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Comment Re:Cross-platform (Score 2) 165

Are they stored on Google servers in an encrypted form that Google can't read or are you being data mined by Google?

If you set your own passphrase, then your Chrome bookmarks (and history and settings and if you sync them too, passwords) indeed are stored on Google servers in an encrypted form that Google can't read. That's been an option in the Chrome sync settings since nearly forever. Sign into a new instance of Chrome or Chromium-based Google-services browsers (Chromium, Dragon, etc.) and the browser will tell you that it can't access your synced data until you enter your private passphrase. Try to use the Google password management dashboard they recently added (or better surfaced) and you'll be told that you can't manage your passwords online because you're using a private passphrase. Data-mining thus not possible on that synced data.

Comment Re: Isn't this a no brainer? (Score 1) 474

You didn't read up very well. Ghostery is ethical in that their "GhostRank" feature, the usage data you're alluding to, is opt-IN. By default on a fresh installation, the option to share with Ghostery is unchecked. Unlike, for instance, the so-called "Acceptable Ads" feature of Adblock Plus and the same newly added to previously-unrelated AdBlock, which now is part of that initiative and may even be now under related ownership.

The only problem with Ghostery defaults is that it blocks nothing by default. But you can block everything with just a few clicks, or select specific categories or even specific sources not to block. Plus site whitelisting. And much better granularity of control than Disconnect.

Comment Re: And it all comes down to greed (Score 1) 585

When I bought my made in USA Zenith TV (before the sellout to LG) I most certainly was not voting with my dollars for my US BigGreenFinSvcsCo to end up with 18 of our 19 person team outsourced to INFY with mixed H-1B and offshored. If anything I was voting for the company that had invented the US digital TV standard. But the big smart money types sold it out to be just a shell branding. When I bought my Saturn car and GMC AWD van, both good products, I wasn't voting for GM to make most of its "US vehicles" in Mexico.

That whole "vote with your dollars" trope at this point in the USA's decline, is as meaningless as the propaganda that "Your vote counts" and "This is the most important election of..."

No. Not when you don't have meaningful input into what's/who's on the ballot. Telling people that they should have voted, or by purchasing, "voted in the market", differently, as if that would have made any difference, is part of the propaganda. It's also part of the deliberate disempowerment of the citizenry. We're supposed to think that voting is the only thing we can or should do, and believe that that's enough. When it clearly isn't.

But when the rare street-level protests happen, like Occupy or anti-globalist protests, the mainstream Media-Industrial-Complex goes to work to marginalize, demonize, scoff at, or otherwise distract the general public from the message of the protestors. As to workers, where are the general strikes across the country, across all industries, that are often effective in other countries to demand, and get, change?

Nowhere. Because even the unions are easily turned against each other (see, any airline).

So don't go lecturing people for "voting" the wrong way, whether with their dollars or their vote. The real work has to happen long before those votes.

Comment Re: Yet another Wi-Fi-won't-work distro (Score 1) 77

I'm referring to the distro rather than the brand of machine. Alert mentions both. I question why yet another distro is needed when there already are "free as in freedom" ones that are better known and also of the Debian-via-Ubuntu base.

Given they have this new PureOS distro, I would expect it'll be used on other magic, because freedom. With the usual freedom from Wi-Fi results if the card needs proprietary drivers. We already have enough of those politically correct distros.

Comment Yet another Wi-Fi-won't-work distro (Score 3, Insightful) 77

Don't we already have Trisquel for those who want a "free as in freedom, free as in free from working" distro?

I know, buy a different laptop. Buy an otherwise totally unnecessary and port-wasting, marginal-power-use-increasing, external adaptor with politically correct firmware, because, freedom.

Sticking with politically incorrect, it-just-works, Linux Mint.

Gnu can bite me.

Comment Northern Light search engine was that. (Score 1) 165

The late-1990s early-20-oughts search engine "Northern Light" was exactly that (old screenshot image link ironically found on via Bing). It did just what you describe: "search providers (even paid *gasp*) who specialize in certain areas such as history, science, technology, news, etc", bundled into a singly search interface. There was both general purpose search that was free, and it also pulled in and offered premium results from topic-specialty paid providers. You could choose to search the "World Wide Web", or "Special Collections" (the paid part). Or "All Sources" to pull in both. If you had a paid account, you could see more than the excerpt on the "Special Collections" results, and choose which sources to use.

