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Comment: Re:The joy of flipping pages? (Score 1) 143 143

by stevejsmith (#27037583) Attached to: Hearst To Launch E-Reader For Newspapers
Similarly, the smell of newsprint and the act of folding and unfolding each section is very much tied up in my overall experience of reading the paper. I don't think that any e-reader, no matter the spiffy features, could replace all that.

That's exactly why I hate newspapers - they're so fucking inconvenient. Granted, I grew up with free news online, which beat the hell out of the Philadelphia Inquirer (here is just one extremely bullshitty long-form piece I found on their website in about 2.4 seconds, after wading through the four stories about solid precipitation falling from the sky).

On the other hand, I'd be willing to bet that I read more newspaper articles than you. It's amazing how much you miss by only reading one media source. Efficiency and breadth are much more compelling factors for me.

Comment: Re:Now, that's interesting. (Score 1) 225 225

by stevejsmith (#27005011) Attached to: US Antitrust Judge Examining Windows 7 Documents
Microsoft's day is coming (see: decline of the desktop computer, where Windows dominates, and Apple's increasing share of the laptop market), and I agree with you that Microsoft should have fallen earlier, but it wasn't because of a lack of antitrust regulations and government bureaucrats poring over code to make sure it's up to their standards. Face it: if you're going to give people monopolies on their intellectual output (i.e., copyrights and patents), the market will coalesce into a monopoly.

Comment: Re:Same as 4th grade (Score 1) 613 613

by stevejsmith (#26823407) Attached to: My handwriting ...
Humans design machines that are efficient to work with. In the case of modern day computers, this means relying on two things - algorithmic efficiency and processing efficiency. If we can develop fast processors, we don't have to spend as much time tweaking our code, and can thus get things done faster. This is the whole premise of scripting languages: not the most efficient things, but damn easy to work with. You can go back to a world of writing in assembly, and like living as a subsistence farmer, it will be a very difficult life, but will not result in much happiness as you look around you at how your life could be.
The Military

German Bundeswehr Recruiting Hackers 156 156

Posted by timothy
from the blinkenlights-brauch'-das-fingerpoken dept.
bad_alloc writes " tells us about the German Bundeswehr's idea of recruiting hackers in order to 'penetrate, manipulate and damage hostile networks.' (Note: The following passage has been translated from German into English: 'The Regiment is stationed in Rheinbach, near Bonn, and consists of several dozen graduates from Bundeswehr universities. They're training at the moment, but the 'hackers in uniforms' are supposed to be operational by next year. This regiment officially belongs to the "Kommando Strategische Aufklärung" (strategic reconnaissance) and is commanded by Brigadier General Friedrich Wilhelm Kriesel. The Bundeswehr has not said anything to this regiment yet.' You can find the full article in German."

Comment: You're too small to be on their radar (Score 1, Interesting) 614 614

by stevejsmith (#26721793) Attached to: Software Piracy At the Beijing Branch Office?
At least in Romania, where piracy is also widespread, the only companies at risk from these sorts of things are large companies owned by politically-involved people. Prosecutions for software piracy are often pretexts for some other political offense. If you're just a small design shop, I don't see how it would benefit any bureaucrat to come after you.

Comment: Re:Inquiring Gamers Want to Know (Score 2, Insightful) 504 504

Democracy rose in popularity pretty steadily...not necessarily quickly, but generally steadily in the sense that democracies rarely devolved back into dictatorships. Communism on the other hand definitely peaked in its popularity and is heading steadily downward. It's possible for it to rise again, but given how hard it's fallen (there have been a lot of communist states in history, and they're pretty much all gone), I kind of doubt it.

Comment: Re:Inquiring Gamers Want to Know (Score 1) 504 504

You don't think the fact that it hasn't happened yet, despite the high-water mark of support for communism having passed decades ago, is a sign that people don't want to live under communist regimes?

Comment: ...hopefully not. (Score 1) 18 18

by stevejsmith (#26649665) Attached to: Data Privacy Day Wrap-Up
but hopefully it will grow over time

Hopefully not. How the hell else do you think that news and video is going to get paid for without targeted advertising? (Music obviously will always be able to fall back on live performances, which is good since it would be pretty annoying to listen to ads for music.) Traditional online advertising is both annoying and inefficient – there's a reason why people actually sort of enjoy reading ads in when they're targeted to them (think: magazines).

Comment: Re:Missing option: (Score 2, Interesting) 887 887

by stevejsmith (#26413291) Attached to: How do you get to work?
It's not just Euclidean zoning (the Sim City-style residential/commercial/industrial stuff) that discourages walkability â"Âit's also density caps, minimum parking regulations, setback requirements, etc.

Houston, for example, lacks traditional Euclidean zoning, but those other restrictions cause it to sprawl just as much as an other American city.

Comment: Re:Spam will be gone, but advertising is forever (Score 1) 284 284

by stevejsmith (#26255345) Attached to: What Will Spam Be Like In 20 Years?
Why are you so sure that the trust systems will be so stupid as to allow such a thing to happen? There are so many ways that you could engineer around this that it boggles the mind. One such possibility is for systems to notice when e-mail patterns change to match those of an infected node, and to then red flag that account and do any number of things to alert the user to the problem and even do filtering of the outgoing e-mails.

An egghead is one who stands firmly on both feet, in mid-air, on both sides of an issue. -- Homer Ferguson