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EPIC Sues FTC Over Google's Planned Privacy Changes

samzenpus posted more than 2 years ago | from the when-in-doubt-sue dept.

Google 100

angry tapir writes "The Electronic Privacy Information Center has filed a lawsuit against the U.S. Federal Trade Commission, asking a court to force the agency to take action against Google over planned changes in the company's collection of personal data. EPIC, in briefs filed Wednesday, asked the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia to require the FTC to enforce a 2011 privacy agreement between the agency and Google over the company's fumbled rollout of its Buzz social networking service."

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Slashdot is dead (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38977637)

Infiltrated by Google employees and well-wishers, Slashdot consistently offers justifications for every bad behavior and terrible decision coming from Google. Just look at the privacy changes article in which fanboys banded together to make sure Google was perceived as the good guy and that anyone critical of them was modbombed.

Just to recap, Google is a multibillion dollar advertising megacorporation that was caught by the German government sniffing people's wifi data (they "accidentally" did it for three years before admitting it only when authorities threatened an investigation), forced people to use real names on Google+ and admitted it was an identity service and not a social network, stuffed Google+ results into the search engine without any competing social networks even though they have those networks indexed by the search engine (hello, Microsoft tactics), said that the only people who care about privacy "have something to hide," hacked into Mocality to call its customers, removed H.264 support in Chrome out of "openness" only to turn around and ship the closed-source Flash plugin, withheld Android source from the public but shared it with privileged hardware partners so they could have a leg up, abused their Android compatibility program to make things difficult for smartphone makers who chose Bing over Google, and on and on and on.

With all this crap they pull that would get them completely trashed if they were Microsoft or any other company, there's one reason and one reason only that they have been propped up as the good guy on Slashdot all these years--Linux. They use Linux. Slashdot is a Linux advocacy site, and so because Google uses Linux, they are good guys and get a pass for everything. That's all it takes to get Slashdot to love you. Just use Linux.

Hypocrites. When Microsoft used their Windows monopoly revenues to fund development of Internet Explorer and release it for free to try to dominate the web market, everyone here cried "antitrust!" But when Google uses its web search monopoly revenues to fund development of Android and release it for free to try to dominate smartphones, everyone defends it. For anyone who was on Slashdot during those times, to see Google doing all the very same things Microsoft did but get a completely different reaction is surreal.

Slashdot is a bubble. You only get pro-Google, pro-Linux news. Major news occurring elsewhere is often days late, if it gets reported at all. The Google+ search results fiasco is huge all over the tech sites right now, but there's nothing about it here, as if it doesn't even exist as a controversy. And did you know iOS surpassed Android in marketshare by the end of 2011 according to three research firms? With how obsessed Slashdot is over marketshare, and how they constantly trumpeted Android's marketshare all the time as a victory last year, you'd think it would be big news. But, no. This is pro-Google territory, pro-Linux territory. Gotta keep the natives happy for more page views.

This will get modded down because trolls have taken over the moderation system and openly subvert it. That's fine. It just proves my point about how Slashdot reacts to anything outside the partyline. This site's news reporting is old, antiquated, and slow, but the news isn't even why people come here anymore. The part of the community still remaining (after its years-long exodus to Reddit, Hacker News, and other sites, which is why traffic has decreased so dramatically on most Slashdot stories today) only comes here to pat themselves on the back for thinking a certain way. "Yeah, Microsoft is still evil! Yeah, Google is still the good guy! Yeah, Apple is still for chumps!" It's the year 2000 forever on Slashdot.

Re:Slashdot is dead (2, Insightful)

leoplan2 (2064520) | more than 2 years ago | (#38977655)

Tl;dr: If you don't like this site, stop visiting it. Go and read WMPowerUser, Microsoft News, Gizmodo, Macrumors, Cult of Mac, etc. There is a lot of choice out there

Re:Slashdot is dead (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38978031)

>Gizmodo

hahaha oh god you're joking right? gizmodo, and by extension the entire gawker network, is the tech equivalent of fox news. they are unable to post anything without sensationalising it. they don't care about integrity, they only care about ad dollars.

if you want decent reporting then arstechnica are pretty good.

Re:Slashdot is dead (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38980979)

Gawker Network

Their only saving grace is LifeHacker, so lets put in a caveat for them.

Re:Slashdot is dead (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38977683)

This will get modded down because trolls have taken over the moderation system and openly subvert it.

No, if your post gets modded down, it'll be because it's a delusional screed, only peripherally related to the topic at hand, that incidentally shows you don't even notice the many anti-Google articles that appear on Slashdot.

Re:Slashdot is dead (-1, Flamebait)

hairyfeet (841228) | more than 2 years ago | (#38978907)

Oh come on now! Surely even the blind would notice /. has become a bunch of perception bubbles and flag waving, yes? As far as I've been able to figure it here is the current score, its Linux yay, Microsoft boo, Apple yay unless its against FOSS then its a battle royale with cheese between the FOSSies and Appleites, Canonical was yay and now they are boo, Open office was yay until it got bought by oracle which it then inherited Oracle's boo, Android yay, Google yay always no matter what because they "do no evil" snicker, HTC yay, Nokia boo, if i left out any yays or boos please feel free to fill them in.

Anyone that wants to karma whore can simply post anything that fits a yay on an approved subject, even if it makes no sense like saying "Just use Linux" when TFA is about a book review of Oracle DB management, and to get modded down all you have to do is risk popping a perception bubble by pointing out something no matter how obvious, watch as i go for a triple pop: Apple is too expensive and is using patents to try to block competition, Win 8 is a seriously stupid design that depends on touchscreens that the majority of computers won't have by Oct and I'd say what Google is doing would qualify as evil. Oh and in case you ain't noticed AC we have some lovers of perception bubbles making hundreds of accounts so they can modbomb anybody that doesn't wave the appropriate flag.

As for TFA can we all agree that Google is the new MSFT on the "Danger Will Robinson!" scale? Old Ballmer's head would asplode if the moron had an original thought and has such a hard on for trying to be Apple i bet he can't look at an iPad without having naughty thoughts. Meanwhile Google is gonna end up with so damned much info on the population and individuals that every three letter agency is just gonna be drooling at the thought of checking out their files and with the amount of secrets they'll be able to gather because so many people treat the Internet as this magical place where if there is nobody around it must not be known that someone like Nixon wouldn't have to risk planting bugs anymore, they'd just find out all the dirt they want from Google. Between Google and FB you might as well have a camera on your butt 24/7 because even if you avoid it your friends will be happy to plaster info about you on their pages.

So while I wish EPIC luck I'm afraid its a little too little, its a little too late as good luck convincing the public that everything they do on a PC or post to FB can be traced even if they set their FB status to private. Seems like it'd be a good way to shut down anybody that gets uppity though, the next one that tries to organize some tea party or occupy thing could easily get a call and be told "Do you REALLY want all your friends to know you are into midgets, shemales and granny gangbangs? if not then quit doing what you are doing" and watch them STFU but quick.

Re:Slashdot is dead (1)

nnet (20306) | more than 2 years ago | (#38980139)

Or maybe the majority of people just don't care about their privacy as much as YOU'D like them to, they're more concerned with the ease and convenience of a service, knowing full well that the cost of using same is access to the data they generate. No one's forcing anyone to sign up for any google service.

Re:Slashdot is dead (1)

hairyfeet (841228) | more than 2 years ago | (#38982467)

Notice how I got modded down for not waving the flag? I wonder which fanboi did the modding, an Appleite, a Googler, a Softie or a FOSSie? As for your post, let me say i so rarely get to use this in a sentence...WHOOSH! Kinda missed the point didn't ya friend? the point was it doesn't matter how YOU feel about privacy as all your friends will happily post tons of info about you even if you avoid these services like the plague!

Just by following your FB friends and cross linking the data it would be trivially easy to build quite a bit of info about you even if you never touched Google or FB in your life and because so many of your friends and family use this you don't really have a choice, there is no opt out when it comes to keeping your family and friends from posting about you. these things have become like giant online diaries where people put every single thing that happens to them and if you are part of that life well congrats, you are now being datamined. And again that is if you opt out of the whole thing, but who doesn't Google? Who doesn't have a FB page? Its so bad the "Key of Awesome" did a parody called "The man without a Facebook" which showed this strange solitary creature with no FB! Gasp!

Re:Slashdot is dead (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38985521)

Google's one of the first "behaviour modeling" / ad companies to reveal what information it has about you. Whenever you factory-reset or enable wifi/cell network GPS, an Android device will warn you that Google will have your location if you OPT-IN.

Android is open source, so anyone can see exactly what it's doing if they so choose -- or modifying to their liking. You don't even have to log in with a Google account if you so choose not to. You do, of course, lose access to Google services like Maps, Android Market, Gmail. HOWEVER, there are multiple other places to get them without hacking: TomTom/Bing/many other GPS software makers, Getjar/Amazon/SlideMe, many others. If you're paranoid about Google's information harvesting, you can quite literally buy a Galaxy Nexus / Nexus S and throw CyanogenMod to better protect yourself without any hacking -- just a zip file onto the phone memory and a reboot with a recovery key will do it.

