Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: MegaBox: From f**k-all to zero

136 Responses

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  • Islander, in reply to Stephen Judd,

    1. Unbreakable encryption is already freely available to anyone who cares to use it.
    2. Any encrypted thing must be decrypted by an end user to be useful to them. There will be traces on any end devices where this has happened. A user sufficiently clueful to eradicate such traces is a user already in the group of people identified in 1 above.
    3. The real enabling technology for socially harmful information of this kind is not encryption but recording. I cannot understand the logical grounds on which people whose go-to objection to new tech is the child porn angle tolerate the free availability of cameras.
    4. WON’T SOMEBODY THINK OF THE CHILDREN.
    5. After at least 20 years of child porn, bomb making and other internet scares, haven’t we had enough, for fuck sake?

    Report

    TAUTOKO Stephen Judd-
    and, aue! the horse has bolted-

    Big O, Mahitahi, Te Wahi … • Since Feb 2007 • 5643 posts Report Reply

  • Peter Graham, in reply to Graeme Edgeler,

    Do you exercise your rights similarly with off-line content? Do you have someone blank out the ads in magazines, or hold up screens in front of bus-shelter advertising?

    I fast forward through ads when I watch recorded TV, and I mute the TV otherwise.

    Christchurch • Since Jul 2011 • 39 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz, in reply to Islander,

    After at least 20 years of child porn, bomb making and other internet scares, haven’t we had enough, for fuck sake?

    I wonder if we could invite Phyllis Schafly to comment. Then again, perhaps not.

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 4463 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    I fast forward through ads when I watch recorded TV, and I mute the TV otherwise.

    And I don't go out of my way to read billboards, and I flick past the pages in newspapers that are just advertising.

    But I don't expect these things not to be there and yet the articles to be magically written by pixies.

    Since Nov 2006 • 6205 posts Report Reply

  • Bart Janssen, in reply to Kyle Matthews,

    written by pixies

    Are you calling Russell a pixie?

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 3417 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Bart Janssen,

    Reckon he'd quite like that. :)

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16760 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    Are you calling Russell a pixie?

    If the pointy ears fit...

    Since Nov 2006 • 6205 posts Report Reply

  • TracyMac, in reply to Stephen Judd,

    +1

    Frankly, if I WERE a child pornographer, I would sure as hell be encrypting everything up the wazoo already, and have been doing so for years. Not to mention PGPing emails and suchlike.

    I think there have been papers written about how internet crime/dodginess enables certain technologies to develop faster, like engineering and the military. While porn isn't crime as such, the amount of huge web farms and sophisicated content-delivery methods they use has certainly enhanced those technologies - they have the money to throw at it.

    So too with crims and certain types of viruses, bot, and encryption/"hiding stuff" technology.

    Canberra, West Island • Since Nov 2006 • 487 posts Report Reply

  • Don Christie, in reply to Russell Brown,

    Mind you, bugger all people clicked through on it .

    I tried clicking through on an ad the other day, but it didn't work :-( Reading DomPost hard copy can be confusing.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1616 posts Report Reply

  • Don Christie,

    The ad revenue diversion is certainly problematic. But consider this, the MegaKey technology is basically spyware and nasty substitution technology. It’s spyware because it will report on the site you are visiting (how else would it know if it was a top 100) and it could presumably substitute *anything* on your web page. Not just ads. Links, keywords, pictures, anything.

    This sort of technology is not new, simply a nasty virus that Dotcom seems to be trying to legitimise.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1616 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Sacha,

    Your rights as a creator do not extend to .. dictating how I experience and interact with your product

    Actually, copyright has always done that as one of its functions.

    It tends to be a function of art as well. Artists are terrible control freaks ;-)

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 18964 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Idiot Savant,

    You’re not about to bring down anything by using an ad-blocker as an individual – but if everyone took the same stance as you, there wouldn’t be any Scoop to rely on. You may wish to consider parallels with, say, taxes and resource use. Or at least come down from that high horse.

    (shrug) The invention of the car put buggy-whip sellers out of business. I love and use Scoop, but technology has shitcanned its business model, just as it has for newspapers. And if they want to stay in business, its up to them, not me, to come up with an alternative to secure their future.

    I find your attitude quite astonishing. You're all fluffed up with moral justification for frustrating the principal means of revenue for an important site you have used freely for years.

    I do understand that people would want to use use ad-blockers -- although it sometimes seems a bit precious to me -- but the level of arrogance you display about it is remarkable.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 18964 posts Report Reply

  • Rob Stowell, in reply to Don Christie,

    The technology is not new, simply a nasty virus that Dotcom is trying to legitamise.

    That sounds right.
    But internet advertising is... broken, and a little more. Just been trying to make sense of AdSense. It serves up ads against youtube videos that just DON'T work with the content.
    The 'tailoring' of advertising content is designed to please and interest, but so far, for me, it seems most often to be random- and often TOTALLY on the wrong track.

