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Comment: Re:Much as I despise trolls (Score 1) 349

by msobkow (#48183999) Attached to: In UK, Internet Trolls Could Face Two Years In Jail

A troll is someone who posts a clickbait message designed not to inform or educate or share an opinion, but for the sole purpose of starting an argument. I despise them as much as I despise the people you claim I'm "confusing" them with. Starting arguments for the sake of having an argument just because you're in a pissy mood is childish and stupid behaviour.

But it's not something you should spend 2 years in jail for.

Comment: Re:Trolls are the lowest form of life. . . (Score 1) 349

by hey! (#48183297) Attached to: In UK, Internet Trolls Could Face Two Years In Jail

Well, every generalization has its corner cases that require careful thought. So while I agree that trolling per se shouldn't be outlawed, there may be certain uses of trolling that should be criminalized.

Take the libelous component of cyberstalking. At the very least this could be an aggravating factor in impersonation. Also, the law already recognizes libel as wrong, but it requires the harmed person take civil action. The Internet exposes more people than ever to reputation harm, but not all those people have the money to hire a lawyer. Social media have created a whole new vista for defamation, much of which is *practically* immune from any consequences.

So I do not in principle object to a law that criminalizes *some* forms of defamation, particularly against people who are not protected by the current laws. But I'd have to look at the the specific proposed law carefully. Just because people *claim* a new law would do something doesn't mean it does, or that's all it does.

Comment: Of course it's worse (Score 4, Insightful) 231

by msobkow (#48182903) Attached to: If You're Connected, Apple Collects Your Data

Microsoft is testing a release candidate and is informing users of what they're monitoring.

So far no one has complained about onerous licensing agreements with Yosemite, which seems to imply that Apple is not informing users about it.

Until Microsoft has a production release, it's not even fair to compare the two.

Comment: Is it really parody or an excuse? (Score 1) 108

by msobkow (#48182527) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Good Hosting Service For a Parody Site?

Unfortunately an awful lot of so-called "parody" posts and sites are just people being mean-spirited and cruel and using the age old bully's line when called on it -- "Can't you take a joke?"

So before you go hunting for an ISP, do a little soul searching and above all else, ask yourself if anyone but you is going to find it funny.

Comment: Future *purchases* (Score 4, Insightful) 329

by msobkow (#48182083) Attached to: Apple Doesn't Design For Yesterday

Apple does not design "for the future". They design for future purchases.

They drop support for older hardware to force you to upgrade, not because there is a technical problem mandating it.

I'm running Debian on a 12 year old box. It's had a CPU upgrade (to a whopping 3.8 GHz single core) and some extra RAM installed (4G total.) It's perfectly usable, and fully patched.

Had I bought a Mac, I'd have an unsupported paperweight years ago.

Comment: Re:Why the hell... (Score 4, Insightful) 181

by Intrepid imaginaut (#48177887) Attached to: JavaScript and the Netflix User Interface

It has a lot of merit, especially if you're trying to do anything fancy. Getting the needed processing power from the client, especially in this day and age of overpowered commodity hardware, rather than the server frees up the server to do more important jobs, and really as long as you're sanitising properly inputs why not. What's really needed is a proper push routine but that comes with its own tangled web of problems.

Comment: Bollocks. (Score 2) 340

by msobkow (#48174271) Attached to: The Physics of Why Cold Fusion Isn't Real

...we don't have a way to ignite and sustain that reaction without needing to input more energy than we can extract in a usable fashion from the fusion that occurs

Bollocks. The break-even point was passed this year. Sure it's not reached a point of economy-of-scale, but it was a critical change in the fusion story.

Comment: Re:Prison population (Score 4, Interesting) 402

by hey! (#48172573) Attached to: As Prison Population Sinks, Jails Are a Steal

Check out this graph.

The nuimbers of prisoners has not declined significantly since 2009. This doesn't mean the bubble hasn't burst, the nature of the bubble resists bursting. People can leave the housing market, but prisoners can't leave the prison market.

Still, anyone who invested big-time in prisons back in 2008 or so on the basis of 30 years of exponential prison population growth was just stupid. We were approaching 1% of the Amercian population incarcerated, how much higher did they expect that to go?

I have no sympathy with a town that bet its financial future on prisons while its schools rate minimally acceptable.

Comment: Re:Prison population (Score 4, Informative) 402

by invid (#48167849) Attached to: As Prison Population Sinks, Jails Are a Steal
It's especially surprising considering that there is a population bulge of young people with the Millennials. Conventional wisdom states that since most crimes are committed by people in their teens and twenties, such a population bulge would increase crime. I guess it's time to toss out conventional wisdom.

Comment: Re:I don't get it... (Score 1) 185

by msobkow (#48166979) Attached to: Warner Brothers Announces 10 New DC Comics Movies

Why so popular? Because the storyboarding and visuals are already sketched out by the original issues of the comics themselves.

Adapting a novel requires an imaginitive F/X team to create the F/X from mere text descriptions of the scenes and items to be depicted. Having existing pictures makes it cheap and easy to skip that creativity in the process.

There is also the fact that an awful lot of movies adapted from novels just tank at the box office because they don't express a vision that the readers of those novels had in mind. Even short stories tank. Take, for example, "Enemy Mine." It was a great short story, but kind of sucked as a movie.

I'd like to believe that a better job could be done by a competent team with a good budget, but then along comes something like "Ender's Game", which was so bad I gave up on watching it less than half an hour in. Yet I'd devotedly read the entire series of novels set in that world in my high school days, and enjoyed them thoroughly.

I've often wished they'd get around to adapting some of C. J. Cherryh's universe to a movie format, but I fear they'd butcher her excellent writing and characterization and leave us with yet another F/X fest that tanks at the box office and loses all the appeal of the novels.

"The only way for a reporter to look at a politician is down." -- H.L. Mencken