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Comment: Re:How can you be a freeloader? (Score 1) 227

by ztransform (#35135242) Attached to: Are Flickr Images Abused By Foreign Businesses?

Very few users of cracked software work full-time as unpaid volunteers.

When I was a student I downloaded a copy of a popular music sequencing program.

Now I have a good full-time job I've bought the most expensive edition of this software and have been also purchasing upgrades over time.

Comment: Re:Ridiculous And Totally Not Helpful (Score 1) 332

by ztransform (#34196290) Attached to: Sophos Researcher Suggests Password 'Free' to Spur Wi-Fi Encryption

And yet this "It's gotta be perfect or it's gotta be nothing at all!" attitude is IMHO what has held crypto back a lot more than necessary.

Totally agree. That and the fact that corporate firewalls still block everything except port 80 and 443. Which demonstrates a fundamental lack of understanding about TCP/IP: the port number does not determine the application! There is absolutely no reason why one website couldn't support many different SSL hosts, all on different ports. Or many different websites.

The whole "certificate must be with a commercial provider" thing has been utterly ridiculous - I'm surprised that Google haven't created a free central certificate authority to be honest.

Comment: Re:You got Google Wave on my Facebook! (Score 2, Insightful) 191

by ztransform (#34089970) Attached to: Google Wave Creator Quits, Joins Facebook

You make it sound like it’s easy or something.

Why do the apologists keep trotting this lame line out. You're a big company making massively huge profits. You can afford real software developers.

And sure, I'll work on a large website that's used by millions of people every day. Oh wait, I already do.

Comment: Re:We've tried this before (Score 1) 728

by ztransform (#34088908) Attached to: Mr. Pike, Tear Down This ASCII Wall!

Would you believe they had 6 page SQL stored procedures?

I keep coming across multi-page SQL stored procedures too. Horrific, buggy, impossible to maintain. Who are the ???holes that keep getting employment contracts to do this kind of evil? They really need a kick up the backside. And funny how most of them end up in the finance industry...

Comment: Re:Project Gutenberg (Score 1) 728

by ztransform (#34088824) Attached to: Mr. Pike, Tear Down This ASCII Wall!

History will always be the prevailing reason why plain-text is superior.

Going forward one will always be able to look back and understand (well coded and documented) source code in plain text. Already, however, other formats are showing their age: trying to support old binary formats such as Wordstar, Word-Perfect, Microsoft Word, Corel Draw, and various other programs that lived and died a natural life-cycle. The format wars will also be difficult to support over a long time, already the IV50 video format appears to be lost in time, and various audio encodings may disappear.

We are fortunate that we can still read historical texts. Olde English is a little difficult to comprehend but far simpler than deciphering hieroglyphics. Surely we owe it to our successors to be able to read what we've written?

Arguably the simplicity of the English language is also one of the reasons it is the most dominant around the world: it was easy to code 26 characters into early computers. The poor Chinese were never going to win the early technology race by trying to cram 1,000s of characters into a small number of bits. Now that technology has caught up the Chinese have a chance to do something truly revolutionary (imagine if they wrote their own native operating system!).

Comment: Re:You got Google Wave on my Facebook! (Score 0, Troll) 191

by ztransform (#34088458) Attached to: Google Wave Creator Quits, Joins Facebook

Just look at the dominant languages in Google: not C++ or C. Not serious languages.

Facebook is an extremely poorly written web application - extremely poorly written. From a chat client that has barely worked to privacy settings that don't work; where different views reveal information that has been explicitly marked as "private".

If you've ever tried to configure a "Google Web Appliance" targeted for the enterprise you'll appreciate just what a dodgy crowd Google are, too.

All in all, Google and Facebook are great bedfellows.

Comment: Many Reasons Why Not (Score 1) 236

by ztransform (#33931398) Attached to: Why Microsoft?
Most computer science students take the subject because they finish high school and think "what career pays well?". On the other hand those with a passion for technology all their youth tend to end up as Electrical Engineers. Thus, with no historical appreciation for the kind of technologically disruptive and legally overbearing company they have been, you can understand why Computer Science students may be lulled into a false sense of self-worth and pride about working for Microsoft.

Comment: Re:Clearing out the riff-raff (Score 2, Insightful) 311

by ztransform (#32976414) Attached to: Times Paywall Blocks 90% of Traffic

They've just filtered out all the freeloaders and now have a nice exclusive club of readers willing to pay for something on the Internet.

Indeed. Apple, of course, have this same advantage. They know their users are all willing to pay money, lots of money, often without regard to the actual value of the product/service they are receiving.

Anybody subscribing to The Times' new technically inferior website (to their old one) is clearly not-all-that-discerning when it comes to paying for things.

Maybe The Times do know what they are doing (or appear that way by accident).

Comment: Re:The risk with paying for news... (Score 1) 311

by ztransform (#32976380) Attached to: Times Paywall Blocks 90% of Traffic

... is that people will just say "screw that!" and go to another website where they can get it for free. World events aren't copyrighted to any one provider (for now, anyway...)

What's worse is that the new Times website is vastly inferior to the old, free, one.

The new website mandates the use of JavaScript. You cannot do anything with the website using a non-Javascript web browser. Thus I regard the site as dysfunctional.

I've been motivated to stop purchasing print copies of The Times. Why? Because if they don't have quality IT staff (who know that different browsers are in use on the Internet), then it is likely their journalistic staff are just as incompetent.

Comment: Re:Other countries should start policing Internet (Score 1) 343

by ztransform (#32822882) Attached to: US Pirate Movie Site DNS Seizure Fail

I'm personally amazed the Internet has lasted as long as it has. It is about the only electrical/electronic standard that is common between the USA and the rest of the world.

So this was a fun experiment. How did it work out for you, USA? How did it feel not to require an adaptor every time you go overseas? How did it feel to freely communicate with citizens outside your borders?

It is inevitable that the Internet in the USA cannot last. Everyone in the world uses the same standards! Time for a new USA-only standard, USA! That's right, A-law companding wasn't good enough for you was it. You couldn't run your power at 220/230V like the rest of the world could you. God forbid your mobile phones should ever work outside the USA. Hell, you can't even drive on the correct side of the road.

Comment: Re:trying to imagine... (Score 0, Flamebait) 833

by ztransform (#32822842) Attached to: Blizzard To Require Real First and Last Names For Official Forums

Isn't that the case in society?

You don't assault people. You don't toss your refuse anywhere you choose. You don't drive dangerously. You don't take public transport with your phone playing mp3s through the tinny speaker.

Why? You have something to lose. Courts know this. If you get caught for a minor infraction you'll lose money, time, freedom.

There are three classes of people who don't care and break whatever rules they want:
- children, who are immune from the law
- very poor, who have nothing to lose
- illegal immigrants, who demonstrate their disregard of the law every day they fail to leave and re-enter the country legally

All anonymity does is give those with something to lose a level playing ground with those who have nothing to lose.

"Wish not to seem, but to be, the best." -- Aeschylus

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