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Comment Re:So let's see... (Score 3, Informative) 362

Of the 176,745,364 people in Pakistan (according to World Bank), they chose 130 and managed to get more than half who were related to the "474 to 884" people who've died.

Not at all sure what your point is. I haven't read the report, but your comment is without merit.

They targeted a lot of people who were relatives of the deceased. They didn't randomly sample the country and then happen to get over 65 who were related to the deceased.

And the problem with that is...?

Comment Re:Will this result in lower prices? (Score 1) 242

Authors are likely getting the same cut (or less). So that mostly leaves lining the pockets of Amazon.

If you put aside the top publishing companies, as well as the top bestselling authors, many/most authors are getting a better deal with ebooks than with print books. What's happening is that since the distribution/production costs have gone down, Amazon is offering authors a higher percentage than they normally get from a traditional publisher. I suspect some publishers are doing likewise to prevent authors from ditching them and selling directly on Amazon.

In any case, we're straying away from the point. If you want to know why the big publishers are charging as much, I suggest you read these articles. In a nutshell, the big publishers did not anticipate the change occurring as rapidly as it did, and had made several long term (e.g. 20+ years) financial commitments (norm for that and other industries) back in the early 2000's. They can't dump a lot of their facilities as a cost saving measure as they've committed to paying for them for the long term.

Amazon came and messed it up for them (and I'm not sympathetic to the publishers). But the point is a lot of other forces come into play in determining the final cost. Had the ebook revolution not occurred, they would have lost had they not made such investments. It was a gamble they were used to making, and they played the wrong hand.

Comment Re:below cost? (Score 1) 242

Sony? Nook? Ipad? Sure selection helps Amazon but they also have a very good product and they are ahead in the game than any of the other alternatives that i know of.

I really can't speak of today, but less than 2 years ago when I was in the market for one, both the Sony and the Nook were well ahead of the Kindle.

The Kindle did not have a touch sensitive display. When you read news ePubs like I do, it's almost useless.

The Kindle did not support ePubs (not sure it does even now). There goes the option to buy books from different stores, or the option to find a better deal. Or the option to check out books from the library (in those days, none of the libraries I checked supported the Kindle - only in the past year did my local one add Kindle support). I think there were other formats the Kindle did not support which many other ereaders did. If it's hard for me to buy epubs from other stores on today's Kindle, then it's still a crappy option.

At the time, the Kindle's support for PDFs was poor. The others weren't that much better, to be honest, but Kindle usually ended last when it came to handling PDFs.

If I could find the notes I had written comparing some 5-6 different ereader brands, I could probably list more deficiencies. Sure, one or two of the brands were worse than the Kindle, but the Sony and the Nook (in those days) were better. Today may be a different story (the Sony is ridiculously expensive).

The Kindle started off with a bang. They just failed to stay ahead of the competition for a while and let others catch up.

Comment Re:Will this result in lower prices? (Score 3) 242

$10 from Amazon in paperback or kindle format, less than that from other sellers, and less than 1/5th that used. That's just one I know to be ridiculous from memory. How is it the same price to pulp a tree, print it, package it, and ship it to my house as it is to copy a digital file and send it over the internet (not even over wireless networks since most of the new Kindle's are WiFi only)?

I'm getting tired of this argument.

You're living in a fantasy world where the price of commodities is always dictated by production costs.

It may be true for expensive physical products, but when the price is low (as $10 is compared to a $500 tablet), the price is dominated by other factors.

Comment Re:below cost? (Score 4, Insightful) 242

Of course, the smart publisher would not sell a license to Amazon. Perhaps it's because my knowledge of the matter is admittedly incomplete, but I fail to see what leg these publishers have to stand on, considering.

Your so-called smart publisher would not value his brains when he has to shut down as a result.

Amazon has a huge edge on ebook sales - ask any publisher how many of their ebooks are sold on Amazon vs all other venues combined.

People don't go for the best products on the market. Everyone I know other than myself bought a Kindle instead of better alternatives. Their argument always was: "Oh, your device may be better, but Amazon has the largest selection."

"OK, what ebooks do you want that can only be bought at Amazon?"

No answer. Because there aren't any. Sure Amazon really does have a larger selection, but no one I personally know wants any of the exclusively Amazon ebooks anyway.

But would a consumer do that analysis? No. Not even when it's pointed out to them before they buy.

