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Comment several mistaken assumptions (Score 1) 987

The free copies aren't boosting sales for my books.

With all due respect, there's no way you can possibly know this. Even if you spent a great deal of money trying to find out whether or not this was so, you'd be unlikely to get a reasonably solid answer.

In general, people grabbing such unauthorized copies fall into two classes: (1) wouldn't have bought it anyway, and (2) will buy it as a result of having first seen the "free" copy. You lose no money either way.

A much bigger problem is that when I do that Google search, I'm directed to much newer compression textbooks, and a search on Amazon barely rates. That's what's killing you.

Comment still an important principle (Score 1) 455

I'm not a serious gamer (anymore--still nursing an old Quake injury :-), but lately I've been picking up a few titles. One of the ones I was considering was a Final Fantasy game. I might have bought it soon. Now I never will. I'm aware that Square Enix simply doesn't care about people like me, but it's still $10 or whatever straight out of their bottom line, and I get to feel good about acting congruently with respect to my principles.

There are a lot of problems with capitalism, but one of the really great things is that frequently you get to choose where to spend your dollars, and when you withhold them, that's coming straight out of the company's hide. You don't get that kind of control with voting.

Comment As opposed to just crashing every two hours? (Score 2, Interesting) 414

Will they include a dialog box so that we know Windows didn't just crash again?

Actually, this reminds me of an entry from SKB's classic Devil's DP Dictionary:

blank card n. Also called spacer card. An unpunched card placed in an input deck at 10,000-card intervals. Since electromechanical devices enjoy a consistent 1e10^4 error rate, the blank-card trick minimizes the impact of card-reader malfunctions.

An oldie, but a goodie!

Comment Re:i would, but data plan is risky & incompreh (Score 1) 384

Clearly you know about large roaming fees. Yet you don't seem to be willing to sidestep the issue by leaving the phone at home. That just means that you are a troll.

My CDMA phone had a very important quality that a GSM phone does not: If I forget to leave it at home, flip some switch, do a little happy dance, or whatever it is I'm supposed to do, it won't ruin my life.

Ever heard of risk management? If a house had a big, red button one had to press once a day to keep it from exploding, I could "sidestep the issue" by just remembering to press the button, but there's no way in hell I'm going to buy such a house. I have more than enough things in my life that require my vigilance--I don't need another.

Thank you for the rest of your informative post. I already go completely pre-paid, partly for the reasons above, and partly because I want to be able to switch carriers rapidly when they (inevitably) screw things up. So far I hadn't found anything authoritative that says that a pre-paid SIM even works in an Android phone. (Well, I guess I still haven't, but at least it's another data point.)

The first phone company that comes out with a simple deal that says "this is what you get, this is what it costs, cancel anytime" is going to wipe the floor with the rest of the competition.

Comment i would, but data plan is risky & incomprehens (Score 1, Troll) 384

I would love to have and develop for one of these, but the various service plans required to use them seem murky, incomprehensible, and extremely risky.

  • Murky and Incomprehensible: Can anyone surf one of the Android sites and figure out WTF plans you actually need to run these phones and what it will cost per year? It's worse than buying a house. I'd rather try to figure out the federal deficit.
  • Risky: I keep reading these stories about people who traveled and came home to discover a phone bill larger than my annual salary. Sorry, but I am not going to risk my financial well-being to own a whizzy phone.

Until they can fix these problems, I'm sitting on the sidelines.

Comment Re:"restless leg syndrome" is quite real (Score 1) 249

One difference is that you can in principle avoid biting your nails, at least for a while. I imagine that even the most compulsive can cease for five minutes.

If you're having a restless leg attack, then you're having it, and there's not much you can do in the short run to stop it, short of suicide.

It's certainly possible that RLS is fallout from all of the wonderful fast food, drugs, lethargy, etc., that comes with a wealthy economy.

Comment "restless leg syndrome" is quite real (Score 4, Insightful) 249

Try to find incidents of Restless Leg Syndrome (by that name or any other) prior to the advertising campaign. See for yourself how difficult that is. Then you will see that it's not some malady that has plagued mankind over the years for which we finally have a treatment.

Having slept with someone who was tormented by this for months, I can assure you that it is quite real, whatever it is. It's possible that it was much rarer (or nonexistent) prior to 1900, but that's hardly proof that it doesn't exist now.

Your argument was going okay until you introduced this howler...

Comment Re:Same as any other profession (Score 1) 1322

You probably have been working on projects that did not employ post-project evaluations

That's true, or at least, if any were done I was not privy to that knowledge. My impression is perhaps somewhat skewed in that I found these situations unpleasant enough that I didn't stick around to see the inevitable disasters play out.

Comment Re:Higher pay allows more people to consider teach (Score 1) 1322

I'm familiar with the concept--I just moved out of a similiar district in another large city.

Vouchers, for better or for worse, have been completely tainted by religious conservatives, who see them as a way to use taxpayer dollars to further their agenda.

Private schools are somewhat tainted by this thinking, and are also harmed by the Ayn Rand types who do not understand why (for example) private fire protection is unworkable.

As you say, it's a tragedy that the kids are held hostage to these political agendas. Unfortunately it won't end until we agree that a quality, public, secular education for every child is a fundamental right and a serious priority.

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