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Comment Re:The big difference here is (Score 2) 679

I don't think it's likely related to money in this case. Full disclosure...I'm not quite a fanboy but I do own several apple products, haven't bought a PC in probably 5 years or more, and prefer OSX or Linux to Windows.

I think he's saying we remember folks who make large humanitarian or health contributions to society for longer because it's more relevant to more people for longer than products we consume. We remember some industrialists because they so far outshone their contemporaries and had an effect for more generations. With the speed that technology now improves that seems less and less likely to happen in todays cycle without a major fundamental breakthrough in physics but health related discoveries continue to remain relevant because humans don't change that fast physically. If Gates cures malaria (or rather people Gates has funded) he's probably correct in that he will be remembered longer and in a positive light.

That said the use of the word "revere" is a bit of poetic license on the part of the author of the original article. Gladwell actually claimed the 3rd world would revere him and raise statues to him for curing malaria but even that is silly in my opinion. I mean where are the statues of Jonas Salk (and I don't mean one sitting in his home town or at a university, I mean in all the various places polio was a problem)? I think Gates end up in text books and be remembered longer than Jobs as the driving force that found a cure but it will be in books and schools that his name is mentioned not in the streets like Gladwell predicts. All of this of course is moot if his folks don't find a cure.

Comment Re:Worse? (Score 3, Interesting) 444

I'm not a fan of M$ these days but still I agree. There are a ton of companies that have outright failed, lost a huge lead, or even gone down in a blazing inferno due to incompetence or outright corruption. There have to be worse CEOs. Microsoft is still massively profitable.

FTA..."Without a doubt, Mr. Ballmer is the worst CEO of a large publicly traded American company today."

Clearly the author is engaging in hyperbole and histrionics to gain attention for his piece. The article is about CEOs who should have been fired already which is probably a fair assessment of Ballmer but the over the top "worst CEO" stuff is silly.

Comment R&D and Investing Carries Risk (Score 2) 247

First you won't and shouldn't get your money back, at least in my opinion. I get that you don't want to get caught up in the fraud side of things but that's just a risk that supporting people you don't personally know (and sometimes people you do) carries. The whole point of investing is to spread the risk of failure out to as many people as possible while also spreading the rewards of success out.

The real question to me is how to make the system better and discourage the bad actors. I believe there needs to be some sort of reputation management features added to things like Kickstarter. First there should be a mechanism to identify users of the service (maybe a premium service that certifies identities of those asking for money). Verified accounts should carry more clout and be safer investments than unverified accounts. There should also be a reputation/feedback system that lets you know the success rates, communication frequency, general satisfaction of investors, etc. associated with a verified account on past projects. The more information that is out there and the more there is a threat of loosing something valuable (i.e. verified status and reputation) the more likely that the bad actors will be the anomolies not the rule.

None of this fixes the problem but it gradually makes things better which is all you can really achieve when you're trying to manage risks.

Comment Re:Not a huge concern (Score 1) 132

Well that's not really what I was referring to, but to respond to your point...

1. I specifically mean the interface for managing hundreds or thousands of books not so much for flipping pages

2. That said, I actually hate the kindle buttons. I hit them all the time on accident and the forward and back layout isn't intuitive to me so I regularly go the wrong direction. That doesn't mean touch is better for flipping just that the kindle button layout sucks, IMO.

3. I agree the iPad is too heavy, however I regularly read with one hand and use my thumb to tap the page on the side which sends it forward in the Kindle reader software. Also I sometimes read laying down with the iPad resting on a horizontal surface (largely due to the weight of the thing)

All of that said, my point was that neither of the devices is really what I want even though I used to love the Kindle. This is due to a change in the context of what is expected from a reader and is a result of more devices with differing features. Finally, I believe that by borrowing some of the better features from the tablet world, Kindle has a chance to become the dominant reader once again.

Comment Re:Not a huge concern (Score 2) 132

Not sure you read my post correctly. I get that you don't want a light but your preference is not particularly relevant to my point unless of course there are so many people like you out there that the feature doesn't help sell new Kindles.

I prefer eInk too and yet I read more on my iPad currently primarily because I read at night before I go to sleep and since I read on my iPad most of the time, I rarely take the time to go find my Kindle for the times when I'm not reading in conditions where I need a light. I don't particularly like the ipad as a reader and actually prefer the eInk screen, weight, and battery life of my Kindle. The two areas where it sucks are the interface which is a pain when managing thousands of titles and the lack of ability to read in a dark environment. I don't want a screen that glows all the time but I would like a light I can turn on and off that makes it readable in a dark environment that doesn't tether me to a lamp and hence lying or sitting in one position for hours at a time.

My point was to say that these types of features can't be dismissed because a book doesn't have them as I believe that ereaders have changed what the experience of reading means in many cases and in that context and as a development strategy it is important for Kindles to compete with functional use cases (e.g. reading at night) and feature sets (e.g. good UI for managing large numbers of books) that other reading devices support, so that they can then win on things that differentiate them like eInk, battery, and price.

