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Microsoft Considered Renaming Internet Explorer To Escape Its Reputation

iMadeGhostzilla Re:question: does IE support adblock and noscript? (413 comments)

FireFox with NoScript (and AdBlock) is the first line of checking -- any link I first open there, and if it's not in the handful of whitelisted and if the page is too bungled to read but seems legit, then I open it in Chrome. If it's at all suspect I just close the page, usually it's some crap anyway.

Although really would be best to use two Firefoxes -- one with NoScript and one without but still with Adblock etc., instead of Chrome.

3 days ago

Email Is Not Going Anywhere

iMadeGhostzilla Re:serious confusion by the author (235 comments)

Email is actually a tremendous, decentralized, open platform

Right, because people understand and care about that.

They're not that stupid. They have a feeling that email is owned by no one really, and that there can't be one person or institution to tell them "no email for you."

4 days ago

Comcast Drops Spurious Fees When Customer Reveals Recording

iMadeGhostzilla Just pretend you're recording and ask for consent (364 comments)

It's not illegal to say you're recording when you're not (you could have lost the recording). So just tell the Comcast person on the other side you're recording, if they object ask why what are they afraid of. I imagine the conversation will take a different direction when they "know" they are being recorded. And enough people will actually record that they likely won't dare assume you're bluffing.

about a week ago

Microsoft Surface Drowning?

iMadeGhostzilla Re:It's a still a nice PC. (337 comments)

Same here. When I buy a tablet it will be a Surface or similar. I had the 1st iPad and found the form factor to be pleasant but too limiting for the tablet to be much more than a time sink. My pattern of working with a computer is I have periods when I'm just consuming, in which case sitting on a sofa with a tablet is preferable, and then I have periods when I'm creating, for which I need a keyboard, a filesystem etc. The consuming periods are short -- 10-20 minutes -- but without the creation capability they just degenerate into time wasting.

about two weeks ago

The Hobbit: the Battle of Five Armies Trailer Released

iMadeGhostzilla Re:Such a Waste (156 comments)

Nonsense. Imagine Bilbo kills one of the dwarfs for no reason and they all laugh and continue with their business. That wouldn't make sense and you'd be immediately pulled back from the scene and think WTF am I watching? Why the director do that? The suspension of disbelief would be broken.

But it's a good question, how can disbelief be suspended in the first place while watching a fantasy with wizards and dragons? One thing that comes to mind is Jung's archetypes -- perhaps whatever we see that is congruent with psychological archetypes allows us to sink into it almost as if it were "real."

about three weeks ago

Soccer Superstar Plays With Very Low Brain Activity

iMadeGhostzilla Re:"Intelligence" is not earned. (160 comments)

Talent is from what I understood really the drive and the natural attraction that would let the person endure the 10,000 hours of practice (and even enjoy it, for part of it anyway). The opportunity goes without saying (if you practice for 10,000 hours you have the opportunity). So I think it's not that much of a misperception that practicing something for 10,000 hours makes you very very good at it.

about three weeks ago

The Psychology of Phishing

iMadeGhostzilla There could be a solution in the browser (128 comments)

And it would be simple: the browser would know that it's reading email (from URL -- gmail, yahoo, custom) and *would not open any links* the user may click on unless the link URL is on the click-to-open whitelist (initially empty). It would still let you copy the link to the clipboard (possibly with a warning) that you could paste yourself in a new tab (possibly with another warning), but this speed bump of having to take the destination URL in your hands, so to speak, would -- I'm assuming -- be good enough to let you pause and think if "" is really where you want to go.

about a month ago

Lenovo Halts Sales of Small-Screen Windows 8.1 Tablets Due To "Lack of Interest"

iMadeGhostzilla Re:Same here (125 comments)

How do you know that Metro is there to get people to familiarize themselves with the UI so they can buy Windows phones? Unless I see a leaked memo or something, to me it makes more sense to assume (not saying I know) that MS wanted to create their own approach to touch screens that can coexist with a full-blown OS, so they can offer hybrid devices -- touch-only in one situations, full-blown laptop in another -- and make money from the market segment that thinks hybrid is the way to go.

about a month ago

Is the Software Renaissance Ending?

iMadeGhostzilla He lives in the Apple world (171 comments)

XCode, iOS, Swift... Much of that world is centered around "cool" stuff ie. it's less about making something that creates value/makes money or enables someone else to make money or be productive and much more about pass time. At the same time this cool world has attracted a huge number of developers -- so now there is little of importance left to do and plenty of volunteers. Kind of like the digital music making scene.

