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My toy collection is ...

Cloud K Big enough to cause concern (177 comments)

My room is home to more ponies than the Shetlands, to be quite honest. It's getting out of hand. I just threw my wallet at Apple though, so the giant manchild within will have to sod off back down to the imaginary basement for a bit.


Apple's TouchID Fingerprint Scanner: Still Hackable

Cloud K Re:Indeed (70 comments)

If your spouse is going to the lengths of covertly grabbing your phone, placing plastic over your screen, making sure you don't notice it, grabbing it again when you've used it, removing the plastic and taking it to a copier..
1) What an awesomely geeky spouse, where do I find one? Or do I just marry a copper?
2) You have much bigger problems to worry about than the security of your fingerprint scanner. But you might want to search for your divorce solicitors using Private Browsing on a throwaway pay-as-you-go phone and throw it into the canal afterwards. Just in case.

4 days ago

Apple's TouchID Fingerprint Scanner: Still Hackable

Cloud K Indeed (70 comments)

It should be perfectly fine for the average person protecting their credit card details from thieves and their porn from their partners.
People who go to these lengths would surely be either:
Really determined for some reason (in which case they'd probably social engineer it out of you or something)
People who'd just cut your finger off
The police (at which point they've already obtained your phone and fingerprint)
The NSA (who probably already have a backdoor)
Either way, it's more secure than your typical 4 digit PIN or pattern unlock.

If you need more than that, you'd probably use some tedious-to-type ultra secure battery horse staple thing anyway.

about a week ago

Tim Cook Says Apple Can't Read Users' Emails, That iCloud Wasn't Hacked

Cloud K Re:Poor Apple (191 comments)

I'll use what I want to, thank you.

Similarly, whether you choose sides (or choose a tinfoil hat and avoid cloud services altogether) is up to you. That's how the world works you see, people make personal decisions, they don't usually take orders off people on the internet.

3 years ago I liked what Google were doing and disliked what Apple were doing so I switched to Google
Now, vice versa.
There's no brand loyalty here, but these happen to be the two biggest mobile OS manufacturers (sorry but Blackberry and Microsoft are irrelevant by comparison IMO) and in direct competition, so damn right I'll pick a side when one is doing something I like and the other is doing something I don't.

about two weeks ago

Tim Cook Says Apple Can't Read Users' Emails, That iCloud Wasn't Hacked

Cloud K Re:It's the goal. (191 comments)

Whilst you do sound like a channer (no offence - Anonymous is what they call themselves, and your writing style reminds me of one I know, but they do sometimes pretend to "know things") I wish I could mod you up as this is exactly what I'm suspecting as well. I really don't think the corporations are necessarily all Evil Devils out to collude with the NSA and do all sorts of nasty things with the data of individuals.

They're successful financially but surely this doesn't automatically mean they have no conscience.

about two weeks ago

Tim Cook Says Apple Can't Read Users' Emails, That iCloud Wasn't Hacked

Cloud K Re:Poor Apple (191 comments)

Call me gullible if you wish (given the PRISM leak it'd be fair) but I do actually relatively trust them, and believe that they were probably just as horrified to discover that the NSA had manipulated whoever they managed to manipulate (some engineers most likely) and tightened things up accordingly.
There's always this idea that the more successful a company is, the more Pure Evil they are and basically out to be as scummy as they possibly can. But short of the PRISM thing (which again I personally suspect was probably more a case of the NSA bullying some engineers than them colluding with C-levels) I've not seen much to suggest that Apple are actually evil and out to eat your children. I really can't help wondering if these levels of cynicism are all that good for your mental health - it sucks assuming that everyone is out to get you.

I don't outright 100% trust them of course because that would be silly, which is why I said "relatively". But the relativity between Apple and Google in terms of respecting privacy is a chasm of epic proportions, IMO. Google's C-levels say things like "privacy is dead" and "if you have something to hide you shouldn't be doing it".

