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Facebook Cleans Up News Feed By Reducing Click-Bait Headlines

mhollis Re:Stop calling them clickbait (61 comments)

what about the Page Three Girl

That is very important news!

about 5 months ago

How long ago did you last assemble a computer?

mhollis A loooong time ago (391 comments)

The last computer I homebuilt ran Windows 3.1

It had an Intel 80486 DX-2 processor and, for that time, lots of RAM and a pretty good graphics co-processor. It couldn't hold a candle to what I have now. But Apple makes good computers and my current one is the fastest Cheese Grater Apple made.

about 6 months ago

Nasty Business: How To Drain Competitors' Google AdWords Budgets

mhollis Re:Simple, block all ads (97 comments)

well I got skooled here. I did not know that AdBlock did block Google Text ads. The versions I have pass them by default.

But they are not fraudulent. The ones that are listed at the top of search, Google places on a yellow background, so you know that they are not natural search. The rest are to the right of natural search and are clearly labeled. Furthermore, Google examines all landing pages from these ads and makes certain that the stuff in the ads relates to the stuff on those pages. If it doesn't, Google quits showing the ads.

I do know this because I do work with clients and try to get the most out of their non-display advertisements. I do not think what my clients are doing is fraudulent. Additionally, I work with them to try to increase the amount of information on their websites so that natural search works, as well.

about 6 months ago

Do Apple and Google Sabotage Older Phones? What the Graphs Don't Show

mhollis Graph is search results, not speed measurements. (281 comments)

Exactly! The methodology is incorrect. And, after having spoken with the good people at AT&T (that's right, buy at the sign of the Death Star) it is the Telcos that are responsible for slow-downs, not the telephone makers.

Why? The Telcos want you using the latest tech so that you will have a two-year contract with them that you cannot easily get out of without paying them lots of money. This keeps you "loyal." And it gets you on the treadmill of upgrades that ensures your loyalty. So what the telcos do is that they "sunset" technology that supports the older phones. And all of their upgrades on their cell towers (which usually aren't really towers that much any more) support new radios and signaling, not the old stuff.

So blame Apple and Samsung all you want, but it's the Telcos that are responsible for slowing down the older tech, not the manufacturers.

about 6 months ago

Nasty Business: How To Drain Competitors' Google AdWords Budgets

mhollis Simple, block all ads (97 comments)

You (and Greyfox) do not seem to understand what Google Ads are. They are, for the most part, not the display advertisements one tends to see on websites. Instead, they are textual only and associated with search or with websites that open up space on their site for text ads.

Ad Blocking software allows them to show and always has. And that is because they are unobtrusive and not annoying.

All of my browsers have some kind of ad-block technology in them. And the Google text ads show just fine, thank you.

about 6 months ago

Time Warner Cable Customers Beg Regulators To Block Sale To Comcast

mhollis How Time Warner Cable and Comcast work (80 comments)

I have dealt with Time Warner Cable, specifically in New York City. I have also dealt with Comcast. I think this merger is a natural for them because of several factors:

  • These companies are just like one another. They victimize the consumer.
    • If they say they will come between the hours of 8:00 AM and 2:00 PM, they will tend to come past 3:30 PM.
    • they will not be able to schedule you in again for another week, because you were not there when their technician called.
    • If you call them for technical support for any problem, you are the problem and they treat you like you are.
    • They both claim that degrading their signal actually helps you.
    • Time Warner Cable and Comcast earned bottom-of-the-barrel scores in a consumer satisfaction survey published on May 20th, 2014.
    • Both companies have blocked broadcasters on their networks because they have walked out on talks for fees for "retransmission consent."
    • Neither company has actually tried to speed up Internet service in any significant way in over five years.
    • The production company (NBC) owned by Comcast gets an unfair advantage over other broadcastersÃ"then uses that advantage to transmit nothing special or unique

I think they should rename the combined company "Crappy Cable Internet and Phone" which will appropriately re-define what the consumer is about to experience. Renaming themselves CCIP would be a positive step.

about 7 months ago

Time Warner Cable Customers Beg Regulators To Block Sale To Comcast

mhollis Re:Simple economics. (80 comments)

it has been a regulated industry

Industry regulation does not constitute a non-free market, just as industry deregulation does not constitute a free market. I think you did not mean to suggest that regulation un-frees markets.

