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Comment: Re: Not a chance (Score 1) 631

by William Ager (#48256815) Attached to: Why CurrentC Will Beat Out Apple Pay

And you can never be sure that float will be enough: the last time I used a debit card, it was for incidentals totaling perhaps $50 at a hotel for a suite that was already paid for.

They instead charged the full price of the room to the card after I left, instantly withdrawing several thousand from the checking account and overdrawing it. Certainly, it was a mistake, as they'd readily admit, and could be refunded, but the overdraft fees were apparently my problem. It was only through connections within the bank that they were refunded.

If merchants are allowed to charge whatever they'd like to a card, without my approval, I'll take the process that doesn't get me into trouble when they make a mistake.

+ - The Individual Midnight Thread 40

Submitted by unitron
unitron (5733) writes "Trying to figure out time zones is starting to make my brain hurt, but apparently in a bit over 6 hours somewhere on the other side of globe from Greenwich the Week of Slashcott will begin, as Midnight arrives for anyone in that zone, and then it travels west, where I will encounter it in about 23 hours.

So if we can get this thread out of the Firehose, I was thinking that, as the 10th arrives for us in our respective locations, we could leave here what may be our final farewells to Slashdot.

Until Midnight, this is our meeting place, our City Hall, our town square.

(and yes, our playground)

After that I'm not sure where we can congregate to discuss how the Slashcott's going and whether it's time to move on.

I'm going to jump the gun and lay claim to "So long and thanks for all the Karma", and perhaps someone could do a Bob Hope and re-write the lyrics to "Thanks for the Memories".

In the meantime, a bit of housekeeping.

An AC beat me to the week-long boycott idea by a couple of hours, and suggested the date range of the 10th through the 17th.

As part of a group of people familiar with the concept of beginning a count with 0 instead of 1, I really should have spotted the mistake of putting 8 days into that particular week.

So, should Slashcott Week end as the 17th begins, or do we give Dice a bonus day?"

Comment: Not at all a novel problem (Score 4, Insightful) 924

by William Ager (#44149493) Attached to: The Average Movie Theater Has Hundreds of Screens

This is hardly a novel problem. All manners of talking, noisemaking, and other disturbances have been problems in theaters for centuries; phones are simply another type of potential disturbance.

Yes, it is to some extent a cultural problem. I also think it tends to be a problem of lack of any enforcement of reasonable etiquette in theaters, perhaps from a concern for repercussions and retribution, but also, at least in many movie theaters, from a lack of staff.

But I think it is only through enforcement by venues, and cultural unacceptability, that disturbances like these can be minimized, especially in this case. I don't think anyone particularly wants to be in a theater full of other people on phones; the people who use them in theaters would likely be upset about others using them were they not using them at that particular time. There are already venues for watching movies on large screens while being able to talk and generally be more casual, and perhaps we could use more of those, but that's not the problem here: the problem are people who are selfish. If someone wants to be able to disturb others, but not be disturbed by others, then letting everyone cause disturbances isn't going to help: everyone will go to the no-tolerance shows, and become upset if they're thrown out.

Comment: Re:WTF? (Score 0) 233

by William Ager (#39582021) Attached to: Plantronics Helps Make Remote Workers' Lives Easier (Video)

Given the comments being made on this story, I can only assume that there will need to be some sort of response as to what happened here so as to avoid a major dropoff in popularity beyond what's already taken place.

Regardless, however, I've been coming to Slashdot for 12 years or so, and with this I'm probably done coming back.

Comment: Re:It's all about making a solid product (Score 4, Interesting) 760

by William Ager (#39409881) Attached to: iFixit's Kyle Wiens On the War On DIY Electronics

You can always make anecdotes about hardware durability. My 4-year-old Macbook Pro runs hot because of clogged fans that would require lengthy disassembly to clean, and is falling apart at seams that were presumably glued together.

Unless you're compiling statistics on these things on a large scale, anecdotes aren't useful.

Comment: Re:AZ isn't anti-immigrant (Score 4, Insightful) 835

by William Ager (#36549294) Attached to: LulzSec Posts First Secret Document Dump

It's worth noting that Mexicans from more affluent areas, and more central areas in general, often are quite racist against Mexicans from border areas. It isn't hard to find people who immigrated to the US from Mexico City and dislike Mexicans from Tijuana more than white supremacists do.

Comment: Re:A step in the right direction (Score 2) 122

by William Ager (#36549098) Attached to: Nevada Authorizes Development of Driverless Car Rules

The insurance company for the car company, most likely.

