top Obama Proposes 2 Years of Free Community College
"2 years of free community college for to good students." -- Derek Zoolander
As an aside, with so many states trying to deal with failing high schools (and the horribly ill-prepared young adults they are producing), now we want to pump these kids through "college". Yeah. Right. Between 'Idiocracy' and the "first wave" spaceship of over-credentialed "professionals" written about in H2G2, you'd think we, as a culture, would see what is going on here. But nope. So I'm sure this will happen and be billed as a resounding success, regardless of actual reality!
K-12, my ass. K-14! It's better.
top Apple's iPod Classic Refuses To Die
I agree. Many of the people I know who have hacked their classic iPods put in substantially larger HDs (or even SSDs), because they were available in sizes greater than Apple bothered to ship.
My vision is an "iPod" that would effectively house wireless, some kind of storage, whether SSD (perhaps for longer battery life and ruggedness) or HD (size), and a battery. Then the software would seamlessly integrate with Apple's OSes and the various media libraries. Effectively a portable "Home Sharing" library, a "local iCloud clone". Better yet, it would sync to iCloud and fill itself when availed an internet connection. iOS 8 brought several new APIs to facilitate just such a thing. Then we could merely stick the thing in gloveboxes or center consoles, and, using the iPhones/iPads we have, play our 500GB music/movie/podcast libraries anywhere without consuming costly cellular data or even NEEDING a cell/wifi connection. Why Apple hasn't seen the analog to old-school multi-CD changes and the entertainment systems in minivans, I'll never know. In the age of 16GB iPhones, iPads, and iPod Touchesit just makes sense.
about a month and a half ago
top Your Incompetent Boss Is Making You Unhappy
"it does make you wonder how long organizations can afford to continue promoting incompetent bosses in today's very dynamic and competitive business world."
As with Potemkin villages "all the way down", many organizations today are effectively "governed" by Potemkin mayors all the way up. Their success is largely due to momentum, market lethargy, and "luck" stemming from the overall skillset of their workforce.
top The Department of Homeland Security Needs Its Own Edward Snowden
The simple way to fix this is just shut the DHS down. It was a bureaucracy conceived in panic: poorly engineered and even more poorly implemented. Just shut it down. Turn all the records over to Congress and start over.
Simple reboot. Fix the glitch. Just like Milton's payroll issue.
top UK Cabinet Office Adopts ODF As Exclusive Standard For Sharable Documents
When iWork first shipped, I asked folks in the know (at Apple) why they chose to design/engineer a completely new suite of file formats rather than adopting/utilizing ODF. I was told it was because ODF wasn't mature enough for their needs, and that it was felt that the ODF working group would be too slow for the iWork development roadmap.
So far, ODF has chugged along, consistently; while iWork has seen a divergence in format compatibility (between Mac and iOS versions) and a complete, from-scratch rewrite (in the most recent version) that torpedoed backwards compatibility.
Enough is enough. If Apple would have embraced ODF, they'd have rocketed the world's move away from Microsoft's Office document stranglehold. Instead, they have squandered both an opportunity to further stomp a odious competitor as well as an opportunity to position their desktop and mobile products as the best commercial competitor for the future where ODF clearly will reign supreme, all in one stupid "Not Invented Here" design decision.
top Turing Test Passed
No...although the original AC's statement is literally correct, the point he was trying to make, that I contradicted myself, is NOT correct, as explained by the second AC. Those SNIPPETS themselves are not questions, but are, in fact, the prefacing components of a longer "question" from a SERIES of questions that any fan of the material I obliquely referenced would have recognized. So the "*Whoosh*" is actually applicable on, and apparently appropriate for, more than one meta level.
I guess some people get and appreciate sly referencing, and others just don't.
top Turing Test Passed
Did anyone ask it the questions we already know will trip up a non-human?
"You're in a desert, walking along in the sand when all of a sudden you look down and see a tortoise..."
