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Submission + - US Government makes a huge commitment to open map data

capedgirardeau writes: The U.S. federal government just made a huge commitment to Open Mapping, taking the lead in creative government partnerships with the OpenStreetMap community.

Collaborate with Citizen and Global Cartographers in Open Mapping

Engaging communities to use open mapping platforms ensures the widest possible benefit of geographic data and improved public services for individuals and communities using that data. The Administration will expand interagency collaboration and coordination with the open mapping community to promote the use of open mapping data in both domestic and international applications

In May the US State Department had this to say about open map data:
Governments can engage smart, innovative, and resourceful citizens to support urgent efforts — nothing demonstrates this better than the recent OpenStreetMap response to the Nepal earthquake. Through remote mapping and shared satellite imagery, citizens, government, the private sector, and academics are demonstrating the power of collaborative, open innovation, helping to solve challenges, create opportunities, or respond in the face of tragedy such as the Nepal Earthquake.

Comment Personal anecdote (Score 3, Interesting) 42

As a very introverted person who almost borders on agoraphobic I found both of the local maker spaces welcoming and comfortable spaces.

I am also a real nerd/geek sloth who gets excited about things most people do not care one bit about and have no clue about.

The very first time I saw a meeting at one of the local maker spaces, it was almost life changing. For the first time in my life I saw 50 people who were actually like me. I didn't know other people like me even existed.

All I can say is: if you think you might have the slightest interest in a maker space or maker community, go check it out, like the article says, I have found them to be the most welcoming and non judgmental community I have ever had the pleasure to be a part of.

Comment Re:Null hypothesis (Score 5, Insightful) 556

It is actually pretty rational to believe in God because, why not?

Which god? What happens if you believe in the wrong one and the real god ends up super pissed off? For all you know, the god you believe in might be an ex of the real god.

You might very well be worse off than if you had believed in no god.

Pascals Wager has been a discredited reason for believing in a god for a long time now.

Comment Re:Diaspora appliance (Score 1) 88

RE: Shared monitization of the ad rev, great idea. I'd like to see it work. The only example I know of is a gone now service called ZenZoo that did this.

It sort of devolved into a multi level marketing thing with people trying to get other people to sign up so their share of ad rev would go up and you had log in a certain number of times a month or something.

Anyway, would be worth look up if anyone is thinking of trying this. I'd be in on an advertising, subtle, share.

Submission + - The Windows Store is a Cesspool of Scam Apps, Why Doesn't Microsoft Care? (howtogeek.com)

capedgirardeau writes: Microsoft’s Windows Store is a mess. It’s full of apps that exist only to scam people and take their money. Why doesn’t Microsoft care that their flagship app store is such a cesspool? ... It’s now been more than two years since Windows 8 was released, and this has been a problem the entire time, and it is getting worse. If Microsoft was trying to offer a safe app store to Windows users, they’ve failed. Searching for most popular apps will return a list of many scam clones that charge a fee for what is a free app from the official publisher and you have to hope there is no malware installed as well. Worse yet, the Windows Store is now integrated with the system search feature. Search for an application using the Start screen search or search charm and these garbage apps from the Windows Store will appear. The article points out the reason is probably "Microsoft hasn’t been encouraging quality apps. Instead, they just want quantity. In March, 2013, Microsoft ran a promotion where they paid developers $100 for each app they submitted to the Windows Store or Windows Phone Store."

Submission + - New Permission System Potentially Makes Android Much Less Secure 1

capedgirardeau writes: An update to the Google Play store now groups app permissions into collections of related permissions making them much less fine grained and potentially misleading for users. For example the SMS permissions group would allow an app access to both reading and sending SMS messages. The problem is that once an app has access to the group of permissions, it can make use of any of the allowed actions at anytime without ever informing the user. As Google explains: "It’s a good idea to review permissions groups before downloading an app. Once you’ve allowed an app to access a permissions group, the app may use any of the individual permissions that are part of that group. You won’t need to manually approve individual permissions updates that belong to a permissions group you’ve already accepted."

Comment Re:So - who's in love with the government again? (Score 4, Informative) 397

I like my government to help make sure things are safe for eating and drinking.

And I especially like when the government responds to criticisms by saying they didn't understand this issue when they made their rules and will take comments from the industry and revise their proposed rules as they have done in this case.

I know it is not as fun for the anti-government types, but even the linked to article mentions it at the very bottom of the story:

The FDA will open up the rule to comments again this summer and then revise the proposal, which is due to be finalized by August, 2015.

So this is already a non issue, they have agreed to revise the rules so there are not the dire consequences the article was using to stir everyone up.

Comment This seems plausable (Score 3, Insightful) 149

I can understand this happening. It would make sense that the NSA would have someone or multiple people review every patch and check-in for a package as important as OpenSSH, just looking for exploitable mistakes.

I would not be surprised if they review a great deal of FOSS software they deem important to national security.

Comment This happens all the time (Score 2) 173

This happens all the time, some quack alt "medicine" is recalled because it actually contains a known effective drug. Most often it is "herbal" dick pills that contain the active ingredient in traditional ED medications.

Getting on the "Recalls, Market Withdrawals and Safety Alerts for U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA)" email list can be very entertaining:


Comment Re:So close, and yet so far (Score 1) 264

Your comment is exactly right on on the money.

I have driven a number of cars with digital controls for the radio, tuning, volume and climate systems, temp, fan, distribution and they were terrible.

You must take your eyes off the road to deal with them, whereas, if you have knobs, buttons and sliders your hands can take care of it all.

I will never buy a car will all digital controls, that is one place touch screens do not belong.

Comment Re:Wrong (Score 3, Insightful) 287

Of course people want to lay off 15% of the workforce. That is very typical in leveraged buyout processes and part of the plan from square one.

You are take out big loans to buy the company, knowing you are going to immediately gut it maximize profits in the short term so you can pay off the loans. Then you continue to milk what remains as profit, letting the business decline knowing you can sell off chunks to get the last drop of value out of the company, and then at the very end, when you have loaded it up with debt again, you declare it bankrupt and walk away.

What this country needs is a dime that will buy a good five-cent bagel.