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Comment Re:100+ emails classified when they arrived on ser (Score 1) 289

According to news reports:  7 of these e-mails pertained to CIA Drone strikes news which we insist on classifying even though they have been reported by news paper and news wires.  The 8th one pertains to a visit from the new Malawi President.  Matters related to foreign head of states are always classified as a rule.


Comment Burner phones !!! (Score 2) 209

I've said this several years ago,  All this metadata collection is easily defeated when the culprits uses burner phone or sim cards.  That is exactly what they did in Brussels.   Just because one has a lot of data doesn't mean you can make sense of them.  Think of the Internet Search Engines before Google.  You get TONS of useless hits.  Google's result were better due to massive amount of other people's usage pattern.  Here the terror acts are so few, that they offer little to help train any software.  It is a very difficult problem that may not be solvable by Big Data.

Comment Re:"Clock parts" wired together in an adhoc fashio (Score 1) 818

" Unfortunately the kid did not follow these instructions and kept showing it around. "

According to the news report, the clock alarm sounded so the English teacher asked him what it was.  THUS, he had to show the clock to her.
The English teacher than alerted the Principal.  I do not expect the English teacher to know the technical details.
But I DO expect the Principal and Police to be more knowledgeable.

The Police did NOT evacuate the school indicating that they knew the device was NOT a threat.  So the remaining question is WHY
they feel it was a hoax bomb.  It's hard to see the same thing happening to a white kid in the 50's.

Comment Backward looking testing for Needs of the Future (Score 1) 283

What an incredibly MYOPIC article.
It purports to evaluate the benefits of using computers in school based on some undefined performance metrics.  The ONLY specific metric applied is 'reading skill'.

What if computer use improved the student's MATH skills? (Khan Academy) What if it improved critical thinking, because the student has to identify what's nonsense and what's reliable on the net? What if we can use animated dissections to teach biology? What if we are still discovering the best use of computer in education?

Why not lament the bad penmanship of children today, since they are all typing instead of practicing freehand loops, etc. ? Trying to use last century's metrics to plan for the education of our future generation is naive at best, and reactionary at worst.

Comment Re:Nice PR for Mandiant and Richard Beitjich (Score 1) 137

Did you like the Mission Impossible movies?  tv series?
Was it COOL how US spies manipulate the politics and economies of foreign countries?
Did you know that Panama was created SOLELY because US wanted to build the Panama canal?

What goest aroud comes around - in the real world.
Smart Charlie Wilson sent arms to help the Afghans fight those Soviet Commies - Oops.  They became the Taliban...

It doesn't make the hacking right - even if everyone is doing it.
The question is what can we do about the open nature of our internet and what COST there is to close up the security caverns...

Comment Re:Oh, I love this (Score 1) 617

Bill Gross said: " if we continue down the current road and don't address our "fiscal gap."
IF is the key word here.  No one dispute that US government bond will be less attractive (not bankrupt) if the US doesn't fix its fiscal problem in some undefined number of years in the future.  Let us look at what Bill Gross is ACTUALLY doing with his clients' money.

Go to here:  and click on Portfolio Statistics.
You will see that 20% of their investments are in US Treasury securities, 3% US agencies securities and another 49% in mortgages.  The mortgages are almost entirely in Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac securities which are ALSO guaranteed by the US Government.  In contrast, investments in other developed governments' bonds are less than 10%.  Gold doesn't even show up.  In total, his fund has 70% plus in US government guaranteed securities and no one is forcing his investment choices.

In other words,  he overhwhelmingly trusts the US Government to pay back his clients' investments.

In simple terms, we're on a boat headinng toward a shoal IF we don't turn away.  IF we hit the shaol, the boat may leak.  You are claiming that the boat is already leaking and ready to sink.  It may be fun to pretend to be Cassandra, but only real data will anchor you to the real world instead of a fantasy world that makes you feel superior.   Please don't just read hermetic Austrian theories, look at what real people are doing with real money. 

Comment Re:Investors around the world disagree with you ! (Score 1) 617

Please take a look at this:

The Federal Reserve ownership of long term US bonds is only 16% as of end of 2011, even after QE 1 and 2.
Foreign ownership of US government bond actually increased in the last 10 years to 46%.
That they are willing to lend to the US government at negative real interest rate SHOULD tell you that they trust their money with the US government than with anyone else (including themselves). This is exactly the reverse of your RISKY claim.

Do you really believe that the world insititutional investors are all more stupid then yourself?

Credit agency down grading the US rating was a non-event. Neither the bond market nor the interest rate swap market paid any attention to it; US agencies continue to pay the same rate to borrow before and after. PLEASE study some real data and don't just imagine conspiracy everywhere.

Comment Investors around the world disagree with you ! (Score 1) 617

I checked on Bloomberg today.

7 year US treasury bond is yielding 1%.
7 year Australia goverment bond is yielding 5.25%
7 year German government bond is yielding 3.5%

Why do the world investors accept a lower yield for US government bond that German government bond?
Because they trust the US government MORE than German government to pay back their money.

Don't live in a 'Gold Bug' world view seeing inflation around every corner. You must look at the entire economy of each country one by one and learn the facts, not blindly follow theoretical fantasies.

Comment Re:Truth or dare... (Score 1) 617

You are ignoring the Execution aspect of trading. Thus your comments are wrong on several counts:
" its really only transfer between Wall Street Entities" As others have pointed out, the Wall Street Entities include your pension fund, 401k, etc. So you are very likely to be affected.

"HFT machines may have moved the share price up or down a few pennies. That might just as easily work for your as against you"

This is only true if you can execute at the posted prices. When you want to sell at $2.00 and there's interest to buy at $2.05. HFT will buy it from you at $2.02 and sell it at $2.05, thus pocketing $0.03 that you might have been able to earn. On the return trip, the same thing happens. The round trip does not wash out, otherwise the HFT CANNOT make any money!

' you can protect yourself easily just use limit orders"

This is only partly true. If the market only has 1,000 shares to offer and you want to buy 1,000. The HFT will always be able to buy ahead of you and you may not be able to buy any at all. Thus, you will not be able to buy the dip or sell at a top unless there is enough depth.

While HFT is clearly legal, it is still worth asking how it contributes to the market place or if it's just parasitic.
One SEC proposal to charge for cancelled orders might be appropriate to curb excessive trading if HFT has no added benefits to the market.

Comment IT literacy for general audience - SCALC (Score 1) 462

Since the course is for a general student, I don't see a focus on programming or computer hardware as most appropriate.
As an alternate, I would suggest SCALC, the open office spreadsheet program, as a good platform for several activities:
1. Learning to compute numerically - calculate sales tax, etc.
2. Learning how algoritum work - sort, binary search can be visually illustrated beautifully within a spreadsheet
3. Real life program solving tool - Post a real life problem to the student; have them analyze it; rephrase it to put in a spreadsheet; check the answers.
4. Graphs and formulae - links direclty to analytic geometry classes
5. Macro - automation which starts to provide motivation into programming for those interested.
6. Statistics - for advanced students

This is much for useful for the avearge student than any narrowly focused programming course.

Comment Space for readability (Score 3, Interesting) 814

If you are doing type setting, by all means use 1 spaces. But as you cut and paste your texts into different programs, you may be pasting into different default type faces. Sometimes it's proportional and sometimes it's monospaced. So why not use 2 spaces to be on the safe side? It's simple to programmatically replace 2 spaces by 1 space any way, if necessary. Let's be considerate of our readers rather than swear allegiance to a rule learnt in our youth.

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