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Comment The geek understands nothing about agricuture. (Score 1) 319

The problem isn't to do with GM, it's to with the way profits are derived from GM.

The modern farmer is first and last a business man.

He specializes. He raises grains, fruits or vegetables for sale in the retail or wholesale markers he understands or he evolves into a seed company or a nursery. Never both, because the labor and capital requirements are so very different and so very demanding.

When he buys seed from Monsanto, he is looking at the return on his investment, as any business man must. He is looking at how the product stands up against the competition. If it is sweet corn, he is looking at color and flavor. Yields. Resistance to insects, drought and disease.

The price of seed isn't what keeps a farmer awake nights. It is the environmental variables which can destroy any hope of a successful ---- profitable --- harvest.

Comment "Yahoo! Internet Life" (Score 1) 338

Prior to the rise of advertising, almost all sites were 'independent.'

---- and you discovered them by thumbing through the printed pages of the modestly sized Internet Yellow Pages, guide books and magazines of the era..

It was a geek paradise defined off-campus by the limits of the dial-up modem, arcane and frustrating client software and services that were only beginning to offer affordable flat-rate monthly billing,

Comment As easy as pie. (Score 2, Interesting) 288

What do they think moving to Win 10 will be like?

A piece of cake?

In Steam's August Hardware and Software Survey,16% of Steam gamers were running 64 Bit Win 10, a bare 0.92% Linux. Steam Hardware and Software Survey: August 2015

Worldwide usage of Windows 10 in its first calendar month (August) was 4.9% compared to 1% for Windows 8 and 4.1% for Windows 7 after their first complete month.

Windows 10 first month worldwide usage well ahead of that recorded by Windows 8

Comment Re:"What went wrong?" (Score 1) 204

No, that only proves that its competitors are doing the popular thing. What's popular is usually inane and stupid.

The beauty of this argument is that it spares the geek the need to look at the failures of Linux as a desktop OS critically. "Inane and stupid" is, after all, generally a pretty good description of the futile and unpopular.

Comment "What went wrong?" (Score 1) 204

The easiest way is just don't install this craptastic pile of shit in the first place.

Steam Hardware and Software Survey August 2015

Linux, All Flavors 0.92%
Windows 10 64 Bit 16%

I've yet to see a single stat which suggests that Linux as a desktop OS is gaining any traction whatsoever. Which tells me that its competitors are doing most things right.

Comment The geek is a humorless stick-in-the-mud. (Score 1) 146

I get it that the geek dislikes the alleged "inefficiency:' of languages that are inherently and compellingly pictographic. But his objections to the use of the humble emoji to enliven conversations over what can still be very pricey low bandwidth connections makes no sense.

The rebus is four centuries old in the western world; typographic art and the emoticon as old the printing press. When Unicode opens the door to greater fun and play in the use of language and pictures, I am all for it.

Comment "The sub-division of the electric light." (Score 1) 92

Edison didn't invent the light bulb -- he invented a way to make it cheaply (no platinum) and last longer.

The Edison light bulb could be wired in parallel. The single most significant step forward and the one most easily forgotten. Lights could now be individually controlled and the failure of a single bulb wouldn't plunge you into the dark.

Comment Re:YAY (Score 1, Interesting) 266

Liberal arts majors have not been trained to think logically and solve problems.

The liberal arts deal fundamentally with the human equation.

The engineer of the late 1950s plans a multi-lane expressway downtown.

He tunes out anyone who complains that the waterfront would be severed from the city, healthy neighborhoods splintered or paved over and the poor walled in. He also ignores any objections that the signature sky-way to be built over the harbor would become insanely dangerous to drive in winter and prohibitively expense to maintain.

He is blind to the social consequences of his actions. His designs are technically sound --- but only in the narrow sense that his sky-way won't collapse in a heavy wind. It won't be navigable by anything less than a convoy with an army reserve escort, but at least it won't fall down.

Also, I have no interest whatsoever in hiring "well-rounded" employees. They may be better people, and engage in interesting conversation at the water cooler, but they are not better employees, and are not going to add as much to the bottom line as a workaholic nerd with no social life.

The bottom line depends on your ability to conceive, produce and maintain a marketable product or service. You don't expect an alcoholic to be creative, productive, or self-disciplined. Obsession does not yield clarity.

The only virtue of a workaholic nerd is that he is easily and cheaply replaced as soon as he burns out.

Comment "Development is the best contraceptive." (Score 1) 528

No. The real solution is to lower the birthrate and eventually reduce the world population. Shifting money around wouldn't solve anything.

The only proven way to reduce the birth rate is economic development and that demands a substantial investment of time and money. Graph of Total Fertility Rate vs. GDP per capita of the corresponding country, 2009

Comment The Fisher-Price Laptop (Score 1) 508

The best thing out there, designed specifically to address your concern, is the XO laptop by the people for their "One Laptop Per Child" campaign

The XO laptop is molded in the day-go colors and toy-like shapes that appeals to very young kids. The third-world education minister that was XO's prime market knew from the beginning that it wasn't a product for the middle school and beyond.

Comment It's not about you. (Score 5, Interesting) 508

I assign papers that must be typed, I have papers turned in online, and I plan to freely refer to texts, videos, and other resources that are available online. This gives an extra disadvantage to students that may be from the poorer end of the strata, and also means extra inefficiency for me, as I have to make allowances for students who don't have a computer available at home.

In other words, you've build your entire course around the experience and resources of the middle class student and what is convenient for you. You are looking for a quick. cheap, feel-good, solution that ignores --- among other things --- the problem of Internet access for the poor and their lack of experience online.

Comment This is reasonable? (Score 1) 235

hmmmm unusual, the punishment, estimate of damages/losses actually seem reasonable for a change

Add revenues: 280,000 pounds = $ 432,000 US.

12 million streams @ $5 ea. = $60 million worth of licensed streams.

---- and when a movie is being streamed, I am going to assume that the downloader is sitting there watching it.

That the excuses the geek trots out for his downloads from Pirate Bay don't make any sense here. What he wants is a free movie night and that is the end of it.

12 million streams is an unlicensed wholesale distribution. If the real or intangible property being distributed on such a scale was anything other than a movie, I'd be interested in knowing if the sentence would be so light.

"You must have an IQ of at least half a million." -- Popeye