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Comment: Re:Invite link? (Score 1) 275

by swillden (#48438233) Attached to: Google Launches Service To Replace Web Ads With Subscriptions

After all, they have like 98% marketshare, while the 2% belong to those more questionable networks (the ones that advertise for sites that Google won't touch - e.g., torrent sites and the like).

Actually, 33%. They're by far the biggest single player, but aren't anywhere close to 98%. Google's share of mobile ads is larger, at 56%. (that's 2013, but things haven't changed much in 2014, and I couldn't find a 2014 link that included both all digital and mobile ads).

Comment: Learn the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics (Score 1) 213

by msevior (#48430075) Attached to: Lessons Learned From Google's Green Energy Bust

You know there is a really simply reason renewable energy is more expensive (except hydro and geothermal in favourable locations).

It's the second Law of Thermodynamics. Solar and Wind power is diffuse. Hydrocarbons and particularly nuclear are far more concentrated, thus much easier and cheaper to draw power from. If Google had invested in a array of advanced Nuclear Power technologies, one or more of them may have come off and we'd have cheap CO2 free power for millions of years. If may still happen but it is very difficult and the sophisticated simulations of advanced nuclear IS something where Google could really contribute.

Oh well,

Comment: Oh, for a successor to Open Moko (Score 3, Interesting) 54

I'm still waiting for a truly open-source, unlocked, user-controllable phone. Like a successor to Open Moko. (Building a closed platform on a base of open software doesn't cut it.)

Is anything out there or in the works?

(It's particularly acute for me just now: My decade-old feature phone started to flake out last week.)

Comment: Re:Well that's a start... (Score 2) 158

by swillden (#48423097) Attached to: Number of Coders In Congress To Triple (From One To Three)

<counter-pedantic>Not in C++.</counter-pedantic>

Eh? The C++ standard explicitly forbids "void main()". From the standard:

An implementation shall not predefine the main function. This function shall not be overloaded. It shall have a return type of type int, but otherwise its type is implementation-defined. All implementations shall allow both of the following definitions of main:

int main() { /* ... */ }


int main(int argc, char* argv[]) { /* ... */ }

Comment: Re:Migration away from Google? (Score 1) 382

WHY IT ISN'T THE DEFAULT - is anyone's guess.

It's quite obvious, actually... it's not the default because it doesn't work as well for most people. Verbatim is good when you're searching for fairly specific terms, spelled correctly. If you're asking a more general question, with words that may appear in many variations, or if you don't spell well or are lazy, then the "new" Google works dramatically better.

I think a lot of complaints about Google search today, especially by people who have been around for a while, really boil down to the fact that the old search tricks don't work very well any more. In the early days of search we all learned how to create effective search queries, by picking carefully targeted search terms, combining them in particular ways, omitting any extraneous or "filler" words and lots more that make search queries look very different from natural language. But the search engines (or at least Google) have been changing along with the user base, which is now comprised of almost entirely non-technical people who haven't been using the web for long enough or heavily enough that they learned to compose searches that catered to the engines' weaknesses.

So, today, Google focuses on optimizing for the now-common case of search queries which are most often natural language questions, typed quickly and carelessly. The search engine tries hard to figure out what the user meant, rather than what they said. To those accustomed to being very precise and saying exactly what they mean, this is somewhat infuriating, because they don't want the machine to guess at what they meant, they told it what they meant. For the average user, though, who is more accustomed to dealing with people, who are good at guessing what is meant, the new system works much better.

Personally, I've adapted to the new reality. I tend to type complete sentences for my search queries, framed as questions, including typing the question mark (not because I think it's useful but just because I'm thinking a question sentence, so my fingers emit a question mark). I also don't worry much about typos. I find it works very well, often much better than what I can get with an "old-style" query, with or without "verbatim".

(Disclaimer: I work for Google, but on Android, not search. All of the above is just my personal experience plus speculation, not inside information.)

