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Comment Re:Oh, come on... (Score 1) 104

Its about money. There's no other reason to make an effort in anything in this world other than to gain extra cash.

That's part of my confusion, though: 22k and limited edition of 260 seems high by the standards of altruistic motives (even if the fancy 3d printing really does cost the full amount, which wouldn't be beyond the realm of plausible, the limited edition is clearly artificial); but seem quite low by pure cash grab standards.

Comment Oh, come on... (Score 5, Interesting) 104

"But the museum is hoping to increase access to pictures"

"Every Relievo is numbered and approved by a museum curator. There is a limited edition of 260 copies per painting."

Well, what's it going to be? If this is about 'increasing access' or some similar highflown motivation, why are they limiting the editions and pushing the individual-numbering-and-'approval'-to-make-a-reproduction-feel-authentic nonsense?

If this is just a fundraiser, why start at 22K?

Comment Re:radioactive water (Score 1) 111

Honestly, I'd be inclined to do it the 'keep it really, really, simple, TEPCO' way:

Float style liquid level meters are extremely simple devices. Small lighter-than-water float on the bottom, a rod(ideally with stripes or distance markings, like scale bars), and a sleeve in the lid of the tank that keeps the apparatus upright and allows the rod to move up and down freely.

If you do have rad-hard electronics in place, an optical sensor for the stripes, or a hall effect sensor for a rod with magnets at intervals, or similar, are easy to add. If not, the amount of protruding rod can be read from some hundreds of meters or more with a wholly unexciting pair of binoculars.

Comment Logical enough... (Score 4, Insightful) 93

I'm mostly unimpressed by the twee nonsense about kids these days being 'digital natives' or something, imbued with mysterious computer-using powers (sure, kids these days are almost all users, unlike older age brackets that have holdouts; but the bar is not high for 'using technology', thanks to years of dedicated UI polishing and idiot-proofing, so only the usual much smaller percentage of nerds have any reason to go beyond trivial levels of knowledge); but it seems perfectly reasonable that they'd be a relatively privacy-conscious group.

After all, kids are among the demographics most likely to be surveilled and to be punished or otherwise restricted based on that surveillance. Parents, teachers/admins, peers, present or near-future employers and college admissions officers, cops (whether they just come and break up that party you foolishly put on facebook or whether you are already familiar with being stop-and-frisked depends on other demographic variables, of course), all actively watching and frequently acting on that.

Adults are still pretty heavily watched; but the range of banal behavior they can engage in without consequence is substantially greater.

Submission + - NSA Officers Sometimes Spy on Love Interests (wsj.com)

Jah-Wren Ryel writes: The latest twist in the NSA coverage sounds like something out of a dime-store romance novel — NSA agents eavesdropping on their current and former girlfriends. Official categories of spying have included SIGINT (signals intelligence) and HUMINT (human intelligence) and now the NSA has added a new category to the lexicon LOVEINT which is surely destined to be a popular hashtag now.

Submission + - The financial relationship between the NSA and Silicon Valley (theregister.co.uk)

An anonymous reader writes: 'New documents from Edward Snowden published in The Guardian have shown for the first time the financial relationship between the NSA and some of the largest names in the tech business over the PRISM data-collection scheme ..`

"Last year's problems resulted in multiple extensions to the certifications' expiration dates which cost millions of dollars for Prism providers to implement each successive extension – costs covered by Special Source Operations" the document reads.

Comment Re:Rent-seeking (Score 3, Interesting) 89

"I'd be more surprised if AutoDesk weren't moving to subscription delivery of online product. They are the most widely "pirated" company of non-consumer software, ever. :-)"

Given that, for most of the software Autodesk makes, 'online product' is going to mean 'you download the install package and the DRM phones home a lot' rather than 'runs in a web page' or 'is delivered via ICA/RDP/X11/whatever from Autodesk's machine'. Heavy 3d (and customers who may not be at liberty to just ignore NDAs surrounding the stuff they are working on) don't fit well with that model unless you have impressive bandwidth and minimal latency.

