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Comment: Profit Margins on the Apple Watch Edition (Score 0) 450

by lionchild (#49229093) Attached to: Reactions to the New MacBook and Apple Watch

If estimates on costs for the materials alone on the Apple Watch Edition are at least near the mark, the 18k gold used costs over $8,000. Plus you add the cost for electronics and the sapphire on top of that, this should mean that a $10,000 Apple Watch Edition has the lowest profit margin of the entire line, well under 20%, while the average profit margin on many Apple products are northwards of 30% - 40%.

Comment: Seriously? (Score 1) 131

by lionchild (#49079261) Attached to: US May Sell Armed Drones

So, I'm not sure why this is even being considered. Why not sell man-pack, shoulder-mount know, without the actual ammunition while we're at it? If the military is all up in arms over a drone that goes down and isn't confirmed destroyed, lest someone get a hold of the parts and reverse-engineer it, why would you agree to sell one? Oh, sure, they'll agree to "proper use" of it, but that wouldn't keep them from tearing it apart and making their own copies, will it? I mean, that's just a piece of paper that's been signed, right? Not actually something that will keep the buyer from changing their mind.


Comment: Public vs Home Schooling (Score 1) 700

by lionchild (#48976919) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Pros and Cons of Homeschooling?

If you're a US taxpayer, then those public schools are there in some small part because of you. They are a small army of individuals who were trained just for teaching and educating children. Go investigate and see if you have a good local school and a good school district. If it's "ok" but could be better, then figure out how to get involved. Get elected to the local school board. (It'll be a real eye-opener, and a big commitment, since usually it's an unpaid, elected position.) Make your local public schools better for not just your children but everyone's children.

And if you don't want to go quite that far, but do discover that the local public schools are above state average, then be an involved parent. Studies do show that students whose parents are actively engaged with them and their school are higher achievers. We're not talking about "helicopter parents" but ones who give guidance, set a high bar for their child, help them expect good things from themselves and help them cope and correct course when things don't go as well as they wanted.

As parents, you're always teaching your children, even if you don't mean to be. Your actions are some of the most powerful teaching tools you have, for good or for bad. While your child is young, go look at your local schools, talk to the local home schooling groups, check them out, grade them yourself, check their backgrounds, look at their track records. Good groups, home or public, should be quick to help you find their positive achievements. You need to mine your own data, in your local area. People here, we may have good intentions, but what we think is important in education, may be completely different from what you have where you live.

Good public schools are working to hit their stride, raise levels of achievement, and change the life-long trajectory of as many students as they can. Do they have a drop out rate below, or significantly below the state average? That's typically a tell-tale sign. Do they have their own alternative high-school? If they do, then that typically means they take drop-outs very seriously, and aren't willing to let them go without a fight. How much of their Special Education do they do in-house? If they're working to keep more kids with high needs inside their system instead of just taking the easy way and farming them out to special schools, making that a last resort, then they truly take educating every child, every day...seriously. It's not just their career, it's their passion. You want people of passion educating our children. They care about the outcome of every child who walks in the door, personally. It's their mission to get them to succeed.

If you don't find that at your local public school...then that's the sort of person you need to be when homeschooling. It needs not not just be your career to school your child, it needs to be something you jump out of bed, excited to start the day, type of passion. If you don't have that at the public school, and you don't have it at home, it's time to find a private school that will meet that need.

Public education has been a family business for my entire life. I'm the black sheep, I went into IT. My siblings are teachers, and my father is a retired educator and school administrator. I've watched our local schools very closely for well over a decade, after my father retired. Good schools attract great teachers...rock star teachers, because they all share a passion for changing the life trajectory of a student. Whatever school you decide to put your child in, make sure it has that sort of staff in it.

There are very good public schools, and poor ones. There are great homeschoolers, and ones that are overwhelmed. You're going to have to look at your local options, and make the best decision you can. And remember: If things don't go according to plan, change the plan. Set a good example and help your child make good decisions.

