Comment "programming class" (Score 0) 180

I did programming at school and

....and that's where the whole discussion goes off the rails. It seems like a simple you say, "the teachers knew what they were doing and how to teach things"...but anything "tech" is going to draw money, hype, and BS artists (irresistable to politicians)

We need **coding** or, if you prefer **programming** class in high schools.

as a distinction from your standard "computer" class...the one that teaches the history of computing and a survey of the technology

Part of the problem is the "STEM" concept has taken hold in mainstream parlance. It's a reductive turns something that ***anyone who went to high school understands*** the subjects of math and science in all their incarnations...and makes it into something that idiot education people can yell about.

I used to be an "education person" and I'm not insulting the profession...most teachers who follow modern teaching methods would completely agree with what I'm saying.

Education funding should be a non-issue. It's about as obvious as wiping your's just basic survival instinct.

I'm not making false dichotomies about the politics...****education funding issues are all Republican's fault****

The GOP uses artificial budget scarcity as a way to privatize school systems (justified by all the horrible test scores from the underfunded schools).

But look...STEM, whateverthefuckthatmeans...if it means Math and Science and the application thereof...stuff like coding...then lets do it.

Also, let's make a Computer survey class a prerequisite...just like all high schoolers must know a minimum of biology...seriously technology literacy should be factored in there.

Comment Re:Sorry, but... why? (Score 1) 180

You've pretty much hit on a few major themes of what is wrong with the American economy right now.

Three broad things:

1. Companies have successfully externalized costs that they should be paying. This legislation is an example of that: companies that are large and profitable should pay to train the workers they want, instead of importing ready-trained (sometimes) workers for less pay. By making the education system the training ground for a highly industry specific field, big companies that need lots of technical people are pushing their costs out to third-parties, namely schools and people who pay for schools.

This is just one example. Huge companies are being built and disrupting industries, and much of it is built upon on labor, capital, and regulatory arbitrage. Uber is a good example - it is executing a strategy of regulatory arbitrage to undercut the traditional taxi business. Additionally, in the Uber example, you have massive cram-down of costs to smaller parties, like Uber drivers. A traditional taxi cab company will pay a huge operating expense to maintain and insure it's fleet. In the Uber model, that cost is pushed down to the driver, where this is enormous incentive to skimp or take risks. Every new disruptive thing that is happening is wringing not only excess (which is long-term economically good) but also decades or centuries of practice, tradition, and local law. The cost savings eventually must come from somewhere, and that somewhere is the middle class.

2. The distributed state model is good for trying out new policies, but eventually bad for business. Having a non-uniform employment and benefit market nationwide is a problem in the long-run. Also, businesses have persuaded the thousands of policy makers to create thousands, or tens-of-thousands, of small carves out, protections, etc that distort the market and create uneven and eventually economically harmful protectionists. Example, in New Jersey consumers can't pump their own gas. Nationwide, industries with good paying jobs are convincing state and local regulators to require specialty business licenses and operating requirements to prevent competition and sustain economic rent seeking activities that normally would be driven from the market. The ongoing failure to fix our national pension system, our healthcare payment and delivery system, and the failure to provide a rational basis for funding primary education has resulted in a hodge-podge of inefficient taxation and revenue collection models. Federal-level failures have created the high-cost, low-wage conundrum that you point out. The result is a labor market where the best jobs are being retained by the financially most stable and well-off cohort (the near-retirement boomers and their followers).

Basically, economic inefficiency is being codified and cemented instead of allowed to run it's course and be purged from the system. From over financialization of the economy, to corporate cost shifting, to environmental concerns - across the board, our nationwide policy making apparatus has been in paralysis for 30 very dynamic years, and it's not good.

3. The basic economics are getting out of whack. We are importing both legal and illegal a large number of foreign workers who are acting like a pressure relief value on economic development. By depressing wages and not-forming American-style, 2-parent/child households, consumption across the economy is being thrown out of whack. Despite jobs reports to the contrary, the US economy has not seen any quarters of real growth where economic activity expanded faster than new credit extension. Essentially, since the mid-1980's, every dollar of GDP expansion has come at the cost of a dollar or more of credit expansion. This is driving a growing demand gap that simply can't be papered over. Americans feel more insecure because they are poorer, which is an unusual thing for us to feel. We are not used to it. But the demand gap that been floating around in the system since 2007-2008 is getting worse, and each passing month it grows and grows. On top of that, Americans are declining, morally, into slothful and wasteful libertines, spending enomoursly on entertainment, dining, and housing far more than their relative wealth should be able to support.

