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Conversation 4 April 2018

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Italy’s Five Star Movement rejects Berlusconi on eve of formal talks




The leader of Italy’s anti-establishment Five Star Movement has ruled out joining a coalition with Silvio Berlusconi’s Forza Italia party, a day before formal government consultations begin.

Until now, Five Star had said it was ready to talk to all parties after the 4 March national election ended in a hung parliament.

In an interview recorded by the La7 TV channel and not yet broadcast, Luigi Di Maio said Five Star was open to talks with the centre-left Democratic party (PD) – though not to its former secretary Matteo Renzi – and the far-right League, but not with Forza Italia, two Five Star sources said.

The move will heighten tensions between the League and Forza Italia, which are partners in a centre-right coalition that won the most seats in parliament. Forza Italia had no immediate comment.

“The coalition that won the most votes is the centre-right and this is our starting point,” the League leader, Matteo Salvini, said on Facebook. “We will dialogue with Five Star, but reject vetoes or commands.”

In the election, the Five Star followed the centre right but was the single largest party, and the PD was third, but no one has enough seats to govern alone.

The Five Star position will also put pressure on the PD to consider joining a coalition with Five Star. So far the PD has toed the hard line – set by Renzi before he resigned as party leader in the wake of the vote – to not consider a deal with Five Star.

“The Five Star leader’s proposal is unacceptable,” Andrea Marcucci, the PD’s Senate leader, said on Twitter.

Though the sources did not say what reason Di Maio gave for rejecting Forza Italia, the Five Star Movement has always been hostile to Berlusconi because the party has vowed to clean up Italian politics. Berlusconi has a conviction for tax fraud and is on trial in another case for allegedly bribing witnesses.

The president, Sergio Mattarella, on Wednesday begins formal consultations in which he will try to get rivals to seek common ground and form a government together. He will meet the main parties, including Five Star, on Thursday.

But more consultations could be held later and the process could take weeks. If no deal can be found, Mattarella may be forced to call a new election.




I feel my career as a solicitor is at a standstill – should I try something else?

I work as a solicitor and earn a reasonable amount of money; however I have not had any career advancement for 10 years (I am 37). I feel that many younger, less experienced and less able people than me seem to be rocketing up in life, while I am ignored. Looking back, even at casual jobs I had as a teenager, my bosses often seem to have found fault with me, or I’ve been completely invisible to them, despite a burning ambition to do well in life. I sometimes wonder whether I should dump my career as a lawyer and try another – but my fear is I would be no better, while forfeiting a good salary that I need to support my children.

• When leaving a message on this page, please be sensitive to the fact that you are responding to a real person in the grip of a real-life dilemma, who wrote to Working It Out asking for help, and may well view your comments here.




Uber: I’m in shock after being charged a £60 cleaning fee

After an uneventful 19-minute Uber journey, I was shocked to be charged a £60 cleaning fee for what appeared (in a photo) to be mustard on the car’s rear seat and inside the door. I was not provided with a description of the incident or the time the photo was taken, and it is not possible to see the car registration. It was even suggested the incident was serious. Uber is doing nothing to refund me. SS, London SE5

You are not the only complainant but Uber acted quickly to refund your £60. It says: “The app is based on mutual respect for both riders and drivers. For licensed drivers who use the Uber app, their vehicles are their place of work and any damage or mess can mean they are unable to continue working. When a driver claims a cleaning fee, they are required to provide us with details of the trip … as well as photographic evidence and a validated cleaning receipt. We believe this fee was incorrectly charged to this rider, so we have refunded it and reopened our investigation.”

Are you ready? Here is all the data Facebook and Google have on you

The harvesting of our personal details goes far beyond what many of us could imagine. So I braced myself and had a look

A slice of the data that Facebook keeps on the author: ‘This information has millions of nefarious uses.’ Photograph: Dylan Curran

Want to freak yourself out? I’m going to show just how much of your information the likes of Facebook and Google store about you without you even realising it.

Google knows where you’ve been

Google stores your location (if you have location tracking turned on) every time you turn on your phone. You can see a timeline of where you’ve been from the very first day you started using Google on your phone.

