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Comment Re:Kindergarten ? (Score 1) 227

They also neglect soft education like Music and Art

Are we still surprised by this? Anything that does not contribute directly to the bottom line gets cut. Recess. Music. Art. Sports. Here, the bottom line is that one-dimensional letter grade that legislators use to fund schools.

So, if you value these things, push to have them be part of the standards by which your state judges schools.

Comment Re:Who knew? (Score 1) 294

terrorist (n): a person who, in order to get you to do what he wants, hurts others

Attacks fully or partially caused:
Inability to route prescriptions electronically to pharmacies
Email downtime for departments where email supports critical processes
Inability to access remotely hosted electronic health records

Wherever we see this dynamic, regardless of sympathetic motives, we can recognize a bad guy. Heroes don't do it that way.

Comment Re:Don't rush to conclusion (Score 1) 84

So long as it is disclosed during the debate before the vote that Plan B is the AT&T/Comcast plan. So long as the vote is not manipulated. So long as discussing Plan B is not, itself, just a stalling tactic. Then there is nothing wrong with Plan B being heard.

Next step: the council votes.

Comment Re: like what? (Score 2) 536

Why haven't geeks solved all the world's problems yet? Perhaps because they have been busy solving the world's problems.

For example:
--invented and built out mobile telephony, improving personal safety and convenience
--built global data network (the Internet) that continues to enlighten populations and shake repressive governments
--invented gps sats and provided cheap handheld receivers
--invented geographic information systems (which allows not just MapQuest, but Yelp, gas buddy, and the self-driving car, among others)
--911 service was a geek project from start to finish
--proved the existence and cause of global warming back when it was still possible to fix it (too bad the money refused to listen)
--provided micro targeted (per zip code) weather forecasts that are many times more accurate than anything we had 20 years ago (try MinuteCast sometime)
--sequenced the genome, telling us what is likely to kill us, and, one day soon, repairing those defects (a work in progress)
--invented recorded music (c. 1877) and made it ubiquitous (c. 1962)
--created design tools that make it possible to build amazing stuff, e.g. successful 2700 ft buildings
--visited the moon (in person) and the planets (via camera probes)

Not that the amount of effort spent chasing short term profits isn't appalling (e.g. the entire video delivery and drm industry), but some of the things that computer geeks have built actually have changed the world for the better.

Submission + - What If You Could Fire Your CEO? (cio.com)

itwbennett writes: Three years ago, talent management and human resources company Haufe U.S. created a workplace democracy, in which C-level leadership is elected by the employees for a one-year term. In an interview with CIO.com's Sharon Florentine, Kelly Max, who is currently serving as CEO, explains how the company got to this point and what they've learned from the experience. 'If you're going to talk about how your employees 'own' the company, if you're going to tout how they all have a voice, why not go all the way and see what happens? Because why not? You already have people working for and with you who elect you every day, who either agree or disagree with you and follow you, so we wanted to make it very transparent,' says Max. Could your organization work as a democracy? Would your CEO still have a job?

Submission + - Galaxy Note 7 recall "on the table" following battery explosions (bgr.com)

tripleevenfall writes: Samsung earlier this week halted Galaxy Note 7 shipments in South Korea, in spite of the phone’s massive preorder sales success. In the meantime, brand new reports indicate that Samsung is considering a Galaxy Note 7 recall, at least in South Korea, and that battery worries are indeed real.

Quoting Chosun Ilbo, The Korea Herald says that Samsung planned to exchange batteries of all customers free of charge, but it’s now considering either a refund or a full phone replacement. This affects only the Korean market for now, where Samsung sold more than 400,000 units since August 19th. Samsung concluded that the faulty batteries are to blame for the explosions.

Submission + - Falcon 9 explodes on pad (npr.org)

Mysticalfruit writes: NPR is reporting that a Falcon9 carrying the AMOS-6 satellite that was supposed to launch on Sat exploded during it's scheduled static fire. No injuries are reported. They're reporting that this was going to be the first reflown first stage.

Submission + - SPAM: OPPD announces official closing date for Fort Calhoun nuclear plant: Oct. 24

mdsolar writes: The Omaha Public Power District will permanently shut down its nuclear plant at Fort Calhoun on Oct. 24, according to a recent letter from the utility’s top executive to the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

Correspondence obtained by The World-Herald and dated Aug. 25 was sent to officials at the NRC and the State of Nebraska.

“OPPD has completed analysis of the factors influencing the date for shutdown of (Fort Calhoun),” OPPD President and Chief Executive Tim Burke said in the letter.

