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Comment Systematic Economic Segregation (Score 1) 444

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 The kicker... (Score 3, Insightful) 377

In terms of decision style, most people fall short of the creative ideal unless they are held accountable for their decision-making strategies, they tend to find the easy way out—either by not engaging in very careful thinking or by modeling the choices on the preferences of those who will be evaluating them.

This is the kicker. Not only do people reject creativity, but they hamper their own responses by conforming to what they think the boss will like. So if you don't agree with your colleague or their interpretation of what the boss will like, you're screwed. What tends to then happen is a breakdown in communication, as you will want to present to the boss directly instead of via the misguided (in your opinion) minion.

If people stopped trying to predict other people's reactions, they'd be more likely to be themselves. Sadly in the corporate world this means that bosses only get a limited set of responses from anyone not directly below them in the hierarchy. Shame.

Comment Zombie, zombie zombie-eh-eh in your head (Score 3, Interesting) 163

Article says nothing about the Cranberries.

Modelling epidemics is important. Mass transit and all that just means that the next major flu bug could well screw a hefty percentage of the population.

Zombies were once a semi-real concept, because defining death has been refined only recently. The French word for undertaker is "croque mort", literally the "dead biter" who would bit corpses to make sure they were really dead.

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 Good old days (Score 2) 48

At least one of the judges (^chongo^) was a contributor to this very site many moons ago, not sure if he's still here. (Had|Has) some fine prime number & math pages.

I strongly suggest taking time to look at just what previous entries have been able to do, including print musical notation, a working spreadsheet implementation, and a flight simulator. With obfuscation & size limits.

Ahhh memories. Never could enter myself though, can't even write normal C with any proficiency.

Comment Re:Corporate executives are smart. (Score 5, Informative) 541

Mod parent up. The intended effect was to give minimum wage employees free healthcare but the actual affect is to reduce their hours from 40 hrs a week + overtime to a strict less than 30 hours a huge paycut for a group that was living pay check to pay check as it was.

Apple Details US Requests For Customer Data 116

An anonymous reader writes "Not to be left out Apple has released details about government requests for customer data. The company said it received between 4,000-5,000 government requests, affecting as many as 10,000 accounts or devices. From the article: 'The iPad maker said that it received between 4,000 and 5,000 requests from U.S. law enforcement agencies for customer data from December 1, 2012 to May 31, 2013, and that 9,000 to 10,000 accounts or devices were specified in the requests. Apple did not state how many of the requests were from the National Security Agency or how many affected accounts or devices may have been tied to any NSA requests.' Facebook and Microsoft released their numbers this weekend."

Motorola Developing Pill and Tattoo Authentication Methods 194

redletterdave writes "In trying to solve the 'mechanical mismatch' between humans and electronics — particularly wearables — special projects chief Regina Dugan unveiled two new projects currently in development at Google's Motorola Mobility centered on rethinking authentication methodology, including electronic tattoos and ingestible pills. Of the pill, which Dugan called her 'first superpower,' she described it as an 'inside-out potato battery' that when swallowed, the acids in one's stomach serve as the electrolyte to power an 18-bit ECG-like signal that essentially turns one's body into an authentication token. 'It means my arms are like wires and my hands are like alligator clips [so] when I touch my phone, my computer, my door, I'm authenticated,' Dugan said. 'This is not science fiction.'"

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 Freeview via Satellite (Score 1) 78

I have a setup with a satellite dish, Freesat box (Technisat HDFS, which is also a PVR if you add a USB HDD) which has a network adapter. iPlayer works via broadband for catchup TV, the rest is all just PVR. Virgin have a Tivo like box for cable, but you'll pay heavy subscription fees for that.

Freesat gets you most of what you need. For Video on Demand Netflix runs in the UK, selection not as good as US, you can as others have suggested get a VPN as needed to look like you're in the US.

"Don't tell me I'm burning the candle at both ends -- tell me where to get more wax!!"