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@Dummyacctforsso: I don't think you should confuse Slashdot's JavaScript abomination with threading. The Classic Discussion System, which you can still enable in the preferences, works just fine and doesn't rely on JavaScript, it's (almost) pure HTML. So is HackerNews or Reddit, for that matter. I think Alistair has a good point; we desperately need better tools for managing our discussions. I have a glimmer of hope for RDFa-tagged pages, particularly using the SIOC ontology, to allow the normal HTML interface to be enhanced or even replaced by dedicated discussion tools without losing the accessibility of the Web, but I don't see the incentives for forums to adopt it. Instead, we're seeing closed proprietary solutions like Tapatalk take their place, which is a shame.
Toggle Commented Dec 14, 2012 on Web Discussions: Flat by Design at Coding Horror
@Aarom Dufour: I think the Hacker News mechanism, like so many policies, has been implemented with the best of intentions, without realizing the unintended consequences. What happens is that posters don't see the reply link, therefore they reply to the parent post, thereby injecting a threadless section in a threaded UI. Of course, this is in no small part due to the complete lack of indication of this feature, which leads to the user discounting it as a software shortcoming. Of course, longer time users already know the fairly simple 'hack' to bypass the limitation. Regarding threaded vs threadless, I recognize issues and advantages on both, and threadless certainly makes sense in some cases, but for longer discussion I still prefer threaded with highlighting of new comments. And I think the death of the threaded is mostly Jeff's wishful thinking; I think Reddit shows that people deal with it just fine.
Toggle Commented Dec 14, 2012 on Web Discussions: Flat by Design at Coding Horror
This whole "tablets are for consumers, PCs for creators" meme is ridiculous. Next they'll be claiming you can't create on paper because it doesn't have a keyboard. Yes, they have constraints that PCs don't have; but that doesn't prevent creation, it just changes what you can create. @Justin: in that comic, the guy seems to have ended up in the same place. Except with his new setup, he can actually get up and take the screen with him as a tablet. Which is, in my opinion, a major improvement and something I've wished for long a time, as a 12" laptop user. In fact, that's what made me so excited about the "Touch Book", which was a laptop/tablet hybrid, which is a model I hope will become more common from now on. For people claiming that tablets are just too underpowered, that's true for now, but I think that's a shortsighted view. As the supply of fast, reliable mobile Internet increases to meet demand, the concept of "augmented capabilities" will become more and more common. As an example, check out how the Kindle Fire can do its rendering either locally or on Amazon's servers, dynamically. This model can be extended, allowing resources to be allocated in real time depending on the needs. This has existed for years for e.g. programmers, who often have a much more powerful "build server" that complements their workstation, but I expect this to become much more common and transparent to the final user.
Toggle Commented Oct 1, 2012 on The PC is Over at Coding Horror
@Matt: Respectfully, the answer is actually "no" to both your questions. When we speak of Net Neutrality, we're talking about not prioritizing different services offering the same kind of content; for example, making sure Comcast doesn't give XFINITY the full pipe while heavily throttling Hulu, or give EA's Origin a "pardon" on the bandwidth cap but not to Steam. Net Neutrality is supposed to protect competition; it doesn't really mean I should be able to fuck up your VoIP call with my Bittorrent seeding. Besides, that type of QoS doesn't usually affect the speed negatively; it mainly just reorders the packets by putting the ones that require low latency on front of the queue. And of course, none of this applies to personal connections. Protecting your freedom as a consumer to freely prioritize (and even outright exclude) certain services - whether that's done by your router or by just not subscribing to them - is the goal!
I'll reply with an excerpt from Mark Twain's essay On the Decay of the Art of Lying: (...) None of us could _live_ with an habitual truth-teller; but thank goodness none of us has to. An habitual truth-teller is simply an impossible creature; he does not exist; he never has existed. Of course there are people who _think_ they never lie, but it is not so--and this ignorance is one of the very things that shame our so-called civilization. Everybody lies--every day; every hour; awake; asleep; in his dreams; in his joy; in his mourning; if he keeps his tongue still, his hands, his feet, his eyes, his attitude, will convey deception--and purposely. Even in sermons--but that is a platitude. (...) Lying is universal--we _all_ do it. Therefore, the wise thing is for us diligently to train ourselves to lie thoughtfully, judiciously; to lie with a good object, and not an evil one; to lie for others' advantage, and not our own; to lie healingly, charitably, humanely, not cruelly, hurtfully, maliciously; to lie gracefully and graciously, not awkwardly and clumsily; to lie firmly, frankly, squarely, with head erect, not haltingly, tortuously, with pusillanimous mien, as being ashamed of our high calling. Then shall we be rid of the rank and pestilent truth that is rotting the land; then shall we be great and good and beautiful, and worthy dwellers in a world where even benign Nature habitually lies, except when she promises execrable weather. (...) I'll avoid the wrath of the spam filter by not linking to it, but a copy is easily found by searching the name.
Toggle Commented May 2, 2012 on Trust Me, I'm Lying at Coding Horror
@Ejc3: Usually companies add their own base certificate to their desktops' browsers and/or OS trusted certificates. Then proxies like Squid can use that base cert to dynamically generated certificates for any domain that are accepted by the browser, therefore MITMing the connection.
@Carson: the CA system is far from perfect, but encryption without any kind of identity verification is almost completely useless, because anyone can still MITM you - how would your browser know if they're connecting to the real website or a fake? @Porges: A simple way of eliminating that threat is to connect to the same website both directly and through a proxy (VPN, Tor, etc) and then compare the certificates you get each time. Unless "The Man" is MITMing that proxy too (which is improbable), the fingerprints won't match. Perspectives[1] and Convergence[2] are more or less automated versions of the same principle: you ask different computers - called Notaries - to tell you if the certificate they get is the same you got. [1]: http://perspectives-project.org/ [2]: http://convergence.io/
Thank you for all the time you dedicated to making the internet a lot better. Stack Exchange has been a fantastic success, from the podcast, to StackOverflow, to the new sites. I'm sure you'll find something interesting to do (besides spending time with your family, of course!) even if less time demanding. And I hope you won't stop blogging!
Toggle Commented Feb 6, 2012 on Farewell Stack Exchange at Coding Horror
Kibbee has a point; the fact is that Copyright means its holder has an exclusive right to make any copies of a work, with a few exceptions. Of course, the only way to enforce these laws is with draconian methods, even harsher and more intrusive than SOPA. Which means that supporting Copyright but not the laws required to enforce it is an hypocrisy, no less than voting for high governmental spending and low taxes. From there, one has two honest alternatives. One of them is supporting SOPA and its ilk. The other, is to drop the facade and defend the elimination of copyright.
Frankly, the password is not what bothers me, nor what I see as the biggest time waster. It's the damn "email verification", which often takes a huge amount of time to get to my inbox, usually preventing me from using the website until then. Passwords have decent solutions already, like LastPass and similar.
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May 23, 2011