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Comment: Re:Is anybody surprised? (Score 1) 78

by stephenpeters (#48946935) Attached to: Reverse Engineering the Nike+ FuelBand's Communications Protocol

So just don't buy it if you value security or privacy

Or if you are part of the Slashdot audience just wait until the wearable device is being dumped on eBay by people upgrading to the latest shiny thing. Then if someone has written a library for the device you want that provides access to the data stream buy it at a significant discount. You can then allow it to only pair with a secure device at home, avoiding the manufacurers crapware and keeping your data private.

Comment: Re:Why use a cable? (Score 2) 248

by stephenpeters (#48922749) Attached to: Engineers Develop 'Ultrarope' For World's Highest Elevator
I think one of the reasons is that it is possible for fire fighters to manually move the winding drum in the event of a power failure to move the lift car to the nearest floor. Without a drum and cable any rescue attempt during a power loss would require lifting equipment and would involve climbing into the lift shaft to reach the car with all the related falling from height issues.

Comment: Re:Math author dies rich... (Score 1) 170

by stephenpeters (#48640591) Attached to: Calculus Textbook Author James Stewart Has Died

As someone who did not study math in higher education but now wants to learn more it is quite difficult to find out which math text books have the best content. Would someone please suggest some books and authors of great texts I can then search for?

I would ideally like to build up a bookshelf of great maths texts to go alongside the computing books I already have.

Comment: Re:Isn't that click fraud? (Score 1) 285

by stephenpeters (#48556295) Attached to: AdNauseam Browser Extension Quietly Clicks On Blocked Ads

If the entity serving the content doesn't like what the user is doing, they're free to block the user.

If the entity serving the content does not refrain from allowing advertisers to annoy users then they are unlikely to have either users or revenue. I think that the key idea behind the browser extension I linked to in TFA is an interesting one. It could be used as a kind of RBL blocking the most unpopular advertising practices. In time advertisers might find this an important type of feedback when AB testing.

Comment: Re:Isn't that click fraud? (Score 1) 285

by stephenpeters (#48555981) Attached to: AdNauseam Browser Extension Quietly Clicks On Blocked Ads

So as we, the Internet users, do everything in our power to slowly but surely starve you out and make your business model a thing of the past just remember, it didn't have to be this way

There still is another way, there always has been. If browser extensions such as the one I linked to take off perhaps it will occur to advertisers that their reputation is important. Despite running AdBlock I still do see ads, just not the attention seeking disruptive ones. I really do want the sites I like to make money. Real time black hole lists forced those using email to advertise to think again. I expect this browser extension idea will make online advertisers rethink their approach. Eventually. In the mean time break out the popcorn for the wailing and gnashing of teeth.

Comment: Re:More details plz (Score 1) 285

by stephenpeters (#48555561) Attached to: AdNauseam Browser Extension Quietly Clicks On Blocked Ads

While I am not the developer of the extension in TFA I did find the idea interesting. Even if this implementation fails it seems likely to me that this idea is a logical escalation in the online ad arms race. If the idea gains traction it will be just a matter of time before a decent implementation emaerges. The reaction from Google should be interesting if a Chrome extension appears.

Comment: Re:Isn't that click fraud? (Score 3, Interesting) 285

by stephenpeters (#48555437) Attached to: AdNauseam Browser Extension Quietly Clicks On Blocked Ads

Agreed.

The basic idea here is that the http protocol doesn't mandate what to do with the information stored on a given URL. That is left to the user to decide.

The thing about this point is that advertisers seem not to have understood this basic concept yet. I have no idea of the quality of the browser extension I linked to in TFA. However the idea that an extension could be used to automate the deliberate poisoning of advertisers collected user data seems to be a powerful one. In my view this is a logical next step in the user vs advertiser arms race.

+ - AdNauseam browser extension quietly clicks on blocked ads

Submitted by stephenpeters
stephenpeters (576955) writes "The AdNauseam browser extension claims to click on each ad you have blocked with AdBlock in an attempt to obsfucate your browsing data. Officially launched mid November at the Digital Labour conference in New York, the authors hope this extension will register with advertisers as a protest against their pervasive monitoring of users online activities.

It will be interesting to see how automated ad click browser extensions will affect the online ad arms race. Especially as french publishers are currently planning to sue Eyeo GmbH the publishers of Adblock."

Comment: Re:Another casualty of the War on Drugs (Score 1) 450

by stephenpeters (#47030287) Attached to: Robbery Suspect Tracked By GPS and Killed

I'm entirely happy that drugs such as Flunitrazepam (AKA Rohypnol, roofies etc.) with limited use outside of hospital inpatients are restricted to prescription only. While it is reasonable to desire freedom to put what you want into your own body it is also reasonable for society to restrict some classes of drug that are often used to assist with date rape and other crimes. This is not statism and is quite different from the control of recreational drugs. Regardless of where the recreational drug debate ends up there will always be some restricted drugs.

