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Comment: Re:Disengenous (Score 1) 279

by mpe (#47573159) Attached to: Amazon's eBook Math
Why is it bad for efficient suppliers to replace inefficient suppliers? And why bad in the long run but not the short run?

The only thing which tends to make suppliers "efficient" in a "market" is competition.
Or at least the reasonable possibility of competition apearing.

If efficient suppliers replaced inefficient suppliers, but then in the long run inefficient suppliers returned to dominate the market,

It's more the other way around. Without effective competition suppliers who "dominate" a market will tend to become inefficient.
Not only is there the issue of "barrier to entry" there's also that of "ease of switching".
With the related issue of having to use a single supplier for all goods/services of type X. Since in a true "market" the customer is not tied to any supplier in the first place.

Comment: Re:Disengenous (Score 1) 279

by mpe (#47573119) Attached to: Amazon's eBook Math
If by Middlemen you are referring to Editors (who read the book, find grammatical errors, find plot errors, etc etc), typesetters ,Graphics illustrators then they will still be there. Unless of course you dont want book proof read etc which will lower the quality.

There are also, especially when it comes to self published authors like likes of "beta readers". Something quite interesting is that often different people spot different errors. Traditional publishers and editors are also far from foolproof in catching spelling and gramatical errors. Never mind plot and continuity errors.

The author is NOT the right person to do this. Lawyers have a saying "A lawyer who represents himself has a fool for a client".

The actual reason is that the author know what the text should be. Thus their brain will "error correct".

Comment: Re:Amazon is right (Score 1) 279

by mpe (#47573101) Attached to: Amazon's eBook Math
The other forgotten point in this discussion is that traditional publishing houses "cannabalize" their back catalogs and stop printing older paperbacks when they go out of print in order to promote their newer authors and/or new "bestsellers"

You see similar behaviour with publishers of other media. Another reason is to drive up demand for something which is "out of print".
The most notorious example being the "Disney Vault".
If anything it works the least wel for books because of lending libraries, which are outside of the publishers control.

They drop a book for a while, and then reprint it right when the royalty deals with the author expires, extending the deal and their "ownership" of the copyright. It's pretty shady stuff.

Extending copyright would require changing the work in some way. Which is also possibly easier for the movie and music industries. Where a "director's cut" or "remix" might be easy to create.

Comment: Re:No so sure about this (Score 1) 88

by mpe (#47564669) Attached to: Reglue: Opening Up the World To Deserving Kids With Linux Computers
I think it's also good to distinguish between "cannot afford a computer" and "does not think a computer is worth the cost". What I mean is, if instead of providing a computer or a voucher that can only be used to buy a computer, charities gave people $200 (enough to buy a Chromebook or Chromebox that's sufficient for all school-related uses), would they go out and buy a PC?

An obvious problem with any kind of "voucher" is that the voucher value is likely to become the minimum price for the whatever.
As is a Chromebook/box is rather tied to "the cloud" and having a network connection. Unless you reformat it back into a general purpose PC.

Comment: Re:Two computers is too expensive and cumbersome (Score 1) 180

Most managers wouldn't want people to have two computers on their desk, since hey, they can save 50% on desk top systems by merging them. As long as system admins do their work, nothing could go wrong, right?

The "air gapped" approach may well involve even more system admin work. Since both "secure" and "insecure" networks need to go to the same desks. Even if they have completly different cabling runs and cabinets. Then there's the issue of things like "sneaker net". Even someone plugging cables into the wrong place "accidentally".

Comment: Re:Terrorism (Score 1) 835

by mpe (#47557435) Attached to: Gaza's Only Power Plant Knocked Offline
In a word: no. Terrorism is almost definitionally non-government organizations engaged in violence to effect political change.

Or for that matter to keep the status quo...

When governments do it, we call it various other things based on our own perspective of the situation: war, policing, tyranny, among others.

