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Comment: Re:If I were a rich man, yabbaaa doo.... (Score 1) 653

by Passman (#49413743) Attached to: Carly Fiorina Calls Apple's Tim Cook a 'Hypocrite' On Gay Rights

I'd create a "Black Pot" award and send it to people - especially politicians and people with political aspirations like Fiorina.

The trouble is, Congress would bankrupt the organization in a month.

Who says you'd have to buy all the pots yourself. I can think of 5-10 I wouldn't mind paying for.

+ - How fiber paid its own way in a small Iowa town... ->

Submitted by taiwanjohn
taiwanjohn (103839) writes "About 20 years ago, my home town had a local referendum on whether or not to upgrade the electrical grid, and we ended up with blisteringly high-speed internet access and cheap, high quality cable TV.

I can't remember if it was funded by a local option sales tax or a normal bond issue... but the local electrical utility got the money to install a fiber net around town to monitor their grid usage at a very fine-grained scale. This, in turn, allowed them to more accurately predict grid load and thus reduce their peak-time purchases off the national grid...

In a nutshell, the project paid for itself ahead of schedule, and Cedar Falls residents got a kickass broadband boost a good decade before the rest of the world."

Link to Original Source

+ - Can the Internets Haz its Own Political Party?

Submitted by Strangely Familiar
Strangely Familiar (1071648) writes "The IParty Democrats is running a crowdfunding campaign on Indiegogo to create a political party on the democratic side analogous to the Tea Party. The IParty lists preserving Internet freedoms as one of its main goals. This includes limiting NSA overreach, support for encryption everwhere, and of course net neutrality. (link). The IParty also seeks to increase anti-trust enforcement (e.g. peventing Comcast/Time Warner merger), and use internet forums modeled on Slashdot to increase constituent input. Have the democrats and republicans done enough to protect the Internet, or is there a need for a new party?"

+ - Cobol Forever!->

Submitted by mspohr
mspohr (589790) writes "Interesting article in Computerworld about Cobol's die hard fans which include large companies with millions of lines in Cobol code which they keep up to date even though there is a dwindling supply of Cobol coders. One example is Blue Cross:
"The healthcare insurer processes nearly 10% of all healthcare claims in the U.S., and uses six top-of-the line IBM zEnterprise EC12 systems running millions of lines of optimized Cobol to process 19.4 billion online healthcare transactions annually. Its custom-built claims processing engine has been thoroughly modernized and kept up to date, says BCBS of SC vice president and chief technology officer Ravi Ravindra. "It was always in Cobol, and it always will be."
"Cobol was designed to handle transactional workloads, and for large-scale transaction processing it still can't be beat..."
"Some 23 of the world's top 25 retailers, 92 of the top 100 banks, and the 10 largest insurers all entrust core operations to Cobol programs running on IBM mainframes"
So... should we all start learning Cobol?"

Link to Original Source

+ - Hemp fibres make better supercapacitors than graphene->

Submitted by biodata
biodata (1981610) writes "BBC News is reporting findings published in the journal ACS Nano by Dr David Mitlin's group from Clarkson University, New York.
"We're making graphene-like materials for a thousandth of the price — and we're doing it with waste."
"The hemp we use is perfectly legal to grow. It has no THC in it at all — so there's no overlap with any recreational activities."
Dr. Mitlin's team took waste hemp stems and recycled the material into supercapacitors with performance as good, or better, than those built from graphene, at a fraction of the raw materials cost."

Link to Original Source

+ - Veep Joe Biden Briefs U.S. Governors on H-1B Visas, IT, and Coding

Submitted by theodp
theodp (442580) writes "Back in 2012, Computerworld blasted Vice President Joe Biden for his ignorance of the H-1B temporary work visa program. But Joe's got his H-1B story and he's sticking to it, characterizing the visa program earlier this month in a speech to the National Governors Association as "apprenticeships" of sorts that companies provide to foreign workers to expand the Information Technology industry only after proving there are no qualified Americans to fill the jobs. Biden said he also learned from his talks with tech's top CEOs that 200,000 of the jobs that companies provide each year to highly-skilled H-1B visa holders could in fact be done by Americans with no more than a two-year community college degree."

