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Comment: Re:EU citisens are skeptic too (Score 1) 284

by slimjim8094 (#48442621) Attached to: The EU Has a Plan To Break Up Google

Citation really needed. I reject that integration is "promoting above everybody else". They're trying to provide the most relevant answers to their users, when they can. If you want to go off and do your own thing, the regular results aren't even below the fold! Try "sfo to jfk", which is clearly looking for specific flights - Google has a little box telling you the flights you can take, but immediately below that is a link to Kayak.com (for me). If you search the more generic "flights", there's a small widget indicating that you could've just searched the flight, but the first actual result is Kayak. I should note that the flight search stuff has a huge "Sponsored" text on it - if you don't want to use it, they could hardly make it easier to avoid especially since people are so hardwired to drill in on Google's real results. And if you do want to use it... well, what's the big deal? If somebody's literally just clicking on the first result anyway, and now they don't have to, that's a pretty mercurial and weak preference - would you say that a subtle algorithm change that happened to switch the first and second result was also worth breaking up the company? That's probably more damaging than Google launching its own thing. I imagine a lot of people skip right over the whole top block of "non-organic" results due to years of practice with the ads, but they still click the first organic result.

Let's use a less commercial example. Try searching for "triangle calculator" or "RFK mother" or "range of a cessna 172" or "how many bees are in a pound". They're obviously just trying to provide faster answers when they understand your query enough to do so. Do you really think they want to make money selling airline tickets? Or are they trying to put "ostermiller.org/calc/triangle.html" out of business as well?

Comment: Re:Google doesn't have a monopoly on ANYTHING. (Score 1) 284

by slimjim8094 (#48442477) Attached to: The EU Has a Plan To Break Up Google

And Google have an effective monopoly on search

Nope. First of all such a statement needs to be qualified - for instance, the 1.3+ billion people in China overwhelmingly prefer Baidu. It is clearly quite possible for people to avoid Google entirely, not just for search (which is, of course, even easier).

and are abusing it.

In what way? Because you don't think Google should use its other services to provide a more integrated experience? Without any sort of lock-in, don't pretend that's anything other than punishing success.

You're begging the question. If Google is a monopoly and they're integrating stuff, that's bad. And they must be a monopoly, because they're doing bad monopoly things like integrating stuff. But without being an actual monopoly with actual lock-in, there's no reason that integration is a problem at all - in fact it's quite the opposite, that's what they have to do to remain competitive. Changing search engines away from Google is as simple as typing a different URL or choosing something else from the drop-down, or even *not changing the default*. The idea that a high search marketshare can be anything other than direct user choice is ridiculous - and so what's the problem?

Comment: Re:Helium shortage, US govt effed-up (Score 1) 103

Air is 5 ppm helium and 15 ppm neon. Neon lifts balloons too, but we don't use it because it's too expensive to recover from the air, and recovering helium is even more inefficient.

We'll never run out on any timescale that matters, the loss to outer space is only concern over geological time spans.

NOTHING is a concern over geological time periods! The Sun will eventually swallow the Earth- but nobody seems to care too much. Helium depletion on Earth will be a blip on a geological time scale, but during that blip helium will be just a memory to several thousand generations.

Helium is for sissies anyway. I don't care if Donald Trump commutes to work in a blimp refilled with freshly scented helium-3 every morning. MY airship has a pedal-powered generator to pump current through a electrolysis chamber. Hydrogen works so much better than helium anyway... it really gets you high.

Comment: Re:In an unrelated news item... (Score 3, Insightful) 284

by slimjim8094 (#48437845) Attached to: The EU Has a Plan To Break Up Google

But this represents an existential threat - when viewed that way, it's a no-brainer to give up a market, even a huge market, if the price of admission is too high. Also, Google doesn't have to stop serving them, just stop doing business there.

Also, don't forget that Google pulled out of China, and China has a lot more population and will have the biggest GDP shortly. This is far more concerning than a little espionage.

Comment: Re:Here we go again (Score 1) 479

by slimjim8094 (#48431477) Attached to: As Amazon Grows In Seattle, Pay Equity For Women Declines

Hi, I'm a white male. I believe strongly that women and men are capable of exactly the same amount of good and bad, and are equally responsible for their own decisions to do or not do things. I live my life like this - I'm a software engineer and I have an unusually high number of female coworkers, and they're as talented and respected as my male coworkers. We really don't think about gender at work - it's just not relevant.

