Facebook’s unsatiable hunger for data

hungryfacebookSome of my friends tell me I’m too far fetched. Maybe they’re right. But when it comes to huge corporations, governments and the like, I’m afraid that no degree of suspiciousness is far fetched enough.
Because – you know – I was thinking: how do I disable this annoying automatic translation of my contacts’ posts in my Facebook newsfeed? I don’t want them to be translated. I’ll do it when I feel the need to.
So I went there – you know – to the Settings–>Language thing, and ooops! there was no straight setting for turning off translations altogether. Not at all. How come?, thinks I. Continue reading “Facebook’s unsatiable hunger for data”

Is Finnair violating EU legislation on tax refunds?

Despite its unjustified prestige (or did I just imagined it?), derived mainly–rather solely–from the country whose flagship airline they are–or were, Finnair actually belongs in the bottom grop of low-cost, cheap-it & cheat-it airlines that we find all over out there. It ain’t a tiny bit better than other much more discredited ones like Wizz, Ryan or Vueling, just to name a few. I’m now alluding to their illegal and abusive “50 € refund handling fee” applied to their customers whenever there is a refund to be made–if the ever make it.
In the first place, it’s not possible to contact Finnair’s Customer Service (CS) by e-mail. Their CS staff’s e-mail addresses are among the best kept secrets on the Internet. It took me a long while of web search to find this one: info@finnair.com, but it turns out it’s not working. Therefore, the customer who wants to claim a refund needs to either fill in and submit a web form (which will be answered from a no-reply address that doesn’t allow for any kind of follow-up discussion), or try to place place costly, ineffective and time-consuming phonecalls to Finnair’s CS phone numbers. Continue reading “Is Finnair violating EU legislation on tax refunds?”

Paypal’s dubious practices flounder prepaid cards

paypalAs a result of some legal offences carried out by Paypal associates Younique Money (YUM) who manage the PP-prepaid cards in Spain, from February 6th 2015 all cardnolders found out that their balances had been frozen and were useless, without any guarantee of ever recovering their money. Despite the cards being issued under Paypal’s patronage, logotype and publicity, yet the USA based multinational has dodged the issue and, under excuse that YUM is ‘just an associate’, Paypal has ditched their customers and refused to back up or compensate the victims, leaving aside vouchsafing for the lost credits. Continue reading “Paypal’s dubious practices flounder prepaid cards”

+50 screenshots revealing Windows phone issues. A WP8 review.

This is a difficult article because the list of issues and flaws of Windows Phone is close to inexahustible. At the beginning, some months ago, my intention was to cover them all, but, overwhelmed by what I realized was a superhuman task, not being inexhaustible myself, at a given point I stopped, deeming it Mission impossible. Still, I hope I did some useful work which, despite not being complete, can surely convey to the curious reader some idea about this extremely buggy and unforgivably restrictive operating system from Microsoft.
Also please mark that this is not a review proper, but a list of reasons–some feeble, some very powerful–to rule out the purchase of a Windows phone, for most consumers. Sure, the system has its virtues, who can deny it?; like for instance its stability; but it’s the type of stability you can find also in the good old hand-cranked telephones: as they have no features, they won’t break. If one hundred restrictions and limitations is the price for stability, it’s too high a price in my opinion. In any case, it’s not true that restrictions are the price for stability; that’s only what Microsoft wants us to believe. The real reason behind WP8’s restrictions is purely commercial. Continue reading “+50 screenshots revealing Windows phone issues. A WP8 review.”

Facebook hands over your privacy to Booking.com and a number of other websites

Today, all my alarms about internet privacy (or rather lack thereof) rang out loud. I was checking my Facebook wall when I came across one of those ads we’re getting of late: it was Booking.com advertising hotel rooms available in Nazaré (a tiny little village in Portugal). Nothing to worry about, if it weren’t because last night I had been searching for hotels in Nazaré via Booking.com. I was not logged in; my Booking.com email is different from the Facebook one; both emails are not linked in any way… Obviously, then, it was not a coincidence: there is one chance in a million for getting an ad of the same forlorn place I had been checking last night. To my knowledge, there’s only one way this can happen: Booking.com and Facebook.com are interchanging cookies, crossing databases: i.e., they’re telling each other about our private information, so that they can sell us something. I know we’re in the era of zero privacy, yet this is the most shameless and blatant case of handing over private information without consentment that I’ve ever come across. So, beware out there, internauts. They call it “interest-based advertising”.