Slashdot videos: Now with more Slashdot!
We've improved Slashdot's video section; now you can view our video interviews, product close-ups and site visits with all the usual Slashdot options to comment, share, etc. No more walled garden! It's a work in progress -- we hope you'll check it out (Learn more about the recent updates).
But with digitally created pieces, how can you sell the original? How could you certify one digital file as an original vs. a copy? Would you sell the hard drive you stored it on while creating it? Would you buy a computer for each digital work and sell the computer? Do you sell the copyright with the piece, so you surrender the right to make copies?
Part of the value of art sold to collectors is in its scarcity, either through never copying it or allowing only a very few copies in a limited edition. How would you create that sense of uniqueness so that you can add that scarcity premium when selling a digital work?
So I actually tested it. When a matching pattern was hit very early on in the text, the giant regex was faster. But if there was no match or the match was much deeper in the text, the batch of smaller regexes performed better. Essentially, the batch of smaller regexes took the same time to run whether or not there was a match or where it occurred in the examined text. The giant regex slowed down the farther the match happened in the examined text and was slowest when there was no match.
As the length of the examined text grew, particularly with no match, the disparity between the giant regex and the batch of regexes grew. At 760 characters and no matching text, the giant regex was taking around 4.25 times longer than the batch of regexes. At 1520 characters (around 250 words), the giant regex had slipped to 5.4 times longer. Yet if there was a match in the first 10 characters of the 1520-character string, the giant regex was the same speed as if the match had come in the first 10 characters of a string 1/8th the size.
So while the giant regex would be more computationally efficient against shorter strings or ones where you knew the match would come early, the batch of many smaller regexes is actually better as a rule of thumb. It's faster against larger blocks of text when the match is deeper or non-existent, and if the text grows, it's computational needs don't grow as fast as those of the giant regex.
Google acknowledged there were discrepancies after it became so bad you couldn't help but notice it, but they only did so on a thread in the Google Groups AdSense Troubleshooting group and have yet to offer an explanation or ETA for a fix. The next day numbers went down again, this time by a factor of 10 or so, and Google remained mum. As they started coming back up on Thursday, Google chimed back in with another "we're working on it" and that was it.
They say that this problem is just affecting specialized tracking, but isn't affecting aggregate reporting for a whole domain (basically, you're making all the money you should, but you just can't track where it's coming from in as much detail), but many webmasters are complaining of lower revenues to go with the lowered channel numbers. I know my clickthrough rate was the lowest I'd seen in months on the same day this problem was at its worst, though that could be a coincidence. Despite this, Google remains tight-lipped, giving webmasters a minimum of information and providing a minimum of reassurance (two posts in three days that merely state they know it's happening and are working on it). Hopefully they'll be more forthcoming when this is solved and they can do a postmortem on it. But, in the meantime, they're making a lot of people nervous.
One problem. Those stories go up on the Firehose with their post time labeled on them. It'll say something like "Posted by Zonk on Thursday October 18, @02:10PM", only it's 1:45 PM. "02:10PM" is "The Mysterious Future". Now you have some time to compose your post in a text editor and copy it to your clipboard. At 2:10, the "reply" button appears on the page. For tne next minute or so, you'll get an error message instead of a form for posting. Then the system is ready and you get the posting form.
You type in your subject, paste in your response, count to "fifteen-one-thousand" to ensure you've waited the required 20 seconds from hitting the page to posting your comment... voila. First post.
And if you make it reasonably intelligent, it gets modded up enough so everyone visiting that discussion sees your post. If you've got a link in your
I wouldn't suggest marketing via the
To those who actually say "content wants to be free" with a straight face and seriousness of purpose...
"Content wants to be free" makes as much sense as "content wants to be a fireman when it grows up."
When you say "content wants to be free," you actually mean, "I don't want to pay for content." You're talking about your own desires, but the way a three-year-old does.
"Content wants to be free... and my teddy bear wants a chocolate chip cookie... and my shirt wants a hug."
Free content is a good thing, but let's stop talking like three-year-olds, please.