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How Spurious Wikipedia Edits Can Attach a Name To a Scandal, 35 Years On

Jahta Re:Research (165 comments)

to find that the audience prefers misinfotainment over news. They demand entertainment over learning. Illusion over reality.

I am old enough to remember a day when the news was actually just that... News.... No opinion mixed in. Just the facts. When opinion was offered, usually after the real news, it was labeled as such.

Then media consolidation happened, the fairness doctrine was tossed and newsrooms nationwide were expected to turn a profit.

You've hit the nail on the head. If you haven't already, I'd recommend reading Flat Earth News. It covers how the new owners of news organisations increasingly cared more about sales (and advertising) than real news, cut their journalist head count (especially serious investigative journalists), and now get most of their content from a handful of agencies (which is why you see the same stories, often word-for-word, in multiple outlets).

about a week ago

Why the Trolls Will Always Win

Jahta Re:Being an asshole is not a crime (716 comments)

But acting upon it is.

Nobody really cares if you know a fool proof way to kill the prez (well, aside of some professional paranoiacs). As long as you don't act upon it, you're fine. If you DO, though, don't expect to remain free (or, for that matter, alive) for any measurable stretch of time.

Being an asshole may not be a crime. But threatening to kill somebody (whether you follow through or not) or spreading fabricated stories alleging criminal behavior to destroy somebody's good name is a crime. And rightly so.

The "I only posted it, so it's all OK" meme is part of the problem here.

about two weeks ago

Elon Musk: We Must Put a Million People On Mars To Safeguard Humanity

Jahta Re:Fixed (549 comments)

save some space for telephone sanitizers and hairdressers

Beat me to it! My first thought when I saw the headline was "Golgafrincham B Ark".

about three weeks ago

Now That It's Private, Dell Targets High-End PCs, Tablets

Jahta Re: Mind boggling (167 comments)

Quarter to quarter, hmm, a piece of crap this quarter is still a piece of crap next quarter.

The other side of that coin is that business goes in cycles; even fundamentally sound companies don't return bigger profits quarter, after quarter, after quarter.

Case in point: personal computing manufacturers typically have big Q4s. Companies spend the last of the current year's budget, and consumers buy laptops, tablets, smartphones, etc. for themselves or others for Christmas. Q1, by comparison, is always quiet; something that a significant percentage of shareholders always seem surprised by.

about a month ago

Ask Slashdot: Who Should Pay Costs To Attend Conferences?

Jahta Re:Your employer (182 comments)

I once worked at a Fortune 500 company in Silicon Valley that didn't want to train employees because they might get certified, leave for a competitor, and make two to three times what they're currently making. Never mind that most employees were training themselves on company time, getting certified on their own time, and leaving for a competitor to make big bucks. Most companies just don't want to pay for training anymore, much less send people off to conferences where they might network and get hired by a competitor.

CFO asks CEO: "What happens if we invest in developing our people and then they leave us?"

CEO: "What happens if we don't, and they stay?"

about a month ago

Posting Soccer Goals On Vine Is Illegal, Say England's Premier League

Jahta Re:Ticket ToS (226 comments)

What terms of service do you agree to when you purchase a ticket and attend the event? Do you agree not to take and post videos of the event?

The ticket ToS specifically forbids any posting of match content. In fact you cannot bring any dedicated "audio, visual, or audio-visual" equipment into the ground. You can bring your mobile phone with you but, if you use it to capture any of the action, nothing you capture "may be published or otherwise made available to any third parties including, without limitation, via social networking sites."

The copyright angle is pretty moot. By buying your ticket, you've signed up to these terms and conditions.

about 2 months ago

Berlin Bans Car Service Uber

Jahta Re:Picking nits.. (341 comments)

First off TFA is about as weak on details as it is in verb conjugation. And we just clip and paste without editing?

What is proper insurance cover(age)? Are the limits too low, or not commercially based? Or not vetted properly?

TFA was clear enough. Licensed taxi drivers (certainly in most EU countries) are expected to demonstrate a level of competence and suitability to operate as a commercial driver; e.g. must not have a criminal record, must pass an advanced driving test, must pass a medical, must have proper commercial vehicle insurance, etc. And it is illegal to transport passengers for money without a commercial license and commercial vehicle insurance.

Uber's position is that anybody who downloads their app can call themselves a taxi driver and, if they don't meet the licensing standards, well it's the drivers's problem not Uber's. That is disingenuous. Uber are operating as a "driver for hire" service but trying to avoid any of the responsibilities being a "driver for hire" operator. Uber could easily resolve this by verifying that anybody signing up with them has a valid commercial license and insurance. But they seem strangely reluctant to do that. That's neither good competition nor good for the consumer.

about 2 months ago

Gartner: Internet of Things Has Reached Hype Peak

Jahta Re:Gartner cynic here - enlighten me (98 comments)

Anyone want to argue against my cynicism? Are Gartner reports actually useful to some people?

Cynicism yes. But healthy skepticism is always good!

