Jump to content
The Dark Mod Forums
Sign in to follow this  
Fidcal

We have become Big Brother

Recommended Posts

I was rather surprised to see Microsoft drop office genuine advantage. I'm guessing the spread of Openoffice.org is starting to worry them. I frequently recommend OO.O to people when they get a new PC or just need an office suite for an old one.


--- War does not decide who is right, war decides who is left.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Was this linked here yet ? I stumbled over it today, and thought it's pretty fitting to the topic title.

Still shocked at seeing a "web comic" with a deep message, too.

 

http://apina.biz/37195.jpg

That is awesome and nails it totally. Scary. How do you filter out irrelevance and poor quality though without censorship and restriction? The only way I can think is I mentioned elsewhere perhaps in this thread.

 

Currently human nature is predominantly profit-motivated so any scheme relying on integrity can't work. Instead, set up a system where commerce profits not directly from sales but from quality and/or value. The only way I can think of doing that is some sort of tax incentive. But this needs a quality evaluation system. If this is some kind of authority then it equates to a form of censorship (not quite because 'unacceptable' material can still be sold but it won't be so profitable.) It is also such a huge task that it seems unpractical, even impossible. The only method that comes to mind is if the public themselves give this feedback. 20 years ago that would be near-impossible. Now with the info highway it is possible. One difficulty is making it fair and secure; keeping out hackers and cheats who might feed in tons of positives to themselves and lots of negatives to competitors.

 

 

 

I was rather surprised to see Microsoft drop office genuine advantage. I'm guessing the spread of Openoffice.org is starting to worry them. I frequently recommend OO.O to people when they get a new PC or just need an office suite for an old one.

 

Yes I don't use it often but Open Office is always there.

 

It amused me to read the commercespeak:

 

"The Office Genuine Advantage program was designed to notify many customers around the world whether their copy of Microsoft Office was genuine. The program has served its purpose and thus we have decided to retire the program,"

 

Instead of:

 

"The Office Genuine Advantage program was designed to spy on you but we failed miserably in our estimation of the non-spying competition so we are forced to scrap it furtively and secretly hoping nobody would notice our stupidity."

