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top

Journal Article On Precognition Sparks Outrage

PB8 Re:Lotteries (319 comments)

Add a mere 3% edge in detecting when bouncers would be sent to bounce may not be sufficient to prevent odds reducing brain damage over repeated attempts.

more than 3 years ago
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Why I'm Posting Bail Money for Julian Assange

PB8 Assange faces charges, but NYT, LAT, Guardian (3 comments)

and other media outlets publishing the cables face legal crickets. In fact, these media institutions have been working carefully with Mr. Assange to vet the information to be published, to black out names of individuals who could be harmed, and not even 1% of these cables have actually been published, even though these media have all the cables in their hands. The 'insurance' file is out there in case something shuts down the current process, but it seems odd that our own military has gotten little attention for lax security. Do we need to revisit what it means to be a whistle-blower in light of this? Perhaps. There is a huge amount of energy being spent to repress whistle-blowers and little on dealing with the problems revealed. Government too often seems to hates to change and enjoy a good prosecution, even if only in abstentia.

Here's a mental and emotional exercise for you. Imagine if Michael Moore or Chomsky had been the recipient of these files from Julian Assange, or if the Taleban had received them. It may be hard for those inappropriately yelling 'treason' to understand that Assange gave these (as he received them from a military specialist) to our 'allies', not to our harshest critics or, worse, direct enemies, in an attempt to shame all Western 'democracies' into behaving better. It's certainly not single-handed. Many media outlets have been coordinating closely to determine which cables to publish when, and how to redact (black out sensitive info) them and release in what forms with what background and context. Julian hasn't released cables publically unless these media were also ready to release them.

Do we have to agree with his means and modus operandi? Not necessarily. But I see how it could be argued that he really did try to seek out the most responsible way possible, at least in his mind and those of the media he contacted, to deal with these. One doesn't have to approve of the enthusiastic actions of Anonymous, etc. to see he's tried to reveal what seems like problems of global impact, especially the tremendous extent to which government and globalized corporations coordinate to attain desired objectives and extract maximum gain, as well as how sometimes misguided our diplomacy process has been. It is a lofty goal, and we will debate the means and ends on this for some time. But the release is an opportunity to see ourselves through the eyes of others. We indeed see our nation's goals and actions in these cables. It is when we see it behaving as an 'Empire', often still supporting dictators and military coups, that we must call for change. We know we ought to be behaving as a democracy proud of and affirming our civil liberties and observation of human rights (or improvements thereupon) while finding ways to promote democracy and human rights for all other nations and peoples. Seeing ourselves as other nations do, in that mirror, is something we ought to honestly face. Do we really need to behave that way to other nations, leaders and diplomats? Are we really making the American way of governance and life that appealing to other nations? We can see many glimmers of how we are perceived in these cables. There are lessons to be learned by both citizens and leaders in these. We need to elect leaders committed to effective diplomacy where there is honest dialog, no promotion or overlooking of unlawful behavior, and perhaps something silly notion like negotiating in good faith for the common good of Americans and other nations.

more than 3 years ago
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US Elections Dominated By Closed Source. Again.

PB8 Re:Because...it is the "Love of..." (403 comments)

i.e. lust for money and sex which is the root of evil. Don't objectify what is within us as deep character flaws and propensities. Jealousy, greed, lust, (and the other 4 vices) can have violent expression, especially when the perpetrator perceives a difference in power and has a reason to believe any act committed would not be easily found out.

All I want is a trustworthy election system that has auditable controls, manual and automated methods of recount, verifiable by the public, and with strict rules for what to do when results are alledged to be suspect. Accountability, transparency of process, and enforcement of applicable laws where criminal action is found is key, regardless of system adopted.

Okay, and one more thing (starting my more opinionated seque).

I want the option to always be able to vote:

E) NONE OF THE ABOVE

If a majority were able to vote NONE OF THE ABOVE, then we the people could have the power to veto the current slate of candidates and force a new election with new candidates. If we don't want to live in a nation governed by the latte white whine party (best populism corporations can buy) or tea party revolutionary pity potty funded by billionaires (Koch bros.) and CEOs, we need to the power to say NO more effectively than any Republican representative in Congress.

Why couldn't we reject all the evil or suspect candidates instead of just the voting for whomever or whatever we hope is the least evil option? The election rules we have now (that 2.1 party system along with with the referendums ginned up by astroturfing corporations) which seems to ensure evil continues in some form or another. What sort of nation will we end up with when elections come down to which candidate sucks less than the other? Any 'third party' candidate is now typically funded deviously by one of the other parties, with the cynical intent to sap votes from one of a passionate subset of the chief opponent's party when it is believed that the margin for election will be close. (This has happened in Ohio and Florida in the last couple of elections.)

