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US National Archives Will Upload All Its Holdings To Wikipedia

ALeader71 Cue the takedown notices! (108 comments)

If Wikimedia Commons can handle this onslaught, will all of the content pass muster with our never ending corporate copyright regime?

about three weeks ago

Solar Roadways Project Beats $1M Goal, Should Enter Production

ALeader71 Making this happen... (311 comments)

For this to happen, it cannot occur in the public sphere. There are too many rice bowls involved. Not to mention the decade long fight over which party gets credit or moves their agenda along by NOT allowing the other party to take credit.

No, this would have to occur using a local coalition of the willing:
A place where those with cash can see and drive over it.
Some place you can destroy the existing infrastructure without a bunch of NIMBYs blocking construction. Maybe a new development or a re-development.
Detroit has massive infrastructure problems, but do they get enough sunlight?
Can San Francisco quite fighting long enough to allow construction?
Maybe Texas who couldn't give a darn about their environment but has a lot of tech industry types with business ties to the area?

Long term: This could be the "smart grid" we heard so little about in 2010. For this to work, you have to generate enough electricity to keep the roads clear during a harsh winter. Think big snowstorm from a slow moving low pressure system.
We will need electricity generation in far flung sunny states and countries in the same way LA needs most of the Western US' water supply. Electricity must be able to travel transcontinental distances the same way cargo and people do now.
We will need large amounts of electricity storage. I don't know what that would look like. It could be batteries. It could be fuel cells using hydrogen and oxygen from desalination plants or captured rain water from spring floods -- oh that's an idea! Build massive conduits to divert excess rainwater into the West's emptying aquifers. Is it practical? I have no idea.

A project like this will require a skilled workforce and decades to complete. Sorry Southern US. Your hatred of "schoolin" and your love of cheapness and a romanticized agrarian fantasy still won't bring or keep jobs to your towns. Maybe once you see the rest of the country has moved a century past you, we'll see a Great Vote Out occur and you can join the 21st century. As a Southerner I hope but don't believe it's possible outside of our few successful cities. There's a reason why poverty is still such a major part of the South, and it's entirely our fault.

So while I think solar roadways are a great idea. We can't rely on our leaders to facilitate this conversion. This will have to occur bottom up while those at the top have to leap out of the way. Good luck to this endeavor!

about 2 months ago

Comcast CEO Brian Roberts Opens Mouth, Inserts Foot

ALeader71 So if ISPs are like the Post Office.... (343 comments)

Wouldn't that make ISPs a "necessary public service" like MaBell once was? Let me pontificate:

If that's true, then ISPs should be heavily regulated to ensure reliable service is provided to the entire country.
Since Washington love to re-use past legislation (stimulus packages, gun control, etc) why not require so-called "nationwide" ISPs to provide broadband service down to the smallest farm in the United States? I believe we're already paying a federal tax which once offset this cost.

Other ways to make this happen:
Congress passes legislation that Obama/future President would actually sign. -- Unlikely unless 2016 is the Year of the Great Vote Out.
Obama (unlikely) / Future President (80% unlikely) could order the FCC's lobbyist chairperson to start requiring Broadband availability in the same way we once required AT&T to run copper phone lines to every house, farm, factory, and barn in the United States.
A massive anti-trust lawsuit turns over all existing right-of-way monopolies. This is the most likely scenario, but I don't know if our money-is-speech Supreme Court would take the case.


about 2 months ago

Reason Suggests DoJ Closing Porn Stars' Bank Accounts

ALeader71 Hard to verify (548 comments)

I found two non-fringe or slightly suspect news links: The article completes the circle back to sites like and The Guardian. The other is It links to entertainment sites like Perez Hilton. Not the sort of thing you expect to find when a secret government operation like this is uncovered.

What I don't see, is anything linking directly to information about the DOJ's Operation Chokepoint. The list of targets is a bit broad and the tactics are a little suspect. You wouldn't think of a far left liberal like Obama as someone who is anti-porn. We'll have to watch this and see how things develop. Maybe someone will find a few hard government generated facts and write up a 2600 article?

about 3 months ago

Michael Bloomberg: You Can't Teach a Coal Miner To Code

ALeader71 Re:He's right! (581 comments)

True, coding is not for everyone. Just as welding, writing, and accounting aren't for everyone. However, people don't understand the tech they use on a daily basis: i.e. Snopes Microwave Article. People don't need to know how to write software anymore than they need to know how to assemble an engine, or build a stove. They do need to understand that it isn't a magic box. They do need to know how to spot bad science and emotion targeted arguments. The coal miners Bloomberg would put out of work would be screwed. Not only would they have to move to a new state, they would have to start over with an entirely new set of skills while having expensive responsibilities most of us didn't have when we were starting out.

