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Comment: Re:Shocking! (Score 1) 412

by dreampod (#42613423) Attached to: US Educational Scores Not So Abysmal

However, that doesn't give an accurate picture of the education system which is what was being studied. While there was a legitimate argument/complaint to be made about oversampling free lunch schools (40% of sample, 23% of real world) what the EPI report did in pretending that America doesn't have more poor students than other countries is sheer scientific malpractice.

Interestingly though, America probably wouldn't do very well in a top 10% comparison. According to the EPI interpretations of the PISA data the US consistently underperformed all the other six nations being compared to in the Group six economic category (wealthiest category making up about 6% of all nations). The groups 1&2 scores were somewhat better than but the US populations in those groups are 35%-400% larger than in those nations which is what really tanks our score.

Comment: Re:Gaming the system (Score 1) 412

by dreampod (#42613303) Attached to: US Educational Scores Not So Abysmal

Except the 'study' in question is trying to pull a fast one by effectively saying if we compare the health of American's and Japanese that their outcomes are the same in the *general population* when obesity rates are 'normalized' ignoring the fact that the obesity rate in the US is nearly 3 time that of Japan. If you pretend we don't have millions of poor poorly educated Americans then our test scores are GREAT. However the truth is that those poor children still exist and pretending that our performance is adequate just gives people the ability to ignore the need to do better.

Comment: Re:official takedown notice? (Score 5, Informative) 71

by dreampod (#41553447) Attached to: YouTube Alters Copyright Algorithms, Will 'Manually' Review Some Claims

Because they don't have to. Since it is their property they can institute any rules or program that they want (provided obviously that it doesn't break the law) that will help them manage their service or please their partners. In this case they offered a content matching and content removal system to their corporate clients as a means to encourage them to use youtube heavily and stop suing them. The reason youtube is changing their policy is that it has been heavily abused and is starting to generate negative publicity and shift users elsewhere not because they have any obligation to.

They have always accepted DMCA notices but also allowed an alternative non-DMCA process too.

Comment: Re:This is overblown nonsense (Score 3, Informative) 765

by dreampod (#38887135) Attached to: White House Refuses To Comment On Petition To Investigate Chris Dodd

They should be indicted - every last one of them.

Being a elected official in the US is extremely lucrative with lots of 'gifts' and 'free' vacations from friends and supporters after they have finished serving their terms, highly paid jobs within industries they 'regulated', highly paid jobs with companies that got legislated overpriced no-bid contracts, highly paid lobbying jobs that take advantage of their access, and a rate of return on investments 60% higher than market average (and about 20% higher than average RoR with insider trading). Simply because the payoff is delayed doesn't mean that it isn't happening and because it is so well known about nobody ever has to actually make an agreement for the bribery because the politician takes the lead knowing that if they behave in a particular way that they are guaranteed a lucrative result.

One of the reasons that other countries look at the US with horror is how blatant and openly corrupt your government officials are. In Canada the governing party for over 40 years fell and was replaced over a scandal directing work to a company that supported the Liberal party. The total amount was under $2 million dollars over 8 years which is less than every single representative and senator directs to supporters each and every budget. Even the most ethical politician on the national stage is wildly corrupted and should be charged and imprisoned.

Comment: Re:the 16 scientists are not climatologists (Score 1) 1367

by dreampod (#38861797) Attached to: Don't Worry About Global Warming, Say 16 Scientists in the WSJ

Are you trying to suggest that Lead and Mercury are modified from their 'natural state'? If so, I strongly recommend looking at the periodic table of elements and getting a remedial science education. They may be purified but they are dangerous at naturally occuring lower purities as well.

As well the claim that CO2 is natural and thus as a natural occurrence we shouldn't need to concern ourselves with it is completely non-sensical. CO2 exists at levels not seen in 800,000 years simply because it existed before doesn't make it harmless or not potentially catostrophic to human survival. A jug of water is useful, having a river redirected into your town is incredibly destructive but we shouldn't worry because water is a natural product and thus massive changes in the quantity and location of it are entirely irrelevant.

Comment: Re:Not 'fair use' but no sympathy for the news med (Score 1) 242

by dreampod (#38861713) Attached to: Romney Invokes Fair Use In Dispute With NBC Over Campaign Ad

Beyond the fact that NBC has a history of doing this with political ads (for both parties) which clearly are fair use, I think this particular use does not rise to the criteria of fair use. The entire ad is the copyrighted material with nothing else except the legally mandated "paid for by" and thus is not transformative, doesn't comment or criticise it, and is simply a recitement of facts on record that could be presented in a different way without using the copyrighted material without losing any impact. Except to falsely imply an endorsement by Brokaw there is no reason that they couldn't have presented the exact same facts in this ad without using the NBC clip.