Bonus rhetorical arguments (understand there may be a high snark content):

A related problem is how political campaigns are running now versus prior to 1960's. We used to read speeches and transcripts of debates, position & policy papers, etc. and we'd go to "whistle stops" to see and hear a candidate speak in person, and the campaign season was a few months, not 18 months to 4 years. Now we watch TV, listen to radio, read blogs, maybe read a Sunday paper, perhaps some of us try to emulate and argue like some talk show host, while billions are spent on attack ads (TV, radio, web, and newspapers) and specifically designed to elicit fear and loathing in a demoralizing manner, instead of utilizing more honest debate, compare and contrast, logical reasoning regarding benefits and costs and social morals, etc. Each October, we now must endure the unreal Candidate Horror Show each October, with a guaranteed slimey, fear and hate-inducing October Surprise!

Even our flag-waving patriotic US Chamber of Commerce (where Greed is sacred, ordained by God, and globally necessity ) feels there's nothing to question as it funds many of these foul ads using money, not just from big businesses wanting the status quo, but those wishing to encourage outsourcing, outsourcing companies in India, ever eager to take more of our jobs. Our US CoC has ongoing seminars to encourage corporations to do just that while waving the flag, at least for shareholders. How long until Indian and the other workers benefiting from outsourcing by US corporations demand some representation in our electoral college and Congress? Sure, India's CEO's have some big powerful lobbyists and legal firms working hard for them along with CoC, generating enabling legislation and buying the Congressional votes to pass it, but it's not quite the same as being from the proud state of Montana and casting the state's handful of votes in the name of it's citizens.

As long as American jobs are being outsourced, funded by tax credits provided by those of us who still have jobs, we might demand the outsourcing of Congress next. Perhaps, we could "retake our government" if such candidates were educated more cheaply and better, with lower health and retirement costs, as well as function better, debate better, be honest, fair, more forthcoming and transparent with the people, able to resist big business lobbyists whenever the interests of average folks are being sacrificed, and perhaps even be accessible to citizens (Skype?) or have an ethical character. And, as a bonus, produce clearly written legislation, focused upon the public interest (average citizen/ worker/ families), including ongoing impact measurements, and do this for a far less cost, with far less collusion, crime and corruption. Okay, a displaced by outsourced foreign worker dude can dream, right? /snark

more than 3 years ago
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How Should Poll Numerical Increments Be Set?

PB8 Re:Depends on the philosophy (311 comments)

Utah might be one exception but it's not as big as might be India, China, Japan, anywhere where reincarnation is accepted, and those would make the larger options seem valid.

I may have missed it, but did anyone mention the option for consice Roman numerals? I, V, X, C, M.... There's a perl script for that (apologies to iRate Apple trademark guardians).

Whoa...I think I just figured out why Rome fell. They only worked with positive integers and had to go to a base-less currency to compensate for its declining representation of useful value...which leads to scary thoughts about today's world of CDOs, etc.

more than 3 years ago
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Sharia law in the USA, or just peace keeping?

PB8 Having Rights doesn't mean they'll be respected, (1 comments)

especially if one is questioning deeply held beliefs and appearing to proselytize on the grounds of another faith's event. Suppose evangelistic atheists entered the narthex of a church or came upon a church or synagogue picnic and worship event in a park (and the faith community had obtained proper reservations) and then started handing out pamphlets on atheism and asking 'polite' questions which might actually be experienced as disrespectful and challenging, if not provocative and intolerant? The urge to protect one's turf and faith community from unwanted invasion can be fairly primal.

I'd say true believer 'Christians' should be showing some basic consideration and respect for other faiths, rather than engaging in unwanted, insensitive, ill-considered 'evangelism' invading the "Devil's own turf" to liberate their souls. Our freedoms of assembly and association may circumscribe partially our individual First Amendment rights to challenge the core beliefs of a group. Civil citizen and governmental tolerance are core ideas of our Consititution.

