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Comment: Re:Ehhhh... (Score 3, Insightful) 96 96

by pla (#50012387) Attached to: New Study Accuses Google of Anti-competitive Search Behavior
So overall the fast results are what we want out of a search engine- the answer.

This. Giving me the correct answer doesn't count as "anti-competitive", it means doing their job well.

I don't go to Google to save me typing in "" and then searching for a word - I go to Google because it gives me more useful answers than searching directly on almost any specific site. Merriam-Webster considers itself too digified to define "blumpkin" for me; UrbanDictionary has no such qualms. UD doesn't do so well in explaining "Pepe" to me - KnowYourMeme has the whole history of it even giving credit to the original author. None of the above has a good definition for "Mary Sue", but TV Tropes nails it.

But, instead of searching on MW... Then UD... Then KYM... Then TT, and then who knows what else - I can just type it into Google, and bam! It gives me exactly what I wanted to know, and often does so faster than most ad-riddled pages can even load.

Companies need to quit whining about free exposure, and instead focus on doing their own jobs well. If anyone really want to vanish from the Googleable internet, they always have the option of setting noindex/nofollow on their pages. Huh, I don't see many of these righteously indignant sites doing that, I wonder why not?

Comment: Re:Arrest (Score 1) 333 333

by pla (#49993845) Attached to: Anti-Uber Taxi Protest Blocks Access To Airports In France
Does anyone have a plan for this?

Your phrasing implies that we need to have some sort of centrally managed plan to handle the fallout of disruptive technologies. We don't, and realistically, can't.

It's fine to say; "Well, just learn something new" when it's not you with a family and a tight budget having to jump into the marketplace and retrain while competing with people who've done that task their entire life

I run the risk of someone creating a "real" AI today that can out-code any human on the planet. That would instantly put my entire profession on the unemployment line. I have hedged against that threat by choosing positions that allow me to diversify my skillset (both in terms of experience and education), making me qualified to work in any of a dozen broad categories of "professional" positions.

I would recommend cabbies (and Uber drivers, as you point out) start doing the same today - They can already see the writing on the wall, and still have time to act accordingly.

The world changes around us. We need to adapt, or die - Simple as that, really.

Comment: Drug tests? Seriously? (Score 1) 178 178

by pla (#49990901) Attached to: Average Duration of Hiring Process For Software Engineers: 35 Days
Wait... Some companies actually give programmers a drug test?

And they actually manage to find any? Wow, impressive! Or rather, can I get a list of these companies so I can short their stock, since they apparently resort to people that desperate for a job?

Our (illegal) drugs-of-choice vary, but I can count the number of programmers I know who don't use anything on one finger (and even she has "tried" weed, "back in college").

Comment: Re:Arrest (Score 5, Insightful) 333 333

by pla (#49986685) Attached to: Anti-Uber Taxi Protest Blocks Access To Airports In France
dimwit, how else will people pay attention? inconveniencing the idle rich IS THE WHOLE POINT of non-violent protesting.

"Non-violent protest" doesn't include flipping cars, burning tires, beating up drivers, and blocking emergency vehicles,

As for "the whole point" - Yeah, look how well shutting down critical infrastructure worked for PATCO.

I feel sympathetic toward cabbies, I really do - Their industry basically died overnight because someone came up with an alternative that makes them irrelevant. All the world's protectionist systems of placards and medallions and special licensing, "poof", suddenly worthless.

Finding new lines of work sucks, no doubt. But when you manufacture buggy-whips, you implicitly depend on the continued use of horse-based transportation to make your living. Similarly, when you deliver low quality rudely-delivered service at a high price and with upcharges for the top 90% of destinations - You implicitly depend on a complete lack of any viable alternatives.

Comment: Re:This will do WONDERS for Yahoo's image! (Score 5, Interesting) 327 327

by pla (#49984755) Attached to: The Next Java Update Could Make Yahoo Your Default Search Provider
Yeah, fantastic suggestion! Say, could you just convince my boss, his boss, and three more layers up, that we need to:
  • Scrap $300k in MS licensing and established server deployments,
  • Spend a year or two rewriting everything we have in production that depends on Windows or IIS,
  • Replace or retrain our entire netops, infosec, and helpdesk with people who know Linux,
  • Retrain 15k users and watch their productivity drop to a crawl for at least six months...

...Just so we can switch to an OS that "cares"? ;)

I like Linux. I run Linux at home. But I make my living putting up with Windows.

Comment: Re:This will do WONDERS for Yahoo's image! (Score 5, Insightful) 327 327

by pla (#49984329) Attached to: The Next Java Update Could Make Yahoo Your Default Search Provider
This. People just looove it when their homepage or search provider changes. Why, just the other day, a coworker told me how much he loved Bing coming back after every round of Windows updates.

Oh, no, wait, he switched to Chrome because he hated it so much. Take the hint, Marissa.

As an aside, though - Does anyone actually allow Java to update itself? Of all the common self-updating software out there, Java easily wins as the single most obnoxious. Aside from hijacking the top result when I type "update" in the start menu's search bar... Aside from running all the fucking time rather than just when Java starts... Aside from nagging the user more relentlessly than even the far more legitimate Windows update (Bing aside) - It actively breaks shit every time it updates. You had one job, Larry...

