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Comment The problem with ads is the browser/network (Score 4, Insightful) 287

It's not ads per se that are annoying, it's how they affect the browsing experience. Reading Slashdot a few seconds ago - I read one or two sentences of an article, then an image loaded and reformatted the page and the paragraph I was reading disappeared. Found it again, read half a sentence and another image loaded and it disappeared again. I don't have time to chase my article all over the screen. On other sites, I'll read half a paragraph, then it will suddenly wipe everything out (not just scroll it off the screen) while it tries to load some huge object from the network. Or half the page will come down, then stop while it hangs trying to do a DNS lookup or load a giant Flash video from some ad network that's not responding, but none of the remaining text will load while it hangs. This happens so much that I've either stopped reading some sites, or installed ad blockers on computers that I use often. I don't hate the ads - I maybe click on one or two a year - if that's enough to keep things profitable I have no objection. What's unacceptable is the way they negatively impact what I'm actually trying to do.

Comment Re:Opportunity (Score 1) 272

I also think that this sounds like libel. IANAL obviously, but it also sounds like things other things people commonly sue for, like "interference with business relationships" or "destruction of reputation". Certainly if having the bogus claim filed causes the hosting site to block your account or prevent you from posting additional content just because of the claim being filed. Is there some explicit protection in the law against being sued in this way?

Comment How is this not identity theft? (Score 1) 163

I see no problem in limiting bandwidth when necessary. The real problem is the mechanism, which is essentially fraud. It would be very surprising if Google couldn't legally stop another company from certifying themselves to be Google if they really are not. After all, corporations are people now, right?

Comment I've long since given up (Score 2) 247

My routine way of logging onto anything that I hit less than once a week is to automatically click on the "I forgot my password" button and reset via email without even attempting to remember it. That basically makes all passwords equivalent to my gmail password, but since anyone with the gmail could do that any time they wanted it's no loss of security. It's a little inconvenient, but not as inconvenient as trying to remember 100 unique passwords.

Comment Douchbags (Score 2) 247

For the same reason the TSA acts the way they do. If you take security to insane extremes such that everyone is always massively inconvenienced, you can never be blamed for not doing enough, no matter what happens. And there's an implicit assumption that if you've moved onto crazy extreme measures, you must have already exhausted all the less extreme measures.

Comment Re:Not that great of a car analogy... (Score 1) 129

'It would be like forcing car manufacturers to take responsibility for bad drivers.'" The government used to require car makers to include dashboard lights to tell drivers when to shift their manual transmission in order to get better mileage.Indirectly, in that other methods could have been used to, but they required car makers to help drivers get better mileage with some technique.
Input Devices

Equatorial Mounts For Budget Astrophotography? 85

Timoris writes "With the Perseids approaching rapidly, I am looking for a good beginner's motorized equatorial mount for astrophotography. I have seen a few for $150 to $200, but apparently the motor vibrations make for poor photographs. Orion makes good mounts, but are out of my price range ($350) and the motor is sold separately, adding to the price half over again. Does anyone have any good experience with any low- or mid-priced mounts?"

Comment Re:Turing Test? (Score 1) 184

I failed five times in a row, then I read the article. It says humans can "learn" to tell the difference between the series, not that they can tell immediately. However the quote says "It's not hard to see why. In feedback sessions, the players say that the real data was smoother than the randomised data or vice versa and that these patterns were easy to spot after a few goes". So it sounds like people actually don't know how they're recognizing the patterns. Actually, I'd bet you could construct data that would fool people if you superimposed a few random series with different periods, say: quarterly, weekly, daily, etc.

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