Ask Slashdot: Is iOS 8 a Pig?
I find it to be a bit slow on my 5. It is very slow on my old iPad. This, I think is normal, and it has gotten faster since I upgraded.
As far as the updates, most applications seem to update when a new iOS comes out. I have not seen an inordinate number of updates. As the Apps have to not only deal with a new OS but also new screen sizes, Apps that are not written to run on many screen sizes will obviously have to be updated.
My problem is that Apple is reintroducing the cloud disk service, a la iDisk, but it is not going to available on mac until the next MacOS, which is not going to be available for at least a month. Those who upgrade when they upgrade their phone will lose access to data on the Mac. There does seem to be some feature bloat at the expense of efficiency.
Why You Can't Manufacture Like Apple
you would be more expensive because you would not be manufacturing at the same scale. If you are making 10,000 widgets, and it costs $100K to set up and $10 to make, that is $20 a widget just to make. If you are manufacturing a million, that is $10.10, and probably much less due to other discounts.
We see this in other industries. The F150 is now aluminum, which required not only the entire production line to be redone, but also supplied of aluminum to be created. This is only profitable because Ford sells about 10,000 of these trucks a week, and that is a number that has been falling since a high in about 10 years ago, though in recent years the sales have increased.
Why the iPhone 6 Has the Same Base Memory As the iPhone 5
To upgrade my phone to IOS 8 I had to free some space. This basically involved deleted some Apps that I never use that were taking a great deal of space. I don't buy apple movies because they can be only played on apple devices, so the majority of data is music, most of which is stored on the cloud, and photos. I know people have almost no music on their devices, but stream everything. To be honest, streaming has meant that many people do not have to deal with the hassle of local storage. Though we can get into a philosophical argument, the fact is that I do not store as much on my mobile devices as I once did. Even my laptop now has less stuff on it.
As to why there is still a 16GB model, that is obvious. Apple needs an entry level device and is not willing to enter the cut rate phone market. Amazon has done this with a 99 cent 32GB model and at $99 64GB model. Obviously they are hoping customers buy the 64GB model even though what is essentially $100 for a 32GB upgrade is essentially highway robbery. Some will do it even though the pricing structure provides little value.
Most cell phone companies do this. Apple, being a premium device, is just a little more aggressive.
Why a Chinese Company Is the Biggest IPO Ever In the US
The story is the owners want to maintain control, even if they do not maintain a controlling interest. They set up a shell company in the cayman islands which is nominally linked to the profits of the actual company, and as far as I can tell are in fact selling shares in that shell company. So the company that is being purchased in not in china, and the business model will probably be international.
As far as why this is allowed, it is a lot of money. The banks and firms who are managing the IPO are US and will make a lot of money. The persons and firms who are allowed to buy or are given the stocks will make a lot of money when they resell the stock, either immediately, or in a few months when principles are allowed to resell stock.
It seems that the sale is on shaky ground, given that the Chinese government can likely do any number of things to make the shell company worthless. I think what some may be hoping is that the Alibaba can quickly expand out of china and preserve value as a worldwide conglomerate type thing. At a basic level this is further indication that there is a lot of capital out there, and for some reason the people who have it think it is better to risk it on the occasional potential high return scheme than use it to build long term infrastructure. I guess no matter how much money one have, one always is susceptible to a get rich quick scheme,
Dealership Commentator: Tesla's Going To Win In Every State
My thoughts are there must have been a reason that dealers franchises had to be protected from manufacturers. I suspect there were issues, and that is the reason in the vast number of cases, except for fly by night 'seen on tv' junk we as retail consumers tend to buy retail, not direct from the manufacturer.
I have bought or been involved in buying a fair number of cars in my life. I never felt the dealer was pushing me to buy a car I did not want. I have generally gone in knowing the car that I want, and the back and forth is which car that is available is the car I am willing to plunk done some cash for. I suppose some people go into to buy a car that they have no interest in, and the dealer gets them to buy it, but I don't think that is the general case.
Making money off service and not the car is no issue to me. That is how we keep cars affordable. It is called competition. What Tesla wants to do is charge an arbitrarily high price for a produce, like Mont Blanc. I am not a greedy person and have never been unwilling to pay for good service. Likewise is a car comes with a good warranty I know that there is a good chance the car is good, and a dealer network means I can get warranty repair. I am not saying that Tesla is not a good car, but if the car needed a repair not under warranty, and it cost money, and it was less than three years old, it is not a good car.
