Greg's recent activity

  1. Comment on PayPal would no longer support payments to Pornhub performers in ~finance

    Greg
    Link Parent
    Thinking about it, I imagine banking/regulatory environment is probably influencing both of our views on this. I think of bank transfers being free, fast, and trustworthy whereas PayPal charges a...

    Thinking about it, I imagine banking/regulatory environment is probably influencing both of our views on this.

    I think of bank transfers being free, fast, and trustworthy whereas PayPal charges a fee and, since they aren't regulated as a bank, has far less consumer protection or recourse. It's easy to forget that doesn't stack up the same way everywhere.

    1 vote
  2. Comment on PayPal would no longer support payments to Pornhub performers in ~finance

    Greg
    (edited )
    Link Parent
    I thought that PayPal still revealed real name and address to the sender? A cursory search suggests that seems to be the case for most transactions, although admittedly the info I'm seeing is a...

    I thought that PayPal still revealed real name and address to the sender? A cursory search suggests that seems to be the case for most transactions, although admittedly the info I'm seeing is a few years old.

    [Edit] Although I suppose it's probably easier to set up a dummy PayPal account than a dummy bank account, assuming the user is willing to take the risk of supplying fake data to a financial company.

  3. Comment on PayPal would no longer support payments to Pornhub performers in ~finance

    Greg
    Link Parent
    Looks like they have plenty of other viable options already in place (as I would expect of a company their size), but some of the users were still choosing to rely on PayPal for whatever reason.

    The company is pointing performers toward its other payment options including check, direct deposit, the Paxum e-wallet, and the Verge cryptocurrency (no relation to The Verge).

    Looks like they have plenty of other viable options already in place (as I would expect of a company their size), but some of the users were still choosing to rely on PayPal for whatever reason.

  4. Comment on The new Motorola razr in ~tech

    Greg
    Link Parent
    At least in the case of the Samsung one they don't fold the screen as much as curve it, so the phone never closes completely flat. Even then there are reports that there's a soft but visible seam...

    At least in the case of the Samsung one they don't fold the screen as much as curve it, so the phone never closes completely flat. Even then there are reports that there's a soft but visible seam down the middle in real world usage, so not quite there yet compared to what the ads show, unfortunately.

    5 votes
  5. Comment on Virtual Computed Columns in PostgreSQL in ~comp

    Greg
    Link
    I'm excited about this! There are times when a derived data column is the only way to get acceptable query performance (normalisation be damned!) and previously that's meant either handling it in...

    I'm excited about this! There are times when a derived data column is the only way to get acceptable query performance (normalisation be damned!) and previously that's meant either handling it in app logic and condemning yourself to potential inconsistency, or writing triggers that seem as though they're perfectly robust until a grey-bearded DBA/wizard points out an obscure potential race condition.

    This basically looks like an update trigger that's backed with all the guarantees of the database engine itself, which is very useful indeed.

    2 votes
  6. Comment on Interpreting GDPR Data Requests: Why Does British Airways Need to Know That I'm 98% LGBT? in ~tech

    Greg
    Link
    One person's experience of what happens when you start diving into your own data now that GDPR gives the right to request it. The questions start with a relatively benign but reasonable concern:...

    One person's experience of what happens when you start diving into your own data now that GDPR gives the right to request it.

    The questions start with a relatively benign but reasonable concern:

    Naturally; I’m wondering what one could have possibly done or given to BA to be deemed a ‘sensitive customer!?’ It’s definitely not any disability info as all those are in separate fields (and are empty as I’d expect) nor is it any historical issues of “unruly behaviour”, “suspected intoxication incident” or “abuse risk to public/staff” or “legal risk” (other 4 categories listed on the extended report and thankfully all negative).