In my experience Gartner have some good people - recognised subject matter experts - and if they are working in topic areas important to you then the reports are worth it. As mentioned by others, the reports carry weight with PHBs and if you can show that Gartner agrees with what you are proposing it can be a huge help. Of course, not everybody is at that level. YMMV.

For the same reason, the Hype Cycle is useful for positioning new technologies. It's interesting that TFA's title is actually very misleading. The Gartner graphic shows cloud computing entering the "Trough of Disillusionment" (where reality bites the folks who drank the kool-aid) and not "going mainstream".

about 2 months ago

Patents That Kill

Jahta Re:pharmaceutical patents (240 comments)

Overall, I agree that patents don't help much with innovation. However, I think pharmaceutical patents, unlike most other patents, do, in fact, encourage innovation. The fact that they encourage the wrong kind of innovation (minor variations on existing drugs) is not a problem with patents per se, it's a problem with the costs and risks of FDA approval: it's much safer to develop a small variant of an existing drug than to develop a completely novel drug for untreatable diseases.

Sorry, guys, you can't have it all: lots of innovation, safety, and low cost. Pick any two.

No offense, but you don't know much about the pharmaceutical industry. Ben Goldacre's book Bad Pharma is a good place to start. And this article explains how, contrary to being great innovators, the big pharmaceuticals are running down their own R&D in favour of cherry picking the work of small biotech outfits and publicly funded researchers and rebranding it as their own.

about 2 months ago

Oracle Hasn't Killed Java -- But There's Still Time

Jahta Re:"Anything more than a runtime and a language" (371 comments)

He wants new features, new syntactical elements, gamechangers like generics, enums, and closures. He wants fun things to learn while sticking with the "same" language, things which will hopefully let him use even higher layers of abstraction.

Which is not in itself a bad thing. If Java doesn't add new useful features it'll get replaced by something that has them. But I'm not sure Java has a lot of room left in its complexity budget to add new stuff without becoming too confusing to stick with (assuming it hasn't already, which is debatable :) It may be best to let Java coast for a bit.

The funny thing is that new features (like closures) have been appearing much more regularly since Oracle took over. The author of TFA seems to forget that after Sun released Java 6 (in 2006) there wasn't major release for years, and Java developers despaired as useful proposed new features got mired in the JCP.

Since Oracle took over we've had two major releases - Java 7 (in 2011), and Java 8 (in 2014) - as well a multiple minor releases. Java 9 is targeted for 2016. It's hardly a language that is stagnating.

about 2 months ago

Slashdot Asks: Should Schooling Be Year-Round?

Jahta Re:Homeschooling is... (421 comments)

And they don't learn anything that you don't know (or don't want them to know).

about 2 months ago

Oracle Hasn't Killed Java -- But There's Still Time

Jahta Re:"Anything more than a runtime and a language" (371 comments)

What else does this article's author expect Java to be? A programming language and a runtime are exactly what Java is supposed to be.

Exactly. You would think that a self-proclaimed "Strategic Developer" would know that! :-)

about 2 months ago

Yahoo To Add PGP Encryption For Email

Jahta Re:And Google Cannot Follow (175 comments)

Can you imagine Google doing this? It would ruin their business model entirely as they could not use keyword based ads.

You don't have to imagine. They are already working on it.

about 2 months ago

Sony Tosses the Sony Reader On the Scrap Heap

Jahta Re:PRS-500 owner (172 comments)

I have a Sony reader too, which I still use and like a lot (I much prefer e-ink displays to backlit displays). But I never used the software that came with it. I got bitten before by the software that came with a Sony MP3 player which was a bloated piece of crap (I need a service running all the time just to occasionally copy music onto the player - really?)

So I used Calibre from day one and, when the Sony eventually dies, I'll continue to use Calibre with whatever replaces it. There's a lot to be said for having the software independent of the device.

about 2 months ago

Judge: US Search Warrants Apply To Overseas Computers

Jahta Re:Bye bye US cloud (502 comments)

Microsoft always sold their cloudservices in the EU with the argument that the data is physically located outside the US so the Patriot Act doesn't apply. Now that this has been proven false, EU-based cloudfirms will use this argument to choose a non-US based firm even more in their commercials than they do already. Good for the non-US based firms.

Yes indeed. In my current job, we are currently looking at cloud providers. We'll be watching this case (and the appeal) with great interest!

about 3 months ago

Amazon's eBook Math

Jahta Re:Disengenous (306 comments)

If you can find what you want, then it's just about price, no? At least, it is for me.

There's a lot of people who would disagree; like shoppers in the UK last year who bought supermarket ready meals only to later discover that they contained horse meat instead of beef or pork.

Seems like we agree. Those buyers didn't find what they wanted. That's also why it's important that there are 3 or more.

