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Comment: Re:Yeah right (Score 1) 308

Lizard B was distinguishable from Lizards A and C only by the name on the Ballot and the face used in the advertising literature. Beyond that, the campaigns were so identical, the policy statements so generically similar that nobody really knew which lizard was which. In most cases the voters simply picked the first Lizards on the list and shuffled out of the voting booth. Other, more creative voters, flipped a coin, or in one case rolled six sided dice.

Comment: Re:Yes yes yes (Score 2) 405

Running a small business is being on the job 24 hours a day seven days a week. Starts ups, especially small ones don't pay much in the way of money. So what kills the business is fatigue. People get tired of 18 hour days and burn out after a couple of years. Remember, running the business is being the marketing guru, the advertising designer, the customer service representative, the tax accountant, the book keeper, the maintenance person, the person that runs the website and other internet services, on top of what ever the business actually does. Or you can pay for those services, and that is money going out the door. And you have to have been both wise and lucky at the timing and location of the business.

I know. I started my own business in a down economy and that business is still running six years later.

Comment: Re:Anonymous public peer review (Score 1) 167

by Casualposter (#47973009) Attached to: Anonymous Peer-review Comments May Spark Legal Battle

Getting to the top of a field or extracting lucrative grants from government is a system with the same inherent susceptibility for abuse. As an example: the whole link between autism and vaccinations was a fraud and an abuse of the existing grant system.

Any system we humans build will be abused. So yes, Pub Peer will be abused. As is the current system of peer review. Disruption in the systems for review keeps the game afoot and the published data gets better. Cheaters have to adapt and change so their job is harder. That is good. Refraining from using a system simply because it can be abused is absurd as every system we have is abused. That logic pretty much eliminates participation in civilization.

Comment: Re:Why did he lose tenure? (Score 3, Interesting) 167

by Casualposter (#47972887) Attached to: Anonymous Peer-review Comments May Spark Legal Battle

This part of the article caught my eye: "Roumel’s response is that his client has no responsibility to critics who refuse to put a name to their accusations. “I don’t think he has any obligation to provide the data [behind the papers called into question] to anyone other than a journal,” he says."

It is fundamentally wrong to fail to provide the data behind a published paper simply because the requester is anonymous or not a journal. The scientist involved has some questionable published figures and an explanation as to validity of the data would be useful to the scientist involved and to those who are questioning the figures. Far cheaper to put up the data and let the accusers hang themselves on the own stupidity or ignorance. On the other hand, if there is something less savory going on putting the data up would be a disaster and suing the accusers is an obvious strategy: accuse me of anything and I'll bury you in legal costs is a pretty steep penalty for questioning published data.

Unfortunately from my own experience with reproducing published work: the typical paper leaves a lot to be desired and sometimes, the published results cannot be reproduced using the methods and techniques described. This is sometimes due to fraud and most times due to incomplete experimental sections.

Comment: Re:US Code, Title 18, Part I, Chp 40 844 -Penaltie (Score 1, Interesting) 131

by Casualposter (#47747731) Attached to: Lizard Squad Bomb Threat Diverts Sony Exec's Plane To Phoenix

And the little fuckers talk about their exploits like some drunken dip-shit at a bar. They've lost sympathy from one group of people that might have some for them and they've called in a federal felony level bomb threat. Someone, perhaps their own bragging, is going to rat them out for this and a few years from now, they will be drug out of their mom's basement to the glaring light of CNN while mum tearfully cries on national TV about her over weight pasty skinned stereotype and the loss of every microprocessor device in the house.

Then the feds will hit the formerly bragging stereo type with every thing they can think up to up the charges to several hundred years in jail and the little stereotype will whine on face book and kickstarter about how the government is out to get him. Well, buddy, WE are the GOVERNMENT and WE are hoping you took metal shop in high school so that you can spend a few decades making license plates in a penitentiary. DDOSing a game is bad. Scaring hundreds of innocent people on a plane with bomb threat is way worse.

