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Comment I donated to Haiti, the ACLU, and did reddit (Score 1) 608

Secret Santa this year. But the thought of donating to Wikipedia never entered my mind, despite that I use it daily. Why? Because I've never seen the deletionism issue seriously addressed by the organization. I have a fundamental disagreement with how the site is run.

As well, I don't believe Wikipedia is all that unique. While it may have been (one of?) the first wiki encyclopedia, and obviously now it has a huge amount of content, there's nothing inherent in Wikipedia that couldn't be recreated if necessary. I don't think the Internet would implode if Wikipedia vanished tomorrow. Would I be inconvenienced? Yes. Would it take years to build a new Wikipedia? Yes. But it's not so vital to the Internet. Whereas if Google had never existed, I think the Internet would be far different.

Comment Re:It's live now, and (Score 1) 408

For awhile now, Google has been using location awareness (via IP?) to deliver search results that are tailored to your region. So, for example, I am in Portland and I type "beer", one of the search suggestions is "beer festivals portland". Pretty cool, if slightly creepy.

Comment Share information! (Score 1) 842

One of the coworker types that's most destructive to an office is the secret keeper / information hoarder. While it does increase their job security, since they are the only ones who know the deep complexities and innards of the software, there are several downsides:
  • It builds resentment
  • If they ever leave the company, take a long vacation, etc. things can grind to a halt because the knowledge locked up in their head is inaccessible
  • It slows down work, because the secretive person documents nothing and the other employees have to constantly pester the person for information to get the job done

While freely sharing information about the software/processes may seem like it makes you more vulnerable to losing your job, it pays dividends:

  • The coworkers who like and respect you for sharing and helping them
  • The boss and people in other departments who love having documentation to refer to
  • You even help yourself when you don't have to stop your work to explain something to a new employee because you wrote up a wiki page already answering the question.

Comment Re:Hypocrites who push advertising on the net (Score 1, Interesting) 507

I've never understood those who argue that I should feel guilty for blocking. It boils down to: 1) "If everyone were to block ads, then sites that rely on advertising would disappear!" My response: So what? The implicit premise that makes their argument so ridiculous is: 2) "If I put some work into making a website, I *deserve* and demand to make a profit, and you have to help me by viewing ads!" My response: Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!

Comment Re:How is this possible (Score 1) 321

I can confirm this. I am with Qwest DSL. Recently I moved literally 20 blocks, from one part of town to another. At my old place, I'd get rock-steady 5.5 Mb/s down at any time of day. At the new place, I can still get that speed in "off peak" hours like early morning, but in the evenings, it drops down to as low as 0.75 Mb/s. I'm still paying the same $52/month, still have the same modem, same computer. All that's changed is my location (and that not by much).

I might switch to Comcast cable Internet at some point, but their past shenanigans with interfering with Bit Torrent, etc. make me wary.

Comment Re:Self-indulgence and book collections (Score 1) 576

Only four books?

That's a little misleading -- I live close to an awesome book store, so I frequently am selling back my books. Also, I read a *ton* online. Most of my reading is electronic these days.

I could understand it if you have a high grade memory and can recall everything you have read that interests you

Yes, I have an exceptional memory, always have. I hadn't thought about that as a possible cause for my bookless-ness. I can't remember exact dialogue all the time, but I can recall numbers with scary precision and the same for major plot points, ideas, etc. I can see a school acquaintance on the street after not seeing them for 10+ years, and just hear a few seconds of their voice and instantly know who it was, even if I didn't know them well at all. Comes in handy. :-)

And if reading is physically or mentally painful for some reason

Naw, both my mom and dad are *huge* readers, and I inherited that. Hell, I used to have a lot of physical books lying around, I just don't anymore. Like I say, lots of reading off a computer screen.

That said, you might want to add the category of 'biblioholics'

Yeah, I kind of overstated my case for rhetorical reasons. I have no problem with people who have an obsession with collecting books. I heard a "This American Life" story recently about a guy who amassed the largest collection of Lewis and Clark books in America. I have no problem with people who collect books with care. I guess it just bugs me when I'm at someone's house and I see their disheveled collection, and I just know they aren't going to re-read 99% of the books in it. It's like a collection by default -- they were too lazy to sell or donate the books, so they piled up.

Comment Book collections are dumb (Score 1) 576

I have tried collecting books, but I feel so silly doing it. Let's see, I have four books in my apartment right now. I don't think I've ever read a book a second time, unless forced to in school. And I can get cash or store credit when I sell books I've read. So, honestly, what is the point of keeping them around?

Aside from librarians/lawyers/other people who legitimately consult a large number of reference books, book collections serve only self-indulgent purposes: decoration, "look at me" (look how smart I am), compulsive collecting, and messy people who can't organize their lives.

Now if e-readers didn't suck, and you could have full-color, high DPI, open standards books in a collection on one of those, I'd probably go for that. But physical books are kinda dumb.

Comment Re:I wouldn't code... (Score 1) 318

That's why they call it "'fuck you' money". If you get rich enough, you can tell anyone to fuck off. Work on whatever project you'd like. Hell, the most absurd the better. What better way to live a happy life than to do something absurd just because you can?

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