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Comment: Mandated upgrade (Score 1) 413

by dheltzel (#33834414) Attached to: Microsoft Eyes PC Isolation Ward To Thwart Botnets
We should promote a policy that any Windows systems that are not fully patched be automatically upgraded to run Linux. That nicely solves the problem of them joining botnets and means that MS doesn't ever have to worry about those systems again. MS shouldn't care because they've already made all the money they are getting from these systems anyway (since the owners have demonstrated that they are not going to ever pay for an upgrade). This way, older systems would eventually all convert to Linux, a much safer thing for the internet,

Comment: Re:I do it (Score 1) 1324

by dheltzel (#30941338) Attached to: US Grants Home Schooling German Family Political Asylum

I homeschool(ed) my 3 kids (older 2 are in college) and I have to tell you the whole "socialization" thing is a red herring. It's the most common argument against homeschooling, I think because it's the only one that seems rational. My kids, and every other homeschooled kid I've ever met, are extremely well socialized. Parents know this is an important part of growing up, and if they somehow were to forget it, perfect strangers will remind them every time they mention that they homeschool.

One of the most interesting aspects of the homeschool movement is how well the kids perform (as a group) compared to any other method. The parents like to think this is because their kids are just way above average, but is that really likely? The reason of course, is that homeschool families self-select for highly involved parents, which I'm sure is the #1 criteria for the quality of a child's education. The average homeschool parents spend more time educating their kids than most people spend at a full time job. If you did that, and left your kids in public school, they'd be top performers there too. It's ironic that the homeschool opposition goes to such great lengths to make it tough to homeschool, they are really helping without realizing it, as they are ensuring that everyone who homeschools will succeed.

I harbor no ill will against public school teachers, they have a tough, thankless job. And I know many parents simply can't (or don't want to) homeschool, and they should not feel bad at all. But it would be a terrible loss not to have homeschooling as a viable option, and spending time and money to discourage or otherwise inhibit homeschoolers is just pathetic. I am very glad I homeschooled all my children, and would certainly do it again (and my kids would agree if you asked them). It's a facet of parenting that most parents don't get to experience.

I suspect that this attitude against homeschooling in Germany is a part of their culture of conformance that we just don't have as strongly here. I like to think that I've given my kids a richer experience in life than they otherwise would have and I think that will make them better people.

Comment: It'll never happen for 2 reasons (Score 1) 613

by dheltzel (#30880128) Attached to: Why the IRS Should Automatically Fill In Returns With What It Knows

1) It's common sense, and everyone knows how careful the government is to distance itself from that.

2) It's what the American public wants (except the people who make money of the existing confusion).

For those 2 reasons, we can be sure that neither party will ever accept this. Except perhaps as a diversion to rally their voters, but then only if they know if has no real chance of getting through.

Government

Moscow Police Watch Pre-Recorded Scenes On Surveillance Cams 114

Posted by samzenpus
from the I-always-feel-like-nobody-is-watching-me dept.
An anonymous reader writes "During several months of 2009, Moscow police looked at fake pictures displayed on their monitors instead of what was supposed to be video from the city surveillance cams. The subcontractor providing the cams was paid on the basis of 'the number of working cams,' so he delivered pre-cooked pictures stored on his servers. The camera company CEO has been arrested."

Comment: Re:People aren't robots (Score 1) 709

by dheltzel (#30675808) Attached to: Office Work Ethic In the IT Industry?

I think a couple of cliche's are in order here:

1. Life ain't fair
2. The cream always rises to the top
3. If you want to make it to the top, be prepared to kiss a little bottom

My years of experience have proved the truth of all of those. Even in my current position I sometime am treated unfairly or asked to do things that are clearly not my job, still, I find I can really appreciate my current job by looking back on some of the really shitty jobs I've had in the past. Maybe your current job is one of them, valuable to you because in the future you can look back and say "at least I'm not working at X, any more".

Hopefully, this helps your perspective a bit. Keep going and doing good work, it will be rewarded eventually. The people who tell me I'm crazy to think that way are (usually) bitter and underemployed. Can't imagine why.

Comment: Re:People aren't robots (Score 1) 709

by dheltzel (#30668872) Attached to: Office Work Ethic In the IT Industry?

Shhhhhhh!!

Man, if you convince everyone they need to work hard, you're removing the "buffer" between those of use who do work hard and the next layoff. It's no secret that every organization, sales to software development, has its superstars. We thrive on working productively and being the "go to" person for hard problems. The fact that there are others getting paid to do very little isn't a problem for us, without them we'd look normal and maybe even a little dingy. They serve a purpose, and it's up to each individual to decide which group they are in. It sounds to me like the OP is a hacker in the making, but hasn't found his niche just yet. I've no doubt he will figure this out, though it might take a few job changes to get it all.

Comment: Re:declining oil production (Score 2, Insightful) 710

by dheltzel (#30624992) Attached to: Thorium, the Next Nuclear Fuel?

While you have a good point, the situation now is that one country has an established capability and the other is building that capability and engaging in hostile rhetoric at the same time. That seems suicidal to me. I fully expect that one day, Israel will get scared and make a first strike on Iran, and since they will only get one shot (due to the public outcry from the rest of the world), it will be a definitive attack. It would be hard for any thinking person to say that Iran didn't bring that on themselves, but I would grieve for the many in Iran who are made to suffer because of the stupidity of their leaders.

It seems almost a certainty to me that the Middle East will erupt in a nuclear war at some point. No one there is willing to compromise and they all think that they have the moral high ground, a very dangerous opinion for political leaders to have.

Beware of Programmers who carry screwdrivers. -- Leonard Brandwein

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