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Comment Re:Of Course This Is Partisan - from the 1% (Score 1) 249

The fact that members of the '1%' are involved doesn't, by necessity, make the group hyper-conservative. There are 1% members that fall in areas throughout much of the political spectrum.

Of course, the founding members of this particular organization obviously have a specific agenda. That agenda is: Find the candidate they like and have it seem like a grass roots effort (aided by infrastructure provided by the group) catapults that candidate to popularity. This intent is obfuscated; thus giving off the appearance of impropriety. I don't know, however, that it is altogether different than what happens in any major election. Powerful folk say "That person has charisma, thinks like us, and can probably be somewhat controlled. Let's see if we can help them launch a successful bid for X office."

I've done a very limited amount of research on this group, but what I have found is of interest to me. I listened to an NPR story where one of the group's founders discussed they type of candidate for which he was looking. IIRC he was looking for someone in favor of a limited federal government (with a balanced budget), but also pro-choice, for gay marriage, etc. The interviewee drew a pretty accurate picture of the type of candidate I've been looking for. That piques my interest as right now it's difficult to find a fiscal conservative that will let people control their own bodies and who isn't spouting off about Jesus on a regular basis.

I have a bunch more research to do on this organization before I'm convinced that it's anything I would support, but the info you've provided doesn't automatically persuade me that the group should not be in contention for my further attention. Of course, it's good info and I appreciate you taking the time to provide it.

Comment Re:Maybe the movies just aren't very good (Score 1) 865

Disney won't likely release Song of the South in its entirety any time soon as executives are concerned about backlash. The NAACP described the movie as giving "an idyllic impression of the master-slave relationship."
http://www.snopes.com/disney/films/sots.asp

It's a shame, because the stories on which the Song of the South movie is based (Uncle Remus stories by Joel Chandler Harris) do give some (but likely very limited) insight into the amazing culture and folklore that US slaves were able to create in spite of their situation. Unfortunately, much of that culture is probably forever lost to history.

Note: I'm aware that the Uncle Remus stories were compiled after the Civil War, but I think it's safe to say that they were stories passed down from the era of slavery.

Comment Nobody cares about software at CES (Score 2) 79

I attended CES last year. Nobody there was interested in the stuff that wasn't the 'end product.' As such, people were in the MSFT booth, but they were much more interested in the hardware from other vendors than they were with the MSFT software running on it. People could have seen that stuff in the booths of the appropriate hardware vendor. The one place this didn't hold true was in the XBox/Kinect area. There were a ton of people interested in spending time in that space - but that's an 'end product'. Interestingly, it's an end product that is probably best showcased at E3.

The same can be said about Intel's booth. The biggest draw there was the chance to play Portal 2 before release.

Chances are that, unless I can hold the product you're selling in my hand and get an immediate benefit from it on its own, it probably isn't best showcased with a mega-dollar booth at CES (a small booth in the component exhibitors area maybe).

I guess I'm just saying that conventions like CES probably aren't the best bang for the buck for MSFT.

Comment Re:COBOL (Score 1) 435

I think that this statement is valid, however, there is one thing for which it fails to account. Having worked in a few COBOL shops full of 'old' programs, I can say that code tends not to get more elegant as it ages. Programs often look the best when they are first written. Some of our old code had been worked on by 40 different programmers at one time or another - all of whom had different thought processes, training, and paradigms. Rarely was the code refactored when it was touched, instead, it updated, appended, and commented out.

I worked on one project about 10 years ago that involved cleaning up a block of code that contained the majority of business rules and database activities for a large system. There was a ton of code that started with things like "if systemdate 84165 (the 165th day of 1984) then..." If you followed those statements to their bitter end they often pointed to obsolete modules or resulted in invalid database actions.

So - yes - many of the errors in the original code had been found and fixed over the years, but there were plenty of errors introduced by the regular tinkering.

Completely aside - I think the way some of the old school programmers worked resulted in some very elegant implementations. The guys in the 60's and 70's had to work within the bounds of limited system memory, limited processing power, and limited storage space. I think programmers of today could learn a lot by studying just how 'economic' programmers were in the past.

