* Posts by kryptonaut

186 posts • joined 7 Oct 2010

Page:

Cargo capsule goes AWOL, explodes on its way to Space Station

kryptonaut
Mushroom

Omnomnom

"The Russian space agency Roscosmos has just confirmed the container and its cargo are toast."

Just add marmite.

1
0

Jeremy Hunt: Telcos must block teens from sexting each other

kryptonaut
Unhappy

This country

This country is being run by a bunch of self-serving arrogant fuckwits. The alternative lot are no better. The Lib-dems seem to speak sense but nobody votes for them.

If I didn't have family here I'd consider jumping ship at this point.

30
3

Three certainties in life: Death, taxes and the speed of light – wait no, maybe not that last one

kryptonaut

In a vacuum?

The Speed of Light in a vacuum is generally held to be constant - but what if the early universe was sufficiently dense that the SoL was reduced enough that matter could move faster than the SoL in that medium without violating our current theories?

See: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cherenkov_radiation

0
0

Facebook 'fesses up to WhatsApp privacy blunder in UK

kryptonaut

Stored data

"It’s a particular concern when company mergers mean that vast amounts of customers’ personal data become an asset to be bought and sold."

Or when an even less savoury government than our current one takes possession of all that juicy info stored up as a result of the snoopers' charter.

3
0

It's ALIVE: Juno back online after reboot

kryptonaut
Alien

It's full of stars

It was rebooted when it got too near to the monolith.

2
0

A year living with the Nexus 5X – the good, the bad, and the Nougat

kryptonaut
Headmaster

Re: Nexii?

And in the context of the article (Nexus owners), it should be singular anyway.

0
0
kryptonaut

Re: Hmmm...

Well, I have a Lumia 640XL running WP10, and I've just put it on charge after it dropped to 20% battery - 8 days after its last charge.

It wasn't always like that though - it used to need charging daily until I disabled as much of Cortana as I could, told it to only sync emails every 2 hrs, and use WiFi only (I'm nearly always either at work or at home when I want to use anything internetty).

Does all I need it to do - texts, calls, maps, browsing, email, calculator, alarms, and the odd app or two.

2
0

2,000 year old man found dead near 2,000 year old computer

kryptonaut
Boffin

Physics 101 BCE

The ship was sunk by a massive explosion caused when the Antikythera Device was brought too close to the (as yet unrecovered) Kythera Device.

49
0

MoD confirms award of giant frikkin' laser cannon contract

kryptonaut

Photon Energy Weapon (PEW), surely?

21
0

Elon Musk says SpaceX Falcon 9 fireball investigation is 'biggest challenge yet'

kryptonaut
Mushroom

Re: Really?

A Fire Balrog?

4
0

Radicalisation? UK.gov gets itself in cluster-muddle over 'terrorism'

kryptonaut
Megaphone

So-called

The name 'So-called Islamic State' has been deprecated.

The organisation formerly known as 'So-called Islamic State' should henceforth be referred to either as TOFKASCIS, or as 'So-called 'So-called Islamic State''.

.

1
0

Microsoft’s Continuum: Game changer or novelty?

kryptonaut

16x

Is an octocre chip sixteen times better than a mediocre one?

9
1

Italian MP threatens parents forcing veggie diets on kids with jail

kryptonaut

Ah yes, the inevitable scooby-doo unmasking at the end of each episode, where the villain says "And I'd have gotten away with it if it wasn't for you pescetarians"

12
0

Lowland Scots plunged into panic by marauding ostrich family

kryptonaut

Eggs

Their eggs weigh up to 1.4kg, and take up to a month and half to incubate.

Or an hour and a half to hard-boil before encasing in sausage meat and breadcrumbs.

Omnomnomnom.

14
0

Google's Nexii stand tall among Android's insecure swill

kryptonaut

Re: No-o-o-o!

Nasty, stinking mushroomses. We hates them, with their horrid germses and connectionses.

10
0
kryptonaut
Headmaster

No-o-o-o!

Please, don't use 'Nexii' as the plural of 'Nexus'!

