Vitriol: Evernote Will Mine Your Private Secure Data

Everything about this announcement from Evernote is dodgy, evasive and scummy. The company is suffering financial duress and it would appear that its only a matter of time until they commence squeezing whatever revenue they can out of a dying revenue stream.

Evernote private updates:

Does this mean that all Evernote employees will be able to access my data?

No. We keep the list of Evernote employees who have access to user data as small as possible. Only employees who are fulfilling one of the customer or business needs, as described in the Privacy Policy (under the section, “Do Evernote Employees Access or Review My Data?"), will be able to access your data.

When “No” means the exact opposite.

So it will be just like Uber who supposedly restricted data access but recent reports say the “approved employees” is barely controlled.

Wouldn’t it be tempting for Evernote to mine my data to serve me targeted ads?

Evernote is not in the ad-serving business. We may use your information to notify you about features we believe will help you get the most out of Evernote.

Evasive statement that means “Not yet” and it might be very attractive to do so in the future. Money first, customers second.

Deletion Is Nuclear

What the hell is this ?Screenshot 09 40 47 14 12 2016 opt

You will not be able to create another Evernote account with your same email address.

If you delete the account, you can never ever return to Evernote.

Well OK then. Stuff you Evernote, I’m never coming back.

Killing The Ecosystem.

I have an blogging application Blogo which I liked but required Evernote integration. It always connects to Evernote at startup and I now assume that it is leaking information to an untrustworthy company. I have deleted this app and continue with MarsEdit.

I’m guessing that Evernote was paying Blogo enough for my data. Shame really, Blogo wasn’t bad.

Source: Evernote - Notice of Privacy Policy Updates (January 2017) – Evernote Help & Learning

Progress in Ebook Software - Finally

Lets face it, ebook reader software is crap. I use both Amazon Kindle and Apple iBooks and we haven’t seen any change to the software in years. The usability and quality of the software is rubbish. Its complex to load new books, they look awful. Kindle fonts are a joke.

So this is something. At least. Kindle has added some new features to its Kindle software. No one should cheer, this is THE LEAST THEY COULD DO.

Your move Apple.

Twitter Thoughts - 20160104

Irregular and incomplete collection of various snark that I published on social media (mainly twitter) in the last few months.


If you think education is expensive, try ignorance" -Silvia Hagen, Do’s and Don’t of Transition

Comfortable is more satisfying than responsible.

Got myself a pair of noise cancelling headphones for my wife’s birthday.

What do I have to do to get the silent treatment from my colleagues ?

The bus you are waiting for was always coming.

Have you got your crayons so I can explain it to you ?

Twitter has really improved my email skills. I’m much quicker at saying nothing with less typing now.

I’m bringing the sexy stomach back.

Warning: Do not look into a laser beam with your remaining good eye.

I’m happier on Twitter than I am in person.

Attempting reverse psychology intelligence test on this project manager. “No it doesn’t not work”. Too easy.

Sometimes I stop and think to myself that no one else is actually thinking. I hate thinking about that.

A lot of people think that Network Engineers don’t get regular sex but this is untrue. We are constantly being screwed hard by management.

Thinking about putting a friendship ring on this beer bottle. #BeerOclock

Thats A Good Question

“Thats a good question”

Don’t you hate it when someone tells you that the question you just asked, is a “good question” ?

I mean, really, its time to move on from the 1980’s mantra of the making the customer feel good by telling the customer that they are good.

In an era where the Internet has generated cyncism and mistrust, you don’t want to appear condescending or patronising. Don’t tell me that I ask good questions, because my questions are all good questions. Or I wouldn’t be asking them.

I hate being patronised. And that what it is.

Twitter Thoughts 20141002

Twitter Thoughts is a pseudo-collection of stuff I’ve tweeted. Bitter, snarky, humorous but collected here so I still own it after Twitter goes away.


The only person who rings mobile is my account manager or as I call it “Hell on a Cell”

Only deleted 122 emails so far today. Quiet day.

Sometimes I wear a scary clown mask to vendor meetings. Its about respect.

Relax, John. The duct tape and chair is to help you think very carefully about how much discount you are going to offer me.

My wife has gone out with the girls. I’ve cheated on her with six slices of pizza. Who doesn’t love pizza ?

Some of my best naps have been during webinars.

