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Comment Re:Unconcerned with this level of scrutiny? (Score 2) 85

Lol, Turnbull was the communications minister who said that data retention was pointless!

But then again, he has done nothing to roll anything back now that he's in charge...

Comment Re:Nobody ever called my mother-in-law a hipster (Score 1) 535

What credit? They make a clone of a Palm Treo or cheap WinMob phone, and put good marketing around it.

We had touchscreen phones before the iPhone.
We had full-web-enabled phones before the iPhone.
We had easily-usable email on phones before the iPhone.
We had the choice of on-screen keyboards and hardware keyboards (oops!) before the iPhone.
We had apps on phones before the iPhone.
We had app stores before iPhone.
We had music players built into phones before the iPhone.
We had handwriting input before the iPhone.
We had bluetooth connectivity before the iPhone.
We had wifi-enabled phones before the iPhone.

The one thing we didn't have readily accessible before iphones was multi-touch - and if that's the secret sauce that made smartphones come of age, then so be it.

But I (and many others) assert that it was better marketing, not a superior phone, that was the key differentiator of the iPhone.

Comment Re: Bullshit (Score 2) 351

Advertisers aren't offering to pay for my attention or my bandwidth....

...but AM I compensated for either, no...

I'm a user and defender of ad-blocking (as you will see elsewhere in this conversation), but this argument is slightly fallacious.

The advertiser is compensating you for your attention and bandwidth by purchasing content that you wish to view/read.

In an non-advertising supported model, you would be required to pay something to get access to the content, in the advertising-supported model, this cost would be paid on your behalf by the advertisers.

There is an open question on whether the amount of content you are getting in compensation is in appropriate proportion to the amount of your attention and bandwidth (and security/privacy risk) being taken up, but the idea that there is no compensation provided is not quite right.

Comment Re:Bullshit headline (Score 2) 351

There is no "acceptable advertising", to many of us. We're tired of space in our brain being rented out...

Your options are a pay-wall or ads.

Your logical fallacy is the "false dichotomy". There's also the begging button, hobby sites, merchandising, product placement, and any number of other means of funding sites.

"Product placement" sounds an awful lot like renting out brain space for "acceptable advertising" to me...

And your begging button and merchandise will probably also have to be featured somewhere prominent on your site to get any of your readers clicking on them, so that will probably involve taking some brain space on the screen to promote ("advertise") these features/products.

Submission + - Texas 9th Grader Shows STEM Smarts, Gets Sent to Juvenile Detention (

jddj writes: Award-winning electronics whiz Ahmed Mohamed loved the robotics club in middle school. So when he got to high school, he decided to show the teachers what he could do: he tossed together an electronic clock in about 20 minutes, and housed it in a pencil case.

Irving, Texas school officials did what they do best when confronted with a bright, promising student: they had him arrested and taken to juvenile detention, claiming Ahmed had built a "fake bomb" (something the student never claimed).

Remember folks: Lie down. Don't think for yourself. If you've got smarts, don't show 'em.

Submission + - 9th-Grader May Face Charges after Homemade Clock Mistaken for Bomb (

bengoerz writes: 14-year-old Ahmed Mohamed was led away from MacArthur High School in handcuffs and faces possible charges after teachers, school administrators, and police in Irving, Texas mistook his homemade clock for a bomb. The device — a circuit board, power supply, and digital display wired together inside a pencil box — was confiscated by a teacher after the alarm sounded in class. Despite telling everyone who would listen that his device was just a clock, Ahmed was confronted by 4 police officers, suspended for 3 days, and threatened with expulsion unless he made a written statement, before eventually being transported to a juvenile detention center to meet his parents.

Submission + - Universal Pictures wants to remove localhost and IMDB pages from Google results

Artem Tashkinov writes: We've all known for a very long time that DCMA takedown requests are often dubious and even more often outright wrong but in a new turn of events a Universal Pictures contractor which does web censorship has requested a takedown of an IMDB page and the address. I myself has seen numerous times that pages which barely include the title of an infringing work of art get removed from search engines.

Comment Re:But reasonable disclosure is important (Score 1) 217

Warnings are useless.

Very important point.

For a good explanation of why this is, Joel Spolsky's article back in 2000: "Designing for People Who Have Better Things To Do With Their Lives" summarised it down to "users don't read anything", and broke it down into three simple points:

  • * Advanced users skip over the instructions. They assume they know how to use things and don't have time to read complicated instructions
  • * Most novice users skip over the instructions. They don't like reading too much and hope that the defaults will be OK
  • * The remaining novice users who do, earnestly, try to read the instructions (some of whom are only reading them because it's a usability test and they feel obliged) are often confused by the sheer number of words and concepts. So even if they were pretty confident that they would be able to use the dialog when it first came up, the instructions actually confused them even more.

Submission + - June 30th Leap Second Could Trigger Unexpected Issues (

dkatana writes: On January 31, 2013, approximately 400 milliseconds before the official release of the EIA Natural Gas Report, trading activity exploded in Natural Gas Futures. It is believed that was the result of some fast computer trading systems being programmed to act, and have a one-second advance access to the report.

On June 30th a leap second will be added to the Network Time Protocol (NTP) to keep it synchronized with the slowly lengthening solar day.

In an article for InformationWeek Charles Babcock gives a detailed account of the issues, and some disturbing possibilities:

The last time a second needed to be added to the day was on June 30, 2012. For Qantas Airlines in Australia, it was a memorable event. Its systems, including flight reservations, went down for two hours as internal system clocks fell out of synch with external clocks.

The original author of the NTP protocol, Prof. David Mills at the University of Delaware, set a direct and simple way to add the second: Count the last second of June 30 twice, using a special notation on the second count for the record.

Google will use a different approach: Over a 20-hour period on June 30, Google will add a couple of milliseconds to each of its NTP servers' updates. By the end of the day, a full second has been added. As the NTP protocol and Google timekeepers enter the first second of July, their methods may differ, but they both agree on the time.

But that could also be problematic. In adding a second to its NTP servers in 2005, Google ran into timekeeping problems on some of its widely distributed systems. The Mills sleight-of-hand was confusing to some of its clusters, as they fell out of synch with NTP time.

Does Google's smear approach make more sense to you, or does Mills's idea of counting the last second twice work better? Do you have a better idea of how to handle this?

Comment Re:Wtf?! (Score 1) 62

What i don't get is how and why these people then tryto talk back to it.

For the same reason that people talk to Eliza, Alice, and other such entities - because it makes us feel good.

We intuitively associate the machines with humanness... Even when we know we shouldn't:


Also: you get to feel like part of history if the social media flunky at the the other end of the feed decides to reply to your post.

"The most important thing in a man is not what he knows, but what he is." -- Narciso Yepes