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Comment Fax Machines gone? (Score 5, Informative) 395 395

There are tens of thousands of fax machines and fax systems still in use today because, despite all of our technological advances, the fax machine is still the most secure way of delivering medical and legal documents between locations in a compact time frame.

E-mail? Right out unless you're configured for encryption and getting all the companies you deal with to agree on, utilize, and understand how the encrypt/decrypt works is ... beyond Herculean in scope. In the medical field alone that would require suppliers, doctor's offices, HME/DME companies, hospitals, hospices, quick care/walk-in style facilities, pharmacies, and so on to all have a system that worked easily that everyone agreed on. Of course, that doesn't begin to take into account the MILLIONS of patients that just might want to communicate with you via e-mail.

The legal field is just as bad - judges, courts, lawyers, public defenders, police departments, fire departments, etc, and clients of course.

So, yeah, technology that has supposedly died usually is alive and well and the people who think it has died just work somewhere they don't have to deal with it.

Comment Re:Curious... (Score 1) 1094 1094

I had this happen to me a while back as I was working while going to college. Admittedly, it was when the minimum wage was $5.00/hr and they raised it to $5.25 per hour so nothing drastic like $7.00/hr to $15.00/hr but for a college student it was a decent increase. The problem was, I was already making $5.25 per hour because I was good at my job and had earned a pay raise.

So, the week after the minimum wage increase went into effect my co-workers, who had not earned a raise, were now making $5.25 per hour and I was looking forward to my $5.50 per hour. Check came in, checked my totals, and my pay was $5.25 per hour. I explained to the store manager that this was incorrect and, at first, he just kinda laughed and said it was correct. I explained to him that no, it was not, because my pay was tied directly to the minimum wage and I had EARNED a pay raise of $0.25/hr and I asked him to explain to me how it was fair for the other three employees (small store) to be making the same I was when they had not earned a raise, but been handed one by the government. He just stood there for a minute with his mouth hanging open and said "You're right. Let me talk to corporate." Sure enough, our parent corporation agreed with me and increased my pay to where it should be and paid me my missing wages for the previous week.

Unless I am a salaried employee, I _always_ make it plain to my company that my pay is tied to the minimum wage and if it goes up my pay goes up by a corresponding amount -- otherwise, I just took a pay cut and someone fresh off the street without my years of experience with the company could be making nearly as much as I do (depending on the increase of the minimum wage vs. my wage, of course).

Comment Re:File manager without file, edit, view.. (Score 1) 442 442

Back in the pre-Gnome 2 days a lot of distros actually used to offer you a bunch of choices at install time which DE or WM you wanted, but that trend changed when distros started to focus heavily on offering one desktop experience that the system was targeting. Some distros would have separate teams working on different environment packages, so technically with distros like Fedora and Ubuntu, other desktops are available at install time, but you have to select the appropriate installer because they have different install images now. With many distros installing an additional desktop environment after the default can basically be done by typing a command.

Comment Re:File manager without file, edit, view.. (Score 1) 442 442

My hat goes off to you because you go above and beyond the average usage case. Plus you know what you need, which is important.

What I get from a lot of commentators is that they feel betrayed like Gnome 3 is somehow forced on them, or just saying that they don't like how it works. I'm in no way trying to say that everyone should have to use Gnome 3 (desktop choice is important, after all), or that it must clearly be the best desktop ever (to be honest there's something special about Gnome 2 / MATE that is hard to replace). I just want to say that it's a little unfair that Gnome gets this angry sea of negativity, with people suggesting it's the worst DE ever conceived by man. It may not tickle everyone's toes, but it's not THAT bad.

Comment Re:File manager without file, edit, view.. (Score 3, Informative) 442 442

I have been using Gnome 3 on Fedora for about a couple years now, and I honestly can't understand why people don't like it. In fact, I don't really feel like using other UI's anymore because Gnome 3 is too efficient. Yes, it still has its quirks. The title bar is a little big and gets obnoxious when you maximize some applications, but I'm willing to accept that in order to get everything else it offers.

The best thing about Gnome now is that it doesn't get in my way. Switching apps/windows is easy. All the useless crap I don't need to see has been taken off the screen. The application launcher is nice, though nothing particularly innovative because anyone who has used Mac OS X or Windows 7 knows what it's doing.

I'm guessing that people who don't like Gnome 3 never really learned how to use it, like people who say they hate vim. Learning how to use Gnome 3 isn't even that challenging in itself, as the main keyboard shortcuts are very standardized. Launcher and window behavior are exactly what you'd expect them to be. It's fast and sleek, end of story.

