Tag: smart phone

Google’s Tentacles Stretch Further: Verify Your Identity

I had an old ‘smart phone’ lying around and I thought about reconnecting it for one single purpose for our business.  It would not phone, it would not text, it would not even go to a website and search.  It’s only job would be to take a photo, and upload the photo to our private cloud storage.

Of course, I know that Google is invasive and nasty so I was sure to create a new account, without linking any of my personal contact information to the account.  For the single purpose of uploading photos, surely they won’t want to know who I am, right?

Wrong.

I remember years ago before I had started my google exodus journey (89% complete now, btw) they had added this neat little ‘security’ feature under the log in.  It was saying ‘Add a phone number to make sure you won’t ever get locked out and to make sure we can verify your identity.”  That was the start of my ‘questioning’ period.  Why does my email provider need my phone number?  And why do other companies not ask for this?  And if I give them this number, and they are connected to my telecom, will this provide tracking even if my GPS is off?  Etc, etc.  I remember always choosing the ‘skip’ option when this prompt came on.

It seems like skipping this option is now over.

Today while setting up this phone, I successfully:

  • created a new and anonymous google account on the phone
  • created fake answers to the security questions, not linked to me.
  • skipped adding the phone feature
  • saw the successful account creation message

Then, as I went into the google play store to download the only app I need to do the only purpose this phone will perform, there was a ‘something is wrong with your account’ message.  I entered the password about 5 times and it still spewed the same error.

Finally I went to the gmail login page and tried to log in that way where I was greeted with the message “Suspicious account activity is suspected” (something like that).  I then was *forced* to ‘verify my identity” with a phone number.  It gave me two options: sms (text) or voice.  So, I went and got my Fongo number, which works for both SMS and voice calls no problem, and I entered that and chose the SMS option.

It then spewed out a message “You can’t use this phone number.”

Really?  Go figure.  It’s a fully working phone number which can receive texts.
Then I chose the ‘voice call’ option since there is nothing wrong with that whatsoever.  And, as long as the owner of the phone number is there to receive the call and enter in the code, the identity is verified, right?

Wrong.

It also would not accept my fongo number for that voice call either.

Finally, just to test the theory, I gave google one more piece of my identity.  I entered my ‘big telecom’ personal cell phone number into the sms verification code window and *boom*.  Instantly I received the code which I entered and the account was activated.

Now it is proven that there is no way to be part of google without giving them *undeniable proof of your identity* but even worse, your big telecom phone number.

I encourage everyone reading this to start their own google exodus journey because it’s for sure that you’ve already given them way more than you thought.

Don’t wait.  Ubuntu is there as the solution and on any platform.

ps. Yes, you could probably use a pay-as-you-go phone to accomplish this account verification – I didn’t test.  This would be better that what I did.

 

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Should I Kill my Dumb Smart Phone Forever?

You know, sometimes you read an article and when you read it you are sure it’s wisdom screaming out at you.  You know there is truth there.  You know you should listen.  This article is just such an article but before reading it, let me state a few things:

  • she should also ditch google and all the other invasive companies who are ruining her life secretly
  • is there a need even for the landline?  This is a debate on with my friends now.

The ‘cell phone’ has become a ‘computer in your holster’.  Everyone knows it.  Everyone feels the addiction and gets panicky when they can’t feel the bulge in their pocket…

It is undeniably a chain, a leash and perhaps even a noose.

Also shared by my buddies was this link.

This article speaks of some technological and privacy reasons why it might be wise to bench the stench.

What we need to do here at W.O.T. is create a useful series about how to break the chain of addiction one day at a time.

Oh! There is one solution, like the landline, not mentioned here and that is that you could get your ham radio license (amateur radio) and communicate just fine and dandy in plain view of the world.  Then you can say “Text??  How about ham me at VE7CAK at 5:00pm?”  Actually, you *can* text message with ham radio, if you want.  I’ve forced my parents to license up because one neato thing not mentioned in any of these articles is that these dumb phones are radio transmitters that can’t talk to each other without a cell phone tower or wifi connection in between.  In Canada, that means they are useless across most of the land!  So with radio you control your own network, not your telecom. Ham radio baby.

This dumb smart phone ain’t no bottle of vodka – it’s much stronger.

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Ubuntu Touch Poised to Enter Market with New Smart Phone Partner

It is not often that one can be slightly ahead of a major change or curve.  I like to document these moments in a blog post.  Bit Coin was my last one.  People thought I was crazy to accept Bit Coin at my coffee shop and just a few months (not years) afterwards people were coming back and asking, “how did you know?”

I knew because I knew.

I had already been looking into Bit Coin for years and just failed to start accepting it earlier.  Inside information is just that – inside.

I have had inside information about Ubuntu for years.  Naysayers of Bit Coin are the same people who naysay Ubuntu.  They just naysay for the sake of naysaying . They like their fruit devices and start menus.  They like RRSPs and consider a bank’s savings account an ‘investment’.  But I digress…

Ubuntu (in any shape or size – and they have many) is the best kept secret this planet has seen.  Actually, Ubuntu for computers is not a secret at all considering that major governments have already embraced it as well as fortune 500 companies.  But Ubutu Touch, until this article was published was a very well kept secret. My close friends have been running this mobile OS for well over a year and I absolutely love it.  I know *for sure* that once people actually use it there will be no turning back.

  • It’s simple.
  • It’s clean.
  • It’s functional.
  • It’s safe (if you want safe).
  • It’s awesome and revolutionary.
  • You will either get it now or wish you had it later.

Here is the article again

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