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Matthew's Tech Posting

Matthew’s Tech Posting

Technology. Something that affects all of our lives’ but is also something that many people mis-understand. The media (including the BBC) makes this ignorance of technology worse, as instead of educating people on the underlining details of the tech people use, they publish over-exaggerated falsehoods. Most of the surrounding the internet being “toxic“ without looking at themselves in the mirror.

The content in The Technology Zone looks at tech and the internet from the perceptive of someone who has experienced the real internet rather than just Normie-net. Basically, articles in this section mainly focus on more niche topics, from random drama to articles about privacy.

Enable Javascript to View This Image

Over the past-weeks, I have used the Tor browser more often for both regular browsing and researching subjects for upcoming blogs posts. As I was running Tor with the “safest” security setting, JavaScript is disabled. This makes sense from both a privacy and security standpoint. As websites using JavaScript can extract a scary amount of information about your device. This allows websites to create a unique browser fingerprint more easily. That is not even going into the browser vulnerabilities exploited by JavaScript.

Don’t make the mistake of signing up for random websites

When I first used the internet regularly in 2006 (When I got a laptop), being a 10-year-old child, I did not understand how much of a bad idea it is to enter my email address on random websites. The problem is not only do websites take advantage of your sign-up by emailing affiliate adverts to your inbox (under vague TOS to avoid officially being spam), but they also will sell your email address as part of a list to spammers.

Building a website without becoming a ‘soydev’

The internet nowadays is plagued with crappy websites. Websites designed with a goal of getting as many visitors and as much AD revenue as possible. We all know these websites, the ones with overly long articles, contain every tracker in existence, have several AD placements, nag you to sign-up for their email newsletter and somehow take ages to load a basic and generic webpage. These websites have become such a plague that many people have named the developers of them, Soydev’s.

The Rigged Game of 'Build Your Own DDOS Protection'

Whenever you see a controversy website being “cancelled” by its Anti-DDOS service provider. There will see many comments on social media, cheering on the company for censorship. Those commentators will give several defenses for the censorship. Some will claim that it is only censorship when the government does it, or that they are free to refuse service to anyone. They will point out that a webmaster can technically build their own DDOS protection.

A Paywall Is Not Acceptable to Revoke SSL - a Response to Pro-CF Comments

Most communities rightly accept that for a CA, such as CloudFlare, it is not acceptable for them to ignore requests to revoke a SSL certificate. But on /r/privacytoolsIO A community, you would expect pro-corporate comments. You have many upvoted comments saying that I should have paid CloudFlare $10/month to have this control. Strange to see such a pro-CloudFlare circle jerk on that SubReddit. Even worse, they are down-voting any rebuttals I try to make.

The Irrevocable SSL certificates of CloudFlare

I moved this website “worldofmatthew.com” away from CloudFlare back in August 2020. That should have been the end of the relation with CloudFlare for my website. Unfortunately, while I was moving the L7 Anti-DDOS protection to path.net (via a reseller), I checked the SSL Transparency and noticed that CloudFlare still had a vaild SSL certificate for this website. Even worse, this CloudFlare certificate lasts for a year, meaning they have a SSL certificate for this website, until June 2021.

Don’t Give Your Content Away for Free to Tech Giants

In the past, when we wanted to read about someone’s thoughts on a topic, we would read their blog. Nowadays, those blogs have become social media profiles. This is turn gives social media content that you wrote for free. What you get is exposure from their large user base, while they get in-sight into your readers and get to monetize your content. In the more tech-savvy communities, you will see arguing that more people should start their own blog.

The Advantages of Piracy (for consumers)

You will always hear of large media companies crying about how piracy is killing their industry, even if the evidence for these claims are uncertain with some studies claiming small positive, small negative or near-no affect to sales of media, depending on the type of that media. Even if you believe the major media conglomerates about their claim, that piracy is killing their industry. The question has to be asked why some people pirate media over legally "buying" it on disk or paying for a subscription to a service like Netflix or Amazon Prime Video that would allow them to stream from a large catalogue of content for the cost of a couple of DVDs monthly.

Use Tor for privacy and VPN for downloading Linux Iso's

On the internet there appears to be a lot of confusion about when using a VPN or Tor is appropriate with many people being confused blatantly misleading VPN advertisements. That is not to say that a VPN is not useful as there are use cases that Tor sucks at. What is a VPN useful for? Getting past geo restrictions Most people are willing to pay for the content they consume. The problem is that distribution companies are greedy and in the quest to increase profits will lock out users wanting to honestly access content with Geo restrictions.

