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Comment: Re:Er...lobbiest fails to do job, so panic? (Score 1) 127

by Optic7 (#48374855) Attached to: Gridlock In Action: Retailers Demand New Regulations To Protect Consumers

I'm not positive about the technical aspects of the chip, but just thinking about it, I don't believe that chip cards protect you from certain fraudulent transactions, like online purchases. I'm giving the website my card number, expiration date, card verification number, name, and billing address.

Someone who gains access to all that information stored by the retailer would certainly have all they need to initiate another online transaction elsewhere. The only way the bank has of preventing that would be to issue a new card number.

Comment: They're bluffing (Score 1) 308

by Optic7 (#48373715) Attached to: AT&T To "Pause" Gigabit Internet Rollout Until Net Neutrality Is Settled

If they want to keep making money and not get trounced by the competition, they will eventually stop their bluff/tantrum and come back to play ball. Remember that their only current, likely avenues for growth are broadband and mobile, and mobile is probably very slow, if not at a stand-still. They can only pull this off if they no longer want to grow at a significant rate.

You can say that their competitors could do the same thing if they become Title II, but someone will choose to take the growth even under the regulation while the competition stands still.

Comment: Re:Er...lobbiest fails to do job, so panic? (Score 1) 127

by Optic7 (#48361763) Attached to: Gridlock In Action: Retailers Demand New Regulations To Protect Consumers

Your guess for the cost to produce a regular credit/debit card is exactly right, but chip cards apparently cost a lot more. Bank of America sent me a new "chip-and-signature" card (yuck, why not chip-and-pin, so frustrating) after the Home Depot breach. According to this article:

"The cost to produce and distribute a card to a customer is under $2. The cost to make and distribute a chip card to a customer is between $15 and $20," says Coleman.

The last link on TFS says that just community banks and credit unions are already on the hook for $160 million. That's not even counting the banking giants. We're talking LOTS of money lost and wasted by a lot of people because of Target, Home Depot, et al being lax with their security.

Comment: Re:This is the latest in a long unfortunate evolut (Score 1) 331

by Optic7 (#48284133) Attached to: Colleges Face New 'Gainful Employment' Regulations For Student Loans

Do note that this new requirement will only affect non-degree programs at public and non-profit schools, as well as all programs at for-profit schools. I don't think that's a bad idea. It prevents "Joe Bob's school of Hi-Tek" from offering a "certificate" that is completely worthless for $50k, while it doesn't touch any legitimate liberal arts degrees.

Comment: Re:how many small businesses has Obama killed? (Score 1) 739

by Optic7 (#48281177) Attached to: Statisticians Study Who Was Helped Most By Obamacare

They opposed it because they oppose everything that Obama does.
Whatever he does, they support the opposite. No one cared about Common Core originally, and it was implemented in 43 states. But as soon as Obama said it was a good idea, everyone on the started freaking out and saying it was the worst EVAH.
When he suggested bombing Syria they said no way.
When he was reluctant to bomb Russia/Ukraine they said we needed to.
If he said cyanide was toxic they would stand on the Capitol Steps and chug it just to spite him.
If he cured cancer they'd complain he was putting doctors out of work.

Yes, and here's a video reference of exactly this happening:

Comment: Re:I guess you missed Kent State? (Score 1) 152

by Optic7 (#48232777) Attached to: Incapacitating Chemical Agents: Coming Soon To Local Law Enforcement?

Thanks for your insightful post. It makes sense and I agree, except that I understand from first hand accounts that sometimes protests and demonstrations attract people that are there expressly to get into fights with the police, so it's not always only AFTER the melee starts that they act. Sometimes these elements actively incite the conflicts. However, that doesn't take away from your point that the police showing up in riot gear is starting with an escalation.

NPR had an article a few weeks back about exactly the kind of alternative style of policing that you describe. It's a worthy read (or listen) if you or others reading this are interested:

Comment: Re:Maybe it's learning style? (Score 1) 786

by Optic7 (#48205963) Attached to: NPR: '80s Ads Are Responsible For the Lack of Women Coders

Very insightful post, and I think it approaches at least some of the mechanisms of how this shift happened. My local NPR station finally played this story this morning, so I came back here to comment. It actually included an anecdote of a girl who started in an intro CS class in the 80s who felt (and this was reinforced by the professor) she was way behind her peers and presumably out of place because they had been programming on their PCs (specific example given was a TRS-80) for a long time already, and she had not.

So yes, this disparity in early PC ownership definitely seems to have been a factor. However, then the question becomes why did boys get PCs and not girls? The theory that the article presents is that this was influenced by the advertising of the time. Their example talked about computer ads with all guys programming and using the computer, while the one woman appears in a bikini jumping into a pool. I can see where this may have had some significant influence as well, but it probably doesn't explain everything.

The thing is we only have small tidbits of data, and it would take some serious studies to confirm why in fact women are less prone to obsessing over computers. I think a lot of the arguments on both sides, including the story (it was the ads!) and the majority of the slashdot comments (women naturally don't like computers like men do) have oversimplified everything.

It's possible that boys are naturally more attracted to computers, like I believe has been confirmed that they are more attracted to cars (supposedly even male chimps are as well). However, we won't know for sure without the studies.

Comment: Presumed non-compete agreement (Score 1) 175

by Optic7 (#48199261) Attached to: 32 Cities Want To Challenge Big Telecom, Build Their Own Gigabit Networks

Just for reference, here's an interesting bit of news from a few years ago that never seemed to get much notice, but which I think may have something to do with FIOS seemingly grinding to a halt:

Basically, it seems to basically boil down to a secret non-compete agreement between the established wireless and wired internet providers to not invade each others markets with new competition.

Comment: Re:That's great and all but... (Score 1) 399

by Optic7 (#48190537) Attached to: NASA's HI-SEAS Project Results Suggests a Women-Only Mars Crew

Yours may be the first post on Slashdot that I've seen arguing for political correctness over discussion of engineering realities getting an early +5 rating. Very interesting to see the replies to your post so far. If it had been the other way around (men more suitable than women for mars mission) and someone had complained about sexism, it would have been downmodded to oblivion and received a flood of "screw political correctness, accept the facts" replies.

As to the information related by the summary, if we extrapolate a little bit and think about colonization ideas while having to deal with similar engineering constraints, women would possibly win again. They would be able to taken frozen sperm with them to impregnate with after arrival, as opposed to having to transport couples.

Comment: Re:Was this ever anything but a slogan for sheep ? (Score 1) 376

by Optic7 (#48155207) Attached to: Pentagon Reportedly Hushed Up Chemical Weapons Finds In Iraq

Yeah, about that. Sorry, but there was no good or even half-bad reason for a ground invasion of Iraq; only fully bad to terrible reasons, involving intelligence errors and exaggerations (about chemical weapons) and outright lies (about nuclear weapons). Many many people paid the price, and are still paying the price (we all are, actually). So yes, "Bush lied people died" is still completely applicable, and his administration is still completely deserving of the hate and vitriol that it receives and will continue to receive, probably forever.

That does not compute.