How Gyft Stole My Personal Information

Attention: This content is 8 years old. Please keep its age in mind while reading as its contents may now be outdated or inaccurate.

I’m going to start off this article by warning people, DO NOT SIGN UP FOR GYFT!  Do NOT install it on your phone!  Why?  Because they will steal your information and you can’t do anything to stop it.  Gyft is an app that is supposed to allow you to easily trade/exchange gift cards to stores for other stores, but their shady business practices make me want to NEVER give them access to anything worth any real world value.

The Android version of Gyft launched the other day, so I downloaded it to check it out.  Upon first launch, it asks you to sign in with your Facebook account.  So, I did so.  Upon trying to log in, I was presented with an error message.  Apparently their servers were swamped since it was launch day.  I assume nothing worked, since I never got any confirmation or was presenting with any terms of service or anything, so I uninstall the app and say screw it.

An hour or so later, I received an SMS spam message from them asking to click a link and confirm my number (I did NOT click this link).  My first though was WTF?  I NEVER authorized them to harvest my phone number!  It really pissed me off that they just ganked my phone number and I had no idea.  I never gave them permission to take it or use it for ANYTHING.  I reported the app to the Google Play Store at this point.

Then a few days later, and the reason I am writing this, I learned that they also apparently pillaged my Facebook information and saved it all.  Even though I unlinked the app from Facebook with in minutes of deleting the app from my phone, it was apparently too late.  I received an email today reminding me that one of my Facebook friend’s birthdays is coming up.  Another big WTF from me!  I never authorized the pilfering of my (nor my friends) data.  Plus, I had already unlinked Gyft.  Upon removal, Gyft SHOULD have to delete the data they collected from me, but that is obviously not the case.  So, Facebook friends, sorry about that.  All I hope is that they don’t spam you too.  Who knows how much information they were able to harvest.

I will give them some credit in that they deleted my account today within 5 minutes of me sending them the email request.  At least they got that right (although I am sure all of my information, including Facebook data, is still in their system).

Lesson learned here; pay attention to the apps you install and realize any time you sign in to an app or webpage with your Facebook account, they collect and store all of your information, even if you unlink the app or website, and they will likely keep it forever!

Why can’t Winamp stay on top?!

Attention: This content is 9 years old. Please keep its age in mind while reading as its contents may now be outdated or inaccurate.

Seriously, this pisses me off to no end.  Winamp has had this problem for years.  I have the option set:

 

After a couple songs:

 

I love Winamp as an audio player, I really do.  But it drives me crazy when I go to pause the music or skip to the next track, and Winamp is not where it is supposed to be, and end up having to minimize my 3,847 windows to find it.

 

Nokia must be on something good

Attention: This content is 10 years old. Please keep its age in mind while reading as its contents may now be outdated or inaccurate.

Earlier this week, Nokia’s CEO came out and admitted something had to drastically change at Nokia, or they would basically be done…

“We poured gasoline on our own burning platform. I believe we have lacked accountability and leadership to align and direct the company through these disruptive times. We had a series of misses. We haven’t been delivering innovation fast enough. We’re not collaborating internally. Nokia, our platform is burning.” – Nokia CEO, Stephen Elop

Well, Stephen, the former head of Microsoft’s business division, revealed his master plan to reinvent Nokia… and his answer?  Windows Phone 7.

Seriously.  That’s his answer.  To move from one failing platform to another.  Excuse me while I catch my breath from laughing so hard and wipe the tears away from my face.  This is golden.

During Nokia’s presentation, he presented this ridiculously optimistic graphic, showing what Nokia thinks will happen to phone OS market share:

Read More

What happened to Linkin Park?

Attention: This content is 10 years old. Please keep its age in mind while reading as its contents may now be outdated or inaccurate.

Seriously.  What happened?

Linkin Park has 2 absolutely amazing albums with Hybrid Theory and Meteora.  Not a dull song in the group, original music, awesome fast pace rhythms, and totally bad as solos.  Then what?  We got some remixes with Jay Z (which weren’t bad, just nothing new really), then we were handed the shit fest known as Minutes to Midnight.  While Minutes to Midnight had a few good songs on it like Bleed It Out and What I’ve Done, even those good songs didn’t sound like the Linkin Park we’d known and loved from Hybrid Theory and Meteora.

Well, everyone is allowed one stinker album right?  I figured I would let Minutes to Midnight slide and still call myself a Linkin Park fan.  That was until I heard the songs off A Thousand Suns… wow.  They got even worse than Minutes to Midnight.  What the hell?  A Thousand Suns doesn’t have a single good song on it.  They’re all electronic fucking garbage.  What happened to the bad ass guitar solos, bad ass drum, and original lyrics not the shit like “god bless us everyone, blah blah blah”.  Every single A Thousand Suns song is absolute garbage.  Just filth.

