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Comment: Re:What benefits? (Score 1) 206

by retroworks (#46794215) Attached to: California Utility May Replace IT Workers with H-1B Workers

There are winners and losers. I don't mean to be callous towards the losers, but the baseball analogy stands. Integration of the negro league with the white league cost a lot of white and black baseball players their jobs in the short run, and most of the anger at the integration was from players that couldn't compete.

And sorry but what are you talking about with NAFTA? With the exception of the drug economy (which is by no means free and transparent trade), Mexico has made tremendous progress since 1993. Where is "plenty of evidence" that the same growth would have been achieved by trade restriction? People who oppose trade spend a lot of time emphasizing incremental losses, in the way you could show lost income from baseball pitchers who lost their place on the bench to Bob Gibsons.

All these arguments were made in Massachusetts when the Worcester textile industry relocated to North and South Carolina, it was all "doom and gloom" and externalized pollution. It was disruptive but Massachusetts economy did better by getting out of textiles and North Carolina did better by getting into them. Now NC has lost it's textile industry, and has Research Triangle in its place. A rising tide lifts all boats not anchored by protectionism.

Comment: My kid applied for one of 45 spots (Score 2) 90

by retroworks (#46794175) Attached to: Minerva CEO Details His High-Tech Plan To Disrupt Universities

And we aren't all "sour grapes" about not getting admitted. Minerva offered free tuition to the first class of 45, which seemed like both a good deal, and appropriate given they were still going through "shakedown" (the interview by skype process was more like a high school play than a Broadway performance). There is no doubt that the model, given the time and attention these 45 kids will get, will provide for a stunning class. As does United World College, another free tuition experiment started by Armand Hammer which relies on subsidy to maintain recruiting excellence.

What remains to be seen is whether it succeeds in creating a sustainable economic model. Yes, the USA's universities have probably overinvested their endowments in a "country club" gyms and campus accouterments. But Minerva is "pure play", the equivalent of penny stock. Will the fact that these 45 students are impressive today cause impressive students to pay tuition tomorrow, and will the lack of accouterments generate savings for the student consumer, or be siphoned into the startup costs of Minerva? Since it will probably take 10 years before any of these graduates have a chance to be recognized, they have to either produce evidence of superior education and training, or continue to make it a high value, or have to compete more seriously with a Stanford/Harvard than they had to a $0 tuition. The fact that free software attracts smart users doesn't prove your software will take significant share from Microsoft, and the fact that you get smart students to enroll in free education doesn't signify the universities charging tuition are doomed.

If the impressive kids come out in 4 years and say the Minerva experience was "not ready for prime time" and that they wish they'd gone to college, will Minerva be able to fix the bugs in the software? By the way, my kid's going to a top Canadian university, $6K per year, and is certain to have a recognized degree in 10 years. The strong arguments Minerva makes about the true value of Harvard speak well for Kings and McGill. Twin goes to UWC, btw.

Comment: The King of 18th Century England Called (Score 0) 206

by retroworks (#46791837) Attached to: California Utility May Replace IT Workers with H-1B Workers
He wants his Outrage back. Protecting "jobs" based on lines drawn on maps is so pre-globalization. Free trade has distributed far more benefits than it has sacrificed. Our children are going to live in a world where fewer people are poor, and maybe they will even marry and have bi-coastal families in the oceanic sense. H1-B is to American progress as interracial basketball league was to the NBA. Let's play ball.

+ - WSJ: Prepare to hang up the phone - forever-> 1

Submitted by retroworks
retroworks (652802) writes "Telecom giants AT&T and Verizon Communications are lobbying states, one by one, to hang up the plain, old telephone system, what the industry now calls POTS--the copper-wired landline phone system whose reliability and reach made the U.S. a communications powerhouse for more than 100 years. Is landline obsolete, and should be immune from grandparents era social protection?"
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Comment: But there's a Catch. Catch-22 (Score 1) 914

“Dunbar loved shooting skeet because he hated every minute of it and the time passed so slowly. He had figured out that a single hour on the skeet-shooting range with people like Havermeyer and Appleby could be worth as much as eleven-times-seventeen years." As author Joseph Heller's Dunbar character saw it, the more miserable you are, the slower time passes, and the longer (relatively) you live.

+ - Google Public DNS Hijacked for 22 Minutes in South America->

Submitted by retroworks
retroworks (652802) writes "Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols of ZDNet reports:

"Without the Domain Name System (DNS), we're all lost on the Internet. DNS provides the service that translates our human readable Web addresses such as to their real, but mysterious Internet Protocol version 4 (IPv4) addresses, such as or IPv6's 2001:4860:4860::8888. The problem with this master yellow pages directory to the Internet is that DNS records themselves can be corrupted or your communications with the DNS servers interrupted by a man-in-the-middle (MiM) attack. "

While it's only 22 minutes, and apparently only affected internet users in Brazil and Venezuela, the repercussions of DNS hijacking could be huge for online commerce. Since many of these attacks in the past have originated in Eastern Europe, should we all be on guard now that Russia has been sabre-rattling? How likely is this to occur in California-based Google servers? For reaction on Twitter, visit here"

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Entropy requires no maintenance. -- Markoff Chaney