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Comment: E-Reader does work for some technical stuff ... (Score 5, Interesting) 169

by perpenso (#48658203) Attached to: Study: Light-Emitting Screens Before Bedtime Disrupt Sleep
I understand what you are getting at. I'll use an iPad Retina or laptop during the day to check technical books, reference manuals and other documentation.

However when reading at night its generally a more traditional book (history, sci fi, etc) on a Kindle PaperWhite, in my opinion, its equivalent to a paper book but more convenient. I feel it is a better experience even when compared to the lightest color tablets. Certainly it will vary from one technical field to another but I've had surprisingly good results when reading programming and software development books on the PaperWhite, not as good as a higher resolution color tablet but better than I expected and acceptable with respect to the illustrations and diagrams and such. Then again I haven't tried something like the latest edition of Foley and van Dam (a computer graphics text).

I see the refresh you speak of but its less than turning a paper page of a real book. As for the time you believe you are saving, maybe the faster refresh of a color tablet is not a win once you consider the sleep disruption and also the lowered productivity that results?

Comment: Money not in a bank account ... (Score 1) 166

by perpenso (#48655993) Attached to: Minecraft Creator Notch's $70 Million Mansion Recreated In Minecraft

That money goes back into the economy which is good for everybody

No it doesn't. People with that much money store it at the bank and the money just lies there. It doesn't make the economy work it just inflates somebody else' bank account.

It inflates the bank accounts of Apple, Google, Facebook, etc, and probably your state and local government too. Wealthy people generally don't put their money in a bank account and collect interest, they generally put it into some sort of investment portfolio where the money goes into stocks and bonds. Bonds would include both corporate and municipal bonds. Municipal bonds fund a lot of state and local infrastructure, and sadly boondoggle projects.

Wealthy people may also invest in real estate. Which is probably what the $70M mansion is all about. The vast majority of that $70M probably represents the land not the blingy mansion that sits on it. The tax bill might be public record, that would define land value vs structure value.

Comment: Its an investment ... (Score 1) 166

by perpenso (#48655849) Attached to: Minecraft Creator Notch's $70 Million Mansion Recreated In Minecraft

It's his money to spend and I wouldn't stand in his way, but what a waste.

Sometimes such a purchase is mostly an investment, albeit a comfy investment that you can live in. Its highly likely he is expecting a "greater fool" to come around and pay much more even after adjusting for inflation and the safe alternative of buying US treasury bills instead.

Comment: Re:Supremes never said corps are people ... (Score 1) 586

by perpenso (#48655755) Attached to: Top Five Theaters Won't Show "The Interview" Sony Cancels Release

Mitt's response is "corporations are people my friend", "Of course they are". And sure, he goes on to try and point out that the money that goes to corporation goes into people's pockets and corporations are made of people, but none of that matters ... And Romney in on the record buying into the belief that the supreme court ruled that corporations are people.

Actually it does matter because he is explaining what he meant by "corporations are people". His "record" is that corporations are made of stockholders and employees. The false myth based on an out of context excerpt is that he was saying the legal entity of the corporation itself is a "person". That's just not true and listening to the video for a minute after he says "corporations are people" proves it.

This incident is an awesome example of public speaking. Of how an opponent can take a sound bite out of context and twist a statement around to create a false meme. In politics, and other areas where the reader's/listener's attention is shallow and emotional, one can not make a general/simplified statement and then follow up with details explaining it as one might do with a more rational audience.

Romney was speaking as if he were writing an essay. Ex. Title: "Corporations are People". Body: "Corporations are people because they are made up of two groups of people, shareholders and employees.". The spin machine is quoting the title and ignoring the body.

Comment: Re:We had this in USA (Score 1) 196

by perpenso (#48642877) Attached to: Investigation: Apple Failing To Protect Chinese Factory Workers
You are mistaken. The voters are in charge, the voters are in control. They just use their votes poorly.

The true currency of politics is votes, not money. And since the system is one person one vote, the 99%s are in charge. If a candidate fears that a significant number of voters will vote against him if he supports a corporation on a particular issue then he will side with the voters not the corporation. Above all things, politicians desire re-election. They will only server corporations to the extent that it does not jeopardize their re-election, in other words to the extent that the voters allow.

Irregardless of corporate donations, voters could establish control by punitive voting. The voting out of office of a politician who too often sides with corporations over voters. No passes because of party or position on some other issue, just always voted out if siding too often with corporation. That will create a Darwinian effect that caused politicians to fear and be more responsible to voters.

