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Comment: Re:"Whether or not you believe there’s a pro (Score 1) 604

by Catiline (#49697637) Attached to: A Plan On How To Stop Sexism In Science

I caution attempts at social engineering result in greater injustices than those they seek to fight against.

I would say that the first thing those attempting social engineering should seek is to utilize the solutions they propose. For instance, it's amazing how many of the politicians in the US who seek to raise the minimum wage also make broad use of unpaid interns. If even the crusaders can't manage to pay everybody minimum wage (not the new level of $10, $15, or whatever is being proposed today, but just the current amount), what makes you so certain it's a great idea?

Comment: many recruiters are hired off the street (Score 1) 227

by davecb (#49598115) Attached to: Want 30 Job Offers a Month? It's Not As Great As You Think
A sister company did recruiting, and a then colleague said "I asked for a MVS and Unix person in a particular state with experience in a package", and got hundreds of names, none of whom knew all those things". The didn't know the difference between "and" (3 candidates) and "or" (3000 unqualified candidates). I still get requests for things I only ever did once, with co-requisites of things I've never done...

+ - UMG v Grooveshark settled, no money judgment against individuals

Submitted by NewYorkCountryLawyer
NewYorkCountryLawyer writes: UMG's case against Grooveshark, which was scheduled to go to trial Monday, has been settled. Under the terms of the settlement (PDF), (a) a $50 million judgment is being entered against Grooveshark, (b) the company is shutting down operations, and (c) no money judgment at all is being entered against the individual defendants.

Comment: Re:Good (Score 2) 302

I'm not entirely sure you're not trolling, but I'll bite anyway.

The US Constitution states that the purpose of copyright is "to promote the progress of science and useful arts", artists and inventors may be granted a (temporary, limited) exclusive right to their work. Anytime copyright comes up among my group of friends (who include a large number of writers, musicians, and graphical artists, in addition to programmers) copyright is a fairly contentious issue. I tend to like to argue the position that any "common", mass produced work that is unavailable for public purchase for longer than one year has outlived its' salable value and should lose copyright protection. (This is particularly true in the age of digital distribution, where "shelf space" is a non-issue.) Fine art (where only one copy of the item ever gets created) clearly requires a different definition for copyright term, but for the things which usually are referenced in these debates online -- CDs, mass market books, newsclippings, etc. -- a strictly limited term is far more beneficial to keeping works available to the public.

Comment: Re:Help me out here a little... (Score 1) 533

by davecb (#49506283) Attached to: Utilities Battle Homeowners Over Solar Power

I think you'll find that electricity won't flow out of the solar supplier if the voltage in the line is at 120v, as there's nowhere with a lower voltage for it to flow to. Anyone who draws current from the system creates a region of lower voltage, and current flows toward them until the voltage is the same everywhere. Think of it electricity as being rather like water in a sealed watertower: no more flows in if it's full, plenty flows out if someone lowers the pressure by opening a tap.

Therefor the spike from all the solar installations just offers more power. If no one takes it, current doesn't flow, the solar folks' ammeters don't budge and they don't get paid by the power distribution company. If somebody turns on a light, current flows, and some supplier's ammeter moves, usually a supplier close to the lightbulb. Ditto the consumer's ammeter, what we call the "electric meter"

Comment: They have to put in safety equipment in any case (Score 4, Interesting) 533

by davecb (#49504939) Attached to: Utilities Battle Homeowners Over Solar Power
To connect a power source to the grid, there has to be a cutoff that disconnects it when the grid voltage drops to zero due to, for example, a tree falling and shorting it to ground. If there isn't a cutoff
  • - the grid sucks all your power and probably blows your fuses and/or rectifier diodes, and
  • - the hydro guy who expects to be handing a dead line suddenly has it jump to 110 or 220V, the instant he lifts it off ground.

Linemen don't like becoming part of the circuits, so they successfully called for the disconnect-if-zero laws.

Power companies (at least in Canada and large parts of the world) already have equipment to deal with the fact that the power can flow both ways. In fact, claiming they don't have equipment is only true IFF the power companies are the ones who like electrocuting their employees (;-))

Comment: Re:Well guys if you were passed over for a positio (Score 1) 517

I don't think I dare look at your link right now, but your question has been answered. To quote from that Wikipedia article: "The lead plaintiff was Frank Ricci, who had been a firefighter at the New Haven station for 11 years. ... Because he has dyslexia, he paid an acquaintance $1,000 to read his textbooks onto audiotapes." (Emphasis mine.)

Make whatever noises you like: just because a person is part of the privileged class in the two most visible categories of discrimination (race & gender) doesn't exclude them from being a member of any other legally protected class.

Comment: Re:Libertarianism, the new face of the GOP? (Score 1) 441

by Catiline (#49471347) Attached to: Republicans Introduce a Bill To Overturn Net Neutrality

I'm sure you know about Westinghouse and Edison setting up parallel electricity networks in New York, but it was even more extreme for the telegraph. In 1850 there were 75 telegraph companies, ten of which served New York; in 1866 there was only one. ... The government mostly stepped in *after* these natural monopolies formed, to keep them from abusing their power,

False. Since you specifically mentioned New York, here's an article about how that technology developed. Specifically, it states that "To encourage growth in this new electricity infrastructure, New York, like all of the other states, protected the utilities’ investment by granting them an exclusive right to serve customers." (Emphasis mine.) Believe what you want about the importance of monopoly busting, but the sad truth is that for every common example people give of "natural" monopolies, the government had a hand in why the service in question is a monopoly market.

+ - Politics Poisoning NASA's Ability To Meet Its Goals-> 1

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes: Phil Plait just published an article showing how politics is interfering with NASA's ability to perform vital scientific experiments. As expected when we heard that Ted Cruz would be made head of the committee in charge of NASA's funding, the Texas senator is pushing hard for NASA to stop studying Earth itself. Plait writes, "Over the years, NASA has had to beg and scrape to get the relatively small amount of money it gets—less than half a percent of the national budget—and still manages to do great things with it. Cruz is worried NASA’s focus needs to be more on space exploration. Fine. Then give them enough money to do everything in their charter: Explore space, send humans there, and study our planet. Whether you think climate change is real or not—and it is— telling NASA they should turn a blind eye to the environment of our own planet is insanity." He concludes, "[T]he politics of funding a government agency is tying NASA in knots and critically endangering its ability to explore."
Link to Original Source

+ - FBI's Big Plan To Expand Its Hacking Powers

Submitted by Presto Vivace
Presto Vivace writes: DefenseOne reports:

the rule change, as requested by the department, would allow judges to grant warrants for remote searches of computers located outside their district or when the location is unknown.

The government has defended the maneuver as a necessary update of protocol intended to modernize criminal procedure to address the increasingly complex digital realities of the 21st century. The FBI wants the expanded authority, which would allow it to more easily infiltrate computer networks to install malicious tracking software. This way, investigators can better monitor suspected criminals who use technology to conceal their identity.

But the plan has been widely opposed by privacy advocates, such as the American Civil Liberties Union, as well as some technologists, who say it amounts to a substantial rewriting of the rule and not just a procedural tweak. Such a change could threaten the Fourth Amendment’s protections against unreasonable search and seizures, they warn, and possibly allow the FBI to violate the sovereignty of foreign nations. The rule change also could let the agency simultaneously target millions of computers at once, even potentially those belonging to users who aren’t suspected of any wrongdoing.

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