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Comment Re:I doubt it will stop depopulation (Score 1) 154

I know I'm generalizing, but let's be real - an anti-education, anti-tech, extremely reactionary way of looking at things dominates rural America, specially in the south. They would never do the same things their Japanese counterparts do cuz the interweebz would bring the gay or something.

And that generalization would be wrong. Farmers have a higher high school graduation rate than the rest of the population and for larger operators, are on parity with the rest of the population for college degrees. Why? Because modern farming uses lots of tech and has done so for quite a while. In the 1980s, farmers were the some of the first ones to get personal computers and later dial up Internet access. Why? To manage their businesses and to check on futures markets. The Ag teacher/FFA advisor in those schools usually had a PC before the math department did. Parents in those areas are not anti-education as their kids will need a good education if they want to take over the family business or do something other than be a clerk at the local gas station or grocery store (well, if the parents are not on public assistance...they don't seem to care if their kids get a good education or not since they can just live off the govt teat like they and their grandparents have done since the 60s. In this case, it is more of a class problem, not a rural vs urban problem and is why MS is so bad on many rankings). If you would have said "conservative way of looking at things", you would have been correct.

The fact that people have a higher HS graduation rate means squat if done from the POV that crush critical thinking. Think how many people graduate from HS thinking evolution is the work of the devil. For Christ' fucking sake, just look at Ben Carson, a renown neuro-surgeon claiming that the pyramids were built for storing grain!

Sorry, graduation rates =/= positive stance on education or advancement. Go travel the world, talk to people, see how they talk, see how they think. It will open your goddamned eyes on how backwards we have it in some areas of the US.

Comment Identifiable Data? (Score 1) 187

DNA Data From California Newborn Blood Samples Stored, Sold To 3rd Parties

Is the data identifiable? Meaning, can a donor be identified with a sample? That is the crux of the matter (and one the zealots in the interweebz seem keen to ignore.)

Is the data identifiable, then?

Yes: problem.

No: no problem.

Comment Unhashable? (Score 1) 242

. Fingerprints cannot be hashed.

Bollocks. Utter bollocks. I admit I didn't read TFA, but this is just bollocks. If a biometric system can identify what seems to be a fingertip (the presentation of which changes every time due to sweat, scars, position of the finger, whatever), it means that system originally stored a model that can match all possible (and reasonable) presentations of said fingerprint. If there is a standard model for representing a fingertip, then you hash that. That is your hash. It might be specific to the system using the "model", and thus incompatible with another system using different models. But this wouldn't be different from a system requiring SHA-512 hashes vs another one that requires MD5.

Comment Re:Same old, same old. (Score 1) 488

" "Existing climate models have shown that a global temperature increase to the threshold of human survivability would be reached in some regions of the globe at a point in the distant future..."

This is somehow different than the many areas on the planet where humans should not be trying to live today?

Exactly. I'm almost sure that, when that humid-heating event happens in that region of the world, people there will simply adapt to different work schedules (even like sending kids to school at night, or way early in the morning, for example.) The famous siesta has been a historical adaptation to avoid working during the hottest ours of the day.

Where I'm from, farmers and cattle ranchers would go to work at 4AM just to be out before noon on summers. In general, you do not want to be on the fields between 2 and 4, specially on summers. People adapt. If people could conquer the Arctic or the Kalahari or the Mojave, people will adapt to this.

Comment Re:typical marketing horseshit (Score 1) 154

"digital disruption" is niche and completely unpredictable

What is digital disruption? I've never heard of that.

The rise of the web, and the near death of publishing. Amazon and the death of the mom-and-pop bookstore. Netflix and the death of Blockbuster Videos. Netflix/Amazon VOD/Hulu and what not, which is bringing Cable to its knees contemplating the real possibility of a-la-carte cable (and/or forcing major TV players like HBO to go digital.) Online banking. Online education. The so-called "share economy" (of which I don't think it is that good of a good thing.)

Should I go on?