The biggest trap for voters in the U.S. is party loyalty. Being a member of a party is fine, but automatically voting for your party candidates makes you irrelevant. You are irrelevant to your party because they already have your vote, you are irrelevant to the other party because they can not attain your vote. The only voters who matter in the U.S. are independents and those Dem/Rep party members who are willing to break ranks and vote for candidates other than from their party.

Comment: Re:Meal breaks are generally state law ... (Score 1) 196

by perpenso (#48638235) Attached to: Investigation: Apple Failing To Protect Chinese Factory Workers
Its not just me. It all the other developers and IT folks I have worked with and all the companies they have worked at. I know no one who was denied meal breaks and other basic worker rights, with the exception of paid overtime due to a salary pay scheme. Have there been bosses who were a-holes, sure, that too. Might an a-hole somewhere have violated a labor law, sure. But that is the occasional anomaly not some sort of general rollback of worker rights to pre-union days, and such anomalies are easily handled by state labor boards.

I agree with my 40+ year union veteran grandfather. Unions once did very important work, but those battles are over and won. There are no serious efforts to roll back basic worker rights to pre union days. Unless one misrepresents the limits on collective bargaining by government employees. As even FDR admitted government employees are in a very different and special position compared to industrial workers and the same rights and methods should not apply. Are there unresolved issues that unions could help resolve, sure. But such unresolved issues do not change the fact that many big issues are resolved and resolved by a much higher authority, government.

Its quite legitimate for people to fear a decline in the quality of living in the future but that is not due to lower union participation. It is due to governmental policies that foster the outsourcing of jobs overseas. Its not that workers are in general losing protections that were union issues a century ago. Its that workers are losing good factory and industrial jobs.

Or to put things simply. Given that unions won the big "battles" its natural that their "army" scale down in size and only find itself fighting small skirmishes. Again I reference my grandfather who was a 40+ year worker enrolled (1930s-70s) in a rather large and well known union. In his opinion the union was once important but "today" (1970s) its just a racket to collect dues and perpetuate itself, to serve itself, not to serve its member workers, not to maintain levels of worker tradecraft and skill. I had friend who worked at a small and very profitable corrugated paper container manufacturer in the 2000s. She said the owner and floor manager were pretty flexible, reasonable and fair with the workers. But a union organizer came by and convinced them to organize, they unionized, came under the umbrella of one of the large and well known organizations. And the flexible environment they previously enjoyed was replaced with a bureaucratic and micromanaged environment. The bonuses and other extra benefits they once received were replaced with a boilerplate contract negotiated far away and long ago. The workers on the floor quickly came to the opinion that they were lied to and screwed and regretted unionizing. Many who voted to unionize were saying they would vote to de-unionize as soon as the law allowed them to do so. Unionizing is no panacea. Its a myth to think it always improves things. In an anomalous abusive situation it might help workers to organize. Should they join a big well known union in such a situation, possibly not. They might be better served by a small and regional organization, a more local effort. Assuming of course that their grievances can't be resolved by the state labor board.

Comment: Re:Supremes never said corps are people ... (Score 1) 586

by perpenso (#48633481) Attached to: Top Five Theaters Won't Show "The Interview" Sony Cancels Release

Those employees and shareholders already have their individual rights.

As do members of unions and members of activist groups. Using your logic these groups of individuals should also be silenced.

Do you believe that the corporation should confer upon them additional rights?

As the court has said, a group of people have the same speech rights as individual persons. There are no additional rights, just the same right.

So that people who own stock have rights to certain speech that others do not? Because that's exactly the current situation.

Using your logic employees may have even more rights than shareholders. In your logic shareholders may have two voices, individual and corporate; while employees may have three voices, individual, corporate and union. Again I am referring to a situation such as "a steel corporation wanting the government to maintain a tariff on steel imports". The steel workers union would probably want the government to maintain the tariff too.

Comment: Re:Supremes never said corps are people ... (Score 1) 586

by perpenso (#48631595) Attached to: Top Five Theaters Won't Show "The Interview" Sony Cancels Release

Wrong. The employees have no influence on the political activities of the corporation. Only the majority stockholders (who are commonly fewer than 20 people) determine how the company's "campaign contributions" (i.e. bribes) will be spent.

Sorry, but you are wrong. Perhaps you missed my example where a corporation speaks on behalf of both its stockholders and its employees:
"a steel corporation wanting the government to maintain a tariff on steel imports."

Comment: Re:We had this in USA (Score 1) 196

by perpenso (#48631575) Attached to: Investigation: Apple Failing To Protect Chinese Factory Workers

Communism was supposed to be a labor movement. It's clear that whatever China has is not communism, if it ever was.

