2199 posts • joined Monday 31st May 2010 16:59 GMT
Re: Kindles already widely available in Canada
You couldn't (and still can't, but apparently will be able to soon) buy a Kindle from Amazon.ca. You could indeed buy one in store.
With luck, having a third item available through Amazon.ca will mean a shift towards an increasing number of items available to us Canucks online. That way we don't have to worry about shipping nightmares, or stupid vendors who use UPS and their theiving brokerage.
@RyokuMas a momentary lapse, I assure you. I'll try not to make a habit out of it.
@Fred Flintstone: aye; and Google's hubris has caused it trouble in the US, Mexico, and Brazil as well. If rumours are true, Canada may join the party soon, too.
Microsoft is not alone in making bad choices.
@El Andy: You are correct. They had a mea cupla moment, followed by strong commitments to open source, fixing Vista with Windows 7 and other such things. They were starting to look like "the good guy" there for a while; I was one of their loudest champions.
Then they pissed it all away.
It isn't mine to give; I cannot claim credit for a clever turn of phrase which isn't mine. It's an oft used phrase traditionally directed at Oracle. I've adopted it to refer to any vendor that remains relevant only due to lock-in, not customer demand for the quality of the product or its accompanying levels of service.
Re: Just a sign of (sales) sucess....
Wheaton's law, even. Apparently I am immune to Reddit's Law: Herp, don't Derp.
Re: Just a sign of (sales) sucess....
Actually, Google made some shitty decisions that made malware for Android far easier. It's not remotely so easy on Jelly Bean, but Gingerbread still has half the active market. The lack of vendor commitment to upgrades, Google's complete inability to force long-term support and their unwillingness to police the market have all conspired to make Gingerbread Android devices the pre-SP2 Windows XP of the smartphone market.
I love Android and all (HTC Desire, Samsung Galaxy Tab, SII and Note II, ASUS Transformer) but you know what, Google Done Fucked Up.
Like Microsoft, they learned from this, and made changes. Windows 8 is a very secure operating system whose vulnerabilities are largely tied to backwards compatibility. Android is no different. Microsoft had the excuse of "the internet not being a thing" when they designed their OS.
Google had Microsoft's failure as a shining example of what not to do. Google really didn't have any excuse, but they took the easy route out anyways. Shame on them.
That said, Google fixed the flaws and got the security thing underway in a serious way in two years. It took Microsoft the same number of decades.
Corporations are kind of universally crap. The question is: which company is least likely to screw you now and in the medium term. More importantly, is there a clear exit plan in case they screw you in the long term?
Customer loyalty is customer idiocy. Every company – Microsoft, Google, or even Apple – should have to earn our purchase. Each and every time.
That means more than technology. It means a culture of listening to customers. It means not locking customers in. It means that you have to embed the idea of succeeding on your own merits into your corporate culture. "Being the best" is no longer adequate. The bleeding edge just isn't relevant when the middle of the curve is "good enough."
You need to obey Whaton's law if you want to succeed: don't be a dick.
Re: Microsoft make insecure systems by design
Actually, Windows 8 is not all that insecure. Even Internet Explorer 10 is pretty damned secure. Applications coded to take advantage of the newest security features are pretty damned hard to exploit; the issue remains support for legacy applications. By allowing those applications to remain a part of the ecosystem, they remain a vector for infection.
The operating system itself however? Pretty damned secure. Secure enough to go toe to toe with Linux or OSX. The browser has so far fared well against Chrome and Firefox.
You can bitch about a lot of things regarding Microsoft and Windows, but they've cleaned up their act with regards to security. Credit where it's due.
"Handful of sad Twitter followers, hardly the other side of a conversation."
Yeah, "consumers," those sad fucks. Like "the people who buy things" should have a voice.
Android isn't perfect. Neither is iOS, Symbian, Tizen or Windows Phone. BBX might be, given that QNX is amazing, but we'll have to wait and see on that. (Even with a "perfect" OS, if there are no apps and the vendor's name is mud, what hope is there?)
The difference is: Android is open source, and Apple has a strong core of people who trust it. With Android, you aren't reliant on Google; if they Oracle us, we'll fork them.
Microsoft's strong core of people who trust them is [insert phone sales here]. Non-zero, but not what it used to be, either. In fact, they've been so busy aiming for the middle of the bell curve with such laser precision, they haven't' realised that at some point, everyone belongs to the edges. By pissing off nearly every niche over the past few years, they've alienated entire generations of people.
