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Comment Advertising ROI (Score 2) 57

I think the whole advertising situation will get better once the tech bubble bursts.

You seem curiously convinced that A) we are in a bubble and B) that advertising will go away or "get better". You can't really know A for certain by definition because bubbles generally can only be identified in retrospect and B will never ever happen. It's unclear what "get better" means to you but I'm pretty sure whatever it is won't happen.

My prediction is that eventually the industry will fall apart as companies realise the ponzi nature of current advertising prices, and that much of this expenditure is not converting in to sales.

I think you don't understand the advertising business. You think that companies are naively throwing money at advertising because they don't know any better. While there are some out there where that is true for the most part buyers of advertising understand very well the relationship between advertising dollars spent and the returns they get. It's not at all hard to get a pretty solid idea of the correlation between ad spend and revenue.

Comment China is the reason NK exists (Score 1) 82

At the moment, for people in the USA and Europe, NK is just an annoying abstract threat. Nobody wants to go start anything there because they could probably take out Seoul and parts of Japan quite easily, so it is better to just monitor the situation and leave them alone.

The main reason they get left alone is because of China. China protects NK even when they get completely out of pocket for reasons that are only vaguely comprehensible to us. Honestly if China wasn't involved I think NK would have been curb stomped by either the US or one of their neighbors some time ago. China props up the NK regime apparently primarily because they don't want to deal with the humanitarian crisis that would follow if the regime toppled. They also apparently don't want a unified and modern Korea with a border on China for strategic reasons.

Having said that, the guy sounds like a complete crackpot, so maybe he is just bored.

North Korea is on their third generation of crackpot absolute dictator. Hell, technically the Korean War never actually ended. There was an armistice but never an actual peace treaty.

Comment Nerds aren't just in IT (Score 1) 295

Of the stories on the front page the only ones I wouldn't consider "news for nerds" would be the sexual misconduct case and the Jeep gearshift story.

Believe it or not there are other types of engineers here besides folks who program for a living. The jeep gearshift story is about an engineering/design screwup and personally I find it quite interesting. Judging by the number of comments so did others. That sort of story definitely fits slashdot and would have before Dice took over. Furthermore the motto of Slashdot is "News for Nerds. Stuff that Matters." Nerds come in many forms and I certainly am one but not of the IT variety. Stuff that Matters extends beyond IT.

I agree however that the stories seem to be more focused lately so that is a good thing in my opinion. Of course the number of comments is still WAY down from 10 years ago. Used to be that slashdot attracted a fairly elite technical crowd. That hasn't been the case for a few years now for the most part. I still find it interesting but not like I once did.

Comment Privacy is for everyone (Score 1) 112

I log that shit cause those users are hitting my servers ... why is it wrong for me to use that however data however I like?

Because you didn't ask the user. Did the user explicitly consent for you to track them? User tracking should be opt-in not opt-out.

IMO, if anyone should be dinged here, it's those sites that are embedding the trackers without notifying the user that they'll be sending the users browser off to umteen different external sites.

While I agree that doesn't absolve Facebook from their own responsibility.

Browsers can also be configured to aid with this. For example, the option "Block third-party cookies and site data", aka "from originating website only". I believe that used to be available for images as well.

Which is FAR too crude of a filter to be actually useful. Sometimes third party cookies are helpful. Most of the time they are not. A crude filter like that cannot determine the difference.

Users also have multiple options to control what the computer they own does online. For general browsing, solutions vary from browser plugins (AdBlock and friends), Proxy based solutions, hosts file modifications, local DNS server, firewalls, etc.

Really? You seriously think my grandmother is going to understand how to modify a host file? Privacy isn't something that should only be available to the technologically proficient.

Comment Science reporting (Score 1) 487

But the press likes disaster stories.

Yes they do and in general the popular press is REALLY bad at science reporting. I've had a few direct interactions with science reporters for our local paper and holy cow they were a bunch of idiots. They mostly have NO training in the scientific method, their knowledge of technology and science is severely lacking, and they ask incredibly stupid questions and misunderstand the answers. Worse they often come in with an agenda about what they are going to report about and will twist any facts you give them to suit their narrative. The only exceptions I've run into is if you get one of the reporters for a big paper like the New York Times or (obviously) one of the actual science journals. But that's rare. Local TV news are the worst of them all. Bunch of borderline retarded talking heads them...

I used to work at a tech center where we had all sorts of cool machines. Lasers, rapid prototyping, CAE, engine dynos, virtual reality, etc. Very cool stuff and visually interesting too. So they wanted to take pictures which is great. One of these idiots points at the wall where he sees a bunch of blinking lights and asks what that machine does because he thinks it would be a cool picture. We gently mentioned that, ahem... our air conditioning control panel was about the least interesting thing in the building. The guy didn't even have the brains to act embarrassed.

Comment Economics is a social science (Score 0) 487

Economists are not scientists.

Careful there. Some economists can very accurately be called scientists because they use the scientific method and economics is quite properly categorized as a social science. These economists establish hypothesis, build models, conduct experiments against these models, etc. That IS science. The fact that it relates to human interactions does not change that fact, nor does the fact that some of their research involves difficult to analyze phenomena. Now there are also economists whose work has little or nothing to do with the scientific method but you shouldn't paint with too broad of a brush.

Better to have parapsychologists than economists. At least the parapsychologists have a little bit of rigor in their discipline.