Guess how many of these Kindle owners buy ebooks from anywhere other than Amazon?


So yeah, a publisher can say, "Nah, we won't sell on Amazon" to which Jeff Bezos will throw some change their way saying "Here're some pennies for when you become homeless."

Comment Re:Home-calling consumer services? (Score 3, Interesting) 162

That's pretty much the ultimate ""your own fault" approach. There is a fairly widespread subset of th epopulation that thinks that any ailment is the sick person's fault.

I don't know if there's a formal term for it, but I've heard it referred to as the "Just World Fallacy". People assume the world is fair, and thus if something bad happens to someone, it's his fault - either he took actions that led to his misfortune, or he failed to take actions to prevent it.

Basically, people who invoke it need to feel secure about the world. They want to believe such stuff won't happen to them.

Anyway, as for the GP's theories, I've seen research that shows that things like taking care of your health, aerobics, etc are far more likely to help older folks' brains solve problems than keeping them active with technical stuff (mathematics, puzzles, etc).

Comment Re:Limited visa = no high potentials (Score 1) 357

They changed the immigration rules for Canada in 2008 - now it's tougher to get in unless you're in the right profession.

Mechanical Engineer? Civil? Electrical? Programmer? Sorry, you're not eligible to apply. They reduced the allowed professions to a few. Within engineering I think it's only mining/petroleum (guess why).

If you have a job offer, then it's a different story.

Comment Re:Let them all in (Score 1) 357

They are issued two 6-month visas and four 1-year visas (not at the same time, but sequentially), where they must be employed at $100,000 or more and have no criminal convictions of any kind

If I were from another part of the world with the skills needed to earn over $100,000, then there's no way I'd accept this kind of deal. Trust me - the US is not the only good place to live that has good jobs. Other countries would give me better deals than 6-month/1-year visas.

I mean, really - you're saying make sure they live with those visas for 5 years and if they maintain all that, they get green cards. So highly qualified workers more or less must "suspend" their life for 5 years just for a green card? Because with one year visas, with the fear that it won't get renewed because someone decided the prevailing salary should be $98,000, no one is going to make any kind of long term investment. Have kids? Well, why should we move to the US and put them in a school where they may quickly get uprooted? Want to buy a house? Bad idea. I may get kicked out in 6 months.

but the real effect is that the $110,000 per year jobs would settle in around $100,000 per year, and immigrants looking to move to the US would aim for the $150,000+ jobs for the extra cushion.

That only emphasizes my point. I defy you to find someone who can thinks he/she can earn $150,000 and is willing to move to another country on a measly one year visa. Heck, if I'm worth that much to you, you better get me a green card in 1 year. Me? If I thought I could earn that much, I'd rather go to Australia, earn $120,000, and am almost guaranteed a permanent residency in 1.5 years than deal with snobby Americans and have the "privilege" of becoming a permanent resident. The Australians probably have better health care, too.

I just made up Australia. If not them, I don't doubt there would still be better options.

Comment Re:And this is a success? (Score 1) 76

I can't believe how low the teaching level must've got if a machine receives better outcomes than a teacher.

Your lack of objectivity is startling. You're assuming a priori that machines should be worse than teachers. As such you're not in a position to gauge the merits of the study.

Also, comparing to Fermi is silly. Even in Fermi's day most teachers were not as good at instruction as he may have been. The study isn't trying to show that machine guided instruction outperforms the best teachers, but that they outperform most.

Comment Re:Orca good? (Score 1) 138

But, lets face it: a linux geek that hardly uses linux (as you seem to claim) is NOT a linux geek. Disagree?

Definitely disagree. A Linux geek is one who knows a lot about Linux, and likes it.

I never said he didn't like Linux. I said he hates the available screen readers.

Here, your own words: "So he does all his email, web browsing, etc in Windows, as well as as much programming as he can get away with. For him Linux has been relegated to a toy he plays with once in a while.". So, not a linux geek.

You make it too easy - let me point out a simple flaw in your defintion. According to you, one can only be a geek in one OS (or language, or whatever). Because if you use one OS more than another, you can only be a geek in the one you use more. Hence you can't be, say, a Linux geek and a MacOS geek.

I simply can't see how using Windows more prevents someone from being a geek in another OS. You're invoking false partitioning.

It's a pathetic definition.

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