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Started by calamander on 16-Feb-2015 16:08:53
Having a VPN

I have kept a VPN for years out of principal. Is this a good idea?

calamander - 16 Feb 2015 16:17:36 (#1 of 59)

I looked up a kind of obscure tractor part in my local USA area and later loaded a British Newspaper on my computer - and there it was, a side banner advertising my USA local tractor part dealers in a British newspaper!

So I got a VPN to mask my IP address when I want, and so mostly seem to be in Amsterdam, London, or Chicago, if on-line. (I do not usually bother here, or for quick look ups, or some regular places, but then still mostly delete cookies.)

Is this a sane thing to do? I think it is more principal than anything.

Bonusy - 16 Feb 2015 16:20:36 (#2 of 59)

Were you already deleting cookies as a matter of principle?

calamander - 17 Feb 2015 00:55:51 (#3 of 59)

No, but I do now. BBC IPlayer is locked to any Non-British IP and I could watch it using my VPN, and thought I would when my parents recommended some documentary - but never do.

But it would bother me when I would look at a weather site and it would take me to my town forecast without asking where I was, which it will do now.

Sabacious - 17 Feb 2015 02:08:31 (#4 of 59)

I find that quite handy - I can watch iPlayer and have the weather forecast for where I live, rather than 3000 miles way.

Bonusy - 17 Feb 2015 06:36:27 (#5 of 59)

Yes, knowing your IP and doing a lookup isn't especially spying, it just means you are near the location for the data centre your ISP is using for you (possibly not well expressed). Due to being in a sparely populated area, mine comes out in a different county, maybe 30 miles north. Still, better than getting fucking London as per. Certainly a paranoid use for a VPN.

Unless you are doing something of either dubious legality (eg downloading pirated vids) or which you otherwise wish to obfuscate from local authorities (eg Tweeting in Iran), a VPN isn't really doing you much good. Also, how much do you trust the VPN provider through which you are routing all your traffic. And it'll be slower, for what benefit?

ChiliFiredNappyRash - 17 Feb 2015 06:44:59 (#6 of 59)

Just what is the speed hit when using a VPN, by and large?

Anthony16 - 17 Feb 2015 06:58:13 (#7 of 59)

What's the best free VPN?

ChiliFiredNappyRash - 17 Feb 2015 07:26:29 (#8 of 59)

Was recommended VPN One Click, pretty cheap at £8 a year but quality/speed isn't consistent.

Bonusy - 17 Feb 2015 09:28:28 (#9 of 59)

I'd expect it to vary with how many people are using the service and for what, you'll be sharing the bandwidth with them.

£8 a year is closer what you'd expect to pay for one month for a reliable service, around £5 a month.

There's a speed test comparison here, losses are fairly small at around 1-8%, but these are $60-$120 pa services:

calamander - 17 Feb 2015 17:55:42 (#10 of 59)

I suppose the IP thing is sort of like facial recognition software and ubiquitous cameras.

And with it globally linked then shopping in Berlin you get a coffee and on the side banner of the receipt was an advertising banner for the florist near your house 3000 miles away saying "Send your mother flowers for mothers day #Long Beach Florists" "%20 off, same day delivery guaranteed"

Bleu11 - 17 Feb 2015 18:52:26 (#11 of 59)

Thing to keep in mind: when you use a mechanism such as VPN to encrypt your traffic or use a proxy to hide your IP, you are still not protected from tracking mechanisms such as cookies which would identify you via stuff stored on your computer.

calamander - 17 Feb 2015 19:05:24 (#12 of 59)

My understanding is that cookies can be wiped. The thing I am amazed at is how many things Microsoft tracks your use on "to find problems" and gives you the choice (when digging) to not allow, or to allow 'recommended' is added to the allow choice.

Bleu11 - 17 Feb 2015 19:22:14 (#13 of 59)

Browsers have a setting to disable cookies altogether but a number of sites would not work well without it. You can selectively enable/disable cookies via lists or only disable 3rd party cookies or delete cookies at the end of each session,

Even without cookies, there are other fingerprint mechanisms that are based on your browser, IP address, etc. to roughly identify you.