Truly Christian people would treat each human being as made in the image of God, as people whom God deems worthy redemption and perfecting, and seek a non-provocative way to engage others -- and do so with caring consideration for what the other person experiences when core beliefs are challenged.. I don't think the sort of action those missionaries tried to do shows the sort of love for God and neighbor which Christ said were the most important of the laws. It may be more productive for Christians to set up their booths and festivals and invite others to come and dialog respectfully. The whole idea of the First Amendment was to allow for free speech and rational discourse about anything affecting the welfare and governance of this nation. The freedom granted regarding religion was not the freedom to impose one's beliefs on others but to have the freedom to be a part of a faith community without the state defining and dictating which one is right. Freedom of religious expression means having to freedom to do what reflects a citizen's faith but doesn't include imposing it on others. Then, consider the outcome of the missionaries attempt to intervene and interfere with an assembled group's associations. Will the Muslim people be more or less interested in discussing theology, scripture, or Jesus after this?

more than 3 years ago
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See-through planes of Airbus on anvil

PB8 Like glass bottom boats...uh oh...fear of falling? (2 comments)

While this might sound like an E-ticket ride to some, not every passenger will be eager to have that vast sensory experience of flying through the air, landing and taking off, in a transparent tube. Besides, one might simply wish to sleep in a darkened seat.

It could make hostage situations more interesting, as well as add potential new thrills to the Mile High Club.

Couldn't a set of aerial surveillance video cameras feeding the displays in the seats give enough of the outside, above and below?

more than 3 years ago
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SCO Assets Going To October Auction

PB8 All I want is "Blepp's briefcase" to put on my (217 comments)

mantle, perhaps snuggled between a couple of Emperor Penguin statues.

It could be fun to buy the filing cabinet's in which SCO's version of Novel's letters were found and put it in a 'haunted house' tableau for geeks. Maybe any pens embossed with the name of Boies's law firm. Of course any paper stock certificates. How about any left over servers, tape backups, CDs, DVDs etc. that, they might have laying about? I hope they still have more CDs sets of those 'scanned' in source code pages they tried to foist on IBM as satisfying discovery for the SCO source code. Those might make a heck of a mobile or chandelier.

I do hope the OS software developers get a chance to take home any memento they might want.

more than 3 years ago
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Is blocking ads piracy?

PB8 Post that question here to get lots of reasons why (2 comments)

we can and should determine what we see. You may control your web site, but after sending your page, your ability to control what happens to what is shown is up to the web client.

It is our choice whether to allow in our web client sketchy things like Javascript and Flash and web client XSS calls to third parties. You control your website, but you simply trust your advertisers to not deliver mal-ware, which some advertisers do. Controlling our browsers helps us keep our computers safer...unless you are willing to pay for the damage advertiser laced malware costs to all your page viewers. Are you willing to dump and prosecute advertisers pushing malware from your website? Will you dump advertisers who have capture mouse-overs on your web page and force unwanted pop-ups or page changes, steering people away from your website? I didn't think so.

Sucking up large amount of resources and viewing real estate is also bad form. You can try to call it stealing, but pushing big heavy resource sucking ads on unsuspecting users is stealing our time and frustrating our patience. Not many users will object to small ads, text ads.

What are you doing proactively to keep the resource demands of advertising included with your web page at a minimum? You really need to consider the experience your advertisers are foisting on your visitors. Big distracting ads or dozens of ads revulse me. I'll look for better site alternatives. Or I'll shut off the ads, either en mass or 'turn off' elements one by one until your site is readable. If your page uses too many external Javascript sources, I'll turn those off or give up on your site if unreadable.

more than 3 years ago
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Facebook Sues Educators Site Teachbook

PB8 Re: Own Book? Fight the Greedy LItigious Bastards (2 comments)

Fight back Teachbook legal team against the litigious greedy bastards of FB!

Point out that if FB's claims are true then FB should 'own' Yellow Book, CIA Factbook, Blue Book, Black Book, Little Black Book, (NSFW) XXX Black Book...

Plus there's some colorful sites like:
Facedownbook http://www.facedownbook.co.uk/
and (NSFW) Facesittingbook.com: http://facesittingbook.com/

And then there's this special tribute FB site Assbook. http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=2241500662

about 4 years ago
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National Park Service Says Tech Enabling Stupidity

PB8 Simple answer - put a price on rescues (2 comments)

When you enter the park, you surrender your bankcard and title to your car but can have these back when leaving.

Your cell phone must be turned on in GPS mode.
Then, if you don't get signal and have dropped off the grid, that will be a minimum $500 charge, plus search fees.

A two man helicopter search rescue should be something like $2500 an hour.
Personal guide perhaps around $100 per hour. Plus any airlift or ground transport fees.
For a group of 4, this might still seem quite reasonable. Might have to price it higher.

Having your busted lost ass hauled out by a pair of on-foot rescuers $1500.

Avoiding being televised live and having your 'Stupid' and 'I am with Stupid' pictures being taken and publicized on the Grand Canyon's "Eternal Wall of Stupid" $5,000...each.

All proceeds to go to improving the national parks, advanced training for search & rescue teams, EMT teams, etc.

Repeat 'Suptid' winners get billed at double the rates they last incurred.

