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Seattle Bookstores Embrace Amazon.com

JanneM Re:I prefer to browse real bookstores (83 comments)

I wasn't considering the time spent shopping for books, whether on an online site or in a store, but the overall time I have to read. Besides, browsing the store is part of the fun, not a chore. I basically count that as part of my reading time.

3 days ago
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Seattle Bookstores Embrace Amazon.com

JanneM Re:I prefer to browse real bookstores (83 comments)

Welcome to the minority you share with the employees at Amazon HQ.

What minority? Most people do work or have other income sources (even though unemployment is alarmingly high the world over). And my income is slightly less than the average for people my age where I live.

My point was that books are not an expensive indulgence; not in absolute terms and not compared to other everyday extras ranging from movie tickets, coffee-shop coffe or music buys, to weekend beers or tobacco.

I'm not saying the price difference doesn't matter for anybody, or for any kind of book. I am saying that for many people the limit for book buying is not how many books you can afford, but how many you have time to read. And after all, if you're hard up for cash, used book stores or the library are excellent sources for reading material as well, and cheaper still than Amazon.
 

3 days ago
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Seattle Bookstores Embrace Amazon.com

JanneM Re:I prefer to browse real bookstores (83 comments)

After you browsed through the real bookstores, where did you buy them?

I usually both browse and buy at real bookstores. In fact, I sometimes browse on Amazon (the ratings are very useful), then buy at the bookstore.

Why? Because even when the price difference is large, the absolute price is still quite low. Besides, these days the price difference often isn't actually very large anymore, once you add the cost of shipping. The difference may be that of a plain cup of coffee or less for a book I may spend weeks enjoying. And I can get the book right then, right there, not have to wait for shipping and schedule a pick-up time.

I work and I have disposable income. I don't, however, have a lot of free time. I can buy far more books than I will ever have time to read without making much of a dent in my personal play money. The limit is not money but time. Books I can't find elsewhere I order from Amazon or Rakuten, but otherwise I prefer the physical store.

3 days ago
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UN Report Reveals Odds of Being Murdered Country By Country

JanneM Re:Singapore (385 comments)

So what about Japan then? That's a large, heavily populated country with both huge urban conglomerates and a sparsely populated countryside. Or Sweden, about the same size, with a diverse mix of cultures.

Of course, there's relatively small income equality in both cases. it would be intereting to see how income inequality correlates with murder rate in general. I wouldn't be too surprised if it turns out to be as important as, or even more important than, average income itself.

about a week ago
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Algorithm Challenge: Burning Man Vehicle Exodus

JanneM Solving the wrong problem (273 comments)

The post says the total number of exits is fixed. You're just shuffling the order of the queue. A limited benefit, if any benefit at all - the people in the general queue will wait even longer, with more breakdowns and medical emergencies as a result.

And the post itself mentions the solution: Make off-site parking more viable so more people get in and out on buses. That would benefit everybody, rather than pitching one subgroup against another.

about two weeks ago
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Fukushima Photo Essay: a Drone's Eye View

JanneM Just to be clear (66 comments)

Just to be clear here: the devastation is all due to the tsunami, not to the reactor failure. Foreign media seem to often forget or ignore that the disaster was the earthquake and tsunami. That's what killed almost 20k people dead and destroyed the homes of many hundreds of thousands of people.

about two weeks ago
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Job Automation and the Minimum Wage Debate

JanneM Re:One thing's for sure... (870 comments)

In the longer term you're absolutely right. And in the longer term I don't think automation is an overall bad thing. I suspect that those of us in the industrialized world will be in for a rude awakening when we realize that it's the developing countries that will reap most of the benefits, but that's a digression.

What I meant with my comment was that the only people that benefit specifically from lowering wages* to stave off automation are the employers. It's a short-term event - buying people a few years or so - and effectively won't be reflected in the long-term price level changes. And the effect on the wage level spreads to areas that are not otherwise immediately affected by automation. The employers are effectively reaping the benefit of automation a bit early; a margin profit that we're unlikely to see.

* Wages can be lowered in other ways than reducing the pay. Adding to the workload, no compensation for inflation, more responsibility, night or shift work, or split shifts; they are all effectively the same as lowering the wage.

about three weeks ago
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Job Automation and the Minimum Wage Debate

JanneM Re:One thing's for sure... (870 comments)

"The higher the minimum wage, the more incentive there will be to automate those minimum-wage jobs.

