Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Comments

top

Facebook Sued For Violating Wiretap Laws

maxume Re:Dumb Question (284 comments)

No, not really emotional about it.

But I do see that you created a grandma that needs help to get online and then ignore the fact that the helper could, with very modest effort, set gramma up with a blocking tool that keeps itself up to date. It's clearly not as good an outcome as getting websites to not enable Facebook, but it isn't complicated or hard.

about 3 years ago
top

Facebook Sued For Violating Wiretap Laws

maxume Re:Dumb Question (284 comments)

So why focus on that and ignore my insisting that something like Ghostery is actually a practical answer to the tracking?

about 3 years ago
top

What Happens When the Average Lifespan is 150 Years?

maxume Re:Currently... (904 comments)

Not in any way that you can't just throw aside by claiming the problem isn't really solved or that the thing used to solve it didn't involve political force.

But things like worker safety and civil rights and vehicle safety and pollution have all been quite majorly impacted by political force.

about 3 years ago
top

Facebook Sued For Violating Wiretap Laws

maxume Re:Dumb Question (284 comments)

No, I was just responding specifically to "Web sites simply don't have permission to set ANY cookies without your permission".

I agree that users are generally blind to the defaults of their software, but saying that the website sets the cookie without permission ignores the fact that the website can't actually do anything more than request that the browser store the cookie.

The tracking problem is somewhat solved for people that care to understand it, there are lots of ways to prevent requests from even being made to third party servers (for instance, because of Adblock Plus, I know that this comment entry page would use Google Analytics if I didn't block it and that the only other server it refers to is fsdn.com); that leaves the problem of enumerating the services doing the tracking, but blocking Google, Facebook and Twitter goes an awful long way.

Of course, that doesn't solve the problem of log aggregation and proxied tracking, but those are pretty different than requesting that the browser do this or that.

about 3 years ago
top

What Happens When the Average Lifespan is 150 Years?

maxume Re:problems? (904 comments)

We already desperately need to update laws surrounding social security, welfare and incarceration.

Also, people today cope with lots of loss. And some people don't cope with that loss. Longer lives won't change that much.

about 3 years ago
top

Facebook Sued For Violating Wiretap Laws

maxume Re:Dumb Question (284 comments)

I dislike it when people frame arguments in terms of protecting people they clearly have very little respect for. I mean, if you don't respect them, why pretend to care? But maybe you are just using sloppy language there and don't think of the typical person as a dim dumbass.

Anyway, I agree that social pressure (frothy outrage...) is a key component in shutting it down. That said, Ghostery and the like are a couple of clicks for the person helping granny through the 'couldn't even get online' and have third parties maintaining the block lists. That's plenty practical.

about 3 years ago
top

What Happens When the Average Lifespan is 150 Years?

maxume Re:Currently... (904 comments)

One of the problems with the economy is that there is plenty of production without having everybody employed.

Having more people that want to work is just going to make that effect stronger.

It will be interesting to see if political force or technology ends up solving the problem (it is at least possible to imagine a level of technology where a philanthropist can choose to displace arbitrary parts of the economy; maybe the availability of energy puts a limit on that, I haven't even tried to come up with a napkin level estimate there).

about 3 years ago
top

Facebook Sued For Violating Wiretap Laws

maxume Re:Cookies cannot "unlawfully intercept" anything (284 comments)

Half of my point is that you really need to coach your argument in terms of what the average user can be expected to do, not make hilariously wrong statements about what is possible.

I mentioned RequestPolicy in another comment. It enables the user to inspect each off site http request that Firefox makes (the default configuration is deny all). That's going to be pretty tedious, but it isn't going to involve analyzing any html or working through any obfuscated javascript. For a lot of the tracker crap, denying the first connection isn't going to break anything on the page, solving the problem.

(I get that this is not a particularly attractive solution to the problem, I haven't reached the point yet where I have decided to work through the pain of creating white lists for RequestPolicy, so I don't use it. But it is very much current technology and it very much solves the problem of not knowing about what sites are being contacted and controlling those requests.)

about 3 years ago
top

Facebook Sued For Violating Wiretap Laws

maxume Re:Dumb Question (284 comments)

"no practical choice" and "extraordinary effort" are pretty strong language. The extraordinary effort is of course true, because ordinary people don't bother installing something like Ghostery, but it certainly isn't extreme effort.

