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Comment: Re:Ok, sure... (Score 1) 164

by Xveers (#44564939) Attached to: US Horse Registry Forced To Accept Cloned Horses

Except the registry has a rather simple (ish) and iron clad method of demanding proof of "parentage". Require a certification of the gene sequence that states it is identical to the parent, with a tag saying it's a clone copy. Proving it hasn't been genespliced is just as easy a procedure, and inability to prove its genetic code is a match is a marketing death knell.

(Yes I know that gene sequencing isn't the cheapest thing in the world, but it's been dropping by leaps and bounds and frankly at this level I can't see it being a barrier to entry).

Comment: Re:Inconvenient (Score 1) 582

by Xveers (#42813871) Attached to: US Postal Service Discontinuing Saturday Mail Delivery

As someone who worked in one of those post offices, there's a few more bonuses to go this way.

First off, most local post offices in Canada (the govt operated ones) keep banker's hours more or less. Which means that if you have a real job then you probably won't have time to pick up your parcel or registered letter. Which means convenience for the actual consumers of the service.

Secondly, the employees are paid at the cashier rate rather than postal employee rate. Even if you're a long term lifer, your pay is still less than almost any actual postal employee (which makes it cheaper for Canada Post and the local store to afford it).

Thirdly, having a post office drives an impressive amount of foot traffic. People coming to pick up passport applications, mailing/collecting said, the same for parcels, even people just going in to drop off their letters inside a post office instead of a mail box (you'd really be suprised how much of a driving factor that is; people generally prefer a post office to a corner mailbox if only because they can find out when it will be picked up). All these people walk through your store, and some of them will buy something. You'll notice that these post offices are NEVER at the front of the store (not suprising either, since they need secure storage for postal supplies IE stamps, and inbound and outbound mail. Canada Post is pretty damn retentive about security in my experience).

Oddly enough, from the store's point of view they aren't really money-makers themselves. 99% of your stock for them comes from Canada Post, and your margin for the stuff is at best 5%. Compared to perfume or house-brand products (which can go from 50% to 250% markup), selling a book of stamps dosen't make any business sense on its own.

Comment: Try Collectorz.com? (Score 3, Informative) 230

by Xveers (#41996149) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: High-Tech Ways To Manage a Home Library?

The software I use is done by a Dutch company called Collectorz (Yes, it sounds VERY reputable). It's one of the few bits of software I've genuinely felt worth purchasing for the value. It does pretty much everything you are looking at, cleanly and effectively. It allows you to export databases in a variety of formats, and has a matching app for android and apple products.

It does the classic things like search Amazon for books, either by ISBN or author/title, but it can also hit the Library of Congress as well as several other major national libaries (I know it does the UK as well as Canada). Multiple hits on a single ISBN/title let you select which you import in, and there's a wide selection of data tags you can use, as well as several user defined fields

One thing you may find useful is that the book assigns, in addition to everything else, a unique ID number to each book, which can be used in lieu of a barcode or more cumbersome ID method.

Comment: Re:Just keep in mind the tradeoff (Score 2) 556

by Xveers (#39343459) Attached to: Indian Gov't Uses Special Powers To Slash Cancer Drug Price By 97%

Yeah, the figures here are in millions. Now, the numbers...

Cost of Sales is another term for Cost of Goods. This involves costs directly related to production, manufacturing and delivery to customer. We're talking factory wages, raw materials, lease payments on factory space, etc.

