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Comment Consider other professions (Score 1) 281

My father was an MD in government service. He had to stay current, and all of his study was done on his own time on his own dime, so we are not alone.
That said, in the IT industry, if you are not continually working to expand your skillset/knowledgebase, you will very quickly find yourself unemployable. If your employer wants to provide guidance in what to study, that's not a bad thing - there are so many possible areas of study that some guidance is useful. Now, if their guidance would required you to spend a lot more of your own money than would other areas of interest to you, they probably ought to pony up some part of the cost of studying that area. You might consider discussing it with your manager ("my budget for study is X. The cost of your suggestion is X + C. Could you cover C?").
Any good manager is willing to consider a win-win situation. If you don't have a good manager (or a good employer), study what will make you marketable in the direction that you want to move, and then MOVE.

Comment Re:I wonder how effective it will be? (Score 1) 370

If the best you can do is add a secondary charge to those already aimed at a criminal, you haven't really accomplished much. You have not made it harder for the criminals to operate, although you have made life more difficult for law-abiding citizens (and, per prior posts, law-abiding foreigners).

I'm not certain that the secondary charge will be very effective: "Your honour, I asked my good friend, Juan, if I might borrow his cell phone for a couple of days. Being a good friend, Juan said 'yes'". Unless it is illegal to lend a phone to a friend, getting around this dodge might be hard.

Comment I wonder how effective it will be? (Score 4, Insightful) 370

So, the stated goal is to prevent criminals from using cell phones. Since we are talking about criminals, what prevents them from registering under a stolen identity? Or what prevents them from stealing cell phones? Or what prevents them from paying $1000 to Juan (who earns $50/month) over there to register their cell phone in his name? I understand the desire, but it won't work (even if government corruption does not undermine the plan). It will become another pointless government bureaucracy.

Comment Re:never trust anyone who complains about "fairnes (Score 2, Interesting) 71

I guess that depends on how you define "fair".

If "fair" means that the clowns who slacked off in school, spending their time partying and doing drugs, now make little more than minimum wage while those of us who worked hard make a good living, then I'm all for "fair". Too often, those who tout "fair" do not consider that one's current situation is heavily affected by one's previous decisions. I feel no moral responsibility to compensate for the problems you have caused yourself.

Comment Re:Big Bank and Evolution (Score 1) 495

In the first place, it violates the second law of thermodynamics. That ought to be sufficient argument against it.

Entropy is reversed by doing work, which is what life does, by transforming energy (pumping heat).

Fair enough, but if the work is the genesis of life, there is no life available to do the work. Your argument is circular.

Beyond all that, there are no known examples of intermediate species. Considering how much evolution must have occurred (if we assume evolution to be correct) there ought to be scads of intermediate forms walking the planet today. Where are they?

walking around, those that were not out-competed and failed to adapt.

Care to point out a few (or one)? The amount of steps required to result in all the species on earth would require a vast number of intermediate forms. There is no reason that there should not be a host of intermediate forms now.

Comment Re:Big Bank and Evolution (Score 1) 495

Well, I agree that evolution is a theory (I wish people would do a better job of remembering that). I don't agree that it is ridiculously strong, particularly if you are talking about evolution as the origin of life.
In the first place, it violates the second law of thermodynamics. That ought to be sufficient argument against it.
As we learn more about the complexity of the cell, and of DNA, the amount of information contained therein becomes ever more staggering. Five billion years is simply insufficient for any known mechanism to allow that much information to occur through random chance.
Beyond all that, there are no known examples of intermediate species. Considering how much evolution must have occurred (if we assume evolution to be correct) there ought to be scads of intermediate forms walking the planet today. Where are they?

Comment It Depends... (Score 2, Interesting) 208

It could be secure, given the following constraints:
1. The computers contain NO mass storage at all.
2. The mass storage is external to the computer and is disconnected from the computer during cloud computing.
3. The computer is rebooted from CD (or DVD) before and after cloud computing.
Of course, the odds on those constraints being met are pretty low if non-technical types are involved.

Comment Re:Only Apple (Score 1) 624

A closed environment is highly desirable for some users. Consider my mother (and a whole lot of her peers). She's in her 70s. What she knows about computers would not fill a 5x7 card in her recipe file. What she wants to know about computers takes a whole lot less space.

The only reason she has a computer is so that she can email my sister (who lives overseas). Other than that, she has no interest in the thing. Were it not for me, her computer's S/W would never be updated.

For my mother, and her peers, a closed system makes a huge amount of sense. They just want the darn thing to work and do the few things they want done. They don't want to fuss with it. They don't want to spend a lot of time figuring out how to make the thing secure.

Do I want a closed environment for my development computer? Certainly not. But I use my computer for things that my mother would never comprehend. Computer users are not a monoculture. They exhibit a wide range of wants and needs. For some, an open environment is best. For others, a closed environment is best. The computer world ceased to be a one-size-fits-all realm decades ago.

Comment Re:Mod parent up (or not) (Score 4, Interesting) 984

Well, when I was in university, studying computer science (who'd've guessed that a /. contributor studied comp sci?), KB was defined as 2^10 bytes, MB was 2^20, and GB was a pipe dream (hey, I graduated from uni in 1986). So, for us, kB WAS defined as 1024 bytes. That's how ALL of my textbooks, which I still have btw, defined kB.
Perhaps it was not defined as 1024 bytes everywhere (comp sci types are notorious for having multiple standards), but it was defined as 1024 bytes in a fair number of places.

Comment Re:WTF? Just ask the patient. (Score 1) 981

"In all fairness it is a valid question to pose. Genetically altering humans is a fairly big ethical question. Granted curing color blindness is fairly harmless, but once we know how to do that and accept it can be done it pretty much stands to reason that we will find out how to do other things and will accept doing those."

True, once we learn how to genetically alter humans, we will be faced with the question of what alterations are ethical, moral, acceptable... However, the fact that a technique raises questions does not make a specific use, in and of itself, unethical, immoral, unacceptable. Consider the concept that we should not create explosives because they could be used to harm people. That is true, but explosives can also be used to facilitate mining, construction, etc. There is no doubt, for instance, that Alfred Nobel's invention has been a boon to mankind (even though some have abused it). There are [more expensive] alternatives to explosives. But many of the issues that gene-therapy could resolve have no good alternative cures (there may be the means of treating the symptoms, but no cures). Should we deny the cure on the fear that someone else may abuse the technique?

When I was in grade school, I frequently encountered teachers who, rather than try and determine which two or three students were talking in class, would simply give the entire class detention. Rather than deal with the specific case of abuse, they took the easy way out and penalized everyone. Banning gene-therapy on the fear that someone might abuse it is wrong. It unfairly penalizes those who have done nothing wrong but might well benefit from it.

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