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Messages - IainB [ switch to compact view ]

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... And no, I'm still using Windows 7 and will continue to use it until I have to replace my computer.

@Erich56: Thanks for your response.
...And yes, you are right: altering the process priority with PT obviously is a workaround, but seemingly one that works.
Nothing wrong in that. I use PT as a workaround to combat a problem that Google and Microsoft in particular, and others in general, have created for millions of PC users - the original "PUPs" ("Potentially Unwanted Programs") or "PAPs" ("Persistently Annoying Programs") as I describe them. The list of PAPs includes, for example (from my PT Configuration GUI list):


And I use ClassicShell to work around Microsoft's most annoying abortion PAP - the Metro Win8 GUI in Windows 8 and later.

I don't think that acemd.exe changes it's default priority.  The default priority seems to be "below normal", and what Mouser is suggesting is that once PT changes it to "normal", it's being changed back to "below normal" (after quite variable time spans, which seems strange, anyway).
On all other machines with which I run acemd.exe, there is no problem.  It's just this one PC with an older CPU, where acemd.exe suddenly stopps running. And what I have found out was that this does NOT happen once it's priority is at "normal".
This is the reason behind the whole thing.
Ah, that's interesting.

From what you know, does this mean that the default priority of the process/program acemd.exe,  is "below normal" on all computers where it is installed, but that it is just on the single older computer that you suspect that is what causes the program to abend with no(?) error message?

Are all these computers running the same OS and, if not, then what are the differences?
Is there an Event Log for the computer (with the abending process) in question? That might help to identify/indicate a possible root cause of the abend. Similarly, the Event Logs for the other computers might be able to throw some light on the behaviour of the non-abending process' default operation.
At the moment, it seems that you cannot be certain as to what the root cause of the abend actually is. You only know (presumably by trial-and-error) that the abend seems to not occur if the process priority is set to normal. (Is that correct?)

Thus, altering the process priority with PT (Process Tamer) might only be a workaround to an as yet undefined problem, at best.

@Erich56: I'm intrigued by this: Why would the process acemd.exe be changing (lowering) its default priority? This would likely be a deliberate design feature, rather than an error, yet you - the user - clearly don't want it to do that.
I wonder - would it make any difference to the default priority if you set the process to "Run as Administrator"? (Not sure whether that is relevant.)

I just realised that the tool that seems to be required in the OP has probably already been noted by me - the superb   :Thmbsup:   whole-page (including scrollable windows) image capture of Microsoft's OneNote Web Clipper (can be used with the free version of OneNote):
If the otherwise excellent SC is not playing nicely with a scrolling capture of a web page, then this might be of use/help: whilst I'm not usually interested in capturing images of scrolling windows (web pages), it does seem that the OneNote Clipper bookmarklet "button" - as used with the "FREE" MS OneNote - still works very well in doing a quick and flawless image capture:
Test of the OneNote Clipper bookmarklet "button" that you drag to Favorites:
My test results indicate that this takes an image of an entire web page (a scrolled-window image, much like Screenshot Captor, but without all the palaver associated with the latter), but:
(a) The image is of the entire web page, regardless of whether you have only selected/highlighted a part of the page.
(b) It doesn't seem to work in Firefox v28ß (could be my Firefox settings, I suppose).
(c) It works perfectly in IE11.

The way I work, my objective is usually to save selected parts, or all, of a web page in HTML format and often with attached/nested pages/files.
Thus I rarely take such images/screenshots, and the OneNote Clipper is not of much use to me.
However, when I want to capture an image of an entire scrolled web page, in future I shall consider using OneNote Clipper rather than SC (if I remember).
So, I shall continue to use Firefox with the Scrapbook extension for capturing part/all of a web page in HTML format (having come across nothing better with a non-proprietary format, or greater reliability so far).

Using the OneNote Clipper to capture the webpage, for example, here's this thread page in an image: (click to enlarge)

Clip to OneNote (IE bookmarklet) - DCF scrolling capture thread.png

The webpage to get this and download it is here, where it says:
Save anything on the web to OneNote in one click
Add the OneNote Web Clipper to your web browser so that you can save, annotate and organise anything from the web.

Get OneNote Web Clipper for Chrome

Copied from: OneNote Web Clipper Installation - <>

A really useful feature about using OneNote as the collector database is that any embedded text in images in OneNote is automatically OCR'd and the text saved with the  image as Alternative Text and which is easily searchable and copyable.
It seems that OneNote Web Clipper works in these browsers, at least:
  • IE
  • Chrome

Here's a clip of this (current) DCF page, using OneNote Web Clipper:


I had saved a note about Mobysaurus, with a link, in my CHS database:
Dictionary + thesauras - 2018-04-07 0146hrs

per DCF @cranioscopical - who also installed a local copy of the Oxford full dictionary..
Found and successfully downloaded from that link just now at: Wayback

The UK's MATT cartoons are usually rather droll.
As a longtime fan of UK soccer, I thought this was particularly clever.


