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Comments

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The Inevitable Death of the Internet Troll

meustrus Re:Automated hate? (507 comments)

Shooting guns is entertaining.

Yes, but also dangerous. We don't all need personal access to them to have access to entertainment, and the more dangerous weapons need very controlled conditions to be enjoyed safely. I would not be opposed to well-regulated shooting ranges renting out (on their secured premises) some of those weapons that have no other legitimate civilian purpose. That would probably actually be a great way to store such weapons for the purposes of the "well-regulated militia" our founders envisioned with the 2nd amendment (with caveats regarding safety and security regulations).

1 hour ago
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The Inevitable Death of the Internet Troll

meustrus Re:Not just women (507 comments)

What planet is this actually happening on?

Welcome to planet Earth, where men and women are different and have different options socially available to them. Where men are not allowed to play the victim (or else they're too sissy) and women are not allowed to have outspoken opinions (or else they're too butch). Sorry your orientation took so long.

1 hour ago
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How Lobby Groups Rejected the Canadian Government's Plan To Combat Patent Trolls

meustrus Re:Probably the wrong way to fight it anyway (57 comments)

A light bulb is not just a wire in a vase, FYI. First, the "wire", or filament, has to be a specific compound that generates light when electrified. As it turned out, every material they could find that would do that would also catch on fire and burn up. So the major innovation of the light bulb is the manufacturing process that removes all the oxygen from inside the bulb (leaving either vacuum or an inert gas) so that the filament does not combust. If we actually had all of that technology before the invention of the light bulb, it would not have taken an Edison-level inventor to put it all together.

1 hour ago
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The Inevitable Death of the Internet Troll

meustrus Re:Automated hate? (507 comments)

That context is not how I ever understood the example. Within the limits of how I interpreted it, it could not be used to punish a speech against the draft. That does not cause immediate panic, nor is it likely to directly cause injury. I made those caveats intentionally, and as written they exclude outlawing speaking out against government policies, even if the government considers them to be vital to the survival of the citizenry.

yesterday
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The Inevitable Death of the Internet Troll

meustrus Re:Automated hate? (507 comments)

Rocket propelled grenades? Fully automatic assault rifles (that according to our military don't even have a legitimate purpose there)? Virtually anything that isn't made for hunting or self defense?

yesterday
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The Inevitable Death of the Internet Troll

meustrus Re:Not just women (507 comments)

She gets away with playing victim because she's a girl.

And if it was a man, he'd find refuge in audacity and just get to be a trolling asshole. The people hating him would only add to his mystique. Women can't do that, but they can play on paternalism to make you feel sorry for them. Kind of a sad trade, if you ask me.

yesterday
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The Inevitable Death of the Internet Troll

meustrus Re:Death? (507 comments)

Why are there so many comments marked Troll? It looks like somebody used their mod points to down-vote the opinions he disagrees with and din't even have the self-awareness to use "Overrated".

yesterday
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The Inevitable Death of the Internet Troll

meustrus Re:Death? (507 comments)

Men are plenty good at finding ways to undermine each other too. Example: you.

yesterday
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The Inevitable Death of the Internet Troll

meustrus Re:Death? (507 comments)

Hey, those trolls that targeted the overweight kid? Nobody cared about him. Those trolls that targeted the successful woman professional? She has an enormous support network, an enormous professional network, and is well known and well loved. Nobody said the first wasn't a victim of "real" trolling (except you). But it's only understandable that the first story will sink into the depths of obscurity while the second creates an entire social campaign against trolling.

If the trolls are smart, they'll figure out that socially connected woman professionals are not particularly good targets and stick to the people nobody else cares about. But as we all know trolls are not exactly smart; we can only hope they're too dumb to target their trolling better and just give it up entirely.

yesterday
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The Inevitable Death of the Internet Troll

meustrus Re:Automated hate? (507 comments)

The First Amendment to the US Constitution is designed to keep the government from censoring unpopular speech. It's not because it's a slippery slope. It's because free speech is the underpinning of democracy, and allowing a democratically-elected government to limit it allows the government to alter the basis of its own existence. In essence, the threat is that corrupt politicians would alter the balance of power in their own favor.

With that as the basis of our right to free speech, the government does still have the power to punish certain speech in very focused situations. For example, you will go to jail if you shout "Fire!" in a crowded movie theater. That situation is limited to "causing immediate panic likely to result in injury to others", and with that limitation the law does not infringe upon our right to express our opinions.

