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Comment: Re:Websites are slowly catching on (Score 2) 275

by tlhIngan (#49785565) Attached to: Adblock Plus Victorious Again In Court

I also see those messages, but I don't use any ad blocking software. Java is disabled, plug-ins are disabled, javascript is enabled and cookies are limited to the same domain. Whoever wrote those "ad blocking detection" functions is an idiot.

it's most likely using the JavaScript detection - if you don't run the ad javascript, then you're most likely blocking it (are there any modern browsers that don't support javascript?).

Of course, it's a basic check - there are more advanced checks that could be done. But right now, few enough people do extensive ad blocking to matter.

Eventually you'll probably see things alone the lines of "use an adblocker and it's paywalled" scheme - so if you have an adblocker, you have to pay to view the content, or you can view the ads and get it for free.

The real concern though is that these websites use some sort of common paywall system, which may not have the best privacy protections and is vulnerable to hacking.

Comment: Re:100 degree plus temp and dryness (Score 2) 150

by tlhIngan (#49783111) Attached to: Heat Wave Kills More Than 1,100 In India

Or if people are outdoors, they actually try to drink enough cool water to survive.

  One thing that the Israeli army has right is they require their soldiers to take regular water breaks if conditions are safe to do so, and they enforce that enough water is drunk each break. It's amazing how high the temps can be and still be survivable if one isn't dehydrated.

That's fine for Israel, a modern developed country with good infrastructure, and relatively civilized people who don't try to treat everyone as slaves.

Indie is far less developed, and access to water itself is scarce. Even electricity is scarce - if you have it, you only have it for a few hours a day, especially if you're not in the city. (And during the worst heat, even that's not guaranteed).

Couple that with bosses who don't care and consider breaks to be the sign of a lazy workforce...

Comment: Re:I am amazed (Score 1) 217

by tlhIngan (#49783023) Attached to: A Text Message Can Crash An iPhone and Force It To Reboot

No testing provides 100% coverage, especially for the number of combinations of possible Unicode characters in a 160-character/byte message. Only a complete moron would blame this bug on lack of testing.

Let's not forget that Unicode is a standard that's constantly evolving - new glyphs are constantly added (there's already a new proposed set for Unicode 9 including glyphs for "selfie", "avocado" and others)

People keep arguing that /. doesn't support Unicode, when it really does - it just uses a narrow whitelist of characters. The reason for this is obvious if you think about it - to prevent situations like this from happening.

Heck, there might be strings out there that will crash any Unicode library implementation, just we haven't found them yet because the search space is huge.

Comment: Re:Already has (Score 1) 155

by tlhIngan (#49782849) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Will Technology Disrupt the Song?

The "sound" of a badly encoded MP3 is already influencing the way people sing - it's almost as if they think those artefacts and unwanted harmonics are something that makes a voice a good singing voice, because that's what they hear when someone holds a long or high note. Bloody hateful.

The other scary thing is, if you played back the MP3 and the original lossless source material, you'll find the new crowd prefers the lossy encoded one.

I'm not saying using LAME on 256+VBR, but crappy encoded 128kbps stuff where there are audible differences.

Listening to poorly encoded music in poor listening environments has changed the preferences of the music. Even the recording engineers now have to optimize their music for the lossy encodes with reduced dynamic range and pre-echo distortion.

There's still a few who go by the "if it's clean going in, it'll be the cleanest it can be coming out", while others are realizing that they need to adjust their mixers to sound better.

Comment: Re:Alternate story title (Score 1) 408

by tlhIngan (#49782777) Attached to: Creationists Manipulating Search Results

Bing returns the same results so unless both knowledge graphs are operating the same I would imagine it's a much simpler explanation: both sites rely on "answer" websites for answers. If you ask any question most often the results are Yahoo.Answers, and wikihow. My guess would be that "Answers in Genesis" overloads their weighting for "answers" URLs associated with "Questions" on this topic.

If they actually overloaded the Knowledge Graph it would appear in a special box at the top of the results. In this instance it's still just a link. If you search "Circumference of the earth" you'll get a knowledge graph result with an "official answer".

FTFA, it was in a special box - there's a screenshot of the result right there.

It wasn't just a set of links, it was an actual knowledge box with the answer being found in Genesis.

Links, fine, that's just a SEO thing. But this was being presented as facts - Google returning it as definitive "truth" and answer, and appearing before the actual search results.

Comment: Re:How to promote without really promoting (Score 1) 145

by tlhIngan (#49775295) Attached to: Apple Design Guru Jony Ive Named Chief Design Officer

He might have been a disaster as a manager. Now they want to replace him.

