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Comment: Re:You advocate more censorship than I (Score 1) 74

No internet is more censorship than some internet, no matter how you gate it.

I disagree that "no internet" is more censorship. The problem with censorship is that it distorts the appearance of reality. If you can read FOX news, but not MSNBC, then the TEA party look like rational people. If you censor news stories about drone strikes, then bloggers talking about children killed by drone strikes look like conspiracy nuts.

In the ACTUAL example here, Facebook is part of this and you can find any viewpoint you like on Facebook.

Maybe. As long as you don't violate their TOS. Same with wikipedia, as long as the content doesn't violate their community standards. They're still talking about a small number of organizations, and it's quite clear that those organizations are subject to political manipulation. Even Google had to cave to China, and it's a little fuzzy whether there's any facebook there.

If you can't use an information stream, you'll find one that works. If you have an information stream, you don't know it's distorted.

Comment: Re:For work I use really bad passwords (Score 2) 136

by tburkhol (#49477457) Attached to: Cracking Passwords With Statistics

Yes, Calypso443521 contains a word that could exist in a dictionary, but is unguessable. Nobody would guess that it has any meaning, and with a personal number on the end, it wouldn't fall to any dictionary attack.

Are you crazy? There's only a million words in English and only a million six digit numbers, so the combination of real word + number has only a trillion possibilities. 2^40 possibilities, which will fall rapidly to a dictionary attack. It's as "strong" as 6 random, typeable characters.

The point of TFA is that while "12 characters, including three different character classes" sounds like 2^84, the reality is that people meet those conditions by using a real word with the first letter capitalized and a number. (rarely the reverse: Number-word)

Comment: Re:This happens about... (Score 1) 131

by tburkhol (#49477321) Attached to: How Mission Creep Killed a Gaming Studio

Devs want to make great games, but unfortunately the publishers will always ask for something stupid halfway through that will blow out all the budgets. When they're pulling the purse strings and your project relies on their money, you can't push back

You can push back: you can refuse to implement the stupid request or you can pack up and go home. If they're asking you to implement some new feature with no additional time or revenue, they are essentially asking for you to pay for that development out of your own pocket. Maybe your passion to develop great games is strong enough that you're willing to pay for the privilege to work on such a game. The publisher is probably counting on you to have invested so much of yourself in the project that you will. Once you've signed your project over to a publisher, you have to be willing to walk away.

Comment: Re: Don't fix what ain't broke (Score 1) 183

and having seen most of the programs available and their output, a lot of it is because of lazy programming that makes simple tasks difficult.

That's just bad design.

Yeah, and hurricane Sandy was just a bit of rain. In my experience, nothing is more ubiquitous in software than bad design. Bad design is the difference between Photoshop and Gimp. Or between upstart and systemd. In special purpose software, like that tied to instrumentation or a proprietary database, there seems to be very little motivation to test or develop a good UI, but the users suffer through because they're tied to the underlying system. EMR are currently competing on the features of their backend, making presentations to administrators, and I don't expect the doc's get much consideration in that conversation.

Comment: Re:Feds (Score 1) 183

This is one of those rare instances where the Feds CAN make a difference by mandating specific medical record formats, import and export of data, standard reporting functionality, etc.

They have done this. They problem is that have not said anything about the user interface. The result seems to be that the User Interface looks a lot like a military, hierarchical table designating every detail of an examination and diagnosis. Like:
Reflex, sensory, tactile, digit, left hand, index finger;
Reflex, sensory, tactile, digit, left hand, middle finger;
Each of those a mouse click and a display update, and you've got 10 digits.

The good news is that you now have explicit confirmation that feeling in each of those fingers was verified. The bad news is that you've taken a procedure that was "poke 10 fingers" and turned it into "poke 10 fingers, click 60 mouse buttons."

I'd like to think this is a natural consequence of coders living at the interface between bureaucrats and physicians, and I'd like to think that a few iterations of software will allow some of those details to be aggregated, but there's a huge difference between the old-style chart notation "Reflexes normal," and the medicare requirement that reflex testing can only be compensated if it documents a litany of specific tests.

