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Comment Re:It's profitable (Score 4, Insightful) 220

What we really need is to put some pressure on advertising companies to stop allowing anyone to run unvetted, arbitrary Javscript code in served advertisements. How stupidly dangerous is that? It's like using a flamethrower to take down a hornet's nest. Yes, it works, but it's a ridiculous amount of overkill, and can be insanely dangerous if pointed at the wrong target. It's in the advertising agencies own interest to clean up it's act. At some point, most people are going to figure out that it's simply too dangerous to run a web browser without noscript or an ad blocker.

Honestly, the only way I can think of putting enough pressure on them is for as many people as possible to install ad-blockers. Once they get the hint that they need to back down, they can come up with some more creative solutions. For instance, introduce a specialized tag in HTML that allows the display of a static image, embedded links, and some anonymous token to help count unique visitors, but NO JAVASCRIPT. It's the notion of running arbitrary script that's so insanely dangerous. Plus, a tag like this would help to ensure that ads don't misbehave, like popping up, animating, or playing audio or video.

Or, ad agencies can be more responsible and run curated ads, with only vetted Javascript in pre-packaged modules, rather than letting anyone execute code from anywhere in the world. There are solutions out there, but no agency wants to be the first to tie their own hands. Honestly, I don't care at this point. It's their fault it's come to this in the first place. Something's got to change.

Comment Re:It can't. (Score 5, Interesting) 93

There's something I've never figured out about this particular theory. All life, even some sort of "patient zero" alien life, had to arise from non-organic substances somewhere, right? If it can happen once, then it should be able to happen any number of times given a set of similar conditions. Given the size of the universe, and even our own galaxy, that's like to be a *lot* of places.

As such, why would anyone think it's more plausible for a chunk of life to hitch a ride on some piece of space debris, and then survive re-entry on a coincidentally habitable planet on which it can flourish... than for life to have sprung into existence here, where obviously conditions were optimal for it (or at least life as we know it)?

I have to wonder if the enthusiasm for this theory is partially based on the admittedly exciting prospect that we could be the descendants of exotic alien lifeforms rather than some homegrown slime mold.

Comment Re:In other words. (Score 3, Insightful) 269

The law should NEVER, EVER, EVER, provide protection over any data available behind public sector activity.

The public sector frequently claims the release of information will be burdensome; however, the public sector actors are not always forced, by statute (as they are in Minnesota) to ensure records should be held in a way which the sector cannot claim burden in failure to comply.

This needs to change.

Comment Re:Regulation needed ? (Score 1) 193

Almost all people who vote want their own personal idea's and beliefs to be put into government. That's why we should all vote, so the super crazy hopefully doesn't bubble to the top.

That's two wolves and a lamb voting on what's for dinner.

Rather than government hurting whichever group has the minority of votes every year, government power should be decreased so they don't hurt people when it's not absolutely, critically necessary -- and then only with due process, with an absolute commitment to do the least harm. But that idea won't be popular with a certain sort of people who want to use government to get stuff and to stick it to people who aren't like them.

Comment Re:No government fans here? (Score 1) 193

If they "know" there's no basis for regulation, they should be able to explain why these citizens' complaints don't matter while they're sure other citizens' complaints do.

Unless they base their opinions on their day-to-day feelings -- and thoughtful people should all be able to agree that day-to-day feelings aren't a wise or just basis for government to regulate and police (and hence bully and punish) anyone.

Comment Re:not like 2001 (Score 0) 106

I think the big difference is that there was a big rush to get on the web during the dot-com boom, and the established players actually didn't care AT ALL about revenue (as the old joke went). They just wanted presence of some sort. The problem was, no one really knew what you could actually do with the internet. Everyone just knew that it was important to get on board fast, and a gazillion e-prospectors showed up with all sorts of pie-in-the-cloud ideas that simply weren't sustainable.

Nowadays, the market and investors have a bit more experience. We still saw some seriously overvaluing (IMO), and now we've seen a correction, likely induced by a slump in the Chinese economy. That's actually a good thing, because long-term periods without the occasional correction tends to lead up to much larger corrections, even over-corrections or outright crashes.

I don't see this as any sort of a crash at all, just a more realistic outlook of where we probably should have been all along. We might even see a few additional corrections in the near future. How long have people been talking about the "tech bubble"? This really shouldn't have surprised anyone in the know. It was just a question of *when* it was going to happen.

Comment No government fans here? (Score 1) 193

Come on. Answer the question. Why shouldn't the FCC regulate this?

I know the answer can't be "free speech rights", because the government fans told me corporations like Time Warner aren't people and therefore don't have free speech rights.

Citizens seek regulation of this corporation. Are government fans taking this corporation's side against the people?

Comment Re:/facepalm (Score -1, Troll) 411

Yeah, I do. Not because I implicitly trust Microsoft, but I don't believe it's possible for it to stay hidden, and I think they know that. Moreover, I simply don't see any good reason for them to nefariously snoop on people. I mean, they're going to have hundreds of millions of people that will choose not to opt-out of these sorts of services that keep all their data in Microsoft's cloud. Hell, Microsoft already has my credit card on file. What possible reason would they have to scan my computer and invade my privacy? It just makes no sense to me.

Comment Sad Birds (Score 5, Interesting) 106

Interesting... so Rovio, the makers of Angry Birds, is laying another 260 employees. Let me put that in perspective for you: I've been in videogame development for the last several decades, working on games ranging from bargain-bin titles to well-known MMOs. I've worked at companies with a dozen employees, and nave *never* been at a company with more than a couple hundred total employees (excluding parent company).

I'm just trying to figure out exactly were they doing with all those people... Does it actually require dozens of people to create an Angry Birds game? I'm having a hard time figuring out what they actually *did* with so many people. They happened to strike gold with Angry Birds, and they must have deluded themselves into believing they could strike gold with each subsequent swing of the pickaxe. Oops, the world has moved on to Candy Crush.

If they wisely invested their incredible earnings, they could have created a much smaller company that would have nearly infinite financial backing to do whatever they wanted. Instead, they succumbed to the temptation to grow into a giant by pretending that they could release the same product an infinite number of times. Now the entire world has played and grown tired of Angry Birds, so there's nothing left to fall back on.

There are three kinds of people: men, women, and unix.