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Google Search Finally Adds Information About Video Games

TuringTest Re:I don't like (47 comments)

Wikipedia is dead, for anything other than keeping track of trivia about popular media anyway. All the policies about removing content in the name of improving quality, without adding proper quality processes on top, killed it around 2007 - not coincidentally, that's where the decline of editors started.

The huge knowledge base that is Wikipedia is merely waiting for someone to successfully fork it; it may very well be Google graph, as they're the best positioned.

The first company that manages to define a process to separate spam from good content, and keeps the knowledge clean and growing from all valid contributions through a semi-automated technique, that avoids all the drama over rules and edit warring over content, will be the one to keep all the users. And then it will be instantly bought up by Google, who have been eager for a way to replace Wikipedia for a long time.

5 days ago
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How Women Became Gamers Through D&D

TuringTest Re:I don't get the rage (239 comments)

The gamers behing GamerGate make a really good point: that they like their games violent and showing b00bs, female bare skin and women in scant armor, and these games should not cease to exist merely because some people are offended by them.

The journalists against GamerGate make an equally really point, though: that such games do not belong in mainstream titles intended for all audiences; they should be distributed through special channels as the soft porn they are.

about two weeks ago
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The Era of Saturday Morning Cartoons Is Dead

TuringTest Re:Rose Glasses (320 comments)

While I enjoyed those older cartoons as a child, now, as an adult I can totally see why they are no longer screening. They were rife with racism, violence, sexism and other crap that I wouldn't wan pumped directly into my child's brain.

On the other hand, you watched them and grew to know it as crap. Your children, not being exposed, will not learn to recognize it, and as adults they may be more likely to fall prey to it.

There's something to be said about playing with risky or shameful behaviors in safe environments - it's the natural way for learning to face the darkest aspects of life.

about a month ago
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User Error Is the Primary Weak Point In Tor

TuringTest Re:Please allow me to correct the title. (70 comments)

User Error is the Primary Weak Point In Software.

Corollary: designing software that fails to work well under user error is the primary engineering mistake.

about a month ago
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Elon Musk: We Must Put a Million People On Mars To Safeguard Humanity

TuringTest Re:Why? (549 comments)

Uh... because each particular species can't choose to be within the survivors or the extinct? That's mostly a random outcome, based on their adaptability to the new environment - which you don't know a priori what will be, or what survival skills will require.

We were as a species on the verge of extinction once, it could very well happen again.

about a month ago
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Steve Ballmer Authored the Windows 3.1 Ctrl-Alt-Del Screen

TuringTest Re:Hexidecimal (169 comments)

Actually, the message in that OS version is fairly acceptable for its purpose and context. It identifies the nature of the problem using understandable words, offers a course of action for recovering from it, and explains the potential outcomes of following it. That's pretty much what the user needs to know.

If you want to debug it you should use the logs anyway, so the message for the end user is better written in plain English.

about 2 months ago
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A Horrifying Interactive Map of Global Internet Censorship

TuringTest Re:Link has no map? (158 comments)

Don't worry, the upcoming trend is "native advertising" - having ads embedded on the content stream with the same format than articles (mmh, why does that sound familiar?). That way, you don't even need to click on the ads.

about 2 months ago
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Psychology's Replication Battle

TuringTest Re:Coding at that level becomes art (172 comments)

There's a very basic level of hygienic measures that are are taught to first graders and nobody disagrees with. Things like don't overuse global variables, don't build one-mile-long procedures, avoid spaghetti code by banning goto, declare the type of your parameters in C.

For other rules of style, yes, every house has their own rulebook.

about 3 months ago
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On Forgetting the Facts: Questions From the EU For Google, Other Search Engines

TuringTest Re:Institutional hypocrisy (186 comments)

Anyone claiming that the Streisand effect somehow harmed this guy because of the original information is now widely known , doesn't understand a damn thing about the case.

The man didn't want to hide that he was once in debt to the point of having his home auctioned - had that been his only goal, starting a legal case on it would be idiotic. The point was to remove a very prominent display that implied the false impression he was still in debt, that was shown without any context to antone who Googled his name.

Anyone looking for him now will know about tge corrections he made. As this was his goal, it's a net win for him.

about 3 months ago
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On Forgetting the Facts: Questions From the EU For Google, Other Search Engines

TuringTest Re:I still can't understand this insanity. (186 comments)

There is no, cannot be any, justification for removing indexes of factual reference

Suppose someone covers the walls all over your neighbourhood with signboards saying "See at <URL> photos of ReekRend [your real name here] picking his nose/drunk as a skunk/bathing nude at the beach that night/whatever" that is factual but inconsequential, though makes you and your loved ones ashamed of something in your past, up for anyone visiting you to see them. Would you want those to be removed, or would you be OK with those being a permanent feature of your street?

