The Market Ticker
Commentary on The Capital Markets- Category [Technology]

Gee, you don't think this is a singularity, right?

What I discovered was that the world of Ashley Madison was a far more dystopian place than anyone had realized. This isn’t a debauched wonderland of men cheating on their wives. It isn’t even a sadscape of 31 million men competing to attract those 5.5 million women in the database. Instead, it’s like a science fictional future where every woman on Earth is dead, and some Dilbert-like engineer has replaced them with badly-designed robots.

Read the entire article folks -- out of millions of alleged "women" there were perhaps 12,000 actual women on the site.  The rest were fake, robots, or something else.

Now here's the ugly -- there are a whole host of alleged dating sites out there and all of them charge money for at least some of their services.  So here's the question: How many of the "women" on all of those sites are real?

Are there a few?  Sure, and if you're a woman looking for a guy you have a lot of choice.  So for women, perhaps, these sites are a "good deal" -- if you can fight off the animal-style attention that comes from being one piece of meat on the ground in a den full of millions of hungry male lions!

But for men it's a different matter entirely.  Perhaps at one time there was a point to such sites; indeed, a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away I did meet a few interesting people on a couple of them.

Is that still possible?

It would appear the answer may well be "No", and thus there is no value in such a venue for ordinary, heterosexual guys -- particularly when you're being asked to pay for it.

This has interesting implications, if and when it gets proved up, for those firms providing these services and charging men for them.  I wonder if anyone has ever asked those firms, especially the publicly-traded ones that own some of these sites, if their alleged "women counts" have been audited to see if they are, well, you know, real women -- that is, what percentage of those alleged "female profiles" actually correspond to someone of the female sex that actually is who she says she is and is actually on the site and active.

View this entry with comments (registration required to post)

Oh I'm going to love hoisting the "I told you so!" flag soon on this scam:

Traditional and online publishers are struggling to cash in on their surging mobile traffic, raising questions about their future growth as consumers increasingly turn to smartphones and tablets for media.

News and information outlets ranging from the New York Times and The Wall Street Journal to Business Insider and can point to rapid growth in mobile usage. Time spent on publishers’ mobile offerings jumped 40% in the 12 months through July and now accounts for 55% of total time spent on their properties, up from 42% two years ago, according to estimates by measurement specialist comScore.

The problem is that for many publishers mobile revenue isn’t keeping pace—by a long shot—creating what industry executives are calling a “mobile gap.”

Oh please.

The rest of the article goes on to talk about things that are flat-out stupid - and I do mean stupid.

Look folks, mobile is simple: The screen is small and the person using the device will not tolerate a 30-second or minute-long ad that obscures any material part of their display.  Nor will they tolerate audio popping up unexpectedly because they often use said devices in places where such a thing will permanently damage the user's view of the site and/or product that intrudes on their bathroom -- or boardroom.

Mobile advertising will never be as rich, either in content or in money, as desktops.  Never.  This is not due to the market, it's due to the lack of space and user tolerance.

There are a lot of companies, chief among them Facebook, that claim otherwise.  I don't believe them.  My disbelief is radically accelerated when I am sent evidence of them soliciting advertisers with claims of being able to reach "500,000 people" within a given distance of a business' home address when the firm's location has fewer than 1/10th of that in population within the touted range.  Such a solicitation is by definition an outright lie as even if the entire population saw the ad it would still have "reach" of 1/10th the claim!

And yes, I have a screenshot of that image from a correspondent.

So yeah, folks, go ahead and read the WSJ article and believe that "mobile will take over the world" from desktop advertising.  I have called that claim BS from the start and maintain and reiterate my view in that regard: It's a load of crap and anyone who buys into it, most-particularly those who buy the stock of firms touting same, is ultimately going to take a monstrous loss when said firms receive the haircut of reality.

View this entry with comments (registration required to post)

Do you run some sort of online enterprise?

You've probably heard of a Sql Injection attack then.

Lately I have seen a rather disturbing pattern both here and on other sites I monitor, which implies that there is a new "cookbook" or "kit" out that is in heavy use by the various malefactors around the net.

The Market Ticker is quite immune to such shenanigans, for a number of reasons -- not the least of which is that nothing is directly passed to the SQL engine, and everything is type-checked when it is read.  So, if the system is looking for a numeric value for a posting, for example (e.g. "post=123456") and you try to send "post=12345';drop table youredead" instead that won't do anything because the single quote isn't a number and as such the scan stops before it can potentially get into the code and wreak havoc.