There are a lot of cars that have limited production run. The Lotus Evora has production runs of about 2,000 a year, but I can go down the street right now to my car dealer, lay down $100K, and get one. A 2013. So Tesla is not unique there.
I suspect that the franchise laws will change, and that Tesla will be able to sell direct. I also suspect that Tesla has spent too much time with the lawyers, and cheating tax payers out of 1.5 billion, and not enough time innovating, so they may not be able to bring the 25,000 electric car to the people, which is what we need. As it is the Asian car manufacturers are shipping real cars right now that get over 50mpg in the real world. Not all electric, but electric is simply a means to an end, not an end to itself.
Ask Slashdot: How To Pick Up Astronomy and Physics As an Adult?
Of course Astrophysics, even as the bastard child of real physics, is still very hard. Most people who are in it have had some major training and degrees by the time they are 30.
Also, if you are like me you are probably making some good money after 20 years of work. I could probably go to a research job, learn what I needed to learn, but would probably me making half of what I do. I love research, but like the cash as well, and can do fun stuff occasionally and as a hobby.
That said there seem to many contribution amateur astronomer make to the science. IT is a very general term, and can mean anything from repairing computers to writing web pages to developing analytical algorithms in C, but maybe there is something you could contribute to on that side, or a job with a firm that does work that might be an intersection of the two.
The 2014 Ig Nobel Prizes Will Be Awarded Tonight
Just to mention, since many have probably never heard of it, the JIR was a great to read in college. My favorite collection was Druken Goldfish. I also particularly remember the study that sought to predict the date when National Geographics would trigger a world cataclysm.
ISIS Bans Math and Social Studies For Children
Really it is true. The GOP in the US base most of their policy on religious and military views. For instance, GWBush used an expansion of the military to employ the unskilled and uneducated. He then used Homeland Security.
If you are not actually basing your economy on a educated workforce, and maintaining control through religion, then any kind of secular education is a bad thing.
Uber CEO: We'll Run Your Errands
This is quite a piece of idolotry. Let us start at the end first.
For many jobs no one requires a certified plumber or electrician or anything. There is no requirement to get such a certification. For certain jobs it is a requirement to get a permit, but that is to protect lives. OTOH I am sure you would no problem if your family died because the water heater exploded or the house caught on fire because of the work of a plumber or electrician was faulty, because, after all, she had good recommendations from people who had no expertise in critiquing the actual work. In any case, such requirements as the exists, are demanded not by government but by bankers, insurance companies, and general sane people who do not want to die because the invisible hand, or magic ratings, or whatever, was a substitute for competence.
It is intersting that th.s hair brained scheme was introduced after the previous hair brained scheme, to force some Uber drivers to work at or below cost, failed. You see some of the driver took the capitalistic idea of better service leading to more profits seriously,So they only wanted to serve the high end clientele, and invested resources to do so. But Uber told them they could not limit themselves to high end customers, and said if the drivers did not pick up any customer that Uber sent, they would be out of the network. This was absolutely Uber's right to do, after all the contractors could just leave, but I think it speaks to an issue with capitalistic fantasy. At some point the people who are taking a cut of everything the workers do, will want an increasingly large cut to support their increasingly inefficient operations, and to do that they will begin to compete on price instead of service. The contractors, as individuals, can make that choice on a case by case basis. Corporate, however, seeing only a lack of funding for their cocaine habit, are only able to make drastic decisions to increase funding for said habit.
In any case, the Uber drivers still had the ability to strike, so they did, and Uber relented.
Sapphire Glass Didn't Pass iPhone Drop Test According to Reports
When I hear the term glass I think of a fused or amorphous material rather than a crystal form. Sapphire, like many other material, is synthetically created as a single crystal as a substrate for RF and IC applications, which is different from the glass use in optical applications.
Publishers Gave Away 123 Million Books During World War Two
It is pretty much free. I have some books that are post WWII, and it seems the paperbacks cost 30-50 cents. 70% discounts are even beyond the bargain bin.
As I recall on aspect of the cheap printing was the pulp book. Publisher would print and ship paper backs to stores en masse knowing that most would not sell. Those that did not would simply be returned, maybe with the cover torn off, and pulped back into paper that could be reused to make the next book. Could these book have been the equivalent of the reject rack, and selling the to army was simply a way to at least cover costs? I don't see that these books were specifically printed for the military. OTOH, if they were printed specifically for the military, it has no impact on today's economics. Many industries will sell large quantities of product at cost simply so they can stay afloat and pay the bills, knowing that profit will come in the future.
