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Comment Re:Major change? No. (Score 4, Insightful) 242 242

The total change from the Windows 3.1 Start button to the subsequent Start buttons was making the Start menu a 2-column menu, putting the contents of the former Programs menu in the left pane and putting the rest of the Start menu items in the right pane. That's it. Oh, and making the initial view not show all the Programs items but only a subset, with an extra item at the bottom to show everything in the same form as it was under the Programs menu.

As for Win3.1 being complicated, every secretary I knew managed to get a handle on it within a few days so it couldn't have been that complicated. The only people I know of who couldn't figure out Win3.1 are the ones who to this day need repeated reminders of how to get to anything that's not directly on their desktop, so methinks the problem doesn't lie in Windows.

Um. You know that Windows 3.1 didn't actually have a Start Button, right?

Comment Re:Should have left the crypt unopened (Score 1) 109 109

Good point. Can I say simply that I believe that once something is over, it should stay that way?

You can, you have, and I respect and thank you for it.

Now comes the discussion and debate. I'd counter by pointing out meals are an excellent thing to revisit once they're over. To never order pizza again because the first box is emptied is a sad, sad thing. I'd point at orgasms as another excellent thing to strive towards recreating as soon as one is done.

All I'm saying is that there are exceptions to your guideline. Some artistic works shouldn't see sequels, remakes, or revivals. I think we can all name movies, books, TV shows, and even songs where things should've ended. But then there's... oh, say Pink Floyd's last album, released in November. First in 20 years, and it's mostly ambient snippets and sounds. But I'll tell you, while it's nothing like The Wall or any of their other major works, it's absolutely like getting one last hug from a beloved one you thought you'd never see again.

Some things are better because they were paused instead of carried on. That's why orgasms are better than the Simpsons.

Comment Re:Should have left the crypt unopened (Score 3, Insightful) 109 109

I *loved* Bloom County and read it from when I first discovered it in 1982 while I was in university. It was funny, relevant and smart.

It continued to be right up until Mr. Breathed ended the strip. But it ended, I've (and I think most people have) moved on and, now that it's 25 years later, Mr. Breathed should be looking at new avenues for his considerable talents.

Now, having said that, the example panel is pretty vintage but I still think it's time for Mr. Breathed (and us) to move on.

It's traditional to include some sort of reason for your opinions so people can debate and discuss them. You've said what you think, but not why you think it, or even why you think you think it.

Comment Re:Dammit (Score 5, Insightful) 106 106

I botched up my disk drive's EFI partition while trying to install Windows 10. By the time I resolve all my problems, I may not be able to activate the damn install!

Fortunately you weren't trying out a beta on your production machine, so the two weeks without Win10 won't matter, right?

Comment Re:Misconception about space "pollution" (Score 4, Interesting) 41 41

Of course.

my point is that most of the people that are going to check will do so only to see how "polluted" space is.

Which is... very.

Would you stake your life on being able to run a Kerbal Space Program moon-landing mission without hitting any of the DEB (debris) objects? Would you stake your life on being able to run a KSP to launch something into a stable LEO that could loop around the planet 100 times without hitting any? How about a thousand times?

Communications and navigation satellites - to say nothing of the ISS and its resupply missions - require orbits that never intersect any of the crap up there. And while obviously there are hundreds of miles between each item you see at any given time, sit and watch the display for a while and try to predict somewhere that's "safe".

LEO is polluted, heavily. Space programs are mandated to be safe these days, with very little tolerated risk. Every GPS satellite or comms satellite we launch makes things significantly harder, and it's not a linear progression. Worse, the delta-V required to actually DO anything about this problem is hugely problematic as well. So we're screwing up our gateway to not-here, and doing it in a manner that makes it massively difficult to fix.

Yes, lots of this will de-orbit. In decades, or longer.

Comment Re:what EVER could we do? (Score 1) 292 292

Here's a crazy idea: let's have everyone vote, and then see what the results are before we report on it?

I expect that wouldn't work. The "have everyone vote" part, specifically. If you're not riled up being told that those guys with the wrong-coloured-signs are going to win, what motivates you to go out and vote?

Comment Re:Could you tell a difference at distance? (Score 1) 535 535

Imagine you are on school grounds and you can see this guy on the street, distance of maybe 200 feet. Would you be able to be sure the black gun shaped thing was a toy from that distance?

If the "gun" is at such a distance I can't, then maybe* I shouldn't be pissing my pants.

*Maybe as in, unless I hear shots and see bodies dropping, no.

Comment Re:Okay... (Score 1) 461 461

" odor of gasoline was detected"

In a fucking gasoline-powered car. Where do they find these geniuses?

I'm kind of concerned about that line as well. The implication is that that the odor of gas was suspected to be related to the presumed explosive device. Thing is, the pressure-cooker turned out to not be an explosive device. So... it turns out the odor of gasoline was either fabricated or as you say, due to a defective car. A huge part of police responsibility is being able to determine truth. It's not hard to figure out that a car is leaking gas. Unless you're making shit up, which is what this particular instance sounds like.