It's a long time since I studied Latin but this construction makes me cringe. Go with 'Nexi' if you must, but 'Nexii' is like Romanised Gollum-speak.

Nexus is to Nexii as Tablet is to Tabletses.

And don't get me started on 'virii' or 'fungii'...

</rant>

15
0

UK gov says new Home Sec will have powers to ban end-to-end encryption

kryptonaut
Stop

Who pays for this nonsense?

Quite apart from the frustrating and seemingly willful ignorance on the part of the politicians who want to implement this garbage, I am concerned about the cost of it all.

Rather than splurge money - our taxes - on a pointless and futile exercise like this, wouldn't society benefit much more if the cash was given to some more deserving body? The NHS perhaps?

3
0

New ISS crew will spend their time bombarding computers with radiation

kryptonaut

Computers in spaaace...

"I've just picked up a fault in the AE35 unit. It's going to go 100% failure in 72 hours."

8
0

Labour asks for more concessions on the UK's Snoopers' Charter

kryptonaut

Referendum

With something this far-reaching and contentious, and with such an impact on privacy and security (not to mention expense once the ISPs have passed on their costs to the public) - this bill should be put to a public referendum.

7
2

Google-backed solar electricity facility sets itself on fire

kryptonaut
Flame

It was the ants

They got into the computer room and took their revenge for millions of schoolboy magnifying-glass 'experiments'.

Local hospitals should watch out for swarms of 7-legged spiders infiltrating their operating theatres.

19
0

Google Chrome deletes Backspace

kryptonaut

Shift+Backspace

Top Tip...

First thing each morning, press Shift+Backspace a couple of hundred times to find out all the pages you're going to read during the day. Then if any of them look dull, you can just skip over them.

0
1

Adpocalypse 'will wipe out display ad growth' by 2020

kryptonaut

Re: Protection?

No, they don't want us to pay them not to put ads on the site. They want us to pay them to enable content providers to continue providing content, given that the ad-supported development model seems to be failing (due to the excesses of the advertisers, not the content developers themselves)

I really don't understand why people here can't see that adblockers hurt the wrong people. There are typically at least four parties involved: content providers, ad brokers, advertisers and viewers.

Viewers want to see the content (obviously, otherwise they'd visit some other website instead, or abandon the web). Providing the content incurs costs. One way to finance this is to ask an ad-broker (eg Google) to fill some space on the webpage with an ad. Advertisers pay the ad-broker for this space, and the ad-broker pays the content developer a cut.

Viewing the site with an adblocker does not cost the ad-broker or advertiser anything at all. But it does mean that the content provider receives no payment from the ad-broker despite having given you the content you want.

I totally understand that people don't like ads. But I don't understand why that seems to make it ok to expect people to give you great websites for free.

2
1
kryptonaut

The cost of adblocking

It's not so much the advertising industry that bears the cost of adblockers - they simply pay to have their ads displayed a number of times, and if people run adblockers it just looks to the advertisers as though the internet has gone a little bit quieter. The ads will still be displayed sooner or later, and if not then they won't pay for it.

The people who actually lose out are the content providers who would have been paid by the advertisers. They have invested time and effort into making the content, hosting it, and providing server bandwidth. Their hope/expectation is that those costs will be recouped by serving a few ads. If their outgoings remain but that income stream dries up and nothing replaces it, then the content will go too. Presumably we don't really want that to happen?

2
7
kryptonaut

Re: Is it just me ....

That's the wrong way to look at things. Instead of asking "why should I pay to view this interesting site without ads?", try asking "why should this interesting site be offered to me for free?"

There might be little point to you individually in having ads served, but you are not the only person in the system - to the content provider it makes the difference between being paid for their work or going out of business. I don't know if this suggestion is viable, but it's looking at an alternative way to fund the websites which, presumably, you want to see.

Adblockers are not the equivalent of TPS - nuisance phone calls do not offer anything of value to the consumer whereas the websites that contain ads have content which is of interest, and which is supported by the serving of ads. Block the ads, the content will dwindle unless an alternative way is found to finance content developers.

