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Comment: Re:Change management fail (Score 2) 80

by ShanghaiBill (#47578783) Attached to: Passport Database Outage Leaves Thousands Stranded

Sorry, what part of paying you to do a job requires me to give a shit about whether or not your failed third-world culture doesn't like answering direct fucking questions?

The part about you paying them far less than you would pay someone culturally compatible. If you want to pay peanuts, you need to deal with the cultural consequences. I have dealt with Indians for years, and have learned how to ask questions so that I get the answer I am looking for. It is not that hard.

Comment: Re:Disengenous (Score 4, Insightful) 280

by ShanghaiBill (#47571953) Attached to: Amazon's eBook Math

If by Middlemen you are referring to Editors (who read the book, find grammatical errors, find plot errors, etc etc), typesetters ,Graphics illustrators then they will still be there.

There is no reason that any of these services need to be, or should be, bundled with "publishing". There are plenty of people offering these services, either per-page, or for an hourly rate. You can find them on any Freelancer website.

Comment: Re:Er, that's a bit confusing (Score 2) 160

by ShanghaiBill (#47571923) Attached to: The Problems With Drug Testing

Your sampling is skewed towards the homeless population that is willing to go to a church.

They don't go to church. The church goes to them. My wife's mother works through her church to reach out to homeless people, give them food and blankets, and help them find day labor so they can earn both money and self-respect. She often asks me and my kids to go with her. We find people living in parks or under bridges, etc. My experience is that nearly all of the homeless have deep interrelated problems, including substance abuse, mental illness, alienation from family and friends, mistrust of authority (including people like me that are offering to help), etc. I can think of only two or three people where our efforts have made any lasting difference, but hey, even turning two or three lives around is an accomplishment, and I would rather be out with my kids and their grandmother doing that, than sitting at home watching TV.

Comment: Re:Disengenous (Score 3, Interesting) 280

by ShanghaiBill (#47570953) Attached to: Amazon's eBook Math

I'd rather not live in a world where the only places to shop are walmart, amazon, and maybe costco. using size and supply chain efficiency to force smaller guys out of business is not a good thing in the long run.

I disagree. Small bookstores were crap. They had the bestsellers, and a small random assortment of other books. Amazon has a better deal on the bestsellers, and has millions of other books. This is not only far better for customers, but better for niche authors as well. The small booksellers are gone, and good riddance. Now the publishers are getting squeezed. Good. The fewer middlemen between the customers and the authors, the better.


Comment: Re:So, 40 years and beeelions spent.. (Score 3, Interesting) 46

by ShanghaiBill (#47563499) Attached to: Opportunity Rover Sets Off-World Driving Record

Lunakhod was only on the moon, and was driven at relatively high speeds using live drivers looking at TV to see where to go.

Interesting trivia: At first the Soviets tried to use experienced drivers. But even to the moon and back is several light seconds, and this lag confused people experienced in driving cars. So they had to find people that had never driven before, with no expectations that the vehicle would respond instantly.

Comment: Re:The American Dream (Score 5, Interesting) 559

by ShanghaiBill (#47563467) Attached to: 35% of American Adults Have Debt 'In Collections'

its cute that you people can take a large and complex problem with many angles and reasons and boil it down to a simple catch phrase you heard on talk radio

This is especially silly considering that actual socialist countries don't have consumer credit at all. Do you think Cuba has people in collections? I lived in the People's Republic of China for several years (which is nominally socialist) and everything was based on cash. I paid cash for my cell phone (I was not even asked for my name or ID) and paid cash for the minutes. I would buy token cards for my electric meter, and feed them in to pre-pay for home electricity. The electricity company neither asked, nor cared, who was living in the apartment, and certainly had no need to do a "credit check". I had electricity five minutes after I moved in.

In America, I have been in collections several times. Usually when they send the bills to the wrong address, or I move and forget to shut off the trash service, but the bills still go to the old address. It was always for something that I would have preferred to pre-pay, if that option had been available.

