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Comment Re:still too expensive (Score 1) 261

So what's your explanation for the falling numbers of people who are willing to pay for the "theater experience"?

Home TV screens being bigger mainly.

Also, there are now other forms of entertainment to take into account too like computer games.

I think if you take the amount spent on movies, tv, music and games all together you will find that it has not change much over the past few years. It might have gone down a little actually but that is probably just due to the means of delivery getting cheaper so the costs to and user going down as well when you take inflation into account. I think if you compare the cost of an album in the shops now to in the 60's the price has actually fallen.

The big change though is that piracy has become easier from a technical perspective with the advent of digital recordings so people who refuse to pay for their entertainment find it easier. Also, there is the notion that nothing is lost by that extra copy somehow making it acceptable.

Comment Re:still too expensive (Score 2) 261

1$ a song is ridiculous.

Are you sure? I earn $1 in about 5 minutes so it seems fair to pay that to me, especially for the amount of time and effort someone has to put in to create a song that I like. The problem is that to most young people (who engage in most piracy) that 1$ is worth far more since they earn less. A cup of coffee that last about 5 minutes costs twice that and can't be consumed twice.

When I was a kid I would go round gathering up supermarket trolleys to return that people had walked off and left the coin deposit in. I could not understand why the hell anybody did this, now I can. If I lose $10 I am slightly annoyed but nothing more, to really piss me off I would have to lose a few hundred. If get too drunk and miss the last train home I just get a cab all the way, that costs about $80.

This is the real problem, the vast gap in earnings between those of us who have a real career type job and the low wage McJobs that are open to young people. That vast gap in ability to earn money means that the price points chosen for lots of products like DVD's and music now are very high from young peoples point of view. Young professionals are often the target market for music and entertainment now, and that means if you are still a student the prices chosen seem obscene.

Comment Re:Nothing to predict (Score 1) 213

That accounts for much of President Obama's actions in the war against al Qaida.

What war against al Qaida? You mean that big recruitment drive for them in Iraq, where Al Qaida did not even exist before the US invasion?
You mean the lost war against the Taliban, US allies against Russia, who were no threat against the US, and held no grudge until being invaded?

8000 American troops dead, >600,000 Iraqi excess deaths, and worldwide loss of respect. Beats "negligence or inaction" eh?

Yes but it did enable Iraqi oil to be sold on the open market again, unlike before when it was blackmarket sale only. It could have gone on like that for decades too as no fucker in Iraq was ever going to rise up and get rid of Saddam. The only people who might have are Iran and they are the last people we wanted to have the Iraqi oil fields.

Comment Re:Nothing to predict (Score -1) 213

The 2nd Amendment isn't meant, necessarily, for the populace to storm the Senate every single time they pass something that is disagreed with; you do its proponents a dishonour to paint them this way.

The second amendment now is just a way of making sure the american arms industry has a good market for its products at home. Any idea of it helping keep the US population safe has long since gone out the window, it is about the companies the donate to the NRA wanting to make as much money as possible and that means having as larger market for their products as possible.

Guns make individual people feel safer, they do not necessarily make society as a whole safer.

It made sense when it was enacted a few hundred years ago before massive but also densely populated cities existed but things have changed and will carry on changing. Most other countries have been able to let their gun laws evolve but in the US this is more difficult.

So people who are never going to rise up against the government however tyrannical it gets, have no need to hunt, live in a built up area and have no need to protect themselves from anyone apart from their neighbours and fellow citizens can get a gun. Maybe this would be ok if you could stop criminals getting them but that is impossible when they are so easy for normal people to buy. I can buy a gun, then just give it to a criminal with very little comeback but making a healthy markup. Changing this would be a damn good start but even that the NRA is against changing as it would mean less guns sold and that would affect those donations from companies making money from the civilian market.

