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Comment This is about power, control, and greed... (Score 3, Interesting) 314

Greed: Don't fix the copper wire infrastructure we get paid to maintain.

Control: If you're moved off of copper wire POTS, then in an emergency or power outage you cannot effectively call for help. Wireless systems get overrun with numbers of calls if the emergency is large enough (hurricane, tornado, flood, etc) and your call will not get through. Or you won't have power (wireless), whereas copper is designed to (almost) always have power and JUST WORK.

Power: See above. Put on your tin foil hat, but this is one step in a wave to disrupt and control communication when a "state of emergency" or "martial law" is declared. Just wait.

Comment The medical based business I work for... (Score 1) 153

deliberately buys refurbished laptops and desktops with Windows 7 Professional on them, or buys new PCs with 8.1 Pro and downgrade rights.

We will never willingly move from 7 Professional due to the massive violation of HIPAA, Sarbanes-Oxley, and other laws that Windows 10 is both accused of AND has been verified doing. Seriously, I doubt you see any major hospital or other medical profession make the move to 10 -- willingly at any rate.

Yes, eventually, we may have to move to Windows 10 but I am hoping that day is sometime in the year 2020 when I (probably) won't be in charge of Information Services and Technology for the company.

Comment The movie sucked, even for fanboys/girls.. (Score 3, Insightful) 407

so get over it already. DC just has a lousy track records of making a universe of films with continuity that are, you know, well-scripted and fun to watch.

I also thought the new Star Trek was mediocre at best. I was looking for some of the wonder and excitement that the reboot brought to the screen (minus lens flare) and I got wonder alright -- I wandered into the movie and then I wandered out when it was over. No excitement for the villain, the plot overall, but there were at least a couple of funny moments.

Comment The Fight to Piracy? (Score 1) 331

Here is how you take the fight to piracy -- take some risks, make some NEW movies (get off the remake train), make some GOOD movies, with a plot and character development and, you know, things that make it interesting and make people want to discuss your movie in a general way -- not just "That sucked! I wasted $25 to see that piece of shit? I should have downloaded it instead..." Also, stop gouging theaters so that tickets are $8 to $15 a head and climbing rapidly. I know theaters gouge us, the movie goer, with popcorn, Coke, and candy but we can opt out of that. We can't opt out of the ticket if we want to see the movie. Unless, you know, we pirate it *yarrrr!*

So, that's how you fight piracy James. Not make the movie theater experience "unique" -- fucking make the movies unique so we'll want to go see them. See the Marvel Cinematic Universe for an example of this. Even the bad ones. Stop changing movies because YOU know better -- when the fans want to see The Killing Joke, make The Killing Joke and don't change the story around. When we want to see God Loves, Man Kills (X-Men storyline), don't change the story around -- just make the movie. If you need to pad it out a bit, that's fine, just don't change the fundamental story. When we want to see Ender's War, put in the scene where Ender kicks that asshat in the balls until he dies -- don't change it to soften it up. I mean, fuck, it isn't rocket science. If the money people in Hollywood don't want to fund you, the internet exists -- crowdfund that fan-wanted movie. Go rogue, do something unique, take a risk and stop kissing Hollywood's ass for permission to make a movie.

Comment Fax Machines gone? (Score 5, Informative) 395

There are tens of thousands of fax machines and fax systems still in use today because, despite all of our technological advances, the fax machine is still the most secure way of delivering medical and legal documents between locations in a compact time frame.

E-mail? Right out unless you're configured for encryption and getting all the companies you deal with to agree on, utilize, and understand how the encrypt/decrypt works is ... beyond Herculean in scope. In the medical field alone that would require suppliers, doctor's offices, HME/DME companies, hospitals, hospices, quick care/walk-in style facilities, pharmacies, and so on to all have a system that worked easily that everyone agreed on. Of course, that doesn't begin to take into account the MILLIONS of patients that just might want to communicate with you via e-mail.