You can’t be sad when there is cheese around

This Network Design will soon be issuing it’s own credit card called “Technical Debt”

Hiring an engineer for his business skills is like mixing Skittles and M&Ms in the same bowl


Not Helpful

Yet another stupid website feature. Ember

LinkedIn Spam Reduction, Group Flooding

I’ve been getting an extraordinary amount of spam from LinkedIn in the last month (started almost immediately after Twitter cut them off, coincidence ? I think not). I took a few minutes to think about what LinkedIn provides me as a service:

  • place for recruiters to find me.
  • place for casual work acquaintances to follow me and for me to follow them.
To date I've never used LinkedIn to locate people or offer someone a job, but it might happen. Might isn't good enough. Really, LinkedIn has very little value and the spam has turned it into an annoyance.

Is there any value in the networking features ? Can’t see any. Mostly

I spent ten minutes going through my LinkedIn settings and was shocked by how data is being leaked about my life from LinkedIn. So here is what I did.

  • prevent invitations to join this or that group (less email)
  • remove all old applications that can access LinkedIn for personal data
  • remove Third Party data linking ( Facebook style).
  • Configured LinkedIn to use HTTPS.
  • Disabled permission to display third party ads (aka sell my data to external company and show me ads with that information).

My View

It's shame that LinkedIn has been reduced to a crappy copy of Facebook. It was a useful and likeable service for professionals a few years back and I enjoyed finding out where work colleagues had moved to, what they were doing etc. Today, it is  a cheap knockoff of Facebook without any of the good bits (note: I don't have a Facebook account - there are no good bits).

LinkedIn was once targeted at professional people and I enjoyed a quality experience.  It was useful & even valuable. Today, it’s heading down the path of chasing page views which has led to a crappy experience. The lessons of Instagram and Pinterest with simple pages and content have been completely lost on their management.

I’ll give some serious thought to deleting my LinkedIn account in the next few months but I’ll hold off for a while to see if these changes have improved my personal experience. Today, I’ve deleted just about all of my Group Memberships, disabled all external applications, enhanced my privacy and security, removed all but the minimum email messages,

Edit: For those who asked, my LinkedIn page is here

LinkedIn Audit

Here is what I did to cut LinkedIn down the minimal a static site. First go to the Settings page (it's not obvious that this where some settings area) Linkedin spam reduction 1

Hit “Groups, Companies, Applications” and disable Group Invitiations

Linkedin spam reduction 2

Next disable that data theft / privacy breach features that are supposed to prevent LinkedIn from selling your personal details. In the privacy controls section I got a shock when I saw all the applications that have been given permission to access my personal data. Time to delete all of these in the

Privacy Controls: Turn on/off data sharing with 3rd party applications

I mean I left Klout enabled in there. The only reason Klout exists is to profile your personal life and sell it to advertisers.

Linkedin spam reduction 3



Third Party Data Theft


Just like Facebook, those LinkedIn buttons that you see on every page capture data about you. Where you have been, what you like. LinkedIn lets you opt out of the data collection when this happens (use should be using Ghostery to block tracking cookies anyway).


Linkedin spam reduction 4


Linkedin spam reduction 5


You want to use my personal information and show ads to me based on that information ? No thanks.

Linkedin spam reduction 6

Cut down Email from LinkedIn

Sending you email is a way for LinkedIn to advertise itself as well as provide you a service. But more than two emails a week is too many. Configure LinkedIn to send the least amount of "LinkedIn Inmail" as you can stand. Linkedin spam reduction 7

and then disable this email screen Linkedin spam reduction 8


And then disable all of the group emails. I did find the group email useful a few years ago, but now they are completely overrun with recruiter spam. There is no signal in the noise.


Linkedin spam reduction 9


Partner Inmail is not the same thing as other email and needs to be explicitly removed. Where “Partners” equals “Advertising”

Linkedin spam reduction 10

Activity Feed

I find the home page in LinkedIn to be very cluttered and can't see any useful information. There is so much "happening" on the page that I can't get anything useful from the data. These settings appear to tone down some of the the clutter.

Does anyone care that you have been looking at their profile ? Linkedin spam reduction 11

Do you want other people (aka recruiters / agencies) to see your connections. Today, I’ve blocked this because of the spam but a year ago it was a valuable way for recruiters to be able to locate work colleagues and consider them for new roles.

Linkedin spam reduction 12

Reducing clutter …. Linkedin spam reduction 13


I have nothing to disclose in this article. My full disclosure statement is here

The Guild: Im the One Thats Cool - YouTube

To all the ass-hat jocks who beat me up in school Now Im the one thats cool Im the one thats cool To all the prom queen bitches thinking they still rule Now Im the one thats cool Im the one thats cool

via The Guild: Im the One Thats Cool - YouTube.

