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Comment: Re:Sheep (Score 1) 473

by GrahamCox (#48190739) Attached to: In UK, Internet Trolls Could Face Two Years In Jail
Free speech is about haveing the right to express your opinion without fear of retaliation

Express away, you overprivileged cunt with an overinflated sense of self-worth. You are the scum of the earth and deserve nothing less than to be horribly beaten and raped by a gang of spanner-wielding bikers.

Here's the thing. Free speech does not trump the other basic principle I mention, to do as you please as long as it does not harm others. There is no doubt that in some cases, your free speech can harm others. And I mean harm, not just offend. I agree about not having the right not to be offended, but it's not black-and-white. And if what I wrote above did have some small effect on you, then think about that. Imagine if you were on the receiving end of something like that day in, day out and it really affected you? Some people might not be as robust as you.

Just have a little compassion. Is it really too much to ask?

Comment: It's not censorship or more government control (Score 4, Insightful) 473

by GrahamCox (#48183055) Attached to: In UK, Internet Trolls Could Face Two Years In Jail
I think a lot of people are misinterpreting the intent of this. Much as I despise the current UK government, and am deeply concerned about surveillance and censorship and erosion of privacy and free speech generally, I think in this case it's not what's being proposed at all.

Basically, I believe in being free to do as you please unless it harms others. There's no doubt that trolling, in some cases, does harm, but right now the punishment isn't very harsh for the worst cases, and most people that indulge in trolling feel they have the "right" to do it (those were the exact words used by a recent troll who attacked the McCanns online and was called out on it by the news media; she later committed suicide. A pretty sad case for everyone concerned). This is confusing the right to free speech with a non-existent right to slander and libel with impugnity. If you are attacked, and it harms you (for some definition of harm) then you should have the right to prosecute the perpetrator to the extent the law allows.

All this is proposing is that harmful trolling is taken more seriously, and I agree with that. A judge will rule on the merit of any case brought, and hand down a sentence as he sees fit. This is merely proposing that the maximum available sentence is extended from 6 months to 2 years, and I agree with that. Note that this has nothing to do with the government having greater powers to monitor online activity - the judiciary have nothing to do with the government in the UK. If someone is trolled online and they feel it has harmed them, it is up to them to report it and press charges, and present their case in court. The government are not involved at all.

Comment: Re:So what qualifies? (Score 2) 473

by GrahamCox (#48182989) Attached to: In UK, Internet Trolls Could Face Two Years In Jail
Who gets to decide what qualifies as trolling?

A judge in a court of law? That's their job.

Presumably if you feel particularly aggrieved by something you've had directed to you online, you can complain to the police and press charges. When it comes to court, the evidence is presented, the defence puts its case and the judge decides.

Comment: Re:how do SSD's compare to HD's? (Score 1) 106

by GrahamCox (#48178205) Attached to: iFixit Tears Apart Apple's Shiny New Retina iMac
I think the jury's still out - SSDs haven't been in the field long enough to know how they fare in the real world. In theory, they should be better, but there are some concerns.

I recently upgraded my older 2011 iMac 27" to an SSD - I had to drop to half the original capacity but it's far, far faster and a little quieter. So even if the lifespan ended up the same as the spinning disk, it would be worth it.

By the way, "to have it fixed" does cost a lot of money, but DIY and it's obviously only as expensive as the drive. I'm not sure abut the newer iMacs, but getting into mine to swap the drive was a cinch.

Comment: Re:On the Internet, nobody can hear you being subt (Score 1) 387

by GrahamCox (#48166133) Attached to: Torvalds: I Made Community-Building Mistakes With Linux
If people took the trouble to learn a little bit of basic punctuation, this phrase would be wrong. It's easy to be subtle using the written word, look at the thousands and thousands of published books by professional writers.

Only if you insist on using pointless shorthand and writing like a hyperactive 10-year-old is lack of subtlety a problem.

Comment: Re:WWII proably didn't help much either (Score 2) 323

by GrahamCox (#48145889) Attached to: How English Beat German As the Language of Science
Werner von Braun orchestrated a surrender of his team to the US instead of the rapidly advancing Russian forces due to religious reasons

Citation needed? I'm sure he had plenty of good reasons. The Germans were very well aware of their likely fate at the hands of the Russians - they not only had a brutal reputation but the Germans knew that they felt justified in using that brutality in revenge. As the Red Army swept across eastern Germany, in some villages more people committed suicide than were left remaining afterwards. Thousands of women were raped. The Allied powers on the other hand were seen as the far "milder" enemy - in fact in the early stages of the war Hitler didn't even expect to have to fight the British and Americans, he expected a negotiated peace.

Von Braun was well aware of all of this and knew that if he was captured by the Russians, the worst he could expect was to be summarily shot. On the other hand the worst he could expect from the Allies was a fair trial. In the end he didn't even need to go through that.

Comment: What the App Store needs (Score 1) 229

by GrahamCox (#48145833) Attached to: The Subtle Developer Exodus From the Mac App Store
I sell an app through the Mac app store. It's been fairly successful - certainly in terms of volume we would have struggled to match it if we'd only stuck with our own website as the sole means for a new customer to acquire the app. When Apple have helped us with promotion, we've seen sales skyrocket, at least for as long as they deign to put us on the front page or whatever.

But now we have an almost completely new version 2.0 ready to go, and the App Store has no provision for paid-for updates (all of our version 1 updates were free). Therefore we have to submit it as a brand-new product, which is really dumb, because it means all of our installed base of 1.0 users won't automatically get a notification that there is an update, and we can't build on any of our existing materials in the app store other than adding text to say "there's a new version over there". We have to start over from scratch, and it's a real cause for concern.

We can't offer quantity or educational discounts through the App Store either, which we've been frequently asked about.

I've also been on the receiving end of the sorts of developer-hostile treatment others have reported here, though on the whole it has been a mostly positive experience. The enforced sandboxing was exceedingly painful, and I definitely wouldn't want to go through that again, but having done it, it's an issue easily forgotten about. Apple eventually (in 10.9) included frameworks for getting media from other (i)apps which was the main thing we lost in the sandboxing, needing a hideous workaround.

What's annoying is that many of the issues pointed out in TFA are real, and have been a problem for a long time. Apple appear to have no interest in improving the store or canvassing developers about how it should evolve. The store staff appear to be a lawless disconnected bunch that don't seem to talk to other parts of the company, and seem arrogant and capricious. That may not be the case, but that's how it appears and so it's a problem they ought to be addressing.

Heuristics are bug ridden by definition. If they didn't have bugs, then they'd be algorithms.