To test this theory, I'm firing up the App Store on my iPhone and here are the top paid apps:
1. Minecraft - Pocket edition ($6.99, Games)
2. Heads Up! ($0.99, Games)
3. Monument Valley ($1.99, Games)
4. Blek ($0.99, Games)
5. Afterlight ($1.99, Photo & Video)
6. 7. Minute Workout ($1.99, Health and Fitness)
7. PAW Patrol Rescue Run ($3.99, Education (?))
8. Magic Locks -- LockScre... ($1.99, Entertainment)
9. Dark Sky - Weather ($3.99, Weather)
10. Facetune ($2.99, Photo & Video)

And so on. Photo & Video on iPhone? The builtin app is perfectly fine, in honesty. Health and fitness? People have been fit before iPhones but OK, fine. And the rest? Entertainment, Games, Games, Games.

(The top free app are almost all Games, with some Photo & Video and occasional Entertainment. And of course, 15. Facebook (Social Networking).)

The world of Windows and Linux has much more going on for it IMO, new stuff creates opportunities for new stuff, so I don't think his reasoning applies to software in general.

about a month ago

Is the Software Renaissance Ending?

iMadeGhostzilla Re:Slew of missing business applications (171 comments)

But there are endless gates to be open. And opening more gates leads to more gates still. Not all of them equally lucrative but that kind of thing always works itself out naturally.

about a month ago

Ask Slashdot: Future-Proof Jobs?

iMadeGhostzilla Re:Should be asking other questions (509 comments)

Exactly. You could possibly advise 1000 people what to do based on statistics, if you have a measurable criteria for success, but to use statistics to tell one person what to do in order to have a fulfilling life is futile.

One heuristic is to look for what particularly interested her since early childhood. Those may be things that she is genetically or personality-wise or for whatever reason predisposed to do well -- her neural circuitry is more attuned to such tasks -- because interest gives motivation to practice, and practice gives rise to being good at something which usually results in getting paid for doing it. The hard part is abstracting that information into a possible profession or calling, but you may get a general direction. Eg. (silly example) if she really put an unusual effort to fly kites, maybe she's interested in aerodynamics. However if all her kite-flying involved getting a lots of friends together for the activity to be enjoyed together than her interest is probably something else. Good luck to her.

about a month ago

Massive Job Cuts Are Reportedly Coming For Microsoft Employees

iMadeGhostzilla Re:Good (300 comments)

Because the remaining employees would live in perpetual fear of losing their jobs and would not be able to focus on work. Machiavelli advised a prince to carry on all punishments at once, so they are quickly over, but to reward the people gradually. It's a consequence of human psychology and how we perceive the future.

about a month ago

Massive Job Cuts Are Reportedly Coming For Microsoft Employees

iMadeGhostzilla Re:Who couldn't see this coming? (300 comments)

Not sure that cuts crush morale. If you've been through layoffs done right you probably had this experience -- a coworker who was a nice guy and all but really not adding much to the project was let go, you felt sorry for him but you also felt like the work on the project was going to be a little smoother and more efficient, sometimes more exciting even.

