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Comment: Re:AdBlock = Inferior + 'Souled-Out' vs. hosts... (Score 1) 377

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) 377

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) 377

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:The Real question then is... (Score 1) 144

Detroit got fat and lazy, and as a result foreign automakers ate their lunch. Japan in particular had cheaper, harder-working workers, coupled with more focus on efficiency and -- eventually, after they built enough capital and experience building cheap crap cars -- design and build quality. Detroit didn't believe they could lose, either the management, or the unions. In order to stay competitive, both would have had to make serious changes... almost certainly including some reductions in labor costs and some labor re-training.

Comment: Re:The Real question then is... (Score 2) 144

IMHO, it's both.

Yep. And, frankly, it was and is obvious that it would be. I've been saying for years that globalism was ultimately a good thing, though in the short term it was going to be painful for the wealthy countries, as standards of living equalize. If this article is correct, the pain may be much less, and much shorter, than I'd expected. Not that there isn't still pain ahead, but if we're already getting to the point where overseas labor costs have risen enough to be offset by domestic education and infrastructure, then the future looks pretty good.

At the end of the day, though, I'm no more entitled to my job than some programmer in China. If he can do the job as well and will do it for less money, then he should have it. Cost of living differences make this painful in the short term, but if we just keep competition open, the field will level -- some of that leveling may come from decreases in my standard of living but most of it will come from increases in his. That's too bad for me, but great for him, and it's fair because he's no less a human being than I am.

Comment: Re:Google should be wary (Score 1) 154

by swillden (#47721633) Attached to: Google Receives Takedown Request Every 8 Milliseconds
Interesting. What do you mean by "operate the engine in private"? Who would use it? And given that information derived from what you search for is the primary source of information for ad targeting, and given that the search engine is the primary place the ads are displayed, how would that work?

Comment: Re:heh (Score 1) 377

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 1) 377

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) 377

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) 377

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) 377

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.

"The pyramid is opening!" "Which one?" "The one with the ever-widening hole in it!" -- The Firesign Theatre