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Comment Re:the lard of hosts for fat ads (Score 1) 344

Once ad blocking becomes truly ubiquitous (I give it a year) and most of the independent web sites die, how are we block ads once the Internet = Facebook?

Facebook hosts all the content and all the ads (and it gets 30% of any hosted site's revenue for its trouble).

The rise of Ad-Blocking was inevitable, but boy, I'm not looking forward to having a Facebook account just to surf the remaining sites that keep trying to make a go of it.

Comment Why no Chip Card Reader at home? (Score 3, Interesting) 345

As EMV chip card readers get cheaper, I keep waiting for banks to offer an on-line verification service where they supply a chip card reader to the card owner, which can then be used to verify on-line transactions. After all, the system is already designed to survive the POS terminal being compromised, so the same should apply to what is effectively a home POS terminal.

Comment Re:HSBC are worse (Score 4, Informative) 345

It's likely that your card was used at a location for which an abnormal number of cards were found to have been skimmed. This is usually the reason that a whole batch of cards get cancelled. ("Kill every card used at Joe's Gas Station between Monday and Thursday.")

Ten years ago, the US banks didn't want the expense of switching to EMV. The cost would be that Americans would have to expect to have several cards declined at any one time because of fraud-fighting measures. The banks knew this was the future.

As it was, as all the world's bank card fraud organizations migrated to the US, the US was compelled to switch anyway. (You never want to be the last vulnerable man standing.) They'd have been far better going a decade ago.

Comment Re:This was not a screw-up (Score 1) 397

I *knew* someone would call me on that :-).

However, should those without children be ineligible to vote on the issue?

Or perhaps look at the legal system. We *know* that innocents may be injured or killed in pursuance of justice. Are we obligated to have police officer's lives at risk? (To be honest, I think it's good policy - if we had robo-cops, I think the numbers of innocents getting killed would go up, but I don't think we have a moral obligation to do so.)

Comment Re:So John McCain, then (Score 1) 397

You're comment is absolutely accurate, and why politicians I respect are in short supply.

Success as a politician almost requires you suppress facts that would harm your favored policies, such as "innocents will suffer".

And in fact, as a leader, you could argue that if you are a "good" person (and who among us thinks of ourselves otherwise) and *you* have carefully evaluated both sides and deemed a policy desirable, then aren't you committing evil by spending effort to admit the costs of that policy and thus make it less likely to pass? If you truly think that war is required to reduce suffering in the end, isn't your moral obligation and your duty to suppress (or at the very least, not promulgate) the facts that might diminish support for war?

(And this applies to any policy - healthcare, justice, etc.)

It's a reason that I could never be a politician. I'm selfish enough that I value my morality more than the benefits to the populace that compromising that morality might bring. As a non-entity, my words, harmful though they might be to my own side, are inconsequential.

So, I suppose I came on strong because the disclosure of costs is what I feel morality requires. However, you are quite correct, what we can expect, and what indeed, in some circumstances, may constitute good leadership is quite different. Assumptions of complete rationality are both factually incorrect, and probably make bad policy.

Comment Re:So John McCain, then (Score 1) 397

Indeed, I might often disagree with his choices (I personally lean left), but in this he has my respect.

My scorn is reserved for those on any side who refuse to admit the costs of their favored policies. Every policy has cost, and the unwillingness to explicitly admit those costs exists is either ignorance (unforgivable in a leader) or evidence of a profound disrespect for the people you lead (also unforgivable).

But then I've never been a big believer of the idea that the people are too stupid to be given all the facts.

Comment Re: This was not a screw-up (Score 2) 397

I'll be satisfied the first time I hear a politician who approves military action say that "I personally accept that my decision to approve this action will kill innocent men, women and children. This is a price that I am willing to pay for this action."

I have yet to hear a politician acknowledging the lives it will cost *in advance* and then approving it anyway. This isn't a "oh, a terrible mistake has happened." This is "we know what the costs are, and we're willing to pay them." If you can't publicly acknowledge the reality of your command, you have no business giving the command.

