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Comment: Re:I see plenty of people reading (Score 1) 264

by Elbereth (#45251607) Attached to: France Moves To Protect Independent Booksellers From Amazon

There was never a golden age of literature when everyone read authors that meet your approval. If people are reading more breezy escapism and genre fiction today than they were before, I'd look at why they feel they need that escapism. Anyway, even a hack can write a pretty good book every once in a while -- especially given that most hacks are unnaturally prolific.

Comment: Re:How Does One Become an Editor? (Score 4, Informative) 372

by Elbereth (#45216401) Attached to: Wikipedia's Participation Problem

Yes, that happens sometimes. People get a bit fanatical about reverting vandalism. The best thing to do is to always use an edit summary with polite, neutral language that directly cites Wikipedia policy. For example: "remove unverifiable, unsourced statement, per [[WP:V]]" or even just say something terse like "unsourced". That will signal to people that you're at least vaguely familiar with Wikipedia's policies and not a simple vandal who likes to randomly remove sentences.

When people challenge you, tell them the burden of proof lies on them. You can cite [[WP:BURDEN]], Wikipedia policy which explicitly states this.

Comment: Re:Pseudoscience debunked? (Score 1) 374

by Elbereth (#44724599) Attached to: Feds Seek Prison For Man Who Taught How To Beat a Polygraph

To some extent. Its use is controversial and losing support, but there are still some old school hold-outs who swear by it. I think what we're seeing is a few of these hold-outs lashing out in a last, desperate attempt to save their image, but, with some luck, this will end up being the final nail in their coffin.

Comment: I don't think most people care (Score 4, Insightful) 272

by Elbereth (#44283829) Attached to: How Intellectual Property Reinforces Inequality

I've tried making that argument, but most people won't really care until it becomes a talking point beaten to death by demagogues on TV. Also, I cringed a bit when I read that summary, because every phrase screams "leftist academic". That's one of the quickest and easiest ways to get dismissed by moderates and center-right allies.

Comment: Re:On his watch (Score 1) 240

by Elbereth (#44265657) Attached to: Maybe Steve Ballmer Doesn't Deserve the Hate

Sounds a lot like Mozilla's attempts to clone everything that Google does, except in a half-assed way. Kind of funny, really, because I hadn't actually thought to connect Steve Ballmer and Asa Dotzler like that before. When you think about it, though, they seem pretty similar. Neither Microsoft nor Mozilla seem terribly interested in actually doing anything until Apple/Google do it first.

Comment: Re:what?? (Score 4, Insightful) 608

by Elbereth (#44221637) Attached to: The Black Underbelly of Windows 8.1 'Blue'

Well, yeah. But Google has an enviable image and works in emerging markets, where they can set consumer expectations. Microsoft has a crap image and works in entrenched markets, where customers have strong opinions and entrenched ways doing things. This is a bit of a simplification, of course, but I think it helps to explain why people complain so much about everything that Microsoft does, while they give Google a free pass.

Comment: Re:Just askin... (Score 1) 221

by Elbereth (#44216433) Attached to: MIT Project Reveals What PRISM Knows About You

There's a difference between opt-in and covert actions taken without permission.

However, I don't see why anyone would let MIT have access to their e-mail account, just so that they can simulate having the civil liberties violated. But, then again, I don't see the point to a lot of things that get posted to Slashdot.

"Pull the trigger and you're garbage." -- Lady Blue