There are multiple reasons, but I think the primary reason the government doesn't switch is because of inertia. You already know the gov. has a hard time switching gears; imagine trying to retrain thousands of people on a new operating system.
Granted, every Windows update has a new GUI for users to figure out, so IMO making the switch to Mac or Linux isn't any different. However, the applications will have to change as well. There are *nix compatible version of popular Windows software, but "their just not the same as Office", even though people only use a small number of the features.
People just don't like change, and the people in a position to make the change are the least likely to want it, especially if it affects them. I can't tell you how many policies I've seen that are immediately ignored by those in power. They may pay lip-service to it, but in practice they don't follow it, or find a way to get around it.
Another significant factor is Exchange email servers. These agencies have invested significant resources in an Exchange infrastructure. Currently, I'm not aware of any open-source equivalent to Exchange that can be a drop-in replacement. Since email is the main work-tool for most people (and frequently a storage medium as well), not being able to replace Exchange is a deal-killer.
Finally, there just aren't that many people trained in *nix, and those who are get well-paid. As you may have heard, the gov. is not a place to get wealthy, so the people with the necessary skills will go where the money is, i.e. the private sector.
At the place I currently work, they haven't had a bona-fide developer there for at least five years, but probably longer. They have temporary workers, who might stay for a couple of years before moving on. Management isn't willing to pay a programmer what they are worth to maintain all the systems, so they have to make do with band-aids and duct tape.
I'm sure the IRS is similar: get the most work with the least money. Switching to Linux, while intelligent for many reasons (and may have been advocated at times), simply won't happen because no one with authority is interested in it. If something bad happens, they will be in the spotlight, so it's easier to make excuses than fix the underlying problem.
How is getting a lifetime subscription to the electronic version any different than just keeping the book?
Assuming the student wants to keep the book rather than sell it, especially if they highlighted it or made notes in it, then how is the electronic version any better? Unless the ebook is updated on a regular basis but, if it's a casebook, I can't see a lot of changes being necessary.
Plus, I don't really see how this is enforceable. It's a physical book. If you don't give it back at the end of the year, there is nothing the publisher can do about it. And if the student sells it personally, i.e. not through the campus book store, who's going to know that it even occurred?
Basically, it's not going to stop the used-book sales but it makes the publisher look like a buffoon and lose any respect they may have had.
I've always wondered why police are given paid administrative leave when they "screw up". I mean, they need the money, but it basically turns into a paid vacation if you break the rules.
If you want to make sure that officer know the bad consequences of violating the rules, then give them unpaid leave. Hopefully that would make them think twice before doing something stupid that could potentially affect their paycheck.
The initial offer was $20k for the return of the laptop. The offer then went up to $1m due to the data on the HD.
Personally, I think the person who returned it should have received only the $20k; he returned the laptop, as requested, but the data wasn't available. Therefore, the individual shouldn't be eligible for the money.
Of course, I wonder why the data wasn't recoverable. I know that data recovery services are able to work magic sometimes. With no indication of extreme wear and tear, e.g. being dropped in an ocean, the data should still be salvagable.
Also, why would the manufacturer erase the HD prior to giving out a new one? It seems like they would simply return it to the owner, or at least ask the owner what he would like to do with it. Sounds kind of fishy to me.
With most people I know, this app would only be taking pictures of the inside of a pocket, or maybe the person's lap. How often does someone walk around their house with the camera in a position to be taking pictures of the interior?
Even if someone is using the phone as a phone (less likely nowadays as people tend to text more), they don't tend to wander around the house. In my experience, people park their butts on a chair so they can talk. Walking and talking usually occurs outside the house.
Re: How about publishing as an Amazon's 99 cent books?
My book is available for sale in a wide variety of formats. However, as Mike mentioned in the article, I want to give back to the FOSS community so I also make my book available for free, either through direct downloads off my site or through the torrents.
That way, people who want to support me can buy the books or they can simply download a copy. If they really want to support me, they can buy multiple copies.
Money is a one-time thing. Yes, you can always make more, but in and of itself, money doesn't bring more money. Reputation, noteriety, fame, whatever you want to call it can bring more money. As said on this blog before, obscurity is more detrimental than lack of money. If people don't know about you, you can't parlay that into payments.