I believe what really ignited the post war reading boom was the newly educated population, created through the GI Bill, the brief existence of the housewife, whose appliances gave her much less to do and much more free time, and the willingness of publisher to print just about anything, knowing that they could charge enough so the many failures would be covered by the few successes.
What might be applicable from this story to the modern day is that publishers still have to pay for printing presses. No matter how cheap it may be to print books, if the books are not selling, and the printing press costs are fixed, then fewer books are paying for the overhead. E-Books may not need the printing press, but the printing press is still part of the fixed costs.
To Really Cut Emissions, We Need Electric Buses, Not Just Electric Cars
Cars are really expensive to maintain. In parts of the US and other developed countries, a large number of people have the funds. There will always be a need for mass transportation, both for those who cannot afford personal transport and for the regions that cannot support all individuals driving around.
In the US we cannot afford to lower taxes on cars. We are already in trouble because of very low gas tax and an increase in fuel efficiency over the past 20 years. In fact we really need to change the way we tax cars so that cars pay a small fee for each mile driven adjusted for the weight of the car, instead of a gas tax. So for instance a person driving 10,000 miles a year in their Tesla would pay $100 extra registration fee, while a Highlander might have to cough up $150 for the same. We have no money to fix our roads, and will have to get it somehow.
A more real compromise here is to accept that this is advertisement and not take it at face value. While electric vehicles may be the winner in the consumer market, especially the second car consumer market, it is probably not the best choice for fleet vehicles. Something like fuel cells or the like will be a better choice. Proffesional fleet staff can handle the refueling that might a challenge for the consumer. The range is more reasonable, in the 200 mile range, and refueling is quicker.
In France, a Second Patient Receives Permanent Artificial Heart
I can't, the summary reads like a bunch of propaganda tripe written by some cult. I am a person who wonders if sending your real time medical information to Google or Apple is really a good idea.
Some people seem to be only concerned with living forever in relatively good condition, or keeping a young person alive even if the quality of life is dismal. They will give up whatever privacy, dignity, or wealth to accomplish this task. We have had some success. The average lifespan is increasing, and more importantly more people are healthy at older age. I am sure that artificial organs will play a huge part of this. I am sure that people will cut whatever deal to make it happen. I am sure that when their heart gets hacked they will sue, just like all those boys who grow breasts, even though it is common sense that selling drugs to kids, or allowing remote access to a heart, is not the wisest thing to do.
Here is what scares me. We do not seem to be doing much to keep the brain healthy into very old age. I have seen active, intellectually stimulated, well read, educated people fall into senility even though they have kept their mind active and engaged. It seems there is a limit to how long a brain can be very healthy. Do we want to be 125 years old and not be able to accomplish basic tasks? Do we want a world where a huge percentage of the adult population cannot care for themselves.
Ask Slashdot: Best Service To Digitize VHS Home Movies?
This is what i was thinking any commercial conversion place would do. I also recall those machines used to convert film to video, projecting the film and then recording onto video tape. I wonder if one of those could be used to playback a video on a good sony triniton TV and record onto a good 3ccd video recorder. The real problem with VHS is that it is pretty low quality analog, and one has to add information and fill in holes to make it work with digital. This may be the way to do it. When people complain about quality and blame it on lossy transition, it is probably more than likely the way that information is interpolated to make it work on digital.
Silicon Valley Fights Order To Pay Bigger Settlement In Tech Talent Hiring Case
Only because you think the labor market is different from other markets. One thing you miss is that the there are regulations in all markets. In fact firms want these regulations so the competition is simplified. On radical extremist say the minimum wage is bad, as it allows firms to compete for labor in a less expensive manner. There is disagreement on the value of the minimum wage, but even developing countries have minimum wages. It would be like saying that indoor plumbing or septic tanks should not be part of the building regulations because it prices some people out of the market. Our homeless problem would decrease significantly if people could just pout chamber pots into the streets or poop in the yard. Yet few conservatives are running around decrying how these building codes are destroying society.
New DNA Analysis On Old Blood Pegs Aaron Kosminski As Jack the Ripper
This is where I think we get in trouble with forensic science. Certain things, like finger prints and DNA, can exonerate a suspect but we have seen enough analysis around here to know that it is a fallacy to think that these things prove guilt. it only proves guilt if we assume the probability of guilt is 100% initially. When comparing the sample to a database, random error can create a match under certain common circumstances.