The legal field is just as bad - judges, courts, lawyers, public defenders, police departments, fire departments, etc, and clients of course.

So, yeah, technology that has supposedly died usually is alive and well and the people who think it has died just work somewhere they don't have to deal with it.

Comment Re:Curious... (Score 1) 1094

I had this happen to me a while back as I was working while going to college. Admittedly, it was when the minimum wage was $5.00/hr and they raised it to $5.25 per hour so nothing drastic like $7.00/hr to $15.00/hr but for a college student it was a decent increase. The problem was, I was already making $5.25 per hour because I was good at my job and had earned a pay raise.

So, the week after the minimum wage increase went into effect my co-workers, who had not earned a raise, were now making $5.25 per hour and I was looking forward to my $5.50 per hour. Check came in, checked my totals, and my pay was $5.25 per hour. I explained to the store manager that this was incorrect and, at first, he just kinda laughed and said it was correct. I explained to him that no, it was not, because my pay was tied directly to the minimum wage and I had EARNED a pay raise of $0.25/hr and I asked him to explain to me how it was fair for the other three employees (small store) to be making the same I was when they had not earned a raise, but been handed one by the government. He just stood there for a minute with his mouth hanging open and said "You're right. Let me talk to corporate." Sure enough, our parent corporation agreed with me and increased my pay to where it should be and paid me my missing wages for the previous week.

Unless I am a salaried employee, I _always_ make it plain to my company that my pay is tied to the minimum wage and if it goes up my pay goes up by a corresponding amount -- otherwise, I just took a pay cut and someone fresh off the street without my years of experience with the company could be making nearly as much as I do (depending on the increase of the minimum wage vs. my wage, of course).

Comment Re:Solution (Score 0) 410

It is simple and not simple at the same time for a Flat Tax:

Anything bought anywhere outside of the United States and then imported is taxed based on the value of the object. Now value is subjective in some cases, but if you buy a $1,000,000 yacht (small, I know ;-)) in Mexico then it is still valued at $1,000,000 when it enters the United States and you impose the Flat Tax on it then. Otherwise, you can go visit your yacht in Mexico but if it ever enters United States territorial waters it will be seized until you pay the taxes you owe on it. Same for cars, paintings, jewelry, electronics, and so on.

Yes, some things will slip through the cracks or a black market will spring up or a loophole will be found -- but even if you save money on the tax using tricks, you STILL wind up paying out money to do it. It might not be as much as the Flat Tax rate, but money is still moving in the markets AND will eventually get taxed. Everyone has to eat, buy fuel, insurance (yes, must protect that $1,000,000 yacht from ... bad things), and so on -- all taxed or can lead to items being taxed.

Comment ...the best photographers were older people... (Score 5, Insightful) 97

Which is still the truth, in general. Photography on a cell phone does not equate to photography with a digital camera -- knowing what f-stop is, or shutter speed, or focal length, or a LOT of the other of the fine-grain minutiae that comes from a lot of time spent with film and digital cameras taking hundreds, if not thousands, of photographs.

Point and click it ain't.

Comment Change for Change's Sake (Score 4, Insightful) 251

I've been in the computer and IT industry in some form for over 20 years. I've seen a lot of changes come and go -- some I've embraced, some I've just dealt with, some I've beat my skull on a wall wondering WTF?!?!

Windows 8 was, in all ways, a very What The Fuck?!?! product. Microsoft did it so that they could increase their revenue stream and lock-in potential - not so they could increase the user experience. There is no situation in this world which you shove a phone/tablet interface onto a desktop or laptop computer with touchscreen penetration rates in those markets of, what?, 2 or 3%? It was bad idea from the beginning and it is still a bad idea now. When most users resort to third party software to give them back the interface that WORKS on desktop/laptop environments and/or adoption of the new operating system is only because users are being given no other choice, then the system was badly designed.

