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Comment: Obligitory Futurama Quotation (Score 1) 205

Leela: Didn't you have ads in the 21st century?"

Fry: Well sure, but not in our dreams. Only on TV and radio, and in magazines, and movies, and at ball games... and on buses and milk cartons and t-shirts, and bananas and written on the sky. But not in dreams, no siree.

Comment: Education Bottlenecks (Score 1) 433

by eieken (#39224787) Attached to: Science and Engineering Workforce Has Stalled In the US
I don't know how much of a problem this is in higher academia, but according to more articles like this

And the fact that prestigious universities such as this only accept a handful of students in computer science in a year, it's not surprising. One of the more surprising things is that UW received 40 million dollars from Paul Allen a while ago, and they used it to build a giant 40 million dollar new computer science building. But the number of students they accepted per year didn't change. Why is this? If you have lots of students who want to go there, why not use extra funds you have to expand the number of applications you can accept?

I dunno, I'm sure the downward trend of education spending all over our country isn't helping universities to expand the number of students they can accept either.

Comment: Re:Absolutely nothing. (Score 1) 415

by eieken (#35977986) Attached to: Supreme Court: AT&T Can Force Arbitration

This is exactly how I felt about a lot of recent "vigilantism", either online or in real life. It's too soul crushing for me to believe that there aren't great leaders out there who do understand human behavior. The idea that you need to treat the cause and not the symptoms seems lost on most people and that makes me sad.

Data Storage

Avoiding a Digital Dark Age 287

Posted by kdawson
from the you-must-remember-this dept.
al0ha writes to recommend a worthwhile piece up at American Scientist on the problems of archiving and data preservation in an age where all data are stored digitally. "It seems unavoidable that most of the data in our future will be digital, so it behooves us to understand how to manage and preserve digital data so we can avoid what some have called the 'digital dark age.' This is the idea — or fear! — that if we cannot learn to explicitly save our digital data, we will lose that data and, with it, the record that future generations might use to remember and understand us. ... Unlike the many venerable institutions that have for centuries refined their techniques for preserving analog data on clay, stone, ceramic or paper, we have no corresponding reservoir of historical wisdom to teach us how to save our digital data. That does not mean there is nothing to learn from the past, only that we must work a little harder to find it."

Comment: DMCA and Buy Something Else (Score 4, Insightful) 965

by eieken (#30972116) Attached to: Apple's Trend Away From Tinkering
What we should be doing is trying to get the DMCA overturned; It is the bane of the tinker. It's ironic because I'm guessing many of the people working on this stuff over at Apple got interested in computers because of the creativity they could express by hacking away at computers.

I should say though, that Apple is not the only company in town creating hardware, I mean honestly a lot of these articles seem to make some leap at some point about how Apple is representative of all hardware manufacturers, when I think that's just not true. They create some stylish products, people buy them, and then they miss out on hacking the hardware. If people really want the option to hack the hardware, don't buy this locked down crap. It's not like Apple is the only game in town, they live off this spotlight everyone creates for them. Just get that less stylish piece of hardware that offers tons of customization and hopefully at some point Apple will have to learn what they should be doing.
The Internet

Using the Internet To Subvert Democracy 202

Posted by kdawson
from the you-thought-diebold-was-bad dept.
david_adams writes "All the recent talk about various polls and elections being pranked or hijacked, serious and silly alike, prompted me to write an article about the technical realities behind online polling, and the political fallout of ever becoming subject to online voting for serious elections. Even if we were to be able to limit voting to legitimate, legal voters, the realities of social networking and the rise of Internet-based movements would dramatically alter the political landscape if online voting were to become commonplace."
The Courts

Kentucky Officials "Changed Votes At Voting Machines" 494

Posted by kdawson
from the smoking-gun dept.
The indispensible jamie found a report out of Kentucky of exactly the kind of shenanigans that voting-transparency advocates have been warning about: a circuit court judge, a county clerk, and election officials are among eight people indicted for gaming elections in 2002, 2004, and 2006. As described in the indictment (PDF), the election officials divvied up money intended to buy votes and then changed votes on the county's (popular, unverifiable) ES&S touch-screen voting systems, affecting the outcome of elections at the local, state, and federal levels.
The Internet

Wolfram Promises Computing That Answers Questions 369

Posted by timothy
from the he's-feeling-lucky-you-feel-lucky-too dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Computer scientist Stephen Wolfram feels that he has put together at least the initial version of a computer that actually answers factual questions, a la Star Trek's ship computers. His version will be found on their Web-based application, Wolfram Alpha. What does this mean? Well, instead of returning links to pages that may (or may not) contain the answer to your questions, Wolfram will respond with the actual answer. Just imagine typing in 'How many bones are in the human body?' and getting the answer." Right now, though the search entry field is in place, Alpha is not yet generally available -- only "to a few select individuals."
Software

ESA Embraces Open Source With New SAR Toolbox 62

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the other-applications dept.
phyr writes "The European Space Agency (ESA) has released its Next ESA SAR Toolbox (NEST) freely as GPL for Linux and Windows. It provides an integrated viewer for reading, calibrating, post-processing and analysis of ESA (ERS 1&2, ENVISAT) and 3rd party (Radarsat2, TerraSarX, Alos Palsar, JERS) SAR level 1 data and higher. ESA has chosen to distribute the software as fully open source to allow the remote sensing community to easily develop new readers/writers and post-processors for SAR data with their NEST Java API. The software provides both a command line interface and GUI for all features including data conversion, graph processing, coregistration, multilooking, filtering, and band arithmetic."

"The medium is the message." -- Marshall McLuhan

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