* Posts by Grease Monkey

1667 posts • joined 11 Jun 2009

Uber wasn't to blame for robo-ride crash – or was it? Witness said car tried to 'beat the lights'

Grease Monkey

Re: Two sets of traffic lights are needed

And who should pay for all these electronic signals? Every light controlled junction in the world? That would cost billions and the people who should pay world be the manufacturers of autonomous cars, and therefore the buyers. The public purse shouldn't pay, why should the public purse subsidise this enterprise?

However these cars need to deal with the roads the way they are, the roads should not be changed to adapt to these cars.

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Grease Monkey

Re: side on impact

So clearly you never saw the episode of mythbusters where they tried to use the bonnet of one car as a ramp for another. That myth was busted IIRC.

But in all seriousness it is very difficult to predict when a car will roll. It's often surprising which vehicles pass and which fail the elk test. One thing you can be pretty sure of is that the Volvo, being a Volvo, will have passed the elk test. As such it should be pretty damned hard to roll.

The photographs of the aftermath don't make it clear how the car was rolled, but visible damage to both cars does not speak of a high speed impact.

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Amazing new WikiLeaks CIA bombshell: Agents can install software on Apple Macs, iPhones right in front of them

Grease Monkey

The perennial problem with wikileaks is that they always try to make every story look much bigger and more significant than it really is. After you've seen them do it a few times you don't even bother looking at the detail. One day they may have a story that is every bit as big as they claim, but nobody will pay attention.

The boy who cried wolf indeed.

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'Password rules are bullsh*t!' Stackoverflow Jeff's rage overflows

Grease Monkey

And what reasonable system would allow you to download the password database? In your example the complexity if the password is irrelevant to the security of the system.

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Grease Monkey

We keep hearing from security "experts" that passwords can be cracked in no time thanks to fast processors. This is, however, total bullshit for any reasonably secure system because such a system will lock an account at least temporarily should the incorrect password be used more than a certain number of times. So I care not that you have a brute forcing system that can generate five bazillion passwords a second. Even a fairly loose system will lock your account for a few minutes after half a dozen attempts. This being the case your amazing password generating breast will take years to crack even a fairly simple password.

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Volkswagen pleads guilty to three Dieselgate criminal charges

Grease Monkey

Re: Justice for the UK?

"It's due to a difference in the law, the EU regulations the UK follows in this regard doesn't specifically state that a bypass device/software for the test is illegal, whereas the US regulations do."

If the fitment of such a device results in the car being classified in a lower bracket than should be the case then it is illegal. If it results in incorrect fuel consumption or emission figures being advertised them again as a beach of the trade descriptions act it is illegal. There are probably other laws it breaks too, but those are the first two that slurring to mind.

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Grease Monkey

Here's a thing I don't understand about many countries lack of prosecutions against VAG. In many territories some models produced by VAG were placed in a cheaper taxation category than they should have been, therefore effectively defrauding the public protease of millions. This being the case surely the first action of any sensible taxation authority would have been to calculate the back taxes owed and invoice VAG for the full amount plus nominal interest. I haven't heard of this happening in a single country.

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UK's Virgin Media subscribers suffer fresh email blocking misery

Grease Monkey

Greylisting is a cheapskate alternative to proper spam blocking.

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Zuckerberg thinks he's cyber-Jesus – and publishes a 6,000-word world-saving manifesto

Grease Monkey

Nice to see that there's one media outlet that's not taking that pointless stream of (barely) consciousness seriously.

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Imagine a ChromeOS-style Windows 10 ... oh wait, there it is and it's called Windows Cloud

Grease Monkey

"Microsoft for several years has been dismissive of Chromebooks, going so far as to run ads attacking the devices, from late 2012 into early 2015"

If you run ads criticizing a competing product then it's pretty obvious that you are frightened of it. Why else would you spend money belittling that product?

If you do it for the years then that means that, not only are you scared, but you aren't able to come up with something to complete.

If you then launch something to compete it proves you think your competitor was right all along.

The thing that gets me though is that where Google built something intentionally small and light to keep hardware costs down, it looks like Microsoft is launching a cut down version of Windows. Cutting down bloatware will never produce as lightweight a product as building for lightness in the first place. Ask Colin Chapman.