Definitions of "terrorist" and "government" often have more to do with politics (and if somone supports or opposes a group) rather than what actually happens. There have also been many historical cases of "terrorists" winding up as "politicians" (even "heads of state"). Usually that way around too.

Comment: Re:Don't allow missils to be fired... (Score 1) 835

by mpe (#47557367) Attached to: Gaza's Only Power Plant Knocked Offline
from your territitory and chances are good that you won't get missles fired back at you. Sign a document to that effect and you will most likely have peace.

This would be a difficult condition for even the most well run state with the best equipped and well trained police force to fulfil. Something which certainly dosn't apply to Gaza.

Comment: Re:TCO (Score 1) 153

by mpe (#47549865) Attached to: Valencia Linux School Distro Saves 36 Million Euro
"the world runs windows?" have you ever entered in a real server room? do you know google, facebook, yahoo, rackspace and every other "big player" on internet?

Even if they just ment "on the desktop" Do they mean Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8 ? (Not even considering the various sub versions of these.) There might even be some Win95, Win98, WinME, NT4, Windows 2000 still around. Commercial companies can be very reluctant to spend money "fixing" something which isn't "broken".

Comment: Re:TCO (Score 1) 153

by mpe (#47549763) Attached to: Valencia Linux School Distro Saves 36 Million Euro
For maintaining a farm of identical servers, I agree with you completely. For maintaining Grandma's desktop remotely, I agree with you completely. But for maintaining an enterprise desktop environment, Microsoft simply has the best tools for the job. Linux AD-via-Samba quite simply doesn't even come close for the convenience of centralized GP maintenance, and has aothing anywhere near the convenience of drag-and-drop group-based software installation (though Linux does have non-stock application deployment packages available, like Puppet, that partially fill that last point). Linux has nothing even remotely like (W)SUS. And those two alone count as complete showstoppers when it comes to minimizing the number of people required to maintain a large network.

On the other hand Windows dosn't have anything like apt :) or the ability to replace major sections of the system without rebooting.
The whole idea of "deploying" applications is very much a "Windows way of doing things" too. In many cases even Windows applications can run from networked drives.
There's also the Windows profile mechanism, with it's half baked writeback caching, which makes no sense at all in many situations.

Comment: Re:TCO (Score 1) 153

by mpe (#47549625) Attached to: Valencia Linux School Distro Saves 36 Million Euro
My experience is the opposite of yours with installing Windows/Linux. I've found that ghosting Windows installs requires that the hardware be virtually identical. Having a different disk controller, or switching between ATA and AHCI modes usually causes blue screens and failure to boot.

My experience is that it's Windows which is a lot more fussy about hardware and imaging that Linux. This having been the case for at least 15 years. Even to the point of Windows wanting reinstall drivers when a USB device changes which USB port it is plugged into.

Any modern Linux distro, however can quite happily run even by putting the installed hard disk into a completely different machine.

Ironically it's fairly recent additions to Linux, such as UDEV "persistant-rules" and using disk UUIDs which can make this more complex than it was in the past.

Comment: Re: TCO (Score 1) 153

by mpe (#47549553) Attached to: Valencia Linux School Distro Saves 36 Million Euro
I support a university campus and I'm tired (not really, but it gets boring) of being asked for copies of university software by students for whom there is no licenced copy available. The reason? The teacher will be accostumed to using that software and doesn't even consider changing to another.

Both the students and the teachers don't understand how software licencing works. Ironically OSS can easily be used the way they want.

Mind you, I'm not even talking about changing to Linux or some open source program. I'm talking about students (teachers too) persistently asking for Windows XP-compatible software to be installed in their Windows 8 computers when we aren't allowed to do it and asking for us to help them when the magically appearing copy of our licenced software doesn't work with their computers' Windows 7 or 8

Even if a piece OSS written for Windows XP refuses to run/install under Windows 7/8 there are several possible ways to fix this. Whereas with proprietary software you are utterly at the "mercy" of the vendor. They may have gone out of businessor only want to sell a much later version.

"Trust me. I know what I'm doing." -- Sledge Hammer