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Comment Re:Um, so? (Score 4, Interesting) 257

I think the point is that major corporations are using US bonds as a tax shelter, and if they had paid taxes instead of investing in US debt, the US debt might not be at it's present level of 100% of GDP.

OTOH, this is kind of good news. If Trump pisses off China so that it begins to dump US public debt, it will be nice that US corporations have significant incentive to pick up the debt.

Comment Re:Torn between reading and doing (Score 1, Insightful) 381

I read most of volume 1. 30 years ago we were still working out basics and many programmer had to write or at least understand, basic processes. This is why this book was useful. In addition we were still writing lots of code, rather than just understanding and applying APIs. For instance no one is going to write a sort, or a gaussian elimination, or a GUI outside of classroom anymore. Few developers are going to have to know how to really code, or what is really happening in the engine they are using.

Comment Re:Not the only criticism (Score 1) 89

This is what is happening to US schools. A lot of the new school models are based on hiring new cheap teachers, working them to death, then getting rid of them before they have a real salary or a pension. There is no reason to even have teachers certified, because a teacher can teach for three years without certification. There is benefit to a certificated teacher as that teacher is just going to feel like they can stay for years.

Teaching is about the only professional job I know where corporate wants random people with dubious qualifications and no experience working. This is different from what it used to be, where teachers were put through a trial of fire but trained and mentored so that those who could be good teachers in 5 years were kept. These then helped the new teachers. It is important to have a long probation, simply so that good teachers can be identified and bad teacher let go. But this probation period should not be an excuse to just have a staff that can be worked until they are burned out, and students are not learning.

Corporate education does not work. We see this at the college level with the default rates on student loans, at the school level with the constant lawsuits against firms who steal money. Public education already knows how to educate a curated population. I went to such public schools, many of friends did as well, and we all are productive tax paying members of society. It is the general population that is a challenge, and all results show that corporate schools funded with public money do worse, or at best as well, as public schools. And this does not even take into account that corporate schools have much more leeway to choose who they wish not to educate.

Comment Re: Incentives aren't the problem. Shills are. (Score 1) 106

It is like the proposed ban on lobbying at the federal level. If you regulate it, then there is some control and transparency. If you ban it, then it goes underground.

The problem with these reviews is that they get elevated to the to-, presumable because sellers then have everybody click to find it useful. If amazon would mark these reviews, the relegate them to a lower position, they would serve a purpose without being overwhelming.

Comment Re: I don't think this is a well thought out plan (Score 1) 83

Because they can't make a decent mobile device to save thier lives, and desktop monopoly is not going to matter that much in a decade. Fewer people will use MS studio because the tools for Andriod are free and Xcode is basically free. MS studio will basically be B2B only, and IBM does it better. It is not a well thought plan. It is desperation from a lazy company whose only skill was OEM intimidation and lock-in.

Comment Bad Science + Bad Legislation (Score 1) 361

The NHTSA traffic study that inspired this legislation and (also a related recommendation from an advocacy group for the blind) was unbelievably bad science.

They did not adjust their findings for the (well documented) geographic distribution of EVs and PZEVs. They compared national averages for gas cars with national averages for EVs - this is invalid methodology, because EVs are predominant in urban environments where pedestrian/car accidents are very much more common than rural environments where there isn't sufficient charging infrastructure to support EVs. When adjustments are applied, there is no difference between the rate of gas car and EV pedestrian/car accidents. Then, the study fantasizes an unsupported conclusion - having falsely concluded that EVs are more likely to run down pedestrians (they aren't) the NHTSA report authors then completely invent a rationale to explain this, with *no data to support that rationale*. It's just "EVs are quiet therefore the problem is EVs are quiet". Literally no falsing or experimentation whatsoever, just guesswork. Bad science.

As I understand this legislation, it purports to help the blind avoid quiet cars, but does not do that. It actually just penalizes the makers of EVs and PZEVs while allowing diesel and gasoline cars to be as silent as they wish, up to and including total silence.

However, there's nothing wrong with having noisemakers on EVs and PZEVs. It's just unfair to exempt pollutionmobiles from audio requirements, that's all. It's blatant market manipulation in favor of the Petroleum industry, targeted at Tesla, the only EV that doesn't already have a noisemaker.

Comment US or World? (Score 2, Interesting) 430

Depends if you are talking US or the world. The people who voted for Trump in the primary likely see technology as a threat. They are largely uneducated rural people who expect to be paid to mine coal even if no one wants it or assemble products even if a robot can do it better. Can you imagine what computers would be like if we were still forced to hand solder components because we were required to support semi-skilled workers? No surface mount.

