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  #1  
Old 13-02-2018, 04:52 PM
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Kal (Andrew)
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is your mobile a tool for you, or...

So I recently bought a new mobile phone after my old samsung galaxy s2 died. It has a bigger screen, better camera, more storage, it's faster, all good until I start getting annoying information pull requests.

By information pull requests, I mean I go to a corner shop to get a burger, and I'm asked to rate the experience. I go for a walk to the park, and because I'm near a bus stop, I'm asked if they have seats available there and how many.

Now I have nothing against companies using their customers to get information, however, I do hate how the default settings on the phone is to send notifications to you.

My phone is nothing more than a TOOL, that I use, to communicate when I choose, to look up information when I choose, to entertain myself when I choose.

My mobile phone is NOT a tool for companies to use to pull information from me!

I have had to disable dozens of notifications settings across multiple android apps to stop these annoying information pull requests!

/rant

So, is your phone a tool you use, or are the companies making a tool out of you?
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  #2  
Old 13-02-2018, 04:55 PM
Wavytone (Nick)
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A large part of the problem is that you’ve bought into a platform (Android) where the OS developer (Google) depends on the revenue from pumping ads at you, and selling your personal data - as their primary source of revenue. As intrusive as possible up point you consider switching.

Even if someone did write a plug-in that blocks that crap on Android chances are Google won’t allow it to be installed.

We’ve already seen what happened with adblockers - ads got so annoying plug-ins we’re develeoped to shut them out. Still highly effective on OS X and iOS. But on other platforms those that depend on advertising revenue were quickly forced to comprise attempts to block ads on Android. Microsoft isn’t much better either.
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  #3  
Old 13-02-2018, 05:51 PM
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baileys2611 (Simon Bailey)
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I treat my mobile phone like a company asset. Every time I use my phone I think "am I happy for my employer to see this activity" and act accordingly.

Yes, I have bought into the Apple ecosystem but I limit all information to and from them.

It's strictly a tool for me to communicate, mostly for business and very occasionally for personal use.
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  #4  
Old 13-02-2018, 06:46 PM
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Yep , I just got a new phone on my Telstra plan and picked the new ' Google ' Pixel2 , man what a machine ! its scary fast and links with everything in the house with a word , great phone .

And the camera , best in a phone yet by far , even better than the iPhone X and Samsung , amazing technology .

Brian.
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  #5  
Old 13-02-2018, 07:36 PM
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multiweb (Marc)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kal View Post
So I recently bought a new mobile phone after my old samsung galaxy s2 died. It has a bigger screen, better camera, more storage, it's faster, all good until I start getting annoying information pull requests.

By information pull requests, I mean I go to a corner shop to get a burger, and I'm asked to rate the experience. I go for a walk to the park, and because I'm near a bus stop, I'm asked if they have seats available there and how many.

Now I have nothing against companies using their customers to get information, however, I do hate how the default settings on the phone is to send notifications to you.

My phone is nothing more than a TOOL, that I use, to communicate when I choose, to look up information when I choose, to entertain myself when I choose.

My mobile phone is NOT a tool for companies to use to pull information from me!

I have had to disable dozens of notifications settings across multiple android apps to stop these annoying information pull requests!

/rant

So, is your phone a tool you use, or are the companies making a tool out of you?
This is just the tip of the iceberg. You'd be horrified at the amount of data reported to base by most modern mobile devices these days. That's where the big bucks come from. Not the sale of devices but what data they return.
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  #6  
Old 13-02-2018, 07:45 PM
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Wife - who works in Cyber Security for one of the Top 4 - insists NO smart devices in the house - for instance, NO smart TV's, no linking anything to anything. All laptops have the webcam covered over with tape. It is NOT a conspiracy, it is REAL and admitted to by the NSA and others after Snowden's outing. A mate that owns an info tech/data management business also is LOW tech at home.

Similarly, all apps on the phone that are NOT essential are deleted. Facebook accounts are deleted/not active (one of the FIRST things government agencies ask for baseline vetting is about Facebook etc. Just wait what they ask you for negative vetting...or TSPV).

