i have a first.last@gmail address and my name is very common. So i bet others had to use less desirable gmail addresses.
Since google started to aggressively push for adding alternative email and/or phone number, dumb users that initially wanted my email address entered it as their "alternate email" not understanding it's for password recovery only.
I clicked the "not me" link in more than 20 confirmation emails, but google probably never used that to better inform the dumb users.
Now my gmail account is a cesspool of emails intended for other people, site registration confirmation for idiots with same first/last name but a different middle name... And there's no spam algorithm that can fight that!
Time to start looking for alternatives.
If you run a startup or a company whose audience is early adapters you get a skewed view of the average level of competence of users.
I don't know if things get worse in other countries. However, I would guess that 10-20% of the US population lacks the basic literacy and logic skills to hold a manual job involving anything but repetitive tasks.
~13% when it comes to reading, ~20% when it comes to quantitative tasks.
> a pretty good view of what average competence looks like.
How interesting - I bet you could tell some good (and informative/scary) stories. I'd buy the book.
Due to the decentralized nature of education in the US, there is higher variation in outcomes. This likely leads to greater illiteracy in the US than in other industrialized countries.
Example: Jakob Nielsen publishes research that shows "people on the web don't read." The sample content used to determine this? The list of tourist attractions in North Dakota.
Garbage in, garbage out.
Finally, the vast majority of text on the web around forms etc. is useless, poorly written, obtuse, abstruse. People have been indirectly trained to ignore it. It's not surprising that most users ignore that messages you took the effort to write.
Example: Grandma sending pictures to Larry! Oh, he must be firstname.lastname@example.org, right?
Should have taken that free trip to shengze or something :)
Derived from a well-known Passover technical school?
1. Use a handle that is a deliberate misspelling of an archaic name, and;
2. Use an archaic spelling of my surname as a vanity domain.
I have a <name>@<name>.net email. And every time I'm spelling my email to someone, I say: name, n a m e @name.net, 99 times out of 100 they ask me if the second "name" is spelled like the first one.
Not only has this taught me how incredibly oblivious some people are to how their email works, but it also showed me just how many companies out there are willing to sign up a random email for an account without verifying the email's ownership, including some big companies like PayPal.
If three other people tried that username, I not only got locked out of my BoA account, and had to set up a bunch of stuff again.
I have a long blog post about BoA's horrible policies I still haven't published because I work in a major financial city and might end up wanting to work for them some day, but as time goes by the odds of it getting published go way up.
It does make for fun responses... I was invited to a bachelor party in Las Vegas, which I sadly had to decline on account of being halfway around the world.
Those are not real flight itineraries.
They are usually well crafted spam sent to anyone and everyone, designed to entice personal details like bank accounts, pin numbers and visa card numbers from unexpecting users.
I understand that people make mistakes and typos happen. But when you're dealing with legal documents there's no excuse for this kind of oversight.
How does that work?
Have you created some sort of filter? (How do you make sure that it gets the correct emails?)
On the flipside I sometimes get mails intended for someone else with my name in Australia, but that is easy enough to assume that his friends/kids' teachers/etc. just manually typed in the address and messed it up.
I respond saying the shop has the wrong email address. The shop owner (let's call him Bob) replies saying "that's the one you gave me" facepalm #1
I find the car owner and forward him the info on facebook. He responds back saying "Thanks, Bob." Even though the message is clearly from me. facepalm #2
Even if these people were completely tech illiterate... have they never heard of a wrong number?!?
He emailed back as if I were a student. I responded pointing out that I had no association with the school. He emailed back asking me to explain further, as there was someone with my name at the school. So I explained that I thought it was probably someone with the same name. At least that ended it.
Calling them either "Idiots" or "Dumb users" seems reasonable, so why not roll with it?
Would you call someone who can't drive a car an idiot? Or someone who is using an ATM machine for the first time? These people are not competent. They are inexperienced. But a pejorative term like "idiot" isn't called for.
If you can't apply the term "idiots" to these people then the word is useless and can never be used.
I would if this person was out on the highway. I learned to drive on a parking lot, and then on roads with very little traffic. People who can't drive are a danger to themselves. People who are too incompetent to know what their correct email address is are a danger to themselves too.
Sure, if they didn't even attempt to learn to drive before getting behind the wheel.
Or someone who is using an ATM machine for the first time?
Sure, if their failure to use even the most elementary mental faculties available to them affected anyone other than themselves.
Next time call the Internet Police on those fkers!!
You are fantastic, cheers.
There's Tata Docomo who sends me monthly postpaid bill. I've learened two things from their emails - that gentleman in Nagpur is very irresponsible in paying bills and that Tata Docomo's spam filters are so strong my email never made it them. They keep on sending. I guess they shall send me the calls records if I request to this email.
