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Comment Re:Consumers reject advertising (Score 1) 208

Well, then they damn well better fix that eh?

I hate eating Pork bungs (The pig's asshole)

Now some advertiser really really wants me to eat pork bungs (the pig's asshole)

I don't give a flying fuck if an advertizer will die if I don't eat pork bungs.

This simply means you aren't the target audience for the advert - if you liked pork bungs then an advert might increase the chance that the next pork bungs you buy will be that particular brand, or someone who likes pork bungs might say "you know what, I feel like having one now".

Now, showing adverts to someone who isn't the target audience is a problem for both you and the advertiser - it annoys you, because your time is being wasted seeing adverts for things you're not interested in, and it costs the advertiser to show you an advert that won't increase their sales. So advertisers then start tracking users to better target their ads - better targetted ads are good for both the advertiser and the end user. Unfortunately, tracking users is a massive can of worms with its own set of problems - now users are being asked to trade privacy for better targeted ads, and that's a trade that a lot of people aren't happy to make.

Comment Re:Consumers reject advertising (Score 1) 208

Google is an advertising firm not a technology firm. Their technology efforts are centered around increasing the number of users to feed advertisements to.

I think that's a very simplistic view. Google is _both_ a technology firm and an advertising firm. They are symbiotic sides to the same company - neither side can survive without the other (or at least, a replacement for the other).

If you're going to say "Google is an advertising firm, not a technology firm" just because they derive their income from advertising, you may as well say "Lego isn't a toy company, they are a sales company" because they derive their income from sales.

Comment Re:Consumers reject advertising (Score 1) 208

What this is really about (and what a lot of people are finding hard to accept) is that for the most part, people don't want to see or consume ads.

I don't think that's it at all. I think people don't want to see *obnoxious* ads and that most people simply don't care whether or not they see other types of ad.

Examples of obnoxious ads:
- Things that pop up when you're in the middle of reading an article, which you then have to dismiss.
- Things that play music without you asking for it.
- Things that you have seen a million times before - i.e. you're watching a series of 2 minute youtube videos and you have to sit through *the same* preroll ad before each video.
- Things that take a disproportionate amount of your time for no benefit - i.e. the aforementioned youtube ads where the time spent watching advertising is 25% of the length of the content you're actually trying to watch. Or TV ad-breaks, which take a significant amount of your time.
- Ads which show your significant other exactly what you bought them for Christmas (on several occasions I've found out what my wife bought for me through Facebook ads that are displayed when logged in as me, just because I happened to be using her computer).

Examples of ads that I find acceptable:
- Discrete, relevant, text adverts.
- Amusing TV ads (although these fall into the "obnoxious" category if they are shown too frequently, and there's often a fine line between "amusing" and "annoying"). You can almost forgive TV for showing the same advert to you many times, I can forgive youtube less since they *know* they already showed that same advert to you 5 times in the past 10 minutes.

The problem is that there's so much obnoxious stuff that it eventually becomes easier to say "oh sod it" and just block all advertising, which is probably counterproductive for everyone in the long run.

Comment Re:No thanks (Score 1) 208

Adverts are a category of content I want to block for my "user needs". They are distracting and annoying, waste my bandwidth and I never interact with them anyway. They almost all violate my privacy with tracking, and are a security risk. They reduce performance at no benefit to me.

Ok, so your "user needs" are:
- Avoid annoyance and distraction
- Avoid bandwidth waste
- Protect privacy and security
- Maintain performance

These cover a wider scope than just adverts, and may not cover *all* adverts.

Personally, I have no problem with advertising so long as they don't break the above criteria. That means an unobtrusive text advert is fine (and who knows, I might even click on it is it's useful to me), a pop-up flash ad that plays music and has to be manually dismissed will be blocked.

FWIW, in recent times I've seen an increase in the number of pop-up ads which are getting through adblock plus. These generally take the form of "subscribe to the website you're currently looking at" rather than third party ads, but they are equally as annoying (and usually result in me hitting the "Back" button rather than reading and sharing the content on the site).

Comment Re:Um... then don't go to sites (Score 1) 208

Consider what you are arguing for. Get rid of free news sites with paid journalists, except for those funded some other way like the BBC or other state agencies. Many people will have to go back to getting news from ad supported TV channels or ad supported newspapers, so won't escape the ads anyway.

One of the reasons why newspapers are declining is the democratization of news. I think that's a good thing, it makes it harder to end up getting most of your news from a single (biased) source.

Comment Re:It's pretty simple, really. (Score 1) 685

I'm not so quick to believe it happened so shortly afterwards (the relationship) when there's some evidence to suggest that might not be true.

Either way though, it's not a review. This is the problem: the entire thing was based on a false premise.

Also, I think you may be looking at it with a little bias.

I'm not sure what qualifies as bias in this context. Most of what I've read about gamergaters paints them in a rather poor light. So these days I'm biased against them, but I don't think it's unreasonable to judge people based on their behaviour.