The more technology evolves, the LESS I use it's functionalities. A few recent Black Mirror episodes regarding ratings and technology may make you think a bit too. Do we need it? NO! Life was just fine without it all. I manage to get through the day JUST FINE without seeing what some d!ckhead had for lunch...which then of course forms a profile....
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  #7  
Old 13-02-2018, 07:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by multiweb View Post
this is just the tip of the iceberg. You'd be horrified at the amount of data reported to base by most modern mobile devices these days. That's where the big bucks come from. Not the sale of devices but what data they return.
↑↑↑↑↑↑↑↑↑↑this↑↑↑↑↑↑↑↑↑↑
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  #8  
Old 13-02-2018, 08:17 PM
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Regarding the data logging (I've watched snowden so I'm aware of their capabilities) it's a bit funny how as a society we used to read books like Orwell's 1984 and fear this sort of stuff. Nowdays we carry these devices logging our every movement, our every contact, constantly listening to us for that "hello google" command. Reminds me of this meme I saw a few weeks back:
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  #9  
Old 13-02-2018, 08:47 PM
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It never gets old seeing the looks on people's faces when all this (and it's personal consequences) dawns. It makes perfect sense in balanced world, that essentially, nothing is for free. For all the services Google (and others) provide, there is expense, which must be recovered.

I'm waiting for the day when this gets so pervasive, that the Bureau of Statistics outsources it's job to Google (or equivalent), and rather than run a natonal census, simply reports the current snapshot of what it already knows.

I'd love to learn the ins and outs of Wireshark, and see just how much, what, and to whom my phone is constantly talking to.
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  #10  
Old 13-02-2018, 09:16 PM
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Originally Posted by AndyG View Post
I'm waiting for the day when this gets so pervasive, that the Bureau of Statistics outsources it's job to Google (or equivalent), and rather than run a natonal census, simply reports the current snapshot of what it already knows.
It'd probably be a lot better than the last bungle!
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  #11  
Old 13-02-2018, 09:40 PM
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Yes, adblockers, sleep software and firewall apps are like gold.

My phone is a few years old now, but it gets a free wipe every 6 months. It empties junk files, and keeps it running merrily along.

When it arrived, the very first thing I did was unlock the bootloader, add root access and superuser rights, then install a custom rom. Then Adblock Plus and a firewall program. Then I installed XPosed, because some of the modules on there are great for blocking Google and other intrusions. I don't use Facebook.

For me it is a tool, and even having the phone ring is an imposition for me on most days. I use GPS a lot, and Sky Safari runs well on it. Other than that, weather, parcel tracking and news are my main go-to apps.
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  #12  
Old 14-02-2018, 10:46 AM
inline_online (Dan)
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Looks like most people here use their phones as tools.
However, the majority of people I see every day are tools on their phones.
Illustration courtesy of Steve Cutts.
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  #13  
Old 14-02-2018, 11:03 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by inline_online View Post
Looks like most people here use their phones as tools.
However, the majority of people I see every day are tools on their phones.
Illustration courtesy of Steve Cutts.
Oh hell yes, don't DARE look at other people while you are waiting for something - they'll instantly look at their phone. Even Mums at school pickup are like this. I just smile and watch the clouds, the trees, the bees...lest dare to look at and talk to someone.

Social interaction is DIEING thanks to mobile phones. The perfect excuse, the convenient one.
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  #14  
Old 14-02-2018, 11:55 AM
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The people will not revolt. They will not look up from their screens long enough to notice whats happening. George Orwell 1948.
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  #15  
Old 14-02-2018, 02:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LewisM View Post
Social interaction is DIEING thanks to mobile phones. The perfect excuse, the convenient one.
I remember when Facebook meant going to the pub and actually talking to people over a few beers.
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  #16  
Old 14-02-2018, 05:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LewisM View Post
Wife - who works in Cyber Security for one of the Top 4 - insists NO smart devices in the house - for instance, NO smart TV's, no linking anything to anything. All laptops have the webcam covered over with tape. It is NOT a conspiracy, it is REAL and admitted to by the NSA and others after Snowden's outing. A mate that owns an info tech/data management business also is LOW tech at home.

Similarly, all apps on the phone that are NOT essential are deleted. Facebook accounts are deleted/not active (one of the FIRST things government agencies ask for baseline vetting is about Facebook etc. Just wait what they ask you for negative vetting...or TSPV).