I was on both sides of the cut -- once I was a contractor and the company fired all contractors plus 10% of employees. I hear from friends who stayed that morale is up and the production is better.

about a month ago

FAA Pressures Coldwell, Other Realtors To Stop Using Drone Footage

iMadeGhostzilla Re:Not a rule (199 comments)

But that's precisely the point -- FAA should admit that that the current laws aren't good enough. They were made when only a few toy helicopters existed and that wasn't worth regulating, but times have changed. Instead, the FAA goes after realtors using footage of drones and otherwise spend time and resources trying to enforce laws that need updating even in situations that do not seem to be endangering the public (such as using footage). It's this zeal that I find out of place, with the understanding that I have at the moment.

Appreciate the pilot's perspective though.

about a month ago

FAA Pressures Coldwell, Other Realtors To Stop Using Drone Footage

iMadeGhostzilla Re:Not a rule (199 comments)

Keyword is "navigable airspace" though. FAA has established authority over "navigable airspace" only which FAA itself defines as

'"Navigable airspace" is airspace at or above the minimum altitudes of flight prescribed by the Code of Federal Regulations, and must include airspace needed to ensure safety in the takeoff and landing of aircraft.'

So what is the minimum altitude of flight? I would bet that it excludes the entire range where drones can fly as they can fly pretty darn low. It must be some number, so if it is e.g. 100m, so drones that fly under 100m should be clear, should they not?

Not saying that some regulation isn't needed, just that the existing one does not apply.

about a month ago

New Microsoft CEO Vows To Shake Up Corporate Culture

iMadeGhostzilla Re:Manager (204 comments)

I'll answer that from my perspective: it just so happened that most of the fun I had and money I made programming was on Windows. That's why I'd like MS to be successful. I had lots of good time programming on Linux, too, so for the same reason I want Linux to continue. Never had a chance to code for OSX or iOS, so I don't care about those either way. And outside of programming, most of the fun hands down I had on Windows.

Not that anyone's asking me, of course, just trying to trace down my positive feelings towards Microsoft.

about a month ago

NYC Loses Appeal To Ban Large Sugary Drinks

iMadeGhostzilla Re:Let them drink! (532 comments)

The boundary between self and others isn't as clear as you think. An other breathing in the same room as you exchanges with you gases, germs, particles of dead skin, and so on, so at some level you temporarily become one system. If the other has a deadly airborne disease and the society is not allowed to do anything about it, it may affect the self, i.e. you.

Not saying drinking sodas is the same as walking around lethally infectious but hope you can see shades of gray. Action of each one ultimately reach everyone, the question is only what is reasonable to police. That said, I personally believe that too many rules make things worse.

about 2 months ago

Emotional Contagion Spread Through Facebook

iMadeGhostzilla Facebook trends spread through Facebook (127 comments)

Big deal. Just because people on Facebook tend to post like their Facebook friends, there is no reason to conclude that they continue with that "emotional contagion" of Obama memes and cats and whatnot once they switch to another tab or turn off their computer. A Facebook study can only tell what people do on Facebook anyway.

about 2 months ago

Ask Slashdot: Resolving the Clash Between Art and Technology In Music?

iMadeGhostzilla Re:Why do opera at all then? (121 comments)

I went to see an opera recently (free tickets), and given that the orchestra was hidden from view, I imagine I wouldn't have been upset much had the music been prerecorded -- all of my attention was on the stage. Maybe we are naturally more impressed by people singing and moving about than by great instrument playing.

The net (short term) consequence of the project is, if it happens, people will be able to see and hear masterful singers performing live to the background digital music. Compared to nothing at all due to financial issues, it seems like a benefit.

about 2 months ago

The Singularity Is Sci-Fi's Faith-Based Initiative

iMadeGhostzilla Re:Summary starts with a foolish assumption (339 comments)

Believing that "machines not made of meat" can think is based on faith, and not science. There is no evidence and no valid theory/model for it, or even for thinking in general. Same with Singularity. Same with extra-terrestrial (intelligent) life for that matter. In fact you can find far more potential evidence for paranormal phenomena (whether the evidence is valid and what would the theories behind it would be is another story) than for any of those three.

Not that there is anything wrong in having faith in things, that what keeps most of the world going. But it's not science.

about 3 months ago


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