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Comment All communication is monitored (Score 4, Interesting) 188

There is literally no way you can communicate with another person where you can be assured that your communication is not monitored. Even face-to-face communication in code is compromised, if the other party is compromised. Cell phones only work by collecting a lot of data about the caller and the caller's recipient. If CBS is only now figuring out that D.C. is a hotbed of cell data leakage, they are fantastically bad at their jobs.

Comment Re:That's excellent! (Score 1) 535

Quark used to be the benchmark for page layout. Not many people really liked it, but everybody used it. Competitors came and went. Adobe's InDesign was the first to make a significant splash.

Then Quark sat around on its ass while users were moving to OSX. It took far too long for them to properly support it. In the meantime, InDesign made significant in-roads in the market. It helped a lot that InDesign worked very well with Photoshop and Illustrator (natch). Quark has never been super-responsive to their customers, because there wasn't really a need. They owned the market so thoroughly for so many years.

Quark survives today because there are a number of companies who went full in on a Quark workflow. They have custom and/or expensive XTensions that are used extensively as part of their core operations. Newspapers, for example: to do ad placement, dumping classifieds from whatever gimcrack system they use, etc. Quark has improved quite a bit recently, but they lost a lot of ground. They completely lost the battle at the education level. Graphic design classes teach Adobe products for the most part. Adobe has historically been a lot easier to work with with educational pricing than Quark.

Comment I for one.... (Score 1) 954

Welcome our new robotic food overlords!

I think most people prefer the accuracy of dealing with a well designed machine rather than try and translate your food order to Spanglish. "Welcome to Yack in the box"?!?!

How many here would wait in line for an ATM transaction rather than go to a live teller at your local bank?

Comment Re:Tools are judged ... (Score 1) 329

On the other hand, the local auto mechanic probably has a dozen wrenches and a parts truck that comes around every other day that can bring a new one in for nearly zero overhead. So she might be willing to accept a higher failure rate.

Using male gendered pronouns for overwhelmingly male-dominated professions isn't sexism. If you threw a rock into a crowd, you'd hit more male teachers than female mechanics. It's okay to assume a mechanic is a "he" and a teacher is a "she".

Or, alternately, go whole hog. Instead of someone working in aerospace or other sensitive area, say a woman working in aerospace or other sensitive area.

Your last paragraph suggests that your pronoun gendering may have been intentional and part of a larger issue you wished to promote. If so, bravo! I award you one Internet point for being aggressively subtle.

Comment Re:It's just an issue that's gotten too polarized (Score 5, Insightful) 618

This is one of those things that SXSW doesn't want to burn a lot of calories on trying to wrangle. SXSW is still mostly focussed on music and movies. Nerds fighting over video game politics are not in the wheelhouse.

Put another way, you go to SXSW to have a great time. You do not go there because you want to fight over ideology. Nobody from the alt-rock music scene is making angry Tweets because the alt-country guys have a venue, nor vice versa. As far as SXSW is concerned, both factions are music fans who might find common ground, but otherwise are not interested in open warfare.

Activists on games, they're not so chill. (They'll become chill, after gaming has passed through the "Fonzie Barrier," where rebellion and fear mellow and become folksy humor.)

TL;DR: SXSW isn't interested in burning resources on your gay slapfight over who's right on the Internet.

Comment Re:"an act of social provocation"? (Score 1) 367

The funny (tragic) part is that the kind of people who tend to be strongly pro-gun, also tend to be strong against social programs that could prevent a great deal of the violence typically associated with guns.

Ain't that the truth...

It's not really the truth. If you doubt it, go to the neighborhoods in your city most thoroughly covered by "social programs."

I wouldn't go there unarmed, but that's up to you.

All of those violent neighborhoods would benefit from more of the law-abiding residents being armed to the teeth. The old saying goes "an armed society is a polite society," as nothing deters assholery so much as the sudden onset of room temperature-ness.

Comment How much does it cost to run youtube? (Score 1) 197

It's very likely google knows how much it really costs to get videos and music streamed to consumers and has made a streaming rights offer that lets them stay in business rather than launch and then crash ALA MP3.com.

I use the google music streaming service at $8 a month, but would easily pay $16 if it encompassed all artists (glaring holes like Led Zepplin and the Beatles leave it incomplete) yet I discover new stuff all the time using the "I'm Feeling Lucky" feature.

Comment obviously to promote search (Score 3, Interesting) 327

If you don't have the URL but you have the name of the site and what the page is about " an article on CNN about blah blah" , how would you find it? SEARCH! And perhaps you'd encounter a useful advertisement for blah blah on your way to CNN.

Nice move. No more links, only Google.

Comment Embrace, Extend, Extinguish Plus FUD (Score 3, Insightful) 742

It realy goes back to the strategy of vendor lock in, Microsoft just can't pull it off like they used to because open source is so readily available and more viable than it's ever been.

The Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt propogated by Microsoft spans generations, and also can't make as strong a case as it used to because people know that there are alrternatives available.

Not so much about having a monooly on the desktop or bundling a browser, so much as it was about trying to leverage that to alter standards and control the source such that other browsers can't render what was made for IE 6, other office suites can't quite display a .DOC file like Office can. It was about making it so that things couldn't interact or be compatable.

Nothing has changed, MS just can't sell their FUD like they used to, and there's enough good open source alternatives that trying to extend something to control it just makes users loose interest. What's really sad is they still try to use this strategy even though it will no longer work, and this is why windows phone can gain no traction.

Best thing to do is use opensource, and let MS continue their downward decline into insignificance.

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