 

~~~~~~~~~

I see in the UK we are now to have product placement on TV. I might almost think this preferable to advert interruptions except of course, we'll have both. A product placed within a drama or other TV program is by its very nature intended to distract from the content of the program. "What did the copy say about the dead body? I was too busy thinking about his mobile phone."

 

To me, all content intrusion is inherently wrong whether product placement, logos, scrollers, next ups, credits crunchers, or coming-ups. They are all attempts to manipulate people. The only legitimate TV advertising is between programs, clearly separated and marked as advertising, and containing good, clear product and service information. That is its true function.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm more and more concerned about web pages being slow to load - or more precisely, they seem to load but the Opera browser shows it is loading more stuff in the progress bar - often just images etc. But I sometimes think web pages are no faster loading than they were ten years ago on dial up with all the extra junk and bandwidth wastage.

 

Anyway, when I access http://www.thisislondon.co.uk/standard/news/ it hangs at the end with this in the progress bar. Wish I'd kept the complete message...

 

urls.api.twitter.com

 

Any idea why that should be loading in a news page? I don't use twitter. Probably harmless.

 

Just tried again and it wasn't left hanging in the progress bar this time.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Has everyone seen Intel Insider? They're planning to artificially require these processors to access streamed HD movies on the net. Your next CPU may handle some sort of authentication for the movie industry and thus they will grace you with the ability to consume their filth. I love the way the spokesperson leaves things out. He says the entertainment industry can use this tech to manage rentals, but if you buy a movie via this service, you will still get to keep it forever. Any time a company has the ability to yank access to products back from you though, "forever" is questionable at best. Just go ask those Kindle owners about 1984.

 

He also says this won't affect you unless you choose to make use of it. I guess this feature is being developed for free by Santa Clause and thus it surely won't affect pricing in any way.

 

I'm not out to get free movies. I find movies boring and I haven't watched one in something like three years. Why should I end up with a machine tainted by this technology? Why should I be strongarmed into funding it when I buy a general-purpose machine? Quite frankly, I would rather give whatever bit of money that would go to the development of this feature to a random drunk person on the street.

 

What about you? What if you just got a nice big PC with lots of cores, tuns of RAM and a nice video card that could decode several HD movies at once? What if you were rejected from a service just because your machine didn't have some artificial "benefit to consumers"? The Internet was built upon open protocols. That is why people can communicate regardless of operating system or hardware they're using.

Edited by lost_soul

--- War does not decide who is right, war decides who is left.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

"People of the same trade seldom meet together, even for merriment and diversion, but the conversation ends in a conspiracy against the public, or in some contrivance to raise prices." -- Adam Smith, way back in 1776


Come the time of peril, did the ground gape, and did the dead rest unquiet 'gainst us. Our bands of iron and hammers of stone prevailed not, and some did doubt the Builder's plan. But the seals held strong, and the few did triumph, and the doubters were lain into the foundations of the new sanctum. -- Collected letters of the Smith-in-Exile, Civitas Approved

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A new law in Finland was passed. The law dictates that if you buy an external HD, part of the price goes to TEOSTO (performance rights organization that collects royalties on behalf of songwriters and composers in Finland.)

 

The reason, they say, is that external HD's are able to store music. Think about the ramifications: with this success, they can soon make all storage medias to add a cost that goes to TEOSTO.

 

Madness! In my opinion external HD's have nothing to do with music, they are just generic storage media. Because of the increased price (and principle) I now have to buy my stuff from abroad and that makes warranties a bit more complex.


Clipper

-The mapper's best friend.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That levy is applied in Hungary to all blank CDs and DVDs, although to my knowledge, not external HDs yet. The money is collected by an organisation representing artists like in your example, except this being Hungary, the money goes to the few dozen influential music people who run the organisation (mostly performers from the 60s and 70s, when music was less diverse and big names had enormous market share), while everyone else may get a few cents every now and then.

 

Why innovate when you can set up a deal like that?

Edited by Melan

Come the time of peril, did the ground gape, and did the dead rest unquiet 'gainst us. Our bands of iron and hammers of stone prevailed not, and some did doubt the Builder's plan. But the seals held strong, and the few did triumph, and the doubters were lain into the foundations of the new sanctum. -- Collected letters of the Smith-in-Exile, Civitas Approved

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That levy is applied in Hungary to all blank CDs and DVDs, although to my knowledge, not external HDs yet. The money is collected by an organisation representing artists like in your example, except this being Hungary, the money goes to the few dozen influential music people who run the organisation (mostly performers from the 60s and 70s, when music was less diverse and big names had enormous market share), while everyone else may get a few cents every now and then.

 

Why innovate when you can set up a deal like that?

 

Yep. I forgot to mention that we already have that for blank CD's and DVD's, which I can understand, because they go to the typical devices you use to play bought music.

 

But now external HD's, which opens the pay gathering for USB-memory sticks and finally internal HD's. All of them can store music and play them. :wacko:


Clipper