The fines can be worked off by picking up the garbage tourists leave behind.

about 4 years ago
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Is multi-tasking a myth?

PB8 It is a myth. Unless your multiple personalities (1 comments)

can actuate your i-Pad touching hands, Wii dancing feet and your gum-chewing mouth separately.
To successfully multi-task, hire an eager personal assistant. One your wife likes.
I could be available for the right price.

about 4 years ago
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Weather Chaos Supports Case for Global Warming

PB8 My prediction: climate change deniers will (1 comments)

become more energized by their own hot air, more extreme in denying global climate change with greater frequency and intensity, right up until Mother Nature gives them directly a well-deserved "weather whoopin'". Burying their heads in the oily sandy beach won't help....well, maybe, if deep enough.

about 4 years ago
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Wrist pain, warts from mouse operation common?

PB8 Nytrile gloves & Lysol spray or (1 comments)

Chlorox antiviral wipes. And/Or go ahead and bring your own hardware.

Your workplace really should be providing antiviral wipes in this day and age.
You really must use protection in an environment like that, both to protect yourself and also anyone you also touch, or anyone else who handles items you handle.

Get your own USB keyboard with trackball builtin-in, perhaps something like:

Perixx Periboard-506 Ergonomic multimedia USB trackball keyboard with 2 USB Hub
or
Keytronix Key Tronic 104Key USB keyboard.

Maybe it's time to try out a finger 3D trackball mouse.

You can apply Newskin over the warts. Fungus needs anti-fungal treatments. Don't just keep suffering and spreading it, do something about this.

more than 4 years ago
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Ex-Programmer on Disability trying to get better

PB8 Re:Volunteer, develop a support network (9 comments)

Creating a helpful degree of change in workplace attitudes will require an organized and persistent effort.

These links (yep, thanks to google) may have helpful information that might stimulate more thinking:

Discusses 'reasonable' workplace accommodations:

<URL:http://www.workrelationships.com/site/articles/mentalillness.htm/>

Canada seems to offer more consistent workplace protections -- might be worth asking for these here:

<URL:http://www.mentalhealthworks.ca/employers/faq/question7.asp/>

An article exploring some impacts of ADA and court decisions for psychiatrists and employers:

<URL:http://psychservices.psychiatryonline.org/cgi/content/full/56/10/1188/>

Our Equal Employment Opportunity Commission's guidelines:

<URL:http://www.eeoc.gov/policy/docs/psych.html/>

There are even supposed to be limits on evictions of those with mental illness:

<URL:http://www.justice.gov/crt/housing/jointstatement_ra.php/>

One thing I think which needs to change is the passivity of those with mental illness--just waiting to be helped or recognized as worthy of a little more accommodation and assistance isn't going to work. I also think psychiatrists are passive about this as well. They could also use their collective power to advocate and provide employers and society with better and more visible guidance, and perhaps becoming more directly involved, offering on-site visits, to help managers and teams identify and make some 'reasonable' accommodations in the workplace.

Standing up for yourself while having a mental illness has a long history of being problematic since our society still reacts with a Catch-22 mentality (I'm referring to the book with that title). If you're cogent enough to argue for yourself and abilities, then people find it difficult to accept that you have a real disability and fear you're faking and taking advantage of them. It's far easier to remove all their doubt and the distraction of dealing with their own ignorance, slap on a 'totally disabled' label, and just write you off altogether, forgetting as fast as possible about you and your sometimes thorny problems.

Mental illness seems to be the 21st Century equivalent of 1st Century leprosy. Once identified as a leper, society would pull you out of circulation, put you in a quarantined area, and assume you'll be taken care of...somehow. It will take focused advocacy to raise awareness around these issues amongst policy makers and industry leaders. It will take coordination between private companies, schools and government. It will take those deemed to have mental illness to stand up and demand some changes. Getting society to see there are many points along the spectrum of mental health and illness, and that the accommodations that make a difference are affordable. And the benefit to society of allowing people to work as much as possible, incrementally decreasing payment supports that don't lapse--maintaining that safety net of support if needed, would benefit to tax payers, decreasing tax burden, as well as providing talent to employers that otherwise might go untapped.

more than 4 years ago
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Ex-Programmer on Disability trying to get better

PB8 Volunteer, develop a support network (9 comments)

The way we handle disability in this advanced nation is still fairly abysmal. ADA and FMLA are supposed to help provide job protection and opportunity to the disabled, including those with mental illnesses, but too many employers fail to treat mental illness as brain disease/dysfunction that can be treated/managed, at least most of the time, or as something from which people gradually can get better.

