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Comment Re:Shooting the messenger. (Score 1) 324

Assange's revelations embarrassed the US government and the US military, not "rich people".

You must be new around here. What planet did you come from?

I'm not particularly interested in Assange or those specific documents. I'm intensely interested in why people like you (or the role you are pretending to play, perhaps as a paid shill) want the government to have MORE control what LITTLE you know. They are obviously already doing a sufficiently good job.

Comment What, pray tell, is "lameness" (to filter)? (Score 1) 324

Okay, then in that case, it would seem isolating the paragraph should have increased the relative lameness of the comment, but that is not what happened. In isolation, the paragraph did not trigger any complaint.

I think the creators of slashdot were sincere, though I don't yet have any impressions about the intentions or sincerity of the newest owners. However, I also think that slashdot should stop abusing the English language. It has enough problems.

Comment How many years for google to notice scammers? (Score 1) 117

New subject question about how long, the answer is "The google don't care, just like the honey badger." Or you could reword it in terms of the google's new motto: "All your attention are belong to us."

However, the post by OverlordQ that I'm responding to said:

Some sites get ridiculous with that.

No, it is NOT the websites or even the app, though there are things an app developer can do that can make it easier or harder for scammers to use that sort of misleading ad. The REAL problem is that the google don't care about scams or the victims thereof. The only concern of the google is MONEY. These days that is driving them to ever nastier exploitations of our private information, but it does NOT have to be that way.

For example of a possible constructive solution:

Add a "Business model" or "Financials" tab in Google Play. Let the developer explain how the money works, most often by selecting one of the more common options. Then the google would add a secure comment about the evidence.

No, this would not eliminate all scams, but it would let us make better choices AGAINST scammy the business models. Again, details available upon polite request.

Oh yeah and by the way, I've been trying to call the google's attention to these sorts of scams for some years, but it's just one of a LONG list of google-supported scams. With great power the google accepts NO responsibility.

Comment Re:Shooting the messenger. (Score 1) 324

Why did this part of that last reply trigger the so-called lameness filter:

Now about that meta-modding thing. Years since I had noticed it, and it's just as stupid as it ever was. To evaluate the moderation of a comment, to form ANY meaningful opinion about the moderation, I need CONTEXT. Maybe I'm doing it wrong, but I don't feel like searching in other tabs to see the rest of the thread and the moderation itself is worth the effort, and without the effort, any meta-moderation is worthless. I should have looked for that in the recent discussion of slashdot's future... Make that "possible future".

Now that is truly bizarre. I cut and pasted the last bit into this new comment so I could figure out which word or words were problematic, but in isolation, there is apparently no problem. I think that is sufficient evidence of the importance of context, eh?

Comment Re:Shooting the messenger. (Score 1) 324

Want to wager on it? We need some metric of disappearance, but I think it is absolutely safe to say the story will not last as long as Snowden's.

As regards the anonymous and spineless fascist who gave my comment the overrated mod: You're supposed to wait for it to get a mod point. You're only showing your willingness to abuse the rules, such as they are.

The troll question is actually related to this topic via their abuse of anonymity, but it is again philosophically complicated. I think "troll" is actually a multidimensional concept. Since I think the dimensions of evaluating comments (and their authors) should be defined as positive axes that allow for negative values, I'm going to word it in those terms. For example, if there were a dimension of "sincerity", I think most trolls are negative, though there are few who are lying to themselves, too. Most trolls are negative on the dimensions of "constuctive", "supportive", and "friendly", but not always at the same time.

There is a flip side, however. Sometimes trolls can be "stimulating", but I see that as a dimension that should be split out of the currently ambiguous "interesting" dimension. Right now "interesting" fuzzily seems to include "stimulating" and "well written" and several other matters of opinion. They can't even translate it cleanly into Japanese (on the Japanese slashdot), which reminds me of something Dijkstra said about translation. Paraphrasing, but something like 'If I can't translate a new idea to my other language in a natural and straightforward way, then that is strong evidence there is something wrong with the idea.' (Pretty sure I heard him say it live before I left Austin.)

