Media, paywalls and obscurity, Youtube issues

steelpillow

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It can be useful to post link to other sites and rely on the forum engine and click-through to get at the information. But many of these sites are paywalled; no cash, no access. Others require untrusted javascripts and other privacy-invading stuff to be active. Twitter links are now appearing in my browser as large blank spaces, with no indication that there is anything there at all until I examine the page's HTML code.

I sometimes ask our contributors to post such summaries, but none do so as a matter of habit and, presumably because they are rich enough to have subscriptions and slap-happy enough to enjoy receiving targeted spam, cannot remember that others of us are not. And asks are not always addressed anyway.

This MAKS airshow thread is a recent example, in which there is not one post in the whole thread which offers actual in-page information about the show. our proprietor PaulMM himself has posted two Twitter links which come across as large blank areas, followed by three YouTube video links, which come across as even larger black areas with sulky messages about javascript. Posts which offer only a bare text hyperlink or two are no better.

With due respect, this is unhelpful. Besides the immediate accessibility issues, such off-forum links often eventually break because the data may disappear or get moved.

Some off-site links are obviously useful in the short term, such as the live video feed from the show. If this ephemeral aspect is to be adopted as part of what we have here, then such links should at least be accompanied by brief explanations as to what they show and, if need be, why that is of current interest.

May I suggest that all posts should assume that the visitor cannot or does not wish to access the link provided, and that therefore some text summary should be provided, if only to explain what is in the link. This would also greatly help those visitors who use accessibility aids such as screen readers. Ideally, I would like to be able to report the more obtuse posts, in the knowledge that either the OP will be obliged to add something useful or the post will be deleted.
 

Archibald

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Yep. I truly HATE paywalls, they provoke a knee jerk reaction opposite of what they expect. In a few words spoofing Proxmire: "not a penny for your nutty fantasy".
 

overscan (PaulMM)

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It can be useful to post link to other sites and rely on the forum engine and click-through to get at the information. But many of these sites are paywalled; no cash, no access. Others require untrusted javascripts and other privacy-invading stuff to be active. Twitter links are now appearing in my browser as large blank spaces, with no indication that there is anything there at all until I examine the page's HTML code.

I sometimes ask our contributors to post such summaries, but none do so as a matter of habit and, presumably because they are rich enough to have subscriptions and slap-happy enough to enjoy receiving targeted spam, cannot remember that others of us are not. And asks are not always addressed anyway.

This MAKS airshow thread is a recent example, in which there is not one post in the whole thread which offers actual in-page information about the show. our proprietor PaulMM himself has posted two Twitter links which come across as large blank areas, followed by three YouTube video links, which come across as even larger black areas with sulky messages about javascript. Posts which offer only a bare text hyperlink or two are no better.

With due respect, this is unhelpful. Besides the immediate accessibility issues, such off-forum links often eventually break because the data may disappear or get moved.

Some off-site links are obviously useful in the short term, such as the live video feed from the show. If this ephemeral aspect is to be adopted as part of what we have here, then such links should at least be accompanied by brief explanations as to what they show and, if need be, why that is of current interest.

May I suggest that all posts should assume that the visitor cannot or does not wish to access the link provided, and that therefore some text summary should be provided, if only to explain what is in the link. This would also greatly help those visitors who use accessibility aids such as screen readers. Ideally, I would like to be able to report the more obtuse posts, in the knowledge that either the OP will be obliged to add something useful or the post will be deleted.

You are fighting a losing battle with the Javascript thing. The latest "Jamstack" trend involves Javascript as an essential part of the page.

The Twitter and Youtube thing - I'll see what I can do, and this may relate to a new plugin I was testing, but in general, I always attach images to the forum where they are worth preserving.
 
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overscan (PaulMM)

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I've removed the plugin - is that any different now?

It's unfair on the site to quote without linking to it. A summary is a fair idea, but a tweet is by definition pretty concise already.
 

steelpillow

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The latest "Jamstack" trend involves Javascript as an essential part of the page.

