Weekend tech reading: Opinions on Comcast-Time Warner deal, Flickr turns 10, trolls are bad people

By on February 16, 2014, 1:21 PM
comcast, flickr, time warner, trolls

Why the Comcast-Time Warner deal is far more dangerous than you think The Comcast-Time Warner Cable deal is bigger than you think. In agreeing to pay $45 billion for Time Warner Cable, Comcast hopes to create not only an enormous cable TV provider, but the largest broadband internet provider in the United States and a company that controls about half of all “triple play” services, which bundle cable TV and broadband alongside internet-based telephone connections. And that only begins to describe the magnitude of the deal. Wired (more commentary at The Verge, GigaOm, Ars Technica and TechDirt)

RoboCop writer Ed Neumeier discusses the film's origins As a recent film-school graduate looking to break into the movies, Ed Neumeier wound up going directly to the source, working as a script reader and junior executive on the MCA studio lot. After getting the idea for RoboCop, he and another young screenwriter, Michael Miner, worked on the script during off hours and weekends, and finally passed a first draft around. Neumeier tells the whole story in the interview below, but suffice to say the film, which he also co-produced, became such a sensation that's it's been spun off into two sequels, multiple TV series, and now a remake... The Dissolve

What Google really means when it calls Android 'open' The gooey center of Google's pitch to developers to make apps and services for Android is a series of terms easily misunderstood, but central to Android's flexibility and success. Every once in a while, Android terminology discussions flare up like a stomach ulcer for Google. They center on Android's nature as a development platform, which in turn affects the variety and breadth of Android apps -- from Minecraft to Pandora to the latest Flappy Bird copycats -- that you can download, and how up-to-date they are. Is Android truly open-source? CNET

Cheap words Amazon is a global superstore, like Walmart. It’s also a hardware manufacturer, like Apple, and a utility, like Con Edison, and a video distributor, like Netflix, and a book publisher, like Random House, and a production studio, like Paramount, and a literary magazine, like The Paris Review, and a grocery deliverer, like FreshDirect, and someday it might be a package service, like U.P.S. Its founder and chief executive, Jeff Bezos, also owns a major newspaper, the Washington Post. All these streams and tributaries make Amazon something radically new in the history of American business. The New Yorker

The new normal: 200-400 Gbps DDoS attacks Over the past four years, KrebsOnSecurity has been targeted by countless denial-of-service attacks intended to knock it offline. Earlier this week, KrebsOnSecurity was hit by easily the most massive and intense such attack yet -- a nearly 200 Gbps assault leveraging a simple attack method that industry experts say is becoming alarmingly common. At issue is a seemingly harmless feature built into many Internet servers known as the Network Time Protocol (NTP), which is used to sync the date and time between machines on a network. Krebs on Security

Why indie developers go insane After I started writing games in 1994 and went full-time in 1995, I soon came to a conclusion about the people who do what I do for a living: "These people are all crazy." Then, as I got older, I realized that I am crazy too. Then, as I got even older, I switched to a better truth: Everyone is crazy. Every human has his or her damage. Nobody gets out of this world alive. It's just that indie developers tend to have high visibility, high stress, and small support groups. These factors mean that, when these devs break, you see it, and it's spectacular. The Bottom Feeder

Flickr turns 10: The rise, fall and revival of a photo-sharing community If you happened to be at the O’Reilly Emerging Tech Conference in San Diego 10 years ago today, on February 10, 2004, you had the opportunity to witness a meaningful moment in the history of the web -- though I doubt that anyone in attendance realized it at the time. The creators of a Vancouver, B.C.-based startup called Ludicorp Research & Development were at the conference mostly in order to talk about the technology behind Game Neverending, an online virtual world they were building. Time

Inside the Google Earth satellite factory Behind a long rectangular window, in a high white room tended by ghostly figures in masks and hats, a new satellite is taking shape. Once in orbit later this year, WorldView-3 will be one of the most powerful Earth observation satellites ever sent into space by a private company. Spinning around the planet some 600 kilometres (370 miles) above us, it will cover every part of the Earth’s surface every couple of days. Ball Aerospace in Boulder, Colorado is building WorldView-3 for commercial satellite operator DigitalGlobe. BBC

