* Posts by Elongated Muskrat

901 publicly visible posts • joined 14 Nov 2022


'Small monthly payment' only thing that stands between X and bot chaos, says Musk

Elongated Muskrat

People who would pay to hear their favourite "politician" hold court are not swing voters, and money spent trying to get them to change their voting patterns would very much be money down the drain.

"Undecideds", however, aren't going to pay money on the off chance that some pearls of wisdom that are held behind that paywall will give them the answer they are seeking about which voting choice to make. Undecided voters, on the whole, are undecided because they are disengaged with politics, not because they are just seeking that one last piece of information.

Elongated Muskrat

Re: > A friend was a local councillor

Nope, this is why accounts claiming to be associated with a person (as opposed to anonymous or pseudonymous accounts) should require identity verification.

I shouldn't be able to open a social media using my neighbour's identity, or indeed one using someone else's IP (such as claiming to be Spiderman), but there should be no barrier to having an account with just a user name that doesn't associate with a person or entity that belongs to someone else.

The onus should be on the social media companies to ensure that accounts are not used to impersonate.

Elongated Muskrat

Except, in this case, you'd be paying to bathe in the outflow.

Elongated Muskrat

Re: Digital Town Square

More like a digital Wetherspoons

Elongated Muskrat

Re: It just leaves you shaking your head?

He has mistaken a combination of privilege, luck, and ruthlessness for natural talent. When he runs out of road, and ends up at the proverbial coyote hanging in mid-air over a ravine, the look on his face will be priceless. At the moment, it's only his deluded followers franticly running behind him trying to chuck bits of metaphorical road in front of him to run along that is stopping gravity taking over.

Elongated Muskrat

It's not a catastrophic doom, it's a slow slide into oblivion, and it has been headed down the pan from the second ol' "Genius boy" bought it.

At this point, it's just a matter of seeing how far the "sunk cost fallacy" can go. Can he actually lose more money than he paid for it, from the reputational damage done to his other businesses?

Getting to the bottom of BMW's pay-as-you-toast subscription failure

Elongated Muskrat

Re: The day when one can't drive one's BMW because the seats are permanently heated

Don't blame the people who write the stuff, blame the people who write the requirements for it.

Or, more accurately, the people who wave their hands, go, "I want it to do X" but don't bother to stay around to write down that they actually mean by 'X'.

Developers aren't magicians, and just because the customers (rightly) don't understand how the software works, it doesn't mean that they can apply magical thinking to get software that does what they meant rather than what they said.

Now, if you actually have one of those mythical beasts called "project managers" on your project, and it turns out that the software doesn't do what the customer wanted, but the developers followed the user stories to a tee, guess whose fault it is? On the other hand, if you don't have a project manager, and the developers are having to analyse the requirements and write their own user stories, don't complain about them having to mark their own homework...

Scientists spot startlingly close black holes in Hyades star cluster

Elongated Muskrat

Yeah, it's definitely not a hypothesis from me, more an out-loud pondering.

I think the way to work it out would probably be to look at planetary nebulae formed from the parent star going supernova, observe the size of the "bubble", extrapolate backwards to work out a rough timescale for when the star went pop, and see if it correlates with a known mass extinction event. I think I'm probably not the first to think of this, and, to be honest, if there were any large planetary nebulae near to us, I think we'd already have worked it out. Previous mass extinction events are likely down to more mundane things like Big Rocks Falling From the Sky™, large-scale volcanic events (such as the Deccan Traps), planet-scale glaciation events (Snowball Earth), and, further back, planet-wide atmospheric oxygenation.

Elongated Muskrat

Re: "we'd probably already be dead"

That's kind of my point, those aren't going to have accretion disks (at least, not large scale ones), unless they come pretty damn close to something to eat (i.e. another star). In the game of cosmic billiards, getting close enough to another star in your path like that is one helluva trick shot.

OTOH, things with big old active accretion disks that throw out relativistic jets from their poles are, as you say, the supermassive ones, or at the very least, ones in a very busy neighbourhood (such as a galactic centre), where there are lots of other stars swirling around at sub light-year distances. If there was something like that going on within a few hundred ly of Sol, to be honest, the black hole wouldn't be the biggest problem.