The German Problem with Tor

Over the past year, relay operators have done a good job in diversifying the range of network that they use to host their relays. The problem is that the move away from popular ASNs has not always translated to a move away from popular countries. This is where we come to Germany, which has the highest amount of Tor relay capacity in the World at 167Gbps, in contrast France is in 2nd place with 64.

Ultra Cheap VPS hosts for Tor Bridges

As of the 5th July 2020, there are 1357 Tor bridges available for users in countries who censor the Tor network to use. Having just over 1,000 IP addresses is not a lot for such a big privacy network as Tor is, especially considering that the number of Tor Bridges peaked at 4,227 on the 4th January 2015. That means since then the network has lost more than two-thirds of its bridges.

Webhosts for Tor Relays Who Are Not; OVH, Hetzner or Scaleway

On the 13th June 2020, I published an article to this blog that went though the reasons you should never use OVH, Hetzner or Scaleway for Tor Relays. A common response was that the article did not go into the alternative providers that a relay operator could instead of the networks mentioned above. The reason alternatives where not listed in that article is that more time was required to research hosts that are both good value for more while also offering unmetered bandwidth.

Avoid using OVH, Hetzner or Scaleway for your Tor relay

You as someone who may look at starting their own Tor relay will have noticed that some web hosts provide high bandwidth VPSs for very little money. Seeing this, you are thinking to yourself "fantastic, these offers will allow me to afford to provide more bandwidth to the Tor network". This article will go over why you should not choose these hosting providers for your Tor relay and will provide tips on how to find alternative ones;

How to Play .opus Audiobooks on Android

People who listen to a lot of audiobooks will know just how much of a pain it can be to store a large number of them onto portable devices when even 64Kbits MP3 audiobook can be well over 1GB in size. More recently, however, newer and more efficient audio codecs have been released. The best known of these has been Opus which is an open-source codec that can provide high quality encodes of audio at far lower bitrates compared to MP3.

Rise, Fall and Rise Again of Static Websites

As the internet has evolved, the technology that powers the websites we visit has changed. In the early days, the low processing power that the average web server had meant that people had to write every webpage as a static document. Trends and an increase in web server processing power would lead to webmasters choosing easier to manage CMS engines, such as WordPress as a platform for their websites.

EaseUS: Special Offer with Fake Countdown Timer

EaseUS is a software company that develops a range of software, mainly focused on backups and data recovery. Even though the Trustpilot reviews for the company are positive, there are plenty of complaints on pissedconsumer.com The EaseUS Fake Sale Timer Your browser does not support the video tag. It is very common for software vendors to offer discounts to people who are using free software. This is to convince freeloaders to buy the premium version of the software.

Trustpilot. A Tech Support Scammers Best Friend 

Trustpilot is one of the best-known review websites on the internet, With their star rating often being seen on business websites. Businesses have a lot of reasons to like Trustpilot more than other competing review websites. Some of the tools that Trustpilot gives businesses to remove reviews are easily abusable. This is why you will often see the Trustpilot score listed on tech support scam websites.

Pale Moon hacked due to Crybaby admin who can't secure a Windows Install

In early July, a user on the Pale Moon forums discovered that an old build of Pale Moon that was hosted on projects archive server contained a Trojan virus. The project lead of Pale Moon; M.C. Straver (MoonChild) would do an investigation into how the Trojan got on to the archive server. The investigation would find that all versions of Pale Moon that were hosted on the archive server were infected.

The Many Problems with Librivox

As someone who loves to listen to an audiobook when I am going to bed I know just how hard it can be to find audiobooks that are not insanely expensive to buy. This is where Librivox should come into the picture as due to Librivox offering completely free public it should be perfect for everyone who likes to go to sleep listening to an audiobook but for a number of reasons Librivox does not meet expectations.

How Last Minute Changes to AlphaRacks Privacy Policy Screwed Customers

The ultra-budget web host AlphaRacks recently announced their closure after around one month of downtime, which led to a bunch of people receiving emails from a PSK Hosting even though they are not clients of PSK Hosting. Unknowingly to almost all AlphaRacks customers the company would make last minute changes to its' privacy policy in order to try to give itself legal cover in order to be able to transfer customer information to another company.

Warning: PSK Hosting Illegally Using Alpharacks Customers Personal Data

As someone who had a couple of shared hosting accounts with Alpharacks for testing proposes, I was not too upset with them going deadpool unlike a lot of the Chinese users on LowEndTalk who were likely using services in their LA location for VPNs. As such, I thought the story would end there but today I spotted a thread on LowEndTalk in which the user posted the contents of an email they received from PSK Hosting that was offering to help out Alpharacks customers with “free months of service” and told people that they may log in with the same login they had previously used.

