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Comment: (Score 4, Interesting) 507

by starling (#32751744) Attached to: Fark Creator Slams 'the Wisdom of Crowds'

A shadowban is where you can see your posts, but nobody else can. When it's done, the only way you can find out is by disabling cookies and searching for your comments - which will have vanished. Not fun, especially if you're a paying subscriber to the site.

On Fark, they also play "fun" tricks like faking database errors or randomly hiding half the comments on a story for users the moderators don't like for whatever reason.

Me, I was permanently shadowbanned for replying to a comment which mentioned a site that the Fark mods disapprove of, so you can see why I'm not well disposed to the place or their policies.

Comment: Re:The lock in is more important (Score 1) 255

by starling (#32648032) Attached to: Prices Slashed For Nook, Kindle E-Readers

There's something to that, but I'd say that the majority of books are read once or twice at most so in that sense they're disposable. Of course there are reference books too, but how much of a market will they be? When Amazon tried introducing the Kindle 2 to college students they found it unsatisfactory as a way to read and refer to text books so that's probably not going to be a huge market.

On the truly disposable side, newspapers and magazines are frothing at the bit to get digital subscriptions on the iPad, but e-ink needs colour to make it a compelling choice. My bet is that these readers will find their niche in recreational novels, where the content is effectively disposable leading to a revenue stream based on sales of content, not hardware.

Comment: Re:The lock in is more important (Score 2, Interesting) 255

by starling (#32647940) Attached to: Prices Slashed For Nook, Kindle E-Readers

What Apple did was invert the normal rules by being first to market with a credible MP3 player and leveraging their extremely loyal base. It was a beautifully executed coup, but not one that Amazon or B&N are in a position to duplicate. They gave it a go, but now they're having to fall back on the tried and true Gillette model.

A formal parsing algorithm should not always be used. -- D. Gries