And with this brillliant article, I wish you all a Happy New Year.
May the best of 2022 be the worst of 2023.
Would you like to use Edge as your default browser? How many of our cookies are you willing to tolerate? Do you want to buy more cloud storage for your phone? Can we move you to our subscription service? Hi, Elon here. Should I poison public discourse based on the result of a completely unscientific and easy-to-game poll? …
Luckily, most questions are answered with a fair and stern NO!
All these questions are left behind. The very new and fantastic 2023 will not have any difficult questions(*).
Have a nice celebration lasting just about 24 hours as our little planet rotates around its axis at the centre of life, the universe and everything.
(*) we will have a new AI, called QueThé-42, to answer all future questions.
Windows 10 asked me 3 times in sequence if I wanted to 'update' to Windows 11, I became really paranoid that on the last question, the options would just be yes, or later
When I search google, I am often looking for something specific and nuanced. So when I see results with keywords I am not interested in, I use the minus symbol and the word I do not want to see in the results, this used to work brilliantly, but no longer. RIP quality search results
Consumerism has totally killed the internet and any worth it once had.
Too many webpages full of 'targeted keyword waffle', 2 seconds into landing on a page you're asked to subscribe, or give feedback or some other shit like.....Ugggh cookies, thank fuck for NoScript (give that man a beer!) and Ad blockers
I think this article will resonate with a lot of you, especially if you have grown up with the internet and seen it go from a curious frontier, to a consumerism dominated arena, where money is at the heart of most of the endeavours.
That was a very accurate and depressing article on the state of play. I would be happy if just one of those questions was resolved to my satisfaction:
Why doesn't the software industry respect you?
It seems to me that most of the rest follow from that one thing - lack of respect for users.
I have another question, why to people alway post youtube links rather than youtube-nocookie links, I guess, like industry, they don't give a shit about even minimal data privacy a no-cookie link might provide.
Everybody's to blame, those who publish it, promulgate it, or just put up with it.
> why to people alway post youtube links
... at all?
When I'm searching for hard information I want it written down and searchable. I don't wan't to have to sit through a 10-minute video only to discover that it had nothing to say about the search terms I posted.
What capt v said.
I have been repeatedly asked when handing over some small bit of functionality for some docco
Young people ask for a video.
Two years later they ask for a document.
You cannot search a video and good luck in capturing fields on a form.
Old people ask for a document
Two years later they ask for a document.
Which is fine.
Probably because I just heard of them?
There's also those YouTube and Twatter links with the mile-long string of tracking crap in the URL itself. I always have to trim back to the ampersand before trying it.
Edit: and I've viewed the link. The first one has fortunately become a lost reference because they no longer allow those leaflet people in or around the airport, at least on this side of the pond.
The article I found to understand what you are talking about draws a distinction between a link and an embed. With an embed, when the page it is on is displayed the browser gets a tracking cookie from Google without the user being offered the option to prevent it. This is a GPDR violation. The article goes on to explain how you can modify your website so videos can be embedded without breaking the law.
A link to a youtube video does not have this issue. GPDR is not violated unless the user clicks on the link. The(U+1F414)Register avoids the issue by not allowing us commentards to embed.
s/the answer might be yes/you might click the wrong button by mistake/
Once upon a time, whilst focused on avoiding being tricked into an amazon prime signup, I was instead tricked into amazon music (or some similar thing).
Yes that happened to me a couple of years ago. Bought the wife a Kindle but the first time you use it you have to wade through lots of questions and I accidentally subscribed to Audible. Had to contact Amazon (with some faffing around) to get them to cancel it. If you just click through all the crap you find you've bought stuff you never wanted or needed.
The *vast*, *overwhelming* majority just click the button that is visually styled, sized and positioned to entice them to click it and most of those who don't just click the button that makes it not appear the next time: same button!
Those of us who even question the fairness of these things are simply outnumbered.
Why do streaming sites not provide a useable interface for finding shows? Because that would present a choice between their current interface and an alternative and their current interface is entirely designed to squeeze addiction and subscription-renewals and binge-watching from everyone else.
It's not because they hate anyone with an organized mind who cares to see content in categories or sensibly-sorted lists or in any logical way, whatsoever – they simply don't give a damn about us and, frankly, they're probably happy when people like me *cancel* their subscription: we're outnumbered and too difficult to bother with.
We moaned when they forced their choices on us and we moan when they ask us constantly what we want.
What we need is people in tech like your Mum, they know just the right questions to ask that will utterly embarass you enough that you never want to say anything ever again! Just like the mum who got out of the car next to ours while my family and I were parked at well known seaside, her 10 year old son came back from the public bogs and she said in a very, very loud and haughty tone, "Ah Samuel, did you do a poo in the public toilet? Did you wipe properly?". Nevermind the poor kid, the entire car park died of sheer embarassment!
