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Customer tracking, Beacons, Distributed DB, Charts, Security, ISP, Duplicati, B-21

posted May 12, 2018, 9:46 PM by Sami Lehtinen   [ updated May 12, 2018, 9:47 PM ]
  • Checked out customer / people tracking technologies for shopping malls, retail, etc.: Irisys, RetailNext, Visit, ShopperTrak. Many of these can be integrated with a POS system to provide even more detailed customer information.
  • Ultrasonic Beacons (PDF) - What's the surprise? This is blatantly old and obvious technology. It shouldn't be any kind of surprise it's being used. When I was young we had a TV with ultrasonic remote. Btw. I was also able to hear it squeaking. Different frequency for each of the buttons. IR signaling is something way more advanced than ultrasonic tech. It's obvious that this (as any other proximity technology) allows media tracking, cross-device tracking, location tracking and de-anonymization. The part of encoding information was nice, yet totally obvious. Yes, it doesn't matter if we're talking about data transmission or ultrasonic beacons. It's all the same. Ultrasonic audio band is just one transmission method. SilverPush and Lisnr mentioned. SightCorp also provide very interesting customer tracking and emotion information collection features.
  • How Cockroach distributed database works without atomic clocks. Nothing new, because had studied that Google Spanner stuff in detail earlier. This was also exactly the reason why Sharding is so important, so you can have multiple synchronization waits running on parallelly without it causing too much trouble.
  • Britecharts - Seems to be easy to use simple charting too. I'm currently using chart.js which is extremely simple and light, and works well.
  • Interesting attitudes towards security. In one discussion where I asked that system security should be improved I was countered by a claim. Because any system can be hacked, is there any reason even trying to improve security. I was so badly stymied by that, I didn't even bother to respond tot that anymore. But yes, partially it's true. It's very easy to forget that there are very different levels of attackers and there are different attack vectors etc. I have absolutely no doubt that NSA or similar entity couldn't hack the system almost trivially. Or even any actually competent hacker if they really try. But the point was that routes which are blatantly obvious and easy to access and would make people totally laugh shouldn't be present. It's bad if there''s a problem and it's like, did they leave this obvious backdoor there by design? - No that's too stupid or obvious as a backdoor. Yes please, I wish there wouldn't be such things present. It should be a least honest bug, which is hard to exploit. Not something absolutely ridiculously stupid. What happened to the principle of least privilege?
  • Still negotiating with network providers, there's no cartel in Finland. Yet the offers are extremely similar. But that's nothing new in Finland. Usually there's competitive edge, which is what 'all cheap offers' are providing and then there's something much more expensive which is somehow classified as better, even if there's no practical difference. That's what I've found out earlier when running similar comparisons. Also there might be a teaser product, which seems really easy, but if you add extra features then it becomes much more expensive than the other offers with same (extra) features included. - Yet, I haven't received offer which would provide IPv6 and good enough bang vs buck, compared to our old contract. Yet I had negotiated the old contract to be very good. When the contact person changed on the providers side, they said it's seriously underpriced. Hey, I'm not complaining about that.
  • Configured a bunch of system to use Duplicati 2. Actually, I did script everything, from backing up data to verifying and checking the backups with data integrity and restorability automatically daily. I'll keep these test systems running for quite a while, before accepting the solution for production use. Before that, there's actually two parallel systems running on. This one for acceptance testing, and the old one which has been proven to work.
  • Quickly checked out B-21 Raider. It remains to be seen what they're achieving. Probably it won't be publicly shown for a decade.