Because of that, the anti-piracy effects of 'cloud' (in this sense) are pretty minimal, they certainly have been with Adobe's flavor. What this sort of subscription model does do, though, is remove the need to make version N+1 so compelling that people who own version N or version N-1 are moved to buy it, or at least pay an upgrade fee. This doesn't mean that you'll totally stop making improvements or adding features; but you get paid either way, so you no longer face the "Is our new product actually a meaningful improvement over our old one?" test on a regular basis.

That's what makes moving to a subscription model (for what is fundamentally client software, obviously charging fees for ongoing access to things hosted on my servers or otherwise generating recurring costs is a different matter) raises suspicions of 'lack of imagination'. Do you have enough market power that you can dictate an often-unpopular pricing arrangement? Do you suspect that you have no ideas for version N+1 that will motivate people to upgrade? Subscription model time!

Comment Re:Microsoft needs to be loved again (Score 2) 357

No, you're right... they were kinda dirty from the get-go, but I didn't know it yet at the time. Looking back, I see things differently than I did. I was attempting to reflect what I liked about Microsoft at that time more than to create an evaluation on them. My evaluation of them is as it is today -- they are dirt and screw up everything they try to do. I mean seriously. What the hell is Sharepoint supposed to be?! I get that business all over uses it and all that, but geez! It's web but it isn't? It's just another way of Microsoft showing they haven't learned anything from all of their failures.

Anyway, I once loved Microsoft. All they need to do is start over.

Comment Microsoft needs to be loved again (Score 5, Interesting) 357

Okay, so I'm a clearly-labelled "Microsoft Hater." I haven't always been this way. I got really comfortable with Win3.11 and then Win95 came out I experienced a level of computer excitement I haven't had since I started using OS-9 level two. (I am still quite fond of OS-9 though... just been a very long time.) I loved what Microsoft did. The advancements were terrific and long-awaited and all the precious knowledge I had acquired and accumulated over the various versions of DOS and Windows still applied so I was still relevant and loyal.

But then Microsoft started souring things. They tried to take over Java... tried and failed. They started pulling some extremely dirty stunts with their "partners" and such to the point it harmed so many other out there. I couldn't see those immoral acts without my opinion changing about the company behind the products. Some people just saw money and work. I have always seen more and I can't unsee it. When I see an OS user interface or go over source code or anything that goes into the design and engineering of such systems, I don't just see objects, I see ideas and what people were thinking when they put it all together which invariably results in a sense of knowing something about the people behind the creation of all of these things. For me, it was pretty easy to tell when something was a cludge or if real planning and design work went into things or how much respect one party had for another when parties worked together on a project. To me all of those things were the human element of what came together in creating these things. I may be pretty unaffected by fine art, but when I saw what when into computing back in the earlier days, I found myself quite moved by some of the things I saw. It was my world.

Microsoft slowly destroyed my world and all the things I loved about it. Microsoft started out making really cool things but when they really started getting big, they were increasingly about destroying others and less about creating cool things. If you want to understand why a Microsoft hater hates, I think my case is pretty clear by now.

And a new Microsoft could also rekindle all the new and cool things all over again. Sure, it may not be a "wise business decision." Most cool things aren't. But I think we're all ready for something really new and cool. We aren't going to get it from Apple. Google and Android is pretty much levelled off already as far as I can tell. A new Microsoft holds an opportunity within itself to recapture the love and awe it once had. So why haven't they done it already?

We know why... I just wish they would.

Comment Re:Awesome (Score 1) 582

I prefer a hostsfile myself.

Blocking at the router means that I don't have to tweak several hosts files, plus it covers my Android devices that don't have easily accessible hosts files, but do have pre-installed Facebook apps that call home every night with huge permissions that send who-knows-what, and can't be uninstalled. (When I finally rooted the tablet, I did some cleaning.)

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