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Comment Re:Write to your representatives! (Score 1) 141

What typically happens when you write to these asshats is they pass the letter on to a lowly state official to answer. I have answered many a congressional letters from the public that would have gotten them a faster answer had they contacted me directly. You see, once a congressional comes down we answer back to the congress critter who in turn copies that response back to the person. The same happens on the federal level. They pass it off to anyone else to answer, usually the same agency the person is whining about.

In short, when something happens the congress critter is the least involved yet seems to be the first that people whine to.

Comment Re:Likely not actually saving any money (Score 4, Interesting) 213

Everyone harps on about the Congressional budget. It is a document that means absolutely nothing. It doesn't have to be voted on by the house, signed by the president nothing. It is a wish list only. The House, Senate and Presidential budgets mean zilch. They are solely used to beat up the others with politically. It isn't like the budgets set around the kitchen table at home.

And while we are on the subject, if you have any debt whatsoever, you are running at a deficit. I argue there isn't a household in America that isn't running a deficit. Mortgages, credit cards, bank loans, student loans, etc are all deficit spending. The only difference is the size of income vs. deficit and the fact that every 6 months Congress goes through the pain of having to couple the spending they already did with the artificial boundary they setup known as the debt ceiling.

Today's Congress lives on crisis of their own making. And the effect on the very real economy is devastating. Everything from the current sequester to the debt ceiling is of their own doing. It is little wonder their popularity ratings are in the single digits.

Comment Re:More facetime (Score 2) 1145

If they were frivolous as you say they are then why did they get fired? She didn't fire him someone else did the firing.

Because if they don't she takes the company to court for "hostile work environment", "sexual discrimination" and any other thing she can throw to see if it sticks and gets her a big award. It is called lawsuit roulette.

Comment Re:How about... (Score 1) 134

Why Facebook was thrown into the mix I really have no idea because it is against their registration policy for anyone under 13 to have an account on there. Not that that stops those kids but it does give Facebook a bit of protection.

Look, you have these laws because in their absence businesses go hog wild and target them extremely hard. Ever watch children's TV advertising? So in a sense they are selling it to "Rapists-R-Us" when they sell the kids data to marketers.

Comment Re:tor (Score 1) 333

But like you said, they only have power because you give them power. If people stop using those sites for that reason, the sites will change very quickly.

This, like all boycotts, are doomed to failure for two main reasons. First, it requires large groups of like minded people to be effective. 5 boycotting out of a hundred visitors has no impact. The larger more popular sites like FB are even more likely to avoid adverse impacts of even larger boycotts. Second, a boycott is useless unless the company knows why it is being boycotted. You not going to a site because of their tracking policy is completely unknown to them unless you make it known. And since you aren't going to their site because of that tracking policy they will never know. And even if they do know see the first reason for why they don't care.

Comment Re:Java and flash... (Score 2) 97

The problem is that circa 1995-98, the average home PC simply wasn't powerful enough to handle this kind of sandboxing while maintaining acceptable performance. Windows 9x basically ran on bare metal (one bad app could easily bring the whole system down) and there was no such thing as security. It was crude, but it was the best you could do on a Pentium 100 with 8 megs of RAM (16 if you were lucky). A modern smartphone leaves these old systems in the dust. The Windows NT series has a Unix-style security model, though it was undermined by the need for backwards compatibility forcing regular users to run as administrator (UAC was a belated attempt to fix this). But this also means that NT needs a faster processor and a lot more RAM than 9x. The first home version of Windows based on the NT kernel was XP, and people were all up in arms about its "outrageous" system requirements back in 2001.

I argue it is a far different reason that has nothing to do with the hardware...

Microsoft's insistence on backwards compatibility is the culprit. They needed to maintain DOS compatibility or the businesses would have ditched them if Win 9x didn't. This is why even right up to Windows 7 you still have an emulated DOS environment. Machines have increasingly become more powerful yet Microsoft still has to maintain the old shit or lose market share with the businesses. This above all else is the reason you have the mess that is a Windows environment. throw in the constant threats of antitrust every time they try to add in security (mostly from the antivirus industry) and it really is a mess.

