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Comment: Wrong conclusion... (Score 1) 197

by Pollux (#47442885) Attached to: Geographic Segregation By Education

The research shows a clear trend of the desirable cities becoming even more desirable, to the point where it's almost a necessity for city planners to lure college graduates or face decline.

I drew a different conclusion from this article. I know the article's focus was on attracting college graduates so that the city can prosper, but I instead considered the contrapositive: If a city is not prospering, then it has a lower-than-average percentage of college graduates. I see it as another confirmation of residential segregation.

More and more, there is becoming a "separate and not equal" divide in communities based on their socioeconomic status. As a teacher, I see it all the time in schools: there are some schools that leverage the taxpayer for new buildings, new technology, higher salaries, and less stressful work environments, while many others struggle due to an inability to levy. Instead of governments focusing on what to do about producing and/or attracting college graduates, perhaps it should instead consider what to do about the absence of them in their community.

Comment: But now... (Score 4, Insightful) 1330

by Pollux (#47355713) Attached to: U.S. Supreme Court Upholds Religious Objections To Contraception

Corporations are people too.

As in the Citizen's United case, this ruling is a complete perversion of constitutional rights on the American Public, and both as abominable as Plessy v. Ferguson. Here's the train of logic that the majority took:

1) Take a piece of legislation originally designed to protect sacred American Indian worship sites, though more broadly individual religious freedoms,
2) And extend those freedoms to corporations with this hocus-pocus incantation: "The purpose of extending rights to corporations is to protect the rights of people associated with the corporation, including shareholders, officers, and employees." (573 U.S. Burwell v. Hobby Lobby, Syllabus, pg. 3)

And while I was never a fan of Ginsburg in my younger years, given the recent evolution of the SCotUS, that opinion is rapidly changing, especially when she has this to say on the matter (573 U.S. Burwell v. Hobby Lobby, Ginsburg dissent, pg. 14):

Until this (Citizens United) litigation, no decision of this Court recognized a for-profit corporation’s qualification for a religious exemption from a generally applicable law...the exercise of religion is characteristic of natural persons, not artificial legal entities. As Chief Justice Marshall observed nearly two centuries ago, a corporation is “an artificial being, invisible, intangible, and existing only in contemplation of law.” (Trustees of Dartmouth College v. Woodward, 4 Wheat. 518, 636 [1819]).

Should just rewrite the Preamble of the Constitution now to read, "We the Corporations of the United States..."

Comment: Re:If you have nothing to hide... (Score 2) 249

by Pollux (#47317415) Attached to: Supreme Court Rules Cell Phones Can't Be Searched Without a Warrant

That is the exact argument that justifies a police state. Do you want a society where you can be searched at any time by the police to see if you're guilty of a crime, even when they do not have reasonable suspicion of you committing a crime? You, your parents, your friends, and everyone you know will always be treated as though you're guilty of something, and the police's job is just finding out what that something is.

Comment: What's the point? (Score 4, Interesting) 118

a group of internet industry executives and politicians came together...

Did this individual seriously believe he could make this audience of industry executives and politicians feel shame? What next? Will he tell a serial rapist to feel remorse? Will he tell a psychopathic murderer to feel empathy?

These people are incapable of feeling shame. It's what's made them so successful in the first place.

Comment: Re:Chicago Blackhawks too? (Score 1) 646

by Pollux (#47270623) Attached to: Washington Redskins Stripped of Trademarks

Actually the term "nigger" has become so offensive that just stating it is somehow offensive.

"Dear Momma -- Wherever you are, if you ever hear the word "nigger" again, remember they are advertising my book." -- dedication written in the book Nigger, by Dick Gregory

Go ahead. Use the word. Advertise his book. (I've personally read it...good read, especially the 1st chapter.)

Comment: You're not thinking like a CEO... (Score 2) 289

That 20c saved isn't passed onto the customer. It's pocketed by the corporation.

