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Amazon Is Only Going To Pay Authors When Each Page Is Read 172

An anonymous reader writes: Amazon has a new plan to keep self-published authors honest: they're only going to pay them when someone actually reads a page. Peter Wayner at the Atlantic explores how this is going to change the lives of the authors — and the readers. Fat, impressive coffee table books are out if no one reads them. Thin, concise authors will be bereft. Page turners are in.

FCC Chairman: a Former Cable Lobbyist Who Helped Kill the Comcast Merger 86

An anonymous reader writes: After Friday's news that the Comcast/TWC merger is dead, the Washington Post points out an interesting fact: FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler, who was instrumental in throwing up roadblocks for the deal, used to be a lobbyist for the cable and wireless industry. "Those who predicted Wheeler would favor industry interests 'misunderstood him from the beginning — the notion that because he had represented various industries, he was suddenly in their pocket never made any sense,' said one industry lawyer, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because he represents clients before the FCC." The "revolving door" between government and industry is often blamed for many of the problems regulating corporations. We were worried about it ourselves when Wheeler was nominated for his current job. I guess this goes to show that it depends more on the person than on their previous job.

Comment Re:Crap hardware, not surprising (Score 3, Insightful) 192

I use both BeathBone Black's and Raspberry Pi's each has their tradeoffs. The BeathBone is better suited complex embedded applications. It has more GPIOs, two built in 200Mhz in-order microcontrollers for real time tasks, it is faster (than the pre Pi 2's), etc. Not every application needs to play video. In fact almost every project I have done didn't need video. Most didn't need a UI.

Each has their strengths and their weaknesses. Each has its niche. There is no such thing as better for all uses.

Comment Re:As someone who used to do support for Comcast (Score 1) 262

My point (and I do have one) is that the OP was making a big assumption as to why this was happening, one that contained at least a hint of justification. My point is that you don't necessarily need the explanation provided to explain the behavior. Let us not automatically assume the behavior is provoked.

But even if it was, the difficult people aren't going away. All that can change are Comcast's policies, corporate culture, management style etc. All things internal to the company. It doesn't matter what the provoking incidents are, nor do they serve as a justification — since it is never acceptable to what was done.

Comment Re:As someone who used to do support for Comcast (Score 1) 262

Here is the thing, you are probably right that some of these abuses may be caused in reaction to difficult customers, but who knows if that is the only reason? In my own experience people who pull crap like that may start out needing a reason, but may well escalate to doing it to anyone they please. I recall once I subscribed to a magazine and filled out nothing more than name and address; only to see my name changed to Jockitch because it amused some random person.

But here is my larger point: who cares? Yes people can be difficult, they may be jerks, or worse; but this kind of crap is never justified.

Comment Re:2N2222 (Score 1) 314

I can't speak for your RadioShack, but every single store (5) I have been in over the last year has component drawers somewhere in the store, and the all carried 2n2222s. Dollars to donuts you store had them too.

Selection isn't great, but they do carry the very basics — along with protoboards, breadboards, etc.

Comment Re:Missing the point (Score 1) 223

You want to provide some proof for that? Should the military provide exemptions to that kind of training for organized sports because they also learned to work in a team? Or should we trust in a system of training soldiers that has been honed over a very long time. Unlike another commenter who likened them to surgeons — who are waived from combat training — these "cyberwarriors" are engaged in actual military action. They are fighting. So they should go through the same shared experience as all other soldiers.

OR they should be civilian contractors, which is how we handle other specialties that we don't require to go through basic.

Comment Missing the point (Score 1) 223

Basic Training is about a lot more than combat training. It is about teaching the value of the command structure, of camaraderie, of working as a team and relying on your buddies. If "hackers" aren't able or willing to go through that training then they should be hired as civilian contractors. We are already outsourcing lots of jobs that used to be done by soldiers.

But the thing that unites everyone in the military is a set of core experiences and the values that come from them.

Comment I don't know that being 1 of 11,776 is "unique" (Score 1) 160

According to that site "[I] Can Be Tracked!" because my fingerprint is the same as 11,775 others. That number seems to be generated only by people visiting the site meaning the pool would most likely be larger.

Obviously Browser Fingerprinting is a real thing, but that site seems to be geared toward hyperbole than actually educating.

Comment Re:68k has no MMU; how can Linux run? (Score 2) 147

It is running uCLinux which is intended to run on MMUless microcontrollers (hence the uC). uCLinux doesn't require a MMU nor does it support virtual memory, or memory protection. It isn't ideal for a user system since memory can become fragmented over time, but that hasn't stopped people. It is primarily used in embedded systems that are running a stable set of programs after boot, leaving the rest of the memory to the primary app(s)

Comment My prediction Short term effect on FTDI (Score 4, Interesting) 572

Yesterday a number of my clients called me to say they wanted me to design out the FTDI FT232R from current designs and replace it with an alternative (I settled on the Microchip MCP2200). Today, after this news, I called each of them to explain FTDI's change in policy and see if they still wanted to make this change. All of them said yes.

The feedback was essentially this: FTDI's actions left a bad taste in their mouth and they didn't appreciate this action being taken without any real attempt to notify resellers and manufacturers; and now that they know the alternate chip I proposed was about half the price as FTDI's offering they are happy to change. Now none of these people are high volume manufacturers, so it will unclear if FTDI will even notice.

The reason I have found for most clients wanting FTDI is confidence in the brand more than anything else. This move will affect it a little, but people's memories are short, and FTDI responded quickly enough that they won't suffer too much damage. My prediction is that FTDI will take a dip in sales for a quarter , and then things will return to more or less normal; but companies like Microchip will likely see an uptick, because manufacturers more aware of the alternatives.

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