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Comment Re:Typical (Score 1) 297

Certainly, switching to smokeless tobacco is effective for some people. Though I don't know numbers, I'd imagine it gets people off smoking more effectively than any current pharmaceutical NRTs, their numbers are dismal, after all. However, many harmful effects for the user are retained, particularly the tobacco-specific nitrosamines. (Though with some reduction in the case of snus.) I'm just arguing that for most smokers, vapor is the best (and almost assuredly among the healthiest) replacement. Bonus, if you're arguing for the sake of non-smokers sensibilities, it's still effectively odorless, so the only way you can reasonably complain is if the sight of someone exhaling visibly is somehow offensive... and that would be just plain whining.

Comment Re:Typical (Score 1) 297

Stick to smokeless tobacco (preferably snus, not American spitting (chewing) tobacco) instead. That won't make you stink, but you'll get your nicotine fix anyway.

I'm afraid you just don't understand. The act of smoking is as addictive as the nicotine.

The most promising thing I have ever seen are personal vaporizers. Unfortunately, the FDA, as well as a few countries, are losing their minds over them. (They do need regulation. They do not need FUD.) Those of my fellow smokers interested, I recommend this forum as the definitive resource.

Comment Re:Stallman hurts free software (Score 2, Informative) 546

I believe you are exactly backwards. DRM is about limiting the user. The GPL is about freedom for the _user_. As is pointed out ad nauseum every time a GPL story shows up on slashdot, the restrictions only apply on distribution of binaries.

Simple example: Once upon a time, in my linux n00b days, thanks to the GPL, I used to change the source of ... what was it, scp and grep? to make the flag for directory recursion lowercase r, because I couldn't be bothered to keep track of what used -R instead. Now, say Apple doesn't release the source for Darwin. It's BSD licensed, of course, so they don't have to. Then, to keep everyone tied into the Apple experience, they implement some kind of hash check before anything gets executed (sounds like DRM), so even if I reverse-engineer and compile my own binaries, I can't run them.

One way, I, the user, can do what I want. The other way, I can't do anything I want, despite that they are both open source. It's not that hard.

That said, I generally agree with you about RMS. I believe his difficulty is that he has valid practical considerations that, when stated in legalese or abstract ethical notions, sound crazy. Then, his unflinching, uncompromising nature drives him into the fringe.

Comment Re:Want absolute security? (Score 1) 81

For the record, there were other reasons to use Latin. First, it's what I remembered first. Second, undoubtedly resulting in the first, my girlfriend is taking an introduction to logic class this summer, and I've been perusing my old text book for nostalgia and interest. Last, I am an obnoxious linguistic prescriptivist and "argument through ignorance" doesn't (to my mind) cover the full breadth of the Latin term, eg. argument from personal incredulity or argument by lack of imagination.

Also, I'm kind of a show off, and I like it when other people use the fancy phrases because I can always copy-paste-Google and probably end up learning something. If I'm just being a tool, my sincere apologies. :)

As to your last paragraph, I agree completely with it, in its entirety.

Comment Re:Want absolute security? (Score 1) 81

I am puzzled and intrigued by your statements. In order to further my understanding of the world, could you please check all that apply:

[ ] I am a troll.
[ ] I am a humor writer.
[ ] I do not understand the nature of security as it effects all computers and networks, and not only the laptop my mother bought me.
[ ] I believe that a virtually 100% secure operating system requires security updates. (If so, for what?)
[ ] I do not know what "argumentum ad ignorantiam" means.
[ ] I believe that Apple is staffed by level 84 wizards with computers enchanted with "detect traps."

Thank you for your participation. Your answers will be kept as anonymous as you desire.

Comment Re:Name one (Score 2, Insightful) 63

Using something like this also creates skill lock-in, where you only know how to do it using this instead of truly understanding the underlying logic.

For someone who just wants a simple and fast website, why exactly do they need to care about the underlying logic? Not everyone cares to tinker with every little thing for every little project and as such these frameworks are very nice to use.

Q. F. T.

Also, while I accept that this is a little reductio ad absurdum, one could also say "Learning the C STDLIB creates skill lock-in, write your own libraries." Or yet further, "Using the x86 assembler creates skill lock in, fab your own chips."

I'll also observe real quick, that one of Drupal's strengths, IMO, is how easy it is to manage content and users. Even for very large projects, it is an attractive framework from a more "company" perspective, given that you can hire someone who DOES understand the underlying logic to build modules, theme it, and set it up for X thousand dollars, and then manage it yourself from there. Or, you can put someone on a payroll for XY thousand dollars per annum to design and manage a custom built monster.

