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Comment: Re:And... (Score 2, Informative) 264

In my small company, we all use Linux on the desktop.

I really see no reason for using MS Office if you're a small company.

However, for large companies, collaboration tools, internationalization of documents, corporate-wide style hints, advanced spreadsheet macros, shareable diagram objects, integrated calendars, meeting room tracking, distribution policy enforcement, etc. are important, and just aren't quite there on most of the alternatives. Google Docs does a reasonable job at some of that, but not all.

Comment: Re:Brought to you by the same people (Score 1) 102

This is a murky field. A polygraph does present useful information; it's just not necessarily whether the person is telling the truth. The major decision part of any polygraph system is the operator, and they need to have sp,e training in physical psychology to be predictably any good at using the equipment.

That's nice bullshit sandwich wrapped in pseudo-science bread you've got there.

I disagree. As I stated, polygraph machines are NOT lie detectors; the fact that they've been popularized in this way is beside the point.

Polygraphs only work in the way that swinging a five dollar wrench at someone works. It convinces them to tell you what you want to know on their own because their afraid of it. That's it.

No; that's the way that polygraphs are usually used by government and law enforcement to get the answer they want. Polygraphs actually WORK by measuring your vitals and recording the information change over time. There's a huge difference there.

And pretty soon, those health bands everyone's starting to wear will be indistinguishable from polygraphs; the only real difference being application and interpretation.

The phrase "He failed/passed a polygraph" is the biggest load of shit in "law enforcement."

I disagree here too -- it is totally eclipsed by the phrases "he was obstructing justice!" and "that DNA evidence proves it."

These days, polygraphs are much more abused by government on government employees than they are on civilians by law enforcement. But the LE abuses are the worse of the two I agree, as they're performed against people who have no choice.

Comment: Re:4 year degrees have a lot theory & fluff / (Score 2) 223

by Em Adespoton (#47519403) Attached to: VP Biden Briefs US Governors On H-1B Visas, IT, and Coding

4 year degrees have a lot theory with big sides of fluff / filler classes.

While tech schools and community college have teachers who have been / still are working in a real work place doing IT work.

the 4 years places not so much.

Can't say for today, but my 4 year school I went through in 6 years (co-op programs spread things out); and near the end, most of my seminars were taught by either domain experts or people taking a sabbatical from their day job to teach what they had learned.

The theory courses were what has kept me employed since... there's a difference between a real CS degree (being able to do the math and work the concepts) and being a code jockey. The second has a much lower glass ceiling.

Comment: Re:Brought to you by the same people (Score 3, Insightful) 102

This is a murky field. A polygraph does present useful information; it's just not necessarily whether the person is telling the truth. The major decision part of any polygraph system is the operator, and they need to have sp,e training in physical psychology to be predictably any good at using the equipment.

Seems to me that this new system falls into the same category. They'll be able to get some new data that would have been obscured before, but the interpretation of the data will still require an expert.

Personally, I think this is better than leaving it up to a human, as the human mind has known defects during the data acquisition phase -- these systems don't have those weaknesses, and while they can't draw any conclusions, they gather a different (and in some cases more complete) set of information than a human by themselves would gather.

The problem comes when people conflate the results of the tests with factual certainty -- both systems require interpretation, and as we all know, statistics lie 99.8% of the time.

Comment: Re:AIDS is good (Score 2) 64

by Em Adespoton (#47511555) Attached to: Researchers Successfully Cut HIV DNA Out of Human Cells

We don't need it if we would quarantine the people that decided to get this virus. Other than a very few people that got it from blood transfusions in the 80's, nearly all of the people with it got it from something they intentionally did. Why can't we quarantine these morons like we used to do with other diseases? Why is GRIDS so different that we can't protect the public from these people? They've proven they'll intentionally spread it, or it would have died-out over twenty years ago. Instead, we let these people keep spreading it.

The majority of cases I know of these days are:
Needle sharing with an HIV carrier
Women who are victims of rape
Men who raped women who were previously victims of rape
Children who were born with it.

Most of the cases are in Africa.

The other issue is that testing is fully voluntary, and HIV can be dormant. Tracking the spread and infection of HIV/AIDS is inherently difficult as well, because along with discovery being voluntary, the people who have it also hear the "nearly all of the people with it got it from something they intentionally did" line. So they're not likely to admit to having intentionally done something if they can avoid it.

Compare that to SARS, where the victims could be anyone, West Nile, where prior to it going epidemic, the majority of victims were on cruise ships, or MMR, where the victims of those diseases are mostly children. Then there's Polio which is no longer eradicated, and Smallpox, which isn't much compared to the flu strains our bodies have to deal with on a regular basis these days.

Disease eradication, prevention and management is tricky. Isolating HIV carriers will prove trickier than convincing people to do annual inoculations for common viruses for which herd protection could easily wipe out the viruses in short order.

What worries me more is the HIV variant that subverts the gene therapy discussed here, creating a new immunovirus that can slice and dice our genes however it likes.

Comment: Re:And here I was (Score 1) 260

by Em Adespoton (#47511299) Attached to: Google Offers a Million Bucks For a Better Inverter

...but at 12V, resistance is decidedly non-futile. I presume your much as possible is in a single room, or you're going to be radiating a lot of your energy before it ever reaches your 12VDC devices. Unless you're dealing with high amperages, of course. Then the runoff, while still noticeable, will at least be a small fraction of the total.

Comment: Re:I wish I could do this! (Score 2) 117

The difference here is that the politicians know that votes are fickle, but money is money.

I just thought of another problem with this though: for money to really speak, it has to at least have the appearance of being a continual stream. That means that once this $12mil warchest is used up, there has to be assurances that there will be ANOTHER war chest lined up to keep supporting things. Otherwise, it's easier to go with the other PAC who wants to keep things as they are, but will only donate $3mil/year.... for the next 20 years.

Lessig has to ensure this thing stays funded not just until the PAC's goals are realized, but until the goals of those being funded are realized. Otherwise, other deeper-running money may speak louder.

Comment: Re:If you take the bait (Score 4, Insightful) 117

If you take the bait, and this ends up getting funded, do not be surprised when we replace one "ocracy" with another "ocracy."

That's all this guy is after - putting power in his own court by using the government to oppress people who do not agree with his point of view.

At least Lessig has a track record and is putting his name and reputation to this.

Then again, AC has a track record and , er, oh well.

"You know, we've won awards for this crap." -- David Letterman