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Comment "Sources?" (Score 1) 75

Did this sentence..

Eighty-four percent of Americans with online access through three sources -- home broadband, smartphone and tablet computer -- say they like having so much information available.

..strike anyone else as a weirdly alien concept of what the word "source" means? It's so incomprehensible, that I can't even say for sure that it's wrong!

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: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.

Comment Re:Perhaps (Score 3, Insightful) 598

Can't people just go to work an hour later during winter and quit all this screwing around with the clocks!

I have a hypothesis: We don't want to. We have the clock-screwing on purpose, as an annual ritual to help give additional temporal structure to our year, and to jar us out of our adaptability to gradual change.

Sure, I sort of noticed that the light had been changing; last week it wasn't as light out when we got home from work, as it had been in months prior. The back-patio beer time was way down from how long it had lasted in June, but there was still time for one or two. It was a gradual change, so it was no big deal. Getting home from work this Monday, though, was anything but a gradual change. It suddenly meant: back-patio beer time is over. We don't do that anymore; be back in the spring.

Begin winter mode. And now it finally hits me: we need to winterize the swamp cooler and heater, take in the some of the plants that might freeze to death, etc. Common sense might reveal all this anyway, but the ending of DST means I don't need no stinkin' common sense! Reality just got right in my face, instead of just creeping another percent toward me.

Comment That would be pretty goddamn cool (Score 2) 95

This wouldn't be enough to make me buy an iOS device, but I have to admit it would make me a little jealous. I miss the compactness of my old flip phone. It seems phones have been getting smaller in stupid ways (e.g. by having ever-more-anemic batteries, as if I give a fuck about its thickness) instead of getting smaller in actually-convenient ways. Most phones, you can easily get 4-8 times as thick and have it be just as good (and probably gain something useful, like battery space) so folding for 2x thickness while reducing its biggest dimension, is a good move.

Comment Re:Kickstarter for source code and tools for my ca (Score 2) 106

That would be illegal. If you happened to somehow magically have that software, the Librarian of Congress just made it legal for you to use it. Writing ("manufacturing") the software remains illegal, as does trafficking in it, marketing it or offering it to the public.

The problem isn't fixed until DMCA is repealed. LoC can't undo the injustice.

Everyone please remember to vote more Republicrats into Congress next week, in order to prevent freedom from breaking out. Evil depends on you. (just kidding, I know there are very few ballots containing any other choices. We have all been working to preserve evil for two years; it's not something we merely do next week.)

Comment Re:Ita about time! (Score 1) 230

I'd like to see what the next release does with an unlit cyclist wearing black in central London at 10pm on a wet November night.

I'd like to see what humans do! The possibility of a situation this dangerous, is why this "car" invention is never going to be allowed. Mark my words: by 1917 this fad is going to be history.

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