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Telcos hit out against plans to hike their broadband rates

Grease Monkey

A big problem at the moment is the ISPs' priorities in what upgrades they deliver and to whom.

Just to avoid jumping on the BT bashing bandwagon lets take a look at Virgin first. They keep on upgrading existing infrastructure while not expanding their network. A friend of mine recently received some spam from Virgin telling her the 100Mbps service on her street has now been upgraded to 200Mbps and making her a special introductory offer (something that should be banned - existing customers should not be expected to subsidise new ones). Meanwhile another friend living two streets away still does not have access to Virgin fibre.

BT keep on upgrading infrastructure for some exchanges while not touching others. I see exchanges where customers are still on 20CN ADSL1 services, while other exchanges that were upgraded to 21CN ADSL2+ years ago and have since been upgraded to FTTC are now being upgraded to FTTP. I remember BT telling me 20CN was going EOL years ago, so why is there still so much of it out there when other customers are getting FTTP?

Yes you can say that those exchanges are more profitable, but it is ridiculous that some people are getting their home internet access (I hate the term broadband) from 3G and 4G services because the fixed line service in their area is so poor.

The way the market seems to work is that BT hold back from offering very high speed upgrades where there is no competition. As soon as somebody else, Virgin for example, offers or even threatens to offer fast fibre services in any given area that area suddenly jumps up BT's roll out plan. Equally Virgin are not interested in rolling out new or upgraded services even in urban areas until BT announce plans to outdo them. As such there is no incentive for BT to roll out fibre (TTC or TTP) as long as long as ADSL is the only game in town. Equally there is no incentive to Virgin to roll out fibre to areas they don't already serve.

The best way the government could deal with this? Exclusivity. All the government needs to do is give a period of exclusivity deal (say 5 years) to whoever rolls out high speed services to an area or even a street. So if and ISP rolls out fibre to my village (unlikely) then anybody else who wants to offer fibre in that area must use that ISP's infrastructure for at least five years. This is a big incentive. It means that non only does the ISP get the revenue from any customers they sign up, but they also get wholesale revenue from other ISP's customers who want fibre. It also brings us back to the original model of the cable rollout.

Most people probably don't even remember it, but back in the day small companies bid for cable franchises on a local basis. The likes of Jones Cable and Yorkshire Cable got the deals round here. As a model it was a good idea because smaller companies were competing with each other for new areas. The problem was that those companies all got swallowed up by Telewest and NTL and those two by Virgin. All of which gave us a second effective monopoly (if you see what I mean) rather than a competitive market. Virgin are actually in a more protected position than BT as there is no obligation for them to throw open their last mile to other ISPs.

A model such as I'm suggesting would encourage new operators to enter the high speed infrastructure market.

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Grease Monkey

Re: BT (and the rest) will just pass it on

Well of course they'll pass it on. That's how business works. You pass on your expenses to your customers otherwise you wouldn't make a profit and if you don't make a profit what's the point of being in business.

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Cock fight? Not half. Microsoft beats down Apple in Q1

Grease Monkey

Re: A partial quarter does not a whole quarter make. And...

Call it a pen, pencil our stylus. It still breaks Jobs' rule and if the lukewarm sales are anything to go by it looks like Steve was right.

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Grease Monkey

Although customers are sometimes sold on the fact that the Microsoft product will integrate better with their existing infrastructure, there is another possible related reason. Apple have spent billions on advertising themselves as a lifestyle product. In this particular market sector that's hurting them, customers see Microsoft as a business product and Apple as a fashion product.

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Nuisance caller fined a quarter of a million pounds by the ICO

Grease Monkey

Re: Reap the income from the NGN.

Firstly there isn't necessarily a long delay in receiving payments from NGNs depending on the proveider. Secondly a canny organisation wouldn't necessarily use the same entity to acquire the trunk, the NGN and the VMs hosting the dialler and IVR. As such the link between the spam calls and the calls and the NGN isn't necessarily made in time. Indeed canny operators will cut and run on the SIP trunk and VMs long before the first bill arrives.

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Grease Monkey

This is pretty much legit compared with some of these scams. How some much more dodgy operators work:

Sign up for a SIP trunk with little or no (preferably no) payment up front.

Sign up for a non-geographic number with a different provider, the sort where the recipient gets a cut of the call charges.

