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Comment: Disappointment (Score 1) 211

Obama campaigned as something of a techie, promising more government transparency, promised to uphold net neutrality, reel in the troops committed to the Land War in Asia, and has ended up having a shill for the media cartels as his Veep, actively supporting the NSA collect-it-all mentality, has appointed a former cable exec to chair the FCC, has slammed the press for calling him on his flip-flops, and generally shown an attitude of intellectual superiority and/or played the race card in criticizing his opponents. And now is apparently looking to book a Pharma rep as his PTO chief after Hatch (remember, the SCO Group apologist?) whined about it. I didn't vote for him either time, but he hasn't lived up to his PR by any stretch.

Comment: walked away from 'buntu (Score 0) 155

by rkhalloran (#46585649) Attached to: Canonical's Troubles With the Free Software Community
After the Unity GUI issues (didn't the Windows 8 One GUI to Rule Them All FUBAR show them anything?), the Mir/Wayland disputes, etc etc, I shifted over to Fedora 20 late last year and haven't looked back. I haven't had any problems finding any desktop packages I wanted to install as RPMs, and it Just Damn Works, which is why I run a Linux desktop to begin with. With the upsurge in interest in both Mint and Fedora, I think Shuttleworth/Ubuntu should be feeling a little pressure to return to the fold rather than continue pushing their own solitary agenda.

Comment: Re: Open government = open standards (Score 4, Insightful) 89

by rkhalloran (#46306113) Attached to: Microsoft Circles the Wagons To Defeat ODF In the UK
A citizen wanting to interact with their government should not be compelled to purchase a particular company's product to do so. If I choose to mail in my tax forms, it should not require purchasing Official Government Printing Stock to do it. If I file electronically, it should not be locked in to, say, Turbotax. An open format (ODF, PDF) should be acceptable. This also frankly makes sense financially: if MS is the only company supporting OOXML (arguable, since at last check they don't even meet their own standard), then there's no possibility of price competition. If you're on an *open* format where many vendors can compete, the govt can go for best price and properly spend the money they screw us out of annually.

Comment: Backwards thinking (Score 1) 271

by rkhalloran (#45965129) Attached to: Code.org: Give Us More H-1B Visas Or the Kids Get Hurt
The problem with increasing H-1B numbers is that it swamps the domestic market with offshore workers, likely at lower rates than domestic talent (ref the Oracle lawsuit filed yesterday), making STEM training less desirable for US students as they won't be able to find jobs when they hit the workforce. Now you want to push H-1Bs into the academic market too?

Waiting for the teachers' unions to start raising bloody hell about the impact to their livelihoods. Hmmm, given the clout they have with politicos, this may actually work to all our favor.

Comment: Re:Bold Move (Score 5, Interesting) 37

by rkhalloran (#45877719) Attached to: Bruce Schneier Becomes CTO of Co3 Systems
While he's denying it for the record, he *is* one of the people helping the Guardian/NYT review the Snowden documents, and given the pressure put on the Guardian by British authorities, the timing of his departure from BT does seem a bit suspicious (sorry, Bruce).

I expect between whatever lump-sum he got when BT bought Counterpane, his actual salary at BT, and his writing and speaking engagements, he's not particularly worried about the next mortgage payment.

Comment: Re:Amazing ... (Score 1) 212

by rkhalloran (#44564829) Attached to: Class-action Suit Filed Against Microsoft Over Surface Write Off
As usual, Microsoft held back as new technologies surfaced (smartphones & tablets), then jumped in, assuming that anything with their name on it would overtake the early entrants. In this case, though, because of the GUI change in Win 8, they hit resistance in the PC market from both users and OEMs, and the smartphone and tablet markets were already well-entrenched with iOS & Android and saw little need for a third platform (also see: RIM). There was little innovative in Surface (Asus Transformer has had a keyboard dock for ages), the price points were relatively high, and the app portfolio for WinPhone and tablet remains thin by comparison. Gates' comments about tablet users wanting "real Office" was magical thinking at best. Microsoft is hardly going under, but they're increasingly becoming an enterprise-only company as consumers do the bulk of their work on non-PC devices.