Why the Opus Codec Is Perfect for Audiobook Lovers

When a lot of people think about audiobooks, they will often think about streaming services like audible but at £7.99 per month, a subscription to audible is relatively expensive and there has been cases where users have had audiobooks removed from their library. There are a variety of methods (both legal and illegal) of obtaining audiobooks with auction websites like eBay providing a large number of CD audio books for prices that are often cheaper than any audible package.

Cloudatcost and Their Bait-and-Switch Scam “Lifetime” VPS

When Cloudatcost launched, they where attempting to shake up the web hosting market by offering VPS servers that users only had to pay for once, rather than monthly or yearly. Of cause, many people immediately knew such a service was never going to be sustainable in the long term but as people like to get a good deal, the service soon became very popular. The Crappy Service from Cloudatcost The VPS servers provided by Cloudatcost have pretty much have had a reputation for being crap, with the following list of common issues not being in any way complete

Why are there so many Ponzi schemes in cryptocurrencies?

If you have been watching some of the more popular YouTube crypto channels, than you might have noticed that they often will be promoting some of “lending platform”. Most of the time these Youtubers will be getting kick backs from the schemes in the form of affiliate commission. The most well know of these Ponzi schemes was Bitconnect which claimed to offer around 1% per day interest.

The Inefficient Websites, That Make up the Internet

When I first got online in the year 2000, most people were still accessing the internet through a dial-up connection, this meant that websites could not afford to waste that much bandwidth on junk that was irrelevant to show the information that the webmaster wanted the end user to see. How Did Web Pages Get so Bulky? In exploring why most websites appear to consistently more sluggish and inefficient, we need to look at one of the most classic examples of this sluggishness, which are newspapers websites that are consistently looking for new ways of generating revenue, due to the collapse of revenue coming from print sales.

Small Businesses Need to Stop Using WordPress

As the world’s most used CMS, WordPress is very popular with business, especially small ones who don’t have the resources to pay for a web developer to custom code their website, WordPress has become a massive target for hackers. Why do Businesses Really use WordPress? Most shared web hosting accounts come are managed through Cpanel and as such, installing WordPress is extremely easy with Softaculous, taking care of setting up the MySQL database and file permissions.

The Tor Network Urgently Needs More Relay Diversity

We all know that the TOR network is always in need for more nodes, for the ever-increasing amount of users connecting but with average network capacity being nearly double what is required, which means TOR needs more location rather than just tons of bandwidth. The problem at the moment with TOR, is that a government agency only needs to compromise a few server providers (OVH, Hetzner and Scaleway) in order to be able to track a large portion of the TOR network as TOR only avoids having multiple relay nodes in the same /16 IP block from being part of the same circuit, allowing an attacking to easily to perform timing analysis on more than 50% of the network if they compromise, just three hosts.

Opinion: The truth to why there will not be an advert free internet

Whenever you are surfing a tech-related forum or the cringey and hypocritical SubReddit /r/technology/, you will probably not miss the threads complaining about websites having tracking adverts or just ads in general, all while ignoring the real reason these ads are needed in order for most websites to operate. As such, we will be going over why most websites need adverts to survive and why the current ideas for alternatives will not fix the problems but will create more issues for websites that are even worse in the long run.

The real dangers of internet centralization

Since around 2010, people have become super lazy in how they consume content and in turn, have stopped looking around for good content and just wait for their favourite echo chamber platform to serve them up content that an AI system thinks they will enjoy. In case you have not figured it out yet, depending on how extreme a company has been infected with politics, they may want to adjust the training data of their AI to include a political slant or for less the less infected platform, they will optimise the AI to serve videos they pander to the users' own viewpoints in order to improve user engagement and keep them on the platform for longer.

The GIF Inefficiency of Cloudflare

As computers have become more powerful and web browsers have started to gain better support for video codecs (Thanks to Cisco OpenH264), many websites have started to move away from GIF’s and towards loopable silent videos. This is due to the more efficient compression than H.264 or AVC is able to provide, this is because that codec is designed for video streaming, unlike GIFs' which are just designed for a few frames of animation (GIFs' were never designed for video clips, but that is what they ended up being used for after the age of broadband).

UK and internet censorship

Notice: This article was archived and has only gone through basic grammar correction. The internet has become a place where people express themselves freely but the government has shown steps to try to take control of the internet. First it started with allowing music and movie companies to block websites as they wish deciding that websites and users of guilty with no court hearing from both sides what so every undermining the court system and allowing private companies to act as a judge.


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