Want to read Slashdot from your mobile device? Point it at m.slashdot.org and keep reading!


Forgot your password?

Comment: Re:Way to simplify it (Score 1) 522

by dmgxmichael (#49752789) Attached to: Ads Based On Browsing History Are Coming To All Firefox Users

Well how about a subscription or money ? I value my privacy and not getting advertising more than anything else.

Nothing irks me more than the double whammy of paying for something and having to put up with ads anyway.

Ads also don't need to involve privacy violations. Billboards don't. TV Spots don't. Why should web ads be any different? Personally I'd like to see client-side tracking scripts made illegal. Server-side gets more information than you really need anyway - IP address, user-agent strings. Click thru tracking just uses parameters on the URI itself so there's nothing personally identifiable. Those incidentally are the only tracking methods we're using, for what it's worth.

Comment: Re:How about ... (Score 1) 522

by dmgxmichael (#49752615) Attached to: Ads Based On Browsing History Are Coming To All Firefox Users

I would be happy to do without the free stuff, most of which is crap, if it meant I would never have to deal with advertising anymore.

As would I even though I'd have to find a different line of work. Musing about such things is pointless - advertising has been with us before we were even human - what the Hell do you think bird songs are for? To advertise for a mate.

There are real problems in the web ad industry and as usual the legislatures are about ten steps behind the times when it comes to enacting needed laws to protect citizen's privacy. I don't work for a company that indulges in such abuses but they're out there and we do compete with them. I'm not in favor of this plug in on Firefox at all. There's a certain irony in them stooping to this - when Firefox was new blocking pop-ups was one of its main selling points.

Aggregate tracking I have no problem with - but I'm a pragmatist. Specific tracking is something no one should be in favor of, not even the advertisers. If you have specific information on someone you're morally obliged to secure that information and personally I don't want any part in that responsibility. It needs to become a legal imperative with very stiff fines for failure to secure the data. Even then, such things should only be opt in by law.

Comment: Re:How about ... (Score 1) 522

by dmgxmichael (#49752479) Attached to: Ads Based On Browsing History Are Coming To All Firefox Users

That's a HUGE advertising tax that we're all paying.

Tax? So if you don't buy Pepsi products someone will seize your home or garnish your wages? If Pepsi doesn't buy advertising they'll pay enormous fines? If CNN refuses to run ads the company get shut down? If you don't watch CNN someone will put you in jail? Hyperbole much?

Companies run advertisements to raise brand or product awareness and increase sales. They can't raise their prices arbitrarily to do so or their competitors will put them out of business with lower prices. The advertiser either succeeds at doing what the client wants or they take their business elsewhere and he goes out of business. Content publishers, such as say, news sites, run advertising to pay the costs of not only the equipment but also the content creators - such as reporters. It ain't cheap for CNN to fly someone out to Damascus to get shot at while doing a report.

As a percentage of gross income advertising for most companies is low. Consider a blockbuster film - The ads for a $170 million dollar to make film acount for maybe 2% of that figure - the rest is in salaries for the enormous amount of people it takes to make such a film and their equipment. Most of the the lead actors are paid more individually than the advertising budget.

So yes, you think like a child and not very far past your nose at that.

Comment: Re:How about ... (Score 4, Insightful) 522

by dmgxmichael (#49751071) Attached to: Ads Based On Browsing History Are Coming To All Firefox Users

Like it or not advertising shapes the world we are in. Where do you think the million dollar super-star athlete salaries come from? Advertising. Free programming? Advertising. I can go on. It's incredibly unlikely you don't own at least one thing you either got for free due to advertising or was subsidized by advertising.

No one likes advertising, but everyone wants free stuff. Why do you think advertising is attached to free stuff? Who do you think is paying for the free stuff?

Companies that pay advertisers want a return on their money spent. That's what all the tracking is about - to justify the money spent. I can understand them wanting to get that data, but I also understand not wanting to be tracked and targeted. Even if by an impersonal computer, it's creepy.

Full disclosure here - I work for an advertiser. And here's hilarity for you - nearly every computer in this department runs ad-block to stop viruses or who knows what else from getting into the system. There's a lot of abuse out there by the unscrupulous to the downright criminal "one simple trick scam" idiots.

There's a lot of problems with the current system. If you can devise a better system for all parties there's a lot of money in it for you, go for it.

But it's two-year-old level childish thinking at it's finest to think you can get all the free and subsidized stuff out here in the world without the advertising that pays for it. Sure, you can block it - but if the blocking ever rises to statistically significant levels then the revenue model will be forced to change, and probably not for the better.

Comment: Re:Term limits. New faces mean new possibilities (Score 2) 607

by dmgxmichael (#49726751) Attached to: The Demographic Future of America's Political Parties

I appreciate the sentiment - but the reality of legislative term limits is it empowers lobbyists because with term limits in place they'll be the only people on the hill who truly understand how to navigate parliamentary procedure and get anything done. It can take a good year or two to get up to speed on that, and another two to four years to build up enough clout to actually get anything done.