I think the other class of stellar object that might be of interest in this sort of discussion would be close-orbiting binary system where one partner is a black hole that is slowly eating the other companion. If, instead, you have a stellar remnant such as a white dwarf with matter falling into it, that is basically what causes a type 1a supernova. Again, not something you want to be near, unless you like being periodically irradiated. You don't really want to be very close to something that periodically is 5 billion times brighter than the sun.

Thankfully, all those sorts of "interesting" stellar objects are safely some distance from us, although it will be a good light show when Betelgeuse blows up in a standard supernova.

Elongated Muskrat

Re: "we'd probably already be dead"

Isn't it the case that accretion from the disc is what drives the relativistic jets, or have I misunderstood it? Isn't it a case that matter falling into the black hole from the accretion disc is accelerated due to conservation of angular momentum, and the radiation from its "spaghettification" is channelled by the vast rotating magnetic field of the black hole into the polar jets.

As I understand it, the orientation of that magnetic field is not aligned with the galactic plane, so anything producing relativistic jets "nearby" to us in a cosmic sense, had better not be oriented such that those jets are oriented near to the path of our solar system (which "wobbles" up and down through the galactic plane on a long timescale).

It is also my understanding that such "active" black holes tend to be large mass ones, and that there aren't any nearby to us; the nearest I know of is Sag A*, and that's way up there on the mass index. You certainly wound't be happy to be within several hundred ly of that.

I'm not sure why my post above garnered so may downvotes. Again, it's my understanding that you don't want to be in the path of a relativistic jet from a black hole, and that they tend to be tightly focussed enough that one crossing your path would really ruin your day even from 100ly away (well, ruin your day 100 years + a tiny bit into the future). Perhaps I worded it badly, or have my facts wildly wrong - an explanatory comment would be nice though (well, from those who aren't just habitual downvoters; you know who you are).

Elongated Muskrat

Re: "we'd probably already be dead"

If it was one with an active accretion disk, we'd be done for from a lot further away than a couple of ly - IIRC, we'd be talking hundreds, if not thousands, of light years, and still hoping that it's pointing roughly perpendicular to the plane of the galaxy, so that we don't get blasted by the jets precessing.

Elongated Muskrat

Re: Mass (not size) matters

Presumably, these are not "small" black holes, though, or the observations of their effect on the movement of stars in the Hyades wouldn't have been made. The "smallest" black hole yet observed apparently has a mass of 3.8 solar masses.

I believe that something that size would basically have to pass right by, or through, the Oort cloud to have any noticeable effect on the solar system, and that effect would probably be to throw some comets at Jupiter, which pretty much acts a rubbish sweeper for the solar system due to its mass and orbit.

Elongated Muskrat

Given that black holes typically form when a massive star dies, and that process involves a supernova, and these things are, relatively speaking, on our cosmic doorstep, I'm left wondering if their formation coincides with previous mass extinction events?

These days you can teach old tech a bunch of new tricks

Elongated Muskrat

Windows ME

Or to give it its full proper name, Windows Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.

Dutch consumer groups sue Google over its entire business model

Elongated Muskrat

Re: Attack the advertisers to get results

This doesn't work in all cases:

- Ads that come from the same domain as the content, so can't be blocked by pi-hole

- TV and Radio ads (if you watch/listen to these, or are exposed to anyone who does)

- Magazine ads (if you read magazines)

- Billboard ads (if you ever go outside in a built-up area)

- Any other form of insidious ad that ad-spaffers might find a way of pushing into your eyes/ears.

80% of execs regret calling employees back to the office

Elongated Muskrat

Re: We have expensive real estate.

You're confusing the "leadership" (usually the C-levels, or one bloke lording it over everyone) with "management". In many organisations, decision-making is so remote from the people implementing it, that the middle managers have no input whatsoever. this is coupled with decision-making that is completely removed from any feedback or measurement that half the decisions are invariably counterproductive.

UK government awards chunk of mega-billions tech framework

Elongated Muskrat

UK government has named the winning suppliers on the first tranche of a tech deal which could be worth a total of £4.2 billion ($5.24 billion) £5.6Bn $11.2Bn [[Project Cancelled]] for application software services supporting the nation's tax collector.

