Language Selection

English French German Italian Portuguese Spanish

Amazon knows what you want

Filed under
Web

Amazon.com Inc. has one potentially big advantage over its rival online retailers: It knows things about you that you may not know yourself.

Though plenty of companies have detailed systems for tracking customer habits, critics and boosters alike say Amazon is the trailblazer, having collected information longer and used it more proactively. It even received a patent recently on technology aimed at tracking information about the people for whom its customers buy gifts.

Amazon sees such data-gathering as the best way to keep customers happy and loyal, a relationship-building technique that analysts consider potentially crucial to besting other online competitors.

"In general, we collect as much information as possible such that we can provide you with the best feedback," said Werner Vogels, Amazon's chief technology officer.

But some privacy advocates believe Amazon is getting dangerously close to becoming Big Brother with your credit card number.

"They are constantly finding new ways to exploit personal information," said Chris Hoofnagle of the Electronic Privacy Information Center, an Amazon nemesis since 2000 after the company changed its privacy policy to allow sharing of personal information with companies it buys or partners with.

For years, Amazon has collected detailed information about what its customers buy, considered buying, browsed for but never bought, recommended to others or even wished someone would buy them.

Full Story.

More in Tux Machines

Android Leftovers

Canonical Releases AMD Microcode Updates for All Ubuntu Users to Fix Spectre V2

The Spectre microprocessor side-channel vulnerabilities were publicly disclosed earlier this year and discovered to affect billions of devices made in the past two decades. Unearthed by Jann Horn of Google Project Zero, the second variant (CVE-2017-5715) of the Spectre vulnerability is described as a branch target injection attack. The security vulnerability affects all microprocessors that use branch prediction and speculative execution function, and it can allow unauthorized memory reads via side-channel attacks if the system isn't patched. For example, a local attacker could use it to expose sensitive information, including kernel memory. Read more

PulseAudio 12 Open-Source Sound System Released with AirPlay, A2DP Improvements

Highlights of PulseAudio 12.0 include better latency reporting with the A2DP Bluetooth profile, which also improves A/V sync, more accurate latency reporting on AirPlay devices, the ability to prioritize HDMI output over S/PDIF output, HSP support for more Bluetooth headsets, and the ability to disable input and output on macOS. PulseAudio 12.0 also adds support for Steelseries Arctis 7 USB headset stereo output and Dell's Thunderbolt Dock TB16 speaker jack, a new "dereverb" option that can be used for the Speex echo canceller, a new module-always-source module, better detection of Native Instruments Traktor Audio 6, and improved digital input support for various USB sound cards. Read more

Automatically Change Wallpapers in Linux with Little Simple Wallpaper Changer

Here is a tiny script that automatically changes wallpaper at regular intervals in your Linux desktop. Read more