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Apple Phone Tracking and the Massive PR Failure

The latest lunacy from the web wing nuts is the discovery of the I Phone data collection and home phoning tracking users across the world. Discovering that your phone is spying on you should not come as a surprise especially since connectivity is being provided by the telecom industry who made a fortune charging you by the second and recording the number called and time talking.

The introduction of GPS tech in phones let all those cute apps like where am i , and where do i get condoms RIGHT NOW work. The fact that most smart phone users use their phones for letting the world know they took a successful dump rather than actually calling and speaking to anyone doesn’t make a very convincing case for connecting the dots between ‘smart phones ‘ and any increase in intelligence in the gene pool. Quite the reverse if the popularity of Farmville and stupid bird games sucking up more minutes than folks talking is any indication.

Apple’s failure and by extension the Windows and Google phones which all do the same thing is not that they are collecting this information, or got caught doing so, but not immediately performing a PR Magic Trick. But I will get to that in a moment.

Behind the cute little screens of every mobile phone are ones and zeros which make up the digital universe. The one true thing in the electronic  universe is: If you make it with ones and zeros somebody will come along and break it.

From passwords to viruses, if it is binary it is breakable. Think about every data breach you have heard of since the first two web pages went live.  Hell, they even have a word for it.  Jailbreaking does not mean digging a tunnel out of the big house, but stands for hacking phone operating systems to do more and different things. Like making useful and free apps that do things that folks actually want, rather than being bombarded with commercial messages offering shit you don’t want, need, or could care less about.

The PR Magic Trick   or the Massive PR Failure

This was a watershed moment for PR/Social Media companies to continue to justify their existence and they fell down. The solution to the black eye and the creepy factor could have been dialed way down using the time honored gag of misdirection.


Holy Shit! If every there was an opportunity to toss somebody under the bus, this was a golden moment. Everybody hates the phone companies and this could have been a PR Coup sticking it to the telecoms and pleading that the phone company made them do it. Especially in the case of the iPhone being nose to ass with AT&T for years. Think NSA Black Rooms. Some of the data collected are the different cell towers used to make connections between you and whatever the fuck you are doing with your phone. This translates into location data which can give a pretty good indication of where you are when you are using your phone. And what you are doing with it.

The Anonymous  data collection excuse  is so much bullshit for a number of reasons. The phone company and Apple will never let go of user data for billing and selling apps on your phone. This means that the unique identifiers like your MAC address and phone number nails you to the data crucifix harder than superglue on your fingertips.

Three Card Monte

BLAME IT ON THE PHONE COMPANY!!!! Apple could have said the phone company made them do it. The phone company could have said that they were collecting this data to determine where and how the network needed upgrading,(not that they will spend any money on doing this, preferring data caps, usage plans, extra numbers you don’t need) or better yet, to keep the tinfoil hat crowd happy, blame it on the government! Yeah! AT&T and the NSA Black Rooms at the switching stations.

Apple’s response is so tepid as too be meaningless.

Apple Admits it Botched iPad, iPhone “Location” Code, Says Fix is Coming

Apple Q&A on Location Data

But Wait!! There’s More!!!
IN an effort to prove that they are the peoples representatives, the Congress is gonna grill Google, Apple and Microsoft. This of course after getting their tits slammed in the door of party posturing.
Google, Apple and Microsoft questioned on data tracking

Jesus, you just can’t make this shit up.

Arizona~Up in Smoke!

Welcome to Mari-zona!

Reefer madness come to the Grand Canyon State. Soon all of those shuttered Pay Day Loan stores will be Medical Marijuana Dispensary’s.

