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+ - European Union: We don't want public input on TAFTA/TTIP or CETA->

Submitted by sandbagger
sandbagger (654585) writes "One of the most glaring problems with TAFTA/TTIP is the lack of input from the public in whose name it is being negotiated says TechDirt. One million signatures must be gathered within one year to force the EU to respond to a public petition. Additionally, in seven EU states a specific minimum of supporters must be achieved, e.g. 72,000 signatures in Germany, 55,500 in France, or 54,750 in the United Kingdom et cetera.

This comes from a new site set up by the Stop TTIP Alliance, a pan-EU coalition that aims to seek support for the following petition: We invite the European Commission to recommend to the Council to repeal the negotiating mandate for the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) and not to conclude the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA)."

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Comment: None, because the primary problem solved is ... (Score 1) 471

by sandbagger (#47872597) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: What Smartwatch Apps Could You See Yourself Using?

For Apple and not for the consumer.

Basically the iPhone is like DSLRs these days. Once you have one there's really no reason to upgrade generationally because they're THAT good. So what can Apple do? Well, sell you something for your iPhone.

So, it solves a problem for Apple. What critical-path problem does it solve for consumers? Well, you don't have to fish your phone from your pocket to see who's calling. That's a bit of an issue for those of us who live where we have winter but it's not a really, really do-or-die feature. So, really it's following the delude-yourself-into-thinking-this-will-make-you-lose-weight item like 99 per cent of the sports equipment out there.

Look, you'll either go running or you won't. You'll either play sports or you won't. It's a bit like saying you'd take up drawing if you had the right pencil.

I've not doubt that Apple will sell a lot of them but really it's a solution in search of a problem for consumers.

+ - Long weekend silliness: which was the worst Sci-Fi sequel?->

Submitted by sandbagger
sandbagger (654585) writes "The long weekend is coming and many of us will be relaxing with a good film. Or a bad one. Many geeks have strong and passionate opinions about what is the best Sci Fi but what was the worst? Specifically, what was the worst sequel? The Phantom Menace? Star Trek V? Vote and let the world know what you think?"
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Comment: We certainly can't thank Stephen Harper (Score 4, Informative) 221

by sandbagger (#47780597) Attached to: Canada Tops List of Most Science-Literate Countries

That man ordered irreplaceable scientific records be taken to the dump, destroying generations of scientific data. He's closed musea in order to build up fake War of 1812 war memorials. He's closed the scientific lakes project that was the programme responsible for identifying acid rain thanks to decades of data.

This man has been utterly destructive to Canada's intellectual property, its scientific pedigree and ability to generate new knowledge. Moreover, he's gagged scientists from discussing their own peer-revirewed data. Instead, political interns get to act as mouthpieces.

Anyone in the scientific or technical community can't help but see how destructive Harper-ism is to Canada's ability to create the next generation of knowledge.

Comment: Fark's slow motion shark jump (Score 1) 748

by sandbagger (#47702973) Attached to: News Aggregator Fark Adds Misogyny Ban

Naturally over the years as Fark's membership has declined from the roaring highs, the owner has needed to look at ways of maximizing revenues. So, the boobies links got removed and put into a separate site etc. The core ethos of the site remained: be funny no matter how offensive you are.

This has been chipped away. Thus the core offering of Fark has been reduced.

It hasn't helped that the moderation has been inconstant, secret and users get banned or worse, shadow banned. This is the expensive way of moderating a web site because ideally you want to nudge the users so that they police themselves. One of the rules of Fark is that discussing moderation is cause for being banned. It hasn't helped that there's been no investment in the backend serving up Fark. No new features have been added, um, ever. I'd not be surprised to learn that they were using their original launch DB.

There has clearly been more of an effort to shape the conversation in Fark in recent years. The result is that the place is less interesting AND there are fewer page views. Discussions used to rocket to infinity twice a week. Discussions nearly never reach four digits these days. I understand why this was done. Many of the women posters on Fark appear to appreciate the intent. I understand. However, as a business offering, the result is that there's a smaller population mix in Fark these days making for a more uniform set of opinions. Thus, shorter discussion threads that are less likely to go to infinity and beyond.

The recent glut of MRAs blighting Fark has also been on Slashdot. I think this is a wave that will burn itself out in a year or so and turn into something else.

Comment: Bad documentation is very, very expensive (Score 1) 199

by sandbagger (#47672267) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Should You Invest In Documentation, Or UX?

Being able to articulate your decisions, why and how things are built is a core competence. You will "pay" for poor documentation. It may never show up as a line item, but it can be costly.

It also needs to be someone's job. Depending upon engineers or the sales guys to generate documentation, courseware and manuals is a fast way to jack up your tech support costs.

Comment: High IQ means you scored well on a test type (Score 1) 391

by sandbagger (#47654123) Attached to: Is "Scorpion" Really a Genius?

Nothing else.

First off, there are two Mensa-grade IQs on every bus at rush hour, statistically. Secondly, High IQ and no ability in music will not make you a 'genius' in music. High IQ and no work ethic will mean you'll end up in your underpants, yelling at the TV about the government.

At best, high IQ is useful for certain types pf intellectual problem solving. That's it.

Comment: A great, great company once (Score 2) 59

by sandbagger (#47609163) Attached to: Ex-Autonomy CFO: HP Trying To Hide Truth

When I was a kid, HP meant rock solid. They made bench test gear you could drive a car over. Then something happened. They turned into a company that would install a root kit on a reporter's computer because of an exposé -- rather than fix the problem revealed.

I remember the very last time I bought something from HP. It was a CD burner that came out of the box broken.

There was a book called How HP Lost Its Way that came out a few years ago. I never read it but I'd say that these recent events are current data points on a long term trend, not anything new.

+ - Motley Crüe's interesting take on photography copyright-> 1

Submitted by sandbagger
sandbagger (654585) writes "Concert photography sounds like a great job but like anything else, it's tough to make a dollar. The heavy metal band Motley Crüe's most recent photography licence appears to be making that harder. A leaked copy claims that "Licensor agrees that it shall not license any of the Materials (or shall not exploit any of the Materials) without the written consent of the Licensee which shall be withheld in Licensee’s sole discretion." Effectively, that professional photographers relinquish their copyright. This is followed by a secrecy clause that you can read more about on PetaPixel."
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All life evolves by the differential survival of replicating entities. -- Dawkins

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