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Comment: It could help answer some questions (Score 4, Insightful) 601

by zerofoo (#47768351) Attached to: U.S. Senator: All Cops Should Wear Cameras

Was Michael Brown surrendering with his hands up when he was shot, or was he attacking the police officer? Body cam video would have gone a long way to answering that question.

When investigating complex matters like police shootings, more evidence is better. There is no way you can convince me that less data would make the investigation better.

Comment: Re: Everything hits poor people harder (Score 2) 207

Social security is not a capitalistic system. It even has the word "social" in the name.

Let's just call social security what it is supposed to against poverty in old age.

The problem with SS is that people that don't need the insurance benefit are drawing from it. It would be better to treat the entire thing as an insurance policy...not a defined benefit, but one that exists if a set of conditions is met.

Comment: Everything hits poor people harder (Score 3, Insightful) 207

Poor people also pay a disproportionate part of their income on food, clothing, energy, housing and transportation. Should all of those things be cheaper for poor people as well?

Should I have done an income analysis on my neighborhood and if I found that I was on the low-end of the income spectrum, should I have demanded a lower price on my house simply because I make less than my neighbors?

I understand charity for the poor, but demanding that poor people pay less for everything simply because they are poor defeats the point of a market economy. If you are going to do that, why not go all the way to a state planned economy?

I'll tell you why that sucks. Capitalism, even with all its problems, is the best way to distribute limited resources in a world with unlimited demand.

Comment: He's also advocating for tax hikes for the rich (Score 4, Insightful) 207

I get that bashing the rich, while pitying the poor, gives everyone a feeling of moral superiority, the parent post did mention taxing capital gains the same as income.

So if you are a rich guy paying 15% tax on your capital gains investments, taxing that as regular income could push the rate well beyond 25%. That's a tax increase or "broadening the tax base".

Taxes should be flat across the spectrum. You shouldn't get a break because you are extremely rich or poor. Besides, a flat tax is naturally progressive. If you make more, you pay more.

Better still, let's not tax income or property. Since all money in the economy is eventually spent, let's simply tax consumption and fund our society that way. Everyone consumes - those that consume less will pay less tax.

Comment: Synology history of security vulnerabilities (Score 1) 150

by zerofoo (#47606977) Attached to: Synolocker 0-Day Ransomware Puts NAS Files At Risk

A while back synology had a problem with unauthorized bitcoin miners running on their devices:

There seems to be a culture of fast and loose with regards to software development at Synology.

I love my Synology NAS, but you have to be nuts to put these things on the internet.

Comment: Won't solve many problems in the US (Score 1) 149

by zerofoo (#47418227) Attached to: Alcatel-Lucent's XG-FAST Pushes 10,000Mbps Over Copper Phone Lines

The last mile of copper in the US is in an abysmal state. Telcos like Verizon are laying their fiber network and abandoning their low-cost copper network.

In Princeton, NJ we can barely make reliable, noise-free, voice calls over copper. T1s over copper are similarly disappointing.

I doubt pushing even higher speed data over this terrible infrastructure will result in a satisfactory experience - and the minute you need to replace a cable, why not lay fiber?

Comment: Symptom of a much bigger problem (Score 1, Insightful) 230

by zerofoo (#47179659) Attached to: Intel Confronts a Big Mobile Challenge: Native Compatibility

Microsoft and Intel spent 20 years building bigger. Intel made bigger more complex silicon and Microsoft bloat happily expanded to fill that bigger silicon.

I remember times in the 90s where I was upgrading CPUs for clients that were 6 months old - crazy.

These two companies where wholly unprepared for the mobile revolution that required small and efficient. Neither company could shrink their offerings down fast enough. Unix on ARM was there to fill the need.

I say to both companies - tough cookies. Had they had an eye toward efficiency instead of bloat from the very beginning, they would have been much better prepared for the mobile/app revolution.

Comment: Government preventing kids from learning to read (Score 1) 267

by zerofoo (#47179093) Attached to: Why NASA's Budget "Victory" Is Anything But

This is timely. I spent the better part of last night in a zoning and planning board meeting. I'm the IT director for a couple of small private schools for Kids with Dyslexia. One of our schools is currently located in the basement of a really old church. It works for us now, but our lease is running out and we need more space to grow.

