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Comment Re:A BIT expensive?! (Score 1) 627

Yes, that's my point: there is strong but elusive and allusive evidence that manufacturing processes are nasty across the board, except for companies like Apple who publish audits (and that is suspect, given some of last years' events).

Yet Apple is guilty of IP violations of customers' and developers' rights.

What's an ethical person to do? Buy used, avoid paying the manufacturers directly.

Comment Re:A BIT expensive?! (Score 1) 627

Well, hating Apple for their business practices is really a political decision, not a hardware/software evaluation. Uniquely in the computer world, a Mac is not limiting in any way, because you can literally run any software or OS on a MBP, either natively or through emulation. One also needs to inquire whether HP or Dell or Sony are such great companies from an ethical standpoint (certainly Sony is every bit as perverse and unsavoury as Apple). Basically, when you factor in environmental and labour practices alongside IP, the entire industry is pretty sleazy.

But by all means, if someone here can accurately vote through your wallet using your conscience, do so and share your findings with us.

The other side of the Apple Tax is resale value. Macs hold their value more than any other PC, much like a honda or toyota, and you need to factor that into the equation. Take longevity, quality, and resale prices into consideration, and the mid-to-low end Apple laptops are actually a pretty good value.

Comment Re:hmm (Score 1) 368

More than this: I was annoyed by the lack of a mid-range headless mac, so I set out to build a hackintosh. At the time, the IPS monitor on the iMac 24 was what I was aiming for (1.8 yrs ago, time to upgrade soon), and I needed video editing capabilities with Final Cut.

By the time I'd priced out all the parts (newegg/NCIX, don't say I didn't shop right) to find equivalent function and similar quality, I was $120 under the price of a refurb iMac, except for the crappy video card. I'm not a gamer, so I bought the iMac and saved time and money.

OTOH, I needed a cheap laptop. HP netbook for me, and I never bothered to hackintosh it, because Win7 is just fine (and linux netbook offerings aren't good enough yet).

Comment Re:hmm (Score 1) 368

To be clear, there are only two Mac OS choices: OS X (currently 10.6) and OS X Server, so for a desktop user there's really only one choice. (iOS is mandatory on relevant devices, no choice there.)

OS X is a pretty complete unix install, apple flavoured, with proprietary stuff lathered on top... i.e. the base model is the pro version, not crippled in any way (other than general apple buggy/quirkiness).

Comment Re:Very little? (Score 1) 288

Yes, let's just agree that the universe is out to kill us, and that Earth temporarily has very favourable conditions... until the climate flips out, or a big rock comes spinning in.

I say start working on colonizing both. The next few hundred years will be well-spent terraforming, in opposite directions.

Comment Re:Not going to happen (Score 1) 288

It really depends on what group of humans you're talking about. The Pacific Northwest, for instance, was so abundant in biological resources, that the work week was less than 20 hours. That left lots of time for art, showing off, and other social pursuits. It was a pretty comfortable existence.... until the Haida came around to bust your ass and take slaves.

Comment Re:Who gets to decide what the iPad is? (Score 1) 514

A minority of people are complaining about limitations those of us who are interested in the product either doesn't see as a limitation, or limitations that are outweighed by other benefits of the product.

Sometimes 'good enough' really is. I'm typing on a netbook that I was going to hackintosh, but this model doesn't run snow leopard, and win 7 is good enough for basic web dev. Maybe someday I'll liberate this thing with Mint, but for now it's good to work on a variety of platforms.

Comment Re:Prental Involment? (Score 2, Insightful) 446

You know what? I agree, except for the homework point.

Homework is irrelevant. An inefficient learning environment needs homework to keep up, the kid doesn't need 10 hours of learning a day to learn a few things.

The parents aren't teaching their kids curiosity. They aren't teaching them focus. The kids aren't getting a sense of goals or meaning from the prospect of learning. Likewise, the curriculum fails at this too.

Most homework is obviously make-work or catch-up. It's no wonder it isn't valued. Gatto has a pretty good take on this. Motivation comes from the context as well as from within. There is all kinds of meaning in how work is presented to the kids, and just because they don't put it into words, they can often see through the crap.

The crux is that inefficient learning environment. Blame apathy at home, sure, but blame misguided curriculum too, blame Taylorism that depersonalizes the kid, blame culture, blame admin, but mostly blame the educational system overall, its ideology and inequalities and denial.

Comment That, and more... (Score 3, Insightful) 446

Here in British Columbia, the good teachers (who actually manage to get full time work, frak you union/management collusion) generally have to work about a 60-70 hour week, plus be available for phone calls. The work load can get insane, because a good teacher is working HARD during those hours... I've put in long hours at various jobs, but there's usually way more 'down-time' or light load work in a week than a teacher gets.

This is all for a lower middle class income until your seniority gets big. Time off in the summer amounts to about 3-4 weeks or less since there's always professional development and prep.

The general public just has no idea.

On top of that, a good teacher deals with intense frustrations over curriculum, bureaucracy, feckless parents, and lack of support for special needs... most spend an inordinate time with 'classroom management', meaning discipline.

The thing is, good teachers will work for enough to live on, because they will do the work anyway, that's what makes them a good teacher. What they really want is the ability to properly teach without burning out; i.e. adequate prep time, smaller class sizes, more support staff targeted at the 10% of the class that takes 90% of the attention, and fewer overall hours. Burnout turns good teachers into indifferent, bitter staff working for that pension.

Comment 1. Placebo... 2. Precautionary Principle (Score 1) 791

You no buy.

First, just the shred of doubt will have some effect on your well being. Not just through stress, but through placebo effects.

Second, this is a relatively new risk of exposure for the species and investigations into it are relatively weak. Seems like a good time to deploy the Precautionary Principle.

Buy an apt exposed to trees or a view, instead.

Comment Re:95% Beats 5% (Score 1) 512

what if a client has another web app they spent big money on that only runs on IE6, what if their worldwide network SOE is based on IE6? your going to just ride in and tell them to update or they can shove their money up their arse?

Browser support is a lot like a warranty condition for the site. Manufacturers/designers have to set the bar somewhere.

I smell a car analogy:

I'm shopping for tires. I can get a 100Km warranty on a new set, so long as I agree to rotate the tires every 10Km, for free. Without some minimal diligence on the part of the user, the warranty is void, as the user has abrogated their duties towards security.

Likewise with a simple free browser upgrade.

If a client has specific needs, that's part of the contract, no? However, since IE6 is demonstrably less safe and secure, technically inferior, and more costly to support, there has to be extra justification and expense to support it... somewhat like an extended warranty.

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