Juniper RSS Feeds take User Tracking to an Extreme Level - Updated

When you subscribe to a “custom” Juniper RSS feed they actually tracking you on a personal basis. Here is the sign up page:

Juniper rss 2

And this gives you a “personalised” RSS feed. in fact, it’s a Facebook-privacy-invading move that tracks your every move. Everytime you hit this URL they can gather information about you.

Juniper rss 3

When your retweet from RSS feed this data is also published. Since many Twitter and RSS clients publish the RSS URL not the actual URL: Juniper tracking 1

Basically, Juniper has invested in a tracking system that is at least as bad as Facebook or Google. I have a moderate problem with having my privacy being invaded. That’s why I don’t have Facebook account, and take reasonable steps to preserve some of online privacy.

I’m unsubscribed from Juniper RSS feeds. There is no need for this - this is marketing madness. It’s public information that doesn’t need this sort of silliness. How about a some respect for your customers ?

PS - SIX Tracking Cookies?

No less than six tracking cookies/analytics too


Update 20120312: They fixed it

I notice that there are only three tracking web bugs now.......



Very creepy - Click Tracking includes userid and much more

See this link that was embedded in a tweet stream. Its been expanded to show the actual URL by my twitter client → →

Screenshot of YoruFukurou

In particular, note the USERID field in the URL.

“Meltwater News monitors and analyzes online news in more than 110 countries, delivering business intelligence and insight to corporations and organizations worldwide so clients can make informed decisions.”

People, please think about what you are giving away. That’s a potential security breach there.

MS Word Annoyance 2045

Microsoft Word crashes often with this error message which cannot be clicked away.

Force quit of the application leads to system instability. Restart required, do not wait.

Screenshot of MarsEdit


Microsoft Word for Mac Annoyance # 2044

Enabling Autosave for Microsoft Word 2011 causes the error message “The disk is full trying to write to xxxx, Free some space…..”. Some weeks I don’t get it, and other weeks, it happens all the time.

Reasons to hate ms word 2044

But it’s very annoying. Happened on Snow Leopard before I upgraded to Lion. Running the latest patches. And the disk is not full.

I guess I didn’t expect anything better from crappy Microsoft software.

LinkedIn - Using Your Name to Endorse Their Advertisements

LinkedIn is pulling a Facebook on privacy. Here’s how it works, when you follow or like a company on LinkedIn, they will use your name and image to endorse advertisements that place for that company.

To wit:

When LinkedIn members recommend people and services, follow companies, or take other actions, their name/photo may show up in related ads shown to you. Conversely, when you take these actions on LinkedIn, your name/photo may show up in related ads shown to LinkedIn members.

You can turn this off

If you want me to endorse something, then get in contact. For a suitable fee, I’d be pleased to consider it.

Not happy, LinkedIn, not happy.

Source: Infosec Island

FT admits 'Mexican standoff' with Apple | Media |

The FT refuses to pay 30% to Apple:

“It would be a backward step for us to go into relationships where we are denied access directly to readers, the existing business has been driven by that,” Grimshaw said. “We are also wary what we pay to third parties. With the existing model we don’t pay anything, now while I don’t rule it out giving away a third of the revenue is not right.”

But conveniently forgets that the cost of printing and distributing the on physical media would be more than 30%. Just saying.

Oh, and the fact that they use your personal details to profile you, then target your personal details for sale to the highest bigger ? That’s Facebook creepy.

FT admits 'Mexican standoff' with Apple | Media | ""

<a class=“fancybox iframe” rel=“nofollow” href=“The FT refuses to pay 30% to Apple:

“It would be a backward step for us to go into relationships where we are denied access directly to readers, the existing business has been driven by that,” Grimshaw said. “We are also wary what we pay to third parties. With the existing model we don’t pay anything, now while I don’t rule it out giving away a third of the revenue is not right.”

But conveniently forgets that the cost of printing and distributing the alone would be more than 30%. Just saying. ">

Microsoft Word for Mac Annoyance # 2040

Did I mention how much I despise and loathe Microsoft Office ? Here is reason 2040 to continue to loathe the product.

Cannot cut and paste in the Find or Replace fields.

Ms word annoyances 2040

Stupid. Stupid. Stupid.

Burning Bandwidth

So yeah, I like to clip my phone to dashboard of my car when I’m driving and put Google Maps on the screen. Not because I use Google Maps (because it’s just not that great compared to a SatNav in the car) , but just to use up bandwidth on my account on my iPhone.

