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Comment What we have vs. what we want (Score 4, Interesting) 318

A conversation about the internet that is long, long overdue: Is what we *have* what we *want*, and if not, what can be done about it?

What we HAVE is a global network that will never, ever let you forget that silly thing you did whilst young and drunk that everyone thought was so hilarious at the time.

Is that really what we want?

Something as simple as dropping obscure older material down the search rankings would have a whole bunch of potentially nice effects. It would make the embarassments of your past harder to find. It would make shitty documentation for older programming languages to finally get superceded by the more modern stuff (if you've never encountered some novice following "best practice" from a document that was written when CGI ruled the web, I envy you). It would leave the content as available as ever, but drop the older and largely less-relevant stuff out of circulation.

The instant flood of responses being trotted out here along the lines of "Teh internet nevar forgets! n00b! l0l!!" are a sad reflection of how little thought people want to give a genuinely interesting question: Is the internet that's evolved over the past few decades really as good as it can be? And I'll be honest, if you really can't think of a single thing that could be done to improve it, I submit you're too ignorant to have an opinion on the subject.

So if we assume that some changes *could* make it better.. what's your proposal for deciding what those changes are, and how they should be made? Right now, the only mechanism going seems to be not-very-well-informed politicians proposing laws and waiting for them to be either passed or laughed down.

If you've got some ingenious way of working out how to make things better, start talking about it. Otherwise, maybe just sit down and shut up whilst other people try.

Comment Re: Isn't that click fraud? (Score 1) 285

(1) Nonsense, people cheerfully pay for all manner of internet services. Spotify, Netflix, etc. etc. Even Google, the patron saint of spying on people to advertise effectively, has finally started the process of simply allowing people to give them money so they don't have to bother with ads.

(2) Yes. Because, despite the enormous amount of effort the advertising industry has made to try and stop people noticing: Advertising is not the only way to make money off a website. Adverts are a tired, unpopular, ineffective way of raising cash. Their only virtue is they're no effort at all to use, so the lazy and unimaginative webmasters turn to them time and time again.

Comment Re:I wonder how much we can trust it (Score 4, Interesting) 68

Don't over-dramatise. This is a way of making it easy & convenient for non-techies to use Tor. Anyone with anything to hide - criminals, terrorists, activisits, whatever - will have long-since spent the 30 seconds it takes to find out how to use tools like Tor without buying a gadget for it.

Comment Re:I've been wondering why this took so long (Score 5, Insightful) 127

You think so?

As a Londoner, I've yet to encounter anyone who supported the Tube strikes: Everyone I know considers it near-criminal extortion and loves the notion of trains that aren't subject to strikes by drivers who are insanely over-paid already. The DLR has had them for years and nobody bats an eye.

What makes you think people need to be bribed with Wifi to get driverless trains into use?

Comment Re:Why is this news (Score 5, Informative) 145

> It's what they can expect every month end from now on.

No it isn't. Literally nothing has changed about the system other than it no longer mails you tax discs afterwards - nobody's leaving anything to the last minute now that wouldn't have before, NOTHING has changed. This is an "odd spike" caused by people seeing the story everywhere of "you can look your car up online!" so instead of the usual trickle of people going there to update their tax once a year, they're getting flooded by half the country going "Oo, a website, must click!"

The summary is BS, all the "before it's ready" is pure fantasy: This is a massive spike in visitors causing an outage, nothing else.

Comment WTF? BAD summary! (Score 2) 302

Seriously, I RTFA, AND the link on TFA to the original source. The guy just says he wants to open up a debate about how much policing of the Internet there should be. Where the FUCK did "get a license for a website" come from??? This isn't even a biased summary, it's flat-out misrepresentation. Get this shit off Slashdot.

Comment Re:Last Straw (Score 5, Insightful) 42

As an EU citizen, I was delighted when the "right to be forgotten" ruling began a debate that's long overdue about online privacy. And I have no problem with the company at the absolute forefront of gathering information about individuals being told "Tell people what you're gathering, yes it's your problem to make it accessible."

The Internet we HAVE, where all information that can be gained about a person is considered fair game, is not necessarily the one anyone actually WANTS. The EU should be applauded for insisting that actual thought be applied to what's going on instead of just allowing the endless procession of "Hey, we can do this! So we'll do it from now!"

You can call them "tech-incompetent", but I label people with your attitude "social-phobic". The only limit on what's happened on the internet since its inception is "What's technically possible?", it's about time the people who asked "What do we want to permit?" got some room at the table.

Comment Re:Technical People (Score 4, Informative) 194

"Lorem ipsum" is industry standard "filler" text for incomplete web pages - typically used to show clients what a page will look like when it has some useful content.

Not that it isn't appalling that it's appearing on a page in production, but it isn't "random Latin" - there are even browser extensions to make it easy to C&P for you.

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