skybrian's recent activity

  1. Comment on Andrew Yang Is Not Full of Shit in ~news

    skybrian
    Link Parent
    Yeah, I don't know. I don't see progressives in San Francisco as being all that anti-tax, even if they are making quite a lot of money. There doesn't seem to be much resistance to spending more on...

    Yeah, I don't know. I don't see progressives in San Francisco as being all that anti-tax, even if they are making quite a lot of money. There doesn't seem to be much resistance to spending more on homeless people, other than a few prominent names?

    2 votes
  2. Comment on Facebook argues that they don't need consent under GDPR due to users agreeing to a "contract" ordering personalized advertising in ~tech

    skybrian
    Link Parent
    I'm having trouble understanding the distinction you're making. I understand that there's a distinction between user metrics that are gathered implicitly from users' browsers, versus the form...

    I'm having trouble understanding the distinction you're making. I understand that there's a distinction between user metrics that are gathered implicitly from users' browsers, versus the form fields that users fill in explicitly. But it seems you have some other distinction in mind?

    When I leave a comment in reply to a blog article, they typically ask for name, email, and comment, and I fill all three in explicitly. (Possibly with a bit of help from autofill.) My name and the comment need to be collected and stored in order to display to other users when they visit the page, or there wouldn't be any point. (Arguably, email should be optional, but in practice it's required and used for verification.)

  3. Comment on Starlink is a very big deal in ~space

    skybrian
    Link Parent
    Yeah, Swarm Technologies got swatted pretty hard after that and it seems like that delayed them for a while. They seem to be moving now, though. Ultimately, the launch providers will make sure...

    Yeah, Swarm Technologies got swatted pretty hard after that and it seems like that delayed them for a while. They seem to be moving now, though.

    Ultimately, the launch providers will make sure they don't launch anything without permission. They got away with it once because the launch provider assumed they did get permission.

    For SpaceX it's a little different since they are the launch provider, but that also means they know better and are unlikely to do anything like that.

    1 vote
  4. Comment on Facebook argues that they don't need consent under GDPR due to users agreeing to a "contract" ordering personalized advertising in ~tech

    skybrian
    Link Parent
    Yeah, it's not impossible and there are probably some bright-line rules that would help. But then you get into corner cases, like if someone take a photo of a crowd scene and posts it on Facebook,...

    Yeah, it's not impossible and there are probably some bright-line rules that would help.

    But then you get into corner cases, like if someone take a photo of a crowd scene and posts it on Facebook, and then someone else notices their friend and tags them. Or someone posts something on a public web page and then Google indexes it. Or just when is quoting people "fair use". And when does some whistleblower invade other people's right to privacy?

    1 vote
  5. Comment on Facebook argues that they don't need consent under GDPR due to users agreeing to a "contract" ordering personalized advertising in ~tech

    skybrian
    Link Parent
    I think I know what approximately what you want, but I think defining it clearly in law would be a bit tricky. Presumably this law would be worded so it doesn't imply that our photos and online...

    I think I know what approximately what you want, but I think defining it clearly in law would be a bit tricky. Presumably this law would be worded so it doesn't imply that our photos and online documents should be deleted automatically. After all, they are user data. And forwarding email or cross-posting messages could be considered cross-site user tracking.

    The terms would need to be defined so Facebook can't weasel out of them while at the same time not banning things we do every day and rely on.

    4 votes
  6. Comment on The Drowned Lands of the Wallkill in ~humanities

    skybrian
    Link
    From the article:

    From the article:

    A half-century of “war” broke out among local supporters of the dams and their foes: “The dam-builders were called the ‘beavers’; the dam destroyers were known as ‘muskrats.’ The muskrat and beaver war was carried on for years,” with skirmishes always breaking out over new attempts to dam the floods.

  7. Comment on Google Stadia - Launch day line-up (12 games) and planned releases by the end of the year (14 games) in ~games

    skybrian
    Link Parent
    It seems like a lot could be done to compensate for lag in rhythm games, since the music and moves are all predetermined. There could be a fair bit of latency and it doesn't matter as long as the...

    It seems like a lot could be done to compensate for lag in rhythm games, since the music and moves are all predetermined. There could be a fair bit of latency and it doesn't matter as long as the video doesn't stall and the game compensates for it by rewarding the player based on when the video and sound actually played.

    1 vote
  8. Comment on Parse, don’t validate in ~comp

    skybrian
    Link Parent
    Yeah, I think they came up with a better way to put it:

    Yeah, I think they came up with a better way to put it:

    Any validation of data should produce an object you can trust without repeating that validation.

    1 vote
  9. Comment on Andrew Yang Is Not Full of Shit in ~news

    skybrian
    (edited )
    Link Parent
    It seems like are there are many people on social media sites saying capitalism sucks and we do have actual numbers that Bernie Sanders is quite popular? I would expect many tech workers have...

    It seems like are there are many people on social media sites saying capitalism sucks and we do have actual numbers that Bernie Sanders is quite popular? I would expect many tech workers have similar opinions to what you'd find among college students and other young people in San Francisco. But yeah, they're probably not in a position of power and maybe the vague socialism of many Sanders supporters doesn't count as anti-capitalist?

    It seems safer to say there are a lot of progressives and a lot of libertarians, though, and this leads to substantial disagreement? There is plenty of news about worker activism at Google, for example.

    2 votes
  10. Comment on Google’s Secret ‘Project Nightingale’ Gathers Personal Health Data on Millions of Americans in ~tech

    skybrian
    Link
    They claim it's all HIPAA-compliant. Is HIPAA not strong enough to provide adequate protection for medical records?