-The mapper's best friend.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That levy is applied in Hungary to all blank CDs and DVDs, although to my knowledge, not external HDs yet. The money is collected by an organisation representing artists like in your example, except this being Hungary, the money goes to the few dozen influential music people who run the organisation (mostly performers from the 60s and 70s, when music was less diverse and big names had enormous market share), while everyone else may get a few cents every now and then.

 

Why innovate when you can set up a deal like that?

 

Sorry to barge in, but it is exactly the same in Germany. A few selected "artists" get most of the levies, and these are collected on:

 

* printers (VGWort - e.g. writers)

* whole computers (I think for music, plus vgwort)

* blank cds, blank dvs

* dvd writes

* copiers

* all-in-one devices (like printer+scanner)

 

For DVDs the levy is larger than the cost of producing a dvd, including packaging, tax, and transport to the customer....

 

Insane world...


"The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore, all progress depends on the unreasonable man." -- George Bernard Shaw (1856 - 1950)

 

"Remember: If the game lets you do it, it's not cheating." -- Xarax

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I object to all artificial controls by commerce that attempt to control people to increase their profits.

 

I object to all artificial controls to prevent purchase and force leasing instead by massively biased agreements that are impossible for the average non-lawyer to comprehend at all let alone after wasting time trying, give almost no rights and can be changed whenever commerces wants to be even more restrictive.

 

Adding a charge to media, RAM, HDS, blank DVDs etc is plain wrong in the current system and much like convicting the entire population to make sure you catch 100% of criminals.

 

Adding a charge to media *might* be acceptable IF copyright law was modified or revoked completely as well so creators make their profits from empty media containers instead. I am not certain of this though nor can I see how it would be fairly applied (possibly all sales would be recorded and a percentage of media profits go to them in proportion.) Just saying, I would give consideration to any proposal that might get rid of copyright completely while still fairly recompensing authors. However, this is totally fanciful at this stage of social evolution. No way is the copyright system going to be abandoned in the near future.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm starting to notice more adverts that relate to places I've been to on the web. Like the other week I bought some new shoes and now I'm seeing men's shoes advertised frequently. I used google to search for shoes so I figure it must be them. I look into this again as I thought I'd fixed it long ago.

 

It is supposed to be tracked by cookies. I found...

 

http://www.google.com/ads/preferences/html/about.html

 

which says I can opt out at http://www.google.com/ads/preferences

 

But that page only has an opt-in button (for me) so presumably I already used it long ago. In any case, when I check my site preferences in Opera I see I have google set to delete cookies on exit. (It just occurred to me that the opt-out would need to be stored in a cookie I guess so if mine are deleted on exit then google would default to opting me in so... ?)

 

So wtf am I seeing adverts for men's shoes? Who is tracking me? Opera? The only relevant bit of info I can find out for Opera says they do not track:

 

http://www.opera.com/privacy/#opera

 

and an older one which I can't find now but it basically said they did track from Opera 5 but stopped doing it from about Opera 8.5.

 

So who is tracking me? Or am I being paranoid and there are just lots of shoe shops suddenly starting to advertise?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

On Firefox I have an app that tracks the scripts, and I can see the google_analytics script is running on literally 98% of the sites out there (ok, a made-up stat, but it's a lot). I have all scripts turned off by default, but my understanding is that that's the one tracking the sites you visit (nevermind the google searches) that then feeds into the google ads.


What do you see when you turn out the light? I can't tell you but I know that it's mine.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

mmmm... I need to think about how that works.

 

I look in my cookies manager in Opera and see...

 

webcache.googleusercontent.com

 

Don't know how it got there but since it is a different website to the search engine then my 'delete cookies' on the search engine page won't delete it.

 

Furthermore, if I try to access webcache.googleusercontent.com then it redirects me so I cannot set site preferences for it.

 

However, my default is delete cookies on exit so I don't know how the above was created.

 

I check site preferences manager and find I have it set to delete cookies on exit anyway.

 

I do see a cookie for a shoe shop - probably the one I used to enable an account. Could they be using your script idea to feed info back to google? That makes no sense because the last shoe advert I saw was not for them. Well, I guess they get a tiny amount from google but do they realize it can't surely cover their loss if I follow up a shoe advert to another shop?

 

OK, I've now disabled javascript on their site prefs. But that will only stop future feeds. How do google know who I am from their feed? Maybe their script writes to the above google cookie. I've now deleted the damn google and shoe shop cookies but I'm not confident the google one won't return.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

No it's not the shoe shop, it's Google ... as I understood it. I mean maybe it's through the domain they're using or some google service they're using. Google has so many little apps people might integrate into their site without realizing google is sponging information from it; it's buried in the small print. And yeah, if they knew about it they'd probably strip it out because google is getting info on *their* customers to peddle to their competitors. All google needs is your ip address & a data point tracking your behavior. If you google anything about shoes, they definitely have that much right there. If the shoe site has some google service remotely around its site, then it might get it from there. Then you have spiders out there sponging information off sites. I'm just guessing. I just don't think it's always the cookies; since all google needs is to get an ip address & a data point, and I think there are ways to get that without a cookie.