Comment Re:typical marketing horseshit (Score 1) 154

Internet of Things, the mobile revolution, cloud computing, digital disruption, and the perpetual increase of processing power. ('It’s exponential, folks. It’s just growing and growing.') The upshot: If you don’t at least try to think digitally, the digital economy will disrupt you. It will drain your town of young people and leave your business in the dust. Then he switches gears and tries to stiffen their spines with confidence. Start a website, he’ll say. Get on social media.

the Internet of Things is a security disaster, the "mobile revolution" is a farce, cloud computing is outsourcing to people you shouldn't trust, "digital disruption" is niche and completely unpredictable, and the "perpetual increase of processing power" is a lie. starting a website is not always necessary and often a burden. social media is a hellscape of volatile idiots.

people don't need to "think digitally", what they need is to think for themselves.

You almost sounded like you were saying something.

Comment Re:Tech addicts easily forget (Score 1) 154

that most normal people actually care about things other than tech. For most average people, tech is just a tool. Most do not care about MHz, or GHz or dual- or quad-core or brand name. What's truly shocking to the younger techies in the bubbles of very large cities is that there are a huge number of normal people all throughout society who do not care about the internet and do not waste their time logging onto it - they get up, go to work, get home and care for the kids, then perhaps watch a little TV and then go to bed, all without thinking about the internet.

Facebook and Twitter are not required for day-to-day life. What Bruce/Caitlyn and the Kardashians are up to is simply not important. People who have jobs in small-town America simply do not need LinkedIn, etc. and going onto the net to look for Pizza is idiotic if you live in a town with one pizza place. Who needs Google Earth when you already know all the local roads you need to drive on to do your job and run the errands you need to run for your family?

I am not being a Luddite here, I personally live a life stuffed full of electronics and code and tethered to the web, but I have many friends and relatives who have simply no use to any of it and I am amazed at how internet-centric so many younger people in big cities have become - to the point of becoming completely ignorant of LIFE in the real world. This is at some level toxic to politics and national policy. I recall that when Obamacare was going public and the young "experts" were tasked with helping people in "fly over country" enroll, one of these morons told an older guy in the midwest to enter his e-mail address on a screen and was met with the question "what's e-mail?". This is driving a large cultural divide and that divide is going to become another political wedge.

It is simply an act of supremely ignorant arrogance to assume that everybody is on the net and that anybody who is not is some sort of ignorant backward hick - lot's of people simply know what's important to them and what's not. For every netizen who sees the non-addict as a knuckle-dragging moron (who is almost certainly automatically also assumed to be racist/sexist/homophobe/etc), there's a normal person with a life who sees a shallow, plastic, soulless zombie with an iPad and no original thoughts in his brain. For many, the remote, tabloid nature of the internet and its data-mining advertizing-centric vapid content is simply less important than the real world all around them and their families.

At the end of your life, which will you regret more: the time you spent with your spouse raising your kids, or the time you spent on the web looking at what other people were doing, or were pretending they were doing?/P

What a sad thing has slashdot become that its posters equate internet access with social media. Internet access is an economic and educational enabler. Regions with poorer internet infrastructure will do worse economically and educationally that regions that have better communication infrastructure. Period. This is not about being on FB all the time.

Countries and regions all over the world recognize this. In Japan where mass urban migration and an aging population are decimating rural towns, there have been very aggressive efforts to counter that trend by providing internet infrastructure (to attract young, well-paid engineers, and their families.) Kamiyama in Tokushima Prefecture is the best example of this.

Finland is another great example at a national level.

Please turn your geek card at your convenience.

Comment Re:Not sure it matters, ultimately? (Score 1) 154

Farmers and ranchers do indeed depend on the internet. But you don't really need high speed fiber for what they do; that's reserved for people who want to stream videos all day.

But the article makes some very good points. Think about it, there's no real reason so many "coders" need to live in Silicon Valley. The work could be done just as well from a small town in Mississippi - without the high rent, traffic jams, and water shortages. And I am speaking from first hand experience here. I live in a very rural area of Appalachia, finally got DSL a couple of years ago so now i can work from home. It's about ten miles to the nearest grocery store, but there's only one traffic light to get through and no traffic to speak of (other than the suicidal white tailed deer to watch out for). I don't watch TV, can't get any reception here in the mountains and cable isn't out this far anyway :^)

Uh, there is a real reason to live in the Valley (or in any tech hub.). It is to network and, hopefully, work in the latest shit. Obviously that is not true for all, nor it is a real reason for others who would prefer to live in a more secluded area. But a reason, yep, there is one. Our reasons for living where we live are not entirely objective regardless of what we tell to ourselves.