2018-07-11 0239hrs: Just did a major rework of the somewhat outdated Mini-Review OP.
The images seem to have all been put out of order during the changes to the website.
I am in the process of tidying up the tail-end parts of the review.
Stick A Note remains as one of my favourite and most reliable apps., and I am finding new uses for it as a file note tool.

Living Room / Re: Privacy (collected references)
« on: July 09, 2018, 01:27 AM »
For clarification, I have added this to the post I made above regarding the AddictiveTips article:
EDIT 2018-07-09:
NB: TRUST is a key issue here. There is a caveat that many organisations in the business of providing $PAID-for VPN services seem to  tend to conceal - not all the VPN providers are actually operating a trustworthy service, from the user's perspective, such that your logged VPN activity data could be made available to government or other authorities, through legal or other compulsion (even corruption/informal agreement).

Also, please note that this is probably a True statement:
If they want you bad enough I doubt whether a VPN provider anywhere is going to stop them.

Living Room / Re: Privacy (collected references)
« on: July 09, 2018, 12:55 AM »
Sorry, I hadn't been intending to suggest that this thread topic could usefully provide coincidentally relevant:
(a) details of/for a fully comprehensive coverage of VPNs (though directions to same could be useful), or
(b)comprehensive reviews of VPN Pros/Cons or "Which are the best/most trustworthy/etc. VPNs, and why?" (though directions to same could be useful).

Methinks those would probably be pretty extensive subject/topic areas or discussion threads in their own right!    :o

What could perhaps be more useful/relevant for inclusion in this thread are (and please say if you have other suggestions) our experiences/knowledge of those DNS/VPN methods/tools that meet the criteria of (say) being variously able to meet three criteria (and please suggest any other important criteria that I may have missed):
  • Effective: e.g., most likely to be certainly able to meet the requirements for the necessary improvement in a personal user's internet privacy/security;
  • Available and non-proprietary: e.g., in the public domain;
  • $FREE: (or low cost) to use.

There are four such tools that immediately come to mind (and I feel sure there could be more listed or pointed to by other DCF members):
  • DNSCrypt: e.g., Simple DNSCrypt <>
    Notes as at: 2018-07-09
    Simple DNSCrypt
    Simple DNSCrypt is a simple management tool to configure dnscrypt-proxy on windows based systems.

    New version based on dnscrypt-proxy 2.0.15

    Getting Started
    At least one system with Windows 7 SP1 and the installation of. NET Framework 4.6.1 is currently required.
    You also will need: Microsoft Visual C++ Redistributable for Visual Studio 2017 x64 or x86

    To install Simple DNSCrypt use the latest (stable) MSI packages: x86 or x64.
    (NB: I could not get the X64 version to work properly, but the X86 version seems to work just fine.)

  • SoftEther VPNClient (VPNGate): <>
    Notes as at: 2018-07-09
    SoftEther VPN Client (Ver 4.27, Build 9668, beta)
    softether-vpnclient-v4.27-9668-beta-2018.05.29-windows-x86_x64-intel.exe (42.96 MB)
    Release Date: 2018-05-29  <Latest Build>
    What's new (ChangeLog)
    Languages: English, Japanese, Simplified Chinese
    OS: Windows, CPU: Intel (x86 and x64)
    (Windows 98 / 98 SE / ME / NT 4.0 SP6a / 2000 SP4 / XP SP2, SP3 / Vista SP1, SP2 / 7 SP1 / 8 / 8.1 / 10 / Server 2003 SP2 / Server 2008 SP1, SP2 / Hyper-V Server 2008 / Server 2008 R2 SP1 / Hyper-V Server 2008 R2 / Server 2012 / Hyper-V Server 2012 / Server 2012 R2 / Hyper-V Server 2012 R2 / Server 2016)

  • Freegate: <>
    Notes as at: 2018-07-09
    Freegate is an anti-censorship software for secure and fast Internet access. It was developed and maintained by Dynamic Internet Technology Inc. (DIT), a pioneer in censorship-circumvention operation.
      * users access web sites overseas as fast as their local ones;
      * requires no installation or change in system setting;
      * a single executable file on a Windows platform.

    Freegate works by tapping into an anti-censorship backbone, DynaWeb, DIT's P2P-like proxy network system.

    Freegate's anti-censorship capability is further enhanced by a new, unique encryption and compression algorithm in the versions of 6.33 and above.

  • Tor: <>
    Notes as at: 2018-07-09
    What is Tor?
    Tor is free software and an open network that helps you defend against traffic analysis, a form of network surveillance that threatens personal freedom and privacy, confidential business activities and relationships, and state security.

    Why Anonymity Matters
    Tor protects you by bouncing your communications around a distributed network of relays run by volunteers all around the world: it prevents somebody watching your Internet connection from learning what sites you visit, and it prevents the sites you visit from learning your physical location.