Comment: Re:How about a new SF series then? (Score 1) 772

by rkhalloran (#44509173) Attached to: Should the Next 'Doctor Who' Be a Woman?
Sarah Jane Adventures ended abruptly fall 2011 with Elisabeth Sladen's passing , and Torchwood ended after the fourth series "Miracle Day" co-produced with the Starz pay-TV channel. There was also an early attempt at a spinoff back in the '81 with Sladen "K-9 and Company", and a children's channel spinoff in Australia "K-9"

Comment: Eisenhower's warning all too true (Score 4, Insightful) 284

Final address Jan 1961 as he left office: "In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist. We must never let the weight of this combination endanger our liberties or democratic processes. We should take nothing for granted. Only an alert and knowledgeable citizenry can compel the proper meshing of the huge industrial and military machinery of defense with our peaceful methods and goals, so that security and liberty may prosper together." Some folks apparently weren't listening....

Comment: preying on the desperate (Score 2) 668

by rkhalloran (#44349319) Attached to: Fifteen Years After Autism Panic, a Plague of Measles Erupts
Many other researchers were unable to duplicate Wakefield's work. He formed a company to promote his therapies for this problem that others were unable to find, and neglected to inform anyone of the potential conflict-of-interest. When the press exposed this, his co-authors backed away from the paper. The British medical board looked at his work, including questionable therapies on autistic children, and found him guilty of dishonesty and abuse of patients, and revoked his medical license. The Lancet retracted his article. I feel for the parents dealing with a full-out autistic child (my wife and I are raising an Aspergers/ADD grandson), but unproven therapies based on debunked theories aren't going to honestly address their problems.

Comment: Re:+1, Flamebait (Score 1) 364

For the Golden Age Superman, and for most of the Silver Age, the Clark-is-the-disguise attitude held; he became a reporter so he'd be aware of events happening that needed Superman's attention. John Byrne's Man of Steel mini-series after Crisis flipped that to the Clark-is-the-real-person,Superman-the-alter-ego we see now. For Batman, Bruce has been the public persona, Batman the reality for years; the hardcore fan will say "Bruce Wayne" died with his parents and Batman was born in Crime Alley that night.

Comment: Re:What in the world are they thinking? (Score 1) 400

by rkhalloran (#43927165) Attached to: Pondering the Future of a Re-Org'd Microsoft
The market is moving to smartphones and tablets, where MS has next-to-zero footprint, Windows 8 is blamed, rightly or not, for the plunge in PC sales. They're Just Another Player in the gaming market (XBox 360 has sold slightly better than PS3 but worse than Wii). BYOD in corporate culture means the lock-in to MS server back-ends actually becomes a barrier to entry. The Elop move has steered a major handset maker into the rocks. Yet Ballmer wants to double-down on Windows/Office and bulk up the Xbox group, which was a loss leader until very recently. The only reason he's still CEO is his friendship with BillG, who holds a big chunk of shares.

Comment: Second place in gaming, scraping bottom elsewhere (Score 1) 497

by rkhalloran (#43924479) Attached to: Can Microsoft Survive If Windows Doesn't Dominate?
Per https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_video_game_consoles_(seventh_generation)#Sales_standings, XBox 360 is second in overall sales with 78 million sold behind Wii (100 million) and ahead of PS3 (70 million). They're background noise in the smartphone & tablet markets at this point, which is where the momentum is. Win 8 cost them standing and probably accelerated tablet adoption. And with BYOD in the business market, the Exchange/Office lock-in becomes a barrier to entry instead. They're not turning off the lights next week, but they're losing the ability to dictate the market. The recent announcement of Halo for WinPhone is a desperate attempt to pump their dismal standing in phones using their biggest success in the gaming space.

Comment: Re:Yes they can (Score 1) 497

by rkhalloran (#43906729) Attached to: Can Microsoft Survive If Windows Doesn't Dominate?
Many companies are going BYOD; if that 'YOD' is increasingly non-MS (tablet, Mac, Linux) then integration with the MS server suite becomes a liability rather than an advantage. There's plenty of options out there, they lack the traction in the market because of the but-EVERYONE-uses-Windows mentality. If that changes the server side of the business might slide drastically.

What this country needs is a dime that will buy a good five-cent bagel.

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