It's why leadership is a crushing responsibility.

Comment Re:This was not a screw-up (Score 2) 397

I would also add that if a belligerent (such as the U.S.) is not willing to sacrifice the lives of its own troops and civilians, then it has no moral justification for engaging in unilateral warfare.

I'm going to ask why you think that.

If we take other decisions that will kill innocents for what we consider greater goals (for example, mandatory vaccinations, which kill a handful to save millions), we don't demand that the decision makers up their personal stake.

I certainly agree that having a stake in terms of troops and civilians makes it less likely that such actions are approved. But I don't see how it changes the justification. In other words, I agree that it makes for better decision making. I don't think it changes the particular moral justification, which is a separate and unrelated thing.

Comment Re:This was not a screw-up (Score 4, Insightful) 397

Indeed, the dishonesty is approving this bombing without stating UPFRONT that innocent men, women and children *will* die.

If we are not willing to acknowledge this before the first shot is fired - absolutely accept that by approving military action, we WILL be responsible for killing innocents - then we have no business approving the action in the first place.

Military action must only take place when the we feel the evil that comes from NOT doing the action outweighs *certainty* that we are directly killing innocents.

Anyone not willing to take *personal* responsibility for those lives when they approved the order should be removed from office or command.

Comment Re:Bullshit headline (Score 1) 351

I agree. I'll be surprised if Facebook or other conglomerates that can be their own ad serving agency capture more than 30-50% of the web with the rest either dying, somehow surviving behind a paywall (although I think that will be *exceedingly* rare), or being small hobbyist sites.

I think it's quite possible that the web as we know it may well become one of those historic creative blips that technology just happened to allow for a decade or two. We'll be annoying future generations about how great it was that for a brief moment, but few will have any inclination to visit what it's become.

Comment Re:Don't think so (Score 1) 351

Are you asking me to be sympathetic to sites that post...

What an odd sentiment. The fact that most non-hobby web sites will die in the next few years is not an occasion for either tears or jeers. It's just the natural technical evolution of the web. The current configuration of millions of independent sites is obviously unsustainable as viewers have made clear by cutting their revenue stream while advertisers have also made it clear that non-obtrusive ads are not worth anything to them.

My only complaint is with those who feel their ought to be independent web content, but that they should haven't to pay for it with obtrusive ads. The price is clear. Pay or not as you will - as long as you don't expect the fact that, until now, everyone else has been paying on your behalf is your natural right.

The only ones I do feel sorry for those are those who do feel that sites are worth the ads. Having a few percent white list sites isn't going to save the sites they love.

Comment Re:In all fairness (Score 4, Insightful) 203

A user may have been instructed to do a process a certain way, but no one is sure what the reasoning is for doing it. It may be a valid reason; but that reason was discovered years ago by someone (either retired or dead), forgotten, and has just been done for traditions sake. In cases like this, it's hard to make a case to carry a process like that over to the new system, but it can't just be ignored either.

This, a thousand times. Nothing like finding two pieces of completely inexplicable code and cleaning them up. One speeds up processing by 2%, and you're the hero. The other turns out to have most of code flow of Western civilization running through it, and now you've just brought on the Long Night.

Comment Re:Bullshit headline (Score 1) 351

Given how badly paywalls work, I suspect the reality of the commercial market is that almost any site of any worth will have to migrate to Facebook, whose ads are pretty much unblockable.

This is the natural evolution of the Internet. Advertisers slowly made the web very difficult to surf, Ad blockers grew in response. Web sites die from lack of revenue. People drift to where content is still available - Facebook.

Those last two steps are a year or so away. But that's the way it's going. And no, there's no going back. Only an infinitesimal number of ad block user even know what a whitelist is. They'll simply block all ads, good or bad, and won't even understand why all the web sites that they visited gradually closed down. But they'll know Facebook still works, and hey, some of their old sites now show up there!

Technical evolution in action.

"Lead us in a few words of silent prayer." -- Bill Peterson, former Houston Oiler football coach