* Posts by troland

471 posts • joined 10 Nov 2016

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How 'parasitic' Google's 'We're journalists!' court defence was stamped into oblivion

troland
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[citation needed]

prominent placement of Wikipedia as the top result for most searches, to give one example, certainly isn't a happy coincidence.

If Google is manipulating results to favor Wikipedia, that's a whole 'nother bombshell.

Wikipedia has consistently ranked among the world's top 5-10 websites (according to Alexa and so forth) for 10+ years. It's the first place most people look (typically via Google search) when they want to know some random factoid. Why shouldn't it be the top result?

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Super Cali's frickin' whiz kids no longer oppose us: Even though Facebook thought info law was quite atrocious

troland
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Re: Targeted Advertising = Targeted Stupidity

Indeed, advertising is in danger of becoming a lost art. That whole part about getting the attention of potential customers and **occasionally** reminding them "hey, we exist.. here's what we sell and why you should consider buying it."

Targeting prospective customers who OPT IN is fine, but going by FB profiles or past purchases is moronic. As they say in every investment prospectus, "Past performance is no guarantee of future results."

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troland
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Black Helicopters

"Opposition"

When Facebook drops its opposition to legislation, it passes.

Does their "opposition" include censorship of users/content supporting the legislation? Which would imply that the only thing impeding passage was legislators/voters not hearing anything positive about it from their "friends".

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Signal app guru Moxie: Facebook is like Exxon. Everyone needs it, everyone despises it

troland
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Flame

Signal

The way it's going, Signal could easily be the Facebook of the 2020s.

Contact list slurping, emojis, Giphy search, massive VC funding, doubling down on centralized infrastructure & metadata..... this is not the decentralized secure messenger everyone needs.

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It's US Tax Day, so of course the IRS's servers have taken a swan dive

troland
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Mushroom

Re: Funny

Personally, I think the IRS is using this as a excuse to justify demanding more money.

That's not just your opinion, man. I heard through the grapevine that their staff (not to mention IT vendors) is full of deadwood.

I say, make their job easier by purging the bloated tax code. Make it so easy they don't even need computers.

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Facebook admits it does track non-users, for their own good

troland
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As a never-signed up non-member of the FB empire, how do I find out what they know about me without them finding out even more?

Answer: you can't. Neither can FB users. I just tried "download your data" with a friend who uses FB. FB's record of your browsing history, and their advertising profile for you, are NOT included. The closest thing I found is the list of advertisers who've targeted you by (basically) uploading a contact list with your name/email/whatever in it, which they probably obtained from sources other than FB.

What you want is a US GDPR that effectively outlaws the consumer surveillance, direct marketing, public records, people search, and 'instant background check' industries.

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troland
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Thumb Up

For maximum effect, block everything by default because there's so much crap out there, and not just Facebook. I also block 1st-party JS & cookies because it's gotten even more annoying than it was in 1999.

Instructions for (paranoid) umatrix noobs: Click umatrix icon, click blue box at top left, select "*". On the "all" line, css & images are green; click them off (should be pink). On "1st-party" line, click bottom half of cookies & scripts (should be red). Click lock icon to save settings.

Caveat: every time you visit a crap website, you have to open umatrix and figure out what to allow to make the site work. If that's too time consuming, ask yourself: why am I wasting my time surfing this Web of Shit?

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If you guessed China’s heavy lifter failed due to a liquid hydrogen turbo engine fault, well done!

troland
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Mushroom

“local structure anomaly”?

We know what that means. See icon -->

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Backpage.com cops to human trafficking, money laundering

troland
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SJW much? Oh yes, every single comment you've posted here.

Do you think a sex trafficking victim would rat out her pimp if that means being returned to his tender mercies? Jail time would be a vacation.

But I think you're making all this up. I've heard about plenty of underage and forced prostitution - in the news, from people in courts and law enforcement, and through the grapevine. Not to mention #MeToo. Sure, there's an element of "much ado about nothing", but there are some truly evil people out there.

Citation needed, buckaroo.