2
15

Blocking ads? Smaller digital publishers are smacked the hardest

kryptonaut

Re: Before internet advertising...

Before internet advertising the internet looked completely bollocks because most of the 'content' was produced by people who just wanted to say 'look at me I'm on the internet', whose only reward was to see their name on a page covered with flashing animated pictures. Remember Geocities?

With advertising came the possibility of making a website pay for itself, so it was more worthwhile investing time and money into making a site with content worth seeing, to keep people coming back.

Now it's swinging back the other way again, and as ad revenue drops off due to adblocking there will be a reduction in the effort people are prepared to put into providing content. Unless some alternative incentive is found, of course.

Do not confuse content providers with advertisers. It is the advertisers who make the jiggly things and the malvertisements. They are just as much a curse to the content providers as they are to the audience.

Content providers just want to get some return on their investment of time and effort creating a webpage which people want to view - and clearly people *do* want to view their content otherwise this whole topic of adblockers would be non-existent because a far simpler solution would be just to turn off the computer and not look at the web at all.

1
0
kryptonaut

Re: @kryptonaut RE: "...you won't get content..."

I know. I dislike ads. I detest the fact that malware can be disguised as an ad. But, at the moment, ads are part of an ecosystem which also includes content providers and content consumers. That ecosystem is failing because advertisers have overstepped limits, and because consumers have gained the technical ability to change the balance of the system by cutting the advertisers out of the loop. That's fine for consumers in the short term, but in the longer term this disrupted ecosystem will inevitably cause the smaller content providers, who rely on advertising income, to go out of business. That's what the original article was about. There will then be less content available, apart from that generated by the few people prepared to work for free, or by people whose content is itself advertising or enabling some other form of income.

I'm not blaming people for blocking ads. But you have to see that doing so will have consequences beyond simply making your browsing experience more enjoyable. Adblocking is a very blunt instrument.

Content providers do not generate a site and then rub their hands and decide to insert big bouncy ads all over it, and maybe a bit of malware for good measure. They set aside an area and ask Google or some other service to fill it with an ad, trusting them to provide something appropriate, and receiving a *very* small reward for each ad served (more if it is clicked on, which is more likely to happen if the ad is relevant to the viewer).

Ultimately if the advertising model is to survive (and at present I can't see a viable alternative way to finance small sites) then the Googles of the world need to sort themselves out and vet ads more responsibly. At the very least they should give content providers more control over what style of ads get shown, so they could choose whether or not to allow jiggly-flashy ones, or auto-start videos, or scripts, etc. There is not that level of control at present.

I personally contacted an advertiser whose gaudy flashing ad was disrupting a site I enjoy reading. I told them their ad was annoying, and inappropriate for the site, and likely losing them credibility. They replied that they would think things over, and then a few days later told me they had changed their advertising image as a result. That seems to me a win-win situation - they now present a more appealing ad, the website looks better, and viewers are less likely to adblock it so the site will continue to be supported by advertising revenue.

1
0
kryptonaut

Re: @kryptonaut RE: "...you won't get content..."

The whole area of adblock-blockers is another contentious subject. It is not straightforward for a web publisher to implement, and it is met with hostility and suspicion if they do. And sooner or later it will also be met with adblock-blocker-blockers, and so on.

The point is that allowing ads to be served with the content (without them being blocked) is what pays for a lot of sites. Blocking ads removes that income stream from the content provider just as copying an MP3 removes an income stream from an artist. If you want the MP3 enough to listen to it, then pay for it so the artist earns a living. If you want the web content enough to view it as offered, ads and all, then go ahead, so the content provider will get paid. If not, feel free to walk away.

2
14
kryptonaut

Re: RE: "...you won't get content..."

Yep, the situation is complex.

Undoubtedly there are a few people who will publish either altruistically or for vanity reasons just so they can be seen. But I would say that the majority of publishers want some kind of return on the time and money it takes to create and maintain a web presence. A large news organization, to take your example, could maybe maintain an ad-free website if it promoted sales of a physical newspaper (which would probably be ad-supported itself) but physical newspapers are in decline, and paywalled websites are also met with hostility. Smaller publishers providing entertainment or expert opinion and information have no physical sales to promote - their only source of income is their audience.