Comment: Re: Why is it even a discussion? (Score 1) 440

by tburkhol (#49468979) Attached to: Republicans Introduce a Bill To Overturn Net Neutrality

Actually AT&T did apply results from the labs to the phone system. (They would have been stupid not to, they did way to maximize profit, after all.) In particular, they made huge advances in switching technologies. And how do you know they wouldn't have come out with cell phones?

Advances in switching technology reduced their costs of doing business. They allowed AT&T to replace armies of switchboard operators with inexpensive electronics. Their foray into wireless communication was Mobile Telephone Service. Real cell phone service was first introduced by NTT, in Japan, 4 years before the US. Some argue that slow adoption of cellular in the US was actually due to FCC regulation of the spectrum, but commercial cell service only became available after AT&T was broken up, and it was offered by one of the regional Baby Bells, not by AT&T.

Comment: Re:Why is it even a discussion? (Score 1) 440

by tburkhol (#49468863) Attached to: Republicans Introduce a Bill To Overturn Net Neutrality

I would say the choices are to regulate incompetently one way or another. Your pure driven snow bullshit just means you favor one pack of bureaucrats over another.

I do prefer one pack of bureaucrats over the other. I prefer the bureaucrats who have to declare any gift more valuable than a cup of coffee to the bureaucrats allowed to accept campaign contributions. I prefer the bureaucrats subject to Inspector General auditing over those with "arm's length," private corporations (PACs) acting for their benefit. I prefer the bureaucrats who are subject to ethics laws over those who write ethics laws.

Comment: Re: And it's not even an election year (Score 2) 407

You're talking about immigrants that come to STAY and become citizens, which has absolutely NOTHING to do with the subject matter here, which is foreign workers coming for limited stays just to work, displacing American citizens

Many of the H1-b's would stay if they could. Most of the foreign students come here hoping that a US education visa will be a stepping stone to a work visa, will be a stepping stone to a green card. Unfortunately, xenophobia and the pressure to preserve jobs for current citizens have put very restrictive limits on the availability of long-term visas and green cards. H1b was developed as a compromise - get some of the foreign talent, but protect US workers by forcing the foreigners to leave. Ironic, isn't it, that the plan to protect US workers is now being blamed for the loss of domestic jobs.

Comment: Re:And it's not even an election year (Score 4, Insightful) 407

Uh, I thought we *were* investing in the education of Americans.

Then you're not paying attention. Sure, all the politicians say they're committed to improving education, but they've been saying that for 200 years. It's the verbal equivalent of shaking hands.

Meanwhile, when the dollars hit the budget, it turns out that tax cuts, health care, and defense/police/security are much higher priorities. 20 years ago, the cost of educating a student in a state university was largely born by the state. Today, it's largely born by the student. You can look up your own state's numbers: here in Georgia, over the past 10 years, we've gone from 60% state funding to 38%. The per-student cost has gone up 3%/year, just like inflation, but the student's share has gone up 10%/year. The loss of state funding has encouraged these schools to more aggressively recruit foreign students and their uncapped tuition.

Curiously, because all of our politicians are wealthy, this makes the education they can provide for their own children just a little more valuable.

Comment: Re:Negotiating is necessary. (Score 1) 892

No... what's unfair and selfish is that the employer is taking unfair advantage of the other person by accepting their work and not paying nearly as much as they are willing to pay for that kind of work.

If you know you're "negotiating," you ask for more than you want based on the expectation that you'll meet in the middle, somewhere close to what you actually want. Some people love that - witness open air markets in most of the world where the price of everything is negotiable.

One imagines, if Reddit is really not going to negotiate on salary offers, that they will have to raise their 'opening' offer to something close to what prospective employees actually want. You can look at this as penalizing the people willing to go to the mat over that last $10/month, but it ought to benefit most people. After all, if "most people" were decent negotiators, don't you think car dealers would have abandoned negotiations by now?

