August 2016 Archives

Tor Stupidity

  • Posted on August 21, 2016 at 10:30 pm

Some idiot posted a call to not use or work on Tor during 1 September 2016. I won’t explain what Tor users and developers are asked, nor will I explore the motivation for calling a strike. Not using Tor for a day is not an option. Not working on Tor is not an option. Disabling Tor node for a day is not an option. Publishing a demand like this is utterly stupid and irresponsible.

Tor is a very important tool. There is no place for petty-minded conflicts. Take your fight to the arena and let Tor users be.

Journalism

  • Posted on August 20, 2016 at 5:48 pm

HBO’s John Oliver took a close look at the state of journalism. Everyone is in dire need of facts and story research. No one wants to pay, as it seems. This is not really the truth. It’s a simplification. Every newspaper has its online edition. Contrary to paper the digital articles allow for the sampling of statistics. The paper edition throws a few hundred grams of data into a mailbox. There is no feedback channel. You do not know who reads which article. You do not even know how many people read the paper. You may know some information about your readers from the data subscribers leave voluntarily. That’s it.

The online edition offers much more feedback. You can track users. You can record their favourite interests. You can take the time spent on the web site. You can do a lot more. What if I don’t want to be tracked? Where is the Do Not Track button in the online form for buying subscriptions? Someone isn’t paying attention.

I read a couple of news outlets (let’s use this term). I cannot afford to buy a subscription for all sources. This brings me to another business model that is absent from the market. I would like to read articles from many newspapers and pay by article at the end of the month. Trouble is that this requires a cross-newspaper identification which in turn can be used for tracking again (and it can only be done in an ideal world where copyrighted material can be syndicated easily, so it is pure fiction). Facebook and Google think about this for some time. I would prefer the news without the tracking.

So who wants to sell me some news?

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