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Comment: I don't think so (Score 2) 443

by perpetual pessimist (#36204208) Attached to: Why IT Needs To Change for Gen Z

It doesn't matter what generation anyone belongs to -- you'll do things the way the employer wants them done, or you won't be employed.

Now, are there some new technologies that are in common use in the consumer market that can be used effectively in the business environment? Probably, yes. And businesses will use them if it makes sense in their environment. But they won't use them because the pouty-faced punks with their newly-minted college degrees will throw a hissy-fit if the boss doesn't let them use their personal gadgets.

Business don't give a damn about their current employees, let alone potential future employees. You'll do as you're told if you want the money... and eating is such an addictive hobby.

Of course, young people just might start up their own businesses where everyone can stay focused on their iWhatevers all day, and if it's better than the old businesses than the young folks will win. I wouldn't put my money in their stock, though.

Comment: Re:If that's the definition of "society", so be it (Score 3) 445

by perpetual pessimist (#35431988) Attached to: Crime Writer Makes a Killing With 99 Cent E-Books

And if publishers lose, we all lose, because quite honestly ebooks are a far inferior experience to real, dead tree books. I dread the day when real books become considered "obsolete" and are no longer published. That's the day I stop reading books.

Which "real, dead tree books"? There are the books made by publishers like Easton Press, which are made with high quality paper, leather-bound, and gilded edges; these books are very expensive but will last literally (all puns intended) generations. Then there are the usual hard-back mass produced books, which have the cardboard binding and fair quality paper; might get a few decades out of them, but at least they don't cost too much. Then there's the cheap paperback books; read 'em twice and they're starting to fall apart.

I used to think just like you: I love books, I want books, and to hell with these e-reader things. Then I got a Kindle (long story). And I realized I was not quite right; I do love the high-quality leather bound books AS books. But the cheap stuff are just delivery methods for what I really love: stories. I love stories. And e-readers give me the stories in a far better delivery method than a paperback.

The high-quality book publishers will still hang around and produce their specialty products. The mass publishers are finding that their delivery methods are being overtaken by technology, just like the music and movie delivery middlemen have had happen to them.

Comment: Re:Make English an Official Language? (Score -1, Troll) 159

by perpetual pessimist (#35328580) Attached to: Device Addresses Healthcare Language Barrier

Do you really think it's going to be good for our standing in the world if it gets around that our arrogant need to self aggrandize just cost one of their citizens' lives?

Fuck our "standing in the world". I don't give a damn what others think of my country, and I'm pretty sure they don't care what I think of theirs.

+ - Developing world: send Kindles not PCs->

Submitted by
Barence
Barence writes "PC Pro's Stuart Turton has a fascinating blog on how the local children reacted to the Amazon Kindle on a recent visit to the Nagpur region of India. "About 20 kids stood in a big group, just watching me: big eyes, curious expressions, ridiculously cute and all intent on the Kindle," he writes.

"Just turning the page caused them to drag their friends over, and there’s no reality where changing the font size of your book should make you cooler than a Jimmy Hendrix guitar solo. That was just the warm-up act though, it was the text-to-speech feature that pretty much made me the best friend of the entire village."

"A charity could do a lot worse than to load a few up with dictionaries, school books and novels and send them to some remote schools in developing nations," he observes."

Link to Original Source

Comment: Re:Ethical? (Score 1) 826

by perpetual pessimist (#35114622) Attached to: Is Setting Up an Offshore IT Help Desk Ethical?

Don't know about "laws of ethics" but there are innate Natural Rights, which all human beings share simply because they are human. Example: The right (or instinct if you prefer) to own one's self, rather than be owned as a slave.

There are no innate Natural Rights. "Rights" is a concept that human beings invented, and has no actual existence in the physical world.

"Rights" are a set of ideas, held by some (but not all) people, as to how people should behave in relation to each other. And that's all. The people who don't agree with those ideas are still quite physically capable of "violating" your "rights" -- for example, your supposed "right to life" will not stop a bullet fired from a gun from blowing out your brains.

