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Comment Re:Museum? (Score 1) 123

I think it's totally unrelated, but this is awesome timing for this Kickstarter: http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/tesla/electricity-the-life-story-of-nikola-tesla?ref=card They're making a movie about the life and creations of Tesla.

If you don't want to donate to the museum it might be nice to donate to that project in the same vein. (I'm not affiliated with this at all and haven't looked in too deeply, just happened across it today)

Comment Re:Sustainable (Score 4, Insightful) 98

Are you kidding me? I love the idea of this program!! I have done some fairly interesting things in my life and if there was some sort of library nearby me where I could register to talk about it with anyone interested, I would put at least a few hours a week into it. You get to meet people who are interested in something you know about and want you to talk about it, it just sounds like a social blast to me.

Maybe this is missing its point on slashdot because of the whole "social" part of it.....?

Comment *Still A Happy, Paying EC2 Customer* (Score 1) 125

As what I would consider a medium-weight AWS user (our account is about 4 grand a month) I am still quite happy with AWS. We built our system across multiple availability zones, all in us-east and had zero downtime today as a result. We had a couple of issues where we tried to scale up to meet load levels and couldn't spin up anything in us-east-1a (or if we could, we couldn't attach it successfully to a load balance because of internal connectivity issues), but we spun up a new instance in us-east-1b and attached it completely fine and were able to handle the load just fine. The load balancers worked as expected (and hoped for) and the segregation of issues between availability zones was fairly successful.

I think that fixing these issues are just as high an issue with Amazon as they would be with any internal IT infrastructure, so I don't give much credence to the arguments that having your own servers and your own internal IT team would truly solve the problem any more effectively: I think it just gives you more the illusion of control because you can see that you're working on it, as opposed to trusting to the fact that Amazon is working on it.

If there is any AWS lesson to be taken away from this it is that:

1) EBS may not be ready for prime time - most of our servers are instance-store anyway, both for performance reasons and for other reliability problems we have had in the past.

2) You should keep your server templates set up as up-to-date AMIs so you can deploy across any availability zone you want at any time you want. Right now, we have our load balancer attachment configuration all scripted as well, so spinning up new instances to feed a cluster is a single CLI execution with us specifying the availability zones.

Check out http://perfcap.blogspot.com/2011/03/understanding-and-using-amazon-ebs.html for a nice explanation of some of the issues you may come across with EBS and the internals of why.

Overall, I still give Amazon a good rating. This was a major outage and we felt barely a hiccup.

Comment Re:Is this the site? (Score 1) 383

The front page is really ambiguous and more griping about the failure to stand up about the claims he has made. More interesting are his actual claims:


Personally, I would attribute most of his problems (if true, we obviously are not seeing any primary sources here) to simple negligence rather than intentional malice or fraudulence. It may be worth looking into, however, and if at the very least this guys stink causes the association to get their accounting and record keeping together.

He could also be a crackpot. Again, we have almost zilch in the way of reliable information here, so I don't see a way to form any solid opinion on what's even going on.

Comment Re: Not that scary (Score 1) 344

Okay, if your beef is with advertisers in this definition, then I whole heartedly agree. They're only purpose is to come up with shit to sling about their products. However, most everyone on this article, and the article itself are decrying the moral values of publishers and media buyers, not advertisers.

Advertisers don't do shit as far as tracking you across websites, thats all the work of media buyers and some sub- offer networks.

Comment Re: Not that scary (Score 1) 344

Lying for any reason is unethical. Some advertising is lies, some of it isn't. A blanket statement that all of them are unethical or that all of them lie is patently false.

And regarding "content provider" basically it breaks down to:

1. advertisers: the company that has an offer they want to get traffic to
2. offer networks: brokers of offers include pay method (CPA/CPM/CPC) and rates
3. media buyers: people who negotiate for display rights on certain areas of websites and certain times of the day and the rights to run the advertisements there (that gets more complicated than you might think at first glance since many advertisers have restrictions on genres of sites that you can advertise their products on to maintain a level of integrity)
4. publishers: people who host and post the ads. This spans a couple places since you may host the ad yourself and publish it or just have a dedicated iframe for other people to post and then have them host on it

It really sounds like you don't have an understanding of the industry and just like "all programmers do is fix my broken printer and make it work with my laptop" would like to group the entire industry together as some lump activity. You can learn a lot more about how these operations actually work and possibly come up with more practical suggestions on improving the quality of it if you spend some of your time doing research before making claims of:

"You get paid to push a point of view. If you get hired by someone else, you push their point of view. That is deceptive and unethical by definition."

Ignorance can often spread as many lies as a planned campaign

Comment Re: Not that scary (Score 1) 344

Not true in the least. Thanks to how the internet works and offer networks, we essentially get to pick which advertisements we run. We don't get "hired" by anybody.... we bid for products we want to advertise and then we advertise those at whatever rates we get. As many a good salesman will tell you.... if you yourself don't believe in the product, then you will do a horrible job selling it.

According to the Princeton dictionary, the definition of "unethical" is "not conforming to approved standards of social or professional behavior". If advertising or trying to sell a product is somehow not an approved business practice or professional venture, then you had better not live in a capitalist country.