    But it quite rapidly hits information that could cause a person serious issues:

    How “% LIKELIHOOD OF BEING GAY/LESBIAN/TRANSSEXUAL/BISEXUAL = 98%” is required for BA’s operations is beyond me (I guess targeted marketing). I’m more offended that they think I’m 2% straight … You’d be surprised at how much random data is out there and how eventually that 98% of being gay made its way to the defense services in Saudi Arabia (a country I once lived in so wouldn’t really want them knowing that at the time) via data sale after data sale after more data sale!

    11 votes
  7. Comment on Localify.org - Find local artists, attend live shows, support your community in ~music

    Greg
    Link Parent
    No worries, definitely better to focus and get something that works, especially if the manual work scales with the number of cities. It might be worth adding a small note to that effect under the...

    No worries, definitely better to focus and get something that works, especially if the manual work scales with the number of cities. It might be worth adding a small note to that effect under the city input box for clarity - I spent a few minutes wondering if I'd missed something obvious like a country dropdown somewhere!

    2 votes
  8. Comment on Localify.org - Find local artists, attend live shows, support your community in ~music

    Greg
    Link
    Seems like a great idea - is it US only at the moment? It doesn't mention either way, but it didn't seem to accept UK cities (other than suggesting their American namesakes).

    Seems like a great idea - is it US only at the moment? It doesn't mention either way, but it didn't seem to accept UK cities (other than suggesting their American namesakes).

    3 votes
  9. Comment on Social networking and dog food in ~tech

    Greg
    Link Parent
    This is definitely a take on things that resonates with me. I quite often find myself talking about how crucial it is to make sure incentives are actually aligned with the right outcomes, and how...

    This is definitely a take on things that resonates with me. I quite often find myself talking about how crucial it is to make sure incentives are actually aligned with the right outcomes, and how dramatically things can go sideways from even a tiny discrepancy or oversight there. As you say, though, the hard part is figuring out what comes next...

    1 vote
  10. Comment on Social networking and dog food in ~tech

    Greg
    (edited )
    Link Parent
    That was very much my read on it as well, and it's definitely a risk, but I think her implied solution of "leave it as it was" only works in the narrow case of users like her: people for whom it's...

    I think Rachel's saying that, since the people making the thing are no longer as deeply-entwined with the thing they're making, the people making it may no longer care as much about the result.

    Which then allows the conditions for malpractice or even malice to arise.

    That was very much my read on it as well, and it's definitely a risk, but I think her implied solution of "leave it as it was" only works in the narrow case of users like her: people for whom it's primarily a work account anyway.

    As someone who went to university when Facebook was the way to stay in touch, it's unequivocally a personal account in my mind (and the fact I don't really use it anymore doesn't change that categorisation!). Even at an entirely unrelated company, having my personal Facebook account tied in with my company's account and using it to log in to things like the ad manager just felt wrong, and the blurring of whether I was performing a given action (even a payment, sometimes) as myself or as the company was very disconcerting. I imagine that goes double if the company itself is Facebook.

    Moving it all out to https://business.facebook.com/ and having a separate login/password that uses a work email address made the entire user journey much more comfortable; exactly as Rachel says, one tab is for work and the other is personal. Since her life was never really entwined with the ostensibly personal one (beyond "work friends") it worked for her to keep it all in one place, whereas I very much appreciate the hard distinction between managing corporate advertising in one tab and seeing throwback photos of my 17 year old self in the other.

    1 vote
  11. Comment on How to save money by switching subscription between multiple streaming services. in ~tv

    Greg
    Link Parent
    I've been shocked at how bad the picture quality is on NowTV (HBO's UK streaming partner), particularly given how beautifully many of their shows were shot. The service is cheap and has great...

    I've been shocked at how bad the picture quality is on NowTV (HBO's UK streaming partner), particularly given how beautifully many of their shows were shot.

    The service is cheap and has great content, so I still pay for it, but the encoding bad enough to detract from the content itself: very visible macroblocks, ridiculous amounts of compression noise in darker scenes (just great for GoT), and severely curtailed dynamic range. By contrast, Netflix has nearly always been fine to my eye - although they do restrict stream types by device, so I can believe that Kodi isn't getting the best of what they have available.

