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Comment: Re:Open social network standard (Score 1) 145

by TheRaven64 (#48214115) Attached to: Ello Formally Promises To Remain Ad-Free, Raises $5.5M
The problem is, social networks invariable involve sharing data with your friends. With most of the current models, that means that you need to trust the server that your friends are using. Even for email and XMPP that's a problem: if half of your friends are using GMail for both then there's a good chance that Google can get a big chunk of our email and your social graph. Privacy preserving protocols are an ongoing research area, but I've not yet seen anyone trying to integrate them into a well-defined standard with a good reference implementation.

Comment: Re:Sustainable business model (Score 1) 145

by TheRaven64 (#48214071) Attached to: Ello Formally Promises To Remain Ad-Free, Raises $5.5M
If they had a federated model and I could easily migrate away from storing stuff on their servers, then I might be tempted to pay them so that I didn't have to go to the trouble of running the server and keeping it patched. The last time I paid to be in a walled garden, it was CompuServe, and I learned my lesson.

Comment: Re:G+? (Score 2) 145

by TheRaven64 (#48214043) Attached to: Ello Formally Promises To Remain Ad-Free, Raises $5.5M

You can use Facebook to log in to a lot of services as well, but that's not really "using" Facebook because you're not doing anything with what Facebook offers. You're just telling a website that you are who you say you are.

Sounds like you're using Facebook for exactly it's intended purpose: to allow someone to build a big database of things that you do to target advertising. You're not just telling a website something, you're telling Facebook what other sites you visit and care enough about to log in to and what your identity on those sites is.

Comment: Re:No. (Score 3, Interesting) 276

by TheRaven64 (#48210917) Attached to: Will Fiber-To-the-Home Create a New Digital Divide?
When I was a student, sharing a house with three other people, we paid extra to get the 1Mb/s connection that was the fastest that the cable company offered. The top gradually grew to 3Mb/s, 5Mb/s and then 10Mb/s. When it hit 10Mb/s (I'd moved house and was living with a different group of people, but) we still paid for it. But then I stopped caring. The 10Mb/s went from being the fastest that they offered to the slowest. Then 20Mb/s and 30Mb/s became the slowest. I'm now still on their slowest connection (although living in a different city). At work, I have a GigE connection that means that most of the time the bottleneck isn't my local connection, and I can usually get 10-20MB/s to any moderately large Internet site. I very occasionally notice the difference between the speed at home and at work, but most of the time there's no user-perceptible difference. Oh, and my ISP sent me a letter a few weeks ago saying that they don't offer 30Mb/s anymore and they'll be moving me to 50Mb/s soon. I think somewhere around 10-20Mb/s was when I stopped noticing Internet speed as a bottleneck.

Comment: Re:Is it open source yet? (Score 1) 110

Unless I'm misreading something, Seafile seems to just do file sharing (for which a simple WebDAV server is mostly enough). The value of owncloud (for me, at least) is that it also does contact and calendar sync, so my phone and computer always have the same data for these.

Comment: Re:Is it open source yet? (Score 1) 110

I found it pretty easy to set up on FreeBSD - install the owncloud, php5, and nginx packages and then a tiny bit of configuration (mostly copying and pasting from the owncloud site). The only gotcha was that the default nginx configuration doesn't know the correct MIME type for svg files, so I needed to fix that or none of the images in owncloud worked correctly.

Comment: Re:Is it open source yet? (Score 1) 110

OwnCloud is open source and does the same things as Dropbox (although in really crappy PHP on the server, so you'd better have a lot of spare cycles to burn - it's the first time for several years I've seen file transfers across the Internet be CPU limited).

The problem is that they're comparing apples to oranges. Of course a direct local connection will be faster than two devices sharing the same Internet connection and going via a server, but most of the time that I want to use a server as part of a sync workflow it's because the devices aren't together and I want to do it asynchronously. The equivalent for BitTorrent Sync would involve having a central server somewhere (possibly in your own home) that's always on and is a party in the sync.

Comment: Re:OT: ":Fine money should be burned (Score 2) 392

by TheRaven64 (#48195655) Attached to: Speed Cameras In Chicago Earn $50M Less Than Expected
Burning the money actually works reasonably well as an alternative. It reduces the money supply and therefore lowers inflation, resulting in a relative increase in the value of everyone's money. The counter argument is that rich people profit more, but generally if you have enough money lying around that the effect would be noticeable, you've invested most of it in things that have a much better return on investment than cash, so as a proportion of net worth if favours the people whose money is mostly money (predominantly poor people).

Comment: Re:It is a common thing right now in other cities (Score 1) 392

by TheRaven64 (#48195603) Attached to: Speed Cameras In Chicago Earn $50M Less Than Expected
That's fine, if late fees are for their original purpose (preventing people using a shared resource from impacting the quality of service for others). It's only a problem when they require them for revenue. Ideally, you want to completely decouple the revenue from punitive fines from the organisation that can set them.

Comment: Re:Easy to solve - calibrate them to overestimate (Score 3, Insightful) 392

by TheRaven64 (#48195549) Attached to: Speed Cameras In Chicago Earn $50M Less Than Expected
And then those same elected officials are subject to calls to cut taxes, but keep public services the same. Want to be reelected? It's difficult if you voted against lowering taxes and your opponent promises that he won't. But no one notices when you make a decision that raises revenue at the expense of safety.

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