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Comment Sherlock Holmes said it best: (Score 1) 398

"I consider that a man's brain originally is like a little empty attic, and you have to stock it with such furniture as you choose. A fool takes in all the lumber of every sort that he comes across, so that the knowledge which might be useful to him gets crowded out, or at best is jumbled up with a lot of other things, so that he has a difficulty in laying his hands upon it."

Comment Re:Slackers (Score 1) 536

Think about what that means though. You "generate money" by performing a service that has social utility; the paycheck you recieve is, effectively (and ideally) a reflection of how much society values your contribution. Regardless of whether your employer is the government, the money you generate is a function of the work you as an individual have done. Why do you think that being "outside the government" has any bearing at all on the value of the service that you provide to others, and by extension, your salary and pension?

Free E-Books, With a Catch — Advertising 194

Velcroman1 writes "Barnes & Noble may kick off a fresh price war today for digital book readers, with its new Nook news. But the real news in digital publishing is a novel approach to the e-books themselves: Free books — with advertising. The basic idea is to offer publishers another way to reach readers and to give readers the chance to try more books — books that perhaps they wouldn't normally peruse if they had to pay more for them. Initially, Wowio specialized in offering digital versions of comic books and graphic novels, usually formatted as Adobe PDFs. So it was a natural step for the company to offer graphic ads that are inserted in e-books. 'We think we're creating a broader audience for some of these titles,' Wowio's CEO Brian Altounian told me. 'I think folks are going to download more books because they're saving the costs' of having to drive to the store or pay more for them. Would ads stop you from reading?" The new color Nook goes for $249, and comes with a browser, games, Quickoffice, streaming music via Pandora, and an SDK; reader itwbennett links to an analysis of how well it stacks up as a tablet.

Comment Re:Debates are almost worthless (Score 1) 183

The point of a debate is never to change the truth though. Anyone expecting that will be disappointed. Debates are instead about finding that truth. Strong ideas survive while weaker ideas falter and fall away. Eventually, after enough civilized and honest debate you approach something that closely resembles the truth to the extent that we can know it. True, it doesn't change what the "truth" of the matter is, but it's comforting and useful to try to figure it out, no?

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