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Comment Use Web Annotation Tools (Score 4, Interesting) 270

There are tools like Genius that allow web pages to be annotated beyond the control of the publisher (attaching comments to highlighted text), allowing lies to be challenged in-situ, before their sharing reaches critical mass.

But for this to make a difference, you'd have to ensure that the annotations are widely seen. An annotation system should come with the default install of web browsers (including the Facebook internal one), and if not enabled by default, the user should be asked whether they want it enabled.

But this wouldn't fix the problem of fake articles being popular simply because they tell people something shocking that panders to what they want to hear. Readers sometimes don't care about the truth. They want the entertainment, smugness, and social bonding of an interesting and validating lie. The National Enquirer problem. So it's acceptable if annotations just damp the problem down, rather than eliminate it.

Comment Re:A welcome return... (Score 1) 153

Of course, the actual classic parts of the series was Series 2 to 5, and it lost a fair bit when Rob Grant left the series, so Seasons 6-9 were variable, what I've seen of Season 10 was good in the Season 6-9 scale.

I'd include Series 6 as part of the golden age. In fact, I'd rank it as the best overall. Rob Grant left after Series 6, so his contribution must have been key, likely including the ability to weave in interesting science fiction concepts.

Series 7 and 8 were dire, except for Cassandra in Season 8.

I watched Series 10. While not dire, I didn't find any to be a keeper. The first episode of Series 11 is getting good reviews, though I worry that this is due to deprived fans just thankful it isn't a total disaster.

Comment Re:It's about time... (Score 1) 193

I can personally say that until something gives I've personally already pulled my Youtube Red subscription.

Please don't cancel your Red subscription. It's the correct answer to this problem of advertising not being compatible with more-adult content. The problem is that, at least when Red was announced, you couldn't turn on monetisation in such a way to get Red revenue but not ad revenue — useful if you wanted to be rewarded for your work but didn't want to subject your (non-ad-blocker) viewers to ads, but now it's clear that it's essential to support non-family-friendly content.

Please YouTube, allow Red monetisation without ad monetisation.

Comment Re:Seems logical enough. (Score 1) 168

Many of the handset OEMs have direct experience with being box-stuffers for Wintel PCs; and the ones that don't have had plenty of time to observe the ones that do.

Moral of the story, you are a low-margin, interchangeable, and largely expendable partner if you don't provide either the OS or the high-value components; with conditions moderately better for companies that can at least make money on SoCs or screens or batteries.

A smartphone, even one running stock Android, has many more points of meaningful differentiation than a typical desktop PC, such as

  • Timely software updates over a long period (the software supplier, Google, doesn't provide them, unlike Microsoft on desktops),
  • A good battery life,
  • A good touchscreen,
  • A quality build that has a lower chance of developing faults, and more robust against damage,
  • Good display, cameras, and sensors, and
  • An ergonomic form-factor.

I for one would love to be able to buy such a quality non-Google vanilla-Android phone.

Comment Re:You are missing the point (Score 1) 219

There's a simple solution for that: You can vote as many times as you want, but only your most recent vote counts.

Vote buyers would insist on the votes being cast just before the polls close, though that does create a manpower bottleneck if you want to buy lots of votes, unless they keep a watch on all their sellers via video link.

Comment Secret online ballots with random code selection (Score 1) 219

One way to do a secret online ballot would be to have each voter attend a place of registration, where their identity is checked before they get to choose one unique voting card from among thousands. Each card contains online voting codes, which could be used for dozens of ballots.

The main problem with this is that it makes vote-selling easier than it is with physical poll attendance.

Remote secret ballots that prevent vote-selling may be impossible, because if you have to verify your identity remotely, there's always the possibility of shenanigans that link this to your subsequent vote, no matter how much the authorities say they are separated.

Comment Re:I predict that this will be totally ineffective (Score 1) 534

Yes, it could be a war.

One thing the blockers have on their side is that legally Facebook have to mark posts as "sponsored" (or a limited number of synonyms). If a blocking rule can match this in HTML text, and can find the right parent or similarly-positioned block to hide, this should be hard for them to counter.

Comment Re:The age of subscription services (Score 1) 534

While I agree that there is moral pressure to stop using sites with ads you can't tolerate, and also that ads are intrinsically bad, there's often an unstated understanding that those who block ads can continue to use a site because of their contribution to either a site's content or its viral propagation. For example, either you tolerate Slashdot ads, you've chosen to hide your subscriber star, or you believe that your posts and moderations are an adequate quid-pro-quo.

Such an understanding is less likely to be present the more aggressively a site blocks ad-blockers, and the more prominent their pleas for users to turn off their blockers.

Comment Re:Why use FB? It's a social network (Score 1) 534

That's what I don't get about Facebook. I could send pictures of my cats to everyone because they make me happy, but the things that make me happy have already made me happy it adds nothing for me to share them.

Most people are also made happy by the validation they get when people like (and Like) their stuff. Any critics are shamed or blocked as trolls and haters, so it's one big soma love-fest that you never want to leave.

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"Security is mostly a superstition. It does not exist in nature... Life is either a daring adventure or nothing." -- Helen Keller