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Comment Re:OECD Nations (Score 1, Offtopic) 236

I'm a heavy F/OSS advocate and user. I had started using Windows at 3.x but when F/OSS came out, I realized the importance of it and abandoned using MS software for all but the things that Wine couldn't do. However, when it comes to Microsoft vs. Apple, I honestly have to side with Microsoft. No, I don't like Microsoft -- I personally consider their OS to be full of bugs, in need of an entire rebuild from the bottom-up, and I find their treatment of security and bugs to be terrible...not to mention the prices for all of that software hell is ridiculous. I use their products only when necessary for work/school. However, Apple makes their products so much about fashion then considering their ridiculously numerous number of lawsuits against almost anything with a my mind, that almost turns them into the high school bully -- all about fashion, then stepping on others. To put it simply: that's just not cool with me. They're a very powerful company and I don't feel they use it to the right end. It's just a personal opinion, take it for what it's worth...but if having an F/OSS advocate give sympathy to Microsoft is the sign of the end of the world, if ever a brawl should formally come about between Apple and Microsoft, buy some scotch, a sports car, and go on gamblin' because I know what side this F/OSS user would be on...

Comment Now, it's not high-tech... (Score 1) 93

It's not really about the technology because using the phone is absolutely not new, it's about the re-purposing of it. Usually phones are only used for business or personal conversation and less often they're used for the practice of medicine because if it were any other field of medicine, it would be considered inexact and risky to not physically be seeing a patient. Even in psychology, I'm aware of it being seen as a less intensive way of seeing a patient because the doctor can't physically see the patient's expression, their mannerisms, etc. and those are helpful for diagnosing a patient -- especially one who may be suffering from a disorder involving loss of contact with reality or difficulty distinguishing the truth because in those cases, sometimes you can't know whether a patient is giving the information needed unless you're looking at them. The use of this method for therapy is important because not every patient can make it in person. The elderly who are depressed having watched all their friends pass and possibly their spouse may be too fragile to make the trip once or twice a week. Other terminally-ill patients -- regardless of age -- may need to be undergoing serious treatment such as dialysis, IV medicine treatment, or other intensive treatments basically anchoring them to a hospital where their psychologist -- or one most appropriate to treat them -- may not work. This is a great use of a technology which has otherwise been abused as a means for bad customer service, incessant telemarketing, and having someone call you when you're 100mi away to ask you where the milk is.

Comment A step in some direction... (Score 1) 205

This is a step in some direction but is it the right one? Decentralization of data could result in no more need to carry around traditional, clunky laptops and beyond some small stationary drive, that hard drive could conceivably be done away with all together theoretically. Unfortunately, the U.S.'s internet system is far behind that of countries like Japan and there are many places where one doesn't have free wifi or even paid wifi, meaning having a off-site hard drive would result in you not being able to access your data in many areas. --and realistically, for work or play, without a hard drive to store games or many documents, what can you really get done?

If this could be used as simply a supplementary drive, what makes this different from MegaUpload, DropBox or the like? If this was offered as a free service, it could certainly be used that way -- even if a login and password are required to access a drive.

Unfortunately, if it's a paid service, I don't see what they're trying to accomplish here. There are already many services out there and though Google has been very successful with their search engine and even their e-mail service, not many other applications of theirs have taken off. This could be because Google has a long track record of trying to reinvent the wheel. Other map services predated Google Maps and though Google Maps is great, it isn't revolutionary and hasn't redefined online maps the way their search engine has changed search services. Offering e-mail is old and tired -- Lycos, Yahoo, Microsoft...many, many others have done that and it's not much of a stretch to say it's been done to death. Then attempting to create their own social network... I feel like as a company, Google's attempt to almost play it safe by not trying to invent new services is proving to cause them to fail.

That being said, I'd rather see them trying something genuinely new in the future as opposed to offering a service that already exists...

Comment Re:Take some responsibility... (Score 1) 297

I like the way you spun it -- taking control of what is essentially out of your control. This is what I meant in my post above. It's not your fault what the world gives you (in this case language), but it is your responsibility for what you're then going to do with it. Certain languages correlate with more prosperous lives but there are plenty of rich, prosperous English speakers fully able to think ahead so it's not out of one's control.

In the end, life's like being put on the back of a wild bronco can't really choose not to be there...but you can choose to try to take the reins...

Comment Re:Take some responsibility... (Score 1) 297

You didn't seem to get the point of what I wrote. The world isn't black and white and neither is responsibility. Even in the most terrible and unfortunate accident, someone who wants to take responsibility for their lives will find a way to improve the situation, prevent it from happening again, or find a way of making it better next time. If you want to find fault in others, you will, whether they have fault or not. The same goes for taking responsibility. No, it's not your fault that your boss is a jerk. But then ask yourself what you could do... Why did you even take a job with him? Did you continue to look for other jobs after being hired by such a person? Did you report his behavior to his supervisor? Did you seek out other credentials in your spare time to aid in getting a job in a better place? I could go on indefinitely because there is always something you could do differently.

You don't decide what the world looks like but you can decide how to look at it and what to do with what you get. Neither you nor anyone else on this planet is some helpless, immobile being at the sheer mercy of the world around them because even if there's nothing physical that you can do, you can still change your mind and the way you look at things.

