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Submission + - World of Warcraft: my career? (

Nylint writes: I kid you not, I have had dozens of people refer to their game play in the World of Warcraft as a career. I have always scoffed at these guys that the community calls, high-end raiders or top 100 raiders. So, I stumbled upon this film trailer for an upcoming documentary about these very people the other day. My first reaction was awe. It is certainly well researched and the filmmakers have all of the relevant players in the community involved. My second reaction was fear. See, I have been one of these players for 2 years. I am currently in a top ranked guild and we often talk about where we rank and our desire to be in the top
ten. Slowly it began to dawn on me......I have a career in the World of Warcraft.

Comment Frivolous and a waste (Score 1) 385

There is absolutely no just cause for a lawsuit under these circumstances. If people can circumvent their current system, they need to add restrictions to prevent it. If someone is able to develop a hack that circumvents their achievement system lock down, then they need to offer that person a job, not set out to ruin their life over it.

Comment Re:Because it's a Public Service (Score 1) 445

"If my donations to Goodwill were destined only to line someone's pockets,"

If you look up Goodwill Industries on Wikipedia, you'll find this little nugget.

"In 2005, Goodwill Industries of the Columbia Willamette (GICW), Goodwill's Portland, Oregon branch, came under scrutiny due to executive compensation that the Oregon attorney general's office concluded was 'unreasonable'. President Michael Miller received $838,508 in pay and benefits for fiscal year 2004, which was reportedly out of line in comparison to other charity executives and placed him in the top one percent of American wage earners. After being confronted with the state's findings, Miller agreed to a 24% reduction in pay, and GICW formed a new committee and policy for handling matters of employee compensation."

I would call that lining someone's pockets, right there. I will also go out on a limb and assume the 24% reduction was used to fund the new committee.

Comment Thrift stores (Score 2, Insightful) 445

More often than not the books for sale at the thrift store were donated, which means when they sell the store makes 100% profit (minus overhead). In my experience, however, some thrift store owners like to look at themselves as better than others because they are operating a "charitable" organization, more often than not with a religious organization backing (and providing tax shelter) the thrift store. These institutions claim to be helping the poor and the needy, when in fact they charge the "poor and needy" customers the same price as anyone else who shops there.

If they determine the customer is shopping with the intention to resell, they typically react negatively. I have been banned from shopping from a local thrift store for no other reason than the owner had learned that I had resold items on eBay. From the owner's point of view I had taken away opportunities for less fortunate people to purchase these same items. Here are some additional details, however.

I had already learned from employees at this thrift store that they frequently received more items than the building could contain. Each week, they gathered up items in the store that had not sold (I believe the items had about a four week period before they were gathered up). If they were glass, they were smashed. If they were clothing items they were bagged and prepped to be shipped off to a company that shreds unwanted fabric and packs it into insulation used in the manufacture of automobiles. I presume the glass was sent out for recycling. From what I gather, the company that made insulation paid the thrift store for the fabric and covered all shipping costs.

My point is - if we were denying the poor the benefit of obtaining these items, they were being replaced each week in such volume that would result in a significant amount of the items being destroyed/recycled/sold to a third party. So the reality was that there was more than enough to go around.

Another point of view is that we were taking advantage of the thrift store by reselling their product for a higher price than what we paid. I fail to see how this is a problem. What anyone who does this is doing is work. It takes time to sort through items in any resale environment and determine which are valuable and which are not. Any thrift store owner or employee knows this. It also takes time to take those items into a different forum. For example - to list an item on eBay it is typically necessary to provide detailed photographs of the item in question, create a listing and respond to questions about the item. Upon the completion of the sale it takes time to properly package and ship the item. So in effect, it is not that the item itself is being sold for a higher price, it is that the resellers are being compensated for their time, which is, in effect, a service.

My final point is that when the owner of a thrift store, yard/garage sale, or library gets offended that someone is reselling their items, it is hypocrisy. These individuals who are offended are already engaging in resale. Of the three, the thrift store owner is the most guilty because in most cases he or she is reselling product that was given to them freely as a donation. Unless the thrift store is being operated as not-for-profit and all proceeds are being donated to charity, they are usually making excellent money from a small business owner's perspective. In our current economy, thrift stores are one of the few business models that are doing rather well. Therefore when these individuals become upset with or feel threatened by resellers who purchase their product, it is ultimately a problem of greed - they do not like the idea that someone else will sell an item for more than they (the thrift store owner) was able to sell it. I have a simple answer for these people - try reselling these items on eBay or Amazon. Hire the staff to do it if you do not have the time to do it yourself. I predict, however, that the profit margin will not be as large when compared to the overhead of hiring people to do this and the amount of time necessary to invest in order for it to be successful.

If the above offends, perhaps capitalism is not your bag, baby.