Selling, informational and admin would encompass management, marketing, sales discounts, and possibly some of the regulatory costs (this depends on exactly how they market things)

R&D would include actual researchers wages, patent litigation fees (possibly. might be under admin), as well as other costs related to R&D like lab leases

Android

Nexus Prime, And Ice Cream Sandwich, Go For a Video Tour 246

Posted by timothy
from the slightly-different dept.
An anonymous reader writes with this snippet from Examiner.com, citing a report at gagdet.ro, about Samsung's upcoming high-end Nexus Prime, the first phone to be delivered with Ice Cream Sandwich. "This version of the Nexus Series (Google's Android flag bearer) runs the next version of Android: Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich. This version is meant to combine Honycomb (Android 3.0) with Gingerbread(Android 2.3) into one OS, that will run on all devices. In addition to the merger of the two OS's, it also changes the Android UI a bit. One major change, is that the icons and the UI is a lot more sophisticated and clean, making even iOS look old and clunky. Also, it removes the requirement for Android phones to have hard/soft-hard mixed buttons, in favor of allowing manufacturers to use whichever type of button they wish. Also, it adds a soft button on the lock screen, to go straight to the camera app."
Education

Laptops In the Classroom Don't Increase Grades 511

Posted by samzenpus
from the work-easier-not-smarter dept.
blitzkrieg3 writes "Classrooms all around the country are being fitted with one to one laptop programs, networking hardware, digital projectors, and other technology in order to stay competitive in the 21st century. Kyrene school district spent $3 million modernizing their classrooms. The problem? The increase in spending doesn't lead to an increase in test scores. Policy makers calling for high tech classrooms, including former execs from HP, Apple, and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, want to increase technology investment despite the results. Others are not so sure, or think it is an outright waste of money."

Comment: Re:Kick them in the ding ding (Score 2) 129

by Xveers (#34949850) Attached to: Blizzard Won't Stop <em>World of StarCraft</em> Mod

No, their first priority is protection of their own IP which they must defend vigorously. Any unofficial "blessing" or slack with that takedown can be used as a chink in their case to retain the IP at a later legal engagement. Rather unlikely, but the law is not filled with many absolute certainties.

I'm certain that the first comment from Blizzard (and not their lawyers) to him was "We apologize for the takedown, but we have to cover our bases. Now, please tell us more about your project. We're a bit curious..." Once actual intent is discovered and identified, I'm willing to bet that they've extended a formal notice of approval to allow him to continue work, and posting videos in the future. Mark my words, in a few days that video will be back up on youtube.

Comment: Re:As a matter of fact, you can (Score 1) 181

by Xveers (#33991334) Attached to: Bible.com Investor Sues Company For Lack Of Profit

Pretty much this.

Unfortunately, for the past... thirty years or so the basic view of a LOT of shareholders, a view that became steadily more and more common, was that they wanted a positive return each year, each quarter, etc. The boards that existed could see this tide rising steadily, as other boards that failed to deliver were eventually turfed out by shareholders and their proxies who DID want more returns. This then gave pressure to the boards to deliver on these results. Note that this means the boards are beholden to their shareholders. IE the Board has the (non-legal) obligation to follow the shareholder's majority goals. Failure to do so can result in the board being wiped clean (Note that in many companies boards are elected as a slate IE all or nothing).

Nobody likes losing a job, especially one with six figures attached to it, means that most boards will then work towards giving the shareholders what they want. So, one gets cost cutting and other charming crap. That being said, it's pretty much impossible to sue for a failure to generate profits, so long as there is an honest intention generate them (now there's a legal loophole for ya!).

One good thing at least, is that a lot of companies have recognized that chasing the ever-growing stock value (which is what shareholders want after all) is bad for long term business, and have begun working to persuade shareholders to take a longer, more strategic view. Some corps are leveraging this with environmental concerns, or economic stability, but it is happening.

Comment: Re:Forward thinkers (Score 3, Funny) 506

by Xveers (#33671656) Attached to: When the Senate Tried To Ban Dial Telephones
This I can top. My local store has us pay for bags (voluntarily, mind you) by ringing in a PLU code. Only five cents per plastic bag. Pretty common fare around here. Anyhow, so I tell it I grabbed one plastic bag, and then it asks me if I wanted a bag for it. Which would then mean I'd have to plug in another PLU code, and then it would ask me for ANOTHER bag... and so on and so on....

