59 thoughts on “Hackaday Links: February 21, 2016

  1. The TP-Link example locking down the routers deserves its own post, since there’s plenty to discuss and note. As for me, I plan on stocking up on development boards and cooperating with others over OpenWRT/similar forums to know which manufacturers actually make their stuff accessible. Not to mention I’m building my own 3G portable router with a AR9331 devboard right now =)

    1. I knew this was coming. Even though the FCC claims that it didn’t want to discourage alternate/open source firmwares, and even though it might not even technically be a part of the code that you lock down the OS, it is infinitely easier for the company producing the product to lock the whole thing down than to only lock the 5GHz radio to a specific maximum output power.

      Because there is almost never a difference between the “firmware for the baseband radio” and a “firmware for the application processor” (because the two processors have been built into the same chip controlled by a single monolithic firmware), it will always make the most sense from a money standpoint to lock the whole device down.

      The loser bureaucrats at the FCC are too thick to understand this, and rather than listening to the logic of the consumers they are screwing, they sit on the utopian values of “theory” over the common sense logic of people who understand basic human nature.

      1. In the listing they have “TL-WR710N(USA)” seemingly specifying the US model.
        And they had a few blocked channels in the US for ages and there was always different firmware for no-US models. So if I were them I’d not fuck over the entire wold of customers for this fascist US stuff. And the US can’t even on a bad day be more than half their customers, and is probably way less than that.

        Of course realistically whenever the UK or US thinks up some nasty crap like that the mainland EU countries quickly jump on the chance to be nasty and subservient too, and then the EU parliament tries to stop them, often without the success you might expect from a binding EU and EU court ruling.

        But there’s another looming beacon of fascism: TTIP, and maybe they will somehow use that too to force away open source on routers destroying any chance of freedom or sanity.

  2. Content creators should be paid. They shouldn’t be paid by unvested companies buying adspace to try and inject malware into my computer, spam pop-ups, take over link redirects or start auto-playing obnoxious unmutable unpausable video ads for scam products.

      1. same. i kind of miss the unobtrusive banner ads of the 90s. when animated ads came all they did was use up my data cap. i had to stop them. then when the audio ads came up ruining my quiet afternoon or interrupting my motorhead playlist they had to go. i installed ad blocker and that was that. i just wont use anything that requires white listing (hax nonwithstanding).

        remember back when there was that ad supported free dialup. it was the only internet i had in the early 00s. i hacked that so i could dial into their servers without transfering ads. i guess thats part of the reason its not a thing anymore.

        1. Yeah, I always hated when I was reading something and I would get redirected because of an ad. This is one of the many reasons BotQueue never uses ads. I’m sure they’d be useful in making some money, but I won’t use them.

    1. Funny – Wired was actually one of the sites the got me to finally use an ad blocker. First, their ads were so ham-fisted (sometimes ten copies on a single page) that it got me using an ad blocker. Then the articles got so bad that I stopped bothering to go there altogether. I followed a link there and got the new message. I tried their site with them white listed. I was happily surprised that their ads were reasonable, and I will keep them on the white list until they do something terrible again. Also, the article wasn’t total garbage. Hopefully they will turn the corner to their old quality. It would be great to have the old wired back.

    2. One funny thing about this is that I got hit by their block page while not technically using an ad-blocker. I use ghostery, which only blocks trackers – cookies or otherwise. To get my ad money they only have to turn off the tracking features.

      That’s how it works right?

    3. +1 this comment.
      The media ads can even slow down a fast computer and are murder on portable devices and often make the browser crash so you have no choice put to use an ad blocker.

    4. It’s funny how before they found a way to detect adblock it didn’t matter that people had adblock because the advertisers could not tell who say their ad or not and they just paid to have it on a site.
      Now some giant asshole thought up to make an adblock detection script and he ruined the whole internet, for both the sites and customers. He should get a nobel peace prize or something

      Reminds me of the one who thought up deep packet inspection and then tell the CEO’s and politicians what that enabled… Another genius and jewel of humanity.

  3. “…it’s also Russian Roulette with a gun that doesn’t look like a revolver, making this the perfect game to introduce young children to the wonders of the Nintendo Entertainment System.”

