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Comment: Re:well, duh (Score 1) 433

by dcbrianw (#40385771) Attached to: Bloomberg, WSJ: Student Aid Increases Tuition

To counter (2), we could consider price capping taxpayer funded scholarship aid per scholarship awarded. Plenty of high caliber institutions exist as alternatives to the exceedingly high priced schools. GWU, for example, actually prides themselves as the most expensive school in the nation. If such a cap exists, schools may refocussing their funds on affordable, quality education rather than giant rock-climbing walls. (I have nothing against rock-climbing walls. It's just an example of something that higher education doesn't need to fund.)

Comment: Re:We already have one (Score 0) 167

by dcbrianw (#40310739) Attached to: A Digital Citizen's Bill of Rights
I can see from where you are coming on this, but I have some thoughts to add. I have faith in the meaning of our Constitution and Bill of Rights, but I have zero faith in our elected leaders to abide by it. Much of the US code that exists now violates the principals of our founding documents, but that hasn't stopped them from coming into existence. I, like you, don't like labeling this as an Internet Bill of Rights, but I agree with the precedent Issa aims set in terms of making digital legislation individual-centric as opposed to collective-centric. I do fear a potential pitfall in the use of the word, "right," because so many in this day and age consider a right as something somebody else must provide for them as opposed to the simply freedom to pursue it for oneself. "I have a right to use the internet, so somebody should give me a computer and an internet connection for free. After all, it is my right; isn't it? Just tax the rich!" Believe me, that lies just around the corner, most sadly.

Comment: Re:Ex-Gaming (Score 1) 559

by dcbrianw (#40286625) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Ambitious Yet Ethical Software Jobs?
To the original poster...

I would never suggest or try to talk somebody into doing something that violates his or her ethics. If you aim to live as a 100% pacifist, that's your own choice and your own beliefs. If I may offer a point that I think is worth considering, I image that in your extended network of friends and family, you probably have some loved one serving in our armed forces. Having the best technology at their disposal only betters the chance that conflict ends expediently and our military personnel come come safe.

On the medical side, the only way you can truly avoid making any contribution to animal testing is not participate the health care industry at all (which the new health care law will not permit you to do unless SCOTUS strikes down the individual mandate) and consume no product that requires FDA approval. Unless you're minimally abstaining from those things, you're not contributing to animal testing any less by not writing source code for a biotech company.

Comment: Re:Why 2 sides (Score 1) 493

by dcbrianw (#40231789) Attached to: Classroom Clashes Over Science Education
My reply...

Many (myself included), do not see the theory of evolution and and the bible in conflict with one another. My education has lead me to subscribe to the theory of evolution, and my faith has lead me to accept that God exists. For example, I don't really believe God created the Earth in six days and "rested" on the seventh. I think, like many other parts of the Bible, it serves as an analogy to simplify what would be a complex idea for people of times when education and common knowledge of science did not exist. My faith is not science, so it would be out of place to make it part of a science class. But those are just my opinions, there are others, and I'm able to respect them. I think my high school science teachers took the best route of saying that in the classroom we're studying science, which is an investigative process, and if you're going to truly exercise the scientific method, you must be willing to challenge what you already believe.

On to climate change, the data, climate simulation models, and research methodologies have been largely kept behind closed doors. Only those who indicated they are part of the club that subscribes to the notion that humankind is causing climate chance get full access to such information. Whistleblowers have given us some insight into those methods, and that has revealed sloppy and conclusion driven efforts. None of the findings have undergone a truly open and Independent Verification and Validation process. This isn't science, and it's not consensus. Teaching students something that the scientific community has yet to truly validate is not responsible, and if we're going to allow it to be present in the classroom, then we should insist upon the presentation of the counter-arguments. True science embraces the contributions of dissenters, even from the other side because it often helps them refine what they believe. That is, after all, responsible and ethical science.

Comment: Re:Why is it news (Score 1) 815

by dcbrianw (#40036129) Attached to: From MIT Inventor To Tea Party Leader
I think it is news that somebody is gaining notoriety on the topic of getting more engineers and scientists into politics for several reasons.

First, our legislators are far too populated with lawyers. That's why we live in regulatory world that only lawyers can understand. Ask anyone who wants to begin a startup. He/she has to practically become an legal expert in several areas almost to a point that leaves insufficient time to do the actual work of the business. Thinking back to their startup days, the founders of Home Depot, Best Buy, and Staples all say they could not have started those businesses in today's regulatory climate.

Second, I think engineers and scientists are less likely to make themselves into career politicians. I think they would more likely serve as representatives, keep some small part of the technical and scientific life going on the side, and finally return to private life as the framers of our governmental system originally envisioned. That would mean less legislators who want to make a career out of repetitively trying to find problems to fix, fixing them, and breeding a slew of new problems in the process.

Lastly, engineers and scientists think in ways that others don't. They approach problem solving in ways others don't. Our founders created the representative system we have today to make sure the legislators represented a broad sample set of the population across locales and professions. When our government capped the number of representatives in the House to 435, that to some extent maintained the sampling across locales, but it has vastly eroded the sampling across professions.

I hope this effort is successful, because we all would benefit with engineers and scientists involved in public policy formation, especially in an age where the discussion of governmental restraint is all too rare.

Red Hat Software

+ - Is Red Hat Blocking Ubuntu Developers?->

Submitted by sfcrazy
sfcrazy (1542989) writes "Ubuntu founder Mark shuttleworth has again taken a jab at Red Hat, the world's most successful open source company. In a recent IRC when he was asked about the relationship between Ubuntu and Gnome teams Mark Shuttleworth replied: We felt blocked by Red Hat on specific parts they control.

Is it another Canonical gimmick to get mindshare or is Red Hat really playing dirty?"

Link to Original Source

+ - Tablet UIs on Laptops/Desktops: What's Slashdot's Readers' take?-> 1

Submitted by dcbrianw
dcbrianw (1154925) writes "I want to know the Slashdot's community's take on the new trend of desktop and laptop operating system developers moving towards tablet based UI's. Ubuntu has moved to Unity. Windows 8 will have such a UI. Even Gnome 3 looks tablet based. You can revert to Gnome classic, but it's very minimal in comparison Gnome 2.

If I'm not using a tablet, I don't want my computer to operate as though I am. I'm just not sold on this, and I want my old UI back (without having to use earlier, less advanced OS'). What are others' takes on this? Am I missing some of the pros associated with a tablet UI on non-tablet devices?"

Link to Original Source

Weekends were made for programming. - Karl Lehenbauer