Beta

×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Comments

top

Is the App Store Broken?

Tom Re:economy bullshit argument (156 comments)

Nice rant, but like all hyperboles, it left reality far behind in the second sentence.

I've used DOS originally, then some Windows and hated it pretty much from the start, so I switched to Linux as soon as I heard about it, I think it was 1997 or so. Do you know why I've been a Mac users for about 10 years now? Because it simply works. I don't have to spend half of my time on just maintaining the system and searching for obscure failure cases. I love my iMac and my iPhone because they allow me to focus almost all of my time on actually doing the work that I want to do.

To most people in this world, computers are a tool. Just like cars. Most people who own a car use it to get from A to B. Some people own cars so they can tinker with them on the weekend and replace parts just because they can - but they are a tiny minority.

I love that I could get a system running from scratch, compile my own kernel and base tools and so on. I've done it and it was a great experience. At the same time, I'm very happy that I don't actually have to do it. I'm tired of tinkering with the machine, I have actual work I want to get done. I have places A and B that I want to get to.

38 minutes ago
top

Is the App Store Broken?

Tom Re:economy bullshit argument (156 comments)

that Apple has banned some of the most profitable types of app, [...] For example alternative web browsers

Uh... because web browsers are certainly the most profitable software outside the app store. It's a real shame that all those multi-billion dollar browser makers cannot port their cash cows to iOS. Why does Apple not realize that thousands of jobs depend on the sales of web browsers?

The App Store only rewards Zynga for this behaviour.

The App Store doesn't give a fuck. Users reward Zynga by flocking to their copycat games while at the same time complaining that all games have become the same and there's no innovation anymore.

45 minutes ago
top

Ask Slashdot: Is Running Mission-Critical Servers Without a Firewall Common?

Tom it depends... (322 comments)

There are two kinds of people who run servers without firewalls: Nitwits and professionals.

Nitwits do it because they think they don't need a firewall and it gives them a bit more performance or whatever.

Professionals do it when they know the conditions are right to justify it and they've made a risk assessment that confirms they are right. For example you run a high-traffic server that does exactly one thing on one port and the server software is robust - a firewall wouldn't do you any good, it's just additional security in case you open a port you didn't want to or such.

12 hours ago
top

Is the App Store Broken?

Tom economy bullshit argument (156 comments)

As the economics get tighter, it becomes much harder to support the lavish treatment that developers have given apps in the past, such as full-time staffs, offices, pixel-perfect custom designs of every screen, frequent free updates, and completely different iPhone and iPad interfaces.

This is why these app developers fail where Apple succeeds. They create apps for an environment they don't get. Apple is very much about this attention to detail in everything they do, and it's a huge part of why they are successful.

The "economics get tighter" argument is a strawman. Apple users are not the kind of people who drive to a different supermarket because the tomatoes are 5 cents cheaper there.

12 hours ago
top

On Forgetting the Facts: Questions From the EU For Google, Other Search Engines

Tom Re:Slippery Slope (183 comments)

You think that people are looking for a 100% technical perfect solution that satisfies every nerd desire ever.

But non-geeks don't think like that, and politicians especially not. They live in an analog world. Where adding "murder = crime" to the lawbook does not remove all murders the same way that adding "deny from 192.168.0.2" to a firewall ruleset kills all packets from that source. They understand that their solutions are approximations and are full of holes.

To someone who understands the world as non-digital, filtering by source IP is perfectly fine even if he knows that VPNs exist. Because he also knows that 99% of the users don't use VPNs.

And especially for Google: They already do a lot of ad-related stuff based on your geolocation, so there's no technical reason why they can't show you the filtered or the unfiltered list based on that.

yesterday
top

On Forgetting the Facts: Questions From the EU For Google, Other Search Engines

Tom Re:Institutional hypocrisy (183 comments)

Oh, I'm sure believing that WWI and WWII happened because of irrational hatred is a comforting thought to Germans, but it's not true.

You're such a git. If you really think that Germany alone caused WW1, you've been spoon-fed too much propaganda. Yes, Germany started WW1, totally true. But at that time, half of Europe was waiting for an opportunity to kick this or that neighbours ass, which is largely why everyone jumped at the chance to have a war. At any other time in Europe's history, the assassination of some successor of some second-rate country would've barely made front-page news, let alone cause any diplomatic trouble.

