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Comment: Re:Steering? (Score 1) 109

by pla (#48223207) Attached to: How To Beat Online Price Discrimination
No, that makes it discrimination.

Although most people don't realize this - Discrimination doesn't break the law, except when done against a very small list of federally protected groups.

Giving senior citizen discounts? Cool. Giving non-senior discounts? Crime! "Ladies' night"? Kosher. "Mens' night"? Treif! Scholarships for blacks? Awesome! Scholarships for whites? You gonna get raped, son.

Unless Amazon specifically has code in place to detect screen readers or "old people typing" or Christian-themed plugins, they can charge whatever the hell they want, moment by moment.

Comment: Re:Confirming the Brady-Curran model (Score 2) 62

by pla (#48222919) Attached to: Decades-old Scientific Paper May Hold Clues To Dark Matter
Dark photons, or darkons , emitted by the boundary layer could simultaneously explain the missing mass and energy of the universe. Do I smell a Nobel prize?

Well, perhaps, but the referenced study failed to find any, thus ruling them out as an option.

Granted, science technically treats negative results as equally important to positive ones; society and the Nobel committee, however, have a pesky bias toward positive results.

Comment: Re:die by taser or gas? (Score 1) 131

by pla (#48219991) Attached to: Incapacitating Chemical Agents: Coming Soon To Local Law Enforcement?
Also, if you can save 400 of 500 in a hostage situation and catch all the 10+ terrorists. Go for it. The terrorists would kill them anyway and if they escape, they can continue their business.

Meanwhile, if you have 5000 peaceful protesters refusing to clear out of a park, hey, so a thousand accidentally die. Meh, go ahead and gas 'em, Lou!

I think you underestimate the mindset of the police. The People had it way better when a cop needed to decide whether you posed enough of a threat to actually shoot you, and then need to justify that decision later. Now, they tase first and ask questions later. 6YO girl crying because you arrested mom? Tase. 85YO confused grannie in a panic over a situation she doesn't understand? Tase. Passenger in a car peacefully insisting you respect his civil rights? Tase.

ICAs will just make it easier for police to apply the same reasoning to large groups, rather than to individuals.

BTW, a clarification on the FP - The "unknown" agent used by Russia consisted of a fentanyl analog - An ultra-strong opiate. For reference, as high as 9% of people have a potentially fatal allergic reaction to opiates; on top of that, individuals have a wide range of responses even when given a known dose; some people can take enough morphine to kill an elephant, while others take half of a Tylenol-II and drool on themselves for the next six hours. Using opiates as crowd control will both cause needless deaths and leave a significant fraction of the crowd basically unimpaired.

Comment: Re:Phones getting too big .. (Score 1) 106

by pla (#48219925) Attached to: Preferred smartphone screen size?
for my girly little hands apparently.

As someone with great big manly hands, I still want my phone small, for the simple purpose of using it as a phone. Holding a 6.5x3in wall up to the side of my head works great for blocking the sun, not so great for trying to talk to someone.

I have a tablet. When I want to do some serious web browsing on-the-road, I can use that *juuuust* fine (and as a perk, it doesn't die within two hours of heavy use, unlike my phone). I have a phone because I occasionally need to make or take calls, not because I need yet another, even smaller, web browser.

Comment: Re:No, wait, do-over! (Score 2) 94

by pla (#48215927) Attached to: German Publishers Capitulate, Let Google Post News Snippets
And Google gets nothing out of the relationship I hear you say.

You'll feel relieved, then, to know that modern atypical antipsychotics work much better, and with far fewer side effects, than the old-school phenothiazines.

Of course Google gets something out of the relationship. Google exists to make money. They don't, however, sell news. They don't sell content. They sell us. And in that regard, Google really doesn't care in the least if the newspapers decide to play ball or give up the single best source of eyeballs from across the globe they've ever known - Google can simply filter them out and only the newspapers themselves will even notice the loss.

But I no longer have as many bookstores I can go to, to look at books, find something I might not have picked before, have a coffee, talk to real people.

Amazon doesn't sell friends (you need to go to Facebook for that). Amazon sells stuff.

Comment: Re:No, wait, do-over! (Score 1) 94

by pla (#48215603) Attached to: German Publishers Capitulate, Let Google Post News Snippets
The number of people required for "Collusion" aside - Not as different as you might think.

Both situations involve a company providing a distribution channel for third party content creators. Both situations involve those third parties thinking they have an unconditional "right" to access that channel. Both situations involve those third parties pissing and moaning over the owner of that channel not actually caring in the least about the loss of any particular group of content producers.