Comment Re:What about new talent? (Score 1) 1501

I just recently graduated with a degree in mathematics, and a minor in computer science. I can program well, for the amount of experience I have, and I would love to get better. I, personally, think that one of the best ways that I could get better is to contribute to OSS projects. However, I can't lie, reading stories about the abusiveness of the community is a huge turn off. Now, I realize that I am probably not one of those people who 'should know better,' and I realize that really extraordinary outbursts are rare (which is why they get reported on, obviously), but I still have enormous trepidation about joining the OSS community. I feel I may have talent and ideas to contribute, but when I see stories about the way that people get treated when they make mistakes, it makes me want to avoid the whole thing. I wouldn't be doing it for money, I would be doing it for fun, and to learn. And as far as I'm concerned, if I'm going to be abused for making mistakes, I am not having fun, and I am likely not learning much either. Now, again, I understand that this is not usually the case as far as OSS development, but I'm just relaying my gut reaction to hearing about behavior like that.

Ok, your first problem is that you are going to need a job.

I hate to break it to you but sometimes managers can be a little caustic, they are generally very well paid but have to put up with quite a lot of stress. Sometimes, this makes them get angry with you if you are contributing to that stress or they feel you are. They should not, they know they should not but we are only human and sometimes we make mistakes. You are just going to have to get used to it.

I have worked in a few different roles (shop assistant, telesales, rigger, developer). The only job I had where people were always polite to each other was when working a rigger because you had an awful lot of very large, physically able men who would seriously make a mess of you if you were rude. In every other job I found managers sometimes get stressed and pissed off. They might try not to, but if you make mistakes you will sooner or later either get shouted at or you just get fired. People always make mistakes so sooner or later you will get shouted it, even if only because the underlying reason was the boss having a bad day.

The difference with the linux kernel is that every time this happens everyone hears about it. That should not stop you getting involved though because you are unlikely to have to deal with these people as you are just not good enough yet. In about 5 years you might be if you can get your million hours of C coding in but by then you might be more tolerant of people being caustic. You might not, but cross that bridge later. You might find you contribute to other open source projects where everyone is more polite, the kernel is one of the most stressful and complicated so not all OSS projects are like that.

Comment Re:Victim Card (Score 1) 1501

Please don't take this too harshly and please don't think I am picking on you. I like you and you are a swell fellow and all. However, I feel it is necessary that I impress upon you that this isn't really a bug and having this trivial and non-broken thing filed as a bug has consumed a little bit of our time that we would rather not be wasting on things like this. Also, here is a pat on the back and an atta-boy so you don't feel I am being mean to you, okay?

If you ever spoke to me like that I would punch your lights out :)

Comment Re:Linus management technique works (Score 1) 1501

Ironically his argument about fake politeness is EXACTLY what he's getting. People are pretending that his horrible behavior is acceptable just because they don't want to get on his bad side.

Not necessarily. He mentions in his reply that he does not hold grudges. Many people are like this, we forget about disagreements quickly and don't let them tarnish future communications.

It means that some people might be talking to him politely, because he is talking politely to you at that time because there is not disagreement over the current topic of conversation. How you communicated yesterday over a different topic is of no relevance. if you force it to still be relevant because you bear a grudge then that may be something you need to resolve, not them.

In my opinion after reading what she reacted to like this it is obvious that this is not a reaction to the actual email she replied to, as the email she replied to was obviously a joke about accidentally squashing someone.

It sounds like she replied to that but was actually taking issue with something else, probably the caustic nature of a bunch of male developers who all incredibly passionate about something that has very much become their baby. They no longer (and probably never have) viewed their work on the kernel as job. It is a hobby that they started getting paid for.

As to whether she is right I guess it depends. I know of many careers where rudeness is accepted, you just get used to being spoken to in that manner if you know their is no maliciousness behind it. I always remember by stepfather taking about journalism and how his editors spoke to him, they would still all socialise together though as soon as the broadcast went out and both parties always knew that there was no real ill meant, it was just one way of blowing off steam that was acceptable in their workplace.

Comment Re:Malcolm Gladwell? Is that you? (Score 1) 217

Criticism of Gladwell is more extensive. [shameproject.com]

Lol, that site is about as far from impartial as you can get.