Comment Re:Take some responsibility... (Score 1) 297

You really seem to have gotten what I said in my post. The world isn't black and white so it's not a matter of something being only internal or external, it's a matter of finding where you can take responsibility and doing so to the fullest extent so that you can change your life. Too often, people like to take the easy way out and just blame others without making any changes but the fact is, even in a horribly unfortunate situation that isn't even remotely your own fault, you can still find some way of changing or improving upon the way you live your life to either avoid the situation happening again or making it easier the next time. It truly is a matter of perspective and in the end, if someone wants to find blame only in others, they's not difficult...but their own life will greatly suffer for it...all they need to do is look around for evidence of that.

Comment Take some responsibility... (Score 4, Interesting) 297

How about the language of taking responsibility for oneself? In psychology, there's something called an "external locus of control" versus an "internal locus of control". An example of an external locus of control would be someone saying: "I lost my job because my boss is a jerk" whereas an example of an internal locus of control would be: "I lost my job because I didn't do a good enough job." The fact is, when you place the control on something other than yourself -- language, the media, your parents, whatever -- you end up relinquishing responsibility and by doing so, what changes? If it's language's fault, it's not yours so you're still fat and smoking and broke and thinking it's language's fault doesn't change that. However, thinking to yourself, "I got myself here," puts the responsibility in your own's you now, so you can do something about it...

Take my word for it or don't but compare me to my brother and you'll see taking simple responsibility for oneself is literally the difference between not only fat, smoking, and broke...but educated, healthy, and prosperous as well...

Comment A bit off... (Score 1) 525

As it happens, the television networks that actively supported SOPA and PIPA didn’t take advantage of their broadcast credibility to press their case. That’s partly because 'old media' draws a line between 'news' and 'editorial.' Apparently, Wikipedia and Google don’t recognize the ethical boundary between the neutral reporting of information and the presentation of editorial opinion as fact.

While Google and Wikipedia were very straightforward with their stances on SOPA and PIPA and how they believed it would negatively impact their businesses as well as the freedom of their customers, television networks are not so upfront. Instead of television networks saying what they, as companies, stand for in such a direct way, they make sure to fund and air shows which support their views in an indirect way which doesn't always make it obvious to viewers that what is presented, is in fact mostly opinion. This is transparent in the differences between "news" shows on different networks. Some "news" will take one spin on an issue, vilifying those involved, whereas another will boast about the issue's grand points and turn those involved into saints, all the while claiming this is "news" which as defined by Merriam-Webster, is a "report of recent events" as opposed to opinion parading itself as fact.

Whatever opinions I may otherwise have about some of Google's past behavior, this was a very upfront and honest play on both their part and Wikipedia's. The person who wrote the quote above obviously doesn't look at what they watch on television critically -- which they should. You can't believe everything you hear -- tv included. It's not like there's some governing body making sure what's said on tv is's maybe just a notch higher up on the validity ladder than what someone might say to you in passing on the street (though, admittedly with better makeup and lighting).

Comment Um... (Score 1) 160

I can understand spending money on DVDs, CDs, or even actual pet clothes (and note here that I'm not a fan of clothing for pets), but virtual pet clothes? In this time wherein our economy has seemingly reached some form of heat death...spending anything on something that doesn't actually exist is just too much...

As a side note, if this behavior isn't unique, this does explain the state of our economy to some extent...

Comment Re:Since these are legally purchased mp3s... (Score 1) 103

That's a good point! If it's not in place, it should be. I think that it could definitely be possible if iTunes shares its sales data with this company. If they have access to the sales data, they could create a record that flags the purchase (the individual song, not the entire purchase if it's more than one song) as no longer valid. That way, nothing short of a user literally breaking into the company's server data would allow them to circumvent the rules of only being able to sell a pre-owned item once.

Comment Re:Since these are legally purchased mp3s... (Score 1) 103

When I said "what prevents people from renaming the file..." I was referring to the software itself and the system put in place to sell the pre-owned mp3s. I wasn't referring to the legal system.

Well, that would be copyright infringement, and therefore illegal. So people won't do it, or so I would assume.

It's a little idealistic to assume people won't do that. In fact, that quality is something that makes this system more appealing to most people. I mean, as mentioned in a previous post here on Slashdot, there isn't much physically preventing people from downloading pirated music. See this article here which was posted on Slashdot a few days ago: Yes, it's probably illegal to keep a copy of something you've technically sold but my argument isn't about the legality of it, it's about what will draw customers or not. I have never heard of an industry -- music, movies, cars, whatever... -- that takes a cut of what is sold as used so though it may technically be 'illegal', there is, in fact, little or no harm being done to the industry here. In addition, many things can be 'backed up' before selling them as used products. This may not work with cars but it works with movies, most video games, music, it can work (though more labor-intensively) with books, and that doesn't hurt these industries because they don't have a cut of these resell profits anyway.

The point is that this could help other industries like the ebook industry which if it isn't, should be suffering because of its ridiculous prices. Being able to sell a 'used' copy of something is, in fact, a selling point when buying something, it increases the inherent value of an item to know, when buying it, that somewhere down the road, if you get tired of it, you can sell it and get some of your money back. This very point is why many gamers were up in arms about a new system that only allows game data to be used by a first user and then it must be re-purchased (something also posted recently on Slashdot).

To put some perfect system in place to prevent people from stealing what they need/want would likely require satisfying the needs/wants of all the billions of people in the world since history has shown that trying to put laws and blockades in place to circumvent stealing is ineffective. As this ideal system would likely come long after pigs take to the sky in flight, it's important to focus on systems that have the least loss and though this system may still allow for users to keep music they've sold, it also causes much less loss overall for industries than other methods. That's the important part here.

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