Harassment is not expressing an opinion, it's expressing that you're an asshole. If speech were expressed with paint on canvas, harassment would be throwing the paint in someone else's face. The only way that the right to free speech protects assholes is that it forces prosecutors to prove they are really just being assholes. That's a good thing; there's a difference between throwing paint and painting a picture with it, even if the picture is on someone else's face. But that doesn't mean that shouting "SHITCOCK!" just to piss people off is somehow protected.

yesterday
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The Inevitable Death of the Internet Troll

meustrus Re:Automated hate? (507 comments)

So there are two people involved that might be liable: the bot maker (or firearm/automobile manufacturer), and the bot user (or shooter/drunk driver). In two of these three situations, the product was made and marketed for what it was used for. Using an abuse bot to abuse people is not a "misuse" of the product; it is the correct use of a product that shouldn't exist. Similarly, some classes of firearm have no legitimate purpose besides indiscriminate murder in the hands of a lone civilian (but would have legitimate purpose in the hands of the same civilian as part of a "well-regulated militia").

As for the drunk driver, well the car has a legitimate purpose besides crashing into things. It isn't sold to crash into things the way a gun is sold to shoot things. Now, if the car had a "Roman chariot spikes" rim option, they should probably be held at least somewhat liable for customers using their rim spikes to pop other people's tires.

yesterday
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Safercar.gov Overwhelmed By Recall For Deadly Airbags

meustrus Re:Slashdot Effect (120 comments)

Web hosting is still sold much the same way as over 10 years ago: multiple clients sharing a host, or a dedicated server for much more. Now we have virtual servers too, which have a lot of access and security benefits but are ultimately the same as the first option for load balancing. And if you want anything more, get multiple dedicated servers and a dedicated sysadmin. It's an awful lot of money for the mere possibility of way more web traffic than you've ever imagined would visit at once (note: your statement was broadly directed at all web sites, not just the government, so I'm broadly directing at all web sites too).

Technology gets better all the time, but economics still mostly stay the same.

2 days ago
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Ask Slashdot: Event Sign-Up Software Options For a Non-Profit?

meustrus Because You Are Always Right (104 comments)

If you don't know how to convince them they're doing it wrong, what makes you so sure they're doing it wrong?

2 days ago
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Google Changes 'To Fight Piracy' By Highlighting Legal Sites

meustrus Re: google is a search engine (156 comments)

Same reasoning behind doing things like removing ext3 support in chrome.

Why would a web browser have ext3 support in the first place? Are you one of those people that like to make everything confusing by dropping random words from otherwise meaningful statements? Like "Free as in [Free] Beer"? Um, does that mean freedom because beer is liberating? Well, don't "let the cat out [of the bag]" on that one. It might bring home a mouse. Anyway, maybe I shouldn't "judge a book [by its cover]". As in, never judge a book, ever, for any reason, because clearly your English is better than mine. Why, I could hire you to write my Slashdot comments for me and "kill two birds [with one stone]". Not sure what I would do with the two birds, but then I could at least be an asshole on the internet without ever needing to read what the other assholes have to say.

Anyway, as we all know, once you go Boolean, you never go back. Amen brotha.

2 days ago
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Google Changes 'To Fight Piracy' By Highlighting Legal Sites

meustrus Re:google is a search engine (156 comments)

Who gets to decide what is "better for society"?

Society does.

This. Notice my "scare quotes" around "better for society". mattack2 has hit on the head exactly what I would have said if it wouldn't have distracted from my point. There's no way to perfectly determine what is best for society, but we do have mostly-good-most-of-the-time ways.

2 days ago
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Google Changes 'To Fight Piracy' By Highlighting Legal Sites

meustrus Re:google is a search engine (156 comments)

Notice the air quotes around "better for society". I would rather avoid discussing whether that's true, because that discussion is happening elsewhere.

What I want is a a "truly agnostic search engine". That would mean nobody can mess with the search results, not by law and not by hacking. Perhaps I didn't make this clear, but I don't expect Google will ever be that again.

I feel like musing a bit on what would satisfy this desire. There are a few problems with search results: 1) They lack context; 2) They are easily manipulated; 3) They aren't good at translating what we say we want into what we think we want. These three problems are usually alleviated in society by human minds being context-driven and by getting multiple opinions from multiple sources. The natural solution would seem to be for the "search engine" to engage us not with a simple text box, but in some sort of conversation. The search engine would then consult a network of other search engines and try to deliver what looks like the best result. What's the best result? Depends on the conversation, the context, and the value of the results.

All three of those things seem to be beyond the grasp of Google. For one, the closest you'll get to a conversation is its asinine suggestions that are based on what query the other meatbags thought would get Google to spit out the right result, and is just as likely to include pop culture references as whatever you are actually looking for. For two, Google may warn you when a link has been paid for, but otherwise it provides no context about where that page came from, what other things it's good for, what perspective informs it, and how credible it probably is (which is a shame, because I'm pretty certain Google does usually know these things). And for three, while Google might know certain measures of value (but won't tell you because it it doesn't provide context), it has no idea exactly which measure you're interested in right now.

