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Messages - Sidoh

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[x86] Announcements / Re: Site is updated + moved to new server
« on: June 30, 2018, 03:42:28 AM »
o hai.

x86 is still the first thing on my bookmarks bar 15 years later.

also, meetup pls.

General Discussion / Re: Happy New Year
« on: January 08, 2018, 06:58:20 PM »
happy new year!

iago, when's our next meetup? :D

[x86] Announcements / Re: Move / disband the forum/site?
« on: September 03, 2017, 08:02:53 PM »
SSL certs are automatable and free now with letsencrypt. No reason to not keep this place around so we can all be embarrassed by our 14yo selves.

General Discussion / Re: omg hi
« on: June 05, 2015, 08:17:11 PM »

General Discussion / Re: What's wrong with x86?
« on: March 13, 2015, 02:30:52 AM »
Many of us have upgraded to RL buddies. Ron crashes on my couch. We all go out to bars and get smashed together and draw dicks on Joe's face over google hangouts. Don't worry, your invite is in the mail.

idk what LKJDfo284u39*(#K} is but it probably sucks.

[x86] Announcements / Re: Move / disband the forum/site?
« on: December 31, 2014, 10:40:28 AM »
Guys, I think he's outlining a plan, not enumerating options. >_>

[x86] Announcements / Re: Move / disband the forum/site?
« on: December 30, 2014, 06:42:33 PM »
Sounds like a good plan. =)

General Discussion / Re: What are you doing now?
« on: July 20, 2014, 02:09:24 PM »
Heh, the recruiting people seem to be attached to including the same nonsense lingo everyone else in the valley uses. It bothers me. While the verbiage is trite, I feel pretty strongly that the part you quoted is true about the work environment. "Energetic" might be a stretch, but energetic people exhaust me anyway.

I interact pretty minimally with the machine learning part of what we do by choice. The product people in our company put more time pressure on these things because there's the most room for improvement. While that part is pretty appealing to me, I value my time outside work too much to get involved with it.

General Discussion / Re: What are you doing now?
« on: July 07, 2014, 02:17:46 AM »
PM me if any of the openings look appealing.

Edit: by PM, i mean email:

General Discussion / Re: What are you doing now?
« on: July 03, 2014, 02:42:40 AM » We were just acquired by Acxiom, but by all accounts we're going to remain pretty autonomous for the time being. Lots of hadoop/big data stuff (yes, Ron, we know you forgot how to count as low as petabytes).

I also have quite a few friends at Square. One of them runs one of the data analytics teams.

General Discussion / Re: What are you doing now?
« on: July 02, 2014, 04:06:33 AM »
Wanna move to SF? :)

General Discussion / Re: What are you doing now?
« on: April 17, 2014, 04:49:24 PM »
GameSnake, go home. You're drunk.

General Discussion / Re: Who remembers this!?
« on: April 17, 2014, 04:49:09 PM »
Go home, GameSnake. You're drunk.

Gaming / Re: Minecraft
« on: January 08, 2014, 08:53:14 PM »
It's a lot of fun. The server I'm running has a ton of mods. Vanilla minecraft is kind of about digging and building stuff. Modded minecraft is about automating everything with awesome machines.

General Discussion / Re: Online advertising
« on: January 08, 2014, 01:51:17 AM »
The problem I have is that the cost isn't well known. Nobody thinks about how the advertising agencies work, or how Google and Facebook make their money. And they certainly don't directly disclose their business practices to the users. Instead, users see free software and services thinking that they're free (and they're not). That's pretty deceptive.

Sure, and it probably will never be known.

That said, I think building a product for sale makes it much more difficult to be innovative. That's exactly why I'm saying I actually like Google's business model. They make cool stuff. I don't mean to say it's "free" in the sense that they're not making money, but it is free in the sense that I'm not paying money. Companies like Google also al Maybe some day down the line there will be a day when it's obvious that the hidden costs were too high, but I'm not nearly as afraid of that as you are apparently.

I don't think their business practices are quite as opaque as you're suggesting. Some of the details are hidden, and some of those details are probably relevant to consumers, but again, I don't seem to be as concerned about those details as you are. I don't think I know less or that I've not thought about it as thoroughly. I think maybe I'm just less risk averse.

