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Did Google.org Steal the Christmas Spirit? (theregister.co.uk) 103

Google.org gives nonprofits roughly $100 million each year. But now the Register argues that festive giving "has become a 'Googlicious' sales push." Among other things, The Register criticizes the $30 million in grant funding that Google.org gave this Christmas "to nonprofits to bring phones, tablets, hardware and training to communities that can benefit from them most," some of which utilized the crowdfunding site DonorsChoose (which tacks a fee of at least $30 fee onto every donation). "The most critical learning resources that teachers need are often exercise books, pen and paper, but incentives built into the process steer educators to request and receive Google hardware, rather than humble classroom staples," claims the Register. theodp writes: [O]ne can't help but wonder if Google.org's decision to award $18,130 to teachers at Timberland Charter Academy for Chromebooks to help make students "become 'Google'licious" while leaving another humbler $399 request from a teacher at the same school for basic school supplies -- pencils, paper, erasers, etc. -- unfunded is more aligned with Google's interests than the Christmas spirit. Google, The Register reminds readers, lowered its 2015 tax bill by $3.6 billion using the old Dutch Sandwich loophole trick, according to new regulatory filings in the Netherlands.
The article even criticizes the "Santa's Village" site at Google.org, which includes games like Code Boogie, plus a game about airport security at the North Pole. Their complaint is its "Season of Giving" game, which invites children to print out and color ornaments that represent charities -- including DonorsChoose.org. The article ends by quoting Slashdot reader theodp ("who documents the influence of Big Tech in education") as saying "Nothing says Christmas fun more than making ornaments to celebrate Google's pet causes..."

Comment Cameras to monitor the house infrastructure (Score 4, Interesting) 372

In light of the approaching hurricane, and during heavy rain in general, I like to make sure my sump pump is keeping up (I live in an older house). Rather than continually going down to check on it, I installed a WiFi IP Camera in the room pointed at the pump. That way I can check on it periodically from my phone without actually going in there. Of course, infra-red LEDs are a must on such a setup, but they come with most cameras anyway. To generalize, cameras wherever you might want to monitor the state of the house. This would be separate from security cameras.

Comment Re:Ready, fire, aim (Score 2) 529

Ah, now it's $100k, eh? The definition of "rich" really keeps coming down. When Obama started his class warfare schtick, it was over a quarter million or something, then it was $200k, now it's apparently $100k....

Who the hell are you to decide when someone makes too much money and should pay more? In your infinite wisdom, are you adjusting for cost of living per geographical area? How about inflation? Seems as inflation increases, your standard keeps getting lower. How DOES that work anyway? Is there a formula?

Maybe you need to stop picking numbers out of your nose and exposing your jealousy for the world to see. By the way, in most major metropolitan areas, $100k would barely get you by. Certainly you'd never own even an average house, and you'd probably need a second income if you had kids to support. Just because a number *sounds* big to you in your area of the world doesn't mean that it is for everyone.

Comment Re:So fix it! (Score 1) 357

Oddly enough, I just did this about an hour ago. It wouldn't PXE (boot media not found or some crap), but if I generated an etherboot iso image from rom-o-matic.net and set that up in the virtual CDROM drive, it boots up just fine.

Now if I could just get it to give me something other than 4:3 ratio resolutions in the guest, I would be a happy camper. I want 1900x1200, dammit, not 1600x1200!

(For a bit of context -- Using VBox as a PXE-booted LTSP workstation client on my Mac. Works pretty well, after a significant amount of tinkering.)

Comment Re:Guilty until proven innocent (Score 5, Interesting) 379

Lagging behind? The issue here is a law that's two years old, stating that importers must abide by all of the laws of the country from which they are sourcing the materials. Sounds like a good idea on the face of it, but unfortunately, it's very much open to interpretation.

There are several problems here:

1. The government has confiscated over $1M of materials, *and not given a reason for it*
2. The government did the same thing two years ago re: Madagascar woods, and the trial is still dragging on due to government dragging its feet, missing deadlines, requesting stays, etc.
3. The government has claimed that *any* guitar sold by Gibson can be construed as obstruction of justice, and that this can be applied to the BUYER and the RETAILER. So, in other words, they've threatened criminal charges against anyone who buys a Gibson guitar. Because they have not stated a specific infraction, Gibson does not know which guitars this may apply to, and so must assume *all* of them.
4. Gibson assumes that this has to do with an Indian law stating that if any finishing work is done in India, that ALL finishing work must be done in India. Gibson buys half-finished fingerboard blanks from their Indian suppliers, but has all of the proper sign-offs and paperwork to show that this was approved by the government.
5. The government raided a factory using fully-armed SWAT team. This alone is a disturbing trend that must be stopped. They weren't raiding a pot house or a meth lab, they're raiding a guitar factory. Suits, pens and clipboards were much more appropriate than kevlar and automatic weapons.

Here's a video of the CEO talking about the raid. It's a bit long, but the guy seems genuinely baffled as to what could be the cause of the raid:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O_-taqM5Sk0

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