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Comment Re:Anonymous & Unpopular (Score 1) 95

Amen to that one. There's a big difference in protecting assets vs this (virtual) panopticon.

My day job mostly involves installing and maintaining security and surveillance equipment. Usually for government agencies. But what my job entails isn't much different than protecting your home or business with ADT, etc. Just on a large scale and a bigger budget...(and outdated regulations).

Ie. It's a government facility. There is CCTV in use. There are security systems in use. Entering the installations is giving consent to being monitored, searched, etc. Using their phone system is giving consent to having your calls recorded.

The same as if your employer has CCTV and the ability to search your possessions on their premises. For the government installations, this is all pretty much a given (and aptly advertised). This, to me seems fine. Much the same way I'm fine with stores having CCTV in and around their buildings.

The problem areas are with agencies like the NSA that have basically been granted to ability to look at and listen to whatever they want, whenever they want.

Comment Re:Perfect is the enemy of good. (Score 1) 1103

Bear with me, cuz I'm not familiar with BACS or CHAPS (or anything other than the US banking system). Having just 'skimmed' the articles, I can make a completely inaccurate attempt at breaking down my paycheck, banking.

1. I get paid via Direct Deposit on the 15th and last business day of each month. I think this is a bit like BACS, in that my employer does ???? a few days before my payday, and on the 15th (or often, the business day before) money magically arrives in my bank account (technically, a credit union)

2. My accounts: I have a Checking acct and a Savings acct. Direct Deposited pay goes to the checking account. I rarely write cheques/checks anymore, but the Mastercard debit card is linked to this account. Payments with the card are more "CHAPS-like" Some of my physical checks will cash on an Automatic Clearing House rather than waiting in limbo. Checks to my kid's daycare however tend to take about 7+ days to clear. I could pay them with the credit/debit card and have it withdrawn immediately, but they [the daycare] charge an extra $5 per transaction to do so to offset their 'per transaction fee' they have to pay for processing.

The Savings Acct. defaults to being protection if I overdraft from my checking. Other than that, it offers a pathetic interest rate as an incentive to save $$$ and bank with them.

In the US, some small companies and/or low wage jobs have physical checks given to the employee that they must cash. Problem is, most banks/credit unions won't cash checks unless you're already a member of their bank. Hence the pawn shops, payday loan, and check cashing locations save the day by offering check cashing services for x% of your hard earned paycheck.

I've also seen (Walmart?) offer "Free" check cashing, so long as you spent some percentage of said check at their store the same day.

Comment Re:Obama knows how to play politics if anything. (Score 1) 834

No, don't base it on getting lucky, but it helps =P (don't get me wrong, I've had to (and still have to) work my ass off in my industry)

I wholeheartedly agree that having an understanding of sciences will help anyone anywhere, but I'm also adamant in my belief that the current system is flawed and too much emphasis is placed on having a degree and not enough is placed upon real experience. I am in strong favor of certifications though.

There's issues with "what" is taught in schools. I've a friend whose been taking classes in electrical engineering -- and her instructors still haven't covered what ground is and why it's relevant in an electrical circuit. She asked "why are we not covering this?", as most of her classmates weren't familiar with it. Apparently it's not part of the curriculum, and "not that important".

Meanwhile, my wife was taking several courses, one of which was "Math" (I can't recall what exactly, fairly basic stuff). It covered some basic algebra, conversion to binary...but also Egyptian and Babylonian symbols. Um...what?!? I mean, kinda neat, IMO, but relevant to getting an "Administrative Professional Certificate"? I can't see how. Perhaps if there had been some rhyme or reasoning behind that aspect of the course, but no, it was presented simply as a "know how to convert Western Arabic/European numerals to ________ symbols". Meanwhile, hexadecimal is somehow less useful than Babylonian symbols (though I don't foresee her using Binary nor Hex in her day job either).

Comment Re:Obama knows how to play politics if anything. (Score 1) 834

>>>. This will deter many from seeking a higher education level. You will therefore end up with a larger proportion of young people having lower education levels, which tend to lead to menial jobs, more unemployment, and a reliance on benefits. >>>

BUT! Right now we have a high population of 'educated' people working menial/unskilled jobs. There's a mindset that "You have to go to college to get a job", which leads to a saturation of "educated" and/or over-qualified employees.

(Provided this is accurate: http://chronicle.com/blogs/innovations/why-did-17-million-students-go-to-college/27634 )

Meanwhile you have folks like me living relatively comfortable who 1) Didn't go to college 2) Worked their way up into their positions 3) Got kinda lucky. 4) Didn't take on the debt. (NOTE: Number 3 helps a lot, I'm not going to lie).

Comment Re:Not so popular in the US? (Score 1) 157

Hmm...basically we have a "family plan" with 2 phones on it. Both HTC Android devices, capable of 4g (but non existent). I'd much rather pay 19.90E.

