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Comment Re:Did anybody read the summary ? (Score 1) 248

Lolwut? They're not molding and etching these things by hand, they're using machinery to produce billions of coins very quickly and cheaply.

Example: A £1 UK coin is worth about £0.03 in materials. Even factoring in the cost of building and maintaining the minting machines, staffing the mint, designing the coinage, etc. many of which are historical costs, the actual cost of each coin is far less than its face value, and certainly far less than half a dollar, and that's for a relatively heavy coin.

I don't support a fully cashless society, for reasons stated elsewhere in this thread, but I do believe we should be reducing the number of coins and notes in the system, and eliminating the smallest denominations of coins. Unfortunately, for some reason, some people in this country have latched onto the penny as some kind of symbol of Britishness and the "good old days" (which is to say, some people are weird) so it won't go away without a pointless political battle.

Comment Re:Why go for a simple majority? (Score 1) 464


In a straightforward, national popular vote, there are no states, only voters.

You know this. You understand this. So, what you're really scared of is the other side winning.

Just man up and admit that any concerns about certain "states" having "too much power" is actually code for "people I disagree with - which is actually the majority of people in this country - getting what they want".

Comment Re:The electoral college is not needed (Score 4, Insightful) 464

"The people in the large cities have decided to live in an area where they are less represented. That is a choice they made."

If you have to move to a different city, a different part of the country or a different state to have your vote matter, then your system is simply fucked.

Comment Re:Careful? (Score 1) 333

Really, these places should be like "off license" restaurants in England

What? I live in the UK and I don't know what you're referring to. In the UK, an "off license" is an establishment that sells alcohol for consumption elsewhere. It has nothing to do with restaurants.

Restaurants do need a license to sell alcohol, but they are not called "off licenses". Some restaurants - particularly small ones - don't bother with the license, so they cannot sell alcohol, but people are allowed to BYOB if they want (albeit usually with a corkage charge). These are still not called "off licenses".

Apart from that, restaurants must adhere to the Food Standards Agency hygiene regulations. If they fail, they can be temporarily or permanently shut down. No license needed here either.

Think you might be getting your terminology confused.

Comment Re:Change is needed. (Score 1) 198

True, but that's because laws were introduced to modify both driver behaviour and car design. You can no longer have a few beers and drive legally, and steering wheels no longer leap into the driver's chest cavity when they have a fender-bender. These have reduced injuries and deaths.

In terms of safety features, you now have seat belts, crumple zones, strengthened chassis frames, airbags, ABS, traction and stability control, etc. These are all great, but they are mere mitigation of the #1 cause of vehicular accidents, which is human error.

With autonomous vehicles we can finally make progress in defeating the real enemy of road safety: road users.

(Side note: 40% of vehicle deaths in the USA are alcohol-related. Just getting the steering wheel out of the hands of people who have been drinking is major progress!)

Comment Re:Sigh. (Score 2) 76

I work in IT in a UK school too.

We don't do BYOD here. All student devices are school-owned and monitored. We use a (fairly popular) combined firewall/email/web filter appliance that filters the web pretty aggressively, because we have to comply with both UK and Scottish legislation on child protection.

Under the new "Prevent" legislation, we even have a duty to monitor students use of web and email for signs of extremism! We're still waiting for the appliance vendor to roll out an update that will allow us to do this. If they don't, there's a good chance we'll have to switch to another provider.

We don't use any form of classroom management software. Teachers cannot see what the kids are doing on the computers. This is mostly because teachers are treated like royalty here, and we are not allowed to implement anything that might "increase their workload", even when classroom management is obviously central to their jobs!

We (the IT department) can connect to students and teachers' devices at any time and view and interact with their sessions, though they are notified when we connect. This is rarely used for policy enforcement, it just saves us having to hike between buildings when Prof. Forgetful has, for example, accidentally hidden his unread messages.

We have biometrics for the cashless canteen too. Same as yours, the fingerprint is stored as a hash, not an image, so the fingerprint records are only useful for this specific system. We previously allowed parents to opt out of this system, but recently it became part of the admissions process (we're an independent school). Now, if you want your kid in this school, you must consent to biometric registration. We only had a couple of parents ever opt out anyway.

All of these measures are enforced by our management teams and almost universally welcomed by parents. Obviously, all of this creates more work for our under-resourced IT department, but as GP points out we have absolutely no choice in the matter. None.

Comment Re: IIS Server resume bug (Score 1) 166

Indeed. Comment 31 aka Codesquid's Bridge is truly awesome:

No, the engineer really did exist in another world. Not only was he incapable of understanding that a bridge costs more than a car or a truck, he didn't even understand that many people do not own the bridges they drive over. He even thought that customers would prefer his truck because it couldn't drive over this particular bridge.


Apple Has Created 'Detailed Mockups' of iMessage For Android ( 143

One of the biggest features on iOS that isn't available on Android is iMessage, an instant messaging service that allows users to send information over Wi-Fi, 4G LTE, and other forms of internet access to other iOS or OS X users. Earlier this year, there were been rumors swirling around the possibility of the service coming to Android due to Apple's increased focus on services, "which means opening up certain avenues beyond its own iOS and OS X platforms." Today, Daring Fireball's John Gruber has added fuel to the fire by mentioning that he's "heard from little birdies" that a handful of "detailed mockups" of iMessage for Android have been shared around Apple. MacRumors reports: The user interface of the Android app is said to have gone through numerous designs, from one that looks identical to the version on iOS, to another that has a "pure Material Design," using Google's design language it developed a few years ago. Gruber still thinks iMessage on Android "might happen sooner or later," mainly because of iMessage's new monetized Messages App Store, which could net Apple increased income in its already profitable services category if it translated the app to Android. Apple undoubtedly created mockups for all types of products and services, the vast majority of which never make it to release, and it's unclear exactly how far along the iMessage for Android preliminary designs were at the time of their circulation through Apple, or when exactly that occurred. Still, Gruber notes that while an Android version of iMessage "may never see the light of day," even the existence of such mockups "strongly suggests that there's no 'of course not' to it."

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