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Comment: Put some of the money back in... (Score 4, Interesting) 280

The exemptions were given because some Word macros and sophisticated Excel files could not be reproduced in LibreOffice or other open source productivity suites. These are examples of what Serp calls “some less mature features” in free software: “When it comes to making some kinds of presentations, for example, there is often a little extra to do [compared to the same process in PowerPoint]. So for some people the process is not so clear, and this can cause adaptability problems in everyday work.”

How about they use some of the saved money to either donate or contribute code to make the software work better?

Instead we have companies and other organizations making and saving tens of billions of dollars off Open Source(like Google, Yahoo, Red Hat, Facebook, Twitter, Apple etc.) and then we end up with catastrophic security nightmares like HeartBleed because no one could be bothered to send a couple of bucks over to the overburdened couple of folks that everyone relies on for security. And then we have asshats on message boards like this one who likely never contributed to OpenSSL or looked at the code for bugs but feel entitled to call the coders stupid for the bugs after the fact.

Comment: Re:Good (Score 1) 223

by recoiledsnake (#47530333) Attached to: Chromebooks Are Outselling iPads In Schools

On any PC I can set Linux to be the default boot. On Chromebooks you have to type through an annoying prompt every single time you boot a kernel that's not signed by Google and the message says that OS verification is off, implying that using your own Linux install is less secure. Even the much hated UEFI Secure Boot doesn't do this.

Comment: Re:Good (Score 5, Informative) 223

by recoiledsnake (#47526223) Attached to: Chromebooks Are Outselling iPads In Schools

They used to track apps for education users, lied that they didn't track, got caught in federal court where they didn't have the cajones to tell the same lies to the judge that they were telling the public and only recently now say that they stopped.

Read these articles:

Comment: Re:Good (Score 1) 223

by recoiledsnake (#47526191) Attached to: Chromebooks Are Outselling iPads In Schools

It isn't exactly trivial, you have to essentially unlock it and then click through an annoying prompt on every single boot. Even a PC with Secure Boot has better support for Linux than that.

>but for general purpose devices, Chromebooks can be great, especially when they are being compared to an iPad

How are they better than an iPad with a proper hardware keyboard? And it's a bastardization of the term 'general purpose' when it's locked down to run only Google's native's app and everything has to be done in the browser.

Comment: Outselling? (Score 2, Interesting) 223

by recoiledsnake (#47525991) Attached to: Chromebooks Are Outselling iPads In Schools

Google's basically giving them away for free or extremely subsidized and then tries to make money from them by snooping on the kids' email, while Apple actually tries to make a profit from them.


The plaintiffs allege that Google has employed such practices since around 2010, when it began using a new technology, known as Content Onebox, that allows the company to intercept and scan emails before they reach their intended recipients, rather than after messages are delivered to users’ inboxes, regardless of whether ads are turned off.
Mr. Fread and Mr. Carrillo say that neither they nor any other users of Google Apps for Education consented to such practices. They are seeking financial damages amounting to $100 per day of each day of violation for every individual who sent or received an email message using Google Apps for Education during a two-year period beginning in May 2011.
While the allegations by the plaintiffs are explosive, it’s the sworn declarations of Google representatives in response to their claims that have truly raised the eyebrows of observers and privacy experts.
Contrary to the company’s earlier public statements, Google representatives acknowledged in a September motion to dismiss the plaintiffs’ request for class certification that the company’s consumer-privacy policy applies to Apps for Education users. Thus, Google argues, it has students’ (and other Apps for Education users’) consent to scan and process their emails.
In November, Kyle C. Wong, a lawyer representing Google, also argued in a formal declaration submitted to the court in opposition to the plaintiffs’ motion for class certification that the company’s data-mining practices are widely known, and that the plaintiffs’ complaints that the scanning and processing of their emails was done secretly are thus invalid. Mr. Wong cited extensive media coverage about Google’s data mining of Gmail consumer users’ messages, as well as the disclosures made by numerous universities to their students about how Google Apps for Education functions.

Comment: Re:Crazy (Score 1) 778

by drsmithy (#47506251) Attached to: States That Raised Minimum Wage See No Slow-Down In Job Growth

Not necessarily (think about it!), but in any event, it is far from clear that minimum wage actually gives more people more money.

