Saturday, July 15, 2017

Businesses Misusing Required Private Information

It should be the law that if you are required to provide private information such as phone number, address etc. to a business that they cannot use that information without expressed written permission.

So if a financial institution requires a physical address due to the laws our politicians have passed they shouldn't be allowed to then use that to send you junk email, sell your name and address to others to send you junk mail, etc.. If they have a legal requirement to send you something, fine.

I had a large financial institution send junk mail and then refuse to not send junk mail without a phone call from me. I can buy and sell stocks online, I can send big amounts of money to and from the account online, but I can't stop them from misusing my private information without calling them.

Such institutions also call me to marketing various services (though usually there is some way to stop them doing so if you can figure out where they have hidden the process to stop them from misusing your private information). Again they should be required to separately collect private information for marketing efforts (or to sell it to others...).

It is unacceptable we are required to provide private information and then need to jump through hoops to not have it misused. They should have to request the information specifically for their own marketing and other purposes. They should not be able to misuse legally required private information. They should have to collect private information from you explicitly for such purposes.

Sunday, July 02, 2017

Filter Out Links to Lame Websites on Reddit

The Reddit Enhancement Suite is a great browser extension to enhance Reddit browsing. One of the very useful features is the ability to filter out all the links from sites that are not worth your time. I use it to filter out links to Twitter in several subreddits and for "newspapers" that post clickbait and misleading content (several UK "newspapers). I also use it to filter out links to sites with bad practices such as autoplay videos or popups.

Follow this link to add a filter. I have found it hard to locate by browsing but at the current time it is found under the [SubReddit] section and then [filteReddit]. Hopefully they keep the url and don't force you to try and figure out where it has moved to (if you are browsing this after they make updates to the software).

I first discovered this since /r/CollegeBasketball was full of all sorts of useless Twitter links. Removing them made the subreddit much better for me.

And now using it to remove the poor usability sites and to eliminate all the clickbait "newspapers" makes it much better. Having to try and remember which UK "news" sites were even as reliable as a random middle school kid was too complicated. I knew The Guardian and BBC were pretty good but sorting through the links from all the others was wasting my time. Now they no longer clutter up my Reddit browsing.

The image shows the options which include removing matching content from specific subreddits, removing it from everywhere and also removing it everywhere except specific subreddits (which I can imagine is occasionally useful - I put in an example just to show how it works).

I am adding more sites to improve my experience with Reddit and figured I would take the opportunity to share this useful feature in this blog post.

Related: Most Popular Links on Management Sub-Reddit in 2016 - Curious Cat List of Super Useful Websites (2012) - Curious Cat Interesting Web Sites to Browse