Can you even come close to saying that for any other mobile platform or ad network. And yes, this includes FB (who never deletes your pics and regularly changes their privacy settings back to default b/c it's a "new system") and APL (who hides the GPS opt-out in a setting that's not even on the phone; it's on a website not mentioned anywhere on the device)?

These are the reasons why most people here root for Google.

Re:Slashdot is dead (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38977731)

Wow... awesome thread, tolls gone wild. Good times, bring popcorn.

Re:Slashdot is dead (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38977785)

'tis an EPIC thread o' trolling.

*Gotta stay on topic... and mix in old timey talk for no good reason.

Re:Slashdot is dead (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38978181)

Abso-freaking-lutely! I cannot believe how the /. community has done a complete 180* and started to blindly and feverishly support the largest spyware company in the world.

Oops. Principals and principles tainted. (5, Informative)

symbolset (646467) | more than 2 years ago | (#38978267)

Interesting. Marc Rotenberg, President and Executive Director of EPIC served as counsel [wikipedia.org] on the Senate Judiciary Committee to PIPA sponsor Patrick Leahy. The very same unconstitutional PIPA that Google just protested against and helped get shut down with your help and mine.

I don't know about you, but a lawyer at counsel who could advise the Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee that he could get away with sponsoring a bill that violates not one, but at least two of our human rights enshrined in the Bill of Rights to suit a tiny minority commercial interest might be a wee bit biased.

Odd coincidence, that he's leading the group now suing Google over something or other. How did they expect us to not know that? Do they not have the Google? Are they living in the 1980's still?

In case you don't remember who Senator Leahy is and how he's working against your free speech and due process rights, here's an article [talkingpointsmemo.com] with interesting links. Being as how you're reading this though, it's unlikely you don't know this.

And here's former Senator and chairman of the Democratic National Committee Chris Dodd saying if the politicians took the graft they oughtta pass this bill (PIPA and SOPA): link [ibtimes.com] .

It's called right to have representation (1)

dutchwhizzman (817898) | more than 2 years ago | (#38978659)

Just like a doctor has to cure people as best as they can, regardless if they like them, agree with them or find the cause of the injury stupid or self inflicted, lawyers should be able to represent people to the best of their abilities, regardless if they agree with the cause or not. Only if the lawyer, by some moral objection, thinks he/she can not represent the client to the best of their abilities, should they not take the case. Anyone has a right to a fair trail and lawyers should be the people helping make that happen.

True, a lot of lawyers choose not to do so and they do just fine. However, some lawyers find it more interesting, or more rewarding, financially or not, to just represent anything or anyone, regardless of their standpoint on moral issues. In your reasoning, defense lawyers in death penalty cases that were once public prosecutors in the same type of cases, can not be good defense lawyers, since they switched sides. In practice this happens a lot. Also, private lawyers turn judge later on in their careers, same reasoning applies.

In my opinion, which is shared with a lot of people in the legal field, you should be able to serve justice over serving your own moral view points on the matter at hand. Anyone is allowed to be represented to the fullest extent of the law. A good lawyer can and will do so, regardless of the case at hand.

Re:It's called right to have representation (1)

symbolset (646467) | more than 2 years ago | (#38978689)

If you can't draw a straight line from this one thing to this other similar thing, you're an idiot. It's the same venue, the same domain, the same space. The question is whether he's driving the Senator, or whether the Senator is driving him. My bet is the former.

Re:It's called right to have representation (1)

symbolset (646467) | more than 2 years ago | (#38979457)

Second reply, sorry. That first reply isn't going to get 'er done. Your post presents certain ethical questions that are at the crux of lawyers and the law. No matter how depraved he is, under our system even Josh Powell deserves representation even unto parental visitation. Even if the children recall that he put their mother into the trunk and returned without her. And if that fair protection of his parental rights results in him hatcheting their skulls and immolating them, that's just due process of law.

You're a lawyer now, but you were a human once. Try.

Re:It's called right to have representation (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38981013)

To summarize:

Point: Lawyers should be allowed, indeed are morally obligated, to defend their clients to the best of their ability, regardless of their personal opinions.

Counterpoint: If we let lawyers defend just anyone they might accidentally defend someone who is guilty. Besides, as a lawyer you're no longer a human being and are therefore not entitled to your opinion.

Re:Oops. Principals and principles tainted. (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38978921)

Interesting. Marc Rotenberg, President and Executive Director of EPIC served as counsel on the Senate Judiciary Committee to PIPA sponsor Patrick Leahy. The very same unconstitutional PIPA that Google just protested against and helped get shut down with your help and mine.

According to that article, Rotenberg served as counsel to Leahy "after graduation from law school". His EPIC biography says he was admitted to the MA bar in 1987 --- so he worked for Leahy around 1987. He co-founded EPIC in 1994.

PIPA was introduced by Leahy in 2011, around 20 years later.

Given everything EPIC has been doing for the last 17 years, it seems more likely (though less "interesting") that Rotenberg didn't like what he saw from his stint with the SJC, and that put him on the alternate path that led to EPIC.

Math is hard, as they say, but valiantly we try.

Re:Oops. Principals and principles tainted. (1)

symbolset (646467) | more than 2 years ago | (#38979111)

"After" is a really stretchy word. It might mean "immediately after briefly" and it might not. Its duration is uncertain too. For all we know he's counsel to Senator Leahy still and that would not break the statement. What "After" says is that he didn't counsel the Senator before he graduated law school - which normally would be a given, since being at counsel to a Senator would normally presume passing the Bar.

I'm Symbolset and words (symbols) are my stock in trade. Words mean things. They also sometimes don't mean things you think they do, and that's not the words' fault but yours. The difference between the hard definition and the presumption or common understanding is the Devil's workspace and it's a busy place with a lot of people working it these days. I think you're among them, Mr. AC.

When this lawyer who is attacking Google last had a counsel relationship with Senator Leahy is a valid question. We know the relationship exists, but not how recent it is. So Let's ask it.

Re:Oops. Principals and principles tainted. (1)

Ihmhi (1206036) | more than 2 years ago | (#38979929)

How do you know that Mr. Rotenberg didn't advise Mr. Leahy that PIPA is a really bad idea and why it wouldn't work?

Re:Oops. Principals and principles tainted. (1)

andb52 (854780) | more than 2 years ago | (#38980009)

You do realize that that was at least 20 years ago, right? Rotenberg started EPIC in 1994, and your own citation indicates that he worked for Leahy after graduating from law school. You're falsely implying that he is currently working for Leahy and was advising him about PIPA. Also, EPIC has a history of filing suit over Google policies, such as when Google Buzz was rolled out.

Re:Slashdot is dead (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38980007)

+1 informative.

Unfortunately I can't log in anymore because Slashdot won't email me a new password but this hits the nail on the head.

Personally I now use IXQuick and Scroogle instead of Google as I'm not giving Google any more data.

iOS now has more marketshare than Android (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38977645)

According to Reuters, Apple surpassed Android in marketshare [reuters.com] by the end of 2011, confirming earlier reports by both Nielsen [nielsen.com] and NPD [gigaom.com] . 150 Android smartphones couldn't beat the iPhone 4S. With 15 million iPads sold last quarter, the tablet market is now larger than the entire desktop PC market. Apple’s profits ($13 billion) exceeded Google’s entire revenue ($10.6 billion).

Who cares? Well, in January 2011, Slashdot triumphantly reported that Android surpassed iOS in marketshare [slashdot.org] . All year, Android fans cited Android's marketshare as proof that it was taking over the smartphone industry, that the lack of centralized control was superior to the "walled garden", and that Android was "winning".

So what happened when the opposite occurred and Apple reversed Android's marketshare lead by the end of the year? Despite multiple submissions from several users, and news coverage ranging from Arstechnica to CNN, Slashdot refused to publish the story. All the sudden, it wasn't considered newsworthy despite the publication of the other story a year earlier.

This is a Linux advocacy site whose initial userbase was driven by hatred of Windows marketshare. Marketshare is still highly fetishized around here. Anything negative about the marketshare of Linux, or platforms based on Linux, gets killed. Slashdot is intentionally not providing you full tech news coverage because it caters to a specific demographic of emotionally-invested users who are more likely to generate repeat page views.

Re:iOS now has more marketshare than Android (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38978095)

apple has surely achieved high margins, but what by definition is maket share? No. of devices in the market, or share of the overall revenue pie? if latter, then it can only mean, that few % of users spent most bucks for their devices. (what comes to my mind is, that also in other fields 20% ownz 80% of whatever). So u say that more % user base should bend before less% rich guys? .. well fu*.k u.

Re:iOS now has more marketshare than Android (1)

jdgeorge (18767) | more than 2 years ago | (#38982797)

This parent AC post is a verbatim copy of an AC post from yesterday. [slashdot.org]

Is this the work of an unimaginative troll, or of a paid advocate?

Re:iOS now has more marketshare than Android (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38985825)

uh, you're an idiot.

