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Comment: Re:Libel Lawsuit by CCC would get them to do that (Score 3, Informative) 135

by Neil_Brown (#48541727) Attached to: British 'Porn Filter' Blocks Access To Chaos Computer Club

The filters have usually been super-secret

In case it might be of interest, in the UK, on mobile networks at least, the existence of filters is not (and, as far as I know, has never been) secret, and the categories of content which are likely to render a site being blocked are published too. I appreciate that this is, of course, not the same as a "what's blocked and what's not list".)

The UK's infrastructure mobile operators published the "Code of practice for the self-regulation of new forms of content on mobiles" in January 2004, with the filters being implemented about a year later in early 2005. The code was updated in 2009, and is accessible here. The code still references the Independent Mobile Classification Body, but this is no longer the right place: the IMCB's role has been replaced by the British Board of Film Classification, which also administers the age ratings for films for the UK.

The BBFC documents its approach to mobile content classification on its website, here, including setting out the type of content which the BBFC considers suitable for "adults only", the details of mobile operator contact points in the event that a site operator considers that their site is incorrectly classified, and an appeals procedure against decisions taken by the BBFC.

Whilst there is no published "what's blocked and what's not" list, the mobile operators buy third party services for website classification; most, but not all, buy from Symantec. Symantec has a web interface for its "ratings tool" here, which (after a captcha) lets anyone see how Symantec has classified a particular URL. This is complemented by the Open Rights Group tool (here): the ORG tool does a real-time check of whether a site is blocked across mobile and fixed networks, and the Symantec tool indicates the classification given to the site by Symantec.

Comment: Re:subscription?! (Score 1) 60

by Neil_Brown (#48424691) Attached to: BitTorrent Unveils Sync 2.0

Are there any mature open source projects that are trying to make personal cloud storage?

I suspect it depends on what "mature" means to you, but owncloud has been around for a little while now, and seems to be updated reasonably regularly. LDAP integration is beta, so it might not be suited to a corporate environment but, for home use, it has been fine for a while (2? 3? years now.)

There is a plug-in for it, which allows you to encrypt the files at rest within the server, but this did not work so well for me, as it never seemed to finish — I don't think I have a big archive, as it is only about 5GB, but they are mostly small documents (and so a lot of them), rather than images or video. Sync only via https can be forced as an option, which is great, and it works fine with self-generated certificates, after the usual "warning — do you want to trust this" dialogue on setup.

Since it uses a flat file structure on the server, no reason you could not rsync that to your chosen off-site storage as a cron job if you wanted, else there is a backup module which might do that for you anyway.

Comment: Re:Basically (Score 3, Informative) 60

by Neil_Brown (#48424679) Attached to: BitTorrent Unveils Sync 2.0

Not quite the same as BitTorrent Sync, but I have used owncloud for a while, as I prefer data to be on my infrastructure where possible. It was easy to set up, although was too slow on a Raspberry Pi to be useable, and I have not had much luck using the default sqlite. Now on a Debian VM with MySQL, and it's running just fine.

I would not make it publicly accessible, though, as it's just not worth the risk to me, so it only syncs when I am travelling after I have connected to the VPN. However, if you didn't have a static IP, a dynamic DNS service should do the job just fine of making it easily addressable externally.

Comment: Re:Banana Pi, Cubieboard, ODroid, BeagleBone ... (Score 1) 122

by Neil_Brown (#47391887) Attached to: New Single Board Computer Lets You Swap Out the CPU and Memory

consider this if you want to run OwnCloud

Of those listed, the only one with which I have any experience is the Pi and, for OwnCloud, it was pretty awful. It did install, but owncloud ran incredibly slowly — I tried to tune the PHP installation, but I couldn't make enough of a difference to make it usable. I found much the same with wordpress.

A VM Debian image on a more robust server did the trick...

Comment: Re:Too bad it won't apply to everyone (Score 4, Informative) 358

by Neil_Brown (#46487215) Attached to: EU Votes For Universal Phone Charger

Apple complied in 2011 by including a Lightning->micro-USB adapter in the box with all of its European models, and has done so for the last three years.

They certainly sell an adapter, but it is not supplied in the box, at least in my experience of devices bought from Apple stores in the UK.

Communications

Vodafone Foundation Launches Cell Site In a Backpack 37

Posted by timothy
from the secret's-in-the-backhaul dept.
Bismillah writes "The Vodafone Foundation's Mini Instant Network cellular access site is deployable in ten minutes and can be carried on as hand luggage on commercial airliners. It's only 2G, but hey ..." This reminds me a bit of the Gargoyles in Neal Stephenson's Snow Crash, and useful for more than just emergencies.

Comment: Accepted capping, and paid for a suitable limit (Score 1) 353

by Neil_Brown (#44783937) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: How Do You Fight Usage Caps?

... with the possibility of increasing the cap if needed.

I am in the UK and wanted to move to an ISP which offered FTTC, IPv6, a static IP, would be happy for me to run servers and would not implement CG-NAT, and offered good technical support in the event I should need it. The ISP which was most highly recommended to me based on those criteria offered FTTC for a fixed monthly price, with a cap — if paying a proportionate more-than-average-in-the-consumer-market price gave me a proportionate more-than-average-in-the-consumer-market service, that sounded like a good trade-off to me, even with a cap.

Coming from an uncapped connection, I was nervous about buying something with a cap, but, having checked our usage for a three month period, I picked the option with a cap three times that (guessing that a faster connection would mean we use it for me) and, so far, that has worked out well for me. If I want another 100GB, I can pay for that, either as a one-off, on a particularly heavy usage month, or to upgrade the connection permanently.

(The ISP is Andrews and Arnold and, so far, I have been more than happy with them. I guess that they have to pay upstream for capacity, and an unlimited connection would entail a pretty significant premium to ensure that they were not left out of pocket.)

Comment: BlockSite (for Firefox) worked for me (Score 2) 125

by Neil_Brown (#44688515) Attached to: New Keyboard Accessory Shocks Users When They Try To Go On Facebook

I realised I was wasting far too much time on Facebook a couple of years ago, along with other forums, and found it hard not to browse there - often, I found that I was just typing the URL without thinking about it, and loading the site without giving it any thought. A friend recommended BlockSite to me, and, whilst I felt a bit stupid at needing this crutch, I took it, and managed to get things back under control.

Just add in the URLs of the site in question, and it blocks access to the pages (and elements at those URLs from loading as part of other pages). Editing a hosts file is probably just as suitable, but this worked for me...

Real programmers don't bring brown-bag lunches. If the vending machine doesn't sell it, they don't eat it. Vending machines don't sell quiche.

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