Posted by Richard on  UTC 2024-01-01 01:01

Grasping the nettle

Not only have the contents on this website been lacking in recent years, web technology has moved on to a point where something had to be done to get back up to date. Most of the changes will go unnoticed by our visitors – which is as it should be. For the curious:

HTTPS protocol: The HTTPS protocol transmits webpages from the server to the browser in an encrypted form; the original HTTP protocol transmitted them in clear text, allowing evildoers to manipulate and spoof the contents of such pages. Encrypted webpages are only really necessary for vulnerable sites such as banks and shops, but over the last few years the HTTPS protocol has become the preferred option for all websites.

Though it is not strictly necessary, Figures of Speech now uses the HTTPS protocol. Links and bookmarks referencing the HTTP protocol will continue to work as before, but will be converted to HTTPS automatically by the server.

GDPR compliance: Proving once more its ability to make everyone's life more burdensome, in 2016 the European Union introduced its General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which has had the effect of forcing billions of web users around the world to give their explicit consent to the use of cookies. A handful of crazed German paranoids are happy to click around to personalise their cookie experience, but for everyone else the exercise is tedious and ultimately pointless – tracking of users is done in much more subtle ways these days. Most complex websites (shops, for example) use cookies as a means of maintaining state across multiple pages and tabs.

Websites which fail to conform to the GDPR regulations can now be fined substantial amounts of money.

Figures of Speech has never used cookies. They are completely unnecessary for the operation of the website. However, an embedded YouTube video sets a cookie, which requires us to follow GDPR procedures for third-party cookies. For this reason we have removed the dozen or so embedded YouTube videos there were on our website and replaced them with simple links.

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