And you illustrate that many Germans still hold the same kinds of beliefs.

"git" is not a strong enough word for you, but I can't think of a better one right now. Maybe you could try history and actual arguments instead of ad hominem attacks. And if you insist on attacking people you don't even know, you could try to at least make it somewhat funny or interesting instead of just boring and stupid.

Germans were motivated by the strong conviction that their culture, economy, and system of government was superior, in particular to the Anglo Saxon model, and that they had a moral duty to spread it across Europe.

France and England barely avoided a war between themselves in 1904 and forged an alliance that Russia joined in 1907. You could have heard about it in history class if you hadn't been asleep, it was called the Entente and if you open your mouth to talk about WW1 and you forget to mention the Entente, you prove to everyone with some education that you're an idiot.

Together with everyones colonialism and increasing tensions due to colonial wars and growing military everywhere you got a complex diplomatic situation with several secret pacts (Italia and France, 1902, for example) that creates a situation that even serious historians call a powder keg and that they largely agree would have blown up sooner or later.

You attempt to simplify complex history to one source and one reason and one actor is typical of american movies where you always need a hero and a villain to tell the story, but it very, very rarely is appropriate to real life.

yesterday
top

Satellite Images Show Russians Shelling Ukraine

Tom Re:So much unnecessary trouble (566 comments)

separates private and business life more strongly?

Yes. Most people don't care very much what their friends do as a job, and rarely know more about it than their profession. In reverse, they don't care about private life of people they work with.

Just two examples: When I talk to Russians, they are astonished that people would bring their wife or husbands to business events at all, while here in Germany it is normal that some business events explicitly tell that you can bring your significant other, if you want. Russians say "wtf?" if I tell them about things like "bring your kid to work" days.

About Putin: There was a portrait about him in a german magazine recently, listing his divorce, his fondness of hunting and ice hockey and a couple other things. For me there's nothing special about such a portrait of a politician. Russian reaction: "wtf it's his private life, why do they care?"

Just yesterday the Hague ruled against Russia to the tune of $50bn because Putin and his cronies did exactly this to Khodorkovsky with no regard to the shareholders that invested honestly ending up also as victims of their personal vendetta:

You don't even begin to understand what the difference between private life and business is.

yesterday
top

Which Is Better, Adblock Or Adblock Plus?

Tom AdBlock Edge (328 comments)

Due to the questionable new owners of ABP, I've since changed to Edge.

Basically, the moment people tell you that there's such a thing as "acceptable advertisement" and that anyone except you, yourself can decide which it is, you know they've sold out. It's shorthand for "we will allow advertisement that pays us to let it through".

yesterday
top

Satellite Images Show Russians Shelling Ukraine

Tom Re:So much unnecessary trouble (566 comments)

It's true that it is unique. Russians themselves say that St. Petersburg is half russian and half european. But I've also got russian friends I talk to, who are from Moscow, from small villages near the Ural mountains and other places within Russia.

2 days ago
top

Satellite Images Show Russians Shelling Ukraine

Tom Re:So much unnecessary trouble (566 comments)

It sounds like you've been won over by the facade of corrupt spending and wealth in touristy areas

You assume I was a tourist. I wasn't.

Russia is a huge country - the biggest on earth, in fact - and of course there are large differences between the various areas. I was in St. Petersburg as I said. It's probably one of the richer areas.

People don't love Putin because he's improved the country, they love him because like all dictators he's a master of propaganda and populism, or did you think all those photoshoots and the massive military parades each year and the nationalist rhetoric over Crimea were all just for his own personal scrapbook?

Russians don't care as much as we do. They separate private and business life a lot more strongly, from what I gather. Of course there's a lot of propaganda involved as well.

But you totally ignored that main argument I made. That no matter what you see Russia as today, compared to the very recent past it has improved dramatically, and those improvements started with Putin taking office. Whether its true or not, a lot of people see a connection.

2 days ago
top

On Forgetting the Facts: Questions From the EU For Google, Other Search Engines

Tom Re:Institutional hypocrisy (183 comments)

You see, the scenario you outline isn't all that different from what happened at the beginning of the 20th century.

Except for two world wars, a totally changed global economical and political environment and, oh yes, the EU itself.