Comment Re: Not that scary (Score 1) 344

Did you know that somebody made a tool to police wireless networks for people setting up rogue APs that were not part of your own network to sniff traffic, and it could use forced disconnects to kick people off that spoof network and essentially disable the sniffer? I didn't until I saw an advertisement about it. It's obviously got some marketing fluff in front of it, but the tool itself is legit. And its not something I would have thought to Google and research for. Part of marketing is showing people something they may want even if they didn't know beforehand that they wanted it.

If you want pure information, you can go buy a book on the topic, but good luck finding something super up to date. Anything that solid has a lag time. Any information that has a higher turn over rate needs a more immediate means of funding. As news papers have known for forever... that comes from advertising. Pure information can come out of companies (to some degree, but you can't always trust it because you know it's going to be biased their way), it can come out of research universities (usually aimed more at theoretical work and not any particularly practical product, which is really what you're looking to buy) or you can get it out of dedicated review website.

Guess what powers that dedicated review site? Usually advertisements!!! Did you bother to pay anybody to test out the comparable solutions for you, or did you just rely on the fact that somebody else is able to support themselves by running a place for other people to do that work for you by advertising. And I bet if you had the choice of having advertisements in the side panel of your free website or paying for a review site without advertisements, you would go to the free one.... because you're there looking to save some bucks yourself.

Essentially, you're supporting the system you are trying to say is the blight on the landscape. Idealism is a nice goal to shoot for, but here in reality, compromises have to happen because people are cheap and imperfect. Do you have a better model to propose?

Comment Re: Not that scary (Score 1) 344

"A site like slashdot could easily exist on community donations". Have you looked at their server infrastructure? They posted a serial on it a while back and it is NOT a small endeavor. They have had the option for subscribers for a long while and subscribers always had the ability to disable advertising as far as I can tell.

I don't know if they could survive on donations or not for this size of a central hub, but I don't think so. If you have any evidence to the contrary please present it, otherwise its just the two of us shooting the shit with no proof either way.

And Ad Block is a good option, I actually like that. My fear with something as simple as a No Ads flag or something is that browsers start shipping with it enabled by default and it becomes an everyone-has-it. The network security guy in me kind of likes that for the sake of some of the landing pages being shady, but sites have the ability to police their own advertisements for that stuff too, so they can keep an eye on the quality of their ads. The advertiser and businessman in me wants the ability to still be there since advertising is one of the biggest growth reasons for the entire internet. The two top web sites on the internet, Google and Facebook exist and grew to their current size because 1) they offered a useful tool and 2) they found a way to fund this useful tool via advertising.

Comment Re: Not that scary (Score 1) 344

Until somebody comes up with a business model that provides the level of free and open content you can currently find online in a sustainable way without advertising, you aren't hurting the advertisers by doing this... you are only hurting the site owners who need the advertising money to support the technology infrastructure and creative energy that needs to flow into the site. If Slashdot was a pay-for-account website, they would be out of business and this forum for discussion would not be available.

I have good Karma, so Slashdot allows me to disable advertising. That's a really nice perk, but I don't do it because I like Slashdot and I would like it to be here when I come back to respond to a thread about advertising again.

Comment Re: Not that scary (Score 1) 344

No, he said that the whackos who are claiming all advertising is bad and people are all stupid who would ever ever click on an advertisements. That is whacko, and you just tried to counter is statement by redirecting the target to whole different category. Yes, some crappy stuff is done, and as with many aspect of the tech industry, the auto industry, the airplane industry, and Tupper Ware, there are always improvements to be made and complaints should be welcomed with open arms to try and improve the service.

"Ahh, so the truth finally comes out"... you couldn't come up with a less cliche way of putting that? The truth that comes out is that half of the people who post on this thread have no idea how private business works, about 25% of them are advertisers-can-do-no-evil shills and about 25% of the other ones aren't sensationalist enough to get modded up to readable.

Comment Re: Not that scary (Score 1) 344

And I presume your high quality products will be sold on merit alone, every potential customer will find you independently and you will make your business survive purely by word of mouth? If you have any product that many people will want, you will fail because nobody will hear of you and you won't be able to compete on prices with the companies doing something similar but in higher bulk because they have the brains to realize that people need to know that they exist before they can buy from them.

Comment Re: Not that scary (Score 1) 344

If I wrote a 30 page essay describing my product and tried to put a little clip of it in your side bar as a link to my essay, it would be the most informative approach possible. And nobody would click it, read it, or buy the product. There needs to be a balance somewhere. You sound like somebody who works at a state job and is missing out on some of the requirements for making money in the private sector.

Unfortunately, I have found a lot more product creators doing shady shit than advertisers. The goal of an advertiser is to get people to a sale page and hope they buy it. The goal of the product maker is to sell their product no matter what. I think a common problem is linking people who advertise a teeth whitening product with the fact that its a bad product to begin with. Sometimes the people who can pay the most for advertisements are the ones making shady products. So to the guys further up the thread saying advertisers advertisers because they can't "do"... a lot of people will fake "doing" because they can't advertise. At least advertising is a directly testable performance metric so the best make it to the top. A lot of times products can be spun to look decent up front and fail horribly on long term reliability and quality.

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