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Comments

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Great Firewall of China Blocks Edgecast CDN, Thousands of Websites Affected

Tom Re:China's internet will become a smaller intranet (73 comments)

Because of the many advantages it offers. Linking to jquery on a CDN, for example, not only reduces the load on your server, and the number of connections, there is also a really good chance the visitor already has it cached because many sites do it and thus share a URL. And even if not, at least that part of your site will come from a localized node.

3 hours ago
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Great Firewall of China Blocks Edgecast CDN, Thousands of Websites Affected

Tom Re:China's internet will become a smaller intranet (73 comments)

China's gated internet will become more isolated from the rest of the world.

And you think they care very much?

What we in the west fail to understand is how isolated non-western countries already are. I know some inside views from Russia through personal contacts. Russia has its own Facebook (vk), it's own Google (yandex) and so on. For pretty much every popular service, it has its own version, usually much more popular than the western variant.

I can imagine it's the same for China. They could be isolated and for most people not much would change.

3 hours ago
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The EU Has a Plan To Break Up Google

Tom Re:Google doesn't have a monopoly on ANYTHING. (288 comments)

Isn't the EU shoving it down the people's throats what the person was arguing?

The GP claimed the EU is shoving laws down nation states' throats, but that's only a dangerous half-truth. The fact that typically the same politicians who claim "bad EU makes us do evil things" are the ones behind the EU doing said things is a critical part of the puzzle the GP either wasn't aware of or omitted intentionally.

9 hours ago
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The EU Has a Plan To Break Up Google

Tom Re:In an unrelated news item... (288 comments)

and the EU is a conglomeration of thugs who makes a lot of their money by suing big companies for free money.

If I had a dollar for everytime someone posts these 100% predicatable pieces of hogwash, I'd put Warren Buffet to shame.

The EU is so crazy corporation-friendly, claiming they're in any way treating corporations badly is like saying the oceans are evil bastards because they're trying to drown all the fish.

yesterday
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The EU Has a Plan To Break Up Google

Tom Re:What's so special about Google? (288 comments)

What you are referring to while calling it "barrier to entry" is actually "barrier to becoming the top player".

You failed telepathy class, I assume?

No, I meant barrier to entry. You may think that if you put up a website on a free webhosting site that returns results from that MySQL database your single-threaded Perl crawler is filling, you've somehow entered the search market, but I'm pretty sure everyone who's stopped laughing will explain that's not what entering a market means.

You've not entered the furniture megastore market either when you're selling your old sofa on ebay, you know?

yesterday
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The EU Has a Plan To Break Up Google

Tom Re:Google doesn't have a monopoly on ANYTHING. (288 comments)

What part of this is not true? The EU is operating like a socialist federation these days: they shove EU laws (up to and including a constitution) through their member states' throat and enforce them

You have no idea how EU politics works.

What's being "shoved down member states throats" are almost all laws that the national politicians wanted, but couldn't get through locally because of popular resistance and the media eating them alive. So they push it up to the EU, it comes back a few year later, thanks to short public memory they now claim they have no choice, it's an EU mandate, and they get the laws they wanted.

yesterday
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The EU Has a Plan To Break Up Google

Tom Re:Google doesn't have a monopoly on ANYTHING. (288 comments)

They should go and re-read their history books and remember how close all of Europe was to speaking either German or Russian.

Funny historic fact: The USA was one vote away from speaking German. :-)

yesterday
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The EU Has a Plan To Break Up Google

Tom Re:Google doesn't have a monopoly on ANYTHING. (288 comments)

What is happening here is that a bunch of politicians are interfering in the legitimate business of a private enterprise.

Without this naster "interference", those private enterprises wouldn't exist. The government provides the stability, regulation and occasional enforcement of the rules that enables the business world to function at all. Without contract law and courts, do you really think the stock market, stock ownership of corporations and the whole investment sector would exist?

Funny how one kind of "interference" is taken for granted, as long as it benefits you, but as soon as you don't like it, it's evil nasty mafia-style badness.

Not as a result of violating any laws

It's called anti-trust, and yes there are laws about it.

yesterday
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The EU Has a Plan To Break Up Google

Tom Re:Google doesn't have a monopoly on ANYTHING. (288 comments)

Yugoslavia was no threat to EU, ever. It was a civil war, and within Europe many people consider it a mistake to become involved.

As for Putin - you can think what you want, he's never expressed any desires to expand into Europe. That he got nervous about Ukraine - well, after Kuba you americans shouldn't be talking. What would you do if there was a revolution in Mexico or Canada and the new government is strongly pro-Russia with open, direct and very vocal russian support? Or chinese. Or both. You'd sit on your asses and say "let the people decide", yes?

yesterday
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The EU Has a Plan To Break Up Google

Tom Re:Google doesn't have a monopoly on ANYTHING. (288 comments)

The EU uses a mafia style shakedown program

Get some help for your paranoia issues.

The EU has become so fucking corporation friendly over the past two decades, we have rising poverty in all developed EU countries, falling real wages, unemployment, high percentages of temporary employment and are busy destroying the middle class that kept Europe stable for six decades. All in the name of protecting banksters and corporate profits, who are breaking records yearly.

Accusing the EU of shaking down corporations is orwellian.

yesterday
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The EU Has a Plan To Break Up Google

Tom Re:What's so special about Google? (288 comments)

There is no barrier to entry other than excellence in search.

Your entire argument is based on a false assumption. It's like saying that there's no barrier to entry in the space mining business other than excellence in technology.

