What I'm Doing Wednesday

Sep. 20th, 2017 10:01 pm
sage: xkcd: crop of standing male stick figure facing a seated cat and exclaiming, "You're a kitty!" (kitty)
[personal profile] sage
books T. Kingfisher )

yarning

Mom's cat LOVED her kickbunny! I have about a million pics to sort and then find a few to edit into the pattern post, and then the kickbunny pattern will go live. *pleased*

dirt plants log )

There is other stuff, but it will wait.
[syndicated profile] eff_feed

Posted by andres

With the new Safari 11 update, Apple takes an important step to protect your privacy, specifically how your browsing habits are tracked and shared with parties other than the sites you visit. In response, Apple is getting criticized by the advertising industry for "destroying the Internet's economic model." While the advertising industry is trying to shift the conversation to what they call the economic model of the Internet, the conversation must instead focus on the indiscriminate tracking of users and the violation of their privacy.

When you browse the web, you might think that your information only lives in the service you choose to visit. However, many sites load elements that share your data with third parties. First-party cookies are set by the domain you are visiting, allowing sites to recognize you from your previous visits but not to track you across other sites. For example, if you visit first examplemedia.com and then socialmedia.com, your visit would only be known to each site. In contrast, third-party cookies are those set by any other domains than the one you are visiting, and were created to circumvent the original design of cookies. In this case, when you would visit examplemedia.com and loads tracker.socialmedia.com as well, socialmedia.com would be able to track you an all sites that you visit where it’s tracker is loaded.

Websites commonly use third-party tracking to allow analytics services, data brokerages, and advertising companies to set unique cookies. This data is aggregated into individual profiles and fed into a real-time auction process where companies get to bid for the right to serve an ad to a user when they visit a page. This mechanism can be used for general behavioral advertising but also for “retargeting.” In the latter case,  the vendor of a product viewed on one site buys the chance to target the user later with ads for the same product on other sites around the web. As a user, you should be able to expect you will be treated with respect and that your personal browsing habits will be protected. When websites share your behavior without your knowledge, that trust is broken.

Safari has been blocking third-party cookies by default since Safari 5.1, released in 2010, and has been key to Apple’s emerging identity as a defender of user privacy. Safari distinguished between these seedy cookies from those placed on our machines by first parties - sites we visit intentionally. From 2011 onwards, advertising companies have been devising ways to circumvent these protections. One of the biggest retargeters, Criteo, even acquired a patent on a technique to subvert this protection 1. Criteo, however, was not the first company to circumvent Safari's user protection. In 2012, Google paid 22.5 million dollars to settle an action by the FTC after they used another workaround to track Safari users with cookies from the DoubleClick Ad Network. Safari had an exception to the third-party ban for submission forms where the user entered data deliberately (e.g. to sign up). Google exploited this loophole when Safari users visited sites participating in Google's advertising network to set a unique cookie.

The new Safari update, with Intelligent Tracking Protection, closes loopholes around third-party cookie-blocking by using machine learning to distinguish the sites a user has a relationship with from those they don’t, and treating the cookies differently based on that. When you visit a site, any cookies that are set can be used in a third-party context for twenty-four hours. During the first twenty-four hours the third-party cookies can be used to track the user, but afterward can only be used to login and not to track. This means that sites that you visit regularly are not significantly affected. The companies this will hit hardest are ad companies unconnected with any major publisher.

At EFF we understand the need for sites to build a successful business model, but this should not come at the expense of people's privacy. This is why we launched initiatives like the EFF DNT Policy and tools like Privacy Badger. These initiatives and tools target tracking, not advertising. Rather than attacking Apple for serving their users, the advertising industry should treat this as an opportunity to change direction and develop advertising models that respect (and not exploit) users.

Apple has been a powerful force in user privacy on a mass scale in recent years, as reflected by their support for encryption, the intelligent processing of user data on device rather than in the cloud, and limitations on ad tracking on mobile and desktop. By some estimates, Apple handles 30% of all pages on mobile. Safari's innovations are not the silver bullet that will stop all tracking, but by stepping up to protect their users’ privacy Apple has set a challenge for other browser developers. When the user's privacy interests conflict with the business models of the advertising technology complex, is it possible to be neutral? We hope that Mozilla, Microsoft and Google will follow Apple, Brave and Opera's lead.

