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Comment: Re:Easy to use, just upload your files! (Score 2) 37

by Crash Culligan (#47094021) Attached to: Google Releases VirusTotal Uploader For OS X

And why would you be uploading personal files to check for viruses? Surely your personal files are the ones you KNOW are clean? It's the random crap you download and are sent that you have to scan.

Because doing so helps strengthen all anti-virus software which VirusTotal uses. The mistake is thinking of VirusTotal as just a big ol' multi-scanner, when under the hood it's a clearinghouse of virus and malware information for the participating vendors of detection and remedy software.

If they get a file that only triggers 17/51 of the scanners, then the other 34 will want to know why they didn't catch it, and research it, and improve their own products in response. So uploading files to them is a way of supporting their efforts.

Comment: Re:People Really Do That? (Score 3, Insightful) 111

by Crash Culligan (#40755599) Attached to: Gadget Addiction or Work Intrusion?

CanHasDIY: [People Really Do That?] ... and by "do that," I mean let their employer take control of their personal lives? WTF is wrong with them?

That's the "cultural thing" that they were talking about. Somewhere in the past thirty years or so, along with the stagnation of wages, the collapse of the "middle class," the inexorable creep forward of prices for things like food, housing, and health care, and the antiquation of the notion that workers have rights, it became a buyer's labor market. Most people fear that if they don't toe the line and do what their bosses tell them to, it'd be far too easy to dismiss them (i.e. fire their worthless slacker asses) and hire someone with a more respectful, helpful attitude (i.e. sycophant).

And in an era where most people live from paycheck to paycheck and either lack the gumption (or worse, the salary) to save up for emergencies, that fear is a sensible one.

Comment: Re:Papers? Don't Need No Stinkin' Papers! (Score 1) 884

by Psychochild (#40457827) Attached to: Arizona H-1B Workers Advised to Carry Papers At All Times

Being fat, old(er), and white doesn't necessarily protect you. I was walking around the town where I live late at night (was working with Europeans, so I slept odd hours and still wanted to get some exercise) when the cops stopped me. Now, it was cold and by the coast so I had 2 layers of coats on and I have a long beard. The police officer basically admitted that he stopped me because I looked poor/homeless. He also asked me what I did and if it provided good wages.

I cooperated because although I think it's BS to be stopped like that, I didn't feel like making an issue at midnight in the cold. But, yeah, you can still be stopped just for looking wrong in other ways besides skin color. Still, these types of laws need to be stopped; as someone else said, the right to freely assemble becomes a lot less potent if you have to identify yourself and then be cross-referenced on a database thus eliminating anonymity.

Comment: Re:Data ownership (Score 4, Informative) 183

by Psychochild (#40210463) Attached to: Why Facebook's Network Effects Are Overrated

There's a lot of activity on Google+, the problem is that you have to invest some time and effort to find the good conversations.

The circles Google+ uses are it's best feature and it's biggest weakness. You can send out updates only to people who you want to see. But, the problem is that newcomers to the network don't see anything you're just sharing with a circle. So, to someone who just signs up, it looks like there isn't much going on.

In my case, I was lucky enough to have a few people involved with indie tabletop RPG development add me, probably because I'm a somewhat known MMO developer. From them I was able to add a few more people, and some of them shared their circles, and now I have nearly 3000 people who post about tabletop RPG stuff in my circles. There's a wealth of information there, but if I hadn't found the first few people I wouldn't have known about it.

I wonder if Google+ could do something about this. Maybe have some "official" circles for people to join into to see some activity immediately upon joining. It won't replace personal circles, but might help fight the perception that nothing goes on at Google+.

Ultimately, the lesson here is that you get out of Google+ proportional to what you invest into it. If you just add a few friends to circles it's boring. Find some existing circles on stuff you care about and it'll blow your mind.

Comment: Re:So WTF do the non-depressed do with the interne (Score 1) 278

by Psychochild (#40084015) Attached to: Depressed People Surf the Web Differently

Introverted does not mean "shy". It means that you interact with people differently. Essentially the GP is correct: for an introvert, dealing with people drains your energy. Extroverts, on the other hand, get energy from interacting with others.

As a fellow introvert who is not shy, I can completely understand why you would want to IM instead of chat while in the same room. When you're concentrating on something (which introverts tend to do more often than extroverts), interruptions can be destructive to the thought process. Actually, my significant other does something similar, where she'll send me links to videos she thinks are funny rather than demanding I watch them right then and there even though we're in the same home office.

If you're interested in learning more, I highly recommend the book The Introvert Advantage by Marti Olsen Laney. It goes into some of the practical explanations for why introverts are the way they are, and delves a bit into the science behind it. Great for introverts who want to understand themselves, and for extroverts to get some kind of understanding why introverts act the way they do.

Comment: Followed by a CSB (Score 3, Insightful) 274

by Crash Culligan (#39606371) Attached to: OLPC Project Disappoints In Peru

coffeechica: The concept of needing laptops at all for good education is questionable, I think.

The concept of needing anything/em> for a good education is questionable. The computer is a tool which is capable of good (through assisting the teaching of subjects), evil (distracting the students or supplanting the teacher), or pointlessness.