The net result is that we are wasting a lot of American-labor capital, mis-allocating a dramatic share of our economic activity to things which do not increase the wealth or health of a nation, and starting to feel the effects of decades of credit-based expansion and monetary inflation.

Comment No they are in contempt (Score 3, Interesting) 135

The initial judgment was clear. The person which had debt but repaid them (the initial reason there was that judgement) did not have a right to change the news article because it was a fact, but they had a right to have the search engine not report them as a result. In fact this was how it worked before there was a search engine : if you wanted something forgotten you either moved out, or waited for some time. At that point if nobody checked the primary source directly (old journal article) then you were forgotten, as there was not a service/persons standing beside you permanently always telling everybody what you did wrong in the past. With google it is the case of having that person standing beside you telling everything you did so far as google can link it.

It was clear from the judgement and the right to be forgotten that further reporting it wide of the removal would go against the very basis of it. After all there is no difference between "mister ABC has fone stuff XYZ" and "mister ABC has asked google to remove link to article where he did stuff XYZ". Even if it was an error the first time it was clear after the first reported removal went that way , that google by continuing to do that went against the spirit and the basis of the right to eb forgotten. In fact i would argue that google did it intentionally, knowingly and contemptuously, respecting the letter of the law but hoping with a two pronged way this would undermine the right to be forgotten : 1) they intentionally continued reporting the link removal when they are not forced by law to do so, and it was obviously counter productive to the spirit of the law to tell that to news agency and 2) they intentionally agreed to remove link which were not covered by the right to be forgotten, for example from politician and prominent person doing illegal stuff.

Both actions shows this was not an accident and they did it to undermine the request. "doing no evil" is long gone. google now are clearly asshole.

Comment Re:Who has the market share? (Score 4, Insightful) 336

From the article:

Microsoft will likely one day struggle to woo users off Windows 7, just like it is currently trying to do with the headache that is Windows XP.

I wonder if Microsoft is learning the wrong lessons from their "good" versions. They're having a hell of a time getting people to leave them. In the future, if people hate the version they're on, they'll be much more likely to buy a new version in the hopes that it's better. Brilliant!

That's the only think I can think of to fully explain Windows 8, and why even now they're refusing to admit that Metro apps are a steaming turd on top of an otherwise competent OS. The only idiots who like using those "apps" are the ones who would probably be better off with a tablet or smartphone instead of an actual desktop computer, for whom the actual power of a desktop is apparently wasted.

Ok, maybe I'm just a bitter throwback who's resentful that my desktop is being marginalized. Maybe it's also because I hate the new skeuomorphic design aesthetic. What's wrong with gloss, gradients, transparency, and attractive animations, or even a bevel or link here and there so we can actually tell something is clickable rather than playing mystery-meat navigation? I swear, everything is going flat-shaded, blocky, ugly, and indistinguishable, all because that's now the new "hip" look.

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Feed Techdirt: This Week In Techdirt History (

Five Years Ago:

This was the week of the original Joel Tenenbaum trial, one of the only two (out of tens of thousands of people sued) that the RIAA actually took to court for file sharing. As we've explained, both Tenenbaum and the other defendant in the other case, Jammie Thomas Rasset, were horrible defendants who should have settled. The Tenenbaum case was a total disaster as it turns out that he flat out lied (don't do that). Even worse, his legal team was a complete trainwreck that seemed to have little real strategy. They appeared to bet the farm on a fair use defense that was always a ridiculous long shot (and I'm a big believer in fair use). When the court rejected the fair use argument right upfront, Team Tenenbaum appeared to have no real Plan B, leading to a total disaster of a trial, in which they failed to do the most basic things, like have an economic expert on hand to testify about the (lack of) damages. Given all that, it was no surprise that Tenenbaum lost and lost badly, being tagged for $22,500 per song, or a total of $675,000. The case went through various appeals, all of which failed. It was a bad case from the start and it never should have gone forward.

