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Comment Re:COBOL isn't hard to learn (Score 1) 371

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.

As long as you have a real fall-back so your career doesn't dead end. What can easily happen is that you do X then more of X because it's the only place you get a salary/career development until you've done X so long nobody will really hire you for anything else

Well, I guess it still depends a bit on whether you present yourself as a Java/C#/whatever programmer who's recently done some COBOL work, too, or as a COBOL programmer with a Java/etc background...

BTW, I started my career programming COBOL in an era when PCs began to replace mainframes (while the place where I was working was already a bit late there), and at first they used COBOL for writing PC applications, too, simply because most of their programmers didn't know anything else.

Comment Superb marketing idea (Score 1) 82

What Chinese clothing companies have been doing for ages, making 'fleece' clothing out of shredded plastic bottles because they're so cheap a raw material that it even pays to ship thousands of tons of them from Europe to China before processing them, now will be part of an environmentalist image that will help get the Adidas owners even more stupidly rich. Of course, cargo ship exhaust gases won't show up in the ads...

Comment 30 hour workweek experiment (Score 1) 153

There was an experiment recently conducted in Sweden, with many workplaces in different sectors taking part, I think it was a whole city. They switched to a 30-hour week, retaining full pay. The bottom line, as far as I remember, was that productivity was, if anything, increased.

Given how decision makers think, I have no hopes for things to change because of that, though. It's already telling how little publicity the study got.

Comment Re:More income does not increase birth rates (Score 0) 399

3. Higher civilization standards correlate with lower birth rates. To increase civilization standards is the best way to lower birth rates.

The second part of this statement is not supported by the first. Even if we assume that higher civilization standards cause lower birth rates, this would still not mean that increasing civilization standards is the best way to lower birth rates; merely a way.

Yes, I know that, which is why I didn't make such a claim in the first place. Just because one sentence follows another it doesn't mean that it's supposed to be an implication of the first. Most importantly, though, it doesn't become wrong just because it isn't one.

"Birth control instead of money" is just racist hogwash.

Okay, now you're just making stuff up. Arbitrary use of "racist" to mean "stuff I don't like" is an ad hominem argument.

The claim, a specific usage of "racist" was "arbitrary", while actually there was a good reason for it, is an old immunization tactics of racists, and it is real easy, too, because it never seems to need any substantiation... But perhaps you just didn't see the reason? Let me help you, then: The thread starter's comment necessarily contains the implied assumption that poor Africans would use the money only to proliferate, which clearly is a racist assumption.

Comment More income does not increase birth rates (Score 5, Insightful) 399

1. Lowering birth rates doesn't make anyone of those who are already born less poor.
2. Kenya's birthrate is still significantly above average, but steadily decreasing since the nineteen-seventies.
3. Higher civilization standards correlate with lower birth rates. To increase civilization standards is the best way to lower birth rates.
3. Enabling more people to do other things than just struggling to get their food for the day is the best way, in the long run, to help increasing civilization standards, together with education and infrastructure, to which to contribute is one of the things more people will be enabled to through a basic income, too.

"Birth control instead of money" is just racist hogwash. "More money leads to more births, so give them even less money" may seem logical for some, but is a completely unsubstantiated assumption. In the long run, the facts give much reason to assume the exact opposite.

Comment Ok, I'll drop Tails then... (Score 1) 97

... as my preferred privacy-centric OS. It's not as if there weren't alternatives. And 32-bit machines will be good enough to access the internet for many years to come. I'm allergic to software producers forcing me to upgrade hardware for no reason, and seeing what the audience for systems like Tails is, the decision is even more despicable, and I'd expect there to be a lot of people who'll be much less inclined, if even able, to upgrade their hardware on a whim than I am.

Comment Re:Same could be said for color TV (Score 1) 399

I don't think so. While color indeed does make the image more realistic, 3D video doesn't. Yes, it gives the image some depth which would otherwise be flat, but a depth that's more like a special effect than reality. The 3D video I've seen so far (which I admit isn't much) never looked natural, it looked gimmicky. My major reason beside having to wear 3D glasses to choose 2D wherever I have the option.

That said, I don't agree with the parent, either.

Comment You missed the PC, too (Score 1) 245

Which had no commercial impact, though, as soon as your monopoly was big enough, which came pretty quick (and not only by legal means, as we know today). Since then, you can stuff everything you want down users' throats who have nowhere else to go because the applications they need don't run on other platforms.

I still haven't completely given up hope, though, that this will change one day.

Comment Looks vs. functionality, productivity, usability (Score 1) 72

Too bad UI designers seem to have completely forgotten that "UI" shouldn't be primarily about looking cool, but about increasing both functionality and productivity with usability. Looks only come after that. Which is why IBM's Workplace Shell IMHO is still the best "desktop"-metaphor UI implementation there was, so far.

Comment I won't decide before Windows 7 servicing ends (Score 1) 503

There are four Windows machines in active use in the household, all running Windows 7, none being upgraded (one isn't up to it anyway). When MS will stop servicing Windows 7 with security updates, I'll check my options again, independently for each machine. If Microsoft hasn't completely changed its course until then, the top options to be thoroughly checked will be Linux and OS X. Only if it cannot avoided at all for a machine, I'll make the update then. Even a small chance of never having to do it is worth it for me to accept having to pay for it later should all else fail.

Comment You might want to call it 'political correctness' (Score -1, Flamebait) 251

but it's just, like it mostly is when people whine about 'political correctness', that Top Gear was a show that capitalized on having an arsehole as a presenter while being watched by arseholes which were glad to see an arsehole not being sacked for being an arsehole. Until he was, of course.

Comment I wonder what people will really receive (Score 1) 57

... given that (at least in countries other than the US, including, but probably not limited to, UK and Germany) Amazon's search engine doesn't even let you combine two search words with a logical 'and', generating dozens and hundreds of result pages full of the stupidest stuff. Even more funny is that it claims it does, while it has been that way for many years...

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