There, FTFY

Microsoft to kill off third-party printer drivers in Windows

Elongated Muskrat


My money is on them both having the same hardware ID - probably something like 00000000-0000-000-000-000000000000, and the poor USB controller getting confused.

Elongated Muskrat

Since a few years back, HP took over doing the drivers for Samsung laser printers, so you're probably in the perverse position of the same HP driver being usable for both of your printers.

I used to have a Samsung colour laser (a CLP-365W) - well, I say "used to have", I still have it, but after the best part of ten years' use, it needs stripping down and rebuilding so that it starts recognising that it has toner cartridges installed again. Samsung tried to pull the same shit that HP do with putting chips in the cartridges to prove they are "genuine" (yes, I know not all toner is equal, but it's my choice, not theirs which I choose to use), and putting artificial lifespans on things like the imaging drum (which have to be circumvented by wire-wrapping a resistor of a specific resistance around pins in the cover, power cycling, and removing it, to fool it into thinking a new one has been installed).

Putting HP in charge of their drivers and trying to fill my PC with bloatware was the final straw, and it got replaced with a nice shiny Brother HL-L3230CDW last year. The "starter" cartridges it came with have just started running out now, so I'll reserve judgement on how much of a pain in the arse getting replacements is; the third-party cheap ones I bought seem to work with a bit of jiggling and swearing, but the one thing I'll say is that the printer's build quality is MUCH higher than that of the Sammy one, and it has a proper paper tray, not the horrible bit of plastic the Samsung has.

Back on topic, the Brother printer works with the built-in Android driver, and although Android tries to suggest installing Brother's own print service, perversely, this doesn't seem to find the printer at all.

Elongated Muskrat

Re: by 2027 – except for security-related fixes – no printer driver updates will be allowed

Can't you just send PostScript directly to those?

Elon Musk has beef with Bill Gates because he shorted Tesla stock, says biographer

Elongated Muskrat

Re: Tesla, the company doing the most to solve climate change

The problem here, is that whilst you posted that sarcastically, nobody could tell whether it was sarcasm, or one of the ubiquitous "Acolytes of Musk" who genuinely believe such things.

Elongated Muskrat

Re: Tesla, the company doing the most to solve climate change

Not only do they maximise the efficient use of stored energy, they are known to occasionally maximise its efficient release as well, through the emission of heat, light, and smoke.

Elongated Muskrat

Re: Musk is such a crybaby

It's because people who are total bullshitters themselves see someone who is a total bullshitter who has done well, and elude themselves into thinking that they can be just as "successful".

Musk has succeeded due to a combination of starting off with money, being in the right place at the right time, being ruthless, and being a good liar. None of these are really things anyone can, or should aspire to. I mean, I'd love to start off with money, or completely luck out, but "aspiring to" it ain't going to make it happen.

Get ready to say hello to new Windows and goodbye to an old friend

Elongated Muskrat

Re: They work?

They usually:

  • Take ages to do nothing
  • Fail to diagnose the problem
  • Redirect you to a Microsoft "Knowledgebase" article which is either a web page with a header, footer, and one sentence in the middle that says something along the lines of "An error occurred", or a similar page telling you that the "article" is no longer available, or a redirect to try to sell you Office 365

Bombshell biography: Fearing nuclear war, Musk blocked Starlink to stymie Ukraine attack on Russia

Elongated Muskrat

Re: "If Ukraine wants to fight a war with Russia"

Especially since Zelenskiy himself is a "Russian-speaking national." I'm pretty sure he doesn't identify as Russian, in the same way that French-speaking Canadians don't typically identify as French, and English-speaking ones don't identify as USans.

Elongated Muskrat

Re: "If Ukraine wants to fight a war with Russia"

I missed the bit where the US claimed that Iraq and Afghanistan were historically part of the US, and therefore they were fine to annex them.

Geopolitical reasons for the invasions aside (along with arguments about their legitimacy), you are making an obviously false comparison.

Not everyone who lives in the West agrees with those actions, by the way, but in the same breath, I'm pretty sure none of us would like to live under the regimes of Saddam Hussein, or the Taliban. It's also worth noting that those particular governments were in position prior to those wards due to the previous "foreign policy" of the US. We don't have to agree with those actions, either. How far back do you want to go? Because all of human history is pretty much one of one group of people displacing another in a violent manner, and these days we have internation agreements in order to try to stop that sort of thing.

