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Comment: This is a popular online forum (Score 4, Insightful) 83 83

This is a popular online forum. You can bet that all sorts of state actors, megacorporations, politicians, and anyone else with clout or ambition will be shaping the discourse here as needed. Turn up your critical thinking skills a notch.
Education

Clinton Foundation: Kids' Lack of CS Savvy Threatens the US Economy 208 208

theodp writes: As the press digs for details on Clinton Foundation donations, including a reported $26+ million from Microsoft and Bill Gates, it's probably worth noting the interest the Clintons have developed in computer science and the role they have played — and continue to play — in the national K-12 CS and tech immigration crisis that materialized after Microsoft proposed creating such a crisis to advance its 'two-pronged' National Talent Strategy, which aims to increase K-12 CS education and the number of H-1B visas. Next thing you know, Bill is the face of CS at the launch of Code.org. Then Hillary uses the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) conference to launch a Facebook, Microsoft, and Google initiative to boost the ranks of female and students of color in CS, and starts decrying woeful CS enrollment. Not to be left out, Chelsea keynotes the NCWIT Summit and launches Google's $50M girls-only Made With Code initiative with now-U.S. CTO Megan Smith. And last December, the Clinton Foundation touted its initiatives to engage middle school girls in CS, revamp the nation's AP CS program, and retrain out-of-work Americans as coders. At next month's CGI America 2015, the conference will kick off with a Beer Bust that CGI says "will also provide an opportunity to learn about Tech Girls Rock, a CGI Commitment to Action launched by CA Technologies in partnership with the Boys & Girls Clubs of America that helps girls discover an interest in tech-related educational opportunities and careers." On the following days, CGI sessions will discuss tech's need for a strong and diverse talent pipeline for computer and information technology jobs, which it says is threatened by "the persistent poor performance of American students in science, technology, engineering, and math," presenting "serious implications for the long-term competitiveness of the U.S. economy." So what's the long-term solution? Expanding CS education, of course!

Comment: Re:The Free Market (Score 1) 75 75

If we actually had a competitive ISP market, where I could choose between, say, a hundred different providers at my residential address, then perhaps allowing the ISPs to compete in such a manner as you describe would make sense. As it is, we have 1-2 ISPs, and generally poor competition. Once one of the ISPs decides to pull prioritization shenanigans, then we the consumer is powerless to do anything about it. The only vote we have with our wallet is to forego an internet connection completely.
Power

Researchers Design a Self-Powered Digital Camera 85 85

Jason Koebler writes: Researchers at Columbia University have designed a fully electric digital camera that powers itself using ambient light. Put in a well-lit room, it would work indefinitely. The camera's image sensor does double duty. It measures the light needed to make the photograph, and it also takes excess light and uses it to power a capacitor (it has no battery) that runs the camera (PDF). The research team says the technology can be used to create self-powered cameras that can live on the internet of things.
Privacy

The Disastrous Privacy Consequences of Canada's Anti-Terrorism Bill 116 116

An anonymous reader writes "Canada's proposed anti-terrorism legislation is currently being debated in the House of Commons, with the government already serving notice that it plans to limit debate. Michael Geist argues that decision has enormous privacy consequences, since the bill effectively creates a "total information awareness" approach that represents a radical shift away from our traditional understanding of public sector privacy protection. The bill permits information sharing across government for an incredibly wide range of purposes, most of which have nothing to do with terrorism and opens the door to further disclosure "to any person, for any purpose." The cumulative effect is to grant government near-total power to share information for purposes that extend far beyond terrorism with few safeguards or privacy protections."
Education

Nobel Laureate and Laser Inventor Charles Townes Passes 73 73

An anonymous reader writes Charles Hard Townes, a professor emeritus of physics at the University of California, Berkeley, who shared the 1964 Nobel Prize in Physics for invention of the laser and subsequently pioneered the use of lasers in astronomy, died early Tuesday in Oakland. He was 99. "Charlie was a cornerstone of the Space Sciences Laboratory for almost 50 years,” said Stuart Bale, director of the lab and a UC Berkeley professor of physics. “He trained a great number of excellent students in experimental astrophysics and pioneered a program to develop interferometry at short wavelengths. He was a truly inspiring man and a nice guy. We’ll miss him.”

Comment: But the Open Source drivers are good (Score 4, Informative) 160 160

My Radeon 6850 runs TF2 great on the OSS drivers. This is where things are headed, and if AMD keeps it up then Nvidia will have catching up to do. We're nearing the point where you can buy a graphics card, plug it in, and it "just works." The main issue is that it could take months for the bleeding edge to make it into the latest kernel, so brand new GPUs could be problematic. More to the point, in a few years an AMD APU might be both "good enough" for gaming, and also "just work." On Linux. That's saying something.

Comment: Re:Brian Reynolds is a time traveler (Score 1) 379 379

Unfortunately for us, it's not just denying access to information, but mandating access to our own information. What has yet to be tested is what legally happens when you generate a random file and send it to someone. If asked, how can you prove it's not an encrypted file? There is no key that can be used to unlock it!

Crime

Obama Offers Funding For 50,000 Police Body Cameras 262 262

An anonymous reader writes: Today President Obama announced $263 million worth of funding for law enforcement agencies around the country to outfit officers with body cameras and improve training. The money requires matching funds from state and local authorities, and the $75 million dedicated to body-cams should buy about 50,000 of them. This is in response to the recent events in Ferguson, Missouri. "Obama also plans to overhaul how the federal government disperses military equipment to local police departments, the White House said Monday. ... The Ferguson police department deployed officers wearing gas masks, military fatigues, stun guns and rubber bullets during the initial protests. Studies show the procurement of military equipment by police departments has been on the rise as law enforcement has been allowed to cheaply purchase gear originally deployed in Iraq and Afghanistan."

Comment: Re:INTC stock, a happy story (Score 1) 91 91

Everything went up after the meltdown. You could have put money in just about anything and done likewise... which is exactly what the ultra-wealthy did. Since the ultra-wealthy could afford to take the risk and not sell when things were low, they could then swoop in with cash and buy up things real cheap. If you're poor, you probably weren't able to do so. This phenomenon has contributed to the increasing wealth disparity in the United States. Congrats on not being poor.

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