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Comment: Re:Well done! (Score 1) 436

Even with the scholarship they were offering, we would have been stretching our finances to the breaking point. So, yes, it was a choice, but not much of one.

It is unfortunate that so many schools are unable to offer true merit scholarships any more. The school I went to (and, later, my daughter) still offers true merit scholarships. And even with the need-based scholarships they don't raise an issue with a yearly family vacation - and especially not a vacation involving visiting grandparents or other family members.

Comment: Re:Translation (Score 1) 323

by UnderCoverPenguin (#49488693) Attached to: LA Schools Seeking Refund Over Botched iPad Plan

It would not be news, if a corporation, that had purchased a similar tablet based course-ware system and what the supplier delivered did not meet the needs (however hazily defined the requirements), stopped further payments and filed suit to collect a refund of payments made.

Suppliers deliver dodgy products to corporations, government organizations and ordinary citizens, alike. And even corporations issue hazy, clueless or even bad requirements. If a supplier supplier promises to deliver a satisfactory product based on questionable requirements, caveat vendor.

Comment: Re:forking and "merging" hardwar designs (Score 1) 46

by UnderCoverPenguin (#49475253) Attached to: The Makerspace Is the Next Open Source Frontier

As a component supplier, our point of view is far smaller. It is normal for a new project to take an existing design then modify it as needed. Sometimes, this involves combining changes from different variations from a common ancestor. When this involves a single physical part, as opposed to an assembly, this requires some kind of "design merge". Sometimes this involves taking one of the 3D models and modifying it to incorporate the desired aspects of its "cousins". How much of this can be done automatically depends on a lot of things. The hardware designers have told me it usually takes very significant effort on their part to achieve the intended final result..

Still, we have a lot of metadata associated with the designs that we track.

My point is that, while we have a "wish list" of improvements to our tools, we're already doing what Jono said the maker community needs to figure out. Many of my coworkers - and I - are part of our local maker community. And I'm sure other local area maker communities have similar experts as members. Just a matter of education and sharing.

Comment: forking and "merging" hardwar designs (Score 2) 46

by UnderCoverPenguin (#49473399) Attached to: The Makerspace Is the Next Open Source Frontier

if someone refines a 3D printed piece of a drone, how do they fork the blueprints, submit their changes, have them reviewed, and get them merged into the project?

Where I work, this happens as part of our normal product develop processes. Design documents, whether for hardware or software, are still documents. Granted, "merging" changes in a "blueprint" or 3D model is harder to do, but not impossible. Right now, it still requires a lot of human work, but that can improve over time.

Comment: Re:Jury nullification exists because... (Score 1) 626

Jury nullification is a side effect of the prohibition against retrying a defendant for the same crime after having been found not guilty

This prohibition is important because, at least in theory, it prevents a determined prosecutor from repeatedly retrying until there is a conviction, the defendant caves or the prosecutor gets tired. Of course, it's not impossible to get around this by filing charges for other things the defendant might have done at the same time. In theory, the defendant or defendant's lawyer could argue these new charges are "lessor included charges" and get them dismissed.

Comment: Re:thank God they didn't have computers.... (Score 1) 626

Interesting. Were your charges dropped ? As I understand they do not stick with you if so. It may be different if for a 19 year old vs under 18. But if the charges stay no matter what, then I agree that would overdoing it as a scare tactic.

Legally, the charges (and, maybe even the arrest record) might disappear (depends on the state) if dropped, but any details that were reported in the media will stick around. Similarly, the "seal" on juvenile records is only a legal matter, not a media matter.

Comment: Re:What you and what the FCC wants (Score 1) 489

by UnderCoverPenguin (#49446927) Attached to: Reason: How To Break the Internet (in a Bad Way)

They won't. The FCC doesn't have the power or the authority to wiretap or monitor anyone's Internet usage. Your argument is fallacious.

That first step on the slippery slope is perfectly safe!

Title II or not, Net Neutrality or not, other parts of the government are already tapping and monitoring.

Comment: Re:Payola (Score 1) 489

by UnderCoverPenguin (#49446879) Attached to: Reason: How To Break the Internet (in a Bad Way)

If corporations are choosing to perpetrate something like payola and say its "because of net neutrality", that would be their rationalization for having broken the law, rather than evidence of a bad law.


The more interesting part is that the article seems to be saying that paying for special treatment is a good thing:

one of the best ways to route around a big firm's brand recognition is to buy special treatment in the form of promotions, product placement and the like (payola, after all, is how rock and roll circumvented major label contempt for the genre). That will almost certainly be forbidden under the FCC's version of neutrality

The problem, though, is that the big firms are the ones who have the money to pay for special treatment, so routing around them is a lot harder.

Comment: Re:The internet has just become Ma Bell (Score 1) 489

by UnderCoverPenguin (#49441779) Attached to: Reason: How To Break the Internet (in a Bad Way)

Everything from the hardware, to the permits, but especially the construction.

Local level lobbying also plays a big role.

My neighborhood is split between 2 cities: About 70% is in the first city and the other 30% is on the other. I live in the "other city". My neighborhood was originally wired by the cable company serving the "other city", Year later, another cable company comes along. The first city get completely wired - including its side of my neighborhood. The incremental cost to include my side of of the neighborhood would have been small at the time as all the needed crew, equipment and supplies were in the neighborhood. But the "other city" utilities board [1] caved to the original cable company's demand to not let the new company in - not even the quarter square mile section of my neighborhood that is in the "other city". Yes, everyone in my section of the neighborhood wrote both the utilities board and the city counsel asking that the new company be allowed to wire our part of the neighborhood. But we were just "a few dozen households" vs a huge corporate enterprise. (At the time, the new company had no plans involving other areas on the borders of the "other city", so the other residents didn't care.)


[1] Utilities board because they have control over the installation and use of the "utility poles" that carry power, phone and cable TV lines. In theory, the city counsel could have overruled, but that would have been unlikely even if the incumbent cable company wasn't also lobbying them.

Comment: Re: And It's Illegal to Videotape Police (Score 1) 489

by UnderCoverPenguin (#49439675) Attached to: The Courage of Bystanders Who Press "Record"

Not under a specific "illegal to record the police" statute, but making bullshit use of other laws, e.g. "interfering with a crime scene".

I recall at least one case where the police called it "illegal wiretapping", charging the person with the camera under wiretap laws.

Comment: Re: Evolution (Score 2) 298

There are social aspects to natural selection. In highschool and university, my female classmates (especially the tall ones) preferred taller males. Being significantly taller than average gave me a significant advantage in courting and retaining my girlfriend - despite me being a nerd.

Comment: Re:OSS solution (Score 1) 88

by UnderCoverPenguin (#49423401) Attached to: Research Finds Shoddy Security On Connected Home Gateways

and compatible with many current IoT protocols

How many of these protocols support adequate security?

Unfortunately, simply not supporting unsecure devices is likely to severely limit the market for a "secure IoT Hub". Manufacturers know this, so are very likely to to make "communicate with any device" the default setting..

Technology is dominated by those who manage what they do not understand.