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Comment: Re:Research (Score 1) 165

by Jahta (#48128917) Attached to: How Spurious Wikipedia Edits Can Attach a Name To a Scandal, 35 Years On

to find that the audience prefers misinfotainment over news. They demand entertainment over learning. Illusion over reality.

I am old enough to remember a day when the news was actually just that... News.... No opinion mixed in. Just the facts. When opinion was offered, usually after the real news, it was labeled as such.

Then media consolidation happened, the fairness doctrine was tossed and newsrooms nationwide were expected to turn a profit.

You've hit the nail on the head. If you haven't already, I'd recommend reading Flat Earth News. It covers how the new owners of news organisations increasingly cared more about sales (and advertising) than real news, cut their journalist head count (especially serious investigative journalists), and now get most of their content from a handful of agencies (which is why you see the same stories, often word-for-word, in multiple outlets).

Comment: Re:Being an asshole is not a crime (Score 2) 716

by Jahta (#48111061) Attached to: Why the Trolls Will Always Win

But acting upon it is.

Nobody really cares if you know a fool proof way to kill the prez (well, aside of some professional paranoiacs). As long as you don't act upon it, you're fine. If you DO, though, don't expect to remain free (or, for that matter, alive) for any measurable stretch of time.

Being an asshole may not be a crime. But threatening to kill somebody (whether you follow through or not) or spreading fabricated stories alleging criminal behavior to destroy somebody's good name is a crime. And rightly so.

The "I only posted it, so it's all OK" meme is part of the problem here.

+ - UK Conservative Party Proposes Police Vetting Of "Extremist" Posts->

Submitted by Jahta
Jahta (1141213) writes "Extremists will have to get posts on Facebook and Twitter approved in advance by the police under sweeping rules planned by the Conservatives. They will also be barred from speaking at public events if they represent a threat to “the functioning of democracy”, under the new Extremist Disruption Orders.

There are also plans to allow judges to ban people from broadcasting or protesting in certain places, as well as associating with specific people. The plans — to be brought in if the Conservatives win the election in May — are part of a wide-ranging set of rules to strengthen the Government’s counter-terrorism strategy."

Link to Original Source

Comment: Re: Mind boggling (Score 1) 167

by Jahta (#47981225) Attached to: Now That It's Private, Dell Targets High-End PCs, Tablets

Quarter to quarter, hmm, a piece of crap this quarter is still a piece of crap next quarter.

The other side of that coin is that business goes in cycles; even fundamentally sound companies don't return bigger profits quarter, after quarter, after quarter.

Case in point: personal computing manufacturers typically have big Q4s. Companies spend the last of the current year's budget, and consumers buy laptops, tablets, smartphones, etc. for themselves or others for Christmas. Q1, by comparison, is always quiet; something that a significant percentage of shareholders always seem surprised by.

Comment: Re:Your employer (Score 5, Insightful) 182

by Jahta (#47965437) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Who Should Pay Costs To Attend Conferences?

I once worked at a Fortune 500 company in Silicon Valley that didn't want to train employees because they might get certified, leave for a competitor, and make two to three times what they're currently making. Never mind that most employees were training themselves on company time, getting certified on their own time, and leaving for a competitor to make big bucks. Most companies just don't want to pay for training anymore, much less send people off to conferences where they might network and get hired by a competitor.

CFO asks CEO: "What happens if we invest in developing our people and then they leave us?"

CEO: "What happens if we don't, and they stay?"

Comment: Re:Ticket ToS (Score 1) 226

by Jahta (#47677885) Attached to: Posting Soccer Goals On Vine Is Illegal, Say England's Premier League

What terms of service do you agree to when you purchase a ticket and attend the event? Do you agree not to take and post videos of the event?

The ticket ToS specifically forbids any posting of match content. In fact you cannot bring any dedicated "audio, visual, or audio-visual" equipment into the ground. You can bring your mobile phone with you but, if you use it to capture any of the action, nothing you capture "may be published or otherwise made available to any third parties including, without limitation, via social networking sites."

The copyright angle is pretty moot. By buying your ticket, you've signed up to these terms and conditions.