Click on this link to see your own data: google.com/maps/timeline?…

Here is every place I have been in the last 12 months in Ireland. You can see the time of day that I was in the location and how long it took me to get to that location from my previous one.

‘A Google map of every place I’ve been in Ireland this year.’ Photograph: Dylan Curran

Google knows everything you’ve ever searched – and deleted

Google stores search history across all your devices. That can mean that, even if you delete your search history and phone history on one device, it may still have data saved from other devices.

Click on this link to see your own data: myactivity.google.com/myactivity

Google has an advertisement profile of you

Google creates an advertisement profile based on your information, including your location, gender, age, hobbies, career, interests, relationship status, possible weight (need to lose 10lb in one day?) and income.

Click on this link to see your own data: google.com/settings/ads/

Google knows all the apps you use

Google stores information on every app and extension you use. They know how often you use them, where you use them, and who you use them to interact with. That means they know who you talk to on Facebook, what countries are you speaking with, what time you go to sleep.

Click on this link to see your own data: security.google.com/settings/secur…

Google has all of your YouTube history

Google stores all of your YouTube history, so they probably know whether you’re going to be a parent soon, if you’re a conservative, if you’re a progressive, if you’re Jewish, Christian, or Muslim, if you’re feeling depressed or suicidal, if you’re anorexic …

Click on this link to see your own data: youtube.com/feed/history/s…

The data Google has on you can fill millions of Word documents

Google offers an option to download all of the data it stores about you. I’ve requested to download it and the file is 5.5GB big, which is roughly 3m Word documents.

Manage to gain access to someone’s Google account? Perfect, you have a diary of everything that person has done

This link includes your bookmarks, emails, contacts, your Google Drive files, all of the above information, your YouTube videos, the photos you’ve taken on your phone, the businesses you’ve bought from, the products you’ve bought through Google …

They also have data from your calendar, your Google hangout sessions, your location history, the music you listen to, the Google books you’ve purchased, the Google groups you’re in, the websites you’ve created, the phones you’ve owned, the pages you’ve shared, how many steps you walk in a day …

Click on this link to see your own data: google.com/takeout

Facebook has reams and reams of data on you, too

Facebook offers a similar option to download all your information. Mine was roughly 600MB, which is roughly 400,000 Word documents.

This includes every message you’ve ever sent or been sent, every file you’ve ever sent or been sent, all the contacts in your phone, and all the audio messages you’ve ever sent or been sent.

Click here to see your data: https://www.facebook.com/help/131112897028467

‘A snapshot of the data Facebook has saved on me.’ Photograph: Dylan Curran

Facebook stores everything from your stickers to your login location

Facebook also stores what it thinks you might be interested in based off the things you’ve liked and what you and your friends talk about (I apparently like the topic “girl”).

Somewhat pointlessly, they also store all the stickers you’ve ever sent on Facebook (I have no idea why they do this. It’s just a joke at this stage).

They also store every time you log in to Facebook, where you logged in from, what time, and from what device.

And they store all the applications you’ve ever had connected to your Facebook account, so they can guess I’m interested in politics and web and graphic design, that I was single between X and Y period with the installation of Tinder, and I got a HTC phone in November.

(Side note, if you have Windows 10 installed, this is a picture of just the privacy options with 16 different sub-menus, which have all of the options enabled by default when you install Windows 10)

Privacy options in Windows 10. Photograph: Dylan Curran

They can access your webcam and microphone

The data they collect includes tracking where you are, what applications you have installed, when you use them, what you use them for, access to your webcam and microphone at any time, your contacts, your emails, your calendar, your call history, the messages you send and receive, the files you download, the games you play, your photos and videos, your music, your search history, your browsing history, even what radio stations you listen to.

Here are some of the different ways Google gets your data

I got the Google Takeout document with all my information, and this is a breakdown of all the different ways they get your information.

‘My Google Takeout document.’ Photograph: Dylan Curran

Here’s the search history document, which has 90,000 different entries, even showing the images I downloaded and the websites I accessed (I showed the Pirate Bay section to show how much damage this information can do).