Comment Shooting the messenger. (Score 2, Interesting) 324

Actually, I don't think they will shoot Assange immediately. I think he will disappear into a black hole of some sort, unless they can use him for a show trial a la Stalin. Doesn't even matter anymore what he did. What matters is putting the fear of gawd into anyone else who is thinking of doing something that causes similar embarrassment to sufficiently rich and powerful people.

As regards the comments here, I'm not at all surprised to see the attacks on Assange. I just wonder why are they such big fans of corporate secrecy and government secrecy? (Same thing now, given our corporatist overlords.)

Occam's Razor says they are shills, probably professional abusers of your privacy, and mine.

Secrecy and anonymity are funny things, but it's a tough philosophic topic. On principle, I think that secrecy is wrong, because the truth is eventually going to come out, but it turns out to be quite easy to justify anonymity in terms of prior secret crimes and the anonymity of the perpetrators... No reason to protect the whistle-blowers if the crimes were already known to the public, eh?

However, the criminals are not worrying about eventually. They just want to die with the most toys. Their planning horizons are limited to statutes of limitations or death. Preferably the whistle-blower's death.

Any trace of privacy will soon be the ultimate luxury good. The rest of us peasants will be naked on the podium, with all our weaknesses and mistakes well known and used as sticks to threaten and control us. However, that's only the half of it. Our interests, tastes, and even our strengths will be used to manipulate and control us, too.

Returning to Assange, I actually think it was his taste in women that was used to set him up. I would say he's losing his freedom for being a sucker, but he actually lost his freedom years ago.

Comment Re:It's the financial models, stupid! (Score 1) 1822

Not clear what you mean, but the obvious question in this context (though based on the post you probably didn't read) is whether or not you would be willing to chip in to implement that feature? You want it, but do you want it badly enough to put down $10 toward implementing it?

You would get two rewards, however. (1) You would get to use the feature, and (2) Your name could appear as one of the donors for the feature.

Comment Re:It's the financial models, stupid! (Score 1) 1822

Upon reflection, I feel like apologizing, but the troll ain't worth it. Curse my own stupidity for being trolled?

Oh well, I'll throw in a few thoughts about the troll problem. I think I've already said this somewhere recently, but I think trolls are multidimensional. Yeah, insincerity (or negative sincerity) is a really common element of most trolls, but there are a few that are sincere, so I still feel like there are several vector spaces defining the trolls--and a single dimension of "troll" is not the way to go. (I also dislike the (negative) dimension of overrated. Too unclear what aspect is "overrated".)

The feature that I personally would like to fund to deal with the problem of trolls and sock puppets is a maturity filter, so posters whose accounts are younger than some threshold are invisible to me. My setting would probably be 3 or 4 months, since I doubt many of them last that long. Can't guess if enough other people feel the same way to get it funded...

Comment Re:Seems reasonable (Score 1) 173

Bitcoin miners are only making money speculatively. No reason the power company shouldn't treat servicing them the same way.

Ughh..... come on internets. Electricity pricing policy is a very complex subject, involving everything from the ethics of cross-subsidization to the physics of power generation to the logistics of long-term capacity planning. Remember, your local power company has a government-granted monopoly on your power demand. To top it off, in this particular case the power company is a public entity (a public utility district--PUD). They definitely have an obligation to keep rates "fair", and they probably have to get approval from these guys too.

Now, reading between the lines, it sounds to me like they successfully attracted economic development to the region with their low rates, but they realized they didn't attract very good economic development. Server farms don't employee a lot of people, and these server farms might be empty warehouses overnight if Bitcoin crashes or gets regulated out of existence. The new demand will naturally raise prices, possibly forcing the PUD (or whoever operates their generation balance) to investment capital in new generation or go to market where there's not going to be any of that sweet cheap hydro for sale. So they roll a plan to target these new businesses without pissing off the incumbent customers, even though the apple storage folks presumably use a lot of power too.

I don't know enough to pick sides in this fight, though personally I'd be screaming to the PSC, FERC, and my state legislators if I moved my business to the area and then they deliberately targeted me with a price increase. The PUD may not actually expect to get their rate hike: putting up a good fight in the public eye may be their real goal, and any concessions they can squeeze out of these "outsiders" is just gravy on top. The key quote from the PUD official at the end of the article sums it up: “It would be interesting if they could provide a nexus between their businesses and economic development in the community.”

