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Comments

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Study: Social Networks Have Negative Effect On Individual Welfare

Roger Wilcox Re:"Moderation?" Don't you mean "Censorship?" (76 comments)

Actually my ultimate fear in this scenario has nothing to do with what I can "force people to listen to" as you put it. It has everything to do with what Facebook might decide we shouldn't hear.

And, who knows, maybe Facebook actually is capable and willing to implementing a sane, thoughtful moderation system. I just don't have faith that they ever will.

OTOH, I wouldn't doubt for a second that they prioritized items in your newsfeed based on who paid them advertising dollars. And in the same vein, I wouldn't doubt if they used a fancy new "moderation" system to simply block content they didn't want their users to see.

about three weeks ago
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Study: Social Networks Have Negative Effect On Individual Welfare

Roger Wilcox "Moderation?" Don't you mean "Censorship?" (76 comments)

Call me cynical, but I just don't see Facebook adopting a sane moderation system, like for example anything that approximates slashcode.

Their equivalent of "moderation" would better resemble censorship. They would simply hide the thoughts and comments they don't think you would like. Of course, it would be for your own good...

about three weeks ago
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Dealing With 'Advertising Pollution'

Roger Wilcox Re:No Advertising does not power the Internet. (418 comments)

There were many people producing their own content on the Internet before big business saw a profit in it. To frame them all as pasty-faced nerds is disingenuous and obviously false. These were ordinary people exchanging ideas and sharing whatever they felt was worth sharing. This was, and still is, the crux of the Internet's greatness.

The kind of content you mention is the kind of content that does not utilize the unique interpersonal capabilities of the Internet. That stuff is ordinary mass media content that has moved to the Internet only because the corporations producing it were losing their readership and revenue to the Internet (see previous paragraph.) They came here to fight for our eyeballs and our opinions because we chose to ignore them in favor of communicating with each other.

Advertising, as irritating as it can be, can help us to distinguish between content motivated by money (probably distributed by a giant corporation with an ulterior motive of keeping you suckling at their teat while feeding you politically slanted pseudo-news) and content motivated by some other impetus. For me, content that is laden with irritating advertisements practically screams "don't listen to me! I'm a scumbag!"

I'd much rather hear from ordinary people who have enough respect for me to tell their story without trying to monetize me. Lucky for us, plenty of those people still exist on the Internet.

(properly formatted this time)

about 2 months ago
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Dealing With 'Advertising Pollution'

Roger Wilcox Re:No Advertising does not power the Internet. (418 comments)

There were many people producing their own content on the Internet before big business saw a profit in it. To frame them all as pasty-faced nerds is disingenuous and obviously false. These were ordinary people exchanging ideas and sharing whatever they felt was worth sharing. This was, and still is, the crux of the Internet's greatness. The kind of content you mention is the kind of content that does not utilize the unique interpersonal capabilities of the Internet. That stuff is ordinary mass media content that has moved to the Internet only because the corporations producing it were losing their readership and revenue to the Internet (see previous paragraph.) They came here to fight for our eyeballs and our opinions because we chose to ignore them in favor of communicating with each other. Advertising, as irritating as it can be, can help us to distinguish between content motivated by money (probably distributed by a giant corporation with an ulterior motive of keeping you suckling at their teat while feeding you politically slanted pseudo-news) and content motivated by some other impetus. For me, content that is laden with irritating advertisements practically screams "don't listen to me! I'm a scumbag!" I'd much rather hear from ordinary people who have enough respect for me to tell their story without trying to monetize me. Lucky for us, plenty of those people still exist on the Internet.

about 2 months ago
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Comcast Executives Appear To Share Cozy Relationships With Regulators

Roger Wilcox Re:Not a VIP box at the Olympics (63 comments)

It's a non-story. Just regular schmoozing. Though the fact that regular schmoozing is a non-story might be a story in and of itself...

The takeaway here is that Comcast is in bed with industry regulators. While we all knew this already, we shouldn't allow that fact to cloud our judgement about the obviously unacceptable state of current affairs.

