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Comment: It's most likely a sign of code age... (Score 1) 240 240

It used to be scarily common, but I believe that it's slowly phasing out in favor of hitting a website where you can (re)set the password yourself after a couple of security questions.

I believe it's just a sign of old code (or an old coder) on the site. There may be cases where the guy writing the sitecode is inexperienced or incompetent, but I like to think that such cases are rare.

I think I only see a cleartext password sent via email like once every 10 requests now.

Comment: Re:Prepaid is the way to go (Score 1) 85 85

I pay $45/mo, no contract on Net10, I get unlimited data**. I bought my own damned phone already unlocked (the LG G2 GSM phone I bought a month or so ago cost me something like $215 brand-new off of Amazon.)

It only costs me $755/yr my way ($45/mo plus $215 for the GSM/international phone I bought separately) with no ETF at all...

...versus at least $1167/yr (for a typical $89/mo big carrier capped data plan plus $99 towards their shiny new subsidized phone), and a 2-year contract w/ a massive ETF whether you like it or not.

Oh, and I still get 4G speed on AT&T's network.

** at $45/mo, the first 3GB is at 4G speed, but anything over that in a given month is throttled to 3G, but there's no overage charges at all... I rarely burn more than 2.5GB though, so I'm fine with the terms given the rather massive discount.

Comment: Re:Are you OK, samzenpus? (Score 3, Insightful) 85 85

I think I see the problem:

conservative-libertarian

To put it bluntly, there's no such thing. The two ideologies' interests do overlap in places, but the libertarian ideology also overlaps with the liberals on others.

Basically, the libertarian mindset is socially liberal, fiscally conservative, combined with a strong distaste for governmental interference of any non-critical type. Their main goal is to take over the government, then promptly get the government out of everyone's way.

HTH a little.

Comment: Re:IOW: TracFone Finally Agrees to Obey the Law (Score 1) 85 85

As a guy who uses Net10 (TracFone's parent company), I can tell you that the phones they sell aren't exactly top-of-the-line. Most of the models are the really low-end stuff: Huawei, ZTE, some-off-brand-or-other, and on the Net10 side, obsolete models of Samsung and LG. The Net10 side does have a couple of flagship phones, but those are prices way out of the reach of their typical customer. this is a typical list of phones we're talking about here. Many of these phones (in spite of being overpriced IMHO) cost less than a trip to McDonald's for a family of three. Even the most expensive ones top out at around $200.

On my part, I usually buy my phone unlocked from elsewhere, e.g. Amazon, then I do Net10's "Bring Your Own Phone" plan, which means I don't have to give a shit what they think. It also gives me the advantage of being able to jump to whatever carrier I damned well please, and choose the cheapest plan I can find. :)

Comment: Re:Are you OK, samzenpus? (Score 1) 85 85

Dude, seriously... if you want evidence, see this article , and notice that the modded-up posts are mostly *not* conservative in ideology. While you're at it, see the posts about AGW.

Personally, I find /. to be center to center-left, depending on the subject.

QED: GGP's Weak troll is still weak.

Comment: Intelligence and education (Score 1) 251 251

By and large, education and intelligence tend to show show a strong correlation (if one controls for opportunity and rote learning)..

Acquiring an education at university level (at a reputable university) requires one to be able to grasp a coherent set of ideas and techniques that together form the tissue of established science.

A student's grasp of the subject matter is (in reputable universities) not tested by measuring if people can regurgitate the material (achievable by rote learning), but if they can *apply* the tools to a new problem and if they can correctly assess and explain the impact and importance of e.g. changing one or two basic propositions of the theory.

That is how you test if a student has actually understood something they learned. And no, the questions that result from this line of approach can't be found in the books and can't easily be prepared for.

Correctly answering questions like that demands knowledge (a student must *know* (i.e. have memorised) enough of the subject matter) as well as intelligence (defined as sufficient grasp of the theory and an ability to use the theory to reason with it (i.e. apply it), and (this is how you recognise very good students) the ability to reason *about* the theory).

So by and large, someone who is educated in a reputable field at a reputable university and has better than minimum passing grades is intelligent. If they can grasp, apply, and reason about one theory, they will be able to do the same with other theories. Those tend to be the people that go into research by embarking on a PhD (at reputable universities).

So there's the causal link underlying the correlation between intelligence and education.

Of course there are a fair number of diploma mills that focus on testing memory. There you don't receive an education, you memorise a syllabus and learn how to avoid saying anything not covered by the text you learned.

Comment: Speed is indeed important (Score 1) 6 6

Not everyone has a brand-new computer; The manuscript of the book I'm about to publish is in Open Office Word, about 400 pages and full of large images, and autosave is a real pain because it takes minutes to save the file.

Like another commenter said, I wouldn't make it the most important thing, overall efficiency is. But software speed is important to anyone with an older computer, especially a Windows computer, because the computer slows as the registry grows, and the registry never gets smaller, only bigger.

Comment: Re:College != Jobs (Score 4, Interesting) 132 132

The State of Utah did this back in 2000 -ish, by converting their technical (ATE) schools into campuses for the then newly-formed Utah College of Applied Technology. UCAT is fully accredited and on the state Board of Regents, but focused exclusively on 2-year Associates' degrees in vocational fields - CompSci (basically programming and systems/network administration), Nursing (up to RN licensing), Diesel Mechanics, Culinary Arts, a basic Business degree, CAD/CAM, and even a Cosmetology certificate (and subsequent state license).

You could then take that AAT degree, and convert it to a 4-year degree at any Utah state college (in fact, each UCAT campus was partnered with the nearest state college - The campus I taught at was allied with Weber State University in Ogden, and I was considered to be faculty and taught a few courses there, albeit while still on the UCAT payroll).

The cool part was that high school students could attend as early as their Junior year, and could, if they applied themselves, have a 2-year degree less than 6 months after graduating high school - all on the government dime, gratis. The classrooms were a mixture of AP-level high school kids and adults, and held day and evening courses.

Comment: Re:Johnny can't get a job (Score 5, Interesting) 132 132

Have you actually priced these guys? My ex-wife used them back in 2001-2003 to finish up a BSN degree, and paid an obscene amount of cash each month to do it. They also adopted that neat little trick the state colleges have of requiring 'bridge classes' and of discounting certain courses taken (in favor of pricier ones they provide), so sometimes you're taking superfluous classes and in some cases re-taking classes you'd already taken.

One thing I do wonder about though... most of the oft-touted 'free' community college courses are more towards getting an Associates' degree, whereas Phoenix' big advertising push is for folks who want to convert their 2-year degree into a 4-year one, or to convert a Bachelors' into a Masters'.

Personally, I think their biggest competition is the recent growth of small state-accredited colleges going online, expanding their presence, and pushing to provide the same thing Phoenix does. Many of these colleges have provided this sort of thing remotely (albeit not online, but by 'traveling prof') to military members for decades, but have recently decided to get a piece of the civilian market now.

Comment: Re:Civil versus criminal law (Score 1) 209 209

OK, I'll bite.

Name one.

He may be naming the UK as a locale... up until recently (and in many cases probably still true), the UK's libel laws were a nightmare for whoever found himself as a defendant - even if the defendant told the absolute truth, it may not be enough of an escape from liability depending on circumstance, timing, and delivery.

In the US, if you told the truth (and can prove it), you're generally safe from judgement (though not legal bills). Outside of the US, it may not be so cut-and-dried.

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