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Comment Re:Umm, yes, it is an ad. (Score 1) 124

Like how NPR doesn't have ads, they have 30 second messages from "contributors".

I used to tolerate NPR's ads because they were short, all read by the same woman (with a nice soft radio voice), and infrequent. However I'd swear that in the last year they've increased the frequency and duration of them by at least 50% and changed voices to an unpleasant man's voice. I now mute the audio or switch stations when they come on.

I abhor advertising and refuse to partake in it, so I usually pay for services. However if something like NPR is going to run ads anyway, why should I continue to donate to them? If Google is going to shove ads at us, why should I pay for their Home device?

It used to be "free" or "ad-supported". Now companies want to double dip and make you pay to hear ads. Fuck that noise.

Comment Re:Good or not? (Score 1) 301

Without having commercials to teach you that companies consider you a never-ending open wallet, and that they WILL lie to you to get your money, will these Netflix-only kids grow up to be or more less naive about the honesty of other people and companies?

This may be true, but the flipside is that without growing up inundated with asinine commercials, they may also tend to be less tolerant of them overall. One could hope this would lead to trending away from commercials as a valid way of paying for entertainment. I've avoided TV and radio commercials for a decade and now find them utterly abhorrent.

Personally, I'd love it if we moved away from all advertising subsidization. It would lead to fair market prices for entertainment and services, as well as bringing back some sanity in the salaries for actors. With some luck we might even end up back where the user the customer instead of the product.

Comment Re:Microsoft is good once again (Score 1) 195

I don't see what people find interesting or exciting about .NET Core -- it's just a rebranding of the compact framework with some additional supported platforms. Honestly, the entire point of it seems to be to try and entice people to use Azure for hosted stuff and only use small parts of the framework for desktop apps (pushing them towards the "Universal" appy-store apps and away from full Win32 style desktop).

Comment Re:bit rot (Score 4, Insightful) 475

(there's a undetectable fault error rate, something along the lines of 1 in 10^20 bytes read or so will have an undetected error)

I just want to call this out because it's so important. That number, 10^20, sounds big, but considering the size of modern drives it's really not.

Randomly picking the WD 8TB Red NAS drive (WD60EFRX), which is designed for consume RAID as an example:

The spec sheet says the URE (unrecoverable read error) rate is at worst 1 x 10^14 per bits read. However, that drive holds 8 x 10^12 bytes! If you were to read every single byte there is about a 64% chance that at least 1 bit is read incorrectly.

(8 x 8 (bits per byte) x 10^12) / (1 x 10^14) = 64,000,000,000,000 / 100,000,000,000,000 = 0.64

Correct my math if I'm wrong, but this should make anyone think twice about using any kind of RAID as a "backup" solution. If you have a disk fail you have a better than 50/50 chance of introducing corrupt data during the rebuild process!

Frankly, ZFS-style checksumming is the future of files systems. It has to be for any data you care about.

Comment Re:Companies doing fine; not comsumers (Score 1) 319

When did Google, Facebook, and Twitter become ISPs?

This is the current excuse the right is parroting in talking points.

"Google can censor and sell customer data, therefore isn't not fair if Comcast can't!"

It's just another giant non-sequitur man being used to muddy the waters and disguise the real issues. Content providers are completely different than ISPs, especially when said ISPs get all sorts of special treatment under common carrier law.

Comment Re:I'm still not sure (Score 5, Informative) 82

I'm still not sure how this affects me

Here's a very short version:

Cloudflare provides proxying, caching, and DDoS protection (plus other things) for a huge number of websites. This means that instead of connecting directly to a website's servers, you're instead connecting to a Cloudflare server which inspects and routes the traffic to the real website.

A bug in Cloudflare's system would occasionally result in random memory contents from the Cloudflare server incorrectly getting sent back to clients in the HTTP response stream. This memory could contain anything -- random parts of a webpage, a picture, or a username and password that was recently passed through the system.

Since these memory dumps can be (and were) captured by caching systems such as Google's cached pages, Internet Archive, etc, it's not enough that Cloudflare fix the bug -- all the cached pages must also be deleted or somehow cleared of any memory dump contents. Until this happens (and frankly, it's likely an impossible goal given the size and scope), there is the potential that your username and password for some website could be saved out in a cached copy of a Cloudflare site, there just waiting for someone to find it. Attackers can, and are, scanning all of this cached data looking for such valuable leaked memory contents.

Overall it's a major bug and huge error on Cloudflare's part, but the likelihood of it impacting you seems astronomically small.

What it does do, however, is raise questions about whether or not we should have a single company acting as a back-end gatekeeper to vast swaths of the web. It also raises the question of the responsibility of sites like the Internet Archive. Should they be required to mass-delete archived sites going back years due to this bug? There is no way to recover those past cached sites. Finally, who is responsible if this breach does get exploited? Is it Cloudflare, or the website that chose to use them?

I've never been a fan of Cloudflare from a privacy and security standpoint, and this failure on their part more or less cemented my opinion.

Comment Re:Well.. (Score 5, Interesting) 197

Agreed. This is a sad first turn -- Trump's FCC may as well have sent a letter to the major ISPs saying "Hunting season on American Internet consumers is open! No tag limit!"

I was very skeptical when Wheeler was appointed to chair the FCC, given his corporate background, but he ended up being one of the most consumer-focused and practically progressive people in Obama's government.

And now? May as well say goodbye to net neutrality.

Comment Alexa Rankings (Score 2) 85

found that the number of websites listed in Alexa's top one million websites that have adopted to HTTPS has more than doubled

Why do people still use Alexa? There can't be more than a tiny handful of people who still use their crappy browser toolbar and that measuring metric has always had significant selection bias. Do they have a newer, better data source, or is there just nothing better so people fall back to a name that's familiar?

It would be nice if the major ISPs would aggregate and share all that data they save for the NSA anyway with some nonprofit org for this kind of thing.

Comment Re:Wow (Score 1) 185

wouldn't shit the bed when they tried to parse a URI like moz://a in a chunk of text.

If an application blows up when it encounters :// in free-form text, I have no sympathy and neither should Mozilla. Too many things try to be cute with minimal and poorly-defined markup these days and any pushback is welcome.

Comment Re:No headphone jack ... (Score 4, Insightful) 205

Must be a shitty ploy, my brand new HTC bolt came with wired headphones.

Pushing more expensive headphones might be a bonus short-term side effect, but the real victory here is the potential of closing the analog hole for mobile devices. I fully expect someone to introduce "end to end" DRM within a year or two which will require an authenticated and encrypted connection from the source (file or stream) through the mobile processor, to the headphones. Non-compliant headphones won't be able to authenticate with the host device and therefore won't be usable with certain DRM'd media.

Don't be surprised when Apple shows more "courage" and removes the analog audio connectors from their next lineup of desktops and laptops (if they haven't already). The desktop / laptop market will swiftly follow once people accept it on mobile.

Take a look at HDCP for an example of how this has already been done elsewhere.

Comment Re: Unlimited? (Score 2) 196

What the hell does net neutrality have to do with the data limits on cellphone plans?

Moving away from unlimited and into more expensive and limited plans pushes people towards provider-sanctioned services for which the bandwidth does not count towards your monthly usage. This goes against network neutrality, even if the topic is bandwidth usage instead of transfer speed.

What the hell does Trump's winning the US Presidential election have to do with cellphone data plans?

Trump is an opponent of net neutrality.

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