Comment: Re: Clever editors. (Score 1) 288

You are still thinking short term. It doesn't matter how much CO2 they emit today. It matters how much CO2 their children and grandchildren will emit when they grow up. Nigeria's economy is growing rapidly, as is the per capita CO2 emissions. More importantly, most Nigerian women have more children than they desire. So more convenient and available contraception will have a big effect.

Comment: Re: Clever editors. (Score 4, Insightful) 288

by ShanghaiBill (#47539629) Attached to: Greenpeace: Amazon Fire Burns More Coal and Gas Than It Should

Here you go. Greenpeace exec commuting on commercial air every week between Amsterdam and Luxembourg.

That was not a "private jet". Adding yet-another-passenger to a commercial flight emits about as much CO2 as driving the same distance. How far is it from Amsterdam to Luxembourg anyway?

See, like most liberal assholes, it is do as i say not as I do.

That is a dumb standard. You should do what someone says, or not, depending on whether their argument makes sense. That they are hypocrites is irrelevant. In this case, Greenpeace's argument is silly. Electricity is fungible, and it doesn't really mean anything to say that the source of power for one particular use is "clean". All that really matters is the overall emissions. But even that is silly, since subsidizing clean energy is a pretty dumb way to combat global warming. A far better way to reduce CO2 emissions would be to buy condoms for Nigerians. People that are never born emit far less CO2 than those that are. Long term problems require long term solutions.

Comment: Re:This must be confusing to y'all (Score 1) 66

by ShanghaiBill (#47519239) Attached to: Microsoft FY2014 Q4 Earnings: Revenues Up, Profits Down Slightly

They're investing money in the idea that the stock is undervalued.

For every buyer who thinks the stock is undervalued, there is an equal and opposite seller who thinks it is overvalued. The current stock value is the market clearing price where supply equals demand.

Comment: Re:This must be confusing to y'all (Score 2) 66

by ShanghaiBill (#47516813) Attached to: Microsoft FY2014 Q4 Earnings: Revenues Up, Profits Down Slightly

If you are tracking a company's performance by its stock price it's kind of laughable

What do you suggest then? A Ouija board? The stock price is the consensus opinion of people investing real money. If you are so much smarter than the market, you should have made billions by now taking highly leveraged contrary positions. Please post a picture of your yacht.

unless you sacrifice your company for short term profits they really don't get excited. There is no long term outlook for companies any more

Sure. That is why companies that invested for the long term, like Amazon, Google, and even Microsoft in their early days, were unable to raise capital, and have all gone out of business.

Comment: Re:Brought to you by the same people (Score 3, Informative) 102

Surely you can point us to a double blind study to quantify lie detector effectiveness? They don't exist?

Yes they do. The Wikipedia page lists several. What they find is that polygraphs work better than chance, but below perfection. They certainly don't provide the level of "beyond a reasonable doubt" required in a criminal court, and they can be fooled by a someone trained to deceive them. But for most people, they work most of the time. That is good enough for their use as a first level screening device. You would be an idiot to blindly accept their results, but you would also be an idiot to ignore the results completely.

It is an effective prop. But only for the uninformed.

Wrong. It takes more than just being "informed". To trick a polygraph takes training. So how many moles hoping to infiltrate the FBI are going to respond to a Craigslist ad for "Polygraph Deception Training"? Guess who places those ads.

Comment: Re:It's all about the input (Score 1) 58

The place it really becomes a problem (and this would be worse for Chinese than Japanese because Chinese is 100% kanji) is when you have a kanji that has an extremely common pronunciation.

You are doing it wrong. If you type in pinyin for a common character, sure, you will get a hundred choices. But you should just ignore those choices, and keep typing. After you type the pinyin for a string of characters, there is usually only one valid interpretation. For instance, if you type "qing" you will get a hundred choices. But if you type "qinggeiwoyigepingguo" (meaning "Please give me an apple") you will get ONE choice, and it will be the correct one.

Aren't you glad you're not getting all the government you pay for now?