    In either case, I'd definitely appreciate a higher quality option, even at slightly higher cost - but we all know it'd end up being a way to segment out the audience with higher end equipment and charge them triple rather than just adding an extra dollar or two to cover bandwidth.

    3 votes
  12. Comment on Subscription affliction-Everything is $10/month in ~tech

    Greg
    (edited )
    Link Parent
    But it's not cheaper, that's the problem. Same goes for Office, which you mentioned further down. Most people, even professionals who depend on it, are more than happy to stick with a software...

    Having access to this kind of software is a keystone to my livelihood, and having this subscription service is great since I'm not paying for this expensive software package upfront, which actually has the effect of making the software cheaper.

    But it's not cheaper, that's the problem. Same goes for Office, which you mentioned further down. Most people, even professionals who depend on it, are more than happy to stick with a software version that's a couple of revisions out of date, because it does everything they need.

    That's the real reason that Adobe and MS push the subscriptions so hard, because then the customer is buying every new version, and the supplier can still claim it's good value by ignoring the fact they would only have otherwise bought one in every three or so when a relevant feature was added or if compatibility was becoming a problem.

    The video's premise that ongoing development needs ongoing income is very fair, but I think it dramatically overestimates how much most users actually care about that ongoing development. I'd fully expect the average consumer to take a "no subscription, no updates" package if offered.

    6 votes
  13. Comment on How to find AV hardware for specific requirements? in ~tech

    Greg
    Link Parent
    OK, that helps a lot. Since you're going for home media I'd definitely recommend an AV receiver in this situation, even if all you're actually using it for is switching and a Toslink output -...

    OK, that helps a lot. Since you're going for home media I'd definitely recommend an AV receiver in this situation, even if all you're actually using it for is switching and a Toslink output - it'll give you more room to grow if you do want to change the audio setup, the prices aren't drastically different to larger switches anyway, a lot of them have nice network and streaming features built in (Bluetooth, Chromecast, Spotify, etc.) that you can use for audio without the TV, and perhaps most importantly they're much more likely to have support for HDCP and any other media standards that switches (more aimed at office use) tend to lack.

    The good news is that assuming your chosen display supports ARC (audio return channel), you should be able to get 11 simultaneous inputs with an 8 input receiver. You can connect the receiver HDMI output to the display's ARC HDMI input, the receiver's Toslink output to your soundbar, and your current devices to the receiver inputs - so far, so standard. What the ARC connection adds is audio straight back from the display to the receiver (and thus on to the soundbar) - so anything you plug into the display's remaining three HDMI connections will also output sound through the soundbar.

    If your devices support CEC, you'll even be able to control them all through the same remote, regardless of where they're plugged in. It might take a bit of up front configuration, and it'll definitely pay to check compatibility carefully before buying anything, but it should all be workable.

    4 votes
  14. Comment on How to find AV hardware for specific requirements? in ~tech

    Greg
    Link
    You might want to look at AV receivers as well as simple switches - they'll be more or less guaranteed to have HDCP passthrough, lots of audio output options, etc. on top of simple switching...

    You might want to look at AV receivers as well as simple switches - they'll be more or less guaranteed to have HDCP passthrough, lots of audio output options, etc. on top of simple switching capability. That said, while 6-8 inputs seem fairly standard, I didn't see any with 10 at a cursory glance.

    Any chance you could tell us what you're trying to do? I ask at least 80% from curiosity, but it'd also give a guideline on what's more likely to work, and maybe even options you haven't considered. Rough budget would also be helpful - are those extra two inputs worth the jump from consumer world pricing to "professional" with a bunch of features you don't need?

    3 votes
  15. Comment on How does voting work in your country? in ~talk

    Greg
    Link Parent
    That makes the "Significant Parties" question more interesting to answer, too! Although there are only two (Labour and Conservative) that have any realistic chance of forming a government, their...

    Voting is done using First Past The Post. Which I believe is, mathmatically, about the worst possible system going. Hooray!