So even though the people who elected Trump is broader, the basic tenet of isolationism and coal miners is still inherently anti-innovation. The wind mills and solar panels that are being installed in Texas and other states, and are going to be a significant part of the energy grid in the next decade, is an extensional threat to the unskilled workers who elected Trump. The semi-skilled service jobs that require an associates degree and significant computer literacy are beyond the average Trump supporter who thinks that they deserve a middle class income for doing work a computer could do more accurately.

Which further opens the path for Asia and Germany to take over the technological world. Our trains are not designed in the US, but in Germany. More of out high technology is not only going to be built, but engineered, in Asia.

Comment Re: well... (Score 1) 76

Kids need to learn that if it is not your machine, not your network, there is no expectation of privacy. They need to know that when they are using wifi at McDonalds or Starbucks every they do is logged. If a school owns a computer, and they take it home that compuer shouldbe kept in a common area and not in private area where the kid might have naked time. Like any computer owned by an employer, nothing should be done in it that is not work related.

Kids are given computer so they can learn skills and etiquette so when they grow up they can be successful for a lifetime. Teaching them now so they don't get fired for making p0rn on thier work laptop is a good thing.

Comment Re:150% Sure (Score 5, Insightful) 171

In previous years Apple and Samsung accounted for the majority of profits in the smartphone category. Now that Samsung has sunk itself, not only with exploding mobile devices but also exploding washing machines, the only profitable firm is Apple.

The larger than 100% number is because most firms operate at a loss. For example, one can easily be 200% more productive than a very lazy coworker.

Comment Wind and natural gas (Score 4, Interesting) 275

Carbon capture was a technology that was useful in the US when it was thought coal would remain the primary fuel. Now that natural gas is dirt cheap, partially thanks to fracking, it is not so critical. Natural gas produces about half the CO2 per BTU as dirty coal. Switching from coal should reduce emissions at least 40%. In fact Texas can meet standards by shutting down a few very dirty plants and moving to natural gas.

But what is going to change everything is when the rest of the US follows Texas which now gets at least 10% of the power from renewables, mostly wind. This is where the climate change problem will begin to decline.

Which is not to say the carbon capture technology is dead. In other developing countries it may be useful,and the US could be the supplier for those systems.

Comment Re:Just the fake ones? (Score 1) 212

Exactly. Never talk to a debt collector or charity on the phone. Never take any bill that is mailed at face value. Always type the link of your financial institution of use a bookmark.

In the US laws tend to protect the debtor. If you owe money, there will always be time to pay. Firms buy old debt without knowing if he debt is genuine. I get calls all the time trying to collect fake debt.

Comment Re:Sapphire crystal lens cover (Score 1) 111

I woud suspect it was something like a epitaxial layer of safire to coat a glass lens. In fact, depending on how the measurement was done, the lens could be safire. Glass is a generic term to mean a substrate that is not a single crystal, and could be of many compositions, including Aluminum Oxide doped with titanium. One requirement is that the lens does not preferential reflect and visible frequency of light, so that rules out most of what one would commonly call sapphire.

Submission + - State, Federal K-12 CS-For-All Legislation Focuses on All But Asian/White Boys

theodp writes: EdSource reports that California Gov. Jerry Brown on Tuesday aligned the state with President Obama’s $4B Computer Science for All initiative, signing into law a bill that begins a planning process to expand computer science education for all grades in California’s public schools. "It is the intent of the Legislature that all pupils in kindergarten and grades 1 to 12, inclusive, have access to computer science education," reads Assembly Bill No. 2329, "with a strong focus on pupils underrepresented in computer science, including girls, low-income and underserved school districts, and rural and urban school districts." And over at Congress, CA Representative Barbara Lee has also introduced H.R.6095 — Computer Science for All Act of 2016, which requires recipients of $250 million in grant funds to create "plans for expanding overall access to rigorous STEAM classes, utilizing computer science as a catalyst for increased interest in STEAM more broadly, and reducing course equity gaps for all students, including underrepresented groups such as minorities, girls, and youth from low-income families [...] Women overall face challenges in accessing computer science education." In an accompanying op-ed on the legislation, Lee argued that "Congress needs to put our money where our mouth is on STEM", adding that, "We can and must to do better, especially for girls and students of color." The legislation is consistent with the nation's new Every Student Succeeds Act, which put K-12 CS on equal footing with academic subjects such as math and English. Signed into law during last December's Computer Science Education Week, ESSA calls for "increasing access for students through grade 12 who are members of groups underrepresented in such subject fields, such as female students, minority students, English learners, children with disabilities, and economically disadvantaged students." So, with only 57,937 students out of the nation's 16 million high schoolers taking an AP CS exam in 2016, should lawmakers be pressed to spell out exactly what student groups they don't consider underrepresented in CS?

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