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Comment ReI believe your comment is correct, :Who is evil? (Score 1) 515

For years people have made the claim, with a good deal of justification, that people did not have the patience to learn new software in order to switch to a new platform. More recently, though, people have been eased into the idea through their smartphones. People regularly try out multiple apps to access all manner of functionality, and don't think twice about it. I suspect that this attitude could be harnessed by the Linux community, particularly by using the ubiquity of Linux on smartphones to encourage people to install apps they are already familiar with onto a desktop running a free, secure OS that doesn't spy on them. It's not a movement at present, but it's much more doable than in years past. The environment and infrastructure for showing people that linux apps can be just as easy to use as Windows apps is finally in place.

Comment The problem has been compounded, though (Score 1) 444

For a study to be funded, it must be ground-breaking. For a study to break new ground, it must be non-obvious. For it to be non-obvious, it must be, to some degree, counter-intuitive. To be counter-intuitive,it must, to some degree, be illogical (at least from a standard perspective.)
Since scientists can improve their chance of getting funded if they are studying illogical things, there's likely going to be a strong bias toward studying things that aren't true . Some of these things will not b shown to be conclusively wrong, either due to poor design or willful negligence of proper methodology.Unfortunately, this does not get caught by the peer review process, because "peers"can exhibit the same behaviors as movie critics (you can always find one willing to make a positive comment just to see their name in print, or be able to add a line to their vita.)
Because of the proliferation of "journals" in the Internet era, there is a "news cycle" view within the scientific press now, where each publication is trying to be first to report new discoveries.
Preliminary studies that would never have been published in the past are presented in the same format that well-studied research streams were previously, so that the start-up journals can appear to have the same legitimacy as the leaders in the field.
The popular press, desperate for sensational headlines, jumps on these illogical theories with scant research and inconclusive results and treats them like news, simply to fill the requirement for 24-hour reporting.

Comment Re:You're not supposed to ask that (Score 3, Funny) 223

Given a choice between trusting my data to a hipster company motivated by profit, but convinced that it is a still a trendsetter, and a company whose entire business model is based on the collection and distribution of information that it collects by looking over people's shoulders, I actaually feel safer with the deluded hipsters. Even if they are no more trustworthy, their reach is not as great, so I'm willing to bet the fallout will be (marginally) easier to contain.

On some level, to Apple, I'm a customer. To Google, I'm just a product.

Comment I've worked in cubicle farms most of my career. (Score 3, Insightful) 420

Every manager I've questioned about the shortcomings of cubicles has said that it's good for intra-office communication and creative collaboration . . . before walking into their private office and shutting the door behind them. Even in an organization where they made a point that managers didn't have private offices (though, senior managers and executives, of course, still did) most of the managers camped out in the few small conference rooms where employees were supposed to be able to go for "spontaneous collaborative sessions."

I guess this meant that they realized that they have nothing to offer intellectually or creatively to the work of the office.

Comment Grandfather's perspective (Score 1) 286

My grandfather was a talented amateur artist and cartoonist. He had a cartoon hanging on his wall for as long as I remember that he had drawn when he was 65 that had a middle-aged man standing by a street sign that said "Easy St.", with a caption that read, "Old age is always ten years older than I am."

He lived on his own into his mid-90's, passing away at 97, so I like to think that that attitude may have some merit.

Comment Re: Yeah right (Score 1) 308

If their positions weren't protected by the FCC, they would be worried about competition. If they were worried about competition, they would be doing everything in their power to differentiate their service from any potential competitors by using their economies of scale to provide the fastest, cheapest service available. Competition inherently lowers the percentage of profits to very low levels. We can look to the first world countries that we used to be able to count ourselves amon and see the levels of service and pricing that would develop in a competitive market.

I can't believe the hubris of claiming this is a market driven policy. AT&T is bascially saying, "Capitalism, Capitalism, Capitalism . . . unless I lose my monopoly, in which case, Central planning, Central Planning, CENTRAL PLANNING!"

AT&T and Comcast are doing everything the can to prevent market pricing, and claiming that there's a market-based reason for it.

Comment Re:Simple (Score 1) 635

I remember getting pages of largely unformatted text as letters when I was in college because my father used vi as his word processor of choice and then just piped the output to a dot matrix printer. He used vi for correspondence for the rest of his life into the current century. He was a Unix/Xenix guy from the word go, and thought C was for people who were too lazy to organize their thoughts well enough to code in Fortran and Cobol.

I miss him. He was a great guy.

Comment Re:My opinion on the matter. (Score 1) 826

Who cares? The people paying for the retraining, not only directly, but also indirectly through lost productivity. The people who's business is slowed because it takes longer to fix issues while the IT staff is getting up to speed on the new system.

If the new system won't be so much more efficient that it more than makes up for all of those lost hours of productivity, then the switch doesn't make sense. Lots of people outside of IT are affected by changes to systems like this. All of those wasted cycles represent workers not able to use their computers to get the work of the firm done. How much does it cost a company if a system change like this mean that the Pittsburgh, Atlanta, and Mobile offices are down for a couple of hours because IT has never experienced a problem like this before and is having to fly by the seat of their pants to come up with a solution?

People who rely on their computer systems and need them to be up and running as much of every day as is possible. That's who cares if IT is learning a new system "on the job."

Two is not equal to three, even for large values of two.