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Comment: Not to sound like a luddite, but... (Score 1) 452

by mallydobb (#42241301) Attached to: Australian Police Warn That Apple Maps Could Get Someone Killed

USE PAPER MAPS, they will never go out of style or lose value!!! I use Google Maps and GPS from time to time, esp. if I am in someplace I am unfamiliar with, but I never rely solely on digital directions.When I lived in the US (growing up in Virginia) I kept an atlas of the State in my car and now that I live in Beirut I also keep a map of Lebanon and a city guide of Beirut in my car...for those moments that Google/GPS fails or when I need to plan a route and don't have internet access (which is quite common here).

I have a good friend back in the States that I respect highly, but she depends on the GPS to get her around her own city (where's she's lived for 10+ years)...for crying out loud, it isn't difficult to memorize a few landmarks and road names and learn how to navigate!

Its sad that people are being put in some danger, but some planning, common sense, and basic navigation skills can solve this problem. Apple does need to address the issue but its not Apple's fault if someone who can't be bothered to check on a route dies due to getting lost.

Comment: Re:Do you have a sign? (Score 2) 340

by mallydobb (#41597961) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Video Monitors For Areas That Are Off the Grid?

I agree, posting a no trespassing sign is key, but rationalizing that its a legitimate dumping ground?!?!? The legitimate dumping ground is called the landfill and at times it might cost a little to use it, but its there for public use. Dumping trash and rubbish elsewhere is just littering and ignorant.

Comment: Two Options... (Score 1) 646

Safe Eyes (now owned by McAffee) and OpenDNS, along with a good firewall/rules on the computer. Safe Eyes only runs I think on OSX and Windows, so if you're a Linux man, you're out of luck here.

I've been happy with Safe Eyes as I've used it at the orphanage I volunteer at to reduce bandwidth (by blocking heavy video/music sites as well as to help monitor computers used by our older residents). They're pretty family friendly and they've donated the last couple years of subscription for us.

All in all, personally teaching and investing time in parenting and supervising what is done on the computer is a must. Placing computers in a high traffic area in the house and giving restrictions on when to use it aren't bad ideas either.

Comment: Where I live... (Score 2) 255

by mallydobb (#40337071) Attached to: Ethiopia Criminalizes VoIP Services

VOIP and SIP calls are technically illegal. They do block SIP calls, but don't or are unable to block Skype and Google Talk over Gmail. Reasons listed are essentially the same, national security and maintaining the telco status quo (we only have two mobile companies and one national POTS). There has never been any enforcement of this ban, the law seems to have been written but never intended to be fully realized.

Government

+ - What issues are important for candidates to address?

Submitted by
albertclawson
albertclawson writes "My name is Albert Clawson and I am running for the Michigan State House of Representatives in the 39th district. There is a primary election in August, 2012 with the general election in November.

In all elections there is much focus on jobs, the economy, fiscal policies — as it should be — but I feel that candidates often ignore the technological issues that are so important in today's digital age: I feel like I am the only candidate who takes these issues seriously enough to make them a part of his campaign. I would like to present my thoughts and am asking you, readers of slashdot to help me add, subtract and refine my positions.

First, I must say that many issues that are important to me are beyond the spheres of state candidates. I oppose SOPA and CISPA for example, but as these are issues at the federal level I'm not sure what — if anything — can be done at a state level. I favor net neutrality (but am also in favor of keeping things deregulated — a suitable carrot must be found). I have a major problem with patent trolls, object to DMCA takedown abuse, Any thoughts or suggestions on what can be done at the state level on these issues will be greatly appreciated.

In the interest of brevity in my posting here I give a brief sketch of issues that are important to me and will open the post to any questions that you might have:

* Any and all obstacles to an increase in broadband penetration must be removed. Any broadband provider currently receiving any subsidies for rural development must produce results or lose those subsidies. Providers who refuse to provide services to various areas yet take action to block anybody else from building out in those areas should be thwarted in their efforts.

* Modern schools should teach modern classes. Any student who has the interest should be able to graduate high school with CCNA certification (or others). For that matter, the educational system should be revamped to allow students to graduate HS with certifications of LPN, journeyman plumber/electrician/carpenter/other or other backgrounds that allow them to immediately enter the workplace should they deem college as not a viable (or desirable) option.

* State laws must keep up with modern technology. It is an absolute embarrassment that Michigan still has not addressed the question of autonomous vehicles while Nevada is already issuing test/experimental licenses for them to operate on public roads. Zoning laws may need to be updated to allow for microfabrication processes that are appropriate for commercial districts where they might technically be required to be performed in industrial districts.

* Emergency response plans must include specific plans to utilize the best and most modern technology that is reasonably possible. The use of location-aware emergency alerting technology (to issue explicit warnings to display on cell phones that are directly in the path of a storm or chemical spill for example),

* We must look toward revising energy policies. I am a fan of thorium technology, advocate residential solar and low-head hydroelectric and believe that residential building code should be revised to ensure that new construction has the wiring roughed in place to allow for painless installation of charging stations in the garages/driveways as homeowners buy vehicles that need charging.

* We must consider new and novel solutions for all problems, no matter how unorthodox. A prime example is the recent development of what is essentially silly putty to patch potholes.

