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Comment: Re:*sips pabst* (Score 1) 337

by Tom (#48666041) Attached to: Ars: Final Hobbit Movie Is 'Soulless End' To 'Flawed' Trilogy

he was dragged kicking and screaming into directing it

And at no point did he have the option to say "no" and walk away, I'm sure. Because he's not living in a free country and he is so poor that he would starve if he did that.

When you burn out in life, you'll understand.

No, when you burn out in life you walk away from everything that causes you trouble and find a place where you are safe and can recover.

Comment: miscreation (Score 3, Insightful) 337

by Tom (#48665989) Attached to: Ars: Final Hobbit Movie Is 'Soulless End' To 'Flawed' Trilogy

I've seen the first two so far and they didn't convince me for the 3rd. I'll probably go because my GF wants to.

The problem is that The Hobbit is an entirely different book compared to LOTR. It's a childrens book, a soft introduction to Middle Earth, not an epic fantasy tale. It should've been dealt with in a different way, not as a "we made a shitload of money, so let's make more LOTR movies" prequel. It basically fell into the same trap as the Star Wars prequels - the attempt to replicate a success by doing more of the same, completely missing the idea that maybe the first was a success exactly because it was not more of the same, but stood out from what else was on offer at the time.

And omg were they filled with crap that had nothing to do with story or book and was only added to complete some Hollywood recipe.

They should've made it one move, for a younger audience, made by a different director, without trying to make it a prequel and "foreshadowing" everything we've already seen.

Comment: Re:Metadata (Score 4, Interesting) 36

by Tom (#48658967) Attached to: How a Wildfire Helped Spread the Hashtag

Because they are a hack. Twitter wasn't designed to include any metadata except author, date, etc. - certainly not topics, tags or keywords.

The problem is feature creep. Of course users want tags and keywords and topics and threading and circles and access levels/restrictions and grouping and two hundred other features. But if you give them what they want, they will complain that it's all too complicated and move elsewhere.

Comment: Re:the rules changed, that's why the manual contro (Score 1) 90

by Tom (#48658631) Attached to: Google Unveils New Self-Driving Car Prototype

Who said emergency? An emergency is probably exactly when you want a computer to be in control, simply because it can process more information more quickly, and the decisions to be made are trivial and minimal (aka "bring vehicle to a safe stop, right now").

But I would want manual controls on my car of the future because on some weekends I drive into the countryside and I drive on small dirt roads that may or may not be on the map. Or to festivals or other big events where at the end you park on a field. Or you drive through a really crowded street where the computer will most likely just stop and stand because there's always someone in front of the car.

There are plenty of non-emergency situations that I'm not sure the automatic driver can handle.

Comment: Re:News Flash : All Corporate IT security is a jok (Score 1) 234

by Tom (#48656125) Attached to: Anonymous Claims They Will Release "The Interview" Themselves

Security is a cost vs benefit equation for a business.

In the textbooks, it is. In the real world, humans make decisions, and they are not purely rational. The whole marketing industry is based on the fact that the free market doctrine of the rational buyer is nonsense.

The board have to do what it feels is best financially for the shareholders

There, highlighted the keyword for you. Thank you for supporting my argument so strongly, that exactly is the point.

Comment: Re:News Flash : All Corporate IT security is a jok (Score 4, Insightful) 234

by Tom (#48648935) Attached to: Anonymous Claims They Will Release "The Interview" Themselves

The problem isn't just stupid C*Os, though they certainly exist. The problem is also our inability to communicate properly with them. Me personally, guilty as charged, btw. -- it took me many, many years to understand how the C-level thinks and how to talk to them to get what you want. And even then you often don't because of some under-the-radar corporate politics that's going on right then.

No, this hack will in no way change anything. None of the previous public hacks did.

One of the main problems is that C*Os are right that a lot of security money is totally wasted on bullshit, like security awareness trainings for an audience that doesn't give a fuck, shouldn't have to give a fuck, and will forget everything they accidentally heard over their playing Farmville or bullshit bingo while you were talking in front, wasting their precious office time. Or on technically cute systems that are as fascinating as they are useless. Or on trying to convince a C*O that he needs military-grade security without explaining him why he should consider himself a military man.

For about 10 years now the security industry has - at the speed of a turtle - realized that it doesn't take human factors into consideration nearly enough. We've all thrown the mantra of the stupid user around as if it would explain anything, and explained our consistent failure to complete our mission by pointing fingers at others, just like you do above.

Guess what? Everyone in a company has too few resources, executives meddling in their things and idiot managers fucking things up, but the others still manage to largely accomplish their goals.