Internet trolls really are horrible people In the past few years, the science of Internet trollology has made some strides. Last year, for instance, we learned that by hurling insults and inciting discord in online comment sections, so-called Internet trolls (who are frequently anonymous) have a polarizing effect on audiences, leading to politicization, rather than deeper understanding of scientific topics. That's bad, but it’s nothing compared with what a new psychology paper has to say about the personalities of trolls themselves. Slate

Netflix slow on Verizon or Comcast? A VPN might speed up that video Since reporting on Netflix data that shows months-long declines in streaming performance on Verizon and Comcast, we've heard from several readers who say they've eliminated video problems by using VPN services. "Netflix on Comcast tanked for us in the past month or two," one commenter wrote. "We would spend more time buffering than actually watching video. Once we set up a VPN with UnblockUs it magically went away." Ars Technica (Netflix says it isn't so. Also, House of Cards Season 2 is out.)

New laser network between NYSE and NASDAQ will allow high-frequency traders to make even more money High-frequency trading -- the practice of making thousands of algorithmic stock trades per minute -- is about to get a big boost in the USA. Anova, a company that specializes in deploying low-latency networks for stock trading, is completing an ultra-high-speed laser network between the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) and the NASDAQ. The link will be just a few nanoseconds faster than the current microwave and fiber-optic links... ExtremeTech

The economics of Star Trek I've been reading a lot about robots lately. When I read about robots, and the future, I can’t help but think about it in economic terms. And that inevitably turns my mind to the branch of economics called post scarcity economics. Traditional economics, of course, deals with the efficient allocation of inherently scarce materials. Post scarcity economics deals with the economics of economies that are no longer constrained by scarcity of materials  -- food, energy, shelter, etc. Medium




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1 person liked this | dividebyzero dividebyzero, trainee n00b, said:

The simple troll recognition system (Graham's Hierarchy of Disagreement)

Adhmuz Adhmuz, TechSpot Paladin, said:

The simple troll recognition system (Graham's Hierarchy of Disagreement)

More specifically the last three and rarely do they ever even get into the Contradiction stage.

Here's an idea to help alleviate the trolling epidemic, next to the Like | Reply you should add a third option called Troll. For members this would serve as a way to block ignorance that is trolling, ie make the post disappear entirely, whereas for Guest thinking it's a way they can post they're trolling BS, they get redirected to another site far away from TechSpot, even perhaps blocking their IP temporarily with a message that says, Think twice before saying something pointless and provocative that adds little to no perspective to the topic/discussion at hand.

captaincranky captaincranky, TechSpot Addict, said:

OK, is there anybody here that thought I wouldn't ring in on the troll topic? If so, you head is stuck up your behind, kindly dislodge it, before attempting to operate a motor vehicle.

So, what have we learned? Somebody will pay to study anything, and somebody else will lap up the milk & honey flowing to the study. In the meantime, massaging their egos, and deluding themselves into thinking they're "advancing science".

Here's a news flash, CEOs, lawyers, and politicians are, "bad people" too!

In most cases, they're sociopaths, and pathological liars. "Power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely"! So, now you now why people like Steve Ballmer, or Elon Musk, think every dumb thing that comes out of their mouths, should be handed down on stone tablets.

And know what, boys and girls, if you vigorously argue against something like Time Warner merging with Comcast as a bad idea, and argue that point vehemently, you could be branded a "troll".

So, "internet troll", seems to have come to be a convenient category, where someone who disagrees with the likes of Apple can be dismissed as a troll, while all the good little boys and girls, can sit quietly, while having the joy of their tax dollars spent doing studies of those other nasty denizens of the internet.

Know what sheep-I-kins, you're being lavishly patronized with these studies. You should buy Windows 8, right this very minute. Because if you don't, you're letting your free will fall prey to those "trolls", who think it's a bad idea.

So, why don't y'all run along now? Fire up you new voice controlled "entertainment operating system". Now your TV can tell you, nay verily demand, that you follow the exploits of "Honey Boo-Boo", and pay dearly, but gladly, for that "privilege".

It think she's a fat, stupid, spoiled, obnoxious, spoiled, unattractive, corpulent brat. But....., what do I know? After that spasm of contrary opinion and epithet orgasm, I've undoubtedly managed to cause myself to be branded, "troll".