Microsoft doesn't have trust. It doesn't have apps. It doesn't have wow, it doesn't have buy-in.
So it doesn't matter if Android is flawed. It doesn't matter if Windows Phone is superior, equal or worse. What matters is that at least three generations of individuals in today's markets are looking at the Microsoft brand name associated with Windows Phone and saying "no. Not again."
When this happens – when your brand name is so strongly associated with things like malware, enthusiast antagonism, anti-competitive practices, lock-in, hostile licensing, anti-consumer scandals (plays for sure, does it?) and so forth – you've got bigger problems than the launch of one phone operating system.
Microsoft is facing the reality that habitually screwing over their customers has created such broad animosity that they are now a legacy vendor. You heard me: Microsoft are a legacy vendor. They are going to have a miserable time entering new markets. Not because they aren't technically competent, but because of how they have treated customers. They need an image reformation, and they need that soon.
No new interface – Ribbon, Metrololo or otherwise – can cover up the urgent need for a massive change in corporate culture.
Microsoft may have the world by the balls, but then, so did mainframe vendors not so long ago. So did Novell. So did RIM. IBM still sells mainframes. HP still sells Itanics. Novell still authenticates users and RIM still pushes email. Yet to call any of these vendors anything but legacy in these markets is insane; they don't have customers, they have hostages. Microsoft is no different today.
Windows RT, Server 2012 (hyper-V + storage) and Windows Phone are all excellent products. Windows RT is a top notch tablet platform that deserves serious consideration. Server 2012 can go to toe to toe with VMware. Windows Phone has consistently proven to be capable, fast and have great battery life.
So what is holding back explosive adoption? Nobody wants to play with Microsoft any more. They are just tired of getting treated like a prostitute whose loyalty is assured by their substance dependence. Microsoft expects that they can slap us around and we'll crawl back up the steps the next morning, looking for a hit.
They have treated us like this for so long that you would have to be out of your right mind to want to marry yourself to them in a new market.
Microsoft is a fantastic organisation populated by some of the smartest people on the planet. They are capable of amazing innovation and technology leadership, not simply following others. They have demonstrated this over and over again, even in their newest line of products.
That isn't enough any more; there are others that can do this too.
If Microsoft wants to succeed, they need a "mea culpa" moment. Where they admit the sins of the past, make the changes required to win back consumer, small business and enterprise loyalty; they need to undertake some dramatic steps to polish their tarnished corporate image.
They can be replaced. They are being replaced. One Android phone, iPad, VMware licence, and Google Apps subscription at a time.
"The para-virtualized drivers for RHEL for running atop VMware's ESXi hypervisor have also been added to the Anaconda installer so you don't go nuts looking for them if you happen to choose ESXi over KVM for your server virtualization layer."
Canada particularly vulnerable
Carrier Pigeons less willing to work in the cold.
Re: Several points
You know Khaptain, I've thought about what you've said here long and hard. Went and nommed a pile of carrot sticks and enjoyed a Zen like moment of contemplation. In the end, sir, I believe you are probably wrong...though I must admit that my first instinct was to agree with your position.
The cynic in me would say "why yes, that's obviously Truth spoken to Power." The reality - admittedly in my n=1 anecdotal experience - is that, on balance, I have been treated better by freeware/open source companies than I have by Big Tech.
Some of this is to be expected; I'm a Great Big Nobody in the tech journalism (or sysadmin purchasing power) world. Why would Big Tech give two shakes of a bent damn about courting my interest? Freeware/Open Source on the other hand…they need all the exposure they can get!
I have been on exactly two junkets: one for VMware, the other for Spiceworks. One is Big Tech, the other is Freeware. I have gotten demo gear from small outfits: Unitrends, MobilePCMonitor, Ninite and so forth. I have gotten demo gear from Big Tech: Supermicro, Dell, VMware, Intel and so forth.
There are junkets and freebies to be had on either side of that corporate line. What changes is how they treat you during the process. Are you a highly institutionalised cog in a massive, scripted, heavily regulated and proscribed machine? Or are you someone that they want to legitimately engage with, get your feedback, help evolve their product to meet your needs and earn your loyalty as a long term customer and evangelist?
In large part, I find the smaller organisations leave me feeling excited. Like I have a voice in product development. Features I need and want will probably appear and the ages old bargain of "the more licences you buy, the quicker your features are dealt with" still applies here.
The larger organisations leave me feeling – for lack of a better word - processed. There is some secret, hidden social contract that I am just not privy to, but probably should be. They do these tickbox items I buy X number of widgets, or go forth and evangelise their thing. There is little to no feedback taking place: with big tech I am not a customer, or a journalist or so forth. I am an on message instrument of the hierarchy. Thoughts about product improvement be damned.