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troland
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Facepalm

SESTA was written to nip future Backpages in the bud, AC.

Without it, Backpage was able to operate openly for 7+ years, raking in $500 million.

Look on the bright side: law enforcement just broke up the biggest evilest prostitution monopoly ever. Now if only they could break up some other internet-enabled monopolies...

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Exposed: Lazy Android mobe makers couldn't care less about security

troland
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Re: Locked boot loaders

Thanks. So we're talking about banking apps and DRM-protected streaming apps.

Using banking apps on a phone is just asking for theft, regardless of whether the phone is rooted/tainted or running a typically insecure stock environment. That includes cryptocurrency.

Why would I trust banks? They're leeches. Predatory lending, anyone? And if they manage to woo everyone with the convenience of mobile payments, they'll have total transactional surveillance, and every little "public service" will cost money, which will be sucked out of your account automatically the instant you use it.

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troland
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Re: Brave New World

I would take it with a grain of salt when some writer for Mashable declares removable batteries dead. Writers are Apple users as a general rule; this one seems to be no exception; and they would see inevitability in this trend because Apple started it. Most consumers, on the other hand, would gladly accept a rugged plastic phone that's 1mm thicker if it has a removable battery, headphone jack, and one-fifth the pricetag. That's the future of smartphones after the novelty wears off.

Sealed batteries are fine if you've disabled all the battery-draining location-tracking spyware and get 4 days on a charge. But I think they're largely a concession to metal & glass phones, because you can't simply pop the cover off. In other words, this is just foolishness.

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troland
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Re: Locked boot loaders

Examples please? I would assume any app that requires a "pristine environment" is spyware you should avoid at all costs.

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troland
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If you're ready to buy a new phone "any day now" it can't hurt to try those alternative ROMs. Just backup your data and be ready to buy a new one if things go pear-shaped. You should be able to backup and restore your old OS if you're careful though.

If all goes well, you'll get a few more years out of your old phone. The time you save wrestling with crap apps will make it all worthwhile.

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troland
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Re: Moto E second generation

The Moto gen1-2 range (2013-15) was only updated to Android 5.1 (April 2015) in the US. Not that 6.0.1 (December 2015) is much of an update.

Most of those phones will run LineageOS 14.1 (Android 7.1.2, April 2017). It's well worth the effort to install (easier than installing Linux on a PC). If you're brave, you can find some test builds for 8.1.

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troland
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Re: Android update statistics

In my experience...

If you buy last year's Landfill Android for under $100, about a year later you'll wake up one morning to discover your phone's been auto-updated, and that's the only update you'll ever receive.

If you buy this year's flagship for $500+, about a year later you'll wake up one morning to discover your phone's been auto-updated, and that's the only update you'll ever receive.

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NHS Digital execs showed 'little regard' for patient ethics by signing data deal

troland
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Socialized Medicine

This is something that's always worried me about socialized medicine (whether nationalized as in the UK or run by private insurers as in the US). First they come for the illegal immigrants. Then petty criminals and druggies. Then you'll hear about abuse by bureaucrats with political and personal grudges, but nothing will be done.

Pretty soon they'll roll out a "Social Credit" system like China. FaceGoog AI will rate your attitude and if it's found lacking, you'll find your appointments keep getting rescheduled for months and years... shadowbanned!

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'Well intentioned lawmakers could stifle IoT innovation', warns bug bounty pioneer

troland
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Re: Stop regulating cars too

Only if the Supreme Court declares them to be "people".

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troland
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Re: Title should be

I wish my local lawmakers would stifle the IoT. Not a chance. They just love smart meters and CCTV cameras.

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troland
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Terminator

Re: Stop regulating cars too

IoT killer drones don't kill people, they just follow orders.

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Anon biz bloke wins milestone Google Right To Be Forgotten lawsuit

troland
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And he tried to mislead the court. Given that his original conviction was for accounting fraud 20+ years ago. Compulsive liars deserve no sympathy.

I've had the opportunity to see a few in court. Excuse after excuse, sob stories, crying, and wasting the time of dozens of other people in court... judges hate that.