"Excellence in search" is not very easy, and given the Internets size requires a massive infrastructure by itself. In addition, you can have the best search engine in the world, as long as nobody knows about it, it's worthless. And since a large percentage of Internet users are only dimly aware that they're using a search engine when they type some words into the address bar, it's not as easy as you assume it to be.

All regulations will do in a situation like this is break the functioning market.

You missed the main part, I figure. Nobody is trying to break up the search market. Anti-trust is all about preventing a dominant player in one market from leveraging its dominance to become a dominant player in other markets where it would not prevail on merits alone.

The search market, for all this regulation, would be unchanged.

European regulations should be focusing on the edges of the market where Google is trying to manipulate things, such as forcing them to randomize product listing instead of always listing their own first.

Great idea!

Oh, wait...

That's exactly what they're thinking about.

yesterday
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The EU Has a Plan To Break Up Google

Tom Re:What's so special about Google? (288 comments)

Tell me, do you really believe it is the anti-trust department that decides upon sanctions? If not, why bring up this strawman when my argument was that this department, at least is working nicely? I didn't say other parts of the EU do.
 

yesterday
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The EU Has a Plan To Break Up Google

Tom Re:In an unrelated news item... (288 comments)

But this represents an existential threat

Nonsense. One of the ways that corporations are different from real people is that you can split them into parts without killing them.

So we'd have AdSearchGoogle, headed by Larry Page, and ServiceGoogle, headed by Sergey Brin. AdSearchGoogle would be prohibited for 5 years to favor search results pointing to ServiceGoogle, and that's it.

Also, Google doesn't have to stop serving them, just stop doing business there.

Googles business is advertisement. Their services are excuses for showing you advertisement. In this business, these two things are pretty much the same thing.

yesterday
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The EU Has a Plan To Break Up Google

Tom Re:In an unrelated news item... (288 comments)

You need to go back to reading comprehension 101. The part that's nationalistic about the GP post is USA nationalism, not european.

yesterday
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The EU Has a Plan To Break Up Google

Tom Re:In an unrelated news item... (288 comments)

but the U.S. leads in per capita consumer spending.

Which, as a per capita value is again dependent on the population number for total value, and the population of the EU is 60% larger.

But the U.S. (and U.S. companies) does not need Europe to sustain businesses tied to consumer products.

Strangely, they seem to think otherwise, because they're going to great efforts to do business in Europe.

yesterday
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The EU Has a Plan To Break Up Google

Tom Re:In an unrelated news item... (288 comments)

China is much less connected to the world and especially the language barrier is massive. There's more to language than making a translation. Why do you think Facebook has almost no traction in Russia? It's not that they couldn't find someone who writes kyrillic.

yesterday
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The EU Has a Plan To Break Up Google

Tom Re:Google doesn't have a monopoly on ANYTHING. (288 comments)

My point is that the EU is a bunch of arrogant idiots who have no business telling an American company to split up.

Like it or not, idiots or not, they do have such business, simply because your poor little "american company" is no such thing. It's an international corporation that was once founded in america, but now does business all over the world, including within the EU and actually quite a lot of it.

2 days ago
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The EU Has a Plan To Break Up Google

Tom Re:What's so special about Google? (288 comments)

I don't consider it much of a monopoly when the barrier to entry is almost nothing.

If you think the barrier to entry in the search market is low, you should have a talk with Yahoo or MS, both of which have spent a billion or three on what you call "almost nothing". Either they're all idiots, or you're missing something.

I can't help but feel that this entire push is slimy corruption politics typical to Europe where they try to protect local businesses and harm foreign ones using dubious legal means which are often against WTO agreements.

But actually a good thing. Of course you'll deny that if you drank too much of the neo-conservative cool-aid, but to any thinking person it's quite clear that the total dominance of a few global superplayers is not beneficial to the market or the people.

I'll be frank, I despise my government here in Germany and if they all vanished tomorrow and were replaced by monkeys giving random orders, we'd probably be better off. But in a few things, they somehow manage to do the right thing, despite their total lack of competence.

2 days ago
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The EU Has a Plan To Break Up Google

Tom Re:What's so special about Google? (288 comments)

But when are we going to see them go after other huge companies abusing their market share?

They do. The anti-trust part of the EU is actually one of the few that's working pretty good. And before the usual stupid comments come running: They go against EU companies as much as against USA companies.

2 days ago
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The EU Has a Plan To Break Up Google

Tom Re:In an unrelated news item... (288 comments)

This stupid nonsense is posted every time the EU acts in relation to american companies.

It's among the worst nationalistic hogwash misconceptions ever, easily on par with North Korea rambling about its moon base.

The EU is bigger than the USA in almost every metric, especially on the important ones: Population count (507 mio. vs. 319 mio.) and GDP (18.4 trio. US$ vs. 16.8 trio. US$).

Any big american company deciding to withdraw from Europe would have its board of directors kicked out faster than they can sign the paperwork to make it happen, or watch its stock crash & burn, because they've just not only moved out of its biggest market, they've also given a free playing ground for a global competitor to emerge unchallenged.

2 days ago

Submissions

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Supreme Court strengthens First Sale Doctrine

Tom Tom writes  |  about a year and a half 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
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Hotfile countersues Warner

Tom Tom writes  |  more than 3 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
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MS loses European anti-trust case

Tom Tom writes  |  more than 7 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

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The Trolls

Tom Tom writes  |  about 8 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.

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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.

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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.

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