Comment Re:I doubt it will stop depopulation (Score 0) 154

The internet can attract jobs back to rural areas. In Japan a number of internet based companies have their main operations to rural areas. Cheaper housing and business premesis, a nice environment, and it doesn't really matter where your warehouse is. IIRC one business was a second hand book store, and another was a craft goods company selling through Rakuten.

There are a lot of jobs that could move to rural areas if they had good internet access. A lot of engineering consultancy jobs, for example, are mostly done remotely. An architect might have to travel to clients and sites now and then, but that's true if they live in a city or not, and the rest can be done from an office in a rural area as long as they have fast broadband for file uploads, big email attachments and Skype.

With my wife being from Japan, I've been half-seriously considering moving my family to Japan, to one of the small, half-depopulated small rural towns not far from Tokyo. There is a push for small towns like that to throw fiber optic, or whatever, to entice developers to move with their families. For some, it is working.

Then I'v considered if that same move would work in the US. And the answer would be know IMO. Those small towns in Japan are being very progressive and forward looking their attempts. Sadly that is not how your typical American small town operates. I know I'm generalizing, but let's be real - an anti-education, anti-tech, extremely reactionary way of looking at things dominates rural America, specially in the south. They would never do the same things their Japanese counterparts do cuz the interweebz would bring the gay or something.

Funny and sad at the same time.

Comment Re:Lost Decade (now going on 3rd decade) (Score 1) 360

Funny how the economy became frozen in time when they stopped becoming more productive.

If by funny you mean untrue, then yes. The economy froze because of the big real state bubble apocalypse of the late 1980s, an ineffective government economic policy (not a problem specific to private enterprises) and currently a population decline. Have you ever been to Japan? I have. Internally they are doing fine, more than fine. Quality of life and purchasing power for the average individual has not decreased, and it will remain high for at least 30 more years (by various estimates.)

Shit, I wish we could say the same.

The thing that has become frozen in Japan is international expansion. Internally, the economy is doing well. And Japanese companies will always be less effective than, say, American companies (when we measure them from a cost-savings POV) because Japanese companies, large or small, see themselves as providers of jobs, first and foremost (profit generation comes second.) Japanese companies will not lay off people the way we do. They'll try cut benefits or cut hours. In general they'll prefer to go down with the ship than to try to save the company by laying off employees.

They stick to that, and so far it still has worked well for them. I don't know about you, but I prefer that. If I weren't too old to buy property in Japan, I would have relocated my family and I to Tokyo a long time ago.

Comment Re:illogical summary (Score 1) 360

How exactly are FAX machines making your costs higher?

Probably because electronic form filling allows you to skip the steps of printing, handwriting, and then scanning each document, in addition to the dial and handshake, and the transmit time, and remember, time is money. Furthermore it reduces material waste and reduces the need for data entry and/or transcription.

And then of course, since fax machines involve moving parts and in most cases ink/toner, there's added time and cost involved in routine maintenance tasks.

Write paper in Kanji-capable word processor, or a JIT-kana-to-kanji processors (surprise, those highly industrialized Japanese folks actually solved that problem a long time ago). Then print, then fax fax. Or guess what, print directly to fax (you can do that in Windows, cool, I know!).

I really want to know if the people commenting in this tread have ever set foot in Japan. I wonder because there is a lot of BS being passed as opinions or technical observations on the subject.

Comment Re:illogical summary (Score 1) 360

At least the Japanese have an excuse. The kanji writing system made word processing systems more expensive and difficult to implement than in any other society. In our society, the fax machine hangs on in lines of business where documents have to be signed by hand. Though public key signing has been available for a generation, law evolves at tectonic speed.

I've been in Japan, and I've not seen any of these supposed impediments due to Kanji. They have software that handles that just fine. It has been a solved problem for quite a long f* time going all the way to mechanical typewriters and printing blocks.

Money is better than poverty, if only for financial reasons.