Comment Re:Why would Apple do this? (Score 1) 366

I think Apple has a fair amount to gain here - if they are doing something creative.

Think of the introduction of the original iPhone. Apple negotiated an exclusive deal with AT&T in exchange for a share of the revenue AT&T received from the monthly contracts. Of course, AT&T hated that deal and got out of it as quickly as possible.

Sprint is just desperate enough to try something like that - expecially if they could pick up an exclusive version of the iPhone (perhaps a 4G version or a iPhone 5 as opposed to the 4S). I have no doubt that this would drive new customers to Sprint.

I think Apple likes the idea of revenues after the sale and I have a feeling that could be part of the deal.

Comment Re:How should I know? So, Pox it is. (Score 4, Informative) 182

Jesus Christ, T-Mobile is owned by Deutsche Telekom (who has been trying to unload the company for years). This isn't just a U.S. thing. It impacts the biggest telecommunications company in Europe. It has subsidiaries that offer mobile coverage to a significant portion of the world. Check out this map: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Deutsche_Telekom_world_locations_2010_new.png I'll grant that you may not be in one of the pink countries, but you have to at least recognize this issue spans over many countries.

BTW - you comments work for a large number of /. polls and stories, just not this one.

Comment Small $ to scale up and down at will (Score 1) 382

Whoever wrote this article must not recall the major downsizing that occurred in many U.S. IT shops between 99-01. A large number of permanent employees were let go in that period. That resulted in a number of problems including decreased morale and the outflow of tons of knowledge - knowledge that had been built up in a single worker that management figured would never leave. Because of those problems, a number of changes were made. One of those changes was to keep, as permanent workers, a small set of skilled people that would necessary even in times when IT demand was limited. In times of increased demand, the shops would ramp up with temporary workers. While, this philosophy comes with its own set of problems, I largely agree with its intent and results.

The need for this is even greater in government shops. Remember, in many government sectors, when a person is permanent they really are permanent. There are contractural obligations that prevent the government from letting people under all but the most extremem circumstances. Downsizing permanent IT employees to cut $$ out of the budget just isn't possible. In today's world, where government needs to be able to scale up and down frequently, the best option is to do so with temporary employees.

Are temporary employees more expensive? Sure. You have to pay a premium to someone to have the luxury of letting them go at any time for any reason - especially when doing so isn't just a possiblity it's a guaranty. In addition, temporary employees often bring specific skills into the shop that you need for a limited time, but wouldn't want to maintain permanently. These skills cost $$.

The cost of IT outsourcing is likely the least of most government's problems...

Comment Re:The rise of indie (Score 1) 355

I think you underestimate the value of good record producers/mixers when it comes to recording a good album. Not only are many of these folk under the thumb of the RIAA, they are expensive. I used to follow a large number of bands in the area, many of whom sounded terrific live. All of their LPs / EPs sounded like crap - even the ones where they 'hired a decent sound guy' to help them.

Let's face it, it takes skill, art, and a little magic to do quality production work. The guy who runs the soundboard at the back of the club (usually) just doesn't have that talent.

Back in the day I used to find new albums by browsing around myspace and finding quality producers. I would then follow their links to bands for whom they had produced albums. I found that was one of the best ways to find quality recordings.

Android

Submission + - Android lovers: Don't overlook the Nook (networkworld.com)

stinkymountain writes: Among the multitude of Android tablets that have been released, or are about to be this year, the Nook Color has managed to achieve impressive sales and spark a cult following. (Since its release in November 2010, it has reportedly sold 3 million units.)

The Nook Color is marketed by the bricks-'n'-mortar Barnes & Noble bookstore chain as an e-reader. This is despite the fact that it features several tablet attributes, including Web browsing. It runs on a customized version of Android 2.2 ("Froyo").

Several companies are vying for a piece of the Android tablet market this year. Yet, as audacious as this sounds, here are six reasons why the Nook Color is already the best Android tablet you can buy now.

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