Comment: Re:like the people that buy NY lotto tickets? (Score 3, Informative) 319

by Xveers (#33565818) Attached to: Copying Trumps Creating For <em>FarmVille</em> Creator Zynga

I can't say how it is down in the States, but I know in Canada the way that scratch tickets work is that they have a bar code on the back, and a serial number hidden under the scratch portion. In order to validate the ticket, the retailer scans the bar code, and then looks for the serial number. The bar code is just a digital representation of the serial number, EXCEPT for the last three digits. The retailer plugs in the last three digits, and then the validator talks to the lotto central server and spits back a result of "Legit win", "Already redeemed" or "Not a Winner".

If Canada does it this way, I'd be surprised if a lot of the US lotto organizations don't either.

Comment: Re:New headline (Score 1) 620

by Xveers (#33204802) Attached to: <em>EVE</em> Player Loses $1,200 Worth of Game Time In-Game

The player who actually created the PLEXes got exactly what they wanted. If they had wanted game time instead of ingame currency, they would have created the PLEX, and then immediately used it. Or even more likely, just used the game time code to add play time to their account without even creating a PLEX in the first place.

Comment: Re:New headline (Score 2, Informative) 620

by Xveers (#33195458) Attached to: <em>EVE</em> Player Loses $1,200 Worth of Game Time In-Game

Nice Try, but no.

The way PLEXes work is that a player buys a gametime code from an authorized online retailer. The player then docks up at a station, and enters the code into a menu. This converts the codes into PLEXs (two PLEX per code). These PLEXes can then be put it onto the market and sold like other items

Now, in this situation all these PLEXes were purchased from multiple sellers in Jita (THE trade hub in EVE). The pilot then decided to move them out of Jita on a small, poorly defended and very weak ship. By all accounts the pilot had bought them in order to move them elsewhere and sell them at a considerable markup and make profit. Unfortunately, some hostiles were waiting outside of the undock point at the Jita space station (not uncommon). They saw a hostile target undock, and they engaged. Boom.

You may notice that the player(s) who actually created the PLEXes were compensated. They made ISK from their sales. The person who bought them however... just did something astronomically stupid.

Comment: Re:unintentionally? (Score 1) 414

by Xveers (#33185072) Attached to: Genetically Modified Canola Spreads To Wild Plants

The decision against Schmeiser was partially reversed and effectively nullified on appeal. See Schmeiser's web site.

That's interesting, except for the fact that the Supreme Court of Canada is the highest court in the land. You cannot appeal such a decision anymore than you can appeal one made by the Supreme Justices of the United States. True, the victory was not total (damages were not extensive) but Schmeiser was still found guilty.

Source : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Monsanto_Canada_Inc._v._Schmeiser#Judgment

Comment: Re:Permit help enforce safety... (Score 1) 650

by Xveers (#33129414) Attached to: Officials Use Google Earth To Find Unlicensed Pools

... and keep your insurance in force. If said pool on the cheap leaked or burst, flooding your own house or the neighbour's, then the insurance adjuster can look to see if it was a properly installed pool. If it wasn't, then that would be pretty good grounds to have your coverage refused. That would then potentially leave you on the hook for paying any damages that would be your fault. Of course, you could try to sue the pool builder, but I'll wager he'll be quite long gone.

Building inspectors, on this note, will be conducting rounds every now and again to monitor compliance in any case. Google just allows them to do it faster, and with less environmental damage. That means conceivably, the inspectors can look at more serious issues like possibly unsafe decks and wiring. It's also interesting to note that this has been used elsewhere. I recall seeing an article last fall in the local newspaper about how Greek inspectors were doing the same. There, you not only have to have a permit, but there's a yearly tax as well. They looked at a certian suburb of Athens (middle-upper class area) and figured there were about 200 or so legally registered pools. They then did a look through Google Earth, and discovered 1700 pools in the same suburb.

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