The more technology evolves, the LESS I use it's functionalities. A few recent Black Mirror episodes regarding ratings and technology may make you think a bit too. Do we need it? NO! Life was just fine without it all. I manage to get through the day JUST FINE without seeing what some d!ckhead had for lunch...which then of course forms a profile....
I totally agree, but there is a way to get around it. All these social media crap is designed to be addictive, just like the cigarette industry.
I have no website replacing apps like the CNN spp, Guardian app, Youtube app, Opal app, banking apps, they are not designed for the users, but for the companies. I cannot find any other reason that these companies spend extra effort in making separate apps beside a website. It is just for data collecting and selling your private data. Modern web browsers on Android or iOS are just as capable to do everything as the customized apps.

The problem is that there is little choice in cellphone / tablet OS'es, just Android or iOS, the first one being intrusive with ads and the second one has too many limitations.

To circumvent Android data raking is rather simple (and cheap, or even free) to bypass this. And NO ROOT required.

* NEVER use malware like the Facebook app and preferably, completely get rid of Fakebook. All other social media are just data raking apps.

* Whatsapp is another issue: it belongs to Fakebook and with email (e.g. the independent K9 Mail app) you can do the same, group email, share photos with family and friends with instant response. And you can also access it on tablet or computer, unlike Whatsapp.
* Get Adguard (www.adguard.com) iOS: App Store, costs $2, Android: sideload via www.adguard.com because it is not allowed in the Play store for obvious reasons. This blocks all ads as in installs a VPN based firewall and you decide which apps are allowed to connect with the internet. I block almost all apps, including all Google services, except a few browsers and K9 mail app. When uidating apps I disable Adguard briefly and allow everything to connect with internet briefly.

* Set the DNS to Adguard DNS (176.103.130.130 and 176.103.131.131) which blocks all ads even when the firewall is off (e.g for updates).

* Use Firefox browser which allows permanent 'desktop' user agent so no 'mobile sites' (i.e. stupid limited WAP pages) are shown. Desktop plugins of FF, such as uBlock Origin, an excellent tracker blocker, also run on Android. Set Duckduckgo as default search engine. Just as good as Google.

* Set all location sharing, contacts sharing, auto updates and push notifications to OFF in your Google account on your device.

* Disable the Gmail, Youtube, Google Now and Google Search app.

* Connect your device with internet (wifi / 4G) only when needed. Permanently online is another security and privacy leak. Navigational or sky viewing apps work excellently without internet and when you are needed for e.g. emergency, cell service is enough.

This is not a guarantee that you never will be tracked, but at least far less.
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  #17  
Old 14-02-2018, 05:58 PM
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When I get a new phone the first thing I do after a charge is rooting it.
You get to uninstall all the bloatware and really look at what data is being sent out by what apps.
Only bricked 1 Moto about 8 years ago by using the wrong rom.
Also use link2sd to really move apps to sd card but needs root access.
I don't know if im been paranoid but at least I'm stopping alot of ads
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  #18  
Old 14-02-2018, 08:35 PM
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Mine is mainly just a phone, I leave data turned off unless I need to do some banking or check something on the net. So yes it can be a handy tool at times but I like to leave the internet at home. As a bonus my 3 y/o iphone6 goes for about 4 days between recharges with data off.
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  #19  
Old 14-02-2018, 10:24 PM
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blindman (Neville)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LewisM View Post
Wife - who works in Cyber Security for one of the Top 4 - insists NO smart devices in the house - for instance, NO smart TV's, no linking anything to anything. All laptops have the webcam covered over with tape. It is NOT a conspiracy, it is REAL and admitted to by the NSA and others after Snowden's outing. A mate that owns an info tech/data management business also is LOW tech at home.

Similarly, all apps on the phone that are NOT essential are deleted. Facebook accounts are deleted/not active (one of the FIRST things government agencies ask for baseline vetting is about Facebook etc. Just wait what they ask you for negative vetting...or TSPV).

The more technology evolves, the LESS I use it's functionalities. A few recent Black Mirror episodes regarding ratings and technology may make you think a bit too. Do we need it? NO! Life was just fine without it all. I manage to get through the day JUST FINE without seeing what some d!ckhead had for lunch...which then of course forms a profile....
Very, very interesting, but most people "do not care" unfortunately.
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