The problems isn't terms, it's gerrymandering. Most of these folks haven't faced a competitive race for their seat in years - that's the problem.

Comment: Re:THIS will drive the adoption of the auto-driver (Score 1) 228

by dmgxmichael (#49632975) Attached to: Self-Driving Big Rigs Become a Reality

More likely than having the driver get out I imagine the drivers would physically be at the terminal. They drive the truck by remote control until they reach the interstate where the computer can take over, then they release it and take on the next vehicle.

Hell, I'd consider driving again with that arrangement. I used to have a CDL. As far as visibility, cab visibility is crappy already, and emulating it with a camera and an occulus rift would be trivial

Comment: Re:Facebook Sensitivity...eh. (Score 1) 80

by dmgxmichael (#49054181) Attached to: Facebook Adds Legacy Contact Feature In Case You Die Before It Does

I hear that Facebook has a sensitivity team that responded to that guy who wrote a blog post when the "Year In Review" displayed a lot of pictures of his daughter that died from cancer during the year. (Apparently, Facebook was terribly insensitive in doing that or something...*)

So, it's not terribly surprising that Facebook would address something like this. Especially since the internet hasn't really had the chance to process what it means to have so much digital information on someone online yet. For instance: I received a friend suggestion on Facebook for someone who died last year. We weren't close, but I was sad she passed.

What does that mean if you don't have someone assigned as a legacy, then? Can you report the page as someone who's passed? Do you need to provide proof? What if that system gets abused and locks up people's pages because trolls think it's funny that you have to prove you're still alive in order to access your page?

*No, I'm not mocking the guy for having lost his daughter; guaranteed someone will interpret this statement that way. I personally think it's weird that said blog post became a "thing" on the internet as someone with a downgraded version of the same situation (put our dog to sleep in December; her pics came up a lot in my YIR...which, I know is hardly the same as losing a child to cancer, but if I were to scale it down, I wouldn't have called Facebook "vaguely insensitive" for that. Still miss my dog, though), as if somehow Facebook has the AI to discern exactly enough context from posts to make a perfect and not emotionally damaging YIR for everyone.

They could actually do that if they gave us something other than "Like" to show support. - like condolences, sympathies, or some such that shows support for the person but doesn't comment upon the situation itself (or even implies that the situation is negative).

Comment: Re:Idaho already has 80MPH (Score 1) 525

by dmgxmichael (#48498249) Attached to: Montana Lawmakers Propose 85 Mph Speed Limit On Interstates

Truck speed limit is 70. Some cars/trucks still go 65. No major problems I'm aware of, and in these more sparsely populated states, I think a valid change.

Don't know about the cars, but most corporate owned semi-trucks are governed to between 65 to 68 depending on company (and I'm sure a couple have the governor set higher, but that's the usual range).

Comment: Of course there will be... (Score 5, Funny) 171

by dmgxmichael (#48435931) Attached to: Windows Kernel Version Bumped To 10.0

It will be interesting to see if this causes any software comparability issues with legacy applications.

Of course there will be - in any large pool of people of any calling there's going to be morons - the sort of morons that sniff the OS version string for things like "Windows 9" and then assume it's Windows 95 or 98 and refuse to work; instead of using the proper channels to query for the OS version number.

As a PHP programmer I can testify that morons can indeed program. I'm one of them.

Comment: Re:Ads (Score 1) 319

by dmgxmichael (#48434747) Attached to: Google Launches Service To Replace Web Ads With Subscriptions

Ultimately, if someone wants a promise to be paid in return for their work, there are a number of options available to them, starting with charging for it just like every other industry in the world that produces value.

Or they'll switch to angular.js and similar technologies to deliver the content. No js, no content. If adblock interferes, crash the page, log the ip and block the user.

Adblock will of course try to stop this. And the cat & mouse game will have begun.

Comment: Re:Ads (Score -1, Flamebait) 319

by dmgxmichael (#48434695) Attached to: Google Launches Service To Replace Web Ads With Subscriptions

Apples and Oranges freeloader.

Sharing music doesn't degrade the performance of the artist's servers, and how often you share it doesn't cost them anything directly (indirectly there's a perceived loss of profits, but since when did freeloaders pay for anything so it's a red herring). Besides, the real money for artists is in concerts, not records.

Stripping a site of its ads denies the site owner of the revenue of those ads while still costing him the bandwidth to send you the content. So there is a direct cost. Insignificant in terms of a single freeloader, but if everyone on the net used adblock, the net would collapse because there'd be no revenue to pay for the servers.

So yes, if you use adblock you're a freeloader, and worse, a thief.

Top Ten Things Overheard At The ANSI C Draft Committee Meetings: (2) Thank you for your generous donation, Mr. Wirth.