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Comment They're doing what politicians must.. (Score 0) 146

As the Brexit poll showed a few days ago, there is a large percentage of any population that is completely out of touch with reality, and this proposal is no different. Such scare tactics basically pander to the lowest-common-denominator voters out there, giving them yet another feel-good measure that accomplishes nothing much besides giving everyone else a headache. Because it clearly is something that any rational person would conclude cannot be properly carried out unless those who are asking for it do not understand the very nature of the Internet.

But more to the point, it generally reflects a disconnect between those of us who spend our a large part of our lives on this new global network, and the aging population who stopped discovering new things back around the time Faulty Towers was popular (but who very much still vote, once again as evidenced by their decision to leave the EU, when the whole thing was really an anti-immigrantion ploy) and are content with BBC2 programs on the telly.

Again, the sole purpose of these types of legislative measures is to escape blame, look strong on what's considered 'bad behavior', distract people away from the actual and real pressing issues that would take a lot to address, and get more votes (whatever it takes).

Comment The pattern is clear (Score 2) 189

This is only the beginning of the systematic rape of users and their data. Once tech companies have passed certain milestones in terms of size and user base, this power they hold over the plumbing infallibly goes to their collective heads.

Just as Microsoft with the Windows 10 upgrades. It's merely a confirmation that we must find ways around entrusting our digital assets to such 'for-profit' outfits. They're obviously banking their entire business model on the fact that they will be able to monetize the user data for far more than what it's costing them, offering "free" as a way to entice them in.

While it's not sexy, there needs to be the open-source equivalent, sort of what Android is to Windows but for social networks. Something that is community-supported, and allows people more freedom, even if the price is less curation and more chaos. Sort of like... The Internet?

Comment Maybe there is a life cycle to these services (Score 2) 151

One viewpoint: The novelty of it was intoxicating for a good bit, but truthfully why would we keep spending inordinate amounts of time lavishing over other people's mundane, narcissistic and self-referential postings is a good question; that is, outside of the type who religiously buys gossip magazine at the supermarket checkout counter?

Arguably these mega-networks have killed off many specialized community boards and once-thriving discussion groups. Perhaps some of them will make a comeback, safely outside of the constant fake stimuli that could drive anyone to ADD by being subjected to the never-ending barrage of unwanted information, "The Assault Of Status Updates"?

Other more likely viewpoint: I personally doubt the above; more probably and since there are a finite number of people on the planet, and given their massive sizes, it's just that the statistics indicate that they are slowly starting to run out of new customers.

Comment This is exactly one of the reasons... (Score 3, Insightful) 148

...why I do not currently have it installed on my mobile device.

I found their mobile app to be so intrusive, I uninstalled it after a day of trying it out. The cherry on the cake was that of course, you can't even turn the freaking thing off, which is what I had first tried to do unsuccessfully. Only by going online and searching for this did the bleak reality of it become apparent.

You might call me naive, but I had never come across an app that you can't turn off. The only way to stop it is to deinstall it altogether and wipe the cached data. I guess it must have been determined to be a good feature in order to 'maximize shareholder value' ? Because obviously it's not the sort of thing that can just happen by accident.

So given this heavy-handed approach I wouldn't call it far-fetched in the least that they would decide to parse audio in order to squeeze in contextual advertising.

Meantime, this really brings back on the table the greater issue which is: why are people falling for this free service when they are giving so much more value with all of their personal data than what it would cost as a subscription service of say.... $3 a month or less. I hope that a credible open-source alternative does surface that can perform most of the same functions without the 'walled garden' and incredibly pushy approach they are increasingly taking, not to say anything of their arbitrary algorithmic censorship and heavy-handed monetizing initiatives.

Comment Another study I would love to see results on (Score 1) 642

My empirical findings are that most people who make those mistakes ("I would of", "They're/there/their", "your/you're", etc...) are 'millennials', native American speakers who most likely went to school in the US and often appear a few steps removed from functional illiteracy. This because texting probably accounts for the majority of their writing. For whatever reason it seems to me that -even though they may have other glaring grammatical issues- most foreigners who write in English are far less likely to make these sorts of embarrassing typos.

While some of these are most certainly due to autocorrect, it still remains that many of the errors I mentioned above are due to those writers being lazy, complacent, not bothered in the least; the part of me that tries to write nicely as a way to show respect to the readers gets a bit flustered when I am subjected to witnessing our language sinking in slow-motion into machine-assisted idiocracy.

I would indeed love to see a study illustrating what proportion of those making these constant and embarrassing blunders are claiming English as their first language.

Yes, the phones are so very smart. But what does that make the users?

Comment Commenters should read the full article first (Score 4, Insightful) 191

It pains me to have to point this out, but it seems as if the weekend anti-copyright knee-jerk brigade is out in force today. What Hastings was roughly saying appeared far from shocking or outrage-provoking.

Obviously, if they don't want to be in breach of contract Netflix are legally obligated to abide by the covenants of whatever agreement(s) they've entered into with content owners. He's merely saying this to appear to do what they expect his company to prevent, this in order to keep securing more licenses for their content; and further he adds that he's very aware of what customers want, only it's going to take time to reach a universal licensing model. Except for programs they fund themselves, one would assume.

I mean, who are we kidding here? Obviously, with them using around 37% of the entire Internet's bandwidth as of 2015 stats, one would think that Netflix is keenly aware that it's just a pointless exercise of whack-a-mole, but the balding pointy-headed head of the licensing department at 19thCenturyFax might not quite be as savvy with technology, and could actually believe that the VPNing can be stopped. (in reality, none of them are dumb enough to assume something so silly, but their point simply validates the low-hanging fruit theory to get maximal return for a small investment of time and resources.)

If people are serious about using VPNs, then they'll have to put in a bit of extra effort and spend a little more to get a reputable provider that will not fall victim to their pruning of the cheap or free VPN services. Again, nothing terribly earth-shattering here. One could therefore remark that it would seem reasonable to save the indignant tone for actually important things.

Comment All cynicism aside, it's a pretty small budget (Score 1) 81

If I am reading this right, 234.000 square kilometers are getting a grant of £300,000 ? That's around just a bit more than one UK pound per square kilometer.

Forgive me for pointing it out, but as the proverbial saying goes, it sure feels like such a paltry sum will amount to not much more than 'peeing in the ocean' in terms of effectiveness.

Great PR for cheap though...

Comment It first the pattern (Score 1) 241

Just like the grossly exaggerated claims that were made a few years ago by Edward Withacre (then CEO of SBC). Or so many other "industry heads" like the music execs who want to endlessly resell you different copies of music you've already purchased, whatever stands in their way of "maximizing shareholder dividends" is anathema, and should be destroyed at all cost. Consumers being nothing more than opportunities to fleece money from.

It's a pattern, a chronic need to do this; but a phenomenon which in no small part probably is also due to their need to posture for the home crowd in order to retain their cushy jobs. These people can't be that utterly dumb Rather, and whether we'd like to admit it or not, we'd do and say the same if we were in their position. Because to get to that position would have meant being capable of stepping over so many carcasses of dead rivals, and having burned so many bridges to get ahead that saying stuff like this is only a logical extension of this alpha-dog mindset.

TL;DR: meh nothing to see, business as usual, move along. No need to get worked up about another garden-variety troll comment.

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