Say you look up the term "global warming". Are you interested in an objective history of the concept? Are you looking for pure data and research? Are you looking for the politics surrounding it? Are you looking for a place to start a fight? Are you looking to join a community of people who think like you on the issue? Knowing how to get what you want means knowing the measures of value yourself. Maybe you know by now that Wikipedia is the most likely place to find objectivity. It usually takes a college education to know where to find (and how to read) good scholarly material. Politics is even trickier: since every author has a viewpoint (and Google either has no viewpoint, an SEO-hacker biased viewpoint, or your viewpoint, and it won't tell you which), the only way you can get an unbiased view is to somehow survey all viewpoints and figure out for yourself how they fit together and which are most common. Community is even harder. How is Google supposed to know the best places to troll? If you're lucky you'll find a laser-targeted clickbait titled "Top 11 Places to Troll Global Warming Believers/Deniers". Even worse, how is Google supposed to know if you will like any particular community? It's easier to find places ripe for conflict than places you'll actually fit into.

Web search is a hard problem. Google took a shortcut that got us most of the way there: they take the entire internet and filter the results according to your query, then they order them by a search ranking determined by how many other web sites link to that web site. In essence, Google's shortcut to human-like social intelligence is to crowd-source the intelligence to actual humans. Because those humans have motivations other than helping Google, that leaves Google vulnerable to manipulation. Ever since Google became the de facto standard of finding shit on the internet, they've been contending with that manipulation every day. It works...usually. Or at least sometimes. At least it's better than not having Google. But nobody out there has yet figured out how to do provide web search without relying on human beings for search rankings.

I'd like to think a search engine that provides meaningful context, is not easily manipulated, and actually understands what I want would be good for society. Mainly because I have faith that free and effective spreading of information is good for society. What we have now is a biased and ineffective means of spreading information, so without my ideals to fall back upon determining what is or is not "good for society" is much muckier and more complicated.

2 days ago
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How Lobby Groups Rejected the Canadian Government's Plan To Combat Patent Trolls

meustrus Re:Probably the wrong way to fight it anyway (57 comments)

Truly sorry about that, but I don't see how patent reform would solve your problem. The way I see it, your problem is that they "withdrew the original from the market". Not that they invented a slightly different version. They may have done it because it enabled them to charge more for the newer drug sold for the same purpose, but you can't force a company to make what you want. Without the original patent, they may not have ever been able to sell either drug anyway.

Drug combinations are a strange beast that probably should not be patentable the same way as the individual compounds. Personally I prefer to buy the individuals and combine them myself. It certainly helps when I have a cough and sinus swelling, but not a runny nose or a fever or any sort of pain, so I really don't want to be taking an antihistamine or a pain killer in some all-in-one. It also helps to avoid phenylephrine, the "fake" sudafed that doesn't work but can't be used to make meth so it's easier to sell. They put that shit in everything. Anyway, I really hope that the "something else" in your preferred drug is available on its own.

2 days ago
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How Lobby Groups Rejected the Canadian Government's Plan To Combat Patent Trolls

meustrus Re:Probably the wrong way to fight it anyway (57 comments)

Combining A+B and C may not be easy, but it is obvious. This is actually the main problem I see with software patents: idea C is "with a computer", and A+B is some existing invention. Newspapers - on a computer! Alarm clocks - on a computer! Bank transactions - on a computer! Sure it was hard to program them. It's still obvious. But if securing the bank transactions requires new innovations in security technology to glue the pieces together, those innovations could merit patent D. Does not and should not prevent anybody else from making their own secure bank transactions with a different security method because somebody got an A+B+C patent covering the obvious part.

Really not understanding your point about pharmaceuticals. How is the benzene ring different from "including a library or function in a program [which] should have an absolutely predictable result"? I do agree though that pharmaceuticals are a bit different than other patent issues, but for a different reason: selling a drug requires round after round of expensive clinical trials because of the FDA. Without exclusivity, there may not be enough incentive for drug companies to pay for those trials if a generic manufacturer can reverse engineer the same drug and sell it on the cheap without paying for the trials. Maybe the FDA should have its own special exclusivity granting system so we can peel off one of the complications of patent law.

2 days ago
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Google Changes 'To Fight Piracy' By Highlighting Legal Sites

meustrus Re:google is a search engine (156 comments)

Google is not an agnostic search system. Google is the king of search, and everyone is trying to hack around their algorithms to boost their search rankings. Is it really so terrible that Google itself should be outright asked to prefer search results that are "better for society"?