Not really. Jamstack is not a ratified standard or even a new trend, the term is just a bit of marketing-speak. Its paradigm is as old as the hills, having been touted under various names since javascript parsing was first rolled into a web browser. Here's an illustrative quote for you: "JAMStack is really just a fancy way of describing “the way we all used to build websites.”" There are reasons why it is no longer mainstream. And of course there are reasons why it is still with us as a niche solution.

I could go on for 10,000 words or so, but I trust you get the gist. Javascript is just a tool like a hammer or a gun, it is as good or bad as the use to which it is put. You'd be surprised how many in the tech community like fine-grained control of who is using their web browser and what they are using it for.
 

steelpillow

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I've removed the plugin - is that any different now?

It's unfair on the site to quote without linking to it. A summary is a fair idea, but a tweet is by definition pretty concise already.

The Twitter url is now visible and clickable. Last time I followed a link there, they had crippled what they were prepared to serve up to anonymous visitors, which may be what is reducing the display to a mere clickable url. On the whole, you cannot trust third-party sites to maintain compatibility with your server settings.

I quite agree that a quote is best accompanied by a link. May I suggest that it's unfair on your readers if the reverse principle is not also respected?
 

overscan (PaulMM)

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You'd be surprised how many in the tech community like fine-grained control of who is using their web browser and what they are using it for.
From my 20+ years of experience working in IT, mainly old, beardy UNIX crusties. Most under 30s seem to find the concept of online privacy alien and long ago came to terms with having surrendered their data to Apple/Google/Facebook etc and think I'm odd for using an Adblocker.
 

Grey Havoc

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While I have been guilty on occasion of posting paywalled links while forgetting to put in at least a summary of the contents, other times I have added links to what are supposed to be free or at least free/limited preview articles, only to discover or to be later informed that they have suddenly been cut off by (often apparently malfunctioning) paywalls. The Daily Telegraph site's very glitchy paywall is a particularly annoying example of this.
 

steelpillow

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You'd be surprised how many in the tech community like fine-grained control of who is using their web browser and what they are using it for.
From my 20+ years of experience working in IT, mainly old, beardy UNIX crusties. Most under 30s seem to find the concept of online privacy alien and long ago came to terms with having surrendered their data to Apple/Google/Facebook etc and think I'm odd for using an Adblocker.
I suppose the difference is that all my younger-generation mobile chums work in infosec.

The EU brought in the GDPR for a reason, they didn't "come to terms with having surrendered their data to Apple/Google/Facebook".

Case in point nearer home, our shiny new NHS central database has been postponed twice and no longer has a planned release date, due to privacy issues that the happy-slappy click-through generation who thought up the database never dreamed existed, and which we infosec pros have had to gently ram down our health secretaries' throat.
 

Graham1973

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Just noticed that all the YouTube videos seem to be displaying the message "This Video Is Unavailable". However if you use the link next to the video it's viewable on YouTube. Is this the result of a site update?
 

Archibald

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Me too (no, not goddam Harvey W.) - all video links are dead and replaced by error messages. o_O o_O :eek::eek::eek:
 

flateric

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Just noticed that all the YouTube videos seem to be displaying the message "This Video Is Unavailable". However if you use the link next to the video it's viewable on YouTube. Is this the result of a site update?
In 99% the case is owner/poster restricted embedding YT videos on other sites, you still can see it on YT.
 

Archibald

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Something doesn't add. Does all the video makers have decided to restrict their videos at once ? because ALL videos on the forum have the same message since two - three days. Weird.
 

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I use adblockers. If others want to do different, fine. I should point out that nothing free is actually free. Someone is mining data out there. And the level of sophistication keeps increasing while the level of security keeps going down. Similar to the Mafia, a few companies in the U.S. are offering protection for your computer and smart phone. I'd rather not pay protection money.
 

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