My fault? I've one of the most famous/common Indian/Hindi names on Gmail/Hotmail/Yahoo and domain name too - both .in and .com.
Most such e-mail traffic is just spam, not sent by the banks, but sent by people hoping to trick the recipitent into reading the e-mail, following the link and logging into a false web page set up to act like the bank web site.
Once they have your logon details they will go to the real bank page and transfer out your money.
I don't click on most email links because you never know if it's the scammer or the company.
Of course. But it's a real bank statement and it's a real mobile bill that makes its way into my inbox each month. Used to, I mean before I created a filter to delete it as soon as it arrives.
Gmail has broken the standard by adding dot aliases. They should at the very least acknowledge it.
A Norwegian girl, living abroad, enabled "auto upload my pictures to Google+" on her phone and for some reason they end up in a Norwegian IT journalists Google+. Everything from full passport details to regular photos are uploaded. The journalist can see Geo location etc as well. Google keep stating it is not possible and the journalist are experiencing problems contacting Google.
In particular I've found race conditions and memory corruption to result in particularly fun "impossible" situations.
I try to say "I don't understand the mechanic by which that could occur, can you reproduce it?" and if they can then I have to figure out /how/ they can.
You should never deny the evidence. When you say "It's not possible", something in your understanding is obviously mistaken. Maybe your understanding of the evidence, maybe your understanding of the problem, but somewhere you're wrong. Your job now is to find out where you're wrong.
The correct response in such situations is "What am I wrong about?"
I've lost count of how many times I've seen the Can't Happen mindset delay resolution of an issue. It's a genuine problem.
> I've lost count of how many times I've seen the Can't Happen mindset delay resolution of an issue. It's a genuine problem.
> When you say "It's not possible", something in your understanding is obviously mistaken.
Not necessarily. Bear in mind that the "error" data itself can be wrong too, for many reasons -- some benign, some not so much. People can and do lie and make mistakes.
In the public sphere things are even more fraught. There are people who loathe $COMPANY and would love to see their services discredited. On the other hand, $COMPANY's legitimate success depends to some extent on people's perception of their reliability, so they have a right to defend themselves.
I think a reasonable response from $COMPANY in this case is "1) That's impossible", to reassure skittish customers, and "2) We'll work directly with the person having the problem and report back, stay tuned" to show respect and responsiveness (and potentially humility later).
If you were running your own company, paying the salaries of your employees and serving your investors, would you do otherwise?
It's loathsome that you ask.
Saying "We don't think this is possible on our end but are investigating to help wherever we can" is different than saying it is not possible.
I usually use "That shouldn't be possible" - whether it is possible or if it's user error then often depends on the maturity of the system.
On a new system pretty much anything is possible. On a system battle-tested for years by thousands of users the possibility of encountering program bugs drops dramatically.
This is where good supporters become very valuable. They will be able to learn the solutions to common problems that users face and determine if it´s user error, other errors like OS problems or if it's something new that should be investigated by the developers.
Of course if the bug is reproducible then it's a different matter. But any developer who doesn't take a well-described and reproducible bug report seriously should probable find a different job.
It's enough to get quite a few visitors who were aiming for the popular site.
The first time you start the Google+ app, it will ask you if you want to enable Instant Upload (which uploads to a private album from which you can publish). Prior to that it doesn't do anything with your photos.
I have them syncing with DropBox intentionally.
It asks you if you want the uploads to take place when you first setup the app.
I may not be correct about 'any' android phone though. I've only used stock and several custom ROM on Galaxy Nexus ranging from version 4.0.4 to 4.2.2. After you add a Google/gapps account you'll see this in sync setting- http://s24.postimg.org/fxbv98s05/Screenshot_2013_04_28_23_42... . I've found 'Google Photos' always checked by default. First time this feature was introduced, I didn't notice and my G+ filled up with random images from my mobile gallery. Since then I consciously turn this off everytime I flash a ROM.
Edit: so you don't necessarily need Google+ app installed for this to happen.
I don't really mind though. Good backup.
That's the same way malware/toolbars get installed...
1. buy new note2 from att, register google account, skip samsung and att setup.
2. buy new s3 from amazon unlocked, register google account, skip samsung setup.
3. never even open G+ app on both phones
4. take a picture
5. wait an hour
6. you get a notification "pictures you took are ready for sharing" i.e. they are already uploaded against your will and out of your knowledge.
If someone complain about a bad Android default or behavior in a non nexus device, and you have a nexus device, just stay put!
Nexus are a completely different beat when it comes to user control, ok?
Not only does it come pre-installed but you also can't uninstall it.
