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Comment: Just (Score 1) 210

by Mandrel (#48664615) Attached to: Tech's Gender Gap Started At Stanford

Women are first held back by their much lower fertility cut-off age. This causes the world to crowd in earlier, wanting babies, marriage, and relationships, distracting and rushing them so they find it harder to take the time and effort to pursue uncertain and uncommon paths.

In a different way women do it to themselves, avoiding founding the big universal services, instead starting companies that sell mainly to other women: fashion, children's products, jewelry, cosmetics, craft, and journalism targeted at women. This indeed applies to the Stanford woman featured in the article. Have women been forced into this ghetto by misogyny, or are they just smartly going where there's little male competition?

Comment: Re:New Revenue System (Score 1) 190

by Mandrel (#48586845) Attached to: Fraud Bots Cost Advertisers $6 Billion

Trouble with that is it'd still require a means by which to know from where the consumer came from, and that could get problematic if the consumer came in several times from different sites before finally purchasing. Who gets credit and who gets credited for the assist? How do you subdivide that? What if the customer clears their browser history? How long does the retailer need to store referrer information in order to be fair to those sites advertising?

With Rbate, the purchaser provides a list of all the places that helped them choose, and credit is divided among these. They create this list by picking from all the relevant information sources they've marked as helpful, which as well as webpages (and Slashdot posts), can be printed material or full-service retailers. These are stored permanently like bookmarks.

As well as allowing credit to be shared among several sources of assistance, unlike affiliate links the helpers don't become part of the selling process, which makes them more independent. You can get an Rbate payment even though you only told someone not to buy something, or for giving general information not related to particular products.

If, say, a Slashdot post helped someone choose a product, Slashdot can get paid for that, which Slashdot can optionally share with the poster in some way (cash or Karma).

Comment: Re:Single-pixel what? (Score 1) 81

by Mandrel (#48482843) Attached to: Single Pixel Camera Takes Images Through Breast Tissue

Bonus points if you explain why a chicken breast was involved.

Chicken breast, like most tissue, is translucent, and they were trying to demonstrate the ability to take a picture of a target hidden under several mm of such material, at the same time demonstrating the technique's applicability to diagnostic imaging.

Comment: Re:Shyeah, right. (Score 1) 284

by Mandrel (#48471263) Attached to: Is LTO Tape On Its Way Out?

probably the hot plug slot... at that point i was swapping out the server for a "newer" one (5 vs 12 years old)

If the server was that old, the slot could have had many more insertion cycles than any disk, so it's hard to conclude that disk plugs are more robust than slot sockets. But it'd be good if that were the case. The desktop USB3 SATA hot-plug unit I'm using (with an eject button, so it looks like a toaster), is a lot cheaper than a disk (and doesn't carry any data).

Comment: Re:CurrentC does not solve for the Customer (Score 1) 631

by Mandrel (#48255453) Attached to: Why CurrentC Will Beat Out Apple Pay

What benefit is in there for the customer? You know people are going to freak out around the liability part. I know the retailers want to reduce their transaction fee, but unless they throw some level of enticement (such as a discount) you probably won't see adoption of this. Conversely a discount will just nullify the transaction fee.

Rather than a CurrentC discount (or loyalty rebate), they could always try to impose a credit card surcharge. Is it still legal in the US for credit card companies to ban surcharges? Such bans have been made illegal in Australia, so that hidden CC merchant fees don't give them an unfair advantage over other payment methods. Many of the more discount retailers now charge a surcharge of about 2% for paying by credit card, airlines and taxis a lot more. The CC companies ran a scare-campaign, but the government held firm.

Comment: Re:I believe the actual concern is... (Score 1) 95

by Mandrel (#48216803) Attached to: German Publishers Capitulate, Let Google Post News Snippets

Newspaper articles are written so that all the most important information is set right at the beginning. That makes them faster and easier to read, especially if you want to skim through a lot of news. So yes, a snippet of the first paragraph or two most likely does contain most of the important information, because it's written with the readers in mind, not the advertisers or google bots.

In response to news index sites using leading snippets, this inverted pyramid article structure will increasingly give way to click-bait openings.

Comment: Re:So we can't call anyone stupid anymore (Score 1) 622

by Mandrel (#48132283) Attached to: The Correct Response To Photo Hack Victim-Blamers

Yeah, you SHOULD be able to do a lot of things. And if we lived in an ideal world, we WOULD be able to do all those things.

You seen any ideal worlds lately?

Sure, but sometimes and to some extent you can help induce that better world by behaving as if the world is what it should be rather than what it is. A noble risk, and you deserve less blame.