It's likely, of course, that the costs of that insurance will be added into the price of the car, with car company's marketing department making the point that one would be paying a bit more for a car that resulted in paying vastly less for personal car insurance. It would have the added benefit of making car companies more worried about safety and accident prevention.

Comment: Re:It's all about sales (Score 1) 666

by William Ager (#36221490) Attached to: Users Want Matte LCDs While Glossy Screens Dominate

No. What he means is that glare isn't a major problem because, for a stationary display, it is relatively simple to position it such that there is minimal glare.

With a laptop, on the other hand, the display is constantly being used in different environments, and so glare is a persistent problem.

Comment: Embarrassment rather than dislike of open source (Score 5, Insightful) 295

by William Ager (#36090096) Attached to: Android Honeycomb Will Not Be Open Sourced

These comments seem very much to indicate that the source code issue, as I think most people expected, is less of a "we don't want people using this code for their purposes" and more of a "we think this code is horrible and don't want anyone laughing at it." That really suggests that, rather than be upset about the lack of open sources, people should be concerned as to why Google felt it reasonable to release software they're reluctant to release sources to because they're embarrassed.

Open source also opens organizations to criticism when they try to push out code that isn’t ready, and I think this is very much a problem for Google with Honeycomb.

Comment: Re:Happens to anything that becomes a job (Score 1) 133

by William Ager (#32421494) Attached to: The Life of a South Korean Pro Gamer

While there are quite a few people who aren't games testers and talk about game testing being a horrible profession, my friend who is a games tester loves his job, and still spends inordinate amounts of free time playing games as well--I'm therefore a bit skeptical about its use as an example.

Comment: The Benefits of Moving Backward (Score 5, Interesting) 138

by William Ager (#31697598) Attached to: Gnome 2.30 Released

It's interesting to note that, in Nautilus, Browser-mode is now the default over Spatial-mode. Years ago, in the 2.0 days with whatever-that-company-was-that-made-Nautilus and the wonderful new HIG and whatnot, the switch to Spatial was heralded as a major improvement and modernization. Now, like many of those huge and bitterly disputed changes, the grand step forward is being reversed with only a slight mention.

And yet, despite the reversal of so many of those improvements, I do think it's making Gnome better; it's just taking a very long time for the idealists of days past to realize that their ideals didn't really work in the real world.

Comment: Re:we care (Score 1) 230

by William Ager (#29930379) Attached to: Towards a Permission-Based Web

But your argument breaks down here: Had you not paid for an internet connection, you wouldn't have to deal with a non-neutral internet. Everybody is bashing ISPs for the whole tiered service thing, but let me see if I can explain something.

Those ISPs have contracts with a number of companies. Remember Vonage being blocked by an ISP? Ever consider that that ISP probably had an agreement within the telecom part of the company that prevented them from allowing alternate internet telephony services from running on their lines? A neutral internet assists in filesharing, which assists in piracy (I'm not saying that if you fileshare, you pirate) Out of respect for their media providers, they should try to fight piracy.

This isn't a black and white issue.

Comment: Re:Not going to catch on (Score 1) 118

by William Ager (#29930209) Attached to: <em>D&amp;D</em> On Google Wave

No, it can't. It's actually bad. The iPod didn't have scrolling that was so close to non-functional that one of the few extensions available is solely for the purpose of replacing it with something else. And that's hardly the worst problem with Wave at the moment: waves that aren't short quickly become hideously slow (it took >1 minute just to open one long wave for me, and it made the interface unusably slow afterwards), deletion and archiving take a long time and aren't conveniently placed, replying and threading works by some odd method of moving the mouse around until one is in just the right place and a little highlighted rectangle appears (the Reply button doesn't thread properly), settings are entirely broken, and so on...

And, of course, we shouldn't forget the development problems. The API is getting better, but is still woefully inadequate. Robots have to use Google's App Engine, which is terribly limiting: I've been unable to do any of the robots I had planned because Google hasn't removed this limitation. And, of course, there's the issue that one is limited to writing only ten robots, and can't even delete old ones.

And the server issues too. There's been quite a bit of hype about federated servers, but for the foreseeable future, Google Wave isn't federated with any other servers––not even Google's own Wavesandbox, where new developers who joined after Sept 30th are stuck, unable to get access to the production server. Some other people have played with the server, now that it's open source, but all that is rather pointless without a client, and there's no serious client available. For that matter, there's no client except the webclient usable for Google's servers, apparently.

If the implementation improves, it will be wonderful, but at the moment, it's hardly usable at all.

Sigmund Freud is alleged to have said that in the last analysis the entire field of psychology may reduce to biological electrochemistry.

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