So we can say that DNA evidence is part of a chain that can lead to guilt, and if we assume the known suspects represent the total population of possible suspects, then if the DNA exonerates all other suspects, then there is a case to be made for guilt, but that is a lot of caveats. As we have seen in many cases, obvious suspects are ignored because the authorities jump to quick conclusions. As said, DNA is good for exonerating people, not convicts them.
Silicon Valley Fights Order To Pay Bigger Settlement In Tech Talent Hiring Case
I think a different analogy is appropriate. Say a group of activist threatened to block access to stores in a neighborhood who charged more than $1 a pound for any fruit. The stores have a choice between taking a loss on fruit, not selling fruit, or having their customers harassed. In such a case we can be sure the police would be called and the activist arrested. The stores could probably sue for lost sales as well.
The problem we have in the US is that firms are given a great deal of leeway to insure that they can charge as high as price as the market will bear, but labor is severely restricted in doing the same. For instance firms are free to form collectives that lobby congress and produce promotional campaigns, even to the point of forcing companies to pay for such promotions, but unions have to bill lobbying efforts separate and members can opt out. Likewise firms are allowed to use some pretty significant tools to prevent labor from organizing, though firms are free to do the same with few restrictions.
Bill Gates Wants To Remake the Way History Is Taught. Should We Let Him?
One problem with education is that is it 'consensual' For instance, no child left behind set standards, but then left the states to meet those standard. While some good was done with the non-consual bits, i.e. well qualified teachers, hundreds of billions of local tax dollars were wasted paying testing companies and writing curriculum that to some extent were significant duplications of effort.
What needs to be left to local authorities, even down to the teacher, is the choice of how to teach material and a limited buffet of what to teach. What needs to be done on a interstate level is developing the methods of how that learning is going to be assessed. If there was a more consistent, maybe crowdsource, assessment then teachers would probably more understand what they are supposed to teach. Outside of history of the local area, there is little reason to have significant differences in content. What we can have is local differences in content that is emphasized.
The biggest hurdle to this, and the biggest damage the NCLB did, was the need to rank teachers and students. Current testing is not objective based mastery, but rather ranking. This requires an extremely expensive test, with passing levels set arbitratily after the test is given, often to maximize the success of preferred groups of students, rather than based on the objective performance of the student to show mastery of a benchmark number of standards. Therefore instead of measuring that a student has learned the material, and that a teacher has facilitated such learning, we merely have a continuum that is independent of learning, only indicating the ability to fill in bubbles effectively.
This is where the current reforms are still failing. Leaving the punitive ranking system behind and rather focusing on learning. Common Core is a step away from this, which is why no one likes it. Parents like to know their kid is better than others. Administrators like to be able to rank teachers on arbitrary statistically invalid scales.
Ask Slashdot: What Are the Strangest Features of Various Programming Languages?
The line terminator in C and C++ are pretty easy to find and fix. The conventions in FORTRAN are much more difficult to fix as the errors are non nonsensical. On of the first things I learned when I learned to code is a page of errors meant you had a mismatched type in a subroutine.
How the Outdated TI-84 Plus Still Holds a Monopoly On Classrooms
I have an HP in my desk. If I need to do simple math, I type it into google as I normally have a browser open on my desktop. Anything more complicated can be done in Wolfram Alpha.
I don't carry around my HP anymore, remember they days when everyone had a pocket protector and calculator on the belt, because my phone does everything. An RPN calculator, the Alpha App, and of course web connectivity. Even back in that day I preferred my TRS-80 pocket computer to the calculator, though I had both.
As I am sure we all know, a digital computer represents all information by either an on or off state, which is typically represented numerically as 0 or 1, respectively. As the digital state is often implements as an analog current, there is often some firm threshhold value, above which the state is said to be on.
Therefore to represent a peice of information, such information must first be encoded in as a number, then the number encoded into a series of off or on states to represent that number. This is where binary notation comes from. Using only 0 an 1, in principle we can represent any number as easily as using the 0-9. For instance, using base 2, the number representing in decimal form as 4 would be 100. Perhaps a bit verbose, but quite adequate when one can complete thousands of operations every second.
The verbosity, however is a problem for humans. For instance, to represent the decimal number 9 requires us to write 1001. While a digital device has no problem with this, and humans working to hardwire code have no problems, as the amount of information to encode becomes greater, humans wish to have more information density.
Which is where Octal, or base 8 representation emerges. Octal notation groups three states, or bits, in one. In octal instead of only using the digits 0 and 1, we use 0-7. This means that to write the decimal number 7 instead of writing 0b111, we write 0o7, i which the 0o prefix means octal.