Is there an real problem with their being so few females in coding?

It depends. If there's simply something fundemental about women which makes them on average less likely to prefer coding on average and the differences in numbers are simply a reflection of that, then no, there's no problem.

If there's other causes which are pushing out people who would otherwise like and be good at programming then yes, I think that is a problem, just as much as it's a problem that there's huge pressure for men to not be infants and junior school teachers these days.

I seldom see them asked and answered by rational people with data

Surely you want them answered by people with data :)

But yes, data is good. We have of course piles of anecdotes and things we may have personally observed (I've seen some conferences where women have been subjected to some rather shoddy behaviour and other ones where there has been nothing wrong at all---curiously IME the quality of behaviour correlates strongly with the quality of conference). I have many more anecdotes of course.

But as to hard data, it's difficult to get. That said people have tried a few controlled trials with various things, such as submitting CVs to jobs and have in some cases found bias.

There's also some interesting effects:

essentially given a group with some bigoted members equally distributed then a minority sub-group will be disporportionately on the receiving end of bigorty. This means that in essentially any industry where there's s significant gender imbalance, the minority will be on the receiving end of quite a lot of shoddy behaviour.

The result is that even if the gender imbalance is perfectly natural, then one still needs to put in effort to make sure the minority is not mistreated.

Truth be told, I have neither a nickel invested nor a care in the world.

Well that's fine. At the moment I'm not in a position where I can have any real effect, or be affected by it (employees? Ha! I need revenue first). I have been in the past. I suppose when I see bad behaviour going on around me, with people I can influence, I can either try to influence it, or I can accept it.

I've become less and less comfortable passively accepting such things as time has gone on. There's lots of nice quotes and platitudes I could wheel out along those lines, but ultimately it's a personal choice based on feelings, or if you prefer axioms. After all, logic does cannot underlie everything: it has to have an axiomatic foundation on which it rests.

Comment Re:Um... then don't go to sites (Score 1) 208

Buzzfeed has found an easy way to get around ad blockers. Every single article is an ad. They are all sponsored. People love it, Buzzfeel is immensely popular at a time when traditional news outlets are dying.

You can't have it both ways either. If you want quality journalism it has to be paid for, either by adverts or by subscription. Subscripts are okay but if we want a plurality of news outlets that we can get a variety of views from and easily link to then putting them all behind a paywall isn't going to work.

Comment Re:I guess they realised... (Score 1) 110

Man, this explains a lot. Mainstream Linux GUIs have been going backwards for a long time. But at least we have, uh, well, we already had most of it back then, come to think of it.

Indeed and it really pains me. What Linux/unix had way back when was far from perfect. However, it had some awesomely brilliant features that neither Windows nor MacOS and then OSX had. The desire to blindly chase Windows 95 then XP then OSX has systematically stripped out almost all of the unique but superior features giving us what is essentially a barstardised and inferior hybrid of Windows and OSX.

And you know what? That chasing was a complete fools errand. It didn't "win" us linux on the desktop, all it did was take a system which was superior to all others for some people and make it superior for even fewer.

Comment Re:I guess they realised... (Score 2) 110

There is one BIG flaw in X11 that wasn't mentioned: by design, every program that hooks into X also gets access to ALL input X gets. Meaning by design you cannot prevent any keyloggers from logging your sudo password. Wayland only allows access to all input to the compositor itself, and with a sandbox it can prevent any other program from keylogging.

Indeed, though entertainingly this isn't part of the X protocol, but part of the Xinput extension brought to you by the folks now working on Wayland. However, I don't see any reason that the compositor model of X11 can't be updated to intercept all events: it already has to intercept all events anyway because it needs to be able to arbitrarily mangle them before feeding them into the various captured windows.

So this flaw could be fixed for compositing window managers with a small update to the API. Given the architecture of X, the 10 remaining people like me using non compositing window managers could do it with an external compositor. However, one of the main bonkers criticism of X is that the API sometimes receives updates. So make of that what you will.

Comment Re:Lol, "guidelines" (Score 1) 208

That is the same attitude that lead to the horrendous ads you want to block. Advertisers felt that they could do what they liked, serve any content they wanted, and to hell with your bandwidth and performance. I mean, fuck you right, freeloading scum trying to get valuable content for free!

If major browser vendors start introducing blocking as standard with some guidelines to follow if you don't want your ads to be culled, it will cut down on a lot of bullshit. You and I will continue to use ad blockers anyway, but everyone else will benefit too and maybe the web will become a little less hostile, and we will spend a little less time dealing with this crap.

Comment Re:Don't RTFA (Score 2) 208

This is actually one of Google's proposals with AMP. They only allow pre-approved Javascript libraries, no custom code. It's part performance (can be optimized, cached and pre-compiled) and part safety (no arbitrary code).

While I'm sure people like yourself will continue to block anyway, it would be a big win to get this principal into the mainstream so that everyone can benefit from it.

Mirrors should reflect a little before throwing back images. -- Jean Cocteau