Meanwhile, we had a fun guest post from Amanda Palmer about how fans want to support artists. The family of a (deceased) artist in Denmark went after a town in Michigan that put up a statue very loosely based on the artist's own statue... which itself was based on a Hans Christian Anderson story. Oh, and Barnes Noble claimed that it had to put DRM on public domain books to "protect" the copyright on them. Got it?

We had some misguided lawsuits. A company in France sued Google because Google Maps is free, and that was unfair competition. Taser, makers of the famed stungun technology, sued Second Life because someone had created a virtual Taser. Speaking of misguided: ATT apparently blocked parts of 4chan. That's generally not a good idea.

On the patent front, this was our first mention of someone trying to claim a patent on podcasting. And we discussed how the failure of Segway to take over the world was a good demonstration of how people overvalue ideas and undervalue the execution (or, overvalue the invention and undervalue the innovation).

Meanwhile, Barry Diller declared that "free content is a myth" and so we declared that he was a myth, noting that both claims were equally accurate. And, on that note, professional troll/reporter Dan Lyons argued that Facebook, Twitter and YouTube should all start charging. Because obviously that would have helped their business models.

Ten Years Ago:

People were expecting the iPhone... but they'd have to wait three more years. Instead, they got... a really crappy Motorola phone with a slimmed down version of iTunes. You may not remember it now, but it was a big deal the day it was announced, when they thought it was a fabled "iPhone." And then everyone realized it sucked. And the carriers killed it. And then everyone waited three more years. Speaking of mobile operator idiocy, we were telling them to stop locking down their phones. Seems relevant this week, seeing as President Obama officially signed into law (just yesterday) a bill to legalize (for now) phone unlocking.

Meanwhile, people were just getting used to this whole texting business, leading some to fret about how it was ruing family trips because kids spent the whole time texting. Of course, these days, texting on vacation can be kinda handy to keep tabs on folks. We were curious about the foolish people who respond to spam. An off duty cop decided to mace a couple in a movie theater for answering their phone. And the website JibJab was threatened for doing a parody of "This Land is Your Land," despite the fact that Woody Guthrie famously explained his view of copyright as follows: "This song is Copyrighted in U.S., under Seal of Copyright # 154085, for a period of 28 years, and anybody caught singin it without our permission, will be mighty good friends of ourn, cause we don't give a dern. Publish it. Write it. Sing it. Swing to it. Yodel it. We wrote it, that's all we wanted to do."

Fifteen Years Ago:

Universal Pictures was threatening a site called for linking to their site. No joke. The site still has the rather incredible communications exchange between the two. Here's my favorite line from a lawyer at Universal:

As other Universal representatives previously explained to you, you are not permitted to link to other sites that contain our copyrighted material without our authorization. Not only is this activity another violation of our intellectual property rights, it also violates your internet service provider's terms of service.
Movie-list, for what it's worth, helped promote movies, posting their trailers and linking to the movies' own websites. Universal first demanded all the trailers be removed (which the site complied with) and then sued over the links. Perhaps even more ridiculous was the guy's ISP, who apparently freaked out when Universal contacted them. Check out this email his ISP sent to the guy who ran movie-list:

You are not a registered search engine, therefore you cannot consider yourself under the same guidelines. Universal HAS contacted us at this time. The situation is now that you must abide WHATEVER Universal insists upon. If not, we will have no choice but to suspend your site. We are bound to do so legally. Please comply with them IMMEDIATELY
Yes, back 15 years ago, it was the age when many people still thought that "deep linking" was illegal. It took until the following spring for a lawsuit to finally make it clear that linking is not infringement.

Meanwhile, this was the middle of the dot com bubble era -- and one startup was trying to IPO before it even launched because its entire business model was based on giving away its stock to users (uh, yeah). Even those crazy days, people who jumped head first into the startup game were discovering it isn't as easy as it looks. Meanwhile, Microsoft was kicking off an effort to become more well-liked in Silicon Valley (this was back in the bad old days when I didn't write very complete articles, so I never named the guy whose job it was to make Microsoft likeable, and the original article appears to be gone). Oh well.

Oh, and because some things never, ever change, we also wrote about the US government offering tax incentives to companies to provide backdoors in the encryption schemes they used.

