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Comment Re:So when's "gun control" going to stop guys with (Score 1) 276

If only criminals have guns it will be damn easy to identify them and lock them up.

True-ish, but the devil is in the details... you'd probably need a lot more law enforcers to be able to do that. AKA a "police state".

I, for one, prefer a society were it is generally acceptable that individual members take some responsibility for their own well-being. I always thought the liberal mindset is all about the individual and his liberties.

More probably, you're talking out of your ass. Hi, Australia here. No guns, no police state, we're very happy thank you very much. I take personal responsibility for my own well-being by voting for gun control. What a concept. Seems to be working fine, too. You're very welcome to your "I can protect mine, fuck you" mindset, if that's how you want to live. Call me crazy, but I always thought "civilisation" happened when a bunch of people get together and agree on ways to help and protect *each other*.

No doubt you're so amazed that your assumptions can be so completely incorrect that nothing I've said will be remembered tomorrow. It's ok, shock can do that.

Comment Re:Why stay away from Perl (Score 1) 163

> I prefer to have variables differentiated (scalars, arrays and hashes) and clearly identified from other syntax or text. It makes code more readable IMHO.

Not sure if that argument for perl is valid anymore, in the current age of IDEs and syntax highlighting text editors like Sublime etc. All the visual differentiation is done for you.

Comment Re:Another Linux User's Perspective (Score 2) 321

> I did away with all my icons I normally put on the desktop and, instead, they reside in the start menu.

Wow. I've been doing this since Windows XP.

Also, once you arrange XP's menu in a keyboard-friendly fashion, it acts much like Windows 7's search box on the Start menu... except faster, since you only need to hit the first key of each menu item.

I usually have "Quick" menu, at the top level of Start, with common programs in it, like Photoshop. Whereas, in Windows 7, I have to type "pho" or something, and wait for results, in XP it is simply "QP" (quick -> photoshop) and up she comes.

I'm buying an SSD tomorrow, which will basically make this old XP laptop zoom, and I won't even have to worry about the 4GB RAM limit anymore, since swapping on SSD is pretty quick.

Yep I love my XP and you can prise it from my cold, dead fingers. :)

Comment Re:Now that's just evil (Score 1) 515

> Except it's not about making the software better. It's about making more money by selling the information you get from this 'feedback'.

Sure, and I'd call this purely wrong if it was Apple, since they make a ton of money from premium pricing. However I'm less inclined to blame MS for going down this path, since almost everyone I know runs a "free" copy of Windows.

Perhaps MS could offer a free version, with all this anti-privacy stuff turned on, and a paid one which is more the traditional model. They're definitely testing the waters, to be sure. Remains to be seen if they decide to offer two models, or try to force this onto everyone.

But I'm no longer going to keep badgering people to pay for their copy of Windows, if it's obvious MS has a revenue model based on analysing the private data of their users. Seems a fair trade to me now, if that is the case, and I'm sure many others will see it that way too, which just seems to be a tit-for-tat downward spiral to me.

Comment Re:exactly this. (Score 1) 279

> instead of recognizing a subset of users who enjoy social media and offering a better product, Plus focused on offering the same product.

FWIW, that misses the obvious reason for Google having a social media platform in the first place. What would be the point - in Google's view - of G+ obtaining a "subset" of users, say 10% to 20%, when FB has the other 80%-90%? Would that make *advertisers*, Google's main revenue stream, sit up and take notice? Doubtful - it may even have the *opposite* effect, where advertisers *lose* confidence in Google's ability to attract eyes. Advertising revenue is the #1 goal; users enjoying a Google or FB product for its own sake, or finding it useful, is just the means to that end, simple as that.

The problem with a business model where you give products away for free in return for advertising revenue is a big one. Look at newspapers. If you don't get **enough eyes**, it makes the product unviable. But this is the kicker: It's not whether it's enough eyes for you, the company making the product; it's whether it's enough eyes to give advertisers the *impression* that your space is a good return on investment. When it comes to investment in advertising space, it's all about *perception* of value. To give customers (ie. the advertisers) a perception of value in advertising on G+, it needs a definite minimum market share. Otherwise it's not perceived as worthwhile, when FB is the market leader for advertising to certain demographics.

