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New Study Says Governments Should Ditch Reliance On Biofuels

ctrlshift Headline is badly in need of rewriting (99 comments)

How about...
Common Sense Dictates that Human Beings Should Ditch Reliance on Any One Form of Energy

The people in charge of the study might have saved themselves some time if they'd just thought about it first.

1 hour ago

Pope Francis: There Are Limits To Freedom of Expression

ctrlshift Giving the speaker entirely too much credit (894 comments)

If someone insults your mom, and you simply MUST punch them to DEFEND HER HONOR or whatever, then you've already admitted that the word poses some kind of a threat to her. It doesn't. It's exactly as substantial and damaging as you believe it is. Assholes deserve the cold shoulder, anything more is just giving them power and attention. Well, until they start punching anyway. Then the gloves come off.

about two weeks ago

AdNauseam Browser Extension Quietly Clicks On Blocked Ads

ctrlshift More details plz (285 comments)

The website is pretty sparse on the details of what actually happens when this plugin is doing its thing. Unless it's all explained in that paper they posted (which I can't make any sense of, and I'm an IT professional).

Does this plugin simulate a click, or does it actually load the entire target page offscreen, and if so, is there any possibility for recursion here? Suppose there are banner ads on the page being "simul-clicked" on? Does the plugin proceed to them as well? How does this affect bandwidth? And what about security? What happens if that page wants to install the Ultra Monkeys Toolbar in my browser? Is it able to do that? Am I not able to decline or close the offending page before something bad happens because it's all happening offscreen?

Please, developer we've never heard of before, explain to us a bit more why we should trust this plugin. In ENGLISH.

about 2 months ago

NASA Study: Ocean Abyss Has Not Warmed

ctrlshift Re:we get it (295 comments)

Climate: (noun) - anything in the sky or seas that can be twisted to support the claims that the world will end if we do not all pay higher taxes and give governments more power over corporations who don't give a shit what they ruin as long as it makes money.


about 4 months ago

Connected Collar Lets Your Cat Do the War-Driving

ctrlshift Re:Why? (110 comments)

Seems to me if he could get his cat to do it with a specially-designed techno-collar, he probably would do that too. And we'd all be impressed.

about 6 months ago

Facebook Fallout, Facts and Frenzy

ctrlshift Who cares? (160 comments)

Facebook has no compact with its users to offer fair and balanced news (if you'll forgive the expression). They are not obligated to feature any particular array of stories to anybody; in fact, we've heard over and over again how the relevance of items that appear in the news feed is skewed and unpredictable. Nobody should be relying on them for news and I don't think we should expect any more journalistic integrity from them than Buzzfeed.

I don't usually take this angle when it comes to corporate responsibility to the public, but in this case I think people are getting too close to Facebook, when Facebook really just wants to be friends. Or perhaps researcher & test subject.

about 7 months ago

Free Can Make You Bleed: the Underresourced Open Source

ctrlshift Re:Cheap ass gits. (175 comments)

"I'm an egotistical bastard, and I name all my projects after myself. First 'Linux', now 'git'."

This has always bothered me: If his name is Linus, then why is it a short I-sound in the name 'Linux'

about 9 months ago

Microsoft Confirms It Is Dropping Windows 8.1 Support

ctrlshift Re:u wot m8 (575 comments)

When does 8.1 Update 1 update to 2?

It doesn't, it goes to 8.1 Update 1 SP1. At least until 8.1 Update 1 SP1 Rollup 1 comes out. Then 8.1 Update 1 SP1 will no longer be supported, though you may have to continue using it until they release an appropriate fix for Windows Update in the form of 8.1 Update 1 SP1 Rollup 1 Subrevision 1

about 9 months ago

The Desktop Is Dead, Long Live the Desktop!

ctrlshift Re:Every year (453 comments)

Have you noticed how these dire predictions always seem to be made by people in sales or finance? From the perspective of an investor, these devices may have been dead for years now, i.e. there aren't gobs of money to be made by mass-producing them or pumping money into a company who is mass-producing them. The market is saturated, and everyone who is going to own one already does, so there's no opportunity for growth. It doesn't matter that every household/business has at least one of them that they depend on every day, from a financial perspective the PC is dead. This really shouldn't be the perspective that speaks the loudest though.

about a year ago

Ohio Zoo Attempts To Mate Female Rhino With Her Brother For Species Survival

ctrlshift Re:Live hand of Darwin (272 comments)

Somebody mod the biologist here! That's it right there!

No sane environmentalist judges extinction to be unnatural in the platonic sense. Extinction IS a direct effect of natural selection. That doesn't mean we should just "get over it" or any other dismissive crap that usually appears in the same sentence with "you damn hippies" or "humans are nature too" or "the climate has been hotter than this in the past." We care about the Sumatran Rhino becoming extinct because we like the world better when it has the Sumatran Rhino in it, not because we have some hang-up about extinction itself.