Though I have reviewed DNSCrypt and SoftEther VPNClient elsewhere on the DC Forum, my knowledge/understanding of the area of Privacy and alternative Privacy/Security tools (e.g., Tor) is necessarily limited to my personal experience and exposure to use of such tools. In regards to this discussion thread, I suspect that the collective experience of DCF members could comprise a "Brainstrust" which could contribute a great deal more than I might be able to on my own. Therefore any assistance in developing this thread could be most welcome.

Less complex than removing it and as a possible alternative workaround, you could do worse than consider using ProcessTamer to Force Kill it.
It's path is usually: C:\Windows\System32\CompatTelRunner.exe

General Software Discussion / Re: More Ads in Windows 10
« on: July 08, 2018, 02:09 AM »
@4wd: ^^    :D
Very droll. Probably spot-on too.

Living Room / Re: Privacy - GDPR + VPNs.
« on: July 08, 2018, 02:02 AM »
The AddictiveTips website is usually worth keeping an eye on because they often have some very useful tips in all sorts of categories of interest. One of these categories is Privacy+VPNs (Virtual Private Network providers), which they frequently plug - probably because they get a financial benefit, such as, (say) advertising revenue, or commission on sales, or something. However, where they do talk about VPN services, AddictiveTips usually seem to be pretty thorough and relatively objective.

A recent example is the post: Best VPNs for GDPR: Unblock Online Services in Europe, which covers various useful points, some of which I summarise below and with my own comments/perspective added (but please do read the whole thing at the link):
  • Purpose of the GDPR law: Intended to protect the privacy rights of internet users within the EU, but because so many internet companies have an international footprint, most have chosen to update their privacy policies for all users. worldwide (i.e., including non-Europeans).

  • Why GDPR was important: This legislation was a major step forward in cementing into law the rights to privacy of internet users  - e.g., recent scandals such as the misuse of Facebook data by Cambridge Analytica for commercial/political ends highlighted the need to maintain the personal rights to one's digital privacy. Users can now take better control of "their" data which is logged/held by Internet-based "social networking service", Google, Yahoo!, and various other organisations relying on revenue derived from collecting/amassing their user data via distributed online services, or other reasons.

  • What a VPN can do for digital privacy: One of the best tools that users can deploy to improve their privacy online is arguably by using a VPN. The post provides a good overview of what a VPN is, its potential benefits and how it could be used in conjunction with the GDPR legislation to protect your privacy. There are recommendations for the "best" VPNs for GDPR.
    EDIT 2018-07-09:
    NB: TRUST is a key issue here. There is a caveat that many organisations in the business of providing $PAID-for VPN services seem to  tend to conceal - not all the VPN providers are actually operating a trustworthy service, from the user's perspective, such that your logged VPN activity data could be made available to government or other authorities, through legal or other compulsion (even corruption/informal agreement).

  • Government privacy breaches and propaganda: Various national governments sometimes commit some of the worst abuses of Internet freedoms, passing laws that authorise "legal" breaching of user privacy and enforce censorship (blocking) and permitting only politically what is deemed as being acceptable propaganda or "news" consumption. Internet users in the EU and beyond have experienced website blocks. This typically happens when the EU or another government decides to prevent or limit access to certain websites, usually "for consumer protection reasons". For example, not only to protect consumers from being defrauded or to inhibit the purchase of dangerous products online, but also to punish access to or block access to sites for "copyright infringement", or that encourage "incorrect thinking/information", or have "inappropriate content", or speech that is not permitted, or otherwise generally politically controversial/"unacceptable" content.

  • Regulation without oversight: EU legislation about website blocking conceals the reality that that sites can already be (and are) blocked with no oversight, which rings alarm bells for anyone who values internet freedoms. In the recent past, for example, the Spanish government has used such blocking methods to prevent people from accessing websites discussing issues around the Catalan independence movement.

  • Government-sanctioned blocking: If a government decides to block a website/page, then all of the ISPs within that entire nation's telecomms infrastructure are obliged to implement the block and prevent their customers from accessing that site. Thus, when a user types in the URL of a blocked site, the request is sent from the user's device to their ISP where -  if that URL is on a blocked list - then the ISP redirects the user to a blocked notice or simply denies the connection, and this action is logged against the user ID/IP address. The user is not anonymous, and all their internet traffic can be (and is) read and logged by the ISP.

  • Purpose of a VPN: A VPN can enable the user to bypass (work around) blocks and government censorship by connecting usually anonymously to a server elsewhere in the "free" world. For example, if you are in the EU and the website that you want to access is blocked, then you can connect to a VPN server in (say) Japan, or the US, or Canada. All of your data will have been encrypted and passed through your local ISP (i.e., your ISP can’t see the URL or other request data that you’re accessing and so won't know to block your connection). It is then routed via that VPN server, allowing the user to browse the internet as if their ISP was physically in the country where the VPN server is located – in this case, Japan, or the US, or Canada – and so the EU user is able to use a VPN access sites that have been blocked by the EU.

