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Comment: victory of stupidity (Score 1) 231

by Tom (#47701133) Attached to: The Cost of Caring For Elderly Nuclear Plants Expected To Rise

TFA is factually wrong on many counts.

The main reason we don't get new reactors in most european countries are political, not economical. In fact, power companies are doing fine and nuclear power is highly subsidized, mostly indirectly. New plants are expensive only on paper.

But the political culture has moved many countries into a very strange corner. Because the public dislikes nuclear power and wants it gone, but politicians don't (bribery, lobbyism, desire for energy-independence or wisdom in planning the future carefully - make your pick), you cannot get permission to build a new plant in many countries, but you can keep your old one running and extend its lifetime.

The second reason is economic, but of a different kind: Since these plants were originally designed for 20-30 years, which are long past, their value in the financial statement is 1 Euro. Which gives them incredibly cute key figures - they look really good in financial analysis. Actually, in reality too, because due to stupid/bought laws, the government will pay for large parts of the waste disposal, and the amount companies need to pay into a fund to pay for deconstruction is, by many experts opinion, only a fraction of what is needed. But once they actually deconstruct most of the plants, the game is up. Like any good scam, you need to keep it going as long as possible.

So thanks to management-think in both politics and business, we have some of the oldest nuclear power plants in the world, right next to some very large cities.

And, btw., I like nuclear power. I wouldn't mind having the old plants replaced by modern ones. But I agree with the anti-nuclear-power people that right now, we have the worst possible solution.

Comment: Re:corporations are always right (Score 1) 338

by Tom (#47693507) Attached to: Berlin Bans Car Service Uber

Well, you shouldn't get your bread in Germany if you say that...

Actually, Germany has some of the best bread in the world, with some of the highest variety. But if you appreciate bread, you should always cut it just before eating. Pre-sliced bread is dried out and loses much of its flavour and smell. Freshly baked bread, cut into thick slices just before you eat it, that's how you do it.

Typical american white bread doesn't even register as "bread" in Germany. In the supermarket, it is sold in a seperate shelf, because toast and sandwich is the only thing it's good for.

Comment: corporations are always right (Score 3, Interesting) 338

by Tom (#47676601) Attached to: Berlin Bans Car Service Uber

"As a new entrant we are bringing much-needed competition to a market that hasn't changed in years. Competition is good for everyone and it raises the bar and ultimately it's the consumer who wins,"

Says the guy who gets to profit. Follow the money - of course he'd say something like that. PR drones are paid for coming up with good reasons why their product is the best thing since sliced bread.

Actually, sliced bread is pretty awful, but that's a different story.

The market has changed quite considerably. German startups like MyTaxi are increasingly replacing the old and stupid middlemen with a nice mobile service that connects drivers and passengers directly. There's a bit of competition in that market as well. Then there are the modern car-sharing companies like Car2Go and DriveNow and some others, where you can take any of their cars wherever you find it and can drop it off wherever you go. No need to go to designated parking spots or something. They're basically like a taxi you drive yourself. In a few years, they'll probably have an autonomous car in the mix that you can call on your smartphone and it'll pick you up.

To say the market is stagnant is a bold piece of PR lies. There have never been so many options for personal transport, changing so quickly.

Uber is not as revolutionary as it makes itself out to be. But more important: They don't understand the European market, where american wild-west methods of just riding into town and taking what you think is yours by god given rights are not welcome. We have regulations and laws and rules, and we actually quite like them. They make our lives more calm and plannable. Europe has a different culture, less friendly to startups and hotshot ideas, but it also means fewer people crash and burn, and less collateral damage when they do.

If Uber gave a fuck, they could operate in Berlin. But their attitude - which was visible in other german cities like Hamburg where they also ran into problems - was basically "this is our cool business idea, go and change your laws if you don't like it". I'm not surprised that with that attitude, someone told them to fuck off and die.

Comment: Re:User moderation (Score 2) 298

by Tom (#47671081) Attached to: Writer: Internet Comments Belong On Personal Blogs, Not News Sites

No, I do mean the public comment system.

The problem is that even if the troll is always at -1 with all his trolling, you still see it as replies in your comments page. If he replies to absolutely everything you post, you're drowning in noise. And if he's a very tiny bit smart, he will reply twice or three times to some of the postings, so you can never be sure when there's a genuine comment and when it's just the troll and nobody else.

Comment: Re:Moderation? (Score 2) 298

by Tom (#47669021) Attached to: Writer: Internet Comments Belong On Personal Blogs, Not News Sites

A website without comment section is basically a propaganda machine, telling people what to see and think. A website that's all comments - like Slashdot and yes, even 4chan - is a community discussing matters. Newssites with comment section are somewhere in the middle,

Not everything that mixes two extremes ends up in the middle.