Now does it make a difference if the signboards are virtual?

about 3 months ago
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Interviews: Ask Juan Gilbert About Human-Centered Computing

TuringTest Perspectives on End-User Development (30 comments)

With today programming languages, creating new new software requires learning a complex syntax with very specialized rules on how to combine words, even for creating very simple software (for example, web pages with trivial interactions such as folding and dragging items).

Some approaches to allow end users to build automated behavior exist, but they can only go so far. There are "drag and drop" interface builders for building web pages with forms, and graph languages for transforming data. But they only allow reusing pre-defined components which are built with traditional languages. Any behavior not supported by those components can not be added to the program.

There are also rule-based visual systems like Agentsheets that allow defining new behaviors without a strict complex syntax, but those are difficult to reason about when behaviors depend on several levels of nested rules.

My question is: what would be your preferred approach to achieve the goal of allowing end users build their own simple software programs? This assumes that we define "program" in a loose way, not necessarily in the traditional way but referring to any software artifacts for defining repeatable processes to handle information such as:
* building and classifying collections of related data, transforming the shape of parts of a document...
* or for automation of actions in time (turning on and off lights and engines at particular times or in a pre-defined pattern, sending messages to groups of people that follow certain criteria under some triggering condition)...

All this without requiring that the user learns a scripting language or otherwise needs to form a mental model of how exactly the program's execution evolves in time within the machine components.

about 4 months ago
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Wikia and Sony Playing Licensing Mind Tricks

TuringTest Re:Assignment of copyright (108 comments)

Clicking something amounting to "I agree to these terms" may very well be legally binding, but it didn't happen in those sites. They were careless enough not to provide such wording either in their post forms nor their Terms of Use.

about 5 months ago
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Wikia and Sony Playing Licensing Mind Tricks

TuringTest Re:Why "clear commercial use"? (108 comments)

I didn't suggest that activities activities which are sometimes done for money are always commercial.

I meant that activities for promoting commercial products should always be considered commercial (even if the promotion itself is not paid), as they're always intended to produce a sale; which is different.

about 5 months ago
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Wikia and Sony Playing Licensing Mind Tricks

TuringTest Re:Copyright owners (108 comments)

Did you get that in writing? If not, don't treat it as a gift. If you include it in the GPL code without explicit permission, you may taint the whole project. In fact, many people contribute to FLOSS and Open Knowledge projects with the explicit expectation that it won't be relicensed, and we refrain from contributing to such projects without those guarantees - so yes, there's a strong expectation that contributing to a GPL project is done under GPL terms and no others. The GPL was explicitly designed with that goal in mind.

You're not the copyright owner of content you didn't write, period. And if you didn't write it you can't relicense it without written permission. The FSF requests that contributors assign them their copyrights because of this very reason.

about 5 months ago
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Wikia and Sony Playing Licensing Mind Tricks

TuringTest Re:Huh? (108 comments)

No, but advertising that feature does. You anonymous coward.

about 5 months ago
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Wikia and Sony Playing Licensing Mind Tricks

TuringTest Re:Copyright owners (108 comments)

You'd better as hell request an explicit permission to distribute the code from any contributor to your code base, and clarify in the post forms the conditions under which any contribution can be used.

what they actually did was contribute to a codebase - a codebase under my control, and one that I can slap any which license on that I like.

Utterly wrong. Under copyright laws, you can only relicense content that you created, or for which you've been given explicit ownership permissions; if Somebody gave you the code only under the original GPL and didn't assign copyright to you, in order to relicense the code you must first remove any such contribution, so that the result only contains the parts you wrote - otherwise, you'll break their copyright.

This is what is going on in both wikis - the only license under which they published their work at first was the CC-BY-SA (or CC-BY-NC for some Wikias), which is the reason for the sites becoming popular in the first place as many users wouldn't bother to contribute under more restrictive licenses; and neither site requested ownership rights until recently.

about 5 months ago
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Wikia and Sony Playing Licensing Mind Tricks

TuringTest Re:Assignment of copyright (108 comments)

TV Tropes Foundation NOW claims that contributors provide provide their contributions not under the License but instead under assignment of copyright

It does it now, but it didn't do it then. That's the core of the matter at both Wikia and TV Tropes. The large majority of both websites was only contributed to them under a Creative Commons license.

