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Journal: Nobots: now in paperback 1

Journal by mcgrew

It annoys the hell out of me that my books are so damned expensive, which is why I wanted Mars, Ho! to be 100,000 words. I'd hoped that possibly Baen might publish it so it would be, oddly, far cheaper. I can buy a copy of Andy Wier's excellent novel The Martian from Barnes and Noble or Amazon for less than I can get a copy of my own Paxil Diaries from my printer, and Wier's book is a lot longer.

Comment: Re:Limits of Measurement (Score 2) 120

is the electron ACTUALLY doing that, or was that simply a mathematical/logical proof that correlates highly with what we see?

Ummm. physics has been all about testing for discrepancies between the two for at least a century now. There's a nobel prize waiting for anyone who can show an electron not behaving itself in accordance with the standard model.

Comment: No better moustrap at all ... (Score 1) 256

by golodh (#47572915) Attached to: Amazon's eBook Math
Let's not delude ourselves here: Amazon isn't "building a better mousetrap" at all and nobody needs Amazon to sell e-books.

What's happening Instead is that Amazon is using its marketing clout and its "brand recognition" to carve out a monopoly for itself.

Face it: anyone who can set up a website can sell e-books. You don't need a warehouse, you don't need fulfillment services. You just need a web-server and an e-shop.

You also need customers however, and that's where Amazon's added value is. It has a big catalog of paper books and lots of customers who'll turn to Amazon *first* if they're looking for a book. Any book. And yes, that makes it easier to sell e-books too.

In all other respects Amazon's added value is practically zero here, and it takes a lot of chutzpah to propose to charge 30% of the book price for that.

What Amazon noticed however is that *their* turnover is highly price-elastic and that they're well positioned to make money at high turnover rates. Needless to say that their turnover is an *aggregate* of sales of lots and lots of different titles. That doesn't mean that each separate title has the same price elasticity, or that its profit is maximised by adopting their uniform price.

Amazon simply wishes to grow its business by throttling direct sales and specialised retail channels and would like more or less uniform prices (like any other supermarket).

Nothing wrong with that of course, but it's 100% self-serving.

Comment: Re:economy bullshit argument (Score 3, Informative) 214

by Tom (#47572799) Attached to: Is the App Store Broken?

Nice rant, but like all hyperboles, it left reality far behind in the second sentence.

I've used DOS originally, then some Windows and hated it pretty much from the start, so I switched to Linux as soon as I heard about it, I think it was 1997 or so. Do you know why I've been a Mac users for about 10 years now? Because it simply works. I don't have to spend half of my time on just maintaining the system and searching for obscure failure cases. I love my iMac and my iPhone because they allow me to focus almost all of my time on actually doing the work that I want to do.

To most people in this world, computers are a tool. Just like cars. Most people who own a car use it to get from A to B. Some people own cars so they can tinker with them on the weekend and replace parts just because they can - but they are a tiny minority.

I love that I could get a system running from scratch, compile my own kernel and base tools and so on. I've done it and it was a great experience. At the same time, I'm very happy that I don't actually have to do it. I'm tired of tinkering with the machine, I have actual work I want to get done. I have places A and B that I want to get to.

Comment: Re:economy bullshit argument (Score 2) 214

by Tom (#47572779) Attached to: Is the App Store Broken?

that Apple has banned some of the most profitable types of app, [...] For example alternative web browsers

Uh... because web browsers are certainly the most profitable software outside the app store. It's a real shame that all those multi-billion dollar browser makers cannot port their cash cows to iOS. Why does Apple not realize that thousands of jobs depend on the sales of web browsers?

The App Store only rewards Zynga for this behaviour.

The App Store doesn't give a fuck. Users reward Zynga by flocking to their copycat games while at the same time complaining that all games have become the same and there's no innovation anymore.

Comment: Bottom line (Score 1) 4

by smitty_one_each (#47572761) Attached to: When it doubt, try for the Jedi Mind-Trick, right?
The voters gave #OccupyResoluteDesk a pass in 2012. Until such time as the voters give the GOP such a commanding majority that substantial action is possible, all the impeachment talk is just so much hormonal whinging. What really must terrify the GOP is that, given such power, the silent conservative majority would expect them to accomplish some no-kidding reform. Which is why the GOP prefers the sweet passive aggression of letting the IRS crush the Tea Parties.
To your "Health Insurance Industry Bailout Act of 2010" point, you may find this interesting.

Comment: Re:What's your point? (Score 1) 29

by smitty_one_each (#47572713) Attached to: Practical socialism
Look at what you wrote:

It requires no intellect, and certainly no "morality" of any kind. It is a natural predator and prey relationship. And all attempts to regulate it have been quite farcical at best. Can't expect much different when sociopathy is the dominant trait of those we support.

Examples of cooperative ecosystems abound. Indeed, things veer into "sociopathy" when resources are constrained, which is an odd word choice following your 'no "morality" of any kind'. If it's all amoral, how do you gauge a sociopath? (Asking for a cereal killer).

Comment: it depends... (Score 1) 331

There are two kinds of people who run servers without firewalls: Nitwits and professionals.

Nitwits do it because they think they don't need a firewall and it gives them a bit more performance or whatever.

Professionals do it when they know the conditions are right to justify it and they've made a risk assessment that confirms they are right. For example you run a high-traffic server that does exactly one thing on one port and the server software is robust - a firewall wouldn't do you any good, it's just additional security in case you open a port you didn't want to or such.

Comment: economy bullshit argument (Score 1, Interesting) 214

by Tom (#47569739) Attached to: Is the App Store Broken?

As the economics get tighter, it becomes much harder to support the lavish treatment that developers have given apps in the past, such as full-time staffs, offices, pixel-perfect custom designs of every screen, frequent free updates, and completely different iPhone and iPad interfaces.

This is why these app developers fail where Apple succeeds. They create apps for an environment they don't get. Apple is very much about this attention to detail in everything they do, and it's a huge part of why they are successful.

The "economics get tighter" argument is a strawman. Apple users are not the kind of people who drive to a different supermarket because the tomatoes are 5 cents cheaper there.

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