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Comments

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Why Gay Men Are Worth So Much To Facebook

PastaLover Re:Worst thing that could happen? Hardly (270 comments)

I think the biggest threat is indeed somebody figuring this out as a business model. You could build a whole company around using various data breeches (+ publicly available data) on social networking sites to build entire profiles on people. Then companies pay you to screen their applicants for you. Banks use it to "adjust" credit ratings. Insurance companies use it to decide who to cover, and who to deny coverage.

The problem of privacy is not keeping the data from getting out there, it is keeping the data from being gathered and used in the wrong context.

I think this would be illegal in the EU of course, not so sure about the US.

more than 2 years ago
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Apple Sued By Belgian Consumer Association For Not Applying EU Warranty Laws

PastaLover Re:Too long? (290 comments)

If most people agree that an electronics product should last for at least 2 years, then what possible point would there be in "letting the free market decide"?

more than 2 years ago
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Ask Slashdot: Does Europe Have Better Magazines Than the US?

PastaLover Re:Might be a sign (562 comments)

I was going to comment, many of the print magazines in Europe are very good. But the stuff I gravitate to online is usually American.

more than 2 years ago
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Ask Slashdot: Does Europe Have Better Magazines Than the US?

PastaLover Re:Yes (562 comments)

I'm just gonna ignore most of your comment and point out that whatever you may think of the French healthcare system, it's *still* cheaper than the American one.

more than 2 years ago
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Patent Issue Delays Doom 3 Source Code Release

PastaLover Re:About the software patent-- IBTT (283 comments)

Splitting hairs here. Nobody can afford to pay licenses for software patents. Any one sufficiently large piece of software is covered by tens or hundreds or patents. The only way you can afford to license them all, is if you're prepared to publish at a loss.

So, because you can't negotiate proper licenses, you shouldn't have to pay for anything? That's like saying that the price of a CD is too high, so I shouldn't have to pay for any music, anywhere.

If we would truly negotiate for and license every single patent major software products violate, the software industry would grind to a halt. The patent system is ill-suited for the software industry as a whole. And from all possible ways to handle software patents, the US in particular has chosen about the worst one.

Whether it is obvious or not is beside the point.

I thought it was central, because if the invention is obvious, then you've got a justification for claiming any patent is invalid and therefore using it without paying isn't infringement of a valid patent.

But, okay - given an invention that is novel and not obvious, what's your justification for still not paying for a license?

Software patents shouldn't exist in the first place, is what I was getting at.

They demonstrably (seriously, there have been studies) slow down invention in the software space. So why put up with them?

Except that there haven't been studies... There's been sort of meta studies based on ancillary data to sort of argue in a roundabout fashion that patents slow down software innovation, but not any actual studies, because software has been patentable in some form for as long as software has existed. It'd be like a study purporting to claim that due to the economics of fossil fuels, using electricity from any grid that includes non-renewable sources slows down innovation in the software space. Uh, okay... There's no real data, and it's mostly hypothesis, and you certainly can't compare it to anything since there isn't a society out there that doesn't do it, so we'll take it with a grain of salt.

At the very least, litigation is costing major software companies more than they are actually gaining from licensing. We do have something to compare to btw, an entire software industry with much less patent proliferation up until the early 80s.

But we can also ask ourselves: how many software patents really apply to inventions that would otherwise would not have been worth coming up with? You think nobody would've gone through the trouble of coming up with MP3 had software patents not existed? Software design is not the same as drug design, and simply shouldn't be judged under the same rules.

Patents are not there to make you rich. They're there to promote innovation. They're clearly not necessary, and so most likely to be an impediment instead. Which studies do back up, no matter what you seem to think.

more than 2 years ago
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Patent Issue Delays Doom 3 Source Code Release

PastaLover Re:About the software patent-- IBTT (283 comments)

If the first guy publishes, then the second guy doesn't have to waste his time working on the same thing.

No, now he not only wasted the time he spent trying to solve the problem, but now he has to waste more time trying to come up with a different solution because the one he was working toward is patented, meaning he can't fucking use it.

Only if he can't afford a license. If he can, then he doesn't have to waste any time.

Splitting hairs here. Nobody can afford to pay licenses for software patents. Any one sufficiently large piece of software is covered by tens or hundreds or patents. The only way you can afford to license them all, is if you're prepared to publish at a loss.

Patents do NOT reduce "wasted effort." In many cases, they increase it, due to now having to find a way of going around the patent, instead of using the obvious solution in the first place.

You still haven't proven it's an "obvious" solution, so we can ignore that argument as moot. And yes, the patent does reduce the wasted effort of the second guy re-inventing the first solution - a term which, I notice, you quietly tiptoed away from. Shiat, using a solution is easy. I can use Microsoft Word without ever having to write a line of code. But we're not talking about using a solution... we're talking about inventing the solution, a process which may take months and months of [drumroll] wasted effort.

Whether it is obvious or not is beside the point. I can guarantee you that it didn't take months to develop, since Carmack had a game engine to write and economical incentive not to spend half of his development time on a single light performance improvement. This is always the problem of software patents: 99% of the time, coming up with the 'invention' was cheaper than the actual process of getting the patent. And in the remaining 1%, somebody had an economic incentive to come up with the solution anyway (the one thing patents are supposed to be there to encourage).