So again, I ask, WHAT HAPPENED?

Did someone get off drugs?  Someone go on drugs?  What?

Whatever it is, I am no longer a Linkin Park fan.  I am still a fan of their original albums, but this new stuff as just awful.

I leave you with my favorite Linkin Park song. RIP Linkin Park.

Why Windows Phone 7 Will Fail

Attention: This content is 11 years old. Please keep its age in mind while reading as its contents may now be outdated or inaccurate.

Two years ago I wrote about what Microsoft needed to do to turn their platform around.  Now with Windows Phone 7 only months away, it would appear Microsoft has failed in every way imaginable.

Windows Phone 7 will be a miserable failure.  There are many countless reasons why it is going to epic fail, but here are some of the most important:

1) Microsoft doesn’t know mobile phones from a hole in the ground.  Just look at the current state of Windows Mobile.  It’s built on the Windows CE platform, created in 1996.  Yes.  Let me repeat.  Windows Mobile is based on a platform created in 1996.  Sure, the platform has seen updates, but it’s still based on a world created 13 years ago.  Back when Windows 98 was nothing but a dream.   Windows Phone 7 is based on Windows CE.  Yup.  Microsoft’s newest “cutting edge” Phone OS is STILL based on Windows CE.  They just couldn’t get rid of it.  Thanks Microsoft.  The same bullshit you’ve been jamming down our throats for the past how many years that has NEVER worked right is your platform for the next Windows Phone?  EPIC FAIL.

2) The Kin is a disgusting failure.  The Kin is running a hacked down version of Windows Phone 7.  Don’t believe me it sucks?  Here are a few quotes regarding the Kin and it’s abilities:

“…Lofty goals indeed for a product like this, and unfortunately for everyone, Microsoft misses the mark by a long shot. It’s not even close.”

“…we also take issue with the browser, which is abysmally slow and buggy (it consistently crashed while trying to load any complex web pages like Engadget), and the email client, which seemed to have trouble displaying even the most rudimentary HTML messages”

“While using the One and Two we found ourselves consistently confused or surprised by how many bad little interface problems there are. Not only does the phone make it hard to do simple tasks — and not only are the social networking features poorly implemented — but the handsets are often sluggish, hiccupy, and downright crash-prone. We were told by the devices on more than one occasion that we needed to restart (while performing basic tasks), and often it would just throw us a blank screen while we waited for the device to come back from whatever tragic internal situation was occurring”

That’s enough of that.  If you want to read more though, you can head over to Engadget’s review of the Kin One and Two.

Read More

HP’s New Touch-pads Suck

Attention: This content is 11 years old. Please keep its age in mind while reading as its contents may now be outdated or inaccurate.

I was setting up some brand new HP Probook’s today (typically VERY nice machines in my experience) when I was suddenly rendered crippled by a IMPOSSIBLE to use touch-pad.  What a DREADFUL piece of shit this new design is.

Basically, the touch-pad and buttons are all one surface.

Observe:

The problem comes from the fact that the “button area” is still part of the touch-pad.  So you place one finger on the button, and now you can’t use the fucking touch-pad.  Your cursor will either sit there and stare at you like a vegetable or it’ll jump all around the screen like crazy.  Either way, the touch-pad is completely unusable if you’re touching either button.  This is incredibly frustrating because my style of laptop mousing is resting one hand’s fingers on the buttons while using the other hand to navigate the mouse, or resting one finger on the button, while the other navigates the mouse for faster mouse action.  The only effective way to use this touch pad is with one hand and one finger.  Christ.  It’s awful.  Seriously.

I ended up grabbing one of those USB ball mice and plugging the damn thing in and using that, because trying to use that bloody touch-pad was making me want to kick puppies.  And I love puppies.

Thanks for the SHIT design HP.  I’m sure as hell glad this isn’t my machine.  I would be returning it if I had to put up with that damn thing.

Walmart, more like Wastemart

Attention: This content is 11 years old. Please keep its age in mind while reading as its contents may now be outdated or inaccurate.

Pssst, Walmart… it’s hard to believe your silly commercials about efficient truck routes and less cardboard in shipping to help save resources, when I go to your store, buy a 12 pack of soda and some saltine crackers, and I get a receipt that is 15 inches long!!!

Seriously?  2 items should warrant a receipt no longer than 4 or 5 inches.  A 15 inch receipt is just an extreme waste of paper.  I can’t believe your shitty commercials when you pull crap like this hundreds of thousands of times a day across the country.  No one wants to take your crappy survey, shrink the Xbox-huge logo at the top, shrink the barcode, reduce the white space.  Bam, 4 inch receipt.

Here, I even mocked one up for you.