    Whakaraupo • Since Nov 2006 • 1574 posts Report Reply

  • David Hood, in reply to Russell Brown,

    It tends to be a function of art as well.

    There is some very interesting stuff around creators "moral rights" (related to copyright) in other jurisdictions. In particular the rights of creators to the integrity of the work (not having in altered) that could play out very interestingly in relation to the injecting of ads kind of thing.

    Dunedin • Since May 2007 • 899 posts Report Reply

  • Chris Waugh, in reply to Rob Stowell,

    The ‘tailoring’ of advertising content is designed to please and interest, but so far, for me, it seems most often to be random- and often TOTALLY on the wrong track.

    Me, too. I can't understand how, if Google is so smart, it can see that the websites I visit are all in English, Chinese, French, or some mixture of those three*, then decide that those little ads in the top of my gmail inbox should be in Hebrew or other languages I've never used.

    As for adblockers, yeah, a lot of Chinese websites are horribly cluttered and busy, with ads floating over them and gazillions of pop ups, pop downs, pop sidewayses, pop ins, sometimes with fake close buttons, so if you try to close the ad so you can see the content you're looking for, a window pops up and the website has got its click through money. I wouldn't mind using an adblocker against such obnoxiousness. But I fail to see how ads like on PAS are any worse than ads on newspaper or magazine pages or posters on billboards. If you don't like them, ignore them, if they do interest you, click through, everybody wins. But how does blocking them and dreaming up some bollocks ethical reason to do so help anybody?

    *Well, sometimes I have fun with Wikipedia's language options and switch between random Romance, Sinitic and Germanic languages for fun... and sometimes to demonstrate to my students how Wikipedia is actually quite a useful translation tool when you're stuck for a word unlikely to be in dictionaries (technical terms, for example).

    Beijing • Since Jan 2007 • 2152 posts Report Reply

  • Rob Stowell,

    Google's revenue, from the horse's mouth :)

    Whakaraupo • Since Nov 2006 • 1574 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz, in reply to Chris Waugh,

    Google are Americans and consequently only recognise two languages: American and Foreign.

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 4463 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Don Christie,

    Reading DomPost hard copy can be confusing

    and just try increasing the text size

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16760 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz, in reply to Rob Stowell,

    Interesting:
    Google US revenues - $7 bln = 1/20 of 1% of US GDP, or just over $20 per capita.

    I'd be amazed that the average American buys enough Stuff as a result of Google delivered advertising to pay for that. But then again, total US ad spend is about $180bln, so Google are under 10%.

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 4463 posts Report Reply

  • Chris Waugh, in reply to Rich of Observationz,

    That may explain why the Americans I know are in Beijing rather than America, as they're generally at least bilingual... They were exiled for speaking Foreign? Then again, my experience says Kiwis tend to be worse than Yanks at learning foreign languages, even when their host country is not English speaking.

    Beijing • Since Jan 2007 • 2152 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Don Christie,

    The ad revenue diversion is certainly problematic. But consider this, the MegaKey technology is basically spyware and nasty substitution technology. It’s spyware because it will report on the site you are visiting (how else would it know if it was a top 100) and it could presumably substitute *anything* on your web page. Not just ads. Links, keywords, pictures, anything.

    Yes, this is quite scary to think about.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 18964 posts Report Reply

  • headasunder,

    I am a simple blue collar boy who still enjoys The Weekend Press more for the ritual aspect as there are more adds than hard copy. I have always used ad-block for much of the same reason idiot savant lists but I've often wondered how a site like this one makes it coin, sounds like it doesn't.... ok so adblock now disabled for p/address will be clicking away

    christchurch • Since Apr 2012 • 8 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz, in reply to Don Christie,

    how else would it know if it was a top 100

    Upload a list to the browser / gateway? (Not saying that it *will* do things that way, but it could).

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 4463 posts Report Reply

  • Tom Semmens, in reply to Rich of Observationz,

    British soldiers arriving in France in 1914 spent a lot of time trying to communicate with bewildered locals in pidgin Hindi, on the basis that the world spoke two languages - English and that of the principle subject people of their empire. Most Americans now seem to know at least a smattering of Spanish...

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1811 posts Report Reply

  • Richard Aston, in reply to headasunder,

    I’ve often wondered how a site like this one makes it coin, sounds like it doesn’t…. ok so adblock now disabled for p/address will be clicking away

    There is something in this idea. Valuing a web site so much you deliberately click on the ads knowing this simple action will support the site. There is a altruism in this thinking I really like. I wonder if matching this with the site owners carefully choosing which ads they run, in fact asking their user community which ads they want to see. So the ads offer at least some utility to the users. Hey the fact is we all buy shit , and need to find out where to get it etc . Could there be a happy medium here?

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 503 posts Report Reply

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