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Comment Trim your damned URLs ... (Score 5, Informative) 84

Come on guys, what the hell are you doing posting URLs with so much tracking crap embedded in it?

The third URL is

And the entirety of "?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+arstechnica%2Findex+(Ars+Technica+-+All+content)" is just tracking crap which shouldn't even be incluced.

Are you guys getting affiliate clicks? Or are you just too damned lazy to not give us URLs full of this crap?

To the guys offering to fix this, kudos and good on 'ya.

Comment Re:So what's up with those bitcoins? (Score 1) 103

If you're thinking "but wait, that means there wouldn't be enough bitcoins in existence to allow everyone to withdraw their deposits", then congratulations, you understand how banking works.

With BTC denominated accounts if everyone tries to withdraw their BTC at once the bank has a big problem. They can try to buy BTC to cover the withdrawals but there is no guarantee they will actually be able to.

Now you understand how banking works. That's now a flaw in the system, that is the system. A savings account is a sort share in the bank, it's not at all a bundle of money in the vault.

Comment Re:So what's up with those bitcoins? (Score 1) 103

Sure, all that's true, but most modern recessions aren't caused by lack of money supply, but instead lack of demand. If businesses don't see any worthwhile investment opportunities at any interest rate, additional supply won't help. You can't push on a rope. Stability (and its counterpart, uncertainty) is the chief concern for most recessions: when businesses and consumers reach the point where they believe they understand the "new normal", can cope with it, and have survived, only then do they start spending again.

Comment Re:Privacy in danger (Score 1) 476

All corporations who have the opportunity will be salivating at the chance to do this.

They're all ran by the same kind of greedy bastard, and all the signals Microsoft is sending absolutely scream "you're either going to get ads, or you're going to pay to not get ads, or you're going to pay for what you used to have for free, or we're going to force you to use our online services ... where you're going to get ads, or pay not to get ads, and we'll sift through all your stuff".

Every damned corporation wants to monetize your experience and your data, have access to all of your stuff, and claim ownership to do anything they want to with it.

Microsoft has thus far failed to come up with a compelling way to do this because they keep putting out flops which don't catch on.

With Windows 10, between now expecting money for Solitaire without ads, or sharing your wifi password with people (including whatever government demands it), and pretty much everything else they're doing, Microsoft is trying to set the stage where they have access to all of your data, have everything in their cloud, and an EULA which says they can do anything they choose.

Everything about Windows 10 is screaming this will be terrible for the consumer. And it also tells me I want no part of it.

Microsoft is basically saying they will do anything with your computer, any time they want to, and you don't get a vote. Which means I expect Microsoft to be fucking up a lot of computers and leaving that to be someone else's problem.

Comment Re:So what's up with those bitcoins? (Score 1) 103

Traditional currencies have inflation because they are printing money faster than old bills get destroyed.

The amount of "printed currency" in circulation has almost nothing to do with the size of the money supply. It's amazing how many gold/bitcoin fans don't understand this. Heck, the US recently concluded "QE", in which a couple of trillion dollars were created by the Fed without any of it being physically printed.*

When you deposit $US with a US bank, in a savings account or CD, it can loan out 100% of your deposit. If banks offered BTC-denominated savings accounts, they'd work the same way. If you're thinking "but wait, that means there wouldn't be enough bitcoins in existence to allow everyone to withdraw their deposits", then congratulations, you understand how banking works.

There's only ~$1.3 T in physical US currency, but there is ~$10 T in total bank deposits (of various kinds). That wouldn't change if we adopted gold or bitcoins as the national currency.

*To further complicate things, the money supply actually didn't grow during that time, as bank deposits with the Fed grew at about the same rate. When the banks start finding investments better than the rate the Fed pays, we'll start seeing the inflationary effects - it's a very new idea by the Fed, and time will tell how crazy it was.

Comment Re:Found? (Score 4, Funny) 103

Given the mass incompetence of how Gox was run, that's the least surprising thing. They had paper wallets scattered around the city that that only Mark knew the password to.

