美國 FTC 提案要阻擋退訂的 Dark Pattern

2021 年的時候寫過「最近很熱鬧的 New York Times 退訂截圖」這篇,在講紐約時報在退訂這塊的 dark pattern,這個方式後來被許多報社的網路服務使用 (像是 WSJ)。

後來加州政府通過法律阻擋這樣的 dark pattern,所以就有 Reddit 上面這樣的討論,教大家直接把 billing address 改到加州後就可以網路上退訂:「WSJ Subscription policy makes it easy to subscribe (online), but hard to unsubscribe (via phone).」。

現在看起來 FTC 打算推動變成全國性的法案,而且不只是網路服務,也包括了像是健身房與第四台的服務都必須提供對稱的方法 (訂閱與退訂):「The FTC wants to ban those tough-to-cancel gym and cable subscriptions」。



在清 Hacker News Daily 的時候看到「New York could become first state with a ‘Right to Repair’ law for electronic devices」這篇,在講紐約州有團體在推動電子產品的維修權。

先前有提過歐盟對電子產品的維修權有在推動法案 (參考「歐盟在推動的設備維修權...」這篇),確保十年內有料可以維修,後來這個法案已經生效了:「New EU ‘right to repair’ laws require technology to last for a decade」。


紐約時報買 Wordle...

Hacker News 上看到「The New York Times Buys Wordle」這篇,紐約時報買下 WordleHacker News 上的討論「The New York Times buys Wordle (nytimes.com)」裡面有在討論商業模式之類的事情,另外因為紐約時報的報導放在 paywall 裡面,所以另外提供 Internet Archive 的版本可以看:「The New York Times Buys Wordle」。

這邊就不介紹 Wordle 了,在中文版的維基百科上面有條目可以看說明:「Wordle」,玩過幾天後我就放掉了...

紐約時報買 Wordle 的價錢沒有詳細透露,只有說大約是 million 等級的價錢:

Wordle was purchased from its creator, Josh Wardle, a software engineer in Brooklyn, for a price “in the low seven figures,” The Times said. The company said the game would initially remain free to new and existing players.

但後續的動作就不知道了,也許是整合 word puzzle,也許是藉此延伸 social network?

SSH 的 StrictHostKeyChecking=accept-new

OpenSSH 在連到新的 host 時會跳出 key fingerprint 的資訊讓使用者確認,有時候為了自動化會用 StrictHostKeyChecking=no 避開,在 Lobsters Daily 上則看到了新的選項可以用,StrictHostKeyChecking=accept-new

就如同選項的名字所描述的,查了一下 OpenSSH Release Notes 可以看到這是在 OpenSSH 7.5 導入的參數,是在 March 20, 2017 引入的:

* ssh(1): expand the StrictHostKeyChecking option with two new settings. The first "accept-new" will automatically accept hitherto-unseen keys but will refuse connections for changed or invalid hostkeys. This is a safer subset of the current behaviour of StrictHostKeyChecking=no. The second setting "off", is a synonym for the current behaviour of StrictHostKeyChecking=no: accept new host keys, and continue connection for hosts with incorrect hostkeys. A future release will change the meaning of StrictHostKeyChecking=no to the behaviour of "accept-new". bz#2400

對於一些自動化的流程應該夠用了,不需要到用 no 完全關掉。

翻了「Ubuntu – Package Search Results -- openssh-client」可以看到 18.04 之後都是 7.5 之後的版本了,支援度應該是沒什麼太大問題...

最近很熱鬧的 New York Times 退訂截圖

最近很熱鬧的 New York Times 的退訂過程截圖在這邊,可以看到滿滿的 Dark pattern 想辦法讓使用者難以退訂:「Before buying a NYT subscription, here's what it will take you to cancel it.」,這點在 Hacker News 上的討論也可以看一下:「Before buying a NYT subscription, here's what it'll take to cancel it (imgur.com)」。

我在看的時候想到美國好像有通過法律,要求租用與退訂流程的對等性,查了一下資料發現理解不正確,之前看到的新聞應該是加州州政府通過的法令:「SB-313 Advertising: automatic renewal and continuous service offers.(2017-2018)」。

2018 年法令生效當時也有報導,裡面講的比較白話:「Companies must let customers cancel subscriptions online, California law says」,結果看到這則報導裡面給的範例時馬上笑出來,因為又是 New York Times,看起來是就是慣犯 XDDD

One person tweeted about trying to cancel a New York Times subscription on the phone and being put on hold for 15 minutes -- twice.

