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Comment Re: Competition (Score 1) 61 61

If Microsoft sold their advertising division to AOL, who was just purchased by Verizon, then I shudder to think of the consequences of that.

Verizon, first and foremost a telecom, has been trying to hitch its wagon to the advertising bandwagon for a while now, and doing some pretty shady things to do so (remember X-UIDH, anyone?). Now that they have AOL and Microsoft's advertising portfolios, a large subscriber base in their wired and wireless telecom divisions, and the stones to flat-out inject irremovable tracking headers into customer traffic, I don't see how this can turn out well. It took a huge uproar from security researchers to even get them to admit to the X-UIDH tracking headers and then pressure from the Senate to even get them to offer an opt-out.

All I can say is you better keep your ad filters updated, and if you subscribe to any Verizon services, start looking into a VPN even if you opt-out of their super-cookies. Not that I trust Google, but I trust Verizon WAY less.

Comment Re:I've lost track of how many times I've been bur (Score 3, Interesting) 289 289

Unfortunately, not all driver updates fall under the optional updates. I agree that most are, but I had a client come to me saying his wireless driver was "missing". It was installed, but non-functional. Oddly, it didn't show a "failed to start" yellow triangle or any other anomalies in the device manager. I rolled back the driver and checked Windows Update to find an "Intel Centrino Wireless-N" critical update. It kept installing automatically until I hid the update. It is rare that this happens, but does from time-to-time.

Comment Re:Ring around the rosie... (Score 2) 99 99

I had an entire office to get back online Wednesday morning; all of their workstations were running Panda. Not exactly the kind of thing you want to hear first thing in the morning.

I initially thought a Windows update went awry, but finally got a clue when one of the workstations that was semi-functional had Panda pop up a warning that the graphics driver was infected.

I was able to get about 90% of the PCs back in order using System Restore. Some were too far gone and I ended up re-imaging them from a backup. Luckily their server was running a different AV product, so I was able to pull the images without too much hassle. In all, I had about 25 workstations back up within about an hour and a half working by myself, and that included uninstalling Panda (leaving the quarantined files in place so I could move them back later) and just using Microsoft Security Essentials until I find them another AV. I'm usually willing to give companies second chances, but Verizon has ruined it for everyone and has made me rethink that policy. Also working against Panda is the fact it took them almost 24 hours to release a cleanup tool. Granted, I'm glad they took time to test it, but the response time was just awful.

Comment Re:Clearly AdBlock (Score 2) 353 353

Mod this up. If advertisers didn't look at Times Square and think, "Yes! This! But...like, everywhere! And louder! And spammier! Maybe throw in 3 autoplaying videos and a few infectious diseases (malvertising)", I wouldn't be so inclined to block ads. As it stands, they can fuck right off.

And content creators aren't off the hook, either. They should vet their ads instead of just allowing whatever scumbag ad-network to throw whatever onto the page (looking at you, Taboola). I think Hack-a-Day does a good job with that; their ads are simple, static images and are relevant to the target audience. Site owners/operators also need to give visitors the option of actually paying them. Case in point is Ars Technica which allows users to subscribe for an ad-free experience or use the site for free with ads. If more sites would adopt similar models, we might stand a chance of taking the internet back from the sensory-raping advertising cartels. I subscribe to Ars and whitelist Hack-a-Day in AdBlock because they make a genuine effort to improve the situation for their audiences. Slashdot allows me to disable advertising, so there is no need to block ads here. I like that these sites are setting an example, but the rest of the internet (or world-wide-web for you pedantic fuckers) needs to pay attention.

Comment Re:This is why I block ads/trackers in the router. (Score 1) 370 370

Yup, exactly.

I'm running an Ubuntu machine as my DNS server, but it also acts as my router (iptables/multi-NIC). I just use AdBlock and Ghostery's lists of advertising/tracking domains and set all the hostnames in them to resolve as When any device on my network that uses my DNS tries to look up a domain for anything that is blocked, the request gets looped back. If a device on my network doesn't use my DNS, then nothing is blocked.

Comment This is why I block ads/trackers in the router... (Score 4, Interesting) 370 370

I use AdBlock and Ghostery's lists to block ad networks and trackers at the router level. Any computer/phone/smart device that connects to my network automatically has ads and trackers blocked. So far, so good. Granted, it's not simple enough for the everyday person to implement. Also, I don't buy any smart TVs because their software is most often crap, you shouldn't have to accept an EULA to use a TV (or a coffee machine, toaster, etc), and they have the capacity to be bricked unlike a regular "dumb" TV. And then there's this eavesdropping and injecting additional ads BS.

