* Posts by Charlie Clark

4610 posts • joined 16 Apr 2007

Firefox features will land out of cycle and Mozilla's cool with that

Charlie Clark
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Re: Ohh, Gee...

Memory use in browsers is driven by the size of the DOM and cached resources. DOMs for modern websites, especially those with lots of features (web-mail pages and anything that looks like an application) can be astonishingly high.

The Chromium browsers avoid some of the problems by creating a new process for each tab (uses even more memory but reduces the chance of one rogue tab bringing down the whole browser). Firefox is supposed to be moving towards a similar model.

FWIW I don't use Firefox as my main browser, I'm certainly not a fan of either the "sharing" shit nor out of band feature releases.

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Charlie Clark
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FAIL

Might sysadmins notice?

Might sysadmins notice?

Those that care will be running Firefox ESR which won't be following this practice.

Out of band feature releases breaks the principle of semantic versioning but so what? Users are annoyed by changes, especially UI changes, whichever version they come in.

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Charlie Clark
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Re: Ohh, Gee...

How does the number of times you tap your screen affect your memory use?

All the browsers switched to using more memory a few years ago. Your computer has it, your OS can manage it and it makes things faster. Get over it.

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DARPA issues collaborative spectrum sharing challenge

Charlie Clark
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Explanation required

Hoarding spectrum isn't cool or practical, but if wireless operators everyone wins

I'm obviously too stupid to understand this… please help me.

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William Hague: Brussels attacks mean we must destroy crypto ASAP

Charlie Clark
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Re: Fuck it

Lets ban pub car parks as well

In some of the places I've been to recently you don't need to step out into the car park to conduct your illicit activities.

Schaarbeek is full of such places. As are East and North Belfast…

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Charlie Clark
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…and all our own secret communications are now longer secret and our secret agents are no longer secret or safe.

Meanwhile, in the real world, the encryption genie is out of the bottle and, like illegal weapons, is being used by people already breaking the law.

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Charlie Clark
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In the US it's like gun legislation: virtually never enforced but looks good on telly. You could probably convincingly argue the first amendment makes provision for anonymous phones. But it'll probably never come to that because you'll always be able to pick up a SIM card somewhere.

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Charlie Clark
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Re: I find myself wondering . .

My hovercraft if full of eels.

My hovercraft is full of eels.

FTFY but have an upvote all the same,

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Charlie Clark
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It was the utter incompetence of the Belgian authorities.

To be fair, they're under-staffed and suffer significantly from the fragmented government of the autonomous districts that make up Brussels. Cooperation between the various French and Flemish districts is notoriously poor.

To this you can add the various periods where Belgian has only had a caretaker government which has held up all kinds of projects while making sure that the state keeps ticking along.

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Ransomware now using disk-level encryption

Charlie Clark
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Re: It's B'stards like these...

Or, we've not been taking security seriously enough for years and hoping that something like this would never happen. I'm sticking my head back under the covers and hoping it goes away. Yeah, that should work.

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Oracle v Google: Big Red wants $9.3bn in Java copyright damages

Charlie Clark
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FAIL

Re: Java property of Oracle

What do you think an API is apart from a list of method names, their signatures, and their return values?

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ExoMars probe narrowly avoids death, still in peril after rocket snafu

Charlie Clark
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Re: Can't they test the instruments before they get to Mars?

No (and for good reason).

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Confused by crypto? Here's what that password hashing stuff means in English

Charlie Clark
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Re: Bah!

And while I agree that salt techniques are important, I disagree with a commentor that they were "missing" from this document

An unsalted hash is merely obfuscated and not encrypted, this is why salts are essential and not optional.

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Microsoft did Nazi that coming: Teen girl chatbot turns into Hitler-loving sex troll in hours

Charlie Clark
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Unhappy

What a pity…

… sounds like the first thing worth following on Twitter and they pulled it.

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Charlie Clark
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Re: Tay: A river

And isn't Dundee on the Tay? How appropriate.

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Lost in the obits: Intel's Andy Grove's great warning to Silicon Valley

Charlie Clark
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Coat

Re: I beg to differ...