Comment: FAA Regulation Enforcement (Score 1) 283

by lionchild (#48969805) Attached to: FAA Could Extend Property Rights On the Moon Through Regulation

I'm not sure how the FAA will regulate anyone whose on the moon, with say, that Helium 3 mining facility. It seems it would be terribly costly to send inspectors, and if they're not a US-based company, how will they ever have any hope of having jurisdiction with regulations? It seems like a crazy idea to me.

Comment: Precedent Law (Score 1) 323

I'm guessing that if currently Federal court precedent that says you cannot compel someone to give up their lock code for their cell phone or other account, is the same law that will allow a student to keep from giving up their social media or other pass codes.

Regardless of your standing, you can always invoke the 5th Amendment in the US, protecting themselves against self-incrimination.

Comment: Learning Curve.. (Score 1) 105

This is an interesting event. Failure of the flash memory can only really be overcome by either replacing it or having a secondary flash that's on standby, syncing up periodically so that it has much less wear on it, so you can extend the mission by switching over to the backup/secondary flash memory. However, this would add precious ounces to the payload, thereby requiring more fuel, etc.

Comment: Capital and Investment (Score 2) 454

by lionchild (#48457183) Attached to: Researchers Say the Tech Worker Shortage Doesn't Really Exist

I tend to agree, the issue in the Tech Industry isn't as much the shortage of workers, as it's much more a shortage of the Industry to pay a wage for the worker they want. In lieu of that, the Industry isn't as willing to invest in it's Human Capital, expanding training and skill sets. They're afraid if they train you, you'll go find a better job. Well, if you don't train them, what if they stagnate and don't go find a better job?

If you aren't challenging your Tech Workers, then they want to move on, to avoid being bored, to find a new challenge. But if you train them, invest in them, they become invested in their company, and if they're challenged, they're just too busy and too happy to think about if the grass is greener on the other side of the street.

There's a reason that H1B workers strive to be great English speakers. English is the language of business, and it's still where people want to move towards to be successful. If we cultivate a culture of Tech Workers to move a long...then companies become a Journey, not a Destination. Would you rather work for a company who is the proverbial Wilderness, or the Promised Land?

Invest in Human Capital. That's how a Company is built that becomes a Destination, and not just a Journey to something better.

Comment: Evolving world... (Score 4, Insightful) 481

by lionchild (#48448391) Attached to: Cops 101: NYC High School Teaches How To Behave During Stop-and-Frisk

There are a good deal of "common sense" things that haven't seemed to soak into younger generations. Things that someone born in the 70's, 80's and 90's would likely have been exposed to and had been "taught" to some degree or another. The Police force has changed. The same cop may not patrol the same neighborhood 4 or 5 days a week. When they did, they got to know the neighborhood. They knew it's people, who "belonged" there and who didn't. Many lived not-too-far away and lived in a similar neighborhood. The Police and the people understood one another, had common ground. It seems that balance has changed.

If it's not going to go back to something like that, then our youth probably do need to be "taught" how to interact with these authority figures who aren't from their neighborhood, don't know them from the drug-dealer down the street. Until we sort out how to make the Police more local to any place it protects, make them feel like neighbors, then we're not doing the right thing unless we teach the youth how to properly interact with Police, without disrespect for either party. Remember: In the same way a Fireman runs into a burning building; this Officer is going to be running towards the gunfire if there's trouble, not away from it like the average youth on the street.

Bottom Line: If our Police aren't going to also be our neighbors, in our neighborhoods, then we need to re-learn out how interact with them.

Comment: Re:We already have laws to cover this (Score 1) 301

by lionchild (#48364117) Attached to: Police Body Cam Privacy Exploitation

Many states have a "Sunshine Law" which requires all public documents to be available for public review upon request. 99% of what police officers do is covered by this. Exceptions are often made for many items related to personnel records, things with specific safety implications (such as public school safety plans), records dealing with minors, and so forth. However, if something doesn't fall under a specific statue covered in the "Sunshine Law" then it's considered a public document if it was obtained through public funding.

So, if the data on police body cams was made possible by public funds, stored on servers purchased with public funds, then they are more than likely going to be subject to "Sunshine Law" information requests. This is the same law that keeps City Councils from hold closed meetings and passing city ordinance outside of the view of the public, or our state lawmakers to do the same. The laws are typically boiler-plate and very broad, the exceptions very narrow.

