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Comment: Re:AdBlock = Inferior + 'Souled-Out' vs. hosts... (Score 1) 474

by causality (#47722935) Attached to: Study: Ad-Free Internet Would Cost Everyone $230-a-Year
Incidentally I also use the Linux kernel feature called Transparent Hugepage Support. I set it to "Always" (as opposed to only when a program specifically wants it enabled). This is known to increase the memory footprint of applications, though by how much I couldn't tell you. The idea of this feature is: the operating system's memory allocator is gaining increased performance ("This feature can improve computing performance to certain applications by speeding up page faults during memory allocation, by reducing the number of tlb misses and by speeding up the pagetable walking") at the cost of higher memory usage.

Just thought I'd mention that since it may be relevant.

Comment: Re:AdBlock = Inferior + 'Souled-Out' vs. hosts... (Score 1) 474

by causality (#47722871) Attached to: Study: Ad-Free Internet Would Cost Everyone $230-a-Year

* Addons slowup slower usermode browsers layering on more - & bloat RAM consumption too + hugely excessive cpu use (4++gb extra in FireFox [])

That this can happen, I do not dispute. But I believe the case for it is being severely overstated by people who *ahem* have a vested interest in promoting alternatives to browser add-ons.

I currently run Firefox with 24 addons installed and actively enabled. This is mostly for ad-blocking and privacy-enhancing, with a few miscellaneous add-ons like one that restores the old-style Stop button behavior (stops animated GIFs as well as page loads). Since you seem to appreciate bold: there is no slowdown or latency problem that I can subjectively notice. If my addons are "slowing down the browser" they're doing it below the threshold of what a human can detect. I consider that a good and reasonable trade-off to make on my own systems.

On memory... I have 26 tabs open with a wide variety of sites loaded, many of which are content-heavy. This browser instance has been running continuously for many days. KSysGuard gives a nice breakdown of the memory usage of my Firefox process and this is the summary:



The process firefox (with pid 5618) is using approximately 993.9 MB of memory.
It is using 971.4 MB privately, 15.6 MB for pixmaps, and a further 26.5 MB that is, or could be, shared with other programs.
Dividing up the shared memory between all the processes sharing that memory we get a reduced shared memory usage of 7.0 MB. Adding that to the private and pixmap usage, we get the above mentioned total memory footprint of 993.9 MB.


Another section mentions that the 15.6MB for pixmaps may be stored on the graphics card's memory. At any rate, this is nowhere near 4+ gigs. Nor have I ever, with any version of Firefox, experienced anything remotely like 4GB of memory usage. This is a 64-bit system running a 64-bit Firefox that I compiled from source (your article mentions the memory penalty for Adblock is higher on 64-bit systems, which makes sense when you understand what that means). This system has 8GB of RAM installed, so ~994MB is negligible to me. For a little perspective, currently about 6GB is being used for buffers and disk cache, since this is what Linux does with memory that would otherwise be empty and therefore doing nothing. If I run a Windows game via WINE then that comes down to 4-5GB for buffers/cache since about another 1-2 gigs of memory becomes used.

Incidentally, I don't run Windows so I don't use your hosts file tool (and even if I ran Windows I'd probably rather roll my own, nothing personal). But I do use a comprehensive /etc/hosts file. I believe that good security is done in overlapping, interlocking layers. "Security" does not mean just remote attackers, but also anything intrusive I don't want, like advertisers and their tracking. I use an /etc/hosts file AND Adblock Plus, NoScript, Privacy Badger, Ghostery, and several others. What one of them alone does not catch, another one will.

Instead of viewing browser add-ons as an obstacle in your path to promoting your own solution, you could learn to work with them, use them effectively, and incorporate them into a multi-layered approach that includes all the work you've put into hosts files. Everyone would benefit that way, especially your users.

Comment: Re:$230 (Score 1) 474

by causality (#47722495) Attached to: Study: Ad-Free Internet Would Cost Everyone $230-a-Year

Don't get me wrong, DuckDuckGo sounds good. Sounds like they certainly don't actively track you. But I don't see them bragging that they "keep no data to hand over in the first place"

They don't use tracking cookies (their preferences cookies are not identifying, they're just a string of your options, if you've set them), so the most data that they can have for identifying you is the IP address. They've been SSL by default (redirecting from http to https and defaulting to https in search results where available, for example on Wikipedia) for a long time, so you don't suddenly jump into an unencrypted connection as soon as you leave.

It sounds much better than any other US-based search engine I'm aware of. But my own preference doesn't even log an IP address since 2009. You can also bookmark a URL generated with your preferences so there is no need to accept even preference cookies from them (and preferences include options like using POST instead of GET so search terms stay out of other sites' logs). And the aforementioned deal about being outside US jurisdiction is nice too.

