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Comment Free speech and private companies. (Score 1) 284

Free speech concerns do not apply to private companies, and in fact forcing a company to carry some speech it does not want to carry would be a violation of its rights too. But that is true only when there is competition and alternatives available for the patrons. When group of companies that collectively control a significant chunk of their market act in a discriminatory manner they can be compelled. This was the logic used in enforcing de segregation and civil rights laws on private companies all over Jim Crow south.

Comment Correlation != causation (Score 2) 488

Goes without saying correlation does not imply causation.

Further it is hard to believe engg faculty are more conservative than business school faculty or law school faculty. I have been a TA in engg grad school. Our faculty ranged from my muslim PhD guru to dyed-in-the-wool Texas-homeland-hillbilly professor complete with knee high leather boots, 5 gallon hat and some kind of buckle-and-shoe-lace thing he wore instead of a tie, Korean war veteran.

In Asia smart kids aspire to become engineers or doctors. They do well in home country and end up in USA engg school and suddenly are confronted with international level of academic competition. Those who just managed to make it just barely over the GRE score threshold find it very hard. I have seen grad students struggle. Psychological break down common because they have borrowed heavily to come to USA and their assistantship is on the verge of being taken away due to poor GPA. It transcends country of origin. Indian and Chinese students as likely to struggle here as are Middle Eastern, Taiwanese, Indonesian grad students.

Further Engg/Med schools attract more international students, because lack of English knowledge is not as much of an impediment to Engg/Med schools compared to business or law schools.

And the terrorists need engineers as much as any organization. Except for purely retail, purely accounting, purely law companies everyone else needs engineers. So they actively recruit among the frustrated engineers.

Comment Fantastic way to lose all sympathy (Score 5, Insightful) 799

No way the school district is going to pay 15 mill to this family that has already emigrated to Qatar. It will probably cost a few thousands in lawyer fees. On the other hand, that clock boy is going to lose all sympathy from most people. It lends credence to the accusation that the boy's father, a presidential candidate in south sudan or chad or some such place is quite media savvy and has manipulated the media and gamed the system.

Comment But sabotage roof top solar first (Score 2) 150

Distributed power generation could provide a vital back up for such grid failures. So to protect the profit potential of utilities sucking the blood of captive customers we need to sabotage roof top solar first. If grid gets sabotaged, then we can get the feds to cough up money for doing all the maintenance work that were cut back for decades.

The big lesson learned from the 2008 financial collapse is: fail big. Fail small, you need to pay for the cost of failure. Fail big, feds will pay for the cost of failure. So make sure that all failures are catastrophic, so that there is huge public pressure to "do something". The utilities will have contingency plans ready to hold the hat out for federal handout.

Comment Repeal SLoTD! Now!! (Score 1) 96

We freed the banking from the law of supply and demand and the profits of the financial sector have boomed to 25% of all profits earned by all enterprises. But still we are still hampered by rest of the economy saddled with physical process of delivering goods and services in the real world of Euclidean geometry and physics. Ages ago, before we understood the real cost of energy a small band of elite "scientists" passed all sorts of laws, "conservation of energy" "conservation of angular momentum" and the most egregious of all, the Second Law of Thermodynamics. Our economy has been straining at the yoke of these tyrannical laws.

It is high time we repeal these draconian laws and free the economy to create more jobs and prosperity for all. We will form a committee of high powered lawyers and finance wizards to study the constitutionality of these laws, and we are planning to sue them to be declared unconstitutional and hence null and void. Our private assessment is that the John Roberts court will be sympathetic to our plea but timing is of the essence, we need to get the case in the docket while Scalia is still in office.

We will not rest till the Finance sector takes home 98% of all profits earned in all endeavors.

Confidential. Circulation strictly limited. For the eyes of finance executives only

Comment Security vs Productivity (Score 1) 110

They spend 33% of their time in security. The spend the remaining 66% of the time making sure their developers can not do any legitimate work. They run stuff like Bit9 or real-time process whitelist etc and when it catches any build process that uses the same .Net API or MFC class header that was used in any malware their signatures match and the build process gets killed. Developers play this demolition derby testing whether their code changes and pull requests can get past all the hurdles thrown in by IT.

The motto of IT seems to be "Ironclad security is what we strive to deliver. If that reduces productivity to zero, it is not our problem."

Comment Filtering out is so very difficult! (Score 2) 389

When Anonymous or someone else floods a hash tag with thousands of identical links to the same video, the cpu resources to collect all the postings, filter the spam out, track the original posts and follow ups would require humongous CPU resources and server farms. So it is going to hamper our spooks' ability to ... wait .. oh oh!

Submission + - Uber clone Ola India aided disaster recovery efforts in a flood hit metropolis. (

140Mandak262Jamuna writes: Ola is a uber clone quite popular in India. Last week there were very heavy rains in Southern India and one of its major cities got severely affected by the heavy rains. The Ola taxi drivers banded together with local fishermen and rescued people stranded by the floods. It seems to be a spontaneous local innovation. Ola management was neither aware of it nor got the idea nor approved it.

This is probably a great idea, worthy of being developed further. If the emergency, police, fire and ambulance services integrate their crews and vehicles to plug in to the taxi calling app infrastructure, it would help them find the people in need of services quicker. Or Android and iOS could include an emergency assistance request app and provide the emergency crews with the client software to inter-operate with the callers. Probably some sort of neutral open standard protocol could be developed by our universities, using slave labor of graduate students of comp sci/engg departments.

Imagine how well it would have worked in a situation like Katrina in New Orleans if the people stranded in the attic would be able hail emergency helicopters...

(I was in Chennai last week, and the rains were not really all that much above average. It was just 20 cm in one day. But almost all the lakes and ponds in around the city have encroached upon by unscrupulous real estate agents, in cahoots with local politicians. Almost all the affected localities were former lakes and ponds. So much of the land was paved over, there was some runoff issue and some flooded underpasses. But water was just waist deep in all those areas. Surprisingly the power grid held, and the cell towers were functional most of the time. It should not have been a disaster at all, just blessed rain bringing valuable fresh water. But ...)

MSDOS is not dead, it just smells that way. -- Henry Spencer