So either tvtropes is clueless,

TV Tropes is clueless. They made the license change because they discovered that someone had created a (partial) fork, and were outraged when they learned that they couldn't legally put it down. Since then, another fork has been created containing the complete content of the last version released unambiguously as CC-BY-SA in summer 2012, including all the content that was censored because of Google Ads. It's a fascinating story, really.

about 5 months ago
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Wikia and Sony Playing Licensing Mind Tricks

TuringTest Re:Why "clear commercial use"? (108 comments)

It depends on whether they plan to use this feature to sell more TVs.

Merely allowing the site to be accessed through the product features is not commercial by itself, but if the links are included by default in a prominent place (and we know they will), that counts as product placement and branding; and it can definitely be considered a commercial purpose - people pay money to that kind of placement.

about 5 months ago
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Wikia and Sony Playing Licensing Mind Tricks

TuringTest Re:CC-BY-NC are excluded (108 comments)

However, the "Commercial Use Waiver" still allows Wikia any form of commercial use for any derivative work.

There was in the Forum a proposal to change the wording and "make it clear that the scope and purpose of the waiver is for the placement of ads", however that clarification never arrived to the LIcensing page. What happened to those good intentions?

about 5 months ago
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Wikia and Sony Playing Licensing Mind Tricks

TuringTest Re:Mind tricks (108 comments)

Yeah, I was aiming for that as the "from" department. You can't trust editors, but you can always trust the Anonymous Coward for lame jokes ;-)

about 5 months ago

Submissions

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Wikia and SONY playing licensing mind tricks

TuringTest TuringTest writes  |  about 5 months ago

TuringTest (533084) writes "Popular culture website Wikia originally hosted its user-contributed content under a free, sharealike Commercial Commons license (CC-BY-SA). At least as soon as 2003, some specific wikis decided to use the non-commercial CC-BY-NC license instead: hey, this license supposedly protects the authors, and anyone is free to choose how they want to license their work anyway, right?

However, in late 2012 Wikia added to its License terms of service a retroactive clause for all its non-commercial content, granting Wikia an exclusive right to use this content in commercial contexts, effectively making all CC-BY-NC content dual-licensed. And today, Wikia is publicizing a partnership with Sony to display Wikia content on Smart TVs, a clear commercial use.

A similar event happened at TV Tropes when the site owners single-handedly changed the site's copyright notice from ShareAlike to the incompatible NonCommercial, without notifying nor requesting consent from its contributors. Is this the ultimate fate of all wikis? Do Creative Commons licenses hold any weight for community websites?"
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TV Tropes relicensed all its CC-BY-SA content, without permission

TuringTest TuringTest writes  |  about 5 months ago

TuringTest (533084) writes "In the beginning, pop culture wiki TV Tropes licensed its content with the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike license for free content. When Google pulled away its AdSense revenue because of... let's call it NSFW fan fiction, TV Tropes changed its guidelines to forbid tropes about mature content. In response to this move, two forks were eventually created. The admins disliked this move so much that they relicensed all content to the Attribution-Noncommercial-ShareAlike version, despite their site not having requested copyright rights from their users. Only later they added a clause to their Terms of use page requiring all contributors to grant the site irrevocable, exclusive ownership of their edits. Has it ever happened to you that you released free content, and someone changed its license and pretend that it was theirs?"
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Spanish congress rejects Internet censorship law

TuringTest TuringTest writes  |  more than 3 years ago

TuringTest (533084) writes "A comission of the Spanish Congress has rejected a law that allowed the closure of web sites that provide no authorized downloads. The government couldn't reach enough support from its allies not because those opposed the law in principle but because of the way it was redacted and the lack of negotiation. Recently the Spanish Senate rejected a law on net neutrality. Also the Wikileaks cables disclosed pressure from the USA to the Spanish government to pass a law to reduce Internet sharing of music and media, which is legal in Spain."
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Google acquires BumpTop physical desktop

TuringTest TuringTest writes  |  more than 4 years ago

TuringTest (533084) writes "BumpTop, a company providing a multi-touch physical desktop metaphor has been acquired by Google and made "no longer be available for sale". BumpTop provides a direct way to handle information through simple gestures. Some media see this acquisition as a movement by Google to position against the iPad. Will BumpTop be ported to Android?"
Link to Original Source
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TomTom anounces an open source GPS technology

TuringTest TuringTest writes  |  more than 5 years ago

TuringTest (533084) writes "(Found via OStatic). European company TomTom (which recently settled a patent agreement with Microsoft) has announced a new open source format OpenLR for sharing routing data (relevant points, traffic information...) in digital maps of different vendors, to be used in GPS devices. The LR stands for Location Referencing. They aim is to push it as an open standard to build a cooperative information base, presumably in a similar way than its current TomTom Map Share technology in which end users provide map corrections on the fly. The technology to support the format will be released as GPLv2. Does it make OpenLR a GPL GPS?"
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Chandler PIM reaches 1.0, loses financial support

