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Comment: Re:Must be nice to have free money (Score 1) 131

by Rifter13 (#47608433) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Good Technology Conferences To Attend?

Hmmm, I work for a non-profit, and I don't have the money for conferences. I'm currently doing some training (the first I have been OKed for, for years) and I get 1 month to cram in as much as I can.

Not all non-profits are money sinks. When I worked in the corporate world, we had trainers coming to us a few times a year.

Comment: Re:~50% have no degree... (Score 1) 174

by Rifter13 (#47526529) Attached to: For Half, Degrees In Computing, Math, Or Stats Lead To Other Jobs

I've got a good friend that is a pretty spectacular programmer. He was almost released from one job, because he didn't have a degree. His co-workers and boss put up a big fight to keep him around. I've been passed over for a job, when another friend got it, with far less qualifications, because he had a degree.

A degree doesn't make you a good or bad worker. It gives you some sort of base line. It also opens some doors, and keeps others open. Those two reasons above are the primary reason I went back to school to get my degree.

Comment: Re:Higher profits (Score 1) 351

by Rifter13 (#39572135) Attached to: Dysfunctional Console Industry Struggles For New Profit Centers

I said salaries remained stagnant... so 30% increase vs 65% price increase = 35% less buying power. That was my point. We don't have the buying power we did 20 years ago. The recession is a small blip, and hasn't dropped wages 35%. No matter HOW you look at it, our income has gone down, vs what things cost. Games are very much luxury good. People Will A) not buy consoles and keep with the old hardware, and game mfg will have to deal with that. B) buy new consoles and buy used games (which console makers and game studios are trying to stop, or C) people will pirate. That is pretty much the long and short of it.

If game companies go down this route, I think it will ultimately hurt them more, than help them. They need to look at the long term health of the industry instead of short-term profit increases.

Comment: Re:Higher profits (Score 1) 351

by Rifter13 (#39572013) Attached to: Dysfunctional Console Industry Struggles For New Profit Centers

You are talking about PREMIER titles. There are a handful of those launched a year. I am talking about the 20 titles coming out this month, during the spring doldrums. There will always be those VERY top-shelf franchises. But, you are starting to really see some push-back on these titles that are released yearly, with very minimal updates. Studios are looking to maximize profits. Core gamers are caught on the fringes of main stream gaming, and few games cater to them. The main-stream gamers are good for big purchases on these big titles, but the smaller titles suffer. We won't see another Steel Battalion type game that requires a specialized controller, even though it totally sold out (not enough profit margin). We don't see nearly as many innovative games, outside of the indie market...

Comment: Re:Higher profits (Score 4, Insightful) 351

by Rifter13 (#39571619) Attached to: Dysfunctional Console Industry Struggles For New Profit Centers

One of the MAJOR problems, though, is that inflation has gone up, while general salaries have remained stagnant. So, people don't make a LOT more than they did 10-20 years ago, but things cost more. It's getting to the point right now, that charging $60 for game is going to slow sales for many, MANY titles. I think the REAL gaming success story, over all, is Steam. They are very aggressive on pricing, and they just send you games, when you want them, day or night.

Comment: Re:Higher profits (Score 1) 351

by Rifter13 (#39571499) Attached to: Dysfunctional Console Industry Struggles For New Profit Centers

Console games used to be $50. They bumped them to $60, and the secondary market took off, after that. They took the market past what it could handle. I do believe that this will hurt consoles more than anything. Most "kids" I know, buy used. That is a fairly large demographic to cut out.

Verizon

+ - We're not the only ones carriers overcharge; wiretap fees revealed->

Submitted by zacharye
zacharye (2330148) writes "Cell phone bills are a tough pill to swallow each month, often reaching well into the hundreds-of-dollars range for families or even individuals. Regional and prepaid carriers offer some relief, but users who need nationwide coverage and a wide variety of handsets to choose from often have no choice but to pay a premium. According to documents recently obtained and published by the American Civil Liberties Union, consumers and business users aren’t the only ones overpaying wireless carriers for service..."
Link to Original Source
Science

+ - Graphene Tooth Tattoo Monitors Oral Health->

Submitted by Zothecula
Zothecula (1870348) writes "A graphene sensor effectively tattooed onto a tooth can be used to detect bacteria and so wirelessly monitor oral health, research has shown. Graphene printed onto water-soluble silk can be "bio-transferred" onto organic materials such as tooth enamel. By incorporating antimicrobial peptides and a resonant coil, individual bacteria cells can be detected without need of an onboard power supply or wired connections."
Link to Original Source
Democrats

+ - CLimate Change Advocate Suggests "Deniers" are mentally ill.->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Oregon University Sociology and environmental studies professor Kari Norgaard has written a presented and paper at the Planet under Pressure Conference characterizing anyone who is skeptical of Man's role in Climate Change as suffering from a form of mental illness that "must be recognised and treated’ as an aberrant sociological behaviour."

