VPN use

Discussion in 'Computers, Hardware, and Operating Systems' started by W4PG, Jan 7, 2019.

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  1. W4PG

    W4PG Super Moderator Lifetime Member 279 Volunteer Moderator Platinum Subscriber Life Member QRZ Page

    The entire Data Mining issue has gotten out of hand. I went into a store the other day and was paying cash. The clerk demanded a phone number and seemed perplexed how to perform a simple cash transaction. "Plug in what-ever phone number you like. I'm paying cash and you need nothing from me other than the cash," I told her. It was really freeky.

    Stores seem perplexed when I refuse to sign up for their "savings" programs. The clerks almost get offended, "You can save money, sir!" They of course, want my phone number. I politely ask them, "Can I have your phone number?" They of course, refuse and I say "Bingo!"

    I know pretty much everything I do is in some database, but I'm not going to make it easier for them.

    KK4NSF likes this.
  2. W4PG

    W4PG Super Moderator Lifetime Member 279 Volunteer Moderator Platinum Subscriber Life Member QRZ Page

    But it gets even more interesting.

    I have Dish Network, a satellite TV provider. I just changed my programming package to get rid of some channels I now get over the internet through Netflix and Hulu, among others. The money I saved not paying Dish for what I don't need more than pays for Netflix and Hulu.

    Now, I am *ALL FOR* respecting copyright laws but the reality is, the internet is fundamentally changing entertainment away from traditional cable and satellite TV providers. One can now pretty much find ANYTHING on your cable or satellite TV provider through the internet. Right now, I can find movies and watch them that are currently in the theaters. It's actually pretty easy. YouTube videos show step by step how to do this. VPNs are necessary to prevent your ISP from seeing the streaming source, and they work very well.

    I don't know where we are headed with this, but a fundamental change in business models is underway, all because of the internet.

    I suspect in a few years, most cable TV and Satellite providers will go the way of Blockbuster.
  3. KK4NSF

    KK4NSF Ham Member QRZ Page

    I had the same thing happen at Harbor Freight not too long ago. The check out lady got really nasty when I declined to give her my number, and told me that without the number, they wouldn't honor any guarantees.... as if I'd ever return a pack of sandpaper!
  4. KA8NCR

    KA8NCR Ham Member QRZ Page

    It is not only out of hand, the liabilities are all mine And they are many.

    My full credit details (social security number, address, phone number) have been stolen a total of six times that I know about, and two of those are my complete credit history right from Equifax and Experian. I have no choice but to keep my credit report data locked down all the time.

    A few weeks ago, I started getting invalid login notifications from a particular financial institution. I was concerned, but they stopped so I figured that was that. Except, my cellular provider started sending me codes to reset my account password there. Someone had figured out not only where I have accounts, but also my cellular number and were trying to being the port process so they could get the 2FA messages and plunder the accounts.

    Do you think Equifax is going to be able to stop that? Experian? Nope.

    If I have to give a business my cell phone number, it'll be a burner. I can no longer trust any of them to do the right thing.
  5. WD4IGX

    WD4IGX Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    Most cable TV companies are also ISPs.

    Disclaimer - I'm a network engineer for one of them.
  6. KT1F

    KT1F Ham Member QRZ Page

    And at least one satellite provider, DirectTV, is now into streaming.

    A few months back I reduced our TV plan from the ISP / Phone Company / TV provider down to the most basic plan. We get much of the TV from YouTubeTV for $40 per month now.

    The conversation was interesting when I called them.
    We were paying about $160 per month for 100 Mbps internet, phone and TV.

    Me: How much would it cost if I cancel the TV and just keep phone and internet?
    Rep: About $130.
    Me: Oh ... I was hoping it would drop more than that.
    Rep: That's because you're getting a discount on the phone and internet because you also have TV.
    Me: Okay, what if I keep the TV at the most basic plan?
    Rep: About $110.
    Me: That's better. How much would it be if we do that and also increase the internet speed to 300 Mbps?
    Rep: That would be the same. $110.
    Me: Oh, just as well I asked. Done.

    So ... I didn't save much when I add back the $40 for YouTubeTV but it works pretty good on a Roku TV. It has "unlimited" storage for recording on the virtual DVR for 9 months. I suspect YouTube / Google have enough petabytes or exabytes to simply store everything. Me "recording" something is just creating a pointer to their archive.
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2019
  7. KK4NSF

    KK4NSF Ham Member QRZ Page

  8. W4EAE

    W4EAE Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    This is all making me think of a conversation I had the other day with another local Amateur.

    I mentioned that I had applied for an Amateur Radio license plate for my car. His response was, 'Don't you realize that people could simply look up the call-sign on the license plate and find out where you live?'

    My response to that was, 'Are you on Facebook? Do you have loyalty cards? Do you leave Bluetooth turned on constantly? Do you use public WiFi? If so, there is more data out there on you than my license plate can reveal about me.'
  9. WD4IGX

    WD4IGX Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    While that is true as far as it goes, getting data from any of that takes more effort and knowledge than just plugging the plate into a google search. It’s not difficult but it’s not nearly as simple as typing a call into google either.
  10. WF7A

    WF7A Subscriber QRZ Page

    Little known secret:

    When your subscription goes up in price, call Customer Service to cancel your subscription--9 times out of 10 you'll be handed to an agent whose sole job is to keep you from canceling. Tell him that "I'm sorry, although I really like my service I just can't afford it anymore." He'll negotiate a better price for you--or no price increase at all--just to keep you as a subscriber. ...and he gets credits for keeping a customer, so it's win-win.

    I do this with expensive software subscriptions--for a few years, I can usually get a cancellation of a price increase or even reduction in price. It may not work all the time, every time, but it's money saved!

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