* Posts by cam

32 publicly visible posts • joined 22 Oct 2018

Ad blockers struggle under Chrome's new rules


Re: Advertising weary?

I used ABP for a few years, many years ago until I saw the resources it ate up on my smaller, less powerful system. Then I switched to Ghostery, and moved away from it when I realised it wasn't willing or able to block what I wanted.

Then I used uBO, and still do. It's more configurable and less hassle in the long run, and when you start to get a handle on the syntax, it's quite easy to use. Not only is it able to block a given 3rd party from running globally, it can be enabled on a site by site basis, which is fantastic if you dislike auto-video, which force visual or audio content down your throat before the page had finished loading.

Of course, coupled with a browser that tries to block ads a little too is helpful. However, people need to get real with these ads, and the people pushing them:

"Under its former owner Evidon, Ghostery had an opt-in feature called GhostRank. GhostRank took note of ads encountered and blocked, then sent that information back to advertisers who could then use that data to change their ads to avoid further being blocked; although this feature is meant to incentivize advertisers to create less intrusive ads and thus a better web experience, the data can just as easily be used to create more malicious ads that escape detection."

So they will categorically try to subvert ad blockers even when in an agreement to try to work with them. I've seen this on other, namely streaming platforms. So I have no compunction with blocking any and all ads all of the time, regardless of the site or platform. I pay for my connection, my hardware and my software. They can charge for access to their site, if that's their preferred model. I will not be subscribing. :)

Maybe there is hope for 2020: AI that 'predicts criminality' from faces with '80% accuracy, no bias' gets in the sea


Wait for it...

"We found that 99.9% of people walking into the Ritz did not have criminal features, compared to 85% of people walking into a benefits office."

Programmed by people that didn't add the faces of tax evaders, embezzlers, and stock market fraudsters to the database, naturally.

Saturn's largest satellite, Titan, is drifting away from its planet 100 times faster than previously thought


11cm per year. Oh wow. That's 34 feet in 100 years. I guess we won't notice.

Logitech G915 TKL: Numpad-free mechanical keyboard clicks all the right boxes


Bought a Corsair K90 about 5 years ago. If I never have to change keyboards ever again, I'll be a happy little clickity clacker.

Laughing UK health secretary launches COVID-19 Test and Trace programme with glitchy website and no phone app


I read her name as Dildo Hoarding.

Campaign groups warn GCHQ can re-identify UK's phones from COVID-19 contact-tracing app data


No phone here.

Best of luck with that plan.

Nine million logs of Brits' road journeys spill onto the internet from password-less number-plate camera dashboard


Those of us who cycle and don't use mobile phones watch, and smile.

Want to stay under the radar for a decade or more? This Chinese hacking crew did it... by aiming for Linux servers


You can only do what you can do.

- Close all unused avenues of approach.

- Keep systems patched and updated.

- Keep users access limited to minimum necessary

- Double down on password practices and policies

- Have all IT Sec folk aware and up to date on what's what

You know. The usual stuff that hopefully works, until it doesn't. ;)

That awful moment when what you thought was a number 1 turned out to be a number 2


No Two Toolbars are the Same

A PC user in my office used the MS Office Toolbar to open Word. Nothing else. One day it didn't load, and for some reason it had been disabled as a start-up task.

I offered to create a shortcut on the main taskbar, next to 'Show Desktop' and one or two other shortcuts.

"It's one click, with less stuff in the way, near your start button, so easy to find. It'll take up less resources than the Office Bar, so your machine might be a fraction faster, and best of all, it shouldn't disappear in future."

"No, just give me the thing I had before. I just couldn't operate if I had to look somewhere else for Word."


Some people get far too set in their ways.

Is that a stiffy disk in your drive... or something else entirely?



There's a pervert in charge of removable media naming.

SPOILER alert, literally: Intel CPUs afflicted with simple data-spewing spec-exec vulnerability


Re: I am always disappointed in modern computing

"As I hurtled through space, one thought kept crossing my mind—every part of this rocket was supplied by the lowest bidder."

Most likely a false quote, but the spirit of it stands.

Price or value? Want low-cost Broadband? Get minimum-quality product, and low-quality support.

Add to this the 'throw-away' society with a manufacturing sector only too happy to re-sell you the same bollocks every 2-3 years with a facelift and a promise that this version will be much better than the last.

I went with AMD. Mwaha!

Why are there never free power sockets when my Y-fronts need charging?



Mobile device with cable too far from outlet?

Mobile device.

No one worked it out yet?

Don't mean to alarm you, but Boeing has built an unmanned fighter jet called 'Loyal Wingman'


Give it 6-12 months for a rename to 'Disloyal cock-up'.

Cops told live facial recog needs oversight, rigorous trial design, protections against bias

Black Helicopters

"Cops should only use facial recognition tech if it is proven to be effective at identifying people, can be used without bias and is the only method available"

How does one take the bias out of something used to prosecute, as opposed to acquit?

The Police never take down anything you say to be used 'for you'; only against you. They don't get paid to prove people innocent. Bias already present.

Just saying.

BT 'UK's most powerful Wi-Fi'? Why, fie, for shame! – ads watchdog


Maybe it has the most powerful smell.

I love the smell of napalm-roasted Internet in the morning. Must have an extra hot firewall too.

WWW = Woeful, er, winternet wendering? CERN browser rebuilt after 30 years barely recognizes modern web


"Maybe because we actually did write web pages by hand, in notepad, we also felt obliged to really think about what we were creating. All that I know is that using the Internet has become a chore, not the delight that it was two decades ago."

