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Comment author: ChristianKl 21 August 2017 12:49:59PM 1 point [-]

How do you know whether an extension such as Adblock Plus or uBlock phones back?

Comment author: DataPacRat 21 August 2017 01:07:01PM 1 point [-]

The obvious way is usually enough: check through the addon's settings to see if there's an option to disable it. Eg, under Ghostery's hamburger-menu is a 'Support Ghostery' setting section, with three different boxes for enabling or disabling phone-home behaviour. Besides that, you can glance at the user reviews on the Mozilla add-on download page, on Reddit, the top few Google results, and so on. It also helps to be careful about where you look for privacy addon suggestions in the first place.

Comment author: ChristianKl 21 August 2017 10:30:03AM 1 point [-]

The article suggests "The pair found that 95% of the data they obtained came from 10 popular browser extensions."

Given that the prime leakage of data seems to be browser extensions, why do you think the solution is to install more browser extensions? Do you have strong reason to believe that the ones you listed (especially adblockers) don't leak any data?

Comment author: DataPacRat 21 August 2017 12:26:27PM 1 point [-]

The leaky extensions in question, like "Web of Trust", phone home with browsing data, and say that they do. The extensions I use either just plain don't do that, or have an option to turn off such feedback. It's just one more detail that an eye has to be kept on.

Comment author: ChristianKl 21 August 2017 07:06:09AM 1 point [-]

What's the best practice for protecting one's privacy?

Comment author: DataPacRat 21 August 2017 09:12:09AM 3 points [-]

Start paying twenty bucks a year for a VPN. Use Linux instead of Windows (even if just through a bootable flashdrive). Download the Tor Browser Bundle and start getting the hang of it. For everyday surfing, use Firefox as your browser, with the extensions Adblock Plus, Adblock Plus Pop-Up Addon, AdNauseum, BetterPrivacy, Decentraleyes, Element Hiding Helper for Adblock Plus, Flashblock, Ghostery, HTTPS Everywhere, NoScript, Privacy Badger, Random Agent Spoofer, RequestPolicy Continued, Self-Destructing Cookies, TrackMeNot, U2F Support Add-on, uBlock Origin, and uMatrix, so that when one add-on fails you another can fill the gap. Use two-factor authentication, including paying ten bucks for a physical U2F dongle to plug into your USB port (and a second dongle to keep at home as a backup), and preferably not using SMS messages sent to your phone. Start teaching yourself about particular items such as various cryptocurrencies, BitMessage, and Ricochet. Don't forget the basics, like clearing your Google and Youtube histories, and turning off personalized ads.

And, even if you start doing all of that right now, it'll still take time and practice to avoid various privacy-destroying mistakes. So it's better to get the practice period over as soon as possible, so you can then spend as much time as possible browsing with a modest level of privacy.

Comment author: Lumifer 08 June 2017 08:44:10PM 0 points [-]

The issue is size. A tablet might be too small for the purpose, though it has the big advantage of being "complete" out of the box. A computer monitor is going to be lager but it's just a display, you will still need an actual computer for it. You might be able to use your smartphone as that computer, but depending on the particulars you could still need additional hardware.

The simplest way of attaching the screen would be plain-vanilla velcro. It's not going to be that heavy.

Comment author: DataPacRat 08 June 2017 09:13:55PM 0 points [-]

I think that before I invest myself too heavily in any particular hardware, I should try to find out more about what sorts of software exist for such passive wall displays. For example, I wouldn't mind something like the custom channel used at my local coffee shop, with my own pick of RSS feeds, weather sources, GCalender items, and the like; but I don't know offhand any piece of software, either for Android or Linux, that does that.

Comment author: Elo 08 June 2017 08:28:11PM 1 point [-]

Kanban board

Comment author: DataPacRat 08 June 2017 09:07:28PM 0 points [-]

After a quick Google - a 'to-do/doing/done' list made of sticky-notes seems like it'd be simple, inexpensive, and helpful. Unless someone comes up with a better suggestion by tomorrow, I expect I'm going to start giving this a try as soon as I hit the nearby dollar store. :)

Comment author: Lumifer 08 June 2017 06:53:33PM 1 point [-]

A computer screen.

Comment author: DataPacRat 08 June 2017 07:36:07PM 0 points [-]

An interesting thought.

The current setup is that the back of a dresser is facing my bed, with the corkboard on the back; do you know of any such screens that would be feasible to attach, in whatever manner? Or are you thinking more along the lines of grabbing an El Cheapo tablet, supported by a pile of pushpins?

