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Comment: Re:There's plenty of that (Score 5, Interesting) 628

by MxTxL (#39770705) Attached to: University of Florida Eliminates Computer Science Department

It is neither fair nor smart to say "Let's grab money from a successful department and use it to prop up an unsuccessful one."

It would not be smart if your only goal is to run the University as a business, where you cut unsuccessful revenue centers and fund/build/grow the more successful ones to focus on profitability of the corporation. From that respect, economy of scale works the same way as it does at Coca-cola or Wal-Mart. Cut the under-performers. It is cheaper, easier and more profitable to pump out 10 million of the same widgets than it is to pump out very small batches of all-different widgets.

HOWEVER

If you are a believer in the concept of academic freedom and in the power of diversity of knowledge and thought (idealistic, I know) then it is vital that more successful departments fund less successful ones. I, for one, want there to exist people who study Latin, despite there being a limited usefulness for it as a career. I want people who study ancient Macedonian philosophy, basket weaving, Sanskrit and all the other fields that most people might deride as training for a career at McDonalds. I want there to be someone who knows everything there is to know about the inner politics of ancient Sumeria. The sum-total of human knowledge is vast and it is important that it be preserved but also expanded with the rigor of academic scrutiny.

I want this done, because the concept of Academia demands it. If we churn out millions of kids at a time all with the same thoughts and ideas gleaned from mass-market jobs training programs, we will lose the intellectual diversity that is needed to preserve academic and scientific expansion. There may be nothing that someone studying ancient Indian tapestries can ever tell a nuclear engineer that will advance his work, but both types of people are necessary to increase the useful progress of art and science.

I understand that the bills need to be paid in order to keep the lights on, and also that there are fields that have much more use in the real world as careers. There are certain fields that have more utility in advancing cutting-edge science and, rightly, should receive more attention for their greater potential to advance the human race. However, we shouldn't neglect more arcane knowledge entirely because of this. The more popular fields need to subsidize the less popular ones, less we risk whole branches of study dying off. This is not the most efficient method of creating profit for the university, but that shouldn't be what universities are all about. They should be about increasing the sum-total of human knowledge in all branches.

Comment: Re:Numbers Please for the "Occupy" Repression (Score 1) 427

by MxTxL (#38838699) Attached to: US Plummets On World Press Freedom Ranking

Really??? Seriously? You wrote this whole post out when you could have typed about 8 words in Google to find your answers.

Here is a listing: http://storify.com/jcstearns/tracking-journalist-arrests-during-the-occupy-prot

Many are 'bloggers', students, photojournalists and other citizens media which you seem to think don't count as press but many of them are credentialed journalists from reputable firms such as the New York Times, Associated Press, NPR, WSJ and Reuters.

Also, these are just the arrests of journalists. This doesn't count the other shady tactics such as timing raids for when press are out of the area and deliberately barring press from being near the area when raids are occurring.

Comment: Win the War on Language (Score 3, Insightful) 1002

by MxTxL (#38737758) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: What Can You Do About SOPA and PIPA?

The bills are massively unpopular on the internet but we are still losing the spin war on this. The blackouts are being covered on main stream media in droves (a good thing!), but every MSM reference that i have seen describes the bills as the 'anti-piracy' SOPA/PIPA bills. Lots of people, even many of us on this site, might support bills that are just anti-piracy... in the head of many, anti-piracy is a good thing.

We can lose hearts and minds if these bills are seen as anti-piracy. Get the word out that we don't object to these bills because they are anti-piracy, we object to these bills because they are anti-internet!

The internet breaks with these bills. Great firewall of America type broken. That is what we are against! Go spread the word.

Comment: Re:Compare with drugs (Score 1) 571

by MxTxL (#38475176) Attached to: New Study Confirms Safety of GM Crops

Why is it OK if a trait appears randomly, by accident, but not OK when we do it deliberately?
Because Monsanto owns the patent on these GM crops and prevents farmers from using their own seed-stocks taken from their own land. Once the farmers fields are corrupted by the GM crops, they are then forced to buy seed stock from Monsanto even if they never intended to have the GM stuff at all.

Comment: Inaccurate Info (Score 1) 933

by MxTxL (#38068052) Attached to: NYPD Dismantling Occupy Wall Street Encampment

Because I've gone to the official places, and all I'm finding it idiocy.