(Oh sure, like that just happened, cranky..... ).

dividebyzero dividebyzero, trainee n00b, said:

Here's an idea to help alleviate the trolling epidemic, next to the Like | Reply you should add a third option called Troll. For members this would serve as a way to block ignorance that is trolling, ie make the post disappear entirely, whereas for Guest thinking it's a way they can post they're trolling BS, they get redirected to another site far away from TechSpot, even perhaps blocking their IP temporarily with a message that says, Think twice before saying something pointless and provocative that adds little to no perspective to the topic/discussion at hand.

Unfortunately Guest posting has an inbuilt privilege that the regular members lack - you can't place Guest on your ignore list. Bearing in mind that the majority of trolling, flamebaiters, shills, PR hacks, and spammers use the account it is irritating to note that you are forced to at least scan/browse past the content to get to some intelligible posting.

We have AdBlock, pity we don't have GuestBlock!

captaincranky captaincranky, TechSpot Addict, said:

Oh please, please, please, pretty please, don't let Adhumz block my IP.

Listening to control freaks spout off here at Techspot, is one of life's few earthly pleasures I have left.

"If I disagree with you, you should have your IP blocked". Dear Lord, that's quite a setback for "freedom of speech", isn't it?:eek:

captaincranky captaincranky, TechSpot Addict, said:

it is irritating to note that you are forced to at least scan/browse past the content to get to some intelligible posting.

We have AdBlock, pity we don't have GuestBlock!

Well yes. Basically you have to turn the scroll wheel, (which is undoubtedly the same burden as Sisyphus bears with his rock), or push that big heavy mouse over to grab the scroll bar.. Then, with a mighty heave, bring all your energy to bear into making one, desperate left click. (Get the missus to help if it's too much effort to hold the mouse button down and drag at the same time).

Or, maybe you could just ignore any post marked, "guest", at the outset.....

( @dividebyzero Obviously I'm quoting you, but not referring to you).

dividebyzero dividebyzero, trainee n00b, said:

Or, maybe you could just ignore any post marked, "guest", at the outset.....

and any user quoting the Guest

...and any user quoting/replying to the user quoting the Guest...ad nauseam.

It's probably less about the troll/flame content than about the general signal-to-noise it generates...at least from my perspective. I like troll hunting with the best of them, but I wouldn't see it as a full time occupation. The prime offenders are those whom deliberately derail and stymie a dialog because the subject matter conflicts with a particular company's PR. I think these people generally aren't drive-by trolls, but company reps and shills posting to disrupt negative press. At least when posting as a registered forum user there is a general accountability for people found to be pushing a company agenda.

captaincranky captaincranky, TechSpot Addict, said:

....[ ]... At least when posting as a registered forum user there is a general accountability for people found to be pushing a company agenda.
This is an annoying tactic used by one, "Bob Zager", guitar huckster without equal. (Yes that Bob Zager, of "In the Year 2525", Zager & Evans fame), The posts are always out of the blue, and usually, "I just bought this Zager guitar, should I send it back"?

Suffice it to say, Mr. Zager's advertising is about as deceptive as it gets. (one setting has him posed with boxes all around emblazoned, USA, when it really should be made clear that these instruments are from an Asian OEM) , It also includes endorsements from such musical notables as......, Steven Segal.....,Yes, that Steven Segal.

In any event, lest I troll too far afield of this topic, isn't anybody going to comment on the "fail", of 3D porn? This was after all, included under the "umbrella", of, "Weekend Tech Reading"....

(Sorry! This story was relinked on the troll study page, down at the bottom) In any case, if anybody wants to tackle tie story, it seems like it has the makings of a real barn burner. (Note to self, if you mean troll-fest, just say, "troll-fest" ). [link]

GhostRyder GhostRyder said:

Oh please, please, please, pretty please, don't let Adhumz block my IP.

Listening to control freaks spout off here at Techspot, is one of life's few earthly pleasures I have left.

"If I disagree with you, you should have your IP blocked". Dear Lord, that's quite a setback for "freedom of speech", isn't it?:eek:

Pfft, yea it is indeed a pleasure at times, freedom of speech is a funny thing but in this day and age people define everything as freedom of speech one way or another :P.