I doubt it. As a VP, he's not really having a direct hand in managing his subordinates, more like general guidelines who his direct reports then interpret and control. And in his new title, I doubt he even has many direct reports at all.

If anything, it's likely in his new position he's given more creative freedom to test out and experiment without having traditional business issues get in the way. He's free to travel, seek input, explore and examine materials.

Maybe he was a terrible manager, so they moved him in a spot where he doesn't have to manage people and is more free to do as his creative wishes desire. He's a designer after all, so he does need space in order to be creative.

Comment: Re:E-mail client? (Score 1) 83

by tlhIngan (#49775171) Attached to: Attackers Use Email Spam To Infect Point-of-Sale Terminals

So, WTF is an e-mail client doing on a POS terminal in the first place? It doesn't need one, it shouldn't have one. Ditto a Web browser. You don't have to worry about vulnerabilities in software that isn't present on the machine in the first place. There are of course other things to be looked at, but those are a good starting point.

In a small business of 1-4 people, the POS system is usually the only computer on the premises. POS systems are cheap and readily available and help businesses out, at least with stuff like inventory management. (This is especially tricky with stores where there's a breadth of products, but not much depth).

And being the only computer, it's often used for online commerce - the store may have a simple Shopify style website that sells products, and thus have email and everything. Do it right and the two can often work together, so online sales draws down from the inventory database.

And no, these companies are way too small to have a proper client-server POS solution, and often don't have the space for more than one computer, period.

Though, usually they're also too small to have an integrated POS solution - a manual terminal to process card payments is usually the standard rather than even working with the POS system...

Comment: Re:Yay (Score 4, Insightful) 69

Yeah, wouldn't it make sense to see where the GPS signal dies, and when it comes back, and persume they took transport from one position to the other? No inertia guessing needed. The Yellow to the Red line is the only way to connect those dots without looping or doubling back. So why do you need to have the accelerometer to confirm?

Because the accelerometer is often free to use. Accessing GPS requires permission and often has an indicator.

With this, an app can use the accelerometer surreptitiously while leaving no indication that movement is being tracked - so many apps use it that no one gives a second thought. Using GPS often brings up an alert so the user knows they're being tracked. If your app uses the accelerometer anyways, you can sell that information for tracking. Whereas If you app suddenly popped up "MyCoolApp needs to use the GPS - Allow/Deny?" then people get suspicious.

At least it does on iOS. I don't know - do apps have free reign over the GPS on Android or do you get alerts when they attempt to use it?

Comment: Re:Why do this in the first place? (Score 1) 90

No. Hence why I said that they can't have a third-party web engine. They have to use the system-provided WebKit.

Ironically, Firefox for iOS uses system WebKit as well. This could result in an interesting situation where Firefox on Android runs like crap, but Firefox on iOS runs pretty nicely (still like crap because embedded WebKit disables Nitro).

As for why, Safari runs with reduced permissions that allow JIT code compiling, embedded WebKit runs with standard (i.e., greater) permissions so JIT code is a security vulnerability.

But apparently it's not about the HTML renderer that matters - it's everything around it that matters in a browser.

Comment: Re:Except when it suddenly dies (Score 4, Informative) 106

by tlhIngan (#49769007) Attached to: No, Your SSD Won't Quickly Lose Data While Powered Down

Lost another SSD over the weekend. Crucial m4 512GB. Lost detection of the drive by the computer (Win 7 desktop), plugged it in through a USB adaptor and it's still not detected (Windows and Mac). That's 3 in the last 18 months.

Muskin Chronos 120GB (Windows 7 laptop)
Crucial m4 512GB (MacBook Pro 2012)
Crucial m4 512GB (Windows 7 desktop)

That being said I run everything on SSD: 2 HTPC, 2 desktops, 2 MacBooks, 2 Windows laptop.

I can't find the common factor that causes the failures. It would just be working one day, then next day fail detection by the computer and it's all gone.

How do you turn off your computers? And do your storage drivers put the drive into low power mode prior to turn off?

The thing with SSDs (and you don't appear to use the OEM ones like Samsung, Intel or Toshiba) is power failure can be deadly. Modern SSDs are fast and because SATA3 is a bottleneck, many sacrifice speed for data protection (if you can do 1GB/sec, and SATA3 is limited to 540MB/sec, you can sacrifice 40% of the speed in the name of data safety).