Don't get me wrong. I want a truly agnostic search engine. Badly. I want to be able to find the best source for what I'm looking for, not a couple dozen support forums with great SEO and an actual honest-to-goodness answer buried on page 47 of the search results. Google used to be the closest we could get to that, but that was a long time ago. Now they're basically a public utility, much like the internet itself. Although since so many people are stealing from it and its customers, I'd say it's more like cable TV.

3 days ago
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Favorite clickbait hook?

meustrus Translations (238 comments)

This one weird trick

Translation: Hey you, I know you are lazy and never want to work for anything! Let me tell you how to get rich quick without getting your lazy ass off the couch!

You'll never believe what...

Translation: You'll never believe it. No, really. You will click on this link thinking to find something amazing, but unless you're exceedingly gullible, you will dismiss it as untrue. Wait, scratch that. If you clicked on this link, you probably are exceedingly gullible.

What doctors don't want you to know!

Translation: Do you distrust authority figures? Are you really, really cynical? Think that every doctor/teacher/whatever is so selfish and corrupt that they would suppress knowledge just so they can keep making money the way they are now? I've got a nice bridge in Brooklyn to sell you...

Your jaw will drop / head will explode ... (also: What happened next will amaze you ... )

Translation: Are you so hopelessly bored that you will literally click on anything that promises amusement?

Sexy something! Sexy someone!

Translation: Someone's life is more exciting and salacious than yours! Let's collectively shame them for making us feel boring! Also, dick jokes!

Missing options:

7 Things That You Might Like

Translation: You'll like at least one of these things. Maybe.

I've finally figured out how to do the impossible! Watch this YouTube video on how I did it!

Translation: There's a 99% chance I'm rick-rolling you, but you don't care as long as there's a 1% chance I'm not.

You just won our sweepstakes! Click here to claim your prize!

Translation: You're a gullible grandma/pre-teen who doesn't know much about the internet, right? Let me slip the wool over your naïve eyes for a moment...

Your computer could be at risk!

Translation: ...if you click on this ad!

Favorite clickbait hook?

Translation: Your opinion is important! Click on me and share it with other like-minded Slashdotters!

3 days ago

Submissions

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Ars Says Ad Blockers Killing the Internet

meustrus meustrus writes  |  more than 4 years ago

meustrus (1588597) writes "Ars Technica reports that ad blocking is devastating to the sites you love in a 'hopefully informative' post following an experiment on Friday afternoon where they blocked access to the news site from those using ad blockers. 'There is an oft-stated misconception that if a user never clicks on ads, then blocking them won't hurt a site financially. This is wrong. Most sites, at least sites the size of ours, are paid on a per view basis.'

While advertisements may be necessary for revenue, and some sites are better about them than others, most of us install ad blocking software for those websites out there with the obnoxious screen-covering or sound-blasting advertisements. More often than the annoying ads, though, is that when a page stops loading you can look down at the status bar to see 'Waiting for doubleclick.net...'"

Link to Original Source
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What Intel's New Integrated GPU Means

meustrus meustrus writes  |  more than 4 years ago

meustrus (1588597) writes "So Intel has released new Arrandale and Clarkdale processors with integrated GPU's. For some reason, it seems like I'm the only one who's worried about this. Early last month, Bright Side of News posted a rumor that Apple would skip this generation of Intel processors, demanding a version without built-in GPU. Why would they do this? For the last couple of years, Apple has had a good thing going with nVidia chipsets in their laptops, using GeForce 9400M integrated graphics which perform vastly superior to Intel graphics. Even with the recent developments concerning nVidia chipsets, it is still a sad day that such an arrangement becomes more and more of a faded reality.

What Intel proves to me with the integrated GPU is that it intends to pour salt in nVidia's wounds and push its graphics chips on PC designers and consumers. In my opinion this is monopolistic behavior, like trying to kill Netscape by shipping Windows with Internet Explorer. In a review of the new processors, there is a description and picture of the die for the new CPU's. Most notable is that it combines a 32nm CPU with a 45nm GPU. This is not some engineer's dream of perfection. It's a hack job pushed by management as a strategic move to put an Intel graphics chip in every computer in the world, with the eventual goal of weakening competition for third-party GPU's and chipsets which use them."
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Windows 7 Released to MSDNAA

meustrus meustrus writes  |  more than 5 years ago

meustrus writes "Windows 7 Professional has been made available through Microsoft Developer Network Academic Alliance (MSDNAA). 32-bit and 64-bit versions are available. Also available is Windows 7 Ultimate RC and language packs. Being a university student, I have proceeded to install the 64-bit edition on my Macbook Pro 5,1 and let me tell you, it purrs."

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