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Comment Re:Unregulated currency (Score 4, Insightful) 704

What you're saying may all be true, but the value of any currency is based on people's faith in it. It doesn't matter if it's just corrupt or incompetent companies failing and not the "Bitcoin protocol" itself. When the average person turns on CNN and sees story after story about Bitcoins disappearing, falling in value, or just general chaos in the Bitcoin market, they're going to avoid it like the plague. Fewer reputable businesses will devote the effort and take the risk of accepting Bitcoins as payment. Any chance of it ever becoming a ubiquitous global currency, not just a plaything for computer geeks, is quickly dying and no reasoned defense of the concept is going to change that. Hand waving away the problems by blaming individuals just misses the point that this system will not ever work on a wide scale until it is regulated, likely to the point where any value it has over other real currencies is lost.

Comment Re:America needs to own up to its mistakes... (Score 1) 531

The problem with blaming "America" is that no one is held accountable for their own share of the problem. It's very easy for any individual, even the president, to throw up their hands and blame the system without taking any responsibility for anything. It's about time we start naming names and holding real people accountable for the actions of our government. Speaking from a totally non-partisan point of view, the president seems like as good a starting point as any to expect real accountability and direct action. We elected him to be a leader, not to deflect attention elsewhere just because the problems aren't all his fault. Nothing will ever substantively change as long as we keep appealing to "America" or "the NSA" or even "the general population" to magically self-correct. Apologists for our leaders on both sides of the aisle are who have allowed us to get to where we are today.

Comment Re:Too much storage = too much garbage (Score 1) 224

I've definitely noticed this with my personal data storage, but I don't think it's necessarily a bad thing. Given the growth rate of hard drive sizes, it's just no longer worth my time to spend hours, or even days, picking through my old data to save a few percentage points of capacity. Entire multi-gigabyte backups of old systems that once seemed massive, are now only small, insignificant directories within a multi-terabyte array. And with every passing year, the ever-falling cost/byte makes it even less worthwhile to go back and trim the fat. Yes, it can make finding things a pain if you're not well organized, but that's more a symptom of an underlying problem than a problem in itself. I sure don't miss the days of being forced to hastily delete things to make room for something else, only to later regret it when I unexpectedly have a need for that thing I've deleted.

Comment Re:that's on purpose (Score 1) 310

It may be the wrong metric to measure intrinsic value, but let me know when you come up with whatever that actually would be. In the meantime, this is as close to an objective measure as we have to compare the value actual users are getting out of the respective services. 3 minutes vs. 405 minutes a month is not the result of a 10000%+ increase in efficiency or some nebulous paradigm shift in how it's used; it's the result of people clearly not liking it as much as the competition. It's all well and good to say "that's ok", but I'm sure there were people saying the same thing about Google Wave or Google Buzz or any number of other Google products that have since been discontinued. Google didn't develop this to fill some obscure niche and it won't last if the average user is using it 1% as much as they use Facebook.

Comment Re:Why is slashdot not participating? (Score 5, Insightful) 1002

Why is it that in every story about this, someone feels the need to question why /. isn't shutting down? These blackouts, in and of themselves, will not stop SOPA/PIPA. The purpose is to raise awareness and mobilize people who would otherwise be unaware or apathetic to the cause. /. readers are already well aware and united in their opposition, and frankly, stories such as this on the front page will so more good than a simple blackout to that audience. The blackout of Wikipedia, on the other hand, reaches a vastly wider audience, including millions who have never even heard of this legislation. The inconvenience of not having access to one of their most useful sites will hopefully serve as a wake-up call to these people and spark action from a much larger base. Think for a moment about why one size doesn't fit all when it comes to how sites can best raise awareness of the issue.

Submission + - XKCD hits 1000 (xkcd.com)

pyronide writes: The webcomic and Slashdot meme staple XKCD has posted its thousandth comic today. The comic contains Randal Munroe's signature stick figures arranged to depict the number "1000". Sadly, there are no flying ferrets or raptors visible.

Comment Re:So much for a fair trial. (Score 1) 1855

What a load of crap. You say this like we just walked up to the guy and executed him for spite. By all accounts, he was killed in a firefight in which he was almost certainly committed to going down fighting and taking as many innocent people with him as he could. I'm sure we would've loved to take him alive if he wanted to end this in a civilized way, but that was never the way he would've allowed it to end. It took nearly 10 years just to find and kill the guy; how many more years were we supposed to wait for a better opportunity in which we could capture him alive? Just like with any police force taking down any other criminal, your right to a fair trial ends when you start actively endangering the lives of others in a way that requires lethal force to stop.

Comment Re:I don't need (Score 1) 909

Your analogy makes no sense. It's ok for Wal-Mart not to sell porn because there are alternate sources out there, but it's not ok for Apple... why exactly? It's the exact same situation. To use your own analogy, if the iPhone was legislated to be the absolute only smart phone, then people would have a much more valid concern if they refused to sell porn. That's not true though; you're free to use a different phone if you don't like it. Steve Jobs is even suggesting an alternative for you!

Comment Re:Is there anything (Score 1) 233

Ever hear of jailbreaking? These things are not limitations of the phone at all, only of its default configuration. Anyone who cares enough about those functions and is technically savvy enough to be trusted to use them responsibly, is quite capable of getting them.

For the record, I can't stand Apple and I'm certainly no fanboy, but my jailbroken iPhone simply offers more functionality than any of its competitors.

Comment Re:A halfway decent source? How? (Score 1) 564

Sorry, just because you've written some random piece of software doesn't mean it's entitled to its own Wikipedia article. I write lots of little insignificant bits of code too, but I'm not so full of myself as to think it's worthy of mention in any encyclopedia. If you can't find one independent source referencing your software somewhere on the web without paying a journalist to review it, then I hate to break it to you, but it's just not that noteworthy. It's not the job of Wikipedia editors to do their own independent research to confirm or deny the accuracy of anything, no matter how trivial it may seem to you.

Comment Re:What the hell? (Score 1) 128

I don't know. Seems more like rampant fanboyism to me. Tell me why the Pre is better than the iPhone and I'll listen. A lot of hand-waving and vague references to being more free and creative doesn't really mean anything unless you can point to something more tangible. What has been produced on the Pre, which could not have been done on the iPhone? Keep in mind to all those who would rail against Apple's restrictive App Store, there is (and has been for years) a vibrant jailbreak community which I'd say shares a lot of these nebulous traits that are supposedly so unique to the Pre.

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