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Comment Re:Why would I NOT want to block some ads? (Score 1) 259

Well, maybe not this way, but don't you think there should be a way to have websites earn some money so that they can pay people to bring you the content you want to get without having to outright pay them? I mean, either that or you get only websites made by people in their spare time and out of his own pocket (and traffic stops being cheap as soon as lots of people start to like what you do) or websites that are being paid by companies that don't even tell you about it (and then dictate the content too).

Or paywalls, which always have the problem that you have to pay for something you don't know yet if it is worth what you pay for it. Well, or pay them from taxes and let the government serve the content to you for free. Ads are bad, but everything else may be even worse.

Of course individually you can just block the ads while others don't and so pay for your content with their sanity, so you can have your cake and eat it too. I would be quiet about it though since the more people you convince of that being a great idea the worse it will work.

(This does not mean I recommend against ad-blocking, I do it too since many years. We need to put pressure at the industry so it starts to think about handling this better. But just "no ads!!!" isn't going to add much sense to that problem. Can you imagine TV or radio with no ads? Who is paying for this then? The government? Freedom has a price. In Russia advertising has been outlawed for private TV. The people loved it. TV has become a bit one-sided though. The problem isn't ads, it's crappy ads, cheap ads and too many of them and relentless stalking. Ads need to be more expensive so we can have less of them and instead of tracking we need opt-in preferences.)

Comment They're too tame (Score 2) 259

What adblock should do is blocking ALL ads and all tracking religiously (no exceptions, treat every ad or tracker as a bug to fix) and then instead inject own ads they sell. Limit that to one ad per page (none on pages that had no ads to begin with, on pages with only a single ad let this through), small, no tracking at all, no flash, no video, no sound. Deliver ads to devices based on rough location (as determined by the IP address) and the URL of the page, no more personalisation by tracking. Add an opt-in system with an account where users can voluntarily submit preferences for ads to get more relevant ads if they want to.

This would be revolutionary and could help to beat the online advertising business back on track. It would allow less (but more expensive) ads, more page views for websites, less bandwidth waste, and more honest and meaningful targeting. It would be rather a kind of "page sponsoring" than the firehose approach that we have now, but this doesn't have to be bad, for nobody.

I mean, things like trying to trick users into clicking on an ad by accident or devaluing your advertising by drowning it in a flickering sea of crap does neither help the users nor those who advertise or the websites themselves. Online advertising is being ABUSED and all but some scum companies suffer from it. Both websites and advertisers (that is the companies who want to show ads to people they think they have something to sell to) have to organize against that kind of abuse. Websites need to get much, much more selective about what they allow their content to be framed by and if they can't spend that kind of effort on it they have to outsource it.

And yes, someone has to do something drastic or we will never see things changing here, and everyone will suffer just longer from it. There is no real reason for advertising being a too dirty business, it's what made the press and radio and TV affordable and helped countless businesses to stay in business and customers find companies to buy things from.

Comment Re:OK, I'll bite (Score 1) 211

You have no idea what the Soviet Union having the first satellite and the first man in orbit meant back then. Yes, the technology was about missiles, but the demonstration was about socialism versus capitalism and it was going to the moon that fixed that for good.

Nowadays you could get the impression that we're trying to win against idiots by out-idioting them. Never works.

Comment OK, I'll bite (Score 4, Interesting) 211

What is the nation willing to spend? The true question would be: Why should the nation be willing to spend anything? To go back in history: Why was the nation willing to spend what it did to land on the Moon? The answer is: Because it wanted to show off. Because it wanted to show that its system was better than that of the "other nation".

And we are at a very similar point now. Because what we are fighting now is not a nation but a wave of religious nuts who think that all the laws that humanity needs where sent down to our planet by some God 1400 years ago, literally. While we believe that man has only to obey the laws of nature and then those that he makes up for himself.

So we should offer those nuts a bet: Let them try to pray one or more of them onto the surface of Mars and we try to land one or more of us there by learning about and applying the laws of nature and lots of good old engineering. Who wins that race is right, who loses it crawls back under his stone, with his holy book or without it as he wants.

What we need to do is to demonstrate that rational thinking and getting things done just BECAUSE WE WANT TO is what makes us human. That we're tool-using apes and we're proud of it. So let us make some awesome tools to make clear that religion is a private thing and that the book that defines us is still being written. By us. So let us turn another page.

The new (not entirely) Cold War is about exactly that. It's about clear thinking and rationalism versus magic thinking and religious madness. And mind you, this is not a war just between nations anymore. There are nuts among us too. Teach them a lesson.

Comment Re:Maybe Scott just wasn't listening that hard... (Score 1) 163

The dust particles carried by the atmosphere there have the size of particles in cigarette smoke. Calling the atmosphere a "dirty vacuum" describes it quite nicely. You would be able to see a dust storm there and to measure it with instruments, but you wouldn't be able to even feel it.

As far as Science Fiction goes The Martian still is enough science to make the fiction palatable.

Comment Re:US got bored forcing their laws on other countr (Score 2, Insightful) 162

So make the EU outlaw asteroid mining... and give it the resources to police space. Good luck.

