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Comment: No, it isn't and they don't (Score 1) 146

by jd (#47556521) Attached to: OKCupid Experiments on Users Too

The Internet is not powered by experiments on humans. Not even in the DARPA days.

No, websites do NOT experiment on users. Users may experiment on websites, if there's customization, but the rules for good design have not changed either in the past 30 years or the past 3,000. And, to judge from how humans organized carvings and paintings, not the past 30,000 either.

To say that websites experiment on people is tripe. Mouldy tripe. Websites may offer experimental views, surveys on what works, log analysis, etc, but these are statistical experiments on depersonalized aggregate data. Not people.

Experiments on people, especially without consent, is vulgar and wrong. It also doesn't help the website, because knowing what happens doesn't tell you why. Early experiments in AI are littered with extraordinarily bad results for this reason. Assuming you know why, assuming you can casually sketch in the cause merely by knowing one specific effect, is insanity.

Look, I will spell it out to these guys. Stop playing Sherlock Holmes, you only end up looking like Lestrade. Sir Conan Doyle's fictional hero used recursive subdivision, a technique Real Geeks use all the time for everything from decision trees to searching lists. Isolating single factors isn't subdivision because there isn't a single ordered space to subdivide. Scientists mask, yes, but only when dealing with single ordered spaces, and only AFTER producing a hypothesis. And if it involves research on humans, also after filling out a bloody great load of paperwork.

I flat-out refuse to use any website tainted with such puerile nonsense, insofar as I know it to have occurred. No matter how valuable that site may have been, it cannot remain valuable if it is driven by pseudoscience. There's also the matter of respect. If you don't respect me, why should I store any data with you? I can probably do better than most sites out there over a coffee break, so what's in it for me? What's so valuable that I should tolerate being second-class? It had better be damn good.

I'll take a temporary hit on what I can do, if it safeguards my absolute, unconditional control over my virtual persona. And temporary is all it would ever be. There's very little that's truly exclusive and even less that's exclusive and interesting.

The same is true of all users. We don't need any specific website, websites need us. We dictate our own limits, we dictate what safeguards are minimal, we dictate how far a site owner can go. Websites serve their users. They exist only to serve. And unlike with a certain elite class in the Dune series, that's actually true and enforceable.

Comment: no revenge when you are dead (Score 1) 496

It is self evident that killing people will make enemies of their families. [...] If you came and killed my child I would not report those trying to kill you to the police or army. I would do everything I could to support those trying to kill you. As I said above, it is self evident that the Palistinian survivors of this will do everything they can to kill Israelis in the future.

You can not be an enemy if you are dead. This idea that you would get revenge is silly.

This conflict will end because one side will die. The sooner this happens, the lower the body count. (the number of dead can greatly exceed the total population if the conflict drags on for generations)

Comment: Re:Hm (Score 1) 95

by hawk (#47546167) Attached to: Nasty Business: How To Drain Competitors' Google AdWords Budgets

>I don't mind static image ads (although I hate it
>when I purchase something on Amazon and then
>get served Amazon ads for the thing I purchased).
>But if it is not static then I despise it.

It's not just ads; it's *anything* that blinks & runs around while I"m trying to read. In fact, I've never blocked *anything* just for being an ad, and I block much of what sites fancy to be "content."

Stay still, damnit, I'm trying to read!


Comment: Re:Hardware ages too (Score 1) 275

by hawk (#47546127) Attached to: Do Apple and Google Sabotage Older Phones? What the Graphs Don't Show

the two drive bays were typically side by side in the era of MFM drives. And if they were stacked, and you managed to find a double height drive, you would have had no space for your 5.25" floppy.

And the drives I see listed are something like 41mm, or about a inch and a half--half-height or less..

Full height in this parlance is the old 3.5 or 4" tall, nearly the full height of the PC/XT case.


Comment: Re: Not Just Phones (Score 4, Interesting) 275

My smartphone (Samsung Galaxy II) started running slowly. Even after I removed all the unused apps that I had downloaded, movies and photos, it was still running slow. Then I started looking through every single folder. It seems that the trash-cah wasn't actually emptying, and that there was a directory called ".faces" which seemed to archive every single picture that the AI software thought was a face. After those files were removed, my phone regained it's original speed.

Comment: Re:They learned this practice from the most (Score 1) 275

by hawk (#47543359) Attached to: Do Apple and Google Sabotage Older Phones? What the Graphs Don't Show

>. Likewise MS Office- they change the file formats
>with each release to prevent compatibility with older >versions and especially compatibility with freeware
>office suites.

Now *that* one did not originate with Microsoft. Wordstart and Word Perfect were doing that before MS Word was even released; each coul generally read/export the prior, but not current, version of the other.

Word & Excel (except mac) were distant thirds. Then MS leveraged the dos monopoly to install them on every machine for a minimal royalty at about the time of the 40M hard drive becoming standard, and instead of "$500 for Word Perfect or Word?" it became "Spend another $500 on Word Perfect?"


Comment: Hardly new (Score 1) 275

by hawk (#47543279) Attached to: Do Apple and Google Sabotage Older Phones? What the Graphs Don't Show

This is hardly new . . .

I had the original G1, before they were tossing the word "android" around.

It interestingly sprouted a navigation system one day. I thought that was nice, until I tried to use it in general. The "upgrade" needed more cpu power and ram than that thing had.

Add features to use more powerful hardware, and they consume resources on the older phones, too.

The only exception seems to be OSX, which tends to have at least a moderate speed increase for older hardware with each major release.


Comment: Re:FUD filled.... (Score 1) 212

It sounds like this transformer had its center tap grounded and was the path to ground on one side of a ground loop as the geomagnetic field moved under pressure from a CME, inducing a common-mode current in the long-distance power line. A gas pipeline in an area of poor ground conductivity in Russia was also destroyed, it is said, resulting in 500 deaths.

One can protect against this phenomenon by use of common-mode breakers and perhaps even overheat breakers. The system will not stay up but nor will it be destroyed. This is a high-current rather than high-voltage phenomenon and thus the various methods used to dissipate lightning currents might not be effective.

If at first you don't succeed, you must be a programmer.