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Comment: Re:We need a new browser (Score 3, Insightful) 171

by sd4f (#47511441) Attached to: Firefox 31 Released

I certainly think so. It's a real pity that mozilla is just becoming a dud social justice warrior organisation now. I guess the people who work for them all aspire to work for google, which is probably why their trying to do an orange version of google chrome...

Since the UI changes, and getting rather annoyed with FF29 (or was it 30) which would constantly block stuff or ask for permission (like vista) to enable things, I just moved to opera. Not sure if it's good on the security and privacy side, but at least the UI, for the most part is lightweight. Needs a few improvements. I'd stick with FF28, but not very keen on running unpatched versions, and it was having many issues anyway with stability, so I guess it's better to just move along.

Comment: What if... (Score 3, Interesting) 57

by sd4f (#47472435) Attached to: Biofeedback Games and The Placebo Effect
I wonder if this has any implications for internet crap that goes viral. Reason for it is, that so much stuff has gone silly, but I am never able to discern why, it always seems just stupid to me like gangnam style or the old spice commercial. It would be interesting to see if people were led to believe it was going viral, would it change their opinion, as opposed to just regular crap on the internet which goes nowhere. Is this a case of placebo effect as well, where people are told to like something because everyone else does, if you remove the everyone else and telling aspect, would the same content matter?

Comment: Re:This is complete crap!!! (Score 4, Insightful) 112

Should have finished reading the article, this bit at the end is probably the truth;

"In addition, I am advised that the AEC classifies the relevant software as commercial-in-confidence as it also underpins the industrial and fee-for-service election counting systems,"

What's probably happening is that some "IT" company whose only client is the government/AEC probably makes a fairly decent earn out of licensing out the software and supporting it during elections. There's a fair bit of corruption like this in Australia, and I am starting to think that someones taxpayer subsidised livelihood is at stake here. Reality is this should always have been open source software and probably available on the AEC website for anyone to download and try out with the full set of figures that are counted.

Comment: This is complete crap!!! (Score 5, Informative) 112

It's software to tally it up. There's always a paper backup. As an Australian, this worries me.

While our senate voting system is a little odd, adding up the votes isn't simple and can't be done on election night, so it's no surprise to see software being used to calculate it, but with that said, all it has to do is do a number of rounds as candidates reach their quota, and when no one has a quota in that it eliminates the last candidate and moves the preferences accordingly. Our last election, there was even an instance of ~2000 ballot papers going missing, and then supposedly resurfacing much later. The High Court decided on another election for the state involved, which in my opinion is the only fair outcome possible.

If they're worried about hacking it, it's a complete farce; there's no reason why the computer doing the sums even has to be connected to the internet, seeing as I think all the ballots are counted by people (they're farcically large ballots often described as table cloths), they just plod in a few numbers as the data comes in. Someone must be worried that competent, impartial people will have a look and find something which has been giving out porky pies.

Comment: Re:We're sorry we got caught? (Score 4, Insightful) 401

by sd4f (#47463297) Attached to: Comcast Customer Service Rep Just Won't Take No For an Answer

I'm not sure if it's identical around the world, but certainly here in Australia, many of these customer service people have their performance measured by how many people they convince to stay or attract. So while they might not be trained to be aggressive or like dogs with a bone (i.e. just don't let go), and companies like comcast can ignorantly claim what they did, for every worker, the reality is there's that KPI looking over their shoulder and they'll go to those lengths themselves to either not get sacked or make bonus.

A worse thing that happens in Australia, and it particularly happens with insurance companies is that they usually hit renewing customers with higher fees. It sometimes gets referred to as the 'lazy tax' where most customers will just habitually accept and pay it, whereas if they shopped around, and called back, they would usually get a fair chunk knocked off their bill for literally no reason except that the company wants the customer to stay. They know that in doing it this way, they make more money because a big enough proportion of people don't question the bill, and those that do, it's better to get them to pay less than not at all. I know that your ISP's and cable companies are notrious for treating their customers like shit (south park covered it well).

Comment: Re:No real surprise (Score 0) 709

by sd4f (#47456423) Attached to: People Who Claim To Worry About Climate Change Don't Cut Energy Use

That's a ridiculous straw man. CO2 isn't all bad, unlike issues such as slavery, child labour, [lack of] worker safety, actual pollution, practically most things on your list. No government is trying to ban outright the production of CO2, that would be insane.