It's the smaller orgs that give me the warm fuzzies; I feel that I can bet the business on them because I feel my needs will be responded to.
Amongst the bigger orgs, I feel I can trust Intel; not because they'll listen to me, but because they Just Make Good Shit and I don't really have a reason to complain. VMware has engaged well with me and I feel I can trust them in a way that I can't trust any other big software companies. Supermicro have been mostly okay, a lot of the issues they had in the early aughties seem to have evaporated. Dell is a completely mixed bag, and you'll get awesomeness from one group and completely screwed over by the other.
So…are these junkets and back-patting going to drive corporate purchasing forever? I don't think so. Regardless of how nice the junket is, nobody wants to lose their job over a steak dinner and some mediocre wine. If vendors keep up with processing CxOs, they are going to start to clue in here…especially when they take the opportunity to get wined and dined by smaller orgs.
Dealing with startups who actually try to meet your needs seems like a far better deal – short, medium and long term – for your political existence within your company than selling out for the cost of a simple junket.
We have laws now that require accountability. Shareholder lawsuits are becoming more and more common. CxOs are actually being held accountable for their actions; some even have to prove they did things like due diligence.
So while at first blush it seems that the cynical view on this would stay correct forever…the truth is that the quality of the schmoozing on offer by the Tech Titans has declined as they have become more and more sure of the inevitability of their supremacy. Corporate hubris has led to Tech Titans that don't even bother to pretend that your input matters, or that your requirements will ever be met.
You are believed to be addicted to their software/hardware/services. They can treat you however they like, and you'll be back on the front steps the next morning, begging for another hit. For some use cases, they are probably still right.
I argue however that this simply isn't the case for the majority of use cases, anymore. The pendulum of power is shifting back into the hands of "people who buy widgets." Big Tech is going to have to start pretending they care, or they are going to start bleeding market share; eventually, they may even bleed the high-margin market share that actually matters.
Meanwhile, a whole new generation of tech startups are coming onto the scene with corporate cultures that say "listen to the clients, do what they need, and you'll get all sorts of customers, money, etc." The balance of power will shift and the dance will begin anew…
Re: You're using it wrong
Dude, nowhere in that rant were the words "your mom" used. I think you may not understand how the mind of the YOUR MOM LAWL!!111!!111oneoneone
Re: Seems to me that the biggest fanboys run most of the media.
You can count on me to be loyal to nobody. Well, except Ninite. Those guys are baller.
Other than that, I hate everyone equally! Some just actually - for now - make a widget or a whotsit worth using. Of course, if you're a fanboy, that means you will inevitably hate me. Your company will inevitably screw up and I will gleefully call them on it.
Oi! You there! That's a dumb idea! Now back away from the user interface…
Re: Geez, not this s41t again...
Why you're so right, how didn't I see this obvious point before? The world is binary! If one person doesn't have an alternative solution to meet the needs of their quixotic use case, then obviously nobody else, anywhere does either.
n=1 determines all things! It's so clear to me now!
In the words of my generation - I hope I'm doing this right, it's been a while you guys - and monkeys come flying out of my butthole.
n=1. Oy vey.
Re: Several points
"Losing their monopoly " - be it MS or anyone else - doesn't mean "every single user in every single use case has alternatives." It means the plurality of users in the plurality of use cases do.
I do believe that time has arrived where there exist few - if any - true monopolies in tech. Not that "a niche can find an alternative," but that "most users can find an alternative."
More succinctly: treat users/customers/clients like crap at your own risk. Even if you are Microsoft, Apple, Google...
Remember that we're not talking about baking the entire drive at 800c here. This is talking abotu spot-heating the individual gates to 800c. This is something like 80 silicon atoms. It is not only not that energy intensive, it shouldn't damage the rest of the drive, if done right.
Phase change memory can do this today, albiet only to 500-600c. It should be something easily made available for mass production.
The Kinect did not come out of Redmond. It came out of a university research department. Microsoft licensed a cut down version of the device. LIDAR (which is functionally all the Kinect is) has been around for bloody ages. All the university did was change it from a sweep to a static projection and map distortion in the dot field.
Kinect is brought to you by Microsoft's wallet, not its R&D.
Re: Jumpers for Goalposts
@Fibbles some communities use a ratio system. Most don't use anything, really. The upvotes/downvotes and badge systems being entirely for the ego of the reader as opposed to a method of controlling the message.
