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Comment He is absolutely right. (Score 5, Interesting) 82

Attention is a currency. Right now Facebook, Google and co are making fortunes by converting our attention to cash through advertising. All we get in exchange is being tolerated on their properties as long as we are willing to be fed crappy adverts. We're not even consumers, we're like serfs of the medieval ages.
As it stands, both merchants (ad-buyers) and peasants (consumers) are being screwed, and the nobility (Google, FB & co) takes it all.
The merchants buy ads with cash hoping it will translate to sales so they get their money back from peasants, but it's a perverse system where the merchant that spends the most in ads gets to push and sell its product - however crappy it is. If you can't pay enough cash to nobility, they make your life as a merchant very difficult. Peasants have it even worse as they end up giving both attention to ads for (mostly crappy) stuff *and* money to the merchants (of which a good chunks end up with the nobility). It's a vicious circle where both merchants and peasants are indentured to the nobility which has no incentive in figuring out a better way for everyone.

But what if we got payed for our attention? What if there was a marketplace where we could signal what we think has value for other people and get payed if we where right? Suddenly we would have a system where true value would be recognized and where people who helped point out that value (by giving it attention first) would be rewarded. This seems like a much better system for both merchants and peasants but, of course, not for the current nobility.

Maybe it's time for the revolt of the serfs...

Comment That's just luddism. (Score 1) 333

It's really not that hard to imagine how game-inspired software could tremendously help learning in every field.

The only problem is very few people are actually sitting down and doing it properly. There are precious little good exemples for the time being but it will come, eventually. One such good exemple is Chaim Gingold's upcoming interactive primer on geology. I also read that Khan's academy is developing a sort of leveling structure on top of its courses and I would not be surprised if that turned out to be tremendously effective.

I'm not arguing that computers will completely replace a teacher anytime soon (especially for good, one on one teaching) - but in many, many less than ideal cases it seems obvious good software would be very useful.

The Courts

Submission + - Iptable and busybox to sue major european telco

Lejade writes: "Harald Welte (of iptable and gpl-violations.org fame) is suing the second biggest French internet operator, with moral support from two Busybox authors, Rob Landley and Erik Andersen, and legal support from the FSF France. The operator, ironically named "Free", is accused of violating these author's rights by infringing the GPLv2 while distributing their homebrewed DSL router boxes, the "freebox".

Free (mother company is Iliad) is well known for bringing major innovations on the french DSL market, thanks to their massive usage of free-as-freedom software in their core-product, the Freebox. This network appliance is a router, a TV decoder, a VoIP phone switch and since recently a wireless PVR and personal storage space.

The French community started talks with the operator several years ago, asking them to advertize and provide the source for the GPL software embedded into their Freebox, distributed in more than 2 millions homes in France. Iliad was granted 30 days to comply with the terms of the GPL before the issue is brought to the court.

In the meantime, a donation campaign has been setup to help covering the legal costs. 12,000 of the 25,000 needed for the first phase have been raised so far."

Clinton Prosecutor Now Targeting Free Speech 571

Virchull tells us about a case the Supreme Court has agreed to hear, in which former special prosecutor Kenneth Starr will take the side of an Alaska school board against a student who displayed a rude banner off school property. The banner read "Bong Hits 4 Jesus" and it got the student suspended. He and his parents sued the school board for violating his First Amendment rights. The case is nuanced: while the student did not display the banner on school property, he did do so during a school function. Starr is said to be arguing the case for free.

Submission + - Democracy Player is 0.9.2 and Growing Up Fast

Dean writes: Democracy Player, the open source answer for RSS video aggregation/playback, has just made it to 0.9.2 for Windows, Mac and Linux. If you haven't tried Democracy Player for a while, it's time to try it again. The application is more responsive and stable, uses less memory, integrates Bittorrent, and can now play Flash videos (including stuff from YouTube, Google, Yahoo, etc). Democracy takes all the hassle out of finding and watching videos from your favorite sources.
Internet Explorer

Submission + - IP Browse, bookmark and try when no dns

rick28450 writes: " Bookmark directly the ip. When you get a limited connection to an open wifi (no dns) try this bookmark to browse the internet using it's dns resolution. Sometimes your enterprise log your dns queries. This is the solution if you want anonymous surfing. It's an imperfect browsing, maybe you can make suggestions to improve the service. Clear your DNS servers on your TCPIP config and try your favorites pages through this service."
PlayStation (Games)

Submission + - First PlayStation 3 Roms Appear

JamieSI writes: "There have been many posts made at hacker and Linux communities which reveal the Playstation 3 Blu-Ray disc format has been cracked. There has been several disc dumps appearing on certain peer-to-peer networks and other pirate communities. The discs can't currently be booted by the PlayStation 3 but it probably won't take long to crack it. The PS3 has only been released for a short amount of time so this will cause Sony troubles if they do manage to produce pirate copies of games this early on, which they probably will. More details here."

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