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Comment Re:EBooks (Score 1) 78

The way it was explained to me is that printing, particularly in an age of "just in time printing" is not the most significant cost in publishing. Whether you distribute a book in physical form or electronic, the process is much the same, in that you have to take a manuscript, edit it, and put it into a publishable form. Now while an epub file (which is just a glorified bunch of HTML, image and meta files zipped together) doesn't require the kind of typesetting that a print book does, it still has to work off of the final copy produced.

Now that doesn't explain all of an ebook's costs, and I do think there's some gouging going on, but it's not as high as we think.

Comment Re: Children and bathwaters (Score 1) 91

Because public schools are run by morons who are still stuck in 1950s in regards to assessing students. As it is, even with standardized IQ tests, the numbers have been rising in many populations, including African-Americans for decades, suggesting that what IQ measures isn't really raw cognitive capacity at all (ie. the Flynn Effect).

One of the biggest reasons for lower cognitive ability isn't genetic at all, but poor nutrition during the developmental years, and that's one of the reasons that socio-economic status has been viewed as a significant player in general and specific cognitive abilities. There's no doubt there's a genetic component, but like anything, genetics sets general parameters, and it is environment that takes over after conception. Considering that many ethno-racial groups in the Americas have not been equal beneficiaries of over all socio-economic improvements, that would strike me as a good reason for why we see phenomena like the Flynn Effect. But that's a rather dull explanation, and not one that allows some Neo-nazi to declare he's superior to African-Americans.

Comment Re:ebooks are friggin expensive (Score 3, Interesting) 78

I agree there's not really any cost savings, but I read ebooks largely for convenience. As to DRM, the only place it really fucks me up is graphic novels, which I have yet to figure out how to unlock, but for anything I buy off of Google Play, thus far a combination of Adobe Digital Editions 4 and ePUBee seems to do the trick. I appreciate that at some point that won't work any more, and then I may have to reconsider how I consume books (at the moment I buy a book, immediately rip out the DRM and then archive the epub).

Comment Re:EBooks (Score 1) 78

I like them for convenience. I've got an ereader on my tablet that syncs with the one on my phone. When I'm at home I'll read on the tablet, which has a much bigger display, but when I'm out, I can read the book on my phone. I find it convenient, and don't really read any fiction in real book form anymore.

Comment Re:Not going to work (Score 1) 91

Oh fuck off you blithering moron. Advertisers have been pushing around their weight for fucking ever. Jesus fucking Christ, you couldn't even show an interracial kiss on TV in the 1960s without most of a network's southern affiliates refusing to broadcast the fucking episode, because their advertisers would freak out and pull their ads.

It's like people like you have lived in some weird bubble where you know absolutely fuck all about how the actual world fucking works. In an advertiser-supported platform, the advertisers are God, and if they decide that a topic is going to harm their brand, then they, as God, have the power to yank the advertising. Sometimes they do it for evil, such as trying to keep interracial kisses off the air half a century ago, and sometimes for good, as when they don't want their products associated with ISIS beheading videos or Neo-nazi fruitcakes. But they have the absolute authority to it, for better and for worse, and if you don't like it, start up your own video sharing service.

Comment Re: Children and bathwaters (Score 1) 91

So we have this measure which is iffy at best, and in most cases hopelessly biased towards certain socioeconomic groups, but hey, it's a great meme "Blacks are dumber than whites, and it's not racist because this groovy Intelligence Quotient test says so!"

In general, psychology and neurological sciences have long past moved away from IQ, simply because it's absurd to imagine that something as complex as human cognition can be fit into one number, considering cognition itself seems to be the product of multiple processing and memory systems in the brain.

So promoting "whites have higher IQs than blacks" *MAY* be true for some kinds of intelligence tests, that kind of testing is so flawed that it's hard to see how proponents of the claim aren't just racists once again using the cloak of pseudoscience to try to bolster their hatred.

Comment Re:Children and bathwaters (Score 1) 91

I love it when people invoke their own reason for using a specific tool as the only reason anyone uses it.

Youtube became big because, basically, it's just easy to find videos. It has nothing to do with trying to avoid "family values", that's just your own rationale (and honestly, I don't actually believe it's even your's, you're just trying to show your weird alt-right street cred).

And if Youtube is going to be supported by ads, then advertisers have some considerable right to demand that their products not be associated, even accidentally, with violent or otherwise unsavory videos. You may not like it, but tough shit. Until Google finally allows for a paid subscription service for Youtube which allows people to skip ads entirely, the advertisers still have an enormous amount of muscle, and you don't.

Comment Re:COBOL isn't hard to learn (Score 2) 372

Indeed. If there is a market for COBOL programmers (and it's clear there is), then the obvious solution is for unis and colleges to spit out more COBOL-literate CS graduates. Honestly, if I was ten years younger, I'd probably delve into it myself. It is, after all, just a programming language, and hardly on the same level of trying to learn Sanskrit.

Comment Re:No, it isn't a myth (Score 1) 220

And here it is. I was hoping to find someone saying it.

Back when I was yay tall, I worked for a large web-development company. They'd spend six months to a year to draw-up a spec document that would take us three weeks to build. I quit when I found out that they spent $1.6 million dollars (this was in 1997) on the spec process alone.

Now I run my own small web development company, doing much larger things than they ever did (right from the start), and with good clients, time estimates are never more than order-of-magnitudes.

Similar to, but unlike the article, I've described programming as navigation -- walking through a small forest or through an office building. You can see the other side. You might have a compass or signs to guide you. But you need to step over the log and around the boulders, you need to say hi to the boss and wait for the elevator. You might trip over a tree root or stub your toe on a desk.

Predicting how long it'll take you to walk 100 yards through a single-floor office takes a lot more than just your walking speed, and the floor plan. It's a good bet that you'll be off by seconds at midnight, full minutes at 10am, as many as thirty minutes at 3pm, and you may be off by up to two hours if you're trying to cross at noon.

Comment Re: the spork (Score 1) 388

cutting a few facial hairs, just at a random time, in a random place, without a mirror. and scissors? run the risk of poking or snipping my skin or nostrils? no thanks.

contrast that with: in my bathroom, with a full mirror, and full lighting, and a pull-out with all of my facial grooming and hygene tools, including an electric shaver which is probably the best tool for a few stray facial hairs.

Comment Re:This is retarded conservatism to help 'coal' (Score 4, Informative) 478

The problem is that even if coal is completely deregulated, it's not miners who are going to be doing the extraction. The future of mining is automated. At best this will just give the coal barons a few more years of profit and do dick for the miners.

But it's not even going to be that good. Natural gas is killing coal, so there isn't even going to be a coal industry by the time renewables dominate. This is a classic "buggy whip" problem, in that there ain't gonna be no more horse-drawn carriages, so there ain't gonna be no more buggy whips. Whatever you think of Clinton, she was telling the miners the truth, their jobs are quickly becoming obsolete.

And the same goes for lots of other industries. Manufacturing is rapidly automating, so that even mass repatriation of US industrial capacity is not going to deliver the same level of employment that was there even thirty years ago. There's nothing the US government can do about it, short of outlawing automation and renewables, which would be sheer madness.

Christ, no less than Rick Perry himself has admitted the US needs to stay in the Paris Accord. Even the most pro-oil of pro-oil politicians know full well the jig is up. Oil isn't coming back, and as the price falls away it's impact on the economy diminishes. Coal was the first because it's the most expensive and most obviously harmful, but it applies to all the fossil fuels.

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