Talk 1500 anytime minutes $ 110.00
Additional line charges (1 line) $ 19.99
Nights and weekends starting at 7pm
Any Mobile, AnytimeSM
Mobile to mobile
Allow International Calls (1 line)
Messages - Text, Pictures and Video
Unlimited Data - Web, email, TV, music, GPS and more
4G speeds in select cities
Premium Data $ 20.00
Total Equipment Protection (2 lines) $ 16.00
Plan charges $165.99 + Taxes and fees

Average total monthly bill $167.76

Comment Re:All of the above (Score 1) 161

Well, I do agree there are actual threats out there, sure. Yes, China potentially is a threat, as is Iran and N. Korea. Of those 3, I'd say China is potentially the largest threat just based on economic power and supply controls.

However, it is also very accurate to state that most of (the USA's) our "enemies" are primarily a result of foreign interventions. I use "enemies" loosely here, because we're not engaged in a traditional "war" with anyone (as defined by clear objectives competing against other Nations). When we send UAV's into another countries air space, intentionally or not, I would expect some blow-back. Same deal when we interfere in another countries politics.

I would suspect (and I have nothing to back this up) that most of the "cyber warfare" that China lays down (as a Nation) on the US is more comparable to Cold War Soviet spying than direct acts of aggression. A version of "ha-ha! Look what we can do!". --Again, not fact, just IMO.

Comment Re:This will go down well...lulz (Score 4, Insightful) 339

I too started with Slashdot in the late 90's (closer to early 2000 I suppose).

Life/work got in the way, so I quit following the site. I finally came back about 6 months or so ago, mostly lurking.

Now I get the feeling most of the articles are aimed at getting page views. If it weren't for the comments section, I think I'd be just as well off looking at the stuff from Fast Company.

Now if you'll excuse me, I need to clean up the vomit.

Comment Re:Sixty-nine percent (Score 1) 910

Twas a hit piece ran by E. Hoffman Price, I swear it!

OOooh:

In The Case of Charles Dexter Ward, its name is part of an incantation that could revive the dead:

        Y'AI'NG'NGAH
        YOG-SOTHOTH
        H'EE-L'GEB
        F'AI THRODOG
        UAAAH

BRING BACK REGAN!

Comment Re:Sixty-nine percent (Score 1) 910

At first I thought you'd mixed the King in Yellow with Narlyhotep. Then I remembered being on the on the Plateau of Leng.

As for Azathoth, well, he is a blind idiot god. Powerful, yes, but we really don't need more idiots. Cthulhu, well, he claims he's concerned with climate change, but look, he's probably not going to even wake up when the red phone rings in the middle of the night unless "The Stars are Right!". Though he'd maybe stick Dagon as a running mate and that's not all bad.

But what about the King in Yellow? Ya know, Hast...err...the one who shall not be named? Kinda hard to gather support like that though.

Oooh, Narly and Yog-Sothoth on a ticket! That's something I can get behind!

Comment Re:And so another empire has fallen (Score 2) 910

In practice or in theory?

In theory, the Federal Government abides by the constitution and deals with things outside of, or superior to, the individual states. ie. Minting money, the military, roads, US Postal Service, war, international affairs, felony crimes, taxation, etc.

Individual states would enforce the minimum standards set by the federal powers and can be more stringent if necessary. States *used* to control the Military Reserve units. The POTUS and Feds had to request the use of reservists for operations/actions. (I believe that changed sometime after 9/11, but I don't recall when).

In theory, it's easier to change things at the local and state levels. You can move to another town or state with relative ease, if another area has politics more to your liking.

In practice, (at least, based on my opinion) the Federal Government has substantially more power than the founders ever intended, and as a country we're wrapped up in way more international affairs than we should be. The State Governments are dependent upon the feds for financial support, funding special projects, bail outs, subsidies, etc....(I'm sure there's more, but lets keep this fairly short).

Realistically, most people only care about the federal issues portrayed on the daily news. I'd love to blame this on the media but it's also due to people being lazy -- myself included. I couldn't even tell you who the current City Mayor is, nor name most of the city politicians or state representatives. It doesn't usually make headlines, so we ignore it. Yet every election cycle, we hear about the presidential candidates positions on taxes, guns, abortion, religion, "equal rights", and basically the same talking points that never have any real bearing once the candidate is in office. We eat that shit up. It's entertainment & drama.

Comment DoD Priorities.... (Score 1) 104

We all know the gov is slow to adapt, but it should also be pointed out the methods by which most of the DOD operates.

1. Should we do "it"?

2. Write a directive on how to do "it".

3. Have "it" reviewed and revised ad nauseum until "it" is no longer relevant nor accurate.

4. Give "it" to the newest lowest ranking least trained to implement, as the superiors have already reviewed "it".

5a. Interrupt mission critical operations by implementation gone wrong, resulting in a stop on progress, have a meeting, go back to step 2/3.

5b. Attempt to schedule a known outage and have it postponed indeffinatly as the risk of leaving things "as they are" is less damaging (for now) than interrupting current operations for a preventative change.

--------

That's the basic gist of it anyway.

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