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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.

Comment: Re:"Productivity"? (Score 1) 304

by Mandrel (#47084899) Attached to: Is LG's New Ultra Widescreen Display Better Than "Normal" 4K?

I would find dual-monitors much better than an ultra-wide monitor because windows don't have to be arranged on the screen but can be simply maximised, and, most importantly, each screen can have its own set of virtual desktops, so that if each has 5 you can with a simple keyboard shortcut switch between 25 combinations of information. No windows move.

A nice feature would therefore be software support for virtual desktop zones on ultra-wide monitors.

Comment: Re:Discrimination of girls is bad and unethical (Score 1) 673

by Mandrel (#46721965) Attached to: Google: Teach Girls Coding, Get $2,500; Teach Boys, Get $0

cross-culturally more egalitarian societies have even larger sex differences (probably because people are more free to do what they like doing)

That's an interesting theory. Usually the fact that women are more equally represented in science and technology in Eastern Europe has been explained by a weaker legacy of discrimination compared to Western countries. But were the communists assigning people to careers based on either raw aptitude or equal gender splits, so that any social reluctance was driven underground?

Comment: Re:Affiliate link (Score 1) 37

by Mandrel (#46690051) Attached to: Book Review: Mobile HTML5

Yes, all Slashdot book reviews have Amazon affiliate links. I agree that Slashdot would benefit from labelling them as such, because transparency inspires goodwill.

My only other problem with such links is that they endorse and prefer one specific (behemoth) vendor. Links to other vendors should be added, even if there's a bias to ones who pay affiliates. Sort of like smartURL, that chooses a list of music affiliates based on IP, but for books.

Comment: Automatic SSD caching of spinning disks in Linux? (Score 1) 353

by Mandrel (#46654227) Attached to: An SSD for Your Current Computer May Save the Cost of a New One (Video)

all you need is a large enough SSD to contain your OS and software and whatever data you're working with at the moment,

Can the Linux kernel be configured to use a SSD as a 2nd-level disk cache, behind the RAM cache, so that you don't need to manually put your working data in the SSD?

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