Why not directly disclose the cost to the user if it's so great? Why is it secretive? Maybe advertising agencies really suspect that users wouldn't appreciate the cost at all or maybe they think users wouldn't care.  Either way, a price tag is nice.

Because disclosing everything is probably bad for business in multiple ways, and I don't think it's at all fair to attribute all of that to justified scorn from their users. 

And by the way, Google is among many that buries its policies in lengthy legal jargon too. At least it makes users aware of policy changes.

Sometimes, I think legal jargon is probably more necessary than it seems. I think that stuff like privacy polices tend to sound pretty windy and convoluted, but a lot of that language is necessary to cover one's ass.

I can only speculate what kinds of information advertising agencies collect and how they use the data. Whether it can identify me as nslay, my Google ID, a cookie number, an IP address, or a behavior pattern is irrelevant. I don't like the idea that Google, for example, can build (and probably does) an almost complete profile of my web surfing history (since many sites host Google Ads). I personally don't want to be tracked and I am opted-in by default. I have to 1) know that I am being tracked (which is generally kept hidden), 2) Find a way to opt-out (if any).

Of course it's relevant how targeted advertising works. Consumer data used in online targeted advertising isn't stored server-side.

People tend to think it works like this:

As you browse the web, advertising companies build a profile of you. You as a person are tied to this profile. When you request an ad, the ad servers know who you are, take a peek at your profile, and decide what ads to show you based on that profile.

That's not how it works. It works like this:

The data itself gets placed in a cookie. You as a person are not identified when you're requesting an ad. Data relevant to you as a person is sent along in the request for an ad, but it's usually very boring data. More importantly, you have complete control over it. It's transient -- all you have to do is delete your cookies.

When it comes down to it, this "profile" model is generally a really bad idea from a business standpoint for multiple reasons:

1) It's far more difficult to maintain.
2) It's not nearly as flexible.
3) I think marketers would much rather use their own CRM data than some profile someone else has built. If some retailer wants to run an ad campaign targeted at some of their biggest spenders, they have that data. Why would they want to use some bullshit profile built by someone else?
4) As you mention, there are some serious privacy concerns, and despite your pessimism, it's a really important issue. It's not something advertising companies raise their nose at.

I don't mean to say that there aren't creepy ad-related things on the Internet that work by building a profile of you. I'm just saying it generally doesn't work as well as this much less scary data-in-cookies model.

If you don't want that data to be sent to advertising companies, there are quite a few things you can do to prevent it:

1) Set the DNT header.
2) Disable third-party cookies.
3) Opt out everywhere you can (it's more than you think). Services like SelectOut help by opting out of a bunch of things at once. (Amusingly, I worked with the guy who owns SelectOut. Perhaps even more amusingly, it seems to be having technical issues at the moment). Companies respect optouts. It's a PR disaster if they don't, and it's easy to test if they are.

And again, as I pointed out: Anonymous data isn't necessarily anonymous. Once you cross reference data, you could, for example, build a statistical model and accurately predict the identities* of users. It's been done before and I imagine advertisers do this too (predicting someone's identity* by their web surfing behavior would be an interesting learning task).

* : By identity, I mean some abstract server-side representation of a user (which is not limited to something like a unique number for example).

I think I responded to this already. Given what I know about the advertising industry, I think your fear about this is unjustified. Of course it's easy to do this, but I can tell you that my company and companies we work with won't touch data that's even close to uniquely identifying. Fields we deal with are very broad -- think stuff like "male", and "age 21-28". I'm sure that sometimes this data becomes uniquely identifying, but again -- it's stored in the browser. The information available to a website using HTTP headers sent along by the browser and some fancier stuff from Javascript already makes a browser uniquely idenitfying (link).

I think the more serious problem is when this data is tied to an identifier (like your name, email address, etc.). This is the cardinal taboo in online advertising. It's something that's (successfully, in my experience) avoided at all costs.

You want my support for Google: Be upfront and direct about the costs and practices. Otherwise, I think you're a bunch of hypocrites to your own motto "don't be evil." Surely Larry Page and Schmidt have nothing to hide from us, the unsuspecting user ... right?

If I were Google, I'd much rather lose the business of a few people than disclose everything about how I run my business.

I'd agree that those things would be nice, but I certainly don't expect them.

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