1) Android did NOT lose in total marketshare. It lost in marketshare gained -- or in other words, the percentage of people who bought new phones in the last quarter in the last quarter. Why? Because you fanbois ran out and bought the only phone that would make you happy. Android has a huge 50% total marketshare while the closest competitors are about 24% away for mobile.
Slashdot didn't post that article because it didn't actually provide any extra information most people here already know: Whenever an i device comes out, the iDiots run out and blow another $500-600 on it even though they have a perfectly good last-years-model.

2) 13b > 10.6b? So basically people are getting fucked up the ass with price gouging? APL takes in 30% of everything that even thinks about passing through their ecosystem since they have a tight control around it (DRM ebooks and movies, 30% in-app payment gouging (yes, if you buy a $1000 sofa on an i-device, $300 of that will go to APL. Guess who's paying?), banned if you try to offer "coupon codes" or "free money" codes for your games, etc.)

Google? You can export your Gmail at any time (IMAP/POP3). Your MP3 downloads have always been DRM free. There is no 30% gouging of in-app payments. You are not locked into Android Market. Their Nexus series phones give you better hardware (NFC, faster processor, bigger / better screen).

So ya, 13b of gouging. It's pretty impressive that that many people want to pay money for it, I'll grant you that. Not sure why me, as a consumer, would care.

3) If you think 15m tablet devices are even a speck of dust on the desktop PC market right now, you're hilarious. There are over 1 billion desktops used in the world right now.

The first Slashdot troll post investigation (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38977653)

The last few months I have been doing some research into the trolling phenomenon on slashdot.org. In order to do this as thoroughly as possible, I have written both normal and troll posts, 1st posts, etc., both logged in and anonymously, and I have found these rather shocking results:

* More moderator points are being used to mod posts down than up. Furthermore, when modding a post up, every moderator seems to follow previous moderators in their choices, even when it's not a particularly interesting or clever post [slashdot.org] . There are a LOT more +5 posts than +3 or +4.

* Logged in people are modded down faster than anonymous cowards. Presumably these Nazi Moderators think it's more important to burn a user's existing karma, to silence that individual for the future, than to use the moderation system for what it's meant for : identifying "good" and "bad" posts (Notice how nearly all oppressive governments in the past and present do the same thing : marking individuals as bad and untrustworthy because they have conflicting opinions, instead of engaging in a public discussion about these opinions)

* Once you have a karma of -4 or -5, your posts have a score of -1 by default. When this is the case, no-one bothers to mod you down anymore. This means a logged in user can keep on trolling as much as he (or she) likes, without risking a ban to post on slashdot. When trolling as an anonymous user, every post starts at score 0, and you will be modded down to -1 ON EVERY POST. When you are modded down a certain number of times in 24 hour, you cannot post anymore from your current IP for a day or so. So, for successful trolling, ALWAYS log in.

* A lot of the modded down posts are actually quite clever [slashdot.org] , funny [slashdot.org] , etc., and they are only modded down because they are offtopic. Now, on a news site like slashdot, where the number of different topics of discussion can be counted on 1 hand, I must say I quite like the distraction these posts offer. But no, when the topic is yet another minor version change of the Linux kernel, they only expect ooohs and aaahs about this great feat of engineering. Look at the moderation done in this thread to see what I mean.

* Digging deep into the history of slashdot, I found this poll [slashdot.org] , which clearly indicates the vast majority does NOT want the moderation we have here today. 'nuff said.

Feel free to use this information to your advantage. I thank you for your time.

Anonymous cowards are... well, cowards.

Re:The first Slashdot troll post investigation (0)

Guidii (686867) | more than 2 years ago | (#38980269)

I hate to feed (or read) trolls. I think this AC is correct. Slashdot editing seems to be borked. Is there a forum/venue/thread to discuss such things?

(Mistake of the day: forgetting to turn off the "I'm a moderator, show me everything" setting as soon as my mod points expired, and before reading this article. Colossally bad timing.)

Think about your breathing (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38977661)

Hello you are reading the THINK ABOUT YOUR BREATHING TROLL!
Yes that's right, THINK ABOUT YOUR BREATHING. Why you might ask? Well it's simple!
Your brain usually takes care of breathing FOR you, but whenever you remember this, YOU MUST MANUALLY BREATH! If you don't you will DIE.
There are also MANY variations of this. For example, think about:
1. BLINKING!
1. SWALLOWING SALIVA!
1. HOW YOUR FEET FEEL IN YOUR SOCKS!
1. THINK ABOUT YOUR BREATHING AGAIN!
In conclusion, the THINK ABOUT YOUR BREATHING troll is simply unbeatable. These 4 words can be thrown randomly into article text trolls, into sigs, into anything, and once seen, WILL FORCE THE VICTIM TO TAKE CARE OF HIS BREATHING MANUALLY! This goes far beyond the simple annoying or insulting trolls of yesteryear.
In fact, by EVEN RESPONDING to this troll, you are proving that IT HAS CLAIMED ANOTHER VICTIM -- YOU!

Re:Think about your breathing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38980141)

OMG !

What happens if I stop ?

I'm anxious now.

BSD is dying (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38977673)

It is now official. Netcraft has confirmed: *BSD is dying

One more crippling bombshell hit the already beleaguered *BSD community when IDC confirmed that *BSD market share has dropped yet again, now down to less than a fraction of 1 percent of all servers. Coming on the heels of a recent Netcraft survey which plainly states that *BSD has lost more market share, this news serves to reinforce what we've known all along. *BSD is collapsing in complete disarray, as fittingly exemplified by failing dead last in the recent Sys Admin comprehensive networking test.

You don't need to be the Amazing Kreskin to predict *BSD's future. The hand writing is on the wall: *BSD faces a bleak future. In fact there won't be any future at all for *BSD because *BSD is dying. Things are looking very bad for *BSD. As many of us are already aware, *BSD continues to lose market share. Red ink flows like a river of blood.

FreeBSD is the most endangered of them all, having lost 93% of its core developers. The sudden and unpleasant departures of long time FreeBSD developers Jordan Hubbard and Mike Smith only serve to underscore the point more clearly. There can no longer be any doubt: FreeBSD is dying.

Let's keep to the facts and look at the numbers.

OpenBSD leader Theo states that there are 7000 users of OpenBSD. How many users of NetBSD are there? Let's see. The number of OpenBSD versus NetBSD posts on Usenet is roughly in ratio of 5 to 1. Therefore there are about 7000/5 = 1400 NetBSD users. BSD/OS posts on Usenet are about half of the volume of NetBSD posts. Therefore there are about 700 users of BSD/OS. A recent article put FreeBSD at about 80 percent of the *BSD market. Therefore there are (7000+1400+700)*4 = 36400 FreeBSD users. This is consistent with the number of FreeBSD Usenet posts.

Due to the troubles of Walnut Creek, abysmal sales and so on, FreeBSD went out of business and was taken over by BSDI who sell another troubled OS. Now BSDI is also dead, its corpse turned over to yet another charnel house.

All major surveys show that *BSD has steadily declined in market share. *BSD is very sick and its long term survival prospects are very dim. If *BSD is to survive at all it will be among OS dilettante dabblers. *BSD continues to decay. Nothing short of a miracle could save it at this point in time. For all practical purposes, *BSD is dead.

Rob (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38977675)

Slashdot's gone cold I'm wondering why I got out of bed at all
The morning rain clouds up my window and I can't see at all
And even if I could it'll all be gray but your picture on my wall
It reminds me, that it's not so bad -- it's not so bad

Dear Rob, I wrote but you still ain't callin
I left my email, my ICQ, and my yahoo chat at the bottom
I sent two emails back in autumn, you must not-a got 'em
There probably was a problem with your sendmail or somethin
Sometimes I scribble email addees too sloppy when I jot 'em
but anyways; fsck it, what's been up? Man how's your boxes?
My boxes is linux too, I'm bout to be a compiler
once I learn gcc,
I'ma go on and compile for hours
I read about your Palm Pilot too I'm sorry
I had a friend lose his Palm over at the airport in Maradonna
I know you probably hear this everyday, but I'm your biggest fan
I even read all your bullshit Linux news and Microsoft's man
I got a room full of your posters and your pictures man
I like the way you sold your ass out too, that shit was fat
Anyways, I hope you get this man, hit me back,
just to chat, truly yours, your biggest fan
This is Stan

Dear Rob, you still ain't called or wrote, I hope you have a chance
I ain't mad - I just think it's FSCKED UP you don't answer fans
If you didn't wanna talk to me outside your Linux World
you didn't have to, but you coulda signed an autograph for Matthew
That's my Senior sys admin he's only 26 years old
We waited on a 9600 baud for you,
four hours and you just said, "No."
That's pretty shitty man - you're like his fsckin idol
He wants to be just like you man, he likes you more than I do
I ain't that mad though, I just don't like bein lied to
Remember when we met in Boston - you said if I'd write you
you would write back - see I'm just like you in a way
I never had a clue about shit either
I gcc'd shit with my wife then beat her
I can relate to what you're saying in your page
so when I feel like rmusering I read Slashdot to begin the rage
cause I don't really got shit else so that shit helps when I'm depressed
I even got a tattoo of slashdot across the chest
Sometimes I even packet myself to see how much it floods
It's like adrenaline, the DDoS is such a sudden rush of blood
See everything you say is real, and I respect you cause you tell it
My girlfriend's jealous cause I talk about you 24/7
But she don't know you like I know you Rob, no one does
She don't know what it was like for people like us growin up
You gotta call me man, I'll be the biggest fan you'll ever lose
Sincerely yours, Stan -- P.S.
We should be together too

