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Comments

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A Skeptical View of Israel's Iron Dome Rocket Defense System

Blakey Rat Re:I've always thought that the best way for Israe (379 comments)

If you count the prices of the missiles launched at Israel, you'd have enough to get food to most of the Palestinians, to repair most of the buildings, to create medic centers, schools, ...

How could they repair the buildings, when the Israelis won't let them import building materials?

about three weeks ago
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Lessig's Mayday PAC Scrambling To Cross Crowd Funding Finish Line

Blakey Rat Re:Not a dime from me (117 comments)

"Allegedly" is right. The level of rhetoric here is nuts: Mayday's stated goal is to change the way that campaigns are funded such that each person (voter) can contribute equally to the campaigns of their choice.

That's the exact problem I have with it. It's an effective tax raise, and what happens to the money raised? It goes to support candidates I might vehemently disagree with. To buy them TV commercials. I find that pretty objectionable.

I have no issue with Lessig's end-goal here, I think it's noble and needed. But the way he's going about it is awful, and I won't be contributing money to it.

about a month ago
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Lessig's Mayday PAC Scrambling To Cross Crowd Funding Finish Line

Blakey Rat Re:Made it! (117 comments)

I have - they should be e-liminated, not limited.

Ok. Fine. That works too. But you're missing the point.

The issue I have with this entire thing is they want to use *my* tax money to buy ads for politicians I don't support. If they have another solution to the problem that doesn't involve spending my money, well great. But that's not what Lessig is soliciting money for right now. He's soliciting money to (effectively) raise my tax rate, with the additional funds going towards political campaigns.

I also have to wonder how many people actually read their proposal instead of the feel good vagueness on the homepage... it seems strange to me that $5 million-worth of donors would actually want this. But maybe I'm just projecting.

The system is purely money-driven, doubtful if the idea behind MAYDAY-PAC can change that, but worth a try.

If the problem is, "money has too much influence", I don't see how adding more money into the system could possibly change that. But hey, whatever.

about a month ago
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Lessig's Mayday PAC Scrambling To Cross Crowd Funding Finish Line

Blakey Rat Re:Made it! (117 comments)

I have no problem with laws *limiting* campaign donations. If Lessig's campaign was aimed at that goal, I might even contribute myself.

But I do have a problem with the government taking my tax money, and giving it to some political candidate so they can buy TV commercials. That is what both of his proposals involve.

As for your aversion of using tax money used - where do you think is all that corporate money coming from?

Whether or not it *does* come from there does not change the fact that it *should not* come from there.

about a month ago
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Lessig's Mayday PAC Scrambling To Cross Crowd Funding Finish Line

Blakey Rat Re:Made it! (117 comments)

If he's successful, he'll take tax money from you and 300 million others and give it to candidates running for office.

If he's unsuccessful, you'll be a sucker and we'll all be a lot better off.

about a month ago
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Damian Conway On Perl 6 and the Philosophy of Programming

Blakey Rat Re:syntax (132 comments)

This is true. But it is not a weakness of the language

Yes it is. Programming languages are designed for human beings to use. If it's difficult for human beings to use them, that is 100% a weakness of the programming language.

I don't know what you think programming languages are for if not humans.

about a month ago
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Damian Conway On Perl 6 and the Philosophy of Programming

Blakey Rat Re:syntax (132 comments)

Human brains are finite. The simpler* a language is, the more likely the developer can fit the entire thing in his head and still have room for the actual problem he's trying to solve.

If your programming language is unusable without weeks of rote-memorization, it's a bad language. That's not to say C# or VB.Net are better languages than Perl; just that your argument to the contrary doesn't make sense.

The best, ideal, language would have near-zero cognitive load, so none of the programmer's memory is consumed for the quirks of the language and all of it is available for the problem being solved.

*) Simpler being defined as, "easier to fit in your head", which is completely circular definition but you get what I'm getting at I hope. I think nobody would argue that JavaScript is simpler than Perl, for example.

about a month ago
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Fabien Cousteau Takes Plunge To Beat Grandfather's Underwater Record

Blakey Rat Re:I don't understand how this is a "record" (84 comments)

Hm. Ok, good point.