Elongated Muskrat

Re: "If Ukraine wants to fight a war with Russia"

It's worth adding that Putin only really started to get uppity when the actual democratic system in Ukraine meant that his puppet candidate didn't get elected as president, and some upstart who wanted to root out corruption get elected instead. Compare with Belarus, where Lukashenko has Putin's hand so far up his arse, you can see his fingertips when he speaks.

As for Nazis, well, yes, apparently there is a problem with the far right and antisemitism in a lot of Eastern European countries. That doesn't mean that they are running the government, especially not when the guy actually in charge is Jewish. It did look like these problems were being tackled, but it seems Putin (and his far right cronies) didn't like this, as it basically meant neutralising Russian state antagonists in the East of the country. The invasion was largely an attempt to "blitzkrieg" Kyiv, and topple, or drive out the legitimate government, so a puppet government could be installed in its place. This failed spectacularly, leading to images of traffic jams of tanks being picked off as they sat outside the city, and quickly turned into a land grab of what Putin could take, and a refusal to admit he'd made a massive tactical blunder, followed by a situation where he is throwing more and more of his citizens into a meat grinder just to maintain the "gains" he has made. Russia probably has the resources to maintain this situation for a long time, but they clearly don't have the resources to advance, and it will be becoming harder and harder to replace well trained and experienced soldiers by widening the conscription net.

Russia is going to, at some point, have to confront a demographic emergency, once all the young men in the country have been killed in a fruitless and utterly pointless war started as a vanity project by a dictator who probably wanted to have one last "glorious victory" before the cancer gets him. (He also was probably hoping to take Kyiv because it is the "birthplace" of Russian Orthodox Christianity, and he wants to have himself buried there as a "saint")

Elongated Muskrat

Re: So Musk has blood on his hands

Thankfully, satellite internet is pretty useless without ground stations. You can send radio waves around above the planet all you like, if someone wants to google something using it, it still needs to have a route to google's servers.

Ground stations can be commandeered. I don't know where Musk has these, and I suspect there may be multiple ones in multiple jurisdictions, but I'm willing to bet that the majority, if not all, of them are in Western countries, or countries "friendly" to the west, because as far as I know, Starlink is a US based company.

edit - Looks like the majority are in the US and Europe, with some in Aus, various South American countries, SE Asia and a couple in Nigeria. Certainly the infrastructure in the US could be seized by US companies, and the others commandeered by friendly governments, or, presumably, cut off centrally

Elongated Muskrat

Re: The report is not completely accurate

The subtlety here is that GPS "jammers" which broadcast noise on the same frequency to swamp the true signal, would be ineffective, in reality, they would use spoofers (tell the drone it's 500m away from where it really is, for example, plenty of room to miss). A false signal is pretty hard to tell apart from a true one in these circumstances.

Starlink isn't a positioning system, so swamping the signal is the only real option; spoofing wouldn't work because the content is encrypted anyway, unlike a GPS signal*. If you broadcast noise on the same frequency that starlink is using, you are literally target-painting yourself. Now, you could broadcast that from another nearby source, or multiple sources, but those are going to be sacrificial, because they're asking to get a bomb drone dropped on them. They're also a pretty good hint that there is something worth blowing up nearby.

*Technically the high-accuracy one is encrypted, I believe, but the keys are known, or something like that.

Elongated Muskrat

Re: Musk for President !

Ouch! My balls!

Elongated Muskrat

Re: The report is not completely accurate

It's easy to hit a bridge using GPS coordinates. Not so easy to hit a well defended bridge with GPS blockers or spoofers on it. Given that the bridge in question is a Russian propaganda symbol, I reckon it's not so simple as flying an off-the-shelf DJI drone into it without expecting some sort of countermeasures.

Elongated Muskrat

Re: The report is not completely accurate

I'm absolutely sure that something like a warship would have electronic countermeasures on board to disrupt things like thermal targeting (such as thermal chaff, for example, but probably a more high-tech equivalent), and GPS. Blowing up a bridge probably has different considerations again; it's one thing to steer an unmanned sea drone to the vicinity of the bridge, and another again to hit the spot you want to (presumably, the targeting points are quite specific as there are unlikely to be many weak points in Putin's armoured bridge), rather than simply continuing under it.