Twenty-Five Years Ago:

We weren't publishing yet, but Robert Morris was ridiculously indicted for the Morris Worm this week. While it did take down the internet, it was never meant to be a malicious attack. Yet Morris was indicted under the (then relatively new) CFAA, becoming the first person indicted under that law. He was eventually sentenced to 400 hours of community service, 3 years of probation and a $10,050 fine -- all because his attempt to measure the size of the internet went haywire. He was the first victim of idiotic prosecutions under the CFAA, a law that still hasn't been fixed despite many others facing bogus charges. Morris went on, of course, to help found YCombinator, though he's remained mostly out of the public eye. Either way, this should be yet another reminder that it's time to reform the CFAA.

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Comment Re:PS4 or Xbox one won't get my money, and... (Score 0) 75

Luckily no one's been like Amazon and deleted your purchase, but the capability is there.

Sony already lost me when they first announced that they wouldn't touch the Linux install possibility on the PS3, and then ONE month later announced that their latest update would remove the possibility to install another OS onto it.

Comment Re:Try to make me forget. (Score 1) 135

No, in small villages, YOU don't exist. You are just the most recent cog and are defined by the unforgettable history of your family, which you can make up as you please (with consequences)

FTFY. I completely agree that connections are important, but you're assuming that anyone is truthful about their identity and their past, which is not the case, especially if they move to start afresh somewhere else. One added advantage in Europe was the plethora of small states and local dialects/languages, you could move 50km away and be literally in a different country.

Comment Re:The Free Market has the Technology Now (Score 1) 218

There's a reason for taxi medallions, registrars of contractors, business licenses, landlord-tenant laws, and other regulation services, and it's to keep those that run those businesses honest and to protect the consumer. A bad-apple can operate for YEARS when new customers in a market don't know to avoid them, even if existing customers have reviewed them as bad.

No economic study I have ever seen supports any of your assertions. Care to back up your handwaving with some facts?

Comment Re:Who didn't see this coming? (Score 2) 135

I bet the most "right to be forgotten" requests will never get additional publicity. There is a reason it is called the Barbara Streisand effect and not the Jon Doe effect.

I also do not fully understand the hatred against these rights. We aleady have intellectual property laws which limit the information flow on the internet in extreme ways. Why should indviduals not have some rights on information about themselves?

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Comment Mobile Browsers (Score 1) 336

I don't see how Chrome is gaining share on mobile...constant freeze, lag, and crash on all phones I use it on. The default Android browser and Firefox are the same. Opera is the only thing that is remotely reasonable, even if it is a bit slow at times it is head and shoulders above anything else.

Comment Re:Not when I switched (Score 1) 135

They didn't offer to jailbreak the phone for me, in part I'm sure because at the time they couldn't legally, but they certainly didn't mind if I tried, they just warned me of potential issues.

This is one of the things I like most about T-Mobile. They don't care WHAT you do on their network, as long as you're paying for it. I had an HTC One X on AT&T and I had to flash a different CID onto it in order to use HTC's developer tools (e.g. unlock the bootloader so I could install a custom ROM), as AT&T made them disable the feature for phones locked to their network; I then had to flash the stock CID back in order for my AT&T SIM to work. T-Mobile? When I went into the store to buy my M7, they explicitly asked me if I intended to run a custom ROM; when I told them I was considering it, they directed me to HTC's site, even told me which links to follow to get to the developer tools page. Love it.

Comment Re:yes, ignore office politics (Score 1) 246

Most answers to these questions are concentrating on the snooping. System admins should not snoop, unless specifically told to do so by someone in authority.

But few are talking about office politics. Do not stick your head in the sand! Listening to the grapevine is not snooping. Learn what's going on the same way everyone else can, by keeping up with how the company's presentation did at the trade show and that sort of thing, not by abusing system administrator privileges to read private email and the like. You have an interest in knowing if the company is about to go bankrupt, be sold, or layoff a whole division. You also want to know if you have enemies and if so, who they are and why they hate and fear you so you can guard yourself. It may be that someone somehow views you as a threat to their job, and they'd like to get you before you get them. Doesn't matter that you aren't a threat, what matters is that they see you that way. You may be able to show them otherwise, and they'll stop trying to plant knives in your back. Or maybe not. There are a lot of sick bastards out there who want power so they can enjoy making others sweat, make their lives hell. You don't want to be surprised by your job being eliminated, and if that's likely, you want to know that with as much advance notice as possible.