The Register made a decision about they'd like it to go and you haven't even let them give it a try before you are in here dooming about how it won't work. You don't have direct evidence about why it will or won't work, you're just appealing to your own authority as the rationale for why it must be done your way. Otherwise doom.
As to your dismissing my research practices regarding online communities...*shrug*. You can believe or disbelieve whatever you wish. I disagree with your take on human nature, so I am - quite obviously - wrong, lacking appropriate information and possibly insane. It is clear that if I had the information available to you and the social context that you possess to filter it I would reach the exact same conclusions as you because you are simply correct. I bow before you in humble awe.
Regarding your "request" to be nice to your precious feelers: I so no margin in honouring it. I am who I am, I don't pull punches. I "calls it like I sees it;" part of that is a deliberate choice in word usage. The words, tone and even expletives chosen are chosen very specifically to convey what I want to convey. My arguments, my ideas and – in this case – my contempt.
The Register isn't a torrent site, and sure as shit isn't ebay. The whole concept of a ranking system in the first place – badges, titles, what-have-you – is of dubious relevance to begin with. The badges system however does provide a neat way of rolling out new forum features to commenters one "layer" at a time. A great way to ensure that The Register can continue to evolve how it allows it's forums to evolve without simply throwing the doors open to everyone.
My contempt for your ideas and rules stems from the competitive nature of your approach. "Use a ratio," "game the system" and so forth. You would appear to quite blatantly view the badges as a rank. As though they indicate some level of importance.
Quite frankly, I think that's bullshit and not remotely reflective of the kind of community that The Register has tried to build. The badges are emphatically not ranks. They are instead a measure of "this person has been a part of the community long enough to understand how it works and has become 'plugged in' enough that we can trust them not to abuse things like HTML posting, editing and so forth."
The badges are an extension of an already extant internal system by which people were granted forum privileges in the first place. They are not an epenis.
Let's examine this a little more closely:
Let's say that I have 2000 upvotes and 50,000 downvotes. Looking at how downvotes work here on The Register, people downvote people into the ground because they disagree with what that individual says. The community is starkly different from Ars Technica or Reddit, and different again from Spiceworks, Puppet, Zenoss or so forth.
That individual with 50,000 downvotes could be a troll. They could also be the guy who believes something ardently. The Apple lover circa 2002 who isn't trolling, he just happens to be a believer.
The number of downvotes accumulated really isn't relevant. To punish people for getting downvotes in The Register's community – and I am very specifically talking about The Register's community here – is bad form. It would have a direct impact of punishing people for saying things that others disagree with, even if they aren't trolling in an obvious sense.
The Register isn't Reddit, and it isn't Ars. The community hasn't evolved to use the upvote/downvote system as a means of judging whether or not the comment was topical and non-redundant. If you go back, it was originally hoped that this is how it would be used, but this is not how it ended up being used here in practice.
That said, 2000 upvotes is an indication that you have been around here for a while. You could theoretically farm 2000 upvotes in a short period of time if you put your mind to it, but there has been zero evidence that anyone has tried this. More to the point, if you did farm 2000 upvotes in record time, then you probably understand The Register's community quite well. So I don't see the problem in giving that individual a Silver badge and letting them run around with HTML and whatever other advanced forum privileges will eventually come with that badge.
Again: the badges are not a damn ranking system. They are a screening system to help The Register find out which readers can be trusted with some more advanced features. Nothing more, nothing less.
You pass an arbitrary point – 2000 upvotes – and you are considered to know enough about the community to interact with it in a meaningful way. Ratios and so forth would help you create a nice echo chamber in which everyone agrees with one another, but they don't help you create an open, free discussion system where your only real interest in community moderation is keeping the advanced tools out of the hands of newbies, astroturfers and marketing types.
Re: Come on, lets get this into prospective.....
@AC: who in this thread is holding up the lady in question as a beacon of humanity? She sounds like a right Bad Person for keeping that bottled up for 19 years, coupled with infidelity and gods only know what else.
I can imagine that most people would be pretty upset. I think it's small minded to be upset about the fact that the lady is transgendered, but it is perfectly reasonable to be upset about infidelity, not coming clean about your past, etc.
For "perspective;" if you had done a dime for murder and not told the person you married for 19 years about it, that's probably in the same category of "things you should probably disclose when a relationship starts getting serious." I think "I'm adopted," or "I have cancer" probably fall into that category as well. Not because I am judging someone's past, but because the fact of marriage means both parties are now subject to the emotional, social, familial and economic burdens that the other bears.
