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Comment Re:We should hide from Sterilizer civilizations (Score 1) 1015

It's impossible, at this time, to really know with a degree of certainty. But my intuition (take it for what it is) tells me that some forms of ethics are mostly universal.

I am sure we are free to destroy our own civilization and even our own biosphere. But going after another civilization like that, or even destroying a biosphere like some want to do to the potential Martian biosphere, would put us on a probation of sorts.

I don't claim to know the answers or possess any hidden knowledge. It just seems to me this behavior is as universally despised as many ethical principles are universal to humanity.

There probably are civilizations out there who don't care about it, just as we have our own political factions who have abandoned human morality. But I doubt they are the rule and I doubt we will encounter a civilization like that anytime soon.

Earth really is located very far from likely locations of civilizations that span entire star systems. For that you need a star cluster. We don't live in a star cluster. We are sitting out here in isolation.

Comment Re:We should hide from Sterilizer civilizations (Score 1) 1015

Similar to Clark and Baxter's Time Odyssey series. It's definitely worth considering. But consider the situation those two authors confronted. They had no idea how to construct a meaningful motivation for such a civilization to exist. So they only wrote about their characters speculating about the motives -- because that was as far as they could go.

My problem with this scenario is that I can't think of *any* reason for such a civilization to even care enough to announce themselves to us or reply to our own announcement. What resources can be found on Earth that are not found *everywhere* else in any metal-rich star system? There is no reason to even bother with a world like Earth unless you specifically want to exploit the biosphere of that planet.

Then consider that we are kind of screwed with respect to contact. Earth belongs to a star that is very far from the most probably locations for large civilizations: star clusters. If we instead lived in a typical star cluster, would *see* hundreds of nearby stars in our night sky brighter than any planet in our own solar system. If those systems also produce technological civilizations, we would be able to communicate with delays of a generation or so. We could very easily exchange knowledge and our technological progress would far exceed the acceleration we see today. So to would our drive to get off this world and reach out.

We are in the middle of nowhere. There is nothing special about our star system or our planet other than the fact that it produced intelligent life and technology. Extermination if pointless. There exists far more resources than any civilization will need. If you can cross the galaxy, you can harness most of the energy from a single star. You can collect asteroids and other small bodies for all your natural resources. You could probably create your own worlds if you really wanted to do so.

Comment Re:It's the freeloaders time (Score 2, Insightful) 1051

But why does Ars not just manage the ads themselves? If ad revenue is so important to their bottom-line, then outsourcing the business represents poor business planning. I say that for the entire web industry. Don't buy into the Google and Doubleclick nonsense. Sell your ads directly. *You* know which products and services your readers would find most interesting. Become a businessman and make your sales pitch to them. Sell the ad space directly. Construct your own guidelines about the nature, content, and behavior of these ads. Embed them yourself in the pages you serve. Let's not pretend like this is difficult either. It's just a script that generates a page for each user. You have cookies to keep track of them. Most people don't block cookies from the sites they visit, but rather the third-party sites.

When the web began, this is EXACTLY how people did it. The entire .com boom was born from people doing EXACTLY what I just said. It is feasible, good business, *and* you can sleep at night.

Comment Re:Your model is wrong (Score 1) 1051

The problem with advertising on the internet is that people who want to advertise are not considering customs. When people watch television, they expect to see commercials. It has become a part of social life. When we go to a movie theater, we expect film advertisements before the show but not during it. When we read a newspaper, we expect ads to be printed in a certain way. If we want to buy something online, we go to something like craigslist, Amazon, or we just search for it.

But it is not our social custom to just click on ads blinking on the screen when we are not looking for something to buy. Our brains just blocked it out. When advertisers realized that, they became increasingly aggressive. They even went as far to become malicious. Now peoples' perception of browsing is that they must do it safely. Because of all the malware propagated through ads and the methods these advertisers use, this kind of business is effectively dead.

Comment Re:It's the freeloaders time (Score 5, Insightful) 1051

Then figure out another way to make money. If you business model is based upon annoying the shit out everybody, ripping through cycles, and just peddling bullshit on your website, then just have the guts to fail instead of begging people to play along with your stupid business plan.

Half of the people out there with Windows machines infested with malware got that malware because they DID NOT use privacy and security extensions. So we are all supposed to pretend like this practice a good idea just so somebody can continue making money on a business model we have known is a failed concept for almost a decade?

It's a bad idea. If you want to sell something, then just write it out in your html. Don't play games with your customers' privacy and security. Let's not forget that these adservers also act as data collectors which threaten our privacy in rather serious circumstances.

When a newspaper runs ads, it is not jammed right in the middle of an article. It doesn't jump of the fucking page and flash in red letters. It doesn't create another newspaper filled with bullshit ads and malware and shoot it out at your face. But when we are talking about ads on the web, that is exactly what is happening. We are never talking about people just putting a sales pitch and graphic embedded in the html.

Just modify the scripts that generate your pages to insert the ads yourself. Don't use third parties. Don't fuck with your users. You might be surprised by the result.

Comment Re:I have a higher functioning autistic child (Score 1) 419

When you child is autistic, there are lots of signs very early on. You will just no something is different. Typically their language delays is the first major sign. If you catch it really early, you can go along way by getting them to therapy as early as possible. My son had a lot of difficulties with sleep (I know, but this is above and beyond). He required constant rocking or swinging motion (at the same pace) along with counting. By the time he was two, all he did was count things and sort toys. Play was not the same for him at first. There was little imaginative play and a special kind of play that really was an exploration of details and reality. For autistic children, everything tends to be literal. He was eligible for early childhood education where his teachers also suspected it just after age 3. We took him to a neurologist who, after a few visits, made the diagnosis. This isn't something you can just diagnose yourself. You need help from doctors and state educational services.

Comment Re:I have a higher functioning autistic child (Score 1) 419

Einstein *was* autistic. A great many autistics have enormous talent one or two areas. These talents start to show up by the third birthday. I have a five-year-old who understands mathematics he will be taught three years from now. Other autistic children have super photographic memory. They can remember every little detail of some location for the rest of their lives. My son started pointing places out and asking if I remember a particular event that occurred a year or more ago. These are not powerful events. In neuro-typical minds, such memories would lose salience and be forgotten.

Comment I have a higher functioning autistic child (Score 3, Insightful) 419

and he can run circles around most other children his age. He began learning mathematics by age two. By age five, he knows more about the solar system then many adults. He even understand, in principle, the behavior of celestial mechanics (though he doesn't understand why, he is still only five). The reason I say this is because most autistics don't need special jobs nobody else will fill. Most of them are better than average people. They fall behind because the educational system failed them. They were not given therapy and support at a very early age. People really have no idea my son is autistic at this time. He has learned skills to adapt. But he still has his autistic strengths. Data entry and software testing are for muggles. Autistics are meant to be software engineers, software architects, scientists, mathematicians. This company is capitalizing on the failure of society to properly develop its autistic children.

Comment Re:Sweet (Score 1) 481

Am I wrong to assume that, technically, the Congress has the authority to abolish or alter the patent and copyright laws any way it sees fit -- given that they don't violate the other provisions of the Constitution? So why do we keep hoping we can fix this in court? Why not stop voting for these same old crusty clowns. Rejoice the day the baby boomers whine their way off the playing field forever and just clean up their shit.

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