Tag Archives: internet

On Deleting my Yahoo! Account

On October 4th a Reuters report by Joseph Menn revealed that last year Yahoo! secretly built a custom software program to search all of its customers’ incoming emails for specific information provided by U.S. intelligence officials. As a result, Fight for the Future created a website urging people to Dump Yahoo. I might not have followed the advice but for the fact that Yahoo! has been regularly annoying me since I first created my account back in 2001.

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IPv6 problem with macOS Sierra

When there were no new iMacs announced at Apple’s “Hello Again” event in October I decided to stop waiting and replace my ageing late 2009 model with an Apple refurbished late 2013 one (I had a friend who was eager to buy my old one). I had also held off installing Sierra so my old machine was running El Capitan.

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Online Petitions

Over the years I have kept a pretty comprehensive record of all the online petitions I have signed, amounting to over 500. Of those signatures, 320 of them were on just 6 different petition sites:

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Silverlight, the other Flash

If you follow this blog then you may recall me railing against websites that require the use of the Adobe Flash browser plug-in, which I removed from my iMac in November 2010 and never reinstalled. I watch quite a lot of YouTube (too much to be honest) and lack of Flash was a challenge. For a long time my solution was to use Connor McKay’s YouTube5 Safari Extension but in September 2014, when I had turned off Extensions for some reason, I noticed that YouTube seemed to be working fine – presumably it had started serving HTML5 to browsers without Flash. A few days ago YouTube went further and announced that they are now serving HTML5 by default (at least in Chrome, IE 11, Safari 8 and beta versions of Firefox). They are also deprecating “old style” Flash <object> embeds and their Flash API.

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Knives on ebay (UK)

Although I buy a few items on eBay I had not sold anything since February 2011. I have been meaning to start again for a long time but what with one thing and a million others it took me till just a few days ago to get to it. I have a lot of unwanted stuff that is too good to throw out. Some of it I could give to charity shops, but to be honest the charities behind the local shops are not the ones that I would necessarily give to – I would rather try to sell things and maybe give some of the proceeds to Freedom from Torture. Anyway, the first thing I tried was a set of steak knives and forks which somehow came to be in my possession a few years ago and which I had never used. I looked them up on eBay and found similar sets for sale, both with and without the original packaging. It seemed like they would probably sell so I listed them.

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Experiments with IPv6

Normally I write blog entries directly on wordpress.com but this one I am composing in a text file because I can’t get to wordpress.com right now, or indeed to most of the Internet. There is nothing wrong with my Internet connection apart from the fact that I have deliberately disabled IPv4 on my iMac in order to see what I can do using IPv6.
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Good News

To say that the mainstream media “loves hate and hates love” is obvious hyperbole but if there wasn’t an element of truth in it then there would be no need for publications like Positive News. Out of interest I just did a search for “Negative News” and as I expected there does not seem to be a publication of that title but there are plenty of articles on the subject. For example, near the top of the search results was a 2010 article in Psychology Today called Why we love bad news by Ray Williams. So one explanation is that there is indeed far more bad news than good – but that depends on how you define news. Another is that we prefer bad news to good and that the media are simply giving us what they know we want. Finally there is the more conspiratorial explanation that the media is controlled by people in whose interest it is to have a population living in fear.
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Trusting Trusteer?

I have been with The Co-operative bank for a long time and have no plans to switch despite the problems which arose during the tenure of disgraced former chairman Paul Flowers aka the crystal Methodist. I use the online banking system and one day (a long time ago) when I went to log in I was prompted to download and install some security software called Rapport from a company called Trusteer. Being naturally wary of such things I did a search and immediately discovered that people were having problems with it, so I declined. In fact the only options were to “Download” or “Remind me later” so I clicked the latter and proceeded as usual. I find the reminders mildly annoying but as long as they don’t make use of Rapport compulsory it is not a big deal.
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Farewell to DMOZ

DMOZ (also known as the Open Directory Project or ODP) claims to be the most comprehensive human edited directory of the Web. It is hosted and administered ┬áby Netscape Communications (a subsidiary of AOL) and uses a hierarchical ontology for organising site listings. The data is made available as an RDF-like dump under a Creative Commons Attribution license and apparently still powers the core directory services for many of the Web’s largest search engines and portals. The other main distinguishing feature of DMOZ is that it is constructed and maintained by a community of volunteer editors.
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YouTube Suddenly Requires Flash

In November 2010 I removed the Adobe Flash Player plug-in from my iMac and have never re-installed it. This broke a number of websites but there were some simple workarounds to get things going again. In the case of YouTube I installed Connor McKay’s YouTube5 Safari Extension which had been working very well until recently. Note that YouTube does have an experimental HTML5 Player which I have tried but it has some limitations and the YouTube5 Safari Extension seemed like the better option (use one or other, not both).
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