The right of freedom of speech is funny, we get so many fun forms of it that people try to define as "Protected freedom of speech" it only starts to make me laugh. Gestures have now been labeled under that said freedom which in title means that anything you do is freedom of speech or protected. I can think of so many ways that can go wrong in this era

captaincranky captaincranky, TechSpot Addict, said:

...[ ].... Gestures have now been labeled under that said freedom which in title means that anything you do is freedom of speech or protected. I can think of so many ways that can go wrong in this era
The US Supreme Court was actually forced to concede that flag burning should be protected under "freedom of Expression". I'm far from an arch patriot, but I really thought that was way, way, over the top, and I would have written a blistering dissenting opinion, of that you can be sure

In any case, whatever I have to say, generally ends before name calling occurs. Which coincides nicely with the principles of your sig.

That said, one prevailing symptom around here is this, if I (or anybody, for that matter), doesn't agree with what self proclaimed big shot "XX" has to say, I'm automatically branded a troll. "I'm right, and you're wrong, so you're a troll". Succinct, self aggrandizing, and self serving.

Another, terribly controversial point about "freedom of speech", is that it seems to be restricted to certain interests, but denied to others.

What this "scientific study" failed to point out, is the simple folk wisdom of, "it takes one to know one", or, "the pot is calling the kettle black". Moving on, since (ostensibly), the study of internet trolling has now become, "science", it renders 99.99% of most forum's participants unqualified to make that call.:oops:

GhostRyder GhostRyder said:

The US Supreme Court was actually forced to concede that flag burning should be protected under "freedom of Expression". I'm far from an arch patriot, but I really thought that was way, way, over the top, and I would have written a blistering dissenting opinion, of that you can be sure

Yea, its actually at the point id wager you could justify every action in life as "Freedom of Speech". im at the point I only sigh and just look at what else the news feels like sharing. Things like I burned myself with hot coffee so its the place I got it from's fault to burning the flag of the nation im in being all but allowed and protected is becoming quite a nice chuckle.

That said, one prevailing symptom around here is this, if I (or anybody, for that matter), doesn't agree with what self proclaimed big shot "XX" has to say, I'm automatically branded a troll. "I'm right, and you're wrong, so you're a troll". Succinct, self aggrandizing, and self serving.

Preaching to the Choir on that one, could not agree more.

Another, terribly controversial point about "freedom of speech", is that it seems to be restricted to certain interests, but denied to others.

Yea, its gotten rather annoying at what is allowed and what isn't allowed. Like when I saw that "Playing Violent M Rated Games" is now protected under law where you can't outlaw kids under the age from playing them blew my mind. Thats apparently "Freedom of Speech" including all the racial slurs and mom jokes that the kids scream into the mic as being a protected right. I guess at least part of that whole plot was verbal I guess

dividebyzero dividebyzero, trainee n00b, said:

That said, one prevailing symptom around here is this, if I (or anybody, for that matter), doesn't agree with what self proclaimed big shot "XX" has to say, I'm automatically branded a troll.

Which just goes to show that many people tend to use terms without being conversant with their meaning.

I always thought that disagreement on any point/counterpoint was more a natural example of dialogue or argumentation- although on a forum it usually devolves into the eristical, whilst trolling are deliberate acts to initiate conflict without regard for logic base- either by continuing argument by moving the points of contention further and further from the initial point of contention as their logic breaks down under factual proof, or posting deliberately inflammatory views that are (again deliberately) factually incomplete or weighted with bias to include/exclude information for the purpose of misrepresentation.

I suppose that's what happens when people are more familiar with Socrates as a chain-smoking Brazilian football player or straight man for Keanu Reeves.

captaincranky captaincranky, TechSpot Addict, said:

Which just goes to show that many people tend to use terms without being conversant with their meaning.

I always thought that disagreement on any point/counterpoint was more a natural example of dialogue or argumentation- although on a forum it usually devolves into the eristical, whilst trolling are deliberate acts to initiate conflict without regard for logic base- either by continuing argument by moving the points of contention further and further from the initial point of contention as their logic breaks down under factual proof, or posting deliberately inflammatory views that are (again deliberately) factually incomplete or weighted with bias to include/exclude information for the purpose of misrepresentation.

Yeah wull, I know I'm right, ergo you must be trolling. Besides, as soon a you propose an analog that isn't necessarily directly on the same topic, you've therefore led the thread astray, and are therefore, "trolling".

My own antagonisms and wayward thought processes aside, I'm going to justify it all under the herald and crest of, "sophistry".

