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Comment: They also use the info differently (Score 1) 237

by PontifexPrimus (#33252468) Attached to: Rupert Murdoch Plans a Digital Newspaper For the US
Not only that, I would imagine the way this information is used is completely different: it is so easy to save a webpage, to copy and paste text or images, to keep a folder of interesting text snippets in apps like Evernote, annotated by you, to share stuff by email. Somehow I don't think any information behind a paywall will allow that kind of multifaceted usage - it's very telling that he is focusing on the most locked-down platform there are. Who wants to bet that this will be another attempt at nickel-and-diming the customers (basic membership allows viewing articles, advanced allows for printing of up to two articles, professional enables copy&paste with mandatory attribution etc.)?

Comment: Really? (Score 5, Insightful) 1088

by PontifexPrimus (#33216404) Attached to: Obama Wants Allies To Go After WikiLeaks

“It’s amazing how Assange has overplayed his hand,” a Defense Department official marveled. “Now, he’s alienating the sort of people who you’d normally think would be his biggest supporters.”

You know, you could replace Assange's name in this quote with Obama's and it would read equally true. Trying to drag us Europeans in as allies to support what looks like a war on exposed government cover-ups will not do wonders for how the US government is perceived over here.

Google

+ - Google forces another redesign on users-> 1

Submitted by PontifexPrimus
PontifexPrimus (576159) writes "Search engine giant Google seems to come into conflict with its userbase more and more often. After "accidentally" setting an unremovable image background for its search page that annoyed many users they now redesigned their News page. Using a single-column design with mouse-over animations that was panned by the test group that had used it since February this step led to an enormous amount of confusion, complaints and an recurring question: How do I get the old design back? (Answer: You don't.)"
Link to Original Source

Comment: Re:When they're right, they're right (Score 5, Informative) 386

by PontifexPrimus (#31787154) Attached to: The Economist Weighs In For Shorter Copyright Terms
You mean like this? "I will only say this, that if the measure before us should pass, and should produce one-tenth part of the evil which it is calculated to produce, and which I fully expect it to produce, there will soon be a remedy, though of a very objectionable kind. Just as the absurd acts which prohibited the sale of game were virtually repealed by the poacher, just as many absurd revenue acts have been virtually repealed by the smuggler, so will this law be virtually repealed by piratical booksellers. At present the holder of copyright has the public feeling on his side. Those who invade copyright are regarded as knaves who take the bread out of the mouths of deserving men. Everybody is well pleased to see them restrained by the law, and compelled to refund their ill-gotten gains. No tradesman of good repute will have anything to do with such disgraceful transactions. Pass this law: and that feeling is at an end. Men very different from the present race of piratical booksellers will soon infringe this intolerable monopoly. Great masses of capital will be constantly employed in the violation of the law. Every art will be employed to evade legal pursuit; and the whole nation will be in the plot. On which side indeed should the public sympathy be when the question is whether some book as popular as Robinson Crusoe, or the Pilgrim's Progress, shall be in every cottage, or whether it shall be confined to the libraries of the rich for the advantage of the great-grandson of a bookseller who, a hundred years before, drove a hard bargain for the copyright with the author when in great distress? Remember too that, when once it ceases to be considered as wrong and discreditable to invade literary property, no person can say where the invasion will stop. The public seldom makes nice distinctions. The wholesome copyright which now exists will share in the disgrace and danger of the new copyright which you are about to create. And you will find that, in attempting to impose unreasonable restraints on the reprinting of the works of the dead, you have, to a great extent, annulled those restraints which now prevent men from pillaging and defrauding the living." -- Thomas Macaulay, House of Commons 1841, debating whether copyright should be extended to 60 years after an author's death.
Australia

US-Australia Tensions Rise Over Net Filter 169

Posted by samzenpus
from the trouble-down-under dept.
daria42 writes "Tensions between the US Government and its counterpart in Australia appear to be rising over Australia's proposal to filter the internet for objectionable content. The US government has raised its concerns over what it sees as potential censorship directly with the Australian Government. However, last night, Australia's Communications Minister Stephen Conroy denied he had had any approach from US State Department officials."

