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Comment dump standardized testing (Score 1) 99 99

This type of tech - maybe not just in one wave, but things of this nature - should replace standardized testing. To hell with filling in little dots, let the kids actually *create* things and then they are more likely to succeed. Tons of nasty leech organizations grab the kind of money needed for these sorts of initiatives. Swat them away and get creative - and yes 3D printers are manufactured in the US.

Comment A matter for free software (Score 1) 24 24

One hopes that GPL compatible software can be installed. As Stallman pointed out in his Libreplanet keynote a couple weeks ago, the separate computers are not really designed correctly to defend the other parts from runaway music player components or whatever. Having a Michael Hastings style crash is only a few malfunctions away...

Comment a lot of hostility to prisoners here (Score 1) 305 305

I think it shows a lot of insecurity about tech jobs that so many people here attack prisoners and fear job market competition from them after some basic tech training.

It is great that people could learn a trade which would let them prosper and be rewarded for their efforts. This could be much worse - they could be trained to become lawyers!

Comment Can any Greek speakers help translate GPL software (Score 1) 253 253

I helped cleanup & docs on a GPL project called Integral Community Exchange System (ICES) just approved as full drupal.org project module suite https://www.drupal.org/project... . It is already used by Ecoxarxes (econetworks) around Spain specifically Catalonia to provide timebanking/time credit and needs/offers listings. It feature-replaces closed source CES software used in places like South Africa and Australia.

I think that getting basic needs connected and covered for people and enhancing trust among a web of people, without need for deflated (or low velocity /liquidity fiat currencies like Euro in depressed Spain or Greece), with either timebanking or basic services listed, already helping a lot of people. Exchanges: https://www.integralces.net/ce... developer docs https://docs.integralces.net/ Thanks for considering something practical. No fancy blockchains, but an OAuth / OpenTransaction implementation to exchange crossovers is working in dev. If anyone would like to plugin or translate please check it out...

Comment So is SystemD or the old ways moar secure then?? (Score 1) 755 755

Is SystemD and these related libraries going to actually be more secure? It seems like init scripts were not a source of disaster earlier. The kludgy if-then scripts, while somewhat embarassing, seem predictable enough in their effects. I wonder if the converting of this idiosyncratic system into one big spaghetti monster will create more vulnerabilities.

Is the logging too verbose like a firehose to follow what's important? And would this help them charge money for DevOps? Where has the center of this conversation been? Without digging around Slashdot seems to be the only venue this gets any attention. Is it a result of centralization in the open source world, wherein relatively few people decide the fate of upstream distros?

Even if it works fine and solves some major problems, still: what can be done to decentralize the open source world? Can maybe SystemD get a kind of POSIX like clearly defined set of functions, and truly be made hot swappable for something less bulky and possibly devious? What would it take to unplug or supplant SystemD's role in GNOME?

Comment USI Fiber is a cheap business to operate, solid (Score 1) 110 110

I was lucky enough to have access to a home hookup on a lower USI tier for a while. It was of course far and away the best Internets around locally (altho now it's prompted CenturyLink to roll out). Coverage maps here http://fiber.usinternet.com/

Another thing I loved was Comcast was forced to slash its rates in the covered zip codes dramatically, finally resembling a reasonable price. The solid upstream is very good for getting videos online, altho its true that the chokepoint winds up being the Youtube server, not the pipe. The entire time, except when someone doing laundry unplugged the basement router, it never really bogged down & you could tell the peering points were not saturated like is always the Comcast experience.

I happened to run into a bunch of the USI staff at an event & they explained to me that while they didn't have much capital, the little bit they were riding on could suffice to slowly build out the network. It took awhile to develop a process w the city to get easements on the boulevards but now proceeds smoothly. Conveniently everything is reliable (who knew buried optical cables are more reliable than coax on poles?) and the whole city network gets like 4-5 service calls a day. They were actually happy to not have to bother providing TV service w its finicky boxes, because they don't cover the whole city.