The wage really doesn't matter. What matters is if automation is able to do the job at all - where "able" of course includes social acceptance and other non-technical factors as well. But once you are able to replace it, the cost of that replacement will drop, and will drop below the human wage sooner or later.

Trying to race automation to the cost bottom is an exercise in futility; it's a race humans will not win. The only ones that benefit from it are the employers that get cheaper labour faster as a result.

about three weeks ago
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Jimmy Wales To 'Holistic Healers': Prove Your Claims the Old-Fashioned Way

JanneM Re:Seems like a fine line (517 comments)

"genuine anecdotal evidence"

I'm not quite sure you understand the meaning of "genuine" here. Or "evidence"...

about three weeks ago
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Major Scientific Journal Publisher Requires Public Access To Data

JanneM Re:Bad news for ecologists--new license needed (136 comments)

On the other hand, if I don't have your data I can't check your results. If you want to keep your data secret for a decade, you really should plan to not publish anything relying on it for that time either. Release all the papers when you release the data.

Also, who gets to decide when a study is a replication and when it is a new result? Few replication attempts are doing exactly the same thing as the original paper, for good reason. If you want to see if it holds up you want to use different analysis or similar anyway. And "use" data? What if another group produces their own data and compares with yours? Is that "using" the data? What if they compare your published results? Is that using it?

A partial solution, I think, is for a group such as yours to pre-plan the data use already when collecting it. So you decide from start to publish a subset of that data early and publish papers based on that. Then publish another subset for further results and so on.

But what we really need is for data to be fully citeable. A way to publish the data as a reserach result by itself - perhaps the data, together with a paper describing it (but not any analysis). ANyone is free to use the data for their own research, but will of course cite you when they do. A good, serious data set can probably rack up more citations than just about any paper out there. That will give the producers the scientific credit it deserves.

about 2 months ago
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Apocalypse NAO: College Studies the Theological Ramifications of Robotics

JanneM Re:Robots are incapable of evil (176 comments)

People project personhood on lots of things already. Apart from the obvious - search the net for what people think about their roombas - even stuff like cars are designed to evoke it. And it's not as if there's been a dearth of research on these issues already.

about 2 months ago
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Apocalypse NAO: College Studies the Theological Ramifications of Robotics

JanneM Re:Robots are incapable of evil (176 comments)

making the robot evil is the question

Making the robot evil is not the question. Making the robot evil is the answer. "How do I take over the world?" is the question.

about 2 months ago
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Facebook To Buy WhatsApp

JanneM Re:And if they make me have a Facebook account... (199 comments)

Or move to LINE. That one has almost as many users as WhatsApp already.

Which leads me to wonder: is Facebook going to play money-bag whack-a-mole with every new social network that shows up? That's going to get expensive really fast.

about 2 months ago
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Fake Pub Studies Drinking Habits

JanneM Re:So a fake pub with drinks and a place to sit (118 comments)

Note, the subjects do not need to know (and shouldn't know) the actual research being done, just that they're part of a research project. Usually they're told that the researchers are testing one thing, while it's something entirely different that's really being tested.

That generally needs specific approval, though, and normally always requirs that the subject gets briefed about the real intention of the research afterwards. Also, I'm not at all certain that serving alcohol does not constitute medicating the subjects; that would mean a still tougher IRB review and approval process.

about 2 months ago
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Ask Slashdot: E-ink Reader For Academic Papers?

JanneM Re:I gave up and used a tablet (134 comments)

I have a Nexus 7, but I found the screen just too small for double-column papers. I now use a Sony Tablet Z and it's nearly perfect. It's still light enough to easily hold in one hand, and I can easily read a single-column paper in portrait format, or a double-column paper either in portrait or landscape, depending on how tired my eyes are at the time.

I use "PDF Viewer", actually "EBook Droid" for PDFs, and it's OK for papers. I'll try ezPDF as well. I also use Sony's "small app" notes application to take notes which works fairly well.

The one thing I miss is Zotero integration. I don't really need Zotero on my tablet, but I would like to take notes and get the notes automagically imported to Zotero.

about 2 months ago
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Ugly Trends Threaten Aviation Industry

JanneM Re:The problem is MUCH, much wider ... (473 comments)

A bike is not really practical in places with snow or ice in winter; or when part of your daily routine involves bringing family members to school or work.

In my case, though, I use public transportation nowadays; I drive neither car nor bike, and keep my license only because it's a convenient form of ID.

about 2 months ago

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