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Comment There's no interface for resistance (Score 1) 224

Said before and will probably say again, these laws are designed to eliminate interfaces of resistance. What? Well, take segregation for example. There was an obvious point of resistance: sit at a lunch counter, take a bus, get arrested.

Now take most of these trade agreements. There's no obvious point of resistance for ordinary citizens. Stuff just gets more expensive and/or inferior. Stuff that used to exist disappears. Products come with "features" that spy on you, and there's no alternative. There's no point of resistance, and it's too difficult to build any consensus for boycott like there was with segregated buses.

It's as if TPTB studied civil disobedience and figured out how to eliminate the traction surfaces where resistance is applied.

IMHO, it has to get worse before it gets better. At some point, they run out of smooth surfaces. The temptation to oppress in places where resistance is more obvious becomes too great for them, and then we have a flash-point.

Comment That girl in school is looking just a bit smarter (Score 1) 361

I attended a screening of Birth of a Nation at school, which had a panel discussion after the film. One of the questions fielded from the audience was, "Were those actual Civil War battle scenes?". I had to bite my lip to keep from laughing for the rest of the panel.

That girl is looking just a bit smarter now. At least they had still photography during the Civil War, so the possibility of some early, expensive, motion picture system is at least plausible. Not knowing that we've never been anywhere near Mars with humans? I think that's a whole new level.

Comment Re:Bugs mistaken as features? (Score 1) 161

Features like that wouldn't be so bad if there were a way to isolate their use. For example, ordinary Perl files could be .pl and not allowed to change the language. Perl files that mucked with the language in various ways would be required to have a .pld (Perl Language Definition) suffix. That way you could make rules like, "No PLD files in this project" or "only Joe has permission to change the PLD and you'd better have a damned good reason for asking him to change it".

There are legit reasons to modify the language, create DSLs and code in them, etc. It's just like how there are legit reasons to have Howitzers in the army, but you don't just turn them over to PFCs straight out of boot and say, "here, figure this out".

Comment International harmonization? (Score 1) 109

AFAIK, in the US you can use "the best" but not "better than" unless you have a way to back it up. Thus, "the best beer" is OK, but "better than Bud" is not OK unless you cite some specific like, "beat Bud in a blind taste test".

Having different rules for different countries is probably going to give international ad campaigners some fits. That's the beauty of sovereignty though. Different systems, and we get to see what's workable in practice and what isn't.

Comment Re:Let's get this out of the way (Score 1) 447

Let's face it, what could possibly go right?

It could be a fantastic writing prompt for some would-be author. The next Great American Novel collaboratively written by a tight cadre, or perhaps written by a single hacker with multiple accounts. I'd like to see what Stephen King could do with a dozen accounts on this thing.

BTW, my first review of King will be, "great stories, but he keeps dying at 54".

Comment Do they still have the cardboard box? (Score 1) 246

Any other children of the 70s remember the big brown box? It came from some company; but I forget the name. Our school would get these every other month or so. They were full of basic science experiments for elementary aged children. There was one with seeds to sprout and instructions, for example. Another might have had some relatively safe chemicals in it. Then you'd do stuff with the chemicals like put water or vinegar on them. Perhaps based on some earlier lesson you'd then answer questions like, "is that an acid or a base?".

The opening of the box was always eagerly anticipated, and they usually brought in a teacher's aid or a parent volunteer to help with "experiment day" if it was something they thought might require that.

Comment XSS attack? (Score 1) 406

NoScript says there is a potential XSS attack there. That's really unusual. Usually all it does it block JS, so I'm not dropping anything to look at that. I don't think yimg is sketchy; but maybe they need to fix their shit, or maybe *you* are trying to pull something. I don't have this problem with any other major image hosting site. Your URL looks weird, with some junk and another URL in it. Figuring those thigns out is not my specific area of expertise, so I don't care to analyze it any further.

Comment Ads are collateral damage (Score 1) 307

Ads are collateral damage in my personal war for a good Internet experience. I hear some people saying that there's absolutely no place for any kind of ads on the Internet. I respectfully disagree with that. Some say they're corporate propaganda. The people who say that are just as likely to be selling something themselves--albeit a philosophy rather than a product. I've found that philosophy can be just as big a time and money sink as products.

There is a place for ads in media, a place that has been lost. One of the joys of combing through the stacks at a good library is to discover period ads. They're a part of history.

Internet ads, with their dozens upon dozens of 3rd party servers... will never be properly archived. There will be a black hole of history for the late 90s towards some indeterminate point in the future.

Internet ads, with their 3rd party domains that when you enable them require you to... enable more 3rd party domains. You are collateral damage. I will not view your content. If the story is widely circulated I can find a source that might only require JavaScript on its own domain, that might have just a handful of 3rd party domains to allow if I really want to see the content. If I care... I'll go down the list one-by-one. More often than not these days though, I just don't care.

Internet ads, and executives on both sides of the table buying and selling more money in order to pitch products to a customer base that has less and less money.

Internet ads, illustrative of the maxim that "just because we can, doesn't mean we should".

Internet ads! One side of the arms race between labor and capital, producer and consumer, theater and patron. These were once partners, or at the very least signatories to an uneasy truce. Now they are engaged in all-out war. Tivo. Product-placement. Blocker. Interstitial. NoScript. Astro-turfer.

The ads? They are just the collateral damage in the aforementioned war. The executives and agents, fretting over balance sheets. Crying over the smoldering ruins of fraudulent impressions, the lack of conversion. The would-be viewers pounding their keyboards and hitting their back-buttons in frustration. The ads? Just collateral damage. The war, what caused it? That's the question.

"The Mets were great in 'sixty eight, The Cards were fine in 'sixty nine, But the Cubs will be heavenly in nineteen and seventy." -- Ernie Banks