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Comment orly? Portland ahead of curve, big open source hub (Score 3, Interesting) 83

When Oregon’s new Chief Information Officer, Alex Pettit,was on our show recently, we asked him what stood out from his move from Oklahoma to the northwest. He said there were some expected cultural differences, but that in terms of IT he was caught by surprise:

        I was surprised that things like open source wasn’t as bigin government as it is in the East Coast, or in Oklahoma, where I was. I was surprised that transparency wasn’t a bigger issue. It’s certainly a big issue in Oklahoma, and it’s less so here.

This was striking because Oregon is known for its open source community — at Oregon State’s Open Source Lab, at the annual OSCON Conference, and among many programmers. And his comments came right before an Oregonian op-ed argued that open source software could have prevented the Cover Oregon fiasco.

The only mistake that may have been made by Oregon State gov. tech people was letting Federal officials talk into going outside Oregon for the website project.

Comment Amazon's big screw-up - missed (Score 1) 405

Amazon big screw-up with the Kindle was completely missing the big takeoff of crowdfinding sites like

"Authors are choosing to crowdfund their work, and there are now options for them on which platform to use. The question is: Kickstarter, Indiegogo or Pubslush? To explore the pros and cons of those platforms, I interviewed a successful author from each of them to find out why they chose it and how they succeeded....

Amazon Kindle & DRM strategy needed to end up with authors completely dependent on the Amazon for their income. Amazon either missed the birth or takeoff of crowdfunding sites for as a new important revenue source for creative occupations.

Comment feed myself w/ knowledge & history of steelmak (Score 1) 737

...When Bessemer went to push them into the ladle, he found that they were steel shells: the hot air alone had converted the outsides of the iron pieces to steel. This crucial discovery led him to completely redesign his furnace so that it would force high-pressure air through the molten iron using special air pumps. Intuitively this would seem to be folly because it would cool the iron. Instead, the oxygen in the forced air ignited silicon and carbon impurities in the iron, starting a positive feedback loop. As the iron became hotter, more impurities burned off, making the iron even hotter and burning off more impurities, producing a batch of hotter, purer, molten iron, which converts to steel more easily....He realised that the technical problem was due to impurities in the iron and concluded that the solution lay in knowing when to turn off the flow of air in his process so that the impurities were burned off but just the right amount of carbon remained. However, despite spending tens of thousands of pounds on experiments, he could not find the answer.[7] Certain grades of steel are sensitive to the 78% nitrogen which was part of the air blast passing through the steel.

I don't know precise formulas for 19th century steelmaking, but I know right where to look in a library. There's was a PhD in the family for metallurgical engineering. Now materials science. I'd feed myself, won't freeze to death.

Comment I attended Historically Black College. Ooops. (Score 1) 448

White guy who attended a Historically Black College on a Minority Scholarship. To make real long story brief, Federal lawsuits against Old Dominion Univ. and Norfork State Univ. for state schools so close geographical, opposites racially. There were some extra scholarship money to help balance the schools in 80-90's. My first year of college was Norfork State. Lived in the dorms. I made a ton of great friends. People at NSU bent over backward to try to make me feel at home. Terrific experience.

Comment It's Black folk who HATE Condi Rice. (Score 2, Informative) 448

Condi Rice is as black as Barack Obama's corporate lawyer wife. Condi Rice is utterly detested by her fellow black folks for going on a NYC Ferragamo shoe shopping spree and catching a Broadway Musical Comedy, Spamalot, quite literally as Hurricane Katrina came ashore in New Orleans and her brothers and sisters were fighting for their lives. Quite literally fiddling while Rome burned. You forgot, huh? Here's to reminds you...

"...That evening, upon arriving at the Palace Hotel, I flipped on the television. Indeed, the hurricane had hit New Orleans. I called Henrietta, who said that the main issue was making sure our people were safe. She'd also convened a departmental task force because offers of foreign assistance were pouring in. I called Secretary of Homeland Security Mike Chertoff, inquiring if there was anything I could do. "It’s pretty bad," he said. We discussed the question of foreign help briefly, but Mike was clearly in a hurry. He said he'd call if he needed me. I hung up, got dressed, and went to see Spamalot.

The next morning, I went shopping at the Ferragamo shoe store down the block from my hotel, returned to the Palace, and again turned on the television. The airwaves were filled with devastating pictures from New Orleans. And the faces of most of the people in distress were black. I knew right away that I should never have left Washington."

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