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Comment Pointless Survey (Score 1) 523

It doesn't matter if people feel good about the TSA; what matters is whether the agency if effective. Even the statistic about the TSA's perceived effectiveness doesn't help either way. The only reason to present the result of the survey is to imply that the TSA is doing a good job, which is a false conclusion. It's like implying that my magic pencil prevents tiger attacks because I haven't been attacked by a tiger lately.

Comment Re:it doesn't make any sense because (Score 5, Insightful) 473

Dell could simply adjust the Ubuntu PC prices to compensate for the missing bloatware revenue. Of course, they probably would sell even fewer that way. But with Dell's just-in-time supply chain, it really shouldn't matter whether any particular models sell well because there's no inventory buildup or waste to worry about.

As for Dell's claim of reducing complexity... it's a single link on the side of the page! At the risk of sounding cliche, I think it's more reasonable to assume that there is some supplier exclusivity contract in play from Microsoft.

Comment Re:Can somebody say (Score 1) 514

Most owners care about their business, and use cost-cutting to strengthen the business. But publicly-owned companies are not run by the owners. They're run by managers who may or may not have the best interests of the business in mind. It's called the Principal-agent problem. Publicly-owned companies are more easily corrupted because the owners (stockholders) are not the ones tending to the daily matters of the business.

Comment Re:Can somebody say (Score 2, Informative) 514

If that was sarcasm and I missed it, I apologize. Either way, the truth is that cost savings do not roll downhill. Any tax savings realized by corporations goes to officer salaries.

Even if management is ethical, they still won't create jobs; without an increase in consumer demand, the ethical thing to do is distribute the savings as dividends.


When PC Ports of Console Games Go Wrong 398

A post up at Gamasutra complains about the lack of effort put into the PC ports of some console games. The author picks on the unimpressively-reviewed Ninja Blade in particular: "Just as a quick guide to what we're dealing with here: when you create a new save file at the start of Ninja Blade on the PC, it warns you not to 'turn off your console.' Yes, Ninja Blade is one of those conversions: not so much converted as made to perfunctorily run on a different machine. In-game, you're asked to press A, B, X and Y in various sequences as part of Ninja Blade's extraordinary abundance of quick-time events. Whether you have an Xbox 360 pad plugged in or not, the game captions these button icons with text describing the PC equivalent controls. Only it doesn't always do that. Sometimes, you're left staring at a giant, pulsating, green letter A, and no idea what to do with it." What awful ports have you had the misfortune to experience?

Comment Re:Kill the X Boondoggle Already (Score 2, Interesting) 199

Instead of keeping code that works and improving it, we end up throwing it away and starting from scratch. That is what causes situations like the OSS/ALSA/PulseAudio mess. So far we have mostly managed to ignore the morons calling for the death of X, hopefully that will continue.

So far we have mostly managed to ignore the morons calling for the death of PulseAudio, hopefully that will continue as well.

Pulse is new code, not a rewrite of anything. Yes, ESD was a sound server too, but the similarity ends there.

Many of PulseAudio's problems are caused by "iffy" stuff in ALSA drivers, and the ALSA folks are working to fix the bugs Pulse exposes. Many more are caused by distro people making questionable decisions on how to set it up (see Ubuntu/rtkit).

I'm sure glad that PA isn't going anywhere, despite all the uninformed hate flying around.

Comment Re:Why consider this for academics but not music? (Score 1) 349

Budgets are outlined more than one year ahead of time, so that people can actually plan for the future. They aren't usually set in stone, because as circumstances change it may be necessary to adjust them, but that doesn't mean they don't exist, or that changing them won't cause issues for the department. Giving a smaller than expected increase in budget IS a budget cut, because until that moment plans have been made with the higher number in mind: a change to that number will require cuts to payroll, purchasing, operational costs, or any of the other expenses that the program must pay. If you can imagine attempting to operate a business on a budget that you cannot predict more than 12 months in advance, you might just get an idea why it's necessary to make those kinds of assumptions.

Get it?

Oh, and inflation makes each dollar worth a little bit less than it was before. If you have a budget that doesn't go up from one year to the next, it is effectively going down whether the numbers actually say so or not.

Thanks for playing.

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