The long term, practical solution is to try to educate users as to what the hell the thingamajig on the screen is doing, encourage them to understand and control it, and to raise some frothy outrage over widespread tracking like Facebook was at least enabling themselves to do (they were clearly logging everything, it is less clear if they were actually analyzing any of that).

It might even make sense to start to move browsers away from having a single cookie context. Having cookie zones would mitigate much of what is problematic with sharing everything while minimizing the inconvenience of dealing with sites that use cookies while interoperating. The notion is that managing shared cookies is much less involved than managing all cookies, while still giving very similar benefits.

about 3 years ago
top

Facebook Sued For Violating Wiretap Laws

maxume Re:Wouldn't this apply to other tracking mechanism (284 comments)

Sure, it's odd. But it isn't the result of anyone thinking, it is the result of them using heuristics that work against most of their customers against all of them.

about 3 years ago
top

Facebook Sued For Violating Wiretap Laws

maxume Re:Wouldn't this apply to other tracking mechanism (284 comments)

If you tell the site that you own a bunch of other things, it will probably send you a wider range of recommendations.

Telling it you own books from the library that you have already read prompts it to recommend books that you have not read. And so on.

(Of course, the items you tell it you own do not have to have any basis in the reality, but basing them in reality may make them more interesting...)

about 3 years ago
top

Facebook Sued For Violating Wiretap Laws

maxume Re:Cookies cannot "unlawfully intercept" anything (284 comments)

"Load Images Automatically" has been a browser option for something like 15 or 20 years.

I can see reasons to desire more fine grained control than that, but it sort of makes statements like "you have no control over what image bugs or javascript they install on their site" sound really stupid (because the browser option makes the presence of the bug in the html irrelevant).

about 3 years ago
top

Facebook Sued For Violating Wiretap Laws

maxume Re:Dumb Question (284 comments)

The browser is storing the cookie. The website is requesting that it do so.

Pretending that this involves the website having control over what the browser stores is blatant idiocy.

about 3 years ago
top

Facebook Sued For Violating Wiretap Laws

maxume Re:Who they REALLY need to sue. (284 comments)

There are easy ways to control browser behavior, it is entirely possible, today, to manage what you browser does. The degree of control varies from browser to browser, but the more configurable ones are nicely cross platform.

That said, it is a giant pain in the ass because big companies like Facebook and the websites they work with know that not that many people actually care (i.e., given the pervasiveness of relatively anti-user content, client side white listing is the only workable option, and it is a pain in the ass. Stuff like Ghostery takes over the job of building the whitelist, but then you have the problem of trusting them.).

about 3 years ago
top

Facebook Sued For Violating Wiretap Laws

maxume Re:Dumb Question (284 comments)

They stopped with the cookies. Weeks ago.

And really, the only reasonable solution is to (try to) educate people so that they understand how gregarious a web page can be and suggest techniques for controlling them.

(You say 'script blocker', but RequestPolicy can prevent the http connections, and cookie blockers/managers reduce exposure. I expect the long term solution is to revert to only sharing cookies that the user has explicitly whitelisted for a given domain or whatever)

about 3 years ago
top

Android Phones Get Dual Accounts

maxume Re:I don't get this (109 comments)

The user desktop might be the guest of the business desktop.

about 3 years ago
top

Researchers Dispute Closing of the Bruce Ivins Anthrax Case

maxume Re:You do realize... (82 comments)

I demand control murders!

about 3 years ago
top

Ask Slashdot: How Do You View the Wall Street Protests?

maxume Re:The 1% are insulated (1799 comments)

~ 160 million workers.

about 3 years ago
top

2-Year ID Theft Investigation Yields 86 Arrests; 25 More Sought

maxume Re:Identity "theft" (154 comments)

My goal is to encourage people to categorically avoid language that endorses the idea that anyone other than the financial institution is the victim, not to parse out just how much reality is reflected in each of the various other terms.

(I agree that what you are saying is correct, but I think it is a pedantic technicality, the presence of a fraud alert or whatever is not going to stop a smart loan officer from extending a loan)

about 3 years ago

Submissions

top

Justice Department Drops Case Against Ted Stevens

maxume maxume writes  |  more than 5 years ago

maxume (22995) writes "The Justice Department has decided to stop pursuing the case against former Alaska Senator Ted Stevens. Sentencing in the case had been delayed by allegations that prosecutors concealed evidence from the defense. Attorney General Eric Holder has issued a statement saying "I have determined that it is in the interest of justice to dismiss the indictment and not proceed with a new trial.""

Journals

maxume has no journal entries.

Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?