MS may check your machine's configuration (as in the case of Windows Update, for example) to display the choices that is appropriate for you. They do tell you that they are doing this. Vendors can overstep their privilege in this regard...

calamander - 17 Feb 2015 19:24:14 (#14 of 59)

20 years ago when I used to travel doing the lighting in factories; I was amazed at the number of robots used. I remember one central check processing facility that had these robot carts which ran down the halls, popped into offices, took and left trays of checks unaided, and ran off. We used to step in front of them in the halls for fun. They would stop instantly and wait for you to move. If you stood your ground they would soon began flashing a light and say 'please stand aside' till you let them run off on their way. (I was almost killed replacing the lights in an elevator shaft they used to go up or down; they had cogs and just popped into the shaft and climbed the wall - someone turned on the system of lights wile I was clinging to a ledge and put 277 volts through me as I was handling the wires - I had a drop harness on though - which really hurts.)

But anyway - robots were doing all kinds of things everywhere in factories. Software has cut out the flocks of middle management too.

In 20 more years vast kinds of labour will be obsolete. What will everyone do? My guess is retire basically after finishing school at 25 on some small dole.

I just wonder about things, and the advertising feedback from advertisers on-line was disconcerting to me.

HorstVogel - 17 Feb 2015 20:27:11 (#15 of 59)

My guess is retire basically after finishing school at 25 on some small dole.

more like scavenging, imho.

calamander - 17 Feb 2015 21:10:36 (#16 of 59)

You should see the agribusiness massive combines and gang plows! They are run to satellite imagery and GPS - fallowing the contours, setting cutting heights, riding themselves almost. Fertilizer spread by satellite imagery....... Soon the operator will not be needed, such few as there still are. Then factories making stuff by robot...Three D Printers making everything so labour is not the issue, factories will be repatriated into the First World to save transport...

All manufacturing will be made by your order with your code in it so it ships right from the assembly line to your house. No warehousing, wholesalers, retailers - self drive vehicles and drones will take it right to distribution points and then to you like the Post Office on acid, but without the people.

Stuff will be cheap. Dole for all but the important. Power and valuable property will be the wealth.

In twenty years it will be an unstoppable train on track.

Lento_ - 18 Feb 2015 15:42:03 (#17 of 59)

I doubt we'll see it that quickly, and don't expect to see it within my lifetime.

If robots really can do all the work, then capitalism will need to be replaced with something else. On the other hand, people have been talking about most jobs being replaced by machines since the industrial revolution, and so far it has replaced lost jobs with new types.

calamander - 18 Feb 2015 16:36:41 (#18 of 59)

But manufacturing has been the bottom of the labour pyramid since the Industrial Revolution - that will be ending soon. A figure recently was robots are only doing %10 of the tasks they are well suited to and money is being heaped on that imbalance. The robots make lots of money by replacing expensive and troublesome labour.

I spent 6 years in the ceiling of factories and industrial buildings re-doing the lighting (an absolutely horrible job, all is done with live electricity so there is uninterrupted light and the lights are always over the machines and objects so one is hanging off ladders and scaffold and man-lifts and spend 13 hours a day at it (our normal shift) drilling and throwing steel overhead, but paid by the light and I made lots of money) (I once worked 8 1/2 months without 1 day off! Even working Christmas day. I began to go a bit nuts at the end - I had a second job in construction when ever I was not on the ladder doing lighting; and bought our first house debt free with the money - my wife also had a job)

The machines I saw were unbelievable, and that was 20-14 years ago. Robots painting, folding metal, welding, weaving, packaging, loading...Mostly people watched machines and fed them.

The sophisticated factories had the product automatically collected and loaded onto pallets to meet a shipment, the exact amount of each kind all machine selected and the pallet marked to which individual truck it went to and shrink-wrapped - all the worker did was drive the fork lift to carry it to the trucks lined up at the loading bay. A couple clipboard carrying supervisors were obsolete as the shipping was robot controlled by computer directing the pallets based on orders and truck schedules.

Robot fast food cooks and servers are being developed and soon will be doing it as you pay by your phone, or bracelet. The first robot cars are on the roads, just a week ago.

But the facial, iris scan, and body shape + walk pattern, recognition is a wild thing. The machines soon will know you by name.

upgoerfive - 18 Feb 2015 17:02:42 (#19 of 59)

...replacing expensive and troublesome labour

Thing is, in much of the world labour is neither expensive or troublesome.

Anthony16 - 18 Feb 2015 17:05:51 (#20 of 59)

They'll be using drones to deliver your shopping soon....

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