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Comment In the '90s and early '00s... (Score 1) 632

I had no fewer than four (mandatory) typing courses. Each year, the teachers exclaimed their praise at my abilities while I struggled to understand how no one else could remember last year's lessons. As far as I can remember, there were no programming courses available outside of invitation-only scenarios where classes were less than 5 specially selected students who more or less maintained the school's network. In middle school we did a brief section on html before we switched to documenting population and $$ milestones in SimCity 2000. Stay classy, Idaho.

Comment Re:Wow Google is missing the problem... (Score 1) 190

From TFA: "In this model, everyone can still customize and modify the platform all they want, but Google will have its own inner circle of premium devices with pure and premium experiences." A lot of the problems you're talking about aren't about Google's core OS, but rather specific manufacturer's iterations of the OS. The bloat, the arbitrary limitations imposed by hardware/software choices. Sounds to me like detaching from network carriers is really only a small part of the equation, and it's more about guaranteeing a series of devices that are in line with Google's vision of what Android is supposed to be.

Comment Re:I'm always happy when I have a tax liability (Score 1) 394

I agree with this. A few years ago, I was making half (yep, half) what my coworker was making ($10/hr vs. roughly $20, part time). Her credit rating was bad enough that she couldn't have a credit card, so borrowing wasn't the problem. I was determined to sort out her shit (I like to meddle in other's financial affairs, what can I say?) and had her go through a basic task: document every expense, no matter how small. Within a week, she became so embarrassed by the stupid, pointless crap she was blowing her money on that she ended up with numerous hundreds in her savings account at the end of the month, because she skipped all those one-day boredom toys. Naturally, the type to blow all their money on stupid shit isn't the type to stick to a mid- or long-term financial planning scheme, but the anecdote does lend some evidence to the "stupid shit" theory.

Comment Not Worried About Health, Worried About Patenting (Score 1) 571

Any health concerns aside, what's really troubling about Genetically Modified crops is the patenting of foodstuffs. If GM crops really take hold, then you end up with a situation where one or two companies end up with the RIGHTS to grow the food that is available. So what if it's better tasting, or lasts longer? If they successfully run conventional/organic farmers and seed retailers out of business, then all you're left with is a contract with Monsanto Corporation, saying that you won't plant a garden without their explicit consent. Just like water rights, if you sign away your ability to provide for yourself, then you're little more than a slave, praying that Monsanto doesn't decide to play Communist Crop Planning with when and where it allows it's seeds to be planted.

Comment Re:I am so sick of this story.... (Score 1) 463

I think there's a factor at work here other than price. The iPad has achieved such a monumental status of omnifunctionality that it is, frankly, intimidating. "Anything" is a big world, and there's a level of self-determination there that can be uncomfortable. The Kindle e-reader was a simple device that introduced people to the idea of the tablet form factor, and built trust between those consumers and the company that made it. Now, those users are curious about the tablet hype, recognize the limitations of their Kindle, but are intimidated by the iPad. Enter the Fire: a scaled-back, more focused tablet from a brand that has build trust with previous experience, at a non-threatening price point. Mom and Dad, Grandma and Grandpa are the target audience here. It's designed to move book readers from their safe havens into an expanded media environment. It's learning to skate with knee pads and a helmet. A structured adventure. With that in mind, the long load times and poor "flow" are almost irrelevant. It's a device that will be handled gingerly and navigated carefully.

Comment Re:Horray for the Fed! (Score 1) 629

Assuming the Fed isn't the one responsible for the problems in the first place. They control the money supply. A liquidity problem is a problem with the money supply. Credit was excessively cheap for a long time. It created a situation where people were paying for credit with more credit, because credit replaced growth in wages. Cut off the credit supply by cutting off the money supply, and suddenly there isn't enough money available to actually pay every debt owed. And the debt collapses. How much of America (property) do the banks now own because of this? How many bank-owned homes? They had everything to gain from causing the problem. Keeping it from crashing completely was simple self-preservation. At the end of that, you really cheer their plan to simply make credit cheaper and to extend more of it?

Comment Re:Banks vs Credit Unions (Score 2) 667

Glancing at my savings account at Boeing Employees Credit Union, I've got a 1.05% interest rate. My Checking account is running a 6.17% yield. It's their basic checking and savings package. It's been three years, and I've never once seen a fee or charge of any kind. If your bank meets that, then I salute them for offering value to their customer. But for some reason, I'd be surprised to hear that a rate on a basic checking account at Wells Fargo (or BofA, or Chase) exceeds a 0.2% APY, if it has a rate at all. More likely, you pay for the privilege. If a credit union is well run, it delivers that performance to rates and services. If a bank is well run, it delivers that performance to the top. That's simply how those businesses are designed to operate. If you want detailed comparisons, find a credit union at random in your neighborhood, and ask about their rates. Compare that with whatever national bank you like. You will see that there IS no comparison.

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