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+ - Satanists Propose Monument at Oklahoma Statehouse Next to Ten Commandments

Submitted by Hugh Pickens DOT Com
Hugh Pickens DOT Com (2995471) writes "The Tulsa World reports that in their zeal to tout their faith in the public square, conservatives in Oklahoma may have unwittingly opened the door to a wide range of religious groups, including satanists who are now seeking to put their own statue next to a Ten Commandments monument on the Statehouse steps. The Republican-controlled Legislature in Oklahoma authorized the privately funded Ten Commandments monument in 2009, and it was placed on the Capitol grounds last year despite criticism from legal experts who questioned its constitutionality. But the New York-based Satanic Temple saw an opportunity and notified the state's Capitol Preservation Commission that it wants to donate a monument too. "We believe that all monuments should be in good taste and consistent with community standards," Lucien Greaves wrote in letter to state officials. "Our proposed monument, as an homage to the historic/literary Satan, will certainly abide by these guidelines." Brady Henderson, legal director for ACLU Oklahoma, said if state officials allow one type of religious expression, they must allow alternative forms of expression, although he said a better solution might be to allow none at all on state property. "We would prefer to see Oklahoma's government officials work to faithfully serve our communities and improve the lives of Oklahomans instead of erecting granite monuments to show us all how righteous they are," says Henderson. "But if the Ten Commandments, with its overtly Christian message, is allowed to stay at the Capitol, the Satanic Temple's proposed monument cannot be rejected because of its different religious viewpoint.""

+ - Amazon Uses Robots to Speed Up Human "Pickers" in Fulfillment Centers

Submitted by cagraham
cagraham (3027657) writes "The WSJ, combing through Amazon's Q3 earnings report, found that the company is currently using 1,400 robots across three of their fulfillment centers. The machines are made by Kiva Systems (a company acquired by Amazon last year), and help to warehouses more efficient by bringing the product shelves to the workers. The workers then select the right item from the shelf, box it, and place it on the conveyor line, while another shelf is brought. The management software that runs the robots can speed or slow down item pacing, reroute valuable orders to more experienced workers, and redistribute workloads to prevent backlogs."

+ - TSA cancels $60 million Rapiscan contract; Congress to increase TSA Tax anyway->

Submitted by McGruber
McGruber (1417641) writes "Bloomberg has the news that the US General Accounting Office (GAO) has forced the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) to cancel a contract for carry-on baggage screening equipment (http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-12-06/naked-scanner-maker-osi-systems-falls-on-losing-tsa-order.html). The contract had been awarded to Rapiscan, a unit of OSI Systems Inc. (OSIS), less than three months after the TSA nearly barred the company from future contracts, over how Rapiscan handled software fixes for body-scanning machines known as "naked scanners”.

Another contractor protested the award of the baggage screening contract to OSIS/Rapiscan. The protesting firm pointed out that OSI’s Rapiscan unit planned to make the machines in Malaysia in violation of federal rules and was using outdated technology that might miss dangerous objects and trigger false alarms.

Two House committees said in a report last year that the TSA spent $184 million on Rapiscan scanners that are now stored in a warehouse instead of being deployed at airports. The agency was spending $3.5 million a year to lease and manage the warehouse, the committees said.

Sadly, not even Congress reads reports produced by house committees, as demonstrated by this Businessweek report (http://www.businessweek.com/news/2013-12-03/tsa-passenger-fee-increase-proposal-spurs-airlines-to-lobby-2) that Congress is posed to increase the TSA Tax: "Eager to find new revenues to fend off automatic spending cuts next month, Republicans are embracing an increase to the so-called Sept. 11 security fee on U.S. airline tickets they’ve long resisted. Eager to find new revenues to fend off automatic spending cuts next month, Republicans are embracing an increase to the so-called Sept. 11 security fee on U.S. airline tickets they’ve long resisted. It’s one of the few money-raisers that has bipartisan support in budget negotiations, even as its surprise emergence mobilized resistance from airlines in the U.S. and abroad, the Air Line Pilots Association and the Consumer Travel Alliance.""

Link to Original Source

Comment: Re:Common knowledge (Score 2) 270

Yeah, no kidding. Back in my younger and less persuasive days, we were on a project where we were forced by PHBs to use consumer drives in an enterprise system (storing and retreiving syslog data in a VERY busy environment). We were literally blowing them out every three months or so until the Powers That Be finally relented and let us put in proper storage (back then that also meant shelling out for a pricy SCSI HBA). I think that the gap has closed somewhat since then, and there are also some interesting options in drives that are purpose-built for things like DVRs and low-volume RAID. Also, back then (I don't know if it's still the case today) enterprise HDDs were tested individually for quality control, whereas consumer HDDs were just randomly sampled from each batch.

For many enterprise applications, though, the difference in things like seek times and sustained data transfer rate can be substantial in a busy environment.

Comment: Really? (Score 1) 273

When Facebook screws up its data mining, I see a stupidly-placed ad on my wall.

When the US government screws up its data mining, you get a million dead Iraqis.

Predicted response from Robert S. Litt and his ilk: "Iraqis don't vote in our elections... they don't donate to our political campaigns.... I don't get it...?"

Comment: Re:Walled gardens... (Score 3, Interesting) 291

by ErikTheRed (#41754095) Attached to: The Greatest Battle of the Personal Computing Revolution Lies Ahead

Also good for people who value their time (not having to worry so much about fraud and malware, research, etc.) more than their ability to do things with a device that they would never bother doing anyway.

It's perfectly fine for tinkerers on Slashdot to have the opposite preference and express it verbally and in the market with their purchases, but to presume that their preference - which is shared by an extremely small minority of people - is ideal for everyone else is a bit silly. I fully support people who want to tinker - I used to be that way myself. But as I've gotten older my interests have shifted and I simply don't want to spend my very limited time on vetting everything that goes into my mobile device, and the limitations imposed by the "walled garden" don't really affect my interests. It's a simple trade-off.

Comment: Completely brain-dead (Score 4, Insightful) 417

by ErikTheRed (#38419368) Attached to: How To Thwart the High Priests In IT

It's the sort of stupid article you'd expect from an organization that is supposedly all about information technology, but is so backwards that they're endlessly pestering me to take a free subscription to their dead-tree edition. If their web site isn't even worth visiting for free articles, why would they think I want to spend the effort moving their magazine from my mailbox directly to the trash?

Comment: The real purpose (Score 1) 591

by ErikTheRed (#36240164) Attached to: Mozilla Labs: the URL Bar Has To Go

The real purpose for Google putting everything into one entry box is that everything you type gets turned into a search, and therefore gets sent to Google. It adds a very significant amount of data to their user search information database - essentially monetizing everything you type up there (Microsoft does this with IE as well). My guess is that Mozilla is getting something under the table for this as well. Fork time?

Comment: Re:collegeboard.com affected (Score 1) 115

by ErikTheRed (#35704796) Attached to: Epsilon Data Breach Bigger Than Just Kroger Customers' Data

Why? Do you think regulations will magically make these companies haxx0r-proof?

Here's what happens with the regulatory process: the companies lobby the shit out of the appropriate politicians and agencies. Regulations are produced. They don't solve much, but now we get a new bureaucracy to handle the regulations. The companies still get cracked, but now they can say "Hey, it wasn't our fault - we followed the regulations."

Happens all day, every day.

The end of labor is to gain leisure.

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