There's a huge difference, and it actually IS a very good advantage for them to market - I've been deciding whether to switch back to iOS for my next tablet, and this statement has been enough to seal it.

about two weeks ago

A New Form of Online Tracking: Canvas Fingerprinting

Cloud K Re:Privacy Badger (194 comments)

Mine says: "Your browser fingerprint appears to be unique among the 4,310,202 tested so far."

Oh bugger indeed.

But seriously it's always been like that whenever I've tried it - even without the huge fingerprinting effect of the browser plugin reporting (I tried it with a completely fresh OS installation), in many cases just the combination of user agent and screen size - both reported in the HTTP headers - is unique. You might possibly blend in using some version of IE on Windows 7 on a 1024x768 or 1080p display, if you're lucky. There's been some discussion around making User-agent a bit less specific

Also quite interesting is that if you block as much as possible with something like noscript (which I found rather impractical to use, incidentally - CDNs are a genius idea when it comes to tracking people as it's easy to just get fed up of deciding whether you want each site to work properly and have the fonts required to display menus properly etc and just unblock all the CDNs - in the end I figured I might as well just remove noscript) then you're in a highly privacy conscious minority and therefore potentially even more unique. Sort of a black hole.

about 2 months ago

Texas Town Turns To Treated Sewage For Drinking Water

Cloud K I've had beers like that. (242 comments)

Or at least, English lagers..

about 3 months ago

Human Language Is Biased Towards Happiness, Say Computational Linguists

Cloud K Re:Makes sense (86 comments)

I see, thanks for your input on it. I feel terribly ignorant and no doubt come across as such, but hey, better to learn and get ideas and inputs. Being of the internet sort I come across depressed folks quite a bit, and every little helps.
There's probably not a huge amount that someone like me can do, but want to help somehow.

about 3 months ago

Human Language Is Biased Towards Happiness, Say Computational Linguists

Cloud K Re:Makes sense (86 comments)

I see. I don't mean to be rude, I'm genuinely curious (and don't want to annoy people, so avoid saying anything). I think from an observer point of view it can be frustrating to watch someone in a rut of having a defeatist attitude (even knowing they can't necessarily help it) where they won't get help for themselves because of this belief that it's pointless because life sucks, but the reason it sucks so much is because of the lack of help.. you sort of want to try and guide them out of the self defeating infinite loop and towards recovery.

Also whilst it may be rude to say it'll get better, it's hard to think what else to say when someone is kind of "brb killing myself" and you need some way to convince them not to and to illustrate that you can't get better from being dead.

I'm curious what would be more helpful. I'm primarily thinking of online here, where "just being there" is something rather difficult to convey.

about 3 months ago

Human Language Is Biased Towards Happiness, Say Computational Linguists

Cloud K Re:Makes sense (86 comments)

Is it possible to get better, then?

When I've pointed out this uncomfortable truth of "people are attracted to positive, happy people" and that finding some way - be it therapy, meds, determination, some combination whatever - to stop being negative, then people would react to them better and they'd have a happier life and less to feel miserable about, I have tended to get shouted at and told that clinical depression is a lifetime battle and that suggesting a depressed person at least *try* and adjust their attitude a little is massively insulting and like telling a disabled person they should just try to get up and walk etc etc.

about 3 months ago

EU's Top Court May Define Obesity As a Disability

Cloud K Re:This reminds me of a great Simpsons episode (625 comments)

Yeah... we have a habit of assuming that "exercise" means running (outside or pounding on a treadmill) or other time-consuming 'deliberate exercise' things that a lot of people don't have the time for (or rather, don't notice enough of a benefit to justify making the time for, or find really boring).

It's good, for your cardio / general fitness, but weight loss? You just have to get off your backside a bit. I'm normal weight now but in the process of getting there, I could've been eating and drinking the same stuff for 2 weeks, week 1 I'd just sit there as usual, week 2 I'd make the effort of standing up once an hour for a few paces, park on the opposite side of the car lot, and get up to see people in my workplace instead of phoning them. Once or twice I'd maybe walk into town for lunch. No more effort than that, no actual exercise sessions. Week 1 I'd shift 0.5-1lb, week 2 I'd shift 2lb+. It seems to be the overall attitude / mindset being in favour of moving that matters the most, not necessarily sweating away in a gym.

