* Posts by slartybartfast

95 publicly visible posts • joined 31 Aug 2018


Browser tracking protections won't stop tracking, warns DuckDuckGo


The irony being, using ad/tracker blocking plugins, these can hold data about us as they need us to accept a number of permissions before we use them. I settled with the Ghostery plug-in, (along with Firefox’s in built tracker blocker) simply as it requests fewer permissions than other plugins - some plugins want to read and modify privacy settings and store unlimited client side data. I’m sure someone will be along to tell me how untrustworthy Ghostery is though.

Android 10 ported to homegrown multi-core RISC-V system-on-chip by Alibaba biz, source code released


Re: Oh god no

In order to gain access your first aid box to administer an emergency EpiPen to your eldest child, you need to agree to our monitoring policies. We will only use your data to make improvements to our services. Access to your first aid box will then be granted after you view two ads. You can bypass the ads for a $5 fee.


Re: Android on IoT?

Your fridge needs to collect your personal data so it can use it to make improvements to your internet experience and promises not to monetise your data and send you targeted ads.

Crowdfunded Asahi project aims for 'polished' Linux experience on Apple Silicon


Re: I agree with your sentiments but...

Whilst I agree Apple's customer service has gone seriously downhill, I simply can't abide Windows 10, having used it for the past 3-4 years. The constant forced updates rendered my laptop so slow plus the the hardware incompatibility that comes with having to run on so many different components was a pain too. Yes if my new Mac Mini ever has a hardware failure, I'm sure after the warranty runs out, they'll do their best to fob me off or try to charge me £400 for a simple repair but at least, in the walled garden, it's a very stable system.

Ad-scamming, login-stealing Windows malware is hitting Chrome, Edge, Firefox, Yandex browsers, says Microsoft


Re: NoScript to the rescue (again)

Just read it affects chromium browsers so that rules out opera as a ‘safe’ browser.


Re: NoScript to the rescue (again)

Is an ad blocker good enough? Personally, I never click on ads but it’s still a cause for concern though. I’d say better stick with a browser like Opera but I’m sure someone would come along and tell me how bad that browser is for privacy.

France fines Google, Amazon €135m total for slipping ad cookies into people's computers without permission


Re: Block them. Delete them.

As I said, at least it’s something and I’m aware it isn’t enough. I understand blockers can disrupt site operability which is a huge pain. I, at least, seem to be doing OK with these settings.

Yes we need proper sanctions but until (if ever) that happens, blocking and deleting ads and cookies is really all we have, whether you’re tech savvy enough to use them or not.


Block them. Delete them.

Use an ad tracker/blocker and a program like ccleaner on your PC. As for mobile devices, I always use a browser and add/tracker blocker instead of dedicated apps where possible and delete cookies often. I’m sure this probably doesn’t go far enough but it’s at least something to try to combat the annoying cookie infestation.

There's a battery-free Game Boy that runs solely on the power of sunlight and the speed of your button-mashing


Tech companies love non-replaceable batteries though.

Unfortunately, the use of non-replaceable batteries is just the sort of thing tech companies like to keep us continually and unnecessarily upgrading perfectly usable hardware when they stop performing well enough.

Microsoft accused of sharing data of Office 365 business subscribers with Facebook and its app devs


Re: Sounds scary...

WhatsApp users, even if not on Facebook will have their data harvested. Yes Facebook own WhatsApp but there’s nothing to suggest non-Facebook users are safe from any data slurping by Facebook if the software company have any agreements going with Facebook.


Re: LibreOffice

My Smart TV I bought last year allows you to connect with streaming services but doing so, they force you to accept data sharing. There’s no opt-out option. Obviously I choose not to use the ‘smart’ part of my TV.

It’s disappointing that so much software and online services have links to unethical businesses like Facebook and Google. This is why we need standalone software like Libre Office and not subscription software with it’s reliance on online connectivity leaving us vulnerable to data sharing.


Just another reason why subscription software is a bad idea.

Companies toiling away the most on LibreOffice code complain ecosystem is 'beyond utterly broken'


Re: Grow Up or Give Up

If MS Office didn’t exist or was much less popular, the compatibility problem with LO wouldn’t be quite so much of an issue. It’s quite tiring having to maintain compatibility with software that has its own proprietary ‘standards’ simply because it’s still the default software used by most companies. The problem with Office, it has to keep evolving (even if it doesn’t need to) to justify people paying for it so LO will always need to keep up compatibility with Office files. It would be nice if one day open source software could be freed from this particular handicap.