While the telecommunications industry has always been regulated, there are many very competitive industries that face regulation. The regulation, in effect, creates a more level playing field for all competitors within a market. For example, the contractor I know faces regulation. He has to register as a contractor and keep his registration current for each state in which he works. The money he pays into the state for that registration goes into a fund that will pay homeowners for botched jobs where the contracting firm goes bankrupt. Contractors are regulated by local laws to require a permit for the work that they do (these regulations also cross-regulate homeowners as well). Work must be subjected to inspection so that the work performed meets building codes. But nobody is saying that contractors have a monopoly, that there is no free market for contractors. Indeed, it's a pretty free market.

To suggest that any regulation makes a market "un-free" is to not understand regulation. Or free markets.

about 7 months ago

Fox Moves To Use Aereo Ruling Against Dish Streaming Service

mhollis Re:Jurisdiction (210 comments)

And, certainly such a treaty does exist, else no court in the USA would have had jurisdiction to demand the payments. And, from the standpoint of operating websites, it is pretty easy to block whole countries from seeing your website. All it takes is editing a .htaccess file.

As to the banking issue, France is a signatory of a treaty within the European Community of Nations as well as the United States to sanction Iran regarding their development of atomic weapons. This is an agreement between the United States government, France and all like-minded governments that have decided that the sanctions are appropriate in view of the non-proliferation agreement signed by Iran (that's right, Iran under the Shah, but Iran, nonetheless).

Now, I am not an attorney and I do not play one on television, but my work takes me, quite frequently, into this area of international law, usually set up by treaties. In the United States, treaties are negotiated and signed by the Administration (the Executive) and ratified by the United States Senate. Many other countries also have a separate ratification process that follows a negotiation and signature. These treaties give the various courts in the various countries jurisdictionÃ"even though the violation did not occur within the borders of that court's country.

That is how international law works.

about 7 months ago

Teachable Robot Helps Assemble IKEA Furniture

mhollis Hurray! (88 comments)

I'm glad someone can assemble Ikea furniture!

about 2 years ago

How Old Were You When You First Got a Cell Phone?

mhollis We had rocks (330 comments)

I'm old. incredibly old. In fact, I wonder how it is that my old corpse is still walking around among you folks.

Why, back in my day, we had rocks. And we pounded them together to make sounds. And those sounds were used to communicate over long distances, like 100 feet or so (but we didn't have feet yet, so we used rocks).

And we liked it!

about 2 years ago

Adobe's Strange Software Giveaway: Goof, Or Clever Marketing?

mhollis Re:How will this affect the industry? (385 comments)

The GIMP dead on Windows?!

The following was posted on the GIMP Website:

It's been a long time since we last had an active Windows-based developer. Consequently, GIMP has accumulated a plethora of bugs specific for that operating system. As much as we'd like to provide a smooth user experience for Windows users, we simply do not have the required human resources.

Hence, if you are an experienced Windows-based developer who is interested to help GIMP become a first-class citizen in the Windows world, please get in touch with us. Our main communication channels are the gimp-developer mailing list and IRC.

I received a copy of Photoshop Elements with a drawing tablet sold by Wacom for my daughter recently. It does seem to work. Perhaps Adobe is not improving it, but one does not expect Elements to do everything Photoshop does.

I think that Paint.net may have given way to PIXLR Editor for simple tweaking and enhancing.