Thus will kick into gear the plant’s decommissioning, which includes the removal and transfer of nuclear fuel from the reactor into the spent fuel pool. That’s where the fuel rods will be placed for about 18 months while they burn off energy to the point they can cool to a level that permits transfer into a more permanent storage facility.

In all, the decommissioning process could take up to 60 years and will cost OPPD as much as $1.5 billion.

Link to Original Source

Comment Re:Is this so hard (Score 1) 113

Obligatory Critique*:

Their plan proposes a

(X) technical (X) legislative ( ) market-based ( ) vigilante

approach to fighting [telephone] spam. Their idea will not work. Here is why it won't work. (One or more of the following may apply to their particular idea, and it may have other flaws which used to vary from state to state before a bad federal law was passed.)

( ) No one will be able to find the guy or collect the money
( ) It is defenseless against brute force attacks
(X) It will stop spam for two weeks and then we'll be stuck with it
(X) Users of telephones will not put up with it
(X) Telcos will not put up with doing this work for free
( ) The police will not put up with it
( ) Requires too much cooperation from spammers
( ) Requires immediate total cooperation from everybody at once
(X) Many telephone users cannot afford to lose business or miss critical calls
( ) Spammers don't care about invalid phone numbers in their lists
(X) Anyone could anonymously destroy anyone else's career or business
(X) If a spoofer gets their number banned, you would be unable to call for help
(X) Authorities could abuse it to suppress viewpoints they dislike
( ) Spammers can easily use it to harvest telephone numbers
(X) Organization's phone trees and other legitimate telephone uses would be affected

Specifically, their plan fails to account for

(X) Monetary incentives for telcos to conduct as many calls as possible, billing both parties
( ) Laws expressly prohibiting it
(X) Lack of centrally controlling authority for callerID
(X) It would break telephone connectivity even for correctly dialed numbers
( ) Open relays in foreign countries
( ) Ease of searching tiny alphanumeric address space of all telephone numbers
(X) Asshats
(X) Jurisdictional problems
( ) Unpopularity of weird new taxes
( ) Public reluctance to accept weird new forms of money
(X) Huge portions of existing telco equipment base cannot be retrofitted
(X) UnWillingness of users to activate optional teleco services
(X) Eternal arms race involved in all filtering approaches
(X) Extreme profitability of spam
( ) Joe jobs and/or identity theft
(X) Technically illiterate politicians
(X) Extreme stupidity on the part of people who do business with spammers
(X) Dishonesty on the part of spammers themselves
(X) Huge categories of political, charitable, etc. calls that many users want prohibited
(X) Huge categories of political, charitable, etc. calls that many users don't want prohibited
(X) Huge categories of political, charitable, etc. calls that politicians don't want prohibited

and the following philosophical objections may also apply:

(X) Ideas similar to theirs are easy to come up with, yet none have ever
been shown practical
(X) Any scheme based on opt-in is unacceptable
(X) phone connectivity should not be the subject of legislation
(X) Blacklists suck
(X) Whitelists suck
( ) We should be able to talk about Viagra without being censored
( ) Countermeasures should not involve wire fraud or credit card fraud
(X) Countermeasures should not involve sabotage of public networks
( ) Countermeasures must work if phased in gradually
(X) Sending telephone calls should be allowed for the good guys (opinions vary)
(X) Why should we have to trust you and their servers?
( ) Incompatiblity with open source or open source licenses
( ) Feel-good measures do nothing to solve the problem
(X) Temporary/one-time telephone numbers are cheap
(X) I don't want the government approving/disapproving my telephone calls
(X) Killing them that way is not slow and painful enough

Furthermore, this is what I think about you:

(X) Sorry dude, but I don't think it would work.
( ) This is a stupid idea, and you're a stupid person for suggesting it.
( ) Nice try, assh0le! I'm going to find out where you live and burn their
house down!

*I shamelessly borrowed this form from the first place I found a copy. If you know the original author, please reply to credit him.

Comment Median Income (Score 1) 282

By 2020, 80% of adults on earth will have an internet-connected smartphone.

In the U.S.*, operating a smartphone for a year (to say nothing of purchasing one to begin with) costs well north of $50x12=$600.

The median per capita income worldwide is something like* $2,920.

Even if the 50% of world adults above the median all bought smartphone service, he'd need to get another 30% of adults from below the median to reach his 80%. Those people would be spending something like* 20% of their yearly income on this. No way.

*To be sure, this post uses several approximations (U.S. data plan costs, Gallup's income methodology, etc.), but 80% is a still a fantasy.

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