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Does Being First Still Matter In America?

UnderCoverPenguin Re:To America? Yes. To the GOP? No. (246 comments)

The preamble outlines the purposes for which the constitution was established.

Seems to me that, in recent history, the government has been failing to meet those purposes.

about a week ago
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Does Being First Still Matter In America?

UnderCoverPenguin Re:Put your money where your mouth is. (246 comments)

It's easier to get mad and shake your fist than write a check.

For any given value of "it", "it" is not important until the lack of "it" because a problem. Therefore, the money won't be allocated proactively.

about a week ago
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Ask Slashdot: Professionally Packaged Tools For Teaching Kids To Program?

UnderCoverPenguin Re:Why would you teach kids to program computers? (107 comments)

You will also condemn them to a professional life of being under perpetual pressure to overwork, perpetual blame for failing to do the impossible, and perpetual threat of being outsourced. ... Do you kids a favor and send them to get an MBA or license to practice law instead.

Every MBA and lawyer I know is very overworked and expected to do the impossible daily. While the lawyers might be a lesser risk of being outsourced, most of the MBAs tell me they are quite afraid of being outsourced.

about two weeks ago
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Ask Slashdot: Professionally Packaged Tools For Teaching Kids To Program?

UnderCoverPenguin Re:Here comes a Karma hit.... (107 comments)

Otherwise, they will just sit around eating junk food and watching a screen all day, and yes I know this is slashdot.

My daughter did quite well at keeping a balance on her own. My girlfriend and I certainly had a lot of input to our daughter's schedule, but she was the one driving it, not us. She actively pursued out door and social activities, as well as solo activities. Though she tried various junk foods, her preferred snacks were/are "finger friendly" fruits and vegetables (and, sometimes, premium chocolate). She watched very little TV, though did use a computer a lot (mostly for homework, some programming and a little gaming).

I think the kids who watch a screen all day are the ones whose parents are too afraid to let them do anything else.

about two weeks ago
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Ask Slashdot: Professionally Packaged Tools For Teaching Kids To Program?

UnderCoverPenguin Re:Check point starvation (107 comments)

I think the only thing my kids ever did at that age for 75 minutes without a break is sleep.

Do you mean like sit (mostly) still for 75+ minutes doing problems in "work books"? The public elementary school my nephew attended required that most days for its first through fifth grade students (ages 6 through 10/11). (The school day was typically lecture/demo/group discussions from 8 am to 11:30 am, with a restroom break around 9:45. Then lunch, Then a review from 12:30 pm to 1:20 pm, followed by a restroom break. Finally, quiet study from 1:30 pm to 3 pm.)

(Additional restroom breaks were allowed, but strongly discouraged.)

about two weeks ago
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Japanese Maglev Train Hits 500kph

UnderCoverPenguin Re:510kph is airliner speed? (418 comments)

You are usually required to have cleared security about 30 minutes before the flight on domestic flights.

In the US, the TSA is working to bring this to train and bus stations.

about two weeks ago
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FCC Confirms Delay of New Net Neutrality Rules Until 2015

UnderCoverPenguin Re:The providers (127 comments)

Why should the providers shoulder this burden? They're not marketing, charging for, or making the content available. It's ridiculous. And invasive.

Actually, the major providers also own some of the content producers. Comcast owns NBC/Universal, Time-Warner owns Warner Brothers, etc. As such, the providers want to prioritize their subsidiaries' content.

about two weeks ago
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President Obama Backs Regulation of Broadband As a Utility

UnderCoverPenguin Re:They ARE a utility. (706 comments)

The only reason he airline industry is not a natural monopoly is because of the massive public infrastructure provided by the US Government FAA in public use airports and related flight control infrastructure. In every meaningful sense, an airport solves the "last mile problem" for airplanes. Why wouldn't we expect a similar investment in the "last mile problem" for Internet Service?

There have been attempts to do exactly that. But, the big providers devised ways to quash or undermine those efforts. Examples:

A town (in Minnesota, I think) had begged the various providers to provide broad band, but the providers declined. So, the town embarked on a project to build a hub with a fiber cable to each home and business. The town's residents voted to approve a millage to raise the funds needed. Then one of the big providers, in an effort to block the project, sued the town. (The provider also built its own last mile network in the town - despite having previously refused - rendering the project moot.)

The residents of another town, elsewhere, formed a co-op to build a similar hub with a fiber-cable to each member of the co-op - paid for by the members of the co-op, so each member owned his/her cable and a share of the hub. When the co-op invited providers to start signing up customers, the providers demanded that each subscriber sign over ownership of his/her cable to the provider (in exchange for a small monthly credit, for several years, to the original property owner - if the property was sold, the new owner did not receive the remaining credit).

about three weeks ago
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President Obama Backs Regulation of Broadband As a Utility

UnderCoverPenguin Re:Ted Cruz is Already Attacking Net Neutrality (706 comments)

Curiously, they're all content producers who would directly benefit from the regulation, and not content "distributor"... I wonder why...