If I am adopted, this could cause awkwardness at the next family gathering if my mate happens to say something unknowingly. If I did a stint in jail, it could affect my ability to travel, obtain employment, and more. If I have cancer – or had cancer – this could indicate a higher likelihood of dying in the near-to-medium term.
Trans, not trans…that bit isn't the important part. Not disclosing something that potentially affects both of them is huge. Despite what some might say, "I was born a man" affects both people. There is a massive social stigma – especially in some countries – associated with transgendered individuals. Dealing with the reality of this is something that will affect both parties.
If the fact that your partner is trans magically affects how you feel about them, that says some pretty shitty things about you. Similarly, if you feel that you need to hide your past from someone, despite the fact that if/when it catches up with you, you are both going to have to deal with the fallout, you're probably a Bad Person too.
As I've said in other posts; the whole situation is just sad. Lots of sad things from a couple of people who – at least from the limited information available – don't come across as very Nice People at all.
Re: Why we're uppity.
"What the hell have we become?"
We were never any more civilised than we are today. We have become better as a culture than at any time previously. We've just always been pretty crap to each other; ask Homo Sapiens Neandertalensis about our tolerance for others some time...
Re: Jumpers for Goalposts
@Fibbles a 'massive subset' means I read comments and articles across a wide array of sites. I do avoid certain ones as a daily habit. That said, I also make a point of randomly selecting articles (and non-article comment sections) on the various websites I frequent for in depth analysis, even - I would go so far as to say especially - if they are the types of articles where I would not normally spend my off hours.
In those cases, I am not spending my personal leisure time to trawl the comments and participate as a commenter. I am reviewing the comments with an eye to understanding the community, the various factions within. It helps with understanding my readership and helps with understanding the evolving nature of the IT community; things that help my clients.
Building in ratios and such to the posting system might not seem complicated from a design standpoint. Certainly, when you are approaching it from an engineering standpoint, trying to anticipate every problem and create a rule or bit of code to cope with it seems like the way to go.
The problem is that people aren't machines. You don't engineer communities; people have a natural aversion to rules. I argue that – not only philosophically – but from a pragmatic "if you don't want to have to keep butting heads with your own readership" standpoint, you only enact the absolute minimum necessary rules.
Your suggestion would require adding a layer of regulation for a hypothetical problem that not only does not exist today on The Register's forums, there is little evidence that it exists on the forums of similar communities. It may be relatively simple from a code point of view, but it is "one more thing" to bear in mind as a comment; one more rule on the list.
So my argument is simple: until such time as there is a demonstrable need to address this hypothetical problem, it should remain unaddressed.
As to not swearing, hell no, I won't go. I have no reason to adjust myself to meet your expectations, demands or desires. Ain't the internet great?
Maybe you should regulate it until until it works exactly like you want. It's just a little bit of code…
Re: Why we're uppity.
@MIchelle Knight that's because it is "Throwaway." I don't find violence against trans people - or any identifiable group - to be particularly surprising. Sad, yes. Something that needs to be fought, yes.
Re: Why we're uppity.
Where did I say it was "lawful" to kill transsexual people? I said "people are generally shit." People are killed for being black, white, trans, gay, fat, pretty, stealing a boyfriend, embarrassing someone, you name it. Killing someone for being trans is no different than killing them for being black or for being fat. It's a hate crime directed at an identifiable group. Humans have been doing that shit since time immemorial.
It's not okay, but it is fairly common. That's why we can't allow shit like this to occur; if we are ever allowed to point to a single group and say "violence against them is acceptable," then the violence against them will be unimaginable. They will become the locus of all the pent up rage and desire to exclude of society's twatdangles.
Black, white, trans, straight, fat, pretty…it doesn't matter. We either make "being a bigot" the problem that needs punishing, or we splinter off into our little tribal groups and howl at intruders.
Bigotry isn't to be tolerated, regardless of the target.
Re: Why we're uppity.
@MIchelle Knight it's not a contest. I don't have any articles to hand on the topic because I purposefully put them out of my mind. (Though I can think of at least three incidents in the past few years; the worst of them being in – I think – Florida, where a group of hooligans bad a kid to death "because he was a stupid fattie.")
I can personally recount for you tales of domestic violence situations – two in total – here in my home town in which a man murdered his wife "because she just sits around the house getting fat." "No fat chicks" is a popular t-shirt around here, to say nothing of the discrimination we receive looking for jobs, etc.