"You're watching a stage play. A banquet is in progress. The guests are enjoying an appetizer of raw oysters. The entree consists of boiled dog..."
top 52 Million Photos In FBI's Face Recognition Database By Next Year
1. driver's license photos. There are several states that are already incorporating them into their facial recognition systems. This will accelerate. It needs to stop. (See #2)
2. the accuracy of these systems coupled with the increasing poor job police and investigatory (national security, etc) agencies are doing actually using these kinds of tools means that your chances of getting hit for a false positive is rapidly accelerating. It will wreck lives. It will get people (on both sides) killed. 3. I have been first-hand for discussions whereby state criminal justice officials have boasted about the aforementioned accelerations. There are, absolutely, policies in place in some states to ACTIVELY and AGGRESSIVELY "criminalize" citizens to "get them in the system". This is no conspiracy theory, it IS happening. It has been written about extensively by legal bloggers like Glenn Reynolds at Instapundit and the group over at Volokh Conspiracy. But make no mistake, it is a targeted campaign by authoritative "governments" (I put that in quotes, because they certainly do NOT adhere to the tenets of governance set forth in the founding of the United States, "of, by, and for") against YOU! They are organized, well funded, and committed to success...you will lose.
And this is merely the beginning, as the stories that have already been written warn.
top How Apple's CarPlay Could Shore Up the Car Stereo Industry
I think someone at Digital Trends needs to be given a dictionary, because they clearly don't understand the concept of theft. "Indeed, CarPlay coming to aftermarket stereo units could bring back what Apple indirectly stole from the industry going back as far as 2006."
Apple stole nothing. Apple provided a better solution to consumers that had been basically held over a shit-barrel for years. As Steve Jobs once remarked (about iTunes for Windows users), like giving a glass of ice water to someone in hell. That isn't stealing. At. All.
Further, it appears the idiots in the "consumer electronics" field STILL haven't learned their lesson. At the prices they want, from $500-$700, up to $1400, Apple already makes TWO product lines that substantially undermine their wares: the iPad has more processing power and a nicer screen at a lower price, but an entire Core i5-based Mac mini can also be had for less. Like another reader already asked, I'm surprised that Apple hasn't simply began selling/OEMing a dash dock and bypassed the "auto electronics" companies altogether. Somehow I kinda think is Apple's MotoROKR "shot across the bow"; this is the second chance, if they screw it up Apple will step in and obliterate them. And good riddance.
top EU Should Switch To ODF Standard, Says MEP
When Apple embarked on creating the iWork suite, I asked a team member why they didn't target ODF, and instead created a brand new document format from scratch (because the world didn't have enough document formats, I guess). The answer was because ODF didn't give them the flexibility or breadth they required. Now that Apple AGAIN disrupted their users with the latest update of iWork '13, which included removing a substantial number of features to target "cross platform compatibility" (Mac and iOS), I am left wondering...is there anything the current version of ODF could not have provided?
Apple uniquely stood at a nexus to both really put the hurt on Microsoft (by creating a widely used, polished competitor to Office) as well as embrace an open standards process that has been adopted world-wide. They apparently decided to do neither. A missed opportunity. iWork apps can consume ODF (IIRC), but cannot save to the format. So Apple users are once-again left on an island, with their data in formats that history has shown Apple is all too willing to abandon (AppleWorks/ClarisWorks/MacWrite).
top Wal-Mart Sues Visa For $5 Billion For Rigging Card Swipe Fees
Hrm. I'm glad someone is finally stepping up to confront the assholishness of the credit card processors and their crazy fees. But I just voted for Walmart in the Worst Company in America tourney at
http://consumerist.com/tag/wci.... I'm starting to think I should have picked Abercrombie & Finch instead.
top BP Finds Way To Bypass US Crude Export Ban
I came here to comment, but this was better and more "on target" than anything I was going to blather. Good comment.
top Embedded SIM Design Means No More Swapping Cards
Carriers will love it too, since they'll once again make the device owner beholden to them for the "magic keys".
top US Treasury Completes Bailout of General Motors
Pretty clearly the AC was employing a literary device, "hyperbole".