I'll admit that the Google situation has a bit more of a karmically-satisfying edge to it, by virtue of the very thing the newspapers want physically requiring the very thing they complain about. In Amazon's case, a bit less of a clear-cut "Ha-ha!", but still just an absurd level of entitlement by Hachette.

Comment: Re:The internet is for porn. (Score 1) 523

by pla (#48215433) Attached to: The Inevitable Death of the Internet Troll
This one will do nicely, thanks.


You're going to be the one who'll have to leave, unless you grow up and decide to join the civilized community. :)

Have fun finding enough people to fix it when it breaks. :)

Nah, just screwing with you. Sure, you can have this one, we'll gladly take your money to keep the ol' girl running as an echo chamber as looong as you want. We'll just make our own new and improved (and you-less) fork, while yours slowly devolves into "TV v.2"

Comment: Re:Free aggregation? A problem? (Score 2) 94

by pla (#48215367) Attached to: German Publishers Capitulate, Let Google Post News Snippets
I'm trying to wrap my brain around how these news outlets thought it was bad for Google to send traffic their way.

Because they myopically stop thinking at "Google steals our content, grar!"

On a somewhat more excusable level, they just haven't yet come to terms with how people read news today. People (under 60) don't casually read the whole newspaper over breakfast anymore; they go to a news aggregation site and skim the headlines. When they find something of interest, they click through to read more - But, they don't necessarily click through to the Nowheresville Tribute, they click through to WaPo or NYT, or perhaps to a media outlet that focuses more on a preferred aspect of most stories (for example, reading about German newspaper contractual negotiations at Slashdot vs reading about them at Groklaw vs reading about them in Time).

Comment: No, wait, do-over! (Score 4, Interesting) 94

by pla (#48215295) Attached to: German Publishers Capitulate, Let Google Post News Snippets
"Wait wait wait! We still want the free advertising that comes from Google's use of our content! We just want Google to pay us for the privilege of giving us a service we would otherwise have to pay for, in exchange for displaying content we already give away for free online!"

Sad. I get so sick of people griping about the effects of Amazon and Google (etc), without giving a second thought to just how much they already get in return for the relationship. Same idea goes for Amazon and Hachette - They have every right to refuse to sell at the price Amazon wants; they'll just never sell another eBook.

Comment: Re:Semantics (Score 3, Insightful) 523

by pla (#48214567) Attached to: The Inevitable Death of the Internet Troll
I agree, but what is your point? We should ignore sexual harassment because the police and society are bad at dealing with it? Shouldn't we try to fix that?

Did I say anything about ignoring it?

The great-most-parent of this thread wrote:

The definition of harassment, at least where I live, is "unwanted sexual advances", meaning the distinction between flirting and harassment is purely based on subjective experience.

You responded to a clarification that referenced a specific country's (Norway's) wording, to claim that one of two equally subjective words ("troublesome") made it just peachy that we had a victim-subjective law.

I disagree with your assertion. That doesn't mean I approve of sexual harassment in the workplace; rather, that if we want people to take it seriously, we need to come up with a reasonably objective metric that doesn't reduce to "don't behave in a way that might offend the most fragile person around you, oh and BTW you won't that threshold until you've crossed it".

As for whether or not people really think like that - I have seriously gotten into arguments with SJWs over whether or not merely complimenting (once, politely and legitimately, not talking about catcalls and shouting "nice tits" at every woman walking by) a stranger in a public place counts as "harassment", only to endure a subsequent rant of "imagine if you had to put up with that everywhere you went, no matter what you did, whether you wanted it or not". Hmm. Yeah, people complimenting me too often, you poor, poor thing! Consider me properly chastised, yup.

Comment: We have more but we USE more. (Score 5, Insightful) 167

by pla (#48214329) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Smarter Disk Space Monitoring In the Age of Cheap Storage?
Today, however, with a lot of file systems in the Terabyte range, a 90-95% full file system can still have a considerable amount of free space but we still mostly get bugged by the same alerts as in the days of yore when there really isn't a cause for immediate concern.

When we had drives in the 100s of MB range, we used a few MB at a time. Now that we have drives in the multi-TB range, we tend to use tens of GB at a time. In my experiences, a 90 percent full drive has as much time left before running out as it did a decade ago.

Perhaps more importantly, running at 90% of capacity kills your performance if you still use spinning glass platters as your primary storage medium (not so much when talking about a SAN of SSDs). In general, when you hit 90% full, you have problems other than just how long you can last before reaching 100%.

I bet the human brain is a kludge. -- Marvin Minsky