Notice in the URL you provided the word "forum". The word forum indicates a place where anyone can go and post whatever BS they feel like posting. Forums work pretty much exactly the same way Slashdot comments work except the AC's get to post the top stories.

In this case the this is "bchang1987"s opinion of what the demands should be and the comment even carries the disclaimer at the top "This content is user submitted and not an official statement". Those demands are, in fact, pretty stupid and would be blocked in a second if they ever would come before the GA.

So no, this is not the official demands. FYI, the General Assembly has yet to reach consensus on the formal demands, that's why you can't find any.

People fault the movement for not having demands. To that I say: "Just because we don't have all the answers, doesn't mean that we can't ask the questions."

Comment: Re:OWS Comments (Score 1) 933

by MxTxL (#38067850) Attached to: NYPD Dismantling Occupy Wall Street Encampment

Feel free to laugh at those. Really. They are laughable.

But get your facts straight:

They are not really the demands. Those demands were never adopted by the General Assembly. At best they were a proposal, worst they were just a brainstorming session that made it on a website. Without consensus being reached in the GA, that list is not the demands of the body known as Occupy Wall Street.

Those "demands" made the rounds on conservative media and were soundly laughed at, but the joke was that those were never the official demands.

To date, there are still no formal demands made by the General Assembly.

Comment: Re:The 1% are insulated (Score 1) 1799

by MxTxL (#37673596) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: How Do You View the Wall Street Protests?

That's generally the problem when you have blind, stupid, unfocused rage that lacks understanding and a strong sense of constructive purpose. That's why (in terms of Establishment priorities) it's okay to give them so much media attention. It's little more than a way to get the "troublemakers" to identify themselves and be arrested or otherwised put through the system.

It is and this is typically why a lot of populist citizen movements fail. Once they identify themselves to an agenda, the establishment can label them as one side or the other and split them apart on wedge issues. It's critical for this movement to not pick stands on issues if it wants to prevent it's ideal from being wedged.

The one thing they want, and 99% of us should be able to agree on is equal access to democracy without being marginalized by the people with money. My one vote counts the same as a 1%er's.

Comment: And it's not the liberal Tea Party!!! (Score 4, Insightful) 1799

by MxTxL (#37671744) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: How Do You View the Wall Street Protests?

And one more thing: It's not the liberal version of the Tea Party. Both sides would **LOVE** for that to be the big soundbyte for precisely the same reason: Divide and conquer. The right will discredit it to their base as more liberal whack jobs and the left will attempt to co-opt whoever remains with the movement. It's important to reject that notion outright. The movement has NO POLITICAL STAND. The only way to win the game is not to play.

Comment: Not just we, but you too, are the 99%. (Score 5, Insightful) 1799

by MxTxL (#37671272) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: How Do You View the Wall Street Protests?

I've been around here long enough to know that top posting unrelated to the prior comment is bad etiquette, but again, I've been around here long enough to know when it is appropriate. I also know the magic formula for getting modded up is to say "I'll probably get modded down for this but.."

I'll probably get modded down for this but it is important enough to risk it.

The Occupy Wall Street movement does not have any leaders or stated goals or structure on purpose. This is an action deliberately taken in order to have broad populist appeal. The same instant they take a side on any issue, the established political system will immediately use that as a wedge issue to label, then divide and conquer the scraps of popular sentiment and kill any interest. Once a leader is selected, they will find one thing that guy/gal has said publicly, label him as a partisan for it and kill the movement. The parties have been doing this for years and have more experience, skill and money to deflate populist action than can be competed against. The only way to win that game is not to play.

The movement does have a goal and that is to take back our democracy. Get people talking about the issues again without having predetermined party lines or agendas. Once those lines are drawn, almost everyone stops listening or thinking and just go like lemmings how they have always done. The only thing this movement wants is an equal shake at a fair government. They want their representatives to actually represent them instead of representing the highest bidder: usually the rich and the corporations.

The purpose here is not to take any specific issue to congress, it's to overturn congress with people who actually listen to their electorate. If that means voting incumbents out, great, or at least put the fear of the people back into them, good too.

What is their stand on abortion? None. But once we have fair representation, we can talk about it democratically.

What is their stand on gay rights? The environment? Housing? Taxation? Big Government? None. But once we have fair representation, we can talk about it democratically.

