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Comment Re:ah the anti-NSF crowd again (Score 1) 307

There are a lot of culture changes "no one wants." Among these are racially integrated societies. I'm not comparing the two, but I am saying that "unpopular ideas" should not be restricted based on their lack of popularity.

Wait ... are you actually arguing that walled White Power townships should be allowed to exist? In America?

Comment Re:Wrong. (Score 1) 207

The problem is that they don't sell washing machines.

Amazon make enough profit in other areas of their business (eg: advertising) that they don't need to make a profit selling eBooks.

This is actually the case with Kobo, too. As others have pointed out, Kobo is owned by Japanese internet giant Rakuten, which makes a lotta money. In their earnings statements, they don't even break out the Kobo division's revenue as a separate line item. So they said Kobo revenues were "up 143%" last year, but they didn't say how much they actually were. Thus I take their claim that they're #2 in the ebook biz with a grain of salt.

Submission + - Most projects on GitHub aren't open source licensed (theregister.co.uk)

PCM2 writes: Kids these days just don't care about open source. That's the conclusion of the Software Freedom Law Center's Aaron Williamson, who analyzed some 1.7 million projects on GitHub and found that only about 15% of them had a clearly identifiable license in their top-level directories. And of the projects that did have licenses, the vast majority preferred permissive licenses such as the MIT, BSD, or Apache licenses, rather than the GPL. Has the younger generation given up on ideas like copyleft and Free Software? And if so, what can be done about it?

Comment Re:I don't see what the big deal is... (Score 1) 128

Yeah, maybe I just don't understand gamers, but I don't get all the fuss either. This is a collection of fun/weird things that you can plant in your city, like a big garden gnome or the "world's biggest ball of twine." They're free; all you gotta do is buy a tube of toothpaste or some floss, which I hope you're doing anyway. This just seems like harmless fun stuff for people who like to put their own stamp on their game worlds. And if it wasn't Crest sponsoring them, it would have been someone else.

Comment Re:Wolfram is a nut. (Score 1) 36

“Given how complicated things in nature are, you might think the programs running them would be very complicated,” he began.

This one quote points to the main problem I had with A New Kind of Science, which was that Wolfram seemed to start with a plausible, interesting premise -- "patterns we see in nature can be modeled using very simple cellular automata" -- but then he seemed to repeatedly conclude that "these cellular automata are therefore what are running the processes of nature," which seems absurd.

It's like he has this bizarre short circuit in his brain where he thinks a successful model is necessarily identical to the real process, so that if you stare deeper and deeper into the model -- which you yourself created -- then you will be able to understand more about the real-world process without ever doing so much as a real-world experiment. What do you call that, if not a god complex?

Otherwise, I found Wolfram's text to be more or less indistinguishable from any other long-winded crank science manifesto that purports to refute all of known science and usher in a new age of progress if only the bastards weren't trying to keep me quiet, god damn them! It seems a shame that he's dedicated so much of his life to such pursuits when he seems to be an otherwise competent mathematician and programmer. Kind of a wasted life, if you ask me.

Comment How's it work on Android? (Score 3, Informative) 232

Eh? Netflix seems to work just fine on my Android tablets, and I'm pretty sure it's not using Silverlight there. Probably doesn't use it on the various Smart TVs and Blu-Ray players that support it, either. Is this just a case of Google deciding to enable something that other people were using already? Or do these other platforms use Moonlight or something?

Comment Re:"Very expensive"? (Score 5, Insightful) 127

Wow, where can you do that? What distribution channels does that give you access to?

For a lot of types of music, there is no mass market. The "distribution channels" are MySpace, Facebook, and Amazon. The role of the record label is minimal.

I had one friend who managed to score a distribution deal with a pretty big indy distributor. It meant you could walk into any Virgin Megastore on Earth and buy his CD. But did you? No ... you didn't. Those CDs sat there for a few months and were rotated out for something else. Distribution channels aren't everything ... and this isn't the music industry of even a few years ago.

That said, realize that all a record label really is is a bank with a lot of connections. Everything a major record label "spends" on you ... for recording, mixing, mastering, distribution, promotion ... is really just a loan. Nothing is a gift. You get paid, but not before they've made back every penny they spent on you. Putting out an album with record label backing is 100% analogous to starting a company with VC funding.

Comment "Very expensive"? (Score 4, Insightful) 127

$125 for one ISBN is only "very expensive" when you consider that ten ISBNs is $250. There are plenty of people who are willing to sell you an extra ISBN for cheap.

That said, $125 for an ISBN is only "very expensive" in a country where the average person spends less than $125 for a bag of groceries. Which ain't this one.

On a broader level, one of most baffling things to me has been how little people are willing to invest in their own futures. They'll spend $1,500 on an HDTV, but spend $125 for an ISBN -- when publishing their novel is presumably one of their lifelong dreams -- hell no! I can't afford it! It's so much money! I've listened to long harangues from musicians about how unjust the music industry is, and it turns out all they need is $2,500 to put out an album that's already been written AND recorded. I just can't understand it -- if it's that important to you, if this is what you really want to do with your life, why wouldn't you just put $2,500 on your credit card and damn the consequences? Honestly, I've made my living as a writer for well over a decade now, so I know what it's like to make no money at all ... but $2,500 is such an inconsequential amount of funds to spend on your own dreams that I just can't comprehend anybody complaining about it. In this society, $2,500 is the kind of money you don't even need to ask somebody for ... just fill out a form, they'll send you a card, and you can get a $2,500 loan -- or more -- without ever looking a human in the eye. So ... we're bitching about $250 now? No wait... we're apparently bitching about $125?

Comment Re:It's not the slashvertisement (Score 2) 171

Instead of training your staff not to open phishy emails, just ban any email client that allows execute-on-open.

I'm not sure that's the main problem, actually. Where spear phishing is concerned, I mostly hear about emails that are crafted to look like legitimate messages from companies like banks, FedEx, etc. If you can convince someone to click through to a website, it's not hard to ship them malware -- particularly if they have the Java plugin enabled.

Comment Re:Documentation Shitty so Developers Turn to Web (Score 1) 418

One of the most annoying things about the MS API documentation is all the unexplained dependencies.

I've noticed this even when trying to do simple things -- such as whipping up a quick VBA macro for use in Word.

My question, though, is how do you think Microsoft should do it? Those structs exist, they need to be documented ... isn't hyperlinking to a page of documentation the most efficient way to achieve that?

Comment Re:Size might not matter... (Score 2) 433

Speak for yourself. I routinely carry a Nook Simple Touch in my back pocket, which is about the size of a 7" tablet. It's a lot more convenient than carrying a trade paperback book. With a book, I'll probably need to leave the house with a shoulder bag. With the Nook, I just put it in my pocket, irrespective of how long the book I'm reading is. When I want to sit down, I just take it out of my pocket and put it on the table. It works pretty well -- provided, of course, that you live in a city where you don't spend the majority of your time driving.

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