Comment Re:Try Here (Score 2) 186 186

I re-read TFA and saw you're running 4.4 KitKat.

I used jcase's Pie exploit on my KitKat Droid Maxx, but it may only be for the Droid series; you'll have to do your own research. Also, TowelRoot, I believe, works for KitKat. Hope that gets you started.

PS: If you find an exploit that works, it's always considered good form to donate, even a small sum, to the author who created the exploit. Considering what you can do with your device after it's rooted, it's the least you can do.

Comment Re:Try Here (Score 5, Insightful) 186 186

Mod parent up.

I've been frequenting XDA Developers forums for years now, and haven't had any bad experiences or rootkit-type behavior on my devices. Lots of knowledge there, and I was finally able to add some of my own a little while back. Most of the insights I provided were based on years of knowledge learned from the same forums plus my own experimenting, but that's exactly what they're for.

Depending on the version of Android you've got, you'll have to use different methods. Typically, but NOT ALWAYS, the rooting methods aren't device specific, but Android-version specific. So while you may not find instructions for rooting your exact device, you'll probably find a method to root your version of Android (unless the exploit is tailored specifically to a particular device).

As always, make sure you read the forums and search thoroughly before you post a "I'm a n00b and I don't know what to do..."-type question. You won't get flamed out of the forums, but you will likely not receive much help as they do expect you to do some footwork beforehand and not just expect them to do everything for you.

As always, do everything at your own risk.

Comment Whatever Prevents a Verizon-in-the-Middle (Score 1) 238 238

I'm all for HTTPS everywhere for all of the aforementioned reasons already posted, but especially to screw over Verizon and their HTTP tracking injection. For those unaware, Verizon Wireless is injecting headers into your traffic at the network level to track you for advertising purposes. You have the option to opt-out (you're opted-in by default), but that just supposedly prevents them from selling the information; the tracking header is still injected into your data stream and is visible to all sites you visit and on the server-side of any app you use that uses unencrypted HTTP requests. If the site you visit uses HTTPS (or use you a VPN), Verizon can't MITM you. Screw Verizon Wireless.

Comment A Good Neighbor (Score 1) 170 170

If you have a neighbor willing to let you share internet, that would be the best. You may work something out that you split the bill or something. My grandma wanted internet but couldn't afford the DSL connection. My aunt lived close by and said that grandma could share her internet if we could get it to her. I was going to run a straight CAT5 cable from my aunt's router to an AP at my grandma's, but it was about 400 feet of open field and I didn't feel like trenching a cable that far. I thought about doing a point to point wireless, but the only equipment I had on hand was more suited to 5-6 km and would have been overkill here. My grandpa had three out buildings along the way between the houses, with the furthest only 50-100 ft from my aunt's house; they were all wired with electricity. What I ended up using was an old wireless bridge I had laying around that was originally sold as an Xbox accessory to hook it to a wireless network. I hooked it up in my grandpa's furthest shed where it would pick up my aunt's wifi (about 50 ft from their house), hooked it to an ethernet to powerline adapter to send the ethernet signals over the existing electrical lines to the companion device in the house. From there, I connected an old wireless router in access point mode so she could hook up her laptop and iPad. The only thing I had to buy was the powerline adapters, about $100, but they haven't had any problems in their 3 years in operation.

Comment Re:I did the same thing (Score 2) 107 107

I use GrooveIP on my Android phone, and call quality is pretty decent and no issues with DTMF. Even works fairly well on a high-latency satellite connection when I figured it would fail completely, although with a bit of a delay. As for the other DTMF issues, try setting the option for it to "inband" or something like that. That has worked for me in the past.

Comment Re:Is there no commandline? (Score 1) 345 345

All of that is true, but there should be a guaranteed minimum amount of data, regardless of the service type (DSL, cable, satellite, 3G/4G). I have a total of 12 GB a month data with my 10GB satellite plan and 2GB 4G plan on my phone. Granted, the satellite is free and unlimited during 12am to 5am, but that still prevents me from taking full advantage of many of the "cloud" services that are available. I would be willing to accept metered internet (because it's probably inevitable anyway) as long as the rates are reasonable such as your mentioned $0.15/GB, but I would expect to have a base amount of data (say 100 GB) allotted with the line charge before it charges me by the GB. I think most utility water is billed this way, so it wouldn't be a stretch to apply it to data (since apparently all politicians think the internet is a series of tubes anyway).

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