First, the tool has to be assessed, to see if it's suitable to assist in the teaching of a subject. The computer can be mighty flexible, and beside running Excel to actually do the accounting, it can present information, quiz students on topics being learned, and even make corrections based on incorrect answers. (And yes, I include properly done Powerpoint under the heading "present information." LibreOffice's Presentation tool qualifies too.)

Second, the tool may need to be tweaked to work for a specific purpose. The last two, quizzing and correcting, ride on the assumption that somewhere behind the scenes, someone in the school's employ is using a relatively simple scripting tool (LiveCode comes to mind) to create the lessons, and to further present on correct techniques when wrong answers are given.

Third, the tool has to be accepted and understood by the teacher. A tool unused is meaningless, but a tool misapplied can do more harm than good.

And fourth, the tool has to be accepted and used correctly by the students. Same principle as above: if they don't know how to get the information out of it, they won't larn nuffin'. A sweet UI and finely honed educational software stand no chance against a blithering idiot.

My mother taught learning disabled preschoolers. I watched with some horror as she sent one student after another back for "computer time" unattended, and they kind of puttered around with it. The worst was what I dub a "click-monster"—he might as well have been blindfolded and firing a machine-gun the way he was clicking. It was like recess, but nothing was being exercised except index finger and wrist.

With a little time, expense, and staff education, the computer can be a fantastic tool for teaching and learning. I can appreciate that without that time and expense, the tool isn't nearly as useful.

Comment: Re:Biting off more than they can chew I fear (Score 1) 273

by Crash Culligan (#37501236) Attached to: EA's New User Agreement Bans Lawsuits

erroneus: At some point, someone will challenge the legality of this practice of blocking legal recourse. The fact of the matter is, the legal system is government and is in place to help guarantee peaceful resolution of disputes between parties.

That depends entirely on who's controlling the government during that cycle, and who that government decides needs the greater protection, doesn't it?

What we're seeing these days is a continued skewing of rights and privileges away from employees and "small" customers, toward employers and "large" customers. I'm surprised it hasn't trickled into the userspace sooner, frankly.

Comment: Re:Quad Core In a Tablet/Phone? (Score 3, Interesting) 123

by Crash Culligan (#37232832) Attached to: Apple's A6 Details and Timeline Emerge

rsmith-mac: what on earth are you going to do with 4 CPUs when you can only interact with 1 program at a time?

This assumes that iOS will only ever allow you to interact with one program at a time. This also assumes that iOS doesn't do so already—ever play music while working with another app? It's a question of controls, and finding ways to work with multiple programs that works for the users.

If I were doing it, I'd consider a "half-screen" mode where you can have two apps open, one on each side of the screen. But that's worse than Apple-armchairing, that's UX-armchairing. *shudder*

Comment: Yes, another one. And likely more after that. (Score 1) 55

by Crash Culligan (#37204756) Attached to: PlayStation Home Transforming Into Social Platform

That's right. We have enough social services already. But they—the marketers and salesmen who want more channels to push their product through in order to make a sale—won't rest until you can't spit in your online social space (so to speak) without hitting an advertisement. And if this means creating more social spaces then so be it: Let a thousand cheesy Facebook-knockoffs bloom!

Because we are groaning under social internet overload, there's a good chance that those newer services won't be looked at, much less taken seriously.

That said, there is one thing Sony has going for them in this case: it's a community social network. It's a PSN thing, so it's safe to say that everyone going there, if they choose to, has common ground: more desire to play multiplayer games than they have real-life friends with PS3s. In the modern "social overload" network, that kind of commonality is a necessary ingredient to building a community online.

Comment: Okay, this is just sad. (Score 2) 339

by Crash Culligan (#36908034) Attached to: What Happens After the Super-Hero Movie Bubble?

I have no doubt that Hollywood will lose its taste for the cash cow it's currently grinding into hamburger (note: not the mixed metaphor that it sounds like). But fretting over The Next Big Thing, simply because a clear winner hasn't emerged yet? That's pathetic.

For one thing, take a look at the movie listings. There's currently a lot more out there beside the "superhero" movie. Some of it is older genres, some of it is niche new stuff that someone felt was good to throw against the wall, just to see if it stuck. If the superhero genre can be said to be "dominating," it's only because they're making more money, not because they're filling every theater and pushing the ordinary genres off the screen.

Second, when their star finally does fade, who's to say it'll do so completely? Like I said, a lot of older genres are still being explored. Who's to say we won't get a satisfying drip of interesting empowered individual films in the future?

And third, it's entirely possible that the reason that the superhero film has dominated Hollywood's rather Asperger's-like focus is that the Next Big Thing hasn't come along yet. I have every confidence that when it does, filmmakers will jump upon it with both feet and kick the Current Big Thing to the curb.

Comment: Re:anyone remember friendster? (Score 1) 373

by Psychochild (#36900718) Attached to: Security Expert Slams Google+ Pseudonym Policy

Actually, that's not quite true. My given name, "Brian Green" is dreadfully common. I was at a conference recently where someone tried to add me on LinkedIn but I didn't show up in the first page of results on their phone. I told them to search for my pseudonym, "Psychochild", and I was the only result.

And that's the reason why I've kept using my pseudonym, even in a professional environment. (Okay, I'm a game developer, so it's a bit more acceptable.) But, if you have a very common name then using a pseudonym can help make you easier to find.

In a consumer society there are inevitably two kinds of slaves: the prisoners of addiction and the prisoners of envy.

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