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Techrights Has Grown Beyond the World Wide Web

I don’t typically check Web statistics (I stopped checking for this site over a decade ago because it was a waste of time that did not help meaningfully improve anything, except ego or vanity), but this past week in Techrights 4 million requests (hits) were served over HTTP/S and since the start of this month almost 400,000 requests were served over Gemini. IPFS does about 40 GB of traffic per day, circulating Techrights content in a peer-to-peer fashion.

This coming December it will be one year since I resigned from my job (after nearly 12 years). The decision to leave likely came later than it ought to have come; I thought about it since 2018, but it finally happened last October when they were trying to force everyone to adopt a work mobile phone.

Techrights has grown not only on the Web. It is growing outside the Web and this is very important because this means the site’s relevance isn’t tried to the relevance of the Web itself.

BT Raising the Prices Again and Discounts Are Impossible or Very Hard to Get

Video download link | md5sum 2b05fb5773a9dbb62489443cea324fe4
BT and the Vanishing Discounts
Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 4.0

YESTERDAY when I checked E-mail I saw a message with the subject line “Driven from template” (yes, it’s a mistake, they mass-mailed perhaps millions of people and forget the set a subject line).

They said “line rental” costs would, in effect, rise by yet another 8% or something like that. That’s after the price had already been raised several times in recently years.

In addition, BT intentionally slows down connections.

The video above documents a call and show how I managed to keep the price lower. You really have to negotiate quite hard with them, especially if you don’t want to be ripped off. It’s a real nuisance at times.

As Ryan just put it in IRC: “ISPs play the “We’ll raise your price after a promo but if you bother to call us every year we’ll lower it again. That way they get to gouge people who are not sensitive to price, embarrassed to ask, or too busy. You just chat with a customer service person in the Philippines or something over a pop up box. They don’t give a shit what you pay for your internet account. They get a bonus for retaining customers.”

BT Full Fibre Broadband is Throttling Down Fibre Connections and Then Upselling the ‘Real’ Speeds of Fibre-optics

All about bundling and complicated structuring for tiers (artificially-degraded services)

BT Full Fibre Broadband

I moved to fibre-optics earlier this year. It was already possible in 2021, but following a series of blunders I decided to delay the transition by nearly 2 years.

The thing about it this year is, BT lied about various things. It also lied about speeds (downstream and upstream) of the connection. How do I know? Well, the other day I did large uploads and then BT all of a sudden phoned me. It was a sales rep. He almost immediately started asking me if I wanted to upgrade speeds. I politely declined and explained why.

But now it’s changing some more. It now ‘feels’ different; now they seem to be severely throttling my uploads (probably to upsell again after a ‘free trial’ which lasted a fortnight; after this trial they tried to upsell it several times). How desperate are they for extra money?

Everyone knows that fibre should not be 100kB/sec upstream, no matter what (unless there is something wrong at the other end, the receiving end).

They want more money, so they hobble/throttle by upstream speeds and then phone me to ask me to pay more. They want me pay yet more money to get what I ALREADY paid for. Not nice. Will they be doing so more aggressively once they’ve transitions almost everyone to fibre-optics, under-delivering intentionally?

Your misery and impatience should not be their profit prospect. Because then they have a financial incentive to make you miserable or less productive.

BT “customer services” may fancy saying they don’t intentionally slow down connections, but of course they do. Selling you back the “real” speed is part of the business model. It’s a class system.

Twitter Going Down the Drain

A year ago I quit Twitter.

A month ago Musk attacked Twitter users some more.

It shows.

Twitter Down the Drain

I’m not posting anything, but participation goes down noticeably.

Pay Sirius Coporation, Get GAFAM Instead

Sirius Open Source pamphlet

Summary: Sirius ‘Open Source’ has adopted shoddy practices that impede audits, undermine security, and subvert proper inspection of the network; outsourcing is not security, and “clown computing” is more like an “acceptable” security breach (giving some shady companies control over your systems and data), but that’s not something today’s Sirius ‘Open Source’ can still grasp (Intel experienced something similar when geeks left)

THE previous part spoke about a lack of real security and today we turn our attention to GAFAM-friendly policies which wrongly assume that VPN or GAFAM mean security. They don’t. VPN, like a firewall, makes false assumptions. And outsourcing assumes that some other companies are in fact security-oriented and respecting of privacy. They’re neither. Sending passwords from one’s local network (already access-restricted on several levels, namely access credentials and IP address) to something like LastPass is beyond insane. But good luck explaining that to people who worship brands instead of technology and find appeal in anything “new” (for no actual reasons other than perceived novelty).