在 Hacker News 的討論裡有提到,美國的使用者可以考慮用 Privacy 這個虛擬信用卡服務,對於這種很搞事的 subscription 直接關閉對應的信用卡帳號就好。

台灣之前有遠東銀行提供 Mastercard InControl 方案,但看起來到去年年底也不提供了:「MasterCard inControl 網路交易虛擬卡號申請服務110年1月1日起終止公告」。

Amazon CloudFront 增加墨西哥與紐西蘭的點

Amazon CloudFront 新增加了四個點,兩個在墨西哥,兩個在紐西蘭:「Amazon CloudFront launches in two new countries - Mexico and New Zealand」。

比較特別的是墨西哥的點仍然是被併入北美區的價錢,也就是 CloudFront 裡面最低的那組價錢:

In Mexico, our two new edge locations in Querétaro will provide viewers as much as a 30% reduction in p90 latency measures. These new edge locations are priced within CloudFront’s North America geographic region.


紐約時報的 The Privacy Project 分析了這二十年來 Google 的隱私條款

紐約時報The Privacy Project 分析了 Google 在這二十年來的 Privacy Policy (英文版),可以看出網路廣告產業的變化,以及為什麼變得極力蒐集個資與使用者行為:「Google’s 4,000-Word Privacy Policy Is a Secret History of the Internet」。整篇看起來有點長,可以先看裡面的小標題,然後看一下列出來的條文差異,把不同時間的重點都列出來了。


No longer talks about users ‘in aggregate’

1999 年的版本強調了整體性,後來因為針對性廣告而被拿掉:

Google may share information about users with advertisers, business partners, sponsors, and other third parties. However, we only talk about our users in aggregate, not as individuals. For example, we may disclose how frequently the average Google user visits Google, or which other query words are most often used with the query word "Microsoft."


Google shares more data for better targeting


Its complicated business requires a more complicated policy

接下來是因為法規而配合修改條文 (最有名的就是 GDPR):

Policy adjusts to meet stricter regulation

讓 Chrome 開新 Tab 時不要出現搜尋頁

Google Chrome 的新 tab 現在預設都會出現 search engine 頁面 (即使你設為 about:blank),但我從來就沒有在這頁搜尋過東西 (都是直接在 location bar 輸入),所以想要拿掉這個「功能」。

找到由 thakis@chromium.org 提供的 extension,而且是在 2013 年就發佈了:「Empty New Tab Page」,他給的截圖意思就很清楚了:

看了一下 source code 也的確是乾乾淨淨的,先裝這個...


加州打算直接從法律上規定從 2020 年開始的新房子都要有太陽能:「California set to become first US state requiring solar panels on new homes」。

The state’s Energy Commission is due to vote next week on new energy standards that would require virtually all new homes to be constructed with solar panels from 2020.

如果通過的話,從 20% 直接變成強制性的 100%:

Currently around 20 per cent of single-family homes are constructed with solar capacity built in, but if the new standards are approved as expected this proportion will rise sharply.

下個禮拜回來看看消息好了,這應該是蠻指標性的事情... 無論是在經濟上還是在環保題材上。


禁止這類變相的羞辱行為:「New Mexico Outlaws School ‘Lunch Shaming’」。

In some schools, children are forced to clean cafeteria tables in front of their peers to pay the debt. Other schools require cafeteria workers to take a child’s hot food and throw it in the trash if he doesn’t have the money to pay for it.


On Thursday, Gov. Susana Martinez signed the Hunger-Free Students’ Bill of Rights, which directs schools to work with parents to pay their debts or sign up for federal meal assistance and puts an end to practices meant to embarrass children. It applies to public, private and religious schools that receive federal subsidies for students’ breakfasts and lunches.