Still using Notepad, although did upgrade to Notepad++ along the way. My simple site works fine, images aside. I got quite savvy with trimming down a few wordpress templates for a while, and managed to get jquery almost speedy. My site calls an html5 file, a css file, and that's it. The only external content is Google Analytics for simple stats. Pages are in the 50K to 150K range, with images.

I think the 'chore' to which you refer is 33% cloud services, 33% one size fits all websites with poor secondary web dev efficiency (thinking wordpress templates, jquery, multiple css calls), and 33% ads and spam.

The Internet is now a war between ad makers and ad blockers. Between those forcing useless content ahead of those struggling to get their useful content out there. Ok, so there are sites that force ads if you want to use them, but getting spammed video ads just for visiting (every time) is beyond the pale. The Internet was created for info sharing, and those willing to give their info freely have been drowned out by those that want to make a living from it.

Online news sites are no different. A couple of years back, I did a small survey of all the major new titles and the requests of all but a couple were more than 50% ads or trackers. If ads, spam and adult material disappeared from the Internet for a week, the lack of traffic would make the Internet a place of wonder, and we would demand it permanently banned when it resumed (well maybe not the last one...I'm not completely naive :D ).

Crash, bang, wallop: What a power-down. But what hit the kill switch?


Big red button?

That just says "Push Me. Go on, you know you want to. Puuuush Meeee."

I'd opt for a two small grey buttons at opposite ends of the room, like in Superman 3. That'll work!

RIP 2019-2019: The first plant to grow on the Moon? Yeah, it's dead already, Chinese admit


Should have watched a few episodes of the Beachgrove Garden. Decades of gardening in sub-zero temperatures (October to April). Amateurs.

Dutch boyband hopes to reverse Brexit through the power of music


Amsterdam - Here I come!

Well if that stuff they smoke over there can make them think that a teenage song will change the minds of a bunch of 'us first' pensioners, it must be some good gear.

Microsoft flings untested Windows 10 updates to users! (Oh no it doesn't!)


So disable updates

I did. And Cortana and every other little insidious change from Windows 7 to 10. Runs fine with about a Gig of RAM on boot up.

Oh Deer! Poacher sentenced to 12 months of regular Bambi screenings in the cooler


"You had enough, or do we break out the Watership Down and Old Yeller collection?"

Thanks to UK peers, coming to a laptop near you in 2019: Age checks for online smut


What a lucky old Earl

Most people have to browse a few pages to get a 'pop-up'.

Activists raise alarm over insidious creep of surveillance in the UK


I'm ok. I have my anti-surveillance kit all in place.

- Tin Foil Hat (set to wide angle);

- SeeBackRoScope - In case a spy is sneaking up on you;

- Journey Randomiser -They'll never guess where you're going if you don't have a f***ing clue;

- Budget voice changer (a.k.a. ball-pein hammer) - two sharp hits to a fleshy area with guaranteed results

In addition, disable all Windows services. That way they can't possibly monitor your IT behaviour. Counting blue pixels is actually fun, and the rest of the world is a much nicer colour.

'Say hello to my little vacuum cleaner!' US drug squad puts spycams in cleaner's kit


Bit of blow will sort it.

/gets coat

Expired cert... Really? #O2down meltdown shows we should fear bungles and bugs more than hackers


And IT Auditors get stick for being an unskilled, ineffective, waste of money.

Maybe pass the cert and compliance over to a compliance manager?

Just saying.

NHS supplier that holds 40 million UK patient records: AWS is our new cloud-based platform


Sounds like a DPA breach to me. That data is being shared without patient consent outside of the organisation.

Great Scott! Is nothing sacred? US movie-goers vote Back To The Future as most-wanted reboot


This time, 'Marty' will be a woman, cos why shouldn't women be into science, and play guitar, and travel back in time. Doctor Who is a woman, and women are busting ghosts. Make sense.

Waiting for a reboot of Larry Croft. :D

British fixed broadband is cheap … and, er, fairly nasty – global survey


Download the Internet Twice a Day to Keep It There

Or read a book.

Finally, someone takes a stand against Apple, Samsung for slowing people's phones. Just a few million dollars, tho


So is no one considering stopping buying these overprices kids' toys yet? Best solution.

US Republicans bash UK for tech tax plan


The protectionists' whine is so sublime.

Manchester man fined £1,440 after neighbours couldn't open windows for stench of dog toffee


No 'Gas Panic!' ? Shame.

Can't get pranked by your team if nobody in the world can log on


IT Policy led to pranks

Previous job in a large public sector org, the IT dept made a point of locking down 95% of all settings on standard PCs.

Of course, one of the locked settings was the volume control, and they had the volume turned way up. Suffice it to say, every day you could hear when people arrived at work, and their Win98 systems all went into a cacophony of Sci-Fi sound effects.

Most staff were wusses, and wouldn't complain to IT, but I did, and explained my role (partially IT) within the dept, and they relaxed my permissions, but whether by accident or on purpose, they also gave me admin pemissions to all the other department PCs.

The power I had. Mwahaha!!

(Not really.) If I blabbed about the power, someone in my department would have shopped me to IT, so instead I used the power to reduce the volumes, and claimed I had spent an afternoon 'dealing' with IT support to get 20-odd PCs sorted ("It's complicated stuff, ya know").

I ended up with a modicum of respect, and most IT issues got put past me first. IT support rarely got phoned thereafter. Everyone (including IT) was happy.