  • 1. In order to present themselves as a first party, Criteo had their host website include code on the internal links in their website to redirect when clicked. So if you click on a link to jackets in a clothes store, your click brings you for an instant to Criteo before forwarding you on to your intended destination. This trick makes them appear as a first party to your browser and they pop up a notification informing you and stating that by clicking on the page you consent to them storing a cookie. Once Safari accepted a first party cookie once, that site was allowed to set cookies also when it was a third party. So now they can retarget you elsewhere. Other companies (AdRoll, for example) used the same trick.

orange!verse fic: Modulation

Sep. 20th, 2017 08:57 pm
chanter_greenie: a Pringles can with the words 'you can't write just one' written across it (drabbles are like pringles)
[personal profile] chanter_greenie
This fic has been sponsored by [personal profile] fyreharper. As a note to readers, the half-price sale I had running has now ended.

Modulation )

Notes talk below the speakers, pun alert:

*Carlos is speaking and thinking in Brazilian Portuguese, as well as speaking Dutch. Caryn is at least trying to speak Dutch. Translations:

We komen uit Canada. Wij kunnen u helpen.: We're from Canada. We can help you.

Um, dois, três: one, two, three

Jij bent--: You are--

E agora: and now

*Coyote is a term for people smugglers of the far less scrupulous kind.

We are being governed by fools

Sep. 20th, 2017 11:02 pm
[syndicated profile] slacktivist_feed

Posted by Fred Clark

Even if your individual self-interest or the interest of your ethnic or religious tribe is the only thing you care about, that self-interest should compel you to ensure equal protection and full accommodation for people with disabilities -- because you could become one of them in the twinkling of an eye.

Reading Wednesday

Sep. 20th, 2017 08:21 pm
brigdh: (Default)
[personal profile] brigdh
The Excursionist by J.D. Sumner. A novel about Jack, a man determined to visit 100 countries before his 35th birthday, all so he can join the Traveler’s Century Club.

Ugh, this book. It’s glaringly self-published, which I do not inherently object to – I'm all for self-publishing! But hire an editor, dude. It’s not typos or grammar mistakes that give it away (the book’s actually remarkably free of those)(which I suppose is damning with faint praise, but I am totally here to damn this book), but a constant stream of contradictions and just... well, odd choices. The one that leapt out to me most strikingly was when the narrator, in describing the Traveler’s Club, sticks the URL right in the middle of the text:
One down and two to go. Now all I had to do was to get to Kilrush and then to Fulgary and I could join the Travelers’ Century Club. See www.travelerscenturyclub.org for further details.

This would maybe even have been not so weird if it had come in the introduction, the first time the reader is told about this goal, or in the endnotes. But no, none of the above. This quote instead comes from the end of chapter ten, when the Traveler’s Club has been mentioned multiple times without needing an URL.

It’s minor, I know, but similar minor annoyances pop up constantly throughout the text. Jack only needs to visit three more countries, so he heads to the (fictional) islands of Placentia, Kilrush and Fulgary. The fact that these are separate countries is the entire point of the book. And yet the flights between them are repeatedly described as "domestic". In addition, it’s implied Placentia and Fulgaryy are still considered UK territories. Granted, other people probably aren’t as fascinated by the debate over what “counts” as a country as much as I happen to be (I blame this game, on which I spend way too much of my free time), but when it’s the central premise of your story, it needs at least a little consideration.

I could forgive all of the above if Jack was a character I enjoyed spending time with. Instead he’s a complete and total asshole. He condescends and mistreats service employees, he shallowly judges fellow tourists, he rates all women by their attractiveness and sulks when they don’t want to sleep with him. Every time he interacted with any other living creature I wanted to punch him.
For example, discussing his job as a stockbroker: Getting a job in the City is like getting a girl. The less interest and enthusiasm you show, the better chance you have.
Describing his ex-wife: I was still paying for my ex-wife’s house. She had taken me for a mug, then a Merc, then a million. I did quite well out of the divorce settlement; I kept most of the back garden and some of the roof tiles. I wouldn’t have minded if I hadn’t come home to find somebody else’s kippers under the grill. I should have twigged when he helped move her stuff out when she ‘just needed some space’. […] And if I said no to her demands, I would get a call saying my daughter was ill or had been invited to a toddler’s party on the day I was supposed to visit. Her other trick was to pretend I had got the dates or the times wrong. It was easier just to give up. People only change in books or in films, not in real life. I stopped seeing my daughter as regularly when my folks told me she had started to call Graham ‘Daddy’.*
Interacting with a flight attendant: ‘Could I please have one of those bottles of fizzy mineral water?’ I said.
‘I am sorry, sir, we are not allowed to give them out.’ She bent down so close to my face I was worried she was going to kiss me.
‘I don’t want to bother you all the time, asking you for water. Can you leave me the bottle; I don’t want to make a nuisance of myself.’
‘I am afraid we can’t do that, sir.’
‘Why?’ I asked.
‘It’s against regulations. I am sorry, sir.’
‘But your in-flight magazine says quite clearly on page twenty-eight, that passengers should make sure they remain hydrated.’
‘I know, sir. I am sorry but they are the regulations.’
‘I am only asking for a bottle of fizzy water. I have spent thousands of pounds flying Business Class with you. I’m thirsty,’ I said.
‘I am sorry, sir. It’s the rules.’
‘The rules… what airline has rules to prevent passengers from drinking water? Why advertise what a great service you provide, if you won’t give water to a thirsty passenger? What’s the point of pouring an eggcup-sized measure of water if I can jug down full glasses of wine? You do this because, as you know, the less weight you carry the less fuel you need, which means lower fuel costs and better profit.’ And with this, the hostess began to take away my empties.


