[nSLUG] Re: Netscape

Mike Spencer mspencer at tallships.ca
Sat Jan 17 15:27:15 AST 2009

gnw> ...but if you have a credit card and don't check for bogus
gnw> transactions every few days you may have trouble (this happened
gnw> to someone I know) when someone manages to buy a dozen Dell
gnw> systems on your card...

That would require visiting a web site that is (or looks very like ;-)
the CC company's site?  And exchanging passwords, secret handshakes
etc. over the net?  Now it becomes a statistcal (if you have lots of
data) or a subjective liklihood (if you don't) problem.  Where does
the greatest risk lie?  I don't have a CC.  My wife has one but, now
that she's retired, it's used maybe a dozen times or fewer in a year.

gnw> If you check the account regularly, the card would have been cut
gnw> off before the order could be placed with Dell, and certainly
gnw> before the order shipped.  The bank is not going to be happy if
gnw> they don't hear about the bogus transaction until after the goods
gnw> have been delivered, which means they are goign to share the pain
gnw> with you.

Are you saying that evincing due diligence now includes, by default,
such a check?  From my perspective, the *bank's* due diligence includes
recognizing that we don't do any financial transactions or data access
over the net, ever.  We go personally to the branch in meatspace.  And
we never buy truckloads of anything on a CC.  From your perspective,
George, does that make us more, rather than less, vulnerable?

gnw> Some workplaces have IT running around blocking javascript,
gnw> etc. and HR requires that everyone enable javascript to process
gnw> leave requests, etc.

I really don't get that. Javascript makes sense for the marketing
droids because it offloads processing cycles onto the user, whom the
droids regard with ultimate scorn [1]. Within the enterprise, why aren't
server-side CGI scripts way better?  You only have to control security
on your server(s).

gnw> Have you looked at other lightweight browsers like dillo?

No. I suppose I should.  Firefox is not too bad, save that it doesn't
seem possible to turn things off as I'd like and still access  them
when I want to without onerous messing about. And numerous little
interface "features"  that annoy me.  Oh, and it calls home if I don't
fudge /etc/hosts.  Mumble....not too bad..mutter.

- Mike

[1] Scorn: I've heard that the marketing folks used to refer
    generically to the those "whiter than white"-type TV ads for soap
    as "two c...s in a kitchen."  Wm Gibson captures it even better:

      ...I like to imagine something the size of a baby hippo, the
      color of week-old boiled potato, that lives by itself in the
      dark, in a double-wide on the outskirts of Topeka.  It's covered
      with eyes and it sweats constantly.  The sweat runs into those
      eyes and makes them sting.  It has no mouth,...no genitals and
      can only express its mute extremes of murderous rage and
      infantile desire by changing the channels on a universal remote.
      Or by voting in presidential elections.

    It may be helpful to remember that *that* is how you look to a

Michael Spencer                  Nova Scotia, Canada       .~. 
mspencer at tallships.ca                                     /( )\
http://home.tallships.ca/mspencer/                        ^^-^^

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