Using PC Or even a hosted virtual machine start pumping out spam calls as fast as the SIP trunk will let you with a callback to the NGN.

Incoming calls to the NGN are rooted to a simple recorded message, maybe even an IVR to harvest callers' personal details.

Reap the income from the NGN.

Ignore bills for the SIP trunk until the provider cuts you off.

Sign up for a new SIP trunk and new NGN if necessary.

Repeat until the authorities or debt collectors show an interest.

Disappear.

Start again under a new name.

Repeat until rich or arrested.

Mostly rich.

The thing with these scams is they can be set up from abroad with fake credentials, all you need is a bank account for the income to flow into, which can be erupted and closed as required. Some of these crooks set up for only a matter of days or even hours before they disappear.

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FTC's Jerk ruling against ex-Napster boss upheld by court

Grease Monkey

Don't know about the US but the point about extortion is not down to whether the information was publicly available. Imagine you found out something publicly available (if not necessarily widely known) about a person and then told them you would take that information top the tabloid press unless they were to pay up.

That would be extortion. This is no different.

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Grease Monkey

I'm sorry, but can somebody explain exactly how this business model differs from extortion?

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Woz says 'Jobs started Apple for money' – then says it must pay 50% tax like he does

Grease Monkey

We all pay a lot more tax than just income tax, but most of us don't employ accountants to work out exactly how much of our income goes on tax. Consider that here in the UK most purchases include VAT. We've already paid income tax on our earnings, but 20% of a lot of or spending also goes to the tax man. Then there are duties on things like fuel and booze. Then we have things like council tax. Taxes paid on things like insurance. All those things add to the tax we pay overall. Add that up and see how much of your earnings actually goes to the public purse.

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Vinyl LPs to top 3 million sales in Blighty this year

Grease Monkey

That's probably an awful lot more used vinyl changing hands than new. There's so much old vynil still out there that there's decades worth of stuff for the second hands vyn shops still out there.

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Obama to admit Moon landing was faked?

Grease Monkey

Re: yep

Of course the bookies win more often than they lose. If they didn't they wouldn't be in business. You can present all the maths you like, the only evidence that matters is that bookmarking is big business.

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Censorship FTW! China bans Paris Hilton, minor Kardashians et al

Grease Monkey

Re: But bear in mind that a similar ban in the West would likely have meant

@oengus it's a ban of sores featuring celebrity kids, which most of those shows d don't do anyway.

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Uninstall QuickTime for Windows: Apple will not patch its security bugs

Grease Monkey

But if you ask any fanboi they will tell you that all iProducts are 100% secure.

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Microsoft drives an Edge between Adobe and the web: Flash ads blocked

Grease Monkey

So many phones and tablets don't support flash, our if they do you have to make the choice to install it anyway. As such are flash ads really that much of an issue any more?

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X-ray scanners, CCTV cams, hefty machinery ... let's play: VNC Roulette!

Grease Monkey

Re: Thanks Chris.

"VNC is way more popular on linux because it is the only thing available to share your desktop "

Nope. There's an RDP server for linux and its been around four some time. Which is useful because it allows you to control your linux machine from somebody else's Windows machine without installing a client.

However just don't see the need in this day and age to remote control your desktop, whatever the OS.

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Grease Monkey

Two things I particularly liked were:

Windows XP machines with no logon credentials for VNC. That's adding insecurity to something that's already insecure.

And conversely inherently secure OS's with no logon credentials for VNC. So you take a secure OS and then remove most of the security.

Why do people use VNC these days anyway? There are so many better alternatives.

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Grease Monkey

It's amazing that its possible to set up a VNC server without even the most basic of logon credentials.

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Don't – don't – install iOS 9.3 on your iPad 2: Upgrade bricks slabs

Grease Monkey

It just works.

That is all.

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

Grease Monkey

Where are all the fanbois explaining that is not really a vulnerability?

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Surprise! That blood-pressure app doesn't measure blood pressure

Grease Monkey

So the vendor openly admits that they are selling a blood pressure monitoring app that will only work for people who don't have anything to worry abut in that area? Which when read in the context of the study also tells you that the app will tell people with high blood pressure that they also have nothing to worry about.

So in that case why bother with all that coding? A text file containing the message "Your blood pressure is fine" would have done the job every bit as well.