Eh, no. You seem to have missed the point. Those buyers got something they definitely *did not* want as a result of aggressive price cutting by the retailers. The mantra of "cheaper is always better for the consumer" is simply not true.

about 3 months ago

HP Gives OpenVMS New Life and Path To X86 Port

Jahta Re:The right tool for the right job (136 comments)

There are applications that VMS does very well in. Clustering under VMS is unsurpassed by anything else.

Amen to that! It's disheartening that many more modern clustering technologies can't do what VMS could do 20+ years ago.

about 3 months ago

Amazon's eBook Math

Jahta Re:Disengenous (306 comments)

Why? As long as there are 3 or more, why care about anything but price and selection? If you can find what you want, then it's just about price, no? At least, it is for me.

There's a lot of people who would disagree; like shoppers in the UK last year who bought supermarket ready meals only to later discover that they contained horse meat instead of beef or pork. The supermarkets tried to blame the suppliers. But in reality it was the supermarkets themselves, abusing their position and power in the supply chain to relentlessly push supplier prices down, that was the problem.

Many consumers fixate on price, but don't seem to make the connection between price and quality ("How come my £1 beef lasagne contains no actual beef?"). Suppliers can't sell their wares below cost; they'd just go out of business. So when relentlessly pressed on price they use lower and lower quality raw materials, employ fewer/less competent staff, move production to the 3rd World, etc. And quality suffers. Ultimately you get what you pay for.

Letting dominant (or monopoly) retailers set the agenda purely based on price is a recipe for a race to the bottom.

about 3 months ago

Gaza's Only Power Plant Knocked Offline

Jahta Re:Radicalization (868 comments)

Did they now?

Perhaps you should read other propaganda than you normal intake and see what other parts of the world is thinking.

Right now Israel is facing a lot of problems, it seems like they very well knew that Hamas in fact did *not* sanction the kidnappings; also Israel seems to have left out important informations regarding the kidnapping in order to step up the conflict with Hamas.

Quite so. And furthermore, rather than doing the normal criminal investigation thing (collect evidence, arrest likely suspects, bring them to trial, etc), Israel decided that they "just knew" who did it and sent the Israeli Airforce in to flatten their neighbourhood. Israel was very quick to jump on the bandwagon of George W. Bush's "war on terror"; label all your enemies as terrorists and use that to justify whatever you do to them.

To put that in some context, how would the international community have reacted if the British government (during the Irish "troubles") had sent the RAF to bomb neighbourhoods in Belfast or Derry because "we think there are some terrorists there"? It wasn't acceptable then and it's not acceptable now.

about 3 months ago

Firefox 31 Released

Jahta Re:Trash (172 comments)

I would welcome with open arms and tears of joy a Firefox release that could survive a day -- heck, even half a day -- without crashing. It's such a joy to come back from grabbing a cub of coffee or lunch to find that I have to restart effin' Firefox and reload all my tabs again.

Have you considered that maybe it's you, not Firefox? Have you got flaky plugins installed? Or flaky extensions? Some extensions have been known not to play nice with others.

I use Firefox heavily every day (always on the latest release) and I haven't had it crash in literally years. Nor have I found it a memory hog. As I type this I have 10 different sites open and Firefox is using ~400 meg.

about 3 months ago



UK Conservative Party Proposes Police Vetting Of "Extremist" Posts

Jahta Jahta writes  |  about three weeks ago

Jahta (1141213) writes "Extremists will have to get posts on Facebook and Twitter approved in advance by the police under sweeping rules planned by the Conservatives. They will also be barred from speaking at public events if they represent a threat to “the functioning of democracy”, under the new Extremist Disruption Orders.

There are also plans to allow judges to ban people from broadcasting or protesting in certain places, as well as associating with specific people. The plans — to be brought in if the Conservatives win the election in May — are part of a wide-ranging set of rules to strengthen the Government’s counter-terrorism strategy."

Link to Original Source

Record label sues YouTube user - Artist disagrees

Jahta Jahta writes  |  about 3 months ago

Jahta (1141213) writes "Ultra Records, which has musicians Kaskade, deadmau5 and Calvin Harris on its books, is suing Michelle Phan claiming that she has used about 50 of their songs without permission in her YouTube videos and on her own website.

But one of the artists whose work she is alleged to have used has said he supports Ms Phan.

Kaskade, whose work features most prominently in the record label's complaint, said: "Copyright law is a dinosaur, ill-suited for the landscape of today's media.""

Link to Original Source

Oxford Internet Institute Create Internet "Tube" Map

Jahta Jahta writes  |  about 7 months ago

Jahta (1141213) writes "The Oxford Internet Institute has created a schematic of the world's international fibre-optic links in the style of the famous London Tube map. The schematic also highlights nodes where censorship and surveillance are known to be in operation."

10 Reasons Why Privacy Matters

Jahta Jahta writes  |  about 9 months ago

Jahta (1141213) writes "Why does privacy matter? Often courts and commentators struggle to articulate why privacy is valuable. They see privacy violations as often slight annoyances. But privacy matters a lot more than that. Here are 10 reasons why privacy matters."
Link to Original Source


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