Unfortunately, this is very much *not* feminism - at least any more. There is a certain kind of person who wants to control others, and modern ultrafeminism is overrun with them and their fans. I abhor the label "SJW" but... well, frankly, it does seem like a pretty apt description of some people. It's really sad for me, because there's probably going to be a big backlash soon - things like "shirtgate" really trouble people who haven't been tied into the echo chamber (they give you a blank look when you explain that people have a problem with it, and it changes to a horrified expression when you explain the scope and intensity).

But the only thin worse than a big backlash would be no backlash.

Comment: Re:A message to Adora Svitak (Score 1) 145

You know, when I was a kid, people like you kept telling me that I didn't understand stuff and wasn't responsible. That was a long time ago - you know what? Damnit, I *was* right! I was as savvy and responsible then as I am now. The only thing I've learned as an adult is that "is an adult" has a weight of exactly 0. I used to think the people in newspapers saying stuff had some authority, but really they're just "a dude said some stuff".

One of the great lies adults like to tell and believe is that there's some fundamental difference between adulthood and childhood. Here's the dirty little secret: nothing changes when you become an adult other than running out of milestones to point to and say "see? I'm not an adult yet!"

If you think you're wiser simply because you're older - well, you're not very wise at all. Wisdom comes from experience and intelligence - neither of which depend on age. Age is a free, lengthy way to get a limited amount of narrow experience - but reading and education gets you much more at a younger age.

Do you think your average 50 year old can say anything particularly wise? Really? People are basically idiots at every age.

Comment: Re: Not resigning from Debian (Score 5, Insightful) 546

Death wishes are never cool.

But what do you think people should do instead of escalate? I think at this point it's pretty clear that there are fundamental (some might say philosophical) disagreements at play here that haven't been resolved yet - and may be unresolvable (people are talking seriously about forking Debian over this). Escalation seems like exactly the appropriate step. When I'm at work, if I don't agree with a decision I talk about it with my boss - but if we can't reach an agreement and I feel strongly that it's the wrong decision, I take it to his boss, and so on if necessary. I would be remiss if I didn't!

Honestly, many systemd proponents seem annoyed that people aren't accepting their decision without question, when what they propose is a pretty serious departure from a pretty fundamental system design philosophy. I don't know what to make of that.

Comment: Re:Opposition is from a small elite (Score 5, Insightful) 546

I honestly don't really care about this whole init debate, from a technical standpoint. I don't see a compelling reason to prefer systemd, and given the fact that it's changing a system that's worked fine (with a few tweaks) for more than 30 years, I'd just as soon stay with the old style.

But there's a few extremely troubling things I see from the systemd side:

- A complete disregard for precedent. Yes, it's good to be open to rethinking how we do things, but the fact is that Unix has worked for a very, very long time. There's many reasons for this, but the "Unix philosophy" is undoubtedly one of them. systemd is by no means "Unixy". Reading a directory of symlinks and executing shell scripts is simple, and minimizes the logic built into init - which a lot of people believe is a good guiding principle for pretty much the entire OS.
- An uncompelling value proposition. I don't much care about boot time (who reboots anymore, anyway?), and with Upstart my boot times were pretty quick anyway. If I'm running a server, I don't even care about boot time at all. What I do care about is simplicity of understanding and management. Systemd has failed to convince me that it does anything I want. Iin the absence of anything particularly valuable I'd just as soon stick with existing, robust, well-understood systems. I don't have my tonsils out for fun either - it's not change aversion to stick with things that worked fine in the absence of a compelling reason to change things.
- Poor architecture. The init system should be as simple as possible. Let it start things like dbus if the system needs it, don't build them in. Discrete components that are loosely-coupled, please - tight coupling is a black mark against virtually any multi-binary software package, but especially in the boot process. Building things into the startup process just reduces the number of things you're able to remove from a system that doesn't need them. DBus is a great example of this.
- Lack of concern for the server use case, and sysadmins in particular. People have raised concerns - many legitimate, some not - about systemd approaches, and the developers and (unusually rabid) community treat those concerns with indifference bordering on contempt. Here's a hint: when a group of competent professional acting in good faith doesn't understand why something is a good idea, it's your fault for having explained it poorly. Especially for an init system - the "average" user never did care about how his system booted! (Which, by the way, is something many systemd folk seem to disagree with - they say users are clamoring for it!) But the sysadmin does care, and has to manage it - best to treat him with respect, not contempt.
- Tying perfectly-good cross platform programs to Linux. systemd is, unabashedly, a virus. Why my window manager or graphics program has to depend on init, I don't know. But as long as it does and that package is systemd, it kills cross-platform compatibility. Compatibility is what got Linux off the ground, and with the exception of systemd it's not too hard to keep it going. Don't throw this away!
- Most importantly, the community is extremely toxic. What is Linux without community? Sure, there's bickering (since when is this bad, by the way?), but at the end of the day you have one of the most powerful and important pieces of software the world has ever seen. But the systemd mess feels like a Microsoft move, and the idea that there's a "Microsoft of Linux" able to move so unilaterally is extremely troubling. People voice concerns about systemd, and if they seem recycled it's because they haven't been well refuted! But the proponents are vicious, and vocal to an extent that makes one suspect astroturfing... which is even more troubling.