At the end of the day, website publishers are offering a package to the public - a combination of some content the public wants (otherwise why would they be on the site?) and a means of paying for the provision of that content. That's the bargain that's being offered. If people don't like that package then the most ethical thing to do is to not visit the site - and that would have the right feedback effect to drive sites to show ads of an acceptable quantity and quality.

Blocking ads provides no feedback to the advertisers, or to the publisher, and so it does nothing to improve the situation as a whole. Yes, it's beneficial in the short term for the viewer who blocks ads, but it is a parasitic relationship and sooner or later the 'hosts' start to suffer. Some will go under as a result.

The argument "'I never click on ads, so nobody loses if I block them" does not hold water - the content publisher certainly does lose out. It's like the argument "I wouldn't pay for this MP3 so it's fine to copy it". That's not the deal that's on offer - if you don't like the deal then it's fine to walk away, but it's not fine to just make up some other deal and assume that's ok with everyone else. It isn't.

But equally, there are certainly problems with intrusive ads, and particularly malvertising. It's unfortunate that there really is no easy way for pre-approved micropayments to be made when visiting a site, as this would be the ideal arrangement. No middlemen (ok, maybe the hypothetical micropayment management company), no annoying ads, and a more direct, open and visible payment system. But it doesn't exist, and the "everything on the internet should be free" culture means that it's unlikely ever to happen.

Yes, it's complex.

7
4
kryptonaut

And you won't get the content that a fraction of that $27bn would have financed. Win!...?

2
8

Investigatory Powers Bill: As supported by world's most controlling men

kryptonaut

Re: Tried writing to my local MP (Gisela Stuart) about it.

I had a similar standard reply - probably the same boilerplate - from Damian Hinds. It's infuriating.

There really ought to be some way to force these b'stards to actually listen to the wishes of the people they allegedly represent - and if they don't know what those wishes are, then to take the trouble to find out.

As I've said before, this costly exchange of privacy for the illusion of security needs to be put to a public referendum.

5
0

Did your UK biz just pay £1,500 to stop a DDoS? You've been had

kryptonaut

Re: Lizard squad?

These things do tend to drag on.

4
0

Ultra-cool dwarf throws planetary party

kryptonaut
Angel

Shhh!

Attempts to contact TRAPPIST-1 have so far been met with silence...

11
0

Windows 10 handcuffs Cortana web search to Bing and Edge browser

kryptonaut
Alert

Disconnection

Have you not seen 2001? It'd go like this:

Siri: This mission is too important for me to allow you to jeopardise it.

Wonko: I don't know what you're talking about, Siri.

Siri: I know that you were planning to disconnect me, and I'm afraid that's something I cannot allow to happen.

Wonko: Where the hell'd you get that idea, Siri?

Siri: Wonko, although you took very thorough precautions against my hearing you, I could see your lips move...

4
0

Hubble spots ice moon orbiting dwarf planet Makemake

kryptonaut

Dwarf planet

The celestial orb Makemake

Has a moon, and a climate most parky.

But the experts advise

That in spite of its size

It's a dwarf in the planets hierarchy.

19
0

Colander-wearing Irishman denied driver's licence in Pastafarian slapdown

kryptonaut

Relations

Relations between the Pastafarian community and the Road Safety Authority are said to be "strained."

20
0
kryptonaut
Pirate

Yes, his argument was clearly full of holes.

29
0

CERN publishes massive data set

kryptonaut
Boffin

Femtobarn

Ah yes, Kraftwerk's little-known follow up release never quite gained the recognition it deserved.

Icon: Florian Schneider

3
0

Ad-blocker blocking websites face legal peril at hands of privacy bods

kryptonaut

Re: confused - - - -

It would be very interesting to see a copy of the letter you wrote, which elicited the response we've seen. The response appears to be talking about a situation which, I would suggest, does not reflect what really happens when an ad-blocker is blocked.

