Sunday, June 4th, 2017

darkoshi: (Default)
My new cellphone has Android Marshmallow. I brought my contacts over from my old phone by exporting them to a vcf file, copying the file to my computer and then to the new SD card, and then importing them to the new phone.

One thing that surprised me is that when I clicked to add a new Contact on the new phone, I got the message "Your new contact will be synchronized with [my Gmail address]". Even after turning Sync OFF for Contacts in the Account Settings (for which I first had to *enable* sync in general, as I had it previously turned it completely off), it still gave me that message, with no option of adding the contact without synchronizing.

Now I no longer get the message - maybe because I edited one contact, and it only shows the message before you save any update. But the Add Contact screen still shows "Google Account" along with my Gmail address at the top of the screen, making it appear that the Contact belongs to the Gmail account, rather than simply belonging to the contact list on the phone, as it did on my old phone.

Logging into Gmail on the computer, under Contacts it showed all my phone contacts (which I had never added in Gmail), so it must have synced them when I originally added the Gmail account to the phone (for using the Play Store), before I turned off the auto-sync setting.

Or it is slightly possible they got synced from my old phone, and I never realized it, as I hadn't checked the contacts for that Gmail account before. I never had any reason to think my phone would be syncing my contacts to my Gmail account. But I think I had sync turned off on the old phone too.

Now I tested adding a new contact on the phone, and so far, it does not show up in Gmail on the computer. So hopefully it is working as desired now. I was able to select all the Gmail Contacts on the computer, to delete them all at once from there. I don't email anyone from that account, so it doesn't need contacts anyway.

The apparent lesson for me is:
Make sure Sync is turned off for Contacts in the Google Account settings on the phone, *before* importing contacts.
Or, if I import the contacts before adding the Google Account, put phone into airplane mode and then add the account, and then make sure it is set not to sync Contacts before taking it out of airplane mode.

And now, after reading this: Why can't I save new contacts to my phone or SIM?, I will try out this app which hopefully will let me import and save contacts to the phone without them being linked to any Google account: MyLocalAccount

other things

Sunday, June 4th, 2017 02:47 am
darkoshi: (Default)
Still tweaking other things on my new cell phone too.

I found out that one can remove the pages from these old family photo albums (and put them back together again). Which means that scanning the albums shouldn't be that difficult after all (as long as each page fits on the flatbed - one of the albums does just barely. The other one would require using my mom's larger scanner). Which means that's another thing I want to get done.

Firefox addons; learn how to update them to use these new WebExtensions APIs.
Which also shows me that my JavaScript knowledge is woefully out of date. It's changed a lot in 20 years.

I've just installed 2 and a half years worth of Windows updates on one of Qiao's old Windows 7 desktop computers, which we haven't used in that long. Because it has iTunes on it, and I don't want to install iTunes on my laptop. But there are a couple of items I want to get, which are only available to download from iTunes. And of course, that meant I needed to install Windows updates too, right? I dunno. It seemed the thing to do even though it took all day. Makes me think I might even be able to get updates working again on my old laptop too, if I wanted to.
Simplifying updates for Windows 7 and 8.1 - a rollup for all updates through April 2016, with only one prerequisite that must be installed first.

Researching family tree stuff. Old census records. Found out my great-great-grandmother had at least 10 children, and possibly 5 more that didn't survive.
Need to determine what kind of open-source program I should use for doing a family tree, so that the data can be exported/imported in a widely compatible format.

Want to replace all the screws for the door lock strike-plates and hinges with 3-inch long screws. And replace some of the strike-plates with ones that take 4 screws instead of 2.

I finally took down the rest of the xmas decorations and put the boxes away. My mom helped me take down the xmas tree a few weeks ago. She and Qiao are as bad as me - once I made my mind up to take them down, they both said "I think you should just leave them up", making me debate it internally all over again.
darkoshi: (Default)
This page on the Apple.com site: Government Information Requests
states: In the second half of 2016, Apple received between 5,750 and 5,999 National Security Orders.

Apple's Transparency Reports - contain details on the various customer information requests received by Apple from 2013 through 2016. The number of national security orders received by Apple increased from less than 500 in 2013, to between 8500 and 9000 in 2016.

See below for the difference between "National Security Orders/Requests" versus National Security Letters.