While reductions should be made, it doesn't really matter where those reductions come from, and once a certain point of reduction is reached, then the rest is acceptable. Now consider that with issues such as slavery or child labor; would anyone accept a cap at how many slaves are permitted or only so much child labour is permitted? Of course not.

So because the issue of CO2 production is rather different, you can't go on making the ultimate of bleeding heart comments to make out that it needs direct legislative force to uphold; it begins with people, if they believe strongly enough about it, then they should be directly doing things to minimise the effect. Just like communism/socialism; if you believe strongly enough in it, then you should go out and help people of your own accord, after all that's what socialism is meant to be.

My comment wasn't saying that we should have no government and no legislation to solve problems, it's that I don't like seeing people who feel that the only way to solve something is to force every bodies hand through rule of law, yet won't do it themselves until they're forced to by that law. Kind of how a lot of rich leftists make a lot of noise for all these government programs that should be funded, yet go through hoops to minimise the amount of tax they pay; it's that sort of hypocrisy I'm calling out against!

Comment: Re:No real surprise (Score 0, Flamebait) 709

by sd4f (#47454019) Attached to: People Who Claim To Worry About Climate Change Don't Cut Energy Use

It's not just global warming; the whole "Do as I say, not as I do" attitude is completely entrenched in self-styled "progressive" psyche. My observation is that their attitude is that they should dictate what others do because they genuinely think they're smarter than others. They want a meritocracy where they're in charge. Because of this, everything should be forced by the hand of the government, otherwise nothing will happen. That's also why rather often you'll find "progressives" look warmly to socialism and communism. They won't help others now, but it will all be solved if there were laws to enforce it.

In Eastern European communism, there was a saying which translates to "What's yours is mine and what's mine don't touch". Human nature doesn't change.

Comment: Re:It's worked, too (Score 4, Interesting) 117

I have often wondered about it, but never paid much attention to it. One time I read about it, from a rather dubious source (hence I just sent it to the 'conspiracy theory' pile) was regarding heavy handed wikipedia editing of the Lockerbie Plane Crash article. The allegations were that one particular editor was either a spy, government agent or even more than one person due to the incessant editing. The stated aim of the editing was to completely sanitise the wiki article and only allow the official line surrounding the events in the article. I remember reading these accusations well before anything around the arab spring and ultimate demise of Gaddafi happened. Make of that what you will.

I guess since the spy agencies ultimately do the bidding of governments, this may be a newer method of 'crowd control'; dictating the consumption of the masses. It makes sense as one always wonders why certain topics are far more popular than they should be. The media with the internet has much better ability in tracking the consumption of certain topics in the media. As a result, these sorts of things are easy to game, especially with the resources available, so maybe the espionage agencies are trying to steer people away from touchy issues by stimulating activity in certain inane topics.

Comment: Re: Unless you've spent $300 on a GPU... (Score 1) 210

by sd4f (#47420577) Attached to: Watch Dogs Graphics and Gameplay: PC Vs. Xbox One, With Surprising Results

It isn't like circlejerk, it is a circlejerk. My point about them being kids is that there's a lot of new gamers who have jumped into PC gaming. Good for them, but they seem oblivious to what it once was, many years ago, before steam. As a result, they treat valve as if it can do no wrong, while I'm somewhat more sentimental, and have a feeling that valve has done damage to PC gaming in many different ways.

For one, it is DRM, and one with rather strict buyer lock in. Now that's understandable for digital distribution, but rather unfair that they package the DRM in such a way to ensure that even other online distributors end up selling games which have to run through steam. This is a valve tax, it's absolutely no different to PC manufacturers selling computers without windows, yet still paying MS a fee. I also think that it's awful that they're now opening the flood gates and allowing a lot of really misleading games on steam. There's broken, buggy and incomplete games which have been abandoned, being sold on steam, and they're not necessarily "early access".

Now relating this to PCMR, it's hard to relay this to people who jump in and think 'well this is the way it is, it's how it has always been', but they don't understand, it hasn't always been like this. I think we've seen a race to the bottom with steam, but it's impossible to make that point when you have a massive circlejerk supporting valve and steam; all because they can buy cheap games they never play.

I can't wait for GoG Galaxy! Hopefully it will give me some choice.

"Just think of a computer as hardware you can program." -- Nigel de la Tierre