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Comment: Re:I hope "semantic" != "annoying popups" (Score 1) 68

by Aighearach (#49329053) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: What Happened To Semantic Publishing?

If it was really semantic content, then your client (browser) could walk the graph of related (advertised) documents from those links and provide all sorts of information. For the advertising to be semantic, it would need to be wrapped in some sort of standard API or descriptive (semantic) access method that flagged it as advertising. You could then, in a good client, turn off all the advertising links, and even substitute dictionary entries with the same keyword.

Semantic access is exactly that; providing the data for the client to make decisions based on, so that you can choose between different things that have the same keywords, depending on their meaning. If it isn't associated with a new browser feature, it probably isn't a semantic document at all, unless it is just a REST-based catalog that is easily client-walkable. Then it might be primitive "semantic web."

Comment: Re:Not always clever. (Score 1) 68

by Aighearach (#49328999) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: What Happened To Semantic Publishing?

Well, if it was actual semantic content provided as such to an aware browser, then it would decrease annoyance by giving the user more control.

Unfortunately for the summary, links are not in fact semantic content. You can have more, or less, links, and you haven't done anything with regards to semantic content. What you need is computer-understood meta-data, including links, that is separate from the main content, follows standard conventions, and can be used by the client software to give semantic information to the user.

Links at the end of a story... that is just links at the end of a story. I know it is amazing, but the jargon in this case is actual jargon, not just a meaningless fluff word.

Comment: Re:Marketing over primary function of searching (Score 1) 232

by Aighearach (#49307327) Attached to: FTC: Google Altered Search Results For Profit

The part you're missing is that google's algorithms don't attempt to understand the words. That is why they actually can index and search foreign language pages effectively. My wife searches for stuff in Thai all the time. Google didn't have to add any special Thai support for that. All they do identify strings and substrings. It is all based on what patterns exist. It is all just identifying lexical units and what other lexical units are used in relation to them, with no attempt at all at semantic understanding. So in your example, it tells you that in English it is more common to talk about "male scientists" than "female scientists." Indeed, even news articles reporting on the gender imbalance in science is likely to use the term "male scientists" and not the phrase "female scientists." Even without any sexism, just the nature of having an imbalance means that in many cases you would pair one group with the position that lacks parity, and the other group with the people not choosing that position. So you might talk about "male scientists," and then about "female students" not choosing a career in science. Once you understand that, then you can just click on the link and get to your results without embarrassment.

In the old days when google had a clear and literal search syntax, you could avoid those problems by just quoting phrases or word groups, but that doesn't work well anymore.

Comment: Re:How to Deal with Bullies (Score 1) 232

by Aighearach (#49307293) Attached to: FTC: Google Altered Search Results For Profit

What you're describing is a "natural monopoly" where they're used because they're better. It is totally approved of by US law. They're also allowed to enjoy the natural benefits of their position. They're not allowed to harm consumers, defined as making them pay more. Search is free, nobody had to over pay. They're not allowed to use tactics to keep the competition out. And they're not accused of that. They are absolutely allowed to be more successful than the competition. They're allowed to be more profitable. And they're allowed to put their own needs first. If they buy up the ISPs and refuse service or raise prices on the other search companies, that is when there would be an issue of preventing competition. Preventing competition never means just that you didn't help them out, or give them free advertising.

Comment: Re:I just don't care (Score 1) 232

by Aighearach (#49307245) Attached to: FTC: Google Altered Search Results For Profit

Search is free, and they're not compelling anybody to use it. Being a natural monopoly is in no way illegal. And you're allowed to enjoy the natural benefits of that. What is banned is only using it to harm consumers, as defined by price, and ability to compete. Listing your own stuff first doesn't affect anybody else's ability to have a search engine and order their own rankings. It doesn't stop them from doing anything. And since it is free, they can't be accused of gouging consumers.

