Sunday, February 7, 2016

I'm increasingly confident that private corporations just cannot be trusted - they will resort to every possible form of cheating if and when they can


Till many years back, I used to feel a sort of proud and confident feeling thinking about or using products of "top" global companies, such as Google, Ford, DuPont, Volkswagen, Apple, Microsoft, etc. There was this sort of feeling that "Microsoft can be blindly trusted.", "If it's made by Boeing, it can be trusted blindly.", "Google can do no wrong.", and so on. The cautious statements of GNU guys like Richard Stallman or Linus Torvalds didn't worry me [as much as they should've].

But slowly, over the years, I've come to conclude that Stallman is right. Private corporations just cannot be trusted and must not be trusted, ever. Private companies are driven by only one motive - profit maximization and then more profit maximization, and in the pursuit of control, money and power these enterprises can and will use every nefarious trick that they can. This is almost like one of Newton's laws.

These days, my default approach to products of private companies is that of suspicion. That one should believe that they're designed with the corporation's interests in the mind [although these companies are extremely good at marketing their goods in a way that makes the public feel assured and delighted].

Examples follow, but this is the tip of the tip of the iceberg:

- Apple bricking iPhones that have been repaired by third-parties, because it wants to squeeze the last drop of blood from the pockets of iPhone owners who are dumb enough to purchase a device that locks all of their data inside. The WSJ post also notes that "the policy appears to fit a recent pattern to give Apple more control over iPhone repairs and undermine third-party vendors. In another example, he said Apple uses proprietary screws on iPhones and refuses to sell screwdrivers that fit them."

- Apple quietly deleted music on users' Apple devices which was purchased from Apple's rivals. Wow! A related post by me on FB [alternative link].

- Microsoft is progressively locking-down the Windows operating system. Specifically, it's trying to remove the "download the setup, install, and run" capability that has existed forever in Windows. With Windows 10, Microsoft wants everything to be supplied from Windows Store. Issues with this system include total dependence upon Microsoft to accept/deny applications, Microsoft's ability to fully monitor what has been installed by which user, Microsoft's ability to remove applications from both the Store and the users' machines as and when it wants, the implicit pressure on developers/third-parties to not "disobey" or "criticize/oppose" or "expose" Microsoft, lest their revenue-earning applications be removed from or demoted in Windows Store [a form of silent suppression of expression], etc. This is a very bad situation to be in. In Apr'17, Microsoft banned game-emulators from Windows Store. Imagine if the "download the setup and install and run" capability was already gone/removed from Windows. It would mean that it would suddenly become impossible to play those beautiful NES games. It's a dangerous trend that needs to be curbed.

- On similar lines, Microsoft is regularly manufacturing glitches and troubles for third-party makers of antivirus/antimalware software, such  as Kaspersky. It likely wants only its own privacy/security solutions to be installed on and used by Windows users, perhaps because it fears that products of third-party vendors will comprehensively monitor and make public any nefarious activities that Windows OS tries to do covertly. With no third-party software present on the system, Windows can/will merrily transmit private data to Microsoft. And who knows, in the absence of such third-party security software, Microsoft might, at the instructions of its bosses at CIA/NSA, quietly brick select systems or deploy spyware on these systems.

- In line with what I've felt/written above, in May'17, Microsoft has launched Windows 10 S [and devices based on it], essentially a highly locked version of Windows 10, which, as expected, does away with "download the setup, install, and run". Everything now has to come via Windows Store [and remember, Microsoft will take a cut from paid applications/services/content sold on the Store]. They'll monitor everything you install/uninstall. They know which bugs exist on which apps on your system, and they can/will help the NSA to penetrate your system if/when needed. Plus, Microsoft won't let you change your default Web browser and the default search engine in it. Finally, there aren't going to be any real alternative Web browsers on 10 S. As expected, security scare is the stated reason.

Ford Pinto cost-benefit analysis that suggested not repairing the problem since letting people die is cheaper for the company.

- VW fooled both governments and its customers by cleverly manipulating the emissions of its cars.