They demonstrably (seriously, there have been studies) slow down invention in the software space. So why put up with them?

more than 2 years ago
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Seismologist Manslaughter Trial Begins Next Week

PastaLover Re:Giampaolo Giuliani (185 comments)

What is interesting is that the seismologists on trial appear to have called a special open session to basically discredit Giuliani (a laboratory tech) and calm the public. There wasn't a hesitation to report an impending earthquake, there was a statement of "many small tremors = no big earthquake = nothing to worry about" followed by an urging to go drink some wine. This caused many to ignore their routine (if a small tremor happens, the family sleeps outside or in a car). The break from routine (prompted by the statement of safety) cost many their families and/or lives as they slept inside "medieval" buildings that were not "anti-seismic".
 

Those comments at the press conference were made by Bernardo De Bernardinis, a government official. The meeting between the scientists was also not open to the public. You're probably aware of this but your retelling of the story makes it sound like the seismologists were directly involved, while apparently only one of them was even at the press conference, which was held before the scientific meeting.

It sounds to me like a pretty clear-cut case against De Bernardinis, but as I read it the seismologists were unwitting (and unwilling) accomplices.

about 3 years ago
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The Rise of Robotic Labor

PastaLover Re:Load of crap (308 comments)

2015 sounds ridiculously close, but I can imagine "assisted" driving systems becoming popular by then. Say, sensors that detect when you're about to rear-end the car in front of you and slam the brakes for you (with a much better chance of avoiding accident due to reaction times). Stuff like this will slowly start to automate our driving experience. 30% driverless by 2015 though? That would require some mad acceleration in research.

about 3 years ago
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Intel Mandates Universities Receiving Funds Not File Patents

PastaLover Re:Waiting for government to do the same... (223 comments)

Politicians expect universities to supplement their grants by attempting to commercialise research, usually in the form of some sort of public/private partnership (either an existing player or more roundabout by establishing new spin-offs). This includes applying for patents etc.

It would be nice if all that research could be freely available to everyone, but that'd mean greatly increasing the science budget, whereas most politicians seem to think it's the first place they should look for cuts. This is what you get when you vote for small (US) or efficient (EU) government.

about 3 years ago
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Climate Unit Releases Virtually All Remaining Data

PastaLover Re:The Structure of Scientific Revolutions (507 comments)

My point was that majority consensus is not necessarily the truth and by using your style of debate (shouting down and denigrating anyone who opposed your particular point of view), you are making people feel that there is something "fishy". If the science was so convincing it could stand by itself, there would be no reason to doubt it or name call opponents. Evolution is convincing to me (I can see it and understand it). Climate change is convincing to me - it has been happening for millenia and will continue to happen - humans influence it of course - but what precise impact humans have on it, that is still not settled.

This is just ridiculous. Evolution sounds convincing to you, so you accept it, but man-made global warming does not, so you do not. That's certainly one way to look at the world, but it's not a very sensible one. There are only two logical options here: you either accept what the experts say, or you become one yourself. You're clearly not interested in doing either so here's a third way: just shut up because you have no idea what you're talking about.

more than 3 years ago
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Chinese Couple Sells Kids To Fund Online Gaming

PastaLover Re:It must be true!! (223 comments)

That was the first thing I thought. Sounds like anti gaming addiction state propaganda to me.

more than 3 years ago
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Firefox 8 20% Faster Than Firefox 5

PastaLover Re:When will they add per-tab processes? (441 comments)

Hopefully never. Opera doesn't use per-tab processes either. Why?

1) It scales horribly. Open 400 tabs in Opera. Now try in Chrome. GOOD LUCK!
2) It's not 1:1. After so many tabs Chrome starts grouping them under a process so your machine doesn't explode.

Your #1 and #2 are a bit contradictory. I've just opened 400 tabs in Chrome. what was it supposed to prove? (haven't tried Opera, but then I prefer browsers with render engines that actually work)

more than 3 years ago
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Google Deleting Private Profiles

PastaLover Re:Google+ tracking cookie (312 comments)

I'll guess that it's probably tied to the +1 button and the same principle as facebook's like button (i.e. allows google to show you how many of your friends have +1'd the article, while conveniently giving them data on every visitor that visits any page with a +1 button on it).

more than 3 years ago
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Have We Reached Maximum Sustainable Population Size?

PastaLover Re:No (1070 comments)

I'm pretty sure we're talking about two different bumps in food price inflation. AFAIK the latest bump (the one that caused the arab spring) is not driven in such a large part by biofuels. I might be wrong of course but the fact of the matter is that the EU has already changed its policies, and it was one of the main drivers behind the demand spike.

Anyway the article is obviously crap and I doubt food is really the problem. Sure, food prices jumped and will remain high, but there's nothing to suggest we can't feed the 9 billion people we're apparently going to max out at. The problem is that our energy budget just isn't big enough for the kind of living standards that everyone is aspiring to. Those that say we need to limit economic growth to solve that issue though, are completely misunderstanding what economic growth entails.

more than 3 years ago
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Have We Reached Maximum Sustainable Population Size?