Comment AMD all the way (Score 1) 832

I have only purchased one Intel processor for a system build: the PGA370 Celeron 400MHz with a motherboard that was originally "supposed" to support the PGA370 Pentium III processor. Intel then screwed everyone by introducing the "flip chip", changed the electrical configuration on the Pentium III processors (FC-PGA370), requiring anyone who wanted to upgrade their CPU to replace their motherboard. I've never purchased an Intel processor for a system build ever since. This "Intel Upgrade Service" con is only one more grain of sand on the pile.

I do agree the software will be pirated shortly after the CPU is released, however there will still be many people foolish enough to fork over the $$.

High Fructose Corn Syrup To Get a Makeover 646

An anonymous reader writes "With its sweetener linked to obesity, some cancers and diabetes, the Corn Refiners Association (CRA) doesn't want you to think 'fructose' when you see high fructose corn syrup in your soda, ketchup or pickles. Instead, the AP reports, the CRA submitted an application to the FDA, hoping to change the name of their top-selling product to 'corn sugar.'"

Comment Re:No other company would do that (Score 1) 405

Because Microsoft has never confused us with a dozen different varieties of the same operating system.

True. Dell and HP never made it to the top of the PC manufacturer/vendor chain by distributing proprietary additions to the Windows operating system such as recovery tools, preloaded malware protection, various other "support" applications, etc, etc, etc...

Comment Cadash - Turbo Graphx 16 / PC Engine (Score 1) 272

Played this a few times in a Florida video arcade during a summer vacation as a teenager - Cadash is a side scrolling D&D-themed adventure with the option to choose mage, priest, warrior or ninja at the beginning and play coop with a 2nd player. Spells were interesting, with the priest/mage you held down the attack button until a bubble appeared over your character's head and rotated through your available spells, letting go would cast it and take away from your available magic points. The arcade version was a quarter eater because you would steadily lose hitpoints in the same fashion as Gauntlet.

About a decade later one of my roomates happened to have a working Turbo Graphx 16 and a copy of Cadash so I finally had the opportunity to beat the game. Oddly I prefer the arcade version even though the graphics are about equal.

Submission + - How to provide managed services to Macs? 1

Deviant writes: I work in a MS-focused IT managed services provider to SMEs (some as large as 200 seats). Increasingly we've been getting requests to introduce Macs or even switch to them. Up until now I have accomodated a few here and there — joining them to Active Directory and pointing Entourage at Exchange etc. I had a client whose Macbook Pro I've supported ask why he shouldn't move his whole 50 seat company to Mac Minis or Macbooks. I dismissed it with concerns around how you'd image/deploy and manage that many Macs. His servers are a bit old as well and he mentioned switching to a Mac server which I've never done and the XServe hardware seems a bit lame compared to the HP DL380s I usually use.

My question to those who deal with large fleets of Macs is this — what are the tools of the trade and how is it done? Can you build one image with all the relevant software like MS Office already in it? Is there a Volume Licence Key for that so it doesn't compain if you can? Can you automatically have Entourage set itself up like you can with Windows Office and a PRF? How do you automatically mount network drives and setup printers? How do you deploy software? I've read a bit about the Golden Triangle of having a MS for AD and Exchange and an Apple server with the machines to provide management — is that really necessary? If I went that route would the Mac Mini server be enough if the MS was doing the heavy lifting?

I guess I just want to take a look down the rabbit hole at just how much we'd have to change the way we do business/solutions to roll out solutions that incorporate a large Mac component. We are very comfortable reselling HP ProLiant MS servers and services and does an all/mostly Mac solution on the desktop solution mean that you really just should go with an Apple server and a total change? Even if you went "All Apple" what tools make a Mac network as easy to manage as a well configured Windows 7 / Server 2008 R2 one?

Comment The No Child Left Behind Act is a big part of it (Score 1) 1268

The problem is that to ensure the school continues to receiving Federal and State funding it needs to meet certain guidelines. These guidelines are measured in the form of standardized tests. The better the test scores are for the school in question, the better funding it receives.

It therefore becomes paramount for the schools that their students get good grades on the test. Therefore it is no longer important that the student understand the answer, only that they get the answer correct. To ensure that the student gets the answer correct, they are forced to memorize the answer to the problems they are given, which are based on problems that will be seen on the exam.

Students that live in our neighborhood are regularly getting Ds on their report cards because they are no longer interested in school. They do the minimum necessary to get by because they are not challenged, in fact they are not even expected to think for themselves. This article is just one example of the result of our current education system.

If you expect your children to be properly educated in our society, it is now your responsibility to do so. Private education, tutoring, home schooling, virtual (computer based) schooling and other atypical forms of education may now be your children's best chance at a decent education. But fundamentally it is now the parents' responsibility, more than ever.

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