Comment: Re: Why such paranoia ? (Score 2) 299

The cell phone, complete with camera and upload ability is carried by nearly everyone the police meet. Not so for the computer - ever tried to use the web cam on the lap top to film something out of a window or on the street? Pretty awkward. The regular camera has been around for decades and the police are used to those, see them, and often take them for evidence, but they are not carried around by the majority of people - and haven't ever been carried by the majority of people. Tablets are huge compared to the phone and make filming both awkward and obvious and again, most people don't have one on them all the time.

The danger to the police is that while they are focused on the guy with the camera filming their arrest of some citizen, everyone within sight can be filming and uploading their rights violations, overly aggressive behavior, etc. The media guy with the big camera, they've got a plan to deal with him. The five hundred eye witnesses? They have a plan to deal with them. The incontrovertible cell phone video showing their behavior is the problem. They have been living in a world where the court, prosecutor, and judge accept without question that the police officer's testimony is true. So after the arrest, the cops get together and make up a consistent story that justifies their actions, and fits the evidence that they gather. Since it is the job of the police to investigate the crime and tell the court and prosecution what happened, they can get the evidence to read any way they want it to read. There is no one looking at the crime after the police unless the citizen accused has the resources to do so with private investigations, private autopsies, etc. The universal presence of video endangers the beat the fuck out of some suspect perk that many, not all, in law enforcement have enjoyed. It threatens their reputation by providing independent evidence that may very well controvert the story the police tell. No other technology does this.

Once the brick feature is added to the phone, it will not be long before technology is developed that can brick a selected list of cell phones within an area. The cops can then pretend ignorance as the cell phones actively being used during the protest brick, while others, not being used, are left alone. Film the cops, brick your phone would spread through the police departments like wildfire. After the event is over, then the phones on the list can be un-bricked. Police would then be safe to make up what ever story justifies their actions and make sure that the evidence they find fits the story.

It's not paranoid. Look at the published police attitude, the rise of no-knock SWAT team served warrants, and realize that citizen cell phones have played an important role in revealing the bad operations with in the police force. Many police do not want this scrutiny and many are afraid of it because they know that if everyone knew how badly they acted as cops, they would be unemployed or in jail.

Comment: Re: I like it. (Score 2) 306

by Casualposter (#47574209) Attached to: Amazon's eBook Math

A large part of the cost of publishing a book is the printing. I reference an old article that I read on Baen Books, whose source page I am too pressed for time to locate. I've had enough stuff printed to know that the upfront costs on "set up" are pretty steep in many cases - from everything from tee shirts to novels. So the more you print, the lower the cost per unit. This set up and printing cost does not exist for publishers of ebooks. They still have to market, design, edit, and pay the author, but if everything in the arrangement between the author and the publisher is the same for ebooks and paper bound books, the publisher stands to make the money and not the author.

As for the "shitty self published" stuff, think about the number of indy bands. Sure a lot of them suck, but not all of them. The ones that suck vanish, the others don't always vanish. TO assume that anyone not signed by a publisher is crap is the same as thinking that the only good music comes out of signed bands played on the radio. The market for novels is shifting. Publishers have never been that good at figuring out what would be a big hit. They are also having some issues, as are authors, about what to do as the literature market shifts.

I'm not willing to pay the same or close to the same price for an ebook because I can't share that with anyone, and it can be taken away by the publisher at any time. I can't resell it or buy a used one. It requires electricity to read and the batteries only last so long. So it is a limited product. Less valuable.

Comment: Re:The American Dream (Score 1) 570

by Casualposter (#47565737) Attached to: 35% of American Adults Have Debt 'In Collections'

Oh gee. Let's see. Hmmm. In 2008 the financial wizards of America crashed the entire economy. Millions of people were out of work. SO those credit cards don't get paid. The dentist doesn't get paid. The doctor doesn't get paid. Parking tickets don't get paid. Student loans don't get paid. And after four years the job situation for millions is not better than it was in 2008. Sure they might be employed - but that does not mean that they are employed at the same pay rate, or even in the same field. Those collection accounts linger until you make them go away. And when the bills for food and shelter are just about what you make, then those collection accounts are not going to be paid. The current bills will be paid, but not those from more than half a year.

