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Comment Re:A journalist makes money; a blogger doesn't (Score 1) 353

Hello? People who earn their pay from ad revenue make up the vast majority of journalists. Where else do you suppose the money to pay salaries at CBS and Time comes from?

I don't see how having an editorial staff standing between the writer and the ad buyer affects whether or not the writer is a journalist.

Comment His debt, not yours (Score 1) 402

In the midst of your situation, it may help to remember you aren't responsible for your father's debts, including any issues with the auctions, sales, returns, etc. Don't fill the orders or accept the returns. Don't deal with it; it's not your problem. You have enough to deal with. If anyone asks you what you're going to do about it, tell them: nothing. Remind them the man they have a contract with is no longer here to honor it.

Comment Re:You have one option... (Score 1) 495

Do NOT threaten to leave. Don't hint at it. Your options are your options, unless you back yourself into a corner.

It's extremely aggressive. Put the shoe on the other foot: when was the last time your boss told you "Do it or you're fired"? How would you react? How would you react if it would't affect your income?

Remember, your job is much more important to you than to your boss. Treat it with respect, not like a poker chip.

Comment Re:I do not think it means what you think it means (Score 1) 333

In other words, whether hard or electronic copy, when you "buy" a book, you're really just licensing it, to put it in the words you used. There is no "bought."

Not true, else there would be no used book market. That battle was fought with publishers at the turn of the century. (The tune never changes, only the technology.) Publishers were including license agreements in books, setting terms of use that excluded, among other things, resale. The supreme court said if if looks like a sale, it is a sale, "license" notwithstanding.

(The OP asks What Happens When Corporations Become Publishers. I would think we already know, because most books are published and sold by corporations, and have been for a long time.)

Image

The White House Listed On Real Estate Website 123

Forget visiting the White House, if you have $10 million you can own it. At least that is the price for the president's home on the real estate website Redfin. From the article: "Obviously this is an error. It looks like Redfin software pulled an example listing from the website Owners.com by mistake. That example listing was the White House. We have e-mailed Redfin for comment." I know it's historic but it still looks a bit on the high side according to the comparables in the area.
Education

Recommendations For C++/OpenGL Linux Tutorials? 117

QuaveringGrape writes "After a few years of Python I've recently been trying to expand my programming knowledge into the realm of compiled languages. I started with C, then switched over to C++. A friend and longtime OpenGL programmer told me about NeHe's tutorials as a good step after the command-line programs started to get old, but there's a problem: all the tutorials are very Windows-based, and I've been using Linux as my single platform for a while now. I'm looking for suggestions for tutorials that are easy to learn, without being dumbed down or geared towards non-programmers."
Input Devices

Microsoft Docs Indicate Future Xbox 360 Support For USB Storage 130

Internal Microsoft documents obtained by Joystiq indicate that its Xbox 360 console will gain support for USB storage devices some time this Spring. "According to the document, the USB mass storage device must be at least 1GB and the system will do a compatibility check. 'The system partition occupies 512 MB of space, and by default the consumer partition occupies the remainder of the device capacity, or 16 GB, whichever is smaller.' Upon inserting a blank USB storage device, 'consumers are offered two choices: "Configure now" or "Customize."' The 'Configure now' option will use 'the entire device capacity, up to the maximum of 512 MB plus 16 GB,' meaning, regardless of the overall size of the device you're using, the Xbox will only enable 16 GB of usable, non-system storage. The 'Customize' option will allow you to 'preserve some pre-existing, non-console data on the device' such as music." There have also been rumors of a new, smaller form factor for the 360, and hacker Ben Heck has given his thoughts on some leaked motherboard pictures.
Earth

Piezo Crystals Harness Sound To Generate Hydrogen 187

MikeChino writes "Scientists at the University of Wisconsin-Madison have discovered that a mix of zinc oxide crystals, water, and noise pollution can efficiently produce hydrogen without the need for a dirty catalyst like oil. To generate the clean hydrogen, researchers produced a new type of zinc oxide crystals that absorb vibrations when placed in water. The vibrations cause the crystals to develop areas with strong positive and negative charges — a reaction that rips the surrounding water molecules and releases hydrogen and oxygen. The mechanism, dubbed the piezoelectrochemical effect, converts 18% of energy from vibrations into hydrogen gas (compared to 10% from conventional piezoelectric materials), and since any vibration can produce the effect, the system could one day be used to generate power from anything that produces noise — cars whizzing by on the highway, crashing waves in the ocean, or planes landing at an airport."
Programming

Simpler "Hello World" Demonstrated In C 582

An anonymous reader writes "Wondering where all that bloat comes from, causing even the classic 'Hello world' to weigh in at 11 KB? An MIT programmer decided to make a Linux C program so simple, she could explain every byte of the assembly. She found that gcc was including libc even when you don't ask for it. The blog shows how to compile a much simpler 'Hello world,' using no libraries at all. This takes me back to the days of programming bare-metal on DOS!"
Microsoft

Visual Studio 2010 Forces Tab Indenting 390

An anonymous reader writes "For years, Microsoft has allowed Visual Studio users to define arbitrary tab widths, often to the dismay of those viewing the resultant code in other editors. With VS 2010, it appears that they have taken the next step of forcing tab width to be the same as the indent size in code. Two-space tabs anyone?"