There are many other issues, this first post can only scratch the surface — I want to open everything up for discussion. I don't have all the answers, but I believe that we can find all of the answers together."
IOS

+ - What took Apple's 'Do Not Disturb' so long?

Submitted by
omershapira
omershapira writes "Yesterday at WWDC, among other eyebrow-raising announcements, Apple introduced the terribly overdue 'Do Not Disturb' feature in iOS 6.
Assuming that there was no technological breakthrough necessary to implement this back in iOS 1, what took it so long, and why is it so unexciting in 2012? Did our culture change that much since 2007, that only now do we trust machines to automatically screen our calls?

Apple is the company responsible for visual voicemail and for forcing carriers to implement it. Shouldn't it be really easy for US carriers to implement a DND flag inside a call and push for its standardization, otherwise redirecting to an old-fashioned screening service? I would happily live in a world where people trying to reach me know that I'm busy. People still relying on telephone calls to communicate, that is."
Google

+ - India fails, Russia leads at Google Code Jam->

Submitted by Migala77
Migala77 (1179151) writes "Now that the third round for Google Code Jam is finished and only 25 contestants are left, we can look at which nationalities performed well and which didn't. Code Jam contestant foxlit has the stats, and some interesting things can be seen. Although there were over 3000 contestants from India in the qualification round (17% of the total) , only 3 of those managed to reach the third round (0.7% of the round 3 contestants) . This in contrast to Russia with 77 out of 747, and Belarus with 13 out of 114 reaching the third round. The US performed somewhat below average too, with only 25 out of 2166 contestants making it to the third round.
Are Indian and, to a lesser extent, US programmers just not good enough, or is there another explanation?"

Link to Original Source
Biotech

+ - Sequencing company certifies genome as free of 'Gypsy or Jew' genes-> 2

Submitted by
ananyo
ananyo writes "From the Nature story:
"Hungary’s Medical Research Council (ETT), which advises the government on health policy, has asked public prosecutors to investigate a genetic-diagnostic company that certified that a member of parliament did not have Roma or Jewish heritage.
The MP in question is a member of the far-right Jobbik party, which won 17% of the votes in the general election of April 2010. He apparently requested the certificate from the firm Nagy Gén Diagnostic and Research. The company produced the document in September 2010, a few weeks before local elections.
Nagy Gén scanned 18 positions in the MP’s genome for variants that it says are characteristic of Roma and Jewish ethnic groups; its report concludes that Roma and Jewish ancestry can be ruled out."
The test is of-course nonsense, and notions of 'racial purity' have long been discredited."

Link to Original Source
Facebook

+ - Trolling Victim Wins Landmark Case Against Facebook->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Nicola Brookes won a case against Facebook, after being the victim of a harsh internet trolling fiasco. Brooks, 45, faced “vicious and depraved” abuse on Facebook, according to the Telegraph. Brookes posted a comment about a former X Factor contestant, Frankie Cocozza, which started the trolling."
Link to Original Source
The Military

+ - Canada dismisses U.S. concern over fake military parts->

Submitted by innocent_white_lamb
innocent_white_lamb (151825) writes "While a US Congressional investigation found over 1800 cases involving over one million counterfeit parts from China in American-made military equipment, the Canadian defence minister isn't concerned, even though Canada purchases its military equipment from the same contractors as the US does."
Link to Original Source
Google

+ - Search Terms Predict Impact of Racism on US Election 1

Submitted by
Hugh Pickens writes
Hugh Pickens writes writes "Garance Franke-Ruta writes about a new study of racially charged search terms on Google that aims to predict the effects of the Bradley effect, a theory proposed to explain observed discrepancies between voter opinion polls and election outcomes in some US elections where a white candidate and a non-white candidate run against each other. "How much we are under-representing people who are intolerant and therefore unlikely to vote for Obama is an open question," says Andrew Kohut, the president of Pew Research Center. "I suspect not a great deal, but maybe some. And 'maybe some' could be crucial in a tight election." The study found that the percentage of an area's total Google searches from 2004-2007 that included the racially charged search for the word "n****r" is a is a large and robust negative predictor of Obama's vote share. "A one standard deviation increase in an area's racially charged search is associated with a 1.5 percentage point decrease in Obama's vote share, controlling for John Kerry's vote share," writes Stephens-Davidowitz in the study. "The statistical significance and large magnitude are robust to controls for changes in unemployment rates; home-state candidate preference; Census division fixed effects; prior trends in presidential voting; changes in Democratic House vote shares; swing state status; and demographic controls." The results imply that, relative to the most racially tolerant areas in the United States, prejudice cost Obama between 3.1 percentage points and 5.0 percentage points (PDF) of the national popular vote in the 2008 election. This implies racial animus gave Obama's opponent roughly the equivalent of a home-state advantage country-wide. "It cannot come as a shock to anyone that Obama is not seen as the cat's meow in places like West Virginia, southern Mississippi or southern Oklahoma," writes Franke-Ruta. "Where racial animus might intersect with the Electoral College to matter — eastern Ohio, western Pennsylvania, parts of Florida — on Election Day is something to contemplate.""

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