There are a few Mac-only apps as well, but I gather you may not have a Mac, based on your statement about The GIMP.

about 2 years ago

Adobe's Strange Software Giveaway: Goof, Or Clever Marketing?

mhollis What I use (385 comments)

I'm still using Photoshop CS3 (version 10), which I only upgraded because Photoshop 7 was so seriously out of date that it would not work on my new computer. I did download Photoshop CS6 when it was in Beta and I do like many of the capabilities of it, but nothing there was make or break for me.

I am using Dreamweaver CS 5.5 because it actually does more. I can see how web pages will look on iOS as well as Android smartphones. I also can work much more easily with HTML5 and CSS3. It also does a lot better work checking my php and JavaScript. So that upgrade was actually useful. I am very pleased with the fact that I have not paid every one to two years for the upgrades, which would have cost a lot more than simply buying new versions as I really needed to upgrade.

Adobe's upgrade policy, until December, was that if anyone still owned CS3 applications they would have to pay full price and get new software. They have since modified that stance because someone who is really smart must have told them that the upgrade path is an actual incentive.

Adobe's correct stance should be crystal clear: They ought to offer an upgrade path from the CS2 applications that is time-limited. There are always people who are going to buy gray-market or "used" software who will never pay what Adobe wants and never properly register their software. But there are people who may well be very attracted by an upgrade path.

about 2 years ago

SOPA/PIPA Would Directly Affect...

mhollis SOPA and PIPA would end my business (290 comments)

I make websites. It would end my business. My clients would be placed into black holes by their competitors who would use SOPA or PIPA to claim infringement just to be rid of them. And to get out of the black hole, you have to prove that you do not infringe and have never infringed.

No due process. No prior proof needed. No judge, no jury. Pretty neat for the RIAA, which has been stymied by these things lately and the MPAA. Maybe if they're having problems with profits they can decide to release compelling content for a change.

about 3 years ago

Ask Slashdot: What Can You Do About SOPA and PIPA?

mhollis Re:Here's what (1002 comments)

And he would cause the US to allow Iran to have a nuclear weapon. (Not our problem.)

Oh, and that Social Security withholding you have been paying for all along that allows my disabled sister to live? Gone. And the sons and daughters and spouses of soldiers who die in the service of our country—their Social Security checks? Gone. And the healthcare our soldiers get because they served our country with distinction? Gone. The ability of the United States to recover after a disaster like Katrina? Gone.

Personally, I'm looking forward to an America under Ron Paul, so that half our nation goes hungry. They're all lazy anyway.

about 3 years ago

Ask Slashdot: What Can You Do About SOPA and PIPA?

mhollis Called my senators today (1002 comments)

I have previously written my Congressman and my Senators, but today I called the office of Senator Joseph Leiberman and found, to my disgust, he is a co-sponsor of the awful PIPA bill (the Senate version of SOPA).

I told Senator Leiberman's aide, who was handling phones this afternoon, that this bill would run me out of business. I design and build websites and the law is written in such a way that it would cause me to have to police my own clients, including any link they posted on their own websites. Also, any of their competitors could, with a complaint and no due process, demand that their websites were shut down. I also said that if the MPAA and the RIAA, who wrote this awful bill, were to start producing content that was compelling, they would not be experiencing the loss of revenue that they are blaming on the pirates.

I called Senator Blumenthal's office and found, to my relief, that while he initially was for the bill, he would not vote for it unless it was radically changed. I told the aide on the phone that I was an expert on the Internet, that I design websites and that this law could, effectively, end my business. I also told the aide that I had met the Senator when he was the Attorney General for the State and that I liked him, trusted him and hoped that he would listen to my concerns and never vote for any bill like this.

In both cases, I gave the Senators' offices my zip code and any other information they requested.