In this prior post, I linked to another article which stated: the FBI issued nearly 13,000 NSLs in 2015 alone. But that number must have been way under-estimated. Indeed, one of the below articles indicates that over 48,000 NSLs were sent in 2015.

A Decade-Old Gag Order, Lifted (November 2015):
relying on changes made by the Patriot Act, the FBI began issuing hundreds of NSLs demanding credit reports, banking information, or records relating to Internet activity. Some of the NSLs sought information about terrorism suspects, but most sought information about people who were one, two, three, or more degrees removed from anyone suspected of having done anything wrong. According to the Justice Department’s inspector general, the FBI issued a staggering 143,074 NSLs between 2003 and 2005. And every NSL was accompanied by a categorical and permanent gag order.


That link and this one: Doe v. Holder describe a decade-long court battle to get a single gag order lifted. It mentions some changes made to the laws regarding the gag orders during that time, but I'm not clear on the final outcome. I assume that most other NSL recipients are still under similar gag orders which haven't been changed.


Newly published FBI request shines light on National Security Letters (November 2015):

In 2007, the Office of the Inspector General reported that the FBI issued approximately 40,000 to 60,000 letters per year. President Obama’s Intelligence Review Group reported more recently in 2013 that the government issued an average of nearly 60 NSLs per day.
..
Companies can only report NSLs in bands of 1,000, if they're separated from FISA court order requests, or in bands of 250 if reported as a broader "national security request."


The "national security orders" referenced on the Apple.com page must be the broader category, including FISA requests in addition to NSLs, as they are listed in bands of 250. But the last link below indicates there are less than 2000 FISA request per year, so that doesn't explain the large discrepancy in numbers.

Even the above article implies that in 2013, a total of 365*60 = 25,550 NSLs were issued, while twice as many were issued 6 years prior. I doubt the number would have decreased that much over time, if there were no legal changes governing the issuance of the requests.

US foreign intelligence court did not deny any surveillance requests last year :
The court received 1,457 requests last year [in 2015] on behalf of the National Security Agency and the FBI for authority to intercept communications, including email and phone calls. ... The court did not reject any of the applications in whole or in part, the memo showed.

The total represented a slight uptick from 2014, when the court received 1,379 applications and rejected none.
..
The memo also stated that 48,642 national security letter (NSL) requests were made in 2015 by the FBI.
..
The majority of NSL requests, 31,863, made in 2015 sought information on foreigners, regarding a total of 2,053 individuals, the memo stated.

The FBI made 9,418 requests for national security letters in 2015 for information about US citizens and legal immigrants, regarding a total of 3,746 individuals, it showed.

The FBI also made 7,361 NSL requests for only “subscriber information”, typically names, addresses and billing records, of Americans and foreigners regarding 3,347 different people.

iTunes and DRM

Sunday, June 4th, 2017 11:21 pm
darkoshi: (Default)
I finally managed to buy that song I wanted from iTunes.

I never want to go through that much trouble to buy a song again, even if, like this one, IAMX's I Come With Knives, I really want to support the artist for making such a wonderful song and video. Maybe, if an MP3 of the song had been available to purchase on the band's website, or on Amazon, it wouldn't have taken me over 4 years to buy it.

The band's website only has the full album available, and only as a CD, not MP3s. Some of the other albums are available as MP3s, but not that one. Likewise, Amazon only has the full album on CD. The MP3 version seems to be a single instead, as it only has 4 songs, of which 3 are different versions of "Unified Field". The only place I found the song I wanted was on iTunes.

The plus of it was that the iTunes price was in GBP, not dollars. So I got to use up some of that GBP balance I still had left over on my PayPal account.

The 2 TV show episodes that I wanted to buy are also priced in GBP, which would have been another plus. But after doing some research, it seems that if I bought them, they'd be in MV4 format, which I'd only be able to play on that desktop computer from inside iTunes. Because of the DRM, I wouldn't be able to play them on my normal laptop (without iTunes), nor even on the TV (no, that computer doesn't have an HDMI port). So I won't be buying them after all. There's only so much I'm willing to put up with. Sure, maybe I could use some software to strip out the DRM from the files in order to play them on my other devices without iTunes, but that would defeat the whole point of buying them legally.