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Comment: NO, it is not enough! (Score 5, Insightful) 96

by duckintheface (#49759757) Attached to: Death In the Browser Tab

"Hearing 'White cop kills yet another unarmed black man' is enough."

Absolutely not. Cops have been killing unarmed black men for a long, long time. It is only now, when video is frequently available and the media has decided to pursue the matter, that we see a national awakening to the problem. It is hard for most Americans to imagine what it's like to be a young black man living under the control of a brutal police force. We all want to believe that the police are there to protect and serve. It is only when we can see the evil with our own eyes that it becomes real and becomes intolerable.

Comment: I have a Motorola W385 flip phone (Score 2) 313

by duckintheface (#49754513) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: What's the Best Dumb Phone?

It's 8 years old. I don't know if you can still buy them. It has had one battery change about 3 years ago and works great. It's a CDMA phone on the Verizon network. I pay $5.94 (including tax and fees) per month for 20 minutes of talk time. I have disabled voice mail and text messaging on the phone. So the phone rings and I talk, but not for long. In an emergency I can make calls... short calls. That's all I need in a mobile phone.

I should mention that I have a google voice number that rings my cell phone and my computer (Google Talk/ Hangouts). With a Plantronics headset, that computer-phone is the best sound quality I've ever had on a phone call. And it's free assuming you already have a wifi connection. Google records voice mail and allows free texting. So I have all the features of a quality smart phone for a very low cost.

Comment: Re:It's about money. (Score 1) 289

by duckintheface (#49720685) Attached to: North Carolina Still Wants To Block Municipal Broadband

Cooper tried to split the difference by being against Amendment 1 banning gay marriage and being against gay marriage at the same time. The Attorney General is charged with upholding the law. The highest law is the US Constitution and the NC Constitution makes that clear. After the Windsor decision, there was no excuse for any state official to defer to state law because it was clear that the US Constitution (equal protection and due process clauses) confer equal rights on everyone. And state law did not prevent the Attorneys General from Colorado and other similarly situated states from moving ahead on gay marriage.

Comment: It's about money. (Score 5, Interesting) 289

by duckintheface (#49719811) Attached to: North Carolina Still Wants To Block Municipal Broadband

I'm a Democrat living in North Carolina. Roy Cooper is the Democratic Attorney General who plans to run for Governor in two years. He is interested in campaign contributions from the telecom industry. That's why he opposes municipal broadband even when private companies have no intention of offering it to an area. He thinks regular voters are not paying attention so there is only upside for him in this. This is the same Att. Gen. Cooper who opposed gay marriage in NC until the courts forced it to happen. He is not impressing me. Hope he has some competition in the 2017 Democratic Primary for Governor.

Comment: The important statistic is.... (Score 2) 211

by duckintheface (#49689413) Attached to: FCC May Stop 911 Access For NSI Phones

what percentage of valid mobile 911 calls are made from NIS phones? Strangely, that number does not appear in the federal report. Saying that 30% of NIS calls are valid focuses on the problem. But if 1% (or more) of valid mobile 911 calls come from NIS phones, that is a valuable service that definitely should not be terminated without a plan for cost-free replacement.

Also, the blather about how inexpensive mobile phones are is seriously flawed. I recently dropped my full featured Verizon plan and changed instead to a minimal pre-paid plan. What I discovered is that Verizon plays lots of dirty tricks to cheat poor people of their money. For example, they tell you that you must pay monthly, but what they mean is every 30 days. If you set up auto-pay via credit card based on their web site, you will be ok until there is a month with 31 days. Then they cancel your service and seize the balance in your account, which could be hundreds of dollars. Even if you owe only $5, they take all the money in your account.

Comment: Don't break user space! (Score 5, Interesting) 469

by duckintheface (#49633021) Attached to: Why Was Linux the Kernel That Succeeded?

If you read the Linux Kernel Mailing List for a while, you will see why Linux was successful. Over and over again, Linus Torvalds over-rides the antics of his minions and explains to them (again) that the changes they made must be backed out because they break something that users actually need. Linux is elegant and beautiful, but not just because it's a work of art. Linux is the most functional piece of code in existence. It is the beauty of function.