If the user had enabled "Tame applications based on CPU usage" and modified the threshold settings for that, then could that possibly explain the symptoms described?
Just a thought. I've not really used that functionality, except to test that it works.

I was prompted to post this comment here after reading the discussion at ProcessTamer-Setting process priority not working with Windows 10?.

I am still running the latest ProcessTamer v2.14.01 x64 ß (as a Portable app.), with no problems.
One interesting point is that I have observed one annoyingly persistent Win10 system process that seems to be either:
  • (a) escaping being shut down by PT for some reason, or
  • (b) (and more probably) it is being shut down properly, but a "ghost" of its Notification icon temporarily remains in the Systray. The process is LocationNotificationWindows.exe (set to Force Kill).

The app is not found as a running process in Process Hacker, and never seems to appear in the Systray proper, only appearing in the clickable > sign in the Systray. When I left-click on the > sign, the app icon (a circle with a solid dot on the middle) is shown momentarily and then disappears.

PT seems to be correctly repeatedly killing the app when it is started (it apparently cannot be turned off even though location awareness reporting is disabled in Settings), but Windows is continually trying to restart it. I would suppose that its Systray icon is maybe not being expunged from the (hidden) Systray display buffer, even after the app has been killed.

@mouser: Thanks for the heads-up. It's a good website and worth supporting IMHO.

Point worth noting: Fans of the site might not always realise that they need to ensure that their adblocker has the site Whitelisted. (I just checked now, and realised that it wasn't whitelisted in my BadAdJohnny Adblocker. Fixed now.)

Living Room / Re: Privacy (collected references)
« on: July 02, 2018, 06:34 PM »
There's a very good summary post of the Facebook fiasco in the website, by Catalin Cimpanu:
(Copied below sans embedded images; my emphasis.)
Facebook Acknowledges It Shared User Data With 61 Companies
tags: Technology
Catalin Cimpanu - 2018-07-02

Image: Facebook app login

In a 747-page document provided to the US House of Representatives' Energy and Commerce Committee on Friday, Facebook admitted that it granted special access to users' data to 61 tech companies.

According to the document, these 61 companies received a "one-time" extension so they could update their apps in order to comply with a Terms of Service change the company applied in May 2015.

61 companies received API exemptions in 2015
The six-month extension was applied from May 2015, onward, when Facebook restricted its API so apps could not access too much data on its users, and especially the data of users' friends.

The API change came in a period when apps like the one developed by Cambridge Analytica were using the Facebook API to mass-harvest the data of Facebook users.

In May 2015, Facebook realized that apps were abusing this loophole in its permission system to trick one user into granting permission to the personal data of hundreds of his friends, and restricted the Facebook API to prevent indirect data harvesting.

But these 61 tech companies, because they ran popular apps, received an exemption to this API change, during which, theoretically, they could have abused the Facebook API to collect data on Facebook users and their friends. Data that could have been collected included name, gender, birthdate, location, photos, and page likes.

Facebook did not say if any of these companies abused this extension period to harvest data on users and their friends. The list of 61 companies who received an API extension includes:
1. ABCSocial, ABC Television Network
2. Actiance
3. Adium
4. Anschutz Entertainment Group
5. AOL
6. Arktan / Janrain
7. Audi
8. biNu
9. Cerulean Studios
10. Coffee Meets Bagel
11. DataSift
12. Dingtone
13. Double Down Interactive
14. Endomondo
15. Flowics, Zauber Labs
16. Garena
17. Global Relay Communications
18. Hearsay Systems
19. Hinge
20. HiQ International AB
21. Hootsuite
22. Krush Technologies
23. LiveFyre / Adobe Systems
25. MiggoChat
26. Monterosa Productions Limited
27. AS
28. NIKE
29. Nimbuzz
30. NISSAN MOTOR CO / Airbiquity Inc.
31. Oracle
32. Panasonic
33. Playtika
34. Postano, TigerLogic Corporation
35. Raidcall
36. RealNetworks, Inc.
37. RegED / Stoneriver RegED
38. Reliance/Saavn
39. Rovi
40. Salesforce/Radian6
41. SeaChange International
42. Serotek Corp. 
43. Shape Services
44. Smarsh
45. Snap
46. Social SafeGuard
47. Socialeyes LLC
48. SocialNewsdesk
49. Socialware / Proofpoint
50. SoundayMusic 
51. Spotify
52. Spredfast
53. Sprinklr / Sprinklr Japan
54. Storyful Limited / News Corp
55. Tagboard
56. Telescope
57. Tradable Bits, TradableBits Media Inc.
58. UPS
59. Vidpresso
60. Vizrt Group AS
61. Wayin

Of the list above, Serotek received an eight-month extension.