Dear Mister-I'm-Too-Good-To-Waste-A-Packet-On-My-Fans,
this'll be the last packet I ever send your ass
It's been six months and still no word - I don't deserve it?
I know you got my last two emails
I wrote the @ signs on 'em perfect
So this is my payload I'm sending you, I hope you hear it
I'm on my modem now, I'm doing 9600 baud so fear it
Hey Rob, I drank a fifth of vodka, you dare me to code?
You know the song by Deep Purple or Slayer
its irrelevant by playing on my linux player
while I write some php scripts and play some Dragonslayer
That's kinda how shit is, you coulda rescued me from drowning
Now it's too late - I'm on a 1000 downloads now, I'm drowsy
and all I wanted was a lousy letter or a call
I hope you know I ripped +ALL+ of your pictures off the wall
I love you Rob, we coulda been together, think about it
You ruined it now, I hope you can't sleep and you dream about it
And when you dream I hope you can't sleep and you SCREAM about it
I hope your conscience EATS AT YOU and you can't BREATHE without me
See Rob {*screaming*} Shut up bitch! I'm tryin to code
Hey Rob, that's my senior admin screamin from the comode
but I didn't cut the power off, I just rebooted, see I ain't like you
cause if rm -rf'd we'd suffer more, and then the boxes die too
Well, gotta go, I'm almost BGP bridged now
Oh shit, I forgot, how'm I supposed to send this packet out?

Dear Stan, I meant to write you sooner but I just been busy
You said your box is running now, how'd you like your gcc?
Look, I'm really flattered you would install 7.0 Redhat
and here's an autograph for your senior sys admin
I wrote it on the Starter cap
I'm sorry I didn't see you at the show, I musta missed you
Don't think I did that shit intentionally just to diss you
But what's this shit you said about you like to DDoS lamers too?
I say that shit just clownin dog,
c'mon - how fucked up is you?
You got some issues Stan, I think you need some counseling
so heres some more Linux stories to keep your ass busy when you get down some
And what's this shit about us meant to be together?
I sold Slashdot for thousands so now I'm a single jetsetter
I really think you and your boxes need each other
or maybe you just need to treat them better
I hope you get to read this letter, I just hope it reaches you in time
before you hurt yourself, I think that you'll be doin just fine
if you relax a little, I'm glad I inspire you but Stan why are you so mad? Try to understand, that Linux and MS is just grand
I just don't want you to do some crazy shit
I seen this one shit on the news a couple weeks ago that made me sick
Some dude was drunk and switched his router for a bridge
and his packets were blackholed, and his DNS couldn't get digged
and in the colo they found a tape, but they didn't say who it was to
Come to think about, his name was.. it was you
Damn!

Do the Portman (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38977691)

"Trollin', Trollin', Trollin',
perl scripts a' pollin',
keep on slashdot trollin',
Portman!
Mae Ling Mak and First Post,
So I can now boast,
Wishin' my gal was petrified.
All the things I'm missin',
My Karma, baths, and wimmin,
I don't care, or else I'd cry!

CHORUS
Click 'em on, post 'em up
Post 'em up, click 'em on
Click 'em on, post 'em up
Portman!
Click 'em on, post 'em up
Post 'em up, click 'em on
Click 'em on, post 'em up
Portman!

Keep movin', movin', movin',
Though they're disapprovin',
Keep them fingers movin,
Portman!
Don't try to understand 'em,
Just post and reprimand 'em,
Soon we'll be trollin' far and wide!
My porn's stimulatin'
My right hand will be achin'
I don't care or else I'd cry!

Portman!
Portman!

Bought fake Insluin, hope someone has some info on (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38977695)

There was a post last month before thanksgiving on the So-Cal Craigslist with an elderly gentleman selling R type insulin for cash or btc. The last part caught me eye and from out talks, its sounded like he just had a recurring RX and was letting the stuff go for cheap aslong as you payed him the cost and a little bit for his time.

Well last night I went to refil my insulin pump, and woke up nearly dead today. It was just water, or saline, or who knows.

Point of this post is to see if anyone else saw that post and kept the info, and to warn off people in the LAX area buying insluin online.

A special message (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38977703)

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Organized trolling campaign by GreatBunzinni (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38977711)

GreatBunzinni [slashdot.org] has been posting anonymous accusations [slashdot.org] listing a whole bunch of Slashdot accounts as being part of a marketing campaign for Microsoft, without any evidence.

GreatBunzinni has accidentally outed himself [slashdot.org] as this anonymous poster. Here, he writes the same post almost verbatim, first using his logged-in account [slashdot.org] and then in an anonymous post [slashdot.org] submitted days later. Note the use of the exact same terminology and phrasing in both posts.

Half the accounts he attacks don't even post pro-Microsoft rhetoric. The one thing they appear to have in common is that they have been critical of Google in the past. GreatBunzinni has been using multiple accounts to post these "shill" accusations, such as Galestar [slashdot.org] , NicknameOne [slashdot.org] , and flurp [slashdot.org] .

That's not the problem. The problem is that moderators gave him +5 Informative and are now modding down the accused, even for legitimate posts. Metamoderation is supposed to address this by filtering out the bad moderators, but clearly it's not working.

This "shill" crap that has been flying around lately has to stop. It's restricting a variety of viewpoints from participating on the site and creating an echo chamber.

Slashdot is dead (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38977717)

Infiltrated by Google employees and well-wishers, Slashdot consistently offers justifications for every bad behavior and terrible decision coming from Google. Just look at the privacy changes article in which fanboys banded together to make sure Google was perceived as the good guy and that anyone critical of them was modbombed.

Just to recap, Google is a multibillion dollar advertising megacorporation that was caught by the German government sniffing people's wifi data (they "accidentally" did it for three years before admitting it only when authorities threatened an investigation), forced people to use real names on Google+ and admitted it was an identity service and not a social network, stuffed Google+ results into the search engine without any competing social networks even though they have those networks indexed by the search engine (hello, Microsoft tactics), said that the only people who care about privacy "have something to hide," hacked into Mocality to call its customers, removed H.264 support in Chrome out of "openness" only to turn around and ship the closed-source Flash plugin, withheld Android source from the public but shared it with privileged hardware partners so they could have a leg up, abused their Android compatibility program to make things difficult for smartphone makers who chose Bing over Google, and on and on and on.

With all this crap they pull that would get them completely trashed if they were Microsoft or any other company, there's one reason and one reason only that they have been propped up as the good guy on Slashdot all these years--Linux. They use Linux. Slashdot is a Linux advocacy site, and so because Google uses Linux, they are good guys and get a pass for everything. That's all it takes to get Slashdot to love you. Just use Linux.

Hypocrites. When Microsoft used their Windows monopoly revenues to fund development of Internet Explorer and release it for free to try to dominate the web market, everyone here cried "antitrust!" But when Google uses its web search monopoly revenues to fund development of Android and release it for free to try to dominate smartphones, everyone defends it. For anyone who was on Slashdot during those times, to see Google doing all the very same things Microsoft did but get a completely different reaction is surreal.

Slashdot is a bubble. You only get pro-Google, pro-Linux news. Major news occurring elsewhere is often days late, if it gets reported at all. The Google+ search results fiasco is huge all over the tech sites right now, but there's nothing about it here, as if it doesn't even exist as a controversy. And did you know that iOS surpassed Android in marketshare by the end of 2011 according to three research firms? With how obsessed Slashdot is over marketshare, and how they constantly trumpeted Android's marketshare all the time as a victory last year, you'd think it would be big news. But, no. This is pro-Google territory, pro-Linux territory. Gotta keep the natives happy for more page views.

This will get modded down because trolls have taken over the moderation system and openly subvert it. That's fine. It just proves my point about how Slashdot reacts to anything outside the partyline. This site's news reporting is old, antiquated, and slow, but the news isn't even why people come here anymore. The part of the community still remaining (after its years-long exodus to Reddit, Hacker News, and other sites, which is why traffic has decreased so dramatically on most Slashdot stories today) only comes here to pat themselves on the back for thinking a certain way. "Yeah, Microsoft is still evil! Yeah, Google is still the good guy! Yeah, Apple is still for chumps!" It's the year 2000 forever on Slashdot.

EPIC (3, Funny)

Narcocide (102829) | more than 2 years ago | (#38977727)

What on earth... why are all these trolls so angry?