Comment Re:The Free Market has the Technology Now (Score 1) 218

It is absolutely foolish for you to generalize across Europe, from nearly bankrupt Greece, to highly regulated and comparatively well off Germany. The one thing that is pretty clear across the EU is that most people make a lot less money than they do in the US.

But, in my experience in Germany and France, customer service sucks. Businesses know they have you by the balls, often there is no competition, and they just laugh at "complaining to a government bureaucrat". Thanks, but I don't want the US to become anything like that; I'll take my chances with the unregulated market.

Comment Re:partly as a result, work culture is also haphaz (Score 1) 135

That's because here in Sweden at least, we learned from childhood to work in groups, including presentations etc, though that has changed a lot now that we've adopted more international methods. Aka, downgraded our education...

For example, when I was a kid, we had student councils in school, from age 10, where each class has 1 or 2 representatives, who then report to the rest of the class at the weekly class meetings etc. It was also a good way to teach students about democracy.

As for the difference between US and nordic culture in regards to meetings, time keeping etc, I do notice that a lot in my freelancing. US clients are more likely to call at completely idiotic times(like calling at 19:00 their local time, meaning it's middle of the night/really early morning for me), and as you say, less coordinated with materials at meetings etc.

The US has 30 times the population of Sweden, so please don't assume that all Americans are the same in terms of education or courtesy.

Comment Re:Bad idea (Score 2) 180

It should be like driver's ed - what you should or shouldn't do with a computer.

That doesn't sound like Computer Science at all; it sounds like an abomination. If you want to force people to take "Microsoft Essentials"-type classes where specific software and tips are learned by rote, then give them proper names; don't lie and say it's CS.

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Comment Re:Try to make me forget. (Score 1) 135

Also, while small towns are subject to hearsay just like any other social group, if someone's reputation is unjustly being damaged they will have a much greater chance to set the record straight, or at least make clear that they dispute an allegation involving them so everyone knows there are at least two sides to the story.

On the Internet, it doesn't work the same way. I made this argument here once before. In a nutshell, the fredom of speech argument might cover putting something on a web site and linking to it from popular sources, but it doesn't guarantee to put it in context. It also doesn't guarantee that if a negative piece of information is later updated to reflect changing circumstances then everyone who saw the original negative comments will also see and understand with equal weight the subsequent changes.

These imbalances are fundamentally unfair to the victim, and this principle has been recognised by professionals for a long time. Courts famously seek "the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth". In journalism, a basic principle is that if you're writing a piece criticising someone you also give them a right to reply, including actively inviting them to comment. But in the mob rule world of the Internet, no such professional ethics necessarily apply, and that is why it may be necessary to adopt new strategies so that technologies such as search engines can be stopped from (deliberately, maliciously, innocently, accidentally or otherwise) amplifying any damage.

Comment Re: Ahem (Score 2) 101

Bingo. There's anecdotal but nonetheless convincing evidence that far, far larger tunnel-boring machines are used to connect top secret, underground facilities...

Comment Re: They should've removed one to make room. (Score 1) 180

Protip: most kids don't learn English well until they take a second language.

Protip: Nonsense. That has more to do with bad teaching than it does having to take a foreign language to understand the native language of your own fucking country. My high school forced people to take French when I was in school, and it was simply awful. Bad teaching will make any subject seem impossible to learn, especially since most people seem to have no desire to learn on their own, and would rather be spoon fed (hence, public 'education').

Comment Re:over/under (Score 1) 218

It's a conundrum-type problem, trying to find the sweet spot. You basically need to decide if the over-burden of regulation is going to cost more than what you are preventing. And that's if you're a corporation. If you're a government trying to please the public, you have a mess of moralists who don't care about economics and demand 100% perfection which requires a lot of rules and almost always costs more than accepting 5% graft.

Here in the United States, the cut-off is approximately 15% graft. I suspect this may be from the high costs of auditing and investigation quickly outpacing cost recovery.

Comment Re:Try to make me forget. (Score 3, Insightful) 135

The Streisand Effect is quite overrated; I have serious doubts that even one percent of cases would actually invoke it, and suspect the fraction is even smaller than that. Same goes for 4chan and, actually, the news media in general; they find a couple of things and blow those up into huge scandals using creative storytelling, and let the rest slip past.

The Streisand Effect and 4chan are risks, but they're so unpredictable that it's probably not worth considering them as much of a factor in your decision to try and hide information.

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