Comment: Re:Not 'fair use' but no sympathy for the news med (Score 1) 242

by dreampod (#38861693) Attached to: Romney Invokes Fair Use In Dispute With NBC Over Campaign Ad

I think characterising anything related to politics as 'non-profit' is ludicrously ironic despite the puported purpose of representing the public good. Beyond the kickbacks (read Campaign Donations), cushy jobs with industries they regulated, and wealthy friends who appreciate their 'hard work' over the years US Senators have an average rate of return on their stock investments on 30.2% annually compared to a 17.9% market average (Representatives average 23.9%) and in fact consistently outperform corporate insiders (who only manage 25.3%). Unless you somehow believe that Senators and Representatives are better stock traders than professional brokers it is pretty clear they are using insider information on bid distributions, regulations, and hearings to profit.

Comment: False Headline on Slashdot - News at 11 (Score 1) 350

by dreampod (#36915796) Attached to: Linguists Out Men Impersonating Women On Twitter

This study in no way outs men impersonating women. In fact it specifically identifies gender for analysis by comparing it to the linked blog/website profile information and assuming that "the effort involved in maintaining this deception in two different places suggests that the blog labels on Twitter data are largely reliable". Basically it assumes that anyone attempting to impersonate the opposing gender is a tech ignorant moron that has made no effort to create a persona - something that is contrary to pretty much every piece of information we have on people who do this.

Overall, a poorly constructed study that oversells what it discovers and is then exagerated and stretched by the media who claim things that even the study isn't pretending that it does - in other words a typical day in research and scientific reporting.

Comment: Re:It's About Who Collects (Score 1) 949

by dreampod (#36755812) Attached to: Slate: Amazon's Tax Stance Unfair and Unethical

To be fair California (and all the other states) don't trust their citizens to pay the use tax with good reason - the vast, vast majority don't. Not only is it complicated and time consuming for the individual consumer to do so it also results in things online costing more than they appear to and thus less money in their pocket.

Amazon also trusts the citizens aren't going to pay the use tax - their entire business model requires it and thus why they are fighting so hard against it. Without being able to avoid paying taxes the goods Amazon (and other online retailers) sell aren't particularly better priced than those you could buy at your local brick and mortar store - so instead of the purchase tradeoff being something like 20% cheaper on Amazon but more convenient at a local store it would become only a 5-10% price advantage at which point they start losing a lot of sales due to convenience. I'm sure brick and mortar stores would love to be able to use Amazons 'the customer is responsible for paying the sales tax' line and drop all their prices too. However we don't do that for two major reasons (1) It is completely rediculous and wasteful to force the customer to track and record all their purchases and once annually pay the accumulated tax amount rather than having the retailer collect it at the time of purchase with minimal cost or imposition and (2) People won't pay it and the cost of tracking purchases down and litigating non-payment would be prohibitive, just like doing it for online purchases is.

Amazon can not be nearly as profitable if they had to charge customers the real cost of items so their business model relies on encouraging widescale fraud in order to maintain a price disparity. It is unethical and immoral and probably illegal too. If it isn't actually illegal than it should be - something that these laws intend to address.

Comment: Re:Sidestepping for a moment... (Score 1) 949

by dreampod (#36755690) Attached to: Slate: Amazon's Tax Stance Unfair and Unethical

So in addition to outsourcing manufacturing and customer service, we can also start outsourcing retail jobs?

How exactly do you think the American economy is going to continue to function when there are no jobs on a permanent basis rather than just a temporary one? Already the wealthy avoid taxation on a vast scale, without the middle class and poor paying taxes (something that requires an income) how will the government avoid collapse?

Comment: Re:There's a difference (Score 1) 69

by dreampod (#36398154) Attached to: What Cybercrime Stats Have In Common With Sexual Braggadocio

That might make sense if we were talking about a single study but the data is consistently out, in the same manner, across hundreds of studies over several decades. You can't just accidentally miss the really promiscous women every single time (well you could but it is statistically improbable).

The only two viable explanations I've ever heard (and I use the term loosely for the second) is that either there is consistent incorrect self reporting or extremely promiscous women have such a higher rate of death that they are able to rack up huge numbers of partners and then throw the reporting off by dying and thus no longer being counted.

Comment: Re:Legal vs Technical Issues (Score 1) 169

by dreampod (#36383752) Attached to: Google Redirects Traffic To Avoid Kazakh Demands

Personally I really wish there was a way to ensure routing so that my traffic would never enter or be processed by a particular jurisdiction to avoid legal problems and illegal (but commonplace) monitoring.

I would happily accept the potential for greater latency to keep anything that does not have an end destination in the US from passing through that country. The madcap laws and privacy invasions don't even recognize the token acknowledgement of the constitution that citizens get for us foreigners and I'd feel much better not being hostage to the American governments descent into totalistarianism.

There are worse things in life than death. Have you ever spent an evening with an insurance salesman? -- Woody Allen

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