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Comment eBook Costs Ripe for Disruption (Score 2) 153

For $9.99 I can listen to almost all the music in the world... or I can read a single eBook

Not any eBook either. Most current bestsellers are $12.99.

There are some all-you-can-eat services like Oyster or Scribd, but a lot of major publisher's don't participate. Once the major publishers throw their hats into the ring, they'd probably start to see revenue from people who are currently pirating.

Comment Isn't This Stuff Their Job? (Score 1) 308

Isn't developing and using tools like this kind of their job?

I mean they should never use this stuff against American citizens or without a warrant and due process, etc, etc.... But complaining we have the tools necessary to turn some warlord's cellphone into a microphone is like complaining about how the army has drones that can fly a grenade through his car window.

I mean if anything maybe these tools will be kind of useful. "Hey, before we bomb that large group of people over there, turn on their cell phone cameras and make sure it's not a sweet sixteen party.

Comment Re:Why is Default Not an Option? (Score 1) 491

The IRS really can't though. If you have a low income they can't garnish your wages. If your income is low enough that you can't afford rent and service debt on a student loan, then odds are you can default on the student loan and not risk garnishment.

Just make sure when you do finally land that good paying job you start paying the loans back again.

Comment Re:Why is Default Not an Option? (Score 2) 491

You can't get student loans discharged in a bankruptcy, but you can still default on them.

What's the point of preserving a credit score to get a nice apartment if you can't afford to move out regardless? What's the point of preserving a credit score to buy a nice car if you can only afford a used beat up car to begin with?

Garnishment isn't an issue if you have low wages either. Wages can't be garnished if you make under a certain amount of money.

Living with poor credit is a challenge, but it's not insurmountable. Tens of millions of people do it in this country every day. Young people with college educations won't be making minimum wage for the next fifty years. Eventually opportunities will come. When they do, people can start paying the loans, exit default, repair their credit and get on with their life.

I think people in a bad spot should really ask themselves, "What value does a high credit score really have right now?" If you don't have a high enough income to access credit, then a high credit score is worthless. I think there's a strong argument to be made that people can have a higher quality of life at low incomes by strategically defaulting on their student loans.

Comment Re:Why is Default Not an Option? (Score 1) 491

I never got mine discharged. I just defaulted on them until I had the income to pay them off.

I mean, college educated people in their twenties aren't going to be making minimum wage for the next fifty years. Eventually they will have higher incomes. When their income goes up, start paying the loans, get out of default and go on with your life.

Comment Why is Default Not an Option? (Score 3, Insightful) 491

So this may sound crazy, but I wonder why today's twenty-somethings don't just simply default on their loans.

I'm a Gen Xer. I graduated college in 2000, just in time for the dot com bubble burst and 9/11 to mess with the economy. The only job I could find was as an overnight janitor at a hotel. I made $8 an hour.

There was no way I could afford both rent and student loans, so I simply didn't pay the loans. Sure it ruined my credit, but at $8 an hour it's not like anybody would be giving me loans anyways.

3.5 years later I got a job making $14 an hour, which allowed me to start paying the loans back again. As my career has progressed I've gotten promotions and raises and whatnot. Now I'm financially secure, the loans are all paid off and my credit score hovers around 750.

Careless lending by the banks is a big reason the economy is in the mess it's in today. Why pay them money before taking care of yourself? Maybe if banks were feeling some pain we'd actually see some social programs to help young people out.

Comment App Neutrality? (Score 1) 134

This makes me wonder if "App Neutrality" will become a thing in the future the same way "Net Neutrality" is today.

Imagine a conversation like, "I really only watch anime's that are on Netflix because that site 'just works'. I don't want to have to do the extra steps that I need to do for Crunchyroll."

Although for all I know this will affect Cruchyroll too. I just picked them out of the air as an example.

Comment Amazingly Underwhelming (Score 1) 66

I remember a time when the idea of AOL and Yahoo! being brought together into one company would have been the biggest of biggest news. Now it barely even garners a mention in the article.

I mean, imagine if Google bought Netflix, merged it with Youtube... and nobody gave a shit. It really makes you wonder what the tech landscape will look like in another twenty years.

Comment No Obsolescence (Score 1) 200

I have a first generation Kindle and it still works great. I also have a first generation Kindle Paperwhite and it also works great.

It's hard to imagine either of the devices ever breaking down, especially the Paperwhite. I think the reason nobody buys them anymore is because of their long operating life, and the lack of a compelling reason to upgrade.

Amazon should have made them flimsier I suppose.

Comment Isn't IT a Proffession? (Score 2) 478

The idea that these kind of transitions have to be handled with the utmost secrecy really insults me as a professional.

Three years ago I learned through the grapevine that I was going to be laid off. It was supposed to be kept secret from me but drinking buddies in HR and Accounting tipped me off.

So how did I react? I spent the week documenting all of my responsibilities, so when they were dropped into my colleagues (and fellow professionals) laps it would not be too much of burden on them. Then on the day I was to be laid off I showed up early so I could "have the conversation" and make a discreet exit.

We need to be better gatekeepers of our profession. The idea that IT professionals are sociopaths that will destroy infrastructure unless they're coddled really damages all of us. It's on us to prove we're valuable colleagues and professionals, and not dangerous rogue agents who need to be marginalized (and then easily commoditized).

The Media

Submission + - Wall Street Journal Going Free

Hugh Pickens writes: "Rupert Murdoch announced today that he intends to make access to the Wall Street Journal's Web site free, trading subscription fees for anticipated ad revenue. Murdoch's News Corporation has signed an agreement to acquire Dow Jones & Company and the deal is expected to close by the end of the year. The WSJ web site, one of the few news sites to successfully introduce a subscription model, currently has around one million subscribers and generates about $50 million annually in user fees. Murdoch made his decision as paid circulation at major newspapers in the United States continued to decline this year with readership at 609 papers that filed on Sunday falling 3.5% to 46,771,486. With their business model under extreme pressure, publishers have been whittling back on circulation considered to be less useful by advertisers and increasing their internet presence because ad revenue has been increasing. Online advertising now accounts for an average 5.5% of newspapers' total ad revenue and online profits margins have been skyrocketing worldwide with revenue projected to hit 10% of newspapers' total ad revenue by 2008-2009."

Submission + - Work really can make you ill

An anonymous reader writes: A new report confirms what we all knew: going to work can make you sick. Poor understanding of computing ergonomics are responsible for millions of workers suffering bad desk health as a result of sick office syndrome, reckon monitor manufacturers ViewSonic.

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