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Comment: Data Needs Access API (Score 3, Interesting) 54

As near as I can tell, there's no way to access the data programmatically. So there's no way to apply any data mining techniques to the publicly available data set. Hopefully this will change going forward as groups of scientists higher on the food chain request access to do more comprehensive studies.

Comment: Some Unusual Positive News (Score 3, Insightful) 88

by blueZhift (#35722080) Attached to: FCC.gov: A Modern Open Platform
Ok, now who are you and what have you done with the FCC?! It certainly is unusual to hear of a government agency doing anything sane with technology, so kudos to the FCC! While Drupal has its detractors, it's a great platform if you know what you're doing. So I'm glad to see the FCC taking advantage of good OSS and thereby delivering a better product to the people at a lower overall cost. Sadly, the US government is not known for this sort of thing.

Comment: Re:Large organization doing something simple (Score 1) 305

by blueZhift (#35708460) Attached to: NYT Paywall Cost $40 Million: How?
It's all such a waste because at the end of the day if they are charging more for paid content than the market wants to pay, they will lose. Even loyal readers are likely to smart at $20/month and will quickly learn to access content through the free options, including the *ahem* gray market. It seems that the entire publishing industry is still intent on propping up the old business model.

Comment: Steve Jobs Is The Secret Weapon (Score 1) 716

by blueZhift (#35708032) Attached to: Apple's Secret Weapon To Win the Tablet Wars
I think Apple's real secret weapon is Steve Jobs. Apple has built a following on stylish, mostly well made products, and great marketing. There's no reason other companies can't do the same, but for it to really work, you need a strong visionary leader at the helm. Love him or hate him, Steve Jobs is that guy. I'll never forget how when Apple bought NeXt and brought Jobs back, he swiftly took over the whole company and turned it around. That's why the shareholders are so worried about what happens to Apple after Jobs is gone. In a lot of ways, Steve Jobs is Apple. Who is HP? Who is Motorola? I have no idea, and neither do consumers.

Comment: Re:Yawn (Score 1) 145

by blueZhift (#35294618) Attached to: eBook Lending Library Launched
I'm not really sure if the idea of a lending library even makes sense any more with eBooks. When I first learned that I could borrow eBooks from the Chicago Public Library, I was a little shocked because from the publishers point of view it doesn't really make sense. Even over a period of 2 weeks, I have access to the entire book which I may read completely, or perhaps hack so that I can lend it to millions of "friends" on the internet. Either way, the publisher is likely losing a sale. I would not be surprised if the publishers started pulling back the number of titles that can be loaned as eBooks until they figure out how to make money in the new digital environment.

Comment: Holding Small Businesses (Score 2) 465

by blueZhift (#34933032) Attached to: Open Source More Expensive Says MS Report
It seems that the researchers really didn't find anything, only confirming what many here have probably already seen. In the real world, open source and proprietary solutions work side by side in many if not most large organizations. It simply isn't practical to 100% standardize on a Microsoft or open source solution. We IT folks have to get our money the old fashioned way! Only the smallest organizations would find going all one way or the other an attractive and workable option. I think that what Microsoft is worried about is that small businesses can more easily cut them out of the picture and have a strong incentive, very good free open source applications, to do so. And with the global economy not being so great, perhaps MS is feeling the pinch. In any case, anyone trying to sell software or services has to market them, so I'd expect another such report in a year or two.

Comment: Standard Internet Rules Apply (Score 1) 101

by blueZhift (#34679136) Attached to: Old Facebook Apps Still Plunder Your Privacy
I guess the standard internet rules still apply. Once you put something on the internet, it's out there forever. The big problem with Facebook is that now that info is likely linked to your real name which makes it easier for script kiddie level "hackers" to make trouble for you. With that in mind, I think the best advice is to make sure that there's a lot more good stuff that comes up about you than bad! Facebook is too pervasive right now to just ignore, so you just have to engage in more aggressive information management to protect and enhance your image.

Comment: His Money's No Good Here (Score 1) 452

by blueZhift (#34677526) Attached to: Assange Has Signed Book Deals Worth $1.5 Million+
I think we can be assured that before too long there will be all manner of lawsuits and proposed laws to attach to and see to it that Assange doesn't get his money. In the U.S. there are already many states with laws designed to prevent convicted criminals from profiting from their crimes through book deals and such. While the claims against Assange are unproven and many would say highly suspect, the presumption of innocence has not been at play in the actions of the U.S. and other governments around the world. If he can, Assange may need to get that money in cash.

Comment: The Dickens you say! (Score 1) 170

by blueZhift (#34643150) Attached to: A Klingon Christmas Carol
Sort of obligatory. LOL, but I must say I would never have expected something like this in Chicago. While Star Trek is certainly better known by the mainstream these days, let's not get too crazy. Being a Star Trek fan still marks you as king of nerds! Not that there's anything wrong with that, but I may be biased.

Comment: Single Point of Failure = Facepalm (Score 1) 347

by blueZhift (#34517104) Attached to: IT Worker's Revenge Lands Her In Jail
Hmmm, given that this is not the first time this kind of thing has been in the news, you'd think that companies would not leave a single point of failure like this in place. You always have to be ready for someone with privileges to go rogue, especially when terminating them. During the tech bust of the 90s I remember IT people being routinely escorted from the building during layoffs, not even allowed to turn their computers back on. It was brutal, but I could see how some of those guys could go rogue and do a lot of damage.

Comment: All Politics Is Local (Score 1) 213

by blueZhift (#34504228) Attached to: China Blocks News Websites In Protest of Nobel
As bad as the Chinese government's actions look to outsiders, we have to remember that ultimately all politics is local. The Chinese government doesn't care what we think only with staying in power at home. And how do you do that? By making sure that nothing riles up the billion plus Chinese citizens most of whom probably don't care much about foreign news outlets or peace prizes anyway. So why get them thinking about stuff like that which doesn't make money and can only cause disharmony? As for a Chinese version of the Peace Prize. I'm sure that will only be awarded to honorable (and safely controllable) Chinese citizens. Can't risk losing face to some gwai-loh who might brazenly refuse the prize. And most Chinese citizens would consider the prize an honor and good for career advancement in China. Again, good stuff for the locals.

Comment: Taking Caesar's Money (Score 1) 648

by blueZhift (#34436240) Attached to: Kentucky Announces Creationism Theme Park
The thing that I don't understand about this is why do conservative Christian groups insist upon getting government subsidies for things that are clearly religious endeavours. Jesus said to render unto Caesar that which is Caesar's and to God that which is God's. This is commonly believed to call upon Christians to obey the government in civil matters. So why take money from the government and thus become subject to government authority and entanglements? It just makes no sense. If making this park is so important, then build it with the support of the faithful. Leave Caesar out of it please.

They are relatively good but absolutely terrible. -- Alan Kay, commenting on Apollos

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