SSDs require a bunch of tables to work - the tables manage the flash translation layer software (the software that maps physical flash blocks to what the drive exposes, including wear levelling, TRIM and other features). In data safe SSDs, those flash tables are usually write-through cached so updates are committed to media, and so media always contains a consistent table. (There are tricks done to ensure that even if the table is partially written, there's a recovery table which is an older version. Think of it like a journaling file system).

Older SSDs cached the tables in RAM, wrote to them in RAM, then relied on a bank of capacitors to let them flush the tables from RAM to media on power loss.

Some SSDs cache them into RAM, and don't handle power failure, which can result in failures if the tables are corrupted.

The GOOD news is there's often a way to recover them - if you do an ATA_SECURE_ERASE command, it forces the SSD to reset the tables to a blank state and will often get them completely operational again, albeit losing all your data.

Comment: Re:Screenshots? (Score 0) 233

by tlhIngan (#49768931) Attached to: Microsoft Tries Another Icon Theme For Windows 10

Those "screenshots" are only 600x375. They're more on the side of being huge thumbnails than actual screenshots.

It's actually kind of incredible given that Windows still uses 16x16 and 32x32 icons ("large" icons are 48x48). OS X was slightly more forthcoming when it allowed icons as big as 512x512 (and larger now, I think, with 2x "retina" icons...), turning pixel art into huge paintings.

Or heck, what was a "large" screenshot back then was 640x480 (most thumbnails were smaller than QVGA). Even now, on a 4K monitor, "giant" images that are under 1080p look tiny.

Comment: Re:Bullshit ... (Score 4, Insightful) 205

The slowness comes from letting 3rd party tracking sites set cookies and run scripts ... which modern browsers seem to treat as the default, or letting any crap set cookies or run scripts.

Their tracking protection isn't magic, it's just blocking crap. Some of which can be blocked by default anyway.

Well, the reason it's faster is you avoid making extraneous HTTP connections which can be slow by slow servers.

A lot of ad and tracking servers stall out the browser, and because everyone uses them, they're overloaded. The browser might have everything it needs to render the page, but all the tracking stuff stalls out the renderer so you get only the headers. You can easily increase the speed if you tell the renderer to ignore those tracking objects and the network stack to not retrieve that content.

Slow ad servers are the bane of the internet - why ad companies don't purchase more bandwidth and capacity is beyond me.

Comment: Re:Are they LEOs (Score 1) 102

Is an apparent law enforcement officer (or group thereof) who is conducting their work illegally, really a law enforcement officer?

Well, they're *enforcing* the law (against you). Their methods are just illegal (to them).

So technically still correct - they're enforcing the law.

Now, if you want to talk about upholding the law...

Comment: Re:GNU Affero General Public License (AGPL) (Score 1) 48

Same reason people use companies like 1and1 for webhosting or one of the companies that provide Big Blue Button instances - sure, anyone can get a VPS or a dedicated 'net connection and server machine(s) and install Linux, Apache, PHP, etc. and run a site or a mail server or BBB instance. All with Free (and free) code. But not everyone is an expert at doing it, or keepign it up and running, or configuring it just right, or integrating your authentication, or answering end-users support questions or ....

Well, the enlightened groups do.

The un-enlightened see it as an opportunity to save money - why pay some company money to host the stuff when you can do it yourself?

The downside is, of course, maintenance, and while you pay a vendor to do it for you, most "DIY-ers" budget $0 for it, which leads to all sorts of interesting security vulnerabilities. even today Heartbleed is still around, serving up production content by people who don't care, other than they're "beating the man" by taking 100% of the cut.

Penny wise, pound (or dollar?) foolish.

Comment: Re:Banksters (Score 1) 739

by tlhIngan (#49766481) Attached to: Greece Is Running Out of Money, Cannot Make June IMF Repayment

Remember, it's the shareholders that pay these fines. And no one in the bank corporation is held accountable.

Shareholders own the company. If they want to hold the people who run the company accountable, they can.

That's the way business is done. Shareholders own a piece of the company, and they elect a Board of Directors who help represent their interests. The board then tasks the executive (CEO, etc) to to perform the day-to-day operations of the company in accordance with the shareholder's wishes.

If the company does something that earns a fine, the shareholders are vulnerable, because they own the company. If the shareholders feel this is causing the company to lose focus, they can pressure the board to change thing. Of course, shareholders have to balance the need for punishing those responsible with the value to the company - if despite the fines the company is better off the way things are, then it is in their interest to just eat the loss and go on with life because their value will be preserved.

"It is easier to fight for principles than to live up to them." -- Alfred Adler