At the beginning of the 20th century, Europe was a mess of countries all out for blood, with century-old hatreds and politicians just waiting for an opportunity to start a war. Which is kind of exactly what happened just a few years into the 20th century.

Yeah... it would be absolutely the same... keep dreaming.

2 days ago
top

On Forgetting the Facts: Questions From the EU For Google, Other Search Engines

Tom Re:Institutional hypocrisy (183 comments)

I agree with your main point, btw.

However, both on paper and from real-world experience, I dare to say that the judicative is the least troubled arm.

In most of Europe, the legislative and executive are pretty much identical and that bothers me to no end. Parliament passes laws and parliament elects the executive, and all the executives (ministers, etc.) are also members of parliament. These two arms are not seperated at all. The USA has the better system there, even though it is still imperfect in that the same parties exist in both.

If I were to re-write the political rules, I'd seperate the arms completely and make a law that political parties can be active in either the executive or the legistlative election processes, but not in both and any attempt to do so leads to immediate dissolution of the party in question with all assets seized and distributed to the poor.

3 days ago
top

On Forgetting the Facts: Questions From the EU For Google, Other Search Engines

Tom Re:Slippery Slope (183 comments)

Let me repeat that: It is absolutely technically possible to filter based on source IP address country.

Yes, you can also do various trickery to cloak your real source behind another source. That doesn't invalidate the point.

3 days ago
top

Satellite Images Show Russians Shelling Ukraine

Tom Re:So much unnecessary trouble (566 comments)

If Putin were to back down and support a peaceful resolution whose outcome might not satisfy Russian nationalists, he could find himself out of power.

Highly unlikely. Putin is beloved by the majority of russians, because under his government economy and internal security have improved dramatically. Most russians remember the 1990s when people were shot in the streets regularily, the way you only see in some old movies about when the Mafia ruled in some US cities. Compared to that time, they live in paradise now, and many attribute this change to Putin. Don't expect him to be out of power anytime soon. As for the russian elite, a lot of them own their fortune to this change. Never mistake criticism for opposition. Especially among politicians and the rich, it is fairly common to complain loudly about someone and still support them when it matters, because all the complaining and seeming hostility is simply an attempt to move them on certain topics.

3 days ago
top

Satellite Images Show Russians Shelling Ukraine

Tom Re:So much unnecessary trouble (566 comments)

The last thing Putin wants is a country with a lot of relatives of Russians getting the EU treatment and finding out how nice it is to be out of their largely lawless, virtual dictatorship of a state.

You should update your propaganda-driven beliefs. I've got a russian girlfriend and I've been to Russia myself. At least for where I was (St. Petersburg), it looks much like any european city, except more beautiful (but that's a St. Petersburg special, they made very sure to keep all the old palaces and buildings in shape).

Crime was horrible in the 1990s, my girlfriend says, but here's why most russians actually love Putin: Since he became the top dog, things have been continuously improving. Crime is low, economy is good, of course nothing is perfect, but compared to previous times, they're pretty great.

From what I've seen in daily life, I don't see anything that would make them jealous of a random EU member country. Supermarkets are full of basically the same products I can buy here, everyone has a car, public transport is better than in some european cities, the streets are in good condition and clean, I felt safe both at day and at night.

Of course Putin doesn't want Ukraine to join the EU. But that they will all be able to suddenly buy bananas and thus run away from communism is 1990s stuff and long since outdated.

3 days ago
top

On Forgetting the Facts: Questions From the EU For Google, Other Search Engines

Tom Re:Institutional hypocrisy (183 comments)

My understanding is that this (Separation of Powers) is explicitly defined and codified in the USA. In the rest of the world, that may be the intent, but there can often be some overlap.

You mean like the typically politically motivated appointment of the judges of the supreme court? Oh wait, that's in the USA...

who were serving members of the House of Lords (one of the houses of Parliament). [...]some degree of agency between the executive and the judiciary.

Legislative. Get your facts straight before you argue.

3 days ago
top

On Forgetting the Facts: Questions From the EU For Google, Other Search Engines

Tom Re:Institutional hypocrisy (183 comments)

And the best response that could be given would be to blackhole everything EU. They want to be forgotten, then let's forget them.

Let me guess, you're american and you didn't pay attention in school, so you think "Europe" is some small country somewhere on the other side of the Atlantic Ocean, yes?

