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Comment Re:Oops (Score 1) 656

While I wouldn't mind seeing first-party ads, with the way that businesses work I think we'd get stuck in a cycle:
1) sites have ads from third party services doing all sorts of yucky stuff
2) Users complain about ads, ad revenue drops due to blockers
3) Site moves to first-party ad serving and vetting, ad revenue increases at least some-what
4) An MBA or someone from marketing (probably a VP) says "Hey, we have this great, trusted ad-serving platform for our own website(s), we should let others place our trusted/vetted ads for a share of revenue"
5) As more third-party sites adopt ad platform, the advertising arm is either spun off, or the company sheds all non-advertising areas
6) Ad platform grows large, and in the Quest for More Money, downsizes the department that vets advertisements and makes advertiser submission more automatic
7) GOTO 1

Some sites might be able to freeze at 3, if they can avoid MBAs and refuse to let marketing take the wheel, but for most (especially if they're bought up by larger entities) the cycle will repeat.

Comment Re: Ok. (Score 1) 656

I subscribed to their magazine a while back and mostly enjoyed the content. Over time I realized that many articles were more like "blurbs", barely taking up half a page (with the rest often devoted to random art or a single, large relevant image), and there was a full-page ad between many blurbs. A lot of their multi-page articles were forcefully split, usually making me thumb past other ads to get to the last page (one side).

One day I decided to rip out every page that was an ad on both sides, which included many of their multi-page ads. Once I was done (doing two issues), an issue was easily half as thick and still at least 1/3 ads. And this was something I explicitly paid for.

I didn't bother to renew my subscription. Hearing that their website was riddled with advertising doesn't surprise me in the least.

Comment Re:You must be new here (Score 1) 1833

I'd prefer to see a more generic "agree"/"disagree" system that stood alongside the existing moderation system. It would allow people to show what the "groupthink" is, while preserving the ability to moderate a post on its merits (or lack thereof). A simple agree/disagree, where that value is shown on the post but is far less prominent. Unlike moderation, the "agreement" system would have no limits of any kind except it would be logged in users only (to make it a bit harder to game), and one--and only one, so no taksies-backsies--vote per comment. It would be shown as a % and not a whole number, and would not affect karma at all.

With such a system, it would be entirely possible to have a "+5 Insightful" rank with "98% Disagree". I know a lot of people will say that it reeks heavily of Facebook/reddit/disqus, but they didn't create simple approval systems, and as long as our new overlords don't make it prominent (it is a more minor data point, and must not overshadow regular moderation) it could be a nice addition.

Speaking of moderation, it would be nice if "stories" like this could have a "free mod" setup, where any logged-in users could give moderation to as many posts as they want, and users who currently have mod points don't spend them when moderating. This will give a much better idea of what the majority of the community wants, because right now all of these +5s are set only be people who have moderation. I'm not suggesting they don't deserve to spend their mod points here, but there are many other users who just don't have them right now who should be heard as well. (A reply doesn't cut it, and such a "free mod" system might alleviate "me too" or "someone mod parent up" posts.) Of course, if the "agreement" system were in place then "free mod" would be moot.

Comment Re:Open to Questions (Score 1) 1310

I understand that it may not be worth paying someone to write original content, but why not solicit it from users?

Bennet. Hasselton.

I have no problem with editorials, but they need to come from the pool of journals (ideally) and either be posted as a normal article in an "editorial" section so users can hide all stories from that section, and/or make the story author be the post author so that users can elect to hide editorial stories from people they feel just ramble.

Editors were generally unwilling to link to paywalled sites or sites that did sketchy things.

In addition to this, I would like to see editors actually edit. Proofread summaries before submission (even just throwing them into OpenOffice or Word could find problems), make sure the summary doesn't overstate something (and, ideally, is as balanced as the source article), and don't link to random middle-man blogs. If something is worth posting, it should be from the source, so if a link goes to a blog that adds little-or-no value with a link to an actual article or editorial, then dump the blog link and use the direct link.

(Oh, I guess I need to change my sig now.)

Comment Re:Cartoons? (Score 1) 391

I wouldn't be surprised if some have been (or, at least, some of their aides, who may have mentioned it.) Even informed they would still vote this into place, because just an accusation from a "credible" source--like, say, the Utah State Police--can completely destroy someone's life. Even if there's not even enough to convene a grand jury, or any logical individual would pass over as something simply vulgar, it doesn't matter: An investigation for child porn at company X, or person X, and X. Is. Done.