And it's an 'invisible disability' in that it's not obvious unless the behavior impacts others or deadlines. Having an 'invisible' disability is vexing. You don't sit in a wheel chair or need a special computer mouse and keyboard. You need an environment in which you can work without facing whatever environmental conditions might trigger an episode where productive computer work isn't happening.

Being blocked from having the chance to even be 33% employed has to be exasperating. Earn a little too much and you lose your safety net. Try returning to work full-time (as most IT jobs require) is very risky, since one typically has to have a doctor attesting your your rapid return to glowing great health. Blow it a couple weeks later, and you are back at square one in relation to getting back on disability...perhaps waiting another 7 months or more to jump through all the waiting periods and hoops again. Rather difficult to try and budget for this.

The earnings test is supposed to be there to catch fraud. However it doesn't take into account professional career workers who may earn the limit in a week of work, or just a few days, if a good stretch can be had. I think now the earnings test really should be relative, perhaps the measure being related to a percentage of prior year's earnings, maybe averaged over last 5 or 10 years, and somehow take into account whether one is able to work 33%, 50%, etc. other than 100%.

The medical issue is, even if you were able to make $50,000 or $80,000 a year without losing the safety net of disability, your diagnosed condition may still be there, a brain chemistry issue which potentially could result in down time, if there are precipitating conditions. You may 'get better' in terms of finding a wide variety of ways to identify and manage your thought processes as they are veering off the track and develop better ways to contain and control them, but really that isn't the same as actually getting better since the brain chemistry problem is still there. You may build a great network of supporters able to help you key in on the precursors to even a small break, and become successful on that measure, but actually getting better requires a healing of the brain itself. There are a percentage of people who do manage a full recovery. But due to how disability works, there has to be quite a sizable percentage of people who could work 1/4 time, 1/3 time, 1/2 time, 3/4 time, or maybe 180 of 200+ work days per year. Without an incremental framework of support, our society consigns these workers to futility and frustration. And it is harder to get better if no realistic hope of gradually getting better and becoming more productive again.

Employers really don't want to take chances on people who can't be relied upon to give less than 100% all the time. If a computer project is deemed worth doing and approved, it's usually wanted completed as soon as possible. Allowing time in a project to reflect the possibility that one or more individuals ability to function may vary from 60% to 80% instead of 100% isn't acceptable to employers and project managers. If there was non-essential work, at low pay, there's more willingness to accommodate. If the disability can be obscured or hidden from clients and customers, then perhaps they'll accept it. But if it's demanding mental work, such as in IT, the average manager is going to resist having to have individuals with brain function issues on their staff or team. It's like having a football player trying to play with a known bad knee, which may be well supported and medically treated, but, still, if ever hit at the wrong angle, the player is out for a month or season or for life.

It's also seems impossible for employers to even acknowledge the possibility that someone can get better from a mental illness, especially gradually and incrementally. They don't want to have to foot the bill of a person healing on their time, possibly fluctuating in productivity levels. They don't want the risk of variable productivity with sporadic periods of non-productive or possibly even destructive behavior (to self or to others). They tend to believe that once someone is affected by mental illness, they are always a risk for relapse. And they don't want anyone around they suspect might 'go postal' against managers, and, sure, fellow employees, or to adversely affect clients/customers.

I don't see an easy way to overcome these 'prejudices'. There's a factory worker sort of mentality being applied here that's not very appropriate to IT professionals. Even the best IT workers have days when they 'hit a mental block' and do work that is counter-productive or fails to make the sort of progress that seems 'usual'. IT is creative intellectual product. It's not doing repetitive work 8 to 10 hours straight, 5 days a week. Some days, some hours or minutes, you may have an insight that solves a problem that's been vexing your team for weeks, months or years. Not easy to quantify that. Hard to justify to managers needing to show charts showing steady improvement in productivity, more costs brought under progressive control, and more opportunities vetted for risk and found 'operational-able' or whatever biz fad lingo applies at the time.

There are several ideas we could try, as a nation and communities. A more elastic definition of disability is needed, one that allows for incremental changes (both better and worse), instead of being an all or nothing deal. Too many people struggling end up rapidly declining in employability, as resumes get shaky and spotty. If there was an intermediate level of support, one helping to identify and support those dealing with an onset of mental illness, this segment of the population would be much better off, and perhaps employers wouldn't have to dump employees with valuable experience and expertise after the first possible 'negative' performance review. This seeing things as only black and white, postitive or negative, a forced binary choice, fails to reflect the reality of incremental mental illness status and function. If employers had some local, state or federal support to make retaining or hiring those with mental illness, brain disease, less risky, perhaps their willingness to hire and retain would vastly improve. Another idea would be for computer professionals who have mental illnesses to band together and offer an alternative to outsourcing IT work, providing sufficient coverage from more than one professional to ensure a job is fulfilled to 100% of expectation. Or to work with employers to identify and target jobs where having the defined work completed within a more flexible time, allowing for a few bad days, would be acceptable. Developing tutorials and writing articles for publication can be done by those who have up and down days.