"Crest", get it? :p

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sophism

1 person liked this | madboyv1, TechSpot Paladin, said:

I don't know what others really think since I don't partake in the forums too much, but captaincranky is one of my favorite people on this site lol. I must be a troll because I take satisfaction reading his posts which often rail a person or subject (and rightfully so). =p

dividebyzero dividebyzero, trainee n00b, said:

Yeah wull, I know I'm right, ergo you must be trolling. Besides, as soon a you propose an analog that isn't necessarily directly on the same topic, you've therefore led the thread astray, and are therefore, "trolling".

Are you proposing an absolute or pointing out a local observation?

I think it comes down to intent. If the divergence from the original topic is to deliberately derail or antagonize then I'd consider it trolling. If due to the original topic being satisfactorily covered/resolved, played out, or the tangential argument is required to provide a more complete picture of the original topic, then I wouldn't consider it trolling....personally.

captaincranky captaincranky, TechSpot Addict, said:

Are you proposing an absolute or pointing out a local observation?

I think it comes down to intent. If the divergence from the original topic is to deliberately derail or antagonize then I'd consider it trolling. If due to the original topic being satisfactorily covered/resolved, played out, or the tangential argument is required to provide a more complete picture of the original topic, then I wouldn't consider it trolling....personally.

No, any "you" I've used is in the impersonal. The "royal you", if you will.

I would venture to say that it seems like you're taking this topic a bit more seriously than am I.

I will say that I'm sure I've derailed more than my fair share of topics. But not with a malevolent intent. Here, you must examine the topic itself, and quite a few are frivolous and boring enough, that a bit of creative redirection would be in order, and serve to improve them.

Any of my references toward dyadic confrontation, are likely shared by other partners in those transactions, and others have had similar experiences with a completely different set of actors. I'm basically very broadly commenting on the social dynamic that exists within the forum structure.

I've watched the most (at least seemingly) dedicated members (*) over the years, freak out , burn out, and implode, for whatever reason.

That's a fate I prefer not to share, and hence strive to avoid.

So, my current manifesto is this, "come for the aggravation, stay for the laughs".

At this juncture I feel compelled to ask if you got the "crest" joke?.

(*) Including a mutual friend.

dividebyzero dividebyzero, trainee n00b, said:

I would venture to say that it seems like you're taking this topic a bit more seriously than am I.

I was actually attempting to play to a wider audience than just your own good self. I was kind of hoping (maliciously I admit) to draw out a couple and elicit some hypocrisy, and turning the thread "meta" ....that's a thing, right?

I've watched the most (at least seemingly) dedicated members over the years, freak out , burn out, and implode, for whatever reason.

That's a fate I prefer not to share, and hence strive to avoid.

Having never thought of forums as an arena of life and death, I'd agree. I'm certain that some people must read my posts as though Walter Cronkite were narrating even with my sig and self-deprecating title.

At this juncture I feel compelled to ask if you got the "crest" joke?.

Nope. Maybe to much lateral thinking required - Remember this is a tech forum! *

* Obligatory interwebz symbol of understanding

captaincranky captaincranky, TechSpot Addict, said:

...[ ].....Nope. Maybe to much lateral thinking required - Remember this is a tech forum! *
This is attributed to Elizabeth I, Regina (*), "my lords, had I been born crested instead of cloven, thou woulds't not treat me thus" (or something like that).

I think she was "trolling", her counselours......

(And others, ranging from Mary queen of Scots to possibly Hillary Clinton. Although in Hillary's case, I think she was parading in front of her mirror mindlessly repeating it to herself, after losing the presidential nomination to Barrack Obama).

And hey, if the Queen of England can't troll and get away with it, who can....

TS-56336 TS-56336 said:

Hmm, I guess the "troll" news article got it going. Might wanna take a break, not to mention this Adhmuz is starting to get annoyed once more.

captaincranky captaincranky, TechSpot Addict, said:

...[ ]... Might wanna take a break, not to mention this Adhmuz is starting to get annoyed once more.
Why is that a consideration?

1 person liked this | Railman said:

I don't know what others really think since I don't partake in the forums too much, but captaincranky is one of my favorite people on this site lol. I must be a troll because I take satisfaction reading his posts which often rail a person or subject (and rightfully so). =p

I enjoy reading Captaincranky's posts as well. I believe he only has hard core drives in his PC.

captaincranky captaincranky, TechSpot Addict, said:

Thanks for your support guys, it means a lot to me......(y)

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