Health Care or Health Coverage

Folks are talking about Health Care, but in reality are talking about Health Coverage. The difference is vast and needs examination. Millions of Uninsured Citizens! Health Coverage implies needing Insurance Industry Products.
Health Care or Health Coverage? There is a distinction that is being overshadowed by the various groups involved.
Health Care is a system where if you get sick, you are cared for. Period.
OHMYGOD! Universal Health Care! Socialized Medicine!
We pay for it with two ways.
1. payroll deductions Just like social security. With the same employer matching contribution.
(No more bullshit of having companies not providing insurance for employees, or having to spend lunatic amounts of time and money trying to provide coverage)
2. A 10 cent per share Tax on wall street stock trades. Mark Cuban did the math here;

If the NYSE, Nasdaq, Amex and OTC are trading 2 Billion shares a day, thats $ 200 Million Dollars PER DAY. If there are 260 trading days a year. Thats about 52 Billion dollars a year.

That’s real money.

No shit sherlock.

Health Coverage is a system where a third party, not you and your health care provider, have total discretion over your treatment options, providers, and can even deny coverage and payment using rescission.

Paying for It.
Health Coverage bullshit from Blue Cross:

“To assure truly meaningful reform, the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association (BCBSA) and the 39 member Blue Cross and Blue Shield companies today announced support for every individual being required to have coverage and all insurers being required to accept everyone regardless of their health status.

“Coupling a requirement that insurers must offer coverage to everyone regardless of health status with an effective requirement that everyone have insurance would enable insurers to offer coverage to everyone regardless of their health status — without the unintended consequence of premium increases. With everyone covered through an effective individual mandate, insurance can function as intended and spread the risk over a broad and representative population and, thereby avoid the risk of only those who need insurance purchasing coverage.

The problem with this noble goal is that it will not work. Not because the pool of people would not be large enough to make it work but because the Insurance Industry will bleed you to death with exclusions, and bullshit. Let me demonstrate my theory.

Look no farther than No Fault Auto Insurance in states that require it. No Fault Insurance was designed to require coverage for all cars and drivers, with the goal of repairing cars in accidents  regardless of fault. On the back of the envelope, you would think that roughly doubling the number of policy holders making premium payments would reduce the premium cost to everyone, reduce overhead and processing costs for claims, and be a net value for both the policy holders and the insurance companies.

The reality is that payments went up, coverage went down, and the insurance companies were able to further shear policy holders with things like Uninsured Coverage, and Underinsured coverage, which you would think Uninsured would cover Underinsured, but you would be wrong.

If you think that Insurance Company Universal Health Coverage will work, I have vast tracts of oceanfront property in Arizona next to the Palo Verde Nuclear Power Plant to sell you.

Many Sunny Days Ahead

Occasionally something comes by that is too good to be trapped in email.

One sunny day in 2009 an old man approaches the White House from across Pennsylvania Avenue where he’s been sitting on a park bench. He speaks to the U.S. Marine standing guard: “I would like to go in and meet with President Bush.” The Marine looks at the man: “Sir, Mr. Bush no longer is president, and no longer resides here.” The old man says, “Okay,” and walks away.

The following day, the same man approaches the White House, says to the same Marine, “I would like to go in and meet with President Bush.” The Marine again tells the man, “Sir, as I said yesterday, Mr. Bush is no longer president and no longer resides here.” The man thanks him and, again, just walks away.

The third day, the same man approaches the White House and speaks to the very same U. S. Marine saying “I would like to go in and meet with President Bush.” The Marine, somewhat irritated at this point, looks hard at the man and says, “Sir, this is the third day in a row you have been here asking to speak to Mr. Bush. I’ve already told you that Mr. Bush is no longer President and no longer resides here. Don’t you understand?”

The old man looks at the Marine: “Oh, I understand, all right. I just love hearing you say it.”

The Marine snaps to attention, salutes, and says, “See you tomorrow, sir.”

Fear of Queers

Not all of the election news is good. Arizona remains a RED state, mostly because McCain is a homeboy. Ignorance is curable, stupidity is not.