I believe this one is yours, sir. ->

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Charlie Clark
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Seeing as most of the article is about the US the swipes against the EU do indeed make little sense. Add to that Germany's manufacturing industry hasn't suffered from being part of the EU. Mind you, Germany's own version of Silicon Valley, dubbed "Silicon Saxony", has been more of a subsidy magnet than a wealth creator.

In summary: Britain's pro-service, anti-industry policy has nothing to do with the EU.

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Microsoft files patent for 'PhonePad', hints at future Windows plans

Charlie Clark
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I have a nasty feeling that MS might be claiming royalties from the work others have put into their own implementations of the same requirement.

Well, if that is the case you can't really blame MS but the US patent system which privileges filing even the most spurious patent. Maybe the current dispute over CRISP / CAS9 will help sort out this mess.

However, I can't help thinking that this may be difficult to enforce and invite a raft of claims of prior art. Still, even then the patent could be a useful bargaining chip.

Instances of possible prior that fall out of my addled head: Samsung had a hub function specifically for games; Amazon's WhisperSync across the Kindle/Audible boundary.

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Error checks? Eh? What could go wrong, really? (DoSing a US govt site)

Charlie Clark
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Re: jQuery

I can't comment on the code except that it looks a bit odd. It could be, and probably is, just shitty code but the same logic could be written in any language.

I heartily disagree. The world before jQuery was very unpredictable with lots and lots of slightly differently own-rolled code.

jQuery is helping standardise common use cases that, in turn, help standardise the language development and browser implementations. Indeed in many situations it is becoming a victim of its own success: more and more stuff can be moved into CSS. I'm looking forward to seeing more of this.

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Samsung Galaxy S7: Big brand Android flagship champ

Charlie Clark
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Re: This is one of my bugbears . . .

Also, £60 to fix not 200 euros, although I did it myself.

I think you may find the S7, especially the Edge, a little more pricey. And, even if you are able to do this kind of repair yourself, many of us aren't. That said, I've not used cases very often and I have yet to break a screen myself. But I see plenty of broken screens when walking around town and my own current phone is someone else's refurbed after they broke the screen…

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Charlie Clark
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Out of curiosity, how would a case help with landing screen-down on something sharp, other than if the sharp item is smaller than the case bezel? I'd be surprised if that thin sheet of plastic over the screen would make that much of a difference.

A good case comes with a cover for the screen. As Andrew notes, Samsung does provide some nice cases itself.

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Charlie Clark
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Re: Just had a handle of my boss' S7 today

But Samsung's are also very easy to root and put Cyanogenmod on, meaning fast security updates for a long period of time.

It's far from ideal but it's better than nothing.

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Charlie Clark
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I think the 4:3 will be related both to the CCD but also to letting you do more in software: you can still take 16:9 images, they'll just be cropped from 4:3. OTOH I've always loved the panorama modes.

The reports are that the CCD is much, much better in lower light than the competition. Still, if I wanted a good digital camera I wouldn't necessarily go for a high-end smartphone, the Nokia stunner being the exception.

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Charlie Clark
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Good review

Heise have tested the always on feature and say it matches expectations: briefly lighting up part of an OLED screen really doesn't take much juice.

I passed my first S7 poster today and, in a world where Apple seems eyeing the mid-market, it was very Apple. The S6 Edge gave Samsung a recognisable visual USP for the first time and hopefully they'll make sure they produce enough of the curved screens this year.

I think most people will love the SD card and not worry too much about the battery, loading up with power packs if they think they're going to be without power.

As for a dark theme, well Android N is supposed to come with one of these.

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Charlie Clark
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Anything with a reasonably sized glass screen is very likely to break if it lands screen down on anything sharp. Worth getting some kind of case just to avoid the € 200 cost of a screen replacement.

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Charlie Clark
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I think that's pretty much what Samsung said at the launch.

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Hands on with the BBC's Micro:Bit computer. You know, for kids

Charlie Clark
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Re: License fee funding another management spinoff?

I think the bigger issue is probably: should the BBC be involved in this at all? I think it's a laudable scheme and I'm a big fan of the BBC principle, but I hope that some kind of non-quango will take over the running soon. No need to give the anti-BBC ammo in charter renewal year.

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Charlie Clark
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Re: Scratch

It's better seen as a companion device for a Pi: it can be fitted with a 5V lithium cell and left to run. You could use them to set up a network of sensors all reporting to something running on a Pi.

