Congress: instead of breaking the Internet how about fixing child identity theft?

Updated on Friday, February 24, 2017

Child Identity Theft; A Lot of Questions Need to Be Answered, But the Most Important One is

According the the Carnegie Mellon CyLab one in ten – 10% – of children in the US have had their identity stolen. Most likely this is related to the relative ease with which social security numbers can be predicted.

As a parent this makes one want to start checking credit reports, but according to a Today Show segment on the topic “Advice for concerned parents on this point is nuanced. Both the FTC and the Identity Theft Resource Center say parents should not check their kids' credit reports on an annual basis.” Kids shouldn’t have credit reports, and if they do then checking them obsessively might do more harm than good by damaging their credit rating.

WTF?

It doesn’t seem that complicated to me. How about at birth or when the child’s social security number is generated placing an automatic block on it until their 18th birthday? There should also be a process to register existing children with the credit rating agencies until automatic registration kicks in. Would this for some reason be difficult or controversial?

Also, is there a great reason for social security numbers to be short and based on states and birth years? I guess there’s a Y2K level problem to update every computer system, but converting SSNs to UUIDs sounds like a great stimulus program to me.

Apparently Representative Jim Langevin has introduced legislation to try and fix the problem for foster children. Which is great, but why just for one special group? If 10% of children (or anything like this number) really are affected then this is a pressing issue that should be getting a lot more attention.

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Shiti

Updated on Friday, February 24, 2017

Citi - Reasons we can share your personal information

Citigroup sent me a nice notice saying they are going to share my information in about four thousand different ways, most of which can’t be limited. For the few that can limit you can’t update preferences on the web site, you apparently need to call them and beg to not be spammed. As I’m writing that number makes you type in your account number and then says ‘I’m sorry, our records are unavailable.’ Most likely they’re in the Citigroup basement behind the Beware of the Leopard sign.

Citi - To limit our sharing...

If you decide to just cancel Citi then say that they will continue to share when you are no longer their customer. It reads like even if you take the time to phone in to opt out they’ll revert to happily sharing promiscuously once you leave. But you can contact them again anytime although it’s not clear what can be limited once you leave. Dear customer, we hate you.

Presumably there is some well meaning legislation to require that Citi sends clear information about their marketing policy and opt outs. Only you can’t opt out and I can’t for the life of me understand what happens if I close my account. How about requiring opt out of everything from the web site and no marketing to ex-customers instead?

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Reviews and Links for November 2011

Updated on Friday, February 24, 2017

Reamde by Neal Stephenson

5/5

Intelligent and humorous if highly contrived thriller set loosely around an MMORPG. Loved it.

 

Embassytown by China Miéville

4/5

Highly original tale of colonists cohabiting with some very unusual aliens with a very unusual language. It reads like J.G. Ballard and Nicholson Baker decided to collaborate on some SciFi.

 

The Affair (Jack Reacher, #16) by Lee Child

3/5

Not bad, returns to when Reacher was in uniform and tells the story of how he left the Army (the answer may surprise you). As with the last few in the series it all comes a little too easily and you wish there was at least one worthy opponent. I'm hooked though so as long as Child keeps writing them I'll keep reading.

 

Professional Android 2 Application Development by Reto Meier

3/5

Solid foundation and covers the platform you need to target to reach the majority of Android devices.

 

Links

RE: Feel free to use the code, no attribution required.  http://t.co/IJTcOz3p

BBC News - 7 questions on computer programmes http://t.co/XKylU7WT (more of a history / pop culture quiz)

Scooby-Doo and Secular Humanism: http://t.co/4h8M8kkK

4 of 5 stars to Embassytown by China Miéville http://t.co/kPwIrmDF

ITHCWY: Occupy Intellectual Ventures: Send them a troll. Now. http://t.co/VorWmZpz

Wow, My Flout score is -7 on @floutdotme! Get yours at http://t.co/1Sl8ei72

troll the troll! send a troll doll to intellectual ventures. http://t.co/S09ML14T via @nathtone