Comment Re:Fuck you. (Score 1) 618 618

Seriously? It's actually that easy to part you from your money? It's pretty clear the problem here is you, not the people trying to sell stuff. You make the decision, if what you really want is your money then why are you trading it? You already have what you want.

What are some actual examples of when this has happened to you?


It is exactly as easy to part me from my money as it is. No more, no less. When advertising doesn't work, there's no issue. It's when it does - and you KNOW it does, else it wouldn't exist - that something has gone wrong.

Are you trying to pretend that (all) the debt-load people in developed nations have is because they've just fallen behind temporarily? Or do you actually get it that people buy crap they don't need? Specific itemized examples from my life aren't useful... they're just anecdotal evidence. That advertising exists, and has existed for a long time, is empirical evidence that the practice is profitable on average. And that's not acceptable to me.

It doesn't matter who is, or is not "too weak-willed to spend wisely". What does matter is that active advertising is an inherently predatory act. You know it, I know it, and the rest of the people asking "really? WTF's wrong with you. I just save my money, you sub-human schlup!" know it.

Finally, yes, I get it that there are shades of grey here and that we're not talking about human sacrifice or something 10/10 for evil. But some guy with a vested interest in advertising has decided to spout off on the morality of ad-blocking, which makes looking at the morality of advertising itself fair game. So while this isn't a huge deal, it's on-topic.

Comment Re:Fuck you. (Score 1) 618 618

You read something, then you decide to buy something. "In some circles, that's theft." Umm, no, it's not. You made a choice to spend money. That's not "theft" by any stretch of the imagination.

Did I? Did I make the choice or was that choice made for me? You know why you see signs saying "limit 10 per customer" over a stack of crap? Because the way the human mind works, you deviate off the most recent number you've seen to make estimates. So, if you see a stack of crap at a "good" price, you'll start asking yourself "how many do I want", and you'll get the answer right. But if you see that sign, you'll start at 10 and work your way down to a number you can settle for, which is almost always higher than the number you actually want. That's how marketing and advertisement works. Massive studies have been undertaken to figure out how to manipulate buyers. This is not news. The choice is not mine.

See, all of those words mean different things. "Coercion" is generally immoral and often illegal. "Enticing" or "encouraging" are not. "Manipulating" is usually immoral, but whether it's illegal depends on context.

Difference without a distinction. When your target goal in coercion, enticement, or manipulation is to cause a person to act against their benefit, it's wrong. Enticing a suicide off a ledge isn't because it's in their best interest to be convinced not to jump. Encouraging a person to spend more than they want to is wrong. That's my premise.

I hate advertising probably as much as you do. And I agree with you that it sometimes exploits people psychologically in unfair ways. I wish there were less of it. But as long as you don't have a significant mental deficit and the advertising is basically true (not false or misleading), I cannot possibly see how you say that someone choosing to spend money is "theft."

One: hyperbole makes a point.
Two: as you mentioned in your post, there's significant grey-area in what "theft" means. If it's applied to copyright infringement (and it is, linguistic purist desires be damned), then it can be applied to purchases influenced by active advertising. While yes, I get something for my money, it's not what I really want, which is my money, which I would still have were I not advertised to. You can steal a house out from under the nose of an unwary elderly person, yes? Just because someone agrees to a purchase/sale contract doesn't preclude it being theft.

Comment Re:Fuck you. (Score 4, Insightful) 618 618

I'm of the opinion that advertising is immoral.

To be clear, I mean active advertising, in the sense of placing product information out of context. That includes billboards, products in movies, commercials between songs or before movies, and most of the crap that shows up in the mail. I don't have an issue with passive advertising, for instance having "the special of the day" on an e-commerce site, or related product information such as offering me different vehicles if I am visiting a vehicle sales site.

Active advertising is literally coercion, enticing, manipulating, and encouraging a viewer to make purchases that they otherwise do not wish to make. "If only you knew about our great product" does not justify the psychological arm-twisting advertisers undertake. Yes, by the end of your advert I might "want" your product that I'd never heard of, but as the OP says, "fuck you". You are taking money out of my pocket that I did not plan to allow its removal. In some circles, that's theft.

Comment Re:Yep, they were... (Score 5, Insightful) 369 369

I will never buy a DRM coffee machine...

Unless you're a prostitute, don't fuck your customer.

You can get away with DRM on DVDs because consumers don't understand the tech. The phallus is invisible.

You can't get away with DRM on a plastic cup with coffee grounds in it. The consumers UNDERSTAND that product, and KNOW you're fucking them. The phallus is very much visible.

Time-sharing is the junk-mail part of the computer business. -- H.R.J. Grosch (attributed)