I have no problem at all being selfish about this: the world is a nicer place for me to live with a healthy ozone layer, fresh air, old growth forests, thriving oceans, and Sumatran Rhinos. Don't try to tell me I'm a hypocrite because the environmental problems we're experiencing today are "natural." I'm not even going to tackle whether or not humans caused all these problems (hint: we did), I'm just going to say that it's perfectly ok to want species to live, even spend time and effort helping them to survive because they are valuable to us. No extra points for true altruism here.

about a year and a half ago

Electric Vehicles Might Not Benefit the Environment After All

ctrlshift Even if its electricity from fossil fuel... (775 comments)

...I can scarcely imagine how it could be less efficient than everyone carrying around their own personal combustion engine and fuel supply ON the vehicle itself.

about a year and a half ago

You Will Get DirectX 11.2 Only With Windows 8.1

ctrlshift Yaaaaaaaaawn... (403 comments)

It's pretty hard to get excited about a DirectX release these days. We all saw the comparison screenshots between DX9 and DX10, and later DX10 and DX11. We saw the ever-so-slight improvements in texture mapping, reflections, shadows, etc. Hasn't the rise of the indie game taught Microsoft anything? It's the gameplay, stupid, not your incrementally more realistic rendering of hair. Not that I object to that kind of thing, but as a selling point for the train wreck that is Windows 8? Get real.

about a year and a half ago

A Serious Proposal To Fix Windows 8

ctrlshift Re:I propose Windows Green (578 comments)

I think I'm gonna wait for Windows Yellow so I can have a Pikachu.

about a year and a half ago

NVIDIA GeForce GTX 780 Offers 2,304 Cores For $650

ctrlshift Re:$500 is already close to insanity (160 comments)

Definitely, don't ever shell out the money it costs to have the #1 best fastest hottest GPU (I wouldn't recommend the #2 either). It's basically digital viagra. Lasts about as long too.

about a year and a half ago

ZDNet Proclaims "Windows: It's Over"

ctrlshift Re:Whats the alternative? (863 comments)

Hopefully they'll soon realize that when people are happy with the functionality of their OS, they're really not all that interested in replacing it on someone else's arbitrary release cycle. The "Ok, it's been three years and we need some more money" routine is pretty ineffective with folks keeping their PCs for 4 or 8 or sometimes 12 years.

Microsoft continues to bank on the idea that because they make something newer and shinier, people will flock to it just for the sake of newness and they keep falling on their faces because the new thing doesn't do the job that people need it to do substantially better than the product it's replacing. This is doubly true with their Office suite; Office '97 is a perfectly usable product with at least 90% of the functionality of its successors, obsoleted only by OS compatibility problems (OS's by the very company that released it no less) and it's less-than-modern UI. WinXP CONTINUES to live on and be useful to people even after three subsequent OS releases, and I suspect it will continue even after MS "pulls the plug". It does a job and it does it well, and Microsoft needs to get it through their thick marketing and sales departments that THAT is why people buy a product.

I really think instead of churning out new shit that nobody asked for, Microsoft should take a good hard look at who their user base is and consider more of an LTS, or maybe a rolling release model. I don't think I have a single business client who wouldn't pay twice or thrice as much for an OS/Office Suite/etc. if it would last 10-20 years. As it is, they all seem resigned to the idea that their stuff needs to be replaced every 5 years at the most, and that is an complete myth.

ZDNet's inflammatory, attention-whoring headline has some truth to it...

about 2 years ago

FAA Grants Arlington Texas Police Department Permission To Fly UAVs

ctrlshift Sorry could you repeat that? (158 comments)

Excuse me Mr. Government Guy, Mr. Reporter? I think I missed the part where you assured us that these drones wouldn't be armed. Or in some way acknowledged everyone's tacit reservations about using drones in civilian areas. *checks TFA again* yep, definitely missed that. If you could just append here.......and.....here....

about 2 years ago

Smartphone Screen Real Estate: How Big Is Big Enough?

ctrlshift Looking for an objective answer? (320 comments)

To a very very subjective question? This seems like an odd thing to ask -- as though there is some perfect, golden size for a phone. How big are your hands? How long is your thumb? Do you use an earpiece all the time? What about a ThingSling? Are you principally wearing slacks or jeans? How big is the pocket on your coat that corresponds to your principle hand? How much weight is comfortable on that hand? Do you also own a tablet? Does your phone need to fit easily into a dash mount? How good are you with voice recognition? Do you text with the frequency of a gregarious teenager, or do you have a compulsion to show people YouTube videos at random moments? Or both?

I really hope the industry doesn't take all the data it gathers on its best-selling phones and decide "Yup, X inches is definitely the best, commence mass-production." We're all different.

about 2 years ago

Laser Intended For Mars Used To Detect "Honey Laundering"

ctrlshift Gigantic surprise (387 comments)

China can make something cheaper and crappier than us and we eat it right up. So much so that people think real honey is a ripoff.

Wait...isn't this just a variation on the olive oil story?

about 2 years ago

Congress Takes Up Online Sales Tax

ctrlshift Re:Main Street Businesses (297 comments)

The people I worked for were just as greedy and treated their workers just as shitty as Walmart or any of the big box stores. There is nothing inherently noble or morally superior about being a small business on Main Street.

This is a terrible collision of logic and statistics that presents a view which is technically correct but misleading in almost every meaningful way when seen in the context of history. You're saying that because small businesses (referring to them as Mom and Pop stores is definitely over-romanticizing) are made of the same greedy people as big businesses and because they are businesses, they will treat their workers just as poorly. To reduce: A is always true and B is always true, therefore C is possible possible, therefore we should assume that C is always true.

It doesn't work like that. You only have to do a little research to see what hideous working conditions big businesses create. Walmart is a poster child for this, but take a look at Amazon's shipping facilities or Nike's assembly lines. The razor thin profit margin, the distance between the decision makers and the workers, the relentless need to please the shareholders: these are all terrifyingly dehumanizing elements of big business, and it shows. Small business has some of these pressures too, but at least your boss has to look you in the face when he's an asshole; that's a powerful motivator.

I'll bring my anecdotal evidence in last because it's probably the least significant, but yes, I've had a dozen or so jobs for both local businesses and national enterprises. I can say with absolute certainty: It's not even just a slight difference in management style, flexibility, pay, work environment, and good old-fashioned giving-a-shit: It's bloody night and day! When the owner of the company you work for sees you every day, collaborates with you in person, buys drinks, plays D&D, etc, I guarantee that you are treated better than any employee at WalMart.

about 2 years ago


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