Do trans people have it worse? Possibly. Quite probably, even. The social acceptability of "being fat" seems to vary from place to place, but being trans seems to get folks in Deep Shit just about everywhere.
My point was not to compare one type of bigotry to the other, or to render the hate directed against trans people somehow more "common" or acceptable. My point was to reinforce that some people are just – to use my new insult du jour - fucking cuntweasels. They will find a reason to hate and then find people who fit that category.
Hatred and exclusion are an important part of their psyche. We've seen it in everything from racism to misogyny, persecution of fat to the shit that poor gingers have to put up with. Different is bad to some people and the only thing that determines how violent or abusive they become about the topic is how socially acceptable it is to act out their violent, exclusionary tendencies.
That said, if you really feel the need to make it into a competition, I am sure Google can provide you information on people murdered for being fat. I know of several incidents first hand. I won't, however, go looking them up. Because it's depressing. Because I have a conference call in 5 minutes. Because those people don't deserver another 15 seconds of fame.
Re: Jumpers for Goalposts
@Fibbles my argument is that I don't see manipulation across a massive subset of articles across a wide array of websites, so we don't need to design a system resistant to manipulation.
Design takes time and effort. The more you design something to be resistant to manipulation, the more onerous it becomes to use it. The more complicated the rules are, the fewer people will play.
So no, I don't believe there is a requirement to design the system with the resiliency you describe. If – and only if – we see it emerge as a problem should we then sit down and decide to make the system more complex. Keep it simple. It's a fucking internet forum; not a bridge across a river.
Re: Why we're uppity.
Can't say I disagree, but then I've had people tell me to my face that if the law allowed it they would murder me because I was fat. Bigotry knows few bounds.
Why we're uppity.
I've given a lot of thought to "just why exactly are all us commenttards flinging our shit out of the pram about this, when we will gladly accept seemingly misogynistic stories about ladies trying to smother their husbands with their boobs." What makes exploding breast implants more acceptable than this?
So I am going to take a moment to try to put my feelings to a little bit more of a considered comment format.
ITEM 1) A couple of unfortunate word choices in the article. Consider the following:
For almost two decades Monica was a "big sister" to Jan's two kids from his previous marriage.
There is no logical reason to put "big sister" in quotes here, excepting to accentuated Monica's transgendered nature. This gives me a sad.
There is also this:
Monica's cover was finally blown
Again, this wording gives me a sad. It once more emphasises Monica's transgendered nature as though it is something that would/should obviously be hidden.
Now, I am entirely willing to chalk this first bit – the tone of the article – up to some sort of "super-sensitivity" on my part. Maybe I'm just a bleeding heart ultra-left-wing liberal. I don't know. I don't want to burn anyone at the stake over tone choice here, but I do have a couple of sads.
ITEM 2) Bootnotes has traditionally been – at least in my personal perception – the repository of "things which are funny or completely bizarre." I don't find anything about this sad story funny or bizarre.
The only thing about this situation that makes it any different from any other "domestic violence leading to divorce" situation is that the lady in question is transgender. Keeping a secret from your partner for 19 years is not that fucking uncommon. How is it any different than "that son of yours…not your son"? How is it different than "I spent our kids' education fun on hookers and blow, but didn't tell you all these years?"
It isn't bizarre. It sure as all get-out isn't funny. Given the prevalence of similar domestic disturbances, this isn't even news, except that there remains a certain category of individuals who still cling to social prejudices that – quite frankly – I find abhorrent.
The lady smothering her husband with her breasts is just weird. Truly bizarre. Not because she tried to use her breasts as the murder weapon, but because her rationale was so off-kilter. The inclusion of massive breasts to an all-male audience will drive clicks – no question – but the story itself is still just odd enough to be "news of the weird."
The same (mostly) could used to apply to the whole "exploding breast implant" thing. (Though that is admittedly becoming a bit tired.) The first time I read it, I didn't even know that was possible. I think it is still news if/when this happens in some novel way – this is a technology and science website, after all…some of us are actually interested in the science behind breast implant design – but I'm pretty sure that unless the headline convinced me this was something other than "some lady's new jumblies burst on an airplane again," I wouldn't click.
This is why.
So that's the thing, I think. That's where the pushback comes from. It isn't because you have a bunch of people trying very hard to prove they are politically correct, or whatever other bullshit I'd hear from the clowns at the local Tory pub. It's because – if this thread is to be a barometer of commenttards – there a significant chunk of The Register's audience are actually empathetic enough that we don't believe in discrimination any more. Not out of political correctness, but because inclusion is a truly core part of our philosophy.
