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Comments

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Amateur Radio In the Backcountry?

Rachel Lucid Re:No, ham radio won't work for you (376 comments)

Best thing about Ham Radio Tests -- If you can take them all on the same day, you still only pay the fee for one test (Basically, a "Keep Passing until you fail" kind of mindset.)

more than 4 years ago
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The Demographics of Web Search

Rachel Lucid Sexist Search Engine Pigs! (131 comments)

What if I'm a woman and I WANTED the paint brand, huh? (Or a more pertinent issue, if I start looking up for MMO's and it tries to steer me towards Bella Sera or something instead of WoW?)

Seriously, this has "Bad Idea" written all over it, for the criticism levied against it for entrenching gender stereotypes if nothing else.

more than 4 years ago
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Doctorow Says Google & Amazon Stifle Progress

Rachel Lucid Re:Sorry Cory... (162 comments)

It's more like it's a way to "test a market" without having to invest heavily in merchandise and machinery first.

In my example above, if something is massively successful to the point that there's no reason not to do the fulfillment yourself, you can always switch later. There's no contracts or other niggling details to keep you tied down any longer than necessary, and even if you decide to keep an avenue of service open, you can always do new stuff yourself for a higher profit margin.

i.e. sure, you might get fleeced early on, but once you have the base established there's no reason you couldn't do it yourself later for higher profits. It just prevents early crash-and-burn, that's all.

more than 5 years ago
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Doctorow Says Google & Amazon Stifle Progress

Rachel Lucid Re:Sorry Cory... (162 comments)

Yes and no. There are a lot of webcomic creators (myself included) attempting to do this for better or worse.

Yes, intermediaries take a cut of our proceeds, but in exchange they provide a certain level of convenience - I can own a $300+ button-making machine and sell my own buttons as they're ordered online / at conventions, or I can focus on just making buttons for conventions (when I can make a reasonable estimate of how much I need at that time, hence can make a bunch at once on someone else's machine for just the cost of the buttons) and leave the online work to Zazzle, which does (in addition to buttons), several other items I can make and sell using the same images, with no upfront costs.

At no time do I give up my copyrights to these images, so I can use them elsewhere, and if it doesn't work out, I haven't lost any money in the process.

Ideally, other POD systems or small-scale operations like Amazon's recent offerings make it EASIER for me to stand alone with marketing my work, by reducing the cost and issues with fulfillment.

A LOT of these creator-run operations don't have the time or money to run marketing research to decide if it's a good idea to make a hundred shirts, or X number of books (The cost per unit goes down as you order more, but at the same time, if it doesn't sell, it's just wasted product) so the solution requires a system that carries its own burden for the creator to reduce waste as much as possible.

We COULD do work without them... but then the game goes to the ones already big enough to handle their own fulfillment, or the ones foolish enough to invest lots of money in it before doing their homework. I'd rather have 'em than not.

more than 5 years ago
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You're (Probably) Not Going To Be a Pro Blogger

Rachel Lucid Re:Um, news? (120 comments)

Well, Folks who work in newspaper comics certainly believe that webcomic folks like myself are killing their business... never mind that there's very little stopping them from taking advantage of the exact same channels.

more than 5 years ago
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You're (Probably) Not Going To Be a Pro Blogger

Rachel Lucid Some content is worth more than others. (120 comments)

It depends on what you're offering.

If your blog talks about education (like yours seems to) or other high-profile niches, there's money in it. If your passion is in something more obscure like knitting in the round, don't expect people to pay you $.30 a click.

more than 5 years ago
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You're (Probably) Not Going To Be a Pro Blogger

Rachel Lucid Re:Um, news? (120 comments)

This isn't that different than what I said before, or even what most webcomic artists do after a year or two in terms of selling dead tree versions of their work.