Contact-tracer spoofing is already happening – and it's dangerously simple to do


Since lockdown my Mum has told me she’s received several unknown calls to her Facetime. Luckily, she’s getting wise to scammers so she didn’t answer any of them. A quick search revealed the phone number used is a scam.

Everything OK with Microsoft? Windows giant admits it was 'on the wrong side of history' with regard to open source


Re: Exterminate! Exterminate!

‘Nobody was force to use IE.’

I was a web designer back at the turn of the century and the dominance by Microsoft and refusal to update their browser to accept the better open standards adopted by other browsers was very real. They owned around a 98% dominance of the browser market at their peak making it hard to use the web with other browsers. Many pieces of code had to have backwards workarounds to work with IE or, as many did back then, only coded their sites to run in IE. Prior to that, Microsoft were found guilty of trying to turn the Windows OS into a browser and effectively eliminating all competition. Whilst my comparison to the Daleks wasn’t meant to be too serious, Microsoft certainly wanted to turn their business into a monopoly.


Exterminate! Exterminate!

Micro$oft are like Daleks. They would love to exterminate all of the competition and force everyone to use their own, very closed standards, just like they tried with IE back at the turn of the century and as they almost do with Office (at least from a business level). Just like the Daleks, I believe MS execs are devoid of emotion and compassion and they believe they are the master race ;-) .

Amazon launches itself into retail IT with 'all the necessary technologies'. Not saying which, but you know...


How much?

So when you check the app for your digital receipt and realise you’ve been overcharged, how do you prove it?

Is Chrome really secretly stalking you across Google sites using per-install ID numbers? We reveal the truth


Re: Really, is this news?

Well I went back to Firefox after Opera decided each new version needed to mess with the GUI and menus, add a load of annoying bugs and the developer team routinely ignore user complaints. The Firefox GUI isn't all that bad and I tend not to run many potential security risk browser plugins, just a few add/spyware plugins. Best thing, as far as I'm aware, each new Firefox version doesn't break things, unlike Opera.


Re: WHY anyone uses Chrome is completely beyond my comprehension

'Because as a side-effect of stealing your information, it is the best web-browser out there'

Utter rubbish. That's like saying "apart from me stabbing you in the stomach, I'm the best friend you have". There is nothing Chrome can do other browsers can't. Firefox, for me is a much better browser. F**k Chrome.

Free Software Foundation suggests Microsoft 'upcycles' Windows 7... as open source


Re: @Jedipadwan

Yes. The absolute truth is, no matter how great people claim an OS is, if the industry standard or equivalent software isn’t available, then it’s never going to be a popular choice. Also the moment you have to share your projects with anyone else, the incompatibility with industry standard software will become a problem. Try having a career as a scriptwriter and collaborating with other scriptwriters all using Final Draft, for example. There is no Final Draft for Linux. “Well I can get Final Draft Mobile on my iPad, which means Linux is still best” says the Linux compromiser ;-) .

EU declares it'll Make USB-C Great Again™. You hear that, Apple?


Don’t you dare EU. I love having to shell out for new expensive dongles every time Apple chooses to change their proprietary connections ;-) ;-) .

Step away from that Windows 7 machine, order UK cyber-cops: It's not safe for managing your cash digitally


Win 10 can still be had for free.

Sorry but there certainly is still a free Windows 10 upgrade from Win 7 / 8.1

About a year ago I found a site that referenced and linked to the official windows 10 upgrade (on MS website). It's not public knowledge but it exists. I managed to create an upgrade CD (or save an iso file or save onto usb stick) and managed to upgrade from Windows 7 to Windows 10 (with many, many hitches along the way mind).


Security giants line up behind push to stop stalkerware being used on smartphones


Re: marketing hype

Recently a tracker blocker I was using on (desktop) Firefox was removed due to it being flagged up for malicious code. I do use some security plugins to block ads, trackers and other things (in addition to the tracker blocker in Firefox) but the irony is it’s hard to completely trust these plugins aren’t up to no good or have been compromised in some way.