DuckDuckGo also does not appear to offer to act as your Web proxy like Startpage will do. I rarely ever use this feature but it's nice that they would offer it. Startpage also offers the option to act as your proxy only for image/video searches, so other sites don't even get that data from you. This is what I like about them: they not only don't log and track you themselves, they also go out of their way to enhance your privacy against third-party sites.

I'm not knocking DuckDuckGo by any means; in my opinion it's good but Startpage/Ixquick is great. Yet, I think all of us benefit from having multiple privacy-conscious options available. Choice is a good thing.

Comment: Re:heh (Score 1) 474

by causality (#47721551) Attached to: Study: Ad-Free Internet Would Cost Everyone $230-a-Year

Local newspapers are the worst. My local newspaper give you ten free page views based on ip number and then locks you out.

Precisely because they are small and local, they probably wouldn't bother identifying TOR users. As a bonus you wouldn't be accessing this major multinational site where tens of thousands of others had the same idea and already got the exit node IPs banned.

Comment: Re:$230 (Score 2) 474

by causality (#47721365) Attached to: Study: Ad-Free Internet Would Cost Everyone $230-a-Year

There's also Despite the name, it's actually quite decent, and the "related" non-boolean search lands on top.

The difference is, DuckDuckGo is headquartered in Paoli, Pennsylvania. You have to dig through their site a while to find that; try the Hiring section. That means they are subject to US fed/state data retention laws and government requests.

Ixquick is headquartered in The Netherlands and (understandably) boasts about not having provided one byte of data to the US government. They've won EU awards because those governments actually recognize the value of privacy. Please see this page for a reference.

Don't get me wrong, DuckDuckGo sounds good. Sounds like they certainly don't actively track you. But I don't see them bragging that they "keep no data to hand over in the first place" and I would be truly surprised if that is entirely an option for them. Certainly they can't tell the US government to piss up a flagpole if and when fishing expeditions come in.

Comment: Re:$230 isn't the problem (Score 1) 474

by causality (#47721093) Attached to: Study: Ad-Free Internet Would Cost Everyone $230-a-Year

The simple fact is that we cannot ever trust companies to actually honor the social contract of subscription models. Since they cannot stick to the rules, the only option is for end-users endure the constant ads, since at least in this case we don't have to pay subscription costs.

Which is why I have no qualms whatsoever about blocking ads and taking multiple technological measures to make myself difficult to track. Let them cry a river about it. The real problem is: what little trust may have been there has been thoroughly eroded by an advertising industry showing time and again that it, as an industry, is completely incapable of being reasonable or otherwise regulating itself.

It's too bad for the marketing majors that they want to offer a "service" I do not need and do not want and have chosen to provide endless examples of "offering" (shoving it down throats) it in the most sleazy and underhanded ways. They'll get along without me, somehow.

Comment: Re:Back when the world was mine. (Score 1) 474

by causality (#47721033) Attached to: Study: Ad-Free Internet Would Cost Everyone $230-a-Year

My intuition is that I'd be just fine with the only content available being content that did not seek a revenue stream. I thought the internet was better back then anyway.

The geek always thinks that way

Because way back then the Internet was his personal playground. He was the both content provider and consumer. I haven't forgiven him yet for the multitude of user-unfriendly clients he devised for communication over the snail slow connections of the dial-up modem days.

Yeah. Currently we're working hard on the problem of operating rooms being doctors' personal playgrounds. Anyone who complains about that, points out that doctors have the expertise, or produces any "practical" reason why surgical procedures were designed that way is, of course, advocating for the evil stranglehold doctors have on performing surgery. The doctors always think that way, you know.

Comment: Re:$230 (Score 1) 474

by causality (#47720783) Attached to: Study: Ad-Free Internet Would Cost Everyone $230-a-Year

I've been using bing for years mostly because I didn't want there to be only one search engine. Try them out. They have boolean searches. I know... the evil microsoft... but the search engine is good.

I've been using Startpage for years now. They perform a Google search on your behalf while guarding your privacy. They don't even log your IP address. They're the same company that runs if you want a truly independent search engine to go with the privacy features (their own indexer, no dependency on Google). Personally I enjoy the idea of getting Google results without the Google tracking for which I never signed an agreement.

Comment: Re: Amost sounds like a good deal ... (Score 5, Insightful) 376

by causality (#47699789) Attached to: Rightscorp's New Plan: Hijack Browsers Until Infingers Pay Up

You cannot prove a negative.

Sure you fucking can. Anything defined in such a way as to exclude other possible definitions can have the latter definitions be proven in the negative just as surely as the former definition can be in the positive.