Google used to be the king of advertising on the Internet, before FB came along. It's much harder to sell your product when clients realise you're no longer the "go-to guy" in your field any more. Particularly - and this is key - since FB can give advertisers very *focussed* advertising space, knowing so much detail about its users - age, sex, what they like, etc. Google sort of has that too - by analysing searches - but it's not as definite, as easily provable, as knowing who actually likes certain thing, not just searches on them for whatever unknown reason.

Also I think Google is (rightly) worried about the future of Facebook technology in general. Why else is Google investing heavily in other products, like self-driving cars, watches, Android, etc? Believe me, under all this fancy product hooplah, there is a fierce battle going on between Apple, MS, Google and FB for the possession of user data for advertisers.

What Google has lost to Facebook, they're trying to make up by saying to advertisers, "look, now we know everyone's movements and usage data in Android phones!" - they won that battle with Apple at least - Android market share is at least 50%.

So it's easy to see why the plan was to attract a *significant* % of FB users to G+. A small subset is *useless* to Google, as it does not improve their standing with advertisers - it has to be a significant slice, or there's no point. The pressure on execs to achieve that must have been enormous.

Google is being "attacked" from all sides in the data-gathering game, from MS, Apple, FB, etc. How all that affects Google's standing with advertisers is what guides Google's choices about what products they focus on.

Anyway, I think they've learned some valuable (though bleedingly obvious to many) lessons about user adoption. A major one is don't shove a product down people's throats - that only pisses off your users, even the loyal ones, undermining efforts to make it "popular". Google, of all companies, should know the value of "natural results".

Comment Re:Aussie freedoms are inferior (Score 1) 337

The gun thing is also important. I'm not a gun nut... but I believe I have a right to be dangerous in my own country and in my home. Not for hunting... not even for self defense... to be DANGEROUS. I feel that is an important check on anyone that would try to intimidate the people. If they understand that the people can and will turn on them with an instant militia of millions. That forces the elites to be careful.

That made me laugh. How's that working out for you so far? Maybe you can't see from inside, but from out here America looks like elite paradise. Your government is run by corporate donors, workers' rights are eroding, don't get me started on public health. Half of you can't be bothered getting off their arse to vote, so don't expect them to join you in your game of Fantasy Militia. Your guns and bluster are at best useless, at worst a cultural sickness, so don't you dare project your failures onto the rest of the world like they're the only answer to anything.

As an Australian, we've dealt with guns to the point where we saw mass shootings and decided, as a country, NO FUCKING WAY, and you have no right to judge us as inferior. You obviously don't even see your own hypocrisy in doing so. At least we all voted for it, you stupid prat. Stay in your country, we certainly don't need your perverse American breed of self-centred, everyone-for-himself "freedom" here.

Enjoy your guns and militia fantasies while your social fabric continues to rot, worn away by the hand-rubbing of your greedy corporations. American has clearly forgotten what Democracy, not to mention the Economy, is all about - that is, to serve the people, collectively. Instead, you serve corporations, religions and gun lobbies, to the point you can't even think for yourself and instead spout meaningless rhetoric straight from television about what it means to be "free".

So THANK YOU for deciding to stay in America.

Comment Australia here; you got nothing to complain about. (Score 1) 58

We in Australia have just passed legislation requiring ISPs to retain users' "metadata" for 2 years. So there.

Kind of ironic, considering that we're well behind the rest of the world in just about everything else internet-related. Our country is going to shit under the current conservative government, and that's not hyperbole. See asylum seekers, mining companies, Murdoch penetration, climate change denial; name the doo-doo, we're deep in it.

Comment Re:Friendliness (Score 1) 367

which will entice any superintelligence to convert all matter on Earth (and then, the universe) to computronium. If the AI is not perfectly friendly, humans are unlikely to survive that conversion.

I believe there was a paper written on a similar topic, by a one W. Rhinoceros, about the dangers of the rise of human intelligence. He also believed his kind would not survive the conversion - if I recall correctly - to small, decorative cups.

Stellar rays prove fibbing never pays. Embezzlement is another matter.