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Nervous Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg passes Turing Test in Congress

troland
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Re: Cushion

When you say 'piles' do you mean hemmorrhoids? That would explain it.

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troland
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Alien

Best Part

Senator Kennedy (Republican from Louisiana, absolutely not to be confused with the Chappaquiddick guy) opened with this line:

Mr. Zuckerberg, I come in peace.

Then he proceeded to ream Zuck over FB's terms of service and the surveillance they do under cover of the TOS.

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troland
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Re: You call that a banhammer?

Oh look, the House has their own BROWSER Act: https://www.congress.gov/bill/115th-congress/house-bill/2520/text and it's been reported (and ignored) here: https://www.theregister.co.uk/2017/05/22/house_gop_takes_crack_at_isp_privacy_bill/. The CONSENT Act is just an amended version of this.

These companies are only worth $1.5 trillion as long as they can please their users and advertisers. It's becoming difficult to have it both ways.

Government agencies will be brought to heel when their data hoarding & leaking RUINS a sufficient number of Congressmen's and women's lives. It's only a matter of time.

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troland
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You call that a banhammer?

Senator Markey's CONSENT Act is just a watered-down substitute for GDPR, targeted at "edge providers" as defined in weirdly specific language. The bill is also loaded with unnecessary technical details that'll be meaningless in 5 years. Weak! Low energy!

We need a real *general* GDPR aimed at all corporate stalkers.

Then we need to whip government agencies into shape as well.

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Google's not-Linux OS documentation cracks box open at last

troland
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Linux

Who Cares?

Whatever Google's intention for Fuchsia is, it's unlikely to benefit anyone else. I assume it's just an engine overhaul for Android, yielding only incremental gains in execution/developer efficiency IF it succeeds.

Google is now a pariah to consumers and manufacturers alike. Independent Android forks will probably deliver more practical benefits than anything Google does. Dunno about you folks, but I say TO HELL with Apple, Microsoft, Google, and any wannabes. FREEDOM!!!

Android Apps may seem to have a lock on the market today, but there's no technical reason we can't have efficient cross-platform phone & desktop apps (phone apps in tiny desktop windows, at least, if the developer can't be bothered to make a desktop UI). Java, Flash, and HTML5 came close to filling that void. Sooner or later it will be done right.

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Where's my free monitoring service, One Plus? – hacked-off customers

troland
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That's too bad. It seems like OnePlus makes some of the best phones to run LineageOS, for those of us who prefer Android without the bloat and spyware. I wouldn't spend that kind of money on a phone, mind you, but they look like nice phones with hassle-free custom ROM support.

I'd buy one from a major retailer, preferably one that accepts more secure payments than credit/debit.

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Facebook admits: Apps were given users' permission to go into their inboxes

troland
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Listening?

I wonder if Zuck will correct the record re: accusations that the FB app listens to microphone 24/7. I'd never heard that one until some senator asked him yesterday, and he dismissed it as a conspiracy theory. So I looked into it. There are videos demonstrating it. You should be able to see for yourself if you know someone with the app on their phone and auto-updates off. Fun prank if it works.

If it's true, I assume FB pushed out an update overnight to disable it. Or disabled it on the backend if they're smarter than I give them credit for.

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troland
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Re: And here comes another blatant lie...

Fiduciary duty doesn't include breaking the law.

We need a GDPR law.

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troland
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Expectations

I'm a cynical curmudgeon. I fully expected that my "private" chat messages would be screenshotted by my "friends" in the conversation, overseen by Facebook employees and hackers, and archived by my buddies at the NSA.

Never, not in my wildest dystopian nightmares, did I ever dream that 3rd-party "apps" used by my dumbass "friends" could download all my chat conversations with them.

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Imagine you're having a CT scan and malware alters the radiation levels – it's doable

troland
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> If a second scan failed it's likely the machine would be taken offline for troubleshooting

I don't get why you got a downvote. I've seen it happen. Some patients got x-rayed twice, then all x-rays were canceled for the rest of the day, because the imaging software was losing data.