Comment: Old behavioral experiment (Score 5, Insightful) 419

by PontifexPrimus (#30475100) Attached to: Google Says Ad Blockers Will Save Online Ads
There's an old behavioral psychology experiment that seems to fit the situation:
To train a horse to lift one of its front legs whenever a bell rings, you start out with a piece floor that can be partially electrified to deliver a mild shock. You ring the bell, you deliver the shock. After a while the horse learns that to avoid discomfort it needs to raise its leg. It lifts the leg - no pain.
Now comes the tricky part: after a while you remove the shocking floor. Now the horse will still lift its leg whenever the bell sounds; and what's more, this behavior will even become stronger and stronger ingrained, since there is no more punishment and the "correct" behavior is re-inforced.
Now assume that instead of a horse there is a user, replace the electric shock with annoyance inflicted by ads and the act of lifting the front leg with using adblocking software. This means that in order to overcome the strong aversion of adblock users you have to offer a very, very high incentive and strong proof that reverting to the old browsing habits will not be punished by more annoying ads.

+ - Cisco, Nokia take aim at net neutrality->

Submitted by
angry tapir
angry tapir writes "FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski announced last month that he would seek to develop formal rules prohibiting Internet service providers from selectively blocking or slowing Web content and applications. However, 44 companies — including Cisco Systems, Alcatel-Lucent, Corning, Ericsson, Motorola and Nokia — have sent a letter to the FCC saying new regulations could hinder the development of the Internet. A group of 18 Republican U.S. senators have also sent a letter to Genachowski raising concerns about net neutrality regulations"
Link to Original Source
Hardware

+ - USB Laptop remote console, any OS, no drivers->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Great little product I picked up from Startech, then I found out it was simply rebranded from a Canadian company called Digital multitools. This is so useful for any geek that has to support multiple hardware platforms. You can take control of ANY computer, Windows, linux, Mac, just by plugging this into the usb and video ports. I don't normally post about hardware, and it's got a decent price tag (work paid for one for each member of our support team) but they are so handy when we have to walk the racks and plug into a server that crashed. This thing even gets connectivity at the BIOS screen, no drivers for the target machine. Neat thing is it comes with the software for the host machine on a 2gb USB stick that is smaller than the tip of my finger. Anyway, thanks all.

"1 in 10 people understand binary, the other doesn't""

Link to Original Source

Comment: NO, we don't. (Score 3, Insightful) 352

by PontifexPrimus (#29695519) Attached to: In-Game Advertising Makes Games Better?
No, we really, really, don't. I hate ads with a passion, and I can't imagine a situation where I would rather have any space in-game taken up by an ad display than a blank space or a simple generic texture.
This goes double for ads that require an internet connection to update and waste my bandwidth for something I have no interest in.
And lastly, I can not imagine finding anything relevant in an in-game ad: Wow, the new Ferrari is out! I must buy one immediately! Hey, the cinemas in Left4Dead 2: The Bloodening advertise the newest RomCom, surely a must-see!
I play games to fucking escape my ordinary life, not to have the worst aspects transplanted into it, especially since most games don't have realistic (as in "real-world") characters in them, anyway ("90% of all genetically enhanced super-soldiers agree: Clearasil is the choice of space marines!").

Comment: WTF does this mean??? (Score 5, Insightful) 434

by PontifexPrimus (#29240961) Attached to: Highly-Paid Developers As ScrumMasters?
Could we please get some explanatory links in here? This reads like a mix between a corporate nightmare ("harmful to our velocity"? SERIOUSLY?) and the rantings of an MMORPG nerd ("I was a level 72 ScrumMaster specced for Agility, but then they nerfed that and our Team Leads couldn't afford the new +5 leadership crafts, so we completely tanked at the Waterfalls of Development, even though we hired N00Bs as cannon fodder!").
Jargon, people! And don't chastise me for not RTFA - there is no FA to read!

Comment: Re:Makes sense (Score -1, Troll) 402

by PontifexPrimus (#29129915) Attached to: US Navy Tries To Turn Seawater Into Jet Fuel

[...]reducing the amount of flammable liquids held in a ship that might get hit by a missile[...]

Only now you have a nuclear reactor on a ship that might get hit by a missile.
While I can understand the basic reasoning behind this procedure you will always need to have a large concentration of energy around if you want, well, a large amount of energy at your disposal. And large amounts of energy are inherently dangerous; the only way to make them safer is to require less in the first place. Which means in this case storing the energy in conventional fuel, not something generated by a lossy process. This also allows for a more distributed risks instead of a single point of failure - take out the fuel generating ship and pretty soon the rest of the fleet and the planes won't be able to function.

"Be *excellent* to each other." -- Bill, or Ted, in Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure

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