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Comment: Motivation (Score 1) 406

by GeordieMac (#37663138) Attached to: High School Kills Color-Coded ID Program
Some kids are motivated by good grades, some by getting a good job, some by money, some might even be demotivated by those things.* Setting up a one-size-fits-all system (grades) and then inventing punitive solutions for those that aren't thus motivated isn't addressing the root problem.

The only people that have the knowledge and ability to motivate the children are the parents. The problem then is how to motivate the parents. There are probably a hundred ways to do that but my ideology would suggest tax breaks/penalties for each child that does well on yearly SATs. I'd suggest that the incentives should be balanced by disincentives, so that its cost neutral, or nearly so.

Even if it did cost the government more upfront, hopefully that would get offset by higher tax revenue once the children graduate...

Setting up a system like this would be relatively simple. The tricky parts are properly handling the edge cases (learning disabilities, etc.) and hardening the system. (better motivated children might feel more pressure to cheat)

* http://news.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=2467658&cid=37660992

Comment: Re:Article is a troll (Score 2) 183

by GeordieMac (#35254994) Attached to: Oil Companies Patent Trolling Biofuel Production
Posting propaganda from the websites of the companies in question is not a great way to further an argument on Slashdot. I don't disagree with you statement that TFA is trollish, however BPs token investment in renewable energy is minuscule in comparison to it enormous revenue stream. a ratio of about 4:1000 or 0.4% To call BP an "alternative energy company" is disingenuous and really just green-washing; which is especially irritating given BPs history of environmental transgressions (illegal dumping on Alaska's North Slope, Prudhoe Bay oil leak, Texas City chemical spill, and the recent deep water horizon catastrophe)

Comment: Re:effect of the 'net overstated? (Score 1) 232

by GeordieMac (#35049650) Attached to: Egypt Cuts the Net, Net Fights Back
Calling it a kill switch is disingenuous, something that is 98% dead isn't really.

Traditional propaganda doesn't work on the internet. (Thus the attempt to shut it down)

News organizations rely on the internet to receive images/video's testimonies for first hand witnesses which are still very important to getting the message out. (Thus the silencing of AlJazeera)

I'd submit that the effect of the 'net cannot be overstated.

Comment: Re:Natural light (Score 1) 421

by GeordieMac (#33487840) Attached to: Ideas For a Great Control Room?

--Why on Earth do you think we haven't considered business continuity?

Fully considered? You haven't no. By co-locating everyone you are increasing the impact of otherwise small events.

--Is there *any* business which doesn't tend to put large groups, if not all of their people in the same place for most of the time?

Businesses which have proper risk management strategies. Most militaries and NGOs, organisations that regularly deal with risk

--You should really get out of your basement.

Zing. Nice ad hominem. Point to you. I'm cut to the quick... I'm off to find my encyclopedia, maybe it has an entry for boondoggle...

Comment: Re:Natural light (Score 3, Interesting) 421

by GeordieMac (#33484538) Attached to: Ideas For a Great Control Room?
Yeah, lighting is very important, sound environment anechoic tiles, or hang curtains all along the walls, quiet electronics (consider removing computers from the room all together) and phones. HVAC It's very easy to underestimate this because the number of stations you design for will likely double in real life usage. Space is really expensive and managers will always choose to double usage of space before committing to buying more structure. Underground would be worse I imagine. redundancy: I think control rooms are a little archaeic and beyond that just plain dumb. "Let's put all the really important people in one place so that they can see each other when they talk to them because that's more important than business continuity, oh yeah and let's create one single point of failure while we are at it... If you are going to make a control room anyway, make sure you have multiple redundancies for every service you tie into and at every node or point of service. Otherwise, everyone gets a free high-speed internet connection at their home and use RSA-256 if need be. The internet was designed so that it could withstand world war three, why people still building bunkers is beyond me. Control rooms as a concept are a relic of the cold war and are as useful as the 27-volume encyclopedia set in my basement.

Comment: Re:Make sure. (Score 2, Insightful) 221

by GeordieMac (#30107496) Attached to: The Space Garbage Scow, ala Cringely
It won't work... there are too many unknowns and no way to fix the scow when (read inevitable) things go wrong. The scow approach can really only be designed upfront and then implemented after the fact.... risky. The lasers idea that he dismissed out of hand early on in the article actually makes more sense. Except that the lasers aren't intended to vaporize the entire object, but a tiny fraction to induce a deceleration so that the orbit can decay faster. The laser approach can go through spiral development which is preferred for high risk projects. And has the benefit of being a replicable (parallelizable), and relatively low-tech solution. I'm sure that NASA could run a $1 million dollar competition to see who can de-orbit space junk with frickin' laser beams.

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