All of that being said, I can imagine that a new addendum is made for body cams, though not likely for dash-cams. Such as when police enter a private residence, video of open, ongoing investigations, videos dealing with minors, etc..

It's a brave new world. We need to temper our need for transparency, with the fact that our police officers are human; they will make mistakes, just like every citizen will make mistakes. It's the unintentional mistakes that we need to be able to roll back the clock on, to a time before when our whole life was televised on social media...when people actually forgot a stupid, unintentional mistake.

Comment: US Reality (Score 1) 336

by lionchild (#48070957) Attached to: Why the FCC Will Probably Ignore the Public On Network Neutrality

Let's take a realistic approach to what will happen: Who can provide the FCC the most economic encouragement to go their way? That's the way they will good.

"It'll be good for the economy," they'll say. The fact they have a new summer retreat on Martha's Vineyard will have nothing to do with it. "Don't worry, we won't let the gap between 'normal' speed and 'high-speed' be very big," they'll tell us. While many people are still waiting to get the minimum of 4 Mbps that qualifies as 'broadband.' by their rule.

It's just the way it will likely be, so we should get used to it, or we should choose to elect people who still listen to the will of the People, who are Statesmen and not Politicians, and have a backbone to do what's right, regardless of whether that's blue, or red.

Comment: Windows Option? (Score 1) 334

I know you're very keen on the idea of moving away from Windows. However, it seems like your family may at least be used to that version or installation of it. As a result, you may be causing more trouble than you want by giving them a new interface that's more foreign than what they have now.

Therefore, I might suggest a $45 option to "harden" a Windows installation: Faronics: Deep Freeze. (

This program will let you get their existing PC setup in that perfect state you want it in, then 'freeze' it in place. If they get a virus, spyware, malware, etc.. The solution is simple: Reboot. Upon rebooting, the PC -always- reverts to the state you froze it in. Their document storage space they can read/write and things stay there, but if a program is installed, *poof* it's gone.

While it might not be a perfect solution for you, you'll be able to make a yearly trip to do updates, or use 'normal' PC remote control methods to run updates and re-Freeze the system.

At any rate, something to consider.

Good luck, either way!

Comment: Still waiting for the base of 4/1. (Score 1) 533

by lionchild (#47858801) Attached to: AT&T Says 10Mbps Is Too Fast For "Broadband," 4Mbps Is Enough

So, I live in the suburb of Kansas City, the eastern side, where perhaps we'll dream about getting Google Fiber in 2016..201, 2018..who knows. Our density isn't as great as the other places they're working. However, I do have Fiber to the Node with AT&T. But, their 'entry level' is still only 3Mbps/768Kbps, not actually 4Mbps/1Mbps.

I can get faster speeds, I know the copper to my home will support 64Mbps at my distance. However, those tiers are above the basic service. So, I'm still waiting for the "basic broadband" to catch up to this mythic 4/1 we're supposed to get. So, I'm guessing if they push to a 10Mbps minimum, I might get something like 6/2 as the base. So, I'm going to throw in with increasing the base.

On the Info-Highway, like when in air-to-air combat: Speed is Life.

Comment: AT&T DSL/Uverse Data Limits (Score 1) 355

by lionchild (#47769771) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: What To Do About Repeated Internet Overbilling?

The thing to remember about AT&T's DSL and Uverse data limits are that data coming down AND data going up count against that cap.

So when you download that 4GB movie file, it counts, but when you use Dropbox or Carbonite, those uploaded files/data count against your cap too.

Comment: Administration after the Death of the Password. (Score 1) 383

by lionchild (#47647679) Attached to: DARPA Wants To Kill the Password

So, if we kill the password, the foundation on which we have security built now, what does administration look like after that? If we use biometrics, do we turn that over to security, so they can verify your identity? If your fingerprint/retina pattern isn't working, does that mean it's almost always faulty hardware?

It's got to be well thought out to replace something that's just about as intrinsic as the on/off button.

"Life sucks, but it's better than the alternative." -- Peter da Silva