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Comment Re:I give her 5 stars (Score 5, Interesting) 92

AMAZON: give positive reviews on line, get free stuff.

You don't necessary have to give positive reviews. I've been among the top 1000 reviewers for a decade or so. Just due to my ranking, companies started offering me stuff, but they didn't seem to care (or even notice) that my few thousand reviews ranged liberally from one to five stars, and that if something was crap I wasn't afraid to call it crap. Indeed, even after I accepted free products in exchange for an honest review, I have found the bulk of these to be Chinese crap, at best merely satisfactory for their purpose, and usually horrible, and I've said so in my review. And yet, those same companies continue to offer me the next product they are trying to develop hype for.

I am aware that a lot of reviewers who accept free stuff give invariably positive reviews to keep the goods flowing, but I really don't think that is necessary if your reviewer ranking is squarely in the top 1000. You'll continue to receive free stuff even if you are brutally honest.

Comment Re:It's called "pops" (Score 1) 111

You don't get how expensive orchestras can be to run. Even if you sold out the hall, you might not make enough money to pay the salaries of the musicians and the salaries of the coat-check army and other concert hall caretakers, and pay the copyright fees of repertoire that isn't yet in the public domain, and so on and so forth. Even with a full house on most nights, orchestras need funding from elsewhere to stay afloat. That's either private patronage or state arts funding.

Comment Re:RadioShack (Score 1) 105

It wasn't internet sales. By the time internet shopping came along, RadioShack had long since lost business to mail-order catalogs. When I became interested in amateur radio in the mid-1990s, few Radio Shacks still had a decent range of components for building your own circuit boards, as hams had increasingly turned to big catalogs that offered a larger selection.

Comment Re:I find it amusing (Score 1, Troll) 152

I don't complain so much about your list above as your disingenuous posting style. Your point is valid that, if people don't like a Free Software option, they should try to contribute their own effort instead of complaining of what other devs are doing. But you know perfectly well that there are not "plenty of distros" that are successfully resisting systemd, you know perfectly well that most items in the list you posted are dodgy ports that have no longterm prospectives, and by posting such rubbish you only undermine the other points you are making.

Comment Re:I find it amusing (Score 1) 152

Care to name those "plenty of distros"? Gentoo and Slackware are the only two longtime distros that have resisted systemd, and beyond those, one can only name little-known flavours of Debian or Arch that are already facing problems trying to maintain a systemd-free port, and don't seem promising in the long term?

Comment Re:Business (Score 1) 212

Pokemon Int'l shouldn't. They should enjoy the free publicity

The entire point of setting up Pokemon Company International was to monetize use of Pokemon imagery. The business model is a lot like Angry Birds: sure, there's a video game involved, but the big profits come from toys and apparel. Someone setting up a party with Pokemon imagery is exactly where PCI aims to generate profit. You don't want "free publicity" from a guy like that, you want payment of licensing fees.

Comment Re: Catch the rounded ones early (Score 1) 300

Construction, for example, if a much more fundamental skill, yet shop classes have mostly gone away. Being able to repair a dry wall, fix a broken cabinet or replace the compressor on an old fridge are much more important in your day to day life than being able to code a text editing tool.

I am not so sure about that. Those who rent (owning one's own home is not the norm in many countries, and even some parts of the US) might not be allowed to make such repairs even if they knew how to. And for many other repairs, it may well be that calling in a professional will prove cheaper than buying the tools and investing the time to do it on one's own. Professionals can take advantage of economy of scale, but ordinary people who have to deal with only one breakdown a year or less can't.

Comment Re:India needs a policy on bathing (Score 1, Offtopic) 114

Until you require your citizens to bathe at least once a week

Look, I would be the first person to criticize Indian standards of hygiene and make one of those "Fix your problems X before doing Y, India" posts: after traveling around India for half a year, and just before I was supposed to fly out, I ended up spending nearly a month in a Delhi hospital after either drinking bad water or eating food that wasn't prepared in a sanitary fashion. The country has a big problem with ensuring treated water, disposing of sewage, and washing hands well when serving food.

But where foreigners have no right to criticize Indians is bathing. Indians bathe regularly, and I've been impressed to see even the poorest of the poor using any public source of water they could to thoroughly scrub every morning. Indians know how much sweat and odor a tropical or sub-tropical climate could produce. It is often Westerners who are considered the unwashed there.

Comment Re:"a person's beliefs are personal." (Score 1) 235

You know, even if you oppose religion (or, conversely, atheism), considering it appropriate that people hide their particular beliefs when they are expressly asked about them seems to me a denial of the entire Western tradition. You cannot use the Socratic method to encourage critical thinking if you cannot draw out people's suppositions and then reveal weaknesses in them.

Comment Re:H4xx0ring (Score 2) 151

The 8-bit computers of the early to mid 80s are way simpler to understand and hack on for a kid than an Arduino or Raspberry Pi.

If desired, a Raspberry Pi can be set up to dump the user right into an interpreted language. A child today can have the same experience as the early-mid 1980s plus a myriad of other ways to tinker, ranging from a variety of scripted languages to compiled code and even poking hardware values (all of which are well-documented on the Pi).

And while a compiler or whatever might have seemed baffling to you as a child back then, that is probably only because in a pre-internet era there was so little information available from which to learn. Kids today can easily get a click-by-click introduction to setting dev stuff up. Sure, they will initially be copying-and-pasting and cargo-culting functionality, but they can still quickly move forward.

Comment Re:H4xx0ring (Score 1) 151

Oh, come on, it's easier for young people today to get into the guts of computing than ever before. I remember as a child, the most I could do with my parent's Mac was play with Resedit or create little Forth programs that could hardly interface with the OS. All the cool stuff (C compilers, documentation) was extremely expensive. It was only in the 1990s that, thanks to the convergence of Free Software and x86, a person could get a serious dev environment for cheap. Kids these days can get a Raspberry Pi for cheap, install Linux, and immediately have access to all kinds of ways to tinker -- even quasi-professional documentation like O'Reilly books is free today thanks to torrents.

Comment Re:"a person's beliefs are personal." (Score 1) 235

No, not a syllogism, and if you know a term of logic like that, then you should probably also already be aware that argument from etymology is a fallacy. While the word "personal" is historically derived from the word "person", it has developed a new set of connotations, such as "something to be kept to oneself or disclosed only to confidants".

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"It says he made us all to be just like him. So if we're dumb, then god is dumb, and maybe even a little ugly on the side." -- Frank Zappa