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Comment Justifiable? Meh. Virtuous? No. (Score 1) 351 351

Advertising is mostly noise in my environment, against which I develop coping strategies. Hidden within some advertising are threats (malware) which encourages me to adopt even more coping strategies.

Proving that there might be some unsolicited advertisements that I'd welcome is like proving a negative. That many websites I enjoy depend for funding on unsolicited advertisements - is understandable, in the same way that the Confederate Flag represents Southern Heritage is understandable.

My attention is my possession. It is not unethical to use ad blockers, and any advertisers or websites that cry out against the use of ad blockers are damn fools. What is more, my desktop/tablet/browser is a valuable resource to me, one that it is prudent for me to use carefully. Just as I don't leave them out in foul weather, or fling them around, so too will I take steps to prevent malware - and that includes using ad blockers.

I mostly enjoy the content I find on places like SlashDot, Wired, HuffPo, etc., but I have noticed that the more the owners try to "monetize" the content, the poorer quality the content is and the less appealing it is. While some might offer advertisement free content if I subscribe and pay - my cynical expectation is that I'll eventually end up with advertisements anyway, much like Cable TV was once offered as an advertisement-free venue yet became so congested with advertisements that I no longer subscribe. Having been burned by Cable TV, I see no reason to believe any promises that paid-for content will be advertisement free.

Comment Mothers don't let their kids run Java ... (Score 1) 328 328

Why install Java on desktop systems anymore - unless you're forced to by some hideous commercial application you're stuck with?

(For that matter, why install Adobe Flash - unless you just have to watch every cat-video and fail-video there ever way.)

Comment Re:Yes (Score 1) 1067 1067

I'd also wish hardware generated integer overflow exceptions as well.
But if someone who doesn't understand that math on computers involves finite math and claims to be a programmer, I don't know what to say other than he's an ambulance chasing code weasel.
May as well allow null pointer dereferences return 0. (Oh, yeah - the the old MIT Kerberos and X11 code assumed that and that's why the code base was crap for so long!)

Comment Video games? Nope. (Score 1) 170 170

My first programs were on a TI-59 programmable calculator. There's a limited amount you can do with a 7-segment (with decimal point) 10 digit display.

But the FIRST program I still recall fondly creating from that time was on that device - it used up all available memory for a 2-player (with a simple AI able to play either player) space-battle game with a refueling base. It was also the BEST and LAST game I ever wrote. (As you might imagine, I'm not a gamer nor do I write games.)

Games seem to be a gateway into programming - but from everything I understand about the games programming industry (from a college aged son interested in such), games programming is cut-throat and speculative. I wouldn't consider it a career suitable for supporting a family - or if you have no other means of support. (My parents were disabled by the time I was out of college.)

Comment Visitors, tourists, and transit users go free (Score 1) 837 837

I don't see how a mileage tax can be applied to visitors (tourists) or transients (triple-bottom long haul truckers.) In fact, a state based mileage tax penalizes citizens who frequently cross state borders or otherwise drive frequently out-of-state.

Comment Canvas Ads are even more annoying... (Score 1) 618 618

I don't think I need to justify running an ad-blocker (and poisoning my home DNS) for any reasons other than the following:

  • Advertisements are known vectors for malware

Of course, I also find advertisements annoying - and the more aggressive the advertisement is about demanding my attention, the more annoying I find it. (Indeed, these Canvas Ads seem to be extremely annoying as they demand that I have to click/swipe on a page I wish to visit AGAIN - and the motion is at present sufficiently unfamiliar that I briefly struggle with it.)

I understand that many of the websites I enjoy are supported by advertising - and so by using ad-blocking techniques, I'm denying those sites whatever financial benefit there is of those (valid) advertisements being displayed (that I'll NEVER click on anyway.) But I satisfy myself with thoughts of schadenfreude - that advertisements are (like state lotteries) a tax on the stupid, gullible, poor, and desperate. (Yes, a rather mean spirited attitude, but that's schadenfreude.)

But basically, the whole internet advertising business is so shabbily done that blocking advertisements is only safe computing, like washing your hands after using the bathroom.

Comment Cloudy responsibility (Score 1) 152 152

This is another way of saying that "everyone's responsible" (and therefore no-one's responsible.)

Insuring that a tool (app) suits a business process (and vice versa) can be a non-trivial process - but is one that the business itself is ultimately responsible for.

Comment The nature of comments (Score 1) 264 264

I wonder if 'C' encourages or has a culture of having more comments than some of the other languages.

And as other posters have hinted at when noting code that's trying to run in different environments, the environment C runs in (standard library, etc.) has varied longer (in time) and more (in versions) than the other languages mentioned. Seriously, is anyone writing new code for Ultrix anymore?

Comment Automated sorting of mail and metadata? (Score 2) 66 66

The USPS has been using automated systems of sorting mail for decades. It's why mail across town goes to a consolidated center (perhaps halfway across the state) first for sorting into carrier routes and has been for decades.

That Homeland Security want to capture this information - which has long been determined to accessible (the original pen-trace) isn't surprising at all.

And they only have to photograph/image the ones that the machines can't read. It's only surprising to people who drink the conservative kool-aide that government can't do anything right.

Comment Counting IPv6 addresses - one, two, twenty-three.. (Score 1) 390 390

I've been playing around with my own (tunneled) IPv6 prefix at home for some time now. (I think Comcast will deliver IPv6 to me - but I haven't bothered yet.)

I run IPv6 on some of my home LANs, but not on the one I have with legacy equipment on it like webcams, TV sets, printers, and other "Internet of Things" like devices that never get patches. Those networks get the usual NAT'd IPv4 stuff.

On my IPv6 networks, I have EUI addressing turned off - a pseudo-random address gets generated from time to time (within the IPv6 LAN network prefix), and I often see those devices having multiple simultaneous IPv6 addresses. I believe that this is the default anyway for modern OSes.

And so I think that any counting of adoption by full 128-bit IPv6 addresses will dramatically over-count IPv6 adoption - even if NAT could be taken into account. Google's technicians will know this. Google's marketeers might not care.

Comment Forward thinking - after a fashion (Score 1) 649 649

Young people are already abandoning car ownership as a value in and of itself. This kind of lawyered-up intellectual property protection will only insure that innovation will be eliminated in the automobile market - and continue to discourage personal ownership of vehicles. The Trans Pacific Partnership will help spread this pernicious model across the world, so everyone will become sheeple together.

Comment Re:ISS as a space garbage bulldozer? (Score 1) 167 167

I understand the idea of ablation propulsion works - I just have no (intuitive) feel for it. I can't help but think that it amounts to burning off paint on one side of an object in order to provide reaction mass for pushing it the other way. Perhaps if the system could survey the space junk and was able to target within a millimeter or so at a range of 1000Km, it might be able to push the junk into a different orbit - but deorbiting seems very ambitious.

Economists state their GNP growth projections to the nearest tenth of a percentage point to prove they have a sense of humor. -- Edgar R. Fiedler