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Comment: Re:Missing (Score 2, Insightful) 245

by ameoba (#48801167) Attached to: PHP vs. Node.js: the Battle For Developer Mind Share

People stuck on "cheap hosting solutions" don't pay good money to developers to develop software for them. Cheap hosting solutions don't even come close to scaling to anything beyond a blog for a local business.

Unless you've decided to work on a bottom of the barrel open source CMS/Forum system (a market that's pretty much saturated already), the argument that "PHP is the only thing we can run" is just not relevant. Maybe it carried some weight ten years ago but it's a non-issue these days.

Comment: Re:5th Edition kind of sucks (Score 1) 59

by ameoba (#48700549) Attached to: The Making of a 1980s Dungeons & Dragons Module

The beauty is that you can still buy and play all the old stuff. There are both official reprints of the old 1st & 2nd edition games as well as free/low cost clones of everything pre-3rd edition (the Original game as well as the early "Basic" box set games). A great many of the adventure modules are available in both PDFs and hardbound reissues of the more iconic ones.

As for the price of the books, $20 in 1980, adjusted for inflation is $57. It's still hard to swallow when you can buy a printed copy of Basic Fantasy for under $5.

Comment: You forgot something... (Score 5, Insightful) 275

by timeOday (#48646801) Attached to: Dish Pulls Fox News, Fox Business Network As Talks Break Down
I actually do see a connection to unions here - if you're not genuinely willing to walk away from a bad deal, you're not actually negotiating. Businesses know this and it sometimes results in temporary outages, such as a TV channel or the Amazon dispute with publishers. In America we hardly have unions any more, and our media reports on strikes (e.g. a railroad strike in France) with derision and as a sign of a failed system. But I see it as a sign of tough negotiations between parties who both have something to lose. Ideally, each industry would have about as many unions as it has employers, and there would be more than one of each.

I actually don't like the idea of being a faceless member of a collective, or causing a great divide between management and workers. But right now we have a situation where one side is organized and using its leverage to drive a tough bargain (with companies growing ever-larger, and more profitable), and the other is just lying down.

Comment: Re:No problem. (Score 1) 137

The whole question of "which direction is the causality" is misleading in the first place; pure, uni-directional causality in situations of interest to people is almost non-existent. What we should usually look for is stable configurations ("stable" not implying "good," as in poverty), and self-reinforcing cycles (whether virtuous or vicious). Even if manipulating A causes B to change, it may also be that manipulating B would cause A to change.

Comment: Rise of the middleman (Score -1, Offtopic) 176

by timeOday (#48586205) Attached to: Hollywood's Secret War With Google
It does bother me that the biggest money on the 'web is being made by middlemen - google, helping you find content, but they don't produce any; facebook, helping you talk to your friends. It is like banking - necessary, but annoying that the bankers always wind up richer than the buyers and sellers they are "helping."

Comment: Re:Better comparison site (Score 1) 377

by timeOday (#48572939) Attached to: Bellard Creates New Image Format To Replace JPEG
That's a cool format comparison, but what's wrong with the Lena image as a point of comparison either? It looks SO much better in the new format! The most annoying thing about jpg is the bias towards blocking - drawing everything as rectangles when there aren't enough bits to say otherwise. The new format loses detail - how could you not? - but doesn't have random hues and sharp right angles strewn about.

I wonder how this would translate to a video codec, because people might not care about jpg file sizes, but television signals suffer noticeably from insufficient bandwidth all the time. (Granted, switching away from h264 now would be like switching over to the metric system).

Comment: Re:Advertiser hate coming in... (Score 1) 190

by timeOday (#48568153) Attached to: Fraud Bots Cost Advertisers $6 Billion

SomethingAwful still seems to be doing well with its pay model.

Fair enough, though I am not familiar with it. Let's include craigslist and wikipedia as examples of awesome signal-to-noise ratio that is possible when full monetization through advertising is foregone, for whatever unusual reason that is specific to each.

Comment: Re:Advertiser hate coming in... (Score 1) 190

by timeOday (#48568049) Attached to: Fraud Bots Cost Advertisers $6 Billion
I would say, don't hate the player, hate the game. I think the ad-driven web is thoroughly corrupted, right down to clickbait headlines, and steal-and-reprint news aggregators (ahem).

But at this point there is no market for paid content on the web, or anywhere else (note the crash-and-burn of investigative journalism as a result) - nobody even remembers or can imagine what a spam-free web would look like. (Including you adblock users, since there is nothing to consume but ad-sponsored content). So it's hard to blame any single advertiser or website for playing along.

"If there isn't a population problem, why is the government putting cancer in the cigarettes?" -- the elder Steptoe, c. 1970