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Comment: 15 year old marketing genius? (Score 4, Insightful) 203

Though that marketing video, while "snazzy", is pretty pedestrian, as marketing videos go.

There are some bona fide "kid geniuses" out there who have done amazing things (though many with lots of help from family/friends/other adult geniuses). That said, there are 100 times more who talk a good line, but have nothing to show for it.

I'll wait until I see the goods before I pronounce anyone "kid genius".

Comment: Re:right-wing spin (Score 1) 682

by sstamps (#47273937) Attached to: IRS Recycled Lerner Hard Drive

And here we see extremism in its final stage. Kill those who disagree with you.


Not like lunatic conservative nutjobs haven't said the same fucking thing over and over for years.

Though, I have to say, if those nutjobs (of either stripe) come around looking to shoot anybody, I will be glad to bury their corpses in my lime pit after I am done with them.

Comment: Re:Massive conspiracy (Score 1) 465

by sstamps (#47260709) Attached to: IRS Lost Emails of 6 More Employees Under Investigation

I was aware, as I have read and cited the report here and elsewhere several times in the last year.

The report does NOT refute the argument. You're reading into it more than it actually says.

The report is flawed in this area, because no other political affiliations were checked to see if they were also targeted. The IG *ONLY* looked at "Tea Party" groups, and lamented this fact in his later congressional testimony. A more thorough and detailed review will likely reveal that there were a number of groups improperly targeted, not just "Tea Party" groups.

You'll also note on the next page, it says that quite a few groups which DO trigger the normal, acceptable criteria for special review were not sent to the unit. The whole process was more broken than it was politically selective.

Comment: Re:Massive conspiracy (Score 1) 465

by sstamps (#47260673) Attached to: IRS Lost Emails of 6 More Employees Under Investigation

Schedule B filings are public information. Normally, the names of the donors are redacted before it is released, but it was not done in this case.

That said, their case has already been set back by the judge, denying punitive damages, because NOM had "made no showing from which a reasonable jury could find that the disclosure of its Schedule B was the result of willfulness or gross negligence". Doesn't look like there's going to be a felony conviction forthcoming from that.

Still haven't cited the relevant law which was broken, too.

Keep trying, though.

Comment: Re:Massive conspiracy (Score 1, Interesting) 465

by sstamps (#47260391) Attached to: IRS Lost Emails of 6 More Employees Under Investigation

..and you should also read what the IG said AFTER the report in congressional testimony, where he admits he was 'very concerned' that his report missed progressive targeting.

You should also, you know, READ the original TIGTA report, too. It is very enlightening, even with its admitted flaws. For example, the targeting was still a very small part of the total applications, and the "Tea Party" targeting was also less than a third of all targeted applications.

Internal BOLO spreadsheets are hardly secret. They are little more than worksheets to help people get their jobs done, and are distributed to everyone in the unit.

It wasn't unlawful, since no "illegal information" was required or used. If you think it was, cite the law that was broken. My wager is that you can't. Thus, I'll stick with "not unlawful" until you (or anyone else) demonstrates otherwise.

As for being harmful, it was no more harmful than it was for the other 2/3rds of the organizations which were sent to the unit for further processing. That it took forever affected everyone, not just "Tea Party" groups. Further, the law even provides for the ability for applicants to sue the IRS to expedite their application after 270 days, and NONE of them availed themselves of it. NONE.

But, you know, don't let silly little things like facts quash a good witchhunt.

Comment: Re:Massive conspiracy (Score -1) 465

by sstamps (#47259725) Attached to: IRS Lost Emails of 6 More Employees Under Investigation

It wasn't a conspiracy.

a) It wasn't secret, nor was it "covered up".
b) It wasn't unlawful (go on, name the law that they broke if you disagree)
c) It wasn't particularly harmful (the only group that was denied as a result was a PROGRESSIVE group).

Now, did it violate policy? Maybe. They treated it like it was, but it is the job of the IRS to investigate applicants for the status in question. If anything, I would argue that they have been violating policy with the ridiculous amount of grants of c(3) status for years to organizations who OBVIOUSLY do not qualify for it.

THAT is the REAL scandal here.

Comment: Still confused, even after reading TFA (Score 1) 364

by sstamps (#47256443) Attached to: Google: Indie Musicians Must Join Streaming Service Or Be Removed

It says that musicians, who are signed with an indie label that has not agreed to the "terms", will have their videos removed/blocked.

