Giver of skulls

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  • 0 Posts
Joined 101 years ago
Cake day: June 6th, 1923

  • Netflix pricing is quite reasonable already. The industry sucks, splitting subscription services into silos instead of taking on the music streaming model, but shows and movies are terribly expensive to make. People who get ads on Netflix are the ones without the income to pay the full amount, or who don’t care about ads I suppose.

    I think the Meta/Google comparison doesn’t hold water. The protocol in use here intentionally hides information about you specifically, whereas Google and Facebook will let advertisers gather information about specific users (based on some filters, like age and market demographic) once the advertisement has been shown.

  • The EU has the Horizon Europe programme for stuff like that, but I don’t think Mozilla will be able to apply with their current setup. As of now, it’s impossible to donate to Firefox development, you have to donate to the nonprofit that funds Firefox development, but also does tons of activist work and education funding.

    Many people want Mozilla to figure out a way to only fund Firefox, but I don’t think Mozilla wants to have money earmarked specifically for Firefox when they have so many projects and programmes going on.

  • I’ll take Mozilla before Google, but I still don’t like them moving towards advertising. Mozilla is struggling to find independent income, but I’d rather see them continue to build up subscription services (like their email forwarding system, their VPN service, and so on) rather than join the advertising world.

    I don’t quite trust Mozillas’s leadership after rounds of layoffs without any significant reduction in executive pay. They’re the best browser company around, but it’s painful to see the way the organisation seems to be moving.

  • PII is being processed, even if it’s not being sold to advertisers. The underlying protocol works based on some session identifiers that uniquely identify a device to the aggregators. I don’t think that’s GDPR proof per se.

    I don’t think any DPA will have a problem with this system assuming they implement their side of the system correctly, but I wouldn’t be too sure about Mozilla following the GDPR. They’ve defaulted to a lot of data collection without explicit consent over the years.

  • Advertisers aren’t going to take your word that you’ve been shown an ad. They need to know that you did actually load the ad, and that you’re not part of a bot network. Advertising fraud is crazy common.

    Various websites I visit actually switched over to context based advertising (rather than personal tracking) but the one I visit most is moving back towards tracking, because advertisers just aren’t willing to keep the context based system alive. They’re not getting the feedback they need so they’re not spending money on ads, and the website is running a deficit.

    The system Mozilla proposes has a chance of fixing that problem.

    You may like to donate money, but the vast majority of users don’t. I wouldn’t want to pay a monthly 8 euro subscription to a tech news site, because that’s what they need to continue paying their staff. I’d rather have ads. The ads are annoying, the tracking is a huge problem.

    I don’t particularly trust Mozilla enough to enable this system by default, but I can see where they’re coming from. The web is run by Google and Microsoft, and Google isn’t allowed to restrict ads by watchdogs because they may drive competing advertisers out of business. That’s why they’re moving to local processing (FLoC), but local processing comes with business risks that are offset by invasive bullshit. I’d rather have the Mozilla option. The protocol uses random noise to maintain privacy.

    Just like with Chrome, you can patch out any parts you don’t like, of course. For now that’ll work. Once this system is shut down and FLoC + client attestation become the norm, it won’t.

    As for a lot of the rest of your comment: you don’t seem to understand how the protocol works if you think Mozilla is selling data. I may have to give it to the tech lead, maybe he was right about informed consent not working on a system this complex.

  • So, serious question: How is this good for me?

    It’s the same principle as what Brave is based around: advertising isn’t going to go away, ever, but if we can set up a profitable advertising model that doesn’t require stalking people online, we can at least make advertising better.

    I disagree with their current methods, but I also don’t know of a better alternative. Brave’s weird crypto stuff sure isn’t the answer, and neither is this, but if nobody figures out an alternative (that we can , advertising is only going to get more data hungry. The best alternative we have right now is Google’s FLoC and just about everyone hates that too.

  • The data is still collected, it’s just being collected by Mozilla now. For this system to work, Mozilla will need to filter out bots and click farms at the very least. If they don’t, they may as well not collect this stuff at all. Without bot analysis, a cheap botnet can easily take out a competitors entire marketing budget by simply sending fake ad impressions.