Then I guess the question is, "why the hell is this newsworthy?"

Alternate headline: "Guy Does Something 10,000+ People Have Already Done"

about a month ago
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Fabien Cousteau Takes Plunge To Beat Grandfather's Underwater Record

Blakey Rat I don't understand how this is a "record" (84 comments)

Ballistic missile submarines regularly spend 80+ days underwater, even during peacetime. How is 30 days a record?

about a month ago
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Group Demonstrates 3,000 Km Electric Car Battery

Blakey Rat Re:Automatic swap (363 comments)

That won't happen, because I'd never want to put some random dude's old leaky-ass battery in my brand new car.

Yes I know the batteries would be "inspected" by someone, but there's a huge trust barrier there when a $50,000 car can be ruined by a $50 battery swap. (Or whatever it ends up costing.)

This is one of those ideas that big-brained engineers love, but the general public will never embrace.

about 2 months ago
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Microsoft Confirms Disconnecting Kinect Gives Devs 10% More GPU Horsepower

Blakey Rat Re:MS likely screwed themselves over (174 comments)

1) Microsoft doesn't dictate what controller icons developers use. If they happen to use Xbox 360 icons as the standard, that's due to convenience only. There's no conspiracy.

Similarly, whether the controller support is good or horrible depends exclusively on the developer of the game itself. The only component of the solution Microsoft writes is the driver, and I can verify the driver does the extremely simple job it's supposed to be doing.

2) This statement:

With the way MS forced the X360 controller on PC, it's no wonder it took them forever to make a compatible driver.

Doesn't make any sense. What does "Microsoft forcing the Xbox 360 controller on PC" (even assuming your conspiracy theory were true) have to do with creating drivers for the Xbox One controller? What is the causal relationship there? I don't get it.

about 2 months ago
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Valve Sponsors Work To Greatly Speed-Up Linux OpenGL Game Load Times

Blakey Rat Re:And still linux sucks (202 comments)

It certainly doesn't help that development and distribution on Linux sucks ass, so porting to Linux is a huge time-sink compared to porting to OS X. Unless you pick a specific distro and *only* support that, in which case the Linux fans who yesterday were begging you to port the software are now bitching that you built it for the "wrong" distro.

Then your support costs run up the roof, because even in the "correct" distro people can install the "wrong" windowing system or sound subsystem or what-not, which becomes a support nightmare. So you pay more to port, then you pay more to support the port, then...

when you're done, nobody buys the thing anyway because "information wants to be free" and, shockingly, a community based primarily around a free-of-cost OS and making their own free clones of commercial products doesn't like paying money for things.

This stalemate isn't likely to change unless there is a major cultural shift in the Linux community.

about 3 months ago
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"Smart" Gun Seller Gets the Wrong Kind of Online Attention

Blakey Rat Re:Just what I need when I'm in danger (1374 comments)

Ok so you don't like the gun.

And that makes harassing and threatening this person acceptable because...?

about 3 months ago
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Snowden Used the Linux Distro Designed For Internet Anonymity

Blakey Rat Re:NSA boogeyman (171 comments)

A Tor developer? Being paranoid? Shocking!

No, I'm sorry, when I say "evidence" what I mean is, and try to follow along here, "evidence". Not anecdotes. Not scary bumping noises in the night. Evidence.

about 4 months ago
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Snowden Used the Linux Distro Designed For Internet Anonymity

Blakey Rat NSA boogeyman (171 comments)

'The NSA has been pressuring free software projects and developers in various ways,' the group says.

Did they provide evidence for this claim?

about 4 months ago
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Should Microsoft Give Kids Programmable Versions of Office?

Blakey Rat Re:A better question (226 comments)

Well, in the case of Linux, it appears the answer is: "constant in-fighting and general incompetence." Next question? I'm an expert at these ones!

about 4 months ago
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Should Microsoft Give Kids Programmable Versions of Office?