For me, when I self-published my programming book, I made sure to offer it in as many versions as I could. So, people can buy a physical book or one of a multitude of ebook formats. I also offer it for free from my web site (multiple formats) and via torrent.
I make about $100 a month in sales, which isn't much but the topic is in a niche area and it is $100 more than I had before. But establishing myself and getting my name out there is more important, as I can put it on my resume, attempt to get writing contracts, or whatever. Basically, I consider it as investing in my future, rather than an immediate money-grab.
Considering that it takes ten years or so for any developments the government/military is working on to come to light, e.g. the Stealth fighter, I'm sure there's some pretty scary stuff on the horizon.
One thing I always found funny when Steve Jobs talked about the number of patents they had on the iPad/iPhone (I don't remember which). For several minutes in his keynote speech, he talked about the dozens of patents Apple applied for/received on the device, and people made a big deal of it both at the speech and in the media.
Prior to getting hooked on TechDirt, I probably would have been like "Hmm, impressive but irrelevant". Now, I realize that it is completely meaningless, especially with the number of lawsuits by other companies that these patents were supposed to protect Apple from.
If you are still sued even though you have patents, what is the point of spending all the time and money to get patents?
Just because they are network-enabled doesn't mean the manufacturer is smart enough to make it upgradable. Nor would they necessarily want to; making people upgrade their TV for the latest and greatest features is their business model.
Even if they are upgradable, how long will that support last before they say you have to buy a new TV because the software won't work on the "old tech"?
I wonder if educators are too close to the problem to properly identify it and possible remedies. The solutions discussed in the article seem pretty obvious to me yet they took decades to implement, even accounting for lack of money.
Reading the article, it is surprising that educators are so dim when it comes to education.
I'm working on a Ph.D. in IS/IT Management and have read many studies that talk about getting people more involved in "stuff" (whatever the study is concerned with) inevitably leads to better results. Whether it is a company that gets employees involved in rolling out a new computer system or a classroom that has more student participation an fewer lectures, the more involved people are the more likely they are to succeed.
Empowering people and giving them a stake in an outcome encourages them invest more in a situation. Traditional classroom teaching has been shown to be ineffective in the vast majority of situations, whether it is in a school or a business training session.
if they mean that people can "infringe" on whatever copyrighted works they want without ever being hassled by the RIAA, MPAA, and associated organizations.
But these organizations want these "you must be a pirate" taxes and still won't allow people to infringe on their copyrights. How does that work?
You pay a tax because of the possibilty that you may infringe on copyright, but if you are caught infringing, then you are taken to court. Yet, you've essentially already payed for the infringing content, right?
"A majority of TSA screeners are Veterans and have college degrees or are working on college degrees..."
Proof? Just because you say it doesn't make it true, unless there is evidence to back it up.
"...TSA uses the latest technology to adapt and keep up with the threat."
Yet, they are always looking at the last "threat", not being proactive and using the advice of non-government security experts to anticipate future threats.
"You can complain all you want but there hasn't been another 9/11 since TSA has taken over security at the airports."
Yes, but correlation does not mean causation. Just because the TSA is in charge of security doesn't mean it is solely responsible for preventing another 9/11. If you consider the shoe bomber and others, airport security didn't stop them from getting on the plane. It was the passengers that prevented them from doing any damage. Personally, I think the reason another 9/11 hasn't happened is because passengers are more inclined to deal with threats themselves nowadays, not increased airport security.
Finally, if a terrorist really wanted to make a statement, he would be better off targetting the security chokepoints rather than the airplane itself. That would shutdown the entire airport, and possibly surrounding area, rather than taking out a single plane. And it would show that the security theater from the government is ineffective at protecting people.
+1. Regardless of what copyright maximalists, lawyers, and legislators want to believe, the reality is that all of these works are either now, or soon will be, available to the public on the Internet.
However, as I understand it, no one can _make use_ of these items in a commercial, and often non-commercial, way. So while the public may be able to read/watch/listen to these works, they can't use them to make new works.
But my question is, if other countries have allowed them to become public domain, they can make new works from them, right?
Ah, that is why the US is trying to get every other country to have the same copyright extensions the US has. It's also why, whenever one country extends its copyright, others are brought along so everyone "plays fair".