This email clearly shows a cordial relationship between the correspondents. It should be illegal for corporations to make this kind of offer to a regulator, and it should be illegal for a regulator to have any kind of social contact with industry lobbyists. Hell, a meeting between regulators and lobbyists can't even rightly be framed as a business meeting, because private corporations don't have any business negotiating terms when it comes to legislative oversight. If private industry has something to say to the legislature, or if the legislature needs guidance from private industry, the exchange should occur in an open forum without need of gifts or galavanting.

If this doesn't count as a conflict of interest for the regulators in question, what does? Those "rules folks" ought to have a damn similar opinion about that dinner...

about 3 months ago
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Seattle Gets Takeout By Amazon

Roger Wilcox Like everything nowadays, it's a PR tool... (61 comments)

Word of mouth still does and always will involve real contact with real people. This kind of "public" online "review" is nothing more than a vehicle for revenue. Can anyone say "Astroturf?"

about 3 months ago
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NSA's Novel Claim: Our Systems Are Too Complex To Obey the Law

Roger Wilcox Re:Too Big to Be Indicted... (245 comments)

You do seem to be stupid and incompetent (your words,) but not because you don't agree with the GP. Rather, it is because of the ridiculous arguments you are making:

"But the recession was not the bank's fault â" rather it is that of the politicians, who forced banks (with the threat of "discrimination" lawsuits) to give money to unqualified borrowers."

First of all, the article you link says nothing to support your claims of forcing or discrimination or even lawsuits. The closest the article gets to supporting your claims is to state that "rules of spending" were "loosened" for the banks by the politicians. How can you not see at this point that the banks (and the other giant corporations) are the ones wagging the dog here? They bribe politicians through so-called lobbying in order to bring about the loosening and tightening of rules that suit their favor. That much is plain as day! And you can't argue that these particular loosened loan rules didn't favor the banks. Obviously the banks stood to benefit, which they did, greatly and at taxpayer expense.

Now, to your credit I will say that blame for the recession can't be laid fully on the banks: each of us is also at fault for failing to lynch (literally or metaphorically) the bigwig asshats (meaning bankers and politicians, I don't discriminate) who are continuously allowed to pull this shit and get away with it.

"Nope. It was not the banks doing the forging â" it was the applicants. Bank-employees may have looked the other way, but the actual forgery was done by the customers."

"May have looked the other way," as you put it, implies that bank employees were complicit in the forgery, which they were. So why use this statement argue that they weren't forging income numbers? They were further "loosening the rules" and they should have known better.

Did you know that it is a bank's responsibility to assess the creditworthiness of it's debtors? If they make a bad investment on a homeowner and the loan isn't repaid, that's money that they lose! As you pointed out, this is their bread and butter business. They knew what they were doing here, and they used the government's new generously low (bribe-induced) requirements to help themselves unload what they knew to be bad loans on Fannie Mae.

.

This is how the system works, folks! Isn't it wonderful? Truly, We The People need to step in and clean house if we want these shenanigans to cease. Arguing about whether it was a bank's fault or a government's fault is meaningless. From the perspective of common people, the banks are the government and the government is the banks. They both have a vested interest in working together to milk us like we are livestock, which they do.

about 3 months ago
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Maintaining Internet Freedom Isn't Easy (Video)

Roger Wilcox Re:Government must be transparent (55 comments)

I fail to see a downside to this. When a clear need arises, congress will act. When there is no need, they won't cross the line. Sounds pretty good to me.

What we have now is politicians bowing to corporate interests and lining their pockets behind closed doors to the detriment of common folk. You don't think gridlock is preferable to that?

about 5 months ago
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Study Finds US Is an Oligarchy, Not a Democracy

Roger Wilcox Re:Are you kidding (818 comments)

The American civil war was about much more than slavery--in fact, the slavery thing was pretty much just a PR tool Lincoln used to solidify public opinion in the north. The real issues were about state's rights, self governance, secession, and consolidation of federal power. It's good to know that mass "education" is successfully keeping people confused about this.

about 5 months ago
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LHCb Confirms Existence of Exotic Hadrons

Roger Wilcox Did anyone else... (99 comments)

I read "Exotic Hardons" at first haha. What a headliner!

about 5 months ago
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Gmail Goes HTTPS Only For All Connections

Roger Wilcox Doesn't NSA own SSL already? (141 comments)

I seem to remember hearing they had already cracked SSL among all of the recent revelations.

