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Roundabout Revolution Sweeping US

tzhuge Re:Really bad idea. (1173 comments)

Err... there are quite a few roundabouts in this city, and they have been there for a long time. Some people don't really learn.

Roundabouts need pretty good coordination between drivers to work their best. The outbound flow limits the inbound flow, and everything flows nicely; it really is quite an elegant solution. However, it only takes one driver in the circle who doesn't know what to do to screw the entire thing up for everyone.

more than 3 years ago
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Google's Search Copying Accusation Called 'Silly'

tzhuge Re:I think this article says everything... (380 comments)

He is laying out the facts as described in the followup article... you needn't get incredulous. This article is by the same person that wrong the original accusation article.

Public information cannot be trade secrets. Search results are public. Proprietary search algorithms are not.

The users are tracked because they used Bing Toolbar, which apparently has some opt-in tracking. It's a legit thing to criticize, but I'm not going to argue about that, since neither company has a stellar record in that regard.

more than 3 years ago
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Google's Search Copying Accusation Called 'Silly'

tzhuge Re:Follow up from Danny Sullivan who broke the sto (380 comments)

Everyone needs to read this link. The PR dance is getting ridiculous, but this story is also making /. demographic's disappointingly irrational side show through. Seriously, both companies are trying to play with public opinion; the whole thing is consistently being mis-characterized to elicit reaction.

At least try to read about the facts

more than 3 years ago
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Microsoft Vehemently Denies Google's "Bing Sting"

tzhuge Re:Evidence and Explanation (596 comments)

They got the related search term because it was entered into the Bing Toolbar search... That's like the search thing in Firefox where you can pick the actual search engine used. I think the tracking is part of 'Suggested Search' feature.

I don't actually agree with tracking completely, and I don't know how clear IE is about the tracking, but MS explanation is actually pretty sound.

more than 3 years ago
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Microsoft Vehemently Denies Google's "Bing Sting"

tzhuge Re:Evidence and Explanation (596 comments)

Sigh... they are acquiring association data from the tracked users. These fake users entered 'delhipublicschool40 chdjob' into the Bing search bar, then clicked on a link to 'a Credit Union website'. If they were copying directly from Google, then 100% of honeypot search terms should have worked...

It's not like that explanation even makes MS look good per se, but I'm almost guaranteed to get modded down again.

more than 3 years ago
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Microsoft Vehemently Denies Google's "Bing Sting"

tzhuge Re:Evidence and Explanation (596 comments)

Just want to add one thought experiment that hopefully illustrates my point:

Let's say Google did their same sting, but their employees always clicked the 5th result down instead of the top one. Then, if MS isn't lying, that could mean the 5th result shows up on Bing search. Consider that if these were real search terms, that would actually mean that Bing is providing the more useful result. So... how does a person copying provide a better answer deterministically if all that person is doing is copying?

more than 3 years ago
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Microsoft Vehemently Denies Google's "Bing Sting"

tzhuge Evidence and Explanation (596 comments)

Ok, I'm quite irked by this story, and I got modded troll a bunch of times by trying to point out that Google's experiment doesn't really support their accusation. I know some people will immediately label me a shill or apologist just for having a different opinion. What's stupid is I use Google search, and never Bing.

Anyways, the following is my understanding and some opinion. The secret knowledge of the search engine is the association of a search term and a result (usually a url). So to say that Bing is copying (I think 'cheating' might have the what was used, but copying is a lot of people's interpretation), implies they are acquiring Google's association data; conversely if the Bing search comes to the same result coincidentally, then they can't be 'cheating'. It wouldn't be that surprising if two search engines return same results for certain words. However, Google did their sting with fake terms... so obviously Bing is copying right?

So let's talk about their sting. They created (100?) honeypot search terms where a fake word would return a real link 'sss4yxyxy -> returns www.myresult.com'. Then they had 20 employees using IE and Bing toolbar w/ Google search and kept using these fake terms, then clicking the resulting link. Some time later, some of these fake terms return the same results on Bing.

A few things: Google employees opted into tracking w/ the Bing toolbar. (This is somewhat beside the point anyways, since Google isn't exactly in a position to point the finger about tracking.) Note that my understanding is that few of the (100?) honeypot terms actually worked on Bing.

The explanation from MS is that the Google employees gamed their user tracking mechanism to produce a result which makes it appear as if Bing is 'copying' Google. Basically they tracked the user search term, then the link they clicked through, and used this as part of the data for Bing. Google successfully gamed this because those terms are fake, and therefore the only data about them came from the sting.