Ukraine are probably working with what they have. Yes, you can do all sorts of fancy things with arduinos or other microcontrollers, but if you want to launch an attack today, you'd be out of luck with the lead-time on the development and testing of the integration of those into any guidance system. I'm sure, as the war progresses, the sea-drone attacks will become more sophisticated (and the evidence is that the Ukrainian home-brew drones are already quite effective). They'll probably be developing and using several variants on designs, as this is a classic arms race between developing weapons and developing defences against those weapons. Ukraine will want to keep that as asymmetric as possible, as they are fighting the larger, less agile, enemy.

Elongated Muskrat

Re: The report is not completely accurate

We've all seen Threads, right?

Elongated Muskrat

Absolutely right; technically this is the difference between a personality disorder, and a mental disorder.

The former is the way you are made, the latter is an illness, which should be treated with compassion.

It's the difference between being a psychopath and a psychotic. A psychopath may well never kill anyone, but if they do so, they'll plan it and dispose of the body/bodies, a psychotic will do things like running around with a knife shouting at people that aren't there and stabbing random people.

It's also worth pointing out that whilst most serial killers are psychopaths, most psychopaths are not serial killers.

I'd not claim that Musk has some sort of psychopathy, by the way. Internet psychiatry is not a real thing. Any diagnosis can only be made by a proper mental health professional who is actually treating the person in a doctor/patient capacity. I'd only go as far as to say he appears to be a deeply unpleasant example of a human animal, and that his decision-making capacity doesn't appear to be well-formed.

UK admits 'spy clause' can't be used for scanning encrypted chat – it's not 'feasible'

Elongated Muskrat

You can have a virus scanner on your phone to protect you from "bad guys".

You can have a "CSE" scanner on your phone to "protect" you from yourself. If this wasn't government-owned, we'd call it "spyware" and that virus scanner would remove it.

Your averagely intelligent paedophile with any tech savvy will find ways to neuter such software or not have it installed in the first place. As would anyone else with any tech savvy.

It would also breach articles 8, 9, and 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights. Of course, the same people pushing for this nonsense are the same people pushing for our human rights to be removed, so we can be more like Russia and Belarus.

Elongated Muskrat

I think he either doesn't understand what leftism (i.e. socialism) is, what fascism (which is inherently far-right) is, or both. One of the first things H_____r did when he rose to power was to round up the socialists, alongside all the communists, trade-unionists, rival nationalist groups, and anyone vaguely non-aryan. This wasn't done in order to give them all an ice cream and a job.

Elongated Muskrat

Re: Logical fallacy of cracking encryption

Except that this "day in court" will be in a star chamber type court for "terrorists" due to "national security".

The Anti Defamation League is Musk's latest excuse for Twitter's tanking ad revenue

Elongated Muskrat

Re: Lesseee here.

We are living in backwards world where now being a classical liberal (personal freedom, private property rights etc) and anti-war is seen as 'far right'

This is largely down to how the US has mangled the meaning of the word "liberal" to refer to liberal economics, rather than liberal social attitudes.

Liberal (or, since its decline, neo-liberal) economics is concerned with essentially having an unregulated market where those with the most capital stand to gain the most, at the expense of those with least capital. This is pretty much spot-on the definition of what right-wing means (the original meanings of the terms left and right, as I have pointed out in a post above), refer to whether those in power should represent the rich, or everyone.

"Personal freedom" is also a pretty nebulous term. Are you referring to freedoms such as freedom of movement, the freedom to graze animals on common land, freedom from oppression, that sort of thing, which are all pretty left-wing ideas, or to freedom from regulation, freedom to oppress, freedom to enclose land, freedom to use capital to gain more at the expense of others without regulation, and so on, which are right-wing concepts? As for private property rights, again, are you talking about rights to one's own home, or rights to buy up other people's homes, own multiple properties, rent them out, thus amplifying capital, and "intellectual property" rights where ideas are bought and sold by the rich, in order to make money, and extract "licensing" fees from the poor? Again, if you are arguing against regulation of this sort of "property", then this is right-wing.