Facebook points the finger at five other companies
Facebook also said it identified five other companies that tested beta versions of their apps that had the "theoretical" capability of harvesting a users' friends data. The list includes.
  1. Activision / Bizarre Creations
  2. Fun2Shoot 
  3. Golden Union Co.
  4. IQ Zone / PicDial
  5. PeekSocial

"We are not aware that any of this handful of companies used this access, and we have now revoked any technical capability they may have had to access any friends' data", Facebook said.

Facebook slowly closing all loopholes
In addition, Facebook also announced it was discontinuing 38 partnerships with companies that it authorized to build versions of Facebook or Facebook features for custom devices and products, and which may have also gained extensive access to user data.

Last week, a security researcher discovered another quiz app, similar to the one developed by Cambridge Analytica, which also gained access and later exposed the details of over 120 million Facebook users.

The app was named, associated with the eponymous website. Current evidence doesn't suggest the data collected by this second quiz app might have been used for political ads and influence campaigns such as the one collected by Cambridge Analytica.
Catalin Cimpanu is the Security News Editor for Bleeping Computer, where he covers topics such as malware, breaches, vulnerabilities, exploits, hacking news, the Dark Web, and a few more. Catalin previously covered Web & Security news for Softpedia between May 2015 and October 2016. The easiest way to reach Catalin is via his XMPP/Jabber address at For other contact methods, please visit Catalin's author page.

Copied from: Facebook Acknowledges It Shared User Data With 61 Companies - <>

Living Room / Re: Privacy (collected references)
« on: July 02, 2018, 05:43 PM »
@YannickDa: Yes, I suspect you're probably pretty much spot-on in what you write above. It would seem prudent for any individual to regard all/any protestations by whomever that "Oh no! Don't worry! Your 'right to privacy' and the security and confidentiality of all your personal data is our primary objective!", as being likely to be just so much cynical hokum - especially if/when voiced by, for example (say):
  • (a) Representatives of government and government-affiliated organisations.
  • (b) Representatives of NGOs (Non-Governmental Organisations).
  • (c) Representatives of corporate organisations.
  • (d) IT startup founders/entrepreneurs.
(Have I missed any out?)

Some people (not me, you understand) might put it in the New Zealand vernacular thus: "They couldn't give a rat's #rse about your stinking rights to privacy.", but I couldn't possibly comment.

In 2008/9 I was contracted as a project manager to establish and commence a project that was going to transform the gathering of revenue/tax data by doing it online. This was for individuals and accounting agents of SMBs (Small to Medium-sized Businesses). It was to automate and dramatically improve the efficiency and speed of the processes involved, which, up until then, had been prone to massive manual processing holdups.

Fast forward 9 years. I was doing my personal online tax return the other day and was impressed with how easy it was,, as the Inland Revenue already knew an awful lot of the private details about my income. What potentially had been likely to take me hours by the old methods was now taking minutes. This was for my individual tax return. (I had read in the press that the SMB side of things was still having hiccups though.)

Then my train of thought reminded me of this silly humour post I made in 2014:
Scott Adams Blog: Message to My Government 03/06/2014
Mar 6, 2014

I never felt too violated by the news that my government can snoop on every digital communication and financial transaction I make. Maybe I should have been more bothered, but the snooping wasn't affecting my daily life, and it seemed like it might be useful for fighting terrorism, so I worried about other things instead.

This week, as I was pulling together all of my records to do taxes, I didn't get too upset that the process of taxpaying is unnecessarily frustrating and burdensome. As a citizen, I do what I need to do. I'm a team player.

I have also come to peace with the fact that my government now takes about half of my income. I figure most of it goes to good causes. I'm here to help.

I take pride in the fact that I don't let the little things get to me.

But the other day, as I was crawling my way through mountains of statements and receipts, trying to organize my records for my accountant, with several more days of this drudgery ahead, I had a disturbing thought. I must warn you in advance that this disturbing thought can only be expressed in all capital letters and it must include profanity. It goes like this.

Message to my government:



Again from TheRegister, this time some possibly privacy-related news: is not being advised by Google. Repeat. It is not being advised by Google
DeepMind's 'Demis Hassabis is an individual' – Ministry of Fun
By Andrew Orlowski 29 Jun 2018 at 09:5517 Reg comments
demis hassabis
DeepMind co-founder Demis Hassabis (Pic: Debby Wong /
Google is not advising the British government on AI, the Ministry of Fun assured this week, following the appointment of Google's Demis Hassabis as an advisor on AI.

The US ad, search and cloud biz acquired Hassabis' company DeepMind four years ago and he has since been a Google employee. In the wordsof The Guardian, Hassabis is "leading Google's project to build software more powerful than the human brain".