That's why.

Comment: Re:Thanks (Score 5, Insightful) 398

SO when you pay for that service it says something like "up to 75mbps" which in reality means that the speed test and google's home page could see that much speed and everyone else will look like dial up from the 1990's.

It would be much better if the services had to advertise their average speed across the most popular sites. That way if they throttle Netflix to .375mpbs, they have to inform customers that while they are paying $125/month for "blazing fast speed" they are actually getting blazingly fast dial up speeds.

Comment: Re:Yep, how the music industry was killed... (Score 1) 192

by Casualposter (#47494527) Attached to: Amazon Isn't Killing Writing, the Market Is

It takes time and effort to create a novel - even a crappy one. One of the authors that I read frequently puts out about two novels per year and spends 40-50 hours per week writing. It takes me a weekend to read her novel. Even if a musician gets $0.05/track, they get something and they can play a concert and sell t-shirts, or fan club memberships, etc. What can an author do? They don't do public performances, or have fan clubs, or sell T-shirts.

There was never much money in creative writing, and the subscription service isn't going to put food on the table for authors. So I guess you give away your first few novels and hope you can raise enough to eat via Patreon.

Sounds really bleak.

Comment: Re:Dilbert words: Can anything be as demoralizing? (Score 3, Insightful) 383

by Casualposter (#47474549) Attached to: Microsoft CEO To Slash 18,000 Jobs, 12,500 From Nokia To Go

Oh what utter rubbish! Management is mostly irrelevant - especially the over paid CEO types who can't seem to figure out what the company does - but they can sure "manage" it. Good, driven, visionary management can keep a company healthy and profitable for centuries, but most of these managers are about as useful as pot holes. What they are really good at is convincing themselves and their cronies on the board of directors that they deserve more pay, more bonuses, because well, they are paid millions so they must be worth millions more! In reality, the average manager is not any smarter than the guy running the project and certainly not better at predicting where the market it is headed, or what the economy is going to do, or what the sales for next quarter will be. AS for the higher level concerns . . . what higher level concerns? A business has all the same issues as a family - income, taxes, the crazy dude next door with the chainsaw and the lawyer...which church to go to for the tax breaks and legal loop holes. Please don't put any faith in management - they either understand the company because they've worked there (and can do an adequate job of keeping the place running) or they are just some rich dude in a suit with less clue about how to run a company than a chimpanzee has of running a zoo.

Comment: Re:Good (Score 1) 300

by Casualposter (#47456979) Attached to: Massive Job Cuts Are Reportedly Coming For Microsoft Employees

I worked for a giant company that merged with another giant company. A merger of companies who could not compete in the market, so they merged thinking that this would be better. The division employing me was spun off into it's own mutlibillion dollar company. After consultation with the geniuses at Arthur Anderson (remember them from the Enron disaster?), they made some pretty shitty moves mostly to reduce work force, and not hire anyone else. Everyone in the work force saw this as the slow death of the company and prepared to leave. The shell of that company was purchased by a competitor a few years ago and they are in the process of winding that old business down - closing sites, etc.

Comment: Re:Who couldn't see this coming? (Score 4, Informative) 300

by Casualposter (#47456939) Attached to: Massive Job Cuts Are Reportedly Coming For Microsoft Employees

"Irrelevant. Companies don't keep employees because they are affordable, but because they are profitable. If an employee is not adding net value, it is better for both Microsoft and the overall economy for that person to be employed elsewhere."

Not quite true. Profitable companies reduce work force to compensate the CEO and the company elite, while spinning the upcoming company death spiral as good for the stock price because costs are reduced. Reducing the work force won't improve moral, change the culture, create new products, or improve the long term prospects of the company. Anyone in the workforce who can leave will leave. What it will do is boost the stock price long enough for the current company elite to sell their stock at inflated prices and justify the ginormous bonuses they will get right before the plunge into financial crises - at which time they will pull the golden parachute and land in some other cash rich company.

"Never ascribe to malice that which is caused by greed and ignorance." -- Cal Keegan

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