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Comment Re: Industry 2nd opinion (Score 4, Informative) 357 357

I used to work for a company that, in a roundabout way, presented advertising to consumers. And, I mean...yeah, of course they waited longer than 100ms for everyone to get their bids in.

What many people don't consider is that while the primary ad presenter is getting bids, many of those buyers are doing an auction to their own list of buyers, and some of those do auctions too, etc., etc. So a lot of those buyers would take longer than the time limit we wanted to come back to us, but they were usually some of our biggest buyers. The ones that didn't actually buy many ads would get discontinued, because we didn't want to slow down load time for someone that never actually won the bid. But the big buyers, we would generally loosen the time constraints.

The wording of the summary and article make it sound like the advertisers are cackling and holding up their pinky finger, smiting the populace with longer load times for the monies. The reality is that they aren't thinking about your load times at all, most of the time. You are the product. Load times really only entered the minds of business leaders when traffic volume was dropping.

Comment Re:Not if you email me (Score 1) 198 198

I think the idea is that the e-mail itself just contains HTML that makes a request to the Dmail server, and the server doesn't send back the actual message if it's been too long.

But yeah, that doesn't mean that the person can't copy/paste/screenshot something when they see it. It's self-destruct for the lazy/ill-informed.

Comment Re:It only works without humans (Score 1) 503 503

Love the analysis of how impractical Star Trek is.

On the scarcity discussion: I think my problem is that I don't see an end to scarcity of some things, even in a Star Trek world. Two great examples:

* Planets. How would we give one to everyone who wanted to own their own planet? Or solar system, for that matter. A single individual's inability to consume an entire planet's resources doesn't really matter in this case. Enough people want their own planet now; many, many more would want it in an absence of scarcity of other things. We are greedy beyond our ability to consume.
* People. Owning another person necessarily limits their resources to what you allow them to have. We've been doing that since the dawn of civilization.

Hopefully if we ever did get to that level of resources, our nature would have changed enough so we didn't get in our own way. I doubt it, though. I imagine we will always find something in limited quantities to fight and kill each other over.

Comment Re:It only works without humans (Score 5, Insightful) 503 503

Scarcity is a limiting factor, but human greed is even more of a limiting factor. We will never reach anything resembling a utopian society where everyone's basic needs are met, regardless of the means, because of human nature, not because of available resources.

Comment I was one of the happy customers. (Score 1) 82 82

We did get a letter about the security breach, and the offer for 2 free years identity theft protection, so...thanks, I guess? Nothing horrible has happened yet, but as far as I can tell, we don't really have any recourse other than sitting and waiting for bad things to occur. No actionable information provided.

The notice they sent us went out months after they found out about it. Which I'm kind of grumpy about, but at least to some degree makes sense. They don't want to go public with the information until they've locked down as much as they can.

One last gripe: the letter was mostly worded in the "protect our own butts legally and limit our liability as much as possible" sense, not the "we're sorry this happened to your personal information and we want to make it right" sense. Which, I mean, come on. This is an insurance company. That's literally what they do for a living.

Comment Re:Attempting with existing title was a mistake (Score 1) 239 239

So far, Valve has become the biggest game distributor in the world by being greedy in ways that end up benefiting individual, common consumers. Their track record is far from perfect, but by and large that's why they have been so successful. It's disconcerting to see them poking their foot in the other greed pools, but if nothing else, they will keep doing The Right Thing (eventually) to try to preserve that image, not because they are glowing pillars of virtue.

It's been fun to watch them teeter about at the peak of their influence, making gradually larger political blunders. I'll be interested to see what monstrous misstep they make that finally wrecks their business. Anyone making bets on how many years out that is?

You can't go home again, unless you set $HOME.