I'm guessing you don't actually know any real economists.

Comment They deserve what they earn (Score 1) 354

If those websites are so valueless, then why bother installing AdBlock in the first place?

If someone is going to offer something for free I'd be an idiot to not take advantage of it. However if it isn't something I'm willing to actually pay for then it obviously wasn't very important to me and I shouldn't mourn it disappearing. If a company wants to base their business model on ad revenue then I'm not going to cry for them if that doesn't work out well. Their bad business model is not my problem. If your customers are actively seeking to block your revenue source then you might consider the sustainability of your business.

You're evaluating whether this site is of value to you so you can choose whether to pay them money. In which case, a non-obnoxious ad seems kind of like a reasonable compromise.

Ads are not required for me to evaluate a product. If anything they detract from the product. I'm certainly not willing to allow an ad network to track me under any circumstances aside from them contacting me directly and paying me what I consider a reasonable (read very large) sum in cash to follow my activities across the web.

I do, as the person consuming that content.

What is valuable to you does not mean it is valuable to me. They don't deserve compensation unless they are providing me actual value. The mere fact that they put it out there doesn't mean they deserve a single penny from me unless *I* find it valuable. There are some content makers that provide content I find worth paying.

I want services like Google to exist.

There are versions of most things Google offers that are available without ad support. My consumption of ads is not required for the continued existence of these services.

Comment Provide value or go away (Score 1) 354

I don't mind supporting websites I like

I pay cash to websites which actually provide useful content to me. If you aren't willing to pay cash money to the website then it probably isn't worth much to you.

I don't quite understand the argument of people who don't want adblock to move in this direction. If you don't like it, switch to one of the many other adblocking plugins. Im sure there will always be one adblocker-like plugin that will aim to block all ads.

To me it is adblock selling out. They're basically offering advertisers a protection racket. I want no part of that. I don't need an ad blocker whose interests are not clearly aligned with my own. Obviously others feel the same way.

I see this as a healthy development, one that could finally rid us of annoying ads while making sure content providers get compensated.

Who says they deserve compensation? Their bad business model is not my problem. Provide value or go away.

Comment European coffee (Score 1) 212

Sadly, you started exporting the same coffee back to us and now they put cup holders in our cars too. Sadly, you started exporting the same coffee back to us and now they put cup holders in our cars too.

So you're really saying that your coffee actually sucked worse than ours and that you couldn't get a date. Got it.

Comment Cup holders (Score 1) 212

That is why for a VERY long time there were no cup holders in the car. You shouldn't be drinking your coffee - you should be *driving*.

That wasn't a Porsche thing. That was a German thing. I owned several VWs which were decidedly NOT "drivers cars" which didn't have cup holders either. Hell I owned an '85 Sirocco which was sporty but utterly lacked cup holders.

And in my opinion it's MY freakin' car and if I want to drive it and drink coffee then Porsche can take their opinion and shove it.

Comment Self driving tech is useful beyond taxi service (Score 1) 212

Why would any poor benighted fool pay money for a Porsche that didn't need to be driven?

Self driving technology is orthogonal to whether or not the car has controls for a humans to use. You can have a car that is primarily driven by a human with self driving tech available OR you can have a car that is primarily self driven with controls for human override OR you can have a vehicle without human controls at all. For a Porsche I would see the first option being used. The car is primarily human driven but self driving tech is there to keep the human out of trouble and (someday) to be available for taking over the controls if desired. If you're driving your car 300 miles on the highway in traffic are you REALLY getting a lot of driving enjoyment? Self driving options would be nice to have at that point. Or sometimes people driving fast cars drive them faster than is objectively prudent and self driving tech could help keep them from wrapping the car around a phone pole. Some people who buy Porsches and drive them fast aren't as good of drivers as they believe they are. The 911 has a well deserved reputation for punishing drivers who don't really know what they are doing.

So yeah, if Porsche isn't looking into this stuff then they are being Luddites. The utility of self driving tech goes well beyond turning cars into taxis without human drivers.

Comment Self driving tech doesn't mean you can't drive (Score 1) 212

If you actually think that Porsches' position on so-called 'self-driving' cars is a Luddite attitude, then you don't at all get what Porsche is all about in the first place. It's a driver's car, not just transportation.

Being a driver's car doesn't mean self driving tech would be useless. So instead of actually steering the car you have the self driving tech as a sort of careful watcher to help insure the driver doesn't crash the car. Think of it like stability control or traction control or ABS on steroids. Hell, Porsche developed a rear drive sports car which is a ridiculous thing to do and they put all kinds of electronic driving aids to keep the car pointed in the right direction. What would be bad about self driving tech that helps you avoid crashes when you are driving said ridiculous rear engine car faster than is objectively prudent?

Comment Customers don't know what they want (Score 1) 212

It wouldn't make any economic sense for Porsche to pursue a path that doesn't intersect with their goals and customer wishes.

Just remember Henry Ford saying. "If I asked my customers what they wanted they would have said a faster horse". You can't ignore your customers but customers are in many cases demonstrably poor at figuring out what they really want particularly when we are talking about new technology. Porsche customers might say they want a driver's car but NOBODY really knows what self driving tech will bring to the party so in truth they really don't know if they want it or not. It might be that some of the tech will hugely appeal to people who want to drive their car but do it better and safer. Nothing wrong with driving the car but having a computer to help keep you safe and alive.

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