I should point out: Coal itself is playing out in several parts of the US. Coal, like pop music, is eating itself.

about 3 months ago

Damming News From Washington State

ALeader71 Re: WTF? (168 comments)

Agreed. There are supposedly well educated people who believe none of the public works projects like Hoover Dam used private companies to build them. Thankfully a simple search proves them wrong.

about 5 months ago

Damming News From Washington State

ALeader71 Re:O.M.G (168 comments)

So we should follow North Korea's example and have a government enforced "lights out" policy? No thanks. I prefer the 21st century over the 18th.

about 5 months ago

Face Masks Provide Chinese With False Hope Against Pollution

ALeader71 This used to be us (156 comments)

This is what US and most European cities looked like in the 19th century. It's the face of unfettered capitalism.
Any activity that enables our baser nature is destructive. It's what I believed in back in the 90s but after Bush and Obama, don't believe in now. Bush started it when it became clear that while we were willing to accept another quick mid-east war our leaders largely didn't care how long we stayed, Obama showed me how hollow and phony our two party political system is by continuing most of the same Bush policies knowing people would stop complaining once he moved into the White House.

about 5 months ago

Ask Slashdot: What Software Can You Not Live Without?

ALeader71 My favorite apps (531 comments)

Firefox, Chrome

Terminal, Outlook, Word and Excel, Dropbox, Evernote, Geektool, todo.txt, Rido

Feedly, Maps, Beat the Traffic, Evernote, bar code scanner, my grocery store's app, Rido, Sonos

Windows 7:
Putty, WinSCP, Notepad++, Rdio, Sonos Linux: vim, terminal, ssh, keystore, apt-get, yum, the list goes on.

about 5 months ago

Apple Urges Arizona Governor To Veto Anti-Gay Legislation

ALeader71 Re:First blacks, (917 comments)

Personally, I think allowing businesses to post anti-gay signs will make them easier to boycott and drive out of business. Let their imagined victory be the yoke that drags these businesses into the grave.

As for Americans and racism. At least ours is out in the open. France bans Arabic head scarves in schools. Former Warsaw Pact countries are full of centuries old hatreds and revenge fantasies. Yugoslavia. Hungary. Europe buries it's hatred and covers it up with not so polite humor.

The US has somehow manages to isolate it's most vocal racists in tiny enclaves. Even the Tea Party, for all of it's bluster and nearly Christ free Christianity, found its power limited by the very Constitution they claim to uphold. The Defense of Marriage Act is the latest example. A Supreme Court with several GOP appointed justices struck this law down. We've allowed women on Navy ships and combat aircraft since the 90s and women (officially) in front line combat roles today. We aren't perfect but we are progressing. Our system is designed to prevent one person or group from obtaining too much power but it also means change happens slowly, and that's a good thing. A nation the size of the United Sates shouldn't be turned on a dime. It happened in the Weimar Republic in a destitute Germany and look how that turned out. Imagine a newly elected radical President with the same authority granted to him or her that was given to Hitler.

about 5 months ago

The Internet's Network Efficiencies Are Destroying the Middle Class

ALeader71 Buggy whips anyone? (674 comments)

Seriously, when will this thread end? Look I grew up in the 70s and 80s with a series of doomsday scenarios including nuclear war. Believe me, the middle class isn't threatened by technology. First off, the middle class isn't anyone with a job. The middle class is classically composed of non-labor intensive skilled employment. Yes technology has replaced some of those jobs. When was the last time you raced to the bank because you needed cash for the weekend and the teller windows were closing? Does anyone want to go back? Apparently this Joe Nocera does. Look the sad truth is, most people stumble through life. Even those who see the curve in the road ahead lack the ambition to turn the wheel. It's easier to stick to what you know and tell yourself "oh they can't do away with my job." Well they can, and they will. So what do you do? Watch, listen, and most importantly learn. It's why Pittsburgh will never again be Steel Town USA, and "what's good for GM" will not be good for America.

Oh the article makes for a good heart-felt rant. It plays on our tender hearts, implores us to feels awful for the plight of our nation and the dark, hopeless future that awaits. How could our bleak future compare to the challenges of any other age!? Get over it. I'm 42 and I've changed careers three times. I grew up with regular newscasts on shows like 20/20 which told me how I might survive a nuclear attack. At one point, we thought Japan would purchase the entire United States and turn us into slaves. Guess what? I've not only survived, I've thrived. Most of us will adapt and live on, no matter what this so-called journalist says

So quit letting this NTY prophet of doom get you down and get back to building your future.

about 7 months ago

Samsung Ordered To Pay Apple $290M In Patent Case

ALeader71 Fire up the dumptrucks! (219 comments)

I feel a parking lot full of loose change in Apple's future. Maybe this time it will happen!

about 8 months ago

Airline Pilots Rely Too Much On Automation, Says Safety Panel

ALeader71 Re:In the SIMULATOR? (270 comments)

It depends on the simulation. If you are training for a cross oceanic flight, you would simulate switching out flight crews and long periods where you would normally use auto pilot. The simulation would toss various problems at you to break up what is normally a dry, boring routine so you know how to handle different problems.