Earlier this week, the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport – aka the Ministry of Fun – announced the creation of a new "AI Council" and appointed Hassabis as its advisor. The department seemed pleased with landing such a trophy, explaining that Hassabis "will provide expert industry guidance to help the country build the skills and capability it needs to capitalise on the huge social and economic potential of AI – a key part of the Government's modern Industrial Strategy."

But just because a Google employee is giving the government advice, that doesn't necessarily mean a Google employee is giving the government advice. You would be quite wrong to think that.
(Read the rest at the link.)

Copied from: is not being advised by Google. Repeat. It is not being advised by Google • The Register - <>

Similarly, we would presumably be sure that US government is not being advised/influenced by Google...     :o

@Deozaan: Where you write:
...Here's a more in depth paper on the subject:
"I've Got Nothing to Hide" and Other Misunderstandings of Privacy by Daniel J. Solove
Disclaimer: I haven't taken the time to read it yet, so I can't speak to its contents.
- thankyou!   :Thmbsup:

The post you link to is:
This is a tangentially related bit of irony:
I went to download a paper on privacy called "I've Got Nothing to Hide" and Other Misunderstandings of Privacy by Daniel J. Solove, but since the website detected that I was using an anonymous proxy, they tried to get me to register for an account so they could track me, and made me complete the reCAPTCHA three times when I insisted on clicking the (almost hidden) link to continue downloading anonymously.

I downloaded the paper (.PDF file) via the link you gave to It seems to be a very informative paper by Daniel J Solove:
* © Daniel J. Solove 2007.  Associate Professor, George Washington University
Law School; J.D., Yale Law School.  Thanks to Chris Hoofnagle, Adam Moore, and Michael
Sullivan  for  helpful  comments,  and  to  my  research  assistant  Sheerin  Shahinpoor.    I
develop some of the ideas in this essay in significantly more depth in my forthcoming
book, Understanding Privacy, to be published by Harvard University Press in May 2008.

(From the footnote to the cover page of: “I’ve Got Nothing to Hide” and Other
Misunderstandings of Privacy.

Note: The .PDF file is attached to this post, for convenience, as per link below. It can also easily be viewed/downloaded direct from - here.

This post at  TheRegister signals extremely good news for the privacy of the general public user of the Internet. The post is also rather enlightening: (my emphasis)
(Copied below sans embedded hyperlinks/images.)
Google weeps as its home state of California passes its own GDPR
The right to view and delete personal info is here – and you'll be amazed to hear why the law passed so fast
By Kieren McCarthy in San Francisco 29 Jun 2018 at 20:0213 Reg comments

Uh oh, someone just got some bad news
California has become the first state in the US to pass a data privacy law – with governor Jerry Brown signing the California Consumer Privacy Act of 2018 into law on Thursday.

The legislation will give new rights to the state's 40 million inhabitants, including the ability to view the data that companies hold on them and, critically, request that it be deleted and not sold to third parties. It's not too far off Europe's GDPR.

Any company that holds data on more than 50,000 people is subject to the law, and each violation carries a hefty $7,500 fine. Needless to say, the corporations that make a big chunk of their profits from selling their users' information are not overly excited about the new law.

"We think there's a set of ramifications that's really difficult to understand," said a Google spokesperson, adding: "User privacy needs to be thoughtfully balanced against legitimate business needs."

Likewise tech industry association the Internet Association complainedthat "policymakers work to correct the inevitable, negative policy and compliance ramifications this last-minute deal will create."

So far no word from Facebook, which put 1.5 billion users on a boat to California back in April in order to avoid Europe's similar data privacy regulations.

Don't worry if you are surprised by the sudden news that California, the home of Silicon Valley, has passed a new information privacy law – because everyone else is too. And this being the US political system there is, of course, an entirely depressing reason for that.

Another part of the statement by the Internet Association put some light on the issue: "Data regulation policy is complex and impacts every sector of the economy, including the internet industry," it argues. "That makes the lack of public discussion and process surrounding this far-reaching bill even more concerning. The circumstances of this bill are specific to California."

I see...
So this bill was rushed through?

Yes, it was. And what's more it was signed in law on Thursday by Governor Brown just hours after it was passed, unanimously, by both houses in Sacramento. What led lawmakers to push through privacy legislation at almost unheard-of speed? A ballot measure.

That’s right, since early 2016, a number of dedicated individuals with the funds and legislative know-how to make data privacy a reality worked together on a ballot initiative in order to give Californians the opportunity to give themselves their own privacy rights after every other effort in Sacramento and Washington DC has been shot down by the extremely well-funded lobbyists of Big Tech and Big Cable.

Hand locking door
GDPR forgive us, it's been one month since you were enforced…
Real estate developer Alastair Mactaggart put about $2m of his own money into the initiative following a chance conversation with a Google engineer in his home town of Oakland in which the engineer told him: "If people just understood how much we knew about them, they’d be really worried."