    Someone please tell me that was sarcasm. Russian Roulette is probably the worst game you could ever let children play.

  4. Wow, that Super Russian Roulette is pretty awesome, but I have a complaint and suggestion, firstly Russian Roulette played with an automatic pistol is more properly called Polish Roulette, and it is pretty fun if you don’t go first, and secondly I think the next game SRRs programmer should work on is Super Shave and a Hair Cut. :)

    1. …”Polish Roulette, and it is pretty fun if you don’t go first”; considering I knew a man who killed himself playing Russian Roulette I shouldn’t had laughed at that, but I did. He and his brother played for kicks. I’m told he played his last spin to freak out the woman he was wit, mission accomplished dude.

  5. I am listening to Pipe Dreams on public radio right now. They have done programs on the great Wanamaker Organ. The next biggie is also not in a liturgical setting but in Atlantic City convention hall, with record length 64foot open pipes two octaves below normal 16foot bass. That’s single digit Hz!

    1. The Atlantic City organ has never been 100% functional. It may be the inspiration for B.S. Johnson’s pipe organs in Terry Pratchett’s Discworld novels.

      If I had Donald Trump levels of money, I’d take a trip to Atlantic City and ask “How much money and how many people do you need to get this pipe organ up and running completely?” “Just one catch, the first song you must play when it’s all done is Toccata and Fugue in D. Minor, all of it.”

  6. I urge everyone using an ad blocker to white list Hackaday, and any other sites you regularly visit that DO NOT have ridiculous intrusive advertisements. If you just install an ad blocker and let it go on everything, you are penalizing the responsible sites right along with the irresponsible ones, and web site designers and the companies they design for won’t learn anything about the acceptable methods to earn money from advertisements.

    1. Just done that. The problem is, I’m so used to lack of ads I don’t remember there are supposed to be some. When I see an unobtrusive message like “Turn it off plz we need money”, I do. With Hackaday, I only did it now when I read the article and understood there have to be some ads I’m not seeing and I have no reason not to watch them. With Youtube, however, it’s entirely another matter – if I wanted to turn down music and wait for advertisements to be skippable, I’d listen to radio or watch TV, but having to switch to my music tab at the most uncomfortable moments is unbearable.

        1. I don’t really know a service that’d unite all the music I like, guess that’s my only problem with the services. Oh, and they don’t work sometimes when I change PC/OS/whatever, and YT generally works. Also, some of producers of music I like are YT-specific.

      1. Yeah, it is sort of a Chicken and Egg situation. Once you have an ad blocker you don’t know if the sites you visit have acceptable advertisements until you turn it off and see. I’m sure I don’t do that as much as I should.

        At one time I thought about completely emptying out the list in my ad blocker, so it would block nothing until I told it to do so. But then I realized that would let through all the hidden privacy violating tracker stuff that doesn’t even show up and I wouldn’t know.

        On the other hand, if I click a link to a site and it comes up with a full page message that says I can’t access the site until I turn off my ad blocker, I will just close the tab and be on with my day.

    2. I use a chrome extension which shows some ads and gives some profit to various charities via micro donations. No idea if/how that works. Though when i use mobile chrome to browse Hackaday something called DNSunlocker or cloudads or something gives me 5 seconds to read and then either converts every second word to a link which is highlighted in black or just sends me to a spam site. The link one is great on a site with black bkgrounds.

  7. When advertisers can’t lock down their “product” and adware gets launched on their behalf or the ads launch full screen control, and pop ups, and the auto-play video player (launching really bad malware probably), I either block them or never return to the site. Hackaday does a good job not being annoying and I get ads basically only for dev boards from companies I want to work for, so it doesn’t get blocked.

    Wired’s website kept getting worse and worse, along w/ the articles, and I haven’t visited there in years.

    1. I bought a wired mag once on the grounds that i like tech stuff and ive heard of it before. Ads, ads everywhere. It is the vogue or womens weekly of the tech world. Shitty content shoehorned in between multiple, full page ads. Just like subscription tv, pay for a service that delivers more ads than free to air. Makes sense.

    2. Hackaday is one of the few websites I have fully white listed as the ads are unobtrusive and I might actually want to buy some of the products advertised.
      Wired’s ads are obnoxious, can slow down even the fastest computers and sometimes have browser hijacks.