What do you see when you turn out the light? I can't tell you but I know that it's mine.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I can change my IP address by logging off in my broadband modem and logging in again. Ironically I actually did that the day before yesterday because of a connection error. However, I don't want to do that every day.

 

As a test I'm now doing a google search every day for something I don't use: fishing tackle. If I start seeing fishing tackle adverts then I know they are still tracking me (though it might not be effective unless I actually create an account and buy something I guess.)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm curious about advertising aimed at google users. Where/when on Google's pages do these ads appear? I've never seen one, though I use Google many times every day. I had heard that Google was using ads, but have never encountered any... at least not in many, many months.


pranqname.gifLinux pranqster 4.14.44-desktop-1.mga7 #1 SMP Fri May 25 18:06:35 UTC 2018 x86_64 x86_64 x86_64 GNU/Linux

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

No, Google pages themselves tend to be free of the clutter of adverts. The adverts we are talking about here are adverts that appear on other websites but controlled by Google.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yeah - but AdBlock and FlashBlock just stop them showing. They don't stop Google tracking you. Google probably has a database of all the thousands of websites you have visited over the years. The way I think they should work it is this:

 


  •  
  • Everyone is opted-out by default (blame Blair's government for that in the UK who made opt-in legal.)
  • At the point of use, eg, when using the google search engine, there should be an option 'opt-in for custom ads.' with details.
  • The data should be encoded and stored exclusively in a cookie on the user's own machine.
  • Google change the code daily and rewrite the cookie every time they can.
     

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

mmm... first thoughts is M$oft still trying to control us all.

 

It might be tolerable if one can override individual software to permit it to run without a cert and also optionally totally disable the secure boot and Win8 still runs (which I think it says you can.)

 

But it still has unfair marketing issues. It locks most average less-knowledgeable users into Windows.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

mmm... first thoughts is M$oft still trying to control us all.

 

It might be tolerable if one can override individual software to permit it to run without a cert and also optionally totally disable the secure boot and Win8 still runs (which I think it says you can.)

 

But it still has unfair marketing issues. It locks most average less-knowledgeable users into Windows.

 

Just think "smart phone" (aka most phones sold already). There the user is not allowed to install a different OS (thanx to secured bootloaders), can only install approved apps (Android is slightly more open in that it permits unauthorized market sources) and the manufacturer can remove unwanted apps without your consent (and you cannot do anything about this, with the exception that maybe (I am unsure) android lets you still install the app from a third-party marketplace - if you can find it there).

 

It goes even further, in that the manufacturer/dealer/whoever is allowed to install apps on your phone before you buy it, and there is NO way to remove them from the phone. And half of these apps come with EULAs you can only agree to, or cancel - but the app is still staying in your phone.

 

(And please don't let me start with the fact that, as I found out the hard way, there is no way to use a google phone w/o an google account - oh you can use it to send/receive email, SMS, and make phone calls, but the market place does not work (so no app install), new contacts are not stored (due to some bug - haha, Samsung I totally believe this one) and probably a myriad other things don't really work (like the youtube app). For instance there is no way to sync your phone contacts/messages to something, unless you have an MS exchange sever (uh, whos got one of these at home?) or a google account. Catch 22).

 

An almost totally locked system - the only thing you can do is:

 

* add apps (with the caveat that sometimes they will vanish, and that you have no real control over which version of an app you get, thanx to auto-updates and all that)

* can install firmware updates for the phone (if you aren't even forced to do so by the mobile provider pushing it to you)

 

 

Basically, mobile phones have become a PC manufacturers wet dream. And then it extended to tablets. And I think it will go to consoles, TV sets, and then slowly creep into every other device. Like you car. Scary.

 

----------------------

 

Now what makes you think any manufacturer of a windows 8 tablet/computer will allow you to boot an alternative system? They will lock it tight because:

 

* it would cost them money to add a switch to disable secure boot

* even if it doesn't cost them money, and costs money to lock the system, they will do lock it, citing "hackers are evil, security, ra ra"

 

It is going in the very same direction, and both MS and the hard ware manufactures love it - because they know, when windows 9 rolls in, you have to buy a new computer (and a new windows license!)

 

MS wash their hands clean ("oh it is up to the manufacturer if they want to allow another OS to boot, and/or give you the certificate for the bootloader"), and the manufacturer will wash their hands clean ("oh, MS says we cannot get an Win8 license if we allow this" or whatever excuse they find), and the buyer is screwed.

 

Increasingly, you are becoming less the consumer/customer, and more the product. And unlike in cases like facebook, you are even paying for the privilige to be the product!

 

http://joshspector.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/09/Facebook-and-you-634x4991.jpg

 

Pure genius. But still evil in my book.

 

 

----------------------

The only hope I have at this point is that there is still strong restistance to this in governments and so on, because they are paranoid and do not allow others to control what they can do with their equipment - or at least that is the hope I have. However, their influence is rather small, unless you are the USA or the European Union. A small government like from Belgium is probaby simply ignored by someone as big as Apple, Google or MS.

 

Scary times indeed.


"The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore, all progress depends on the unreasonable man." -- George Bernard Shaw (1856 - 1950)

 

"Remember: If the game lets you do it, it's not cheating." -- Xarax

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...