Mactaggart then spoke with a fellow dad at his kid's school, a finance guy called Rick Arney who had previously worked in the California State Senate, about it. And Arney walked him through California's unusual ballot measure system where anyone in the state can put forward an initiative and if it gets sufficient support will be put on the ballot paper at the next election.

If a ballot initiative gets enough votes, it becomes law. There have been some good and some bad outcomes from this exercise in direct democracy over the years but given the fact that both Mactaggart and Arney felt that there was no way a data privacy law would make its way through the corridors of power in Sacramento in the normal way, given the enormous influence of Silicon Valley, they decided a ballot measure was the way to go.

Beware the policy wonk
One other individual is worth mentioning: Mary Stone Ross was a former CIA employee and had been legal counsel for the House of Representatives Intelligence Committee and she also lives in Oakland. Mactaggart persuaded her to join the team to craft the actual policy and make sure it could make it through the system.

Together the three of them then spend the next year talking to relevant people, from lawyers to tech experts to academics to ordinary citizens to arrive at their overall approach and draft the initiative.

And it is at that point that, to be put in bluntly, the shit hit the fan. Because the truth is that consumers – and especially Californians who tend to be more tech-savvy than the rest of the country given the concentration of tech companies in the state – understand the issues around data privacy rules and they want more rights over it.

With the initiative well structured and the policy process run professionally, the ballot measure gained the required number of supporters to get it on the ballot. And thanks to the focus groups and polls the group carried out, they were confident that come November it would pass and data privacy become law through direct democracy.

At which point, it is fair to say, Big Internet freaked out and made lots of visits to lawmakers in Sacramento who also freaked out.

The following months have seen a scurry of activity but if you want to know why the bill became law in almost record time and was signed by Governor Brown on Thursday all you need to know is this single fact: the deadline for pulling the initiative from November's ballot as last night – Thursday evening – and Mactaggart said publicly that if the bill was signed, he would do exactly that and pull his ballot measure.

Privy see
You may be wondering why Sacramento was able to get it through unanimously without dozens of Google and Facebook-funded lawmakers continually derailing the effort, especially since it was still a ballot measure. After all, the tech giants could have spent millions campaigning against the measure in a bid to make sure people didn’t vote for it.

And the truth is that they had already lined up millions of dollars to do exactly that. Except they were going to lose because, thanks to massively increased public awareness of data privacy given the recent Facebook Russian election fake news scandal and the European GDPR legislation, it was going to be very hard to push back against the issue. And it has been structured extremely well – it was, frankly, good law.

There is another critical component: laws passed through the ballot initiative are much, much harder for lawmakers to change, especially if they are well structured.

So suddenly Big Tech and Sacramento were faced with a choice: pass data privacy legislation at record speed and persuade Mactaggart to pull his ballot initiative with the chance to change it later through normal legislative procedures; or play politics as usual and be faced with the same law but one that would be much harder to change in future.

And, of course, they went with the law. And Mactaggart, to his eternal credit, agreed to pull his ballot measure in order to allow the "normal" legislative approach to achieve the same goal.

And so the California Consumer Privacy Act of 2018 is now law and today is the first day that most Californians will have heard of it. Sausage making at its finest.

Of course, Google, Facebook et al are going to spend the next decade doing everything they can trying to unravel it. And as we saw just last week, lawmakers are only too willing to do the bidding of large corporate donors. But it is much harder to put a genie back in the bottle than it is to stop it getting out. ®

Copied from: Google weeps as its home state of California passes its own GDPR • The Register - <>

This was the post I read today (2018-06-28) on the DuckDuckGo blog that caused me to start this thread. The whole ethos of DuckDuckGo is based on privacy, so it does not have an axe to grind, but it does differentiate its services because of that. I thought the post raised some valid, cogent and thought-provoking points. I've copied the post below in its entirety, together with embedded hyperlinks, rather than just provided the link, because it would seem worthy of discussion in and of itself.
(Copied below sans embedded images.)
Three Reasons Why the "Nothing to Hide" Argument is Flawed

Over the years, we at DuckDuckGo have often heard a flawed counter-argument to online privacy: “Why should I care? I have nothing to hide.”

As Internet privacy has become more mainstream, this argument is rightfully fading away. However, it’s still floating around and so we wanted to take a moment to explain three key reasons why it's flawed.

1) Privacy isn’t about hiding information; privacy is about protecting information, and surely you have information that you’d like to protect.
  • Do you close the door when you go to the bathroom? Would you give your bank account information to anyone? Do you want all your search and browsing history made public? Of course not.

  • Simply put, everyone wants to keep certain things private and you can easily illustrate that by asking people to let you make all their emails, texts, searches, financial information, medical information, etc. public. Very few people will say yes.

2) Privacy is a fundamental right and you don't need to prove the necessity of fundamental rights to anyone.
  • You should have the right to free speech even if you feel you have nothing important to say right now. You should have the right to assemble even if you feel you have nothing to protest right now. These should be fundamental rights just like the right to privacy.