Comment: Re:Picking nits.. (Score 1) 341

by Jahta (#47676211) Attached to: Berlin Bans Car Service Uber

First off TFA is about as weak on details as it is in verb conjugation. And we just clip and paste without editing?

What is proper insurance cover(age)? Are the limits too low, or not commercially based? Or not vetted properly?

TFA was clear enough. Licensed taxi drivers (certainly in most EU countries) are expected to demonstrate a level of competence and suitability to operate as a commercial driver; e.g. must not have a criminal record, must pass an advanced driving test, must pass a medical, must have proper commercial vehicle insurance, etc. And it is illegal to transport passengers for money without a commercial license and commercial vehicle insurance.

Uber's position is that anybody who downloads their app can call themselves a taxi driver and, if they don't meet the licensing standards, well it's the drivers's problem not Uber's. That is disingenuous. Uber are operating as a "driver for hire" service but trying to avoid any of the responsibilities being a "driver for hire" operator. Uber could easily resolve this by verifying that anybody signing up with them has a valid commercial license and insurance. But they seem strangely reluctant to do that. That's neither good competition nor good for the consumer.

Comment: Re:Gartner cynic here - enlighten me (Score 1) 98

by Jahta (#47669419) Attached to: Gartner: Internet of Things Has Reached Hype Peak

Anyone want to argue against my cynicism? Are Gartner reports actually useful to some people?

Cynicism yes. But healthy skepticism is always good!

In my experience Gartner have some good people - recognised subject matter experts - and if they are working in topic areas important to you then the reports are worth it. As mentioned by others, the reports carry weight with PHBs and if you can show that Gartner agrees with what you are proposing it can be a huge help. Of course, not everybody is at that level. YMMV.

For the same reason, the Hype Cycle is useful for positioning new technologies. It's interesting that TFA's title is actually very misleading. The Gartner graphic shows cloud computing entering the "Trough of Disillusionment" (where reality bites the folks who drank the kool-aid) and not "going mainstream".

Comment: Re:pharmaceutical patents (Score 1) 240

by Jahta (#47653521) Attached to: Patents That Kill

Overall, I agree that patents don't help much with innovation. However, I think pharmaceutical patents, unlike most other patents, do, in fact, encourage innovation. The fact that they encourage the wrong kind of innovation (minor variations on existing drugs) is not a problem with patents per se, it's a problem with the costs and risks of FDA approval: it's much safer to develop a small variant of an existing drug than to develop a completely novel drug for untreatable diseases.

Sorry, guys, you can't have it all: lots of innovation, safety, and low cost. Pick any two.

No offense, but you don't know much about the pharmaceutical industry. Ben Goldacre's book Bad Pharma is a good place to start. And this article explains how, contrary to being great innovators, the big pharmaceuticals are running down their own R&D in favour of cherry picking the work of small biotech outfits and publicly funded researchers and rebranding it as their own.

Comment: Re:"Anything more than a runtime and a language" (Score 1) 371

by Jahta (#47648477) Attached to: Oracle Hasn't Killed Java -- But There's Still Time

He wants new features, new syntactical elements, gamechangers like generics, enums, and closures. He wants fun things to learn while sticking with the "same" language, things which will hopefully let him use even higher layers of abstraction.

Which is not in itself a bad thing. If Java doesn't add new useful features it'll get replaced by something that has them. But I'm not sure Java has a lot of room left in its complexity budget to add new stuff without becoming too confusing to stick with (assuming it hasn't already, which is debatable :) It may be best to let Java coast for a bit.

The funny thing is that new features (like closures) have been appearing much more regularly since Oracle took over. The author of TFA seems to forget that after Sun released Java 6 (in 2006) there wasn't major release for years, and Java developers despaired as useful proposed new features got mired in the JCP.

Since Oracle took over we've had two major releases - Java 7 (in 2011), and Java 8 (in 2014) - as well a multiple minor releases. Java 9 is targeted for 2016. It's hardly a language that is stagnating.

Money will say more in one moment than the most eloquent lover can in years.