Fear of Queers is alive and well here in the Grand Canyon State, and may very well become part of the Arizona Constitution. Proposition 102 passed amending the constitution to define marriage as being between one man and one woman. With divorce rates at or above 50% we know how well that is working.

However, in a spirit of unity and lunacy, lets go with this for a moment. Since same sex marriage is illegal already in Arizona, and the man woman thing is so important, let us come together and strengthen this.

No sense polluting the sacred marriage  with acts that can be construed as anti family. Since this is billed as a family initiative, by all means let us require procreation as a part of the marriage contract. Prop 102 was sold as a Family initiative, and there is no more positive proof than having children.  To insure that this takes place, let us outlaw all sexual positions but the missionary with the man superior. This is so our little sperm buddies do not leak out.

In the case of infertility, we can have the state drop off a kid every so often, so we can keep the perfect family train running. It will be a while before we can get the age of consent down to puberty, so we have to do something with these accidents. Think of the money we can save by not housing and feeding all those unwanted children. Besides we can use the beds for those people who have come out of the closet, we can set up reeducation camps and use electro convulsive therapy (shock treatments) because nothing says love like 10,000 volts in your brain.

Let us also make cunnilingus, fellatio and sodomy crimes as they do not  promote the meeting of the sperm and egg. Besides it is how those people scratch their twisted sexual desires. To be sure that we can keep the sacred marriage contract on track, we can educate our children how to spot these behaviors and give them a hotline to turn in mommy and daddy. You know, clubs like Sperm Saviours and Egg Keepers. We can award prizes like Disney Movies, burgers and candy bars.

We will also have take back the rainbow as a happy symbol of heterosexual life and not as a secret badge for those people who think that they are okay having sex with the same sex. Fashion and interior design will take a hit in the short term, but we don’t have money to spend on that sort of frivolity anyway.

We have just has a historic election where we have elected a black man who less than 150 years ago was owned by someone, and less than 60 years ago could not be an equal member of our society.

So now we want to deny liberty and equality to people whose sexual orientation is different?

Like I said earlier,

Ignorance is curable, stupidity is not.

Does Papa have a brand new bag?

President Bush can leave town anytime now. Start packing!  Really, get the fuck out the White House now so that we can fumigate, and begin to repair the damage that you have caused. Even Nixon got a clue. We will need someone to count the silverware however. And I hope the door hits you in the ass hard enough to render you mute for the  rest of your miserable life.

My luck is changing, as normally when I vote, the other guy wins. It may be because how I spent the day of the election.

After voting as the sun was rising, I puttered around the house for a little bit, and then sat down and watched  Buffy the Vampire Slayer The Complete First Season on DVD.

There is a certain emotional elegance to this. No commercial interruptions, and not watching talking assholes on TV explaining vote counting, with no doubt pithy analysis (as they always do). People who read shit off  teleprompters are not at the top of my list as folks I regard as credible, especially in an arena where addition can be done by me. When I did check the results I used the web. Much better and a lot quieter.

Electing Barack Obama president was a watershed event in American culture. Not because he is black, articulate, or has dumbo ears, but because he has vision and no political contributor remoras sucking at his neck, unlike the other guy. The only folks he owes is us, and I think he will honor that. Saying Politics and Honor in the same paragraph is its own event.

Papa does have a brand new bag.

Voting for Obama

My vote is for Obama.

That’s one.

Your vote will make two.

And so on.

This is the first Presidential Election where I am actually voting for a candidate rather than against a politician. Having voted  for 36 years, because it is really the one true right left, it is important. Besides, even with McCain having a home state advantage, if he wins here it will be paper thin.

My fantasy is Obama crushes McCain so we can call the election around an hour after the polls close. McCain retires from public life forever, Sarah Palin gets a job as a spokes model for the NRA, and I win the lottery.

Here in Arizona I will be voting against every Republican Incumbent.  Also in Arizona we have the Proposition Follies.

Proposition 102 wants to keep the gays in the closet by amending the State Constitution making marriage the union of one man and one woman. That’s a No.