Re:EPIC (1)

leoplan2 (2064520) | more than 2 years ago | (#38977735)

You're right. All this astroturfing (read the comments) is simply EPIC

Re:EPIC (5, Insightful)

NeutronCowboy (896098) | more than 2 years ago | (#38977779)

Ok, I don't understand. On the one hand, Google is forced to implement a comprehensive privacy program. On the other hand, EPIC complains that Google's new privacy rules are.... too comprehensive? Can someone point me to what is actually changing in the privacy terms that is actually so bad? As far as I can tell, everyone's just complaining that the policies are going to be merged. So instead of having 20 separate privacy policies, now each service is governed by the same. How is that bad?

Just wondering, cuz I seriously don't get the outrage.

Re:EPIC (4, Funny)

martin-boundary (547041) | more than 2 years ago | (#38977879)

So instead of having 20 separate privacy policies, now each service is governed by the same. How is that bad?

Well, IANAL but a priori, it's rather obvious that if you have several privacy policies that aren't exactly the same, then when you replace them all with a single one, you must lose some rights that you had for some services, and possibly gain some other rights that you had for some other services. So you end up with a different mix from what you initially signed up for in a given service. If you were happy with the original policies, you may not like the new ones.

Aw crap! That reads like a lawyer's explanation. When I die, I'll go straight to Hell, and the only computer languages allowed will be Javascript....

Re:EPIC (5, Insightful)

buback (144189) | more than 2 years ago | (#38977951)

Meanwhile: Facebook changes it's privacy policy for the 20th time since the announcement of google's policy change.

Re:EPIC (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38978439)

Facebook didn't run afoul of the government like Google did with Buzz.

The rules change based on what you've done in the past.

Re:EPIC (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38979939)

Meanwhile: Facebook changes it's privacy policy for the 20th time since the announcement of google's policy change.

Great! Meanwhile we wait until the geek media or FB friends inform us of FB's new privacy rules and how to navigate the FB privacy option labyrinth to change it!

Re:EPIC (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 2 years ago | (#38980043)

The difference is, Facebook is openly evil. Their CEO describes their users as suckers and even nontechnical people like my mother know that you'd have to be an idiot to use Facebook. Google, in contrast, spends a lot of money persuading people that they're not evil, so people are actually surprised when they do something like this...

Re:EPIC (1)

jdgeorge (18767) | more than 2 years ago | (#38982887)

Mmmm.... I missed how having the consistent privacy policy was evil. Disappointing? Maybe. Frustrating? Possibly. But doing the web equivalent of standing in front of you with a megaphone telling you it's important that you know about and understand the unification of their privacy policy is "evil"?

Re:EPIC (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38978485)

Here's a good explanation:
"Google's Privacy Policy Change Is Freaking Me Out"
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7jHxfJW7Zww [youtube.com]

simple explanation (3, Insightful)

dutchwhizzman (817898) | more than 2 years ago | (#38978697)

Google did not do the EULA thing just for private single persons, but they signed actual contracts with business users. Those policies get changed as well, not to the benefit of said business users. Those business users have a much stronger case in court to object to the changes, since there is a clear contract, money at stake and all that.

The biggest underlying change, also for businesses, is that in practice Google now reserve the right to have any bit of data they get on you, no matter how, linked to all the other bits of data on you. This applies to both private and business use, or a combination of both. If you think how much google scrapes and logs, they will probably know more about you than your mother, your best friend and your girl/boyfriend combined. Imagine what could happen to your business or personal life if that data got into the hands of a company that actually knows how to mine raw data.... oh wait....

Re:simple explanation (2)

Col. Klink (retired) (11632) | more than 2 years ago | (#38981581)

Those business users have a much stronger case in court to object to the changes, since there is a clear contract, money at stake and all that.

Yes, a great case, except for the fact that the new policy doesn't apply to them at all [safegov.org] .

Re:simple explanation (1)

jdgeorge (18767) | more than 2 years ago | (#38982949)

As a previous responder indicated, Google didn't violate their contracts with businesses. The implication that they are violating their business agreements is unfounded.

Re:EPIC (3, Informative)

tlhIngan (30335) | more than 2 years ago | (#38978809)

Ok, I don't understand. On the one hand, Google is forced to implement a comprehensive privacy program. On the other hand, EPIC complains that Google's new privacy rules are.... too comprehensive? Can someone point me to what is actually changing in the privacy terms that is actually so bad? As far as I can tell, everyone's just complaining that the policies are going to be merged. So instead of having 20 separate privacy policies, now each service is governed by the same. How is that bad?

I think the outrage is simple.

Google has a different privacy policy for each of its services, and if it decides it wants to share the data between services, the conflict makes it a legal nightmare.

Unifying the privacy policy - a great idea, because it simplifies life for everyone. However, one of the changes is that Google will also unify your profile data among all services (it could once the new policy was in place, but I believe afterwards, it said it will).

So now everything you've ever done (your youtube, your browsing (double click, google ads, CDN, any site that uses a Google-hosted javascript or something), picasa, your searches) will be available in one, all linked nicely to your details you put on your G+ page. Even what Android or iOS apps you used and how long you used them.

It's like the supermarket cards - all the juicy details of your shopping habits is pure gold to insurance companies.

Basically, you cannot use the Internet without Google - even if you use Bing exclusively, never go to YouTube and other Google projects, there's a ton of other crap hosted by Google that your web experience would suck worse than with NoScript.

If you've put up a carefully written Facebook pages, carefully choose your friends, your real self will be exposed to Google I'm sure employers and marketing ages will be anteing up lots of money to see your real self - what websites you view, what you've searched, what kind of videos you browsed. A veritable gold mine.

Re:EPIC (3, Insightful)

icebraining (1313345) | more than 2 years ago | (#38979371)

your real self will be exposed to Google I'm sure employers and marketing ages will be anteing up lots of money to see your real self - what websites you view, what you've searched, what kind of videos you browsed. A veritable gold mine.

Please tell me how can I as an hypothetical employer access that information about a person without her or his consent.

Google is fucking scary in how much they know about you, but lets not throw lies with it. They offer no way to access that information unless you're law enforcement. Which, again, is bad enough, but not so bad as you're claiming.

Re:EPIC (0)

Sentrion (964745) | more than 2 years ago | (#38982957)

Please tell me how can I as an hypothetical employer access that information about a person without her or his consent.

They same way employers ALWAYS do, they hand you a consent form, either during the hiring process after you've been given an offer, and often after you have accepted the offer and tendered your resignation to your current employer, or after years of working with no problems your employer hands you a consent form to sign and tells you firmly that your consent to [drug test, background search, cavity search, etc.] is a "condition of your employment and refusal to consent will be grounds for disciplinary action, including termination of employment."

If the data didn't exist then there is nothing your employer can force you to consent to, but now with the data residing on a Google server, should Google make that data available then employers may very likely take advantage of the chance to take a peak. And given the vicarious liability employers have for their employees, there is a powerful incentive for employers to learn as much of this information as possible.

So for Google, "if they build it they will come."

Re:EPIC (1)

icebraining (1313345) | more than 2 years ago | (#38983877)

So you're blaming Google for an hypothetical future where they have such a a feature.

Should I judge you too based on things I can imagine you might do in the future?

Re:EPIC (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38985613)

You're totally right. Google is just storing all that data in order to test hard drive integrity. There's no other possible reason they would want to collect all this information on You. Certainly not to sell it.

Reminds me of a friend of mine who grew up in the DDR (East Germany as we Americans call it, not to be mistaken with dance dance revolution). His father was your typical poor worker who also volunteered as clergy for a congregation of about 6 people. When the wall fell and the soviet hold over East Germany subsided, it was discovered his father had an ENTIRE ROOM of information recorded on him by the secret police. Binders full of data in bookcases that spanned all 4 walls -- on an unimportant nobody. This was a horrifying experience for him -- and those binders weren't even up for bid, like your information will be.

But now since it's Google doing that, and not the Secret Police, it's ok?

Re:EPIC (1)

icebraining (1313345) | more than 2 years ago | (#38991491)

They're collecting the data to mine it and assign keywords to your profile based on your interests, when then they use to show ads that were assigned to those same keywords.
Selling that data would undermine their whole business model, because advertisers would stop having to pay again and again to show ads to people.

Yes, the information Google has about people is potentially dangerous, and there's plenty of reasons to avoid giving it to them. But that doesn't mean that making up lies about them is OK.

Re:EPIC (1)

DarwinSurvivor (1752106) | more than 2 years ago | (#38979473)

noscript ftw.

Re:EPIC (1)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | more than 2 years ago | (#38980197)

For those who want to work around this:

http://slashdot.org/journal/277383/making-google-keep-to-itself-with-multifox [slashdot.org]

For extra security, use CookieMonster 1x to only temp-allow Google's cookies in the instance used to view Google services, and maybe use a separate proxy for those tabs (although Multifox doesn't allow separate proxies for separate identity windows, so you'll have to use FoxyProxy with per-site rules)

Re:EPIC (0)

Acron (1253166) | more than 2 years ago | (#38980785)

Oh my goodness, it's so horrible, advertisers will know my preferences, send me ads I want to watch instead of ads I don't, try to sell me things I want instead of things I don't want, political parties will know whether or not to bug me, my giving patterns will be known so charities etc know whether or not to bother me, etc, etc, etc. Just horrible! I don't know how I'll be able to live with it - where do I sign up? Goodness, I did something stupid when I was 16 on facebook and an employer might be able to dig it up... And I sooo want to work for an employer that would do that sort of digging and use that as a basis for hiring... My goodness, the government might be able to dig up all sorts of past history on me... Oops, they can already do that, can't they? Every major corporation is more than glad to take money and hand over anything they know about me. So I'll just get rid of my credit card, close my bank account, cancel my phone, my intern...

