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Comment Monsanto lawsuits (Score 1) 571

As others have pointed out, the issue for many isn't the claims about food safety, but rather Monsanto's lawsuits. Google "Monsanto lawsuit" or check out:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Monsanto#As_plaintiff
http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/09/21/us-monsanto-lawsuit-idUSTRE78K79O20110921
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Monsanto_Canada_Inc._v._Schmeiser

among others. Could Monsanto be viewed as a monopoly? How much control over your food supply are you comfortable with?

Comment Where is the high school education background? (Score 1) 629

I see the usual confusion on this topic - how is Social Security funded, what role does the Federal Reserve play, what are the major expenditures for the US govt.

All of these should have been addressed for high school graduates, and in fact, a Republic (or other forms of democratic government) require that the populate be well educated. Well, we fail on that...

A fun read is the last book in the Little House on the Prairie, where Laura has to pass her high school examination. I bet fewer than 5% would pass the test today.

Comment Re:Amen (Score 1) 743

Agreed. Back in the day, that was how I interviewed as well. My preference is to ask very open-ended questions (so, tell me about your latest (or most fun) project), and then drill down on their answers, getting more technical as we go.

So many people freeze during the interviews (I certainly used to) that, much of the time, the BS artists are the ones who pass through traditional interviews.

Comment Re:Someone's been raiding my bookshelves (Score 1) 222

I wish I could agree about Hugo/Nebula - I've been working my way through them, and have been disappointed at some of their recent winners, including Robert Charles Wilson's _Spin_ and Lois McMaster Bujold's _Cryoburn_ -- certainly both authors have written excellent books, but I found both of these books to be significantly less impressive than their other works. Lately Hugo & Nebula seem to be awarding the authors rather than the stories.

Comment Average stock purchase held under a minute (Score 3, Insightful) 216

Majority of trading (at least in the US) is computer. According to this, average length of time a stock is held is under 35 seconds.

The mainstream financial reporting in the US is a complete joke -- everyone fixates on the Dow, as though it held any meaning. At the end of each day, some "meaningful" reason is given for a less than 1% move, however automated trading never seems to be included.

Netflix joins the Dow??? Is that what this country is reduced to? No manufacturing, just service?

Meanwhile, SEC regulation is a total joke, insider selling is rampant, accounting is a joke...

But, if you're a retiree, where else can you hunt down returns? CDs are long dead.

Submission + - Any competent hosting companies for e-mail? 2

cpm99352 writes: I've had my domain for 10 years, and the hosting company was doing a pretty good job — all we needed was POP3 e-mail for five accounts. However, as of the past six months, they've gone rapidly downhill. I tried looking at older slashdot submissions, but I see a ton of articles from 2003 and before, which doesn't do me a lot of good.

What I'm looking for is POP3 e-mail, ideally with a secure method of transmitting the userID/password.

Does such a thing exist in the United States? Googling hasn't proved useful, either, since it appears a ton of dubious outfits have gamed the Google search results.

I'm not looking for any discount fly-by-night outfit. I want secure reliable e-mail for a small business. Are there any out there?

For that matter, is there a website to get reasonably unbiased reviews of domain hosting companies?
Open Source

Submission + - De Raadt: Backdoors Didn't Make it Into OpenBSD (itworld.com) 1

itwbennett writes: In follow-up to last week's controversy over allegations that the FBI installed a number of back doors into the encryption software used by the OpenBSD operating system, OpenBSD lead developer Theo de Raadt said on a discussion list Tuesday, that he believes that a government contracting firm that contributed code to his project 'was probably contracted to write backdoors,' which would grant secret access to encrypted communications. But that he doesn't think that any of this software made it into the OpenBSD code base.

Comment Easy solution -- automatic fault insurance (Score 1) 1065

My simple proposal: in the event of an accident, check the drivers' phone records. If the phone was active some threshold before the accident (1 minute?) they are automatically at fault, and appropriately charged.

If both phone active, then both drivers charged.

Obvious question here is where do the auto insurance companies stand?

Comment My credit union pressured for phone transactions (Score 1) 107

I've had numerous discussions with my credit union about their inadequate response to computer security.

For instance, their customer service messaging is handled through a third party, so e-mails will reference a third party URL that seemingly has nothing to do with the credit union. I've tried to explain phishing attacks to the credit union to no avail.

At the same time, their customers are pressuring them to support transactions via the phone. What a disaster. The sad part is, as a credit union member, I suffer, because my savings interest rates will decline due the inevitable write-offs.

Already, we've seen responsible credit unions take a massive hit -- on September 24, 2010 the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) placed 3 corporate credit unions in conservatorship. As a result, $30-35MM in bonds will be issued by NCUA to cover the bad credit unions. The member credit unions take the hit, and my credit union lost $2MM.

From an e-mail with my credit union:

NCUA also operates the federal deposit program for credit unions. This fund is called the National Credit Union Share Insurance Fund (NCUSIF). This fund is capitalized by deposits from individual credit unions and backed by the full faith and credit of the U.S. Government. Insured credit unions deposit 1% of their insured shares into the fund on an annual basis. The fund balance must operate between 1 – 1.3% of insured deposits. Anytime the fund does not stay above the target rates established by the NCUA we must make premium payments to recapitalize the fund. In 2010 our recapitalization rate was 12 basis points or $480,000. These expenses are part of the Credit Union’s operating expenses on any given year.

At the end of the day, I suspect we either need scanning on the phones, or a secure fob that produces one time passwords that get entered into a website. I think just about everything else is open to attack.

Yes, fobs are expensive. Suck it up, banks! How much more bailout money do you need?
Oracle

Submission + - 33 Developers Leave OpenOffice.org (digitizor.com)

dkd903 writes: We all knew that it would come to this and it has finally happened — 33 developers have left OpenOffice.org to join The Documents Foundation, with more expected to leave in the next few days.

After Oracle acquired Sun Microsystems, OpenOffice.org fell into the hands of Oracle, as did a lot of other products. So, last month a few very prominent members of the OpenOffice.org community decided to form The Documents Foundation and fork OpenOffice.org as LibreOffice, possibly fearing that it could go the OpenSolaris way.

Google

Submission + - Google Sues The US For Only Considering Microsoft (techdirt.com)

An anonymous reader writes: Late last week, Google sued the US government for putting out a Request For Quotation for the messaging needs of the Department of the Interior that specified only Microsoft solutions would be considered. Google apparently had spent plenty of time talking to DOI officials to understand their needs and make sure they had a solution ready to go — and were promised that there wasn't a deal already in place with Microsoft... and then the RFQ came out. Google protested, but the protest was dismissed, with the claim that Google was "not an interested party."

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