This kind of telephone call from an intelligent person who actually knows what's in the bill and what kinds of problems it could cause really gets the attention of these people in the Senators' offices and I would encourage all Slashdotters in the United States to do this. Senators are not experts on the Internet. They really need our help to let them know why the law that was written by the record industry and the film industry destroys our freedom.

about 3 years ago

White House Opposes Key SOPA Provisions

mhollis Re:Ron Paul's largest supporters are military. (175 comments)


Seriously, I was at a commuter rail station back when we were placing lots of National Guardsmen and women in them in order to encourage Americans to be afraid all of the time of Terrorists—but go shopping. I got into a conversation with a very nice gentleman who was just back from Iraq. He told me that "we need to reform all of these entitlements." I asked him for a definition of entitlement and he thought about it for a minute and said, "well, they're bad."

"Really?" I asked, "Where did you get this nice uniform?"

"It was issued to me," he answered.

"That's because you earned it and you are entitled to it because you did."

"An entitlement is something you earn?"

"True. you have earned the right to wear that uniform, you are entitled to it and the US Military gives you that entitlement as well as the uniform as an entitlement."

"So what is all this about these other entitlements, these bad entitlements that we cannot afford?"

"They were earned, too. In fact, you are entitled to go into a Veteran's Administration hospital to get checked out any time you feel you need to. That's another entitlement, and it's one they have their eyes on."

"That's just wrong," he said.

"Additionally, you've been paying into the Social Security and Medicare system. If you die in service, Social Security gives your survivors a check. You don't want them to get that?"

"No, I don't think so."

"You get disabled and you're entitled to a Social Security check for disability. You think that is wrong?"


Frankly, I think that the United States Military has become one great big huge "political re-education camp." They get our boys overseas and they start lecturing to them about all of this nonsense and they haven't a clue as to what they're talking about and how, what they're espousing would really look once it hit them. I know it went on in Iraq, because I have spoken to dozens who have returned, spouting exactly the same talking points. I am also smart enough to know who proposed this war in Iraq. For much of the time after the invasion, our men and women were in camps with nothing to do. And I think the political operatives made sure they had a lot of "educational materials."

If Ron Paul were actually elected, here is what would really happen:

We would downsize our military at a level that we have not so done since WW I and that would throw many of these fine men and women out of work in an economy that is not great.

Oh, but Ron Paul's largest supporters are military.

until they realize what he says really means.

This is exactly what happened under Shrub. He told everyone we needed to starve government of the money we needed for social programs. And the end result of that is a country that is having trouble digging its way out of a recession because we didn't have the money for the social support necessary to build back an economy that the bankers ruined.

Oh and we "couldn't afford" to rebuild New Orleans.

But we could afford to pay Halliburton over $1 million weekly to "rebuild Iraq."

about 3 years ago

Wikipedia Still Set For Full Blackout Wednesday

mhollis Re: Citizens United (291 comments)

Well, actually

Citizens United became a front group for giant corporations, both within and without the United States when our Supreme Court decided, as Mitt Romney said, "Corporations are people, too." And thus, they have a right to free speech. And that right ought not to be abridged, especially in politics (except we do abridge individuals right of freedom of speech by calling it a "verbal act.").

This is wholesale misuse of the 14th Amendment, which was actually written to give persons of African and non-European ancestry full citizenship in the US. It has been interpreted by people who ought to have their heads examined as "Corporations are people, too and, because there are more people, they are deserving of extra protection.

Of course, in their infinite wisdom, our Supreme Court did not consider the fact that many big Corporations are multinational now and, since they are permitted to use any amount of their money for "free speech," much of that money can come from overseas.

Which suggests, for example, that Ron Paul's SuperPAC is actually run by Iran, who would really like for the United States to be ultra-isolationist. I'm not in possession of any certain knowledge that it is, but since there are no laws requiring any reporting and since Ron Paul did vote to prevent any reporting, this makes him suspect.

So Citizens United might have initially been a well-intentioned group, but it has morphed into the single worse Supreme Court Decision in this country since the Dred Scott Case.

about 3 years ago

White House Opposes Key SOPA Provisions

mhollis Re:Oh wow. Watch what they DO, not what they SAY. (175 comments)

I note all the numbers from donors this year to Romney are lower. But it's early yet.