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Charlie Clark
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Re: Sod the Microsoft lock-in!

It's not a physical lock-in but "do everything on the MICROSOFT cloud with MICROSOFT tools" lock-in.

This is hardly going to encourage the tinkering for which the Microbits are ideal. Scratch for the RPi already has the visual introduction to programming angle covered.

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Charlie Clark
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Sod the Microsoft lock-in!

Microsoft blocks be damned! That's the typical whale song and bollocks designed to stop anything actually happening.

Works great with MicroPython as we had the privilege to see at our local Python user group meeting in January (in German). Though the restriction to 16 kB does severely limit what you can do with it as you can't really run a program and use the Bluetooth stack at the same time.

The benefit will be the 1 million units should, like the RPi, provide a large enough market and could help standardise IoT components.

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FBI backs down against Apple: Feds may be able to crack killer's iPhone without iGiant's help

Charlie Clark
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Headmaster

Re: @Charlie Clark precedent

Well, if the cap fits, I'll happily ware (sic) it. ;-)

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Charlie Clark
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FAIL

Re: precedent

Great thanks to you the grammar police from a dyslexic without the time to have a second person read all my posts ahead of time. Ride that high horse!

In other words: make the Mexicans spell and make them pay for it

Any dyslexic worth their salt knows how important it is to take the time and to use the relevant tools to reduce errors. The problem with your incomprehensible gibberish was not that it was poorly spelt but that it was incomprehensible: no combination of lose/loose lose/loose could ever make sense in the context.

Trying to pass off your ignorance as a medical condition is shameful.

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Charlie Clark
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Re: precedent

Perhaps if there had remained a single, dominant English-speaking country, in the same way as there has been with French or German, say, then there would have been an opportunity to rationalise the language.

Given the omnishambles that was the German spelling reform and the current storm in France over the dropping of the circumflex, I am more than a little sceptical that this would work.

The fact is that most attempts to prescribe language use fail miserably and its absence possibly one of the reasons for English's success.

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Microsoft to add a touch of Chrome to Edge

Charlie Clark
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Re: Internet Explorer

Edge doesn't support ActiveX so can't be used for those hideous older Sharepoint sites.

Both Firefox ESR and Chrome can be made be made to work with Group Policy which is why they continue to gain market share in the corporate space.

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Charlie Clark
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Re: Firefox Chrome-a-like

Good luck with that.

XUL, et al are so 2000 and have always suffered from the NiH syndrome. The Chrome extension API is simpler and promotes interoperability.

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Charlie Clark
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They ARE standards though. Chrome is just the only player with the resources to implement them quickly. Firefox always gets them eventually, and the losers never do.

Firefox is pretty good at implementing standards and participating in their development.

As for the new IE 6, well that has to be Safari.

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Charlie Clark
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Edge will be missing so many APIs you won't be able to support it however hard you struggle.

That's not true as http://caniuse.com will illustrate: IE 12 (aka Edge) has pretty decent HTML 5 support.

The problem for Microsoft is that take up of Edge by users is very, very poor. Stats I have access to illustrate this quite clearly: IE total down from 25% to 18% YoY. IE 11 squeezing out versions 8,9,10 and Edge failing to gain noticeable traction. Once people have switched to Google, or Firefox ESR for companies, why should they go back to Internet Explorer?

Other than that supporting Chrome-style extensions makes a lot of sense for both developers and sys admins.

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Apple Macs, iPhones, iPads, Watches, TVs can be hijacked by evil Wi-Fi, PDFs – update now

Charlie Clark
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Stop

Re: What a toxic hellstew

Yes, you do. OS updates that work across a wide range of devices. Unlike – ahem – certain devices where there's barely a 2% uptake rate of the most recent software fixes.

Apple's record of incorporating fixes for known bugs in upstream POSIX stuff (libXML2, openssl, etc.) is shameful. Pointing out the problems with Android does not detract from this.

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Charlie Clark
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Facepalm

Apple continues to depress

Just cherrypicking:

A shedload of bug fixes in libxml2: Processing maliciously crafted XML may lead to unexpected application termination or arbitrary code execution.