- Microsoft designed Windows 10 in such a way that it forcibly collects and continuously/covertly transmits massive amounts of data to Microsoft, without informing the customer/user about this. Further, data collection/transmission cannot be turned off completely. Microsoft's explanation for this is the usual security/stability/safety nonsense. Welcome to the world of nonstop surveillance.

- My personal experiences with Windows 10 Mobile in May'17, showing how Microsoft and Windows 10 have little to no respect for users.

- Microsoft shrewdly yet unsurprisingly resetting all default applications chosen by users to its own applications, and later terming such a change a "bug". Microsoft didn't stop there - it made the process to change default programs far more difficult than before, reminding us all again that we're dealing with an entity whose sole motives are limitless profit generation and merciless competition-killing.

- First Microsoft quietly slipped an update into Windows 7/8/8.1, which adds the same "Diagnostics Tracking Service" to 7/8/8.1 systems that was present in initial versions of Windows 10. Secondly, in another example of Microsoft personifying evil, it described this evil service simply as "The Diagnostics Tracking Service enables data collection about functional issues in Windows components.". Does anyone understand what this evil piece of code does from this purposely-cryptic sentence? In reality, this code is doing this - "Examples of data we collect include your name, email address, preferences and interests; browsing, search and file history; phone call and SMS data; device configuration and sensor data; and application usage.". Evil MBAs and devilish managers are running these private companies and using every trick in the book to hide their crimes. Third, when there was some furore created about this spying service, Microsoft shrewdly renamed it to the friendly-sounding "Connected User Experiences and Telemetry". Who doesn't like or want "Connected User Experiences", after all? Though no one knows what "Connected User Experiences" means, it's probably something good, isn't it?

- This is true for all private companies. When they decide that they really need to push something to users, they use every dirty trick possible to get their task done. Case in point is Windows 10. Microsoft desperately wants everyone on Windows 10, and it's using all possible methods to achieve this, including methods and tricks used by malware! Examples include notification messages and screens that cannot be turned off [no matter how much Microsoft and other American technology companies brag about choice, freedom, etc.], pre-selection of the Windows 10 upgrade checkbox in Windows Update every time you open Windows Update, covert setup downloadsforced installation on some systems [which Microsoft conveniently termed a mistake, just like almost every private company], shrewdly slipping non-security updates into security updates [a sort of rider], purposely not supporting Windows 7/8 on the newest hardware in order to force people to Windows 10, knowingly/deliberately bricking the hardware of its own customers (!), taking over the entire screen to "remind" the user to upgrade, making the Windows-10-throat-feeding update KB3035583 re-appear in Windows Update even after it has been hidden multiple times - by re-publishing it on newer dates, etc. The latest trick Microsoft is using to force-feed Windows 10 its customers' throats is to change the meaning of the 'X' button. Now clicking this button, amazingly, starts the Windows 10 upgrade. This is as amazing as something can be.

- Facebook too openly flouts the meaning of English words. For example, its 'clear history' tool doesn't really clear anything, but simply 'hides' it. So where FB should've used the words 'hide history', it uses 'clear history'. How these American technology companies can publicly conduct such illegal and nefarious behavior is surprising. [link 1] [link 2] [link 3] [link 4] [link 5]

- Microsoft has devilishly not given the true description of KB303583 in Windows Update. It has nefariously given a general/vague description that simply says " resolve issues in Windows...". This update doesn't solve any issues in Windows - it introduces adware into the system. Evil private companies! Further, on a Windows 7 system, when KB303583 was manually uninstalled, the next time it showed up in Windows Update with its checkbox already checked, and of course, the description was what we call fraud.

- As of Dec'18, it is being reported widely that Microsoft has started pushing unstable, half-cooked, work-in-progress updates to many of its regular, paying users' Windows systems in order to silently use these users as guinea pigs to test these updates before these are rolled out worldwide to everyone. These users have not been informed that experimental, unfinished updates are being installed on their systems. Microsoft has cooked up some arbitrary and phony reasons why these users are themselves "seeking" these updates.

- Cancer drug companies deliberately/knowingly/purposely sell their medicines in oversized and single-sized vials, knowing fully well that this leads to wastage worth millions or perhaps billions. And of course, this wastage happens in the form of patients or their families overpaying to these drug companies for drugs never used fully, to the tune of thousands of dollars per patient. What's responsible for this? MBA guys obsessed with Excel and profit-maximization.