    I don’t see why I should trust Mozilla to collect all of this data to be honest. I trust them more than most advertisers, but they did acquire an advertising company, so who’s to say they’re not going to data mine this stuff and turn into the thing they promised to defeat? It happened to Adblock Plus and Ghostery, it can happen to Mozilla too.

    The CEO’s explanation (“it’s too complicated to explain so we just silently enabled it”) sucks. Firefox has tons of data collection stuff where they just show a little top bar with a quick description and a button to go to the settings, they could’ve done the same here. The way they approached it feels like an attempt to smuggle it into non-techie Firefox installs in my opinion. Not being able to explain the benefits of this new form of data collection to the end user is no reason to make the feature opt out. Every update, Firefox opens a new tab to collect telemetry on browser update stats (and to inform me about “great new features”), if they can push a full screen explainer about “we added some coloured themes” they can also push an explainer about the ad tracking feature they just added.

  • Google’s “just so we can claim there’s competition in the marketplace” payment to Mozilla to stay the default search engine is what funds most of Firefox, even without the executive pay and unrelated nonprofit work. Building and maintaining a browser engine is not cheap, I don’t think mere individual donations are going to help here.

    Without the reputation and contacts of Mozilla, those devs also wouldn’t have much of a say in the social side of browser development, like web standards and certificate authority programs.

    I’d love a first party Firefox fork that’s not limited by Mozilla’s desperate attempts to stay afloat when Google decides not to keep them around anymore, but I don’t think a few developers are going to be enough to get it done. The current situation, “Firefox but with very minor tweaks”, is probably the best we can expect for now.

  • Everything but a few proprietary, business focused modules in the backend (like managing multiple organisations) is AGPL licensed. Unless you’re a business, you can probably make do with just the open source code. They’ve even included a compile flag to disable all proprietary code. The clients are all GPL-licensed as far as I can tell.

    You can also run Vaultwarden as the backend, which is a third party server that takes a lot less RAM but isn’t suitable for hosting thousands of active users at once. I also don’t think it has been audited, unlike the Bitwarden code. Great option if you trust them as much as you trust the Bitwarden company to maintain security.

  • Because this is a response to a post calling NT an “obese slog”. Compared to Linux, it’s almost anorexic.

    Plus, these drivers do cause plenty of issues, like that time a patch in an early kernel NFS driver caused PCs connected to a DisplayPort-to-HDMI-converter connected to certain Intel GPUs to hang while booting for several months. I’ve had to pin an unmaintained kernel for months until Intel finally patched their driver against that, it was a real pain, especially with everyone around me telling me to just install Windows like everyone else whenever this caused package conflicts again.

    When this stuff becomes a problem, the kernel often becomes entirely useless and very few people will go through the necessary troubleshooting to get their computer working again. It’s easier to clean install another OS, be that a Linux distro with a different kernel version or Windows.

  • Modprobe or not, my computers still scan for GPUs on the EISA bus. Not everything is loaded, but tons of unnecessary stuff is loaded just in case, like ancient PS/2 controller support and obscure filesystems. Installing usable drivers can even land you in a situation where two drivers fight for control over a device (Nvidia again), necessitating kernel flags or blacklists to prevent builtin drivers from loading.

    Plus, even if they’re not loaded at runtime, drivers for hardware I’ll never encounter still take up space in the kernel. Impossible to prevent with Linux’ kernel architecture and barely a problem in practice (unless you want to boot a microcontroller or want to use Linux as a bootloader).

  • NT is actually pretty great. The Windows GUI may have gone to shit, but the underlying kernel is great. I’d even argue that it’s ahead of Linux in many respects.

    Linux is a slog comparatively, coming with hundreds of packed drivers for machines that stopped being sold a decade ago, unless you’ve tweaked your custom kernel config to only include drivers for your specific system. Windows has its fallback drivers, but most of them are downloaded on the fly rather than being precompiled into the kernel. This is part of why Nvidia drivers are such a pain to deal with on Linux.

    The Windows scheduler and the Linux scheduler deal with processes just fine. Windows deals with hitting memory limits way better, but Linux has more flexibility to control the CPU scheduler. I also find Linux to be less efficient with file system caches, but that’s probably because Windows takes forever to complete I/O operations because of NTFS. Windows will fill your RAM with stuff you may need, while Linux happily keeps gigabytes of RAM unassigned (and act all surprise Pikachu when you actually request the browser that you open literally every time you boot your PC).