Walking through doorways causes forgetting, new research shows: http://t.co/JBbJXAaD

+1: Why Software Projects are Terrible and How Not To Fix Them: http://t.co/kE7WWix5

Hilarious, I had to Google how to power off Windows 8. Didn't figure it our until the third link: http://t.co/X1wrkh7R #fail

Building a Useful Task Board: http://t.co/icc8y4cU - only this should be a large monitor and an #API

#API Design Webinar http://t.co/rbDwus37 from @theamiableapi - some very valuable nuggets

Wow. Going to have to get this as a poster just to fully grok it: http://t.co/Z6iie3K5

ITHCWY: PolyLineM support in Catfood.Shapefile: I’ve just updated Catfood.Shapefile, my ESRI Shapefile parser for… http://t.co/ll50wcEi

Cal band at justanswer http://t.co/QOLcbe7e (missed this while at lunch)

Citogenesis: http://t.co/EH5K2xLg

Extensive document dump on Microsoft's shallow anti-Android bullying: http://t.co/tdEhMNLh #patents from @groklaw

Toast sandwich is UK's 'cheapest meal' http://t.co/0LG9zNOl (can't possibly be true - not factoring in cost of electricity!)

Analysis: The Darwin Economy: http://t.co/pSDkxupL

So True: What Your Favorite Map Projection Says About You: http://t.co/dW8pl2uK

Bootstrapped Company Behind iDrive, iBackup Is Fed Up With Patent Trolls: http://t.co/DP6KFLxH

The Real Cost of Patent Trolls: http://t.co/1Cu4C6cV via @bfeld

Flying rhinoceros: http://t.co/MIhWtT3L

Cool: 1% Of Nothing Launches To Get Startups Donating Equity: http://t.co/ZNy7HcZl

3 of 5 stars to Professional Android 2 Application De... by Reto Meier http://t.co/UqCtaJ3Z

'Have the people who designed this protocol really never made the twenty mile drive to San Francisco?' - http://t.co/wWk77ZpQ

Explaining 'Jobs' to Rudy Giuliani: http://t.co/ek78XEe9

ITHCWY: Catfood: Klout and Follower: Klout is building PageRank for people. You get a score between 0-100 based on… http://t.co/rGyYkY9q

Catfood Follower 1.40: http://t.co/79xDac4F via @CatfoodSoftware

Old friends... No CDTV though! At #CHM http://t.co/WGw6VOOL

How much did I used to want one of these! http://t.co/lHhnY0AG

At #CHM for Norvig v Horvitz. Will punch anyone who mentions Searle's Room. http://t.co/wPRO8tYa

Don't do it, like defining π as 4: BBC News - Changes to the world's time scale debated http://t.co/hFkrZi4g

RESTful API Design, Second Edition http://t.co/uZthmj9c #API from @landlessness

Rudy wishes I hadn't just shown him: "Saber-toothed squirrel" from the dinosaur days - Boing Boing http://t.co/Wf7Y0ttH

Marked as to-read: The Lean Startup by Eric Ries http://t.co/MC9M0Iti

Ex-Google Reader Product Manager Posts Scathing Review Of Reader Redesign | TechCrunch http://t.co/DscEAHTw

Google indexing via POST: http://t.co/oM2JmHqI (P.S. may not grok your robots.txt, suggests bending over)

Writing helpful API documentation « The Amiable API http://t.co/rx9QdKyk #API

Oakland PD confused: An Open Letter to the Citizens of Oakland From the Oakland Police Officers Association http://t.co/W5LIBY7D (me too)!

Study: why parents help their underage kids pretend to be 13 in order to use Internet sites - Boing Boing http://t.co/aoUSw5wu

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Occupy Intellectual Ventures

Updated on Thursday, November 12, 2015

PolyLineM support in Catfood.Shapefile

Updated on Sunday, May 23, 2021

I’ve just updated Catfood.Shapefile, my ESRI Shapefile parser for .NET, with PolyLineM support thanks to a contribution from Stephan Stapel. The solution for the new version has also been updated to Visual Studio 2010.

