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Net Neutrality Is 'Marxist,' According To a Koch-Backed Astroturf Group

xigxag Re:Urgh (525 comments)

The Koch brothers are 74 and 78 years old. Their mentality is stuck in Cold War rhetoric because they lived through the whole thing. Same with most of the people they fool. The average Fox News viewer is almost 69 years old.

For people under 30, when you say Marxism, Stalin and Hitler, you might as well be talking about Emperor Wilhelm II.

about a week ago

US Senator Blasts Microsoft's H-1B Push As It Lays 18,000 Off Workers

xigxag Re:Guest Workers (529 comments)

Why would corporations be forced to improve? As Hobby Lobby taught us, "corporation" is just shorthand for the will of the rich stockholders. And they don't give a whit about the plight of the average American worker when they have access to the world. If they can't move the Malaysian to the US office, they'll move the US office to Malaysia. Visa problem solved.

about a month and a half ago

US Senator Blasts Microsoft's H-1B Push As It Lays 18,000 Off Workers

xigxag "As it lays 18,000 off workers" (529 comments)

Seriously this is what it's come to, editors? "As it lays 18,000 off workers"? You can't even proofread the title?

Anyway, it's mostly non-American Nokia employees who are being laid off, and it has nothing to do with the H1-B situation. So bottom line Sessions is an idiot.

about a month and a half ago

Fox Moves To Use Aereo Ruling Against Dish Streaming Service

xigxag The Law of Intended Consequences (210 comments)

Er, UNintended Consequences....that's totally what I meant to say...

about 2 months ago

Barnes & Noble To Spin Off Nook Media, Will Take It Public

xigxag Re:B&N (51 comments)

Just because other people do things with their free time that you don't personally value doesn't mean that they don't value it. Some people just enjoy browsing in bookstores.

about 2 months ago

Climate Change Prompts Emperor Penguins To Find New Breeding Grounds

xigxag Read the Article and it Contradicts the Headline (215 comments)

"Over five years in the late 1970s, the Southern Ocean warmed." Warming temperatures over a period of years is by definition climate change. If I write 1+1=2, I'm still doing arithmetic even if I don't specifically call it "arithmetic." True there's no advocacy-ready insinuation of man-made global warming being at fault, but that's not what the headline says either. It's an accurate encapsulation of what is in the article.

And don't know where you're getting "for unknown reasons" from. The only material change is that they went from thinking there was an outright population decrease to realizing that the birds were just nesting in a different region. But the article is still correlating the breeding grounds change with the period of oceanic warming.

about 2 months ago

The Supreme Court Doesn't Understand Software

xigxag Re:Everything is an algorithm (263 comments)

Of course you can copyright a number. Every digital audio or video or text file is nothing but a number. That's what digital means. Yet they can be copyrighted.

about 2 months ago

Amazon Confirms Hachette Spat Is To "Get a Better Deal"

xigxag Re: Fight for consumers (211 comments)

Let me be clear. I was responding to a hypothetical. Having seen plenty of botched amateur free classics, I completely agree that there is a place for good editing, typesetting and so on. And an author might find genuine value in the marketing, publicity and distribution services of a publisher.

But a generation ago, a writer had no choice; they had to go to a publisher or face oblivion. Now, thanks in large part to Amazon, they have a choice, and I think that's a good thing. Like all transformative processes, there's an element of destruction as well, and I think that frightens people to some extent. Yes, some areas of the industry are on their way out. That doesn't mean writing itself is in peril. All this stuff about Amazon causing the majority of writers to quit and go back to trade school or what have you, hasn't really happened yet, and I'm unconvinced that it ever will happen.

about 3 months ago

Amazon Confirms Hachette Spat Is To "Get a Better Deal"

xigxag Re:Fight for consumers (211 comments)

Even if they drove all the publishers out of business, they still wouldn't be a monopoly because there are plenty of other bookstores, both online and off. If writers who are not represented by publishers don't like the terms Amazon offers, they can contract with another storefront and get better terms. Say Amazon wants to sell your book for $5, but is willing to sell it for $10. Why bother with Amazon? You're going to go to exclusively, as would any other writer. Amazon would then be forced to raise prices to compete with Barnes & Noble (or other retailer). That is, unless you wind up staying with Amazon because your gross income from Amazon is higher despite lower royalties, because of their much greater market share. If that's the case, and you're making more money from Amazon, then what's your complaint about their terms?

Or perhaps people don't want to buy your book for $10 at because Amazon has conditioned people into thinking that the proper price for a book is about $5. If that's the case, if people are willing to give up so easily on one author to buy from less expensive authors, then all that stuff about books being "non-fungible" isn't quite true, after all.

