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Submission + - Ask Slashdot: Ethics of working for data collecting company

An anonymous reader writes: What do Slashdot readers think of the ethics of a data collecting company? For the past few years I have worked for a supermarket part-time, scanning loyalty cards with each transaction. But ever since I have started working there it has really bothered me. Data leach companies like Datalogix are becoming more prominent, as is "Big Data". The supermarket has been doing it for years, but has started to push it hard by interrogating workers who don't scan enough cards and giving exclusive discounts to card holders.

Am I a part of the overall problem when I ask customers for their loyalty cards, and help the supermarket track shoppers' transactions? Should I move, or is this outside of my control?

Comment Re:Excellent (Score 5, Insightful) 1576

Ok, honestly, I wish people could try to be a little less partisan. Both men were good men and would try to serve this country. Sure they both have selfish motivations for some of the things they do but, seriously, who the hell wouldn't in that position???.
Let's all agree that, though Obama may do things differently than you personally think he should, he's going to lead America as best he can.
I'm generally conservative/libertarian in my politics and most of my friends align in that direction. I infrequently use Facebook and when I looked this morning I was disgusted with the ridiculous epithets and flat out doucheiness of a LOT of people who call themselves "Christians" or at least moral people.
Obama is a good man. I would lead a bit differently than I but he's NOT a "Baby Killer", the "Antichrist", the "Nigger in the White House", or any other hateful and decidedly unchristian thing so many morally ugly people are saying about him.
He's your president. He's your supreme leader. He's under tremendous pressure and stress to serve America and her interests. Speak of him that way or shut the hell up.

Comment Re:we need a litmus test (Score 1) 1113

I am genuinely curious to know what you mean by "stand up and put these extremist assholes in their place". As in violently remove them from office? Graffiti the sides of buildings? Stand in the middle of intersections and yell about Rep Broun? Seriously, what do you suggest?
Do you really think someone who self-identifies as the same religion as Rep Broun could just call up CNN and say "I want to put that extremist asshole in his place" and CNN would show up at his house with a camera and give him the opportunity to say "Not all of us who call ourselves $religion_name agree with that one guy who does $crazy_shit and calls himself $religion_name!"
I'm honestly curious what you think someone should do to as a matter of "get your asses up" in that regard.

Submission + - NASA's Curiosity rover finds ancient streambed on Mars, evidence of 'vigorous' w (blogspot.in)

Qualitypointtech writes: "NASA's Curiosity rover mission has found evidence a stream once ran vigorously across the area on Mars where the rover is driving. There is earlier evidence for the presence of water on Mars, but this evidence — images of rocks containing ancient streambed gravels — is the first of its kind.

Scientists are studying the images of stones cemented into a layer of conglomerate rock. The sizes and shapes of stones offer clues to the speed and distance of a long-ago stream's flow.

"From the size of gravels it carried, we can interpret the water was moving about 3 feet per second, with a depth somewhere between ankle and hip deep," said Curiosity science co-investigator William Dietrich of the University of California, Berkeley. "Plenty of papers have been written about channels on Mars with many different hypotheses about the flows in them. This is the first time we're actually seeing water-transported gravel on Mars. This is a transition from speculation about the size of streambed material to direct observation of it."

The finding site lies between the north rim of Gale Crater and the base of Mount Sharp, a mountain inside the crater. Earlier imaging of the region from Mars orbit allows for additional interpretation of the gravel-bearing conglomerate. The imagery shows an alluvial fan of material washed down from the rim, streaked by many apparent channels, sitting uphill of the new finds.

Read more from http://qualitypoint.blogspot.in/2012/09/nasas-curiosity-rover-finds-ancient.html"


Submission + - Possible Egyptian Pyramids Found via Google Earth

x_IamSpartacus_x writes: In an article being carried by discovery.com, Two possible pyramid complexes might have been found in Egypt, according to a Google Earth satellite imagery survey. Located about 90 miles apart, "the sites contain unusual grouping of mounds with intriguing features and orientations" said satellite archaeology researcher Angela Micol of Maiden, N.C. According to Micol, both sites have been verified as undiscovered by Egyptologist and pyramid expert Nabil Selim, whose findings include the pyramid called Sinki at Abydos and the Dry Moat surrounding the Step pyramid complex at Saqqara. The researcher has previously located several possible archaeological sites with Google Earth, including a potential underwater city off the coast of the Yucatan peninsula. The sites have been sent to Egyptologists and researchers for further investigation and "ground truthing," she said.

Submission + - Yahoo's New CEO Mayer is Pregnant (cnn.com)

x_IamSpartacus_x writes: Marissa Mayer, the Google executive who today was named Yahoo's new chief executive, is pregnant!.
Of course, her pregnancy, which Mayer learned of last January, was something to think about when she got the initial call from Jim Citrin, the Spencer Stuart recruiter commissioned by the Yahoo board.
Mayer first disclosed to the Yahoo board that she is pregnant in late June, in a meeting with Michael Wolf, a member of the board's four-person CEO search committee. A meeting with the search committee followed, and then Mayer met with the full board last Wednesday. None of the Yahoo directors, she says, revealed any concern about hiring a pregnant chief executive. "They showed their evolved thinking," says Mayer, who got the phone call last Thursday that she was the board's choice to be CEO.

Comment Re:HERE is why. I had to RTF(links) (Score 1) 564

But here's the thing; the WORST score for the USA in the metric used was the proportion of foreign contributors to the scientific output and of foreign students in tertiary education. So the SMALLEST contributor to the ranking of the USA was the foreign scientists that helped produce science. This means that although Canadian, UK, Swedish, German, or other nationality scientists may want to go get paid in America, they are making a smaller difference in the output of the science in the USA than foreign nationals are making in their own countries!