- DuPont knowingly hid the carcinogenic effects of some chemicals used in its products, leading to cancers and other ill-effects. DuPont isn't alone. Far from it. Most cosmetics and drugs companies do something of this sort.

- Sugar companies, in the 1960s, paid so-called researchers/scientists to produce "reports" that basically contained pre-determined results, in order to make sugar seem less harmful than it actually is [relative to fat] for the health of heart. Welcome to the world with evil, greedy, soulless private corporations like Coca Cola and Pepsi funding health organizations and scientific research, and bribing scientists and brainwashing us all into believing what they want us to believe via skewed study results. Good health be damned! And to add insult to injury, Coke shamelessly lies through its teeth by promoting itself using this shocking line - "Helping Families Get Fit".

- This is true of all pharmaceutical companies. They create slick, polished websites to promote their fancy new creations. They also give the required cautions/warnings. However, there's a clear asymmetry between the [much higher] emphasis they give on the beneficial aspects of the medication and the [significantly lower] clarity they provide on the side-effects etc. For example, in the screenshots below, while the benefits are highlighted using interactive animations, punch lines, etc., which are visual in nature like PowerPoint slides and also less on text [thus much more appealing and readable], the cautions/warnings are written in lawyerly manner - in boring, verbose text - that looks like and reminds one of software EULAs. So while the companies can claim that they've given "adequate" and "comprehensive" information about potential side-effects "as required by law", the truth is that these cunning psychological tricks have a significant cumulative effect - they discourage reading of side-effects, they over-assure readers about the benefits, etc.

- Unilever in India [as HUL], uses the much cheaper vegetable fat/vegetable oil to make its ice creams [which it has to label as "frozen dessert" due to local regulations] as opposed to using costlier milk fat, but markets/packages this money-saving choice as a "healthier" choice. Also, in the product packaging, it highlights in big font size the word cream/creamy so as to partially compensate for the loss of the crucial words "ice cream" [hoping that most people won't look deeply], while writing "frozen dessert" in small sized font. Typical corporate tricks. Pussies. They think they can fool everyone.

- Speaking of packaging, Google has launched a selective ad-blocker in its Chrome browser, and marketed/packaged feature this as "good for consumers" [as expected]. As expected, Google buried the most important information about launch of this tool deep down into the blog post, and there too in just 1-2 sentences. So now Google has unilaterally become the judge for which ads will be shown inside Chrome and which not ["In one possible application Google is considering, it may choose to block all advertising that appears on sites with offending ads, instead of the individual offending ads themselves. In other words, site owners may be required to ensure all of their ads meet the standards, or could see all advertising across their sites blocked in Chrome."]. As a rule of thumb, one should expect such large corporations to coat everything they do or say with heaps of sugar, and one should assume that there must be something malign hidden somewhere, unless proven otherwise. Also, one shouldn't be fooled by media reports that uncritically and lazily echo/reflect whatever statements have been put out by such corporations, in this case an article in WSJ describing this selective ad-blocker as "good for consumers". Look out for more analytical, critical and intelligent coverage, or apply your own brain.

- Because these software companies use bloody psychological tricks to trick users into blindly pressing the 'Accept' button, in order to covertly get all sorts of adware/malware/spyware installed onto the systems, while claiming that it's the users who pressed the 'Accept' buttons. In this case, you have to press the 'Decline' button thrice in order to start the installation of the actual product!

- It's quite easy to spot a feature that's pro-corporation and anti-customer. Like this Twitter email that tell you that you have notifications, enticing you to click and thus visit Twitter's service, but it won't list the notifications right in the email. It wants to "bait" you into clicking and visiting The right thing to do here - one that saves time and effort - would've been to list the notifications directly in the email. Twitter won't. Corporations are demons that are designed to work in their own favor.

- Because these private corporations will suck away the last drop of blood from even those who are bleeding. They will not hesitate to give more misery to the poor, all in the name of maximizing profits, howsoever criminal the means might be.