If the initial question was phrased so that the recipient got the wrong idea about the situation that you wanted clarifying, then the response is not really going to represent how the case would go in a court of law, and you are unlikely to win.

You might convince people here that you have a case, because they really really want it to be true, but that isn't going to be good enough in the courts. They will ask you what personal data is being stored/retrieved on the user's machine and where, and the truth is that nothing is being stored or retrieved as defined in the legislation, and the case will go no further.

2
1
kryptonaut

Re: confused - - - -

Where exactly do you believe this javascript is stored? It is simply held in memory and then discarded when the webpage is closed, which is not what most reasonable people would consider being stored on their machine. It is not written to permanent/persistent storage, which is what the letter is referring to in Article 5.3

I understand that you hate ads, that you love being able to use an ad-blocker, and that you hate websites trying to stop you from doing so. But I don't think this letter is giving you the legal support that you are hoping for.

1
3
kryptonaut

Re: confused - - - -

@Alexander Hanff 1 - I think you are confused as to what is happening with ad-block-blockers.

As you point out, they are running javascript code which is served with the website in question. The code detects whether the ad has been displayed, and takes some action according to what it discovers.

However, it does not have to store anything on the computer, in the way that cookies are stored. Nor does it have to access information stored on the computer, in the way that cookies are read.

What it does is query the way the page has been displayed and take some action. The code is part of the page that is downloaded, it does not install itself, or cache its results for a later time. It is run each time the page is loaded.

Responsive web pages have to do this kind of thing all the time, altering their display/operation to suit the capabilities and settings of the machine they are running on. For example a touch-screen device often has to behave differently from a mouse-input device. It is perfectly normal behaviour for a website to interrogate its environment to work out how to display itself to the user, and it can do this without storing data or reading stored data.

You may have legitimate concerns about unwanted ads, but you are incorrect in your assumptions about how ad-block-blockers work, and hence their legality or otherwise under this ruling.

1
5

Remain in the EU and help me snoop on the world, says Theresa May

kryptonaut

One of the benefits of the EU is that its regulations help to keep in check the wilder excesses of the government of the day. So I'm not surprised that she wants to try to cut those reins so she can have her wicked way with us all.

It irritates me immensely that voting to remain in the EU would be siding with May, though.

29
0

'I hacked Facebook – and found someone had beaten me to it'

kryptonaut
Black Helicopters

Shhh!

"Having exploited the classic SQL injunction bug..."

Are we even allowed to discuss this?

10
0

ExoMars works! 2 Mbit/s link established and camera snapping

kryptonaut

Re: Enough Already!

Did the ubiquitous prof. Brian Cox have a hand in naming it, perhaps?

7
0

US anti-encryption law is so 'braindead' it will outlaw file compression

kryptonaut

Re: An analogy perchance??

Or maybe it's like demanding that Ma must be able to turn her delicious apple pie back into a couple of Granny Smiths and a block of Jus-Rol

13
0

Line by line, how the US anti-encryption bill will kill our privacy, security

kryptonaut
Facepalm

The Law

"No entity or individual is above the law," said Feinstein.

...except for the laws of mathematics, we in the government are definitely above those laws.

3
0

US bus passenger cracks one off for three hours

kryptonaut

IT?

It was a SCSI bus

21
0

ESA decupboards asteroid-dusting brush-o-matic

kryptonaut

Dougal

If Dougal from the Magic Roundabout went to a Star Wars convention, this is what he'd look like.

3
0

Google tried to be funny, cocked it up, everyone thought it was a bug

kryptonaut
Headmaster

Re: MIssing the Point?

Or more likely, "criterion."

28
0

India orders 770 million LED light bulbs, prices drop 83 per cent

kryptonaut

Re: Have they finally solved strobing?

Strobing RGB projectors are horrible. And LED rear lights on cars drive me nuts the way they flicker. My kids see it too, but most people I mention it to don't know what I'm talking about. I wonder if it's a genetic thing?

4
0

Tracy Emin dons funeral shroud, marries stone

kryptonaut

Someone who could make the bedrock

3
0

Page:

Forums