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Comment: Re:Thin library (Score 1) 125

by KermodeBear (#48670995) Attached to: App Gives You Free Ebooks of Your Paperbacks When You Take a "Shelfie"

I tried this service a few months ago - I took pictures of about 200 books (out of 1,000 or so) and not a single match was found. It's a great idea, but the library is so thin that the service is probably near useless for most people. Still, it's worth a few minutes of your time to check it out just in case.

I do wish that the major publishers would get behind this service. I wouldn't mind paying a dollar or two for an electronic version of the paperback books I already own - but honestly not much more than that.


Dish Pulls Fox News, Fox Business Network As Talks Break Down 272

Posted by samzenpus
from the no-fox-for-you dept.
An anonymous reader writes Fox News and Fox Business were pulled by Dish Network over the weekend, as both continue to argue over a fee agreement. From the article: "Dish said in a statement early Sunday morning that 21st Century Fox had blocked access to the two networks after Dish balked when rates for other networks owned by the media conglomerate were made a part of the negotiations. Tim Carry, executive vice president of distribution at Fox News Channel, countered in a statement that "Dish prematurely ceased distribution of Fox News in an attempt to intimidate and sway our negotiations. It is unfortunate that the millions of Fox News viewers on Dish were used as pawns by their provider. Hopefully they will vote with their hard earned money and seek another one of our other valued distributors immediately."

Comment: Re:America, land of the free... (Score 1) 720

by KermodeBear (#48545151) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Can a Felon Work In IT?

The worst part about felonies is that apparently, the average American can be convicted of Three Felonies a Day. If someone doesn't like you and has a little influence, it would be very easy to ruin your life. Forever. Felonies are no joke. Not only is there a loss of voting rights, but as the submitter has noted, getting hired is impossible. You're also not allowed to own a firearm - even if your felonies wee completely non-violent or were a long time ago. Renting an apartment or a house can be impossible. You can't hold many professional licenses. You cannot even get a license to cut hair if you're a felon.

A felony is in general (but not always) a serious crime. There should be some kind of punishment. But once that punishment is dealt... how do you move on with your life? Is it any wonder that we have so many repeat offenders that get out of jail, spend a few weeks outside, and bounce right back in again? It's hard to find a way to make an honest living, find a place to live, etc.

These people are doomed by a scarlet letter. It is one of our modern society's greatest crimes.

Comment: Re:Federal law has an effect, too (Score 4, Informative) 413

by KermodeBear (#48478555) Attached to: Mathematicians Study Effects of Gerrymandering On 2012 Election

From Redrawing the Lines (just a site I found with a quick Google search, no special reason to pick it other than it is what I found):

Are states permitted to create new majority- minority districts?

States are permitted and sometimes required to create new majority-minority districts under the Voting Rights Act to avoid diluting minority voting strength during redistricting. States with significant minority population growth over the course of the last decade, for instance, may need to create new majority-minority districts to ensure that redistricting plans comply with the requirements of Section 2 of the Act. Plans that dilute minority voting strength by failing to create feasible majority-minority districts may be quickly challenged following adoption. Since Section 2 litigation can be both costly and time- consuming, officials in many states set out to draw plans that fairly reflect minority voting strength at the beginning of the redistricting process. The need to comply with Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act to avoid minority vote dilution can serve as a compelling justification for both preserving and creating new majority-minority districts, which helps protect these districts from constitutional attack.

From Cornell University, we have:

Vote Dilution

Section 2 of the VRA, codified at 42 U.S.C. 1973, prohibits drawing election districts in ways that improperly dilute minorities’ voting power. This prohibition applies to states, counties, cities, school districts, and any other governmental unit that holds elections. Two typical forms of vote dilution involve “cracking” a minority community between several election districts, and “submerging” minority communities in multi-member districts. Cracking occurs when election officials split a single minority community into enough different election districts that even if the community voted as a bloc, it could not influence any single districts’ elections. Alternately, election officials might dilute a minority community’s voting power by submerging it in a multi-member district with enough non-minority voters to routinely defeat the minority community’s chosen candidates. See Gerrymandering.