- Online retailers such as Jabong proudly claim that they offer "a full refund" if you don't like a product and return it. They do not, however, tell you that the refund is issued not in cash form but in the form of Jabong Credits. These credits expire after some time, which likely happens for many people, so Jabong conveniently gets to steal some of its customers' money. Also, these points do not pay any interest, unlike real money that's returned to one's card or bank account by marketplaces such as Amazon. Further, these Jabong Credits can be used only on Jabong itself, thus acting as a sort of "exchange" more than a proper "return/refund". To be sure, Jabong does provide you a method to transfer these points to your bank account, but as expected, the process involves a lot of hassles and caveats - call up their helpline, request the transfer, receive a form by email where you fill up your bank details and then wait for a few days for the refund. As very much expected from a devilish company, this process has to be repeated in full - including typing full bank details - each time you want to transfer [which means each time you return something]. So while Jabong and other such evil private companies are more than eager to gobble up as much of your personal data as possible [especially credit card numbers], they seem to get coughs and sore throats when it comes to remembering your bank account details for the purpose of issuing refunds.

- Every American/Western corporation - whether it be a relic such as Microsoft or an upstart such as Uber - will always leak/share/submit data about its customers/users to America's spying agencies, despite public assurances against the same. These corporations will swamp you with their "strict" privacy policies, assurances about "due process" and "adequate oversight", but in reality, you are being tracked all the time, everywhere. Don't trust any one of them.

- Step by step ["boiling frog"], these nefarious private American companies - Facebook, Google, etc. - are killing people's privacy, and yet they claim with a straight face that they're taking strong measures to protect people's privacy. It's like first stabbing someone - and not acknowledging this at all - and then later loudly claiming that you're taking measures to minimize the loss of blood.

- Uber is actively deceiving/fooling investigations by government authorities by playing tricks.

- Even BlackBerry is deep in the bed with government agencies, sharing its global encryption key with them. No one can/must/should be trusted. Absolutely no one.

- What's more, as very much expected and as it very much the norm with every Western private company, when news of BlackBerry's sleeping with governments broke out, the company's boss put out an all-too-familiar ["same old crap"] spin using nice-sounding words such as "lawful access", "citizenship", "ethics", "responsibility", "privacy of customers", "difficult situations", etc. He talked about the BES server not being involved, but didn't address the real issue - that BlackBerry/RIM might have itself shared its global encryption key with government agencies.

- That Google is able to provide such detailed statistics on the usage of individual Chrome features makes it clear that there's a huge amount of background/covert/secret tracking going on. Firefox may be slow, but it's the only Web browser that's for the people.

- AT&T sells its customers' data to government agencies! The more one learns about AT&T's Daytona/Project Hemisphere, the more one realizes that AT&T has gone to great lengths and is almost competing with the NSA as far as the extent of spying on people's communications and development of spying concepts are concerned. In effect, citizens are paying from their pockets to have their private data sold to their elected government and a private company they trusted earns millions in this process! Seriously, these American companies just can't be trusted.

- Covert spying by VIZIO TVs, even as its own website asks us to prove that we're human.

- Full-blown keylogging by HP on its laptops, complete with plausible deniability that this was "an accident".

- Now [Jun'17], based on whatever I've known to date about the nefarious practices of private companies, I can safely conclude that the "check for available updates on launch" feature present in so many software applications these days is also used by software companies to measure/monitor/track usage of their applications. After all, each time a program is launched, it checks for updates [for itself], and thus tells the developer's website that I've been launched, allowing them to collect detailed usage metrics, including IP address and other personal information [which the user doesn't know is transmitted during this update check].

- HDFC Bank unilaterally decided to start charging a "nominal" quarterly fee to its Imperia customers. The email announcing the introduction of this fee was carefully crafted to dump the fee information deep down towards the bottom of the email's body [thus least likely to be noticed/read by anyone - which is exactly what HDFC Bank wants - yet fulfilling the "We promptly informed all our valued customers about this change." requirement], with the bulk of the initial email body devoted to singing praises about the Imperia program. Crooks!

- This is unprecedented. Facebook has threatened to delete users' synced photos if they do not download and install another of Facebook's applications - Moments. And we trust these devilish private companies with the most intimate and personal things of our lives!