Admittedly it's been a long time since I tried, perhaps they fixed it since then.
I'm happy to be proven wrong, but I think this one is impractical.
Which they didn't cause it's not possible, I mean, left to reader.
[edit: I put it with the myth you need to erase data on a hard disk randomly multiple times http://www.nber.org/sys-admin/overwritten-data-gutmann.html ]
I've never seen it actually shown so that to me makes it dodgy. If it was possible it'd be a pretty cool demo.
(And I assume I don't need to say removing camera blur, the famous photoshop swirls incident etc is not the same.)
This NIST publication says: "for ATA disk drives manufactured after 2001 (over 15 GB) clearing by overwriting the media once is adequate to protect the media from both keyboard and laboratory attack."
Tech changes have "altered previously held best practices regarding magnetic disk type storage media". It does not seem to confirm that multiple erases were unnecessary before.
In the same vein, check out http://www.ee.columbia.edu/~wliu/CVPR05_LiuWei1.pdf
I would assume most of the time people "smudge" the data they want to be removed from a photo. Though, as stated, adding new information to the image has got to be the best way to do this. (a blackout.)
There are some things that were not mentioned.
1) Obviously you're talking about traditional spinning platter drives, and not SSDs.
2) The complete drive needs to be overwritten to be sure all data has gone. The safest way to do that is to use an ATA secure erase command. This will overwrite all the sectors marked as bad. DBAN is good, but it will not overwrite sectors marked as bad. (The risk from this is small.)
If the high-frequency data that was removed is unique enough that it can't be either guessed or recovered then a blur might be just fine.
If the high-frequency data is something that can be easily guessed, extrapolated, etc. then a blur does not provide much protection as far as the information content goes.
Would it not be a reasonable scenario that the journalist got to try a phone and used the Google+ app with his account. Upon returning the phone, it wasn't reset properly before being sold on to another person. So the Google+ app could still be associated with the journalist's account when the phone was sold on.
Update: In this article(http://www.dagensit.no/tester/article2355417.ece) the journalist reviews the Sony Xperia S, the very same phone model that the girl uses.
Google uses hashes for a lot of things. Hash tables are very fast, and great for database look up. In Python if there is a hash collision both entries are compared and resolved by comparison. This is still fast because doing a compare against 4 collisions is still much faster than doing a compare against 1Billion user names.
That said... The odds get to be beyond astronomical. What percentage of people are journalists? I mean if they said someone contacted us to let us know, that would be believable, but "I am a journalist, and this is happening to me" seems a lot less likely.
I'm not ready to side with Google that this is impossible, but even the response from Google doesn't sound like the Google I know. While Google is hard to get a hold of for tech support and resolution of things, if you do get them to respond to a privacy concern they are swift.
With a Teen Girl they would be even swifter. One naked Bathroom pic and they are suddenly in the Child Porn distribution business, knowingly infringing (since they have been told now) on a teen with out her knowledge. That's the kind of thing that an employee goes to jail for, not just gets some big fines.
Even if it was a realistic design pattern, what are the odds that not only that a collision occurred, but also occurred between two users in the same geographic area (i.e. Norway)?
Here is a more likely scenario: They're using the same ISP, and that ISP has some poorly configured transparent HTTP cache that is serving Cache-control: private responses to multiple users. I would bet a significant amount of money on this being the problem.
To test this theory, the journalist should logout (invalidating his cookies), and then only use HTTPS with Google Plus (Install the HTTPS Everywhere extension to be certain https://www.eff.org/https-everywhere). If the pictures keep coming, I'm wrong. If they stop, then they're going to another user with the same ISP until they fix their broken cache.
Who knows, but the fact that she visited another country doesn't invalidate it.
I had a mysterious document appear in my Google docs once.
I assumed it was due to a hash collision.
I reported it to Google but never heard back from them.
When I first created a Google+ account, when I went to YouTube, it was just a hash. I imagine your gallery would be the same since it's all now one linked platform. And this is indeed not the Google we're all familiar with.
Google could land it real hot water; not the wrist slaps for privacy/monopoly violations we've seen so far that could actually be chalked up to oversight... if you tried hard enough. This would be a real low point in the company if pans out to be some sort of auto-upload feature that got enabled and to the wrong account.
By your rationale, UNIX is broken because my uid is a small integer.
The odds of winning the lottery are pretty poor too. Yet people win them every day.
A) That of all the random ways that a bug like this could manifest itself, it happened with a tech journalist on the receiving end.
B) That the author spoke with a live human Googler over a customer service issue in regard to a free service.
The real story here is B not A.
But they aren't tech journalists so we don't know about it.
I would assume if you're a journalist in the tech industry worth you salt you probably have a Google contact you could call.
