’d only do this on Facebook itself—trying to hit every Like button I came across on the open web would just be too daunting. But even when I kept the experiment to the site itself, the results were dramatic.
I'm thinking that if once a month everyone did this Facebook might turn the news feed back into an actual newfeed and give us a dislike button so that we canb actually provide some real input.

Hacker News - The US Digital Services Playbook -
The idea behind the USDS, as the White House has taken to calling it, is to institiutonalize the approach that saved the health care site and apply them to the work of the government before disaster strikes.
This will work right up to the point that procurement becomes involved.

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