    That makes the "Significant Parties" question more interesting to answer, too! Although there are only two (Labour and Conservative) that have any realistic chance of forming a government, their combined total of the popular vote tends to hover around 70% and the one that takes the absolute majority of Parliamentary seats usually takes 35-40% of the total popular vote.

    Unlike the US, where two parties take almost the entirety of the vote, there are several others (Liberal Democrats, SNP, DUP) who have a strong presence in certain constituencies and are each likely to have a double-digit number of MPs voted in overall.

    These minority parties do have a meaningful impact on the national political landscape: most recently, the Conservative party had to make a deal with the DUP to prop up their position, and in 2010 there was a full coalition deal between the Conservatives & Lib Dems (which almost destroyed the Lib Dems in the subsequent election, and actually brought us closer to only having two viable parties overall).

    2 votes
  16. Comment on If Universal Basic Income would be introduced, how would you stop prices from rising uncontrollably? in ~finance

    Greg
    Link Parent
    This surprised me enough that I did exactly that, and the food list from the primary source seems fairly sensible to me. I can quite believe that the programs are hostile, and probably even...

    Most benefits have ridiculous requirements - food stamps, for example, the only protein you can buy with them is peanut butter. You can't have a healthy/nutritious diet for your kids on food stamps, it just doesn't happen. Google around and you can find plenty of horror stories.

    This surprised me enough that I did exactly that, and the food list from the primary source seems fairly sensible to me. I can quite believe that the programs are hostile, and probably even intentionally so, but that particular example doesn't seem to hold up.

    5 votes
  17. Comment on The math for Warren’s health-care plan adds up if you accept its ludicrous premise in ~finance

    Greg
    Link Parent
    Does a founder really invest significantly more of their life into a company than a dedicated employee does, though? I can think of plenty of situations where employees move home or even city for...

    The founders invested their entire life into it. Just because you're not investing personal money (which many do) doesn't mean you're not taking massive risks.

    Does a founder really invest significantly more of their life into a company than a dedicated employee does, though? I can think of plenty of situations where employees move home or even city for work, put in hours way above and beyond the baseline, miss family events, schedule time off around company needs, answer emails in their off hours, etc. etc.

    I don't think employees should do any of these things, but plenty of companies (often not even especially well paying ones) expect that they do. If we're talking about effort invested, I don't see how the number of hours in a week allows the founder:employee difference can be more than 5:1 or so, and even that's a stretch.

    That stacks with the financial opportunity cost I mentioned a couple of posts up, and with any direct cash investment the founder might make, so it's not the whole story - but I'm still of the opinion that the employee is getting a raw deal here!

    3 votes
  18. Comment on Re-Licensing Sentry in ~comp

    Greg
    Link Parent
    There are reasons other than code contributions that being open source can be valuable to a company, especially one with a product aimed at developers. Some of those OSI freedoms do a lot to...

    This is evident by the fact that most of their contributions come from inside the company itself. If the company was truly modeled around open source, the downside of losing outside contributions would outweigh the risk of competing cloud services.

    There are reasons other than code contributions that being open source can be valuable to a company, especially one with a product aimed at developers. Some of those OSI freedoms do a lot to de-risk the decision to use a particular piece of software.

    If I'm choosing a package or service (such as Sentry) that'll be integrated with my own product, I have a strong preference for open source even if I initially choose to pay for the first-party hosted version and their own devs are the only people who've ever contributed.

    The core of the issue is that closed source generally presents too high a risk. As long as the code is open:

    • We can host our own internal version if the pricing model of the service spikes or otherwise becomes untenable.
    • We always have the option to keep any data generated by the system in-house, and write our own converters for the format it's stored in if we need to port it to other systems.
    • If we need a key feature in the future and the manufacturer has no interest in building it, we can do so ourselves.
    • If there's some low priority edge-case bug that only affects us and three other people, we can fix it ourselves rather than waiting for it to come off the manufacturer's backlog.
    3 votes