The EU is larger than the USA in people, economic power and basically every other metric except prison population. Blackhole the EU if you want. We may or may not come over to save the sorry remains of your economy in a couple years.

The EU wants to be forgotten, let's see how the EU economy survives that.

The trade volume between the USA and the EU is about 60 billion US$ monthly . However, the USA imports a lot more, while the import/export balance of the EU is almost balanced (http://ec.europa.eu/trade/policy/eu-position-in-world-trade/). Make a guess who would suffer more.

3 days ago
top

On Forgetting the Facts: Questions From the EU For Google, Other Search Engines

Tom Re:Institutional hypocrisy (183 comments)

You've heard of this thing they call "Separation of Powers"? Maybe the news hasn't reached you yet, after all it's only been around for some 350 years.

3 days ago
top

On Forgetting the Facts: Questions From the EU For Google, Other Search Engines

Tom Re: What about my right to search? (183 comments)

So is there a right to search, which is really a form of free speech?

Searching and speaking are really not the same thing. Once again, you can say they are related and one requires the other and so on, but all of that only means that yes, there really is no "right to search", you can only construct it from other rights.

3 days ago
top

On Forgetting the Facts: Questions From the EU For Google, Other Search Engines

Tom Re:What about my right to search? (183 comments)

Freedom of association.

Is a right in itself and maybe you can derive a "right to search" from it, but in doing so you would only prove my point that a "right to search" by itself is nowhere in the law books.

3 days ago

Submissions

top

Supreme Court strengthens First Sale Doctrine

Tom Tom writes  |  about a year ago

Tom writes "The Supreme Court has sided with Supap Kirtsaeng regarding the resale of textbooks. Publisher Wiley had tried to keep a $600,000 judgement from the lower courts because the student had sold textbooks in the US that he had imported from his home country Thailand, where they are sold much cheaper. The Supreme Court ruled that while it realizes that US companies often try to get different prices in different markets, the copyright law does not provide a right to such business models."
Link to Original Source
top

Hotfile countersues Warner

Tom Tom writes  |  more than 2 years ago

Tom (822) writes "Hotfile went out of its way to bow to the movie industry and gave the likes of Warner a special account that they could use to delete content — any content. Apparently, that's just what they did as Hotfiles countersuit claims after Warner sued them anyways. They claim Warner deleted Public Domain content, Free Software and many other items that could not possibly be confused with copyrighted movies if one took even a single look.
The funny part? They are suing Warner under the DMCA, the very law the music industry bought/bribed for themselves."

Link to Original Source
top

MS loses European anti-trust case

Tom Tom writes  |  more than 6 years ago

Tom writes "The court has spoken in Microsoft's case against the EU anti-trust commission, and the result is even more damaging to the monopoly company than analysts expected.
The court upholds all major decisions of the commission, including the record half a billion Euro fines. Most importantly, it smacks down MS entire defense line of "we can't make interoperability possible because we need to protect our copyrights and patents"."

Link to Original Source

Journals

top

The Trolls

Tom Tom writes  |  about 4 months ago

Wow, it's been 15 years but I've finally got my own personal troll! :-)

I must apologize to everyone I've ever called a troll now that I've seen a real one. Yeah, there are trollish comments, but this... it's a different league. If you ever wondered who these brain-damaged morons were who set up geocities homepages with blinking purple text on blue background with red dots in Comic Sans - that kind of different league.

Now it does make me wonder about trolls in general. Has there been a study on this? I really wonder if psychologists have tackled this because quite honestly, you cannot be mentally stable and post in this and this content at the same time. So I do wonder if trolls on the Internet (the real trolls, not the people occasionally posting something stupid) do have a mental problem. It definitely looks like it. Probably insecurity issues, definitely an exaggerated need for attention, might be related to borderline syndrome or schizoprenia.

And, of course, the Internet provides:

As someone who has had to deal with family members suffering from mental illness, let me tell you that it's not funny. So despite the fact that they are, in fact, obnoxious, aggravating assholes, these sad little fucks also need help and their miserable little existence is not something you'd want to trade for yours, no matter how much you think your life sucks. Trust me, with a mental illness on top, it'll suck more.

Obviously, we can't offer therapy to people who usually comment anonymously and will often go to great lengths to avoid being tracked down. What we can do, however, is get a better understanding for how they act this way (they can't help it, mental illness is stronger than your conscious mind) and that the best thing we can do for them is to not continue the feedback loop. "Don't feed the trolls" - old wisdom there.