It was the dawn of the Dot-Com 1.0 bubble. Northern Light was our last best hope for that consolidated search. It failed.

At one point, during the Altavista dying-but-not-dead period, while Google was still a total newcomer, it was getting a lot of traction. But it got flanked by Google pretty quickly and sunk. It's now entirely a paid, sold for internal client companies' use, very different product with no public search engine at all. Product called "SinglePoint" and loaded with buzzword bingo in its description.

Comment uBlock Origin not uBlock (Score 1) 165

I hope you mean the real "uBlock" which is uBlock Origin, the continuation by gorhill of his real uBlock code, not the sorta-sleazy plain "uBlock" that he handed over to a minor contributor - said contributor immediately launching a donation site, not updating nearly as frequently as "real uBlock" = uBlock Origin, and not including several of gorhill's latest features such as WebRTC "real-IP leak" blocking.

Comment Technically you are "googling" at StartPage (Score 1) 165

StartPage is only Google-sourced. Sure, anonymized so not personalized, tracked, or bubbled. But exclusively Google-sourced. Says so right on the box.

So you are "googling" at StartPage. If that isn't what you want, if you want results not wholesaled from Google, use StartPage sister site IxQuick.com. They are a metasearch of many-excluding-Google.

Or use DuckDuckGo, which gets the vast majority of general purpose search from Yandex, but may still have a bit of Bing. Many specialty searches also feed DDG but it's primarily Yandex. Again, without the tracking, filtering and bubbling of Yandex or other search wholesalers to them.

Comment Re:This is about "Adblock Plus" not "AdBlock" (Score 1) 127

And I say unto thee, "RTFP". I explicitly noted that with this: "has that feature turned on by default, so most non-techies see ads from Eyeo customers."

Wherein I made clear that most non-technical users, which are not most of us Slashdot members, will leave it as-is. Implied, and from years of experience with non-technical users, because non-techies don't know/don't understand how/are afraid, to change anything from "normal".

Which means that Eyeo, Inc. continues to create a big user base of "pay for play" payola opportunities to sell to Google, Amazon, and other ad networks. And indeed they do sell the right to be listed as "Acceptable Ads" - it's right on their website, buried in weasel-words but there, and it's been in plenty of news articles about them. You do the DuckBingGoogle if you want cites of sites. Yes, the small guys, like my blog or yours, can probably get listed as "Acceptable" for free, and Eyeo will have a big public discussion on each and every one of those on their site, because, "transparency". But the details of the huge moneyflows from Google et al will not be there.

Here's the thing: Ad blockers are not default in any browser nor as part of any operating system. Which means that anyone who installs an ad blocker has already made an affirmative choice to block ads. That means it's contrary to common sense and clearly against the desire of the user, for any "ad blocker" to have a default setting that deliberately allows ads - ANY ads.

Unless, of course, the "user" AKA "the customer" is NOT the person who installs the adblocker. Unless that person is the product. And for Eyeo, the person using Adblock Plus is no longer the user/customer, they are the "product" - the eyeballs being sold to their real customer, the companies that pay Eyeo to be part of the "Acceptable Ads" program.

It's not "you can just turn it off". It's how the very concept of a partially non-blocking adblocker, and a very non-transparent financial arrangement between Eeyo and "BigAdNetworks", is inherently contrary to the baseline concept and user case for an adblocker.

Obviously I didn't need somebody to lecture me about the existing of Adblock Edge, or the ABP checkbox, or the other various adblocking options, when I put references to such things right in my post.

And for the record, in the years of using Adblock Edge, its brief predecessor Adblock Light, the pre-Acceptable Ads Adblock Plus, and since this month, uBlock and now after reflection on their ethics, uBlock Origin instead, I have and continue to un-block many sites, specific third-party networks, major affiliate-link trackers such as Amazon Associates, Commission Junction, Shareasale, Linkshare, etc., so that small webmasters and some large websites who aren't eyebleed-inducing, can get some potential monetization from my use. I even sometimes go back to look for and click through an ad of specific interest, or via a site's affiliate link, to a product/service I'm considering buying. I also run a few affiliate link ads on some of my own sites - and make sure I do nothing to force people to unblock them. In fact, I suggest adblockers and privacy blockers right in the privacy policy on my sites.