Comment: Re:Conservatives mostly don't like the involvement (Score 1) 218

The reason this hasn't happened is because it is fucking illegal.

In your stupid backwater country.

They've gone so far as to pressure local city councils to forbid century link to operate in the area.

You elected the fuckers, stop whining.

So no. Frankly I am just offended that you cited experience before as justification for your argument when you're so ignorant of what is going on.

Because armchair politics on /. beats industry experience.

How fucking dare you.

Look, troll. I worked for 10 years in a company that owned a city-wide telecom network and had a couple million phone and Internet customers. The people who do the switching in those grey boxes on the street corner worked one floor below me (I was in IT, not networking). The last mile issue is real and that some corrupt city council in some 3rd world country whose primary industries are advertisement and entertainment pass some silly laws is a tiny drop in the ocean of the telco industry. If you had a solution to solve the last mile problem that is feasable, affordable and legal, you could be rich faster than you can spell out your account number.

But since you've returned to ad hominem attacks after a short interlude of actual arguments, I'll leave you here to celebrate your "victory" all alone. Bye.

Comment: Re:Conservatives mostly don't like the involvement (Score 1) 218

You'd roll it out as it became convenient. Things need to be replaced.

This transition will take several decades, as those cables are not in need of much maintainance. But it could be done.

Who would pay for the change, though? I doubt the ISPs are going to do it, the current system works for them. The house owners won't, for the same reason.

Yes, it can be done. I wouldn't bet on it, though. Most likely, by the time this transition is over, all the cables are obsolete. That's one of the reasons nothing like this has happened so far - the players in the field are afraid that their investment will be outdated before it is amortizied.

Comment: Re:Conservatives mostly don't like the involvement (Score 1) 218

by Tom (#48643409) Attached to: Single Group Dominates Second Round of Anti Net-Neutrality Comment Submissions

However, if another company wants to lay cable on that street... what is the problem?

That tearing up a street is expensive, inconveniences a lot of people and these costs to both the parties involved and those around the event far outweigh the benefits. It's the same reason that we have one publicly owned street and not 20 parallel roads owned by different companies competing for your car to drive on them. It's stupid, that's why.

With telcos, the only reason we have the last mile problem at all was because initially telecommunication was built as a public service, like roads. Then someone decided to make it all private, because free market magic. The proper decision would have been to keep the last mile as public property, but it wasn't made, because idiots.

You're basically just saying

That's not what I'm saying. I'm saying that visions are a dime a dozen. Realizing them is the hard part, and it takes more than a few "look, a three-headed monkey" sentences to do that.

Comment: Re:Conservatives mostly don't like the involvement (Score 1) 218

by Tom (#48640631) Attached to: Single Group Dominates Second Round of Anti Net-Neutrality Comment Submissions

identified as belonging to the house.

This is not how property works in any western country. Someone dug up the street years ago, bought the copper, and paid to have it put into the ground. They own that cable. You cannot just go around and declare someone else is owner of it, without compensating the current owner, and probably even that would be challenged in court as the "give to the house owner" doesn't even fall into eminent domain.

And then switching from one provider to another would mean going to the gray box and unplugging a wire from provider "A" and plugging it into the box for provider "B".

Which would be a step back from the current system, where most provider changes are done by switching, not by mechanically unplugging wires. If someone needs to actually drive to a gray box and change wires every time someone changes ISPs, the costs for doing so would go up considerably.

ou're trying to prove me wrong instead of trying to understand the issue. It isn't helpful.

You're painting a picture of a fantasy world, ignoring the status quo. Yes, in a perfect world, if we would start from scratch on empty fields, maybe it would be better to do it that way this time around. But we don't start, we inherit a world where certain things are the way they are, like it or not. If you want to change something, you can't just paint a fantasy utopia, you need to show how to get there from where we are now.

So you want to change ownership of the last mile? Might be a good idea, show how to do it. Explain how to buy all the cables and grant or sell them to house owners. Come up with solutions for all the situations in the real world, with multi-story houses, houses with multiple outgoing connections, office buildings and private homes. A solution that works both for dense cities and isolated farms. That will not die trying due to resistence by the ISPs, the old cable owners, the house owners or the two dozen laws involved.

It's easy to say "this ought to be so". Everyone can do 10 of those in one minute. Cars ought to be pollution free. Ebola ought to be defeated. World peace should be achieved. Any of these statements just make you one of seven billion people with a vision. Being able to show step-by-step how to actually get there is the hard part.