What "terms"? How does this affect indie musicians who are not signed to an affected indie label (or an indie label at all)? Do they also have to agree to these so-called "terms"?

Maybe if Google had someone who wasn't a low-grade moron marketroid answering such questions with real answers, they could avoid egg on their face, as well as rotten tomatoes, then torches and pitchforks.

Comment: Re:And this is why.... (Score 1) 164

by sstamps (#46843425) Attached to: Facebook Data Miner Will Shock You

I don't think an early comment on some website would qualify as "important".

Maybe writing an article about it and getting it submitted to /. might qualify. But, then, I guess it would be important to someone other than just him, huh?

No, I think you need help, at least in figuring out how to discern relevance and context.

Comment: Re:Even better... (Score 1) 410

by sstamps (#46829523) Attached to: F.C.C., In Net Neutrality Turnaround, Plans To Allow Fast Lane

I've given up on mass media for nearly a decade now. I find independent sources of entertainment and pay the content creators directly.

The only way to kill the monster we collectively created is to starve it into non-existence. People have the power to effect positive change, but they have to be smart, educated, and courageous enough with their votes and their wallets to make it happen. Part of that entails educating their family and friends and spreading that knowledge and courage around.

For those that leave the system early, it's a lot tougher, but it will pay off in the long run.

Comment: Real users? (Score 4, Interesting) 116

by sstamps (#46829427) Attached to: WhatsApp Is Well On Its Way To A Billion Users

I'm sure Farcebork brought them some more visibility than they had, but what evidence is there that even most of them are actual bona fide new users, rather than just new accounts? FB has a history of having a significant percentage of their "accounts" being little more than "likebots" to float their "pay for likes" scheme.

(See VSauce's channel on YT for a rather telling commentary on the FB "like" scam).

Comment: As a game developer... (Score 2) 305

by sstamps (#46825185) Attached to: 'The Door Problem' of Game Design

I don't think she does a very good job of explaining why good game design is difficult.

It's not that game design itself is difficult, it is that GOOD (ie, fun) game design is difficult. She's basically addressing the wrong problem set. What she is describing is simply software design and engineering issues, which boils down to 3 real categories:

1. Functional / feature design: the rules which govern whether they exist and how they can function. AKA "business rules" in normal software development.
2. User Interface design: how the user (player) interacts with it.
3. Engineering/Implementation issues: how do you make 1 & 2 real and work, while reducing undesired side-effects.

1 & 2 generally form a specification for the feature's design, and 3 is the specification for how to implement it.

This is not unlike many common design and implementation processes for standard software design and engineering of complex systems. The real difference is that, while a software system designed and implemented correctly may fulfill all the intended design objectives, there is an additional objective which games add to the mix that is not generally present in normal business applications: fun. Unfortunately, it is not an objective criteria, and requires "play-testing" to discern whether a particular design is fun or not. It is very difficult to design-in "fun" from the very start of a project.

That said, with the advent of Serious Games, adding the "is it fun?" criteria to real-world business applications is happening more often.

Lastly, as a game developer, the single greatest challenge I have encountered is simply to keep going through the "hard times". Like any difficult software development project, there are times when things get dark and depressing for whatever reason, and there is difficulty keeping motivated to continue, but you have to bear down and power through the hard parts. The reason most game development projects fail that I have seen is that people don't really understand how hard it can be at times, and give up when the going gets tough. To me, this is a more difficult hurdle than in typical business application development, because many people get into the development of games with an incorrect level of expectation about said difficulty.

Comment: Re:Blender should file a Counter Claim against Son (Score 1) 306

It makes perfect sense, because it is germane to the issue, unlike your analogy.

There's nothing saying that Sony can't have a DMCA takedown printing press ready to fill in the blanks and fire a billion of them off on a moment's notice, or the technological equivalent thereof.

The fact that a) the video is blocked, b) on copyright (and, thus, statutory) grounds, at the behest of c) Sony says that the DMCA take-down process has been executed. If it hasn't, and YouTube just took it down willy-nilly, then they are liable for a plethora of legal challenges, including breach of contract and tortious interference with contractual relations.

Comment: Re:Blender should file a Counter Claim against Son (Score 1) 306

The text that appears when you try to watch the video is:

"This video contains content from Sony Pictures Movies & Shows, who has blocked it on copyright grounds. "

Using the term "copyright" makes it unequivocal -- this is clearly a statutory issue, not a contractual one between two private entities.

Of course you can't flap your arms and fly to the moon. After a while you'd run out of air to push against.