It wasn't particularly dangerous, although one patient freaked out, but it was disruptive as hell.

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troland
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Windows

I've seen a fair amount of medical imaging machines using crappy unmaintained proprietary software (for proprietary USB protocols) that only runs on Windows XP. Maybe they're shifting to Win7 by now, I don't know - I've avoided this crap for a few years.

IMHO an airgapped hardened Linux-based 100% open source system would not be secure enough for medical equipment.

And they're running Windows.

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Gmail is secure. Netflix is secure. Together they're a phishing threat

troland
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Re: Netflix

No, it's not Netflix's responsibility to know every email host's internal naming rules. That's impossible. Netflix should verify email addresses (I assume they decided payment info was adequate user verification) but it was GMail that "helpfully" redirected netflix.sucks to netflixsucks until a scammer signed up as netflix.sucks. Gmailsucksmore.

The RFCs suck even more. Most internet protocols, old and new, have these ambiguities. The internet was designed to be flexible, not secure. It was only a research prototype, but it seemed to work well enough, so nobody bothered with version 1.0. If GMail is in perpetual beta, Internet is perpetual alpha.

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troland
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Re: RTFM

Interesting, but it confirms Onymous Coward's point. RFC2822 simply says the part before @ is a "locally interpreted string" which may contain alphanumeric characters and various punctuation including dots. It doesn't say how the email host should interpret the string.

Is GMail's ambiguous interpretation RFC2822-compliant? Yes.

Was it a mistake for the RFC to allow ambiguous email addresses? IMHO yes. Ambiguity leads to insecurity.

Was it a mistake for GMail to implement this ambiguity the RFC allowed but didn't require? IMHO yes.

Does GMail's ambiguous address parsing really protect you from spam? IMHO no, because the spammers know all about it and even exploit it.

I don't know why GMail doesn't just change it. Who cares if it breaks things for some users? Never stopped 'em before!

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They're back! 'Feds only' encryption backdoors prepped in US by Dems

troland
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Dems

Good thing they're not in charge.

When these fascists tools lose the 2018 elections over this, will they blame "Russian hax0rs" again?

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Furious gunwoman opens fire at YouTube HQ, three people shot

troland
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"Majority of all gun deaths are suicides and accidents"

Which wouldnt be in the many thousands without easy access to guns.

Ban guns, suicides shift to the next best option, which is probably asphyxiation or jumping. Which would you prefer? I thought so.

Most US gun deaths occur in 5 or 6 shithole cities. If they were (separate) shithole countries, the USA would have one of the lowest gun death rates in the world, and those shithole countries would all be in the top 10.

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Autonomous vehicle claims are just a load of hot air… and here's why

troland
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Re: What happens when pedestrians learn to spot autonomous vehicles?

Also, in areas with strict crosswalk laws, pedestrians DO cross wherever and whenever they want to, even if it kills them. Autonomous cars not required.

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troland
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Pint

Re: Finally somebody said the truth

Thanks for pointing that out AC. Have an upvote, @naive. You seem like a good old curmudgeonly Register poster. Keep up the good work.

@Steve Davies 3 - I know lefties who oppose driverless cars, and conservatives who don't. There's a word for them: outliers.

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troland
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Flaming hot-air death traps

That's an understatement. It took me two seconds to find this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GJrncrveDLc - and those are only the scariest of the last year or so.

It's amazing no one wants to ban them.

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troland
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Trollface

Re: What happens when pedestrians learn to spot autonomous vehicles?

Rich and poor, as well, if they rob the passengers, or if they don't have anything worth stealing, hold them for ransom. While wearing masks of course - those cars have 20 cameras.

Perhaps the algorithms will be tweaked to run over pedestrians wearing masks.

This, however, may not go over well with certain minorities.

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One solution to wreck privacy-hating websites: Flood them with bogus info using browser tools

troland
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FAIL

Loder is essentially proposing for ALL browsers to spam all websites that spy on users (essentially ALL of them) with automatically generated identity data and social media posts. That's a lot of spam.

