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Comment Re:No real place for it (Score 1) 287

I'm always on the hunt for ideal archival formats for digital media.

The ideal archival format has a few properties, ranging from most theoretical to most practical:

- a completely unencumbered specification and a completely unencumbered implementation
- a highly portable, f/oss reference implementation
- excellent quality vs. usability (e.g. lossless quality, but small to store and fast to decode)
- support in popular general purpose computing environments
- supported in popular dedicated hardware devices

FLAC gets the first few of those, but not the last one -- plenty of dedicated hardware audio players don't deal with FLAC.

Because of this, I use MP3 for audio - which theoretically gives up the first few points, but as a practical matter, those points are irrelevant, and MP3 completely dominates the industry on the last few points.

If Vorbis or FLAC or any of the things that get the first few points correct had ubiqoutous device support, I might be willing to re-rip everything into those formats for a great blend of long-term archival and easy-to-consume on any device convenience. But nothing is like that for audio.

Similarly, if I thought there was going to be a fantastic lossless image format that did everything well and was going to be massively supported and was completely unencumbered, i'd want to move everything over to it. I'd want my future digital cameras to start shooting it. I'd want my whole tool stream and whole life to just be about that format.

Comment Re:Doctor what's wrong with me? (Score 1) 111

Those genes are not expressed, and we don't have copies of those viruses floating around our bloodstream.

Probably, and for the most part. But we used to think the genome was mostly "junk DNA" before we understood that much of it was homeotic in function. It seems to me that virus copies would not be conserved over time unless they were serving some function.

Comment Re:23% of the company (Score 1) 471

If they were fined billions of dollars the stock would plummet. Not only for the initial cost, but for the exposure to litigation and other liabilities. An $18B fine would bankrupt it. Not that that's going to happen, of course. Some settlement will be reached, perhaps with some "rogue" employee being made a scapegoat. (or an "escape goat," as my niece likes to say)

Comment Re:And by emergency they mean (Score 1) 48

You got it. There has been hardly any wage increases. Shortages always lead to higher prices. If there are no higher prices, the shortage is a lie.

Whats the rate of growth for salaries? A good rule of thumb is that there isn't' a shortage until nominal prices have doubled.

Comment Re:What's Good for Microsoft is Good for K-12 Scho (Score 1) 48

"We need talent [], we need it now, and we simply cannot find enough."

What they mean is:

We need talent [at a wage we are willing to pay], we need it now [but not so much that we are willing to train people, and spend the time and effort developing corporate training of people with aptitude], and we simply cannot find enough [who are willing to move to our area, fund their own skills development, accept a mediocre wage, put in longer than normal hours, have a lower than average quality of living, and do things which are pretty unimportant].

The reality is that there are plenty of people with talent, they are just working in areas of the country where the economics are better, where they don't have to live like paupers, and they don't have to deal with megalomaniacal personalities like the people running Facebook, Microsoft, and Google.

These are just not good places to work. They are not paying enough to entice otherwise talented people to upset their lives, move to an overpriced bubble driven real estate market, and try to put up with these quacks untested, new age, assine management techniques.

The word is out out about these tech giants.

Microsoft - guess what - you have a toxic culture where co-workers have incentive to back stab and dethrone managers, in order to "make the cut" each year? Why would I move out to a very pricey area and give up superior pay, superior work-life balance, and superior education opportunities for my kids, just so I can be stabbed in the back, shuffled around, re-org'ed, and eventually laid off because I don't have whatever latest skill you want and you aren't willing to invest in workforce development? All for 90k a year starting salary? Pass.

Facebook - why would I want to move to one of the most insanely expensive places in the country to work, ride a bus to work each day, be locked up inside your campus for "free lunches", be part of data mining, spamming, and exploiting users personal habits, relationships, and preferences for money. It's not revolutionary, it's not hip, it's not cool. All for about 95k a year starting salary? Pass.

Google - why would I want to work for the new evil empire, single handily expanding a dark shadow of data collection and kowtowing to authoritarian powers worldwide in order to sell shitty text ads to users, all the while locking out competition and blocking users from knowing whats really going on? Why answer to two silver-spoon billionaires who have delusions of importance for a starting salary of under 100k a year, while moving to yet another bubble driven real estate empire and being forced once again to ride a shitty bus to campus? So I can redirect funds from one or two profitable lines of business into trying to find the next hot thing which won't do anything important or lasting for mankind? Pass.

The problem is not a lack of a talent. It's a lack of talent who wants to work for these shitty companies, doing insignificant projects that will probably never see the light of day, while paying too much to live and having to answer to people who are convinced they are doing something special.

Comment Re:You're naive. (Score 1) 411

Given the emissions requirements for a '59, I'm skeptical.

Kind of like naming the coal exports from North America---in 1491 . . .

(for those of you younger than the cars I prefer to drive, a '59 isn't exempt from emissions for being old enough; it doesn't have to, as there *were* no emissions standards or tests until a few years later. [now, if he put in an engine from a later year, he has to meet *those* emissions, but then the year of manufacture is irrelevant. ])


Comment Re: How is this paid for? (Score 1) 1291

That's why their leaders come to the USA for treatment.

As an American, I don't see how I benefit from a health care system that according to you is good at providing care to the wealthy and powerful of the world, but which we also know is crappy at providing care to the rest of us. Are you suggesting that good health outcomes for select individuals trickle down?

If a health care system that worked better for the vast majority of Americans happened to also discourage the elite from treatment here, I'm prepared to live with that. In no small part this is because under the current system I might not wind up living at all.

Comment Re:Uh, okay (Score 1) 142

I am a lawyer, but this is not legal advice. If you want legal advice from me, pay my retainer. If you get legal advice on slashdot, may God have mercy on your soul.

Most (I believe almost all) other english speaking countries tend to follow the English Rule where it diverges from the American Rule. They may have areas which are largely changed, but I think the US is pretty much alone in the variations on defamation, contingency fees, and loser pays.

hawk, esq.

Comment Re:If I were king.... (Score 5, Informative) 70

The last time somebody tried this was the Library of Alexandria which required the dictates and commands of several kings. Even then they had to pay money to the Athenians to get some documents.

Well, that was because the Library wanted to make a copy of the original manuscripts of Aeschylus, Sophocles and Euripides. Athens was reluctant to allow the manuscripts to be sent to Alexandria (presumably they would've preferred to have them copied in Athens), but ultimately allowed it provided that the Library provided a cash deposit to ensure the safe return of the manuscripts.

Instead, predictably, the Library kept the originals and returned the copies, and was happy to forfeit the money, which was almost 500 kilograms of silver.

The normal M.O. of the Library was just to require that all documents going through Alexandria be available for copying by the Library, and to be a major port and trading hub so that a lot of documents happened to pass through.

It all worked pretty well (for a library that relied on hand-copying, the printing press not being invented yet) until some assholes burned the place down.

"I got everybody to pay up front...then I blew up their planet." "Now why didn't I think of that?" -- Post Bros. Comics