America is losing out by not engaging to the degree possible the very creative and often highly productive IT staff saddled with brain-chemistry related mental illnesses. I think we can argue that the lives of those faced with such a simplistic binary choice of staying within the defined parameters of disability or attempting risky full-time employment as if fully healed are being treated irrationally. In this regard, the worse harm and dysfunctional behavior is being exhibited by society trying fence itself off from those afflicted. I suspect it's an irrational fear that it will be contagious. Or that, on the continuum of mental illness, many in management experience some moments of their own dysfunction which they fearfully extrapolate to the worst degree for those properly diagnosed.

more than 4 years ago
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Cable Exec Suggests Changing Consumer Behavior, Not Business Model

PB8 Re:Entitlement-CEOs wants command market (675 comments)

It's not just Comcast. Time-Warner and Charter are getting in their hits against their subscribing citizens as well.

Time-Warner's idea of great telephone service is responding within 1 business day to a customer reporting phone outage.
I recall AT&T being out in 2 to 4 hours, rain or shine, weekends included.

Time-Warner is also clearing out the unwanted waste from their bandwith, of stuff like like PBS, BBC news, and Dr. Who.
This makes room for HNN, more on-demand channels, more FOX channels, and of course HD home shopping channels
and, wait for it, more reality shows, from in multiple languages. Because that's what the public is supposedly demanding.
Which must be why they already offer so many consumer-beloved 'paid-time' info-mercials and endless reruns.
Cable TV is become '1000' channels of mostly Hi-Def garbage. I'm pricing antenna systems, etc.

Charter's latest assault 'committed' upon our fellow citizens is to require zipcodes appended to email IDs!
This change starts in 5 days, so get all your email lists, PayPal, banking, shopping and other web IDs updated!
No clue as to whether it's a 5 digit or 9 digit zip code number. Or how linked to IP address, etc.
No attempt at an explanation of how this will stop spambots and other email delivered worms and virii.
No mention of how this will staunch the gloomy and fearsome spread of terrorism. It's just declared good for us.

(Don't try invoicing Charter for the time and inconvenience this causes you, loss of companionship due to friends,
business associates and relatives reacting too slow to your change notice, and then suing in Small Claims court
for their non-payment. That sort of thing is just another senseless attack on shareholder profits and CEO bonuses.)

Below is a snippet from their e-announcement to their precious, vulnerable user consumers:

v~v~v~v~v snip start v~v~v~v~v

Dear Charter High-Speed(R) Internet Customer,

  Your privacy and security when checking email through Charter.net is being
enhanced. Starting on November 11, your email login will include the zip code
from your service address, in addition to your email address and password.

  Charter is committed to maintaining your privacy, and this additional login
credential through Charter.net is just one more way to ensure its protection.

^~^~^~^~^ snip end ^~^~^~^~^

This has to be some lazy, pointy-haired managers idea to make tracking customers, advertising, and
marketing easier for them. I'm not an expert, only 30 years in IT, but I see no security advantage in this.
I can see where eager shareholders might understand zip-codes but not Open ID or improving user options.

It's not enough these cable operators have combined forces to wage War on Net Neutrality, using carpet-bombing
of contributions to Congress, as well as seeking legislation enabling greater, longer, more invasive IP 'protection',
presuming their customers are all merciless IP thieves. Yes, we're utterly lacking in basic business appreciation,
devoid of any understanding and compassion for the real customers--the beleagured and oppressed classes of
dividend-deprived shareholders and bonus-starved CEOs. Expect to be educated or be punished, with tasers and
the hammer of the law, if we dare stymie their business plans to profit mightily and righteously, as God (and Congress)
has entitled them. I'm not sure Calvin or Luther or St. Thomas Aquinas would agree, but perhaps they are heeding
Saint Mammon.