Download Catfood.Shapefile.dll 1.30 from CodePlex.

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Catfood: Klout and Follower

Updated on Sunday, November 6, 2022

Klout is building PageRank for people. You get a score between 0-100 based on how large your social graph is and how much you influence it. They also have a simple API and have been kind enough to let me use it as part of Follower so I’ve just released Follower 1.40 with Klout integration.

Follower automates the chore of following new friends on Twitter. It also somewhat automates removing traitors who don’t follow you back – as much as Twitter would let me get away with. One problem with following promiscuously is that you do end up following a lot of spammy and scammy accounts. Adding Klout helps with this as you can now say ‘follow everyone who follows me as long as their Klout score is higher than 15’. This keeps some of the riff raff out. And if a follower’s score rises above the threshold then they’ll be admitted into the club.

You can also use Klout to weed out existing follows with a low Klout. In this mode anyone below a configurable score will be added to the remove list even if they are following you back.

The only snag I hit with API is that while you can lookup a user by Twitter ID the ID isn’t returned in the response. If you query multiple IDs at a time you don’t always get a full set of results so without the ID you can’t reliably tell which result is associated with each ID. For this reason I’m only looking up one score at a time. Twitter has nice bulk methods to grab IDs for up to 5,000 friends or followers, it would nice if Klout could match this or at least fix the ID issue. This is a small problem though and having an automated way of detecting the quality of Twitter accounts is a great addition to Follower. If you use Twitter check it out.

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Reviews and links for October 2011

Updated on Friday, February 24, 2017

Ready Player One by Ernest Cline

4/5

It's a homage to the 80s and early computer games set in the ultimate MMORPG of the future. What's not to love?

 

Links

- The Important Field from xkcd.com (Snort).

- Girls equal in throne succession from BBC News - Home (Not really the main inequality of a monarchy...).

- Delta-P from xkcd.com (:)).

- On Tea from Boing Boing (Damned right).

- New Data API Around NASA Data Sets from API Evangelist - Blog (NASA data #API :) #todo @myEN).

- (title unknown) from riot right clit click (The only #SF residents who follow the MUNI front door only rule).

- Royal succession changes proposed from BBC News - Home (Simon Cowell to have final say).

- Ben & Jerry's taste for protest from BBC News - Home (Brave Brand Stand).

- Subscription Service For Kids Activities Kiwi Crate Raises $2 Million from TechCrunch (If they're still going in a couple of years...).

- Eternal Flame from xkcd.com (Nice Jobs tribute from XKCD).

(Related: The Trust Project, Fake News and a Partial Facebook Uninstall; 1,000th Post!; Doing news right with Feedly and Google News)

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Section 8.2.3.2

Updated on Saturday, October 1, 2022

The installation of a kitchen in premises where the number of staff exceeds twenty requires that proper hearing arrangements for those who like pies of high quality are made.

8.2.3.2 Installation of kitchen or food preparation facilities The installation of a kitchen in premises where the number of staff exceeds twenty requires that proper heating arrangements for those who like pies of high quality are made. Where the number of staff exceeds 50 this should be an aga. (See Chapter 2, paras 2:5 and 2:6.)

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Grape Plasma

Updated on Saturday, September 24, 2022

Gill found these instructions for making plasma in a microwave by carefully cutting up a grape and then nuking it. I finally got around to trying it yesterday, and it’s awesome. Even better than microwaving a light bulb in a glass of water. Check it out:

Making plasma in a microwave!

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Reviews and links for September 2011

Updated on Friday, February 24, 2017

Neutrino by Frank Close

3/5

Narrow topic, but an interesting book, especially the frustratingly long effort to reconcile observed electron neutrinos from the Sun with reality. Has a rather repetitive recap at the end that ends up recapping some of the recap which rather bogged things down. I definitely know more about neutrinos than I did before though.

 

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