People were capable of having informed opinions before the Internet, when newspapers was all we had. You simply had to read more than one and make up your own mind. It also heavily depends on the topic. Don't forget that /. is not a general news site - many of us here are actually experts in the topics being discussed, and when you post an article about, say, a new encryption scheme and you get comments from people who are in security, hacking or even cryptography itself, that's worthwhile.

What do you expect from an article about the Ukraine crisis on a general news site? How many of the readers could even find Ukraine on an un-labeled map? How many have been there? How many know anything at all about the political and economic situation, if you substract what they read in other news articles?

No, sir, the comments section on /. and on some news site are not comparable, and mixing them does not result in a "best of both worlds" scenario.

Comment: Re:Jezebel? (Score 3, Interesting) 298

by Tom (#47668993) Attached to: Writer: Internet Comments Belong On Personal Blogs, Not News Sites

Actually, the latest events on Jezebel proves the point of many of Jezebel's authors, which is that much of the internet is openly hostile to women.

A very, very loud minority of people is openly hostile to women/gays/atheists/muslims/mexicans/elderly/children/redheads/any-minority-of-your-choice.

The Internet as a whole - much like the real world - is openly hostile to extremists who act like dicks and think everyone who is less extreme than they are is pure evil, even if you're agreeing with them in principle. That's why feminazis get rape gifs (I'm not surprised) while thousands of other women don't - because trolls do to you what they know sets you off.

I'm not saying women don't get offensive comments. They do. But firstly so do men (of a different kind, physical violence takes the place of sexual innuendo) and secondly the problem isn't hostility to women, the problem is trolling. It just happens that for women the low hanging fruit for the trolls is their sex, just like race is if the victim is black.

Comment: Re:Comments Belong With the News (Score 1) 298

by Tom (#47668979) Attached to: Writer: Internet Comments Belong On Personal Blogs, Not News Sites

To me, at least, random public sentiment is at least as important as the sanitized news version, if not more so.

Yes, but what you get isn't random at all. Firstly it suffers massively from selection bias and secondly even on very popular articles the sample size is so small that it is easy to influence it one way or the other, especially by re-posting it to some other site with a strong opinion. Re-post an article about a sexual haressment case to half a dozen feminist blogs and you're very likely to get a number of pro-conviction comments. Re-post the same article to a dozen sites sympathetic to the defendant and you'll probably get a different trend in the comments.

Sorry, if you want the public opinion, the comments section on a news article is one of the worst places you can look for it.

Comment: Re:User moderation (Score 2) 298

by Tom (#47668967) Attached to: Writer: Internet Comments Belong On Personal Blogs, Not News Sites

like you find in sites like Slashdot or Stackexchange. [...] the troll isn't going to get much satisfaction, as almost nobody sees their handiwork before someone mods it away.

As someone who was trolled aggressively on /. - you are mistaken. The /. system hides the trolling from the public, but the victim still gets the full dose. It makes it very hard to participate in the site.

Comment: correct (Score 1) 298

by Tom (#47668955) Attached to: Writer: Internet Comments Belong On Personal Blogs, Not News Sites

He is 100% correct.

When I go on a news site, I don't look for and I don't care for and I don't want random strangers commentary. I'm looking for journalistic articles, which at least in some newspapers is still a level above bloggers.

Frankly speaking, allowing the unwashed masses to add their zero-knowledge opinions to a carefully researched and fact-checked article makes it cheaper.

That said, many news sites are little more than organized multi-writer blogs these days, but I'm not talking about them. When you do real journalism, you should be ashamed to have your work displayed on the same page as Joe Doe from Montana writing "this is all nonsense, my cows love Mozart!".

Comment: equality by key figures (Score 3, Interesting) 557

by Tom (#47660851) Attached to: Apple's Diversity Numbers: 70% Male, 55% White

When you stop using key figures as a guidance to reaching your goal and use them as goals in themselves, you've got a problem.

Frankly speaking, I don't give a fuck if a company is 5% white, 50% white or 99% white. While these numbers may be indicators of an underlying problem, they are just that - indicators. Just like running a company by consulting-think usually results in a bancrupt company, you have to go deeper than some numbers, and you should never make those numbers your actual goals. Many companies have been run into the ground by idiots who thought 4% profit margin is not enough and this consultant or that business insider says they need 5% and if it ruins the company to get that extra 1% then so be it...

What should matter is if there's any problem for anyone getting hired or promoted in Apple (or any other company) because of gender, skin colour or whatever else you want. Statistical numbers can give you a hint on where you might want to check, but in themselves, they are meaningless. They're just statistics.

The moon may be smaller than Earth, but it's further away.