Either way, this is obviously a PR move. It should give nobody any high hope for Google's intentions...

about 6 months ago
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DARPA Seeks the Holy Grail of Search Engines

Roger Wilcox Re:Join the slashdot farewell: (78 comments)

Bitter vituperation towards the failed beta, even after it's gone, may do as much to drive away readership as the beta

2 things:

A First, on the bitter vituperation, as one who quite unabashedly shared my thoughts about how and why the new design was/is bad: much of the speech was strongly voiced, but it was simply the truth. If Dice kills the site layout and function, I will stop coming here. That's not a threat so much as a fact that I feel dice should be privy to. I don't want them to kill the site, and I'm sure they don't want me to leave. Bluntly pointing out the lose-lose seemed to me the most direct way to communicate my feelings and affect change.

As an addendum to the above point, there is something in the culture here (and not just here) where humor and bravado is acceptable and even expected. Perhaps you have not been properly acculturated to Slashdot geek, subspecies of Internet geek. By your very presence here you should know what to expect in this regard.

B Second, Dice failed hard on this gambit. They didn't even bother to try at "reading the wind" so to speak. Hopefully they have learned from this and will at least make an attempt to understand the community before making fools of themselves in the future.

You can say that the community reaction harms the site's image, and that might even be true. On the whole though, the community doesn't care about Slashdot's image. We have this space, and it is ours, and it is good. Only Dice is concerned with image because they are trying to figure out how to grow us and monetize us. This is the ugly truth behind the whole situation, and I posit this is where where much of the "bitter" response really came from. It's creepy and sad to see a culture that you love slowly destroyed by a soulless entity that doesn't care about you or your community so much as it cares about using you and shaping you into something profitable.

In this instance, by failing to read the wind, Dice bared this truth to all of us; reminded us that this community isn't really ours so much as it is theirs. Absolutely that was a hurt to the community.

about 7 months ago
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Former Head of NSA Calls For Obama To Reject NSA Commission Recommendations

Roger Wilcox Propaganda much? (316 comments)

This article is from a mainstream source, USA Today, which might be the most widely circulated periodical in the nation... and this "Hayden" says what?

They'll poll damn well after the next attack

Reacting reflexively to irrational human impulses is not good leadership. What Hayden is talking about is called "taking advantage of the public to further political goals."

there have been no abuses

Bullshit. A flat out lie. Most of the data collection the NSA does is an abuse simply by its nature, and that's ignoring the blatant abuses we already know about.

almost all the court decisions on this program have held that it's constitutional

What? All one out of two cases? Another flat out lie.

This is a propaganda piece, plain and simple. Grease the peons for the next move no matter how toxic the lubrication. Enzensberger said the "consent industry" was the most important of the twentieth century. And so it is in the twenty-first as well.

If you have a brain and a proper education, you will see through this swill immediately. Unfortunately, the nature of the media machine and the ignorance of the masses will mean this story gets eaten up by many of our more gullible brothers. Consider the peons greased.

about 9 months ago
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The Rise of Hoax News

Roger Wilcox Re:Codswallop. (181 comments)

Some people like that stuff.

Other people read slashdot.

about 9 months ago
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The Rise of Hoax News

Roger Wilcox Codswallop. (181 comments)

This phenomenon is not new. The signal to noise ratio has been poor for millennia. I recall an adage: "Believe nothing that you hear and only half of what you see." The Internet has merely made this truth more apparent.

If you think about it, the Internet might actually give us an advantage over our ancestors in this regard--fact-checking and cross-referencing are easier now than ever before.

Of course, none of that excuses charlatan media corporations that publish bullshit stories in order to generate hits.

On the other hand, they are only tarnishing their own credibility, and if they continue to do so they will eventually be viewed as sleazy tabloids. And if that's the image they want to project, there isn't much we can do about it. Some people like that stuff.

about 9 months ago
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US Working To Kill UN Privacy Resolutions

Roger Wilcox I have an idea! (197 comments)

I'll spy on your citizens if you spy on mine!

about 10 months ago
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Sweden Is Closing Many Prisons Due to Lack of Prisoners

Roger Wilcox Re:Those damn socialist! (752 comments)

Wait. So, prohibition is bad. But the one drug that is no longer prohibited is now the worst offender of all? Me thinks you need to rethink that argument.