Quality is no longer a characteristic business compete with. Why spend another 20c making a better product? It's the age of Amazon.com, and all anyone cares about is the lowest price. So, corporations have a new recipe for success:

1) Buy your competition to reduce competition.
2) Collude with your remaining competition so that everything is made in China and is sold at the same price.
3) Nickel & dime the consumer to maximize your profit.

By the time the business goes bankrupt due to piss-poor products and a loss of customer faith, the execs have already leached away all its capital. Once an exec makes it to the top, what incentive do they have to do what's best for the company or the consumer?

Comment: Two-party recording laws (Score 2) 398

by Pollux (#47180783) Attached to: The Ethics Cloud Over Ballmer's $2 Billion B-Ball Buy

If you prefer to live in a state that requires two-party consent to record, be my guest.

Just don't ever complain if a police officer ever takes away your camera as they're beating you senseless. (In other words, when an injustice is being committed, you cannot expect the unjust to permit their acts to be made public. One-party consent states doesn't have this issue.)

Comment: Need to reconsider your hardware news sites... (Score 2) 345

by Pollux (#47021221) Attached to: AMD Preparing To Give Intel a Run For Its Money

According to xbitlabs, Kaveri has worse CPU performance than its predecessor.

AMD got lucky. It's found a dependable stream of revenue in game consoles. Better yet, no matter whether Microsoft or Sony wins the next generation console wars, both have AMD under the hood. Now that's hedging your bets. Whoever at AMD was in charge of negotiating these deals deserves a paid vacation to Necker Island with all the trimmings.

But lets get serious. AMD's current processors suck. And I hate saying that. A decade ago, AMD was the hero in the processor wars. If it wasn't for AMD, we'd be stuck with Rambus RAM, using Itanium processors, and have PCs running so hot we could cook breakfast on the case. But AMD's desktop processors are inefficient, almost two generations in fab technology behind Intel, and just cannot compete at any level.

Unlike 10-12 years ago, Intel's making great strides in microprocessor technology. It is thanks to AMD's competitiveness that Intel finally got its act together, and for that, I will always be thankful. If they can find a way to improve on Intel's product line, I'd be amazed at their comback. But do they really need to?

Comment: Vicious Cycle (Score 1) 180

Killer robots, or fully autonomous weapons, do not yet exist but would be the next step after remote-controlled armed drones used by the US military today.

Weapons contractors make their living imagining new weapons, sharing their visions with the public, then advocating that the US Military develop those weapons to avoid "the enemy" from making them first. Then once the weapon is invented, new weapons need to be created to defend against the weapon that already exists. Wash, rinse, repeat.

And people wonder why so much money is spent on defense spending.

Comment: No different than asking... (Score 5, Insightful) 201

Can Joe Sixpack tell the difference between a $10 glass of house wine vs. a $100 glass of 1982 Chateau Gruaud Larose?

Besides, why would I use a DSLR to shoot video? Wrong tool for the job. That's like using a Ferrari to haul construction equipment or using an F-150 on racing day.

On the other hand, just try to use a smartphone to take pictures of fireworks at night or shoot a picture of your child making a layup at his basketball game in an indoor gym. Then tell me how the two compare.

Comment: Wow, do you have it wrong (Score 1) 101

I work in a K-12 school setting. And let me be up front about it...Google is Evil Empire 2.0. I'm not a fan of signing over 1,000 students to Google so that they can harvest personal data and target ad services to them.

But nobody, absolutely nobody does a better job at KISS than Google. With Google Apps, school districts can now setup dumb-terminal-2.0s (i.e. Chromebooks) at $250 a pop, teach almost anybody how to administer the @school.k12.xx.us user domain, and no longer depend on specialized staff for server administration. Kids have access to their files at home, at school, on vacation, on their Chromebook, on their school computer, on their iPhone... nothing else comes even close to this level of simplicity and usability. And while Google Apps doesn't cut it for power users, it does exactly what it needs to do for the average student and teacher. And schools are signing up in droves.