Difference between that and the skeevy policies of Adblock Plus/Eyeo: Transparency and full choice. Choice on my part as to ads I want to see, choice on visitors to my sites on how they can not see ads and not get into my analytics. No pay-for-play, no whitelisting decisions made for somebody else.

Anybody who can't see the difference is either a) brainwashed, b) a sockpuppet for the ad industry, c) a sockpuppet for Eyeo/Adblock Plus (which really is part of the ad industry at this point), or d) naïve.

Ghostery, Inc is totally open and fully upfront about their connection to the advertising industry. And their not-quite-equivalent feature is OPT-IN, rather than OPT-OUT.

AdBlock (Chrome) as far as I know was never really Open Source - it was one-time-nag (install-time) donationware but not with a "libre" license. I may misremember that. They have an OPT-IN for "I like that text ads on Google search, let me see them" and I always opt-IN. Because, it's MY proactive affirmative choice. Just like Ghostery's OPT-IN to GhostRank, which I ignore and it defaults to the most-private setting.

Ghostery does not block anything by default, but they are clear about it, and the whole idea is to choose what to block.

There's nothing unethical about what either Ghostery or AdBlock are doing. There is plenty unethical and contrary-to-concept of what Eyeo/Adblock Plus is doing. And there's possible something sketchy about what uBlock is doing, which is why I have switched to the original creator's uBlock Origin.

Comment This is about "Adblock Plus" not "AdBlock" (Score 4, Informative) 127

Seriously folks, pay some attention to the name of the product and what it means. It's stuff that matters.

"AdBlock": A Chrome, and later other platform, ad blocking extension that has nothing whatsoever to do with "Adblock Plus" either in terms of codebase or project history.

"Adblock Plus" (note no MixedCase): The increasingly-monetizing adblocker which is owned and marketed by for-profit company Eyeo, that Wladimir Palant created to make money with the open source adblocker he took over as maintainer years ago, but did not create. The one that takes money from advertisers to whitelist so-called "Acceptable Ads" and has that feature turned on by default, so most non-techies see ads from Eyeo customers.

"adblock": Not a product at all but a generic term for an advertising, and sometimes also privacy, blocking extension for browsers. There are many competing products which might be generically called "adblock".

"adblocker" A more obviously generic term for the set of "adblocker" products that include, among many others, AdBlock, Adblock Plus, Adblock Edge, Bluhell Firewall, uBlock, uBlock Origin.

"Adblock" One of, if not the, earliest adblocking extensions for Firefox. Long obsolete, it was the inspiration for, and partially the codebase for the first version, of Adblock Plus. The maintainer of AdBlock (note the MixedCase) also claims Adblock is an inspiration for AdBlock but is no part of its codebase.

The article is about only Adblock Plusâ from Eyeo Inc. Which has the most commercialized, most cooperative with advertisers, and some including me would say, most skeevy business model of any of the major adblocker. Though the drama around the creator of uBlock forking it to "uBlock Origin" and the massively overlarge donation-begging by the new uBlock owners are some evidence that new-uBlock is pretty skeevy too. Which is why this tablet has uBlock Origin running in Firefox.

Comment FF better than Chrome on cert exception use case (Score 1) 240

And finally Firefox is really really bad with bad certificates. I have to often do things like manage networking gear that has expired certificates and similar. Firefox just says "you cannot do that" where with Chrome I can say "yes I know it is insecure, but I really do not care" Thus I have to use chrome almost weekly for such.

Umm, no!

If anything, Firefox (and all FF-based browsers like Waterfox and Pale Moon) are far better for things like self-signed certs, expired certs which you happen to know are still real-life valid because it's your own site. Firefox lets you permanently store the exception so that it doesn't bother you every single time you go to your self-signed Webmin/Virtualmin VPS management page (or in Thunderbird, to your own domain name with TLS on when you don't have a cert under your own domain and mail subdomain for your webhost's email server.)

Chrome bugs you every single time. If that's your reasoning to be against FF and for Chrome, you're 180 degrees backwards. There are plenty of other reasons why you might prefer Chrome and you gave reasons why FF has issues for your use cases, but on this particular use case, Firefox would be better than Chrome, bigtime.

When Mozilla gets their Windows 64 bit Firefox version running and stable I will likely switch to it.