Personally, I find it all to be a bunch of bullcrap. Have you seen those voting districts that are along, squiggly lines that wander all over the place? Give me big squares, randomly generated with approval from a set of judges or something like that, and get the god damned legislators out of the district drawing business. I don't care who it "hurts" or "helps", it is ridiculous to have some of the districts that we do.

Comment: Re:from the Institute of the Blindingly Obvious (Score 1) 454

by KermodeBear (#48457101) Attached to: Researchers Say the Tech Worker Shortage Doesn't Really Exist

My company hired a kid right out of a local college. He is smart, eager to learn, and really enjoys getting into complex problems and trying to figure it all out. Unfortunately, a few months after he was hired, my company's new CEO laid off about 20% of the company. Our new kid was unfortunately cut.

That about four or five months ago. I've kept in touch with this person because he's super nice and I want to be available as a professional reference in case he needs one. He's still out of work. He wants to work, he is very capable, but he is having problems getting a spot. Not because jobs are rare - we know they're not - but because there's so many applicants.

The worker shortage has been a scam from the very beginning.

Comment: Re:my takeaway (Score 1) 222

by KermodeBear (#48426051) Attached to: Lessons Learned From Google's Green Energy Bust

If the cost of stopping the sea level rising is a million deaths worldwide [...] is that better or worse than even abandoning countries and low-lying areas entirely? I have no idea. And unfortunately, it always seems that no-one else does either.

Not only do these people not know, but even worse, they do not care. They just go ahead and do it anyway.

Comment: Re:Simple (Score 1) 222

by KermodeBear (#48426009) Attached to: Lessons Learned From Google's Green Energy Bust

Why is the parent modded down as a troll?

The post is entirely correct. These other sources of energy are not efficient and reliable enough to be financially viable right now. This may change in ten or twenty years, but right now, solar and wind just aren't where they need to be.

Slashdot itself is becoming less and less a site for geeks and nerds. It has been infected by dogmatic brats who cannot tolerate discussion. This is just one example of many - I'm sure you'll find more as the comments flow in.

Comment: Fantastic. (Score 5, Insightful) 212

by KermodeBear (#48412905) Attached to: Launching 2015: a New Certificate Authority To Encrypt the Entire Web

This is a fantastic effort that will help people such as myself. I run sites across a dozen or so hosts, but they don't generate income and I really don't want to drop all that money into certificates. If I can get free certificates from a good CA then I'll gladly bump all my sites over to HTTPS.

Thank you!

Comment: Re:Allow me to fix your typo (Score 1) 258

by KermodeBear (#48393103) Attached to: Comcast Kisses-Up To Obama, Publicly Agrees On Net Neutrality

Many of these things are, in fact, progressive policies - but we must ensure that we're talking about the same progressivism. In American politics, a progressive is someone who believes in a large, power government that has a strong control over the economy and societal norms under the guise of "reform" and "progress."

An example of historical progressive policy would be Prohibition. But don't take my word for it; Last Call is a fantastic book that covers some of this material. If you're the anti-book type, Wikipedia mentions it as well.

Largest corporate handout in history? Progressive.
Expansion of the military-industrial complex? Progressive.
More laws at the state and federal level? Progressive.
Raising taxes on people? The concept of an income tax is a progressive policy.

I'm not quite sure what you mean by clout in STEM work, so I'm not sure how to place it, but many of the things you listed are, in fact, big government progressive ideals. These are the things that FDR, Teddy, Wilson, and others loved. You know what the worst part is? This is a little secret the politicians won't tell you...

The (R) and the (D) are both progressive. The (R) are less progressive, but they're still progressive. They, too, enjoy increased spending, government handouts, boondoggles, choosing winners and losers in the marketplace, and using the law to enforce their own personal moral viewpoints. So remember, when you vote for that (R) or the (D), you're ultimately getting the same thing.

Long computations which yield zero are probably all for naught.