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BBC telly tax drops onto telly-free households. Cough up, iPlayer fans

Grease Monkey

Re: Jim'll fix it and you

"Having a TV does NOT mean I have to pay the BBC a fucking penny!!!"

It doesn't matter how many exclamation marks you use, I think you'll find the law disagrees with you.

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ICO fined cold-call firm £350k – so directors put it into liquidation

Grease Monkey

Voluntary liquidation is a very dodgy area. To often it is used by dodgy directors to avoid debt. The general practice is to keep the cash flowing in and straight out of the company until a big debts becomes due and then enter voluntary liquidation, when there are few actual assets. I'm not just talking about blatantly. Bent companies with a couple of directors and no employees here, but directors who see their company as a way of earning huge amounts with no liabilities as such. The law on this sport of thing needs reviewing and the circumstances where companies can enter voluntary liquidation need to be severely restricted.

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Grease Monkey

That's why the ICO is pointless in these cases. Data breaches are one thing, but deliberate criminal behaviour for profit is another. This should never have gone to the ICO but straight to the police. Criminal investigations against the director's are the only way forward.

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Phorm suspends its shares from trading amid funding scrabble

Grease Monkey

If you fancy a laugh just take a look at the share price before they suspended trading. Compare that to their high of a few years ago.

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Competition? No way! AT&T says it will sue to keep Google Fiber out of Louisville, Kentucky

Grease Monkey

Two questions. Off a Google contractor causes an outage for another carrier's customers, who repairs and/or party's for the repairs? Google, the contractor or the affected carrier?

And does the ruling stipulate that Amy compression should be payable to the affected customers?

Here in the UK a contractor damaging infrastructure is billed for the costs of the damage which would include any service credits the Telco had to pay.

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Cameron co-opts UK mobile industry for EU Remain campaign

Grease Monkey

Re: Every time the BBC tries to be impartial the media accuses them of X-wing bias.

The BBC's bias is quite amusing really. The BBC's editorial staff are so pro-EU it's painful, they are mostly upper middles who keep a second home in Provence or Tuscany. The early coverage on saturday showed that it clearly hadn't even occurred to them that anyone would vote to leave the EU. Then as more and more big political names joined the campaign to leave you could see them start to wobble. The breaking point for them was when Boris joined the leave campaign. They began to ask if the comedy buffoon could swing the vote. It wasn't that they really thought that Boris alone could do that, it's just that they realized that their reporting so far was somewhat wide of the mark and they needed a reason to realign their editorial stance without losing face. So now their reporting may still be heavily biased towards the remain camp it at least now acknowledges that there may be a contest. Look back at Saturday mornings reports at it was clear they thought the vote was a foregone conclusion: 99% in favour of remaining.

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Linux Mint forums hacked: All users urged to reset passwords

Grease Monkey

Re: Hmm

You're impressed that they advised forum users to change their passwords and then promptly took the forums off line so users couldn't change their passwords?

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SpaceShipTwo ready to slip the surly bonds of Earth for Virgin Galactic

Grease Monkey

It's been built purely to exploit an arguably innaccurate definition. Most people would argue that you are only an astronaut if you have been in orbit. As such, while passengers in this craft may get the right to call themselves astronauts all they will be doing is devaluing the title of astronaut.

After all Donald Trump has the right to officially call himself a human being, but we all know he isn't.

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Want blazing fast Netflix streams? Book a flight to Northern Europe

Grease Monkey

"Virgin may have the highest average speeds, but they also have the longest down-times, nastiest "fair use" policy and highest prices."

The more significant reason that Virgin have the highest speeds is that they choose not to serve anybody outside an urban area. Indeed they choose not to serve a lot of people inside urban areas. If an ISP cherry picks the areas it serves then of course it will have higher speeds. The rest will sell to people on the end of several kilometers of copper and hence their average speed will drop as a result.

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Reminder: iPhones commit suicide if you repair them on the cheap

Grease Monkey

In europe car manufacturers have tried several times to outlaw the sale of pattern and other non-oem parts. On every occasion they were defeated. Their arguments that such parts were unreliable and even dangerous were rejected. Obviously legislators realized that what the manufacturers really meant was that such parts were dangerous to their income. Not only do the manufacturers fail to make a penny from the sale of these parts, but their availability prevents the manufacturers from charging whatever they wanted for OEM parts.

