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Comment Re:Kowtowing (Score 1) 408

The Internet has done 2 things. It has pretty much levelled our sources of information. One link is as easy to click on as another, so we tend to follow the links that gratify us,

The second thing it has done is made it easier to ignore inconvenient truths. A TV news program will typically present a number of articles, and if you don't like/disagree with one of them, you're still obliged to wait until it's over to get to the ones you do want. So at least alternatives have an opportunity to make a case, even if we reject them. Likewise, print publications may have headlines we choose to ignore, but nevertheless we see the headlines and headlines often draw at least cursory scan of what immediately follow. And often print publications are in shared areas where people can see them whether they'd actually buy the publication or not.

In contrast, we can skip "offensive" links and never know what was behind them and web pages don't lie randomly around houses or offices for the unsuspecting to be corrupted by them.

What we end up with isn't just echo chambers, but blinkered views of the world. We can manage without much effort to be totally ignorant of important information simply because it wasn't directed straight down our personal pipelines.

Comment Re:news will die forever mark my words (Score 3, Insightful) 408

The human brain is wired for pessimism. It's a survival reflex. We want to read about bad news so as to be better prepared in case something like that comes our way.

Perhaps the original "fake news", in fact, came from our religious leaders. They tell us that sacrificing a hecatomb to Zeus or chanting a magic spell such as "There is no God but God and Mohammed is his Prophet" or "I accept Jesus Christ as my personal Lord and Saviour" will ward off evil. Bad news reminds us that reality is different. That prayer and a positive attitude stop short of being able to halt the anvil falling from above, that mountains have more faith that they won't cast themselves into the sea than we do otherwise (and that TNT has more faith than either us or mountains). That it truly does rain upon both the Just and the un-Just, although the un-Just can generally afford umbrellas.

A steady diet of bad news isn't healthy either, though. Which is why we like our news sources salted with tales of baby ducks being rescued from storm drains.

Comment Re:CTR was NEVER a good metric (Score 1) 129

It isn't just ad-blocking, though. Tat-heavy ads mess with your bandwidth, but a lot of the ping-ponging comes from not pre-allocating space for legitimate things to come. If you simply put an image tag on a page, an initial space may be computed, but if the actual image isn't the exact same size, then the page layout has to be updated once the true image pixel occupancy is known. Simply putting the image tag in a fixed-size DIV can mitigate this. So can putting WIDTH/HEIGHT attributes on image tags, although I've personally seen bad matchups where the browser burned a lot of resources re-scaling to a different final size.

Comment Re:CTR was NEVER a good metric (Score 1) 129

Clicks are often bogus thanks to incompetent web designers who don't pre-allocate real estate, thus causing pages - and clickpoints - to bounce up and down madly as content arrives. And, incidentally, making it harder to read the primary content.

Auto-playing audio/video metrics are even worse. I'll often close a page immediately if something starts making unsolicited noises and in many cases will never return to the site again, much less the article in question. But chances are that the offending content has already logged as "seen" thanks to buffering. I didn't see, if, I fled from it, and the fact that it was delivered to me unwanted doesn't make me a biuyer.

Comment Re: Android is Linux (Score 1) 224

GNU is important. But a lot of its importance comes in providing Unix utility programs and functions to non-Linux OS's, which is only slightly above Peter Norton's taking a mess of Ward Christensen utilities and calling them "Norton Utilities". It's a valuable service, but let's remember that everyone deserves credit.

Would I keep quiet over an "Oracle/Emacs"?

To continue, CUPS is from Apple. Shall we call it Apple/gnu/Linux?

Comment Re: Android is Linux (Score 1) 224

The term gnu/Linux is just as inaccurate.

I ran quite a few gnu utilities on CP/M, long before Linux, but I didn't call it gnu/CPM.

Most Linux distros come with countless programs, and while many of the core OS utilities are gnu apps, many Linux apps are not gnu apps. The Bluetooth manager isn't gnu, I don't think any of the databases are gnu, and systemd certainly isn't gnu. And on and on and on.

I appreciate the works of Stallman and friends, but I think he claims a bit too much.

Comment Re:That's why I pay to recycle monitors (Score 1) 274

Do you know how much CO2 went into generating you? Not being overly facetious, but without hard numbers, I'm not going to assume I know within any orders of magnitude how much any given solution costs environmentally or monetarily (which are often not the same thing).

Concrete is at least a way of sequestering combustion products, although as far as I'm concerned, whether you scoop out a leakage-lined storage facility from the earth using hydrocarbon-burning earth movers or build a storage facility out of stacked-up artificial rocks created by hydrocarbon-burning grinding and mixing equipment is more or less moot. Either solution is just a parking space and eventually, it would be more profitable to find something productive to do with the assets stored there.

Comment Re:They are more likely to do what I want if I pay (Score 2) 274

Locally, you can legally put a monitor out by the roadside trash - one monitor per household. The city or its designated collection service (varies depending on where in town you are) hauls it away and presumably it ends up in the city toxic waste recycling facility. I trust that they are going to do something responsible with it, although I've never investigated in detail. We mostly allocate our civic corruption to other endeavours so it's mainly a question of how thorough they are and how responsible the downstream processors are.

For more than one such device or for less benign waste, they have annual neighbourhood recycling events where you can haul your old paint cans, used motor oil and dead electronics in and they'll load them into trucks that go to that self-same facility, Or, if you'd rather not wait, you can always take it to them yourself.

Comment Re:That's why I pay to recycle monitors (Score 2) 274

A warehouse full of dead monitors will not just sit there "forever".

Alas, no. Eventually someone would come into the warehouse, see all those dusty old monitors taking up space and a truck would roll up in the middle of the night, carrying them off to be dumped somewhere in the countryside.

Comment Re:Our society is fucked (Score 2) 158

This is just another scam sold by Dogbert to the Pointy-Haired Boss.

Time spent in chair doesn't equal productivity. I could put an inflatable Bozo doll in my chair and be just as productive.

Time spent typing doesn't equal productivity. I'm not a typist, my product is software, not letters in a document.

Lines of code certainly don't equal productivity, since I consider many of my most productive days to be those when I end up with fewer lines of code than I started with.

You cannot measure people with Procrustean standards and fixed metrics. All those are is a lazy managerial excuse. You can use them as a club to threaten to fire people. You can make an idol of them and worship it instead of actually spending time walking the trenches to see what's really going on.

If you reward people for digging up red jelly beans and punish them for digging up blue ones, you can rest assured that there will be cans of red paint everywhere and people will spend a lot of time that could have been employed digging up jelly beans painting them instead.

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