Heck, even the proportion of international students in 3rd ed in the USA is in that metric so this means that, as compared to the other countries in this study, the USA has a very low proportion of international students in science courses and a very low proportion of international contributors to its research.

Look in the link to the study in my GP post. Under point 2.3 is the definition of their "Connectivity" metric and under point 3.3 it explains the USA's low reliance on international collaboration in research.

The United States, Korea and Japan are in the bottom quartile for [international] research collaboration, in part reflecting the existence of a critical mass within the national research community.

Comment HERE is why. I had to RTF(links) (Score 5, Informative) 564

Additionally, the latest study released by Universitas 21, a global network of research universities, concluded that the United States ranks No. 1 in the world in higher education — a metric that partially relies on scientific research output. (Sweden came in a distant second.)

From the description this seems like a stupid metric that would be obviously skewed towards countries with higher population. With a Sweden's population of almost 9.5 million verses the USA's 315 million one would HOPE that the scientific research output is significantly higher. While TFS doesn't go into depth about the actual metric, I figured I'd need to do some reading through some links.
I just looked at the report and it looks like the metric is more than that.

It has things like

  • Amount spent on tertiary ed (resources like "per student" "percent of GDP" "per population head" etc)
  • Proportion of female students in tertiary ed
  • Proportion of international students in tertiary ed
  • Total articles produced by higher ed facilities (gross AND per capita)

So it looks like that might not be that bad of a metric after all. It's far from perfect but there are probably few if any that are. All in all, I'm impressed that the USA is ranked number 1.

When looking through the ACTUAL scores of the different countries the USA scores a dismal 37 out of 50 in the "Proportion of international students in 3rd ed and proportion of articles co-authored by international collaborators". Where the USA far and away blows away the rest of the field is in the actual scientific article output (weighted by gross and per capita as noted above).

All in all, it's an interesting report that seems to fly in the face of most of slashdot's readership's (mine included) perception of the direction of the education system in the USA. Maybe most of the bad news is at the secondary education level?


Submission + - Ask Slashdot: Why not Kickstart Free Software? (kickstarter.com) 9

corbinlc writes: "Ask Slashdot: Why not Kickstart Free Software?
As covered on slashdot recently, there is a nearly over Kickstarter campaign to bring Octave and gnuplot to Android. I, Corbin Champion, am the developer behind the project and the associated campaign and have a few questions for slashdot readers. I will ask a few here to entice you and then post more in the comments to provide for lots of raucous debate. I have gotten a lot of feedback like "Why should I fund something that is given away for free?". Is this really the general feeling about free software? Recently, there was an article about Kickstarter being about pre-orders. Is it too abstract for people the pay it forward for the features they would like to see in software that doesn't have a unit price tag? Many people also seem to think the project deliverables shouldn't require the $50,000 funding goal. How much do you think it would cost to have someone develop the deliverables listed?"

Comment Re:Hang on a second... (Score 1) 286

Posting to remove accidental moderation.
I totally agree. If you want to watch it, watch it, enjoy it, have a a ball. But if you have to hide it and are ashamed of it you are doing something wrong. If your significant other has a problem with it then either you need to convince them it's not a problem, break-up and find someone else who doesn't have a problem with it, or STOP WATCHING IT. Figure it out.

Comment THE CHILD WASN'T REFUSED (Score 5, Informative) 624

Apparently people (including the submitter) are not RTFA very well. FTA

Little Kye’s passport has a crease on the back cover, which Gosnell says came from him accidentally sitting on the passport. His passport was questioned, but not denied. It was Kyle Gosnell’s that was the real problem. It has a small crease on the back cover, and is overall weathered and worn.

The child's passport was NOT denied, it was Kyle (presumably the father) who had the "overall weathered and worn" passport that was denied. It's hard to believe that his passport was so weathered and worn that it couldn't be read so this is probably still an issue of an airline employee with a stick up his ass but TFS is completely wrong and trolling everyone who comments on here enraged. TFA doesn't even say that the RFID chip had ANYTHING to do with his being denied. Parent is absolutely right that the person who is quoted has NOTHING to do with this situation. The local Fox team reporting on this probably Googled someone in the Denver area (not the Dallas area where this whole f'ing thing actually happened) and asked this nutjob for a quote for their story.
PLEASE RTFA before commenting. Slashdot editors, PLEASE edit these retarded submissions before they get our collective panties in a wad.

Comment Re:And? (Score 1) 658

Furthermore, we already have government run healthcare: the VA and Medicare--for vets and old people. Not only are these services popular, their more efficiently run than private insurance companies, with less administrative costs. Which lead to the absurd statement: "get your government hands off my medicare."

Excuse me when I say that I think you've been brain-washed by Fox News.

This report specifically talks about how INEFFICIENT Medicare is and makes recommendations to change that.

This USA Today article complains that Medicare funds the vast majority of residency training in the USA. That's not necessarily a bad thing, but it is a substantial amount of money that is not going to treatment as you said.

This report says fraud is costing in the billions. And this article says that fraud is a growing problem in Medicare costing $60 billion per year and says that fewer than 5%... that's 5% of claims are audited.

According to this Congressional Research Service report Medicare's budget is $420 billion for 2009. If $60 billion is just fraud, that means nearly 15% of Medicare's budget is NOT going to treatment not including all the rest of Medicare's expenses (funding residency, other misc overhead).

Sorry, but to say that Medicare is efficient is just plain wrong.

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