Comment Re:It's the financial models, stupid! (Score 1) 1822

Thanks for your constructive thoughts. NOT. Then again, it is pretty clear you didn't understand what I wrote.

Unfortunately, I have an actual life, even including a rather constraining job working for some big, faceless corporation. Well, at least it feels that way from inside the machine. Before I was married I actually did start my own "site", but I learned that I am not much of a businessman. Also did a couple of hitches with start-ups, but none of the seriously lucky ones. (Actually, there is more than luck involved, but even among the many that see the opportunity and that are pursuing the right angles at the right time, there are only a few winners, so I sincerely think luck is the biggest single factor.)

Having said that, as already noted, I would be willing to put some of my money where my mouth is, subject to seeing a reasonable business plan with some chance of recovering my capital.

Not where your mouth is. If you have nothing to say, then perhaps you should say nothing?

Comment Re:Two simple suggestions. (Score 1) 1822

Second round thinking on this one. If people want to vote for the best article prize, then they have to read a second article. If one of the alternative articles is consistently willing against the current feature article on the topic, then that article may take over the top slot and become the editor's pick that people see first.

Now the voting could be done with small charity shares, say $1 charity shares against a prize of $100. First article to get 100 votes as best article gets the prize, and that's the end for that topic. The other votes just revert and those donors get the pledges back in their accounts.

Comment Re:Ditto sourceforge on the bad financial models (Score 1) 1822

There are various ways to implement it, but the form I currently favor (with a tip of the hat to rms, who has NO understanding of or interest in money, but who asks the right questions), would involve an entity acting as the "charity share brokerage". I think this is the best approach to avoid dealing with lots of small transactions. The brokerage could obviously be the owners of slashdot in this context.

As a donor, you might donate $100 for a year, and then be able to allocate that money out of your "charity share account" in increments, buying a "charity share" for each project you want to support. The go/no-go decision belongs to the donors. If enough donors support the project, then the money is released from the accounts and the project is funded. If too few agree, then the project never commits. If the project is dropped, then the donors could then re-pledge the money to some other project, but I think there should be a stickiness factor to prevent people from shuffling their donations around too much. Maybe a share-buying window as part of the schedule? (I'm sure the slashdot people can let us know if they badly need a project to commit, perhaps by relating it to other projects.)

This should remind you somewhat of Kickstarter, but I think the careful project preparation and evaluation could make it a much better system. Also, this idea was mostly formulated before I ever heard of Kickstarter... Their basic attitude is let the donor beware, but the thrust of this idea is to bound the project so that everyone can see just what is going on before, during, and afterwards.

Comment Re:Two simple suggestions. (Score 1) 1822

Maybe they could do it with a wrinkle of the charity share funding idea? How about payment for articles? Your concern with the race condition is well founded, but my initial idea for a solution might involve two prizes funded out of the donations, again based on donors who are willing to donate for those specific prizes. The first prize might be called the "Early bird prize", a small award for the first solid report of something.

The second prize might take a few days and be more substantive, but it would be for the best published article on the topic. I guess one way to implement it would be to start by letting the editors pick the featured article on that topic, and readers who want to vote for the best article prize would have to read at least one of the other candidates before they could vote (again, with their donation).

Remember that slashdot is already holding the money, so there is no risk on their side. In this category of funding, they would be earning a cut for running the contest.

Comment Re:Privileges, titles, reputation (Score 1) 1822

I think he should get double mod points on the insightful dimension, either to add or remove. However, this also relates to my belief that karma and mod points should be symmetric, using the same dimensions.

Also logarithmic. Seriously. Capped linear is silly, but you could get a similar effect with logarithmic reporting. Insofar as I personally favor the natural log, that means a score of 1 would be reported for the 3rd mod point, 2 would be reported on the 8th, 3 for the 21st mod point, 4 is 55, up to 9 for 8,104 mod points. Two-digit mod points would begin in the area of 22,000, which is extremely unlikely (assuming robots and sock puppets are blocked).

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