- One real or alleged mistake/wrongdoing is all it takes to have your entire years-old account with Google, Microsoft, Facebook or Yahoo deleted, taking with it all those tens of thousands of emails, photos, videos, documents, and more. Has happened to many people, and there's little anyone can do once this happens. This is not a sustainable situation. Apple / Amazon / Faceook / Google / Microsoft / Yahoo cannot be and should not be allowed to delete your account and your data. They can be allowed to prevent you from adding/posting new data until facts become clear, but they simply cannot be allowed to delete your account without warning just because they believe/deem that you did something wrong. Otherwise, under the constant threat that you might end up doing something wrong, you'll silently/subconsciously curtail your expression, stop criticizing what needs to be criticized [including and especially criticism of Apple / Amazon / Faceook / Google / Microsoft / Yahoo], and silently become "obedient" and "compliant" lest the wrath of these private corporations fall on you and your data. This type of censorship is self-censorship and it is one of the ways in which US and its corporations control your speech and the expression of your thoughts.

- By deleting Mark Dice's posts and by temporarily blocking his account, Facebook is harassing him and indirectly "nudging" and "training" him about what's right [for Facebook] and what's not. Facebook unilaterally gets to decide what is "hate speech" without having to explain why/how its decision that something qualifies as "hate speech" is justified. So they can modify the behavior and/or actions of anyone on their network using the "stick" of the threat of account deletion/suspension.

- In Apr'17, America's United Airlines cruelly dragged and threw out one of its own paying customers/passengers, like an unwanted animal [after duly beating and injuring him]. True face of America's capitalism. Till they want your money, they circle you, but the moment you become unwanted or a burden, they unleash their unfathomable shit on you. To add insult to the injury, United's CEO's so-called "apology" was anything but an apology. Non-male feminine pussies with no courage to acknowledge the truth.

- Evil American corporations spray cash on all those foundations, NGOs, think tanks, etc., which they feel threatened from. The result is that the activities and voices of these organizations get "tamed". Those who dare to criticize or challenge the corporations are fired.

- Google fired an employee for merely arguing that there might be biological reasons for lower female participation in the technology sector. And this is the same Google which, purportedly to protect free speech, streamed on YouTube and Google Play a politically-motivated Sony movie made against North Korea and its leader.

- Private companies are increasingly using the excuses of "mistake" or "software glitch" to secretly conduct spying-related and other malign activities that they won't be allowed to do normally/publicly. When such an activity is discovered, these companies conveniently declare that the said activity was the result of "a mistake" or a "software error". Nonsense. It was all deliberate, intentional, well-crafted, and purposeful. Examples include Google Home Mini secretly making recordings, Apple bricking iPhones of those customers who had gotten repairs done outside of Apple's own stores, Google "mistakenly" collecting Wi-Fi data of everyone while its Street View cars took pictures, Facebook shamelessly claiming that years worth of Mark Zuckerberg's old posts on FB mistakenly got deleted [bullshit!], Facebook storing hundreds of millions of Facebook Lite, Instagram, and other passwords as plaintext, and so on.
  • "And if Google had its way, the public would have never learned the software on Google's Street View mapping cars was "intended" to collect payload data from open Wi-Fi networks.
  • A Federal Communications Commission document disclosed Saturday showed for the first time that the software in Google's Street View mapping cars was "intended" to collect Wi-Fi payload data, and that engineers had even transferred the data to an Oregon Storage facility. Google tried to keep that and other damning aspects of the Street View debacle from public review, the FCC said."