I suspect anyone seriously using XML will have their own up to date install of libXML2 via MacPorts or Homebrew. The same goes for the rest of the POSIX stuff: this should all be managed outside the OS so that it can easily be kept up to date with upstream security fixes.

Get with it Apple!

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Yahoo! kills! more! passwords! with! push! notification! app!

Charlie Clark
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Actually, using the phone as a replacement for an RSA or similar is quite a nice idea.

Research shows that we all struggle with passwords. Of the various attempts to get rid of them while not reducing security this one seems quite reasonable. Sure: if you lose your phone you might struggle but I think struggling to access Yahoo mail is then probably the least of your worries.

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Oracle fights Russian software policy with Postgres smear

Charlie Clark
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FAIL

Re: "baseline Postgres without any extras"

Is a truly poor offering.

Horse shit. Out of the box Postgres is a capable RDBMS that gets a lot of things right: if you start developing on a Postgres box then you'll almost certainly be able to scale and move to another system should that become necessary.

For more advanced features there are add-ons, some of which are commercial and some of which are free. And thank god that commercial support from different vendors is available. There are plenty of situations where it isn't the best tool for the job and I have less of an issue with paying for high-end features in Oracle, et al. than I do with their extremely repressive, almost Soviet, licensing policies.

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Microsoft's equality and diversity: Skimpy schoolgirls dancing for nerds at an Xbox party

Charlie Clark
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Inverser nowtrage

What about all the vegetarians and vegans offended by the meat served? Or the tea-totalers by all the beer? I bet Kamina is writing offended letters to the local papers in a couple of years.

Sounds like just another tawdry corporate event to me. They're either naff, boring or both and you know that before you go. Why do you go? Because of the free food and booze.

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Twitter at ten: The social network designed for 2006 struggles into a second decade

Charlie Clark
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Flame

Re: Another pump and dump share price flotation scam

Another profitless unicorn bubble goes pop.

AKA that's what happened to my pension, because the fund manager's took Goldman's advice, and I didn't even get a t-shirt!

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Charlie Clark
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Still the best vox populi source around?

Twitter is most certainly not vox populi. It, and most of the social networks, are echo chambers largely full of banal and inane drivel. There may be the odd island of coherence but I've never had the patience to search. Especially after I set up my own bot to add join the conversation add to the noise.

The brevity suggests spontaneity and encourages speed and quantity over quality. Much as if you were listening to a slanging match at your child's playground.

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HERE: We're still, er... HERE

Charlie Clark
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I don't think that's the issue.

Each OS needs a dedicated team of developers and QA. The "free" Android and IOS versions are interesting because of the data they can help provide. There just aren't enough Windows Mobile users to justify continued development. And MS already has Bing Maps.

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Google tries to run from flailing robotics arm

Charlie Clark
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Re: Bad Ideas All Around

Sergey & Larry are Google Alphabet's biggest shareholders and will continue to bet money on moonshots. But the new corporate structure insulates the ad biz a bit from them.

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Charlie Clark
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Re: Genuinely impressed

Well, they are continuing to fund robotics research just not of this kind. Not winning the DARPA contract was obviously disappointing as once you get one of those, you've basically got it made.

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Glasgow boiler firm in hot water for cold calls, cops £180K fine

Charlie Clark
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Re: Glasgow boiler firm in hot water for cold calls, cops £180K fine

Why don't the directors pick up the fine when a company has behaved unlawfully.

I guess it depends upon your definition of "unlawful". They can be held personally accountable for criminal actions, ie. those that lead to criminal proceedings. But, guess what, the ICO is a regulator and not a court.

In any case to go after these chumps you're best going after the telcos that provide the services and threaten them with access to the telephone system as an encouragement for them to police themselves.

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HTTPS is not enough: Boffins fingerprint user environments without cracking crypto

Charlie Clark
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Re: No Brainer … ?

I guess the advantage here is the passive nature of an attack. Sitting on a public wifi network, get some data before launching a targeted attack against platform X. But MitM attacks are probably even easier.

Maybe it's just another argument against using open wifi networks?

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Swedish publishers plan summer ‘Block Party’ to thwart ad blockers

Charlie Clark
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Re: Blocking the blockers is trivial

Or do you actually think they would trust website owners to tell them how many times the advert was viewed?!

The relevant lines from the logfiles can easily be provided for verification.

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