It boggles my mind how ON SLASHDOT, something as simple as a (relatively elegant!) PHP API can become "over-complicated" with too steep a learning curve.

Comment Re:Apple's fascination with single button mice (Score 1) 806

Actually, I think he's commenting on the design paradigms in the likes of Office 2007 and WMP11, where the menu bar with years old File/Edit/View menus have disappeared unless you engage in some ridiculous Alt-Alt combination. As opposed to those menus in OSX, which are, of course, as he described and context sensitive to the program with focus.

And, FWIW, whether you love or hate that design decision, I think the disappearance of that bar is the single greatest reason that, to this day, people like my mom, grandparents and less computer savvy friends refuse to use Vista.

Comment Re:I don't understand it. (Score 1) 294

That depends entirely on context. If you go and cast an empty ballot, that's one thing. If you just leave federal offices unvoted, but still show up, stand in line and vote for your local offices, proposals, judges, etc., congratulations.

Probably, however, you're just one of the multitudes of people that stays home out of laziness, and then talks about how you don't vote in elevated tones with an arrogant inflection in restaurants because it makes you feel better. All staying home says is "I'd rather watch television and complain later." (Though, I'm not sure your flamebait mod was appropriate.)

Comment Re:Who uses these things anyway? (Score 1) 615

I suggest you look at the stats about the number of people still on dial-up before you start throwing around seemingly tiny ad sizes. 24K would be almost half of the max speed of a 56K connection. Throw 3 or 4 of those banners on a site, and that's a significant delay.

Absolutely. If you're on dialup, you'd be crazy not to have AB+ for banners and NoScript to stop horribly large and generally obnoxious flash. Especially given that essentially all ad affiliate JS essentially halts loading content until the ads appear, just because of the way JS engines work with the DOM.

Furthermore, I didn't see him bitching about "static banners." Almost no one bitches about those. It's the flashing, vibrating, noisy, pop-over ads that people bitch about. You should be careful about putting words in people's mouth, too.

This is irrelevant. He said nothing with any specificity, and AB+ doesn't differentiate. Also, it is my experience that webmasters/developers/content providers/whatever you want to call them that inflict those design atrocities on their viewers are not people inclined to provide content worth a real time investment either. Therefore, I assert that the people most hurt by denying impressions are the ones that deserve to be hurt the least (obviously, the AdBlock guys agree... to some extent, at least). I fully admit that I am working under an assumption there, which may be wrong.

I may have come across as overly emotional. I assure you, I am extremely pragmatic about these things. I really, really, really don't care if people use AB+ or anything like it. I almost exclusively pirate music before I buy it. I download movies that I miss in the theater before they come out on DVD if I feel like it. I've cracked my fair share of shareware just to get rid of nag screens. I used to pirate games like it was a religion. I sometimes take extra samples at the grocery store. I do a quick ethical cost benefit analysis in my head, and then do whatever I want if I'm comfortable with it: I'm human. And as long as nobody suffers actual physical loss, I don't care if other people come up differently in their own personal ethical assessments.

I do take exception when people act like freedom fighters or something, being oppressed by the big, evil... other people... with regard to *minutia.* When I cracked WinRAR what... 12 years ago, because there was no 7zip and I had not yet heard of Linux, I did not go on diatribes about how those horrible people wanted to run their algorithms on -my- computer and show (timed!) nag screens on -my- monitor. When I pirated games, I did not feel like Robin Hood. I was just a kid with way more time than money.

tl;dr - Do what you want, but throw your sense of righteous entitlement out the window. Half baked justifications for this kind of thing are unnecessary at best.

Comment Re:Who uses these things anyway? (Score 1) 615

You know what? You're mostly right. Lots of ads are really annoying. When websites run ads from multiple adservers such that getting ads takes more time than generating an entire dynamic page, there is something fundamentally obnoxious there, if not downright wrong.

However, your two quasi-moralistic, me-me-me emphasized arguments are incredibly flawed. First, yes, it is your computer the ads want to appear on... as part of the content that you requested. So far as I know, no one is preventing you from using these fascinating inventions: the stop, back, or close buttons in your browser. Second, seriously... bandwidth? You know what's more expensive than your bandwidth? The uplink on the medium traffic website you're enjoying the content of, for free, before pissing and moaning about a 24K static banner.

Look, I really don't care. AdBlock exists. NoScipt exists. We all hate ads, I get it. People will block ads however they want, it doesn't matter. If too many people do it, lots of websites will go for-pay, and if that happens, it happens. Whatever. What you should NOT do is wrap your complaints or technological subversions in some kind of ridiculous, absurdly selfish, holier-than-thou horse manure.

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