...grammar is hard.
top Cricket Reactor Inventor Says $1mil Prize Winners Stole His Work
I would posit that this case does NOT reflect a "philosophy of selfishness", but instead a "philosophy of greed". Often the two, selfishness and greed, are conflated. I often read treatises dedicated to trashing Ayn Rand for her promotion of "selfishness", with the writers either cluelessly or maliciously misrepresenting her position. The "philosophy of selfishness" does not entail stealing others' ideas, failing to credit and compensate them; in fact, that is theft, a hallmark of greed, and the very kind of behavior that Rand attributed to the "takers". Selfishness is good, it is what is driving Mr. Dzamba to vociferously defend his work. It is even what is partially driving the Hult team. However, and given McGill's Office of Sponsored Research findings, the Hult team has veered into Greed as it has seemingly decided to take from Mr. Dzamba what it did NOT work to produce. Just as with Reardon metal, this design does not belong to them.
What I find surprising [although with Mr. Clinton's name attached perhaps not so] is that the Hult International Business School would award such a large price ($1M USD) to a project where the central design itself is so seemingly encumbered. One would think that a basic tenet of their Prize would either be outright originalism or profound derivation. Nothing less should be worth $1,000,000.
top Should We Be Afraid of Google Glass?
Insightful? You've got to be shitting me. Only to the extent of this current "privacy" stupidity.
Does he gouge out the eyeballs of all his guests and fellow pint-guzzlers, lobotomize them? "Insightful". The label itself is even ironic. HUMANS ARE ENDOWED WITH RECORDING DEVICES, MORONS.
The First Amendment of the Constititution declares the fundamental right to "record" and playback life's "experiences"...the fact that video cameras, tape recorders, photography, tvs, phonographs, etc did not exist in 1789 notwithstanding. The "freedom of the press" had nothing to do with "journalists" or hardware, it has everything to do with your individual right to describe, via available technologies (pen, paper, print, ink, paint, brush), and disseminate those experiences.
I can't wait to read the paranoid blatherings when the idiots realize there are people who exist who enjoy photographic memories...or when they find out there are creative types so skilled with the pen and brush they can accurately describe anything...or OMG those two types would ever end up together! Oh my! (The inability to -think- rationally seems to be the bigger danger, methinks.)
top Iran Unveils Its Own Stealth Fighter Jet, the Qaher F-313
I did not RTFA, nor do I want to.
But I have an awesome mental picture of this "damn fine" fighter jet...something akin to the Wagon Queen Family Truckster...with wings.
And I don't want to sully that with another 'fake' reality. Really hope it is painted in metallic paint, though.
I know, I know..."wait until ya FLY it!"
top Smart Guns To Stop Mass Killings
From CNN, what did you expect?
top America's Real Criminal Element: Lead
Although this discovery does not explain all violent crime, it seems to indicate something that will need, should need addressed: very likely none of the CRIMINALS during this time voluntarily or willing took lead to induce their psychosis. They were poisoned; by their environment, by society, by ignorance. At the very least, this raises a interesting "mens rea" situation. Certainly, if someone suffered a blackout from fever induced by severe food poisoning while driving home from the restaurant, ran off the road and killed someone, we wouldn't lock them in a cage and call them "animals". However this study is basically saying that very large numbers of people were inadvertently poisoned, made sick, causing neurological damage, and they were then treated to some of the worst, inhumane treatment (prison, electrocution, lethal injection) that any ill human being has ever endured.
So the question is: when is America going to start realizing that prison as a "deep dank hole" is an inhumane basis of punishment rooted more in religious dogma (making people "suffer" for their sins) than in true causality--neurological (and quite inadvertent) defect? Is there any reason for prisons to be such cold, horrific places? Certainly we can look back on the asylums of the early half of the 20th Century with contempt; yet we, societally, accept prison rape and beatings, isolation and estrangement as fodder for comedy. I am no advocate of a plush lifestyle for those convicted of horrific crimes, but neither am I tolerant of such treatment of those who are neurologically incapable of making better, more rational decisions. We need to STOP putting people in prison for stupid crimes (drugs, financial crimes) and confine the use of "corrections" budgets to making safe, healthy places for the sick to live out their lives under proper (medical, if necessary) care.
top Teen Suicide Tormentor Outed By Anonymous
Hope he's the right guy. If not, even if he is a piece of shit otherwise (and all signs point to "Yes!"), he's about to have to endure a shit storm of epic proportion fall upon him. And that would not be fair...
If he is the right guy...I will enjoy watching him self-destruct.