And the most troubling aspect of this toxic community are the attacks on opponents. The parent's comment is not the first, nor even the tenth, attack I've seen on a systemd opponent to claim that it's just someone afraid of losing their job and trying to set up some sort of medieval guild of sysadmins: "Therefore, Linux must be nearly impossible to use except for a very small elite few and must be made as difficult, convoluted to configure and use as it possibly can be".

Seriously, what the fuck. What the actual fuck. I wouldn't feel the need to respond to such a stupid accusation except that I've seen it dozens of times so far. I, and everybody else, learned new things when we moved from OSS to ALSA to PulseAudio, from devfs to udev, from /etc/network/interfaces to NetworkManager (which still sucks on servers). I don't know why systemd proponents pretend that this is the only change sysadmins have had to learn, as if that's the only reason for the outcry this time. No, there was outcry all those other times (in the PulseAudio case, quite rightly), but this is by far the most severe I've seen. And do any of these proponents think to ask - why? No, they decide it must just be change aversion and claim they're all just trying to set up a guild to keep their practices secret.

For the record, I am not now, nor have ever been, a sysadmin - though in the interest of full disclosure, I do have a Linux desktop and server at home. For the most part I don't have to think about booting - just like when I used to run Windows. But now when I have to, it's much, much easier than it was on Windows, because there's no complexity - it's just some folders with symlinks to shell scripts that get run! (And I don't have to write the shell script, it's part of the package.) Whereas on Windows, if something starts up - why did it start? Was it the registry, or the startup folder in the Start menu, or a service? And for each of those, is the entry in the "user" or "system" category? This is a step back from the Linux world - but here's somebody who doesn't think so is saying we should instead use systemd so that Linux is "as simple as Windows". What. The. Fuck.

All of you reading this: Think about it. I'm sure you've read attacks by each side about the other. But for the most part, I've seen systemd opponents attacking technical, philosophical, and architectural choices (which includes "we don't want to look like Windows with svchost.exe"), while systemd proponents are attacking their intended users. Which side seems more dangerous?

Comment: Re:The FCC is waiting for a new president (Score 1) 127

by MillionthMonkey (#48366059) Attached to: FCC Confirms Delay of New Net Neutrality Rules Until 2015
I don't think Obama needs to worry about the veto hurting the Democrats in 2016. His veto count so far is 2, a lower count than any president since James Garfield in 1881. (In comparison GWB vetoed 12 bills, Clinton 39, GHWB 29, Reagan 39.) This is mostly a consequence of the filibuster used to cut off the flow of legislation that reaches him- which effectively raised the required vote count from 50 to 60 during his term. But now, more stuff is now going to percolate through Congress and reach his desk, including some unpopular, corrupt shit that will scare the public. Before, he simply hadn't been given many bills to veto; now he's going to be tested. Even if he only vetoes one bill in the next Congress, that's going to be enough to elicit nuclear head explosions on Fox, so he might as well add a few dozen without having to worry about any additional meaningful repercussions. Hopefully he won't cave as usual.

Comment: Re:In other words. (Score 1) 127

by MillionthMonkey (#48365949) Attached to: FCC Confirms Delay of New Net Neutrality Rules Until 2015

Seriously, a regulatory board just changing law or the implimentation of it with absolutely no constitutional process at all or involving any elected official.

Just four fucking million public comments sent by American citizens to the FCC- but they're not corrupt politicians, so screw 'em.

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