Comment: Re:No kidding ... (Score 1) 88

by tburkhol (#49424727) Attached to: Research Finds Shoddy Security On Connected Home Gateways

My regular locks can be bypassed by any idiot with a brick. If you've got enough intelligence to bypass a connected lock, then you've got enough intelligence to get into my house past my normal locks and probably just as quietly.

Breaking an insecure internet lock is not like throwing a brick through the window. A thief who knows how to break the internet lock can sit quietly at home and search the net for easy locks, rather like going up to your door and trying the handle, except he can do thousands of doors from his bedroom. Or drive down the street looking for the right broadcast./response. To someone who knows how to break the security, broken security is more like a bright neon "Rob Me" sign than a fragile glass window. You think it's secure because you don't know how to read the sign.

Comment: Re:Overrated (Score 1) 200

by tburkhol (#49423181) Attached to: Snowden Demystified: Can the Government See My Junk?

In the second place, distilling issues down to "dick pics" is part of the problem with the modern media. Why fuel that race to the bottom? Idiocracy was supposed to be satire, not prophecy.

You're upset that Oliver's "fake news" program didn't contain enough news and analysis?

By all means, be upset that 60 minutes can't give the NSA any more than 10 minutes of fawning. Question why Frontline's 2-hour report on US surveillance didn't stir up a public outcry. Why much of the reporting is from outside the US. But be upset that a comedian show reduced government surveillance to the absurd simplification of dick pics? That's what they're supposed to do.

Comment: Re:Racketeering, Ouch... (Score 1) 201

When tests arrive in the school, the materials are locked in a safe inside a locked room that only the "testing administrator" controls.

Five of the 11 convicted were "testing administrators" or "resource officers." Two more were principal/assistant principal. Thinking about it, these are probably the people who stood to gain the most by inflating the overall performance of the school. Individual teacher merit pay doesn't seem like a huge enticement: would you really risk your career for a couple thousand dollars? Being labeled a success at turning around failing schools or districts...well, it got Hall named "National Superintendent of the Year." The administrators are the ones being judged on the aggregate test scores; they're the ones with power over individual teachers; it's not surprising that a top-down conspiracy would develop.

Comment: Re:How are these related? (Score 2) 201

It's easy to be moral and ethical when there's nothing to lose. To blame the mechanic providing the "something to lose" when weak, immoral and unethical people decide to act in their own best interest at the expense of children's education is irresponsible.

Federal judges are appointed to life terms in order to reduce the temptation to cheat. It turns out that all people are susceptible to pressure; almost all people will do things they "know" to be wrong if given enough enticement or peer pressure. If you give teachers a system of merit pay, some of them will game the system. If you impose a set of penalties, they will game the system. Pile those rewards/penalties on a system where teachers in districts with engaged and active parents get better resources, and you're just begging for trouble. "Social promotion" is as old as formal education. NCLB was supposed to be an administrative block to it, but it turns out teachers find a way around.

I find it very interesting that, 2 days before these verdicts, the GA legislature repealed the requirement that students pass a standardized test (CRCT) as a condition of graduation. And made it retroactive, so all those students, going back 10 years, who passed all their classes but were denied diploma for failing a section of the CRCT can now get their diplomas. ie: The state has legislated in the same social promotion that APS parents are up in arms over and that drove NCLB.

Comment: Re:Racketeering (Score 2) 201

It was appropriate here. The racketeering charge was based on the conspiracy, extortion and bribery they committed, and the corrupted organization was the Board of Ed.

The only guilty verdicts, aside from RICO, were for "making false statements," and only half of the defendants were guilty even of that. The two (3?) people charged with theft were found not guilty. No one was even charged with fraud. This makes it all seem like an organization dedicated to the criminal enterprise of denying its own existence.

I get that it's technically not a crime to change the answers on someone else's test, putting the prosecutors in a bind to impose penalties, but RICO seems really blown out of all proportion. Maybe it would have made more sense if they'd been able to try Dr. Hall before her death. Maybe she's the one who really committed/benefitted from the immoral but not illegal actions of her henchmen, but we didn't get to see that.

Whoever dies with the most toys wins.