We found a generous landlord willing to lease us space (way below market rates) in a brand new building - it's beautiful. It is part of a small financial complex, and the space is perfect for our needs. This landlord sees this as a temporary growth space, and he is offering to renovate a larger abandoned school for us over the next two years as our permanent home. He has a philanthropic foundation that would fund the renovation.

But there is one problem. The current (temporary) building has commercial/retail/office/daycare zoning. It does not currently have school zoning as an approved use.

We tried to argue the fact that currently "daycare" is an approved use, and teaching little kids how to read isn't a significantly different use. They didn't want to hear it. The sticking point? Parking. The landlord needs to completely redo a traffic/parking study to show how taking a few parking spaces from an enormous parking lot and dedicating them as "pickup and drop-off" spaces will impact the remainder of the parking lot.

Keep in mind, the entire parking lot and complex is privately owned by the landlord - there is no public parking anywhere in this complex. Presumably any parking problems would be the business of the tenants and the landlord.

That's what we thought, be we were wrong. The town denied our application and that means there will be no summer program this year.

So tell me - Government preventing a bunch of kids getting summer reading enrichment over a handful (3) of parking spaces is a good thing?

Sorry - people that extoll the virtues of Government have not had complex enough dealings with government to know any better.

Comment: Tech in a dyslexic school (Score 2) 310

I'm the IT director for a school that teaches kids with dyslexia and non-verbal learning disabilities (Asperger Syndrome). Technology is a hugely beneficial tool for these types of kids.

Language based learning disabilities make it hard for kids to learn other subjects. A student that can not read at grade level is hindered in all other subjects. Text to speech and speech to text technologies can help a student complete history and science classes while they remediate their reading and writing skills in other classes.

Google Apps has a ton of educational apps that are reducing our need for textbooks. Stuff like Geogebra and Plotly are free online and have almost eliminated math textbooks for our school.

Show me a teacher that says technology is a worthless teaching tool, and I'll show you a lazy teacher.

Computers much like books alone can not teach a child. These things must be integrated into the curriculum and it is the teacher's responsibility to guide the instruction and keep kids on track.

Technology isn't the problem - lazy teachers are the problem.

Comment: This tech is not about safety. (Score 1) 584

by zerofoo (#47048301) Attached to: Gun Rights Groups Say They Don't Oppose Smart Guns, Just Mandates

Anti-gun folks want this type of technology mandated as a barrier to gun ownership. This technology increases costs, and there is ZERO data to show that this technology increases safety. If this technology proves unreliable; it could actually decrease the safety of the end user.

The only people pushing for this gun technology are the manufacturers of that technology and anti-gun people. That alone is enough to make me suspicious.

The mandate argument is strictly a distraction. We gun owners live with TONS of mandates regarding our ownership and use of firearms. Comparing driving mandates to gun ownership is stupid. Driving is a state-granted privilege. The right to bear arms is a natural-born, constitutionally protected right.

Learn the difference.

Comment: Comp sci for all! (Score 3, Insightful) 306

by zerofoo (#46814409) Attached to: Our Education System Is Failing IT

Yep, I'm one of those "IT directors" that operates interfaces. I studied EE and graduated with a Comp Sci degree.

Sure, I learned all about this stuff - circuits, logic, algorithms/math...etc. I ended up not making products, but implementing/using them. I understand how the spanning tree protocol in my switches uses a tree data structure to detect and eliminate loops - but do I really need that level of knowledge to be an effective IT guy?

The reason IT guys have devolved into "operators of interfaces" is that of efficiency. I'm the sole guy here in a small school with 200 people in multiple locations depending on me to keep the lights on. I don't have time for lengthy customization or "roll your own" IT products.

So efficiency requires that I take products out of the box "operate the interfaces" according to best practice guidelines and move on with life.

That's just the way it is.

Blinding speed can compensate for a lot of deficiencies. -- David Nichols