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Comment Re:You CAN'T have ads without tracking. (Score 1) 319

It could very easily happen, by enforcing blocking rules that restrict or eliminate third party content.

That won't work. Even if you don't communicate directly with the third party, you don't have any way to prevent the content provider (who is also the ad provider from your point of view) from passing the information along.

We seem to have latched onto this "third party content" as The Problem, where it's really just a hack du jour for easily spotting a problem. But the only reason a content provider is putting <script src="somewhere else"> into their pages is because it still gets them paid by the "somewhere else." If you hit their own server instead of the third party, they can still forward any requests behind the scenes to anyone, and you won't even know it's happening, but all the same information will be there.

If you eliminate "third party content" you're just going to turn second parties into proxies. And they'll really do it, too. Why wouldn't they?

Comment You CAN'T have ads without tracking. (Score 2) 319

That's never going to happen, so people who think that a compromise might some day be reached, need to let go of that.

Some of the things on the list are extremely easy because the browser itself is ultimately in control. If you don't want animation, for example, then your browser can elect to not animate things. Same for playing sound, executing Javascript, 10kb limit, etc. You're going to get your wish on all of that stuff, assuming you haven't already gotten it already.

But tracking isn't going to go away. Your computer is initiating a conversation with someone else's computer, and there's only one thing you can do to prevent someone else's computer from remembering that it happened: have there be nothing to remember, because nothing happened. i.e. don't request the ad.

If you get the ad, then you get tracking, period. There is no possible compromise between the two sides on this, and everyone who thinks they can have ads but no tracking, is kidding themselves.

Either the ad industry is going to persuade us that tracking isn't all that bad, or the users are going to persuade the media that ads aren't all that necessary. No middle ground exists on this.

User Journal

Journal Journal: Rant: Android namespaces and ids 3

I hate Java, i hate Android development, but i repeat myself. And that's exactly what i hate about them.

In Android, objects have their own namespaces, under R. There's R.class, R.mipmap, R.layout, R.color, R.integer, and many more. So, the namespace of the layout (where you usually add objects) is under R.layout, the image on a button can be under R.mipmap. Nice.

Comment Re: Will you stop approving submissions by this gu (Score 3, Insightful) 220

IMHO you're wrong. Battery failure is the biggest reason to "upgrade." Availability of software updates is a close second. CPU, screen res etc are already overkill even on a 4 year old phone. Many phone lives have been extended by replacing the battery, though the industry is "on" that "problem" now.

User Journal

Journal Journal: Stupid Code: Using if() to set a value 4

Here's the latest example of something i have seen way too often:

if(getListView().getCount()==checkedItemCount) chk.setChecked(true); else chk.setChecked(false);

What's the point of obfuscating your code with an if()? This isn't conditional. You want to set it to the same boolean value as the evaluated expression. Obviously, the clearest way to write this (without changing names) is:

Comment Re:Corrupt politicians (Score 1) 251

Common criminals have much more to gain from this idea than the NSA does.

It's embarrassing that people are only now beginning to pretend to care about communication security, thanks to NSA getting caught. (Have to say "pretend" because it's not like most people are really doing anything different. But at least they're talking about it. I guess that's something.)

But if we want to take all the threats that plaintext communications exposes us to (our own government, other governments, organized crime, insurance companies, nosey neighbors, political witchhunters, ad profilers, and yes: even the greatest enemy (our own fears, since even when you're not being watched, if you think you might be watched then you're still not free)) and put all that under the blanket label "NSA," that's fine. Just fucking fine.

It's bullshit, but it's ok. Whatever it takes to start going things right. If you wanna pretend the NSA is the threat that's ok because at least, they really are a threat. (Not sure they make the top-ten list, but hey, whatever.) Wear the label, NSA. Big Brother, be the proxy for all the little brothers. You'll do just fine, NSA.

User Journal

Journal Journal: Verbiage: Seeing more often a weird sentence formulation

I seem to be seeing more often a weird sentence formulation. A book talks of passing to a function a variable, an article mentions "signed into law a bill," and plenty lately of others. While normal to be found this formulation in other languages, it sounds in English rather awkward.

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