The last link in that list contains a few more ideas.

Now that I'm at the end, I kind of regret the smiley face at the top. But I'm leaving it in because this journal entry is a bit of a journey, even if it is short. Thanks to some Internet resources, a bit of research and connecting the dots, I've come a short way, changing my mind a little on this particular sub-sub-sub-part of life.

-----

A short additional statement on how to treat trolling. From what I've gathered from the resources above, a few comments (both here and in the various spammed threads) and my own life experience:

First, don't feed the trolls. Most of them seek attention, so if you stop giving it to them, they become frustrated and go away. Notice that they seek attention, not validation. A rebuke or an angry rant or even a shootout of personal insults satisfies them as much as anything else. Much like the old PR saying "there is no negative publicity", it is all about the attention itself, not about its content.

Second, stand your ground. Do not leave the site or stop commenting just because you're being trolled. It takes a bit to do that, yes. Trolls consider it a "victory" if they shut you up, either by simple flooding or by frustrating you enough to disappear. In their twisted minds, it gives them validation and somehow proves that they were right.

Third, if you see someone else being trolled, give them support. Doesn't take much - a single sentence is more than enough. Someone under attack by a real troll is being flooded. The troll will commonly post under multiple aliases or otherwise attempt to appear as more than one person. Psychological experiments such as Solomon Asch's show how we humans as social animals experience conformance pressure. So give that other person support by showing him that the flood he's getting is no the only opinion around. It doesn't matter if he consciously knows it's just one troll, the pressure is subconscious.

-----

I'd like to have comments disabled on this journal entry, for obvious reasons, but you can't publish a journal entry with comments disabled, so... 1000:1 bet that he's stalking the journal as well and will add his drivel below?

Also, if the formatting looks atrocious, turn off beta and revert to classic. Seriously.

top

The "new" and "de-improved" Slashdot

Tom Tom writes  |  more than 5 years ago

If you've known /. for a while, you've certainly noticed all the recent changes. The front page articles auto-load-extend (presumably through AJAX code), the link to get to your own page has moved twice, and now there are two (that both look alike - your username - but work differently), and checking if anyone has replied to your comments has been a two-click journey instead of the old one-click for a while now.

Then there's the annoying inline popup (so it's not caught by popup blockers) that tells you that "Firehose is paused due to inactivity". Whatever that means, it doesn't seem nearly important enough to interrupt my reading.

Quite frankly, from a user interface design standpoint, the "new" slashdot sucks. Badly. Maybe I'll try disabling all javascript for slashdot.org and check if that improves the experience.

top

Giving up on Wikipedia

Tom Tom writes  |  more than 6 years ago

I'm giving up on Wikipedia today. Which means no more editing, and a lot less using it.

The reason is one word: Deletionism.

The details are three points:

a) It goes so against the spirit of Wiki, because a deletion is a non-reversable, non-reviewable change. The history gets lost, all work of everyone gets lost, and nobody can see and check it later. Every other change in a Wiki is documented, and you can see exactly what was changed, by whom, and when. Not so with a deletion. If you are lucky, you can find out that there used to be a page named this, but nothing about its contents.

b) It is destructive. You put hours of work into something, and it just gets deleted. Not updated, changed or even vandalised, but deleted. Poof, gone, as if it never existed. Have you ever lost your documents folder with no backup? Then you know the empty feeling. Don't do that to people, especially not those who might be new (and could have become worthy contributors, if they hadn't be hit in the face for their first attempt).

c) Notability-Nazis. Some time ago, the main reasons for deletion where actually valid. Nowadays, the main reason for deletion is notability, or in simpler words "I've never heard about this". My position on notability is very simple: Add a "non-noteable" category, namespace or at least archive and move stuff there, but it should not even be on the list of reasons for deletion. To me, an encyclopedia is where I look up the stuff that I've never heard about, so it'd better be there.

So for all these reasons, and a few minor ones, I've really switched sides over the past few weeks. I think I even begin to understand why large parts of the science community view Wikipedia with scepticism, and that much of the media's portrayl of their reasons is grossly simplified.

Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?
or Connect with...

Don't worry, we never post anything without your permission.

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>