So if the only thing shocking about a story is something that requires bigotry to appreciate, I think this exact response will recur.
I'm going to take a bit of a risk here and say that I'm glad this is the case. For years now, I had thought I was one of the only Register readers who believed in these sorts of principles, lived my life in this manner. It is the number one reason I spend time in the comments section of Ars Technica: because I have found in those commenters individuals with a shared reverence of science and a shared empathy for our common man.
I am humbled and awed to see that my fellow Register readers are in fact the wonderful people that they are. I am proud of you all. Proud to be a member of this community.
So to The Register's fine commenters: thanks guys. You've restored a little bit of my faith in humanity today.
"The children, who for years have lived with her, are devastated."
They are probably devastated because their mother and father came to blows and are now getting a divorce. Do remember that the lawyer in question is paid to represents the interest of the husband in this case and thus his representation cannot be taken to be impartial.
I don't doubt that the children are devastated. I sincerely hope it isn't because they suddenly believe their mother is somehow a monster.
My family history is pretty non-standard myself - though admittedly there are no transgendered individuals that I am aware of - should I hate members of my family because I learned a dark secret about their past that ate at them for decades? Should I launch lawsuits and demand remuneration from someone I hardly know even though I theoretically could under the law? To what end? What would that make me?
Both parents seem to be right jerks, but I'll bet their kids still love them. The poor kids.
Re: Weird story, weirder comments
@James Hughes 1: I happen to agree. "Lied to me for X years" is pretty goddamend shitty. The infidelity thing is also not cool. At no point does physical violence become acceptable however, nor the dude's reaction to the whole transgender bit.
There is clearly no excusing the wife's actions here; both parties would appear to be - quite frankly - pretty shitty people. That said, how exactly this constitutes something to show up on El Reg - even in bootnotes - is absolutely beyond me.
Sad all around. For the man, his wife but most importantly for their children. Having your parents divorce is never fun. It wasn't for me. Given the extended circumstances involved here, I suspect it will be even less so for those unfortunate souls.
The kids are the ones who are going to be made to pay for he sins of their parents.
Re: Who's pushing this exactly?
@Bernd Felsche and yet, I have encountered literally dozens of WiFi access point manufacturers who provide exactly what you are describing: the ability to assign individual WPA2 keys to each device, silo them off from one another and from the rest of the network. The entry level stuff is generally about USD $250.
There's all sorts of ways to secure data on devices, even outside your firewall. I know, because I do it. There's nothing special about BYOD except that if you do actually embrace it, you need to start working with a few new tools.
You can rage against the concept of BYOD if you like. I'm not going to tell you it is philosophically "Good" or "Bad." That's up to you, your beliefs and your workplace culture. But I will tell you that handling BYOD in a secure fashion isn't the terrifying multi-headed hydra of ultimate systems administration doom that some would like to make it out to be.
It's just one more problem. A problem with known good solutions. It's not the end of the world.
Re: In Lester's defence
@Thomas 4, I don't think anyone is calling for Lester's head. I haven't read a single comment here demanding the immediate sacking for the writer and so forth yadda yadda.
But you know what this is? This is The Register's readership telling Lester, The Register writers at large, and every other person who happens to read the comments section of this article that we are not okay with these sorts of articles. I've never met Lester. I know absolutely nothing about him. Maybe he's a great guy, maybe he's not. Maybe he's 25, maybe he's 105. Maybe he's raised in an ultra-conservative culture where social conservatism isn't questioned and there wouldn't have been a moment's thought that others would view this in a different light. I don't know, so I won't pretend to judge him.
What I will say is this: as a reader of The Register, I hope the reactions in this comment thread send a message loud and fucking clear that The Register's readership is emphatically not cognate with the Fox News-class social conservative demographic. I hope that the message gets across that we find this degrading and bigoted, not humorous.
Lester gets off free here, I think. There was a point not so long ago that The Register's readership would have laughed uproariously and slapped a knee. Thankfully, mercifully, that is no longer the case.
So no, let's not vilify the writer: I'm with you there. That said, let's make sure the message gets across crystal clear:
This is something up with which we will not put.
I suspect the message has been delivered for deliberation by the brass hats. I hope so, anyways...
Re: "Not cool, El Reg. Not cool."
I agree. This isn't something to be laughed at, regardless of the angle. It is a sad tale of a complete fucking bellend who beat his wife.
