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Comment Re:Typical government efficiency... (Score 1) 345

Amen to this. Automating a system from scratch is much harder than tweaking an existing work flow. It is not at all unusual to see entire departments built around the failures of the automated system. In other words, lets say there is some inefficiency in an implementation. Because it is difficult to get the IT prioritized and modified to address it, another option is to hire someone to fill the gap and do the work that you might have been able to automate, but would require reworking the system. Now try to totally overhaul the work flow from top to bottom when jobs and departments on the line.

Comment Re:Cobol is self-documenting (Score 1) 345

It depends. I've seen some Cobol systems where programmers created truly unreadable layers of code with all kinds of convoluted methods. IN some cases it almost looks like they tried to make it impossible to read the code. I once saw a simple date routine that for some reason was running forever, only to crack it open and find out that the program proceeded to build through the most complex and inefficient ways an actual calendar of every possible date within several decades - perhaps even the whole century, I can't remember, only to subtract one date from the next. It took forever. Another implementation of this might have been done in 20 lines of code. But because of really really bad programming, it took a thousand lines of really messy hard to maintain code.

Comment Google's self censorship .. slippery slope? (Score 2) 154

I was surprised. Yesterday I wanted to play John Lennon's song "Woman is the nigger of the world" for a friend who had never heard it. Google autocomplete shut off at the "n" and wouldn't show the song's title. Google has made their own bed here by manipulating their autocomplete for a variety of reasons already. They certainly can't complain that they can't do it, or that it is too hard. They are doing it, and for fairly trivial situations such as avoiding presenting a disturbing word to a search engine user. This opens up the door for all kinds of requests for censorship, whether the politically correct ones like preventing the dread "n word" from appearing without someone actually typing it, or this idea that people can be prevented from visiting questionably legal sites by manipulation of autocomplete.

As soon as they deciding to do all kinds of manipulation they left themselves open to this kind of thing, and it seems like they pretty much have to go along with it, don't they? I mean, do they really want to make the case that showing someone an offensive word is worse than letting people see dangerous and questionably legal activities?

How much protection do Google users need from the horrors of the raw unfiltered internet? Gradually this will reduce the effectiveness of their search engine.

Comment Bigotry (Score 5, Insightful) 814

I'm surprised at all the bigotry here on Slashdot. I hope you guys get a chance to know a transgendered person at some point, it might change your attitudes. I have, and it totally changed my misunderstandings on the subject. I suppose it is natural to be unbelieving in things which seem foreign to our way of thinking, but even if you cannot accept the idea right now, at least give people the benefit of the doubt rather than spew your ignorance as if it were facts. Why not have a look and see attitude? You might be surprised. I feel lucky to have met the transgendered persons I have known in my life, I hope you get the chance.

Comment IR face masking (Score 1) 201

This is slightly tongue in cheek, but one insidious way Google could address the privacy concerns would be to equip all Glass headsets with a special IR signal beam that would instruct other Glass devices to obscure the face of the person wearing the IR enabled Glass when it was detected. People who were concerned about their privacy would buy Glass as a means of protecting their own privacy. Just switch on the privacy beam switch.

Submission + - Why Crazy Still Trumps Facts on the Internet (

Curseyoukhan writes: The internet was going to be great. It was going to be the place where good information drove out bad, where facts would vanquish lies. Instead it seems to have made the situation worse. The Flat Earth Society has come back from the dead. Survivors of Sandy Hook and Aurora are electronically harassed by people who congregate at sites explaining how it was all a government conspiracy. And that's just the tip of the Illuminati pyramid. So what happened?

Comment Re:Not really an Android tablet (Score 3, Interesting) 62

You could look at it that way, but I kind of disagree, I think there is a truth in labeling problem and I wonder if people area really are being fairly informed. It is not immediately obvious looking at the Fire HD page on Amazon that you are not getting a full Android experience. Yet Amazon is pitching these as "Android tablets." Try typing Android Tablet into the Amazon search box and see what is at the top of the list, the Kindle Fire HD. It's misleading to refer to these as Android tablets when really they are a closed Amazon tablet. If they called these Linux Tablets it would be equally misleading because even though they might be based on Linux they do not provide the features normally associated with an open source Linux install. These tablets do not provide the features normally associated with open source Android and they shouldn't be marketed or compared side by side to true Android tablets.

Comment Not really an Android tablet (Score 3, Insightful) 62

I wanted a larger Android tablet and thought maybe the new Kindle Fire HD 8.9 was what I was waiting for so I ordered one the day they were announced, but yesterday I cancelled my order, and decided I will wait for a larger Nexus or maybe go with something from Samsung, Asus or Motorola. For me, any Android tablet that cannot access the Google Play Store cannot really be called an Android tablet. It's not what I'm looking for and it really can't be fairly compared to other tablets running Android that have access to the Play Store. Android's promise of being more open and being able to share applications purchased through the Play Store on all my Android devices is a big selling point and one of the main reasons I stick with Android and avoid Apple products. Sorry Amazon. I love the Kindle readers, and I ordered a Paperwhite reader which I'm looking forward to getting, but if I wanted a closed system tablet I could have bought an iPad. I don't want it from Apple, and I don't want it from Amazon either.

Comment Re:Zynga addiction (Score 1) 554

It has an addictive quality, I think it is related to the timers. You get to click on things and earn certain bonuses or items necessary to go click on other things. There are limits to these bonuses based on time, they replenish at a certain rate that is slower than you wish it was. You could opt to spend cash to get the items, and that's where they make money, or you can wait until they replenish automatically. The element of waiting/reward cycle is I think where the addictive pattern is centered, but it is easy to shake off when something new comes around to fill the time you used to spend moving your mouse around clicking on things. The difference in game over time is actually very little if anything, in order to make room for both the money spending players, and the non money spending players, other wise the players who spent money would totally dominate. As a result the games never really materially advance, there are just more things to click with different pictures on them. Ultimately it is extremely boring.

Comment The new (Score 1) 554

Zynga has product that people can walk away with in the blink of an eye. After spending how many hours clicking mindlessly on games that do not materially change no matter how long you click on them, you are just a couple of days away from breaking the habit and moving on to the next click fest, or better yet, opening a book and reading something that actually is not brain numbing. Or doing gaming that is actually fun. Games are entertainment, Zynga games aren't entertaining, they depend solely on the addictive nature of the click-reward, it is a real force to be sure, but ultimately the little mini click fest games fail for lack of actual entertainment value.

Comment Re:Kindle's biggest strength is it's biggest weakn (Score 1) 258

I don't get this at all, especially with programs like Calibre, Amazon makes it as easy as possible to get documents into your Kindle using the Personal Documents feature it is a piece of cake! I have never met a document format I could not easily get onto my Kindle device. True, if you want things that are DRM'ed you have to jump through some hoops but that would be no different on any device.

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