Proposition 200 says it wants to reform Payday Loans, but being written by the Payday Loan Support Group, it is a No.

Proposition 201 will open the door for anybody to sue any home seller for alleged ‘defects’ regardless of not being the buyer. Ambulance chasers rejoice! This is another one of those full employment for attorneys deals. Another No.

Proposition 202 is relates to closing the loopholes on businesses who hire illegal aliens. Yes here. There are enough loopholes in the original legislation to drive semi loads of illegal aliens through.

Prop 300 is a salary bump for state legislators. Hell No! There are few reasons.

A lot of what passes for law and legislation in Arizona gets lifted from Federal Law and gets the serial numbers filed off.  A moron with search and replace can do that. One might point out that there is little discernible difference between morons and legislators, but that would petty and do a great disservice to morons.  The current crop of legislators are firmly jammed up the assholes of Developers and Builders. They are ignoring solar energy, health care and education. Proposition 202 is a shining example of why they don’t deserve a pay raise.

So much for me. Get your own ass out and vote.

Tax and Spend vs Blindfold and Bailout

Tax and Spend is the label that the Republicans have used to splash Democrats in elections for years. It is true as Dems like to spend money on things that have broader impact beyond individual congressional districts. They also understand that these things cost money that has to come out of our pockets. Not a totally unreasonable theory as just everybody with a pulse understands money for stuff.
However, they do remember where the money has to come from.

Republicans like to run on platforms of smaller government and no regulation of ‘free markets’. We can see how well that is working. The Republicans need a label too. Blindfold and Bailout is my choice.
They blindfold us and themselves into thinking that the market will redistribute, trickle down, or that the Social Welfare Fairy will cause them to see beyond personal wealth and comfort. When that doesn’t happen, they create a crisis requiring a Bailout. Iraq, Terrorists, War on Drugs, Credit Default Swaps.
Then they disguise motion as activity with a Bailout!

What is most disheartening is just how many folks still think that 4 more years of Republicans is okay.

Bailout Bullshit

The last hurrah of the Bushwhack Administration is upon us. The Bailout is such an epic bit of bullshit as to make me believe that we need a few more years of Republicans to finish the rape and pillage of America, turning the sports stadiums across the country into soup kitchens, converting golf courses into homeless shelters, and demonstrating that Black Holes are located on Wall Street.

Driftglass presents The Large Badloan Collider

Updates and Pointers

Some interesting stuff on the intertubes this week.

National Federation for the Blind’s 6 Million Dollar Payday.
Target and the NFB have settled out of court for 6 million bucks.. At issue was the position that Section 508 of the Americans with Disabilities Act includes retailers who are also online.

The Flashturbationites and the AJAXians web designers have been given yet another pass to make the web unusable to folks who do not have a full set of capabilities.

MetaFilter has a great commentary which points out the positions that various folks hold.

This ‘settlement’ does nothing to settle whether or not people with visual, aural, or other disabilities, are equal under the law. It is a cheap out for Target, about 10 minutes sales profit.

Digital Preservation
Sustainability of Digital Formats
This is a very technical discussion about various digital formats for creating and preservation of digital media. This is an interesting document coming from the Library of Congress who used to be the Depository of Record for Copyrights, and keeper of the Public Domain, but has since bent over and grabbed its ankles for the ‘entertainment’ industry since 1976, when mandatory deposits were abolished.
They may be thinking ahead, but they will be out of a job real soon unless copyright is reset back to 14 years for everybody.

Safe Harbor ahead for YouTube

“In a development that could portend some good news for Google-owned YouTube, a federal judge in San Jose has ruled that Veoh, the video-sharing service, isn’t liable for copyright infringement for material that was uploaded to its site.”
Source: WSJ LawBlog


Finally Politics
Sarah Palin for VP? One bullet from the Presidency? Get Fucking Real!