Octal was nice when bits were base of the computers, but soon information grew so much that we began to group bits together. The smallest traditional grouping of bits is the nibble, which contains 4 bits. This means the biggest number that can be held is 0b1111 or the decimal number 15. This lead to the idea that we might want a numbering system that can represent numbers up to decimal 15, and the hexadecimal system was used. In this system, digits go from 0-F. Therefore the decimal number 7 is written 0x7. The decimal number 15 is written 0xF, 0o17 or 0b1111. One can see that even though the computer does not care, it is easier for people.
Hexadecimal was quite used prior to the mid 80's. While programming tasks were easily handled through the alphanumeric keyboard, with minimal special keys, formatted text processing required copious use of the entry of special codes. Even in programming, it was useful to direct many function directly through the hardware using hex.
So, obviously, with the huge bit capacity, it is quite easy to see why we use hexadecimal to represent numerical values. What is not so obvious is why we represent using the longer form hex09f911029d74e35bd84156c5635688c0 rather than 0x09f911029d74e35bd84156c5635688c0.
Beware of gifts with stange Apples?
It has been a strange ride over these 20 years. Shape tables on the Apple ][. A EPROM burner in another Apple ][ to program an EEPROM for use in a Z80 controller for flight. Printing WYSIWYG documents for the first time from a Mac to an imagewriter. Horrible fonts and resolution. Embarrassing. But such excitement to not have to embed the Epson codes directly into the AppleWriter document.
And then Macs that actually ran fast enough to do work. And then Macs with harddrives, separate monitors, expandable innards. Appletalk replaced with ethernet. And then SCSI gone and all my stuff had to be replaced with Firewire stuff.
But through all this time I have never felt betrayed. Until today. Yesterday I happily installed the MacOS update. I have complained a bit in the past week about the fact that they combined security and feature updates, and I hope they have learned from this experience, even though the probably have not, but i am over it. Sort of.
But today I noticed something strange. Moving advertisements on my web pages. Could it be that my preferences for images got messed up? No, checked my pref files everything as I left it. Could it be that more sites are manually changing images? Unlikely but i looked at the page source just to be sure. No, nothing there. The source for the web pages is essentially what it has been for these sites. Check for flash, try some scripts, then give up with a static images. So could it be Flash? I don't have flash on my computer. It eats up too much time. Do a search for the file, not there. Forgot where the file was stored, so i just go back to double checking preferences and the source of the web pages. Maybe I missed something. It sure looks like flash, though.
Finally get a brainstorm and go to the macromedia site. Yep, it starts playing a flash movie. I definitely have been infected by the annoyware virus. But how, and where it is? I finally find a web page with the directory location. It is in the library directory. Not the user one, but the main one. The one that needs administrator access. Find the file, check the date. It was the date and time I installed the MacOS update.
Now, i have no proof that the update came with a flash payload. I could have accidently installed it some other way. All I have is circumstantial evidence and i do not want to make false accusations. But the install time was during the time i was installing the update. I go through great pains not to install flash and avoid sites that require it.
On the other hand flash is becoming tricky, and someone may have set up a trojan that got it onto my computer. Could have been Apple could have been someone else.
And the only thing that the knowledge base lists is Safari enhancements. Which of course brings a whole separate set of problems, like what if I don't want to use Safari.
I am telling you. I am so close to getting a Intel piece of crap, installing Linux on it, and just running the command line with the occasional X for the rest of my life. It was not so bad when all we had was the command line.
The following is some thoughts on altering the /. moderation system. I do not believe any of these ideas are novel or unique, but the application of these ideas may help with issues such as scalability and the promotion of long term discussions within an article posting. The main concepts in this modified moderation proposal are moving to labels instead of numbers for moderation, continuously variable starting moderation points based on karma, and non linear moderation scoring.
First, I believe /. should move to labels for moderation in leu of the current numbers. These labels could be 'horrible', 'unrated', 'default', 'fine', 'great', 'terrific', and 'super' , respectively corresponding to moderation of -1 to 5. The labels will need to be tweaked with the idea that labels will reflect the status of a comment. For instance, a current '1' comment would be unrated because this is the default posting for a logged in user. I do not use the karma labels to avoid confusion.
