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Comment Observation (Score 1) 742

Or maybe this is the effect of the rise of the "MTV-Geek"? Maybe it's the lack of product placement opportunities that turns away alternative marketing revenue streams?

With my and what I know as many of my friends' affinity for not only watching but also buying sci-fi merchandise, I have found the steady decline rather surprising. Is there nobody that wants our money?

It also seems that Sci-Fi that does get made has progressively been getting more "mainstream". With that it seems that any and all shows I like are getting watered down with soap style love-tangle sub-plots etc...Should I just be grateful that there is no SciFi "reality" show yet?

Comment Technically (Score 1) 344

Sometimes but not usually it's the retailer who initiates the stalking.

If you look closely, you'll find most big online advertising companies are using a few, but very similar principles. Google, Yahoo: it's how they make money, however usually through a daughter company to hide the link. It's the traditional approach to targeted advertising.

What happens is that an ad which is delivered to your computer at a product or search page will have a javascript or an image embedded of 0x0 pixels by the ad server. They call these beacon pixels and they allow ads from the ad server to track you for a certain interest (i.e. beacon). Other times the retailer will embed beacon pixels on their product pages directly, but that is not a requirement.

It becomes evil when sites like Facebook get involved, here the idea is they can read your beacons and spread them to your friends on the basis that they might want to buy the product they saw you buy. Not to mention the opportunity to enrich the beacons with target demographics like sex, age, location, etc...

This type of advertising is done on the principle that people who buy something will often buy similar things, accessories, or at the least that their friends will.

It is of course very backwards but just like spam, those few people who actually buy after being prompted with these ads make it all worth while. (And that doesn't mean click on the link but buy something from that site/brand within a few days or weeks.)

Fortunately, AdBlock and similar options do a very good job of blocking that content. Unfortunately some ad revenue based companies have become smart enough to break their usability if the code sent by the ad tracking is missing. So sometimes you will need a "GreaseMonkey" to get around that but it can be done.

Comment it's all relevant to the candidate (Score 1) 428

In my experience: Even a college degree is no assurance someone is capable of doing a certain job. I've seen MSc. CS graduates who barely knew how to write a piece of code to give me the average of two numbers. Or how to translate some of what they learned into practicality. I've also seen graduates who were able to perform some mind bending feats.

The catch is: I've found there are at least an equal amount of CS pro's out there without degrees who can do either as well as the person with the degree. Also in my experience: the best people keep learning new tech/languages all the time and their accomplishments speak for themselves.

Make sure your resume paints a compelling picture so you get a foot in the door and then show people how good you are. If the company is going to be a good place to work they've probably learned to source and interview properly. Make your accomplishments speak for you.


Survey Says To UK — Repeal Laws of Thermodynamics 208

mostxlnt writes "As we noted, the new Tory UK government has launched a website asking its subjects which laws they'd most like repealed. There are proposals up for repeal of the Laws of Thermodynamics: Second, Third, and all (discussion thread on this one closed by a moderator). One comment on the Third [now apparently deleted] elucidated: 'Without the Third Law of Thermodynamics, it would be possible to build machines that would last forever and provide an endless source of cheap energy. thus solving both potential crises in energy supply as well as solving the greenhouse gas problem in one step... simples... eh?'"

Submission + - Youtube HTML Injection Vulnerability Exploited (

An anonymous reader writes: Youtube is currently open to an html attack based on using two [style] elements in a row — Youtube currently escapes one such element correctly but two works. It seems to be used currently for font-size adjustment, marquee text etc. but it breaks the comment system so new comments can't be made and the comment breaking the system can't be deleted, and cuts off the page at the breaking comment. An example video, previously featured on Slashdot:
Open Source

Submission + - Finding Open Source Projects Looking for Help 1

aus writes: I've been doing web development for about 10 years now. It's been very good to me, but I want to do more that write HTML, PHP, Javascript and CSS. Since the job market isn't all that great right now in the US, it would seem that volunteering some time on an open source project would give me the satisfaction I'm looking for. The problem is finding a project that wants/needs help that I would also be interested in. I've tried browsing around on sourceforge and there a site somewhere that I'm not aware of that has classifieds where open source project maintainers post "job" listings?

Plagiarism Inc. 236

Here's an interesting article on the life and times of 24-year-old Jordan Kavoosi, who has made a business of plagiarism. His Essay Writing Company employs writers from across the country, and will deliver a paper on any subject for $23 per page. In addition, his company will get it done in 48 hours, and he guarantees at least a B grade or your money back. From the article: "'Sure it's unethical, but it's just a business,' Kavoosi explains. 'I mean, what about strip clubs or porn shops? Those are unethical, and city-approved.'"

Comment Still better then universities (Score 5, Insightful) 324

What a load of FUD!

- Google isn't charging for access.
- Universities do charge for access (or membership).
- Why wouldn't libraries find their own copies of orphaned books and include them in their catalog?

What is really in danger here is the university library business model: charge a premium for things that should be open to the public.

Far too many establishments seek to control access to information / and thus knowledge. I for one hope Google scans as many books/papers as possible. At least we'd be able to find them.

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