  8. Thing is that license free bands for WiFi use wouldn’t exist if it where not for for profit commercial interests. The FCC would be under far greater pressure to address interference problems on the WiFi band that it ever was addressing interference problems on HF CB or even the FRS. Hacker complaining how commercial interests go about protecting their profits by protecting the bands from interference risk looking like hypocrites This goes to show a down side to software design radio, whenever software offers a less expensive solution than a hardware solution the software solution will be used. The question is will hacker step up to the plate and design an open source WiFi hardware that can meet the technical requirement of of the license free radio service transceivers, so open source code can be used for the networking although acquiring type acceptance can be a bitch most likely.

    Does apper that the broadcast advertising model to pay the delivery costs, expect profits and wages may not work with the Internet. Some hard choice coming up for content providers, and content consumers. My guess is the content consumer will cave just like the Have with Print and CATV programming.. Paying prescription fee as they are being shown advertising. The problem for the content producers is that there’s a limit how many AlaCarte choices a consumer can afford each month, so the content producers are really going to have to compete. I wonder how much the internet will speed up as people com to realize they can’t afford to buy the shit they are used to getting for free.

    Sorry I can’t really get worked up over corporate logos. No off to watch Fran’s video.

  9. Was about to smugly comment that hackaday was the first site on my white-list, when I realised that they were in fact blocked :P turns out I changed browsers and forgot to re-add them (an error I have now rectified). Ah well, thank you hackaday for your sensible ads and great content :)

  10. I block all ads. I also buy stuff from the Hackaday store. I’m pretty sure my purchases in the store are worth more than whatever “impressions” from allowing ads would’ve generated. Also, 100% of my purchases are directly from Hackaday blog articles that linked to the relevant items in the store. So, keep doing that, and prepare for the days when ads are no longer profitable.

  11. “Because you – yes, you – don’t believe content creators should be paid,”

    The reason why I run adblock is because I believe that viewers (me) shouldn’t be sold for money against their will.

    If you want to make money off of me, ask me first. Put your articles behind a paywall and see if I care enough to pay. If you have something valuable to show, I have something valuable in exchange.

    Financing a website with ads means you’ll simply write the same old bullshit clickbait simply to annoy me to get me to load a page and see the ads, and that’s not what I want you to get paid for. That’s abuse and waste of my time.

    1. See, this is what’s wrong with the “economy 2.0” or services economy, or whatever you want to call it.

      Theory: services are supposed to help and enable actual productivity so that we can make more stuff and wealth with less labor and energy input.

      Practice: people who actually do “services” are almost invariably not helping anyone be more productive, instead they are generally wasting our limited resources in order to goad someone to pay them money for it. That’s because it requires less actual effort, and that ends up with fewer and fewer people working for actual productivity and wealth, since everyone tries to be a hair stylist or a dog nail clipper, or a indeed a advertisement-funded “blog-journalist”.

      You see, when you are funding by advertisements there’s no longer any meritocracy that applies. You only have to do the lowest common denominator, and you know you can pass absolute filth as long as on average you stay above the line which would alienate your readers. All that matters is the maximum number of page/ad-views for the minimum effort rather than providing something insightful or particularily entertaining to your readership, and your readership has no ability to vote with their wallets because any time they come in to see whether they should pay, they’ve already paid with their presence by having to see the ads and getting tracked by google or some other privacy-intruding company.

      It’s almost like a form of panhandling.

  12. FYI – I just whitelisted hackaday.com in my ad blocker. Thanks for the reminder. I try to make sure to do this on sites I value (even though I’m not a regular here, I love the content and if my seeing the ads helps your site, easy to give that blocking up!!!!)… On the other hand, when I run into sites that bust their butts to prevent me from reading articles they work hard to get high positions for via SEO (talking to you New York Times), I will write code to obfuscate my machine/eliminate cookies just to defeat that purpose.

    Sorry to rant, but I love supporting good sites with good content and I happily click through their ads to buy things, but I won’t pay for a newspaper subscription to read one article that the newspaper company has shared everywhere on the web to get clicks (all with just a tiny blurb of the content)…

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