Counter examples (actual, real-life, counter-examples supported by data) would be interesting to read.

You can, of course, add the money received by those people who benefit from the minimum wage laws to the total money available to spend. However, businesses pass increased costs on to consumers, or go out of business.

Or they could, shock, horror, take less in profit.

In effect, people's net purchasing power goes down. Instead of helping the people you want to help, you end up hurting them.

Purchasing power isn't going down because labour is getting more expensive, it's going down because labour is steadily getting paid less and less because capital is taking more and more.

The only place the continual downward pressure on wages ends is a tiny proportion of wealthy people who own everything and a huge proportion of people of subsistence incomes. When hardly anyone has any disposable income, where do you think economic activity is going to happen ?

Thus, merely "increasing" economic activity is not a valid goal: to be beneficial to society the economic activity has to be healthy activity, not the production of shoddy products. This can only be the case if we don't cause a net reduction in people's buying power (which is what minimum wage laws tend to do).

Again, evidence to support this claim would be useful.

In reality, countries with higher incomes at the lower-end, rather than the rock-bottom incomes you are advocating, are the countries that have the higher quality goods you are insisting they will not.

No this is done by welfare laws (of which there are a plethora).

No, welfare is there as a safety net for people who are unable to work. Since neoliberalism took over the western world and maintaining a certain level of unemployment became a policy goal (to reduce worker bargaining power and suppress their wages), it has become a necessity for millions of people ready, able and willing to work but who cannot find anyone to work for.

What you are talking about is a universal basic income, which would need to be set at a similar level to minimum wage to meet that objective.

Comment: Could you use this for body building? (Score 1) 39

by tjstork (#47504989) Attached to: Method Rapidly Reconstructs Animal's Development Cell By Cell

I know it sounds vain but it does also have practical applications for people with muscular deficiencies owing to immobility. From what I've gathered, no one really knows what happens, precisely, to cause muscles to "grow". Sure, there's a hundred different theories tossed around on body building forums, but a lot of sounds more like pseudo-biological nonsense rather than real science. There's precious little experiment in the field and my lay understanding is that it is because the only method of looking at muscles is biopsy.

Comment: Re:Crazy (Score 1) 778

by drsmithy (#47504961) Attached to: States That Raised Minimum Wage See No Slow-Down In Job Growth

I never gave my opinion on the matter.

Yes, you did. Your opinion was:

"So lets pass a law that says every person should be paid $50,000 per hour. Economic activity ought to be AMAZING then!"

Which, while obvious hyperbole, is meant to somehow refute the original point by taking it to an extreme never suggested or implied.

Your ignorant political stereotypes led you to make assumptions about what things I never even commented on.

I didn't make an assumption about anything. Your following comment called people who couldn't find work "parasites".

Comment: Re:Crazy (Score 1) 778

by drsmithy (#47504081) Attached to: States That Raised Minimum Wage See No Slow-Down In Job Growth

just because you are economically illiterate doesn't make something "a lie".

You argue the service "can no longer be provided".

That is a lie. It *can* be provided. It's just that customers clearly don't value it enough to make providing it worth the cost.

if it could and it were economically advantageous for companies to provide it, they would have done it.

Yes. I believe that was my point. It's not sufficiently "economically advantageous" to cover its cost.

Nobody had to force the gas stations in the past to provide the service, it was in their best interest to do it because it attracted more customers and there was a competitive pressure to do it.

I'm not quite sure what your point is with this straw man. No-one said anything about anyone being forced to provide full service in the past.

that's the propaganda line, sure. The reality is of-course completely different. The wages of the workers have been destroyed by inflation, not by 'corporate profits'.

Ratio of labour to capital share of GDP says otherwise. Nearly all the benefits of productivity increases over the last few decades have been siphoned to the top 10%, and especially the top 1%. Workers have been getting shafted as their bargaining power has been progressively destroyed by removal of their legal protections and the sadistic philosophy of NAIRU (to say nothing of the ever-increasing "rights" of corporate entities). Meanwhile, the taxes that are supposed to discourage the inevitable greed, selfishness and hoarding of the wealthy and recover some of their waste into productive endeavour, have been completely gutted.

