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Submission + - Commodore PC still controls heat and A/C at 19 Michigan Public Schools ( 2

jmulvey writes: Think your SCADA systems are outdated? Environmental monitoring at 19 Grand Rapids Public Schools are still controlled by a Commodore Amiga. Programmed by a High School student in the 1980s, the system has been running 24/7 for decades. A replacement has been budgeted by the school system, estimated cost: Between $1.5 and 2 million. How much is your old Commodore Amiga worth?

Comment If the student association can't pay, contact your (Score 4, Informative) 89

There may be an endowment fund that this type of expense might already qualify under, they can help you identify if any such monies exist.

If not, try reaching out to alumni, but DO NOT DO THIS ON YOUR OWN. Work with your school's Alumni Relations group. Alumni Relations likely won't agree to start cold-calling random alumni for your pet project. So propose that Alumni Relations cross-references their alumni list with the Ham Radio callbook. Should be an easy database join (match by name and address). You'll get highly qualified hits that should result in excellent yields. And you can have meaningful conversations with Alumni that should help build/rebuild the alumni's connection with the school, even if they don't give.

Comment Makes perfect sense (Score 3, Interesting) 125

Join this power-generating capability with Google's recent initiative to provide internet access to sub-Sarahan Africa via blimp: ...and you've got a robust, uninterruptable combination for internet access in the poorest, and the most corrupt nations in the world. Under such circumstances, Google will have great communicative and, perhaps most interestingly, surveillance power over the people under these oppressive governments. It should be interesting how such absolute power, so closely aligned with government interests, affects Google's behavior.

Of course, it could be that Google simply feels these citizens represent a huge market for targeted advertisements for tablet PCs and Lexus vehicles.

Comment Re:ooh (Score 2, Insightful) 245

Pardon me, but I think you're a bit naive. When one group presents a uniformly evil projection of another, you're witnessing zealotry. Democrats/Republicans, Socialists/Capitalists, Open Source/Closed Source -- both sides produce some good in this world. They wouldn't continue to grow, and good people wouldn't continue to put forth good efforts for their causes for very long if they didn't.

Also, you're ignoring the fact that Slashdot is/was actively squelching those with a pro- (or at least not anti-) position on MS. Believe me, there have been many cases over the years where the site operators were caught futzing with the moderation system to squelch. Speaking for myself, I mysteriously lost mod points, permanently, years ago... and I was never really a very bad boy.

I still enjoy reading the site, but decided not to contribute much to a site where the operators felt the need to be that underhanded in forcing their ideology. I know the site has changed hands and perhaps gotten less heavy-handed as well in the process.

But if you're not reading Slashdot (or any other source of news) with an eye toward teasing out the bias, you're a bit naive.

Comment An OK theory for other planets, but not ours? (Score 1) 199

Panspermia is a very interesting/compelling theory. But I'd avoid telling anyone in academia that you're interested in an Earth genesis hypothesis other than evolution.
You may just as well have told them that you're a pro-lifer, who voted for Bush, are home schooling your kids, believe in a balanced budget, and are a racist all in one sentence.

Comment Re:Before I get flamed... (Score 1) 342

I forsee myself in your shoes in the next few months. Application-level awareness of our key Microsoft applications (Exchange, MOSS, AD, etc..) are very high on our need list, and so SCOM is a natural best-of-breed pick. However, I *really* want a single integrated solution that also covers our unix/linux systems. Is unix/linux monitoring part of your requirements? If so, could you briefly describe the capabilities (and requirements on the monitored systems) that SCOM currently has in this regard?

Comment Re:Artificially Created Strain of H1N1? (Score 4, Interesting) 315

I think the chances of this being bio-terrorism just clicked up a notch: According to this article:
The first case was seen in Mexico on April 13. The outbreak coincided with the President Barack Obama's trip to Mexico City on April 16. Obama was received at Mexico's anthropology museum in Mexico City by Felipe Solis, a distinguished archeologist who died the following day from symptoms similar to flu, Reforma newspaper reported. The newspaper didn't confirm if Solis had swine flu or not.

Comment Re:Great (Score 1) 658

I have absolutely no problem spending $500k per student on education, even if that number weren't horribly inflated by, you know, building places to teach students and hiring people to teach them.

You are aware that we're talking $500k just for a high-school education, right? I guess the money is easy to spend^H^H^H^H^H waste when its not yours.

Comment Re:Great (Score 1) 658

Now you know why the idea of vouchers generates such spitting hatred and loathing among the politicians most ideologically closest to the unions.

They will tell you that they're concerned about the children. They're not. They're concerned about the gravy train stopping. And their gravy train is much more important than educating your children.

Comment Re:No, easy. (Score 2, Interesting) 658

That approach has two side-effects, both horrifying to Washington:
1. The money would be spent on the specific needs of each citizen, and not on the needs of Das Kapital.
2. Any mechanism of consolidation of power to Washington would be eliminated. When "the people" buy a badly needed refrigerator, who will be there to negotiate for another refrigerator for their state senator's vacation home in Florida?

Comment Re:Republicans are Flat-Earth Economists (Score 5, Insightful) 658

Our schools are foundering. Our internet is slower than any other developed nation. Yet Republicans forced spending on both of those VERY NEEDY PROGRAMS to be cut from this bill.

Our schools are not foundering due to a lack of funding. They are foundering because a powerful public education cartel has driven school spending skyward, making the United States among the world's biggest education spenders, even as student achievement lags.

Comment Re:Great (Score 5, Informative) 658

I think one of the worst things that republicans have done to this country is to make people feel educated on a subject after ingesting a few sound bites.

Then read this in-depth article on education costs run amok in New Jersey. It's fascinating (and not boring) reading. Unfortunately it will pop your misconcpetions about how well-spent our education dollar is. Maybe after reading this, you can give us a soundbite or two about how spending $500,000 per graduating high school student is good for the taxpayer.

Comment Re:Don't invest in education (Score 1) 658

Where I live (Massachusetts) there has already been a wasteful construction boom in school construction. Cities and towns of modest means have spent hundreds of millions on school construction. It's government run amok. We don't need to federalize this problem.

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