* Posts by BlindWanderer

13 posts • joined 3 Mar 2011

The seven deadly sins of the 2010s: No, not pride, sloth, etc. The seven UI 'dark patterns' that trick you into buying stuff


Forced Action with a side of Urgency

I recently had the desire to find out about someone who had died. I wanted to know his cause of death but I didn't want to wait the 10 years or pay the 10$ for the death certificate. So I found myself looking for a website with the information.

The site in question had this insane interface which was 100% forced action. Like answer all sorts of questions about the person. And timed delays. I knew what was happening. With all the delays it took more than 20 minutes. Long enough you won't want to go through the process again. Also it said if you left the page you would loose your progress in "finding the records." I was curious just how long the scam would go on and finally after the 20+minutes I got to the credit card prompt. It was a neat scam.

Is it barge? Is it a data center? Mystery FLOATING 'Google thing'


We are in cyberpunk territory. Has echoes of William Gibson, though it's the Karl Schroeder story "To Hie from Far Celenia" that comes to mind. It describes an ARG that has it's own RW assets, which includes a city of containers that circle the globe on container ships, from which it's denizens commute to work, virtually of course.

Four ways the Guardian could have protected Snowden – by THE NSA


Just because you compiled it, doesn't mean the code is fine, you have to trust your compiler first. That was the point Ken Thompson made in 84:


How NSA spooks spaffed my DAD'S DATA ALL OVER THE WEB

Black Helicopters

Blacking bagging it

We have only seen 4 of 41 slides. Of those 37 slides we have not seen, one might just give the appropriate image credit. Do you really want to earn their ire and accuse them of copyright infringement when they may not have?

Habeas data: How to build an internet that forgets


Right to be forgotten and brain damage

I have a different perspective to give to this. I spend a sizable amount of time contributing to and managing wikis. A wiki (generally speaking) is a website who's content is contributed and edited by users. The appeal of a wiki is that it grows organically to fill the needs of the community, it operates to organize, shape and inform the community as to it's own identity.

Bad things can happen when contributors sour to the community. Wiki contribution agreements need to read like suicide pacts but they rarely convey the sentiment properly, as a result people think they can back out and take their content with them. That is when the edit wars ensue, where users restore and delete content. Two bad results can happen: the content is permanently deleted or worse, the content is permanently locked.

When content is deleted, it's like the community suffers a stroke, the knowledge is just gone but there is the opportunity to rebuild it anew. On the other hand having the content locked is community brain damage. All you can do is route around the locked articles, delinking them and rebuilding them elsewhere, it leaves scars.

I'm not ok with content being deleted. It should be anonymized, it should be flagged as abandoned. Like an expired copyright left to go to seed it should fall into the public domain.


Re: Geocities?

Like my Geocities page ~_~

Boy wrecks £22k worth of MacBooks by weeing on them



The USA truly is a melting pot, taking in and welcoming all creeds and races. I would have never guessed that in PA of all places there would be an integrated colony of xenomorphs (Aliens from Alien franchise). How else can you explain piss that can destroy 30 laptops? I think they would have mentioned that it shorted out the batteries, causing them to catch fire, the fire then spreading to and burning through the entire stack... but that sort of detail would have made it into the news report.

So what you do is take them apart, carefully rinse them and put them back together (after you let them air dry).

Intel, Micron double single-chip flash capacity


That is almost small enough for MicroSDXC!

Java tops for hackers, warns Microsoft


If it weren't for the occasional app that I want to run that needs the JRE, I would uninstall it all together. I don't even let my browsers talk to it. I will not be sad when Java is dead.

Penguin e-books back in libraries – but no new titles


It probably has to do with the discrepancy between the quality of the DRM for Audiobooks (Windows Media) and Ebooks (Adobe). Windows Media encrypted audiobooks and videos are exceedingly hard to decrypt after they have expired (I have never seen an article claiming to have done it). Accessing the keys stored in WM DRM is exceedingly complicated and Microsoft has been quite aggressive about protecting it's DRM.

On the other hand, files protected by Adobe's encryption can be decoded at any time, even after they have expired, all with a python script.

Disney's online (e)books are weird. I'd look into their security but honestly the content is of no interest.

I don't know anything about the security of content offered for Kindle through Overdrive. But I can imagine there could be an attack surface between Overdrive and Amazon.

Man says he lost $500,000 in virtual currency heist



If I had a cool half mil' sitting around I would invest a little money in protecting it. Like maybe encrypt it and store it on a flash drive disconnected from my computer.

Reg hack cast adrift as Illuminati Online goes off-line



Almost 15 years ago I got a free email address from Rocketmail. Rocketmail was bought by Four11... which was then bought by Yahoo. For most of my stuff these days I use gmail. I wish sneakemail hadn't gone pay, they were useful.

Library e-books to become too tatty to lend


Regular books wear out just like library books...

If you ignore the entire "information wants to be free" thing, this makes sense and is reasonable. After all why shouldn't they preserve their existing business model? The problem with this thinking is that it can be applied not just to libraries but to individuals too. Why shouldn't an ebook you buy not wear out just like library books? What about your iTunes collection? CDs scratch, crack or flake, records warp and become scratched, magnetic tapes stretches and snap. Nothing lasts forever. So why not protect those business model too? What's good for the goose should be good for the gander, right?

Of course it was tried, most notably with music via DRM. Nobody liked it, the early business built upon it (it being Real and WM DRM) have since folded. Everyone tried to control copying (Sony Rootkit fiasco), some tried to create self destructing content with mixed success (24 hour self destructing DVDs ). It's only been with libraries that DRM has been able to get a good foothold (though not complete as some content is mp3, which is likely to end since OverDrive now does transcoding of WM content for iTunes devices).

If Harper Collins pulls this stunt off, all the other content trolls will do the same. The fun thing here is that library licenses cost more than a regular single user licenses. So if this comes to pass, they will pay more and get less. Ultimately it's our money that's funding their greed, be your library sustained by donations, membership fees or taxes.

And once again I find my mind drawn to "The Right to Read" by Richard Stallman and each time it seems that we are that little bit closer to that world. The first time I read it it in the 90's it was science fiction, now it just scares me.

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