    They claim it's all HIPAA-compliant. Is HIPAA not strong enough to provide adequate protection for medical records?

    1 vote
  11. Comment on How big tech is dragging us towards the next financial crash in ~tech

    skybrian
    Link
    This article seems to consist of a bunch of briefly described, scattershot accusations. I'm not a financial analyst but it looks awfully fishy to me. Startups are not "winners" (they mostly fail)...

    This article seems to consist of a bunch of briefly described, scattershot accusations. I'm not a financial analyst but it looks awfully fishy to me.

    But according to Haskel and Westlake, it also seems to reduce investment across the economy as a whole. This is not only because banks are reluctant to lend to businesses whose intangible assets may simply disappear if they go belly-up, but also because of the winner-takes-all effect that a handful of companies, including Apple (and Amazon and Google), enjoy.

    This is likely a key reason for the dearth of startups, declining job creation, falling demand and other disturbing trends in our bifurcated economy.

    Startups are not "winners" (they mostly fail) and they rarely raise funding from banks. Their investors know they're high-risk (this is how venture capitalism works), and it doesn't seem like there's a dearth of them?

    Maybe the book is better.

    According to Pozsar’s calculations, most of that money was held not in cash but in bonds – half of it in corporate bonds.

    I think that might be from this report: https://plus.credit-suisse.com/rpc4/ravDocView?docid=V7bFUL2AD-WEpBrM

    Silicon Valley giants had also become systemically crucial within the marketplace, holding assets that – if sold or downgraded – could topple the markets themselves.

    But, for example, Apple has $50 billion in U.S. treasuries, and they're making $50 billion a year. So it seems like they wouldn't need to sell any of the corporate bonds they own to pay off their entire debt in a single year? And their debt isn't due right away - they have to pay it off gradually over 30 years. (example)

    Banks are much more leveraged than this. That's why they're regulated.

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

    skybrian
    Link Parent
    It seems like most people these days are skeptical of advertising, consumer debt, and wasteful spending? To say this is invisible is like saying smokers don't know smoking is bad for you. (They...

    It seems like most people these days are skeptical of advertising, consumer debt, and wasteful spending? To say this is invisible is like saying smokers don't know smoking is bad for you. (They probably haven't heard of Deleuze, but the basic idea seems to have become widespread.)

    I have a pretty crude understanding of the Marxist view of things, about the level you briefly summarize here. I have questions. Someday I'm hoping to find a really good, readable, modern introduction. Any recommendations?

  13. Comment on Book Review: Deng Xiaoping and the Transformation of China in ~humanities

    skybrian
    Link Parent
    Well, that's the problem with relying on book reviews written by random people on the Internet. History done right is based on gathering and interpreting evidence, and we're two steps removed from...

    Well, that's the problem with relying on book reviews written by random people on the Internet. History done right is based on gathering and interpreting evidence, and we're two steps removed from the evidence. Unless someone is actually curious enough to go deeper, our judgements about plausible motives of previous Chinese leaders will inevitably be distorted.

    Unfortunately, I don't think we can do much about memes being shared around the Internet, either, other than banning inline images in forums where we want to have thoughtful discussion.

    2 votes
  14. Comment on Bay Area students and teachers rally for school funding and Prop 13 reform in ~news

    skybrian
    Link
    From the article:

    From the article:

    In rallies and marches in San Jose, Oakland and San Francisco, student activists and teachers announced their support for a ballot initiative called Schools and Communities First that would weaken Proposition 13 by removing caps on business property taxes. Property taxes limits on homes would remain.

    The change would raise an estimated $12 billion per year, most of which would go to local governments. In making their pitch to the public, though, proponents have emphasized the 40 percent of the money, about $4.8 billion, it would go for education. California currently spend about $67.9 billion on K-12 education.

    1 vote
  15. Comment on Book Review: Deng Xiaoping and the Transformation of China in ~humanities

    skybrian
    Link
    From the article:

    From the article:

    Nevertheless, there is no understanding modern China without understanding Deng: Deng, probably more than anybody else -- probably more than Mao, really -- created the modern nation of skyscrapers, high-speed trains and ruthless markets.

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

    skybrian
    Link Parent
    It's true that people often don't see the value of it, but writing software that works fine if it's unmaintained for years seems increasingly rare? This is most obvious when stuff runs in the...

    It's true that people often don't see the value of it, but writing software that works fine if it's unmaintained for years seems increasingly rare? This is most obvious when stuff runs in the cloud. If the servers stop running, some or all features might stop working.

    But even software that's standalone tends to stop working as platforms change underneath them. If mobile apps aren't maintained then eventually they disappear from the app store and you won't be able to use them on your next phone. Old Mac programs eventually stop working when Apple drops support, like happened recently for 32 bit support.

    Microsoft does a lot of work to maintain binary compatibility and Linux is kind of different due to the efforts of Debian maintainers and recompiling from source all the time. Old games may work due to the efforts of emulator writers. But for the most part, you don't see software lasting forever and just working without much effort, like you might with a collection of mp3's.

    I think it's great when it does and the emulator scene sets a good example. Also, the interactive fiction community did a great job of picking a small number of binary formats and sticking to them.

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

    skybrian
    Link Parent
    I didn't watch the video but I'm wondering if you could explain in more detail what you think most people don't see? It seems to me that making and spending money is a huge concern for most...

    I didn't watch the video but I'm wondering if you could explain in more detail what you think most people don't see? It seems to me that making and spending money is a huge concern for most people. Business and economics are common subjects for study and research. There is also a lot of controversy, which doesn't seem consistent with it being taken for granted?

    1 vote