I get a report every night on the various jackass attempts around here; the forum is quite-well armored against all sorts of things, including the robotic sign-up machines that will sign up an account, confirm it and then spam the hell out of your forum.  If you've seen that happen on other forums it's not a human doing it -- it's a robot, and a quite-efficient one too.  Unfortunately for the robot writers it's not hard for code to distinguish between them and real humans, even without using one of those damnable CAPTCHA things, and the result is an automatic and instant IP-level ban before anything can be posted.  No, I'm not going to tell them how I'm discerning that they're not humans..... you don't expect me to give away my advantage, do you?

That's why you don't see spam on the Ticker.

Anyway, the reason for this post is a head's up to my readers out there with various database-linked web services, especially those of you using PHP or other "abstraction" software that gives you a library of routines instead of writing your own in "C" and similar.  The attack surface of those mostly-opaque "black box" library functions is immense and, I'm willing to bet, your enterprise has utterly no idea how wide and deep that attackable surface area is.

So be aware that the kiddies are out with a new toy, and it's clogging up my logs on a fairly intensive basis.  The code that's being run is intended to steal the database from all appearances in terms of what's being logged on systems I monitor, not destroy it, which might even be worse depending on what you have in your system.

These attacks used to be fairly "hand-crafted" and targeted.  Not any more; this is quite-clearly a mass-attack tool and I'm seeing it coming from hosts on a global basis, which strongly implies that it's been used in a distributed model of some sort.

They're after your data folks, and if you have database-connected resources on the Internet you damn well better know your code is ok and not subject to such shenanigans, or your data will get ripped off and/or altered.

View this entry with comments (registration required to post)

2015-08-22 06:00 by Karl Denninger
in Technology , 233 references

Why does this not surprise me?

Music streaming market leader Spotify has decided that it wants to know a lot more about you. It wants to be able to access the sensor information on your phone so it can determine whether you’re walking, running or standing still. It wants to know your GPS coordinates, grab photos from your phone and look through your contacts too. And it may share that information with its partners, so a whole load of companies could know exactly where you are and what you’re up to.

Isn't that nice?

I'm not sure why people put up with this, but they do, which is why it keeps happening.  I personally think this is an outrage -- but that's me.

But..... if it wasn't just me there would be no Facebook or similar, would there?

Wake up America -- you're being spied on and everything you do is being sliced, diced, stored and sold.  Once collected that data never goes away, and it has value.  With enough of it, which is actually surprisingly small in amount, I can predict your religion, how much money you make, what sort of vehicle you drive and exactly where you live, work and play.

For what "great reward" do you give all of this up, now and forever more?

View this entry with comments (registration required to post)

Well I'll be damned, an actual application of the rule of law.

We’ve all been ripped off when paying for wifi. But now, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is cracking down on companies that block you from using anything but their exorbitantly priced services. The agency just slapped a company with a $750,000 fine for blocking wifi hotspots at convention centers.

It is illegal to interfere with a lawful user of RF spectrum by active means.  You can build your facility to be a faraday cage, but that's non-discriminatory -- it blocks all RF and does so by passive design.

Actively emitting energy to intentionally interfere with a lawful RF spectrum user is against the law in the United States.

It's about damn time that the FCC enforced said law.

View this entry with comments (registration required to post)

Main Navigation
MUST-READ Selection:
Why I Find It Hard To Give A F**k

Full-Text Search & Archives
Archive Access
Legal Disclaimer

The content on this site is provided without any warranty, express or implied. All opinions expressed on this site are those of the author and may contain errors or omissions.


The author may have a position in any company or security mentioned herein. Actions you undertake as a consequence of any analysis, opinion or advertisement on this site are your sole responsibility.

Market charts, when present, used with permission of TD Ameritrade/ThinkOrSwim Inc. Neither TD Ameritrade or ThinkOrSwim have reviewed, approved or disapproved any content herein.

The Market Ticker content may be reproduced or excerpted online for non-commercial purposes provided full attribution is given and the original article source is linked to. Please contact Karl Denninger for reprint permission in other media or for commercial use.

Submissions or tips on matters of economic or political interest may be sent "over the transom" to The Editor at any time. To be considered for publication your submission must include full and correct contact information and be related to an economic or political matter of the day. All submissions become the property of The Market Ticker.