Issue 1549 - Thursday 17th February, 2022

In Today's Issue

The News

Google adds a "Privacy Sandbox" to Android to limit cross-app tracking

Google is introducing something called the Privacy Sandbox on Android devices over the next two years. It works in a similar fashion to Apple's app tracking transparency feature, limiting the ability for apps to share data between each other for advertising purposes. Note the word limiting. They're not stopping it entirely like what Apple did, but are simply changing the methods allowed for apps to track users. How exactly, we don't know yet as the a beta of the Privacy Sandbox isn't coming until late-2022, but it is likely to involve declaring advertising APIs and allowing users to block them as opposed to Apple's "blunt approach" of blocking cross-app tracking entirely by default.

Doctors complain to authorities over Neuralink's medical research monkey abuse

The Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine has officially complained to the US Department of Agriculture about Elon Musk's Neuralink project. Apparently Neuralink and its research partner the University of California Davis have violated "the federal Animal Welfare Act related to invasive and deadly brain experiments conducted on 23 monkeys". The complaint accuses that they are "failing to provide the adequate veterinary care to dying monkeys, using an unapproved substance dubbed 'Bioglue', which destroyed parts of the monkeys' brains, and an inability to ensure the psychological well-being of the monkeys involved". Neuralink posted a response to the complaint, defending their treatment of the animals.

Creators of Bored Ape Yacht Club NFTs revealed/doxxed

On the topic of abused monkeys, the creators of those Bored Ape Yacht Club NFTs have been unmasked by Buzzfeed as Greg Solano and Wylie Aronow. The CEO of Yuga Labs, the company that owns/runs/whatever BAYC, reckons the two founders have been doxxed. I don't think they've been doxxed in the traditional sense (that's usually malicious, which I don't think this is), but I do agree it is very rude of BuzzFeed. Does it really matter we know the "real" names of the people that started the project? It's not like people have been ripped off or there's some stench of foul play here. Just because they're rich doesn't mean we deserve to know their identity, does it?

Something I Saw On The Internet

Man looks into self-hosted replacements for Dropbox

With the latest bullshit changes to OneDrive on macOS I've thought about self-hosting my syncing cloud storage, so this article from old mate Ernie over at Tedium has come at the right time. He started out with the popular NextCloud, but found it unreliable and too much fucking around. Filerun, Pydio Cells and Seafile were also given a run but didn't meet his needs. Ultimately Ernie settled on Syncthing. It doesn't store files in the cloud, but does a great job syncing files between all your computers and letting you select which files you want where. I need support for Mac, Windows, iOS and Android (Linux a nice to have) - so I'm not sure if Syncthing is for me, but the article is still interesting.


The End

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