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Comment: No, thank immigration law fraud/abuse for that. (Score 1) 140

Nothing wrong with Europe's system

So you're fine with having someone's life be divined on the scoring of a few track-determining tests? The US system doesn't have that flaw.
One can improve your academic performance at any time, get a recommendation, and then move up to Honors/AP. Try that in compulsory streaming and you end up going through an entire lower track before your performance is recognized.

Europe and Asia schools teach the three "R"s, while here in the US, the kids are taught the three "C"s (conform, comply, consume.) The K-12 system is designed to get kids on the edge into jail until age 18 (23 in California) so that private prison companies can make some cash from holding them

I guess you went to a van der Snoot Academy, since you have a high disdain for public schools. Good public schools (yes, the ones run by governments) do exist and they do send people to very good places (even Ivies!).

This is why in college engineering departments, STEM majors are usually non-Americans, since H1-b/L-1/etc. guest worker programs make it non-profitable to pursue them.

FTFY.

Comment: Re:The US-hating world lied to you with test flaws (Score 1) 140

Any conclusions so far about tests can safely be considered as flawed since they do not take admission type into account. That is, an educational system that takes everybody is penalized while more selective systems (Asia, Europe) do not.

Comment: You cite flawed PISA/etc. studies. (Score 1) 140

Controlling for access methods (US all-access versus Asian compulsory streaming for example) would show something a bit less favorable to Asia. Never mind that the test score in Asia leaves no room for improvement - it simply forces you on one track.

Privacy

US Post Office Increases Secret Tracking of Mail 108

Posted by Soulskill
from the enjoy-all-those-circulars dept.
HughPickens.com writes: Ron Nixon reports in the NY Times that the United States Postal Service says it approved nearly 50,000 requests last year from law enforcement agencies and its own internal inspection unit to secretly monitor the mail of Americans for use in criminal and national security investigations, in many cases without adequately describing the reason or having proper written authorization. In addition to raising privacy concerns, the audit questioned the efficiency and accuracy of the Postal Service in handling the requests. The surveillance program, officially called mail covers, is more than a century old, but is still considered a powerful investigative tool. The Postal Service said that from 2001 through 2012, local, state and federal law enforcement agencies made more than 100,000 requests to monitor the mail of Americans. That would amount to an average of some 8,000 requests a year — far fewer than the nearly 50,000 requests in 2013 that the Postal Service reported in the audit (PDF).

In Arizona in 2011, Mary Rose Wilcox, a Maricopa County supervisor, discovered that her mail was being monitored by the county's sheriff, Joe Arpaio. Wilcox had been a frequent critic of Arpaio, objecting to what she considered the targeting of Hispanics in his immigration sweeps. Wilcox sued the county, was awarded nearly $1 million in a settlement in 2011 and received the money this June when the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the ruling. Andrew Thomas, the former county attorney, was disbarred for his role in investigations into the business dealings of Ms. Wilcox and other officials and for other unprofessional conduct. "I don't blame the Postal Service," says Wilcox, "but you shouldn't be able to just use these mail covers to go on a fishing expedition. There needs to be more control."

Comment: No solid proof, only Schneier's allegations of it (Score 2) 44

by sethstorm (#48129505) Attached to: Pro-Democracy Websites In Hong Kong Targeted With and Serving Malware

Schneier's allegations require that you believe a known non-trustworthy person (Edward Snowden)'s own allegation for that to be true.

When all of that can be brought to bear in a US court with Snowden et al in custody, then you can start talking about it as truth when it is proven to be truth.

Comment: That was (and is) a politically-driven departure. (Score 2) 236

by sethstorm (#48103299) Attached to: Outsourced Tech Jobs Are Increasingly Being Automated

A lot of that departure was driven by the political climate in the 1980s, which was to exact vengance on those industries and their supporters. The finishing blow came when the opposition encouraged non-assimilating immigrants to flood in. To a limited extent, that's playing out in current-day United States, except through various actions.