Re:EPIC (1)

fast turtle (1118037) | more than 2 years ago | (#38981675)

Basically, you cannot use the Internet without Google - even if you use Bing exclusively, never go to YouTube and other Google projects, there's a ton of other crap hosted by Google that your web experience would suck worse than with NoScript.

Actually I surf quite nicely most of the time as I already block most of Google's data gathering methods and yet, I haven't encountered a website that wouldn't allow me to access it for blocking Google's attempts unlike Facebook. Combine with Ghostery and Noscript along with a pretty comprehensive host file and I'm not giving out as much information as others who simply don't care about the situation.

Re:EPIC (1)

Uzuri (906298) | more than 2 years ago | (#39018741)

There actually are a number of sites out there hitting googleapis.com and googleusercontent.com, so depending on where you go, you can run into trouble. I run into it most on news sites, sometimes when registering for things (many places are using Google's captcha), and once in a while on forums, so it truly does depend on where you're headed as to whether you see it or not.

I find that RequestPolicy for Firefox makes it easy to pick and choose which sites are permitted to talk to Google without needing to deal with maintaining a host file.

Re:EPIC (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38985469)

Here's a question, given that a lot of people use Google services like YouTube and GMail for free, how much would you pay for Google not to aggregate your information? Would you be willing to pay $25 a year for GMail? $5 a month for YouTube? I think we all understand that Google doesn't provide these services because their "nice guys" or that their investors are philanthropists.

Re:EPIC (3, Insightful)

c0lo (1497653) | more than 2 years ago | (#38977877)

What on earth... why are all these trolls so angry?

Maybe it is not because Google will combine the privacy policies into a single one, but also all the users data across all its services? [macworld.com]

Perhaps the move will no longer let you share individual services data, like sharing your Google+ data but withhold your Calendar?
If so, would you still be considering trolls the guys at EPIC?

Re:EPIC (2, Informative)

NeutronCowboy (896098) | more than 2 years ago | (#38977999)

How is that a surprise? I thought that was already done. Especially considering you log into the calendar and G+ service with the same username.... again, how is that a friggin surprise, or a problem?

Re:EPIC (1)

c0lo (1497653) | more than 2 years ago | (#38978259)

How is that a surprise? I thought that was already done.

Wow... just wow... I mean: you thought that it was already done and this is reason enough not to come as a surprise for anyone?

Re:EPIC (4, Insightful)

DarwinSurvivor (1752106) | more than 2 years ago | (#38979485)

Actually yes, if the same username and password is used to log into 2 websites owned by the same company, why would you expect the information NOT to be shared?!?

Re:EPIC (1)

basotl (808388) | more than 2 years ago | (#38978293)

You can opt out of data sharing globally on Google. This seems the best policy for those concerned with privacy. I really don't see the benefit to privacy of opting out on one service and not another. I would also imagine that would become a tangle to code around.

Re:EPIC (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38979889)

> You can opt out of data sharing globally on Google.

Yes you can but you will have to sign out. So no more customized news and your search settings will be lost when the cookie expires.
That sucks! I'll be looking for a new search engine soon.

Chavez also clarifies that the new privacy policy will âoecovers users signed into their Google Accounts on Android phones just as it does users signed into their Google Accounts from a desktop computer.â

http://marketingland.com/google-replies-to-congress-privacy-policy-4854 [marketingland.com]

Re:EPIC (5, Informative)

mgiuca (1040724) | more than 2 years ago | (#38978329)

Maybe it is not because Google will combine the privacy policies into a single one, but also all the users data across all its services?

Yep, that's certainly the idea. Note that most of Google's existing privacy policies already did give them the ability to share user's data across all its services. For example, YouTube already shows videos that your friends share on Google+. The problem was that they were inconsistent. Google cannot currently share data from YouTube with other sites. Their new policy allows them to do that. This is all explained in their letter to U.S. Congress [google.com] .

Now what exactly is the problem with this? It seems to me that if Google is going to share my data, there are three sets of people they could share it with:

  • Third-party companies, such as advertisers (e.g., selling your personal data for profit)
  • Your social connections (e.g., sharing your personal information without your permission)
  • You (e.g., showing you ads relevant to your interests)

I see a significant harm if they were to engage in the first two. I don't really have a problem with the third. And this privacy policy specifically prevents them from doing the first two. So what this allows them to do is share my information, from one Google service to another, for the purposes of showing me relevant links and ads. In that case, where is the harm? Further, how am I worse off having, for example, Google search results informed by what YouTube videos I've been watching. It sounds like it could give me more relevant search results.

Further, I would much rather know that anything I upload to any Google service might be used by any other Google service, than have to remember a complex set of rules about which products' privacy policies allow Google to share data with which other products.

Perhaps the move will no longer let you share individual services data, like sharing your Google+ data but withhold your Calendar?

What does this mean? What do you mean by "share" in this context? Withhold your Calendar from whom? As far as I am concerned, the only people who have access to my calendar are me and Google's servers. If the Google+ app had access to my calendar (for example, it might show appointments on the side), that doesn't increase the people who have access to my calendar: It's still just me and Google's servers.

Since when did any company give you explicit control over how the data is stored on their servers? With Google's new policy, it is simple: if you use a service, your data for that service will be stored on Google and may be used by any other service within that company (and not sold to third parties). How is that harmful? How is that different to any other company?

Re:EPIC (1)

c0lo (1497653) | more than 2 years ago | (#38978413)

Perhaps the move will no longer let you share individual services data, like sharing your Google+ data but withhold your Calendar?

What does this mean? What do you mean by "share" in this context?

My bad, I missused "share" to mean
1. "harvest/aggregate to sell to 3rd parties"
2 . "share/use your calendar with your social connections just because you have more permissive setting in your Google+" (I don't know if it makes sense, I'm using neither of them).

Clearer?

Re:EPIC (3, Informative)

mgiuca (1040724) | more than 2 years ago | (#38978849)

Okay, so those approximately match my first and second sharing types in my list of three. For #1, they state that they will not do this in the new policy [google.com] :

We do not share personal information with companies, organizations and individuals outside of Google unless...

The "unless" includes a bunch of exceptions, which I don't see as a big deal but you may disagree. In summary, a) if you give them permission, b) if you have a domain administrator (doesn't apply to normal users), c) with a third party affiliate for "processing", which must also agree to the privacy policy (not quite sure what that means), d) if compelled to by a court.

For #2, that isn't what they meant at all by "sharing information between services". It does NOT imply that, for example, your calendar would be randomly shared on Google+. It only means that they will share data with you and you alone, across services (for example, to give you relevant results and ads). If you haven't used Google+, the sharing is very straightforward and very tightly controlled: only things you explicitly post on there get shared, and every time you share something, it explicitly asks that you nominate a group of people or individuals to share it with, and once posted, that group of people cannot be changed.

Re:EPIC (2)

Guidii (686867) | more than 2 years ago | (#38980195)

We do not share personal information with companies, organizations and individuals outside of Google unless... The "unless" includes a bunch of exceptions, which I don't see as a big deal but you may disagree. In summary, ...c) with a third party affiliate for "processing", which must also agree to the privacy policy (not quite sure what that means)

c) means that you might, for example, buy something from Google, and they might have to ship it to you. When they put your name on that envelope, they are "sharing" your personally identifiable information with the postal service. This escape clause allows them to do that.

I can't remember ever reading a privacy policy that didn't have this clause in it. The clause usually says that they will only share this PII with responsible types who also have a good privacy policy... and it looks like Google uses the same language.

Re:EPIC (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38981449)

c) means that you might, for example, buy something from Google, and they might have to ship it to you. When they put your name on that envelope, they are "sharing" your personally identifiable information with the postal service. This escape clause allows them to do that.

No, it doesn't mean that. It means whatever Google's lawyers can argue it means.

Re:EPIC (1)

Sentrion (964745) | more than 2 years ago | (#38983183)

That's a good point. I don't know why you got a score of 0. People see a clause in a contact that they would normally object to, but then they say to themselves "well I'm sure they wouldn't go so far as to do what their contract says they can do." This line of thinking is what gets people "legally" scammed out of hundreds of dollars. Just go to www.ripoffreports.com and read about all the little people who didn't think that such tiny print could have such a big bite.

Re:EPIC (1)

thoromyr (673646) | more than 2 years ago | (#38988293)

you don't have good reading comprehension. They promise not to randomly share SPI (which may not mean you think it means) to random individuals (e.g., making it publicly available) but they can provide it to business partners. The kicker is that your identity is not considered SPI, nor is your location, nor information about your economic or financial situation.

In other words they are planning on doing the largest privacy-removing correlation in history and selling to those that can afford it. I mean, providing it to select business partners.

