16 comments posted · 0 followers · following 0

501 weeks ago @ Gabriel Weinberg'... - DuckDuckGo and Wolfram... · 0 replies · +2 points

Congratulations (to both parties :) ! DuckDuckGo is my primary search engine, and combined with WA, it is years ahead of what Google has to offer in terms of search intelligence. More people need to learn about life beyond Google's services. I wish you best of luck.

521 weeks ago @ Synthtopia - Save 50% On Native Ins... · 0 replies · +1 points

Yeah, this would be awesome if it were possible to place an order, but for the last 24 hours, their site seems to be down for most users - see the KVR thread. A lot of people are pissed off.

Of course, after a few days we'll hear that it was due to "overwhelming demand", but frankly it looks as if they are throttling servers intentionally. "Sorry guys, we're out of bits. Come back when everything is back to normal (prices)..."

539 weeks ago @ Max Klein - Why I’m giving up on... · 3 replies · +1 points

You know - I'm a liberal, I'm a freelancer, I despise the nanny state and German conservatism. I should be on your side.

But I'm not.

All I read from your self-congratulatory positing is this: "Why stay in a boring democratic country? In Cina, I can get CODING SLAVES! I can fire them whenever I chose! And the living is cheap! Here, I'm a GOD! And now, let's get a massage for five bucks, and fire that lazy coder tomorrow morning!"

I don't know how old you are. 25? If so: At your age, I would have applauded and possibly followed you.

But there are a few details missing here.

The German nanny state, with all its boring attention to details, protects employers and employees. It wants no bribes. It ensures that if you run your business properly, it can operate safely and effectively. It ensures that if your business partners f*ck you, you can go to court. Your taxes (which, of course, are way too high, but they always are) give you access to an excellent infrastructure. Most of the time (of course, not always), intellectual property is appreciated and protected. You get to enjoy freedom of speech, online and offline.

None of this may be important to you if your only concern is getting a company off the ground. In that case, having access to hundreds of thousands of people who have no choice but do what you and other business men want has to be like a real-world God Game, with you at the joystick day and night.

If that's your thing, and if you don't mind being secretly laughed at both by Europeans the Chinese - go ahead. Have fun. Become rich, or die trying.

Just don't portrait yourself as a daring, curious explorer going into the wilderness.

You are just a Manchester style capitalist setting up shop at the most reactionary place in the world, where human beings are just a commodity; like electric power or water. Good for you.

Also, I just read your posting on Nick Vujicic ("If a man without arms or legs could make a million bucks, why can’t you?"), and it makes me want to vomit. You see a man in a terrible situation, with a great, motivational story to tell, and all you see is A MILLION BUCKS.

Look at yourself in the mirror. Look at that piece you wrote, especially the headline.

How can you live with yourself?

Well - I guess in China it doesn't make that much of a difference.

543 weeks ago @ TechCrunch - Microsoft's Data Colle... · 3 replies · -2 points

I saw the Microsoft Seadragon demo at Ted.com in 2007, and I was blown away. Later, I saw PhotoSynth and then Pivot, and I was still pretty impressed.

But would I install a proprietary browser plugin from Microsoft to use those technologies, or encourage people to do so?

No thanks - especially since I doubt this will catch on just because some sites use it as a gimm... alternative presentation mode.

But: If the latest IE9 demo videos are to be believed, Microsoft now has browser that can animate 2500 fishes onscreen at an acceptable framerate using only HTML5, CSS and the GPU (which is kind of cheating, but just a tiny little bit).

So come on, Microsoft: Put your money where your mouth is and use this horsepower to bring us the "Pivot Experience".

I just won't add another Trojan Horse from Microsoft (= Silverlight) to my system at this point. Finally, HTML5 gives us a chance to do amazing cross-browser stuff using standard technologies. Let's not repeat the old mistakes of "You need Flash to..." here. It's not 1999 anymore.

Do it in the context of your browser, leave everyone else in the dust, and we'll come crawling back to IE, and you'll forgive us Firefox and Chrome and even that hot steamy night at the Opera.

Will it happen?

Of course not. The brillant and the business-focussed parts of Microsoft don't talk to each other. If they do, I'll eat my words.

545 weeks ago @ TechCrunch - Apple's Midnight Surpr... · 0 replies · +1 points

Oh, I'm to blame, the brainless Apple drone who won't boycot the Evil Empire? Gee; I'm sorry... :)

No, really: For me, Blu-Ray in a Mac would be a nice-to-have add-on to my living room. I have an el-cheapo Samsung $100 Blu-Ray player instead, so Apple is losing the $800 I would love to spend on that Mac Mini. They lose that money, and they don't seem to care. Technically, that's not my problem.

(If, however, I had to author Blu-Ray disks for clients, I would be foaming at the mouth. So these are the guys that should be banging on Apple's doors, I guess. They have my sympathy, but I am involved in too many technology vendettas already...)