With that, Happy New Year to one and all!
Have this right RIGHT NOW, not yet clicked away:
"Microsoft Edge Smartphone-all download"
"Continue browsing with Microsoft Edge on your mobile device. Load the mobile App now. Option 1: <qr code>. Option 2: <my Microsoft Hotmail account - yes my MS account is THAT old>."
Ticking "not now" right about now. Why is there no "stop annoying me!".
Session cookies (or their logical equivalent) are necessary to handle "shopping basket" and forum posting workflows.
Login cookies that last longer than a session can be useful, as they mean I don't need to log into El Reg every time I visit. I'm fine with a tickybox "remember I'm logged in for N months"
All others are trash, and the answer is always no.
How does the server know it's you after you've logged in?
Session cookies are necessary for any HTTPS login system to actually work at all.
Seriously, loved the questions! It's articles like these that give El Reg the edge.
And talking of Edge, come on, I'm sure you'd really love to give it a try...
Just a teeny, tiny try?
No, stand back. Don't go too near that cliff. We don't want you going over [to] the edge now...
Or it's horrid cousin "Not Now". How about "Don't nag me again ever"? Then provide a page with a list of updates and what they contain, so I can go there if I want to at a time of my choosing and choose any that look interesting / necessary.
Of course it'll never happen, as every single development team thinks their new version of an app is the most vital thing in their user's lives and therefore it must be urgently forced upon them, and they know that most people will never bother to go and look for updates - but that shouldn't excuse them from at least making it an option.
So f'in true. Almost every time I go to a website I first have to click through a GDPR inspired warning then like as not some dozy 'click to subscribe' drivel.
ALL I F'IN WANT TO DO IS READ THE BLOODY WEB PAGE!
Web designers need to either get a clue or grow some balls and refuse to implement these pop-ups.
10 Would you like to subscribe to Amazon Prime?
20 Would you like your next gift voucher to be used for Amazon Prime?
30 Get your order tomorrow with Amazon Prime.
40 We'd hate for you to miss out on Amazon Prime
50 Try Amazon Prime free for X days.
(In tiny letters lost on the page) Place your order without the benefits of Amazon Prime.
Gotta admit that until now I've scoffed at those whining about Amazon Prime invites. But FFS! Amazon's latest attempt means that after I've selected my delivery options I have to go back and select 'fuck off with Prime already'.
I don't know what mentally challenged ass-hat at Amazon came up with this but it's not going to make me subscribe to Prime. It's just going to push me away from Amazon.
It's already had that effect on me with the latest sneaky attempt to con you into subscribing with the "Use gift card voucher for Prime". I've abandoned my basket on a couple of occasions and bought the items on the high street instead or simply not bothered buying certain items anyway. Annoying the hell out of customers isn't a good way to keep getting repeat business and Amazon are really going out of their way to piss me off at the moment. There needs to be a checkbox: "NO, I DON'T WANT FECKING PRIME, NEVER ASK ME AGAIN. EVER!"
Yup. It just doesn't offer anything I want. I'm not interested in the video side of it and I don't care how long my parcels to arrive nor in what order. What I find is that free delivery typically gets them to me in a day or two anyway so why pay for next day? And if I order on a Thursday it's often next day anyway presumably because they are trying to get items out before the weekend hiatus.
SO MUCH THIS.
Support your local small business!
I'll even forgive you shopping at a physical store for a big corporation if you're on a tight budget, because you're still paying a sliver of the salary of that store's staff, who also live more or less nearby (for regionally stretchy values of "nearby").
While we're complaining about Amazon, I'll join by complaining about how they've mixed in refurbished items with search results. No, I do not intend to buy refurbished hard drives. Other things, maybe, but not hard drives. Disabling this takes several clicks and will be switched back with the next search, and you will be doing multiple searches because Amazon's search system is terrible, relying on the searcher to filter out obvious crap. If I keep finding new things to complain about, it will get even more boring, so I'll stop with that one.
Yes, plus their search is frankly crap. It doesn't seem to have any kind of intelligence. I'd also rather not have foreign language reviews (for whatever value customer reviews are anyway). Nothing snobbish or racist about it merely that I can't read them without a fair bit of effort (French) or translation (German) so there's just no point.
By all means include their feedback in the star ratings but the text is a waste of screen space and bandwidth.
"50 Try Amazon Prime free for X days."
My wife does that every 3-4 months or so. She (and sometimes me) binge-watch anything new and interesting that might have shown up since the last one and she has a carefully curated calendar/reminder set up to cancel before any payments are taken. She also saves up her shopping basket to get the free/next day delivery options while the free Prime trial runs. She's very good and now well practised at cancelling it. It's a just learned skill like with any other problem. She says it's a bit like playing an adventure game :-)
On previous escapades with bloody Prime, I discovered that if you do inadvertently fail the challenge of doom, you can cancel it - not immediately, I think their computers don't talk to the same database so there is actually no option to cancel, so you both had and did not have Prime membership - but in a couple of hours or so.
