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Old 05-05-2024, 09:31 PM   #1
Renate
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B&N Reader spyware

Yeah, yeah, who cares? We presume that all eyes are on us anyway.

There was a flurry of interest that Kindle watches our page turns.

I took a peek at the BNRV1100 4.85 Reader software.
There are well over 5000 places in the code where it writes something to a cloud log.
If/when/where/how that is uploaded is another question.
There are tons of other analytics also.

Is this just part of the 21st century and only worth a shrug?
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Old 05-06-2024, 03:23 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Renate View Post
Yeah, yeah, who cares? We presume that all eyes are on us anyway.

There was a flurry of interest that Kindle watches our page turns.

I took a peek at the BNRV1100 4.85 Reader software.
There are well over 5000 places in the code where it writes something to a cloud log.
If/when/where/how that is uploaded is another question.
There are tons of other analytics also.

Is this just part of the 21st century and only worth a shrug?
It is a part of the 21st century and it is worth a LOT more than a shrug.
Thanks for sharing your findings.
I have been enjoying KOReader on the NGL4 that is offline.
I believe I have to root it to prevent OTA updates.
I just want access to Wikipedia, but I haven't brought it online for nearly a year and don't want to if it's going to call home just to root.
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Old 05-07-2024, 08:54 AM   #3
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I mean, it would be good to have a little more info than "IT WRITES TO A LOG!" before grabbing the pitchforks.
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Old 05-07-2024, 09:49 AM   #4
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How else is B&N to sync your reading position across devices? You can always turn WiFi off. Problem solved.
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Old 05-07-2024, 10:08 AM   #5
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I mean, it would be good to have a little more info than "IT WRITES TO A LOG!" before grabbing the pitchforks.
Yes, it would. Thank you for volunteering to research this closer.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ZodWallop View Post
How else is B&N to sync your reading position across devices?
Is there somewhere where B&N has asked you whether you want this?

I'm just pointing this all out that B&N has added over 100 loggings for any book related operation over previous versions.
At the very least this is a performance consideration.
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Old 05-07-2024, 11:06 AM   #6
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Is there somewhere where B&N has asked you whether you want this?
No. And if you do not like it, you can turn off WiFi.

Man, B&N does a lot of stupid stuff with their Nook platform. I'm no defender.

But vague references to 'writing to the cloud' that have benign, user related explanations isn't going to have me lighting a torch or carrying a pitchfork.
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Old 05-07-2024, 12:28 PM   #7
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But vague references to 'writing to the cloud' that have benign, user related explanations...
Vague?
5800 calls to Lcom/bn/nook/cloud/iface/Log;->d

I'm just pointing this out to people who might not have noticed.

Of course knowing every single thing that a user does is helpful.
They've done this in laboratories for years evaluating if a question is rephrased that people answer it quicker.
A/B testing where you have an app behave differently for 5% of the users is also standard.

If you want me to retract the word "spyware", whatever.
It's still egregiously bad coding.
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Old 05-07-2024, 02:05 PM   #8
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All ereaders from all sources track us. That's how they can sync amongst all devices and provide reading stats. Everyone tracks us. facebook, tictok..... etc
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Old 05-07-2024, 02:24 PM   #9
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Sheesh, everybody justifies any amount of surveillance based on the need to synchronize reading position.
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Old 05-07-2024, 03:21 PM   #10
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If you want me to retract the word "spyware", whatever.
It's still egregiously bad coding.
I don't want you to retract anything. I just enjoy the discussion.
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Old 05-07-2024, 03:28 PM   #11
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Sheesh, everybody justifies any amount of surveillance based on the need to synchronize reading position.
I think it's because honestly, who cares about page turns?

Now I can see why it would be creepy to find out B&N is selling data on what books I buy. But I'd guess they do that already. And no need to phone home. They already have my profile and I use that to buy books.

What is are they going to do with the knowledge that I read from page 65 to page 98? Maybe I just lack vision.
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Old 05-07-2024, 05:28 PM   #12
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The point of page turns is the detail, not specifically anything.

I once borrowed "Mein Kampf" (in German) on my friend's library card.
(I didn't make it very far, it's boring.)
Generally, I'd trust libraries not to do anything with that.
Buying it commercially I'd probably end up getting spammed with offers for high capacity magazines (and I don't mean the kind you read).

My point was to make people aware of the state of things.
I'm not particularly picking on B&N.

Personally, I would object mostly to them wasting my bandwidth, storage and processor cycles.

On Windows 11 I just got rid of "SysMain".
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Originally Posted by Microsoft
SysMain is a built-in Windows service that helps improve the performance of your PC by preloading frequently used apps in your RAM. It analyzes your PC usage to predict which apps you're likely to use and preloads them, allowing for quicker app launches.
Well, it does it ineptly. It changes the performance of hotkeys (like Shift-Alt-Letter) so that it takes 3-4 seconds to react. That's intolerable.

Remember the talking paper clip in Windows Office? That's what AI will bring us.
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Old 05-07-2024, 06:06 PM   #13
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True privacy does not exist. So stop trying to achieve it because you cannot.
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Old 05-07-2024, 06:31 PM   #14
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True privacy does not exist.
Mmm, I pretty much live in a glass house anyway.
I just wish that the world would waste less (my) time and (my) resources to see in.
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Old 05-07-2024, 08:08 PM   #15
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You could always emulate one friend from high school. He lives in a houseboat with power from solar panels/batteries for his limited uses. There is no WiFi, no computers or other electronic gadgets, his refrigerator is run from a propane bottle. He visits town once a week to do his grocery and other shopping. In case of emergency, someone has to visit him to deliver the message. He does have an enviable collection of physical books and will borrow library books while in town.

Not a lifestyle I could emulate but he seems happy enough and has about as minimal a footprint as can be maintained in today's world.
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