Comment author: DataPacRat 08 June 2017 06:44:58PM 0 points [-]

Due to Life, I now have a 2x3-foot corkboard just above the foot of my bed. What should I pin to it?

Comment author: DataPacRat 03 June 2017 03:00:57AM 0 points [-]

Printing several pages onto one piece of paper?

Embarrassingly silly and small question that I can't seem to find an answer through Google on, and there don't seem any good subreddits for:

I've compiled some notes I want to have handy to refer to into a 16-page PDF. I want to shrink and rearrange those pages, to print 8 per side onto a standard sheet of paper, so that I can cut, staple, and fold it into a pocket-sized booklet. My last-ditch solution would be to hope a photocopy/print shop wouldn't charge much to accomplish that... But does anyone here know how to wrestle my doc into usable shape without having to pay cash?

(My available computer is Linux-based. I'm generating the PDF by fiddling with an HTML doc mostly full of tables and 'printing' it to a file. Some further fiddling is probably going to improve its presentation, but if you've got an auto PDF-to-booklet script handy, or otherwise want to play with it, I've tossed my current draft here.)

Comment author: DataPacRat 01 May 2017 06:26:26AM 1 point [-]

Over the Hump, and Starting a Return to Normality

There are some downsides to being a data pack-rat, as well as the obvious up-sides.

I'm in the process of moving to a new house, and the last month has pretty much been dedicated to that project - everything from a new set of floorboards being laid down to finding the best stores near the new place to buy my favourite beverage (grapefruit Perrier). The process is still ongoing, and I'm still going to be paying rent at the old place for some months to come; for example, even after getting rid of nearly all my mass-market paperback novels, there are still a /lot/ of books in the old family library that are still going to have to be shlepped over to the new one, and not a single member of my family has great strength or endurance.

But most of the hard work and planning is done, and life is settling into a new normal: today, I hope and plan to apply for a new library card, do some banking, grab some income tax forms, and just maybe visit the nearby branch of a computer store to upgrade my laptop's RAM. My sleep schedule is still ridiculous, if I lose 50 pounds I'll still going to be overweight, asthma sucks... but a lot of the stresses from the old home are just plain gone. I am, as I see it, in about as good a mental state as I'm likely to be in the foreseeable future.

Which means that, barring unexpectable crises, it's time for me to start writing again. My current plan: When I hit my new local public library today, I'm going to sit down for a while and start going over my partial draft of 'Extracted', to both refamiliarize myself with it and to start nudging any details I find that seem to need editing. And, by the time I've gone over what I've already written, to start finishing writing what I didn't get around to typing out the last time I worked on the piece.

The main bit of uncertainty around this plan is that I have insufficient data to predict whether, how soon, and how severely I will go through my next bout of more-severe-than-everyday anhedonic depression. I'm hopeful that the release of stress from the old home will make such a bout less likely; but I'm also aware of the statistics that show that the act of moving to a new home adds its own form of stress. Barring low-probability black-swan events, my range of expected mid-term futures runs from going back to my previous levels of depression, all the way up to completing a novel and beginning the brand-new venture of learning about e-publishing.

Comment author: MrMind 09 March 2017 03:37:56PM 0 points [-]

I'm just saying that a coordinating AI seems an obvious evolution, I was told just yesterday by one of my coworker that machine learning systems for the automatic checking of complex regulations are already used profitably.
Anyway, if the charter itself is the focal point of the story, by all mean delve into organizational science. Just don't forget that, when writing science fiction, it's very easy to descend into info-dumping.

Comment author: DataPacRat 09 March 2017 07:48:56PM 0 points [-]

an obvious solution

I've been skimming some of my setting-idea notes, such as 'algorithms replacing middle-managers' and have realized that, for a certain point of the planned setting, you've highlighted an approach that is likely to be common among many other people. However, one of the main reasons for my protagonist's choice to try relying on himselves is that AIs which optimize for various easy-to-check metrics, such as profitability, tend not to take into account that human values are complex.

So there are likely going to be all manner of hyper-efficient, software-managed organizations who, in a straight fight, could out-organize my protagonist's little personal co-op. Various copies of my protagonist, seeing the data, will conclude that the costs are worth the benefits, and leave the co-op to gain the benefits of said organizational methods. However, this will cause a sort of social 'evaporative cooling', so that the copies who remain in the co-op will tend to be the ones most dedicated to working towards the full complexity of their values. As long as they can avoid going completely bankrupt - in other words, as long as there's enough income to pay for the hardware to run at least one copy that remains a member - then the co-op will be able to quietly chug along doing its own thing while wider society changes in various values-simplifying ways around it.

... That is, if I can do everything that such a story needs to get done right.

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