Also it can't be denied that the desktop has undergone appreciable improvements with literally every release. Two years ago the keyboard layout switcher was broken, but now it works beautifully (this feature is important to me because I switch layouts a lot). Fedora 22 has just gone into beta, and if you want to see what Gnome is like now then you can give that a spin. Like I said, I don't use anything else anymore, although when I want to remember what using Windows XP was like, I'll load up KDE or XFCE or LXDE or something. Plus if you're really that attached to Gnome 2, Gnome 3 got a "classic" mode several releases ago which basically duplicates Gnome 2's UI features. You'll get your drop-down app menu back and the little task bar at the bottom.

Comment Judgement-Free Zone (Score 1) 667 667

Language is pretty complicated. The culture among linguists today is summed up by this rule: "Keep it descriptive." While I agree that description is important and useful, I think that it's possible to throw the baby out with the bathwater by denying prescription *completely*. Yes, pedantry is awful, and so being overly prescriptive isn't helpful, but there has to be some possible argument at times for why prescription is beneficial.

Comment Re:Solution (Score 0) 410 410

It is simple and not simple at the same time for a Flat Tax:

Anything bought anywhere outside of the United States and then imported is taxed based on the value of the object. Now value is subjective in some cases, but if you buy a $1,000,000 yacht (small, I know ;-)) in Mexico then it is still valued at $1,000,000 when it enters the United States and you impose the Flat Tax on it then. Otherwise, you can go visit your yacht in Mexico but if it ever enters United States territorial waters it will be seized until you pay the taxes you owe on it. Same for cars, paintings, jewelry, electronics, and so on.

Yes, some things will slip through the cracks or a black market will spring up or a loophole will be found -- but even if you save money on the tax using tricks, you STILL wind up paying out money to do it. It might not be as much as the Flat Tax rate, but money is still moving in the markets AND will eventually get taxed. Everyone has to eat, buy fuel, insurance (yes, must protect that $1,000,000 yacht from ... bad things), and so on -- all taxed or can lead to items being taxed.

Comment ...the best photographers were older people... (Score 5, Insightful) 97 97

Which is still the truth, in general. Photography on a cell phone does not equate to photography with a digital camera -- knowing what f-stop is, or shutter speed, or focal length, or a LOT of the other of the fine-grain minutiae that comes from a lot of time spent with film and digital cameras taking hundreds, if not thousands, of photographs.

Point and click it ain't.

Comment Change for Change's Sake (Score 4, Insightful) 251 251

I've been in the computer and IT industry in some form for over 20 years. I've seen a lot of changes come and go -- some I've embraced, some I've just dealt with, some I've beat my skull on a wall wondering WTF?!?!

Windows 8 was, in all ways, a very What The Fuck?!?! product. Microsoft did it so that they could increase their revenue stream and lock-in potential - not so they could increase the user experience. There is no situation in this world which you shove a phone/tablet interface onto a desktop or laptop computer with touchscreen penetration rates in those markets of, what?, 2 or 3%? It was bad idea from the beginning and it is still a bad idea now. When most users resort to third party software to give them back the interface that WORKS on desktop/laptop environments and/or adoption of the new operating system is only because users are being given no other choice, then the system was badly designed.

Fortune 1000/500/100 companies are NOT adopting Windows 8.x. Why in the hell would they want the lost productivity from a user being forced to learn a new interface that is not user friendly or conducive to a work environment? They don't. Which is one major reason Dell and HP both started offering Windows 7 Pro installed on Windows 8.x Pro downgraded systems for business.

Stardock is making money, even at $4.99 a pop, for Start8 as a replacement for Windows 8.x sorta-not-really-a-start menu. That says a lot about the state of Windows 8.x adoption and usability.

Even smaller companies that I deal with or have consulted for avoid Windows 8.x and use Windows 7. I've dealt with some hard-headed people who ask why it is cheaper to buy Windows 8 than 7 or "Why aren't we using the latest version?" and so on -- until I sit a laptop in front of them with a standard, out-of-the-box Windows 8.x configuration on it and tell them "Please turn the laptop off without using the power switch." Then I ask them if they could turn their Windows 7 laptops off right out of the box. You guessed it, they said YES, they could turn it off with no problems and I point out the lost productivity from their users needing to be trained on how the access everything and learning how to use the new interface(s). They always purchase Windows 7 systems. By the way, this puts LESS money in my pocket as a consultant because my company would be the ones training them to use Windows 8.x.

Windows 9, if Microsoft has ANY sense left in their Corporate brain, will go back to Windows 7 start menu functionality and leave the Metro interface for phones and tablets. Give desktop and laptop users the interface that works and that doesn't require retraining everyone. Individual user and most small-to-medium businesses I deal with are tired of vendor lock-in. Learn from your mistakes Microsoft.

If you think the system is working, ask someone who's waiting for a prompt.