+ - Protect Your Android Phone By Killing All Its Crapware->

Submitted by jfruh
jfruh (300774) writes "Like Windows, Android has built a dominant market share because any hardware manufacturer can license it — and as they did with Windows, those manufacturers are loading up Android devices with their own proprietary crapware. Although the process is a bit convoluted, you can get this crapware off your phone — and in doing so you'll actually make the device more secure."
Link to Original Source

+ - Moser Lamps Illuminate Homes Without Using Electricity

Submitted by Hugh Pickens DOT Com
Hugh Pickens DOT Com (2995471) writes "Gibby Zobel reports at BBC on Alfredo Moser, a Brazilian mechanic, whose invention illuminates over one million homes during the day without electricity — using nothing more than plastic bottles filled with water and a tiny bit of bleach. So how does it work? Simple refraction of sunlight, explains Moser, as he fills an empty two-liter plastic bottle. "Add two capfuls of bleach to protect the water so it doesn't turn green [with algae]. The cleaner the bottle, the better," Moser adds. "You fix the bottle in with polyester resin. Even when it rains, the roof never leaks — not one drop." While A 50 Watt light bulb running for 14 hours a day for a year has a carbon footprint of nearly 200kg CO2, Moser lamps emit no CO2 and the plastic bottles are up-cycled in the local community, so no energy is needed to gather, shred, manufacture and ship new bottles. Following the Moser method, MyShelter started making the lamps in June 2011. They now train people to create and install the bottles, in order to earn a small income. The idea has really taken off in the Philippines, where a quarter of the population lives below the poverty line, and electricity is unusually expensive, with 140,000 homes now fitted with Moser lamps. The idea has also caught on in about 15 other countries, from India and Bangladesh, to Tanzania, Argentina and Fiji. "Alfredo Moser has changed the lives of a tremendous number of people, I think forever," says Illac Angelo Diaz. "Whether or not he gets the Nobel Prize, we want him to know that there are a great number of people who admire what he is doing.""

+ - Too Many Smart People Chasing Too Many Dumb Ideas 1

Submitted by theodp
theodp (442580) writes "In The Unexotic Underclass, C.Z. Nnaemeka argues that too many smart people are chasing too many dumb ideas. "What is shameful," writes Nnaemeka, "is that in a country with so many problems, with such a heaving underclass, we find the so-called 'best and brightest,' the 20-and 30-somethings who emerge from the top American graduate and undergraduate programs, abandoning their former hangout, Wall Street, to pile into anti-problem entrepreneurship." Nnaemeka adds, "It just looks like we’ve shifted the malpractice from feeding the money machine to making inane, self-centric apps. Worse, is that the power players, institutional and individual — the highflying VCs, the entrepreneurship incubators, the top-ranked MBA programs, the accelerators, the universities, the business plan competitions have been complicit in this nonsense." And while it may not get you invited to the White House, Nnaemeka advises entrepreneurs looking for ideas to "consider looking beyond the city-centric, navel-gazing, youth-obsessed mainstream" and instead focus on some groups that no one else is helping."

+ - The STEM Myth->

Submitted by hessian
hessian (467078) writes "As the EPI report lays bare, the common wisdom about our STEM problem is mistaken: we are not facing a shortage of STEM-qualified workers. In fact, we appear to have a considerable STEM surplus. Only 63 percent students graduating with a STEM degree are able to find STEM jobs. Beyond that, if there was an actual shortage of STEM workers, basic supply and demand would predict that the wages of STEM workers would be on the rise. Instead, wages in S sTEM fields have not budged in over a decade. Stagnant wages and low rates of STEM job placement strongly suggest we actually have an abundance of STEM-qualified workers.

The EPI report tends to focus on the relevance of these findings to guest worker programs and other immigration issues. The tech industry has long suggested that it cannot find STEM workers in America and therefore needs immigration changes that will enable it to bring in more workers from abroad. Skeptics have rebuffed that the tech industry really is just interested in cheaper STEM labor and that its proclamations about a dearth of STEM-qualified domestic workers is just a convenient cover story. This report provides ammunition to the latter camp to say the least."

Link to Original Source

Behind every great computer sits a skinny little geek.