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Comment: Re:Subscription model (Score 2) 978

by Mithent (#43130543) Attached to: Game Site Wonders 'What Next?' When 50% of Users Block Ads

I entirely agree that they need revenue - I wasn't saying that I shouldn't give anything back. What I give back is advertising revenue, by being willing to accept advertisements in return for the content. It's been how the Web has generally worked for years, and also supports TV channels and free newspapers etc. My worry is that because blocking ads is becoming so prevalent, this model is becoming uneconomical, and so that option is being taken away.
 
If they can offer subscriptions that provide more value, then that's great, absolutely, and something which I might well look into at those sites which I value most. I still have a subscription to a print magazine despite most if its articles being posted online, for one, because sometimes it's nice to read a print magazine. I also pay my TV license for the BBC, which I could legitimately opt out of because I watch next to no live TV, but I don't begrudge that considering the BBC content I consume. My concern is that casual browsing in return for advertisements will become increasingly less possible.
 
I'd be happy if the choice was either to accept ads or pay a subscription (maybe with some extra incentives), certainly. I just don't want the latter to start becoming the only option, as has started to become the case on some sites.

Comment: Re:Subscription model (Score 1) 978

by Mithent (#43130219) Attached to: Game Site Wonders 'What Next?' When 50% of Users Block Ads

I hope that we won't see many more sites moving to a paywall model. There are few sites that I'm sufficiently interested in on a day-to-day basis that I'm going to pay a subscription fee to access them - I'll just turn away. Just yesterday I saw what might have been a vaguely interesting article on a pay site (a large American newspaper, though I forget which - no, not the NYT), but I only got the first couple of sentences unless I signed up with a view to paying monthly. I never normally read that site and I'm not likely to start, so I'd never subscribe. Nor would I have paid for the article itself, microtransaction-style: opinion articles on Apple's future direction aren't important enough to me that I'd open my wallet. I'd much rather have read the article and given them their ad revenue (as I don't block ads).
 
A lot of the value of the Web to me is being able to flit between sites, not being locked out of most unless I make a long-term commitment or having to make regular judgments about the monetary value of content I haven't read. That loss of freedom and immediacy would be a significant one, for me, and I'm more than willing to tolerate some ads to keep that.

Comment: Re:hah! (Score 1) 238

by Mithent (#43028013) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Should We Have the Option of Treating Google Like a Utility?

Aggregated, non-personally identifiable information would presumably be things like "we have 300,000 daily users in Chile" or "our data shows that 40% of our Californian audience are interested in technology", so that potential Chilean and Californian advertisers know what reach they might be getting, or "the Olympics was a popular search term in the UK last summer", as seen here. They're not going to share your personal search history, partly because it would be against their policies and would cause significant trouble for them, and partly because this is one of their main assets. Anyone can show you ads, but Google and Facebook can promise to target those ads based on the profiles they've build up of you, thus making them worth more to advertisers. It's wasteful to show ads to people who just aren't interested, but it's great if you can show them to the right people at the right time.

Comment: Re:Chromebook (Score 1) 417

by Mithent (#42537207) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Using a Tablet As a Sole Computing Device?

The problems that she complained about were primarily associated with using an online banking system, in which she wasn't able to access certain parts of the page because of how it rendered and scrolled on her iPad. As a consequence she expressed the desire to get some kind of laptop. I haven't verified the problems, though - I don't have one myself.

Comment: Re:What is it with this idea nowadays (Score 1) 317

by Shinmera (#42536437) Attached to: Better Tools For Programming Literacy

Well, I would guess that such a tool does already exist, if not multiple times... The biggest problem I think is that such a tool never really got introduced to the business, so it isn't widely distributed. End users themselves are probably not motivated enough by themselves to find such a tool and try it out and employers probably either don't know it exists or don't really care either. That's just a really vague guess on my behalf though.

Comment: Re:What is it with this idea nowadays (Score 1) 317

by Shinmera (#42534437) Attached to: Better Tools For Programming Literacy

You find interest and commitment by looking at the results of the labour. Just the same as with every other thing. You look at a product (a program, game, piece of art, music, whatever) and think "Hey, I could do that too, couldn't I?" and if you have that thought, you're interested in learning about it. And so you start learning.

