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etc. - a little of this, a little of that - by Oliver Del Signore

Malls track shoppers’ cell phones on Black Friday and other tech news

Friday, November 25th, 2011

I remember when folks said technology would make our lives better. Seems to me, it’s just made our lives different, with lot less time to smell the roses.

What do you think?


Interesting stuff from the tech world:

Yet another reason I hate shopping.

Malls track shoppers’ cell phones on Black Friday

I don’t know what Steve Jobs had in mind, but I suspect that whatever hits the market next year will change the TV landscape.

Apple television expected in mid-2012 as competition is ‘scrambling’

I rarely log onto my personal Facebook page, but, along with the office staff, I do update the Backwoods Home page and have been annoyed by this. I agree with the author, it’s a bad idea.

How Facebook is ruining sharing

As I’ve often said, whenever government sticks its collective nose into anything, they make it worse and/or more expensive.

SOPA is a threat to American Internet leadership

I won’t be buying the first generation, but when they’ve enhanced it a bit, it would work great for me as a backup computer I can carry in my pocket.

USB Stick Contains Dual-Core Computer, Turns Any Screen Into an Android Station

We’re all still waiting for the millions of jobs all those stimulus trillions were supposed to create. Maybe this will help. Or not.

FCC Says Broadband Expansion Will Add Jobs

I own  a DumbPhone. All it does is make phone calls and I like it that way. I spend enough time trying to keep the bad guys our of my computers and the websites I manage. I have no desire to add my phone to the list.

McAfee: Nearly All New Mobile Malware In Q3 Targeted At Android Phones



6 Responses to “Malls track shoppers’ cell phones on Black Friday and other tech news”

  1. Desiree Says:

    Malls tracking customers:

    As someone who used to own a data collection agency, I can tell you this has been going on for a very long time; they just didn’t have the technology to do it remotely by cell phone.

    Years ago, when I first got involved with tech, I did see it as a way to enhance our lives. Telecommuting was touted as the way to alleviate commuter congestion and help the environment, provide flexibility for a work/life balance, access to jobs by the physically challenged with assistive technologies, and better access to educational information for everyone.

    The technology exists to make these things happen, but businesses aren’t in the business of making our lives better. They’re in the business of making money. And your information is worth a lot of money.

    I held my last job in tech for 8 years for a very large cellular communications company. For several of those years, I was the person who monitored your call for Quality Assurance (QA). When I monitored a call, I could see everything that happened on that rep’s computer screen and hear every word that was spoken by both you and the rep. And since calls were tracked by the call and not the rep, I could continue to see and hear everything when you got transferred to the next rep. It’s call Every Breath You Take (EBYT) monitoring. There was no doubt in my mind that there was someone else within the company that was EBYT monitoring me as I monitored the calls too, even though the company would never admit to it.

    This technology can also be used on someone working from home. The client side software (for the computer) can be installed remotely (pushed), runs in the background and doesn’t show up in your system tray or even in Task Manager under processes. There are lots of variations of this software and is a used heavily by hackers and corporations…oh, wait, that was redundant. They’re one and the same.

  2. Melissa Says:

    I often wonder if I’m the only person in the US who leaves home without a cell phone. I don’t like being available 24/7. (Now I do have kids who are old enough to be left home alone, and if they are home by themselves, I will bring my cell phone… most of the time. Now, remembering to turn it on is another story…)

    When I hear about the latest changes in technology, I wonder if it’s all a chasing after the wind. I mean, what’s the point? Are we really better off than we were 50 years ago before all these technological “advances?” All these things are supposed to save us time. LOL! I haven’t noticed any additional hours in my day.

    Maybe I’m an old fogie, but I think we’re becoming too technological. Is it too late to revive chatting over the backyard fence as opposed to in the chat room?

  3. Daphne Mitchell Says:

    I love my iPhone, but recognize the surveillance capacities it has. The location dependent apps I use can certainly provide useful information to businesses and other agencies. How boring my life is, is another matter entirely. Perhaps if I was living the exciting life of a younger person, these businesses and/or agencies might have reason to check on me. But when the most exciting things I do are go to church, work, and do local shopping, I’m willing to put up with the surveillance for the convenience factor.

    I must admit, however, I still like to have a landline. Don’t agencies have to get a subpoena to monitor landlines? Not that the things I say to my family members are all that interesting…


    I suppose it’s the principle of the thing.

  4. Tawnya Says:

    SOPA needs to go!! ( I don’t carry a cell phone at all).

  5. Steph Says:

    It’s very scary that we’ve become so dependent on our technology that even with the knowledge of surveillance, we can’t seem to do without it. I, too, am guilty of this. I won’t leave home without my blackberry. But stories like this always remind me of “1984”. When I had to read that in high school, we could never imagine that our society would become that way, but here we are. We blinked and it happened, and it’s very, very frightening.

  6. Gary Says:

    I have a cell phone (Jitterbug) that I have with me whenever I leave home. However it is only turned on if I need to make an outgoing call. I have it as a ‘life line phone’.

    Just because you have a cell phone doesn’t mean you have to have it on and be available 24/7. Apparently from Melissa’s comment she thinks you do.



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