So my opinion is that this isn't copying. If 100 of 100 honeypots showed up on Bing then that would support their accusation better. If their 20 employees only used Google normally from IE, without going through the toolbar, then that would strengthen the case. Without these, I have a hard time understanding how even the people at Google have rationalized their own accusation. Now maybe MS is lying and I'm a chump, but at least I'm taking the time to consider the evidence as presented.

more than 3 years ago
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Bing Is Cheating, Copying Google Search Results

tzhuge Re:Not that suprising. (693 comments)

Arg... I'm never going to get my point through the noise, so I'll just respond to you directly. The part that keeps getting omitted is that Google had its Bing tracked employees clicking on their fake result.

The accurate fast-food analogy is this: McDonalds creates a fake 'McRat Burger', then sends a group of its employees to Burger King to sign up for the King's Court Happy Club, part of which requires them to fill out surveys on fastfood habits (Bing Toolbar, and tracking). These employees are then told to consistently goto McDonalds and order the 'McRat Burger'. Burger King then receives survey results indicating that the 'McRat Burger' is hugely popular, and soon make the 'Rat Whopper Supreme' a top menu item. Now is that proof Burger King is copying McDonald's marketing data?

I'm not even saying MS isn't doing something wrong. My point is that this 'experiment' doesn't prove a thing, and to point the finger on this kind of evidence is extremely childish.

more than 3 years ago
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Bing Is Cheating, Copying Google Search Results

tzhuge Re:Oblig Car Analogy (693 comments)

"When the experiment was ready, about 20 Google engineers were told to run the test queries from laptops at home, using Internet Explorer, with Suggested Sites and the Bing Toolbar both enabled. They were also told to click on the top results. They started on December 17. By December 31, some of the results started appearing on Bing."

As I have pointed out elsewhere in the thread. Google gamed the Bing toolbar by having their monitored users actually click on the these fake results! This could easily be attributed to Bing Toolbar monitoring user behavior, instead of Bing using ranking information from Google.

I have noticed that whoever brings up 'fanboi' is usually the real 'fanboi'. Perhaps that should be a new internet meme.

more than 3 years ago
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Bing Is Cheating, Copying Google Search Results

tzhuge Re:Not that suprising. (693 comments)

"When the experiment was ready, about 20 Google engineers were told to run the test queries from laptops at home, using Internet Explorer, with Suggested Sites and the Bing Toolbar both enabled. They were also told to click on the top results. They started on December 17. By December 31, some of the results started appearing on Bing."

This is from the source. Bing Toolbar is probably collecting user behavior. It's not necessarily being prioritized because it is the top result on Google, it is probably being prioritized because the monitored users actually clicked on those results. Maybe MS is just monitoring Google directly; I wouldn't be that surprised, but this story is pure troll.

more than 3 years ago
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Bing Is Cheating, Copying Google Search Results

tzhuge Re:Not that suprising. (693 comments)

This is just stupid... their 'proof' is that they searched and clicked results on Google using Internet Explorer, and with Suggested Search and Bing Toolbar activated... wtf. So Bing Toolbar is collecting information to improve Bing Search... shocking.

Why didn't they do this with Bing Search, then accuse MS of 'cheating' using Bing results. This is just braindead stupid; so ridiculously childish.

more than 3 years ago
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Game Reviewers Face Odd Bribery From Publishers

tzhuge Re:Honest Game Reviews: A Procedure (148 comments)

I do something similar, but different. I think low outlier review scores often has to do with reviewers using a point deduction scheme, which isn't all that indicative of how fun a game is.

What I do instead is I go to metacritic and note both the aggregate score for critics reviews and the aggregate score for user reviews. Critics reviews can be paid for, or sometimes nitpicky, whereas user reviews can be a gut reaction, based on superficial impressions, and susceptible to 'fanboi/hater' extremes. However, I find that the contrast between the two aggregate scores can be an indicator of shenanigans (an over-hyped game, or a flawed but really fun game)

more than 4 years ago
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AppleTV Runs iOS, Already Jailbroken

tzhuge Re:Gluttons for abuse (299 comments)

Why? Setting aside this notion that anybody actually takes the position of 'I support lock down and customer control'. Why are you concerned?

Apple's approach doesn't preclude alternatives right? And open is better than closed right? So what's the concern? Whatever additional factors such as marketing, or fashion, anybody conveniently wants to blame for Apple's success, are these things unavailable to open products?

more than 4 years ago
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AppleTV Runs iOS, Already Jailbroken

tzhuge Re:Gluttons for abuse (299 comments)

That's a straw-man.