TuringTest TuringTest writes  |  more than 5 years ago

TuringTest (533084) writes "I was surprised to learn that Chandler, the open-source Personal Information Manager (covered on Slashdot after releasing some stable versions), has silently reached its 1.0 milestone this summer only to (or maybe because of) having its financial support removed at the end of 2008. Chandler inherits organization concepts from Lotus Agenda and is a brainchild of Mitch Kapor (of Firefox, EFF and Lotus fame). It shares an approach to unified information representation with recent PIMs like MIT's Haystack and KDE's Nepomuk. What happened to the persistent universal data storage that object-oriented desktops and metadata filesystems were never able to provide? Did it finally arrive as a userland application, and nobody cared?"
Link to Original Source
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3D library to bring back OpenGL from the grave

TuringTest TuringTest writes  |  more than 6 years ago

TuringTest (533084) writes "With the controversy over the recent release of OpenGL 3.0, people is debating wether OpenGL is dead or it isn't. In this situation, a new low-level library called Gallium3D promises to ease development and refactoring of drivers for OpenGL (or any other 3D API) by acting as an efficient middleware between the API and the metal. Gallium3D seems to be gaining traction within the community with talks at several FOSS conferences (e.g. FOSDEM and aKademy)."
Link to Original Source
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Most violent video game arrives to the Wii

TuringTest TuringTest writes  |  more than 6 years ago

TuringTest (533084) writes "In an attempt to bring the Wii closer to the hardcore gamers taste, Sega is preparing to releaseMadWorld, a violent 'hack and slash' game. This has brought attention from family-conscious lobbies: "The decision to release a violent game on a console which has based its reputation on family fun has shocked anti-violence pressure groups. Mediawatch-UK, Britains longest running pressure group campaigning for decency in TV, films and games, said MadWorld will 'spoil' the Wii." The game features black & white cel-shaded graphics, except for the blood blobs wich are in brilliant red. MadWorld is announced to be released in early 2009."
Link to Original Source
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ENSO command launcher, open sourced

TuringTest TuringTest writes  |  more than 6 years ago

TuringTest (533084) writes "The code for ENSO, a keyboard-based command launcher in the line of Mac OS' Quicksilver, has been released under the revised BSD license. ENSO can be explained as an expanded application launcher that aims to combine the power of a command line interface integrated within a desktop GUI. Its design is inspired by the ideas of Jef Raskin's The Humane Interface. It currently allows to invoke arbitrary commands such as launching applications, universal spell-checking, translation and web search from any text field, google-maps integration, remote control, and search-based task switching. ENSO is programmed in Python. Thanks to being open sourced, this Windows native application is currently being ported to Mac and Linux."
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ENSO command launcher, open sourced

TuringTest TuringTest writes  |  more than 6 years ago

TuringTest (533084) writes "The code for ENSO, a keyboard-based command launcher in the line of Mac OS' Quicksilver, has been released under the revised BSD license. ENSO can be explained as an expanded application launcher that aims to combine the power of a command line interface integrated within a desktop GUI. It currently allows to invoke arbitrary commands such as launching applications, universal spell-checking, translation and web search from any text field, google-maps integration, remote control, and search-based task switching. ENSO is programmed in Python. Thanks to being open sourced, this Windows native application is currently being ported to Mac and Linux."
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Public buildings don't get intellectual protection

TuringTest TuringTest writes  |  more than 6 years ago

TuringTest (533084) writes "Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava, of international fame, recently sued the city of Bilbao (Spain) for violation of intellectual property after his Zubizuri bridge was modified by the city council to add a new footbridge on its side. Now a judge has sentenced against Calatrava saying that public right prevails over intellectual property. Altough the ruling acknowledges that the building design has intellectual property, it also concludes that a bridge is to walk on it. (Beware, some links are in Spanish. Translate at your own risk.)"
Link to Original Source
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TuringTest TuringTest writes  |  more than 7 years ago

TuringTest (533084) writes "Jensen Harris, the Group Program Manager of the Microsoft Office User Experience Team, blogs about Microsoft's recent licensing agreement to share its new inteface IP: "Today, we're announcing a licensing program for the 2007 Microsoft Office system user interface which allows virtually anyone to obtain a royalty-free license to use the new Office UI in a software product, including the Ribbon, galleries, the Mini Toolbar, and the rest of the user interface." (see the press release). Is there any precedent for this? Can Microsoft actually require licensing of the UI? Is it enforceable? Is this a good precedent?"

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