The other thing is, if you eat or drink too much of something "bad" (weekend of beer drinking say), yes, it's probably wise to offset that with some form of heightened activity to maintain a decent weight loss and/or not have weight creeping on over the months/years. And if you know it's going to happen, maybe getting some of that extra activity in advance. But we should also avoid a mindset of "if I go for a run today I can have some extra beers / chocolate". There's a very subtle yet very important difference between the two, imo.

The other thing is weighing regularly. If you do go wrong and put weight (back) on, it's amazing how much you can pile on before you actually notice.

about 4 months ago

EU's Top Court May Define Obesity As a Disability

Cloud K Re:It is one (625 comments)

I'd +1,Insightful this if I was able to. I'd not really thought of it like that, but the comparison seems sound.

My initial reaction was like many, that this would be a bad thing, and everyone would be playing the "I stuffed myself, now I'm disabled and so don't have to work / am able to get handouts, discounts and special treatment" card. I'm sure there are some people who would do just that. But maybe the majority would think "oh shit, I'm disabled" and be more motivated to do something about it.

That said, it would seem that "disability" usually implies that it's a long term / lifetime problem. "Illness" may be closer to the mark.
I've been obese. The cure is a balanced diet, exercise, and expending more calories than you ingest. The first step towards that though, is caring about your long term health MORE than you care about short term enjoyment. For me that didn't apply for a while, and you will find a lot of people saying the same as what I did: "I don't care about living to be 90 if I have to be miserable along the journey".
I think in those cases it could be considered a mental illness sometimes. A combination of low self esteem (in the form of not caring about your own life enough) and just the inability to get one's head around the fact that you can still enjoy yourself and will not be miserable at all. And heck, almost nothing is bad enough in moderation to matter. I still drink beer. I still sometimes indulge in some chocolate (though rarely, as I'm more aware of how densely packed the fat and sugars are and don't like to do that to myself). It's just that I don't throw them down my neck as fast as possible, and I've acquired the taste of fruit and veg and other healthy foods (just like we all did with beer, did anyone like it the first time they tried it?).

We just tend to need a push start, a reason to care about yourself, beyond "other tax payers hate me because people like me cost the NHS billions" (more self loathing, yay). Being considered disabled? That might the the push that a good few need.

about 4 months ago

EU's Top Court May Define Obesity As a Disability

Cloud K Re:Please make it a mental one (625 comments)

Maybe use those funds to subsidize fruits and veggies?


I'll use my favourite fruit as an example: oranges (I like them, and they keep colds at bay). Medium-to-large oranges are about 40p each in supermarkets (though you can get down to 25p or so on the market stalls, but people tend to stick to the supermarkets). A massive (250g+) bar of chocolate can often be found for about £1. Or people can go to the pound shop and buy packets of crisps ("chips" to the American folk) for 5-10p each. The same shop also tends to have massive bags of broken biscuits (cookies) for £1.
To someone on a tight budget, it's a no-brainer to go and pick up 10-20 packets of crisps rather than a couple of oranges. They'd love to get their 5-a-day, but fruit and veg do not come cheap! And rather than 1 day's worth of fruit, they get a week's worth of crisps.

I think a fruit and veg subsidy would be one of the best investments any government with a health service (like ours) could possibly make. Obesity costs the NHS... I think I heard £7bn mentioned recently. I'm sure they could spend a bit to save a few of those billions if they put their minds to it.

about 4 months ago

When will large-scale IPv6 deployment happen?