As I stated in other comment chains in this thread, I misread the article's intention. I thought the idea was to get more professional programmers out of it, rather than giving people who aren't really interested in it an idea of what it's about. I am totally fine with the latter.

Well, it is true to an extent that easier tools leads people to believe that they know more than they do, so I wasn't entirely wrong to panic a bit about this. But in the whole, I admit that I misread it and over-exaggerated the issue.

Comment: Re:What is it with this idea nowadays (Score 1) 317

by Shinmera (#42530959) Attached to: Better Tools For Programming Literacy

Yeah, another comment chain in this already helped me figure out that I misread the article's intention. I'm absolutely fine with people getting more acquainted with programming instead of it being this mystery science that makes you angry when it stops being magical and eats all your emails or something.

I do agree, starting with an IDE is a bad idea. A simple text editor and command line compiler is the best way to start as it cuts out all the other stuff that is only distracting at first. I wonder if there's any courses out there that actually start like this as I have never seen or heard of any myself.

Comment: Re:What is it with this idea nowadays (Score 1) 317

by Shinmera (#42530929) Attached to: Better Tools For Programming Literacy

Yeah, I think I was just failing with my faith in humanity there.
I've seen too many running heads on into programming through ludicrously simple drag and drop stuff and then coming at me pretending to know everything about programming, which caused me to be biased towards the worse...

I should have more exposure to normal people.

Comment: Re:What is it with this idea nowadays (Score 1) 317

by Shinmera (#42530911) Attached to: Better Tools For Programming Literacy

I guess it's another case of "right tools for the right job"?
I do admit that there seems to be a lack of tools to introduce people to do really simple stuff and nothing beyond. And if that's the goal for such simple tools as the article proposes, then I am fine with that.

I guess the article gave me the impression that there's not easy enough tools to create fully fledged programmers, rather than people who can create a couple of simple scripts for simple tasks.

Comment: Re:What is it with this idea nowadays (Score 2) 317

by Shinmera (#42530345) Attached to: Better Tools For Programming Literacy

It doesn't really take knowing where to start. I didn't know either when I began, I just picked a book that I found interesting and started reading it, following the examples in the book, etc.

Sadly I've made the opposite experience. I've tried to get a couple of people into programming, but it just didn't work out, even giving them a very simple start wasn't helping their interest. Sure, there's definitely people around there that are just waiting to be shown something until they can flourish, but I'm quite convinced that they'd make the start themselves sooner or later anyway. The fact that the tools aren't easy enough has nothing to do with this.

And you did prove my point quite nicely. This guy did have the commitment and interest to get acquainted with the tools and even pick up everything else himself to get further into programming. That's awesome! But just the same, this won't happen to everyone else and having easier tools doesn't make more people suddenly fall in love with programming.

Comment: What is it with this idea nowadays (Score 5, Insightful) 317

by Shinmera (#42530161) Attached to: Better Tools For Programming Literacy

It seems to me that a great deal of people have this idea in their heads that any and everyone is able to do any and everything. This is bollocks.
Furthermore, blaming the inability to get interested in something or to cross a certain difficulty barrier on the tools is just laughable.

If one can't take the first step in programming and get acquainted to the tools, he won't be able to make the later steps either. It takes commitment and interest. Reducing the first barrier won't bring a lot better programmers, it will bring in a lot more bad programmers that get stuck half way through and don't really help anyone.

Comment: Re:Chromebook (Score 1) 417

by Mithent (#42494687) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Using a Tablet As a Sole Computing Device?

That might help, although the issues that she was complaining about were to do with rendering, and I believe that alternative browsers on iOS are required to be wrappers of Mobile Safari's version of WebKit (and aren't allowed to use JIT JavaScript compilation either, even using the engine that Safari has).

Comment: Re:Chromebook (Score 2) 417

by Mithent (#42490781) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Using a Tablet As a Sole Computing Device?

I'm thinking of recommending one to my mother. She's generally happy with an iPad as her only computing device, but has encountered some limitations when using websites that aren't designed for mobile browsers. A Chromebook seems like a good option for her if the web browsing experience is essentially the same as a desktop version of Chrome.

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