PastaLover Re:Essential reading on Friedman (1070 comments)

Because most slashdotters are not much smarter than Thomas Friedman, so they can't tell the bullshit from the real thing.

more than 3 years ago
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Have We Reached Maximum Sustainable Population Size?

PastaLover Re:No (1070 comments)

You're both completely forgetting about the fact that income distribution in the US has become increasingly lopsided. The extra income that "average" person in the 50s had didn't go away, it's now in the 99th percentile of earners.

more than 3 years ago
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Have We Reached Maximum Sustainable Population Size?

PastaLover Re:No (1070 comments)

We do produce enough food to feed ourselves here in America. The problem with rising food costs has everything to do with ethanol, and nothing much to do with anything else.

Actually, China in particular has been importing more food (due to higher standard of living) and it has had a noticeable effect on prices. We're also seeing the effects of some unusual droughts in Russia. Biofuels are a red herring.

more than 3 years ago
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Activists Destroy Scientific GMO Experiment

PastaLover Re:Summary is wrong. (1229 comments)

They threw balloons filled with herbicide onto the field. Allegedly they contained Roundup which is made by *drum-roll* Monsanto.

more than 3 years ago
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Activists Destroy Scientific GMO Experiment

PastaLover Re:Sounds like (1229 comments)

This was publicly funded research to end a blight on a major food crop. You might have some problem with GMO (unsupported by the facts), but the intent of this research is pretty damn pure to begin with. Possible consequences to the environment are exactly what these researchers are concerned with in the first place.

I wouldn't use the word terrorist though. Vandals, more like. Ignorant fools.

more than 3 years ago

Submissions

PastaLover hasn't submitted any stories.

Journals

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Freaks

PastaLover PastaLover writes  |  more than 7 years ago

I just noticed nobody on slashdot hates me. (freaks list is empty) Silly I know but come on people I've made some pretty dumb/flameable posts in the past.

Anyway my real reason for posting is a followup on my appreciation of firefox's rendering engine. I noticed that turning adblock and web developer off made the browser far more responsive (good) but you still get noticeable timeouts while loading the whole thing (bad). This can last up to 15 seconds or so. I notice that it actually seems to lag while doing the google-analytics thing at the bottom of the page. A similar bug cropped up a while ago on another page. A connection takes a while to establish (stuck in SYN_SENT maybe?) and the browser just starts chewing CPU like mad. Perhaps it's just using up CPU waiting in an inner loop in which case the bugreport is probably out there. Searching a bugzilla isn't exactly my idea of fun though.

Also, the new thingie (that I've only so far seen in the windows version) where you open N tabs where N>some_number and firefox pops up a warning that this might slow the browser down is really annoying. If it slows the browser down I'll notice, mmkay?

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New discussion interface

PastaLover PastaLover writes  |  more than 8 years ago

Apparently I can help beta test the new slashdot discussion interface which is largely javascript based and I assume uses AJAX and what not. I must say I am thoroughly impressed, it makes reading the discussions more worthwhile since firefox was having some serious problems rendering the discussions for me. (every time you go back or forth a page you have to wait ~2 secs for it to render which tends to add up)

Stuff that is still missing for me:
- a decent linux firefox render. Seriously, why do I have artifacts here when I don't have them in the windows one? And why is the ajax stuff so slow. Really annoying, especially when using GMail and, now, slashdot though less so.
- wholesale expanding and compacting of a subtree at a certain post. Right now you have to open the post alone (like I used to do in the old system) or open the replies one by one
- the small window that pops up in the top left corner should be bottom left imho and it doesn't seem particularly intuitive. I've also not found out yet how to make this thing re-appear after I close this but there might be a button I've looked over.

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Mo' mod points

PastaLover PastaLover writes  |  more than 8 years ago

Is it just me or do you get more mod points when your karma goes slightly down? Up until recently I had near perfect karma as I've always been billed a "fair" moderator. Until I slipped up and got an unfair moderation from the metamod system, which after inspection might be right. But somehow I'm now getting mod points twice as often as before.

Not sure how that trust system is supposed to work.

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slashdot community stuff

PastaLover PastaLover writes  |  more than 8 years ago

I've decided to start using a bit more the community features in slashdot (friend/freak). Reading through all the trash in comments is getting a bit tiring and it can help _a lot_ to have the right people on your friends list to up friend and friend-of-friend postings. Of course, one must choose his friends wisely. :)

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so yeah they're gone

PastaLover PastaLover writes  |  more than 9 years ago

I deleted my posts becs they were really badly written. I'll try to shape it up a bit in the future. :-)

Oh, and if you were planning to see War of the Worlds and haven't yet: don't. It's lots of crazy action with great fx in the destruction sequences, but that's about it. The morale of the movie: if smart aliens ever were to attack us, we'd all be dead in a day.

The ending kind off reminded me of Independence Day (the plot was even thinner). As in 'how could they not have thought of this?'. I think the radio show must have included a lot of ad libbing there.

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