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Wed, Sep. 19th, 2007, 11:08 am
Further Down The Spiral

Oh. My. God.

So, out of idle curiousity, I thought I'd strace the binary to see if the crashing was something dumb that I could fix easily.

It was far worse than I could have imagined.

The crash itself seems to have been caused by not checking a return value - basic rookie error. When you make an assumption out of the return value from a function you make an "ass" out of "u" and, err, "mption".

But it's what the function being called was doing that bothers me. Basically the Windows client (and I assume that the Mac one is doing something similar) goes rooting through you private data looking for stuff. Because my private data is all locked down and encrypted it caused the ferret process to crash.

Now I have to presume that the Flume guys are doing it for a reason - that it's attempting to read my Outlook and Thunderbird mail stores so that it can extract email addresses and build up clues to who I am and who my friends might be but that doesn't excuse anything.

Flume developers - NO! IF I WANTED YOU TO HAVE MY INFORMATION I'D GIVE IT TO YOU. Jesus Christ. I appreciate you trying to make stuff all one clicky and automagic and for the yokels to be blinded by the fact that you used some sort of technological sorcery to tie together their various personas and automatically add friends and collate their personas as well. But it's just bad manners for a start but what happens if my boss logs in and sees that I may be known as principe on Flume and <name>@<work>.com at $work but I could be in trouble if he also finds out that I'm spanky.mcspankerson@bdsmfistpigbukkakeslut.tv or d0kt0r_d00m@733t-h4XX0rs.org or something.

Wed, Sep. 19th, 2007 11:01 am (UTC)
xb95

That's amazing. Thanks for the heads up!

If it is Bubble 2.0, make sure you ride it up, then get off when you're happy and don't ride it down as well. ;)

Thu, Sep. 20th, 2007 09:03 am (UTC)
hollyp

Nasty sneaky flume. It vexes us. Yes.

Tue, Sep. 25th, 2007 09:43 am (UTC)
gwire

Yeah, it really forces you to give up your information.

When I signed up, one of the questions it asked was what gym I was a member of. I didn't feel like giving them that so I left it as the default "I'm not a member of a gym".

Then when I looked at the autogenerated profile that pops up when I do the Flume equivalent of a "freiend request" it said "I haven't joined a gym yet." That's not the image I'm trying to project. Cheeky bastards!

So I went back to the profile and tried to put in something bogus, like "Globo Gym" (from Dodgeball) but it seems to be hooked into some kind of business directory API and made me select something from that. So I relented and gave them my real details.

Now on my landing page I have a live total of the number of other Flume members at my gym. Zero.