Phones and tablets are more at risk because although we can use privacy browsers to (hopefully) block ads and trackers, apps have no privacy settings at all and are totally open to data mining and tracking.

Teachers: Make your pupils' parents buy them an iPad to use at school. Oh and did you pack sunglasses for the Apple-funded jolly?


Re: Exclusive devices need in Schools

Same for me. We had to use an ink pen. Never used one in my adult life which begs the question: why were we forced to have to buy one to use at school?


Re: Which Schools?

Maybe it’s to keep everyone within the ecosystem these companies build for themselves...or the blatant sales tactics by Apple.

Ask, Allow or Block is like Vivaldi browser's version of Snog Marry Avoid for popups in 2.9


Re: No browser based on Chromium can really be trusted to respect your privacy

Edge is now a Chrome clone too. Internet Explorer is pretty much a browser no longer in development.


Vivaldi is mainly used by disgruntled Opera browser users who love to customise their browser to death. The fact that it runs using the Chrome engine and, so far, has very little in the form of privacy features is enough for me to stick with Firefox. Personally, I don't care if Vivaldi allows the address bar to be placed on any side of the browser (left, right, top, bottom) or has a tab stacking feature. I'm not going to use a browser that exclusively relies on Chrome extensions to add any sort of ad/tracker blocking. In fact I try not to use extensions if I can help it as there's no telling how safe they are to use.

ProtonMail shoves its iOS app's source code on GitHub for world+dog to rummage around in


I use Protonmail. I switched so I could ditch Gmail and finally go Google-less. Of course Protonmail's security falls flat the moment you send an email without end-to-end encryption, which is pretty much most, if not all of the time. I'm not convinced any web based email service is foolproof and we're in danger of getting into tin foil hat territory. Using your phone/tablet/computer's default mail app/program is merely convenience rather than offering any security.

Not LibreOffice too? Beloved open-source suite latest to fall victim to the curse of Catalina


Re: Wow

‘I doubt it will considering the hold Apple has on its fans.’

Or people heavily invested in Apple’s ecosystem. Not always easy to switch systems.


Re: Peak Apple.....

I believe Apple as a company peaked before then. My 2011 MacBook Pro fell foul to the widespread and dreaded GPU failure that Apple staff refused to repair for me unless I coughed up £400 (replacing logicboard, no guarantee the problem won’t return). Since Jobs, of course we’ve been getting less ports, never ending price rises, more and more hardware issues and an OS that is morphing into iOS. Now it seems Apple no longer want things to ‘just work’.

Tinfoil-hat search engine DuckDuckGo gifts more options, dark theme and other toys for the 0.43%


Re: I'm not surprised

JohnFen, your Android device IS Google.


Re: Go

Not my experience. I have, on occasion, tried searches in Google and find them to either be about the same or in some cases worse.

Excited about dual-screen laptops? Make your own with duct tape and the ThinkVision M14


If someone needs a bigger monitor, tablets/laptops should just output to larger monitors. None of this dual screen nonsense. Mobile devices should stay small for obvious reasons but with the option to connect to larger monitors when the user is in a fixed spot like an office or home.

Quick!! The! top! five! things! you! want! to! see! from! Yahoo! – what! are! they!?


The logo on yahoo’s clickbate news homepage looks terrible and like the sort of logo sites would have used in the late 90’s - maybe yahoo are soon going to unveil a new homepage full of animated gifs ;-). Considering how awful everything on yahoo is and their unacceptable 2-3 year delay in informing their users, in 2016, of several data breaches, which confirmed users details had been stolen, I’m surprised they are still in business.

UK plod could lose access to 79 million criminal alerts in event of a no-deal Brexit


Re: Hmm

Never ask a Brexiter why leaving is a good idea. Not one (as far as I can tell) has volunteered a sane and coherent answer to that question. We are wasting our time bothering to ask.

As browser rivals block third-party tracking, Google pitches 'Privacy Sandbox' peace plan


Re: Yeah, pull the other one

If you sign up to Gmail, it forces you to accept two policies that give Google the right to monitor, track and analyse your emails and other activities. I have literally zero confidence in Chrome’s privacy policies if such behaviour is being used in Gmail.

Electric vehicles won't help UK meet emissions targets: Time to get out and walk, warn MPs


Proper investment in fuelless technology is needed.