What Thatcher (and the financial interests she enabled) couldn't kill, the opposition managed to finish off through importation of non-assimilating individuals from the Third World.

Comment: No. (Score 1) 405

We need to separate employers from healthcare anyways.

Only if you don't like the benefits coming from economies of scale. Those disappear even in the ACA.

You can enjoy your second-tier care with an small employer while I'll enjoy less sacrifice with a direct-hire/non-contractor employer that can use economies of scale to provide more benefits per dollar.

Comment: ...with greater instability. (Score 1) 405

In the future I expect more and more small businesses and boutiques. You can run a small yet profitable business with just two or three people.

Never mind that you are operating in a high-failure part of the private sector with people that cannot really afford to fail. That, and you have no scale to offset purchase costs, especially those relating to benefits.

Comment: GM doesn't specialize in small cars. (Score 1) 267

by sethstorm (#48026947) Attached to: Former GM Product Czar: Tesla a "Fringe Brand"

All their cars look like Tonka toys and have the build quality of a Chinese iPhone knock off

That's part of the "Check a few boxes and ship a translated owner's manual" treatment of the Western markets. Second to that is the over-regulation by environmental groups that operate by the "small cars for thee, but not for me" philosophy.

Can we just get back those Quad 4 engines? Why does a modern Ecotoc need 2.5L to produce the same power of a 2.3L Quad 4 W41 from 1990?

Making corner-cutting, granola-eating-environmentalist pleasing 4-cylinder-based cars is not the primary specialty of General Motors - especially when you see that most of them are captive imports(Spark/Aveo, Cruze, about anything Buick). The only saving grace is that GM doesn't opt to make cylinders appear through thin air (a la Ford's EcoBoost). Let GM make the larger vehicles for less, which is their specialty, and they will do well.

Personally, I'd not mind if GM decided to make Buick solely a Chinese brand, and then bring in Oldsmobile in their traditional positioning to cover the void in the US. Then find a creative way to (effectively) offer more car than what EPA's CAFE regulations would allow - perhaps by allowing US-spec imports of 4-cylinder cars to be placed on order but not generally stocked. If one were to go beyond that, lobby to have the EPA's regulations removed or curtailed.

Comment: Which puts them out of touch with Western markets. (Score 1) 47

by sethstorm (#48026801) Attached to: Microsoft Revives Its Hardware Conference

It's also being moved from the U.S. to China, as an acknowledgment of where the heart of the tech hardware business is now.

It also indicates the further wish to be out of touch with Western markets and continue to decline in overall quality. Checking a few boxes and translating the manual makes for a bad execution on implementing a product in other markets - as opposed to integrating the expectations made by the target market.

Besides, having it in Los Angeles doesn't diminish the value of Eastern contributions, but serves as a barrier to entry for the unqualified.

Comment: Proven for China, not so for US. (Score 1) 47

by sethstorm (#48026769) Attached to: Microsoft Revives Its Hardware Conference

China and their fellow freedom-reducing brethren operate on the idea of stealing from nations that innovate. A proven secondary use for that is for them to use it against their own citizens.

The US and the rest of the civilized world operate on the idea of creating something new or advancing existing technology in a new way. Unlike China, there has been no solid evidence to prove use against citizens - just the allegations of a spurned traitor(who in turn gave what he had to China and Russia, of all irony).

Comment: Re:Pay These Geniuses What They're Worth! (Score 1) 261

by sethstorm (#48012427) Attached to: Mark Zuckerberg Throws Pal Joe Green Under the Tech Immigration Bus

H-1B's are the only realistic way to immigrate to the US based on skill. Kill H-1Bs and you kill skill based immigration.

Nope. Kill them, replace it with a citizen-favoring system and you end up having to work with the US population.

Canada and Europe would like nothing more than that, because they make it easy to shaft their own citizens

FTFY.

Any sufficiently advanced bug is indistinguishable from a feature. -- Rich Kulawiec

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