Personally, I think we're just a few years away from a fully automatic flying experience.

about 8 months ago

Winamp Shutting Down On December 20

ALeader71 Would you fork a Lama? (400 comments)

Does anyone think WinAmp is a good open source candidate?

about 8 months ago

Microsoft Donates Windows 8.1 To Nonprofit Organizations

ALeader71 Re:How white of Microsoft! (224 comments)

So the often out-of-date workstations that fill libraries can now be overloaded with Windows 8. The librarians can spend hours training the public to use Windows 8 instead of helping them find books and information. Notice MS Office isn't included.

about 9 months ago

4 Prominent Scientists Say Renewables Aren't Enough, Urge Support For Nuclear

ALeader71 Re:Energy shouldn't be cheap. (776 comments)

The problem with your theory is that it hits the poor the hardest. The wealthy get all of the energy they want. The middle class, well they get squeezed. "Sorry son/daughter, college isn't in the cards for you. Maybe you could join the service and get used as a tool of foreign policy. Hand me another blanket, it's gonna be cold tonight." Jacking up energy prices doesn't lead to greater efficiency. Offering discounts on energy efficiency however DOES lead to greater efficiency, and makes higher cost improvements cheaper as more competitors enter the market and existing manufacturers learn how to make the same products for less money. Eventually you won't need the discounts as whatever technologies you promote become commoditized. Discounts drive consumers. Punishment/taxes discourage consumption.

Unfortunately, this doesn't hold true for apartment complexes. They have little incentive to modernize. Taxes however are an even bigger disincentive to apartment complex corporations than they are to home owners. The discounts must be created to benefit these kinds of businesses. The poor of course will be the last to benefit as they have the least to spend. The way out of that is education and opportunity. We won't eliminate poverty, but we can elevate what is defined as poverty. A poor person of 40 years ago had a lot less than a poor person does today in part due to commoditization.

Finally, if the means of wealth generation are placed well out of reach, then invention is retarded or halted completely. The IT revolution of the 90s and the on-going Big Data revolution can only exist in a country where electricity is both affordable and plentiful. Make turning on that computer or light a major cost decision and you'll loose those driven individuals that are creating the next economy.

about 9 months ago

Lenovo Want Ashton Kutcher As More Than Just a Pretty Face

ALeader71 I didn't know that (101 comments)

I didn't know that Ashton Kutcher was a tech investor. Too bad we don't know how large or how deeply he was involved with the companies listed. It would be useful information to gauge this new endeavor. I wonder though, does Lenovo need technical assistance, or an artist? Technical specs are fine (and the Yoga tablet doesn't sound like a power house) but an ugly interface is the kiss of death. People spend far too much for Apple products. Why? They work well (enough) and they like the interface (Apple haters excluded). I use a Nexus phone because I don't like vendor loaded crap, but I will acknowledge the Note as one pretty phone.

about 9 months ago

Dell Is Now a Private Company Again

ALeader71 Private Equity (151 comments)

This is a good move for Dell, provided they can adopt to this new market. Dell should focus on the back end of the cloud. They make good servers. They just need to cut off the consumer arm and let it drift into the ether. They lost the consumer market a long time ago and like IBM need to focus on what they (still) do well.

about 9 months ago

The Pentagon May Retire "Yoda," Its 92-Year-Old Futurist

ALeader71 Re:Predicting The Probable (254 comments)

I grew up in the 70s and 80s. I never thought we would see a Communist state abandon the Planned Economy and embrace the Free Market. If you brought the idea to me when I was 18 or 25, I'd have thought you were nuts. What Communist wanted to give up that much power over the individual? How could a nation, so accustomed to marching in lockstep with it's leadership handle economic freedom? Russia wasn't doing so well after Communism and China was reportedly employing one third of this population to spy on and control the remaining two thirds. Today, many people wonder if the government's form really matters when Communist nations like China and Vietnam are creating a strong middle class while few Democracies are facing a future where its children are worse off than their parents.

about 9 months ago

RIAA Targets 21 Sites For Shutdown

ALeader71 RIAA still exists? (140 comments)

Didn't Apple (mostly) kill music DRM by proving that people will buy digital music if it isn't a major pain in the ass to purchase, store, recover, or access? Hasn't the rise of streaming services like Pandora, Rdio and Spotify places the final nails in RIAA's coffin?

Isn't the lack of live, streaming NFL and NBA games cable and satellite's last hope for DRM laced video? More and more people prefer NOT to sit with a bunch of self absorbed phone addicts in a dark theater to watch a crappy movie.

about 9 months ago


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