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Comment The bar meetings (Score 3, Interesting) 96

The bar meetings and such are very important parts of conferences or any gathering of folks who only know each other thru publishing, mailing lists, etc. or even various forums like slashdot and fark.

Aside from the obvious, it is great to put faces to names you only know from mailing lists, etc. as well as having real time discussions. The value of a meat space meet up is very high, and to have your employer cover part or all of the costs is even better.

Comment Re:Slashdot sinking to new lows (Score 2, Interesting) 791

Now we have people complaining of cable orientation and defending and defending closed proprietary products...

It's called maturity, something the /. crowd has a lot more of since the site's inception. Sometimes good proprietary stuff is better, sometimes small things like cable orientation matter. Sure beats the "if it's not open-source / Linux / GNU it's automatically crap" attitude of yore around here.

Comment MI5 got it wrong (Score 4, Interesting) 301

Security through secrecy = no security.

Also, the Snowden leaks mostly show that it's more honest citizens than terrorists who should be concerned about ubiquitous surveillance. Cue 1984 references...

In a sense, Bin Laden got what he wanted: he didn't want to hurt western societies directly, he wanted to get western societies to collapse into dictatorships by giving the initial push (9/11) that would allow mostly-democratic governments to slowly turn nasty with a good reason.

Comment Re:Economics 101 (Score 2) 318

Sometimes both are free :)

Convienence store I worked at had a deal with Coke... the coke cooler section was more central, and the soda machine was Coke. Pepsi was off in the corner, beer in the opposite corner. For the prime shelving for the bottles/cans, Coke gave them the fountain machine, the syrup, and the cups.

Comment Re:This is a GOOD thing (Score 2) 160

They could even convince other businesses to form, buy or lease large swaths of land, and warehouse that inventory for them. Heck, these new business may even pay for the privilege But then... maybe someone really does want the feature set that the marketing folks thought 68% of the car buying public would want (or what the marketing folks wanted them to want....). Maybe these storage/delivery/prep businesses would be willing to try and convince someone to buy a particular car in storage, convince them that yes, this is the car for them! They don't want to go home and get on the internet and order one from that other car maker... we have the perfect car for you right here! Oh, and maybe, like just possibly, the person who wants to buy doesn't quite have enough ready cash.... why maybe, this storage place, the folks that work there happen to know of this local bank that will make a loan against the value of this here car....

I know, this sounds like crazy fantasy right? Well, believe it or not, it is true!

Comment Computer ? Website ? (Score 3, Interesting) 516

Silly question, but... what happens when you want to apply and you don't have a computer ? Surely, by definition, a sizable portion of the population that requires Obamacare doesn't necessarily have the means to have a computer or an internet connection.

And no, "anybody has a computer these days" is not an answer. I know plenty of people who don't have enough to feed themselves, let alone buy a computer - let alone one that's recent enough to cope with plugins that invariably tell you "your operating system / browser is not supported anymore, please upgrade." every 6 months.

Comment More useful (Score 5, Insightful) 55

Instead of a gatekeeper, I'd rather have a layer of software that automatically lies about myself (such as always giving my name as "John Doe" or my GPS location as being somewhere in the open desert near Timbuktu or something), so that not only the data hoarders don't get my personal information, but their data pool gets polluted. Bad data is much more of a problem to them than no data at all.

Comment Boy do feel safer (Score 2) 138

Fingerprint identification is great as long as (1) you trust the organization that uses it with that very, VERY personal data, and (2) you trust that they're not so lame as to lose your fingerprint data.

(1) I wouldn't trust credit card companies with anything more serious than an easily replaceable 4-digit PIN number

(2) Sheesh, even government routinely misplace confidential tax data of their citizens. Need I say more?

In short, I'll keep using good ole anonymous cash to spend at local retailers for my purchases thank you very much.

Comment Re:Common core? (Score 1) 268

I think the two can coexist.

After all, the individual-based teaching is about how student A learns best, how student B learns best, and letting them learn Subject Y in whichever way they are better able to process it.

Moving cross country while you are in 4th grade and learning all the states and capitols? Have current school document how you are learning for next school.

"Yeah, Johnny? He does the route memorization moving thru the states in a grid like pattern, but his sister Jane does better trying to sing along with Wakko's 50 States and skips around the map a lot"

Comment Re:Exactly! (Score 1) 671

So... "mitigate risk of a population by spreading it between all of them, whereas before you only got that benefit if you qualified for a group plan"

Isn't a group plan just a small(er) population? And maybe a better one to be putting risk to - employed people, usually full time vs. Everyone ?

Comment Vote with your wallet (Score 3, Interesting) 415

No need to legislate this. Most people I know go out of their way to avoid buying products that don't charge with a USB connector if they can avoid it - at least computer-related products.

Me, the last device I bought with a special charger was a Casio Exilim camera that has unique enough features that I had no other choice. But I hate that charger each time I have to carry it with me on business trips when I already carry a USB charger that takes care of all my other devices.

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