Fortune 1000/500/100 companies are NOT adopting Windows 8.x. Why in the hell would they want the lost productivity from a user being forced to learn a new interface that is not user friendly or conducive to a work environment? They don't. Which is one major reason Dell and HP both started offering Windows 7 Pro installed on Windows 8.x Pro downgraded systems for business.

Stardock is making money, even at $4.99 a pop, for Start8 as a replacement for Windows 8.x sorta-not-really-a-start menu. That says a lot about the state of Windows 8.x adoption and usability.

Even smaller companies that I deal with or have consulted for avoid Windows 8.x and use Windows 7. I've dealt with some hard-headed people who ask why it is cheaper to buy Windows 8 than 7 or "Why aren't we using the latest version?" and so on -- until I sit a laptop in front of them with a standard, out-of-the-box Windows 8.x configuration on it and tell them "Please turn the laptop off without using the power switch." Then I ask them if they could turn their Windows 7 laptops off right out of the box. You guessed it, they said YES, they could turn it off with no problems and I point out the lost productivity from their users needing to be trained on how the access everything and learning how to use the new interface(s). They always purchase Windows 7 systems. By the way, this puts LESS money in my pocket as a consultant because my company would be the ones training them to use Windows 8.x.

Windows 9, if Microsoft has ANY sense left in their Corporate brain, will go back to Windows 7 start menu functionality and leave the Metro interface for phones and tablets. Give desktop and laptop users the interface that works and that doesn't require retraining everyone. Individual user and most small-to-medium businesses I deal with are tired of vendor lock-in. Learn from your mistakes Microsoft.

Comment Hey Shelby Conklin... (Score 4, Interesting) 311

THANKS for letting me know there are nude photos of you on the internet -- and where to find them! YOU are a font of information and those of us who never even knew this site existed are thankful you are too stupid to realize you just made yourself even more of a search topic. And your lawsuit will fail.

Congrats! :)

Comment Specialization is for insects. (Score 1) 608

While specialization for humans is becoming more and more of the "norm," I think Heinlein said it best:

"A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects."
-- Robert Heinlein, Time Enough for Love

So, in that context, yes -- every normal human should, in some fashion, be able to program a computer or a web app or what have you. I believe you should always seek to bring the knowledge and abilities of those around you UP to your level and if they exceed you, great, hopefully they will return the favor. Idealist, aren't I?

Comment Keep Uncle George far, far away... (Score 2) 403

George himself broke so much canon, or "retold" it, that it is not even funny. I've gone back and watched the original trilogy many times (I own them on laserdisc), to keep it fresh in memory so when I get into discussions about original vs prequels I'm not looking back with nostalgia.

Here is one great example:
Yoda: Size matters not. Look at me. Judge me by my size, do you? Hmm? Hmm. And well you should not. For my ally is the Force, and a powerful ally it is. Life creates it, makes it grow. Its energy surrounds us and binds us. Luminous beings are we, not this crude matter. You must feel the Force around you; here, between you, me, the tree, the rock, everywhere, yes. Even between the land and the ship.

vs

Qui-Gon Jinn: Midi-chlorians are a microscopic life form that resides within all living cells.
and
Qui-Gon Jinn: Without the midi-chlorians, life could not exist, and we would have no knowledge of the Force. They continually speak to us, telling us the will of the Force. When you learn to quiet your mind, you'll hear them speaking to you.

Complete and total turn around. The Force is now administered through a third party to let the Jedi/Sith know what to do - the will of the Force? *gags* *pukes* That is exactly opposite of what Yoda tells Luke - in that LIFE creates the Force. Quo-Gon says without midi-chlorians life could not exist and that you must "hear" the midi-chlorians speak to you. If that was the case, why didn't Yoda explain that to Luke? Because it was some retconning bullshit Lucas came up with to give life to his god-complex character.

There are many, many other examples of complete "WTF?" moments between original and prequel.

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