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Comment Re:Not people: It's a computer problem (Score 1) 394

So the day they make your particular fetish or recreational substance / entertainment / political stance / religion / etc. a crime...

You're an optimist, and overstating the safety and benevolence of this program. Quit sugar-coating it, you apologist! ;-)

Peoples' fetish, substance, etc is already illegal, somewhere. And since no government (including UK) has shown itself to have the ability to store things securely (it's almost as though they employ people), it is reasonable to assume the data is (or eventually will be) globally available.

UK citizens aren't just making a decision to totally and completely trust trust their own government forever. They are also deciding that they already fully trust the Russian government, the Chinese government, the Saudi government, criminals, etc and that they will always be able to trust those parties.

UK is declaring that this is one big happy world without any adversarial relationships, and that "security" is a totally obsolete concept.

Comment Re:And even here they don't know how it works (Score 1) 291

I think people are inferring too much heavy-handedness.

Look at it this way: Airplane mode successfully restricts radio use while airborne, because it is enabled by the user.

(See what I did there?) Correct operation is defined as the computer doing whatever the user wants it to do. The user is in charge of balancing convenience with desire-to-not-be-a-dick, so he'll select what is most appropriate for his needs.

Airplane mode works! It's great. It's one of the best, most successful, easily-understood interfaces we have. You damn well know that in the early days, there was a discussion where some absolute fuckwit at the table said, "We'll need an altimeter, or maybe just use the GPS..." and he was cut off by the genius who said, "Wait, we already have checkboxes and menus and stuff. Why are you making this setting difficult, mister fuckwit?" and that UI battle was won, decisively, forever.

Driving mode can be like that.

Comment Re:Block everyone or the driver? (Score 1) 291

You need to think of this as a UI guideline, not a gun pointed at someone's face. A quasi-standard, not a regulation (even though it might be coming from regulators).

If done correctly, a user will select the best mode, not to save their life, but to maximize their own convenience. People do want to interact with their device when they're driving, and this isn't even a mistake. The problem is that the best UI when you're not driving, is a horrible UI when you are driving, and probably vice-versa.

Depending on how software authors adopt the setting, it might be:

Voice control when driving, otherwise stop listening and making incorrect inferences when I'm not driving.

Display to HUD when driving, display to screen when not.

STFU about trivial nonsense notifications when driving. Bombard me with a bunch of shit that I'm finally capable of handling now, when not driving.

"Blocking" things doesn't necessarily mean it's something you do to the user; it's something you do for the user because they've requested it as a matter of convenience. That's the key to doing this right.

Comment Re:And Obama once again is a blatant liar (Score 1) 534

No, you (and a bunch of other people, it seems) just don't understand him. He's taking the responsibility. When he says "I can't" that's just his way of saying that he disagrees strongly that Snowden should be pardoned.

He's a piece of shit, but at least he's admitting it. I thought some people were being stupid, but the more of you who come forward, the more I think you're just not familiar with how he speaks. "I can't" is the way some people express "I won't, because I think I shouldn't."

Comment Re:Scary! (Score 1) 74

How else is the machine meant to know how you want to interact with it?

The "classical" web experience was that the user was always, and easily, aware that there wasn't "the" machine, but two machines: the browser and the server. And you were only interacting with someone else's computer who serves their interests over yours, when you request a page, submit a form, etc.

Web 2.0 is that the browser runs javascript and therefore your own computer is their agent, using your electricity and hardware on their behalf, sometimes in direct conflict with your own interests. That might be pretty freaky to a time traveller from the 1990s or early 21st century. 1995 Guy would be laughing, "There's no way people are going to tolerate that." Decades later, many of us still think of our computers as ours and might not remember (*) that the modern web-browsing experience is very compromising.

(*) Or maybe a more accurate way to put it, is that we're living in denial.

Comment Re:Friday (Score 2) 227

Off the top of my head:

  • Time Travelers: Strictly Cash
  • Callahan's Crosstime Saloon
  • Callahan's Place
  • Callahan's Con
  • Callahan's Key

And then Callahan's Lady and The Lady Slings The Blues (Booze?), which are about a different main cast of characters. I'm sure I missed a few, but there's a list here.

His collaborations with his wife are pretty good, too. He's probably my favorite sci-fi author, or at least in a 3-way tie with Heinlein and Asimov.

Comment Re:Friday (Score 2) 227

I'd vote for Number of The Beast, since they could essentially serialize it forever. For that matter, I'd be really happy to see Spider Robinson's Callahan novels (and/or the books about Lady Sally's place) brought to either the big or small screen.
Books

Apple Releases $300 Book Containing 450 Photos of Apple Products (theverge.com) 146

Apple has a reputation for releasing "revolutionary" products that carry higher price tags than competing products. Today, the company hasn't made that reputation any better as it has released a "$299 coffee table book" that contains 450 photographs of Apple products. The Verge reports: It's a hardcover edition, bound in linen, and is available in two sizes: $199 for a smaller 10.20" x 12.75" version, and $299 for a larger 13" x 16.25" edition. The book is simply titled Designed by Apple in California -- a name that somehow manages to be both humble and incredibly pretentious at the same time. The photos inside are all new images shot by Andrew Zuckerman, and will show off 20 years of Apple design "in a deliberately spare style." In a press statement, chief designer Jony Ive described the book as "a gentle gathering of many of the products the team has designed over the years," and hoped that it would serve as a "resource for students of all design disciplines." The book is published by Apple itself, and is dedicated to the memory of Steve Jobs. It is, undeniably, an act of corporate vanity publishing on an impressive scale, but it's one Apple deserves to get away with more than pretty much any other tech company. No one denies that when it comes to industrial design, Apple earns the praise it gets. That aside, though, the book's publication does show a certain amount of self-interest, navel-gazing, and even arrogance from Apple -- themes that were also present in September's unveiling of the new MacBook Pros. It's all very well to feel proud of the successes of the past, but we'll be interested to see if the company can justify releasing another such book 20 years from now.

Comment Re:Show us the data (Score 1) 232

And it is the influence that these fake stories have, not the quantity of them, which is important.

No, it's why the stories have influence, which is important. I give zero fucks about anyone's measurements of the influence itself.

You can frame it as a problem with a particular website, or you can frame it as people-enjoy-lying-and-being-lied-to. IMHO the former is worthless way of looking at things, and the latter gets us closer to diagnosis.

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