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Comment Re:The AltaVista Page Sucked (Score 2) 172

For me Google was better from day 1. With AltaVista you could spend 30 minutes crafting the perfect query and the result you needed was still buried on page 5, while Google just seemed to know what you wanted. You're right about the attempts of AltaVista, Yahoo, and other to be "portals" rather than simple search engines hurt them badly, but Google was simply better at search as well. Your recollection of Google's early functionality is incorrect. Automatic AND, "-" for NOT, and phrase searches were in place at the start of 1999.

Comment Re:Commodore Amiga or Commodore PC? (Score 2) 456

Commodore never used the PC acronym in its marketing or branding.

Yes, they did. For their IBM PC clones, for the C128 in some markets, and for the Amiga. Your theory that "PC" referred exclusively to IBM PC compatibles is not true. It did eventually come to mean that, but in the 1980's it simply meant "personal computer".

Comment Re: Be able to PERMANENTLY disable instant search (Score 1) 276

I disagree with you, also a simple Google search would allow you to learn that you can obtain this behaviour by prefixing the obligatory words with '+'.

Not anymore. Google now returns results which don't always have all the obligatory words in the page, though it does tell you if some are missing.

Comment Re:Cheap because of size, not engines (Score 2) 75

Maybe there's a niche for small payloads like this, but in all honesty, I expect you could fly several such payloads on one bigger rocket, or just hitchhike on the spare capacity on a big satellite launch. Still, worth a shot. Just don't pretend to be playing in the big leagues.

Where did they claim to be playing in the big leagues? And yes, there is a niche for microsatellite launch services. Your unnecessarily grumpy comments are largely correct, but you've missed the whole point of the operation, which is cost. Virgin's LauncherOne is aiming for $10m per launch, these guys are claiming half that price.

Comment Re:How? Reaction is equal and opposite. (Score 1) 467

The problem is idiots who don't realize the internet is not a toy. Trolls do it for the lulz and don't realize that no, they're actually creating a very permanent record of their activities.

Troll all you want, but realize that your five minutes of fun is recorded and you may find yourself as the top news story worldwide. If you want to offend, go for it knowing it WILL haunt you forever. This isn't a bathroom wall in some gas station - it's a gigantic unforgetting bathroom wall that the world sees.

It's not always so black and white though. See, for example, the Justine Sacco case. She made a satirical joke and it was misinterpreted. Then there's this story on This American Life: act one specifically. It highlights how the ire of a community can be directed unjustly.

Comment Re:Uh ...wat? (Score 1) 467

Then the assholes shouldn't have said anything in the first place. We're not talking about a couple of screwed up kids thinking that they're funny. The people doing this were adults. There is no fucking excuse for this.

Like many others in this discussion you've reduced it to a black and white situation: they did something wrong, therefore they deserve everything that might possibly come in terms of consequences. That's an extraordinarily harsh attitude to take to mistakes made by teenagers.

If someone came onto your lawn and started yelling about how they were going to rape your daughter, they're not going to get a little slap on the wrist. They'd get arrested, thrown in jail, and possibly be put on a sex offender list.

This example supports my point: the justice system deals with this sort of thing in right way, with a measured, proportionate, just response. Sex offender lists do amount to public shaming (and they are somewhat controversial for that reason) but even you are not sure that would be appropriate in the above scenario. Yet that's exactly what you're advocating in online cases. Also note that if they are on your lawn the threat is rather more immediate and credible than bullying online. That makes a difference. Finally, I suspect you've overestimated what the justice system's response to a single incident of that nature would be.

In the general case, the problem with your position is that it assumes that this sort of response is always justified and correct. But at best this is mob justice and the mob will get it wrong at times. The Justine Sacco case is a good example. She made a joke that was misinterpreted. The consequences far outweighed the "crime".

Comment Re:How? Reaction is equal and opposite. (Score 1) 467

So the harm done is directly proportional ONLY to the persons own actions.

The problem is that the response is not proportional because everyone who hears about this and is offended on behalf of the victim can take their little piece of revenge. There is nothing to keep this public shaming reasonable or just.

So since that might happen one in 500 million times of ACTUAL trolling - so we should do nothing at all about real trolls that we can actually combat. Even though it can be disproved...

The good of the many and all that. We should not back down from preventing common crime because of a hypothetical.

Are you really claiming that the only options are "do nothing" and "destroy the perpetrators lives"? That's ridiculous. We have created a justice system in our society to punish wrongdoers in a measured, proportionate way, and also to give the accused the opportunity to defend themselves. We abandoned public shaming decades ago because it is not measured, proportionate punishment. So why are you so keen to go back to public shaming? Why don't you think the justice system can work in these cases?

Comment Re:Uh ...wat? (Score 3, Interesting) 467

He could have contacted the bully's schools/employers directly, as he apparently did with the other 7 college athletes he mentioned. He could still have publicised the resulting consequences as a warning without exposing these assholes to the inevitable internet pile-on that is occurring now. He's obviously made a judgement that those 7 deserve a second chance and the 4 he outed do not. But while I have little sympathy for these dickheads, and I completely understand his motivation, I don't like this eye-for-an-eye response. There is no proportionality when something like this goes viral. Should these guys have their lives ruined over this? Should they be subjected to the same bullying magnified through the lens of a million internet users out for "justice"? I think not. If one of these idiots kills himself over the response Curt will have effectively sentenced him to death. We shouldn't be comfortable with that outcome as a society.

Comment Re:Good news (Score 2) 422

Titanic and Avatar had better visuals than Serenity, to be sure, and Titanic had some good performances. I thought Avatar was a bucket of problems and flaws with some pretty colors, but really there's few of it's many, mnay flaws that I'm blame on a director.

That's hardly surprising. Titanic had 5 times the budget of Serenity and Avatar's was even larger. I was at least as impressed with the visuals in The Avengers as I was with Titanic and Firefly was extremely impressive visually for a TV show of that period.

It's quite hard to separate Cameron's direction of Avatar from his other roles of writer, editor, and producer. When a scene didn't work was it badly directed? Or badly edited? Or just poorly written? It's hard to tell. A perfectly well written scene can be ruined with poor direction and even if well written and directed it can be butchered by poor editing. In the end it doesn't actually matter because ultimately the bad result was the product of the same man's creative failure. As you say Cameron wouldn't simply direct a Star Wars movie. Whedon would probably not stick to directing either but I have rather more confidence in his ability to produce something good.

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