‘My search history document has 90,000 different entries.’ Photograph: Dylan Curran

Google knows which events you attended, and when

Here’s my Google Calendar broken down, showing all the events I’ve ever added, whether I actually attended them, and what time I attended them at (this part is when I went for an interview for a marketing job, and what time I arrived).

‘Here is my Google calendar showing a job interview I attended.’ Photograph: Dylan Curran

And Google has information you deleted

This is my Google Drive, which includes files I explicitly deleted including my résumé, my monthly budget, and all the code, files and websites I’ve ever made, and even my PGP private key, which I deleted, that I use to encrypt emails.

Google can know your workout routine

This is my Google Fit, which shows all of the steps I’ve ever taken, any time I walked anywhere, and all the times I’ve recorded any meditation/yoga/workouts I’ve done (I deleted this information and revoked Google Fit’s permissions).

And they have years’ worth of photos

This is all the photos ever taken with my phone, broken down by year, and includes metadata of when and where I took the photos

Google has every email you ever sent

Every email I’ve ever sent, that’s been sent to me, including the ones I deleted or were categorised as spam.

And there is more

I’ll just do a short summary of what’s in the thousands of files I received under my Google Activity.

First, every Google Ad I’ve ever viewed or clicked on, every app I’ve ever launched or used and when I did it, every website I’ve ever visited and what time I did it at, and every app I’ve ever installed or searched for.

‘They have every single Google search I’ve made since 2009.’

They also have every image I’ve ever searched for and saved, every location I’ve ever searched for or clicked on, every news article I’ve ever searched for or read, and every single Google search I’ve made since 2009. And then finally, every YouTube video I’ve ever searched for or viewed, since 2008.

This information has millions of nefarious uses. You say you’re not a terrorist. Then how come you were googling Isis? Work at Google and you’re suspicious of your wife? Perfect, just look up her location and search history for the last 10 years. Manage to gain access to someone’s Google account? Perfect, you have a chronological diary of everything that person has done for the last 10 years.

This is one of the craziest things about the modern age. We would never let the government or a corporation put cameras/microphones in our homes or location trackers on us. But we just went ahead and did it ourselves because – to hell with it! – I want to watch cute dog videos.

• A caption was corrected on 28 March 2018 to replace “privacy options in Facebook” with “privacy options in Windows 10”.




Mum’s embarrassing IKEA toilet seat gaffe leaves her bright red – but others have made the same mistake – Mirror Online

When Marie Stent recently shelled out £40 for a new toilet seat, she expected it to be white.

That’s what she had bought from IKEA , and that’s what she had expected to be contained within the packaging.

What greeted her, however, was a blue toilet seat.

She wasn’t happy, but having lost the receipt, there was very little Marie, from Cambridge, could really do but chalk it up to experience.

It took her 18-year-old daughter Amber to help point out Marie’s glaring mistake.

 

Taking to Twitter to share her mum’s gaffe, Amber revealed all her mum had to do was peel off the blue plastic cover on the seat…

The ‘Ekaren’ seat even came with picture instructions showing Marie how to peel the blue protective film off.

Amber, a law student at Newcastle University, wrote: “Mum bought a £40 toilet seat from Ikea, gets home and starts freaking out because it’s bright blue and she’s chucked away the receipt.

“After about 30 minutes of accepting it, she’s finally got her head around the idea of having a blue toilet, until I come and read the label.”

But before you chortle too loudly at Marie, plenty of other people admitted they’d made the same mistake too.

One woman even admitted: “That happened to me too and to my shame I returned it.”

Another added: “I had the blue stuff on my cutlery drawer for 10 years before I noticed.”

An ex-IKEA worker even weighed in with a story, saying:

“When I worked in Ikea a guy drove back to Edinburgh from Aberdeen raging at being sold a

“Customer service couldn’t calm him. I turned up, peeled the blue protective paper off the stainless steel top and he picked it up and walked away without another word.”

So it’s not Marie’s fault at all, really.




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