Finally, I simply don't believe that the author will make less money if the publishers are out of business. Getting rid of publishers will remove a whole class of people sucking the author's teats. With no publisher to pay off, Amazon could easily lower the price and still give a higher royalty to the writer.

about 3 months ago

Google's New Camera App Simulates Shallow Depth of Field

xigxag Re:Call me a rock wielding barbarian (127 comments)

If anything, DOF will become more important as home screens get larger and sharper. It's an important tool in showing the audience where to look in a shot. Otherwise, staring at that gigantic screen would sometimes be like a live action "Where's Waldo."

about 4 months ago

Bug Bounties Don't Help If Bugs Never Run Out

xigxag Re:When did slashdot become a blog for Bennett? (235 comments)

The problem, as calculus has shown us, is that when you are playing with the terms infinite or very large, what may be "obviously" true may not be correct.

Here are some confounding factors (some of which you mention).

* Lifespan of the software is not infinite
* Bugs take not only money to exploit, but time as well. As per Brooks' Law it is incorrect to assume you can reduce that time linearly by throwing more money at it.
* Not all bugs have the same level damage potential. E.g. a bug that requires end user stupidity is somewhat less severe than a bug that requires the end user to do nothing. A bug that requires you to have physical access to the device is much less severe than a bug that can be exploited remotely.
* Not all bugs are equally easy to discover
* There are a limited number of labs, whether white hat or black, capable of finding and implementing high-level exploits.

All that aside, your argument is just dodgy. "It doesn't even matter whether you have a prize program or not; the product is in a permanent state of unfixable vulnerability. " It costs $200 to see a doctor. If I visit the doctor and she discovers nothing, I've wasted $200. If I visit the doctor, and she discovers something, so what? There are an infinite amount of things that could be wrong with me, so no point in ever seeing a doctor, then.

Showing some math, even running a monte carlo simulation, would go a long way in convincing people you were in any way serious about this matter. As it stands, you're just pulling suppositions out of your nether regions.

about 4 months ago

A Third of Consumers Who Bought Wearable Devices Have Ditched Them

xigxag Re:Sony Walkman (180 comments)

Before that, people had pocket transistor radios, or carried around a larger cassette player (or a even a boom box). There was apparently an unreleased invention called the Stereobelt which predated the Walkman but was unable to secure funding, and something called the Bone Fone which came out around the same time as the Walkman, but which was not successful. But overall, agreed, the Walkman was a revolutionary product.

about 4 months ago

Million Jars of Peanut Butter Dumped In New Mexico Landfill

xigxag Re:And so this is Costco's fault? (440 comments)

Food retailers run the risk of product liability with every item they sell. And as was mentioned elsewhere the Emerson Act would likely shield Costco from liability. I think it's more likely that they just don't want the PR nightmare. "Costco deems salmonella-factory peanut butter unsafe for general sale yet gives it away to the poor." Either way, I agree with you that it would be cheaper for them to bury the food. And perhaps just outright donate a generous sum to a couple of food banks to help bury the entire matter.

about 5 months ago

Florida Judge Rules IP Address Can't Identify a BitTorrent Pirate

xigxag Don't get too excited. (158 comments)

You know how this will eventually play out. They'll wind up amending the law to state that whoever the ip address is assigned to is prima facie liable and will have to prove their innocence. Loophole closed.

about 5 months ago

Tech's Gender and Race Gap Starts In High School

xigxag Re:here we go again... (489 comments)

That remark doesn't even begin to make sense as a rebuttal. If we were arguing about this in 1965, "from 1965 to now" would only be 1965's data, and not two generations worth of data proving that women have the capacity to succeed in a mentally demanding profession.

The point is that women have made tremendous strides in the past 50 years a field where it was previously thought they had an innate deficit. Their innate deficit was shown to be a canard, a just-so story to justify keeping them out of professional fields. In the US, the gender ratio in medical fields has made great changes, but not so in tech. Yet in some other countries, both genders are well-represented in tech. How does your "brain structure" argument account for that kind national-level disparity?

about 8 months ago

Tech's Gender and Race Gap Starts In High School

xigxag Re:here we go again... (489 comments)

From 1965 to now, the percentage of women in US medical school, which is a likewise high-training high-commitment-level field as CS, jumped from 10% to about 50%. What changed? Societal attitudes. Not brain chemistry.

about 8 months ago

1.2% of Apps On Google Play Are Repackaged To Deliver Ads, Collect Info

xigxag Avoidance (131 comments)

A couple of simple things can be done to avoid phone malware.

1) Investigate the app before you install it. Click on the developer's web page and see if it looks legit. Read the reviews. Check to see that the permissions it's asking for have a legitimate purpose.

2) As TFA notes, most of these malware apps are free. Stay away from "free" apps from unknown developers. You're better off paying 99c, $1.99, $2.99 to give the developer a legitimate revenue stream than incentivizing them to pimp you out to shady third party advertisers.

3) In other words, remember that your phone is a computer. Don't take careless risks with your phone or tablet that you would never take with your desktop or laptop.

about 9 months ago

Autonomous Cars Will Save Money and Lives

xigxag Re: So what'll we do with half a trillion dollars? (389 comments)

If the car is sufficiently self-driving, it will be able to drop you off at your destination, then find a nearby parking spot and wait there until you are ready to retrieve it.

about 10 months ago


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