Comment: Re:Wrong question. (Score 1) 297 297

by pla (#49971749) Attached to: When Will Your Hard Drive Fail?
I suspect we don't differ all that much, in the volume of our data that we consider really important (what I described as backed up truly offsite) - I can fit it on a large thumbdrive that I leave in my desk at work, and rotate out between two drives more-or-less weekly).

We mostly differ in what we perceive as the value of "everything else". My music library, for example - Sure, I could re-rip it, or probably pirate it from somewhere if I lost the original discs tomorrow... But just re-ripping it would take hundreds of hours (I have around 4-5000 CDs). Same idea for my DVD collection, and those take a good bit longer to rip. And the software I've collected over the years, some of that I probably couldn't get back (though in fairness I highly doubt I'll ever need my top 100 utilities for OS/2 ever again), but realistically, I could almost certainly find and download any of it I actually still have a use for.

So that said... For me, I consider it worth spending a grand every three to five years to have a solid NAS plus a hot backup so I don't ever need to recover all that data from a million and one sources. Someone else (less of a packrat than me) may well only care about the sort of data I keep on my thumbdrive.

Comment: Re:Always backup your data to a different machine! (Score 4, Informative) 297 297

by pla (#49970403) Attached to: When Will Your Hard Drive Fail?
Then it won't matter if when your drive/PC fails. Him having a backup on the same machine is almost as bad as not having one at all, IMO.

I have to disagree - Yes, I personally go for a waaay more paranoid backup approach, but just backing up to an external USB HDD (though with a "real" backup, not his manual drag-and-drop BS) puts someone a whole world of hurt better off than 99% of computer users.

If Grandma calls and says her HDD died and she hasn't "run that DVD backup thing" in a few months, well gee, sucks for you, granny! If, however, she calls and asks for help getting her nightly USB drive backup reinstalled to a new computer, hey, cool, she's lost almost nothing.

Now, sure, perhaps her computer got hit by lightning and toasted both. Perhaps her house got flooded and nothing electronic in it still works. Perhaps her PSU went bad and toasted every component in the machine (although even then, USB devices will often survive that). Perhaps she caught a cryptolocker-type virus that ate the backups as well. Sure, a single connected backup device has a lot of points of failure in common with the system drive itself. But in practice, it drops that "lose everything once every few years" down to "lose everything once in a lifetime".

Comment: Wrong question. (Score 5, Insightful) 297 297

by pla (#49970083) Attached to: When Will Your Hard Drive Fail?
Short answer: If you actually care, you need better backups.

If the HDD in one of my PCs dies, I don't care in the least. Restore it from last night's backup to the NAS, and call it good.

If up to two of the HDDs in my NAS die, I buy new ones, swap them in, resilver them, and call it good.

If my entire NAS dies, I would start to get worried, but at that point I can still fully recover (at least to where I left everything last night) from my partially offsite backup, an exact snapshot of my NAS that lives in my detached garage.

If my house and garage somehow both get destroyed at the same time, I would lose a lot, but do still have my most important data mirrored offsite... Though at that point, I probably have more important things to worry about than re-ripping my music library. :)

But if you care about when any one particular drive will fail on you, you've already accepted the eventual catastrophic failure and loss of your life's work as entirely acceptable.

Comment: Re:The problem is that landfills are too cheap (Score 4, Interesting) 371 371

by pla (#49969967) Attached to: Recycling Is Dying
I beg to differ. I'd sort, but I'm not going to sort AND pay extra money.

My town has a pretty decent way of handling this - I pay per bag of trash, and they take properly-sorted recyclables for free.

I don't get a fine if I accidentally throw away a glass bottle. I don't get told off for not rinsing out my cans. I don't have any sort of "recycling gestapo" going around inspecting mandatory clear trash bags looking for any excuse to hassle me. They just call anything non-compliant "garbage", and I pay per bag.

I therefore get to personally make the decision whether to pay more or recycle more.

Comment: Re: political speech (Score 1) 229 229

What if this anonymous speaker turns out to be the staff of his political opposition? Certainly election law comes into play. Does that change anything for you?

Not in the least, for two reasons:

1) That still means that we have someone prosecuted for exercising their first amendment rights (the FEC doesn't get a pass on "Congress shall make no law ... abridging the freedom of speech"), pretty much exactly what dnaumov described (even if not quite as gruesome of an outcome likely), and...

2) Rational adults should accord anonymous internet trolls the level of credibility they deserve - ie, none in the absence of proof.

Comment: Re: political speech (Score 1) 229 229

My logic does not say that. You cited an example of criminal prosecution for expressing an opinion. That is not free speech.

"Illinois Supreme Court: Comcast Must Identify Anonymous Internet Commenter"

So, uh... Do you suppose this case went all the way to the ILSC because Bill Hadley wants to send him a sternly-worded rebuttal?

The way to make a small fortune in the commodities market is to start with a large fortune.