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Comment Re:I am sick of this Sue Culture (Score 1) 252

Lawsuits and the threat of lawsuits can have a significant positive effect. First there are the obvious ones like Brown v. Board of Education. Then there are the not so obvious ones.

Let's say you're a businessman in a company that makes widgets. There is a change you can make to the widget process that saves money, but is dangerous to the consumer. Without the threat of a class action lawsuit that would be tempting. With the threat, there's a very real chance someone's going to sue the pants off of your company for that decision.

Comment And here come the anecdotal stories... (Score 1) 1345

I'm just waiting for all of the stories of "unschooling" kids either (a) being highly intelligent/successful/nice or (b) being poorly educated, completely lacking social skills, sheltered, and closed minded. Personally, I've heard and seen stories of both from general homeschooling. Neither has given me a good picture of what's happening.

Comment Re:Huh? (Score 1) 276

"We passed onerous environmental and labor laws encouraging companies to abandon the US."

Those 'onerous' environmental laws are keeping us quite a bit cleaner than China. In Beijing a bright sunny day can look like a dark foggy evening. The US has serious issues but at least the worst we get is a bit of haziness.

Comment English influence goes beyond hackers (Score 1) 305

I sometimes do a bit of gaming with a group of Thai students at my university. Thai is, of course, the dominate language, though they switch randomly between Thai and English. One amusing thing that I've noticed is how strongly English has influenced gamer culture in other languages. There's just something funny about hearing a stream of incomprehensible Thai with the occasional 'noob' or 'rematch!'

Incidentally, I love fish fillets (French), have to fix glitches in my code (Yiddish), use wikis (Hawaiian), love quesadillas with salsa (Spanish), have family in Seattle (name of Native American chief), live near the Willamette River (Chinook), use Ubuntu Linux (Bantu), and regularly drink tea (Chinese).

Comment Re:One way to get more registered voters (Score 1) 1088

Go look it up and read how it was and WHY the Founding Fathers set it up that way...

Be careful not to idolize the Founding Fathers and framers of the US Constitution. When the US Constitution was written only white male property owners were allowed to vote (~15% of the population). Now we have voter registration drives to get as many eligible people to vote as is possible. Besides, election by state legislatures makes cronyism even more of a problem than it is now.

Comment Creating Unity (Score 2, Interesting) 250

There's a least one benefit to patent trolls like these guys. They unify companies that normally are fierce competitors. Or, as Psycho Dave from Kuro5hin describe another group:

"...what common ground does pretty much every person regardless of their political or religious beliefs have? They all hate the Westboro Baptist Church."

Comment Re:Bad idea (Score 1) 474

Agreed. K-12 teachers already have enough on their plates. Spending a great deal of time trying to explain a linked list to a classroom of children who generally have little aptitude or use for the subject wastes valuable time. On the other hand, I would like to see students who have some aptitude/interest in CS encouraged to pursue it. Guidance councillors? Yes. Core curriculum? No.

Comment Vandalism erased (Score 1) 145

Is this even that big of an issue? I know that that state owned computers shouldn't be used for political purposes, but it's not like there's lasting damage. The vandalism probably disappeared within a few minutes (tip of the hat to counter-vandals). This looks like making a mountain out of a mole hill.

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