Why ? Because its disgusting thats carriers who steal charge thirty quid for 500 Megabytes of data per month which I never use. So I’m going to use it, just to get my own back. I hardly use it as a telephone, sometimes I wonder why I’m even bothering.

Petty ? Heck yeah.

Are we being gouged by carriers? Yep.

Am I kinda pissed about that ? Dur.

Rant: Microsoft Loathing - Nine Ways to Hate Their Products

Over the last twenty years, I’ve become more and more disenchanted with Microsoft as a vendor / supplier, especially Windows.

Loathing 1 - It's still not secure

Frankly, after eight major versions, hundreds of patches, multiple billions of dollars of investment and development (or so they say) we still don't have a secure operating system. Why can I never feel confident that my Windows desktop is safe for my personal data.

Worse: It is effectively compulsory to pay another company to provide with extra software that protects against any security (virus / malware) problems. Why do I have to pay protection money to fix a faulty product ? Why has Microsoft not bothered to develop secure, well written, well maintained software that is not vulnerable ?

Even more maddening, why does the IT Industry continue let this happen ? How can we accept and use an insecure product that hasn’t been fixed in the last decade ? If all Corporate Security take the default view that MS Windows products are inherently insecure, why are we still buying them at all ?

Then we spend even more money to recover from that bad decision.

Loathing 2 - It still crashes

Even when running in an emulator, or a certified desktop, and using mainstream devices my Windows desktops crash. Big stinky, dead stop, complete lockups and BSOD and data loss. I mean really, once a month maybe, once a week even possibly, but couple of times a week or daily (in my case) isn't acceptable.

Loathing 3 - Blaming Device Drivers

Microsoft always blames the device drivers for crashes and lockups. I blame Microsoft for allowing bad software drivers to break their operating system. Surely, it should be possible to write interfaces and APIs that are secure and maintain operational integrity. (See Loathing 1).

Loathing 4 - It has no class

Alright, this is a personal choice. Windows still has no aesthetic sense of use interaction that appeals to me. I still find the interface confusing and always have to go looking for programs and utilities in places that are not obvious. The idea of hiding menu options in recursive and contextual menus is a game I don't want to play.

And those people who say Aero is good…. you have no class either. It makes my eyes bleed.

Loathing 5 - The Microsoft Office Ribbon

The Microsoft ribbon is a huge insult to user intelligence. Obviously, users are incapable of moving beyond some predefined interface, therefore all users are forced to use the ribbon. . I _hate_ the Ribbon. I really, really, really hate the stupid, insulting, not my way of working, changing, irrelevant to my style, cant-find-anything-because-its-always-changing ribbon which uses the badly organised keyboard shortcuts.

I want to set it up MY WAY, give me a customisation option at least. The ribbon is either on or off, and no customisation is possible. Bah, stuff that.

Loathing 6 - Steve Ballmer

One look at this guy presenting and you get creeped out. Him and Eric Schmidt from Google - creepy. Right ? Shivers up the spine kind of creepy. Walk to the other side of the road to avoid creepy.

You don’t want to do business with Steve Ballmer. You don’t want to give him money.

Loathing 7 - Expensive

Windows Server is worth how much ? And Microsoft Office costs as much as typical pay rise for user or employee. Microsoft maintenance contracts - how much value are you getting from Microsoft for support ? When was the last time you called Microsoft and got a worthy, valuable answer to a question ?

Not worth it.

Loathing 8 - Reboot after patch.

I hate that Microsoft requires a reboot for every patch update. I know it's because virus, malware, and applications can lock libraries and thus a reboot is a "just to be safe", but why haven't Microsoft designed the operating system to stop this from happening at least some of the time.

Nine - Cost

And for all this, we pay a seriously overpriced amount of money. With licensing terms that are deeply onerous.


The whole ethic of mediocrity and customer loathing exists in Microsoft other products as well. Sharepoint, HyperV, .Net, IE9, etc are all products afflicted with the same disease. Constant patches and insecurities, poor performance and poor freedom of choices.

I tend to be a user of Apple products because Microsoft is bad, not specifically because Apple is better, that’s what drive me to the change. Even so, I’m hoping that Microsoft can return to prominence. Once they achieved great things in changing the IT industry by introducing PC desktops, producing best in class software such as MS Word 2.0 in its day. But right now, the less I can partner with Microsoft the better my professional life is.