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Comment Re:Page loading has always been far slower with ad (Score 1) 167 167

When you say the ads have "lousy" response rates, you're making a comparison. The only number they can compare to is either a fantasy (what they think the click-through rate should be so that they'll strike it rich) or existing obtrusive ads. Neither of these work with reality, where most people will rarely click on an ad intentionally, and even fewer will actually spend any money.

Advertisers will do whatever they can to increase their revenue, that's why we've had pop-ups, drive by installs, ads that spread malware, auto-playing video ads, etc. The only thing way to control it is for browsers to put heavy limits in place (like built-in pop-up blockers, or Chrome disabling secondary flash elements). Pretty soon things like uBlock will just start getting built in to the browser. When the advertisers bitch, we'll just point them to behavior like this that demonstrates their bad faith.

Comment Re:I've had issues with the Win10 NVIDIA drivers.. (Score 1) 315 315

No doubt peripheral manufacturers will take advantage of this to silently install shovelware on users' machines, like Logitech's "Download Assistant". This will be the new avenue used by advertisers to install themselves in the system tray or browser. Microsoft themselves have endorsed this by silently installing a Windows 10 nag using Windows update.

Comment Re:Nonsense (Score 1) 112 112

> Have gchq or other intelligence organizations ever used the data inappropriately?

Answer: "NSA Officers Spy on Love Interests"

If you allow intelligence agencies to gain access to unlimited amounts of information, with no regard for privacy, they can use it to blackmail anyone. Next time an organization like Amnesty International finds out about an abuse perpetrated by a British-supported regime, the Government might decide to "convince" them to keep their mouths shut. Even if that doesn't happen, individuals will still use the information and tools available to them illegally.

Practically anything can be justified in the name of security. All of these procedures always rely on the assumption that the security personnel have perfect morals. It never works out that way. For reference, see TSA.

Comment Re: Are you OK, samzenpus? (Score 1) 85 85

About half of the USF goes to providing phone service in rural areas. Another 25% goes to providing internet to rural libraries, and rural and low income schools. Some of the rest goes to Lifeline ("Obamaphone") so, if you want to cut that tax, let's start by eliminating support for all those rural areas, they're mostly Republicans anyway, so they should support the elimination of government services!

Comment Re:Taxi licenses are crazy expensive (Score 1) 334 334

Sorry, should have checked the number first. There were around 1500 medallions total. More were needed, but the cartel refused to allow more to be issued because it would reduce the value of the existing stock. After Uber proved there was pent up demand (back when UberBLACK was the only option, they were charging more than a taxi and getting plenty of business) the cartel finally relented and allowed about 700 more to be issued.

For comparison, Uber has 11,000 active drivers in San Francisco. The number of medallions isn't even close.

Comment Re:Taxi licenses are crazy expensive (Score 1) 334 334

If "within existing laws" means having a medallion, that simply isn't possible, as there are not enough available. Up until a year or two ago, there were less than 500 medallions total in San Francisco.

There are other problems too. Various laws prevent Uber from performing a background check going back more than 7 years. As a regulated business, Taxi companies are required to (and able to) run better background checks going back 99 years.

As for pricing, taxi fares in San Francisco are ridiculous, like a 50% upcharge if you leave the city. But lets say Uber did implement it. How long until the cartel starts complaining they can't do "surge" pricing?

The truth is the taxis should have used their entrenched market position by pooling their resources and building an e-hailing app, or at least participating in the ones that exist now. Even in SF, try checking out the sites for the major cab companies. Only one has an app, the rest either don't exist or haven't been updated in over a year.

I should note another site does list an app, one that renamed itself over a year ago. That app (Flywheel) has never worked on my iOS device, so I don't know if it works or not.

Instead, cab companies used their entrenched position to keep the supply of medallions so low that people had no choice but to switch to Uber/Lyft/Sidecar. There just wasn't any way to get a cab, especially if you were west or south of Twin Peaks.

Obviously all of this applies to SF, where Uber was created to solve the very problem of not being able to get a cab. However, I'll bet all of this applies well to Paris.

Comment Re:Extinction Happens. (Score 1) 1083 1083

While Christian religion may hold that there's a god controlling all of nature, I was focusing on the events that god explicitly takes credit for. Basically, I was assuming that if this god existed he would be an alien, rather than a being responsible for every single event in the history of the universe.