-"Uber suffered massive data breach, then paid hackers to keep quiet" - [link]

And then disguised the payment as a "bug bounty". Dirty corporations :-)

- Apple has been caught quietly/silently slowing down older iPhones. Media is blindly repeating the official Apple "explanation" that this is to prevent iPhones with old batteries from randomly/unexpectedly shutting down. I say bullshit. Why does media have to blindly echo the official statement? Is Apple a benign, for-the-people company? In all probability, Apple is doing this so as to force folks with old iPhones to upgrade to its newer products, so that Apple can earn even more from these fellows. Apple covertly slowing down old iPhones is, however, the smaller problem - the bigger issue here is what if there are dozens or hundreds of such Apple-friendly but people-unfriendly "features" secretly hidden inside the iPhone [and by extension, inside products of technology companies such as Facebook, Google, Amazon, Microsoft, Cisco, etc.]? In all likelihood, all the products/services of these electronics/software companies contain hidden "features" that aren't easy to discover, haven't been discovered, and might never be discovered [because of the very nature of electronics/software]. Getting caught up in this one revelation shouldn't distract the world's people from the biggest problem facing us all - how do we ensure that these nefarious, control-motivated and profit-motivated companies cannot secretly put even one malign "feature" into their products/services? This seems like a problem that is very  important for mankind but cannot easily be solved, if at all.

- Microsoft is now actively intercepting and obstructing the installation of Web browsers such as Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox, and trying to steer Windows 10 users to its own Edge browser. Amazing!

- Be afraid of the benign-looking Apple Watch. It isn't any less than a witch that accompanies you always and everywhere. Listens to everything [even if Apple claims it doesn't, and there's no reason to trust Apple], records your heartbeats, makes inferences, tracks your location, and much more. This is Apple's project to gain "emotional response" information about its customers by disguising the Apple Watch as a health-monitoring and workout device. Watching a movie? Apple Watch will quietly look at your heart rate to understand how much you liked the movie [and which scenes impacted you the most]. Don't be fooled. These companies are starting to get inside your bodies.

- As of Oct'18, it has been revealed that Google discovered a serious privacy flaw in its Google+ / Google Plus product, but consciously chose to stay quiet about it, thus hiding it from the world. Excellent. This is what happens when money-minded corporations are allowed to dominate and dictate one of the most fundamental and critical activities of any civilization - communication / conversation.

- As of Mar'19, it has been revealed that Boeing knowingly made serious compromises with the safety of its 737 MAX aircraft, in its quest to match its competitor Airbus' A320neo airplane. And all this time, Boeing kept repeating falsely that safety is their first priority [and also kept lying that the 737 MAX is safe]. Boeing even sold a critical warning light as an optional extra. As of Apr'19, it has been revealed further that the AOA Disagree warning light, even when it was installed on the plane, was not functional unless an optional extra/paid package was purchased and installed. Crucially, airlines and pilots were not aware that the warning light was non-functional - they could be wrongly concluding that if the light isn't on, it means that both AOA sensors agree. As of May'19, it has further been revealed that Boeing kept various critical pieces of information hidden from even its own test pilots, and also that it was aware of certain technical issues long before it admitted to those. It increasingly seems like Boeing has now become, like much of America, a monster that, in its never-ending greed and in its quest for more and more, is now going to eat its own self. And now the revelation that Boeing rejected calls by pilots to ground the plane and issue fixes, and that even the simulator is flawed [NYT link]. Amidst all this, Boeing, likely at the behest of its lawyers, kept insisting that "Neither the angle of attack indicator nor the AOA Disagree alert are necessary for the safe operation of the airplane.". What if, when MCAS does get activated due to a stall warning, the pilot looks at the AOA Disagree light and sees that it hasn't lit up, and concludes that both the AOA sensors point to a dangerously-high angle-of-attack [a logical conclusion since the light isn't on]? Boeing's lawyers don't want anyone to think about or discuss this scenario.

- Boeing - in order to force US government watchdog agencies such as the FAA to grudgingly side with Boeing's cheaper-but-unsafe design decisions - preemptively [even before a particular design or design decision has received government approval] produces a large enough of planes with the unsafe design, thus committing a large amount of time, money and other resources into Boeing's own choice, making it virtually certain that a hugely costly refit would be required to convert these planes into the safer version [should the FAA rule that the unsafe design would not receive approval], a costly refit that would now become commercially and hence politically unpalatable [leaving the FAA with hardly any choice or regulatory power], eventually leading to the FAA approving Boeing's own cheap-but-less-safe designs, even if not necessarily by choice but by Boeing's commercial interests. Boeing has played this clever trick at least twice in the recent past [as of Nov'19] - with the 787 Dreamliner, and with the 737 Max.

