[LINK] Freeview Launches In Australia

Michael Still mikal at stillhq.com
Wed Nov 26 10:25:08 AEDT 2008

Rick Welykochy wrote:
> Michael Still wrote:
>> (On the flash / javascript thing, arguing against sites which use 
>> those technologies seems like a losing battle to me. It was a relevant 
>> argument about five years ago, but it seems like you might have to 
>> accept that you've lost. I don't see technical reasons that they 
>> couldn't be made more discoverable for things like screen readers 
>> though, especially given web crawlers can get inside them now...)
> Yeah, let's just throw in the towel and allow these invasive
> (and evasive) technologies take away what little privacy we have left.
> Not to mention how easyily these tools can be used for nefarious purposes.

Ok. Whatever drugs you're on, you need to take a break from them.

> The whining you hear is almost always in protection of our privacy
> and to minimise the attacks that are constantly being hurled at
> us from untrusted sources on the Internet.

I see no privacy impact of Flash (for example), and the privacy impact 
for Javascript I presume is because of vulnerabilities in browser 
implementations. So, fix the implementations.

You argument is like saying that a horse has fewer wheels than a car, 
and is therefore safer as its less likely that a wheel will fall off.

I would assume that people mostly complain about Javascript and Flash 
because of accessibility issues for the vision impaired.

> A few questions:
> (*) do you think Java and Javascript are a Good Thing to have enabled
>     in your email client? how about cookies?

What? We're talking about a website advertising TV networks here, not 
email. Did you read the original email? All good email clients should be 
disabling external javascript (as opposed to Javascript implementing 
some part of the email package's UI).

> (*) would you download and execute *anything* from an untrusted source?
>     This is what you are doing when you surf to a new site like freeview.

No, its not. I'm executing code in a well defined sandbox. A sandbox 
which has had a significant amount of security research performed on it.

> (*) do you run your internet applications in a safe sandbox?

Yes, it's called my browser.

> (*) are you using Windows? how their IE product with Active X enabled?

No, but again that's not relevant to what was being discussed.

> There are many more such questions to be asked, but they usually fall
> on inadequately educated ears, whose owners would much rather head
> down the info superhighway to the Next Big Thing (tm).
> <tongue location="cheek">
>   Your posting highlights one of the great fallacies of argumentative
>   discourse: everybody's doing it so it must be right. And it also uses
>   an appeal to popularity to make its point.
>   e.g. I can find these problems with your statement:
>   Argumentum ad populum (Appeal to the people or gallery)
>   Dicto simpliciter / Fallacy of accident / Sweeping generalization
>   More here:
>   http://www.infidels.org/library/modern/mathew/logic.html
>   http://www.nizkor.org/features/fallacies/
> </tongue>

I think you've missed my point. I'm very happy for people to not like 
Javascript and Flash. I point is more that they lost the battle and just 
didn't notice. Would you say that someone who thought the Germans still 
had a chance of winning WW2 was a true believer, or just someone who is 
in denial?


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