My point wasn't the death toll from a flood thousands of years ago, my point was that in the Bible, God actually claims to have caused the flood. Now, I don't think he exists, and if there was a flood it was probably a natural phenomenon over a much smaller area. However, if some all powerful being suddenly showed up and claimed to be the god of the Bible, I think I'd want to know how many people he had killed.

Comment Re:Extinction Happens. (Score 1) 1083 1083

The Bible (supposedly the word of Abraham's God) specifically says that this god wiped out almost all of humanity in a flood, and destroyed two cities (in separate events). It doesn't necessarily claim direct responsibility for diseases or other natural events. There is of course the argument that he should have prevented such events, but there's a difference between causing something and not preventing it.

An alien species that sees an asteroid heading towards Earth might decide not to interfere with the natural progression of events (even if a bunch of dinosaurs die as a result) without committing a crime, but altering the atmosphere to cause a massive flood in order to wipe out most of the life on the planet would certainly be genocide.

If the Bible is literally true, then it would appear Abraham's god is guilty of enough crimes against humanity to warrant permanent imprisonment.

Comment Re:To quote Billy Grahm's wife (Score 1) 1083 1083

You mean for exterminating the civilian population of two cities? Yes, I would say if the lord exists he's got quite a few crimes to answer for, but really the claimed extermination of virtually all life on earth (the "deluge") would probably top the charges. An apology isn't really going to cut it.

Among the myriad of problems I have with Christianity that's a big one. The god of the Old Testament was worse than Hitler. If he ever does show up how do we justify not locking him up for eternity? We apparently have a complete written confession.

Comment Re:Not just a US problem (Score 1) 292 292

Polls in the UK have over-estimated Labour support for decades. The swing to SNP in Scotland made it more obvious, since Labour lost all but one seat their, magnifying the inaccuracy of the polls in England.


Comment Well what do they expect (Score 2) 292 292

What do they (pollsters) expect?

I got a call last Saturday morning from an "unknown caller" at 8:30am (which woke me up). I ignored it. Again at 9:30, again at 10:30. Finally I was near enough the phone (actually, Google Voice on an iPad Mini) to pick up. I asked who it was and got a personal name, then I asked who they were calling from and then they admitted it was "ANZ Research" or something that sounds like that. They said they were calling to get opinions on various political topics.

There's no way in hell I'm going to give survey answers to someone who's dumb enough to call before noon on the weekend. Google Voice lets me block numbers, which I suspect is why they disabled Caller ID, so they could sneak through. I refused to even confirm my name, and told them to take my number off their list and never call again.

I figured it was probably a push poll anyway.

Comment Re:LMAO - Knew that'd "get a rise" outta you! (Score 1) 161 161

You're still wrong, and your arguments are non-sensical. Oh, and your software sucks, and your ideas suck.

I am not an advertiser, I'm an engineer. I don't work for advertisers, and my job has nothing to do with ads. I hate ads, including yours.

I'm not sure why you're so fixated on my sexual orientation, other than perhaps psychosis or repression. Either way, I'll enjoy dancing on your grave. I'll even put on a pride flag on it for you.

Comment Re:LOL: Make me "gone" w/ fact (you can't) (Score 1) 161 161

Well, as I said in this message, I'm not replying to APK anymore. In the comment above this he suggests he somehow chased me off Slashdot.

It was really fun imagining him typing furiously hoping that somehow his inane rants would anger me. Obviously I managed to piss him off pretty bad. A more thorough effort might actually get him angry enough that his ancient body finally gives out, thus finally freeing us of this bigoted, attention-seeking, spammer.

OTOH, he might feed off this kind of attention, spamming the internet about his shitty software is obviously all he has left in life.

Comment Re:LOL: Make me "gone" w/ fact (you can't) (Score 1) 161 161

I'll enjoy watching you continue to shit yourself over this, but this will be my last reply to you (though I'm thinking of making this my sig):

We hereby petition the government of the United States of America to review our proposal for putting Alexander Peter Kowalski (i.e. APK) to death by any means available. This individual is a menace to society and has proven himself to be a drain on the productivity for the millions of IT workers worldwide that spend so much time uncontrollably laughing at APK and his antics. We estimate that this phenomena is costing businesses in the US at least 100 million dollars on an annual basis. Given that APK only has APKTools to justify existence we have no problem recommending him for immediate execution. If at all possible, we would like the execution to be slow and painful.

It's clear your solution can't block ads and annoyances nearly as well as uBlock. I also have no idea why anyone would run an executable made by a bigoted spammer. Chrome has thankfully started warning users who try to download it.

My mother is a fish. - William Faulkner