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Comment: What to reform first? Spoiled for choice really. (Score 1) 405

by Black Jack Hyde (#43683787) Attached to: The public sector in direst need of reform is ...

Education - gov't is limited here, this is more of a parenting/personal responsibility issue. You could triple teacher salaries overnight yet there would still be no way to get through to kids who have become fearless when it comes to authority. That's due to inadequate parenting and no teacher can overcome this; it's a societal issue that looks hopelessly lost to the ages.

Healthcare - Medicaid/Medicare have their areas where they need to be fixed (not being able to negotiate prescription drug prices for Medicare is particularly outrageous.) Obama's failure to get a single payer system in place keeps the US stuck with a costly and bloated system.

Law Enforcement/Corrections - This could be labeled "war on drugs, yes or no" and mean the same thing. It comes down to money - would a legalization/taxation strategy be more cost effective than the current prohibition/incarceration model? The tiny steps toward legalization made in Colorado and Washington may be the first move away from what we have today, a system that seems to have zero impact on the US appetite for drugs.

Infrastructure/Public Works - This seems to be the area that would be the best starting point. Imagine a New Deal-type program focused on nationwide projects aimed at fixing antiquated electric grids, water/sewer systems, roads, and railways. Politically this might be the easiest to get started, because hey who's against more jobs right?

Science/Space R&D - Too broad a category. Perhaps focus first on science that improves our planet, like addressing global warming and developing a nationwide network of support for electric vehicles.

Military - Definitely a place where billion dollar cuts can and should be considered. However we do have to consider the potential future large-scale threats China and/or Russia could present. Any changes we make also need to ensure continued peaceful respect from our biggest enemies.

Environment - This kind of ties in to science. I know the Al Gore crowd absolutely hates the idea of attempting to patch the hole in the ozone as Lowell Wood has suggested, considering such a method as enabling a consumptive polluting culture. How many wildfires and polar ice melt do we need to see before we at least try to bandage the problem until longer term measures can be enabled?

Comment: Re:Gaming potential (Score 1) 278

by Black Jack Hyde (#42524243) Attached to: Disney Wants To Track You With RFID

Oooh, am I the only one visualizing RollerCoaster Tycoon: Disney LARP version?

Visitor #1176675 (Translation Error) has been trapped in It's a Small World for 2 hours.
Visitor #1176675 (Translation Error) is very unhappy.

You think that's funny, but I've been stuck on It's a Small World for an extended period of time. The horror...the horror...

Comment: Re:Why is this creepy? (Score 2) 278

by Black Jack Hyde (#42524127) Attached to: Disney Wants To Track You With RFID

When it introduces national identity cards with trackers and a law requiring you to carry it at all times, resistance will have been weakened by people's acquiescence in these Disney style schemes.

They don't need to introduce a tracker law, everyone who has a cellphone already has a tracker on them. Why bother with costly legislation when Americans already willingly purchase trackers?

Medicine

+ - New way to make stem cells from skin

Submitted by KillerBob
KillerBob (217953) writes "Canadian researchers have discovered a way to safely create stem cells from skin cells, as reported Sunday. From the article: "The ethical debate over embryonic stem cell use may soon be moot, thanks to a Canadian team of researchers who, together with a team out of Scotland, has found a safe way to grow stem cells from a patient's own skin.""
Security

Adobe Flaw Heightens Risk of Malicious PDFs 193

Posted by kdawson
from the driving-by dept.
snydeq writes "Security companies warn of a new flaw in version 9 of Adobe Reader and Acrobat that could compromise PCs merely by the opening of a malicious PDF. Although attacks are not yet widespread, hackers are exploiting the flaw in the wild, gaining control of computers via buffer overflow conditions triggered by the opening of specially crafted PDFs." Adobe is calling the flaw "critical" and says a patch for Reader 9 and Acrobat 9 will be released by March 11.
The Almighty Buck

Do Video Games Cost Too Much? 763

Posted by Soulskill
from the depends-how-the-pirate-bay-trial-goes-right dept.
Valve's Gabe Newell gave the keynote address at this year's Design, Innovate, Communicate, Entertain (DICE) Summit about the cost of games, the effect of piracy, and how to reach new players. Valve undertook an experiment recently to test how price affected the sales of their popular survival-horror FPS, Left 4 Dead. They Reduced the price by 50% on Steam, which "resulted in a 3000% increase in sales of the game, posting overall sales that beat the title's original launch performance." They also tested various other price drops over the holidays, seeing spikes in sales that corresponded well to the size of the discount. This will undoubtedly add to the speculation that game prices have risen too high for the current economic climate. G4TV ran a live blog of Newell's presentation, providing a few more details.

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