Comment: Motivation and punishment (Score 5, Insightful) 94

by duckintheface (#49542061) Attached to: Gen. Petraeus To Be Sentenced To Two Years Probation and Fine

Snowden disclosed illegal activity on the part of his employer and the US government. He should be protected by the whistle-blower law. Petraeus gave classified material to his biographer (and lover). In addition to displaying his machismo to his female, he was also trying to provide background info for the book about him. Petraeus was motivated by self-serving benefit. Snowden was doing a service to his country. In a just world, Petraeus should be the one hiding in Russia to avoid life imprisonment or a death sentence.

Comment: Budget running dry? (Score 3, Insightful) 99

We use terms like "budget running dry" or "the school districts simply can't afford them" to mask the fact that we have prioritized tax cuts over education. The US is a rich country but the money is concentrated in fewer and fewer hands by the process of rolling back progressive taxes (income and property). This is a conscious choice to ignore educational needs in the coming generations.

The availability of adequate budgets is a separate issue from the advisability of spending money on 3D printers. Spend the money on basic education first and if you still want to experiment with high tech, then fine.

Comment: Is negotiation a skill required for the job? (Score 4, Insightful) 892

If the ability to negotiate aggressively is not a talent required for the job, there is no reason why someone who negotiates well should get a higher salary. The same skills that make for aggressive negotiation (affinity for conflict situations for example) may make a prospective employee perform less well in team situations.

An interview should give the employer a chance to describe the job and the prospective employee a chance to describe their relevant talents. Each side should then know the market value of the applicants skills with respect to the job. If the company's offer does not match the applicants pay requirement, them should part ways. What does a negotiation accomplish?

Comment: It's that damn cancer! (Score 5, Insightful) 303

Steve Ballmer warned us that Linux was a cancer.

Now the mothership itself in infected. Open source??? OMG. But really, if real programmers ever got their hands on Windows under a GPL, they would just strip out anything of value and add it to Linux. Really.

Comment: It's all about competition (Score 4, Insightful) 208

by duckintheface (#49394507) Attached to: Comcast Planning 2Gbps Service, Starting With Atlanta

Of course Comcast could make a profit selling you 50Mbps for $50, if you lived in a high population density area. But they won't because they can maximize profits by charging you more. The problem is a lack of competition. There is a lack of competition because Comcast controls the physical cables which take advantage of public right of way (much of which was granted for a different purpose altogether.... power lines). That's why cable companies should be treated as the utilities they are. They should be forced to share right-of-way (even better it they have to share the actual cables) with competitors. Then you would see real competition based on efficiency, quality of service, and PRICE.

It's amazing that the big American corporations like to talk about the virtues of free enterprise and capitalism.... but they don't seem so fond of the most important ingredient in free enterprise, which is competition.

Comment: The future is now. (Score 4, Insightful) 155

by duckintheface (#49377871) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Who's Going To Win the Malware Arms Race?

You can already see the shape of that future in Google's Chrome OS. This is a very much "locked down" combination of operating system, browser, cloud applications, and storage. Security updates are automatic and (eventually) involuntary. You are limited to running the software that Google allows you to run, most of which is executed on Google servers. No website Java programs are allowed at all.

Such an architecture provides for maximum security and has the advantage of minimum hardware requirements for ram memory and on-machine storage. It allows for encryption of all communications between your computer and the outside world with mimimum involvement or decison making by the user. And from Google's point of view it represents the perfect vehicle for advertizing in a controlled enviornment. In a sense, your computer has already been hacked (by Google) when you buy it. And they will make sure it stays hacked to their preferences.

The next step will be integration of the computer operating system with the phone operating environment. The two will merge with more software coming from "app stores" and not from the wild. At the same time, the services on the computer will become more integrated with each other so that social media, calendar, voice calls, texting, and social media work togerther and don't work at all with outside software. It becomes a secure walled garden with enough internal features and flexibility to be tolerable to the mass users who are not or can not be responsible for their own security.

Comment: The official Russian position: (Score 4, Insightful) 152

by duckintheface (#49362805) Attached to: Russia Wants To Work With NASA On a New Space Station

"I propose that the United States delivers its astronauts to the ISS with the help of a trampoline." Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin
That's why the US can't trust the Russians to be part of a future joint space project. As soon as they have some leverage, they will use it.

The last person that quit or was fired will be held responsible for everything that goes wrong -- until the next person quits or is fired.