Blakey Rat Re:No. (226 comments)

I agree that Visual Basic .NET is a lot less "learnable" (for lack of a better word) than old-school Visual Basic.

But what feature do you think the Express version of Visual Studio lacks for this use? (Ignoring for a moment that students generally can get a full version of VS for very cheap or free through their school.) Why the all-caps on the word "FULL"?

Hell, from my experience, most actual dev shops don't even use the FULL ("Ultimate") version of Visual Studio, the standard edition is fine for 99.9% of use-cases.

about 4 months ago
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Should Microsoft Give Kids Programmable Versions of Office?

Blakey Rat Should Microsoft X? Should Microsoft Y? (226 comments)

Should Microsoft be forced to support XP? Should Microsoft give kids Office? Should Microsoft start making hybrid cars out of farm waste?

Maybe a better question should be: does any decision-maker at Microsoft give a tenth of a fuck about what any Slashdot poster has to say? I'm wagering the answer to that one is: no.

about 4 months ago
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Microsoft: Start Menu Returns, Windows Free For Small Device OEMs, Cortana Beta

Blakey Rat Re:This still creates a coverage gap for a lot of (387 comments)

What stopped you from upgrading to Windows 7 anytime in literally the last 4 years? ... for that matter, what's stopping you from upgrading to Windows 7 tomorrow?

about 3 months ago

Submissions

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Your Site Leaks - Optimizing Checkout Forms

Blakey Rat Blakey Rat writes  |  more than 5 years ago

Blakey Rat writes "As visitors move through your site and enter the shopping cart area, they become increasingly valuable to you. But too often site owners take for granted visitors who have already clicked an "Order Now," "Purchase" or "Sign Up" button and assume that they are now safely on their way to converting. The reality is that almost 60% of users will drop off (leak) between hitting the button, and completing the process. This blog entry gives you a list of quick and easy fixes to stop your website leaks. Thing of it as digital caulk."
Link to Original Source
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Blakey Rat Blakey Rat writes  |  more than 7 years ago

Blakey Rat writes "I have one of those problems that you'd think would be easy to solve until you actually start solving it. I have a folder of important files I want synced and backed-up in one step across three computers: my desktop G5 tower, my iBook laptop, and my generic Windows XP SP2. The theory is that every time I save a file on one of the computers, it is uploaded to online storage somewhere (serving as a backup), and the other two computers would detect that and update their local copy of the file. With the laptop, I'd like the files available offline, as it's frequently in locations with no Internet connection, or an Internet connection so flakey it might as well not exist.

So far I've tried Apple's .Mac service, which includes iDisk syncing software. While iDisk has an offline files mode it frequently fails when copying multiple files into it, claiming it needs to resolve conflicts for thousands of files where no actual conflicts exist. I've tried setting up a WebDAV folder on my web hosting account, but OS X fails when copying files to it with mysterious "insufficient permissions" errors that I can't figure out how to solve. In addition, OS X seems to have no offline files mode for WebDAV shares. I currently use rsync to do backups, but I don't know if it can be set it up to notify me when sync conflicts occur. A friend also recommended setting up something using MacFUSE, but it's version number is still 0.2 which doesn't help me trust important files to it, and the setup seems very complicated.

I'm looking for something that's easy-to-use, can mount as a disk in OS X and Windows XP, has an offline files mode, and can resolve conflicts when they occur. Bonus points if I can use my existing web hosting account as storage, and I'm not opposed to commercial software if it gets the job done. I'd also prefer something that encrypts data traveling over the network and is at least version 1.0. Can anybody offer any suggestions?"
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Blakey Rat Blakey Rat writes  |  more than 7 years ago

Blakey Rat writes "Google has committed to buying DoubleClick for $3.1 Billion after outbidding Microsoft and Yahoo for the online advertising company. From the New York Times article:

The sale offers Google access to DoubleClick's advertisement software and, more importantly, its relationships with Web publishers, advertisers and advertising agencies.
"

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