So, you're telling me that Magic the Gathering Online Exchange stored its assets by printing them on paper cards? I never saw that coming. I hope they were at least kept in protective sleeves!

Comment Re:Is that even worthwhile? (Score 1) 105

Honestly ... do you really thing do not track means a damned thing? Are you that naive?

Do not track says "gee Mr Website, will you be nice and not attempt to monetize my traffic". It doesn't mean a damned thing.

You should pretty much assume that everyone on the internet will track everything about you they can at every chance they can get. You should assume some greedy asshole with an MBA and a tendency to be a sociopath doesn't give a fuck about your desire not to be tracked is making the decision to obey no not track.

Do not track was an industry attempt to distract people from regulations which would have tried to stop them.

Do not track is a complete fucking lie.

Don't be all surprised now to find out it doesn't actually do anything or hold any weight. Which is why you should be actively blocking as many of these things as you can, instead of relying on the kindness of some greedy sociopath asshole who doesn't give a crap that your browser has pathetically announced it doesn't wish to be tracked.

Hell, do not track, when ignored like we know it is, just gives them another point of data. I don't even set it, because I know damned well it's not going to do anything.

When a company publicly says they won't respect do not track, you can pretty much assume every other company is already ignoring it anyway. There is not do not track.

Comment Re:Is that even worthwhile? Serious Question... (Score 5, Insightful) 105

Everything about you they can get, all day long, as long as the app is running.

They'll figure out what they can make money off later. Like, do people buy more gas in the winter or summer.

This is just greedy assholes maximizing both greedy and asshole. And this why I look at apps as basically ads and analytics in disguise, and why I don't feel compelled to have a smart phone with a data plan.

You can always not play the damned game.

Me, I want Android to return the ability to selectively turn off stuff that apps can do. If your app keels over because I won't let it access my contacts, I don't want your fucking app.

I view most apps as about the same as if a retail store demanded the ability to rifle through my wallet before I came in the store, only in the case of apps it's pretty much all the time.

No thanks.

Comment Re:Don't buy the cheapest cable (Score 1) 369

The actual spec is behind a paywall, as with most tech specs, but Wikipedia says.

cable of about 5 meters (16 feet) can be manufactured to Category 1 specifications easily and inexpensively by using 28 AWG (0.081 mmÂ) conductors.[107] With better quality construction and materials, including 24 AWG (0.205 mmÂ) conductors, an HDMI cable can reach lengths of up to 15 meters (49 feet).[107]

You may be right, and this is just the physical consequence of the spec, but 28 AWG is quite thin wire. (One poster said his long cable has a booster, so maybe that's another way, but that's not "cheapest" either).

Comment Re:IE all over again (Score 1) 367

Well, not to defend Microsoft, but this behavior is probably the most effective way to get the kinds of people who need to be kicked off of IE to actually be kicked off of IE. You know, the users who probably wouldn't even notice that Edge isn't IE in the first place.

The rest of us can take care of ourselves.

Out of all the stupid, evil or self-centered things Microsoft does, this one's frankly pretty low on my list.

Comment Re:IE all over again (Score 1) 367

I've been living with Windows 8 because I can work around most of the stupidities, but when I bought my wife a new laptop with 8, she hated it so much she traded it to one of the kids for their Windows 7 machine.

If I could ask for one thing in Windows 10, it would be the ability to make the desktop look like Windows 2000. That's the last version of Windows I thought actually looked good (although 7 wasn't bad). But with this stupid cult of "flat" you can't even do that any more. That was one of Microsoft's stupider and more arrogant moves in the UI field, because you could easily write a book out of all the many reasons why the "flat" look is inferior. The flat look is like reverting back to Windows 2, although at least with Windows 2, the color palette was so small stuff didn't all run together.

"Say yur prayers, yuh flea-pickin' varmint!" -- Yosemite Sam