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Comment Faith... or Ivory Tower Syndrome (Score 1) 1486

IMHO, part of the problem is that professors are often economically and professionally invested in their pet theories. They derive grant money, consulting, and professional status from being an authorative expert on whatever it is. And authorative experts are "right".

  It is taboo for a student or anyone who cannot match the peeing contest of academic credentials to question them. Even then, it often starts bitter battles that last entire lifetimes. Battles which have been known to fly in the face of logical, rational thought and mounds of evidence to the contrary. Why? Because someone has an absolute need to be "right".

During my academic career, I have often run into a great deal of trouble because I do question nearly everything. I don't care if it is printed in the text book. The book is often wrong and I have, in class, on more than one occasion been able to prove it. And in at least one case, the professor had written the text book :/

Comment Should be legal to slap parents when kids are bad (Score 1) 615

I'm also guessing that anyone who leaves a child to "free range" won't object when you're spending your retirement money to bail him out of jail in about 10 years......

Just more lame parents who think plugging their kid in to a an electronic device or turning them out for everyone else to deal with is a fine idea.

And people wonder why I despise OPC (Other People's Children). It should be legal to slap the parents when the kids are being a brat in public.

Examples from my recent experience - While out having dinner a nice restaurant, I am assaulted by a child who is about 8 years old and who is busily clearing his parent's table by throwing everything from food to the condiment containers - mostly in my direction. When the salt shaker lands in my plate of food, I ask them to have him stop. Do they say anything to the child? Oh no! Instead, I get some crap about how he's expressing himself. I tell the father that if he doesn't want me to "express myself" he needs to get his ugly squealing brat under control because I'm pay just as much to eat there as he is. While I am dealing with the parents, the little miscreat has left her parent's table and moved to my table where she is now eating off my plate. At this point, the parents have the nerve to tell me "Oh, look she LIKES you." My response was, "Good, because you just bought my dinner. The veal and lobster really are quite good here."

While waiting in the ticket line at the movie theater, a couple and their children walk up behind me. They have two boys who are playing with yo-yos. Now that doesn't sound bad until I tell you that their "idea" of playing with the yo-yo's is to try to clock each other in the head with them. All the thrashing around, shoving, and fighting results in me be whacked with the yo-yo's. When I ask the boys to please stop because they're not just hitting each other, the mother starts screaming at me that I can't tell her children what to do. At that point, I tell her that she can either make it stop or the yo-yo's are going to end up in a very uncomfortable spot for her.

At a completely different movie theater and parents bring a toddler - barely walking - to Grindhouse. The poor child was so frightened she screamed though the entire movie and was still screaming as her parents sedately waddled back out to their car. OMFG! Who takes a child to Grindhouse????


Microsoft Behind Google Complaints To EC 346

justice4all writes to share that some of the recent complaints to the European Commission about Google have apparently been coming from Microsoft. "A lawyer for Microsoft confirmed that the software giant told the US Department of Justice and the European Commission how Google’s business practices may be harming publishers, advertisers and competition in search and online advertising. [...] 'Google’s algorithms learn less common search terms better than others because many more people are conducting searches on these terms on Google. These and other network effects make it hard for competing search engines to catch up. Microsoft’s well-received Bing search engine is addressing this challenge by offering innovations in areas that are less dependent on volume. But Bing needs to gain volume too, in order to increase the relevance of search results for less common search terms.'"

Comment Re:10 years is a LOOOOOOOOONG time... (Score 1) 77

In a world where 20 seconds can mean keeping or loosing a customer, a decade is veritable eternity. And I agree with you wholeheartedly about Yahoo/MSFT and it being more about mail and other services. However, I see this as the one combination that is likely to give Google a run for its money. Google, IMHO, is a far greater evil than even the Borg collective. The Borg Collective is watched and monitored and known to be evil. Google purports to "do no evil" all the while your privacy is a vanishing memory. And who are they whoring all this data out to? We don't know. At least with the credit bureaus (Equifax, TransUnion, etc.) you can find out. What happens to it after it gets shared? We don't know. What all is in there? We don't know.

Comment Sell Your Soul for Free Services (Score 1) 275

A couple of years ago I wrote a blog entry entitled "Google - The New Mark of the Beast" and was fluffled off as an alarmist. Now the truth about Google is slowly seeping out. For those of you who don't do data mining, you just don't realize how sophisticated its become. Google doesn't do anything unless it gets them another stream of data on their user base.

Gmail - your email - subject -content - to and from
Google Chat - content and other people
Google Latitude - your physical location and cell #
Google Voice - your phone number (which can be trivially tied to real identity including your address) as well as the content from your phone calls and messages
Google Docs - Your documents, power points, and spreadsheets
Google Chrome & Toolbar - Your browsing History
Google Search - if you're logged in this gets stored if not, it can still be tied back to you via IP address

With Google DNS, they can see what you're requesting even if you're not one of their users and they can start to build a profile on you even if you haven't signed up.

Comment Re:New section called editorial (Score 3, Interesting) 105

My personal feelings agree with you. However, I find this to be incredibly valuable as this is an area that I deal in quite a bit. A friend of mine runs a quite popular local web site that I write for as a reporter. Many of the artciles deal with political corruption; negligence, malfeasance, or just outright stupidity of elected officials; and now we're going after the school board for just plain being tards.

It's quite useful for us to have the ability to harvest comments off our news blog for further investgation. However, I'm going to put up a disclaimer and point people to a web form that will email me. Set up CAPTCA so that the bots don't drive me insane and we should all be good.

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