Underlying these labels would be an expanded, and scalable counter. To determine the range of the counter, one would set the increment for a category. If we select the increment to be 20, for instance, the counter would go from 0 to 101. A comment at 0 is 'bad', a comment at 101 is 'terrific', and everything else is evenly divided into groups of 20. For instance, the structure might look like
In the discussion below I will assume that moderation counter starts at zero. I will also refer to the increment as defined above. As an aside, is feasible to make the increments nonlinear, and there are reasons to do this, but I believe the such functionally can be incorporated into the moderation procedure.
The next issue is the starting moderation based on Karma. Currently logged in users start at 1 and eventually get a point. If the user is subsequently very bad, they will lose the point. This system is effective, but imprecise. I feel it gives a new user excessive benefits, delays additional benefits until the user reaches top status, and does not quickly punish bad behavior. My suggestion is that anonymous users start at the low end of unrated, which in general is 1. All registered users would have their starting moderation calculated based on karma, as described below.
If we assume that the underlying karma count sets a neutral karma to zero and goes positive and negative with increasing and decreasing karma, we might calculate default moderation as
default_moderation=offset + karma*scale.
This equation has two variable. The first is offset, which is where we give logged in users a boost over anonymous users. For instance, if the offset is equal to the increment, a new logged in user will still start with 'unrated' comments, but a single moderation would guarantee the comment would become 'default'. The other variable is scale. To be consistent with the current system, this should cause a user with maximum karma to in the 'great' rating. This could be done by having each label change in karma add half the increment. Therefore, a karma of 'positive' and 'good' would make the moderation increasingly 'fine', while a karma of 'excellent' would have moderation in the middle of great. The application of this is that the default moderation is a continuous function based on karma, which we assume also changes continuously with user behavior.
Moderation itself should not change from the point of view of the moderator. The moderator will still choose a label and moderate. However, /. will now have fine control over the points awarded. For instance, each moderation might only award 3/4 of an increment. Or perhaps we want to encourage users to look for new good comments rather than just continue to moderated existing highly moderating comments, so we might only award 1/3 of an increment to any comment that is already 'terrific' Maybe we see that most comments posted in the first 5 minutes of an article are useless, so the moderators on those articles on get to award 1/3 of an increment until the comment reaches 'fine' status. Maybe we want to encourage moderators to look at new comments, so a moderator will only be able to award 1/4 increments to any comments that is past a certain time threshold. It may be decided that a funny comment is less valuable than an insightful comment, or an overrated tag is less valuable than a insightful tag. In summary, because moderators will still only have a certain number of moderations, regardless of the actual points awarded, the moderator can be discouraged from certain actions by making those actions less forceful.
There are several possible pitfalls in this proposal. First, the moderation of a comment will not necessarily lead to the change in moderation status for an article. This may confuse moderators. Second, communicating the variable moderation points may be prohibitively difficult. If such information is not communicated to user at the time of moderation, this proposal may not be an improvement over the current system. Third, an increased amount of computation may be necessary to display as moderation page. This increased load on the web-server may prove excessive.
A final comment on the '3 day limit' for moderation. I believe this limit is excessive and does not encourage the important activity of moderation. My suggestion is based on when the user logs into /. First, if a user does not log into /. within 24 hours of being awarded moderation points, the moderation points go back into the pool. If the user logs in within the 24 period, the user will then have 24 hours to use the points. If the points are not used in that period, they go back into the pool.
out come the freaks
I received an email recently about my sig. The email asked what was a freak. I wanted to answer that question in my journal. In addition, I also wanted to discuss why I chose to put Freaks in my sig instead of Fans.
First, what is a freak. If we look at the FAQ, we see that a freak is a person who has chosen you as a foe. This, in my opinion, is a much more significant event that another choosing you as a friend.
To get excessively philosophical, the act of choosing a foe is also an act of preparing for conflict. For some people this choice may be a petty expression of violence. However, for others it may a genuine declaration of the willingness to grow, learn and become a more complete person. As the quote above indicates, a foe can be the ideal way to discover what one should do. I hope to have the time to look at comments carefully enough to chose quality foes.
Yet once again I saw a perfectly reasonable post marked off-topic, and I had to mark it as unfair. It was not exactly on-topic, but it was a valid and useful reply to the comment. Why a moderator would waste points marking it off-topic is beyond me. Were there not enough good comments that day? Are there some whose only mission in life is to to promote personal agendas? I do not know.
I try very hard to limit my negative moderation to truly harmful posts(goatse, etc). It seems if a post relates incorrect information, that post will invariable attract comments that correct the error, and those replies will usually get modded higher than the original comments.