Whatever. In 2015, all discs will have gone the way of the Dodo / DAT tape / floppy, and I won't miss them. It's just my 2010 lazy self that's complaining here.

545 weeks ago @ TechCrunch - Apple's Midnight Surpr... · 3 replies · 0 points

I know quite a few people (including myself) who have been "whining and complaining" about the lack of Blu-Ray drives in Macs for years.

And I think it's pretty safe to say that Dear Leader doesn't give a f*ck.

It's 2010, and I can't buy a machine from Apple (brand of choice for directors and video professionals all over the world) reading and writing the only existing customer disc format for HD video.

Something's wrong with this picture.

(I own several Macs and almost everything "i", so don't call me an Apple hater. :) )

545 weeks ago @ TechCrunch - Apple's Midnight Surpr... · 0 replies · +4 points

Not before hell freezes over, I'm afraid ...

I usually let Steve enjoy his bizarre little vendettas and obsessions. We all have been, uhm, re-educated about the evils of Flash in the past months.

But as far as Blu-Ray is concerned, someone should pull his head out of his you-know-what. In my country (Germany), the typical user has a hard time (legally) accessing HD content. Most iTunes titles in the German store are dubbed (and I hate that, I want to hear the stars, not some bored voice actor).

Also, there's the bandwidth and storage issue. A lot of people do not have cable modems or DSL, and Apple building a computer for the disk-less future (2015?) won't help them. And dozens of gigabyte-wasting movies on my HD? I'd rather have a nice disk that I can lend or sell.

Won't happen.

That being said, the new Mini is a beaut.

545 weeks ago @ TechCrunch - No, The Internet Won't... · 0 replies · +1 points

Neil Postman would have said you're right: new media turning kids into goldfish with minimum attention spans, easily frustrated etc.

But I think it's not true, at least not on a large scale. There are "Come play outside" style distractions, such as ads. Most people ignore them. Links are an offer to get some background info on a topic or learn about different views. Like others have said, they are mature versions of footnotes.

As for "multitasking": I'm a bit tired of hearing about that. People don't multitask - and if they try, accidents will happen. Brains (especially male brains) are not good at doing two things "at a time". What we actually do is allow ourselves or others short interruptions - a Tweet her, a short IM exchange there. I usually have no problem with that. If I really need to focus, I can mute the phone and switch my browser to a "quiet" style sheet. There. Scriptorium. Peace of mind.

I think the sheer mass of tools and web services at our disposal means we have to adapt: Focus on what's important, or allow yourself short interruptions, but get back to the main task after a few minutes. Alarmism and hiding inside is not a solution. But then, promoting such a simple approach helps Mr. Carr sell his books.

545 weeks ago @ TechCrunch - No, The Internet Won't... · 0 replies · +1 points

Carr essentially says: "The outside world is too interesting, too distracting. Therefore, we need to build houses with no windows, so people can focus on whatever the author has to say."

Distraction as such is not bad. Occasionally, it's good to look away from a book to the garden outside, to follow a link from a long-winding article to some interesting background stuff on Wikipedia.

Discrediting hyperlinks because some people have problems focussing is absurd.

Geez - if it made people like Carr happy, I'd sponsor the development of a bookmarklet/browser extension that made links invisible by default - a dumbed-down "Readability". Maybe that would give him peace of mind. But it probably wouldn't sell more books.

545 weeks ago @ TechCrunch - No, The Internet Won't... · 0 replies · +2 points

"Almost all of the research on the impact of the web on our brains is starting from the standpoint that the old is better than the new. That is an assumption - and one which requires serious challenge."

That is the first relevant, interesting point I have heard from a psychologist on the way Internet usage changes our behavior and our brains. Chapeau.

We are seeing how a new medium encourages people to change the way they collect, evaluate and prioritize information. I am not happy with everything I see in this context (kids with extremely short attention spans etc.), but I find this "old-skool" reflex of "laser-sharp focus is superior to an open, easily-distracted mind" frustrating.

Here we have a new medium, the first one since desktop publishing. The result of what Paul Ortlet, Douglas Engelbart, Tim Berners-Lee and many others dreamed of: Many voices, many works, all connected, all existing in the same space, accessible to everyone. A true Gutenberg Galaxy.

And yet, right here, on one of the world's most avantgarde tech blogs, a lot of middle-aged guys are throwing mud at this very medium and its most powerful mechanism: the link.

I think this is pathetic.

We should embrace the open space of ideas. We should be happy about the thin lines that connect friends and enemies, supporting and alternative perspectives. They encourage debate.

And if that underline, that link in an article is simply too addictive, if you think that its attractiveness makes it "evil" - it says more about you than the open web.

Future generations will laugh at this debate.