That's before even talking about the mind-boggling explosion in private debt that has been taken up by households in an effort to maintain increasing living standards in the face of stagnant or declining incomes. Encouraged by banks and the wealthy, of course, because people madly paddling the canoe rarely have time to rock it.

It is a pattern that has repeated across the entire Anglo world for decades, it is the aftermath of Thatcherism, Reaganism, and whoever-your-local-neoliberal-psychopath-copying-them-was-ism. Every country has had one, and the outcomes have been the same in all of them - reduced unionism, reduced workers rights, increasing unemployment (because of the previous two events), dramatically decreasing taxes (primarily for the wealth), privatisation of public assets, decaying public infrastructure, decreasing public services, decreasing welfare, decreasing social mobility, increasing income inequality, etc, etc.

What's astounding (well, not really) is that after 30 years of this disaster, most politicians and a sizeable chunk of economists argue the problem is we're not doing it enough !

The world is heading towards a new fuedalism, where the serfs are kept in their place not by threat of arms, but by barely adequate incomes and oppressive debt. It's a Libertarian wet dream - all the slave labour they want to make the rich richer, while maintaining a facade of voluntary participation from the victims since no (overt) physical coercion is involved.

The inflation is created by the Federal reserve bank of America buying up bad USA debt from the Treasury (and the rest of the market) for decades following Nixon's default on the US dollar in 1971.

The core problem in the money supply isn't inflation, it's usury.

Comment: Re:Crazy (Score 1) 778

by drsmithy (#47503863) Attached to: States That Raised Minimum Wage See No Slow-Down In Job Growth

I don't think you know what that fallacy actually means. Nothing I wrote is even close to an excluded middle fallacy.

Really ? You don't think there's any possibilities between no minimum wage and a $50k/hr minimum wage ?

Call it a slippery slope fallacy if it makes you feel any better, it doesn't make your argument any less wrong.

Hurr, durr, ad-hominem fallacy!

You clearly believe the absurd rhetoric that people choose to be unemployed "because welfare!", then you launch off onto another straw man fallacy.

Like I said, mindless tripe. Unthinking regurgitation of conservative articles of faith.

Comment: Re:Crazy (Score 1) 778

by drsmithy (#47498163) Attached to: States That Raised Minimum Wage See No Slow-Down In Job Growth

Minimum wage is an arbitrary price control, a wage is just a price on labour.

To an economist or a mathematician, maybe.

In reality, a wage is what people use to live. It is in no way the same thing as something like the cost of a beer.

If somebody is willing to buy a service at 5 bucks but not at 10 for example, then your statement reads like so: because of politics you should have to pay 10 bucks for the service and if you cannot afford it - tough.

Actually it reads: "you have to pay 10 bucks for this service so it can be delivered while meeting the basic requirements for civilised society".

You could make the same argument about anything that increases costs, from worker safety standards to regulations against lead paint.

Though as a Libertarian I'm sure you think employers should be able to endanger their employees and customers at will so long as it increases their profits.

Comment: Re:Crazy (Score 1) 778

by drsmithy (#47498159) Attached to: States That Raised Minimum Wage See No Slow-Down In Job Growth

Free market capitalist system does not reward companies for maiming people, [...]

It does if there's money in it. Or, at least, it would if it wasn't already illegal.

[...] governments on the other hand force you to participate, if you do not like it, you can always opt out to go to jail for tax evasion.

Or not earn enough to be taxed. Or leave the country.

Setting up minimum wage destroys opportunities for people with no skill sets, that's all it does, it doesn't provide anybody with "decent living" and it shouldn't.

Yes, it should. That's the whole reason it exists.

A minimum wage job shouldn't require any skills. It should be the going rate for unskilled, inexperienced, basic labour.

If it's not, it's not because the minimum wage is too low, it's because the business model is broken.

Decent living is provided by better jobs, but you have to find those better jobs in the first place and if you can never get a job to improve your skills, a low wage paying job, you are much less likely to find the next job that actually pays much more than a minimum wage does anyway.

What skills will someone learn in an unskilled below-minimum wage job, that will help them get a similarly unskilled, but marginally better paid, slightly-above-minimum wage job ?

Uncompensated overtime? Just Say No.