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Comment: Been there, done that (Score 1) 430

by frisket (#46745197) Attached to: Is Germany Raising a Generation of Illiterates?
This was all tried in the UK in the late 50s and early 60s and rapidly gotten rid of. Sadly, I am not surprised that the educationalists seem not to know their asses from their elbows and have resurrected a completely discredited theory yet again. All it does is cripple another generation of kids.

Comment: Re:As a Linux Mint proponent, I say no. (Score 1) 451

by frisket (#46719843) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: How To Start With Linux In the Workplace?

However I continually run into limitations from it just not being windows.

This is the biggest problem. Not just the Window-only applications (that's an organisational problem) but the UI behaviour.

To be a candidate for Windows replacement, Linux interfaces need to do things the way Windows people expect them, like opening the right application when you click on an email attachment or a web link. I've seen Chrome open Mutt instead of Thunderbird in order to follow a mailto: link, and Thunderbird open Libre Office in order to handle a .eml attachment, instead of opening it itself. I won't even get into what happens when you click on a https link in a PDF when using Okular...

If you're prepared to fix all this kind of stuff and preconfigure every application to work sensibly, you might just make it.

Comment: Re:Danger Danger Danger (Score 1) 451

by frisket (#46719755) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: How To Start With Linux In the Workplace?

You are getting yourself in a world of pain!

XP users will bitch and moan enough already if they have to use Windows 7 or 8. Giving them Linux would be much worse.

Not necessarily. Run up a couple of demo machines, half with Win8 and half with Linux. Let the users try them out, and go with whichever one they feel most comfortable with.

A dime gets a dollar that's Win8. It's management's problem if the employees' productivity falters because they are using an incompetently-designed UI that management imposed on them; it's IT's job to recommend the best course of action for the business — if management choose to pick a loser, don't blame IT (unless they also recommended the loser, which they sometimes do :-)

Communications

New French Law Prohibits After-Hours Work Emails 477

Posted by timothy
from the annual-non-performance-review dept.
Hugh Pickens DOT Com (2995471) writes "Lucy Mangan reports at The Guardian that a new labor agreement in France means that employees must ignore their bosses' work emails once they are out of the office and relaxing at home – even on their smartphones. Under the deal, which affects a million employees in the technology and consultancy sectors (including the French arms of Google, Facebook, and Deloitte), employees will also have to resist the temptation to look at work-related material on their computers or smartphones – or any other kind of malevolent intrusion into the time they have been nationally mandated to spend on whatever the French call la dolce vita. "We must also measure digital working time," says Michel De La Force, chairman of the General Confederation of Managers. "We can admit extra work in exceptional circumstances but we must always come back to what is normal, which is to unplug, to stop being permanently at work." However critics say it will impose further red tape on French businesses, which already face some of the world's tightest labor laws." (Continues)
Crime

Hewlett-Packard Admits To International Bribery and Money Laundering Schemes 139

Posted by samzenpus
from the was-that-wrong? dept.
First time accepted submitter CP (1315157) writes "Hewlett-Packard has admitted to [bribery and money laundering] in order to profiteer off of lucrative government contracts in Russia, Poland, and Mexico, according to court documents. HP's guilty plea carries with it a $108 million penalty — a combination of SEC penalties, as well as criminal fines and forfeitures paid out to the Department of Justice. Thus far no criminal charges have been brought against American HP executives. The multi-agency investigation, which was conducted by multi-national law enforcement partners, the FBI, IRS, and SEC, has revealed kleptocracies in the three foreign governments and corruption and dishonesty among HP corporate fat cats."
United States

Cuba: US Using New Weapon Against Us -- Spam 137

Posted by samzenpus
from the filling-the-pipes dept.
mpicpp (3454017) writes in with news about accusations from Cuban officials about a spamming campaign against the country by the U.S.. "Cuban officials have accused the U.S. government of bizarre plots over the years, such as trying to kill Fidel Castro with exploding cigars. On Wednesday, they said Washington is using a new weapon against the island: spam. 'It's overloading the networks, which creates bad service and affects our customers,' said Daniel Ramos Fernandez, chief of security operations at the Cuban government-run telecommunications company ETECSA. At a news conference Wednesday, Cuban officials said text messaging platforms run by the U.S. government threatened to overwhelm Cuba's creaky communications system and violated international conventions against junk messages. The spam, officials claim, comes in the form of a barrage of unwanted text messages, some political in nature. Ramos said that during a 2009 concert in Havana performed by the Colombian pop-star Juanes, a U.S. government program blanketed Cuban cell phone networks with around 300,000 text messages over about five hours."
The Almighty Buck