You obviously don't understand what GP is getting at. The argument you present above is nonsense.

GP posits two separate points:

  • 1. Alcohol use causes more damage than the use of other drugs.
  • 2. Prohibition is bad.

These points are related only insofar as alcohol is a drug and drugs are prohibited.

What you missed: alcohol caused our society even more trouble than it currently does under prohibition. There are many reasons for this, but the chief issue is that prohibition simply doesn't work. People will do what people want to do, and under prohibition of alcohol they did. There was demand for booze and because there was no legal supply, a black market emerged to meet that demand.

GP is pointing out that this black market still exists for other drugs, and that many of the problems society faces in relation to those drugs is a direct result of prohibitionist policy.

The fact that alcohol use is more damaging than the use of other drugs illustrates how silly it is that we continue to prohibit other substances, even as the black markets and prisoner costs created by the prohibition continue to compound the problems that we face.

about 10 months ago
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WikiLeaks Releases the Secret Draft Text of the TPP IP Rights Chapter

Roger Wilcox Someone remind me... (212 comments)

Why the fuck is it that we the people allow our government to participate in this kind of secret talk at all? We might as well be bending over and asking for it!

about 10 months ago
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Google Wants To Help You Tiptoe Around the NSA & the Great Firewall of China

Roger Wilcox Why stop there? (140 comments)

On a related note, when will the public finally demand that communications which pass encrypted through a third party still retain an reasonable expectation of privacy (rendering them pen register order-resistant)?

Fuck that! We should demand that all of our communications remain private! Why limit our demands only to those communications that are encrypted and routed through a proxy? Why should we put up with any of this nonsense for an instant?

The fourth amendment states: "Every subject has a right to be secure from all unreasonable searches, and seizures of his person, his houses, his papers, and all his possessions." So our papers are electronic today, but it's plain to see that the spirit of this basic right translates directly to electronic papers.

The NSA's actions are egregious and ri-goddamn-diculous! The bastards should be made to stand at the pillory until they rot! What the fuck is wrong with everybody?

about a year ago
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What Are the Genuinely Useful Ideas In Programming?

Roger Wilcox The Pragmatic Programmer (598 comments)

Andrew Hunt and David Thomas have done this already. This book contains the universal truths of programming, from a high-level perspective. It addresses analysis, coding, dealing with management, planning for the inevitable shitstorm, and even keeping yourself sharp as a programmer. Their book is the one book I would recommend to any programmer, from novice to expert. Further, I would recommend that you buy it, keep it, and reread it every couple of years. The concepts therein will be applicable to any programming you will do in any language and in any environment.

about a year ago

Submissions

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Republican Party Changes Rules From Convention Floor to Prevent Paul Nomination

Roger Wilcox Roger Wilcox writes  |  about 2 years ago

Roger Wilcox (776904) writes "Under Republican party rules for the 2012 election cycle, candidates were required to carry a plurality of delegates from at least five states to be eligible for nomination from the convention floor. Several weeks ago, the Republican National Committee changed the rules and additionally required state delegations to submit signed documentation ahead of the nominating process demonstrating a plurality. Today, in accordance with these new rules, six state delegations (Nevada, Minnesota, Maine, Iowa, Oregon and Alaska) submitted petitions demonstrating a plurality of delegates for Rep. Ron Paul of Texas. Rather than adhering to its own established rules for the 2012 cycle, party leaders once again moved to change those rules, this time requiring a minimum of an eight state plurality for nomination. So much for a free and open political process?"
Link to Original Source
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$700 Billion Bailout Signed Into Law

Roger Wilcox Roger Wilcox writes  |  more than 5 years ago

Roger Wilcox writes "After the spectacular failure of several large, long-standing banks over the course of the last month, Congress passed a bill that will allocate $700 billion to the Treasury Department for the purchase of so-called 'toxic assets' that have been weighing down on Wall Street balance sheets. President Bush quickly signed the measure into law. The legislation was the same bill that had been defeated in the House of Representatives earlier in the week, though an additional $110 billion in appropriations had been tacked on to appease congressmen who had originally voted against the bill.

Read the Associated Press article at Wired News."

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