I'm perfectly aware that this shit happen in the world, but I go do generally try to avoid facing the reality that assholes like this still exist in the world. Maybe it's raw cowardice on my part, but I find that if I encounter too much depressing shit about the wastes of carbon that are out there, ruining the lives of others, I get pretty down.
That's why I read about computers. Computers aren't bigoted shitheads.
Re: Jumpers for Goalposts
To each their own, Fibbles. Personally, I find that Ars Technica consistently attracts the best commenters on the internet. Their community is second to none and the recent enhancements to their commenting system have only increased the signal to noise ratio.
That said, it depends entirely on which articles you read there. I tend to stay away from Ars' technology articles - especially anything to do with Microsoft - or their video gaming ones. "Cyclone of shrieking trolls" about covers all you'll find in the comments section there...and frankly, the majority of Arsians which IQs larger than their shoe size have taken to avoiding those sections as well.
I do however feel that the community that has grown around the intellectual property, internet legality and most especially the science articles is amazing. An example for the rest of the internet. Even the trolls in those sections deserve medals; the quality of their trollish little arguments are that good.
There are – rarely – people who will try to post lots of meaningless drivel in order to drive up post counts. These will get flagged in any forum by the regulars. Those folks are usually astroturfers trying to build a credible-looking account, or just people who want to feel important out of the gate. In either case, they rarely morph into useful contributors to the overall conversation and end up representing such a small fraction of any given online community that policing and enforcement by the de facto mods (at El Reg, those with silver badges) will keep these sorts in check.
One of the things to learn from Ars Technica specifically is the rich discussion they've have recently about the quality of discussion itself. The site and it's community have engaged in very open and honest dialogue concerning the use of upvotes. The idea being to upvote those who truly are adding to the conversation, no – as is all to often the case here – those who we agree with.
Shockingly, it works. Ars has managed to create a community where people aren't downvoted en masse simply because they are disagreed with by the majority. Quite the opposite; if they present an unpopular argument well and support it with evidence, they will get upvoted by that community. Robust debate is generally encouraged, so long as you can back up your claims.
If, however, you are the kind of person who gets their panties in a bunch because you get downvoted when you say "climate change isn't real and I have a link from Watt's Up to prove it" then too bad, so sad. Twats that repeatedly come along and post crap so thoroughly debunked as "anything on Watt's Up, ever" to websites like Ars where evidence is respected above all else are going to get rightly downvoted into the ground.
Not for disagreeing with the hivemind, mind you. They get voted into oblivion for trolling in a tired, predictable fashion using bullshit that's been debunked as "evidence" about eleventy squillion times in every other article on that topic before it. Rightly so.
Conversely, I've seen robust debate where people have poked legitimate holes in individual studies get massively upvoted. Because they presented peer reviewed evidence and/or things like math that can be checked.
Really though, it's all about the quality of the community you want to build. If you are working to build a community of something other than a cyclone of shrieking trolls emoting their gut feelings and prejudices all over the internet like so much pestilence, then I seriously doubt you're going to end up with a problem where people are posting mass quantities of comments to "make it into bronze."
If, however, you are obsessed with providing a forum for the intellectually stunted to wave around their cerebral dirty underwear, you are certainly going to get an increased volume of posts. This will be tightly coupled to a decrease in quality as anyone with a sense of self respect abandons your forums as they degrade into Youtube's comments section.
I prefer to believe that The Register is filled with intelligent, capable individuals who are perfectly willing to help prevent the forums from entering a terminal Youtube degeneracy. I sincerely hope that faith is not misplaced.
Re: Screw the badges.
Mr Gale, I would kindly ask that you read this comic by The Oatmeal. I recognise that Senor Oats is not to everyone's taste, but I believe that he has summed up my feelings on the matter in a manner more succinct that I am capable of expressing.
TL;DR...some people are just toxic shitheads. Putting your fingers in your ear and saying "la la la I can't hear you" is just good for your sanity. There is a difference between ignoring dissent and cutting out the truly toxic individuals who will have a demonstrably negative effect on your mental well being.
There honestly and truly are some individuals in this world who have fucking nothing worthwhile to contribute. I can say with 100% confidence that my quality of life will improve by simply never having to deal with those twatdangles ever again. I have no interest in counteracting thier arguments; there's no margin in that for me.
Re: Jumpers for Goalposts
I think the "rewarding volume" argument is bollocks. Spiceworks, Puppet, Zenoss, Petri, Ars Technica...none of these communities (all of which have substantial numbers of contributors that are IT nerds) do not have this issue. It is a non-problem.
You want the truth?
Downvote away! Wheeeeeeeeeeeeeeee.