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Comment: Re: The failure of rules. (Score 4, Informative) 538

I think you have misinterpreted the rules a bit. Campaigning and party activity are prohibited with government resources.

The President and Cabinet sending emails on implementing political goals are permitted activities. Sending emails about ?NC platform discussions are not permitted.

When I went through ethics training with the GC, it was very clear what was and was not permissible. From the GC point of view, the default was use goverment email and save every email.

I can see the desire, particularly at the executive level, not to leave a record because policy formulation can be a messy activity. However, I'm not sure that is the motivation in this case. First, there is no control over the retention of the other end and, second, a lot discussion happens on the classified side.

Comment: Tried and gave up (Score 1) 248

by TuballoyThunder (#49050529) Attached to: Smart Homes Often Dumb, Never Simple
I tried doing the smarthome bit about 15 years ago and it was flaky. While the technology has improved, the cost/benefit just is not there. Also, the concept never had a high WAF. How long does it take the energy savings from a nest (or similar) thermometer to recoup the investment? Will the technology/service last that long? I don't have a smart thermometer, so I'm curious.

Comment: Re:Fraudulent herbal supplements? (Score 4, Informative) 412

by TuballoyThunder (#48972025) Attached to: Major Retailers Accused of Selling Fraudulent Herbal Supplements

I was curious about point #1, so I looked up what the FDA has to say about regulating supplements:

Manufacturers and distributors of dietary supplements and dietary ingredients are prohibited from marketing products that are adulterated or misbranded. That means that these firms are responsible for evaluating the safety and labeling of their products before marketing to ensure that they meet all the requirements of DSHEA and FDA regulations. FDA is responsible for taking action against any adulterated or misbranded dietary supplement product after it reaches the market.


It would appear to me that this is not just a New York State Law issue, but also a violation of Federal laws.

Comment: Re:Open Source Tax Preparation Software (Score 1) 450

It really is sad that the complexity of the tax code has gotten to the point that a computer program is the only practical way to file an error-free return for many people. The expenditure in time required to learn the tax code is not an effective use of time.

The really unfortunate part is that I don't see the tax code getting simpler even if companies like Intuit stop lobbying against it. The tax code is used to redistribute wealth (e.g. the Earned Income Tax Credit costs ~$56B) and encourage certain types of behavior (homeownership, subsidies to energy companies). Congress likes to use the IRS as a de facto welfare agency.

Comment: Re:And remember folks (Score 1) 68

And that is why you don't use their router on your network.

From what I understand (I'm not a Comcast customer), Comcast is opening up the router they provide to offer wifi access to other Comcast customers. If you have your own router, this does not happen.

I do not understand why anyone would pay to rent a cable modem/router from the cable company--it makes no financial sense (ok if you are only at that location for ~10 months or less the rental is cheaper). The only reason you have to have their cable modem/router is if you get phone service from them, though getting phone service from the cable company is just crazy (in my humble opinion).

If you have to use a cable company provided modem/router, buy your own router and put your network behind your router.

Comment: Re:Open work environment is not a cure-all (Score 1) 420

by TuballoyThunder (#48704863) Attached to: The Open Office Is Destroying the Workplace

Not a panopticon. The workers have private offices (with actual doors) and the boss is in a open area. A panopticon is designed such that a central point can monitor without the individuals knowing if they are being monitored at any given moment.

I toured the Eastern State Penitentiary and found the panopticon concept interesting from an efficiency point of view but creepy and dehumanizing.

Comment: Open work environment is not a cure-all (Score 2) 420

by TuballoyThunder (#48702173) Attached to: The Open Office Is Destroying the Workplace
Having worked in both an "open" environment and a "closed" work environment, I would have have to say that I prefer the closed environment. However, most of the work that I do involves focusing on a "task." In my case I define "task" as doing research, writing, analyzing, formulating options. When I need to interact, I go to the person I want to talk to our grab a group to discuss in an open area. I can see the value of an "open" environment in a watch center environment or where the quick dissemination of shared information is important. When I need to focus, the open environment was horrible because there was not barrier to interruption. I think most open environments are setup backwards: The boss has a private area and the workers have privacy. I think a better model has the boss in an open area with the workers in private areas. That allows for a smooth flow information to the boss and the workers can concentrate on the assigned task.

Comment: Re:Everything old is new again - Emplant (Score 1) 319

by TuballoyThunder (#45816075) Attached to: PC Plus Packs Windows and Android Into Same Machine
I remember the Zenith Z-100 had dual processors, but I don't recall if you could get them going simultaneously. There were ISA cards for PCs (one of them was the Baby Blue card) that allowed CP/M to run on a PC.

Of course, the IBM mainframes running VM ran multiple OSes. Definitely not a new idea.

Comment: A Million Random Digits (Score 1) 98

by TuballoyThunder (#44589849) Attached to: Amazon Selects Their Favorite Fake Customer Reviews
My favorite: A Million Random Digits with 100,000 Normal Deviates

The book is a promising reference concept, but the execution is somewhat sloppy. Whatever generator they used was not fully tested. The bulk of each page seems random enough. However at the lower left and lower right of alternate pages, the number is found to increment directly.

Committees have become so important nowadays that subcommittees have to be appointed to do the work.