Comment: Re:Funny (Score 1) 693

by stephenpeters (#46750891) Attached to: The GNOME Foundation Is Running Out of Money

So we have a number of issues that caused the problem. So we are working on improving them. Again, this is not some kind of disaster

I disagree this has all the makings of a PR disaster. As Gnome has of late not been winning any friends with it's treatment of end users and developers a cashflow issue caused by mismanagement is the last thing the foundation needs. Especially as this issue could easily be reported as wilful misuse of foundation funds by a misandrist board director regardless of the truth of the situation.

I can't give a complete explanation at the moment as what I tell the public should go through the board

I would advise explaining exactly what happend fully and frankly as soon as possible to prevent the public reaching the wrong conclusion

Comment: Re:Funny (Score 1) 693

by stephenpeters (#46750665) Attached to: The GNOME Foundation Is Running Out of Money

Yes, but we are only managing the program. We are not spending money on it.

Then why have you hit a cashflow crisis because of it?

The current situation is actually a borrowing situation because the OPW program was not getting payments consistency. Since GNOME foundation is running the program on behalf of OPW, they were on the hook to making sure the interns get paid.

Then I go back to my prior point "The GNOME Foundation will work to further the goal of the GNOME project: to create a computing platform for use by the general public that is completely free software" Funding gender outreach activities has nothing to do with creating, supporting or promoting free software. If your outreach activities cause a cashflow crisis for your main reason for existence then perhaps they are ill advised. Perhaps the Gnome organisation should simplifiy it's activities to concentrate on the software which is it's sole reason for existing.

But it's not normal tha GNOME is paying OPW interns

Yet it is doing just that which seems to have caused the funding issue

Being part of OPW is just as good as being part of GSOC

Which ignores that GSOC that is funded by a rich multinational company and not a software foundation that sought donations for the stated aim of developing software and not outreach programs.

Comment: Re:Funny (Score 1) 693

by stephenpeters (#46745369) Attached to: The GNOME Foundation Is Running Out of Money

There is nothing wrong with our priorities.

Yes there is. Quoting the Gnome foundation charter from the wiki "The GNOME Foundation will work to further the goal of the GNOME project: to create a computing platform for use by the general public that is completely free software" Funding gender outreach activities has nothing to do with creating, supporting or promoting free software. Despite having heavily used Gnome software in the past I would not now be willing to provide funds to an organisation which spends at least a quarter of its revenue on activites which are irrelevant to its stated aims.

Comment: Re:Blame GNOME 3 (Score 1) 693

by stephenpeters (#46744921) Attached to: The GNOME Foundation Is Running Out of Money

But not GNOME. Sorry guys. I guess this is what happens when you alienate your users and let "user experience"-crap-level developers infiltrate your project.

I think this is what happens when a project lets directors with an axe to grind onto the board. While I hated Gnome three throughout the couple of months I used it I would like to see the project continue. I currently use E17 and will probably compile a newer Enlightenment build sometime in my copious spare time. I abandoned Enlightenment a decade ago but it seems to be going through a resurgence at the moment. Gnome might be passing through a rough patch right now but it may be great again at some point in the future.

Like the parent poster I could easily donate these days but I won't if the project wastes money on an activist directors pet project. If I am going to donate money to a free software project I would much prefer to see the money spent on software development, software support, and software promotion.

Comment: Re:Disconnect the Updates (Score 3, Insightful) 194

by stephenpeters (#46003829) Attached to: Adware Vendors Buying Chrome Extensions, Injecting Ads

Otherwise, Chrome is dead in the water.

I wonder how you come to this conclusion. We live in a world where users don't want to be interrupted with mindless things like updating software. Combined with Microsoft's militant approach to harassing users if their computers aren't configured to auto update, and the general consensus that many user facing apps now auto update and the trend is moving towards doing it silently I don't see this affecting Chrome's user base one bit.

If this isn't rapidly nipped in the bud Chrome will soon be known as a hotbed of Malware, credit card fraud, bank fraud and porn ads to general users. Once it has this reputation it will be very difficult to get users to continue using it.

Comment: Re:Freakin' Riders. (Score 1) 767

by stephenpeters (#45963337) Attached to: Incandescent Bulbs Get a Reprieve

And compared to CFLs, LEDs are superior - instant on (80% brightness instantly, 100% within a few seconds), no mercury, practically solid state (the only hard part is a switching power supply).

I am part way through renovating a property in the UK and have used LED fittings thoughout. The switching power supply does seem to be the difficult part for manufacurers of LED lighting in the UK, and is also the main difference between the expensive fittings and the cheap ones. Most of the lights available have broadly similar LED light units consiting of one or more high power LEDs attached to a large heat sink. Power supply quality varies wildly with some manufacturers using what looks like the smallest cheapest PSU they could find on AliExpress. With more and more companies introducing products into the market I would recommend going to actually look at a light in a shop making sure you take one out of the box to see if a decent PSU is attached before buying anything. PSU failure will probably be the largest cause of LED light mortality.

"Truth never comes into the world but like a bastard, to the ignominy of him that brought her birth." -- Milton

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