  • And for good reason. Think of commonplace scenarios in which privacy is crucial and desirable like intimate conversations, medical procedures, and voting. We change our behavior when we're being watched, which is made obvious when voting; hence, an argument can be made that privacy in voting underpins democracy.

3) Lack of privacy creates significant harms that everyone wants to avoid.
  • You need privacy to avoid unfortunately common threats like identity theft, manipulation through ads, discrimination based on your personal information, harassment, the filter bubble, and many other real harms that arise from invasions of privacy.

  • In addition, what many people don’t realize is that several small pieces of your personal data can be put together to reveal much more about you than you would think is possible. For example, an analysis conducted by MIT researchers found that “just four fairly vague pieces of information — the dates and locations of four purchases — are enough to identify 90 percent of the people in a data set recording three months of credit-card transactions by 1.1 million users.”

It’s critical to remember that privacy isn't just about protecting a single and seemingly insignificant piece of personal data, which is often what people think about when they say, “I have nothing to hide.” For example, some may say they don't mind if a company knows their email address while others might say they don't care if a company knows where they shop online.

However, these small pieces of personal data are increasingly aggregated by advertising platforms like Google and Facebook to form a more complete picture of who you are, what you do, where you go, and with whom you spend time. And those large data profiles can then lead much more easily to significant privacy harms. If that feels creepy, it’s because it is.

We can't stress enough that your privacy shouldn’t be taken for granted. The ‘I have nothing to hide’ response does just that, implying that government and corporate surveillance should be acceptable as the default.

Privacy should be the default. We are setting a new standard of trust online and believe getting the privacy you want online should be as easy as closing the blinds.

For more privacy advice, follow us on Twitter & get our privacy crash course.

Dax the duck
We are the Internet privacy company that lets you take control of your information, without any tradeoffs. Welcome to the Duck Side!
(Read more.)

Living Room / Privacy (collected references)
« on: June 28, 2018, 01:02 AM »
Privacy - especially in the "Internet Age" - is something that has the potential sometimes (often?) to be overlooked/ignored or abused:
  • Sometimes the personal privacy of oneself may be overlooked/ignored by individuals who might not realise the relevance/importance of their own right to personal privacy - or that of members of society in general - people who probably might care a lot more if they were more aware (less ignorant) of some of the potential and wider ramifications/implications of privacy issues.

  • Sometimes the personal privacy of others may be overlooked/ignored or abused by people, government functions and corporations who are focused on, or being driven by objectives which may be incompatible with the rights to personal privacy of others.

So I thought it might be useful to create a "Privacy thread" to collect/collate some salient privacy-related points that we come across and provide some kind of index to same.

About Privacy:

DNS-related:    :Thmbsup:

DonationCoder forum (DCF) and user privacy:

GDPR (EU General Data Protection Regulation, 2018):    :Thmbsup:

Government-authorised privacy breaches:    :down:

Search engines and websites that are apparently committed to preserving the user's full right to privacy:

Search engines and websites that apparently rely on tracking/utilising the user's personal data/metadata to maintain their marketing and/or revenue streams:
  • - and most other "social networking" sites and their assets.
  • - including Google search engine and most of its other assets - i.e., "free" and paid services.
  - including Bing search engine and most of its other assets - i.e., "free" and paid services like
  • Just about any website that insists that you "Subscribe" by providing your ID.


Vested interests antithetical with Privacy regulation:

Living Room / Re: Movies you've seen lately - Westerns!
« on: June 25, 2018, 10:03 PM »
Trigger alert: The movies below portray generally unnecessarily violent behaviour, violent beatings, violent death, brutality and murderous acts, and other anti-social and generally unfriendly behaviours of some of the characters in the movies. THESE ARE NOT REAL PEOPLE DOING REAL THINGS, but ACTORS in a movie. Apparently, some people find this sort of thing entertaining, but YMMV. (You don't have to watch them if you don't want to.)

YouTube Channel: Gringo - Western Movies

Movie: Death Rides a Horse (Classic WESTERN Feature Film, Movie in Full Length) *full movies
Watched 2018-06-26.
Good Western in the "traditional style" of spaghetti westerns.
Starring Lee Van Cleef and  John Phillip Law.
Worth a watch if you like spaghetti westerns.

Movie: Appleton (MODERN Western, HD, Crime, Mystery Thriller, English, Full Movie) *free films full length*
Watched 2018-06-26.
Modern western movie filmed in the US, about small town criminals and corrupt cops.
Quite a good plot. Worth a watch. Sometimes depressing hopeless/mournful lyrics to the music soundtrack.

Downloaded these rather nice pix from Gringo Western Movies channel (inspect page):
My filename: Western movies - frontier town - channels4_banner 01.jpg

My filename: Western movies - frontier town - channels4_banner 02 (narrow header).jpg

My filename: Western movies - frontier town - channels4_banner 03 (wide header).jpg

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