It is just that simple. Customers have to be over-paying, or the competition has to be excluded, for there to be a problem. Google could totally leave the competition out of their search listing, and pretend they don't exist, and the competition could still run their own search engine, and advertise it, etc. To be doing something wrong, google would have to take control of some supplier, create a bottleneck, and use it as a choke point to keep the competition out of the market. If, for example, they were buying ISPs and dropping packets of search competitors, that would be illegal. Or if they intentionally bought up all the ISP service available, so the competition couldn't get internet hosting, and they were actually just idling the servers, or didn't need them, then that would be illegal. If they were using contracts with advertisers to prevent those people doing business with the competition, that would be illegal (for a monopoly, but legal for the little guy!).

None of that is accused.

There is nothing to accuse. It sounds like the document describes some legal things google is doing, that were investigated and found to be acceptable.

Comment: Re:Meh (Score -1, Troll) 70

by Aighearach (#49305561) Attached to: GoDaddy Accounts Vulnerable To Social Engineering (and Photoshop)

Where did they dredge up this Soulskill guy? Are they sure he's a nerd? Since when is, "Golly gee, they're such a big company I just assumed they'd keep my stuff safe for me" something that we care about?

Some idiot used a giant corporation and got treated like a cog. Good news for him, then; nothing went wrong, you're just experiencing the expected life of a cog. Some wear is expected. And when you're worn, you can be replaced.

If you want to choose from one of the large registrars, at least check various consumer reporting entities. I doubt you'll find great reviews of "GoDaddy." The reviews might be what you would expect if you just looked at their name and stereotyped the sort of company that would name themselves that.

Comment: Re:I dub all unswitchable hardware: disposable (Score 2) 361

by Aighearach (#49305363) Attached to: OEMs Allowed To Lock Secure Boot In Windows 10 Computers

Stallman came out against buying stuff at Amazon. I don't think he actually came out against returning them, which is what was said.

If you find yourself in the situation of having bought something from Amazon, received it, and felt less free, I think Stallman might agree that the right to return the item "is a freedom we can defend." Hopefully then you'll buy something somewhere else.

I know it isn't Amazon granting my right to return, it is consumer protection laws.

Comment: Re:First one's free (Score 1) 193

Historically, MS achieved market dominance by other means, and before there was widespread copying-with-a-license.

And the period when unlicensed copies were increasing the most also lines up with Apple's renewed market share, and with open source offerings being widely known about.

It may or may not be true that the unlicensed windows installs prevented people in various countries with low cost of living from switching to OSS. It makes sense that it would be true. But it is guaranteed to have taken place well after the peak of MS market share, and isn't available as a potential cause of said market share.

Comment: Re:This is pretty common. (Score 1) 193

No - They've given you an amnesty license.

That isn't what they actually said. That is just what people are mindlessly assuming. What they have said is that even machines without a valid license will be able to download and install the upgrade. That is all they're really saying. Their only clarification was to say that if you didn't have a license, you still don't. They haven't promised any forgiveness. They can still shut you off later, or send you a bill.

Considering the technical problems they've had with legit users having to fight the license checks, it is not really any surprise that they're moving away from tying the physical upgrade capability to the license check. That tells us nothing at all about what they will do instead to enforce the licenses.

Maybe nothing, maybe something harsh. We don't know. And from the history of the company, that could go either way. Believing anything before we get more information is ill advised.

Comment: Re:This is pretty common. (Score 1) 193

Not everybody cares about "community mods."

Not all games are even on a computer. Shocking, but true.

Some games are "on a computer," but don't rely on native clients. For example, people whose main game is chess often play chess on a computer, but using a native client is optional. (and cross-platform anyways in most cases)

So there are lots of other possibilities beyond the false-dichotomy presented.

I grew up playing Oregon Trail and Moon Unit on computers. The closest thing to a "community mod" that we had was, "Cracked by The Nibbler." Now I play chess, because most games suck. New graphics + same shit. Not intellectually stimulating, not physically stimulating, just mindless button-mashing. I'm not saying there is no skill involved, just that it is mindless skill without a contextual connection to my life. And if I want that, Tetris is already a thing, and runs fine anywhere. Tetris is more intellectually stimulating than most new games, though. It is at least mindless mental exercise.

"Mr. Watson, come here, I want you." -- Alexander Graham Bell