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Comment Re:No change (Score 1) 134

One of the main reasons ebooks sold so tremendously (in volume, not price) on Amazon in the first few years was the huge number of public domain books that were suddenly free for the downloading. There was also a big spike in volume and price from this being the next generation of a format, rather like CD sales were inflated during the first few years of their popularity because people were getting on CD what they previously had on LPs or cassettes.

Where illustrations, graphs, tables, or seeing a page as a whole are important, physical books still have the advantage. I'd imagine that will last until there's a next-generation breakthrough in display.

Comment Re:Unsympathetic (Score 1) 83

I'm definitely not convinced of anything by this study, but it does suggest that there might be something worth examining more rigorously. If the study could be consistently replicated with people who don't have a language (or language family) in common, then it would be more indicative.

It should also be audio-only, since the instructions of "don't use facial expressions" are almost futile, considering how many our expressions are involuntary or unconscious.

Comment Timing, psychological marketing, the Oprah effect (Score 1) 273

Whether it's invention, integration, or just plain copying, a product has to be timely, to appeal to real and perceived needs. Steve Jobs was fortunate to be developing and marketing products during a time when gadgets and other small personal devices were taking on an extra psychological meaning to consumers. The same way that a vast number of consumers felt as though their cars were an extension of their ego and had to both reflect and enhance who they are, gadgets (and sneakers) started to do the same thing. Oprah Winfrey, for example, got a lot of her fame and fortune by combining a generic kind of spirituality with materialism and gadgets, a like of spirituality of consumption.

Apple products always implied that the people who own them are defying Big Brother or "think different." Even things like the white earbuds and headphones were designed to stand out in a crowd. People could simultaneously feel more creative and more attuned to art and design, and get the benefits of flaunting conspicuous consumption.

Even in times when a lot of people can't afford to buy a car or home, and can't show off their big electronics as a sign of conspicuous consumption, they can do so with the latest Apple device.

Comment Re: Does indeed happen. (Score 1) 634

IANAL, but the general principles of the ADA are fairly straightforward.

The ADA prohibits asking directly about disabilities or anything else that's not directly related to the job. However, it is legal to ask questions that might reveal a disability, as long as it relates to the job.

For example, if I'm hiring for warehouse stocking, I could ask if you're capable of lifting a 20-pound box, if the job involves that. I couldn't ask, though, if you have any physical disabilities, or ask somebody who wouldn't be required to lift boxes fairly regularly.

If the person I'm hiring might have to lift one box maybe once or twice a month, but it's not a significant proportion of their job responsibilities, then if they had a disability, letting them ask somebody else to do it or providing some mechanical means would be considered a reasonable accommodation.

Comment Re:This is a curse... (Score 1) 339

... for politicians, bureaucrats and profiteering corporations.

We already do that, time and time again. How many war profiteers, dishonest corporations, politicians, and other malefactors have been caught out in barefaced lies already? Of those, how many have suffered the consequences?

Confronting a self-righteous liar with the truth typically only inflames their self-righteousness and that of their followers.

Comment Re:Consequences (Score 2) 210

If the person(s) posting the review can provide evidence that the reviews were based on fact, they could counter-sue for Malicious Prosecution. Some of the owner's responses on Yelp are potentially actionable as well (particularly defamation). While no reputable attorney would take on a suit just for the potential defamation (it would be virtually impossible to prove damages against an anonymous reviewer), if the reviewer(s) sue for Malicious Prosecution, they'd probably throw in the defamation charges just to get the owner's responses in front of the jury.

Submission + - Interview with Gervase Markham of Mozilla->

An anonymous reader writes: In this interview, Gerv discusses Firefox market share, the revenue impact of the Yahoo! deal, whether Mozilla still has the clout it needs to direct the evolution of the open web, Firefox and Chrome comparisons, Firefox OS adoption, Rust, Servo and the future of the Mozilla organization.
Link to Original Source

Comment Re:Stop it already (Score 3, Informative) 29

In the United States, at least, you can get any nonprofit's 990 form, either on their website or at The 990 lists how much the top executives make, who their top vendors are, and how their budget gets spent.

Depending on the organization's lifecycle and purpose, about 15-20 percent of the budget on overhead is normal. A very new nonprofit has to spend a lot more on outreach and fundraising, as would a nonprofit that's raising funds for a major capital project.

I've found one of the most telling signs is a big gap between the CEO's salary and that of the next highest-paid staff. Unless there's some obvious reason (the CEO is the only full-time employee), that's the sign of a big CEO ego and a weak board.

The CEO and upper exec salaries should reflect their real market value, including the perks of the nonprofit sector. Most CEO turnover in the nonprofit world is voluntary, for example. In addition, the CEO of an organization with a lot of independent chapters has a lot less to do with their revenue stream than the CEO of one that's highly controlled from the parent organization.

Unless the organization is doing fundraising for a capital campaign, there shouldn't be big payments to professional fundraisers, compared to total income. Big consultant fees are another warning sign.

Submission + - Microscopic underwater sonic screwdriver successfully tested->

afeeney writes: Researchers at the University of Bristol and Northwestern Polytechnical University in China have created acoustic vortices that can create microscopic centrifuges that rotate small particles. They compare this to a watchmaker's sonic screwdriver. So far, though, the practical applications include cell sorting and low-power water purification, rather than TARDIS operations. Appropriately enough, one of the researchers is named Bruce Drinkwater.
Link to Original Source

Comment Re:Brain-controlled? (Score 3, Informative) 50

Well, more like "brain controlled" in that all our physical motions are brain-controlled. They're using the brain's signal to move the prosthetic as well as the nearest muscle. So somebody amputated above the knee would be able to control an artificial leg if normal functions of the leg could be coded into the prosthetic. (When this muscle flexes, move the leg like this, when that one flexes, move it like that.)

Comment Re:Compelling? (Score 0) 244

A lot of Apple's value to the consumer comes from the perception that one is standing out from the crowd as an Apple product user or for conspicuous consumption. That's the main reason that their headphone cords are white instead of black, for example.

While definitely somebody can talk about having the iTV, it's not the same as being able to carry it around.

Term, holidays, term, holidays, till we leave school, and then work, work, work till we die. -- C.S. Lewis