"No, no, no... They don't say his writing lacks facts to back it up. They only have issues with the fact that he's drawing conclusions out of his ass and making up a 'better' version of facts cause he didn't understand the original, boring ones."

Not sure where that came from, it is not a quote from my reply to you or wikipedia. You do not source it, so not really sure how it pertains to anything unless it is what you are saying, in which case I am just confused by the quotation marks around it.

And no... that's not the "main thrust of criticism". THAT is just the criticism aimed at his books.

That WAS the main thrust of the criticism on the wikipedia page linked to originally though.

Comment Re:So this means more jobs for American STEMs? (Score 1) 277

Unlikely. Trade has to be a huge net benefit otherwise it doesn't get done because the companies that are involved in it have to cover huge costs (transport; multinational lawyers; dealing with multiple regulations; insurance; security people; translations; business travel for sales; moving support people etc.). From the point of view of the place that it's done in, all those costs are employed people.

I was not really thinking about jobs moving over seas, I was thinking more about them simply never happening. Once a company exists in a particular place, then you are right, there is no way they would move.

I was thinking more along the lines of if the US lacks STEM graduates then there will be less startups and also that if you are looking at getting a new project off the ground you would outsource it to a country where it could be done more quickly rather than waiting the time it would take to hire enough people. Assuming you already have enough people though then this is unlikely to be an issue as you say.

Comment Re:I'm amazed... (Score 2) 1737

Zimmerman was NOT the aggressor. Walking on a sidewalk and following someone is NOT an act of aggression.

Are you sure? If you have ever lived in a slightly scary city environment and clocked that you were being followed this might not be your attitude.

For me though it always comes back to this: If a black guy had been walking round the streets of his local neighbourhood following 17 year old white kids and ended up shooting one who had no violent criminal past would he have been found guilty or innocent?

If the answer is that he would be more likely to be found guilty then there is a problem somewhere that needs solving, whatever the cause.

Comment Re:It has a deep tradition it seems (Score 1) 217

I can find you just as many articles saying you shouldn't go to wikipedia looking for factual information either :)

I think it is worth noting though that the main thrust of criticism is not that Gladwell's writing lacks facts, it is instead that they take issue with how he draws conclusions and oversimplification.

That is an oft used criticism though from academics who have a tendency to other non-academics dumbing down their fields for public consumption. The problem is though that someone needs to do this as academics do not work in an ivory tower, their work often impacts on society as a whole so there needs to be some attempt at translating it into words that society as a whole can actually understand. Some academics can put things across in plain english with plenty of nice easy analogies, some are not interested in trying or are unable to. I think Gladwell is fairly good at making modern philosophical topics more accessible, that can only be a good thing even if he does do it in an imperfect manner.

Comment Re:XBMC (Score 1) 221

The only other issue I am aware of that does bother me is the stories of people having their entire account locked because they reversed the charge for a game that turned out to not work or was falsely advertised.

This is very dubious. I think a good test here would be whether you could get a refund from a retailer under the same conditions. If not, and you do an end run around the retailer to the credit card company then that seems to be a bit strange, even if you can do it legally. Doing an end run around either a store or an online distributer in this case is a bit weird so no wonder Valve just treat all chargebacks as a stolen card.

Comment Re:competing with asia (Score 1) 580

I ducked out of a STEM degree myself exactly because it was too much work and because science classes turned out to be a huge drag on my grades. However, this wasn't because the content itself was "hard," it was because at the university level all the math and science classes I took were graded competitively on a curve, and this system gave a tremendous advantage to all the students from Korea and China who were brought up spending every waking hour in study.

Ultimately, I changed to a liberal arts degree. This wasn't the only reason I switched away from STEM, but it certainly made my decision easier.

So you gave up because you couldn't be bothered to work as hard as people from China and Korea living in the US? If that is true that is pretty pathetic on your part and may explain much of why the US needs so many H-1B visas.

There are other possible reasons though why chinese and korean students do better at Maths. I remember reading this a few years ago in Outliers by Malcom Gladwell: http://www.gladwell.com/outliers/outliers_excerpt3.html

Its a good book and I would recommend reading it if you can be bothered.

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