We must cast off our blinders and see the light. The real 'customers' driving our 'free market' are not consumers.
That's so 1990s. The primary customer is now the shareholder and CEO classes. Pleasing them is now Job #1.
And all of us misguided citizen/consumers will have to get on board, to appreciate this essential business 'fact' of life,
or millions more jobs will have to die. If they are the deliver service, then they feel they own our art and that we
must buy it from them, or else...or else...well, they're looking for the biggest stick they can find. And, well,
I can't imagine anything more foolish than Congress trying to enforce an IP Prohibition.

more than 4 years ago
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Corporations Now Have a Right To "Personal Privacy"

PB8 Re:Why do corporations have to be people? (371 comments)

No need to dissolve the whole thing. Target incarceration in a way that truly sets an public example, make intake a public parade of course. I suggest imprisoning the CEO, complicit officers of the members of it's board, the top 3 shareholders of preferred stock (if over 5% of stock issued), along with Wall Street financial bankers and their CEOs, and heads of legal firms who did not disuade them or even advised them to overlook evil or to act evil.

I would be willing to accept a substitute, in lieu of dozens of years of costly imprisonment at our expense, either serve half the time (but they pay all costs of incarceration--for their entire cell block).

Alternatively, offer a two phase 12 month reformatory experience in which they can make new friends, pick up new values, and have some time reflect on how they need to change:

1) Two full fiscal quarters spent cleaning the prisoners' cells and toilets in a state or federal jail. They can, if they wish, live outside a jail cell, but only in FEMA trailers, when not working their 8 hour shift. They eat what prisoners eat, get the medical care they do, the clothing, etc. Trying to escape will result in a public torpedoing their yacht(s), as well as in auctioning off their mansions, air and land vehicles, to fund child care centers.

2) Two full fiscal quarters cooking, serving in, and cleaning of soup kitchens, public health clinics, and homeless shelters. Again, they would have to reside in their FEMA trailers and eat whatever fare is offered to the poor.

3) Alternatively, serve 2 full years as a janitor at military basic training camps. As for food, eat whatever and whenever the new enlistees eat. Again, let them live in FEMA trailers. And, sure, it's okay if they join the union. Just can't be an officer in it.

Demonstrating leadership by means of sterling example, high standards, punctuality, honesty, and reliability would be the criteria for not being re-sentenced to another round of the above options. Any recommendations they might offer for making these places they served to work better would be gladly accepted, if accompanied by donations required to make them happen.

more than 4 years ago
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WHO Raises Swine Flu Threat Level

PB8 Re:Just a distraction - it ended Tea Parties and (557 comments)

the secessionist talk in Texas--the proud Texan has switched from public talk of making 5 states out of Texas to seeking federal assistance and stocks of Tamiflu to help keep the swine flu pandemic from overrunning the Texas border. Now we are talking about the sane goodness of having sound public health policies along with preparedness planning and funding. What next? Public vaccination programs coming into favor again?

more than 4 years ago
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Building a Better CAPTCHA

PB8 Re:Logical next step (197 comments)

How about match a sound to a graphic?
'Moo' says the Pootie?
Eweza Bot! Banned be Ur IP addie 4eva!

more than 5 years ago
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Press Favored Obama Throughout Campaign

PB8 Consider the cooped up reporters last 18 months... (1601 comments)

The reporters covering the campaigns are writing a big chunk of the stories. If the campaign isn't giving them 'good' material that passes the sniff test, the reporter will find it hard to write a 'positive' story. I think this 'bias' may also be a reflection of the quality of the campaign 'news releases' and 'spin' and the decisions by the McCain campaign to limit access and not be available. The Obama campaign was pretty good at responding within the typical news cycle to the volleys of increasingly wild attacks by McCain campaigners and surrogates while the criticisms of the McCain campaign and character concerns mounted by the Obama campaign were experienced as even handed, credible, and to the point. The media had to be impressed at a candidate who didn't lose his cool, who stayed focused on the overall ground game, who charged in where there was signs of weakness, and who didn't give up territory once gained. Republicans really, really want to believe they were sabbatoged by the media somehow, since it is much harder to believe that Obama's hundreds of thousands of volunteers and donors, largely via the web and good old phone system, could mount such an effective ground game that the McCain propaganda catapults were minimized. It didn't hurt that Obama was able to raise money like no previous candidate has--anyone still want to accept the Supreme Court notion "money=free speech". In the end, McCain and Palin were shooting each other in the foot, they disgusted George Will and other more thoughtful conservatives. When there are deeply fundamental things wrong with America, Americans don't want Mavericks, we want the folks who know how to pull together the best brains, focus our efforts, and who can call respectfully and inspiringly for the support of all. Obama didn't spend much time in angry attack mode. While he did respond to criticism and made some snappy rejoinders, he spent as much time as he could inspiring and articulating a very hopeful vision. America and the world has had enough of Lee Atwater/Karl Rove school of slash and burn propaganda. Enjoy your tax cuts! ...if you are still employed in 2009.

more than 5 years ago

Submissions

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New Google Gmail Motion Interpretation

PB8 PB8 writes  |  more than 3 years ago

PB8 writes "You were wondering what teh Google would offer for a suitable First of April technological innovation? Gmail Motion will utilize your webcam, read your body language and gestures interpreting them as Gmail commands through Google's spatial software. American Sign Language (ASL) is but one dialect Motion will understand. Apparently even sports referee gestures will be handled. Be sure to check out the product manager's video introducing it. This innovation will also available for Google Docs. Microsoft's Bing and MSN are again caught flatfooted against the jaugernaut of Google."
Link to Original Source
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The Pranking of Sarah Palin got her Prime number!

