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Comment Re:Serious question (Score 1) 184

Well, here's the thing. What do you need adblock for? If you're not going to whitelist advertiser domains, they're not showing up in the first place.

Most, but not all advertising is displayed via Javascript. AdBlock is useful for blocking static images and element hiding rules are nice for just removing text ads or other annoying elements of webpages. There is also the case of allowing domains to execute scripts (temporary or trusted) to make pages functional. AdBlock takes care of any ads that would be displayed as a result.

But yes, NoScript easily takes care of 60-70% of it and AdBlock helps clean up the rest. I don't think Ghostery is necessary with them (or even a good idea, given who owns it).

Comment Re:BASH (Score 1) 373

Windows now runs Linux binaries.

Hopefully it works better than last time.

You can run an entire Linux DE now naively under Windows

Well, according to Wikipedia, the new Windows Subsystem for Linux cannot run graphical applications. I guess you can get around this by running a separate X server for Windows. I used Cygwin's X server years ago with good results but it looks like some people have had trouble getting more complicated applications to work.

On the bright side, maybe this means we can finally install systemd on Windows 10! One can only imagine what their combined powers are capable of.

Comment Re:The Republicans want to make everyone work (Score 2) 1144

If you haven't figured out, the founding mantra of the USA is "equal opportunity, not equal outcome".

But UBI has nothing to do with equal outcome. It's about a minimum outcome, and takes the place of a myriad of support programs we already have in place to give people something to fall back on when they've got nothing else. Social Security, food stamps, unemployment, tax credits, etc -- these programs are already funded via taxes (yes, social security is more like mandated retirement planning) and would be eliminated with a UBI program. The savings in administrative overhead alone would be enormous.

encourages mediocrity and abuse

I think few people would be content with nothing more than the UBI, but if they are, then so be it. As for abuse, how can you abuse something for which everyone is eligible?

Venezuela as the latest example

This is a meaningless comparison. The Venezuelan economy has little in common with that of the US. As a single data point, in 2013 its GDP per capita was about $14,000 while the US was $53,000.

I'm not saying that a UBI is a surefire good idea, but it also shouldn't be dismissed out-of-hand as a replacement to our current welfare systems.

Comment Re:So what is YOUR plan? (Score 4, Insightful) 406

I'm completely fine with investigating ISIS sympathizers

How do you identify ISIS sympathizers without violating people's rights? Or do you just take the route a disturbing number of politicians have and legislate away annoying things like the Fourth Amendment, and put everyone under mass surveillance? And then, even if you do find someone who sympathizes with ISIS (perhaps even through an open confession), what would you do about it?

There's no law against having dangerous or stupid opinions (as evidenced by the "presumptive Republican presidential nominee", a phrase I'm getting all to tired of hearing). As long as someone doesn't take action themselves, or encourage others to do so, they're free to tell the world they think ISIS is just peachy keen and doin' Allah's work.

Regardless, this stale bullshit Newt is spewing is just another step on the road to the Thought Police. Reading something, even batshit religious propaganda, should never be a crime, no matter how long we've been at war with Eurasia.

Comment Re:Rent-Seeking (Score 4, Insightful) 157

Home and Pro have no sign of moving to a subscription plan at this point.

Are you sure? Does it need to be in 150-foot tall neon for it to qualify as a "sign"?

Given the direction they've taken consumer and enterprise Office, the newly announced enterprise Windows subscriptions, and the claim that "Windows 10 is the last version of Windows", what other conclusion can be made? And on top of that, desktop sales have slowed as newer machines tend to last users a lot longer than they historically did. With all this in mind I think it's entirely reasonable to deduce that within a year or two all editions of Windows will be sold via subscription.

The real question is what they will do with existing installations. Will there be a year or two grace period after which point your license expires and will require a subscription renewal? Or will they allow existing licenses to continue in perpetuity? Will offline installation still be possible or will yearly renewals be required via phone for disconnected machines? Either way, Microsoft will probably price it such that they even claim it's a "savings" because the "average user" would have spent more to upgrade Windows every two years than they will in subscription fees.

Comment Re:What is fluency? (Score 1) 331

What is fluent?

I would expect someone claiming to be fluent in a programming language to be able to sit down, cold, and write code in that language which would compile (or interpret) without syntax error and solve the problem at hand. If interviewing for a job, they should be able to whiteboard with the language without hesitation. If you cannot do this, you are not fluent with the language, but you might be familiar with it. Most people probably will not be fluent unless they're actually writing code with the language on a regular basis. Whether or not a job opening requires fluency probably depends on the amount of time available to get the new hire productive; if they need to learn C++ from scratch that just increases the training overhead, no matter how proficient they are with Smalltalk.

Frameworks should fall into a separate bucket. As you say, there are hundreds and more all the time. Being familiar with the most common is a good idea, since they're used so often, but experience with a framework should only be a plus and not a requirement.

Comment Re:Not a surprise... (Score 2) 293

Facebook is a private company.

No, they are not. Even ignoring commonly recognized and respected social responsibilities, they are, at the very least, responsible to their shareholders (the public).

Facebook can do whatever it wants, and allow whatever it wants to be shown on its site.

Also not true. They must obey the law, same as anyone else.

Reality is nuanced and multi-faceted, and sweeping generalizations are rarely insightful and usually don't add much to a discussion.

The reason this matters has little to do with what Facebook is allowed to do, and much more to do with what they should do. For better or worse (hint: worse), Facebook has become "the Internet" to billions of people. Anytime you have such broad influence over so many, morals and good stewardship become much more important.

Comment Re:Definition? (Score 5, Informative) 116

On github, what constitutes being a valid target for a DMCA takedown?

