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Comment What is higher education? (Score 2, Insightful) 393

Is higher education vocational training, or is it it how we instill the broad knowledge and critical thinking skills necessary for an informed population? Vocational training doesn't belong in universities. Of course, people learn useful skills and develop specialization while in college, but the real end goal for students is to emerge as critical thinkers who then pursue their career of choice. In some cases, that means an advanced degree, and in other cases it means the job market, with on-the-job training.

A major problem is that a lot of people go to college when really they just need job training. They don't care for, and don't receive, the real education that college degrees represent.

Comment Who controls the device? (Score 2) 80

If the government takes over a device and starts masquerading as the owner, how do we know? Could they hack your phone, use it to view a forbidden website, and then land you in jail because of it? Conversely, does this give people plausible deniability for actions performed on their digital equipment?

Submission + - AMD clocks 500x spreadsheet speed boost via hardware acceleration in LibreOffice (

samtuke writes: AMD processors get rated and reviewed based on performance. It is in our self-interest to make things work really, really fast on AMD hardware. AMD engineers contribute to LibreOffice, for good reason. Think about what happens behind a spreadsheet calculation. There can be a huge amount of math. Writing software to take advantage of a Graphics Processing Unit (GPU) for general purpose computing is non-trivial. We know how to do it. AMD engineers wrote OpenCL kernels, and contributed them to the open source code base. Turning on the OpenCL option to enable GPU Compute resulted in a 500X+ speedup, about ¼ second vs. 2minutes, 21 seconds.

Comment Re:The Free Market (Score 1) 75

If we actually had a competitive ISP market, where I could choose between, say, a hundred different providers at my residential address, then perhaps allowing the ISPs to compete in such a manner as you describe would make sense. As it is, we have 1-2 ISPs, and generally poor competition. Once one of the ISPs decides to pull prioritization shenanigans, then we the consumer is powerless to do anything about it. The only vote we have with our wallet is to forego an internet connection completely.

Comment But the Open Source drivers are good (Score 4, Informative) 160

My Radeon 6850 runs TF2 great on the OSS drivers. This is where things are headed, and if AMD keeps it up then Nvidia will have catching up to do. We're nearing the point where you can buy a graphics card, plug it in, and it "just works." The main issue is that it could take months for the bleeding edge to make it into the latest kernel, so brand new GPUs could be problematic. More to the point, in a few years an AMD APU might be both "good enough" for gaming, and also "just work." On Linux. That's saying something.

Comment Re:Brian Reynolds is a time traveler (Score 1) 379

Unfortunately for us, it's not just denying access to information, but mandating access to our own information. What has yet to be tested is what legally happens when you generate a random file and send it to someone. If asked, how can you prove it's not an encrypted file? There is no key that can be used to unlock it!

Comment Re:INTC stock, a happy story (Score 1) 91

Everything went up after the meltdown. You could have put money in just about anything and done likewise... which is exactly what the ultra-wealthy did. Since the ultra-wealthy could afford to take the risk and not sell when things were low, they could then swoop in with cash and buy up things real cheap. If you're poor, you probably weren't able to do so. This phenomenon has contributed to the increasing wealth disparity in the United States. Congrats on not being poor.

"The most important thing in a man is not what he knows, but what he is." -- Narciso Yepes