Comment: Re:The cost? (Score 1) 549

by Mandrel (#48041983) Attached to: Elon Musk: We Must Put a Million People On Mars To Safeguard Humanity

But you would also need a lot of cargo to support those people. In fact, your cargo to person ratio is going to be quite high. It would probably be 10 cargo trips for every human trip, so more like 100,000 trips. And we're talking 100,000 trips of a giant spaceship.

And what is the cost, both in terms of resources and pollution, of launching 100,000 times? Even if you kept it in orbit and brought people up to it it's a huge cost.

Perhaps the cargo transport can be done cheaply, without rockets or heat shields: a rail gun in earth orbit, loaded from a space elevator, and a reverse rail gun channel around Mars to slow them down, with another elevator. Just some thrusters for alignment fine tuning.

I think the romantic idea of space colonization is pretty cool. But I don't really think it's quite as viable as people like to think it is. At least not with current energy requirements and sources.

Outside the Earth, the solar system is a pretty boring vacuum with a bit of gas and dust. But the insurance policy argument is pretty compelling, and the engineering project would be an exciting way to encourage all nations to work together.

Comment: Re:Accuse me a being materialistic whore but... (Score 1) 136

Yes, the anti-competitive nature of such vertical integration is bad for the economy. The links are also bad for the individual because of their distraction, because they turn an independent information source into a sales force, and because they give preferential treatment to one particular vendor.

But Slashdot does something similar with its book reviews.

Comment: Re:This makes no sense. (Score 1) 436

by Mandrel (#47563329) Attached to: Which Is Better, Adblock Or Adblock Plus?

This is a donation driven project written by a single developer. Why would he do this? What benefits would come from collecting personal information and hiding it from users?

Palant claims that Adblock is covertly scaling up into something similar to what Adblock Plus has done.

Anyway, I'm not sure these browser extensions are sufficiently complex and hard to maintain that they can't like Adblock Edge be run by volunteers. If anything it's the filter list maintainers who should get our donations. The big adblockers only have scope to "turn evil" to the extent that people don't switch.

Comment: Re:Paper tracked barter (Score 1) 100

by Mandrel (#47497857) Attached to: New Digital Currency Bases Value On Reputation

Well it's kind of better for the rich person, probably, since it doesn't actually cost them anything. It doesn't even cost them the time of a lunch date.

Time is money. Hence signatures. But selfies with celebs seem to be the new signature.

I'm envisioning a smartphone app that allows celebs to transfer a time-stamped, location-stamped, and level-stamped crypto-signed badge to people they meet through RFID smartphone bumps. People can display these badges in Facebook posts, and their collection in a Facebook app.

Tradeable bragging rights with minimal imposition on celebs.

Comment: Re:When "free" isn't free (Score 1) 418

by Mandrel (#47492767) Attached to: Dealing With 'Advertising Pollution'

If I were a huge content provider, I'd figure out a way to make it happen, perhaps through ISPs. Subsidize them to give every user maybe $10/month credit. Offer content providers a great deal to install a one-click "Read/Watch Now for 1 cent" buttons.

Rather than "Read/Watch Now for 1 cent" buttons, the $10 should be distributed to the creators of the content that the author has thumbed-up during the month (eliminating the click-bait problem); or if none, has visited over the month; or if none, distributed equally over all content in the system. Like a subscription, the $10 is always fully spent.

YouTube could get away with this now for an ad-free and higher-resolution experience (their soon-to-launch music subscription service is up this alley). But it would work better when the content subscription covered a large number of providers: newspapers, magazines, video sites, blogs, etc. The problem is that each newspaper wants to have their own subscription so they don't lose revenue from their existing stuck-on subscribers, and because they have dreams of being chosen as the one go-to source for others.

Comment: Re:Paper tracked barter (Score 1) 100

by Mandrel (#47491491) Attached to: New Digital Currency Bases Value On Reputation

I do something cool for a famous person, and they give me a coin. Now that coin becomes something like a trading card, which I can collect and trade

The article's description of the system is too vague to pin it down, but I think you've got the right idea.

Famous people can give someone who they want to reward a personal token like their signature, that can be given to others (as a gift or for money). This can be like a digital version where people can display online their collection of famous badges, each cryptographically verifiable by person, date generated (so you can boast of "before they were famous" badges and "on the day of her achievement" badges), and also level (bronze, silver, gold).

But I'm not sure this is any better than money for more physical rewards, like a lunch date with a famous person.

It is much harder to find a job than to keep one.