Will it work? “If we can tar-pit spammers, we can tar-pit Facebook and Google from the browser.” NO. In this case, spam filters are THEIR friend, not ours. And if that's not sufficient, they'll simply ramp up email/phone verification or force users to sign up using their spyware phone apps instead of browsers.

Besides, Google's browser is by far the most popular. Good luck convincing Google to tar-pit Google.

WWW, Android, iOS, Windows - privacy-wise they're all broken beyond repair.

Decentralized, encrypted, anonymous, metadataless - that's the only way to roll.

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troland
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Re: Mutant 59

Paying the site owner removes your last shred of anonymity (unless you pay by anonymous digital currency, if they allow you to use it, if it ever exists for practical purposes.)

IIRC Zuckerberg has already proposed shifting Facebook to a subscription model for just this reason - to weed out "Russian trolls" and other "undesirables". And....the real criminals will pay with stolen accounts as usual.

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Cloudflare touts privacy-friendly 1.1.1.1 public DNS service. Hmm, let's take a closer look at that

troland
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Re: why encrypt

Your ISP is probably the #1 threat especially in authoritarian countries.

1. What you need to evade surveillance (including DNS) is a good proxy. Ideally the proxy runs its own DNS and doesn't keep logs.

2. Simply find a proxy you can trust, or build your own without leaving a trail. (I'm not being entirely facetious...)

3. Privacy!!!

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Linux 4.16 arrives, keeps melting Meltdown, preps to axe eight CPUs

troland
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Re: In other IT news..

You have to do it three times.

Mr. Torvalds demonstrates: https://youtu.be/_36yNWw_07g?t=10s

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Donald Trump jumps on anti-tech bandwagon, gets everything wrong

troland
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WTF?

Re: El Reg gets it wrong again

So, NO amazon 'cause it's bad. American Companies Only -- Goooooo Walmart!

I'm not a fan of Walmart either. But you think Amazon is better?

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troland
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Re: brain farts

And I thinking "Hes really been working for the democrats all along to make sure the republican party never gets into power again.... "

That was my cynical early impression of him, that he wouldn't win or he'd be impeached in short order, but at least he'd burn both parties to the ground. But let's be real. The Republican party was dead by 2010-12, and Hillary sunk the Democrats in 2016.

If the Republicans come back, they're not the same party, they're Trump's party now. Whether they'll be any better than the neocon era Republicans remains to be seen.

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troland
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Re: El Reg gets it wrong again

Right on. These pedants love to pick apart tiny factual errors in Trump's tweets to discredit what he's actually saying. Personally I find it refreshing to have a president who doesn't focus-group and rehearse everything he says.

What he's actually saying is, to make America great again we must stop Amazon from destroying local economies and flooding the market with cheap junk from China (often extra-crappy knockoffs) which by the way are burying us under mountains of toxic garbage (lefty environmentalists, where are you??)

But in America we have free speech. If y'all wanna die of cancer/starvation/genocide/humanicde in a corporo-socialist sh*thole, that's your prerogative.

Re: "Using USPS as its delivery boy" - Amazon made a secret exclusive deal with USPS, a taxpayer-subsidized enterprise, giving Amazon better terms (including Sunday delivery and allegedly below-cost rates) than other USPS customers. Those responsible should be in prison! (And in a non-crazypants world, leftists would be leading the charge.)

To be fair, El Reg is doing its job. Who do you think pays them?

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troland
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Re: Amazon? Postal Service?

Here's an idea, AC:

Stop using Amazon.

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Politicos whining about folks' data rights ought to start closer to home

troland
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Mushroom

Politicians, a wretched hive of villainy. (With the possible exception of the Troll in Chief.)

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Details of 600,000 foreign visitors to UK go up in smoke thanks to shonky border database

troland
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Re: Guardian has more details.

> In the UK you cannot - there is no legal requirement to identify yourself on the spot to police

That's nice. Too bad they already know who you are. Unless you're a Chinese tourist.

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