You apparently like using Google's services. Fine, your choice. However, it is *very* hard to use the Internet without providing information to Google -- and I'm not talking about overtly using any of Google's services. They are going to correlate all information (which their "privacy" policy is ballsy enough to mention some particularly nasty aspects of) on someone that they can, whether or not the person is even aware of Google's involvement. In fact, they may feel that they *aren't* involved with Google, even deliberately avoiding Google after this blatant attack on privacy.

But your average individual isn't aware of the far reaches of google (analytics, etc.) doesn't use NoScript (even if they are using FireFox).

Would you be okay with Pinkerton monitoring you with mobile and static surveillance, using IR cameras, mikes, etc., to get information about you and then sell it to other companies? After all, they would be going through the hard work of establishing business relationships to find customers for the data, paying employees to conduct the stake outs, etc. And you could only talk in sound proofed rooms, never enter buildings without windows, try to lose tails, and so on -- but should that level of avoidance be expected from someone who didn't feel like having their life paid out to the highest bidder?

The fact that in the modern age Google can practically do the level of spying it can, whereas Pinkerton would go broke trying to do it, shouldn't make it any different from an ethics or morals point of view.

Re:EPIC (1)

mgiuca (1040724) | more than 2 years ago | (#38990581)

you don't have good reading comprehension.

Thanks, that's a really nice way to start a conversation.

They promise not to randomly share SPI (which may not mean you think it means) to random individuals (e.g., making it publicly available) but they can provide it to business partners. The kicker is that your identity is not considered SPI, nor is your location, nor information about your economic or financial situation.

Where are you getting the definition? From the glossary linked to by the privacy policy [google.com] , personal information "is information which you provide to us which personally identifies you, such as your name, email address or billing information, or other data which can be reasonably linked to such information by Google."

So wherever the privacy policy mentions "personal information", it includes anything that could be used to link your data back to your real identity. What that means is that advertisers may be given your other information (such as your interests), but only in aggregate form, and they would not be able to link it back to your real identity without being in violation of this privacy policy.

but they can provide it to business partners

If you read the privacy policy carefully, I believe (and this is just my reading; remember that I don't have good reading comprehension) that they couldn't get away with providing personal information to trusted business partners for any reason. The policy states:

We provide personal information to our affiliates or other trusted businesses or persons to process it for us

Emphasis mine. That means that they would be able to hire a third party to perform data aggregation or the like. The data would specifically have to be used by this third party to process the data on Google's behalf. They would not be able to use this data for their own arbitrary purposes without violating this privacy policy.

which their "privacy" policy is ballsy enough to mention some particularly nasty aspects of

You say it like it's a bad thing that they had the "balls" to make it so clear what they were doing, as if you'd consider it better somehow if they jumbled it up in a long legal document. Isn't this what we've been asking companies to do all along -- provide clear and transparent policies on what they are doing with our data?

I won't deny that it is a hell of a lot of information, considering that Google has a piece of JavaScript on most non-Google web pages. But I'm happy to see that, given that's the underlying technology, they have a really clear privacy policy that, to me, seems to protect my interests and limit third-party access to my data to acceptable levels.

Think about your breathing (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38977729)

Hello you are reading the THINK ABOUT YOUR BREATHING TROLL!
Yes that's right, THINK ABOUT YOUR BREATHING. Why you might ask? Well it's simple!
Your brain usually takes care of breathing FOR you, but whenever you remember this, YOU MUST MANUALLY BREATH! If you don't you will DIE.
There are also MANY variations of this. For example, think about:
1. BLINKING !
1. SWALLOWING SALIVA!
1. HOW YOUR FEET FEEL IN YOUR SOCKS!
1. THINK ABOUT YOUR BREATHING AGAIN!
In conclusion, the THINK ABOUT YOUR BREATHING troll is simply unbeatable. These 4 words can be thrown randomly into article text trolls, into sigs, into anything, and once seen, WILL FORCE THE VICTIM TO TAKE CARE OF HIS BREATHING MANUALLY! This goes far beyond the simple annoying or insulting trolls of yesteryear.
In fact, by EVEN RESPONDING to this troll, you are proving that IT HAS CLAIMED ANOTHER VICTIM -- YOU!

BSD is dying (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38977737)

It is now official. Netcraft has confirmed: *BSD is dying

One more crippling bombshell hit the already beleaguered *BSD community when IDC confirmed that *BSD market share has dropped yet again, now down to less than a fraction of 1 percent of all servers. Coming on the heels of a recent Netcraft survey which plainly states that *BSD has lost more market share, this news serves to reinforce what we've known all along. *BSD is collapsing in complete disarray, as fittingly exemplified by failing dead last in the recent Sys Admin comprehensive networking test.

You don't need to be the Amazing Kreskin to predict *BSD's future. The hand writing is on the wall: *BSD faces a bleak future. In fact there won't be any future at all for *BSD because *BSD is dying. Things are looking very bad for *BSD. As many of us are already aware, *BSD continues to lose market share. Red ink flows like a river of blood.

FreeBSD is the most endangered of them all, having lost 93% of its core developers. The sudden and unpleasant departures of long time FreeBSD developers Jordan Hubbard and Mike Smith only serve to underscore the point more clearly. There can no longer be any doubt: FreeBSD is dying.

Let's keep to the facts and look at the numbers.

OpenBSD leader Theo states that there are 7000 users of OpenBSD. How many users of NetBSD are there? Let's see. The number of OpenBSD versus NetBSD posts on Usenet is roughly in ratio of 5 to 1 Therefore there are about 7000/5 = 1400 NetBSD users. BSD/OS posts on Usenet are about half of the volume of NetBSD posts. Therefore there are about 700 users of BSD/OS. A recent article put FreeBSD at about 80 percent of the *BSD market. Therefore there are (7000+1400+700)*4 = 36400 FreeBSD users. This is consistent with the number of FreeBSD Usenet posts.

Due to the troubles of Walnut Creek, abysmal sales and so on, FreeBSD went out of business and was taken over by BSDI who sell another troubled OS. Now BSDI is also dead, its corpse turned over to yet another charnel house.

All major surveys show that *BSD has steadily declined in market share. *BSD is very sick and its long term survival prospects are very dim. If *BSD is to survive at all it will be among OS dilettante dabblers. *BSD continues to decay. Nothing short of a miracle could save it at this point in time. For all practical purposes, *BSD is dead.

The first Slashdot troll post investigation (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38977747)

The last few months I have been doing some research into the trolling phenomenon on slashdot.org. In order to do this as thoroughly as possible, I have written both normal and troll posts, 1st posts, etc., both logged in and anonymously, and I have found these rather shocking results:

* More moderator points are being used to mod posts down than up. Furthermore, when modding a post up, every moderator seems to follow previous moderators in their choices, even when it's not a particularly interesting or clever post [slashdot.org] . There are a LOT more +5 posts than +3 or +4.

* Logged in people are modded down faster than anonymous cowards. Presumably these Nazi Moderators think it's more important to burn a user's existing karma, to silence that individual for the future, than to use the moderation system for what it's meant for : identifying "good" and "bad" posts (Notice how nearly all oppressive governments in the past and present do the same thing : marking individuals as bad and untrustworthy because they have conflicting opinions, instead of engaging in a public discussion about these opinions)

* Once you have a karma of -4 or -5, your posts have a score of -1 by default. When this is the case, no-one bothers to mod you down anymore. This means a logged in user can keep on trolling as much as he (or she) likes, without risking a ban to post on slashdot. When trolling as an anonymous user, every post starts at score 0, and you will be modded down to -1 ON EVERY POST. When you are modded down a certain number of times in 24 hour, you cannot post anymore from your current IP for a day or so. So, for successful trolling, ALWAYS log in.

* A lot of the modded down posts are actually quite clever [slashdot.org] , funny [slashdot.org] , etc., and they are only modded down because they are offtopic. Now, on a news site like slashdot, where the number of different topics of discussion can be counted on 1 hand, I must say I quite like the distraction these posts offer. But, no, when the topic is yet another minor version change of the Linux kernel, they only expect ooohs and aaahs about this great feat of engineering. Look at the moderation done in this thread to see what I mean.

* Digging deep into the history of slashdot, I found this poll [slashdot.org] , which clearly indicates the vast majority does NOT want the moderation we have here today. 'nuff said.

Feel free to use this information to your advantage. I thank you for your time.

Anonymous cowards are... well, cowards.

Re:The first Slashdot troll post investigation (-1, Flamebait)

gearloos (816828) | more than 2 years ago | (#38977865)

HAHa loser.. nuff said...

Google's response (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38977753)

"Trollin', Trollin', Trollin',
perl scripts a' pollin',
keep on slashdot trollin',
Portman!
Mae Ling Mak and First Post,
So I can now boast,
Wishin' my gal was petrified.
All the things I'm missin',
My Karma, baths, and wimmin,
I don't care, or else I'd cry!

CHORUS
Click 'em on, post 'em up
Post 'em up, click 'em on
Click 'em on, post 'em up
Portman!
Click 'em on, post 'em up
Post 'em up, click 'em on
Click 'em on, post 'em up
Portman!

