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Comment: Re:How much? (Score 1) 93

And ad blocking. Don't even get me started. So many ad blockers are so proud of what they do, like it's some badge of honor to block. If everyone blocked ads, many quality web sites would likely cease to exist, including Slashdot.

I suspect in reality that the best sites would continue, but there would be a lot more paywalls around, probably less editorial integrity on open sites as things like product placements and affiliate referral fees became more reliable revenue streams, and maybe over time we'd eventually get somewhere with micropayments. In some ways, moving to more "honest" funding via paywalls and/or micropayments might be a better long-term model for the people who do produce good content and run valuable sites than what we have today, though no doubt it would be a painful transition with many casualties.

The thing that makes me a little sad inside is that the aggressive, irresponsible advertisers have spoiled the model for the moderate, responsible ones. Because of the former group, I do block very aggressively when I'm browsing, and I don't feel any guilt about it because my motivations are security, privacy and performance. However, I also have no problem with people who just want to make a bit of money from running a decent site, and I wouldn't block their ads if there were a reliable way to allow those while still eliminating the rest. Unfortunately, I don't see that being possible any time soon, which is why none of the commercial sites I've ever run myself has relied on ads as a business model.

Comment: Re:How much? (Score 1) 93

A domain is around 5-10 bucks and you can get hosting for less.

Sure you can. I've run various personal or social group sites over the years that just paid a little to keep things running, without expecting any sort of income in return. For the personal sites, I do it for the satisfaction of giving something back, and sometimes starting enjoyable discussions with others who share my interests.

I also run some commercial sites, aiming at a wider audience, charging real money for signing up. This is a completely different scale of commitment in terms of hardware, connectivity, and operating costs.

If you're running a discussion forum that you share with 50 friends, sure, it can be in the first category and you can do it for peanuts and enjoy all the high quality interaction you like. But running a significant news or social networking site with thousands of participants? Not even close.

Comment: Re:Send in the drones! (Score 1) 805

by Opportunist (#47791045) Attached to: Russian Military Forces Have Now Invaded Ukraine

If you do that, you're just giving Russia the justification they needed to turn that kinda-sorta-cold-but-lukewarm war into a full out one.

The problem when calling bluff is that the other one can do it too. Do you thing you will get the necessary popular support for a war against Russia over some country most people never heard of? You still need some kind of Pearl Harbor to convince the people that this war needs to be fought. And after the 9/11 ruse, I think being convincing could be a tad bit difficult.

Comment: Re:If you haven't got a thick skin (Score 1) 68

by msobkow (#47790893) Attached to: Study: Social Networks Have Negative Effect On Individual Welfare

Hey, if you want to torture yourself with a thin-skinned attitude by going on the 'net, go ahead.

But don't expect the 'net to change just because you're offended. It's not going to happen.

Trolls like you amuse me. Didn't your mama call you upstairs for breakfast a few minutes ago?

Comment: Re:It's made of plated steel (Score 1) 42

by Guppy06 (#47790863) Attached to: Watch UK Inventor Colin Furze Survive a Fireworks Blast In a Metal Suit

known for its superb conductivity of heat

Exactly: pinpoint heat sources will see that energy rapidly disbursed throughout the entire suit rather than stay concentrated in a hot spot.

Water's heat conductivity, its ability to spread heat out into meaninglessness, is one of the reasons why it's effective at extinguishing fires.

Comment: Re: Human Subjects (Score 1) 78

So the mortality rate is not 90% - the media is, as usual, misquoting the figure. They actually quote was something more like "a mortality rate of up to 90%" because one outbreak has had a mortality rate this high. This particular outbreak, as of yesterday, only had a mortality rate of 51%. Other outbreaks have different rates depending on local conditions, such as how good the care the patients receive is. I think the cumulative for all outbreaks since the 70's is about 65% IIRC.

And that number is likely to be higher than reality since people who aren't very sick will be unwilling to present for care and, given the poor state of public health infrastructure in that neck of the woods, population surveillance is very hard.

They will have a better idea in the upcoming months when they can screen for Ebola antibodies in the general population.

Comment: If you haven't got a thick skin (Score 3, Informative) 68

by msobkow (#47788985) Attached to: Study: Social Networks Have Negative Effect On Individual Welfare

If you haven't got a thick skin, get off the internet. People will disagree with you, contradict you, post things that make you uncomfortable or that you find downright revolting.

The world is not "your oyster." People who disagree with you and that you find disagreeable have every bit as much right to be there as you. And when you consider the fact that some people find your Bible quotes and homilies offensive (as do I), it soon becomes clear that it's impossible to please everyone.

If you only want to hang out with like-minded people, form a nice little coffee-clique of people and socialize instead of trying to find "happiness" on the 'net.

Comment: Re:Super-8 home movies (Score 1) 525

by ColdWetDog (#47788857) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: What Old Technology Can't You Give Up?

I gave my dad's K&E slide rule, used on Apollo 10 and 11 launches, to my nephew who is an engineering major in college. His friends think it's the coolest retro thing they've even seen. I'm pretty sure it's the only real professional grade aluminum slide rule they've ever seen.

I remember when I used that thing in high school and college.

I'll just water the lawn now.

Comment: Re:Local storage (Score 1) 525

by Anonymous Brave Guy (#47788767) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: What Old Technology Can't You Give Up?

I use POP3, so I can have local copies of all emails.

What I'd really like with modern trends is more emphasis on "private clouds". I want to put my data on my own server on my own network, so it can be accessed from any of my devices around the house and over VPN if I'm out, but with the data always securely under my control and backed up according to my wishes.

This is easy for some formats, including plain files obviously. However, it's surprisingly awkward for stuff like e-mail, where there are plenty of relevant concepts like IMAP and mail stores and smart hosts and web mail systems, but actually setting them up in a useful combination if you're not an experienced sysadmin is quite a challenge.

Sadly, it seems even the best FOSS client software is dying out these days, often because "everyone has Google Whatever". As far as I know there hasn't yet been a lot of movement in the FOSS world towards having easily-deployable private clouds for e-mail, shared documents, and so on, which always surprises me given the implicit freedom, independence, privacy and security.

"If the code and the comments disagree, then both are probably wrong." -- Norm Schryer