By the way, this is inevitable in the long run. Either we will die out or we will start to exploit resources in space. Earth is becoming too small for us fast. Space should be big enough for quite a while...

Comment Say what you want (Score 1) 535

But I'm looking forward to that. The car industry is so stuck in its ways that it just needs a healthy shock.

When Apple is planning for a few years still, they may do it right and come with an autonomous car and you won't buy it, you will just rent it when you need to get from A to B. The car itself then may be expensive but this way it may still be cheaper and more convenient (no parking, no caring for anything) than owning a cheaper car. Like a robot chauffeur you can summon to appear out of thin air when you need it. It may end up being not so much a money pit but a money mountain.

Or Apple may totally screw it up, but I have nothing against them trying to get it right.

Comment Re:Never understand jailbreaking an Apple iOS devi (Score 4, Informative) 217

Of course jailbreaking iOS puts it into some insecure state. Quite literally. Jailbreaking circumvents code signing for all code that runs on the device which means that every bit of code that makes its way onto the phone will happily run now. Also using the repositories means that you will install undocumented binary code from unknown people. Since you don't have the sources there is no way to check what this code does and since whoever wrote that code faces no risk when his code is discovered to be malware there's very little you can do after the fact.

This is less secure than a device that is not jailbroken.

I mean, do what you want to do by all means, but at least try to know what you're doing so you can correctly balance the risks and advantages you get by what you're doing.

Comment Re:Good god. (Score 4, Insightful) 253

We've lost that kind of 'slow down and make sure it's right' attitude that engineers really need to have. In this fast-paced road of cutting costs and letting the marketing group run the show, the pressure to get product out the door as quickly as possible no matter what is unstoppable for software in particular, but really almost anything that is able to be 'patched' later. Making consumers into your beta testers is douche-y enough, but doing it when lives are at stake should be punished as criminal and in an extremely harsh and public way.

As far as I know aerospace software is far away from what you describe. Of course you're right if you say that these things are a reason for problems, but THIS is very well understood and usually software for planes is nothing like a consumer product.

They screwed up, yes, but if they would be "punished as criminal and in an extremely harsh and public way" nobody would ever do anything useful anymore. The problems leading to this crash have to be analyzed and understood and then they have to make sure that the same thing can't happen again.

But of course: If this was due to someone not following procedures or messing around with maintenance this can (and will) have consequences. I'm also pretty sure that one or more people will lose their job over that.

But if you really think you can make shit never happen and things working 100% all the time by "hard punishment" you're just wrong.

Comment Re:America next? (Score 1) 276

You still get people requiring that all media is only allowed to tell The Truth. They don't realize that a state that has the power to outlaw lies and by that controlling what is published and what is not published will publish nothing but lies or at least will censor much sooner uncomfortable truths than meaningless bullshit.

The only way to guarantee that the truth is allowed to be published is to also allow bullshit to be published by allowing to publish whatever you want. If you want to be told nothing but the truth you're begging for lies.

Comment Re:Hasn't this been proven to be junk science? (Score 2) 313

Hope, and judging that rotting over weeks or rotting over decades in the worst case will mean they will end up the same way, just slower.

The next step will be (probably destructive) high-resolution scanning of the physical brain structure and then saving the scan data in the hope that one day we will be able to "decode" that data and "run" the brain on some other hardware by emulating it's biology. At least that data will keep fresh much, much longer (potentially). Baby steps to immortality. There's nothing wrong with trying.

Effective immortality will be the most lucrative product ever. Sooner or later we will grow some of us into ghosts and maybe even gods. And they probably will be the same ill-tempered, asshole-gods as all of them are. Well, or not. At least we should try.

Do you really want to die in the same body you were born in? Like a fucking animal?

Comment Re:A few positive points about Apple's watch .... (Score 1) 290

I don't get it. Really. I mean, people spend $400 on lots of things that aren't really necessary, just because they like them. Have you ever build a house? Or bought a car? Or clothing? Shoes? You like things, you can afford them, you buy them. If it makes you happy to have things you like, what's so bad about that?

And this isn't just about about rich people. One could even say that living (as opposed to surviving) starts when you can afford more than you need. I really don't want to limit me to what I really NEED. Buying pretty and convenient things and by this allowing others to make pretty and convenient things is what keeps things going and this probably started with the first stone hand-axe someone swapped against a slice (or two) of meat, so he could eat without having to hunt while the hunter got a stone-axe without having to know (and learn) how to make it. EVERYTHING that differentiates us from living like animals came from that.

So if you think that watch is crap, make a better one or shut up. Or invest you energy into hating (which won't change anything but your mood and probably not in a good way).

Comment Re:Ugly ugly ugly (Score 1) 290

To be honest I thought the very same about the iPhone 6 but when I handled one and looked at it in the flesh I changed my mind. It's actually quite pretty in a simple and subtle way. And that watch is VERY similar to the iPhone 6. It's smoothly rounded, with very little in terms of gaps and ugly details and I'm fairly sure it will look and feel totally fine.

I won't buy one, but I don't really think it is ugly. Of course it's still a matter of taste, but there are things you can call "ugly" with better reasons.

Be careful when a loop exits to the same place from side and bottom.