If you're waiting for Mozilla Corporation/Mozilla Foundation to release a 64-bit, official FF release for Windows, your wait will be long. Waterfox basically is that release, and Mozilla has long made clear that they are never going to release it themselves. Pale Moon used to be my go-to for 64-bit FF, but as I explained at length upthread in response to another comment, they've gone off the rails of FF compatibility. Including on extensions. Waterfox was seemingly dead for a long time post FF18, but the one person running that project has now gotten caught back up. If you want Firefox Windows 64 it's called "Waterfox".

Comment Miniscule niche spinoff of now-niche browser? (Score 1) 240

I switched to Pale Moon across the board.

Oh yeah, that's gonna work out well for you. I used to be the biggest Pale Moon booster around (at least in hyperbole-land), promoting it to IRL friends, to thousands of socialmedia follower/friend/stalkers, my wife loved it especially when it came to Linux (she's using Mint).

But then "Moonchild" went off the rails of reality in reaction to Australis, and to and Firefox Accounts replacing the "Sync formerly known as Weave". Pulled the "Firefox" identifiers right out of it, including in the Application ID. Which guess what, breaks the hell out of many extensions. Then posted manifestos about how extension authors only have to make a few simple changes to have their extensions work with Pale Moon. And how website owners should stop being stupid about browser strings and allow Pale Moon.

For anybody with a sense of history, as in, pre-relase "Mozilla" in 2001 or thereabouts, how did that work out for y'all? If the successor to still-then-known Netscape had a hell of a time getting websites to accept Mozilla, what the heck does Moonchild think will happen with his browser being a spinoff of Mozilla's successor product, Firefox? When Firefox itself is now essentially a "niche browser" with barely double-digit share?

Further egotistic actions abound: Coming out with a half-assed (and about to be abandoned) variant of Firefox for Android (with a bad-UI replacement start page that makes you unnecessarily open a new tab before you can get to your bookmarks), for the sole purpose of having a mobile product that can sync to Pale Moon, now that he refuses, for reasons, to use the new Firefox Accounts sync. Despite a long public exchange with a key FF Sync developer who was trying to help him realize there was no risk. He had a massive problem getting an own-server version of Firefox Sync 1.1 (Weave) running. And expecting that people will on his say-so distrust Mozilla Foundation/Corporation's "Firefox Accounts" in terms of privacy, but hey, having a sync server run by "Moonchild" is perfectly fine? (Yes, I know that Sync 1.1 supposedly encrypts only with the key at the client, never at the server itself, but no, I didn't audit Moonchild's code variant of it to see if it does what he says it does, because, I have a life.)

One the extensions issue, they've even started making their own "static copy" versions of popular extensions they broke, including Adblock Plus, and a spinoff of Adblock Edge called Adfblock Latitude. Because, rightly, nobody is going to make a variant for Pale Moon.

Seriously, WTF? You're a minor variant (yes, minor, no matter how much you want to be seen as a totally different browser) of Firefox, and Firefox itself is now a minor browser, and you expect site developers and extension developers to change their code for you? I get that he hates Australis UI. I hate Australis UI. I'm using Firefox beta right now in one window and Waterfox (to have a 64-bit Firefox) in another, and over on my Linux side I use formerly-Aurora Firefox Developer Edition. All with Classic Theme Restorer extension, and Status-4-Evar statusbar restoration/customization extension added. So it still works just like pre-Australis, plus more flexibility. Pale Moon already baked-in / borrowed Status-4-Evar as an inherent part of Pale Moon - no reason he couldn't have added CTR to that same mix, if he wanted to deliver a "Non-Australis" variant of Firefox with his other code tweaks, module removals, and optimized compiles. Without breaking extension and websites compatibility.

Which makes Moonchild's anti-Australis follow-on decisions even stupider in proportional consequence than Mozilla's own stupid Australis decision, or Sinofsky/Ballmer's stupid Windows Metro decision.

Pale Moon was great. It's dead to me now. Too much stupid ego leading to stupid development decisions. Given its miniscule marketshare, doing things that make it harder for Jane Q Public and Joe Schmoe to use, was idiotic. Doing things that made it harder for me to use it without jumping through hoops, and which totally ended the ability to sync to all "Firefox-based" browsers, was equally bad. Whereas when it wasn't deliberately breaking its Firefox compatibility, it was what I (and some much-bigger folks like Lifehacker) were recommending as "The best version of Firefox" and it absolutely was my "daily driver".

Makes you want to howl at the moon.

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