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Comment Re:Holy flamebait batman! (Score 2) 917

I disagree that this isn't a problem for the geek workforce. As an earlier posting showed, there have been massive layoffs in tech this year and the next recession is likely to come from the bursting of another tech industry bubble. So what Stern is saying has plenty of relevance here, unless of course you're drinking Trump's kool-aid. I know a number of Trumpists, and the sole concession I've ever been able to get out of any of them is along the lines of "his message is great but his delivery sucks."

Comment Re:The Bake Sale Model (Score 2) 285

Agreed: George McGovern's single-sentence addition to the Constitution is the best ("Medicare is hereby extended to cover all American citizens"); but nevertheless this is an outstanding common sense liferaft to throw in these troubled waters until this dying Empire somehow awakens from its cultural coma.

Comment Re:God I hate to say this, but (Score 2, Insightful) 562

My problem with all this, and the tentative point where I agree with Lucas, is that it seems a strange new world where the creator of a work is locked out of its further development simply because a corporation stepped in with $4B's and bought all rights and control of it. In other words, when a work of art becomes too popular it is in danger of becoming a mere franchise.

Submission + - A Silicon Valley for Drones, in North Dakota (

An anonymous reader writes: Commercial drone development has come a long way in the past five years or so, but (as evidenced by the near miss in Italy) they still aren't something you'd want to see crowding our skies. They're not terribly reliable, they have a pretty short range, and they're loud. Clearly, there's an even longer road ahead to turn them into everyday tools. Silicon Valley may seem like a natural hotbed for development, but it turns out North Dakota might end up being where bleeding-edge drone development happens. "North Dakota has spent about $34 million fostering the state’s unmanned aerial vehicle business, most notably with a civilian industrial park for drones near Grand Forks Air Force Base. The base, a former Cold War installation, now flies nothing but robot aircraft for the United States military and Customs and Border Protection." Testing drones in North Dakota, with its wide-open spaces, farms, and oil fields, neatly sidesteps many of the safety and privacy issues facing drones in more populated areas. The state is also fostering drone pilots: "[T]he University of North Dakota, which already trains many of the nation’s commercial pilots and the air traffic controllers of some 18 countries, has 200 students learning to fly drones in a four-year program that started in 2009; 61 students have graduated from it. North Dakota State University, in Fargo, has also started teaching drone courses."

Submission + - Another Windows 10 update causes trouble, this time with Word 2016 (

An anonymous reader writes: Microsoft hasn’t had much luck when it comes to tweaking its various bits of software of late, and the Redmond truck has suffered another update fender-bender, this time affecting Microsoft Word 2016 users running Windows 10.

Submission + - Australian government tells citizens to turn off two-factor authentication (

An anonymous reader writes: The Australian government has repeatedly called for citizens to turn off two-factor authentication (2FA) at its main digital government portal, myGov. The portal's Twitter account has recently been updated several times with cute pictures encouraging holidaymakers to "turn off your myGov security codes" so that "you can spend more time doing the important things."

The portal is the place where Australian citizens can use and manage a number of governmental services, including health insurance, tax payments, and child support. In case of myGov, two-factor authentication is implemented by sending users text messages that contain one-time codes to complement their usual passwords.

Submission + - A new lightweight and very strong metal

schwit1 writes: UCLA engineers have developed a new superlight and very strong metal.

A team led by researchers from the UCLA Henry Samueli School of Engineering and Applied Science has created a super-strong yet light structural metal with extremely high specific strength and modulus, or stiffness-to-weight ratio. The new metal is composed of magnesium infused with a dense and even dispersal of ceramic silicon carbide nanoparticles. It could be used to make lighter airplanes, spacecraft, and cars, helping to improve fuel efficiency, as well as in mobile electronics and biomedical devices.

Comment That other forgotten coding language... (Score 3, Interesting) 117

I have spent roughly a third of my life these past 2 decades or so among folks who code professionally, but there is one language that seems to have been avoided or repressed in the rush toward a society of coders. Paradoxically or not, I have found that those who really understand computer languages are often the ones who most value this other, rather moribund language:

True story from about a decade ago: I was sitting around a lunchroom table with a group of Indian tech workers. A new person had just arrived from our company’s office in Chennai, India, and he was getting acquainted with the “onshore” staff. Their way of breaking the ice was to go around the table, each man telling his name, position, and language(s). The web developer would introduce himself and say, ” I am Anand, I specialize in XML, javascript, CSS” The systems administrator would then chime in with something like “Ravi, I work in UNIX, Powershell, Perl” And so on it went, around the table, six or eight guys with varying skills and responsibilities. Finally it was my turn. I smiled and said, “I’m Brian Donohue, I work in the QA area and I also do some technical writing, and my language isoh damn itEnglish?”

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