Comment Re:Forget FAT/VFAT, make your own. (Score 1) 569

First of all, FAT is patent encumbered and Microsoft's willing to go to court to protect it; so that's out.

If you honor the patent, you reinforce it. If you ignore it, you weaken it. Millions of Lilliputian cuts make it irrelevant. Why not join in?

Someone needs to make a good file system that matches FAT, but is more extensible.

Well, the thing about FAT is it's recognized by just about every computer on the planet and a lot of non-computers. How are you going to make your post-FAT filesystem accessible to hundreds of millions of Windows computers? If you don't do that, what data exchange problem have you solved?

If you don't care about nonfree OSes, a simple convention would suffice. If the kernel understood that, say, uid==0 && gid=-1 meant the same thing as chmod 777 and that all files created in such a directory got the directory's uid and gid, you'd have everything you want without even touching the fs code.

Comment Re:Face Value vs Ore Value (Score 1) 394

> Change in the price level, inflation or deflation, is a monetary phenomenon.

No, this is the manipulated effect. The natural effect is due to falling prices as inputs become cheaper and competition maintains or decreases the profit margin.

I can't help you, Matt. You think you know what value is. You think inflation a priori punishes savers. You questioned my math and then didn't refute it. You don't bother to address how banks can operate during deflation. You don't seem to realize why deflation led to farms being repossessed during the depressions 1800-1939. You don't consider that your "solution" has been discredited after widespread historical experience. Your answers are not even wrong.

Here's a basic question: Why is -1% inflation better than +1% inflation? Does the answer change if we double the rate repeatedly?

No industrialized economy has ever stayed on the gold standard. Elected/unelected, capitalist/communist, east/west: Nyet. It's not because of shortsightedness. It's because deflation sucks. You can fight that and dispute it all you like. I tried to illustrate for you why it sucks. This idea you have that there's something natural about economic activity, that's it's not a manmade phenomenon subject to chaos theory, is just gold bug claptrap, nothing more.

Comment Re:Face Value vs Ore Value (Score 1) 394

$10 BOY deposit

$9 = $10 * (1.0 - 0.10) => value of $10 after one year with -10% change in price level (deflation).

$1 = $10 - $9 => nominal loss in value.

-9% => the bank's advertised APR.

$9.10 = $10 * (1.0 + -0.09) => EOY nominal value, what's in your account.

11% = $9.10 / $9.00 => your real return.

Simplifying somewhat, a real return Nominal - Inflation. If inflation is 4% and nominal interest is 7%, the real return is 3%. If inflation is -4%, and nominal 7%, the real return is 11%. To get a real return of 3% when inflation is -4%, nominal is -1% (because 3% = -1% + -4%).

That's the math: the bank pays you a premium over the prevailing changes in the price level — a real return — in exchange for your money. The problem is that you, as the holder of the original $10 in my example, are better off not depositing your money. If you accept the bank's deal, you're left with $9.10. If you ignore the bank, you're left with $10. And $10 beats $9.10 any day of the week, come inflation or deflation. Most people figure that out pretty soon when faced with the prospect, and banks quickly become unable to attract deposits. Etc., etc.

There is no such thing as real deflation from increases in efficiency. Change in the price level, inflation or deflation, is a monetary phenomenon. It's a function of the amount of money chasing the amount of goods and services produced. Holding the money supply constant while the economy grows (or shrinks) is no more "real" than changing the money supply while the economy is unchanged.

What I'm saying is very simple and uncontroversial: the money supply must grow with the economy, else there is deflation, and deflation is unsustainable due to the asymmetry in how interest works in the banking system. It is not a matter of trickery or psychology; it is a recognition of how people behave in the real world.

And, speaking of the real world, I'm also making an unassailable objective case: gold standards were tried and failed over the centuries, and today no government anywhere uses one. If you want to believe that's because governments everywhere prosper by deceiving the governed, I can only point out that they didn't used to.

Comment Re:Face Value vs Ore Value (Score 1) 394

The rabble about banking ceasing when there is deflation is rubbish.

It's true and it's simple. Suppose it's January and $10 is worth $10. You put your money in the bank. In December, $10 is worth $9 — nominal, of course. The bank collects its, say, $0.90 leaving you with $9.10. That's fair, right? An 11% real return? Deflation allows your $9.10 to by ten cents more than the $10 + time-value-of-money you deposited.

Only one problem: no one will do it. They'll hold onto their $10 and collect the 90 cents in profit while prices are declining. No deposit, no return, no lending, no borrowing, no banking. I'm not making it up: it happened. That's what a banking crisis is, or at any rate (so to speak) what they used to be.

Look, it's only math. You're welcome to believe whatever you want. But if you want to understand what you're talking about instead of making vacant assertions about the government's trickery — that only you and your ever-so-clever friends see through — then do yourself a favor and go find out about it. It's written down. You could read about it in the library should you ever darken the door.

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