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Google Changes 'To Fight Piracy' By Highlighting Legal Sites

meustrus Re:google is a search engine (146 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.

yesterday
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Favorite clickbait hook?

meustrus Translations (193 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!

yesterday
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Favorite clickbait hook?

meustrus Re:Howzabout... (193 comments)

You, sir, did clickbait right. Well done.

yesterday
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Why the Trolls Will Always Win

meustrus tl;dr (716 comments)

I read through my above post and have decided to shorten and revise it. It really is too long and despite my efforts at the time still went on a couple of unrelated tangents. I know this is still long, but at least it is better organized. So, for the tl;dr crowd:

Why does it seem that the first response to these kinds of problems is always legal? To sue someone? Is it just because that's what is expedient to existing victims? Because it won't help future potential victims. Even changing the law or boosting enforcement won't get at the root cause.

The fact is that sadly, sociopathic behavior like this is socially acceptable. Every time a woman speaks up, half of the crowd chimes in to defend the sociopath. "It was her own fault", you say. "Women are such whiners; this happens to everyone", you say. And let's be clear: there's a point to be made that women are perhaps too often thin-skinned. But often this point is made regardless to the sexist nature (rape threats) or severity of the harassment (total destruction of career, made to feel unsafe and insecure even in her own home or the home of her family, made to fear for the safety of that family). And most of the people making this point, especially in a place like Slashdot that allows people to post anonymously, make their point with misogynistic slurs. It's only understandable that this position is almost always attacked as "blaming the victim" when there are only a couple of rational voices in the mob.

When you strip away the fact that women are the most common victims, you are left with the uncontroversial problem: sociopaths. Even when they aren't attacking you personally, their assaults harm society and by extension harm you. Every time a Kathy Sierra is harassed out of her comfort zone, we lose another intelligent perspective. We lose the voice behind javaranch.com. And to all you lonely nerds out there: we lose one more woman that understands and appreciates what you do. One more woman that might have shared your dreams and obsessions.

How can the law help us? Will it stop people from being sociopaths? Not any more than drunk driving laws made people stop driving drunk. Drunk driving used to be just as socially acceptable as wife beating and criminal harassment. What changed? MADD and systematic messaging from law enforcement and driver's education told entire generations of new drivers that it is not acceptable. Now drunk driving is the sort of thing only completely irresponsible people do, right? While that doesn't mean nobody does it, it does mean nobody defends the behavior. We need a single message to spread to every single child regarding harassment: this is not OK.

Stopping sociopaths and the harassment they inflict means we have to focus on their actions, not the possible failings of their victims. The victim has already been through enough and doesn't need you to tell them to toughen up. You don't even have to personally believe the victim! Attack the crime, even if you don't believe it happened. You might say, "Harassment is wrong, and I am appalled to think this kind of thing even happens." You might say, "I actually have trouble believing the story because it's so unthinkable that someone could be this much of a sociopath." You might say, "I thought this sort of thing never happened, and it certainly never should." Casting doubt on the victim doesn't help anybody. It just makes you the kind of asshole that future victims are afraid will attack their credibility if they seek help. And if they're lying, let that come out at trial; our public discussion cannot come nearly as close to justice for the specific people involved. All we can do is try to prevent this sort of thing from happening in the future by making clear that it is unacceptable.

Changing the law is a nice idea, but people tend to be pretty resentful of laws that don't match their personal beliefs. That's why the above is so important. You will never get people to report harassment and support victims just by passing laws. This is where we are with workplace sexual harassment: laws were passed giving a lot of power to the victims, but they can still be stigmatized and blacklisted in their profession for using those laws because their peers still think that harassment is OK.