Problem is, you're leaving out the SuperPAC money that may very well determine the election. And, of course we cannot trace that. In the case of Ron Paul, we're probably looking at Iran, China and Russia. They would love to see the ultra-isolationist country he's espousing.

With respect to PIPA and SOPA, these are really bad bills. I have talked to two Senate offices and one Representative in person. My Representative was particularly interested in the "no due process" part of the bill, and told me he cannot support it. That is one that has been convinced.

about 3 years ago

Net Companies Consider the "Nuclear Option" To Combat SOPA

mhollis Re:Such an option is going to cause panic... (507 comments)

From the companies' perspective, a lowered minimum wage decreases the buying power of the potential consumer to the point where there would be no reason to hire the 8 additional employees.

EPA regulations, when finally allowed to go into effect to stop acid rain from destroying the New England forests by the Clinton Administration, created hundreds of jobs building and installing the scrubber systems to reduce sulpher dioxide emissions from coal-fired power plants (who opposed such EPA rules, saying they would kill jobs).

I wholeheartedly agree that corporate money distorts the process of democratic elections in the United States. Because the Supreme Court (in Citizens United) threw out all legislation pertaining to corporate speech, we now have a system that encourages foreign money to influence American elections. The whole idea of "Freedom of Speech" has been turned on its head, with Capital and the moneyed interests being given the largest megaphone with no requirement that they prove that their political speech is not funded or controlled by foreign interests.

I look at the ads on television today in the early primary states and wonder why China is helping Romney. I can completely understand why Iran would want to help Ron Paul, who would agree with their Defense Minister that we ought not to send our aircraft carrier group into the Strait of Hormuz. Of course we cannot know how much of their money has supported those campaigns and those of their Super-PAC allies.

about 3 years ago



Verizon iPhone

mhollis mhollis writes  |  more than 5 years ago

mhollis (727905) writes "I just received a telephone call from Verizon monents ago. They were interested in trying to get my wife to extend their contract and I told them that I do know that my wife is interested in extending her contract if they offer the Apple iPhone. The woman told me straight out that they are getting the iPhone and that it was not out yet — but it would be out in the next year."

Kepler Telescope begins hunt for extrasolar Earth

mhollis mhollis writes  |  more than 5 years ago

mhollis (727905) writes "Kepler, which launched on March 6th into a solar orbit has successfully jettisoned its dust cover. The planet-finding telescope contains the largest camera ever flown in space. NASA is offering an artist's animation of the dust cover procedure. Kepler is to be the first in a series of extrasolar planet finding telescopes and is slated to have a three-year mission."
Link to Original Source

San Francisco Admin locks out city officials

mhollis mhollis writes  |  more than 6 years ago

mhollis writes "San Francisco municipal emplyoyee Terry Childs, a computer network administrator has the admin passwords and he's not giving them up. He is being held by the city on $5 Million bail while murder suspects are typically held on $1 Million. He is refusing to give up real asministrator passwords to city officials apparently because he has a beef with his boss.

Authorities say Childs created a password that granted him exclusive access to the city's new FiberWAN (Wide Area Network), where records such as officials' e-mails, city payroll files, confidential law enforcement documents and jail inmates' bookings are stored. He initially gave pass codes to police, but they didn't work. When pressed, Childs refused to divulge the real code even when threatened with arrest, they said."

mhollis mhollis writes  |  about 8 years ago

mhollis (727905) writes "Gizmodo is featuring a subjective HDTV quality test from the five networks that were sending an HD signal of the President's State of the Union speech. This speech was broadcast using a pool feed, so everyone was deriving their signal from exactly the same source.

