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Comment: Re:Appropriate Supreme Court Quote (Score 4, Funny) 314

by Wordplay (#45907535) Attached to: Court Rules Against Online Anonymity

"Constitutionality? Yes, but the 20th Century also had Chewbacca. Ladies and gentlemen, this is Chewbacca. Chewbacca is a Wookiee from the planet Kashyyyk. But Chewbacca lives on the planet Endor. Now think about it; that does not make sense!"

We're better in some ways now...and a lot worse in others. At least then, when a governmental abuse came to light it tended to actually cause an effect. Nowadays, it's just blown off as business as usual.

Comment: Re:Disappearance of E-Ink (Score 4, Informative) 323

by Wordplay (#44525487) Attached to: Have eBooks Peaked?

Even the new Kindle Paperwhite is meant to be used with a backlight, increasing the likelihood of headaches and eyestrain.

Unfortunately, this is one of those cases where people just aren't informed enough

...for example, they think that the Kindle Paperwhite is backlit.

It's sidelit. That means the light comes from the front, diffused across the screen via a fiber optic mesh, reflects on the screen, and then back at you.

It doesn't have any of the problems that backlit devices do, and is extremely similar to reading with a booklight--except for the not having to carry a booklight part.

Nook Glow is the same basic tech.

Comment: Re:You have to make up for your short comings (Score 1) 292

by Wordplay (#41277051) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Dealing With Disabilities In the Workplace?

Guess what I'm not getting through to you is that there are disabilities that very specifically affect your ability to "suck it up and work," particularly in an adverse environment. I have one of them.

I'm also a very successful and effective engineer. I've become that by working with my employers to take approaches to work that I can not only handle, but excel with. In doing so, I add significant value, well past the cost of any accommodations made for me.

But when I hit a boss that insists it's done "their way" arbitrarily, to fit their thought process, I'm significantly less successful. You would be too, but the nature of my disability is such that it changes from being impacted somewhat to stopped cold. And to be clear, I'm not talking about shirking work. I'm talking about simple things like making sure that I have somewhere quiet to work, that requirements are clearly communicated and agreed upon, that deadlines are reasonable to the task, and that I have flexibility in how I structure my workday in order to achieve the best results I can.

Nowadays, it's not a problem. I've been around long enough that I have enough clout and experience to carve this out for myself. But early in my career, I did not. I also did not have the diagnosis of the disability (though I certainly did have the disability) and I had some pretty precarious job situations because I was not able to assert this for myself and find ways to be successful. That I managed to get through that was as much luck as it was tenacity, and it was quite a bit of both.

So think of it like this: the ADA exists, in part, to make sure that my professional chances aren't unduly damaged by rigid and inconsiderate bosses. Assuming I'm willing to put in the effort and can give back good results with reasonable concessions, people are required to be flexible enough to allow me to do so. If I ever quit trying for them, I'd expect them to quit trying for me. And if despite all best efforts my work isn't acceptable, I'll go elsewhere. That's the nature of a good relationship, business or otherwise. That's all I expect, and it's all I'm guaranteed.

Comment: Re:You have to make up for your short comings (Score 1) 292

by Wordplay (#41237099) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Dealing With Disabilities In the Workplace?

Imagine that you are a hiring manager. You have two candidates. One has problems; he requires special (non-technical) accomodations, special way to talk to him, special way to task him. You also need to train his coworkers about what they can say and do, and how they should react. The candidate cannot work full time, let alone overtime, and he is not dependable because his special needs may preclude him from showing up on a random day.

The other candidate needs none of that. Who will you pick, given that otherwise both candidates are equal?

Up until you said "cannot work full time" and "not dependable" my answer would have been that this is precisely why the ADA exists, to keep employment in the face of disability from being completely a cost/benefit ratio. Since people with disabilities are a sharp minority, C/B analysis never comes out in their favor.

Past that, if the disability means they simply cannot fulfill the requirements of the job even after reasonable accommodation, there's no protection there. In that case, I might agree that self-employment might be best so that they can structure their own job, particularly with a strong partnership.

Comment: Re:You have to make up for your short comings (Score 1) 292

by Wordplay (#41229757) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Dealing With Disabilities In the Workplace?

The rules are that you can't discriminate against a disability that can be reasonably accommodated. I don't think anyone would argue that an unproductive employee should be tolerated, but there are ways to structure assignments such that they make a person with a motivation disability more or less likely to succeed at them. All other things being equally or, by a reasonability standard, close enough, a business is compelled to choose the structure that accommodates the disability.

FWIW, software engineering tends to do this organically, perhaps because of the probably larger-than-average number of ADHD folks in the ranks. The breakdown and tracking in Agile techniques, as well as the frequent communication checkpoints and the intentional urgency, are very similar to techniques a motivational- and organizationally-challenged person would use to successfully maintain momentum and achieve complex objectives.

Comment: Re:What got to me... (Score 1) 288

by Wordplay (#40969711) Attached to: Legitimate eBook Lending Community Closed After Copyright Complaints

Re: lending, there's also Amazon's Prime Lending Library feature, where a Prime subscriber can "borrow" books once a month. I think the 70/35 ties into that as well, though I'm unsure how that plays with the "lend to each other" option with KDP (I'm not an author).

At any rate, it seems like while it may not be a perfect deal for the author, it's a significant step forward.

Comment: Re:What got to me... (Score 1) 288

by Wordplay (#40969703) Attached to: Legitimate eBook Lending Community Closed After Copyright Complaints

Well, my point was that it's an better deal than what they were getting with traditional publishers, especially since it guarantees acceptance and store placement (with Amazon, at any rate) that they wouldn't be guaranteed otherwise.

There is a bit of "market will bear" going on with the royalties, sure, and Amazon is making more money than the author on the 35% option. However, it's hard to see it as the authors being taken advantage of at least compared to the status quo.

Comment: Re:E-ink (Score 1) 354

by Wordplay (#40968959) Attached to: How Will Amazon, Barnes & Noble Survive the iPad Mini?

I've been a big e-ink supporter since the first Kindle. I'd no longer say e-ink is far superior, just better.

The retina iPad and iPhones closed the gap for me almost completely. I have no fatigue issues with those, as long as I cut the brightness a bit to be comparable to lit e-ink. I've read entire longish novels on my phone, no problem. That's led me to believe the real problem with reading text on LCD has never been luminance or flicker, but simply crispness of the text.

I still buy e-ink Kindles, but that's because they're lighter, cheaper (and thus safer to carry around) and have the slight advantage with off-angle viewing and my tendency to shift my grip/gaze such that the angle varies. However, the advantage is now small enough that if e-ink disappeared from the market, I'd live.

Comment: Re:What got to me... (Score 2) 288

by Wordplay (#40928893) Attached to: Legitimate eBook Lending Community Closed After Copyright Complaints

Can you cite sources on the small percentage? Or define small? Looks like self-published authors can either choose a 35% or a 70% royalty. If they choose the former, they can exclude the book from the lending program. If they choose the latter, they cannot.

Is 35% small? Because this document (http://www.brandewyne.com/writingtips/authorspaid.html) implies that standard rates from publishers top out around 15% and average significantly less. Plus, of course, many of these authors would never land a mainstream publisher and would be limited to vanity press, which is pretty much a loss.

As the trials of life continue to take their toll, remember that there is always a future in Computer Maintenance. -- National Lampoon, "Deteriorata"

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