Since news of the paper became widely know, the University of Oregon has been busy scrubbing their site of any mention of Norgaard and her paper.

The scientists behind the event recently put out a statement calling for humans to be packed into denser cities so that the rest of the planet can be surrendered to mother nature.

Yale University professor Karen Seto told MSNBC: ‘We certainly don’t want them (humans) strolling about the entire countryside. We want them to save land for nature by living closely [together].’"

Link to Original Source
Space

+ - 150 gigapixel sky image contains 1 billion stars

Submitted by
The Bad Astronomer
The Bad Astronomer writes "Astronomers have used two big telescopes to create an infrared survey of the Milky Way that is the largest of its kind: the resulting image has an incredible 150,000 megapixels containing over a billion stars.

Something that large is difficult to use, so they also made a pan-and-zoom version online which should keep you occupied for quite some time. These data will be used to better understand star formation in our Milky Way, and how far more distant galaxies and quasars behave."
Patents

+ - One-line software patent expires->

Submitted by trombonehero
trombonehero (1691296) writes "Here's a particularly silly example of a software patent which has been holding real innovation back for 22 years: a patent on an if statement which is required to correctly implement the JBIG fax codec.

This silly patent, which held some open-source software back for 17 years, comes out of patent today, but it might be a little bit late for bold new innovations which interoperate with the fax network."

Link to Original Source

+ - File format obsolescence: HTML the new Rosetta stone?->

Submitted by The Fun Guy
The Fun Guy (21791) writes "Writer Larry Kollar thinks about how to make sure his books are readable 25, 50 or 100 years from now. In the wake of stone tablets, crumbling paper, 3.5" floppies and other dead formats, what is his solution? Encoded HTML:

both MOBI and ePub are ZIP archives containing HTML files (with some control files that determine the order, among other things). HTML has been around since 1991, and any browser can display an HTML file written even 20 years ago. Even if HTML is superseded later on, the files are plain text with well-defined markup elements.

So, how would you keep your text readable for a hundred years?"
Link to Original Source

Comment: Spending is the answer??? (Score 1) 568

by Rifter13 (#39561401) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Why Aren't Schools Connected?

Lets start this out with a question. Has our education system gotten 3.5 times better since the 1960s? No, while you ponder that, have a look at this:

Here are the links I used to put this together:
#1) Near the bottom, this page ranks several nations on Reading/Math/Scientific literacy. I just took the 3 scores, added them up, and took the average to get my ranking. (http://www.siteselection.com/ssinsider/snapshot/sf011210.htm)

#2) How much do nations spend per student? Not all the nations listed in the first part are listed. There are a few notable exceptions, unfortunately. (http://www.nationmaster.com/graph/edu_spe_per_sec_sch_stu-spending-per-secondary-school-student)

Putting this together, I came up with this list of countries, ranked on their Education:

1. Finland - ?
2. Korea - ?
3. Japan - $5,890.00
4. New Zealand - ?
5. Canada - ?
6. Australia - $5,830.00
7. Ireland - $3,934.00
8 United Kingdom - $5,230.00
9. Austria - $8,163.00
10. Sweden - $5,648.00
11. France - $6,605.00
12. Belgium - ?
13. United States - $7,764.00
14. Iceland - ?
15. Switzerland - $9,348.00
16. Norway - $7,343.00
17. Czech Republic - $3,182.00
18. Denmark - $7,200.00
19. Spain - $4,274.00
20. Italy - $6,458.00

It doesn't LOOK like spending lots of money is the key... once again, spending it wisely, seems to be the key for the best education.

So, back to my original question, has our education gotten better, or worse, since the 1960s? Have a look at this URL, that adjusts how much we spend per student, since the 60s. http://nces.ed.gov/fastfacts/display.asp?id=66

Does that make you think that we need to look at paying more for education helps? I am ALL for cutting admin costs, quit cutting teacher's salary, cut superintendent and district level offices. Usually, they are overly-filled with bureaucrats, and not in it for the kids. I DO think that teacher unions are a problem as well. Ultimately, it is the parents, and what WE allow. Who WE vote in...

Facts are stubborn, but statistics are more pliable.

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