Wednesday, July 22, 2020

Playing flac files on Linux

It used to be that you just ran flac files through flac123, like so:
$ flac123 file.flac

That doesn't work any more, and the flac commandline tool only contains a single binary called 'flac' that decodes, encodes, etc.

Playing with 'mplayer' still works but it produces a lot of errors, and the audio level is low. The trick seems to be to call flac with the decode (-d) option, output to stdout (-c) and then pipe it to alsa player over stdin

$ flac -c -d /path/to/files/*flac | aplay

Saturday, July 18, 2020

Social trackers on banks: Etrade

Etrade has a single advertiser: Wall Street on Demand.

This is much better than other financial websites, though I'm not sure what Wall Street on Demand does.

Social tracker on banks: Schwab

Charles Schwab only has trackers from Tealium, Confirmit and SOASTA mPulse.

The site works well without it, and I feel a lot safer knowing that these companies are not snooping on my online financial activity.

It is never a good sign when you have to search online for these company names. They know a lot more about you than you know about them.

Social trackers on banks: Vanguard

Vanguard is much better on their web interface. You only have trackers from Adobe Audience Manager, and Doubleclick.

There are site analytics from two companies. It is best not to send this data to third-parties like Adobe or AppDynamics, since I don't know what these companies are tracking. They almost certainly have my IP address, time of day, browser and OS version, do they have my bank account number and other details as well?

Social trackers on banks: Ally bank

There are 12 trackers on that have nothing to do with my relation with ally.

These are advertisers, trackers by Snapchat, Adobe, Bing, Pinterest, Qualtrics and Facebook.

The only legitimate tracker that deserves to be there is LivePerson, for customer service. Even that should only start when I have an actual customer support interaction rather than being aware of my page interactions all the time.

What data are these trackers collecting, and why are they required on a bank website?

(Data obtained from Ghostery, the privacy extension for Google Chrome)