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Comment: The Derek Zoolander Program (Score 1) 703

by ScooterComputer (#48771295) Attached to: Obama Proposes 2 Years of Free Community College

"2 years of free community college for to good students." -- Derek Zoolander

As an aside, with so many states trying to deal with failing high schools (and the horribly ill-prepared young adults they are producing), now we want to pump these kids through "college". Yeah. Right. Between 'Idiocracy' and the "first wave" spaceship of over-credentialed "professionals" written about in H2G2, you'd think we, as a culture, would see what is going on here. But nope. So I'm sure this will happen and be billed as a resounding success, regardless of actual reality!

K-12, my ass. K-14! It's better.

Comment: Re:Ignored Niches (Score 4, Interesting) 269

by ScooterComputer (#48587169) Attached to: Apple's iPod Classic Refuses To Die

I agree. Many of the people I know who have hacked their classic iPods put in substantially larger HDs (or even SSDs), because they were available in sizes greater than Apple bothered to ship.

My vision is an "iPod" that would effectively house wireless, some kind of storage, whether SSD (perhaps for longer battery life and ruggedness) or HD (size), and a battery. Then the software would seamlessly integrate with Apple's OSes and the various media libraries. Effectively a portable "Home Sharing" library, a "local iCloud clone". Better yet, it would sync to iCloud and fill itself when availed an internet connection. iOS 8 brought several new APIs to facilitate just such a thing. Then we could merely stick the thing in gloveboxes or center consoles, and, using the iPhones/iPads we have, play our 500GB music/movie/podcast libraries anywhere without consuming costly cellular data or even NEEDING a cell/wifi connection. Why Apple hasn't seen the analog to old-school multi-CD changes and the entertainment systems in minivans, I'll never know. In the age of 16GB iPhones, iPads, and iPod Touchesit just makes sense.

Comment: Potemkin (Score 1) 204

by ScooterComputer (#48381497) Attached to: Your Incompetent Boss Is Making You Unhappy

"it does make you wonder how long organizations can afford to continue promoting incompetent bosses in today's very dynamic and competitive business world."

As with Potemkin villages "all the way down", many organizations today are effectively "governed" by Potemkin mayors all the way up. Their success is largely due to momentum, market lethargy, and "luck" stemming from the overall skillset of their workforce.

Comment: Bob: So we just went ahead and fixed the glitch. (Score 5, Interesting) 190

The simple way to fix this is just shut the DHS down. It was a bureaucracy conceived in panic: poorly engineered and even more poorly implemented. Just shut it down. Turn all the records over to Congress and start over.

Simple reboot. Fix the glitch. Just like Milton's payroll issue.

Comment: Where is Apple? (Score 5, Interesting) 164

When iWork first shipped, I asked folks in the know (at Apple) why they chose to design/engineer a completely new suite of file formats rather than adopting/utilizing ODF. I was told it was because ODF wasn't mature enough for their needs, and that it was felt that the ODF working group would be too slow for the iWork development roadmap.

So far, ODF has chugged along, consistently; while iWork has seen a divergence in format compatibility (between Mac and iOS versions) and a complete, from-scratch rewrite (in the most recent version) that torpedoed backwards compatibility.

Enough is enough. If Apple would have embraced ODF, they'd have rocketed the world's move away from Microsoft's Office document stranglehold. Instead, they have squandered both an opportunity to further stomp a odious competitor as well as an opportunity to position their desktop and mobile products as the best commercial competitor for the future where ODF clearly will reign supreme, all in one stupid "Not Invented Here" design decision.

Comment: Re:Voight-Kampff test? (Score 1) 432

by ScooterComputer (#47191105) Attached to: Turing Test Passed

No...although the original AC's statement is literally correct, the point he was trying to make, that I contradicted myself, is NOT correct, as explained by the second AC. Those SNIPPETS themselves are not questions, but are, in fact, the prefacing components of a longer "question" from a SERIES of questions that any fan of the material I obliquely referenced would have recognized. So the "*Whoosh*" is actually applicable on, and apparently appropriate for, more than one meta level.

I guess some people get and appreciate sly referencing, and others just don't.

Comment: Voight-Kampff test? (Score 5, Funny) 432

by ScooterComputer (#47190645) Attached to: Turing Test Passed

Did anyone ask it the questions we already know will trip up a non-human?

"You're in a desert, walking along in the sand when all of a sudden you look down and see a tortoise..."
"You're watching a stage play. A banquet is in progress. The guests are enjoying an appetizer of raw oysters. The entree consists of boiled dog..."