There was some account sharing going on, as the girl used that email address to login to her facebook account and all the FB notifications ended up in my wife's inbox.
At first I thought her account was compromised, but it was a secure password, so it seemed to be caused by the only slightly differing email addresses somehow being shared internally by gmail.
Only after activating 2-factor authentication did I manage to prevent that girl from using my wife's gmail account.
However, this was followed by a few weeks of constant gmail notifications about a detail/password change request sent to her phone.
"Jenta bor på et annet kontinent, så det er ikke bare å banke på døren heller."
Can I assume that is mistranslated since the passport picture shows Norway which is the same country as the journalist?
Separately, DN.no seems to be a business tabloid, 8th largest, in Norway, according to Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dagens_N%C3%A6ringsliv).
On the topic of translation issues, "We" in the first sentence of that paragraph is "Google" in the original which changes the meaning a little.
Since periods don't matter, I assume since _I_ grabbed firstlast those other guys have had to settle for firstlast + a random bit tacked on. Later they write it down wrong, or their correspondants omit the random bit.
Quite interesting. I've gotten bids on paving jobs from Scotland. Inquires about DJing in Florida. Invoices from a consultant in Seattle.
I have a filter for messages to:
which marks the message read and moves it out of my inbox.
This is the address I give out to companies whose correspondences I don't care to read generally but don't necessarily want to go directly to the trash.
Scott+newslettername@Gmail.com for example.
 - Conti, Greg (2008-10-10). Googling Security: How Much Does Google Know About You?
Stuff like this has the potential of ruining lives and relationships.
Stuff like this has the potential of ruining lives and relationships.
Do you mean that truth has the potential of ruining lives and relationships?
If they say a picture's worth a thousand words, then it's not much of a leap to apply this quote:
"If you give me six lines written by the hand of the most honest of men, I will find something in them which will hang him."
How many pictures out of context do you think it would take to ruin the average person's marriage? Destroy their career? Make them a public laughingstock? Not many pictures, if you choose the right ones.
The GP opined that photos ruin lives and relationships. I've yet to hear a scenario where a unwantedly shared photo ruined either a life or relationship where it wasn't that it actually revealed a hidden truth.
Not really. More an argument that all Scotsmen are men.
That the crowd can be stupid (as in the recent Reddit Boston bombing nonsense) has absolutely no relevance to this.
Sorry, I can't provide one for you. The documentation on such events is typically kept to a small circulation.
Humans make mistakes in judgment. Sometimes not revealing those mistakes (lying, if you will) let you grow through it. Someone might conceal a mistake for life, or reveal it after time has passed, or confess immediately. Unless there's a law enforcement agency trying to get at the truth, I think it's best left up to an individual how to deal with everyday mistakes.
And they are everyday mistakes, because that's our nature.
We're dealing with this issue already in our schools. It used to be if two kids fought in the halls, a teacher or principle would deal with it. Suspension at most, rarely expulsion. The school would almost never bring the matter to the attention of law enforcement except in rare cases. But it's against the law to fight, and they concealed it from law enforcement.
Now police are often stationed in schools. My kid's high school, and the middle school before that, has a dedicated officer. And he has said if he sees you breaking the law he'll arrest you. Do we need more kids contacting the justice system, for doing what kids do as they outgrow being kids? It's the truth, but is it right?
Do you ever spell check or read over what you've written before you submit writing? Shouldn't the computer stream everything as written, so everyone would know the truth about your spelling, grammar and judgment?
I look out the window and I see a lot of color. I'm really glad it's not all black and white.
Yes, if context is missing. And context will most likely be missing from ‘leaked’ information – and if the subject is sufficiently emotional, people will have little reason left to wait for/inquire about said context.
Of course it has.
Truth is not what most people fear. It's absence of truth and the assumption that something is true that can do the most damage.
The teacher that actually has a night life, outside of the lie that everyone sits knitting sweaters for kittens at night. Etc. It is the individual and social lies that get unfurled.
So you recognize there are cases? Why isn't it "In all cases..."?
Answer that and you'll have your answer.
You connect to an old friend of the opposite sex on fb. He/she is a silly git and the first thing he/she does is post an old photo with you and him/her visibly drunk on your fb wall. Your current partner sees it and assumes it's a relatively current photo and thus thinks you're cheating on him/her.
The customary examples in this discussion are battered wives hiding from their abusive husbands, and homosexuals in the UaE.
Much of society lives a lie (such as the nonsense that teachers live puritanical lives). Those lies are unsustainable with the continued impact of technology on our lives.
If so. Care to upload photos of your passport, credit card and social security documentation ?
Of course it can.
If you don't believe me, please do answer honestly when your wife asks 'does this outfit make my bum look big?'