I could have given you more egregious examples, but I chose these because they all occur before page 35. (And the text of the book doesn’t start until page 8!) Now you too have a sense of the density of Jack’s dickishness.

Though I've got to mention one more: at the end of the book, it’s revealed that Jack’s dead girlfriend who disappeared forever, possibly murdered, cheated on him shortly before her death. When Jack finds out this information, he explicitly decides not to go to the police with it, because, hey, it helped him get over her. Your hero, ladies and gentlemen!
I felt better about not being with her but I also wish I hadn’t wasted so much time thinking about her. I still didn’t know how Kay died but I suspect Naz may have had something to do with it. With forearms like Naz, it wouldn’t have been difficult to squeeze the life out of her. But I didn’t actually know what had happened to her. And for the first time, I wasn’t particularly bothered either. Should I go to the police? And tell them what exactly? I decided, rightly or wrongly, to move on.

Ughhhhh, this book, y’all. This book. I got it for free and that was still too much money.

* The daughter never gets a name, appears on screen, or is even mentioned beyond one more passing notice that she exists. I’m definitely convinced Jack is a worthwhile father.
I read this as an ARC via NetGalley.

Hail to the traveler!

Sep. 20th, 2017 08:08 pm
galacticjourney: (Default)
[personal profile] galacticjourney

By Ashley R. Pollard

The end of summer has come, and autumn is upon us. The result of the Earth’s journey around the sun, and as my esteemed colleague Mr. Mark Yon said, the weather here has been wet. Sometimes we get good summers, but this year was not one of those, the icing on the cake being a miserable August Bank Holiday weekend after the weekend before’s promising sunny day. But, Whether the weather be fine, Or whether the weather be not, here on Galactic Journey we will weather the weather to bring you the latest Sci-Fi news from soggy Britain.



This coming Saturday will see the last episode of Out of this World, which has made staying in on a Saturday night something to look forward to, rather than something that indicates one has no friends or better things to do...

(see the rest at Galactic Journey!)

Scanlations: Musume no Iede ch. 16

Sep. 20th, 2017 05:17 pm
torachan: (musume no iede)
[personal profile] torachan


Title: Musume no Iede
Original Title: 娘の家出 (Musume no Iede)
Author: Shimura Takako
Publisher: Jump X
Genre: Seinen
Status in Japan: 6 volumes, complete
Scanlator: Megchan's Scanlations + muge
Scanlation Status: Ongoing
More Info: Baka Updates

Summary: When Mayuko's mom announces she's getting remarried, Mayuko runs away to live with her dad and his boyfriend. This heartwarming slice-of-life series follows Mayuko and her family and friends as their stories interweave.

Chapter Summary: A girl named Ako has a crush on the single father of her little brother's preschool classmates. But after planning a birthday party for her brother just so she can see this guy, he ends up unable to make it due to work and sends his sister, Niina, instead.



Chapter 16: Love Me on the A-Side

Wonderful news!

Sep. 24th, 2017 07:58 pm
conuly: (Default)
[personal profile] conuly
Today I was combing Callie in the bathroom, and Finn came in and didn't bark or growl or jump at her AT ALL - and this despite the fact that she hissed at him and then growled the whole time he was there! (And I don't blame her.)

He's gotten a lot better at being in the same room as the cats without freaking out, and even a little better at not barking and lunging at the familiar cats we see on our walks. (Not as good as with his own roommate cats, but you can't have everything.)

This is great because, with winter coming, Callie wants to go back to being an indoor-outdoor cat, emphasis on indoor - she doesn't like cold weather!

randomicity

Sep. 21st, 2017 08:46 am
tielan: (Sanctuary - Helen)
[personal profile] tielan
It’s kind of nice to post a humourous Captain Hill ficlet I dug up off the HD last night, forget about it, and then only remember this morning when looking at my works page to discover it has 180 hits, 40 kudos, and 4 comments already.

