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Facebook Estimates Around 10% of Accounts Are Fake

MLCT All about the money (140 comments)

Now Zuckerberg seems eager to relax his old orthodoxies

Of course he does - if 10% are fake then he wants that 10% included in his figures, not excluded.

about a year ago

Amazon Workers Strike In Germany As Christmas Orders Peak

MLCT Investigative Report? (606 comments)

What do we reckon is the probability of the Washington Post starting an investigative report on a story like this?

1 year,2 days

Physicist Peter Higgs: No University Would Employ Me Today

MLCT Re:kind of ruins the point....... (308 comments)

Almost everything you say is valid, but:

if you're not averaging one good paper a year then there's probably something wrong with you as a researcher

That is *exactly* what Peter Higgs is complaining about. His point is that great ideas don't come about once a year - and that if he was 40 years younger he wouldn't get positions because he wouldn't be fulfilling the quota - and thus great ideas are being lost in this treadmill.

1 year,12 days

Code.org Wants Participating Students' Data For 7 Years

MLCT What do you expect? (90 comments)

It is a Mark Zuckerberg project - he hasn't exactly got a good track record for respecting people's privacy and not trying to build profiles that can be exploited down the road.

Honestly, even in a supposed "philanthropic" venture, I would always question the motive.

"Push until you meet resistance, then pull back, then push again when people aren't looking" that is the facebook/zuckerberg motto.

1 year,21 days

How PR Subverts Wikipedia

MLCT [citation needed] doesn't help (219 comments)

There is no point placing any stock in [citation needed]; these are PR companies. If someone challenges what they are adding to wikipedia with citation requests they will issue a press release, get questionable "newspapers" (i.e. trade papers, promotional puff periodicals etc.) to pick up the press release (normally it is verbatim) and then back slam that on the wikipedia text as a citation. A lovely circular piece of work that ensures the promotion continues.

One way to minimise their PR efforts is to create significant Streisand effects on their work. But some PR companies are so desperate that they would probably even be delighted with that.

about a year ago

Raspberry Pi Production Heats Up In UK Surpassing Chinese Production Soon

MLCT Re:Subsidised? (108 comments)

The days of everything being far (i.e. an order of magnitude) cheaper to make in China than the west are slowly coming to an end. There is still a price advantage ATM, but it is eroding, and parity exists in some areas, and there is an actual price advantage with western labour in a few situations.

There was a documentary on UK TV last year that looked at a cushion factory which was seeing parity between its Chinese and UK plant - and this is sowing and stuffing cushions, not making high value goods:

The Town Taking on China

Basically wage costs are rising fast in China, coupled with a labour force that shops around constantly to get the best deal, playing factories off against each other (that leads not only to higher wage costs, but also difficulty in skill retention). Skill retention may not mean much when it is sowing cushions, but there is always a learning curve for efficient work, and poor retention impacts on productivity. The third string in the bow is shipping costs - the price of fuel has quadrupled in the last 15 years.

All of these things add up. The good thing is that some basic manufacturing jobs will move back to the west rebalancing the economy - the bad thing is that most manufactured goods will jump back on to the inflation conveyer belt again - after ~20 years of their cost being frozen while our pay still rose at 3-5% per year - they will be back in step again as China starts to level out with the west on living standards.

about a year and a half ago

Researcher Evan Booth: How To Weaponize Tax-Free Airport Goods

MLCT Re:Ruining it for everyone (288 comments)

That won't happen, because ultimately airports are only profitable as they are run as giant shops. Antiquated rules on the requirements for how long people need to be there before the flight are maintained to ensure there is a large number of trapped people sitting about who want to buy food/drink and who get bored or are addicted anyway to buying things they don't really need in shops.

Ultimately our security means little compared to the ability of the shops to sell "things" - hence the fact that we can still buy such things in the departures lounge even though it is clearly a security risk. The money they make (and thus the rent the pay to the airport) matters more than absolute security. Indeed some of the shops were no doubt delighted when the 100 ml rule came in, as now they can sell us elementary things like a bottle of water that we are not allowed to take through security.

about a year and a half ago

Why You Should Worry About the Future of Chromebooks

MLCT Time Travel (216 comments)

We are about to begin the process of travelling back in time. Back to a time when PCs were for experts: people who coded, people who needed specialist tools and people who wanted to tinker.

The good news in this transition is that we may get back to buying a PC that is geared to what we want rather than being full of junk that tech-illiterates need (specifically in the OS). If MS don't want to provide that experience (and evidence suggests that they don't) then we will just all wipe the machines and put linux on them.

