Catch up on stories from the past week (and beyond) at the Slashdot story archive


Forgot your password?

Comment Re:Using smart phones? (Score 2) 65

As long as you have property ownership, you will never have a true "smart city". Why? Because people will do what they want with their own property and if it doesn't profit them in some way personally then they will not do, or more importantly fund, the things they don't see as immediate personal profit. Cities own the property that is considered "public spaces" and there is no immediate profit for the city in making the changes you suggest for the city government. In fact, there are tremendous costs associated with what you suggest. Good luck getting voters to think long term when they can't even think 15 minutes into the future.

Comment Something smells fishy here (Score 4, Insightful) 103

His accomplice, Richard Justin Spraggins, who also pleaded guilty in February, will serve 11-23 months in prison and pay Comcast $66,825. Their operation purportedly cost Comcast $2.4 million, and Comcast claims that the loss has forced them to raise the rates on all their customers. However, the allegedly huge financial loss went undetected until a Comcast customer reported his/her suspicions to Comcast customer service."

So supposedly they lost $2.4 million yet the fine for one accomplice is is only $66,825??? And of course Comcast uses this incident as an excuse to raise the price on everyone including the fool that reported it... I guess the old adage "no good deed goes unpunished" applies here.

Comment Re:For God's Sake, Internet is a LUXURY not a UTIL (Score 0) 223

*GASP* Whatever did people do before the internet???!?!?

Let's see:

Except for banking.

Brick & Mortor at their local bank. Many still do it this way today given the security nightmare that online banking has suffered recently.

And filing some legal papers.

Again, a trip to the lawyer's office...


That's why God invented schools...

Weather reporting.

NOAA Weather Radio...

Checking commodity reports, which is very important to farmers.

Phone call to broker...

Rapid shipping of design documents to job sites.

USPS/ UPS/ FedEx Same Day Delivery...

Those are just a few I can think of.

Keep thinking since there is nothing that truly requires the internet.

Comment Re:Ya know ... (Score 1) 325

So what's your point?

That a politician is beholden to the corporations? No news there thanks to the conservative Supreme Court's decision in Citizen's United.

That corporations do everything they can to decrease costs and increase shareholder value? They are required by law to do this. It is their sole purpose for existence.

That a corporation that pays substandard wages has to be forced to pay a wage that allows their employees to survive? I think it is sad that they have to be forced to do that. They scream they can't get talent when in truth what they mean is they can't get talent on the cheap. If they had their way, slavery and child labor would still be practiced.

Comment Re:Sure, Just Require Universal Cell Service (Score 1) 449

If you have reliable internet then I recommend a VoIP service like Magic Jack. That is what I use with the added benefit of wiring it to the incoming existing service box meaning all the phones in the house are using the same device without rewiring the whole house. All for $19.95 a year. Not too shabby.

Comment Re:Go after em Nate (Score 5, Informative) 335

Well then here is another piece for you...

Every state that receives federal assistance for disaster is required by the Stafford Act to have a FEMA approved mitigation plan. It can be one of two flavors. Standard all hazards mitigation plan or enhanced all hazard mitigation plan. Larger states go for enhanced because it gives up to 20% instead of 15% but to be enhanced a state has to demonstrate a capability and dedication to running their own programs. Smaller states like mine don't have the staffing to pull that off properly so we go standard. These plans are public documents (sensitive critical infrastructure mitigation may be redacted) so check with your State Hazard Mitigation Officer who is responsible for those plans. (WV citizens can find theirs here: )

Add to that each local unit of government must have an approved local plan if they want to participate in mitigation funding programs. (Again, WV citizens can use the link above for their regionalized plans).

State plans have an update cycle of 3 years while local plans have an update cycle of 5. SHMOs nationwide have been arguing this update cycle is backwards. After all, which is more likely to change over time, local or statewide?

Comment Re:Go after em Nate (Score 5, Informative) 335

One of the criticisms I've seen of this paper is that Pielke doesn't take into account the fact that we've built more resilient structures in response to past natural disasters so the fact that the costs remain about the same means either those responses haven't been very effective or that the natural disasters have been getting worse but the additional resilience keeps the costs about the same.

Disclaimer: I am the State Hazard Mitigation Officer for my state...

Having said that, I can vouch for the fact that every state gets 15% of the cost of the disaster just for mitigating future damages. Everything from acquisition / demolition and elevations for flooding to safe rooms and wind resistant construction for hurricane and tornadoes. This has been going on since the late 80's and is part of the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act (Public Law 93-288) as amended. Section 404 covers the Hazard Mitigation Assistance and 406 covers Mitigation for Public Assistance (infrastructure).

Currently, our state has over 1,500 properties that are under deed restriction preventing any structures from being built there ever again.

Title 44 of the Code of Federal Regulations stipulates how the Hazard Mitigation Grant programs are to be implemented.

Add to that the newly (and controversially) enacted Biggert Waters National Flood Insurance Reform Act of 2012 and it makes the NFIP risk based as it should be.

So yes, this nation has been actively seeking ways to make communities much more resilient to natural disasters.

And from an anecdotal point of view having been in emergency management for 15 years, I can say from personal experience that storms are getting more frequent and more powerful.

Slashdot Top Deals

A mathematician is a device for turning coffee into theorems. -- P. Erdos