Again, he made the blog, then he sold books based on what was on that blog, and used the profits to go from there. He didn't put it up and then "hope" to get enough from ads and amazon referrals or something; he actually produced work that attracted people and got them to buy his other stuff. That some of what people bought was also content already on the site isn't that unusual.

more than 5 years ago
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You're (Probably) Not Going To Be a Pro Blogger

Rachel Lucid Um, news? (120 comments)

Getting paid to blog is like getting paid to write. You don't just produce stuff and get paid (unless you're a novelist... good luck!), you produce stuff and get hired to MAKE SOMETHING LIKE IT.

It points out (correctly) that if you wanna make money blogging, you sell something that isn't just your content. Even if you're only a writer, you can still sell frickin' e-books at a few bucks a pop instead of always giving it away. (of course, holding ALL your work behind the golden door doesn't work either. You've got to strike a balance, even if the balance usually leans towards "give away most of it".

It's stunning how few people realize this.

more than 5 years ago
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Options For a Laptop With a Broken Screen?

Rachel Lucid Re:Yeah, Screen replacement works wonders. (544 comments)

Depends if your laptop uses a model that allows you to remove the backlight from the rest of the screen with relative ease versus having to dissect the screen down to the "I can see the different layers of the LCD" level.

I had to go the dissection route. There's a few dust marks left behind from it, but they're not $100+ worth of annoyance to me.

more than 5 years ago
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Options For a Laptop With a Broken Screen?

Rachel Lucid Yeah, Screen replacement works wonders. (544 comments)

Most screens will run $100, and while laptops aren't made to be "easy" to repair, You'd be replacing the entire screen, which is just popping the case open and unscrewing a few things.

I've replaced the backlight on my laptop's screen (a much harder task!), so this ought to be gravy for you, and cheaper than repairing it otherwise.

more than 5 years ago
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Options For a Laptop With a Broken Screen?

Rachel Lucid Re:Somebody Had to Ask It... (544 comments)

Yeah... on the list of "Stupid Ways to Get Your Laptop Stolen", we have:

#8: "Oh, it's okay, my friend's watching it"
#7: Leave it in the car
#6: Pass out at a frat house
#5: Two words: Finals Week
#4: Take a leak while "telecommuting" at Starbucks
#3: Work for a government agency
#2: Check your laptop with your airplane luggage
#1: Put child porn on it. (for a legal alternative, your social security number will also do.)

Seriously, to actually trust TSA to be doing their job 100% of the time and NOT screw with your valuables? You're nuts.

more than 5 years ago
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Designer Accused of Copying His Own Work By Stock Art Website

Rachel Lucid Derivative?! (380 comments)

Well of course everything is derivative. YOU are derivative. You have copied what your education system has foisted onto us all so you can graduate and become yet another derivative cog in the system.

If you were given a chance to see something truly original... you would go insane from trying to comprehend it.

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/TrueArtIsIncomprehensible indeed.

more than 5 years ago
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Baby Chicks Have Innate Mathematical Skills

Rachel Lucid Re:Actually... (184 comments)

This is the same customs that manages to constantly wreck some Star Wars geek's fanwank, yes? ( http://www.therpf.com/showthread.php?t=60002 )

Not that I think Kinder Surprise are a huge threat or anything, but still, what priorities...

more than 5 years ago
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Baby Chicks Have Innate Mathematical Skills

Rachel Lucid Actually... (184 comments)

Actually, not true; Ethnic stores carry them, which leads me to believe they're under less stringent regulations than other groceries.

Also, Wonder Balls DID have toys in them originally; they switched to the hard candy after people complained. Figures.

more than 5 years ago
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Is That "Sexting" Pic Illegal? A Scientific Test

Rachel Lucid Re:wtf is sexting? (711 comments)

It's the new "Media Buzzword" for Sexually Explicit Text Messages / Picture Messaging.

I've been hearing it a lot on HARO lately (a media trough for reporters looking for sources for articles and books -- it's also a nice predictor of media trends anywhere from a week to two months or so in the future), so apparently somebody thinks it's newsworthy that kids are swapping around dirty pictures of each other.

more than 5 years ago
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The Environmental Impact of Google Searches

Rachel Lucid Yes, but how much is that vs. alternative actions? (516 comments)

And without the internet, we'd be spending a LOT more than that.