PB8 PB8 writes  |  more than 5 years ago

PB8 writes "A radio calling trick or treat prank certainly wasn't on this weekend's cue cards for Gov. Sarah Palin. Canadian (Quebec) "Masked Avengers", a comedy team, pulled a stunning social engineering stunt on high political office aspirant, Gov. Sarah Palin, employing their infamous "Prime Minister Calling" routine, with Marc-Antoine Audette impersonating P.M. Sarkozy in a radio conspiracy pulled off with Sebastien Trudel Audette.

It's six minutes of painful and/or funny, and YouTube shows it, you decide. You can also decide if the Masked Avengers are devious, terrorist, librul, haters of Sarah Palin's First Amendment rights, exposing her to unwarranted ridicule and criticism, or go moose hunting. But, hey, SNL, eat your heart out! Uh, oh, McCain will be appearing on SNL...wonder if he'll address this.

YouTube Link: Sarah Palin Got Pranked
Digg: NO WAY! Sarah Palin Pranked by Radio DJs


I suppose we should all be grateful it wasn't any insurgent Russian comedy team. One must admire their exquisite sense of timing--executing a petard-hoisting operation during our 'closing arguments' weekend, just before the big Nov. 4th vote. CANOE CNEWS: Palin talks hunting, politics in prank call with notorious Quebec comedy duo

Gov. Palin is not exactly in the worst of company, when considering those duped by this team in recent times. They have "tricked Rolling Stones singer Mick Jagger, Bill Gates, and French president Jacques Chirac over the years.""

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Sun buys MySQL for $ONE BILLION DOLLARS

PB8 PB8 writes  |  more than 6 years ago

PB8 (84009) writes "Yes, Mini-me, Sun has bought MySQL for $1,000,000,000 after wondering what to do with its piles of unspent billions. Hmm...combined with that news of IBM buying BEA...wonder if some major middleware competition is ahead? As a plus, I'm guessing that Sun would have the oppportunity to greatly improve the integration of MySQL and StarOffice/OpenOffice and other Enterprise software."
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PB8 PB8 writes  |  more than 7 years ago

PB8 writes "Hot Basic has come along way from a compiler delivering only console based applications for Windows. It's fast, creates itty bitty fast executables, and compares very well with fastest compilers. Is it worth leaving the OSS world to use it? Hot Basic for Windows and Linux now supports threading on Duo-Core chips, and has libraries for Windows API and can hook into whatever Linux libraries you have. It can be used to write web apps, GUIs, services, DLLs, and libraries, pretty much wherever you'd use C or C++. Many programmer's editors now support syntax checking for it. Creator James Keene (aka "Dr. Electron") wants Apache rewritten in Hot Basic so it's more efficient. Is this a language whose time has come? It's not a free language like Gnu tools, Gambas or Mono. There is a trial license version. It's $69 for Windows license, $59 for Linux, and if you have the Linux version it's another $29 to get the Windows license. It's nearing that stage Borland's Turbo Pascal or Turbo Basic was when they became quite popular and has a growing fan-base. How much does the need for speed and tight small binaries still drive language and compiler selection in these days of multi-threading, multi-core multi-gigahertz CPUs? How big a factor is not using an OSS language? A non-ANSI or ECMA language? [My singular unpaid role in this venture was enabling porting to Linux by shipping Dr. Electron a bunch of Linux distributions on CD and pointing out the documentation on Linux's binary executable format and library APIs.] Ok, for some out there there may be a social issue — Dr. Electron's erstwhile mascot is 'HotBabe', Miss Compiler 2006, and some may find this sort of political incorrectness a bit much. Ok, and I also know, that for some of you weak-willed slashdotters, that item will actually pique your interest. Maybe you all can find more to debate about than what I've layed out, but you can start by reading more here: http://www.hotbasic.org/ And there's a yahoo group for it: http://tech.groups.yahoo.com/group/hotbasic/ And you can test Hotbasic's speed and compilation output here, online compiler at your service: http://204.188.170.145/hotcomp.html"

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