What is their stand on any issue? TBD but we'll talk about it democratically once we have fair representation.

You don't have to agree with this movement on any specific issue and you don't have to hold off on support because they don't have talking points or take stands on your personal hot-button issue. For now it's enough to say that all the issues are TBD until such time as we have fair representation and can figure it all out democratically.

There is a sentiment of discontent in everyone I talk to. Everyone knows the system is broken but nobody has the power to change that. Voting is supposed to solve these problems but voting either way is a vote for the same thing.

Slashdot is typically an open minded place, I think this movement should speak to each of you. The only thing they want is more democracy. I don't blame anyone for thinking there is a hidden agenda, because there almost always is. But this movement has reached enough of a mass with the cause of having no purpose that it would be hard to argue that there is one. When the only underlying cause visible in their message is "More democracy!", I don't see how anyone can be against that. Want to change something about that platform, get out there and discuss it democratically instead of sniping at it from the comfort of slashdot.

This is a movement that is outside of and has rejected the established political system. And it's the only one I've seen in my lifetime that has rejected playing the two-party game. I am very excited that it has even gained some traction and has people talking!!! To me it is a moral imperative that we support this. Even if all it means is getting some people you know to talk out the issue.... even that alone is progress.

Comment: You are the 99% too. (Score 1) 1799

by MxTxL (#37670294) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: How Do You View the Wall Street Protests?

The muddle of people griping over their pet causes is what democracy looks like. That is precisely why this movement can't pick a side on any cause. It might come off as a bunch of long haired hippies, but hopefully it causes enough people to question what they think about the system to do something about it. If you feel strongly about it, get out there and make it about what you represent! That's the beauty of democracy.

Really the only thing all of them can agree on, and I would think most of us Americans, and slashdotters think is this: The system is broken. Our representatives don't represent us. Voting one side or the other makes no difference. I can vote for the ones who openly represent only the rich, or I can vote for the ones who secretly represent the rich.

The movement is about taking back our democracy, getting people to actually discuss the issues without preset party lines clouding things and letting all the people who are not ensconced in the parties know that there are plenty of others (probably the vast majority) who are fed up with the way things are and will vote against the corrupt system.

Comment: We are 99% (Score 1) 1799

by MxTxL (#37669000) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: How Do You View the Wall Street Protests?

The lack of goals is a feature, not a bug. Once they announce an agenda or a âoesideâ they lose the 50% of people who self-identify themselves as the âoeother sideâ. This movement strives to be a populist movement that represents 99% of the country. Stating ANYTHING except a general pissed-off feeling will alienate the people who disagree with the thing (whatever it is) you have just stated.

The movement has reached the mass that it has precisely because they have not stated a purpose. And this is something that should be continued.

In my opinion, the endgame to this is simple. Continue to be non-partisan and work hard to gain a mass of people who are sufficiently fed-up with the moneyed interests dominating the government. With enough voting power, vote out all the corrupt scum-bags (both left and right) and replace them with representatives who answer to the people, not to corrupt interests.

Crime

Student Googles Himself, Finds He's Accused of Murder 184

Posted by samzenpus
from the be-careful-what-you-search-for dept.
University of Florida student Zachary Garcia was more than a little surprised to find out he was wanted for murder after Googling his name. It turns out the police were looking for a different man but had mistakenly used Garcia's photo. From the article: "Investigators originally released a driver's license photo of Zachary Garcia — spelled with an 'A' — but it was Zachery Garcia — spelled with an 'E'— who was charged in connection with the crime."
Handhelds

When You Really, Really Want to Upgrade a Tiny Notebook 104

Posted by timothy
from the faint-of-heart-attack dept.
Benz145 writes "The famous Sony VAIO UX UMPC may have been cancelled a few years back by Sony, but the community at Micro PC Talk won't let it die. Modder Anh has carefully removed the relatively slow 1.33Ghz Core Solo CPU and installed a much faster Intel Core 2 Duo U7700 (a process which involves reballing the entire CPU). On top of this, he managed to install an incredibly small 4-port USB hub into the unit which allowed for the further instillation of a Huawei E172 modem for 3G data/voice/SMS, a GPS receiver, and a Pinnacle HD TV receiver. All of this was done without modifying the device's tiny external case. Great high-res pictures of the motherboard with the modded hardware can be seen through the link."

Nobody said computers were going to be polite.

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