Comment: board and cardgames (Score 1) 120

by Tom (#48639335) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Resources For Kids Who Want To Make Games?

Forget programming. Sit down with him and make a few board and card games.

Too many game designers these days look at the technology and the graphics and the monetarization and all the other crap and forget that first and foremost, there needs to be a game.

When you limit yourself to the bare essentials, you see the game for what it is, and learn to make games by focussing on what makes a game.

Comment: Re:Conservatives mostly don't like the involvement (Score 1) 218

Cable between the street and the house might have be redone.

Yes. But the cable doesn't connect to the street, that's just how we say it. It connects to that grey box on the corner, which means after the garden it runs underneath the street and/or sidewalk for typically a few hundred meters.

What is more, the cabling between the house and the street might be owned by the home owner.

Can't say for other countries, in my country almost never.

We could set up a junction box at the street that links into the home's network./quote

We not only could, this is what we do right now. But those boxes serve an entire block, not one house. Theoretically we could change the whole network layout and install such a box at the edge of every property and terminate there, but there are reasons why the system is the way it is, and changing it would require changes in the system, maybe even a partial redesign of the local loop.

Comment: Re:Conservatives mostly don't like the involvement (Score 1) 218

Your experience has clearly made myopic and unable to think creatively about the issue.

Of course. If you disagree with someone, it must be that the someone is an idiot. It's not possible that maybe you are wrong.

There's no point having a discussion on this level. People who have arguments don't need to use personal insults.

Comment: Re:I'd expect Fawkes masks to start making stateme (Score 1) 218

by Tom (#48624793) Attached to: Single Group Dominates Second Round of Anti Net-Neutrality Comment Submissions

So you switched from nationalisation of certain industries to taxpayer-funded cronyism?

I don't know all the details, but basically, yes.

The Deutsche Bahn was a state-owned monopolist for long-distance rail transport (both goods and people). During the privatization craze of the 90s or so, the government decided to turn it into Deutsche Bahn AG - a private company, listed at the stock exchange.

After a short transition, the C level started to think and act like C levels do, and - with a little help of big consulting companies - decided that public transport isn't all that interesting and profitable and that they would simply use it as leverage to become a huge, global, logistics company. You can already see where it all went wrong.

In order to raise capital, the government planned to sell its shares. But to make it interesting to buyers, the company first had to become profitable. So all that I've described happened. People in small towns suddenly found out that they were not using the train enough, so train service was discontinued and the station closed. Of course, now they had to use cars more which meant more traffic, roads maintainence costs increased, more roads had to be built - as a singular entity, the government before had included all those factors and decided that train service to this town was the right decision, even if the ticket sales by themselves didn't cover costs - but if you figure in the costs of not having a train service, suddenly it does make sense. As a private company, the Deutsche Bahn AG only considered the side of the equation it owned, and that didn't show a profit.
This happened to hundreds of train lines and stations.

Total damage to the german economy - unknown. Some estimates I've read are in the billions.

Comment: Re:I'd expect Fawkes masks to start making stateme (Score 2) 218

by Tom (#48624743) Attached to: Single Group Dominates Second Round of Anti Net-Neutrality Comment Submissions

The reasons they were privatized and the like was that the other wasn't sustainable

Get a clue before you enter a discussion. Many of the companies that were privatized were doing as good or even better than the private companies that replace them today. That doesn't always mean they are or were profitable - for some things such as public transport or universities or garbage collection maybe the benefit to society should be the important factor and not ROI and shareholder value.

You are repeating the ignorant blabbering of typical right-wing americans who think that anything that's not cut-throat capitalism is automatically communism. The thought that a world inbetween the extremes could exist has never crossed your mind, has it?

The strange truth is that the very america that had McCarthyism was very interested in and actively promoting the social market economy model of western europe, because they realized that if they had attempted to install the no-hold-barred brutality of pure US capitalism, most of post-WW2 europe would have become communist by free choice.

That economic model was the synthesis (to use philosophy terms) between the two equally wrong extremes. It gave us all the advantages of free markets, free choice of jobs, private companies and competition while at the same time protecting those areas where pure capitalism does more harm than good, like health care, public transportation or natural monopolies.

Sadly, the two competing extremes didn't fail at the same time to the same degree, so we've now been janked towards the "winner", and all the advantages are slowly evaporating in favor of higher stock prices and an economy based on bubbles and bullshit.

I'm not in favour of communism at all - had capitalism failed first, the same would have happened in the other direction and we'd be equally bad of. But on almost every metric you choose, western Europe was in a better condition 30 years ago.

Take an astronaut to launch.