What we really need is investment in fuelless engines. Sadly the oil barons of the world don’t like these cost-free to run engines which is why we sadly still use petrol engines over a century after they were invented. Any research into fuelless engines usually gets stopped before the development gets too far. This selfish and greedy attitude is contributing massively to the environmental problems we have.

My MacBook Woe: I got up close and personal with city's snatch'n'dash crooks (aka some bastard stole my laptop)


Re: That's horrible.

I've often seen Mac laptops with a circle or a fictional logo over the Apple logo. I guess that is when a drama or film doesn't have a product placement deal and doesn't have permission to show any products, so must disguise the logos.

'Hey Google, remind Greg the locks have been changed, and he should find a new place to live. Maybe ask his mistress?'


Re: Dystopia, one improvement at a time

It would be great if we could dump all smart devices. Problem is, technology is constantly being invented that will rely on them more and more. There's talk of using smartphones in supermarkets to scan and pay for our goods via an app (mainly a cost cutting measure by the supermarkets). I read an article recently that said there are trials of a system that scans your phone when you get on and off a train so that you can be charged for your journey without having to queue for a ticket or scan any ticket barriers. I assume these technologies will be rife with data mining too. Sounds dreadful but I could foresee a time when non-smartphones are made obsolete and we're all forced to have a smartphone.

Let's see what the sweet, kind, new Microsoft that everyone loves is up to. Ah yes, forcing more Office home users into annual subscriptions


Re: What home users actually need this?

I keep records of all my self employed earnings in a handy LibreOffice spreadsheet. Back in the day, I even used it to write a college dissertation, with an updatable contents using styles (can’t for the life of me remember how I did it though). I pretty much ditched M$ Office when Open Office became a viable option - now using LibreOffice, of course.


So for home users, pay the annual fee, either upgrade (complete with bugs no doubt) when a new version is available or continue with the same version you’re using whilst still paying the annual fee until M$ discontinue it and force you to upgrade. Win win for M$. No thanks, I’ll stick with LibreOffice.

Stop using that MacBook Pro RIGHT NOW, says Uncle Sam: Loyalists suffer burns, smoke inhalation and worse – those crappy keyboards


Re: Galaxy Note7 anyone?

I had a 2011 MacBook Pro that suffered the notorious GPU failure. Never got it fixed. Apple wanted to charge me £400 to replace the logicboard which wouldn’t eliminate the GPU problem and also helpfully suggested I ‘would be better off buying a new laptop’. Seems Mac laptop problems have been happening before 2015.

In Rust we trust: Brave smashes speed limit after rewriting ad-block engine in super-lang


Re: When is someone going to come up with a stealth ad. blocker?...

The site independent.co.uk now refuses to let you use it with an ad blocker installed. Once you disable your blocker, it bombards you with a tonne of ads, including large ones down both the left and right edges. I did figure out using Firefox’s tracker blocker, whilst whitelisting the site in the ad blocker plugin I’m using stops the ads showing. No such luck with Opera though.

Good news! We may be past peak Windows 10 October 2018 Update


I'm also running Win 10 on an old laptop. It did take many failed attempts to upgrade and also had to roll back to an earlier disk image several times. What is surprising, I was never able to stream HD video before (Win 7) as playback would just stutter but have had no problems since the update. Having said that, I'm not a complete fan of Win 10, I hate the whole tiles and apps concept, for example. For a number of months I couldn't use the search bar or reboot properly as they would both crash the machine. Most 'fixes' (read: guesses) found online involved some deep level tinkering with the warning it could bugger up my laptop :-( . I think a couple of recent Windows updates seems to have fixed those issues thankfully as I was just learning, with regret, to live with them.

It's all in the wrist: Your fitness tracker could be as much about data warfare as your welfare


Step monitors are misleading anyway. You need to do at least ten minutes of brisk walking that gets your heart rate going and makes you sweat for it to be any benefit. People using these trackers to monitor themselves walking around their house are simply not getting adequate exercise and allowing the data to be harvested for nothing. Best thing to do is ditch the data harvesting tracker and aim to get more brisk walking exercise in.


Re: No, no, no, no, no!

Whilst a bit more of a faff, an hdmi cable from my computer to my TV serves all of my online TV viewing needs. Irony, of course, all the services I’ve signed up to are tracking me. At least the TV isn’t reporting all of my viewing habits though.