Don't go straight for the law books. Go into the community and change public opinion. It's the only way we can truly marginalize and prevent sociopathic behavior like this.

yesterday
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How Lobby Groups Rejected the Canadian Government's Plan To Combat Patent Trolls

meustrus Probably the wrong way to fight it anyway (48 comments)

The anti-troll measures described in TFA don't sounds to me like they would be particularly effective for most cases. Patent trolls seek out people for whom legal representation is likely to cost as much as a settlement, since those people don't have lawyers on staff and patents are a complicated and specialized field. What the measures would do is provide more opportunities for a lawyer to contest the patent letter. Since the typical targets tend to settle solely to avoid having to pay a lawyer, this will not help. What needs to happen instead is a mandatory notification in the demand letter of certain pieces of evidence which will automatically avoid patent fees if produced. I'm talking known prior art or existing license agreements, as well as other categories of potentially more complicated evidence to be created. Patent trolls thrive on the over-complication in the law, so the solution to them is to create short circuits to their lawsuits that protect 80% of the innocent without retaining a lawyer.

yesterday
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Lockheed Claims Breakthrough On Fusion Energy Project

meustrus Re:Not another scam! Right on! (564 comments)

And before someone mentions any specific reserve that isn't being drilled for "political or environmental reasons", keep in mind there are "plenty" of them. Any individual reserve won't hold very much oil in the grand scheme of things, but in many areas drilling would prove disastrous to the local environment. Not even "vague threat of global warming" disastrous - "permanent destruction of beautiful landscapes and sole remaining habitats for endangered species" disastrous. This does not apply to all unexplored reserves (especially most offshore); with so many options it's important to know exactly how much oil you'd actually get for the destruction of those few.

2 days ago
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Lockheed Claims Breakthrough On Fusion Energy Project

meustrus Re:Not another scam! Right on! (564 comments)

At least deuterium derived from water is a more abundant fuel source than oil. The energy density for deuterium fusion is so much higher than oil combustion. And clearly, we do have a lot more water than trees or oil. But it should make us all a little bit uneasy that ultimately, using water this way is nonrenewable.

5 days ago
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Lockheed Claims Breakthrough On Fusion Energy Project

meustrus Re:ITER scuppered? (564 comments)

It won't be "scuppered" until Lockheed has a product for sale cheaper than the remainder of work left on ITER ready to install. Even then, ITER is a valuable engineering research project that may survive anyway; the alleged breakthroughs Lockheed has made are almost certainly informed by the engineering work that's already been done on ITER.

about a week ago
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Lockheed Claims Breakthrough On Fusion Energy Project

meustrus Re:Fusion in some forms can be very dangerous. (564 comments)

First, not a troll. Trolling means trying to incite a response that devolves the conversation. An example: turn the topic into an attack on Thorium reactors, knowing that some people will defend the idea and others will flame the people that defended it. I don't see any such possibility in this, and I certainly don't see the intent.

Second, some numbers. The Earth has a total of ~1.67x10^21 kg of water, and assuming each individual consumes 60 kg of water per year (as another Slashdotter calculated), and assuming we could actually access all of that water, that gives us roughly 4 billion years of fusion power before we run out of water. While that is less than the remaining lifetime of our planet (based on the remaining lifetime of the sun, between 5 and 7.6 billion years), I cannot imagine the human race surviving for so long, or what we would look like in even a tenth of that time.

about a week ago
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Lockheed Claims Breakthrough On Fusion Energy Project

meustrus Re:Why Lockheed? (564 comments)

What else is supposed to power our megawatt lasers?

about a week ago
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Lockheed Claims Breakthrough On Fusion Energy Project

meustrus Re:Some tech info for those interested: (564 comments)

Sadly, far too many Slashdotters would not have read this information if you had merely posted a link to Wikipedia. But maybe use a <blockquote> next time.

about a week ago
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Lockheed Claims Breakthrough On Fusion Energy Project

meustrus Re:Other things they said couldn't be done... (564 comments)

