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Comment: Re:sure it would (Score 1) 609

by frovingslosh (#47722845) Attached to: Study: Ad-Free Internet Would Cost Everyone $230-a-Year

If only there were some kind of search website that, with a few key words, would find such lists for you.

Failing that, you could install the Lightbeam plug-in for Firefox and then see the shocking number of sites that get visited in addition to the websites that you want to visit. It is pretty obvious that some of them are providing the advertising. Even for those who are not, do you really need or want the site that you go to to tell other sites about you by simple links in website that force you to fetch stuff from them? I never use Facebook, will never have a Facebook account. Why do so many different websites think that they need me to get traffic from Facebook? (Even websites that show no Facebook link or logo on them often do this.)

However, I'll be nice and get you started. Put two lines in your HOSTS file that read

and see how nice things get from just that. I learned to do this over a decade ago when some "adware" that I was using not only was delivering ads from doubleclick (which I would have been fine with) but was providing a back door for doubleclick to install other stuff on my system and it was regularly crashing my system. I blocked downloads from doubleclick and my problems went away. Doubleclick has since been sold to Google, but if Google is going to enrich the weasels who were doing that I see no reason to let doubleclick traffic back into my system. (Guess where a lot of Slashdot ads come from.)

Comment: or we'll have more (Score 1) 609

by frovingslosh (#47720341) Attached to: Study: Ad-Free Internet Would Cost Everyone $230-a-Year
If you create a pool of billions of $230 yearly "contributions" to the people who are trying to milk the Internet now, do you really think that the people looking to make easy money from the Internet that you and I already pay to gain access to will go away, or can you understand that there just might be more people attracted by all of that money and looking for ways to establish themselves as Internet Advertisers so that they can get some of that money?

Comment: sure it would (Score 3, Insightful) 609

by frovingslosh (#47720249) Attached to: Study: Ad-Free Internet Would Cost Everyone $230-a-Year

Yea, all of the spam would just go away. And I wouldn't have any more spam show up in my email, right?

And all of that drive-by malware installing stuff would just go away and people would start being ice to each other, right?

Of course, all of our interactivity would still be there. And we could still have e-comerce on the web, we could still use sites like Amazon rather than having to drive miles to get to a limited selection and pay higher prices at a local "friendly" bookstore. But somehow there would be no advertising. And people would just automatically know where all of the new e-comerce sites were. And there would be no one who wanted to steal your identity and your credit card info and drain your bank account. And best of all, no one would ever see a bunch of fools saying "ad free Internet for $230 a year sounds good to me, where do I sign up?" and try to take advantage of that.

We don't even have ad-free PBS television any more, but some people want to believe they could get ad-free Internet so much that they would OK an additional yearly charge?


You're not going to get ad-free Internet. But if you really care about it at all you can get greatly ad-reduced Internet. And it doesn't involve a yearly fee, just a small expenditure of effort. Block the major ad sources in your Hosts file (or, even better for the more advanced user, set up a network wide block in your router). But be aware, this has the side effect of making your browsing a lot faster, since you cut out a lot of unwanted traffic.

Comment: Re:Hi, it looks like you are writing difficult cod (Score 1) 116

by Dastardly (#47648001) Attached to: Wiring Programmers To Prevent Buggy Code

I have seen many books on software development that say that a significant part of a senior developer's job is supposed to be teaching, thereby increasing the overall team's productivity. Of course what an MBA would say is that the senior developer is not doing enough programming and direct the senior developer to stop helping others to the detriment of the team.

Comment: Re:Hi, it looks like you are writing difficult cod (Score 2) 116

by Dastardly (#47647953) Attached to: Wiring Programmers To Prevent Buggy Code

Same here. Usually the coding mistakes occur in the easiest code, and are usually the easiest to detect and fix. The hard and undetected bugs are the ones that are the result of multiple pieces of code interacting in unexpected ways, easy, medium or hard at the individual code chunk level doesn't really matter.

The other source I have found is leaving unspecified paths open to users. You think that you don't have to prevent a user from doing something because it should work. It is actually more effort to prevent that use case. Then, you get bit in the ass because the user expects a different behavior, its not tested very well since it is unspecified, and often no one even really made a conscious choice to "add" the behavior which has effectively become a feature which now needs to be supported.

Comment: What's a reboot? (Score 2, Insightful) 252

by frovingslosh (#47642131) Attached to: <em>Babylon 5</em> May Finally Get a Big-Screen Debut

I loved B5. I hate reboots, at least as I understand the word. I have no problem with replacing the actors. That happens frequently in movie franchises. James Bond has been played by a number of actors, and even the gender of a major supporting character was changed in that franchise without calling it a reboot. In my mind a reboot is when the producers and/or director want to take advantage of the name and existing fan base, but decide to do two other distasteful things: First, change key story concepts that have already been established, and second, they usually want to retell yet another origin story. Why is this being called a reboot, and is JMS calling it a reboot himself or are others just misusing the term? I'll gladly go see a new B5 movie (and I really don't go to many movies), but I'll avoid a B5 reboot like I would avoid an Ebola infected missionary. If JMS wants to tell a completely different Sci-fi story then I would welcome that too, but he should not reuse the B5 name, If he wants to pick back up story telling in the B5 universe then he shouldn't try to tear down what has already been done.

On a side note, the list of lost actors from the B5 production should include Tim Choate who played my favorite character, Zathras.

Comment: Typical great government idea (Score 4, Insightful) 118

by frovingslosh (#47631107) Attached to: Cornering the Market On Zero-Day Exploits

This is a typical great government idea. The really great thing about the idea is that once you deal with a zero-day vendor and buy a vulnerability, giving them a lot of money in the process, you can rest assured that they would never sell the same vulnerability to anyone else. 'cause that would be wrong.

Comment: Not like bitcoin... (Score 2) 85

by Dastardly (#47618669) Attached to: Ecuador To Forge Ahead With State-Backed Digital Currency

I didn't see anything in the article to indicate this currency would be anything like bitcoin, other than the title saying without any backing evidence "bitcoin-like money". It seems like any other currency except Ecuador avoids the expense of printing paper money or minting coins.

It would be extremely interesting if this is a move by Correa to put into practice Modern Monetary Theory. Correa is an economist by training, and clearly not a neo-liberal. If we see the Ecuador government switch to collecting taxes in the new currency and improving tax enforcement, I think it would be a good sign that is the direction. Assuming the neo-liberals and Washington Consensus types don't assassinate Correa before the transition is complete, it could be a fascinating case study in whether the MMT crowd gets it right. The trick will be figuring out how to get the dollar denominated sovereign debt eliminated by paying it off or conversion to the new currency or possibly fully repudiating it. The problem being that the only real way for Ecuador to get dollars is by having a trade surplus, that they have oil is advantageous. Getting people to stop holding dollars for savings, regular transactions, etc... would move those dollars from private hands to the government where they can use them to pay off dollar denominated bond holders and get out of the business of issuing debt in some other nations currency.

If all the world's economists were laid end to end, we wouldn't reach a conclusion. -- William Baumol