Apple seem to have implemented this through technology rather than legislation, but surely the rulings against motor manufacturers mean that what Apple is doing is illegal in Europe. Will Apple be prosecuted or will european legislators simply ignore this as they have done with previous Apple transgressions? Don't think we really need to answer that question do we...

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Amazon 'adware' laden Ubuntu passes ICO's data smell test

Grease Monkey

Sufficient information to turn off the feature? Whatever happened to opt in?

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EE, O2, Giffgaff, BT Mobile customers cut off as mobile networks fail

Grease Monkey

It doesn't matter which network you're on, you're not fine. If you're on one of the affected networks you won't be b able to make or receive off netwotk calls, but if you're not on the affected networks then you still won't to be able to make or receive calls to or from those networks.

This sort of outrage affects everyone.

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Brazil gets a WTF WhatsApp moment

Grease Monkey

"Used by over 90 percent of Brazilians"?

So Brazil must be the only country in the world where over 90 percent of the population have smartphones. Interesting.

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How to build a real lightsabre

Grease Monkey

And how are you going to support the filament? You have the same problem with that as supporting the mirror for you laser sabre.

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Work on world's largest star-gazing 'scope stopped after religious protests

Grease Monkey

Permission was granted then withdrawn? Somebody is going to end up paying out some serious compensation here. The problem is that it will be the public purse that pays rather than the idiot who decided to grant permission without following due process.

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Google to end updates, security bug fixes for Chrome on 32-bit Linux

Grease Monkey

Re: I always kept hearing...

I have an old, old 32 bit box running Linux. The reason for using Linux is that Windows 7 had no support for the graphics card, not Microsoft's fault but the card manufacturers. I could have bought a new card, but why pay out when an old version of Mint would work? And no later Linux versions don't support that graphics card either.

This is why I suspect some users of 32 bit hardware are running the likes of precise; they couldn't upgrade without forking out for new hardware. And why should they if their hardware continues to work? If these people are Chrome users they have two choices; continue to use Chrome unpatched or change browsers. No biggy.

This is a problem a lot of people have with IT. The hardware far outlives the software. I continue to drive a 16 year old car and until it breaks expensively I will continue to do so. There is no reason to replace it while it still works. My laptop is almost ten years old and still does what want it to. The PC is older and still does what it needs to (it's mostly just media, file and print server these days) but sooner or later the lack of availability of software updates will force me to replace them.

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Roamers rejoice! Google Maps gets offline regional navigation

Grease Monkey

A long way to go

Would be useful if the maps were accurate away from roads and contained rights of way information. Google maps is missing a lot of footpaths, bridleways and byways, and doesn't have accurate right of way information on those that are included. Round here some tracks with no public right of way are indistinguishable from roads or other public rights of way, equally some rights of way are missing or innacurately mapped. It falls behind OSM in a lot of respects even though Google maps had a head start and an awful lot more funding.

Google may do some clever stuff, but maps is frankly crap when compared with other products, even when you're online. The offline capability is so far behind a lot of the competition it's pitiful.

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AMD sued: Number of Bulldozer cores in its chips is a lie, allegedly

Grease Monkey

So stumpy what you seem to be saying is that all processors should be judged by the standars of the 80286.

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Anti-adblocker firm PageFair's users hit by fake Flash update

Grease Monkey

Re: BTW, thought here

I'm with you on that (although seven years younger) however I think one of the reasons so much is spent on advertising is the way market research works. How often have you be en resented with a questionaire like this:

Where did you see our advert:

a) internet

b) television

c) magazine

d) other

There's seldom a box for - I've never seen your adverts and certainly wouldn't pay attenstion if I did. In other words so many retailers start from the assumption that we are incapable of making a purchase without advertising, so they continue to spend fortunes on advertising because their research via questionaires shows them it works.

Of course those questionaires are probably written for them by market research firms who are part of the advertising industry.

The massive uptake on ad blockers should show that people find online advertising intrusive. Instead it seems to make the industry push even more online advertising at those who don't use an ad blocker, which in turn makes even more people install one. Targeted advertising is so much worse as it seems to work on advertising stuff that you already own. Of course this means that the ideal product to advertise would be an ad blocker since it would never be advertised to somebody who already has one.

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Grease Monkey

Re: Telegraph

You visited the Telegraph website? Wow!

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