You're smoking the FOSS pipe thinking that schools can and will be willing to pay for techs who know how to work with Apache, MySQL, et al. And the iPads haven't failed in LA. There's been a setback, but they're still being deployed. (Though I'm sure not a fan of Apple by any means, either. Root canals are more pleasant than administering iPads.)

And as far as getting people in schools who have a clue about technology, stop your ranting and talk to your local school board member. They represent public interests in your neighborhood school. And besides, in my community, our board members are expecting me to add more tablet technology into our K-12 schools. Why? Because they're convinced that's how kids learn these days. The only way they'll see otherwise is if they get educated by people such as yourselves.

Comment: Re:I have this "problem" (Score 1) 224

by Pollux (#46692703) Attached to: Online Skim Reading Is Taking Over the Human Brain

It is not entirely clear to me how this "problem" is hurting me.

George Burns was believed to have smoked 10-15 cigars every day of his life for about 70 years. He died at the age of 100. I'm sure it's not entirely clear to him how this "problem" of smoking was hurting him. (And he commonly joked about doctors advising him to stop smoking, often with a punchline like, "And the last doctor died 20 years ago.")

George Burns is just one anecdote, and one not representative of the common whole. The question we need to ask is not, "how is this problem hurting me." We should be asking, "how is this problem hurting us." And I would agree with the author; we stand to lose a lot.

If you are able, though it sounds like you may not be, I suggest you read Fahrenheit 451. Bradbury imagines a world incapable of deep thought resulting from the absence of books. I found it very enlightening.

Comment: Google is your friend (Score 1) 367

by Pollux (#46594845) Attached to: Minnesota Teen Wins Settlement After School Takes Facebook Password

Rather than take five minutes to post your question, why not take five minutes doing a simple Google search to get your answer?

Better yet, post the answer to your own question and get some nice karma points.

Thanks for giving them to me instead.

And for the record, the comments were, "I hate a Kathy person at school because she was mean to me," and later, after being disciplined for that post, "I want to know who the f*** told on me."

Comment: This is not conventional wisdom (Score 4, Informative) 392

by Pollux (#46542071) Attached to: The Myth of the Science and Engineering Shortage

This is political wisecrackery with no legitimate basis to back it up. Congress has been informed for over seven years that this is an untruth. (Here's an article in Businessweekfrom all the way back in 2007 citing a study done by the Urban Institute debunking this myth.

This information has been reported to Congress on both the floor and in committee hearings. (Sorry, at one point, I had an old printout of one report supporting this statement. I can't seem to locate it, either in paper form nor on Google.) Congressional leaders willingly refuse to accept this truth, simply because there is more to gain politically by not accepting it. (Huge amounts of money are circulated by lobbyists in support of political agendas influenced by this...opening up more H1B visas, for example.)

Comment: All the other crap... (Score 1) 161

by Pollux (#46164685) Attached to: Wozniak Gets Personal On Innovation

If someone loves history, geography, social sciences and is really strong in it, why do they need to do all the other crap?

I'll give you the same answer I give my students when they say, "Why do we have to learn this?"

It's very simple. Our nation depends on civil-minded productive citizens, and public education is an exercise in developing, strengthening, and disciplining the mind, very much like regular weight training does for muscles or general exercise does for the cardiovascular system.

Are you going to have to use all, or even a majority of, the information you learn in school? Heavens, no. But you'll be a more civil individual who behaves in a civil manner, which is a very necessary and productive requirement for the welfare and maintenance of our society.

It is certainly up for debate what information is necessary, or how it is presented and "exercised", in order to be successful at this endeavor. But there is no question that public education's primary purpose is not for an individuals rote memorization of facts as much as developing civil minds for the preservation of our nation.

I put up my thumb... and it blotted out the planet Earth. -- Neil Armstrong

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