The bad news is that we will also travel back in time with the price of a PC. Inflation has ran at 3-5% for the last 25 years (give or take a couple of years), yet the cost of a baseline PC has more than halved in that time. That scale only comes with the addition of the tech-illiterate (& Chinese assembly) - once they buy pixibooks and tablets we will be left to pick up the full price for our dedicated high power PCs. The only possible depression on prices is corporate buying, but it can't be too long before they create a stable lightweight environment to get the bulk of corporate work done instead of buying a workstation for every desk.

about a year and a half ago

Users Flock To Firewall-Busting Thesis Project

MLCT Re:Windows Azure? (91 comments)

The same MS who collude with the Chinese government to enable monitoring of dissidents on skype?

about 2 years ago

Microsoft Restores Transfer Rights To Office 2013

MLCT They tried... (130 comments)

They tried to make MS office 2013 a rental rather than a purchase - and by doing that they make an office365 rental a psychologically easier next step for ordinary users.

If they had gotten away with it then all they would have done is driven people to libreoffice (and by people I mean average people, not corporate or SOHOs) - as an average person is not interested in home computing becoming a rental experience. MS need to accept that, even if they donâ(TM)t like it.

There is still the unresolved question of what happens if MS disappears in 15 years time and I want to install a copy of office 2013 that I bought. Does whoever buys the assets of MS just say "tough, get lost and buy something new", do they say "ok we will activate it, but pay us a $20 handling fee", or do they say "sure, no problem".

about 2 years ago

Curiosity Rover On Standby As NASA Addresses Computer Glitch

MLCT Re:Gotta love Armchair Quarterbacks and their simp (98 comments)

On the whole I am sure everyone does respect NASA, but they do have "previous" on things far simpler than the random slashdotter obtuse suggestions:

Newtons or pound-force?

I don't think anyone is suggesting that simple mistakes were the cause in this case - but the above link may help explain why a little leg-pulling by slashdotters is not crossing any lines.

"Peace out"

about 2 years ago

Facebook's Graph Search Is a Privacy Test For Internet Users

MLCT Re:Isn't there a fallacy in this? (104 comments)

I think pretty much everyone on here knows that - to the extent that when I say that search is the only possible long term revenue stream for fb, I am taking it as read that everyone knows that is in relation to advertisements. There is no other mass-market revenue stream for non-physical inconsequential goods or services.

about 2 years ago

Facebook's Graph Search Is a Privacy Test For Internet Users

MLCT Re:Isn't there a fallacy in this? (104 comments)

There are many many flaws. It won't work, and they only reason they are trying to make it work is because it is the *only* possible long term sustainable revenue generation mechanism for them, and they know it.

But, as you say, it is logically broken. Further to it being broken, they risk destroying the function of the entire place that encourage people to go there ATM if it becomes some sort of recommendation/yelp market where pressure to share everything you buy, eat, listen to and watch takes over. Indeed ironically enough, google+ is actually a better platform for this to remotely work, as there is more of a culture of people grouping around topics they like rather than seeing the place as a real-life friend noticeboard/inbox.

But we can observe from the sidelines as fb try and fail. Watching the media fawn over MZ is much like watching how they fawned over people like Lance Armstrong 5+ years ago - for those who have a decent amount of knowledge it is clear that there are fraudsters at work - but the media are not interested in destroying the story. By keeping it alive they can file page after page of copy.

about 2 years ago

Google Map App's Version of Anonymity Might Violate EU Privacy Laws

MLCT Information Obsession (89 comments)

I have to say I was surprised at how insistent the new iOS application is at trying to determine your location. Every time you go into it it asks for location services to be turned on. You can skip by it, but that would be the type of setting that with other programs would be a choice only made once, not pestering every time.

It is very clear that google are obsessed about knowing locations to enable them to tie and link you to services and advertising. AFAICT though the circle can only be completed if you are logged into google services on iOS â" then they can tie the ID to an account â" otherwise they will have to fall back to IP addresses which I am guessing they wouldn't do too routinely as it is not going to be all that reliable (shared addresses etc.).

about 2 years ago

Ubuntu 12.10 Quantal Quetzal Out Now; Raring Ringtail In the Works

MLCT Re:! stable (318 comments)

One switch in the privacy settings and the "advertisements" are gone.

That really isn't fine though. On something like that it has to be opt-in. Moves like that are basically guaranteeing my days with ubunt are over - any organisation that attempts to capitalize on people's ignorance or laziness to make money really doesn't have much of a moral core.

more than 2 years ago

Will Developers Finally Start Coding On the iPad?

MLCT Not Likely (463 comments)

Unless coding applications are much much improved from general text input applications, not likely is my answer.

I can barely be hassled "typing" any more than 3-4 sentence email on an ipad before I get annoyed. In addition to the difficulty of typing, the lack of cursor control (touching to move the cursor is just down to luck as to where exactly it goes) means the entire experience is a retrograde step. Fine for 140 character input, useless if you want to type any lengthy piece of text.

