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Comment: Re:Advocacy organizations (Score 1) 539

by The Cydonian (#26996099) Attached to: Authors Guild President Wants To End Royalty-Free TTS On Kindle

When the Authors Guild says these kinds of ridiculous things (and uses logic which, incidentally, implies that people with disabilities should not be allowed to convert media to a form they can use), it makes all members look like greedy idiots.

No, it just makes you look like an illiterate moron. Read the article before you start boycotting authors:

On the National Federation of the Blind's Web site, the guild is accused of arguing that it is illegal for blind people to use "readers, either human or machine, to access books that are not available in alternative formats like Braille or audio." In fact, publishers, authors and American copyright laws have long provided for free audio availability to the blind and the guild is all for technologies that expand that availability. (The federation, though, points out that blind readers can't independently use the Kindle 2's visual, on-screen controls.) But that doesn't mean Amazon should be able, without copyright-holders' participation, to pass that service on to everyone.

Comment: Re:not crazy, auditioning for a job w/ RIAA (Score 1) 539

by The Cydonian (#26995961) Attached to: Authors Guild President Wants To End Royalty-Free TTS On Kindle

I guess that's too much to ask for today's businesses?

Now, I'm the furthest from a paid author by any means, but surely, it's not too much to not expect authors to think like business-people? They aren't selling products for fuck's sake, they're writing books.

Comment: Re:Audio books are worth more than e-books (Score 1) 539

by The Cydonian (#26995883) Attached to: Authors Guild President Wants To End Royalty-Free TTS On Kindle
Good thing then, that they aren't objecting to private performances, merely devices that create said performances. From the article:

The guild is also accused of wanting to profiteer off family bedtime rituals. A lawyer at the Electronic Frontier Foundation sarcastically warned that "parents everywhere should be on the lookout for legal papers haling them into court for reading to their kids."

For the record: no, the Authors Guild does not expect royalties from anybody doing non-commercial performances of "Goodnight Moon."

Comment: Re:Audio books are worth more than e-books (Score 1) 539

by The Cydonian (#26995869) Attached to: Authors Guild President Wants To End Royalty-Free TTS On Kindle

I had mod-points and was modding posts here, but heck: I find it _extremely frustrating_ when people don't read the article in question, or read it and misunderstand it entirely. Here's what Roy Blount Jr said:

Audio rights are not generally packaged with e-book rights. They are more valuable than e-book rights.

Basically, he's lamenting the certain death of audio-rights as an income-source when you sell e-book rights. Now you may call it immoral or greedy or whatever, but the argument is that Kindle 2 presents a lost stream of revenue for authors. I don't see this an unreasonable argument to make.

This is not about copyright infringement folks, this is about selling the site of a future financial center for 60 guilders.

Comment: Re:Luxury (Score 1) 366

by The Cydonian (#26808211) Attached to: The Flying Giant Is 40 Years Old

Flew Dusseldorf to Singapore with stopovers in Istanbul and Bangkok in 2003. This was _right_ when Gulf War II started, a mere days after the initial bombardment in fact, and just when SARS began to scare everyone here in Asia.

The 200+ seater A340 (?) flight had may be 6-7 folks on-board, and of course, they were feeding us meals every two hours or so. And yes, I had the aisle for me, right in front of the big TV projector. Fun times.

Comment: Re:Only in America... (Score 1) 218

by The Cydonian (#26677889) Attached to: Microsoft Surface To Coordinate SuperBowl Security
Nope, I can say with certainity that a similar project is being done in another part of the world. Just that, Surface hasn't been "officially" released in some markets.

Given the multiple sources of information that we often have to deal with, there's a lot of good work to be done in terms of data-visualisation for threat-perception matrices, Surface being one of the many things you can implement. There's obviously some branding going on now, but hey, the way I see it, _any_ tech-branding is good in these uncertain times.

Comment: Re:Require pay and benefits parity (Score 1) 612

by The Cydonian (#26641359) Attached to: Microsoft Says H-1B Workers Among Those Losing Jobs

Most places with progressive emigration regimes offer something called as 'permanent residency' as default, instead of the relatively half-baked guest-worker status. The benefits are obvious to everyone; PR's pay taxes, contribute to social security, have no political rights and get less preference in such services as schools, house-allotments (yes, housing is socialized in some countries) and medical services (they pay more). In return, their visas are tied to their passports, and not to the companies they work for. Fair, simple and efficient.

US has a similar window for emigration; it's informally called as 'green card'. Just this:- the wait period to get that status is super-long; way way waaaaaaaay longer than for other countries. (It's about three months in places like Singapore, 3-ish years in Canada, while it is 6-8 years in the US) Which is why you have such half-baked idiocy as balloting for 80,000-a-year tied-to-company guest-worker visas; the US government, essentially, outsources the validation of each candidate to individual companies(validating that the candidate is contributing to the economy).

Essentially, like other departments offering governmental services, the US' immigration services are facing a problem of scaling up their operations. What makes this scaling up unique, though, is that citizens don't see this as being ultimately services to themselves, but as governmental services to an unstated Other. There is, therefore, no motivated self-interest to improve things quickly anywhere. The politicians think this is working, because the system has self-imposed caps, but clearly, it isn't the _number_ that's the main problem, it's quality.

Comment: Re:WHO IS JOHN GALT? (Score 1) 612

by The Cydonian (#26639733) Attached to: Microsoft Says H-1B Workers Among Those Losing Jobs

The United States is the best country in the World to do business in.

One of the largest economies to sell in, I'll grant you that. It isn't considered the absolute best though, that apparently would be Hong Kong. Indeed, all four economies Hong Kong and Singapore have a considerably freer visa-regimes; in Singapore, in particular, has a million guest-workers against a total resident population of about five million.

A more relevant bit to this discussion, though, is not about hiring, but firing. I look forward to hearing your views on how it'll help meritocracy in America if you fire employees not based on performance or need for an enterprise, but based on something as arbitary as the colours of their passports.

Comment: Re:I'm watching using Moonlight now. Observations. (Score 1) 197

by The Cydonian (#26530113) Attached to: Watch the Obama Inauguration With Moonlight

Moonlight can never be a substitute for Silverlight. They just back-ported the stream from SL 2.0 to SL 1.0 to get it running this time around.

You're right about the Linux hack though; the fact that they pulled this off this fast is quite a feat myself. Extreme, clanky balls made out of brass as well; if I was leading the effort at such a high-profile website, I'd have enforced a code-freeze at least a week earlier. (May be that's why I'm not in that position. Hmmmm.)

Comment: Re:Change but not all change is good... (Score 4, Informative) 197

by The Cydonian (#26530041) Attached to: Watch the Obama Inauguration With Moonlight

Built-in optimization for multimedia. Streams better. Go to the Singtel Grid Girls site; you'll see 60 videos being loaded in one go (5 * 4 grid with three states for each girl). Not a Flash guy myself, but I'm told streaming it all is a bitch in Flash. Not so in Silverlight.

"More software projects have gone awry for lack of calendar time than for all other causes combined." -- Fred Brooks, Jr., _The Mythical Man Month_

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