As for being "anti-war"; again, define what you mean by this? Are you referring to an ideology where conflict should be avoided (arguably left-of-centre, although it's not really a left/right thing), or are you talking about allowing other nations to invade their neighbours and saying "I'm not getting involved?" Because appeasement didn't work very well in the 1930s, and that really did help the far right.

Elongated Muskrat

Re: Ad revenue tanking

'The Jews did it' is very much concocted by the political left.

[Citation required]

It might interest you to hear that (gasps of shock / horror / awe) many political parties on the left actually have Jews as members.

Of course, the conspiracy-minded amongst us might then claim this is so that the lizards can more easily keep an eye on them, or it's Stockholm Syndrome, or something.

People with brains might instead conclude that antisemitism operates regardless of where you fall on the (simplistic) left/right political spectrum, or are you one of "those" who is about to claim that a well known German politician in the early to mid 20th century was a member of a political party that was left-leaning because it had "socialist" in its name. If this is the case, I'll have to (again) point out that the official name of North Korea has "democratic" in it, and that names are not a reliable indicator of, well anything really.

It's almost as if a person's stance on whether rich people should control everything, or whether we should let everyone have a go (a very simplistic reduction of what left/right means in a political sense) has no bearing whatsoever on whether they are a racist.

As for my meds; the packet says I should only take one antihistamine a day. The pollen is quite bad this year, so I shan't be taking fewer than that, and I certainly won't be exceeding the stated dose. Maybe it's yourself that is assuming that everyone is prescribed antipsychotics?

Elongated Muskrat

Re: Musk's Master Plan

Given the (other? same?) AC posting above, can you be so sure?

Elongated Muskrat

Re: Ad revenue tanking

Yes, I mentioned the Rothschilds, as an example of the sort of conspiracy nonsense antisemitic nutters harp on about. You picked it up and ran with it, thus proving that you are part of that crowd, or too ignorant to not associate yourself with them. Not that you're actually associating yourself with anything, posting anonymously, but we can all tell it's the same AC.

My point, once again, is this: Pretty much all conspiracy theories, once examined and questioned, boil down to "the Jews did it". Yes, the Rothschilds are Jewish, yes they are rich, and yes, they have done some nasty things, but the point is that there are plenty of other rich people who have done nasty things, but somehow they don't get picked as the "example" of how the "NWO" is run by Jews, and other bullshit antisemitic tropes. The Rothschilds supporting Rhodes has nothing to do with a Jewish conspiracy, but you'd be forgiven for thinking that it did, if you follow all that conspiracy nonsense. If "thinking" is the right word.

Elongated Muskrat

Re: Ad revenue tanking

Well done, you're catching on - when you (and I'm pretty sure, from your comment, that you do) blame "the Rothschilds" for something bad that you don't like in one of your little "theories"*, you are just being plain-old antisemitic, because all of these conspiracy theories* are based on a core of interlinked bullshit, almost always having some form of antisemitism at their core. It's a well knwon phenomenon, and widely documented and discussed.

The actuall issue here, is the fact that you pick out "the Rothschilds" as the actual problem; a specific example of (Jewish) rich people; conspiracy theorists never seem to pick on ultra-rich people who happen not to be Jewish, do they? And here's the thing; the ultra-rich DO actually run things - that's called capitalism. If there's a problem with plutocracy (and many woudl argue that there is), the root of that problem is free-market capitalism, not Jews.

Here is a list of the ten richest people in the world, as an aside. As a quick exercise for the reader, how many are Rothschilds, how many are Jewish, how many are white men?

Elon Musk.

Bernard Arnault.

Jeff Bezos.

Larry Ellison.

Bill Gates.

Larry Page.

Warren Buffett.

Sergey Brin.

*Not actually theories at all; a theory is formed from a series of testable hypotheses, not a load of old horseshit that someone saw in a youtube video once, or read in a magazine. Those hypotheses must rely on reproducible and testable experimental results. A theory, in its true sense, is actually about as close as science can get to a proven fact.

Elongated Muskrat

Re: They can both go away.