I know, I know, "never attribute to malice", but when it comes to overbearing and/or broad government laws, I'm pretty sure there's equal parts malice and stupidity behind them.

Comment Re: Zimply yooz Qwerty (Score 1) 315

That's just a lot of work for a small benefit, especially when one can use that 100 hours instead to train in specific ways and increase QWERTY speed instead -- which likely will result in a small speed increase as well.

There's also the problem of portability: Even if you are faster on your own Dvorak keyboard, 99% of the English-speaking world has QWERTY. The second you have to sit down at someone else's computer to type anything, you're back to hunt-and-peck for at least a short bit until the QWERTY muscle memory kicks in (and then you'll repeat the process when you return to your own keyboard.)

It's like trying to use British-style outlets in America; you can, and maybe there's even a valid reason to do so, but whatever help it gives you is lost due to the incompatibility with other places...

Comment Re:Bring back (East-Euro) Communism (Score 1) 251

Eh? So you want the era of McCarthyism, routine foreign government toppling, foreign wars--sorry, "conflicts"--either with our direct involvement or using another country's army/"liberators", and sometimes stopping just short of a nuclear WWIII? No thank you.

While America has certainly had better in many ways in the past, it's also had it worse many ways in the past. (There were also a number of contentious social issues that have improved greatly since that time.) We don't need some foreign giant to act the villain so we can deny it, the American people need to stop denying that our own government is increasingly our villain.

Comment Re:Unless there's an Advertising Crash... (Score 1) 250

I'm guessing at least 100M or so people will pay $5-10 a month to keep sharing photos with friends and family - FB works well to keep people connected

I would bet the move would be akin to the "free-to-play" model that is the rage in gaming these days: Everyone will keep their Facebook account, but you become extremely limited in what you can do with it. Essentially throwing them back to the very early days of Facebook, you can make a basic post and make basic comments. Wall feed? Large photo/video albums? Public groups? Those will be what requires a paid account.

They can't go fully closed because, as you noted, it works well to keep people connected. If accounts are closed en masse because people can't/won't pay, it becomes far less useful for those who can/will.

Comment Re:AI always wins (Score 1) 259

It's not just AI (real or apparent): It's Borg hive-mind AI, where something newly learned/improved by one car could instantly be shared with all other cars. An autonomous car's driving efficiency could improve 1% in the time it takes for the car to drive someone between home and the grocery store.

If we can set aside a frequency for road condition information sharing, a vehicle miles ahead can recognize an icy road, send a signal, and all trailing cars will slow down and enter a heightened alert mode.

(Yes, I'm glossing over a lot of security risk for both scenarios.)

Comment Re:Fucking copyright vultures (Score 1) 349

I think there should be infinite extensions, but that it must be explicitly renewed at halving intervals after the first renewal (limit of one year) and doubling prices (no limit).

Initial filing: 7 years, $X dollars (I have no idea the current cost, let's say $100)
First Renewal: 7 years, $200
Second Renewal: 4 years (to be nice), $400
Third Renewal: 2 years, $800
Fourth renewal: 1 year, $1600
Fifth: $3200, ... 14th: $1.6M for one more year of protection after 41 years

Essentially, you pay society (government) exponentially more for society's (government's) protection. If you or your company feel that the copyright is so essential to business, you pay for the privilege of such protection. The money goes to fund the copyright office; anything extra gets split, with one part going to a rainy day fund and the other used as grants for the arts.

So if Disney can afford to pay over $1B (starting at the 24th ext, or 52 years) for another year's extension on Mickey, fine. It's not a huge loss to society, and will likely fund a lot of artists/writers/etc. to create alternatives.

Comment Re:Saw it in 3D IMAX last night (Score 1) 562

Though your post already had some, I should still give a

SPOILER WARNING
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gets his ass kicked by the most competent STORM TROOPER we've ever seen on screen

I don't understand this complaint, which I've heard from others. He took a some licks, yes, but Ren won the fight with Finn. And Ren was injured going into it, IIRC (Chewie shot him after "the death").

and a completely untrained girl with some innate and until-she-meets-with-him latent power

While going 0-to-Jedi really overdoes it, Rey was at least aware of the Force and presumably what it could do. She already knew she had some connection to it due to the cantina scene before the Order invaded, and had some control from using it successfully on a Storm Trooper. While she did hurt Ren badly, he may have still gained the upper hand if it weren't for the chasm opening. But then people would be complaining about how his "Emo Force" could never overpower someone obviously a strong user of the Force, with or without training...

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