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Comment: Re:How many trillion would it cost to return (Score 1) 288

by jfmiller (#46887081) Attached to: Decommissioning Nuclear Plants Costing Far More Than Expected

No, for two primary reasons. First, the objections to the NV site other then from the residents of that fine state come from people not wanting to ship nuclear waist past their city. Moving nuclear waist is just as challenging as finding a home for it. Second, The forces that caused a site to be shut down do not want to grow the fuel storage problem they already have. The high cost to close out a nuclear facility is not a secret, it is much cheaper to recondition or even completely rebuild the reactor then to decommission it. Sites are shut down for environmental and political reasons, and those who worked to shut them down don't want to take other people's waist.

Comment: Here for the Comments (Score 3, Interesting) 2219

by jfmiller (#46183449) Attached to: Slashdot Tries Something New; Audience Responds!

There was a time when Slashdot was my home page -- first thing I read when I turned on the internet. That time has long passed. I'm not sure whether I grew up or Slashdot grew down. In the end I think RSS feeds and the proliferation and maturation of other tech sites with original content like Ars Technica filled some of what Slashdot used to do for me. Much of the news here is 12 hours behind the top of my feed.

I still come back often. It's not for the news like it was in the 90's but for the comments. When I want to know what's happening, I hit Google or Hacker News or Ars, but when I want to know what other people like me think about something, I wait for it to hit Slashdot's front page.

To me it feels like DICE thinks the articles are the content. They're not. The content comes below the articles which are only there (IMHO) to spark a discussion. So my feedback: Take a few months and learn about the community that makes Slashdot work. It seems clear that you have not. Then work the redesign to fit the ethos of that community. You can mess up the front page all you want to try to get new audience, but take a second or third look at everything below the article when you try this again in Fall of 2014.

Slashdot: News for Nerds, Stuff that matters

Comment: Check out religious charities (Score 5, Insightful) 570

by jfmiller (#38409516) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Most Efficient, Worthwhile Charity?

I know that God is not popular on Slashdot, but even from a rational humanist perspective these charities are very effective. The administrative costs are usually born by regular tithing so any funds given to the charity can be spent 100% on the core mission of the charity. Especially, in the area of disaster relief, these charities also have strong connections with the local congregations who can quickly put resources to use where it is most needed. This in contrast to groups like the Red Cross usually have to spend time "getting in" to places.

I know there will be some objections voiced that the money will be used to evangelize victims rather then aid them. I cannot speak for other sectors of the religious sphere, but charities associated with Mainline Protestant Christian churches operate in perpetual fear of this accusation and copiously avoid any activity that might be mistaken for proselytizing.

I will end by plugging the charity of my own Episcopal Church: Episcopal Relief and Development.

+ - Paypal out does Grinch, Scrooge in killing Christm->

Submitted by jfmiller
jfmiller (119037) writes "In an ultimate act of corporate greed Paypal freezes donations meant for needy children. "They allowed me to use a donate button, and got a portion of the donations Then made me return the donations, and kept a portion of the fees on the donations. ... I am very sorry to say that at this point, I am not able to make a monetary gift to the families. They have frozen everything that was not already spent or donated, and I have no more funds to make a gift of that size. MERRY CHRISTMAS""
Link to Original Source

Comment: Re:Popularity (Score 1) 685

by jfmiller (#38039260) Attached to: Linux Mint: the New Ubuntu?

I would be one of those Ubuntu hits. But I'm running the last LTS and very ready to upgrade at this point. So much so that I had serious thoughts about using 11.10. Then I saw Unity. Now I'm thinking that Mint 12 might be my upgrade path. It's not how may you have it is all about where they will (or won't) go next.

Comment: Re:Amzon isnt dodging anything (Score 1) 639

by jfmiller (#37348710) Attached to: Amazon Folds In California Sales Tax Deal

http://www.boe.ca.gov/cgi-bin/rates.cgi?LETTER=Y&LIST=COUNTY

Look at the link above for Yolo County California, and in particular the Davis, CA entry. Now lets consider 3 addresses:

617 2nd Street, Davis, CA 95616

1 Shield Avenue, Davis, CA 95616

1204 Landra Avenue, Davis, CA 95616

If you are Amazon.com what sales tax do you charge to send to each of these addresses? Well, the first is the address of one of Amazon.com's competitors, The Avid Reader. It charges 7.75% sending 7.25% to the state and 0.50% to the city of Davis. The Avid reader need only know about the tax laws in the location it has a store. The second location is in the city limits, but is the address for the residents halls at UC Davis. As you will note in the link, the University of California is exempt from local sales tax. The same book bought at the campus bookstore, or shipped to the residents halls should be charged 7.25% tax. The campus book store knows this but does an online retailer? Then there is the final address. It is in the same Zip Code as the city of Davis, and in fact uses the Davis post office, but it also should be charged 7.25% because it is actually just outside the city limits in unincorporated Yolo County.

This is a City listing at one point in time. On October 1 tax rate will change in some places and there are literally 1000s of different sales tax zones. A brick and mortar store need only know about one but an online retailer would have to keep up with all of them, in every state!. As you can see in the example above, you cannot go by city or Zip Code. Each address needs to be tagged with its correct zone.

As anyone can see, to compare a 7-11 to a major on-line retailer is just absurd.

Comment: Re:Will it make a difference? (Score 1) 1042

by jfmiller (#36898854) Attached to: House Websites Jammed After Obama Debt Speech

Military. By at least 50%. In particular defence contracts for anything not currently held worn or used directly by a PFC on the front lines. Boat, plains, bombs, sci-fi toys and brass.

Social Security. I'm 34. You may expect me to work until 69 to collect full benefits. If my excellent retirement planning provides my spouse and I enough to qualify for the AMT there is no need for the government to send me a check. you may also scale back my checks as I approach that level.

TSA. Enough Said

10 year spending freeze on salary costs for all regulatory bodies. Reduce manager to subordinate ratios dramatically.

Comment: Academic Resistance (Score 1) 240

by jfmiller (#36795662) Attached to: How Education Is Changing Thanks To Khan Academy

I've seen a lot of academic resistance to the Kahn Academy. I want to take a brief moment to respond to a large portion of it. I'm sure that those making such studied arguments are familiar with the second chapter of "To Kill A Mocking Bird." The critiques coming from this corner of academia sound just like Miss Caroline denouncing Scout because she has learned to read in an "unapproved" way.

Comment: Re:Good lectures need done once. (Score 1) 240

by jfmiller (#36795212) Attached to: How Education Is Changing Thanks To Khan Academy

IMO this video might be fine as a supplement for a student who has poor problem-solving skills and needs to see some very explicit step-by-step remedial instruction in how to solve a plug-in problem, but it would be disastrous for a student to get her first introduction to gravity from this lecture. The lecture just presents a formula and plugs in numbers. There is almost no intellectual content there, just some calculations being cranked out using a formula that pops up mysteriously out of nowhere.

Have you been to a high school physics class recently? This is exactly how high school student are taught physics. At least here it is done without an additional 20 minutes of "classroom management" getting in th way.

This is the third time I read a link to this article and there are far too many college prof's who think that there is some magical great education going on in k-12. If your objection to the Khan academy is that is is substandard learning, please know that it is far better then what actually happens in a lot of real classrooms.

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