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Comment Systematic Economic Segregation (Score 1) 445

So we have standardized testing and test results in Texas so you can see the raw scores -- and the economic/racial demographic breakdowns of every public school. Remember the No child left behind stuff?

So the measuring stick is out there plain for anyone to see. Problem is no one seems to want to change anything or do anything about it.

There is systematic economic segregation (which is correlated with race). In our instance in Austin we had a great neighborhood, but with a bad school.
A big public apartment complex -- transplants from Katrina disaster brought the level of our elementary down, and had a downward spiral effect with anyone with the means to get out of there. If you look at the test scores compared with the neighborhood across the street huge differences. Less than 10% of the elementary were in accelerated or GT programs. Vs across the street it was 50% of the students were GT / accelerated. I don't thing 50% of rich kids are Gifted and Talented but they perform better on the tests and get to go to better schools.

So what's the difference between across the street -- just the price of houses. You pay to be in a good school by your neighborhood you live in. It made me sick to do it but we moved so we could have our daughter in an environment where she wouldn't be the oddball if she did good in school.

The only way to give equal opportunity would be to break this economic segregation and do intentional economic integration. If you mix in the poor performers with the good ones I think that would give the poor performers with some natural ability but bad circumstances a fighting chance. As it stands now the home and school environment are pitted against them.

Comment Re:Where to start with this one...? (Score 1) 408

My infant isn't very self-sufficient either and requires quite a bit of care. So I agree self-sufficiency is not a good test for what constitutes a human.

What do you think is? Location, Age, Size, Strength, Socio Economic Status of Parents? Birth is a pretty arbitrary place to put the legal transition from tissue to person. There isn't much difference from a 9 month fetus and a born child. Conception where all the dna is in place would be the earliest point you could make it. I've yet to hear a coherent logical rational as to why one is legally a medical procedure, while the other is a murder.

Comment Re:What is Bruce Schneier's game? (Score 5, Interesting) 397

I worry more about the NSA putting something in the binary on popular linux distributions. If they modified the c compiler to put backdoors in the programs it creates it would be very hard to detect. The backdoors would not be in any visible source code but would magically get inserted during the compilation, especially the complilation of a new compiler.

Does anyone know if anyone is actively looking for that type of exploit?

Comment Re:I love doing that, actually (Score 1) 292

This is spot on. You don't really want to be stuck doing maintenance on this codebase the rest of your life do you?

Give it away happily, It is someone else's problem. If you do a good job you can hope for other more interesting work from that company or another. If you just try to hold onto the project and keep control you'll be stuck making your own work environment worse and worse.

Your a contractor do a good job, hand it over to someone else to maintain. Let them know that editing is always easier than creating and if there is any other project you want them to work with or if they need continued advice or direction let you know. You can get paid for making drawings on a whiteboard and not have to mess around with the actual coding..

Comment Re:CBR is the one I used (Score 1) 321

CBR is doing some limited free banking if you have a possible use for the imbilical blood.

I got our first childs cord blood stored for free because my wife's brother already has a type of cancer that might be treatable with it in the future if there is a match.

And if you don't have a use for it they will happliy take your money just in case it is useful in the future.

Not sure if your better off putting your money into cord blood banking or health insurance or life insurance or "tangible assets of real and imaginary value guarded by a vociferous canine"

Comment Someone needs to question whats going on. (Score 1) 193

Someone needs to question the US Patent Office and the whole patent system. It's current state lies somewhere between broken and totally "busticated". If Congress or the Courts won't man up to the challenge I say let the Jury do it. I don't care if your Democratic or Republican if your not pissed off your not paying attention

Comment Re:IE's Real Problem (Score 1) 271

Apple was stalling things for a while. Not sure about the whole story on this, what changed, when and how long it took for the IE team to get things done once the legal stuff was sorted out. Here is an original email form apple.

and some background This is all several years old at this point. But this was an IE history lesson, not current events.

Comment Re:IE's Real Problem (Score 1) 271

Your right. I should have done fact checking before just writing down my memory. CSS in Microsoft Explorer 3 was the first time me and the majority of the world encountered it. But the standards guys and real inventors had been working on it for almost 2 years.

From wikipedia - Although the CSS1 specification was completed in 1996 and Microsoft's Internet Explorer 3[8] was released in that year featuring some limited support for CSS, it was more than three years before any web browser achieved near-full implementation of the specification.

Comment IE's Real Problem (Score 2, Insightful) 271

I have been working on the web since before IE 1.0 came out.

IE 1 - 3 Were garbage compared to what Netscape was offering at the time IE 4 was substantially better than Netscape Navigator. With IE 5 crushing it as Netscape imploded.

Microsoft was late to the game but threw everything at it to crush their competition. They had much better technology once they got to IE 4. (They also used other business tactics to run Netscape out of business with OEM agreements and giving away their web servers).

The CSS we complain about - Microsoft invented it. The Browser wars took HTML from a markup that didn't even have tables to close to what we have today. The Standards were a joke. Each browser came up with innovations and then copied their competitors. Standards were an after effect of what web developers adopted (down with Blink). Websites were best with IE or best with Netscape.

Once Microsoft drove Netscape out of business they just sat there and didn't put any effort into it like any Monopoly - there was no reason to.

The Standards bodies created a host of specs CSS 2 and 3 being some of the most important that differed from what Microsoft had in IE. This was different from the rubber stamping of the implementations we had before during the browser wars. I suspect a combination of better design and(just sour grapes - do it differently just because). Microsoft largely ignored the standards, in their mind they were the only browser and were the standard.

So IE just sat there with a slow release cycle and no desire to implement the standards - they had VML implemented so why bother with SVG - a paper spec when they have an actual implementation for years. Microsoft was busy trying to address all the security problems of their features first mentality with the trusted computing initiative and not making any forward progress on functionality.

So While Microsoft idled, Firefox and WebKit/Safari grew. The Standards bodies continued to work now they were a head of the browsers now, not way behind. Microsoft woke up to see its market share slipping and suddenly It's Browser wars II

Now Microsoft has a couple of problems keeping up

1) Backward compatibility - this is arguably a good thing as it keeps you from breaking old stuff, but also makes fixing older 'quirky' behavior.
2) Release cycle tied to OS - the slow release cycle compared to the opensource alternatives means their browser is always behind.
3) Standards games - It's not all Micosoft's fault - the standards bodies don't always play fair. Why does IE not have Canvas? When every other browser does? Because Apple has a patent on it. Apple's agreement with W3C is to license that patent once it becomes a standard (not just a proposal) but until canvas is an official standard, Microsoft is open to lawsuit if they implement it. But while the all the other browsers are implementing Canvas (opensource bodies don't have any cash to lose if Apple files a lawsuit ) their not pushing it through the standards commitee to make it official. This leaves Microsoft as the odd man out.

The IE team is working hard to catch back up, but the above 3 points are holding them back. Windows 7 is a decent OS so finally we have a chance of replacing all those OEM Windows XP computers still running IE 6.

Real Programs don't use shared text. Otherwise, how can they use functions for scratch space after they are finished calling them?