Well, you can look at the full list of DMCA complaints they have received and see for yourself.

I randomly looked through them and many appear to be pretty reasonable. Many are related to simple copyright infringement, such as storing textbooks or published homework and test questions and answers. This isn't surprising, as GitHub is basically just a place you can store files.

Some say the code or data is internal or non-public and was uploaded without permission. There are also a bunch from Qualcomm complaining about firmware images and driver code. VMWare complained about internal roadmap documentation.

Some are just files with links to other materials, such as TV shows and movies. Sony and Marvel make appearances.

The line blurs some for others. There are HTML5 versions of classic games, such as ones from Nintendo and Blizzard, that got pulled down. A few companies appear to have searched GitHub for serial numbers and license keys of their products, and requested the entire repo be pulled if it contains a single file with a serial number in it. Many of these appear to be honest mistakes and have counter-notices.

In any case, it's nice to see GitHub being transparent. The DMCA requests themselves are pretty interesting, but since the vast majority of the targeted repos are no longer accessible, it's hard to gauge how justifiable most of the complains really were.

Comment Re: Potentially more abuse prone than the H1B vis (Score 1) 355

It's definitely true that some of the Clinton policies did directly contribute to the crash of 2008

I'm pretty sure the GP is referring to the dot-com bubble, and the subsequent burst in late 2000, early 2001. The argument is that a big part of the "successful Clinton economy" during the 90s was due to riding the formation of the bubble. George Bush, for all his many (many) faults, did get left holding the bag when it finally burst while Clinton is remembered for the honeymoon.

But of course you're also right about Clinton's role in 2008.

Comment Re:HTML is still better than Flash (Score 1) 108

But I can just not install flash. What's the best way to get rid of html5 video?

A reasonable approach is an ad-blocker to outright block the most obvious and egregious crap, and enabling Click to Play on the rest.

In Firefox you can set media.autoplay.enabled to false, which will disable auto-playing videos. Some sites (including YouTube) act a little wonky and require two or three clicks (the first is interpreted as "Pause" since it assumes the video is already playing). Even with this I've found it to be a lot nicer with fewer auto-play videos, especially on news websites which seem to think they need an auto-play video to go with every 10-sentence article.

Comment Re:movie theaters (Score 1) 482

Why do people feel unable to watch a movie, and actually concentrate on what's going on, without feeling the need to eat continuously? Do not eat in the Cinema, ever. It's rude, and it's uncivilised.

I completely agree with you, but I think we're in the minority these days. I rarely go to the movies, but happened to be at one a week ago. The person next to me had a tray brought to him with, and I'm not kidding:

huge drink
a "personal" pizza
couple boxes of candy
huge popcorn
good-sized ice cream sundae

It was comically sad, and the noise was absurd. People say stuffing their faces with sugar water and buttered cardboard is "part of the experience" -- okay, fine. They should have special theaters set aside for those people. Stick them in with the noisy kids as well, since neither group seems all that interested in the movie.

Unfortunately seeing as movie theaters make 85% of their profits from concessions, this will never change (and will probably just get worse). Maybe this is the single saving grace of 3D movies -- it's slightly harder to shovel crap into your mouth while wearing the glasses.

Comment Re:Mandatory Addon Signing (Score 2) 129

In my experience, 99% of the time, it's because it makes some unmaintained addons not work. Or they simply think issues with it aren't being addressed, despite Mozilla delaying in part to address any issues that are raised.

Once in a while you get someone who thinks that it's creating a "walled garden", but they're people who clearly have no idea what a walled garden is, or don't know how easy it is to bypass the restriction if they really wish to, or how easy it is to get non-questionable addons signed. Those people don't have much of an argument that doesn't boil down to "I don't trust Mozilla enough to let them do this, though I paradoxically trust them enough to run their browser in the first place."

The fundamental problem with mandatory addon signing is that it goes directly against what free and open software is all about. Freedom to use, modify, extend, and share. When Mozilla tells me that I cannot extend Firefox via an addon unless it gets the Mozilla Blessing, the browser is no longer free software. It doesn't matter if there's a special "Exempt Edition" for developers, or if they will currently automatically sign all addons. Their intent is clear and the road to hell has been paved.

To add insult to injury, the reasoning behind this misfeature is asinine. They claim "security" to protect users from malicious addons installed without the user's consent. Just two reasons why this is absurd on the face of it:

* A user with a compromised computer is already compromised. They have much bigger problems than a rogue browser addon.
* Addons are automatically signed by uploading them to AMO.

And to address your points:

* It does make unmaintained addons cease to function. Mozilla worked around this by automatically signing all extensions currently on AMO.

* The feature has been delayed not because of "issues being addressed" but because Mozilla knows it will be a shitstorm which will push even more people away from the browser.

* It is a walled garden -- however the walls are short and don't have razor-wire strung along the top.

Mandatory addon signing goes against every principle Firefox was build under.

Comment Mandatory Addon Signing (Score 3, Informative) 129

For the curious, sanity continues to prevail: mandatory addon signing has been pushed back again and xpinstall.signatures.required continues to function. Originally planned for version 46 it's now sitting at a possible version 48 release. With any luck the entire idea will be scrapped, but I encourage anyone who disagrees with this horrible signing policy to voice their opinion.

Comment Re:alt-f4 (Score 4, Funny) 664

Maybe - except that Microsoft already take it as "OK" if you close the window.

ALT+F4 sends the WM_CLOSE message to a window, where the default message handler cleans up and closes the window. Reassigning that to call the same method that the OK or Save buttons do would be against conventions, convoluted, dastardly, and require malicious intent.

So.... yeah. It probably launches the Windows 10 update installer immediately.

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