SF Evictions Surging From Crackdown On Airbnb Rentals 319

Posted by samzenpus
from the and-stay-out dept.
JoeyRox (2711699) writes "The city of San Francisco is aggressively enforcing its ban on short-term rentals. SF resident Jeffrey Katz recently came home to an eviction notice posted on his door that read 'You are illegally using the premises as a tourist or transient unit.' According to Edward Singer, an attorney with Zacks & Freedman who filed the notice against Katz, 'Using an apartment for short-term rentals is a crime in San Francisco.' Apparently Airbnb isn't being very helpful to residents facing eviction. 'Unfortunately, we can't provide individual legal assistance or review lease agreements for our 500,000 hosts, but we do try to help inform people about these issues,' according to David Hantman, Airbnb head of global public policy. SF and Airbnb are working on a framework which might make Airbnb rentals legal, an effort helped by Airbnb's decision last week to start collecting the city's 14% hotel tax by summer."
Earth

How a 'Seismic Cloak' Could Slow Down an Earthquake 101

Posted by Soulskill
from the shake-rattle-and-roll dept.
Daniel_Stuckey writes "The United States is currently gripped in a bout of earthquake mania, following a series of significant tremors in the West. And any time Yellowstone, LA, or San Francisco shakes, people start to wonder if it's a sign of The Big One to come. Yet even after decades of research, earthquake prediction remains notoriously hard, and not every building in quake-prone areas has an earthquake-resistant design. What if, instead of quaking in our boots, we could stop quakes in their tracks? Theoretically, it's not a crazy idea. Earthquakes propagate in waves, and if noise-canceling headphones have taught us anything, it's that waves can be absorbed, reflected, or canceled out. Today, a paper published in Physical Review Letters suggests how that might be done. It's the result of French research into the use of metamaterials—broadly, materials with properties not found in nature—to modify seismic waves, like a seismic cloaking device."

+ - Digital Humanities articles to be published visually->

Submitted by frisket
frisket (149522) writes "Digital Humanities Quarterly is making its articles available as a "set of visualizations which will be published as a surrogate for the article", according to editor Julia Flanders of Northeastern University. "[This] helps address a growing problem of inequity between scholars who have time to read and those whose jobs are more technical or managerial and don’t allow time to keep up with the growing literature in DH. By removing the full text of the article from view and providing a surrogate that can be easily scanned in a few minutes, we hope to rectify this imbalance, putting everyone on an equal footing. A second, related problem has to do with the radical insufficiency of reading cycles compared with the demand for reading and citation to drive journal impact factor.""
Link to Original Source
Government

Why US Gov't Retirement Involves a Hole in the Ground Near Pittsburgh 142

Posted by timothy
from the it's-just-that-simple dept.
Increasing automation worries some people as a danger to the livelihood of those who currently earn their livings at jobs that AI and robots (or just smarter software and more sophisticated technology generally) might be well-suited to, as the costs of the technology options drop. The Washington Post, though, features an eye-opening look at one workplace where automation certainly does not rule. It's "one of the weirdest workplaces in the U.S. government" — a subterranean office space in what was once a limestone mine, where 600 Office of Personnel Management employees process the retirement papers of other government employees. The Post article describes how this mostly-manual process works (and why it hasn't been changed much to take advantage of advancing technology), including with a video that might remind you of Terry Gilliam's Brazil. As the writer puts it, "[T]hat system has a spectacular flaw. It still must be done entirely by hand, and almost entirely on paper. The employees here pass thousands of case files from cavern to cavern and then key in retirees’ personal data, one line at a time. They work underground not for secrecy but for space. The old mine’s tunnels have room for more than 28,000 file cabinets of paper records."
Open Source

Neovim: Rebuilding Vim For the 21st Century 248

Posted by timothy
from the vigor-next-to-be-upgraded dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Neovim is a major overhaul of the vim editor to provide better scripting, cleaner support for plugins and integration with modern graphical interfaces. Modernising the large and complex codebase of Vim is a formidable task, but the developer has a clear plan, and has already begun work. There's a Bountysource fundraiser running to support the effort. If Vim is your editor of choice, check it out." (The crowd-funding effort has only one more day to go, but has well exceeded already the initial goal of $10,000.)

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