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Comment A bad summary makes bad responses (Score 4, Informative) 237

I wrote the piece linked here and the summary on Slashdot is laughably wrong. All the cool Hacker News and Reddit people who read the story.. you're awesome and you really added to the discussion and didn't come out with nonsense saying I'm actively encouraging people to break the law (which, if whoever wrote the summary could comprehend English, is not what I said - I raised a potential method of circumvention as a thought experiment.. "I suspect" does not mean "I think you must").

So if Slashdotters want to be the first to spout nonsense and misquotes on the same day my first kid was born (I'm just getting a few hours sleep after being up a gazillion hours ;-)) then congratulations - some of you succeeded admirably. All the traffic to the site is going to somewhere you can donate to a good cause and earn some actual karma.

Comment Same shit, different decade (Score 4, Insightful) 720

We get the same story every time. People don't want to upgrade from [2 versions ago] to [next version] and [last version] sucked.. but it always happens.

A lot of people wanted to stick with 98, thought Me sucked, and didn't want to upgrade to XP until they absolutely needed to. Same shit, different decade.

Comment Putting words in our mouths (Score 1) 424

but could prove controversial with the public concerned about launching a nuclear power source and placing it on the moon or another planet.

Why does the media see fit to keep putting words into the mouths of the "public" lately? Ask the average man on the street and I bet he doesn't give a shit about space travel, let alone putting a nuclear reactor on the moon.

Comment Re:O'Reilly & Associates (Score 1) 271

It depends how they did it, of course. If you got a personal mail from someone at O'Reilly floating the idea, that's not spam. That's personal contact and good marketing - much like getting in touch with people you'd like to write a paper with or for any of 1001 other collaborative conquests.

Of course, if it was a mass mail "Join the Professors Who Use O'Reilly Books Program" type thing, then yeah, you're totally justified in your ire.

Comment It's done for "perfection." (Score 1) 397

I'm convinced nose picking is done as a sort of anal obsession with "perfection." It's in the same bracket as when people fill up with gas and try to exactly hit exactly to the nearest full currency unit (not such a big thing in the US due to prepay, but elsewhere it's common).

There are a lot of weird behaviors people do as a way to ensure regularity and "correctness" even when such correctness isn't required and even if it takes more time. Picking scabs, picking your nose, etc, seem like attempts to "perfect" the body to me.

Comment 300x smaller than the wavelength? (Score 1) 92

I'm probably being dense here, but I'd really appreciate anyone who can explain how this can possibly work given that the wavelength of light is many hundreds of times longer than 2nm? I read the article and was none the wiser. Given the mention of quantum mechanics, is this related to wave/particle duality? That is, this detects the light particle irrelevant of the wavelength?

Comment Because of overcrowding (Score 5, Insightful) 337

If you could teleport anywhere within a game at any time instantly, the best places, best quests, and so forth would all be overcrowded. It's like if you could teleport anywhere instantly in real life. The California coast would be heaving every weekend and evening and numerous "hotspots" would be crowded with tens of thousands of people 24/7. Popular areas in existing games have demonstrated this, since they're usually the easiest places to get to. A key example is outside the bank in Ultima Online's Britain.

Comment Re:"Cuts power" not "cuts all power" (Score 1) 859

This isn't all about what "you" would do, it's about what "other" people would do. People would still attempt crazy overtaking maneuvers and it's their mistakes that could kill me, not mine.

Especially as I'm one of those crazies who always does the speed limit on the nose right up to the signs just to irritate the hell out of people :P

Comment I'm a pro-piracy author. Ppl will still buy paper. (Score 5, Interesting) 468

I'm a two-bit, small time computer book author with just one book to my name so far. I love seeing my book get pirated. It's sold reasonably well for its niche (approaching 10,000 copies) but for the second edition I pleaded with my publisher to allow the e-book version to be free. Of the, say, 10,000 copies sold, only a couple hundred have been of the e-book edition, and I'm convinced that the wider exposure a free e-book would gather would result in increased print sales. When Seth Godin gave away the free PDF of his Ideavirus book, it led to me buying his various other books in print throughout the years. Doctorow is right that obscurity is a bigger hurdle than piracy, but I'm pretty convinced that even big name authors could benefit from extended reach thanks to freely distributed content.

My argument rests on people preferring paper to e-books, and I think they do. I sure do. Sadly, big name publishers tend to disagree, despite a number of convincing social media experiments, but over time perhaps change will happen.

Comment Re: Your sig (Score 1) 226

Trademarks don't help "verify the trusted developer" much of the time. Consider a Linux distribution called "X Linux" - there are plenty of such distributions but Linus or other core Linux developers have not been involved with that specific distribution. Same applies for alternative implementations of programming languages like, say, IronRuby and IronPython.

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"The way of the world is to praise dead saints and prosecute live ones." -- Nathaniel Howe