    Linux doesn’t do antivirus, that’s the biggest difference. You get infected more easily, but you get faster I/O in return. This is especially the case when accessing tons of tiny files, like when booting the computer or programming. The load is relatively small when loading games and such.

    I find Windows to be a lot snappier with my iGPU in power save mode, while Gnome and KDE are snapper when the iGPU is enabled. Video acceleration make or break Linux DEs much more than Windows in my experience.

    I also find Bitlocker to perform a lot better than standard LUKS2, especially during the early boot process. The Windows bootloader isn’t restricted in its access to encryption acceleration functions the same way Grub is, so unlocking disks with similar cryptographic strengths at boot time is just faster on Windows. Plus, hibernating with encryption is possible without hacks and disabling security features in Windows, which is why it boots so fast (shutting down hibernates the kernel unless you need updates).

    Linux is generally faster at updating (though using Flatpak GUIs would have you think otherwise), which is the biggest speed concern I have with Windows today. Perhaps it’s to make System Restore actually usable (something Linux can improve on) but it takes forever to install minor updates. Maybe it’s related to NTFS as well, which isn’t too great compared to the Linux alternatives on offer.

    Windows is also terrible if you’re still running from a hard drive. With Windows 11 I’m pretty sure the devs abandoned HDD support all together with how slow it boots on spinning rust. A real pain when using virtual machines.

    If you notice an immediate difference between Windows and Linux, it’s probably because you’ve recently installed a fresh copy of Linux. My Ubuntu and my Windows partitions boot in about the same amount of time. Give it a few years of gathering cruft and you’ll probably have an equally slow Linux install.

  • I doubt the furries will care much about being outed as furries, but cybercrime is a big no-no when it comes to actual employment. Willingness to break the law and risk prison sentences over ethical considerations isn’t something many companies value.

    Might be good for consultants, but the "big tech company hires wizzkid hacker " stories aren’t true anymore. You need to be really good for that to work, and by the time you’re free from prison the stuff you’ve been doing probably isn’t relevant anymore.

  • Android does some estimations based on battery behaviour to make the percentage display more accurate.

    This is just the user facing component, of course, but “50%” doesn’t mean much if the displayed percentages aren’t compensating for an older battery losing the last 25% of its charge in a few minutes because the cells are degraded.

    I don’t know if there’s anything like that on desktop Linux, but I certainly wouldn’t say calibration isn’t a thing anymore. It’s just done automatically and hidden from the user.

  • I’m not seeing a lot of factual reporting here. Just the BBC quoting three people who got banned by Microsoft, copy pasted by a dozen news websites. The potential Hamas connection cited everywhere is something the banned people came up with, not something Skype ever mentioned. There’s a strong post hoc ergo hoc argument going on here.

    This stood out to me:

    … standard international calls are very expensive…

    With a paid Skype subscription, it is possible to call mobiles in Gaza cheaply - and while the internet is down -…

    Now, it is possible that Microsoft has their own specific Palestinian phone system set up with generators and satellite backlinks to provide cheap local connectivity, but I suspect they didn’t bother with any of that. Instead, I expect that they’re paying the same price as any other carrier, but footing the bill. Their listed rates online are less than the rates of those low-quality, super cheap VoIP providers, by more than half when it comes to calling cell phones.

    Microsoft cites suspected fraud as a reasons for the account blocks. My guess is that the fraud detection algorithm sees these accounts that discovered the Skype workaround, which suddenly incur a lot of VoIP cost over a small period of time while the lines are overcrowded, and applies the default “ban accounts when suspicious stuff happens” procedure.

    This isn’t the first time Microsoft has been caught banning people and refusing to explain why. In some cases, they’ve even ignored court orders to return data and provide an explanation. Twenty people in two months time is nothing for how many people get banned by MS for no reason at all.

    Microsoft certainly isn’t a neutral party, especially with how much money they can make by being friendly with Israel despite their invasion, but I don’t see much evidence that this is them targeting Palestinians specifically.