'People' do not buy something 'they must jailbreak'. The vast majority buy a product that they want because it does enough of what they want for it to be worth the price. The jailbreakers do what they do because they find some enjoyment in doing it. The people who use the product jailbroken are often just messing around. They use jailbreak because the can. Those that buy a product that does not meet their need, then use jailbreak to make the product meet their need are mythical, except perhaps when there are in fact no alternatives at all.

Frankly what's really tragic is that so many people insist on whining about products they clearly don't want instead of just buying and enjoying what they do want. It's also tragic that so many keep rationalizing their 'superior' choice by denigrating others.

more than 4 years ago
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Best Smartphone Plan Covering US and Canada?

tzhuge Retention Department... other discount plans (199 comments)

I only have experience with the canadian cell companies, so I don't know if this is true more generally. Pretty much every cell company here has secret hidden plans only available if you phone customer service and say the magic words 'cancel service'. Some of the bonuses available might include roaming plans. You don't get to know the real pricing unless you do the song and dance. Also, you could look for group discount plans... maybe your student union, or school has some deals available. Those should be somewhat comparable to the types of discounts you can get from a retention department.

more than 4 years ago
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Sony's PS3 Motion Controller Gets Demoed and Named

tzhuge Re:Looks like an enhanced Wiimote (116 comments)

It looks worse than the Wiimote and Nunchuck in some ways... that off-hand controller looks like ergonomics hell. The Nunchuck has the stick and buttons all comfortably accessible, the Sony equivalent has tiny buttons and a d-pad below the analog stick... and it's less contoured, looks like it could mess up your hand badly. Kind of makes me wonder what is really driving the controller design... they might be trying to make this work with existing games (or at least slightly modified versions), and I think we've seen from the Wii that that doesn't really work.

more than 4 years ago
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Dune Remake Could Mean 3D Sandworms

tzhuge Re:David Lynch movie was innaccurate but was ART (589 comments)

I have some special edition DVD of that movie... it may be all those things you say but it still cuts abruptly between scenes, and ends up a jumbled mess. I don't remember exactly, but it certainly felt like the movie takes 1hr to cover the 1/3 of the book, then 0.5hr to cover the rest.

more than 4 years ago
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MSI Will Launch iPad Alternative

tzhuge Re:Geeks miss the point again. (756 comments)

I get the feeling that people are put off by the fact that the iPad is not what they expected. It's kind of funny that prior to Apple's announcement there was commentary about how no one has been able to make tablet computers successful, and now after the announcement, when it's clear that Apple made the 'big iPod' instead, there's all kinds of complaints that they didn't build a tablet computer.

So I'm agreeing with you and taking it further. I don't think (many, or at least the vocal ones) geeks have even figure out what the iPad is and what market it is actually going for. As support for this I would point to all of the 'It's Just a Big iPod' talk (which I suspect will be the new "Less space than a Nomad..."). It's not just a big iPod, it is a big iPod. It's a device that is fundamentally about the consumption of media. It's an iPod; a music player with access to the iTunes music store. It's a portable video player with access to the iTunes movies and tv shows store. It's an ebook reader with access to the iTunes bookstore. It's a gaming device with access to the iTunes App store.

Whether or not that's a good thing or if it will have any kind of impact is an open question, but, make no mistake about it, it is an evolution of the iPod and that's very likely what Apple intended. If it helps people get their head around it... think of the iPad as a new product in the line of iPods and AppleTV rather than Macs

more than 4 years ago
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50+ Android Phones Expected In Near Future

tzhuge Re:More choice means more flexibility (378 comments)

That's great for some people, but personally I find the amount of options overwhelming. Same thing with computers as well. Once upon a time I would've researched parts and looked at spec sheets and read reviews to figure out exactly what to get. However, it seems like I would inevitably be slightly disappointed in the end. I think I enjoyed the process of the 'shopping' more than the final product and in the end it is the final product I have to live with. Choice is good for consumers, but I suspect there are many out there like me that will go with the one easy good choice over many possibly horrible to excellent choices.

For people like me, Apple is generally a good option. They make basically quality products with very good usability and design. The iPhone is an excellent phone and will remain an excellent phone even if products with better feature sets at lower price points exist. I know many times /. posters like to dismiss shoppers like me as being 'stupid' or 'vain' or something, but quite frankly I find a lot of those people either disingenuous or delusional when they try to argue the iPhone is selling purely on 'style' or try to compare product using purely specs.

more than 5 years ago

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