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Comment: Re:Lost the "tech" in tech support (Score 1) 216

by Arker (#47565815) Attached to: Comcast Confessions
"I can understand wanting to save money by putting tech script as the first line of tech support, but it gets a little tiring when want to skip to the advanced folks and still they want to stick to their script and ask me to reboot the modem as if I hadn't done that 3 times already. If it isn't low hanging fruit for the script readers it's not going to be a very successful or efficient support call."

The sad thing is that the volume of calls is so heavily weighted towards people that refuse to do anything whatsoever on their own before calling and demanding someone else fix it that clued-in customers with real problems are just lost in the noise from their perspective.

Comment: Re:Misfeatures (Score 1) 172

by Arker (#47563015) Attached to: Firefox 31 Released
"The pdf javascript reader wastes kilobytes on your / or C:\ partition, that's all."

It also adds more lines of code that need to be carefully analyzed, audited, and constantly re-audited for exploitable bugs to the codebase.

Web browsers are the main point of vulnerability, they have an absolutely horrible track record for anything related to security. There are several relatively good .pdf programs that are actively maintained and whose security track records are not nearly so tarnished as Mozilla's. Some are Free Software as well. So I am seriously having a very hard time imagining a scenario where this has any reason to exist. And I am usually the one that's all in favor of having 15 slightly different choices for every role.

Comment: Re:None of them. (Score 1) 316

by Arker (#47562427) Attached to: Which Is Better, Adblock Or Adblock Plus?
"Screw your acceptable ads, there's no such thing as an acceptable ad."

You are entitled to your point of view. I personally do not agree.

I like to expose myself to advertising. By seeing what is currently being pushed I know which products to avoid, which is a big time-saver. And the notion that some small payment comes to a website as a result of giving me this information is 100% ok with me.

Yet I almost never see ads. Why? Because I refuse to allow random servers all over the net a free hand to run programs on my computer. And ad companies apparently have some sort of problem with using the web, the only thing they know how to do is javascript, java, and flash.

Comment: Re:So! The game is rigged! (Score 2) 487

by HangingChad (#47562153) Attached to: 35% of American Adults Have Debt 'In Collections'

Personally I have almost no debt, just my car payment.

We opted out the debt economy years ago. We froze our credit reports and paid cash for our last house, car and motorcycle. We could have some dinky medical bill or something that slipped through the cracks in collections and not even know it. We might not even find out about it until we update our address when the credit freezes expire and we need to renew them.

You don't need credit cards, car loans, or mortgages. We're living proof. We fly, stay at hotels, rent cars all the things people think they need credit to do. We don't pay more for car insurance, though we do have the occasional utility deposit.

Nothing you can buy with credit feels as good as opting out of the debt economy.

Comment: Reject all proprietary software and "choice" too (Score 1, Insightful) 316

by jbn-o (#47561643) Attached to: Which Is Better, Adblock Or Adblock Plus?
You'd not only rightly reject Google Chrome you'd also reject choice as a reason to favor nonfree software. Chrome is a nonfree browser so that is right out. A choice of nonfree programs doesn't satisfy what computer users need—software freedom. Choice is easily satisfied in that there's more than one alternative but choice of software says nothing about how well the alternatives address important needs to control one's computer (rather than letting the software control the users). So choice of software is a weak substitute for the freedoms to run, inspect, share, and modify software.

Comment: Re:If you want to earn big bucks... (Score 3, Interesting) 302

by Just Some Guy (#47560367) Attached to: Programming Languages You'll Need Next Year (and Beyond)

That's terrible advice. If you want the big bucks, get into Python, Node.js, or Go and find a startup that just received VC and has tons of money to shove at developers. C++, Java, and C# are great for long-term "comfortable" jobs, but that's not where the seriously good money is.

Comment: So much Fail. Ignore. (Score 1) 302

by Just Some Guy (#47560353) Attached to: Programming Languages You'll Need Next Year (and Beyond)

When you write code and declare a variable, dynamic languages let you change the type of data held by the variable when the program is running; those languages that don’t are known as “static” or “strongly typed.” Languages such as C++ and Java are strongly-typed languages, while JavaScript, PHP, and Perl are dynamic languages.

"Staticness" and "strongness" are orthogonal properties. Python, for instance, has strongly typed values (you can't convince an int that it's a str), but dynamic variables (a=123;a='foo' is valid). And while C++ is statically typed, I'd be hard pressed to describe something with void* and unions as strongly typed.

TL;DR: Words have meaning. It's OK to disagree about whether a particular language is strongly or weakly typed, but it's not OK to claim that two different concepts are the same thing. When you make a fundamental mistake in the third paragraph, I'm likely to ignore anything else you have to say in the rest of the article.

Comment: Re:Alright! Go Senate bill (Score 5, Insightful) 173

by Just Some Guy (#47560279) Attached to: Senate Bill Would Ban Most Bulk Surveillance

I find this interesting, since as head of the Executive Branch, he can order the NSA to do what this bill requires without bothering with a law, since no law exists requiring the NSA to collect telephone records on everyone.

However, he can't order the next President to continue his policies. There's a lot to be said for pinning these things down so that they can't be changed on a whim.

Comment: Re:Who cares? (Score 1) 228

by Just Some Guy (#47559007) Attached to: Free Copy of the Sims 2 Contains SecuROM

There is no right to a game designed the way you would want to design it.

But there absolutely is a right to know the full details of the bargain. If EA isn't telling you that the game comes with OS-damaging (by definition) software, then they're not giving you the information required to make a considered decision.

Comment: Software freedom is worth caring about (Score 2) 228

by jbn-o (#47558991) Attached to: Free Copy of the Sims 2 Contains SecuROM

People who care about controlling their computers care, as should all computer users care. This is another instance in a long line of great learning opportunities to distinguish between 'free as in price' and 'free as in freedom'—software proprietors get away with malware because how the software works is kept secret from its users. TFA tells us that Electronic Arts didn't tell prospective users SecuROM was a part of the gratis Sims 2 install, probably because EA knew users wouldn't install Sims 2 if they knew it came with SecuROM. Proprietors abuse the trust users have placed in them and it's time to teach users how things actually work, not encourage dismissal that hands users over to the abusers ("who cares").

Comment: Re:Radicalization (Score 1) 807

by Arker (#47557831) Attached to: Gaza's Only Power Plant Knocked Offline
"So what do you think should be Israel's response to the constant bombing of their country?"

What constant bombing? Hamas has honored truces and cease-fires in the past, it's the IDF that keeps breaking them. How do you think the Palestinians should respond to Israel periodically 'mowing' their families down 'like grass?'

Ultimately you simply cannot keep a nation captive forever, nor can you exterminate them, and Israelis of all people should realize that.

"Only the hypocrite is really rotten to the core." -- Hannah Arendt.

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