3 != 4. A triangle is not a square. Red is not blue. Hydrogen is not helium. A dog is not a cat. If the coin landed heads-up, the coin did not land tails-up. If someone was in location A at time T, they could not have been in location B at time T committing crime C. You are not smart.

In your examples you are not actually proving a negative (that something didn't happen). You are proving that something is not possible or could not have happened.

Possible or not possible are easy by comparison. Proving a negative means, "take this thing that really could have possibly happened, and prove that it didn't happen". A shape cannot both be a triangle and a square. A pure color at a single wavelength cannot both be red and blue. You are drastically underestimating the scope of how difficult it is to prove a negative. "This couldn't have happened because it is impossible" is actually a positive claim and as such, can be proven.

Comment: Re:Can't trust the hardware. (Score 1) 38

There's no reason the populace cannot both a) harden against as many security vulnerabilities as you reasonably can, and b) take back the political power from the ruling elite and institute oversight against massive surveillance and other governmental abuses, including severe criminal penalties against officials supporting them.

Comment: Re:Can't trust the hardware. (Score 4, Insightful) 38

All you need a ethernet firmware that speaks to the CPU over DMA and reads out memory allowing the NSA to attack any OS running on top of that router.
Buy a non-router based piece of hardware and use that. You seriously cannot trust what you'll find inside a Linksys router people. The bug is below the software level so your fancy firmware does *nothing*.

There certainly are countermeasures you can (and should) take, but generally, applying technical solutions to political and social problems doesn't work long-term.

Comment: Re:To be satirical... (Score 1) 159

by causality (#47670327) Attached to: Murder Suspect Asked Siri Where To Hide a Dead Body

Real reporters and the jury actually noticed that the accused had an iPhone 4 at the time, which DOES NOT support accessing Siri [unless jailbroken, of which there was no evidence supplied to indicate it was], AND that all the prosecution introduced was a screen-shot of the Siri request.

Look, just because the guy was allegedly willing to kill someone in cold blood, that doesn't also mean he's willing to do something as drastic as infringe on anyone's intellectual property rights. I mean, let's be fair! There's no need to jump to such extreme conclusions.


Comment: Re:Won't help my ass (Score 1) 164

by causality (#47647271) Attached to: F-Secure: Xiaomi Smartphones Do Secretly Steal Your Data

libertarians are all about personal property, until it conflicts with another of their interests (often big business, but not always).

it's a quick way to tell what they really want. there's no really fundamental libertarian reason to not protect personal data as property; it's just that the vogue in pop-libertarianism right now is to strip consumer rights in favor of tech companies. why? well, maybe because pop-libertarians are techies, and they want that shit.

What I call the genuine form of libertarianism (small 'l') is about maximizing personal freedom, in the "life, liberty, and property" sense. The basic idea is that my right to swing my hand ends at the tip of your nose. Adult people should be able to do whatever they want that does not infringe on the rights of others, and then reap the consequences. For example: if you can manage to responsibly use any drugs you like, you should be able to; if you drive impaired because you refuse to do it responsibly, society has a legitimate reason to apprehend and punish you. Someone else who thinks drug use is always a horrible practice is free to practice that belief by not doing it themselves, but has no legitimate justification for persecuting a responsible user.

Privacy should be this way: your choice. I'm in favor of strong privacy protections in law because right now there is not much choice in the matter. If I want the Googles of the world to have my information, it should be because I knowingly, personally, actively, and deliberately gave it to them myself. Anything less is an infringement of my privacy rights. There is a clear intent behind burying such things in Page Y of a legalese EULA and that intent is to make it as difficult as possible to exercise this choice. A device that transfers my data to someone else on my behalf, by default, without my actively configuring it that way, shows the same intent.

There is a movement or an effort, more prominent and vocal the last several years, to deliberately misrepresent that all libertarian thought is the same thing as anarcho-capitalism. Observe carefully and you'll find that most any idea that, if popular, would threaten the status quo has multitudes of deceptive propaganda-technique-using PR efforts directed against it, the goal of which is to tarnish that idea in the popular mind. Most liberterian philosophies have a concept of inalienable human rights and include the desire for a government, the main purpose of which is to protect those rights. Regulation of business is necessary because otherwise, corporations will use their intense concentrations of wealth, market power, and political clout to infringe on the rights of individuals. This is legitimate and not some kind of control-freak idea or Puritannical fantasy of telling others how to live. Anyone who is against it and represents themselves as the only libertarians in existence (and not a particularly extreme form) is lying to you, it's as simple as that.

The generation of random numbers is too important to be left to chance.