Tablets are great for some things (content consumption primary amongst them). But honestly, any time I am told that tablets represent a "post-pc" world for content creation (whether professional coding, or simple word processing), I just laugh.

more than 2 years ago

BBC Keeps Android Flash Alive In the UK

MLCT Re:Why is this even an issue for the BBC? (102 comments)

They are coding an HTML5 version for android, but that takes time, and QA for an application that millions will download and use really matters. It would be a very bad idea to release a buggy HTML5 application.

Since Adobe have behaved like a bunch of amateurs on flash for android (bin a framework on a whim without any sort of reasonable migration framework over a sensible amount of time), everyone else is playing catchup.

The BBC are coding a new android application, but they don't have 10's of developers that they can just deploy to recode something in a week or two. This extension will be just for a month or so until they can transition with a stable player. The situation reflects badly on Adobe for dropping support in such a shoddy manner.

more than 2 years ago

Will Your Books and Music Die With You?

MLCT Re:Updated regulation is needed (248 comments)

Can you copy the file to a usb stick? Could that file then be played without requiring an apple product? If you can't (by design) then that is digital rights management. Simple. DRM isn't copyright protection, it is any number of enforced restrictions on what you can do with something you have paid for - not enforced retrospectively by law (e.g. If you chose to illegally redistribute the song), but enforced pro-actively by software/hardware restrictions.

Burning to a cd as an audio cd is a workaround - and it is a workaround because there are far far simpler solutions (copying the file, or exporting to mp3 or exporting to wav) that are AFAIK, disallowed for itunes purchased material.

more than 2 years ago

Company Claims 80% of Facebook Ad Clicks Are From Bots

MLCT Re:If you don't have javascript, you're a bot? (402 comments)

Another possibility : 4) To hurt Facebook by destroying their credibility and make them tank even faster that they were already going to. May be someone shorting FB stock.

But the whole story that seems to be missing from the comments here on /. is that the real reason that the company left is that fb refused to do anything about it.

I read this story on cnet yesterday, and the crux of it was that the company complained to facebook a lot - and fb just ignored them. The went to analytics, then wrote their own analytics, and finally uncovered the 80% bots conclusion. At every stage fb just ignored them. Click fraud is neither new nor interesting - it goes on - the issue is how it is dealt with. Compare fb's response (or lack of it) with some accounts in comments above about how google deal with click fraud. They investigate, lower rates and set alert limits if there are revenue spikes in the future.

The last straw for this company was that fb were trying to charge thousands of dollars for them to change their company name - so at that point and with the click fraud problems they just said "f that - we are off to twitter".

So in conclusion I don't think the company are saying that there is some mass conspiracy, or that fb are committing fraud (by running the bots), but rather they are just not interested in acknowledging that click fraud occurs, and are mildly trying to extort money out of companies if they want to change names etc. I think with each piece of evidence that adds it suggests that fb is desperate for money, and desperate for short term cash at the expense of long term reputation - there is no other explanation for their actions.

more than 2 years ago

Facebook Abstainers Could Be Labeled Suspicious

MLCT Not only horseshit (625 comments)

I mean not only is the total horse shit - it isn't even true (as it were), in the sense that such a proposition has to be predicated on "almost everyone" having an account - something that is BS.

It just shows how the echo chamber of online ideas leads to situations like this, where people end up believing that "almost everyone" would have an account simply because their world is centrered around the ecosystem.

I had a group convo a while ago on fb that was interesting for two reasons. 1. The very fact that the convo happened, as fb very rarely comes up in discussions - people just don't care much about it, and are more likely to email or text than center their lives around it. And 2, the fact that as the convo proceeded it was surprising how many people didn't have or rarely used it.

Honestly, move outside the 18-25 bracket and usage just dives - even if they have accounts, they don't use them. Facebook isn't a new google - the markets are starting to realise that - "tagesspiegel.de" should probably realise it as well

more than 2 years ago



Listening to the radio at work? Prepare to be sued

MLCT MLCT writes  |  more than 7 years ago

MLCT (1148749) writes "The Performing Rights Society, one of the UK's royalties collecting societies, has taken a Scottish car servicing company to court because the employees are alleged to have been listening to the radio at work, allowing the music to be "heard by colleagues and customers". The PRS are thus seeking £200,000 in damages for the "performances of the music" which they claim equates to copyright infringement. The judge, Lord Emslie, has ruled that the case can continue to hearing evidence, commenting that the key point to note was that music was "audibly 'blaring' from employee's radios". Where do the extents of a "public performance" end? Radios on in cabs? Sitting in my house with the window open listening to the breakfast show?"


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