The ping times to the U of Minn timeserver at 128.101.101.101 were around 2-4ms if you don't go thru a router.

Obviously they were a bit proud they'd been able to hang in the biz over those years, and considered themselves the "last man standing" against the big monopolies.

Comment TNR setup to promote interventionism (Score 1) 346 346

It seems no one on the thread's mentioned how TNR was setup in the World War I era to propagandize Americans into interventionism, because they were too "isolationist" and not enough support existed for empire building. They went on to promote other wars and forms of supremacy. Most recently promoting the war in Iraq. There were a sprinkling of interesting pieces here and there but it was mostly the Robert Kagan style liberal neocon guide to Empire for fanciful 21st century Lawrence of Arabia wannabees. Good riddance and I hope it somehow turns into a radically anticolonialist clickbait site.

Comment Slashdot wins, dammit! (Score 1) 187 187

Maybe it isn't everything you could hope for, but it is a huge concession to the idea that the Slashdot crowd set out in favor of so long ago. Proprietary software steadily lost ground on the merits and now MS has to release code for many aspects of their whole ecosystem. You can all tip a wine glass and scrub your monocles, it is Progress.

Comment such branches (Score 1) 24 24

I'm looking forward to the branch of development that can take out other drones such as Amazon Monopolizers and assorted police / military drones. Possible features include pointing lasers to 'paint' them for arduino controlled ground based rapidfire paintball targeting, spraying crazy glue or webbing into their rotors, and of course flipping the damn things over. Set up a hawk's perch with some solar panels & magnetic inductance charger, fella could have a good time in Vegas w a few of these.

Comment Nuclear is dangerous - Fukushima overlooked (Score 1) 380 380

It seems most commenters on this thread overlook the severity of Fukushima. It's an uncomfortable reality for techies that tech like nuclear is not really run in a responsible - more expensive - way. In Minnesota the Monticello nuclear plant is the same GE Mk II as Fukushima with the terrible spent fuel chamber design. Fortunately MN has low disaster risks compared to say the uber-dangerous Cal Edison San Onofre plant - but look how even one nuclear accident proves impossible to contain or bring to a close?!
See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/San_Onofre_Nuclear_Generating_Station - imagine if a tsunami had hit this rickety place - it took tons of local pressure to shut it down finally. Nuclear plants sometimes degrade unpredictably like San Onofre did. Meanwhile in Japan, a country world renowned for its robot expertise, has been utterly unable to mobilize a Soviet style Chernobyl like response. Chernobyl popped once and then had a moderate fire, but Fukushima remains in slow meltdown, and if another typhoon or tsunami happens to hit the area just right, the remaining fuel rods could finally go off and metropolitan Tokyo could have to be evacuated. In this country the EPA has radically raised the 'acceptable' levels for radiation, and who knows how many nuclear incidents in the US go unreported??

I agree coal and oil based plants trigger major environmental consequences and natural gas plants drawn from fracking now cause geological & chemical damage. We need to focus on driving down aggregate demand for electricity and patching together intermittent sources (a new water-based heat cylinder idea for example could help w storage and peak, vertical windmills are safer for birds, clever plastic lenses cheapen solar etc), while phasing out catastrophe-prone technologies. In the new SimCity nuclear plants are safe if the workers are educated, if only real life were so easy :P

Comment 700MHz Radio Spectrum battle continues (Score 1) 115 115

I heard last year that first responders are trying to hang onto a chunk of radio spectrum that the telecoms want. I don't think it was really about encryption so much as making sure that it could do trunking correctly - units could bring in radios across the country and have working interoperability. Encryption is its own ball of crazy. I for one would rather have the fire fighters have better radios, the fuzz can generally get good radios if they want them.

This is apparently the "D Block" which is next to existing 700MHz public safety frequencies.
http://gcn.com/articles/2011/03/31/first-responders-public-safety-d-block-spectrum.aspx
later: http://www.nydailynews.com/blogs/dc/2011/06/911-first-responder-radio-bill-clears-committee

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