Comment: I installed ubuntu 14.04 on my BBBs (Score 1) 534

by Ungrounded Lightning (#48421087) Attached to: Debian Votes Against Mandating Non-systemd Compatibility

I don't see why your BeagleBone black example is systemd's fault. It has a convoluted way of managing network interfaces because it uses connman, a network-management daemon from Intel that is not part of systemd.

I installed ubuntu 14.04 on my BBBs. (Had to upgrade the kernel a little later because the 3.13.0 kernel wasn't ported to arm-on-bone in time to go out with the original 14.04 distribution and the 2.whatever they shipped didn't handle a class of USB device I needed, but it's fine now at 3.13.6-bone8.)

Changing to a specified, fixed, IP address was just a matter of editing /etc/network/interfaces, which was commented well enough (in combination with the man page on my ubuntu laptop) to make it easy.

(Main problem was that DeviceTree overlays weren't supported by 3.13.0-6, so I had to hack the boot-time base device tree to reconfigure for the onboard device functionality I wanted, rather than just overlaying the deltas during or just after the boot procerss.)

Comment: Re:No trust (Score 1) 534

by swillden (#48418597) Attached to: Debian Votes Against Mandating Non-systemd Compatibility

With the failure of this GR, it is clear that I can not trust Debian to ensure that systemd remains optional.

Why is this important to you? Serious question. I don't really have an opinion on it, myself, but it seems to me that all of the arguments against systemd are based on factual errors (e.g., that it's monolithic, and therefore not UNIXy) and inertia, or on defects that are clearly just packaging/configuration bugs. I found Russ Allberry's analysis pretty compelling. Why do you disagree?

I'm really wondering what I'm missing here, because this seems like much ado about nothing, and I haven't been able to get anyone who is really concerned about it to explain why it's really a big problem.

Comment: Re:its all about choice. (Score 1) 534

by swillden (#48418097) Attached to: Debian Votes Against Mandating Non-systemd Compatibility

Your comment confuses me.

You start by saying that the proposal, that packagers be required to maintain support for systems without systemd, is untenable. Then you point out that Debian should realize that users can code rc-init support for packages if they want to. I agree with all of that: Debian is going systemd, and shouldn't burden package maintainers with supporting non-systemd initialization, and users who don't like that can code rc-init scripts for the packages.

But then you say that Debian should give users the choice. Did you just finish pointing out the users do have the choice, since they can code it themselves if they want, and that the burden for this shouldn't be placed on maintainers?

Also, I think you meant to say "wealth", rather than "dearth" (which means a lack, not an abundance). But maybe you did mean dearth and I'm just not understanding what you're trying to say.

Comment: Re:Elections are Popularity Contests (Score 1) 71

by FooAtWFU (#48416731) Attached to: How Facebook Is Influencing Who Will Win the Next Election

Because different faces, or parties for that matter, tend to pursue similar policies?

Right! If we'd elected McCain instead of Obama in 2008, the Affordable Care Act as we know it today would still be more or less intact, we'd still have withdrawn American forces from Iraq on the same schedule, and we'd still be shaking hands with China over a miniature climate agreement. In smaller matters, the Keystone pipeline would still be in limbo (just because that's easier than killing it explicitly). Et cetera et cetera.

Comment: Re:Uber is a Pump-n-Dump scheme (Score 1, Interesting) 297

by FooAtWFU (#48411799) Attached to: Uber Threatens To Do 'Opposition Research' On Journalists

With all due disrespect to Uber's extant valuation projections, you've used airlines as an example. Besides the fact that people travel on the ground more than they travel through the air, airlines are notorious for having razor-thin margins, spotty track records of profitability and a tendency to go broke on short notice. Their capital stock is a double-edged sword. You may have heard a joke: "How do you become a millionaire in the airline industry? Well, you start out as a billionaire..."

The real questions about Uber are how big the new market they want to build actually is, and why some competitor won't grab substantial portions of that market from them.

Lo! Men have become the tool of their tools. -- Henry David Thoreau