Imagine the gas wasted on trips to the bookstore, vs. aggregation of purchases through Amazon, the reduced waste thanks to Print-On-Demand... you get the idea.

Google is, for all intents and purposes, the cost of business. I'm all for reducing Google's energy consumption, but it's a lot better than the non-internet alternatives.

more than 5 years ago
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An Ethical Question Regarding Ebooks

Rachel Lucid Re:Get it in both forms (715 comments)

You don't.

In the solution posted above, you're paying for a legal copy, but still downloading and using the pirated form as the e-book you desired to begin with.

Alternatively, you make it into an E-book yourself. Tedious, yes, but I remember one Hungarian girl copying a Harry Potter book by hand so she could have a print copy. Be thankful typing isn't nearly so tedious.

more than 5 years ago
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How to Deal With an Aging Brain?

Rachel Lucid Re:First thing, Ouch... (684 comments)

Well, I think it's safe to say that any girl willing to hang around on /. IS different from a normal girl, but beside the point...

more than 5 years ago

Submissions

Rachel Lucid hasn't submitted any stories.

Journals

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Autistic Child Forced Out of Kindergarten By "Popular Vote"

Rachel Lucid Rachel Lucid writes  |  more than 6 years ago Just when you thought Florida could be trusted to elect ANYTHING again, a Kindergarten Teacher in Port St. Lucie has had a 5-year old child in the process of being diagnosed with Asperger's Syndrome voted out of the class after ordering every other student to tell the boy what they hate about him while he stood up at the front of the class. Since the vote, the child has not returned to the school, constantly intoning "I'm not special", as well as screaming at any mention of the school itself, leading his mother to consider legal action. Meanwhile, the state attorney claims the incident does not meet the criteria for "emotional child abuse", while the school district refuses to elaborate on its investigation. Regardless of whatever condition the boy has, this is about as low as teachers get.

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PSP's UMD is now DOA

Rachel Lucid Rachel Lucid writes  |  more than 8 years ago After a lackluster reception and a slew of poor movie choices and even poorer quality, Sony halts UMD development, instead offering free movies to go with buying its memory sticks.

I fail to see where Sony offering movies on the sticks circumvents everyone else doing like they've been doing for ages (i.e. downloading it for free, shoving it on the memory stick, and watching it that way anyway), but this doesn't bode well for the survival of the PSP or Sony in general. Tip to interested developers - If it's going to be used for games or movies, call it that, but don't sell it as a swiss army knife if you're not going to deliver one.

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Video Games: Time for the Basics

Rachel Lucid Rachel Lucid writes  |  more than 8 years ago

I'm going to be blunt with it: Guys, you've had your fun, but it's time to get back to letting the programmers do their part in the game industry.

Since approximately 1998, the Video Game Industry has been dominated by pushing for a (potentially destructive) upgrade cycle. Any console bought today is presumed to go obsolete (or at least stop having games made specifically for it) within the next three to five years, with the POSSIBLE exception of the mobile platforms, although if Nintendo is any indicator, we suspect that even its innovative DS will be phased out within this span given enough effort.

The bad news is that unlike computing (where new programs and machines constantly push the upper bounds), video gaming can only push so far under a series of constraints. At some point the price market won't support the new 'bleeding edge' games because as we're already seeing with the Sony PS3 predictions, users won't stand for another price hike in their games, a factor that can matter more than the console for particularly hardcore gamers (or even a moderate family of gamers - the collection of PS2 titles that me, my brother, and my sister have amassed over the PS2's span probably cost several times more than the console itself did - respectable for a console that's come down as the PS2 has, but prohibitive for something like the PS3).

The only way that most gamers will be able to justify early adoption of the PS3 (or any other high-end console) is if they honestly feel that the console in question has lasting power. Backwards compatibility has helped to maintain a market for older games, but in older consoles this is unheard of, so the approximate lifespan of a console needs to be reasonably long enough for the average user to have picked up their money's worth over several years. For a portable system, this is child's play; for a $600 behemoth, not so much.

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