When has communism as seen in the real world ever been anything other than a vehicle to make the people's needs subservient to the state's needs. Right now that state needs jobs to urbanize the population and foreign currency to fund modernization. Things seem to be working quite normally for a communist state, the government is getting what it wants regardless of the cost to the people.

Comment: Meal breaks are generally state law ... (Score 3, Insightful) 196

by perpenso (#48631567) Attached to: Investigation: Apple Failing To Protect Chinese Factory Workers

... I remember my GF [grandfather] telling me that 'every 4 hours, they are required to let us eat'. even today, at my 'cushy IT job' I don't get a food break every 4 hours ...

You probably do. Its one of those things that moved from union contracts to state law. Read your employee handbook, it probably says something about mandatory breaks and mealtimes after fixed numbers of hours. Or read the mandatory state labor rules poster in the break room at work.

if my GF was still alive, he'd be furious for the things he and his peers fought for and yet we let drift away over the years.

My grandfather's working days began a little later than yours, late 1920s. Blue collar union jobs from the late 1930s until retirement in the 70s. The way he explained it to me is that unions were less important today because the things the unions fought for back in the day are generally in the law now. So we're protect by law not union contract now. That the things his union fought for in the 60s and 70s, and that he went on strike over (reluctantly), were largely BS and they lost money by striking. The additional benefits, relative to the offer on the table before going on strike, never making up for the lost wages. That it was just politics and posturing of the union, and the union looking out for the union organization not the workers they represented. Every union is different but his was a very large well known union so I think his story may be more of the norm not the exception.

After 30 years working in software development I've not seen a return to the bad old days as you suggest. Never had an employer that didn't recognize breaks and meals. About all you could say is that it was left to you, no manager was clocking you in and out. Certainly no manager was upset when you disappeared for half an hour and reappeared with a soft drink cup from a local fast food joint in your hand. The only time my managers ever cared was after a bogus complaint to the state by a disgruntled former employee, yes myself and coworkers thought the complaint bogus. Then managers were all annoying asking if you've been working four hours yet and haven't taken a meal break. They didn't care if you were in the flow coding and not hungry yet and wanted to continue for another hour before grabbing a bite, they had to interrupt you. And if you really wanted to stress them out say you brought a sandwich and wanted to eat at your desk while you worked. Losing the flexibility to take a meal at 3 to 5 hours of work depending on your focus and/or your hunger did not improve things.

The closest you could get to the bad old days was that we were salary and didn't get paid overtime. However at the one company where we put in a ton of overtime we got pretty decent bonuses that made up for it. Now are all companies decent in this manner, no, certainly not. But as "white collared" salaried employees things were not that different from the old strong union days. Want to talk about unpaid overtime, talk to an uncle who worked on the space program in the 50s and 60s. Of course in their mind they were on a holy crusade and happy to do it, even more so than a recent college grad offered a job at a video game company.

Comment: Re:Supremes never said corps are people ... (Score 1) 586

by perpenso (#48628941) Attached to: Top Five Theaters Won't Show "The Interview" Sony Cancels Release

That's just a talking point of the left,

And Mitt Romney, the republican presidential candidate who the republican party voted for over Rick Santorum, Newt Gingrich, Ron Paul, and beat out Tim Pawlenty, Michelle Bachmann, Richard Perry, and that Cain guy. He was the figure head and leading member of the republican party. It's not just a talking point of the left. It's something the republican leadership wanted to be true. If that rubs you the wrong way, you really ought to take another look at your political party.

That is not my party. Pointing out a Democratic party lie does not make one a Republican.

The video you cite proves you wrong. Romney, in a very confused and inelegant way, was trying to say that corporations consists of two groups of people. Stockholders and employees. He specifically says in the video that the money that corporations earn goes into people's pockets, human's pockets.

Again, inelegant and confused, but something entirely different than the losing lawyer's spin that the left adopted. That corporations are themselves "people". Its brilliant spin, easily deceives those not paying attention, but spin none the less.

Comment: Re:Supremes never said corps are people ... (Score 1) 586

by perpenso (#48628863) Attached to: Top Five Theaters Won't Show "The Interview" Sony Cancels Release

Groups of people have the same speech rights as individuals.

For-profit corporations are not groups of people, they are aggregated capital.

Corporations consist of two groups of people:
(1) Stockholders.
(2) Employees.

An individual piece of corporate speech may represent one or both of these groups. For example a steel corporation wanting the government to maintain a tariff on steel imports. Such a statement represents both stockholder and employee interests.

Egotist: A person of low taste, more interested in himself than in me. -- Ambrose Bierce

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