Here is the relevant part of the report sent at the start of this month.

Band-Aid Instead of Robust Policies

Speaking of security breaches, some of the company’s Ubuntu servers are using very old — even way outdated — versions, as noted by the company itself (it’s also controlled by a host in another country, which poses another attack surface issue).

Security isn’t taken seriously enough and VPN is presented as ad hoc Band-Aid. VPN is not the solution, it’s a hallmark or a symptom of neglect at the intranet (internal) level. Firewalling and restrictions, for instance, have unusual exceptions. Since “Google is your friend”, for instance, Google IP addresses are allowed. As if Google never spies or collaborates with spy agencies (or even suffers security breaches). So Sirius VPN does not trust BBC network, but does trust (or whitelists) Google/Alphabet.

The neglect extends outwards, i.e. outside internal infrastructure of Sirius. For instance, in the past some staff transmitted in plain text messages (via E-mails) with passwords to accounts and servers of a very large client that is the target of foreign operations and aggressive spies (political espionage operations of this type are very common with clients such as these).

There are even very recent examples, so there’s no need to go far back; a colleague who is close to management dared suggest — only months ago — that an entire political Web site (including user details, passwords etc.) be migrated by dumping a lot of data into Google Drive, without any encryption either, clearly not comprehending that “Google is your friend” is a laughable fallacy (an understatement; Google is legally obligated, through US Clarifying Lawful Overseas Use of Data Act or CLOUD Act 2018, to give full access to the US government and more).

It wouldn’t be controversial to state that such practices can be off-putting to clients, e.g. when decision makers in Sirius have rather poor grasp or appreciation for privacy and security, let alone critical care by introspection (staff cautioning about this is subjected to gaslighting at best or even outright threats).

If Sirius views itself as a champion of “Alexa” and “OK Google”, then the company should seriously consider a rebrand.

Twitter is Collapsing: In Numbers…

I quit Twitter at the start of the year, but…

Usually I get a notification each day. Now… nothing in days:

Twitter notifications

People leaving so far this month:

Twitter departure

In the past 28 days:

Down in Twitter

Those aren’t people who become inactive. They’re usually those who delete their account or get banned.

Social Control Media Censorship and WHO

Just published:


WHO and YT

WHO works with social media policy departments to ensure company policy and guidelines for content providers are fit for purpose.

John’s e mail

WHO provide a helpful guide on how to report misinformation online

Inaccurate information spreads widely and at speed,

making it more difficult for the public to identify verified facts and advice from trusted sources, such as their local health authority or WHO.

As a starting point in the UK, only NHS organisations are being invited to self-certify against the NHS Standard for Creating Health Content.

By completing the self-certification process, an NHS organisation channel will be eligible for information panels indicating NHS credibility.

From FDA to MHRA: are drug regulators for hire?

Regulatory agencies, large proportions of their budgets,

funded by the industry they are sworn to regulate

US Food and Drug Administration (FDA)

1992, Prescription Drug User Fee Act, allowing industry to fund the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) directly through “user fees”

Net PDUFA fees collected

$29m in 1993

$884m in 2016 (65% of budget)

FDA, 9 out of 10 of its past commissioners between 2006 and 2019 went on to secure roles linked with pharmaceutical companies

European Medicines Agency (EMA)

Industry fees funded 20% European Medicines Agency (EMA), in 1995

By 2010, 75%

Today, 89%

Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA)

86% of funding from Pharmaceutical Industry


Proportion of TGA budget derived from industry, 96%

WHO funding

The second-largest funder is the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, which provides 9.8% of the WHO’s funds


It was expected that Newspeak would have finally superseded Oldspeak (or Standard English, as we should call it) by about the year 2050

The purpose of Newspeak was not only to provide a medium of expression for the world-view and mental habits proper to the devotees of Ingsoc, but to make all other modes of thought impossible.

The C vocabulary was supplementary to the others and consisted entirely of scientific and technical terms. These resembled the scientific terms in use today, and were constructed from the same roots, but the usual care was taken to define them rigidly and strip them of undesirable meanings.

War is peace, freedom is slavery, ignorance is strength

Next Monday, 14th November, evidence based medicine confrence

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