I think the egomania is getting worse, because the Slashdot audience has been steadily expanding for its entire existence. It's not necessarily a matter of what sort of people make up the community. It's probably more a matter of the size of the community and why people joined. When you join a small community, it's because you like what it has to offer and want to contribute. When you join a large community, it's because you like what it has to offer and want to enjoy the benefits. On Slashdot, the biggest benefit is and always has been the ease with which we can communicate our opinions to our peers. Surely lots of people, new members and existing ones who've gone through subtle personality changes, now use Slashdot primarily to try and assert their opinions. All they needed was an audience.

about a week ago
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Lockheed Claims Breakthrough On Fusion Energy Project

meustrus Re:Amazing if it works (564 comments)

Presumably with an announcement this large, they've solved those problems somehow. Even if the article tried to explain how, it would certainly be wrong considering the factual accuracy of some of its claims about nuclear power in general. The details are probably very complicated. I know you (and I, and most Slashdotters) are not accustomed to missing some of the information, but this is how most people get through life. Just accept the announcement, perhaps with a bit of healthy skepticism, and hope like everyone else does that they're telling the truth because from what little we understand, this could be revolutionary.

about a week ago
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Lockheed Claims Breakthrough On Fusion Energy Project

meustrus Re:Amazing if it works (564 comments)

I'm fairly sure that they have built smaller versions of this as proofs of concept.

That is the next stage of development. When they say "the design can be built and tested within a year", they're talking about the smaller proof of concept versions. They are aiming for a full-scale prototype within 10 years.

about a week ago
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Lockheed Claims Breakthrough On Fusion Energy Project

meustrus Re:Not another scam! Right on! (564 comments)

Run out of oil? You do realize that we are constantly running out of oil, and the oil companies have just gotten really good at finding new sources? The latest breakthroughs are twofold:

  • Hydraulic fracturing, or "fracking", making accessible broad swaths of previously unharvestable shale oil.
  • New reserves opening up in the Arctic, primarily opening up due to longer summers and milder winters melting the ice caps.

How long do you think before these sources dry up, like every other source before them already has? Pennsylvania, Texas, and California all used to be world-class suppliers of oil. Saudi Arabia is believed to have reached its peak oil extraction and is declining, although they won't admit to it. And do we really want to count it as a good thing that global scale climate change has opened up more fossil fuels with which we can induce even more global scale climate change?

And as for trees, deforestation in northern Europe had major economic consequences and contributed to the constant stream of instability and war over the last 3000 years. The Amazonian rainforest and the African jungles are our largest remaining reserves of trees, and the Brazilians are in the process of systematically clearing them for farmland. But we won't run out of trees. Unlike fossil fuels or water, it is possible to grow enough of certain trees (especially pine) to sustain forest ecosystems and supply human needs.

Water, at least, is a bit more abundant, but still not renewable. The Earth has a total of ~1.67x10^21 kg of water, and assuming each individual consumes 60 kg of water per year (as another Slashdotter calculated), and assuming we could actually access all of that water, that gives us roughly 4 billion years of fusion power before we run out of water. While that is less than the remaining lifetime of our planet (based on the remaining lifetime of the sun, between 5 and 7.6 billion years), I cannot imagine the human race surviving for so long, or what we would look like in even a tenth of that time.

about a week ago
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Lockheed Claims Breakthrough On Fusion Energy Project

meustrus Re:It is small, not sure it consumes less than 100 (564 comments)

And I suppose you have magical powers that let you convert mass into energy at will? And E is measured in Joules, or for some reason when we're talking about electricity consumption, Kilowatt-Hours. 1 Megawatt would mean 1 Megajoule per second. In any case, the energy source is still your magical mass-to-energy power, not the concrete.

about a week ago
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Lockheed Claims Breakthrough On Fusion Energy Project

meustrus Re:wow (564 comments)

Unfortunately the video does not quite touch on the lynchpin of the operation: how they are achieving the high ß. He explained that tokomak shaped reactors generate the magnetic field with the plasma itself, but he did not explain how the magnetic field is being generated apparently by the containment cylinder itself. If it's as simple as superconducting magnets, then what makes this a breakthrough? Is it just another useful but ignored approach like Thorium reactors?

about a week 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 4 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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