Comment Re:Not a huge concern (Score 5, Insightful) 132

I actually think it's a bigger deal than that because of the changes in the way we read and the context of what is possible now versus when paper books were the only medium to communicate the written word. While I agree with your basic analysis regarding traditional books I think the difference is the iPad and other tablets (note I'm ignoring the Fire because I see that as a poor compromise between an iPad and a Kindle non-Fire)

Before these devices the Kindle was the undisputed king of readers and all it had to do was replicate the book experience as closely as possible and I was thrilled. With the iPad I now actually read more on my iPad than my Kindle because the interface is better (Kindle is addressing this with various touch technologies but I don't yet have an eInk touch version) and I can read in the dark at the end of the day. However, the reading experience on the iPad leaves a bit to be desired in any overhead lighting environment because of glare (I haven't tried the new one as I'm still on iPad2). As a result I used to be completely happy with my Kindle but now I have two devices that I'm probably 70% happy with because the context of what is possible/available has changed.

As you said book lights can solve the problem but it's just another complication to the process that needs batteries and to be attached and to be stored and generally adds to the inconvenience. This wasn't an issue with books because there wasn't an alternative but since the context has changed and I now know it's an extra hassle it becomes annoying.

I think these technologically evolutionary improvements are exactly what has a chance to create revolutionary functional change (not that this one necessarily will if it is poorly executed) and win Amazon back some market share. As a result I love when companies focus on experiential design facets of a product rather than just cramming the latest chip in something and adding features to add features regardless of how well executed the feature may be.

Comment Re:Evolve or die (Score 3, Insightful) 124

Since they made them available at an affordable price and without DRM I've bought more in the last year than in the last 10 before that combined. Evolve doesn't mean the model you espouse above with the live show being the product is the only viable one. Where you are correct however is that the old model of the record company taking the majority of risks and relying on 3 mega stars to prop up 3000 busts and trying to recreate the same success over and over again by mimicry of past successful artists is no longer viable since today's artists don't need major labels to front the costs of getting in the studio and getting a record/tape/cd pressed. The real key to finally putting a nail in big music's coffin is open new radio like distribution channels where music can be experienced for the first time for free and that is happening slowly through things like pandora and spotify. Hopefully, it will continue.

Comment Re:This Is A Bad Idea (Score 3, Insightful) 516

It's even worse than that. When the in car navi stops working the way people are accustomed to they will switch to phone based navigation which will require much more attention and cause many more problems. Rather than constantly trying to put genies back in their bottles government out to be researching ways to make them safer while still being useful. Figure out a way to have them be voice activated and respond to natural language queries so the screens become less important to the experience.

If you want to change people's behavior give them something that is a qualitatively better experience rather than just trying to restrict what already exists. This will only drive them to (pun intended) to work around the system with unforeseen and in this case dangerous consequences.

Comment It takes one to know one... (Score 1, Interesting) 1237

I'd give my left arm for for a pro-science, rationalist candidate. I'm pretty sure Santorum is right and the Dems are anti-science....I will however return to that play ground gem...."it takes one to know one".

Politics and political leadership has become a swarming mass of vipers all pandering to biases and cultural predispositions and have very little to do with rational decision making and leadership (if it ever did). Both parties are just interested in the science that supports their predefined ideologies and ignore or discount that which doesn't. It is sad but that's what we have for "leaders" these days on both sides.

Comment Spend time on your product DRM is wasted effort (Score 1) 635

Don't waste time and money on trying to keep 14 year olds from using your product illegally and in the process irritate legit customers. Build a licensing/activation scheme that requires a key and gets automated updates from your online repository. This is a common enough act that it shouldn't irritate your average consumer. Keep track of the keys that show up over and over again and which registered users are leaking their keys. Do some light analysis and if it is a corporation violating your license confront them and if that doesn't work sue them. If it's a hobbyist who downloaded it from TPB ignore them or shut down their access to online updates but don't waste time and money on DRM that will only frustrate paying users and not even slow down the pirate community. You don't care about the end users (or you shouldn't) you care about the guys leaking their legit keys and enabling the end users.

This is especially true of your software if it really specialized software in the $10K range. You have a niche market and every legit customer you alienate is devastating to the bottom line. Any petty thief you catch doesn't help your bottom line anyway. You have to make decisions through an economic lens not a principle of ownership lens. Unless the goal of your business is to uphold a principle rather than make money.

Comment I don't see the issue... (Score 2) 1271

People aren't forced to take the vaccines and doctors aren't forced to treat patients who won't follow their directions. Sounds like a good bit of personal freedom going on to me.

This is just the doctor version of no shoes, no shirt, no service (or rather no shot no service). For the record doctors fire patients for other reasons as well, sometimes because they are drug seekers, sometimes because they don't pay, sometimes because they won't take their meds and sometimes because they constantly threaten lawsuits when they aren't able to get in touch with the doctor 24/7.

Isn't this how it's supposed to work? We come to some sort of agreement to trade goods or services and as long as it's beneficial to both parties we do business. When one party finds it no longer beneficial the relationship is severed?

Comment Re:Ummmm (Score 5, Insightful) 228

Reading and understanding requirements....Writing testing strategies, test cases, and low level testing scripts that can be traced back to the individual requirements that they test....Understanding which test cases map to which functional blocks of a system....Identifying which test cases should be part of a regression pack and keeping that pack fresh through various versions of the software....running that regression pack when requested during future development cycles...performing change impact analysis to select subsets of the regression pack to test various changes...etc.

....and if it is a manager position then add in all the people stuff on top.

...and of course executing test cases and tracking the results.

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