Cloud K IPv6 already massively deployed (305 comments)

I think the problem comes in that not every web server in the world supports ipv6. Heck, when I was setting up a personal web server, I was sort of tempted to disable ipv6 because fail2ban doesn't support it and so it represents a bit of a security hole in that a cracker can bypass the security by simply using ipv6. (But I decided to do The Right Thing for the Internet and left it on, even though no-one relies on it right now)

I'd be curious to see the results from someone who has ipv6 but NOT ipv4 in day to day browsing, as that's the scenario we're ultimately looking at when v4 addresses dry up - not people who are running both, like now, but people who are exclusively running v6. Would they then only half half an internet with loads of blackspots due to sites that haven't adopted v6 yet.

about 4 months ago

Apple Says Many Users 'Bought an Android Phone By Mistake'

Cloud K Whoosh (711 comments)

Finally someone gets it.
I know Apple are arrogant, but even they wouldn't be THAT bad, it's pretty funny that people are taking this little joke so seriously :P

about 4 months ago

Google Starts Blocking Extensions Not In the Chrome Web Store

Cloud K Re:Data loss due to accidental navigation (225 comments)

I know exactly why I originally switched: I was not yet educated on the sheer depth of Google/Chrome's hostility towards your privacy, it had a huge selling point: silent, background updates where I don't even know they're happening (I like it that way).

This was at that time shortly after Firefox went to that crazy new release schedule and whizzed along from version 4 to version 26 in what felt like about 20 minutes. It was during this time that Firefox was driving me ABSOLUTELY NUTS popping up every few weeks with yet another new release, and getting in the way with its addon checks etc next time it's launched.

There is little that infuriates me more than when I launch an application and can't use it for the next 30 seconds because it's picked that time to chug around doing updates. I don't know if it's because they're too busy coding to use their own applications, but very few developers in the world seem to understand that "when an application is launched, that's when the user wants to USE that application" (sometimes urgently), and therefore very few have the sense to do their updates in the background or on exit (still annoying if you're waiting to shut down, but at least slightly less annoying).

Pre-empting the inevitable "30 seconds isn't that long you're not going to die waiting 30 seconds to see your cat videos" reply: Oh hold on, I'll just bin my SSD, and I believe Grace Hopper would like a word about nanoseconds. Chrome didn't need to waste those seconds, and so neither did Firefox. Unnecessary wastes of time are quite irritating.


The other issue was Chrome's excellent sync vs. Firefox's messy faff of one.


Two things have happened since:

1) An acute awareness of how much Google treat your personal info / metadata / browsing habits as an all-you-can-eat buffet, made all the more obvious in our recent privacy conscious times triggered by NSA et al

2) They finally fixed the Firefox browser.

There is still a foreground element to updates and their notifications, but nowhere near as obtrusive as they were when I abandoned it, add-ons don't usually break, and now it has a proper sync system.

Nowadays it's a no-brainer to use Firefox again. It gives you the same conveniences regarding sync and less annoying updates, but doesn't spy on you or restrict you like Chrome does and has much more respect for your privacy and freedom. Wouldn't touch Chrome with a bargepole now, and them locking it down even further only seals the deal.

about 4 months ago

404-No-More Project Seeks To Rid the Web of '404 Not Found' Pages

Cloud K Re:Um, 301 and 302 (72 comments)

Yes indeed. I took control of a site in 2007 and haven't knowingly broken a link since. Various restructures just led to more redirect entries in .htaccess, and if you somehow have an old 2007 link it should take you to the relevant page on today's site. It just needs disciplined webmasters.

(I'm not the most creative of people and our marketing girls are not exactly the most constructive in dealing with other departments (such as making suggestions for improvement or even opening their mouths and telling me they don't like it in the first place), so they've decided to simply outsource it from under me. The new developers will no doubt break my lovely 7 year chain. But hey ho, that's life.)

about 5 months ago

Ad Tracking: Is Anything Being Done?

Cloud K Re:solution (303 comments)

I thought about this kind of thing recently - take something like Google Drive. You pay for the premium version and they give you more space, but you're still tied to their (lack-of-)privacy policy and they still spy on you.

If part of a premium service was "no ads *and no tracking or scanning your stuff or your habits in any way*" (preferably with some way to prove it) I think I'd be more inclined to pay for it.

If clicking on a site had options:
- View free (ad and data mining supported)
- View for 2p (100% private and ad-free)
I'd pay the 2p. Assuming there's some way to prove that they're not lying, which yeah, wouldn't be easy. It'd need some interesting open-source "thing" to make it happen.

about 6 months ago


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