Keep movin', movin', movin',
Though they're disapprovin',
Keep them fingers movin,
Portman!
Don't try to understand 'em,
Just post and reprimand 'em,
Soon we'll be trollin' far and wide !
My porn's stimulatin'
My right hand will be achin'
I don't care or else I'd cry!

Portman!
Portman!

Press release from Google (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38977771)

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gathers GAY NIGGERS from all over America and abroad for one common goal - being GAY NIGGERS.

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Join GNAA (GAY NIGGER ASSOCIATION OF AMERICA) today, and enjoy all the benefits of being a full-time GNAA member.

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Why not? It's quick and easy - only 3 simple steps!

        * First, you have to obtain a copy of GAY NIGGERS FROM OUTER SPACE THE MOVIE [imdb.com] and watch it. (You can download the movie (~280mb) using BitTorrent, by clicking here.

        * Second, you need to succeed in posting a GNAA "first post" on slashdot.org [slashdot.org] , a popular "news for trolls" website

        * Third, you need to join the official GNAA irc channel #GNAA on irc.gnaa.us, and apply for membership.

Talk to one of the ops or any of the other members in the channel to sign up today!

If you are having trouble locating #GNAA, the official GAY NIGGER ASSOCIATION OF AMERICA irc channel, you might be on a wrong irc network. The correct network is Niggernet, and you can connect to irc.gnaa.us as our official server. If you do not have an IRC client handy, you are free to use the GNAA Java irc client by clicking here [nero-online.org] .

So I opt out? Consider Tmo (3, Interesting)

gearloos (816828) | more than 2 years ago | (#38977787)

So, I'm a Tmobile Customer. I opt out. So am I still bound by my contract? I don't particularly need Google snooping any more than they already do, which is considerably. What is the average Joe Android User to do? This is interesting. I know it has no implication if I prefer to not use Google + but they are making Google Plus a mandatory part of using their service. So.. again.. Tmo user opting out. Will Tmo get me out of my contract? interesting...

Re:So I opt out? Consider Tmo (2)

basotl (808388) | more than 2 years ago | (#38978261)

You can still opt out of the data sharing. In addition you can remove Google+ from search results. As far as Google+ it self as long as you don't enter data there is nothing really there.

Re:So I opt out? Consider Tmo (1)

Mashiki (184564) | more than 2 years ago | (#38979117)

You can? The last thing I read in their privacy policy stated you can't opt out of any data sharing between any of the platforms at all.

Re:So I opt out? Consider Tmo (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38978673)

Google isn't "snooping". You're willingly providing them with information, and they're using that information to make your experiences on Google sites better. How is this bad and/or unexpected?

Re:So I opt out? Consider Tmo (2, Insightful)

theshowmecanuck (703852) | more than 2 years ago | (#38979335)

Search using Yahoo. Or Bing. Hell, Microsoft is starting to look a lot less evil than Google. Nothing forcing anyone to use Google. So I says fuck 'em. Can't believe I now wish I'd bought an iPhone instead of an android. Next time. Anyway, if people really want to send Google a message, stop using them. Maybe a mass one day general boycott, like on February 15 to protest. Everyone use yahoo or Bing on that day. Just an idea. Spread da word if you think it worth it.

Re:So I opt out? Consider Tmo (0)

AmberBlackCat (829689) | more than 2 years ago | (#38985293)

Bing also seems to provide better image search results, at least for my purposes. It's one of those things nobody knows because they've been told Google is the best and they shouldn't bother trying anything else.

Re:So I opt out? Consider Tmo (1)

theshowmecanuck (703852) | more than 2 years ago | (#38985659)

The only thing I see on Google as being a draw for me is the satellite view and street view on the maps. Other than that it's a wash. If it's just search results I'm hard pressed to see the difference. Especially lately when you have to filter like a mad man in order to get useful results (NO, I wanted to learn about mountain lions, not horny old women!). And when you filter you always end up eliminating search results that would have been useful to you in the first place. So now we have to rely on Wikipedia. grumble. So anyway, they all pretty much suck. Can't surf the web without them... can't get much that is useful with them any more. But hey, if you want a good deal on boner pills... HAH! don't ask me I don't need 'em!

Google search requires cookies now? (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38979813)

For privacy reasons I block all cookies with Firefox using Add-on Cookie Monster (Default Action: Rejected) and only allow certain sites for session cookies via Cookie Monster options.

I did not allow any Google cookies until yesterday and Google search worked fine.

But since yesterday, if I search for something, a left mouse click on a result leads to nowhere, or when i "middle" click, to open result in new tab, I get an empty page with a long URL like http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=reddit&source=web&cd=1&ved=0CD8QFjAA&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.reddit.com%2F&ei=CPsyT_z2IM3esgbw_Z3WDA&usg=AFQjCNGP2I23xwAzzicm-TwmDMKVU72m0w&cad=rja

As soon as I enable cookies for Google in Cookie Monster e.g. via "Temporarily Allow", the results open fine.

Can /. confirm this new annoying cookie requirement?

Is this a new "feature" of the privacy-changes?

Re:Google search requires cookies now? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38980415)

That's just Google being a bunch of arrogant assholes, as usual. I recommend using DuckDuckGo [duckduckgo.com] instead.

--
Did you know that Marcan the asshole works for Google now?

Re:Google search requires cookies now? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38981595)

No. I just set up a new profile in Chrome and set it to disable all cookies. I then ran a search for "privacy" on Google and was able to load every single result on the first page in new tabs.

Re:Google search requires cookies now? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38982921)

The problem can be only seen in Firefox. Tests show that IE, Safari, Chrome seem to handle this security exceptions in a different way.

Re:Google search requires cookies now? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38982017)

Google redirect javascript accesses "window.localStorage" without any error-checking.

If Cookie Monster Add-on is used and cookies are disabled, accessing "window.localStorage" causes a "Security Error" in Firefox.

So the Google redirect javascript fails silently.

Re:Google search requires cookies now? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38993297)

Seems Google has fixed the problem now, was a bug on their end:
http://www.reddit.com/r/privacy/comments/phty2/google_search_requires_cookies_now/c3poyyi

I have the solution. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38979905)

If they dont like the policies then they shouldnt use the services. It really is this simple, if you dont like something they dont use it. I cant see how people dont understand this anymore.

"I find that show offensive, Im going to sue so they change it to make it bland and mediocre!", "I dont like that companies policies, Im going to sue them so they make it how I think they should run their company!", "I dont like that persons beliefs, Im going to sue them for not believing what I do!" blah blah blah. If people would just shut up and spend more time focused on things they do like then this world would be a much happier place.

I mean there are dozens of companies that I dont like their policies and guess what? I dont go there or do business with them.

Google Sharing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38980185)

More reason to start using the wonderful little program Moxie Marlinspike cooked up over his concerns with Google search:
http://www.googlesharing.net/

Postini data (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38980271)

One thing I haven't seen mentioned anywhere is how Google's new privacy policy might affect the use of Postini data. Given all the corporations that use Postini and how sensitive the information is (check the MX records for your bank, brokerage, health provider, attorney, etc for psmtp.com), I cringed when Google acquired them and remain somewhat concerned about how they really use the data.

Anonymous Coward (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38981279)

Despite Google's size and ubiquity, a move like this by a Senator probably did not originate with the Senator himself. My *guess* is that quite a few Google competitors are worried about the competitive advantage that a unified, integrated cloud platform like Google's services will offer.

Complaining publicly hasn't gotten them anywhere (from my perspective, most people using google aren't worried at all about the change and aren't interested in 'revolting'), so they have turned to lobbying to put as many roadblocks as possible in Google's way.

Google saw this coming, which is why they plastered information and splash pages warning about the coming changes just about everywhere. More than that, I cannot say.

Personally, I am more comfortable with google's transparency as to what they do with their collected data than facebook's. I trust facebook a teeny bit less than I do Microsoft.

A slightly different view (3, Interesting)

Dhalka226 (559740) | more than 2 years ago | (#38981613)

So, I think by now a lot of good conversations (and a fair bit of trolling!) have been started in this thread about Google, the changes they want to make, etc. I see no reason to add to that.

What I want to know is simpler: How in the world does EPIC feel it has standing to sue the FCC?

It could sue Google, certainly -- probably as EPIC, but if not it could do it as individual users because each of those users can claim to be effected. But that's where their beef is, and that's where any perceived harm is. The FCC's not blocking a company's change doesn't make them liable for it and it certainly doesn't make them the cause of a tort that EPIC can sue to redress. If there is a violation of law or rights, it originates from Google.

The FCC and Google have an agreement and this may well be in violation of it -- but that is between the FCC and Google. The idea that you can sue a government agency to force it to act in the way you want is pretty ludicrous on its face. How far do you think I would get if I sued the Department of Justice for not arresting Chris Dodd over his claims that the MPAA basically owns the congressmen it donates to?

In finest Slashdot tradition, I am not a lawyer -- but I fully expect this lawsuit to be slapped out of court in short order for lack of standing.

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