According to Gizmodo, CBS won the contest with the highest quality signal. Fox lost, as they did not have an HD feed at all — just widescreen — so their picture looked fuzzy as compared to the other networks. Also judged was sound quality.

And you thought NTSC standard definition television stood for Never Twice the Same Color!"

mhollis mhollis writes  |  more than 8 years ago

mhollis (727905) writes "NASA's Cassini spacecraft has seen something never before seen on another planet — a hurricane-like storm at Saturn's South Pole with a well-developed eye, ringed by towering clouds.

The "hurricane" spans a dark area inside a thick, brighter ring of clouds. It is approximately 5,000 miles across, or two thirds the diameter of Earth."

mhollis mhollis writes  |  more than 8 years ago

mhollis (727905) writes "Some time ago, Palm announced the Treo 680 but released nothing more than a photograph. Today, someone with inside information has released full details in the form of a Power Point presentation for internal use only by Cingular, who will have an exclusive on the device for a while. Pricing options are also available

The Treo 680 will have marginally more RAM than any of Palm's current crop of smartphones, though will have a lower-resolution camera. It has a slower data rate than the Treo 650 and 700 series but it will have a push-to-talk walkie-talkie feature planned as an upgrade.

The 680 does not feature an external antenna, which is a source of frustration for many Treo users."



mhollis mhollis writes  |  more than 9 years ago

Tomorrow is another anniversary of September 11th and a particularly meaningful day for me. I lost a number of good friends on that day (though I didn't know it at the time) and witnessed the second plane hitting the South Tower in NYC. I had previously heard the first plane passing over my apartment in Greenwich Village and heard the explosion.

Despite the fact that it was a day off for me, I went in to work. You see, I work at NBC and I knew that it would be very important that I help tell the story of an unprecidented attack on America to the world.

Every year, I find we tend to reopen the wound by rebroadcasting the events of that day. What we don't do is any analysis.

One of the first, and most vital things that a nation has to do is to secure its own borders and establish a common defence of its population. The US failed to do that, despite warnings, on September 11, 2001. If attacked, it is the duty of a nation to respond to the attacker. The US has failed to do that, as Osama bin Ladin is still at large and his terror network is larger than ever, thanks to the training camp we have provided Al Qaida in Iraq.

In the meantime our government has created whole new bureaucracies that have helped to prevent it from providing necessary services. Since FEMA has been subsumed by the Department of Homeland Security, it is no longer capable of responding to emergencies and Coast Guard Admmirals must step in because political appointees cannot figure out how to do their jobs.

And our government is spending money like water on these new bureaucracies as well as the the terrorist training camp that is Iraq. We seem to have learned nothing, save how to impart political spin on misdeeds and misappropriation of taxpayer funds.

I wonder if I will ever see any meaning in my friends' deaths. If the past four years are any indication, it's doubtful.


mhollis mhollis writes  |  more than 9 years ago

Recently there has been a certain amount of discussion about whether or not State legislatures ought to keep municipalities from offering WiFi access using their tax money to do so.

There is some question about what the role of government ought to be and this question has been at the heart of political debate for centuries. US Presidents have refused to sign bills that would use federal funding to build roads. Towns used to only rent or lease lots and were wholly owned by large landowners who used rents to improve the town (building roads, storm sewers, wastewater treatment and so on).

Obviously, what constitutes a good model for community government changes with the times and the perceptions of the people and that is a mark of a good democratic society.

I have mentioned that I am bothered when State or Federal governments restrict what services a locality may offer because it keeps the local people from running affairs as they see fit and as they are willing to pay for in taxes.

Part of the essence of the American Revolution was an insistence that local affairs were best governed by local councils and people closest to the issues. Government from afar, especially government that did not represent or consider local issues was what we were declaring their independence from and I think that, to a certain extent, this principle has been forgotten.

Ought municipalities to provide this service as well as the other services they provide? I don't know. But they should not be prevented from offering any service that the majority of a local community wishes to pay taxes to support.

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