"In the letter, the lawmakers also highlighted a second set of safety concerns. They wrote that F.A.A. employees had flagged Boeing’s decision to remove from the Dreamliner’s wings copper foil designed to protect against lightning strikes.

F.A.A. engineers worried that the change might increase the risk of a fuel tank explosion midair. The agency rejected the new design in February, but by then Boeing had already produced dozens of Dreamliners without the foil on the wings, according to the letter.

The fact that Boeing changed the design before it was approved by the F.A.A. demonstrates “either willful neglect of the federal aviation regulatory structure or an oversight system in need of desperate repair,” the lawmakers wrote."

- It's quite routine for airlines to tone-down rather serious potential accidents/tragedies as mere 'incidents' or 'anomalies'. So, for example, instead of using the scary-looking words "engine fire", an airline will almost-certainly use the general words "engine issue", because after all everything little or big related to an aircraft can be called an "issue". The use of the word "issue" hides the seriousness of this issue from the readers. Even an ingestion of a bird and shutting-down of a turbine is basically an issue, irrespective of how serious a threat it represents to the airliner.

- Starkly different public and private positions on the most critical issues: True for both US companies and US government/politicians. Publicly they talk loudly and frequently about nice-sounding ideals and virtues like privacy, liberty, freedom, life, respect, diversity, and so on [for example, Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg publicly frequently emphasizes the need for privacy], but their private positions are starkly different [and evil]. These private positions - like Facebook's position on privacy - show up naked during courtroom trials when these corporations have to defend themselves against their deceptive and outright malign practices.

- As of Jul'19, Google has launched "smart nappies" for infants. These will track when the infants poo, pee, and sleep. The company wants to start tracking humans right from the infant stage. A key unknown here is what other information Google might secretly start to collect and transmit without the users being aware [e.g., blood group, DNA, presence of specific genes, etc.]. Looking at the past record of these large Western technology companies, it can be safely concluded that if they can track something without being caught, they eventually will.
  • "This product clearly addresses a need; that is Google's need to track everybody's movements from cradle to grave." - FT story.
- Anti-malware / antivirus maker Avast itself caught harvesting and selling user data, Jan'20!: What could be more sad and outrageous than the guards conducting the theft? [link 1] [link 2] [link 3] [link 4] [link 5]

- Netflix feature to speed-up playback for "efficient" content consumption: We've gotten to a point where to achieve "efficient content consumption", we're willing to view video content in a fast-forward mode, and private companies like Netflix are willing to destroy art in order to appeal to the impatience of the society. Why the hell should one bother watching any video content at all, if it's going to watched at higher-than-normal speeds? Isn't not watching the most efficient option? What nonsense is going on in our society? Will we eventually start watching multiple movies and/or TV shows at once in order to be even more efficient? It seems like those who find fast-forward playback alright or maybe necessary are the ones suffering from some kind of OCD, where they 'must' watch all movies/shows/videos available on Netflix, or else their mind would feel some kind of incompleteness. [link 1] [link 2] [link 3] [link 4] [link 5] [link 6]

- Nonstop, high-speaking-speed informational videos on YouTube: This is related to the Netflix issue above. There's a growing trend of documentary-style informational videos on YouTube that all have the narrator speaking at a much-higher-than-normal speed, probably to cater to the impatient generation. What use is this perception of gaining knowledge when you are in reality merely skimming over it, without ingesting and digesting it, and without reflecting deeply? This recent trend gives you the false impression that the more and more number of minutes/videos you've watched, the more knowledge you've gained. Incorrect. Not thinking deeply, not slowly taking in the information means that you'll almost-certainly not learn anything useful, nor will you assimilate whatever you've learnt to create new knowledge. [link 1] [link 2]
- Indian Sugar Mills Association (ISMA) is trying to make Indians eat more sugar, Oct-Nov'20, in pursuit of profit, unconcerned about the health of the public or the high prevalence of diabetes in India. How can any public trust private companies when their only goal is more and more profit?

- Documents Show Amazon Is Aware Drivers Pee In Bottles And Even Defecate En Route, Despite Company Denial [link]; Amazon warehouse workers skip bathroom breaks to keep their jobs, says report [link]