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Comment: Kochs will ruin capitalism by short sighted greed (Score 3, Informative) 531 531

Kochs aren't worried about capitalism which is a system of exchange. They are worried about not being able to their own profits in the short term. As extractive industries they want to buy protection from other advocates with environmental views by starving them out of the discussion! Here's the problem. Capitalism (market economies) only works if there is a fair balance of power among the buyers and the sellers. That other thing that the Kochs are protecting is oligarchy--rule by the wealthy.

Comment: Save google voice! (Score 2) 166 166

Maybe it is a good headline because it caught my attention and drove me to comment. Being backwoods senior citizens, my wife and I use google voice all the time. No cell service where we live so we stay in touch with our family and our volunteer activities without paying for long distance using google voice. Besides, some of us less dexterous seniors need a keyboard to respond to texts. Google if you are listening, don't dump voice cuz some yuppie in a metro area has a bug up his a**

Comment: Re:The American Dream (Score 1) 629 629

I'm not in IT but grateful to have enough working knowledge of telecommunications systems to continue to share what I've learned with others in my field. From out in the woods I can continue to be a mentor to my former co workers but now I can do it without worrying about the overlords telling me "you can't say that..." I can also mentor younger people in other organizations...maybe getting them to shake things up a little where they work. And I have time to think about how to adapt the wonderful new tools being created in the 21st century world back to the 19th century world of social welfare organizations. I just finished The Power of Scrum and I'm wondering how my former colleagues can adapt rapid change and customer feedback into their service delivery models. I have been fortunate to have wonderful family, relatively stable health, enough income to survive, and an internet connection that permits me to live in the beautiful Pennsyltucky and still communicate with my peers. I have given up catering to the neuroses of the bosses and the funders. Count me lucky. Sorry to talk so much about myself but here's the take away: Retirement is the time we can REALLY tell the truth without being caught up in organizational gang fights and turf wars. Take what I know and deploy it in an open sourced sharing environment and learn some new stuff too.

+ - Psychohistory advances

cedarhillbilly writes: Conflict reduction turns out to be the driver for emergence of complex civilization
from the article: "The study focuses on the interaction of ecology and geography as well as the spread of military innovations and predicts that selection for ultra-social institutions that allow for cooperation in huge groups of genetically unrelated individuals and large-scale complex states, is greater where warfare is more intense."
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/09/130923155538.htm
Technology

+ - cleareye view of 3 D printing->

cedarhillbilly writes: In "Drilling into 3D printing", Professor James Woudhuysen writes a nice analysis of why the US has become enamored with 3D printing. Hint: not just the technology, maybe the desire for resurgent domestic home based manufacturing: a cultural artifact dug up from the 19th century, enhanced by entrepreneur promoters in the tech media world? "To do justice to 3D printing, it needs to be seen clearly, without rose-tinted spectacles, and in perspective. "
Link to Original Source

Comment: approach3 works for me (Score 1) 521 521

I'm using a System 76 laptop for about 4 months now. I like the choices of hardware options. Here's the downsides. I had a rocky ordering experience: Billing address and shipping addresses were different and 'broke' their system so it took a phone call to fix the problem. Then I had to reinstall the operating system to fine tune Ubuntu; Not a biggie since I normally make my own install on any new box. Since then it runs like a clock. Laptop (Lemur is the model) is light, fast, has a nice touch...everything I wanted and no MS TAX. check them out at https://www.system76.com/ Maybe if there's more demand for open hardware...more people will build it.
Politics

+ - Geeks in the Public Forum?->

cedarhillbilly writes: New Scientist reviews the Geek Manifesto by Mark Henderson. In the book, Henderson pleads for citizens who value science to force it onto the mainstream political agenda and other main walks of life. Questions for real life are "Do you have to give up tech practice to undertake a public role (MIT inventor to tea party favorite)?" also "Is political life (compromise, working by consensus, irrationality) antithetical to the 'geek' values?"
Link to Original Source
Earth

+ - Elgin Gas Leak: who's paying attention?->

cedarhillbilly writes: "New Scientist has been doing a bang up job of covering a major drilling 'accident' in the North Sea where a drilling rig operated by France's Total has released a pool of natural gas into the atmosphere. Because it's not on CNN's doorstep and no one's been killed so far, the Elgin leak has received scant attention in US media. Still it's huge and raises some interesting questions about drilling safety. In today's installment of the coverage, New Scientist shows the 'purple haze' (great graffix) hovering over the site of the leak. Look at the photo, then drill down (ouch) thru the links to get the rest of the story!"
Link to Original Source

+ - Gas leak in North Sea->

cedarhillbilly writes: "North Sea oil drilling seems to have opened up a previously unknown gas formation. Gas is seeping into the drilling columns and flowing uncontrolled into the ocean and atmosphere. New Scientist reports: "Many questions remain. Total (the well operator) says that until it works out the capacity of the source and the rate at which methane and gas condensate are leaking into the environment, it is impossible to say either how much gas will be released or how long it will take to block it, despite some reports putting it at six months.

Scary reprise of Deepwater Horizon"

Link to Original Source
Google

+ - Amazing! Google's self-driving car allows blind man to drive->

Velcroman1 writes: This is some of the best driving I've ever done," Steve Mahan said the other day. Mahan was behind the wheel of a Toyota Prius tooling the small California town of Morgan Hill in late January, a routine trip to pick up the dry cleaning and drop by the Taco Bell drive-in for a snack. He also happens to be 95 percent blind.

Mahan, head of the Santa Clara Valley Blind Center, “drove” along a specially programmed route thanks to Google’s autonomous driving technology. Look, ma! No hands. And no feet!” Mahan jokes at one point in the video. “I love it,” he added. Google announced the self-driving car project in 2010. It relies upon laser range finders, radar sensors, and video cameras to navigate the road ahead, in order to make driving safer, more enjoyable and more efficient — and clearly more accessible. In a Wednesday afternoon post on Google+, the company noted that it has hundreds of thousands of miles of testing under the belt, letting the company feel confident enough in the system to put Mahan behind the wheel.

Link to Original Source

+ - Mapping Deceptive Systems->

cedarhillbilly writes: CMI researchers have mapped the networks of email contacts in 6 Enron projects to show that projects that were based on deception were hub-spoke networks and legitimate projects were more cloudlike 'webs'. Probably a bigger breakthru for network science than for social scientists who work with groups and organizations, but a nice mathematical 'indicator' of when a system is behaving badly. Predictive? Still need to develop markers to give an early warning rather than a post mortem.
Link to Original Source
Government

+ - Microsoft in DC, lessons learned->

cedarhillbilly writes: "Michael Kinsley writes in Politico about Microsoft's introduction to the wacky world of DC. Lessons to be learned. Kinsley writes: "As the Microsoft example suggests, the Washington culture of influence peddling is not entirely, or even primarily, the fault of the corporations that hire the lobbyists and pay the bills. It’s a vast protection racket, practiced by politicians and political operatives of both parties. Nice little software company you’ve got here. Too bad if we have to regulate it or if Big Government programs force us to raise its taxes. Your archrival just wrote a big check to the Washington Bureaucrats Benevolent Society. Are you sure you wouldn’t like to do the same?""
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