Which means you didn't have to remember to cancel in a month... and at the same time, you still had a month's free membership.
Possibly they've closed this loophole since they last caught me,
I have multiple .edu accounts, all of which still work despite my not having worked there for up to 15 years, because I have been known to do some ‘adjunct’ instruction. I keep a certain very old one around because it has a link to Microsoft’s Dreamscape/Imagine/whatever they call it now and that means that I can get _free_, non-subscription, access to almost everything Microsoft. This includes every single MS OS since DOS 6, inclusive, and all their server OSs, too. And Project. And Visio. And a lot more. Free. Some of the stuff expires after four years, but it’s trivial to get the latest version and install it again. And, as it’s linked to an ancient account, I know damn well when MS tries to dump ads or whatever. I normally don’t even check the mail at that account except when I use it for something, and then I just kill all the spam, which is 95% of the posts. I’m waiting for MS to figure out just how much free stuff I’ve liberated from them over the years…
I ordered some toner for my laser printer a couple of days ago. First there was the question of whether I wanted to subscribe. No thanks, then on my checkout page: "We're giving you a FREE trial of Amazon Prime" and it took a while to find the only way to say no was to find the quantity dropdown menu (which was really tiny) on the Prime item and change the quantity ordered to zero. Talk about a dark pattern!
The worst examples are the subscription / membership notices that pop up on magazines and newspapers. I don't mind the legitimate ones - if you need subs to keep going that's fair enough, and at least you're being honest. It's the barefaced lies that piss me off! There are loads of places that do this, but The Guardian is one example that comes to mind. It asserts that "You must subscribe/register to continue reading", but scroll down a bit and you can choose "Maybe later". The truth is you never have to subscribe or register to read normal Guardian content, it merely helps them monetize readers. Again, fine if your visitors know and agree to it, just don't make shit up to trick people.
Or GitHub search!
I have a GitHub account but my browser is typically not logged in – see, well, this very article for reasons why one might have set it to delete cookies upon exit – and, my GOD does it is enrage me when I'm punted to the Sign-In screen for searching what is actually Open Source code.
The very essence of GitHub's existence and market dominance stems from the community that wrote that content I am trying to search. For the love of U+FEOE, ...
GIVE US A REVIEW NOW! NOW! NOW! NOW! NOW!
So of course these get a 1-star no matter how much I like the app or whatever.
I got a "REVIEW THIS" after using the Google Android standard built-in phone app for God's sake! I left a "Please don't ask for reviews" and got a cheeky "Feature suggestions should be made through xxxx channel" response! I changed it to my now-standard 1-star "Leaving review as requested"
I picked up an RCA-to-HDMI adapter off NewEgg recently. It came with a QR code to scan to get the "free" 3-year warranty extension. The site it links to says to leave them an Amazon review and send them a screenshot, and then they'll activate the warranty.
I think I may leave 1-star reviews on NewEgg **AND** Amazon...
Why, for all of the above reasons do most people still insist on using environments that insist on such tactics?
A. Because most folks don't know any better.
Tech evangelism only goes so far. You can lead a horse to water, etc.
You would think with the cost of living mess, ads, and subscription-bloody-everything would be the first thing to rebel against and by far the easiest to cut.
Do you like Google slurping your medical records?
- See: https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2017/jul/03/google-deepmind-16m-patient-royal-free-deal-data-protection-act
Do you approve of Peter Thiel and all his works?
- See: https://www.bloomberg.com/features/2018-palantir-peter-thiel/?srnd=premium-europe
Do you know that "anonymising" of slurped data is another "big lie"?
- See: https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2019/jul/23/anonymised-data-never-be-anonymous-enough-study-finds
.....and much much more where that came from................................................................
Why does NIST only mention 2048 bit prime numbers?
- See: https://www.nist.gov
- See: https://crypto.stackexchange.com/questions/35187/nist-diffie-hellman-prime-how-was-it-picked-where-did-it-come-from
How big a prime number does one need to know before the spooks break down the front door?
- Sorry, no references available........but instances with tens of thousands of bits are currently in the cipher database!!!
Did you know that cipher schemes exist where there are no persistent keys saved anywhere? (Yup...none....zero.....zilch!!.)
- See: https://cryptobook.nakov.com/key-exchange/diffie-hellman-key-exchange
Did you know that IMPORTANT PEOPLE do not want you to know that personal privacy is actually possible in the internet age?
- See: https://cryptobook.nakov.com/key-exchange/diffie-hellman-key-exchange
......and so on.......................................
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