I'm not saying that rights, and all the philosophical and societal stuff that's been hung off the concept are a bad thing. It's a pretty good way to run a society. But when you talk about them as if they actually really honestly exist in the world, or that human beings are somehow infused with them in some way as soon as they pop out of the womb, then you're in the same sort of fantasy-land that any given religious believer exists in. And you're just as easily ignored by those who don't share your particular fantasy.

Comment: Re:Good riddance (Score 1) 316

by perpetual pessimist (#34968826) Attached to: Comics Code Dead

*Ding dong the witch is dead*. And good riddance. Censorship has no place in a freedom loving society and its really appalling that Republicans who blather on about freedom are the first to support authoritarian censorship.

It's also appalling that you don't think Democrats do the same thing. Reference hate-speech codes, where saying a discouraging word can get you jail time -- if the Democrats had had their way.

The reality is that this is no longer a freedom-loving society. Why, I can't even advocate genocide without someone getting their feathers ruffled. (It's a joke. Remember what a joke is?)

Comment: Re:True in theory (Score 1) 316

by perpetual pessimist (#34968746) Attached to: Comics Code Dead

Casino Royale gets a PG-13, even with all its James Bond violence, and the sadistic clubbing of the protagonist's testicles while he's tied to a chair.

The earlier poster must be right about the middle-aged white women on the rating board. They were too busy swooning over Daniel Craig to notice the torture.

Most of the middle-aged women I know would be too busy cheering on the torture of a man to pay much attention to who the man actually was.

Comment: Re:How about... (Score 1) 304

by perpetual pessimist (#34923626) Attached to: Encrypt Your Smartphone — Or Else

What you're basically saying is that we don't need no stinking privacy, if you've done nothing wrong you got nothing to hide.

It's not that we don't need privacy. It's that if you encrypt your phone, the cops will beat the password out of you anyway. And if you complain of being beaten, they'll beat you more, and no one will stop them.

Of course, not every cop is corrupt like this. Plenty of cops would never dream of beating a person in custody. They have other prisoners do the beating, instead.

The lesson is not "if you've done nothing wrong, you have nothing to hide", it's "don't put the stuff you need to hide on your damn phone".

Comment: Re:I'll keep print books, thank you (Score 1) 304

by perpetual pessimist (#34832442) Attached to: Book Piracy — Less DRM, More Data

I had pretty much the same attitude as you. Why buy an ebook reader, when print books are just fine?

Then I found myself alone in a hotel room, at 2 AM. I was making the 2 day drive back home from visiting family for Thanksgiving. The bed was awful and I couldn't sleep. Usually I can read a bit and get to sleep that way... but all the print books I'd brought on the trip with me, I'd already read, and left them with the family for them to read.

I booted up the netbook I had with me, looking to go online to read something... and the hotel's wifi was so slow it was maddening. Even when I got to my favorite blogs, even, no one had updated anything because it was Thanksgiving and they had better things to do than provide entertainment to a desperate guy in a hotel far away from home and any open bookstore.

It occurred to me that if I had a Kindle, I could order a book right damn then, and start reading.

So I ordered it. Didn't get it 'til I got home, of course. And now I'm loading it with a ton of books so I doubt I'll ever be without something new to read (unless the battery fails). But as long as it's working, I can get a book RIGHT NOW. Any time. Almost anywhere.

That's the advantage to me -- not so much the ebook in and of itself (although they've been fine so far), but getting it immediately.

Comment: They're not losing money (Score 4, Interesting) 252

From the postal service's own Inspector General report:

The following paper demonstrates that the current system of funding the Postal Service’s Civil Service Retirement System pension responsibility is inequitable and has resulted in the Postal Service overpaying $75 billion to the pension fund.

The postal service is having money extracted from it each year, channeled to other parts of the federal government pension systems (mostly military). This is to help disguise how bad the federal budget is overdrawn. If the post office were allowed to fund their peoples' pensions the way every other government agency is, they'd be showing a profit.

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

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