Comment Re:Result WIll be Opposite of Intent (Score 1) 95

It's no different now as it was then. Apple reduced the costs for schools so they'd buy them, which would lead the kids to wanting one at home. And if the parents DID look into a personal computer, of course the kids would want the Apple because that's what they played with.

No, it isn't that they wanted the Apple because that is what they played with. They wanted it to remain compatible with the platform they had at school. It's the same reason Microsoft wants its Office suite used by businesses. The words you are looking for are "lock in".

The situation here is quite different in the internet services provided are pretty much platform independent. The idea being the hardware is less of a focus than the Apple case you cite.

The way I am reading the quote in TFS seems reasonable to me. Others here are claiming it has to do with advertising. That's not only what I read but that the provider of the service, not just Google, can't use the data the kids are saving for data mining purposes whether that mining is used for advertising purposes or not. I don't find this requirement as a bad thing and honestly wish it was made broader to include everyone. Why should Google or any internet services provider be allowed access to data I store on their service whether that access is benign or not? Documents I store there are not the provider's property. This is a major reason a lot of people refuse to use "cloud" services me included. Because once you put it out there there is no retracting it.

Comment Re:Salespeople as nannies (Score 2) 182

Since when is it the responsibility of a company to tell customers what exactly they need?

Since it was a part of their contract as well as the law in WV. ( See: http://www.legis.state.wv.us/wvcode/ChapterEntire.cfm?chap=05a&art=3&section=33D )

That was the code section of WV law that the auditor's office is recommending the Purchasing Division look into.

Comment Re:Should Virginia settle with a "take back" offer (Score 1) 182

I suspect it's more about the negative publicity than "Please don't sue us". Cisco has incredibly deep pockets (mostly cost they sell $20k routers to 2 person part time libraries), and could tie anything like that up on court till the cows come home.

Well considering this was one of the recommendations from the auditor's report:

The State Purchasing Division should determine whether the actions or inactions by the Cisco representatives fall under the purview of 5A-3-33d of the West Virginia Code and are grounds for debarment.

I would say they are trying to keep their current contract with the state. It is about trying to bail out of this remedy.

Comment Re:Should Virginia settle with a "take back" offer (Score 1) 182

I strongly suspect Cisco did absolutely nothing wrong. They simply made the decision to make money for the company (however much), rather than making nothing.

That's not what the legislative audit found. They found the following:

The Legislative Auditor believes that the Cisco sales representatives and engineers had a moral responsibility to propose a plan which reasonably complied with Cisco's own engineering standards. It is the opinion of the Legislative Auditor that the Cisco representatives showed a wanton indifference to the interests of the public in recommending using $24 million of public funds to purchase 1,164 Cisco model 3945 branch routers.

Comment Re:Should Virginia settle with a "take back" offer (Score 5, Informative) 182

What happened to the WV's bid process?

I work in government too and more specifically in WV in the office where this occurred. I'll tell you what happened to the bid process. The incompetence of the state purchasing division is what happened. Their process is so painful and long that state agencies do everything they can to avoid using them. Even the former governor Joe Manchin got caught stringing contracts to avoid them when he was in office. I've had contracts languish over there for over a year.

In this case, an existing contract the state has to purchase minor items with Cisco was used for these big ticket items. So technically it was bid out. It just wasn't bid out for these routers. The agency got dinged for this misuse of the system and the spirit of the law.

Having said that, the whole process here in WV needs to be overhauled. It is too complex and way too lengthy to be useful especially when the funding is on a tight timeline like the stimulus funding was. That complexity and duration is what makes purchasing something to be avoided. It is only human nature to try to avoid the pain. I don't have a choice but to use them and dread it every time I do.

Comment Re:Who's making these laws? (Score 1) 273

Unfortunately, there seems to be too few of us who have actually ever read the US Constitution.
Governments are instituted by PEOPLE to PROTECT PEOPLE. Corporations should are NOT people and
they sure as hell don't PROTECT people.

That is rich... You are arguing that you have a Constitutional right to violate the Constitution...

Article 1 Section 8 Clause 8:
The Congress shall have Power...

To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries;

You may not like it but to argue that trying to enforce this clause of the Constitution is unconstitutional is the weakest argument to make.

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