You people are making shit up about me


making a tit of yourself in public

My friend, you are doing it to yourself.

I'm sure we've all managed to post things and then think, "maybe I should have thought about it a bit more first, before jumping in with both feet." However, it takes a special kind of talent to then go and find extra feet to jump in with, rather than then pausing for thought.

Google Chrome pushes ahead with targeted ads based on your browser history

Elongated Muskrat

The truth of the matter is, that advertising targeted at the user is really no more effective than advertising targeted at the topic of the site it appears on, and potentially less so.

If I'm looking to by a refrigerator, and I go to an appliances site and see adverts for refrigerators, they are likely to be relevant, and at least make me aware of brands that exist in the field. I'll still go and read a bunch of reviews and then pick a make and model I intend to buy, and search for the cheapest supplier, rather than click on an ad and pay for a refrigerator that has been made slightly more expensive by the fact that the price has advertising costs baked in.

If the ad trackers determine I've been looking at appliance sites and start targeting ads at me for refrigerators, my response is likely to be "why would I want to buy another refrigerator".

In any case, my immediate response to 99.99% of adverts will be "fuck off," and they will make me less likely to buy that product, especially if it is a product in a field where I am already aware of other offerings. Others may be more susceptible to advertising mindfuckery, but awareness of how advertising psy-ops work is the first step in not being influenced.

Elongated Muskrat

Re: VPN use could add confusion to Google's plans

I'm assuming you're accessing RT for research purposes, rather than as a news source? Some of that Russian propaganda can be pretty insidious, and you can be made to look quite the fool for swallowing it, when it turns out to be demonstrably false (such as footage of "air strikes" taken from video games).

Elongated Muskrat

No fan of Google, but I'd disagree. Chrome Firefox exists for the sole purpose of being better than Internet Explorer.

FTFY, no charge, and not even any advertising cookies on your machine for the trouble.

Elongated Muskrat

Re: Some questions

The government in the UK hasn't (yet) managed to butcher the UK's implementation of GDPR so that the laws surrounding privacy are weakened. They do, however, seem to be fully intent on doing so. Big companies will probably not take advantage of this, because the incoming Labour government could very well end up strengthening privacy laws when they replace the Tories next year. Then again, seeing how Starmer appears to be trying to appease everyone with money, they could be weakened further.

In any case, when we rejoin the EU, be that in 5, 10 or 20 years time, GDPR will have to apply again.

Once a solution is in place, organisations aren't going to change it unless they have to, or have some clear benefit from doing so. If anything, other incoming government policies are likely to make doing business in the UK less attractive anyway (such as the idea of breaking encrypted communications because THINK OF THE CHILDREN, that everyone is saying is about as clever and workable as the idea of having Liz Truss as Prime Minister).

Elongated Muskrat

Re: no change there then..

Chrome is not Chromium in the way that a Ford Fiesta is not a Zetec engine. Other, less popular cars (for instance the Ford Focus) can be built around the Zetec engine, in the same way that other, less popular browsers (read: Edge) can be built around the chromium engine.

All* the privacy violating stuff is in Chrome, not in Chromium, in the same way that a Ford Focus does not have a Ford Fiesta chassis.

Meanwhile, there are people who don't like Fords and drive a Renault, or an Audi, or a Volvo, in the same way that people who don't trust or like Google use another non-chromium-based browser, such as Firefox.

*Well, probably all. Certainly a lot of the most egregious stuff.

Elongated Muskrat

Re: Enhanced Ad Privacy ..

You know you can set the block list on a Pi Hole to anything you like, right? You can use one of many, many preconfigured lists, or even hand-craft your own blacklist / whitelist.

If you're relying on a third-party list, and they don't blacklist something you want blocked, you can just block that domain yourself.

Elongated Muskrat

Re: Enhanced Ad Privacy ..

+ Pi Hole + Firefox

People use Chrome because they are lazy, in the same way that people used to use Internet Explorer.

Other, privacy conscious, browsers are available, but you'd be a fool to implicitly trust any software you hadn't written yourself, and then there's questions about whether you should even trust your compiler anyway, thanks to Ken Thompson...

Maybe it's time to get the soldering iron out and start making your own transistors. Can we trust that this semiconductor wafer is really n-doped?