I am starting to think that the Marriage Equality survey here in Australia will prove to be Australian Evangelicals’ ‘Trump’ moment. The ‘no’ side will win by a narrow margin, but it will be because half the people didn’t respond to the survey, and in the process, the most vicious ‘no’ responders (the 'loud and proud no' side) will have burned bridges beyond repairing for a generation already on the verge of asking, “Where is your God of mercy? We see none of His qualities in you.”

*grieves*

How I know I’m losing weight: my bra cups suddenly don’t fit my breasts. Which makes me feel like I’m walking around with my tits hanging out, never mind that I have two or three layers of clothing over the top.

Tonight, I have a quiet night. I don't even have to cook dinner; I prepped a lamb shoulder last night and stuck it in the slow-cooker this morning. I just have to get the sister to slice the potatoes and toss them in around midday...

Two tech questions

Sep. 21st, 2017 11:44 am
china_shop: Raja from Aladdin saying "What?" (Whut? Raja)
[personal profile] china_shop
1. Has anyone found an easy alternative to Gchat's Available/Busy/Inactive/Offline indicators? Those were my lifeline, and not having them is making me saaaaad.


2. Recently my Dreamwidth pages have stopped defaulting to https, which means sometimes I get a log-in screen instead of the post, and if I get the post, I'm not logged in. I have HTTPS Everywhere for FireFox, and the Dreamwidth HTTPS beta option turned on. What is happening?

It may have started when FireFox updated last, or it might be part of my general computer woes, idk.
[syndicated profile] snopes_feed

Posted by Dan Evon

According to rumors, the actor told an interviewer that there is no difference between the two entrepreneurs because both are capitalists.

Media update

Sep. 21st, 2017 11:36 am
china_shop: Neal, Peter and Elizabeth smiling (Default)
[personal profile] china_shop
Reading
Over the weekend I read Sarah Gailey's novella River of Teeth, an alt-US-history Western with hippos, which I've seen mentioned around the place. It spent a lot of time on character introductions, and the ending felt rather TBC, and I'm not sure I'll read the next one. I think I would have preferred a stand-alone novel to what felt like the first instalment in a longer story, or perhaps I'm just not in the mood for Americana (though it reminded me enough of Richard Brautigan's The Hawkline Monster that I dug that out and may read it sometime soon).

In the meantime, I've started Moon Over Soho, the second Rivers of London book. I read the first some years ago (when I bought my Kindle and went back to occasionally consuming things other than fanfic) and found it too gruesome for my fluffy-fanfic-reading palette, but I've been encouraged to persevere. Not gripped yet, but it's early days.

Kdramas
I just finished Another Oh Hae Young, like, in the last half hour.

Huh. It started promisingly. I liked the convoluted set-up and was intrigued to see how they were going to get Do Kyung out of the enormous hole he'd dug himself into, but in the end... they didn't really bother. Rambling. Spoilers. ) Also, overall, this might be the drama I've watched with the highest alcohol consumption and the worst communication (and that's really saying something, on both counts!). Not one I'll be rewatching or would particularly recommend.

I haven't planned what I'll solo-watch next, but I think it'll be something very different.

Pru and I finished Moonlight Drawn by Clouds yesterday, and next week we're starting Mystery Queen, a Sherlock Holmes AU where Sherlock is a housewife.

J and I have one more week (three episodes) of Goblin to go, and then I suspect it's a Hong sisters drama, either My Girl (which I haven't seen) or Master's Sun (which I have).

My teacher and I are still in the middle of Chief Kim.

Other TV
Parks & Recreation season 5.

Films
We watched Rogue One over the weekend. I think I enjoyed it more this time, having read some fanfic.

Writing
Not a word.

Computer
*weeps*

Politics
Election this weekend. My sister and I nearly went and advance voted yesterday lunchtime, but during the trudge up Featherston St to the polling place, I talked myself out of it on the grounds that if I vote on Saturday, if the outcome initially seems close or unfavourable, I can tell myself they haven't counted my vote yet and it will make all the difference. /dork

Also, I was supposed to go sign-waving this morning (and got up early specially), but the other person cancelled and then the forecasted rain arrived, so I finished Another Oh Hae Young instead.

I am trying SO HARD not to get unhealthily invested in the election outcome; I can't afford to get sick over this. *crosses all my fingers and toes, while still trying to maintain emotional detachment, ha*

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