Comment: Some warnings (Score 1) 108

1. driver's license photos. There are several states that are already incorporating them into their facial recognition systems. This will accelerate. It needs to stop. (See #2)
2. the accuracy of these systems coupled with the increasing poor job police and investigatory (national security, etc) agencies are doing actually using these kinds of tools means that your chances of getting hit for a false positive is rapidly accelerating. It will wreck lives. It will get people (on both sides) killed.
3. I have been first-hand for discussions whereby state criminal justice officials have boasted about the aforementioned accelerations. There are, absolutely, policies in place in some states to ACTIVELY and AGGRESSIVELY "criminalize" citizens to "get them in the system". This is no conspiracy theory, it IS happening. It has been written about extensively by legal bloggers like Glenn Reynolds at Instapundit and the group over at Volokh Conspiracy. But make no mistake, it is a targeted campaign by authoritative "governments" (I put that in quotes, because they certainly do NOT adhere to the tenets of governance set forth in the founding of the United States, "of, by, and for") against YOU! They are organized, well funded, and committed to success...you will lose.

And this is merely the beginning, as the stories that have already been written warn.

Comment: STOLE??? (Score 0) 194

by ScooterComputer (#46762745) Attached to: How Apple's CarPlay Could Shore Up the Car Stereo Industry

I think someone at Digital Trends needs to be given a dictionary, because they clearly don't understand the concept of theft. "Indeed, CarPlay coming to aftermarket stereo units could bring back what Apple indirectly stole from the industry going back as far as 2006."

Apple stole nothing. Apple provided a better solution to consumers that had been basically held over a shit-barrel for years. As Steve Jobs once remarked (about iTunes for Windows users), like giving a glass of ice water to someone in hell. That isn't stealing. At. All.

Further, it appears the idiots in the "consumer electronics" field STILL haven't learned their lesson. At the prices they want, from $500-$700, up to $1400, Apple already makes TWO product lines that substantially undermine their wares: the iPad has more processing power and a nicer screen at a lower price, but an entire Core i5-based Mac mini can also be had for less. Like another reader already asked, I'm surprised that Apple hasn't simply began selling/OEMing a dash dock and bypassed the "auto electronics" companies altogether. Somehow I kinda think is Apple's MotoROKR "shot across the bow"; this is the second chance, if they screw it up Apple will step in and obliterate them. And good riddance.

Comment: Another missed opportunity by Apple (Score 1) 111

by ScooterComputer (#46685341) Attached to: EU Should Switch To ODF Standard, Says MEP

When Apple embarked on creating the iWork suite, I asked a team member why they didn't target ODF, and instead created a brand new document format from scratch (because the world didn't have enough document formats, I guess). The answer was because ODF didn't give them the flexibility or breadth they required. Now that Apple AGAIN disrupted their users with the latest update of iWork '13, which included removing a substantial number of features to target "cross platform compatibility" (Mac and iOS), I am left wondering...is there anything the current version of ODF could not have provided?

Apple uniquely stood at a nexus to both really put the hurt on Microsoft (by creating a widely used, polished competitor to Office) as well as embrace an open standards process that has been adopted world-wide. They apparently decided to do neither. A missed opportunity. iWork apps can consume ODF (IIRC), but cannot save to the format. So Apple users are once-again left on an island, with their data in formats that history has shown Apple is all too willing to abandon (AppleWorks/ClarisWorks/MacWrite).

Comment: Worst Company in America...regrets (Score 3, Interesting) 455

Hrm. I'm glad someone is finally stepping up to confront the assholishness of the credit card processors and their crazy fees. But I just voted for Walmart in the Worst Company in America tourney at http://consumerist.com/tag/wci.... I'm starting to think I should have picked Abercrombie & Finch instead.

Comment: Re:Philosophy of selfishness = anything goes. (Score 4, Interesting) 131

by ScooterComputer (#44978201) Attached to: Cricket Reactor Inventor Says $1mil Prize Winners Stole His Work

I would posit that this case does NOT reflect a "philosophy of selfishness", but instead a "philosophy of greed". Often the two, selfishness and greed, are conflated. I often read treatises dedicated to trashing Ayn Rand for her promotion of "selfishness", with the writers either cluelessly or maliciously misrepresenting her position. The "philosophy of selfishness" does not entail stealing others' ideas, failing to credit and compensate them; in fact, that is theft, a hallmark of greed, and the very kind of behavior that Rand attributed to the "takers". Selfishness is good, it is what is driving Mr. Dzamba to vociferously defend his work. It is even what is partially driving the Hult team. However, and given McGill's Office of Sponsored Research findings, the Hult team has veered into Greed as it has seemingly decided to take from Mr. Dzamba what it did NOT work to produce. Just as with Reardon metal, this design does not belong to them.
What I find surprising [although with Mr. Clinton's name attached perhaps not so] is that the Hult International Business School would award such a large price ($1M USD) to a project where the central design itself is so seemingly encumbered. One would think that a basic tenet of their Prize would either be outright originalism or profound derivation. Nothing less should be worth $1,000,000.

I go on working for the same reason a hen goes on laying eggs. -- H.L. Mencken

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