Except that the distributors also produce content (Comcast/Xfinity owns NBC/Universal, Time-Warner owns Warner Brothers, etc). As such the "distributors" want to prioritize their own content.

about three weeks ago
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Apple Releases iMessage Deregistration Utility

UnderCoverPenguin Re:iMessage isn't bad... (136 comments)

If Apple could get their head out of the sand and create a unified protocol with Google and whoever is left in the smartphone OS field (BlackBerry?, Mozilla?), it would be fantastic.

I don't know about Blackberry or Mozilla, but Google supports XMPP messaging with at least several different messaging apps (and Linux/OSX/Windows programs). But even Google has some features that only work with its messaging app.

about three weeks ago
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Mathematical Proof That the Universe Could Come From Nothing

UnderCoverPenguin Re:If we can use quantum fluctuations (429 comments)

Also, what happens if one of these quantum fluctuations happens inside our universe and reaches the threshold of viability?

about three weeks ago
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New Website Offers Provably Fair Solutions To Everyday Problems

UnderCoverPenguin Re:sibling fairness (167 comments)

If employers want to claim it costs $17,000 to provide an employee a healthcare benefit, then the employer should have to pay that amount to the employee when employees decline that benefit.

Employers are not claiming that is their cost, they are reporting what the insurance company claims would be the "retail price" of an equivalent individual policy. Employers also report the actual cost as part of their business expenses. The IRS has a set of formulae for deciding if the employee owes more tax.

about three weeks ago
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French Health Watchdog: 3D Viewing May Damage Eyesight In Children

UnderCoverPenguin Re:3d products already come with these warnings (99 comments)

the oculus rift comes with a big 'ol "not for kids" warning

Interesting. What's different about the Oculus that makes it less safe than a Viewmaster? (FWIW, it seems that Fisher-Price still markets Viewmaster to young children)

about three weeks ago
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The Other Side of Diversity In Tech

UnderCoverPenguin Re:The new progressive (441 comments)

People have done that and the answer is often "because society repeatedly told me it wasn't a job for women."

Both my girlfriend and our daughter were told that - repeatedly - by teachers, school counselors and "career advisers". Both replied "BS. I'm going to be an engineer."

about three weeks ago
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Tech Recruiters Defend 'Blacklists,' Lack of Feedback, Screening Techniques

UnderCoverPenguin Re:Bull (253 comments)

without needing to learn how things are done in the "real world"

And that is the catch. One company's "real world" is another company's "fantasy land".

about three weeks ago
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We Are All Confident Idiots

UnderCoverPenguin Re:Seems consistent (306 comments)

HINT: Plato didn't speak English, so the likelihood of him coming up with a cute turn of phrase like that in Classical Greek, and then having it translate to something so erudite in English is... small.

Translated literally, I agree that something said/written by the Plato of ancient Greek fame would not be so erudite in English.

I once could read ancient Latin, which was heavily influenced by ancient Greek. To anyone who had not learned to read ancient Latin, a literal translation of stories (and other documents) written in the Latin of that era would be difficult to read. An easily readable "translation" is often actually a kind of collaboration between the original author and the translator (even when the original author is not involved in the translation, as would be the case when said author is dead).

So, if the ancient Plato actually said/wrote a phrase like that, the often quoted English version would have gotten its English erudicity from the translator.

about a month ago
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Why CurrentC Will Beat Out Apple Pay

UnderCoverPenguin Re:Not a chance (631 comments)

Why do you need a way to reverse charges on something you explicitly authorized and sent?

It's not that reversing charges on explicitly authorized transmissions require that, but rather that some one who has your account number can withdrawn from your account without authorization.

about a month ago
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Why CurrentC Will Beat Out Apple Pay

UnderCoverPenguin Re: Not a chance (631 comments)

Was not my experience, nor of friends of mine, but I haven't tried recently, nor have asked my friends.

about a month ago
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Why CurrentC Will Beat Out Apple Pay

UnderCoverPenguin Re:CurrentC does not solve for the Customer (631 comments)

Looking through CurrentC it does everything for Merchants, and nothing for customers.

- Requires to be tied to checking account or debit card

- Customer assumes 100% of liability for fraud (?!)

- Retailer can gather all purchase data on a customer

- Requires multistep actions including scanning QR codes

What benefit is in there for the customer? You know people are going to freak out around the liability part.

Target's Red Card program has an option for tieing the card to the customer's bank account. From what I've heard, many customers do take that option. Perhaps they didn't/don't understand the liability part?

Many retailers offer "loyalty" cards, so are already gathering all purchase data on those customers. No different for Red Card.

Where Target's Red Card program differs from CurrentC, at checkout, it works just like a credit/debit card and doesn't require an app.

about a month ago

Submissions

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Citizen Science: Who makes the rules?

UnderCoverPenguin UnderCoverPenguin writes  |  about a year ago

UnderCoverPenguin (1001627) writes "At MakeZine, David Lang talks about the some of the legal issues around a planned, amature science "expedition", as well as some other amature science projects.

In the not too distant past, most science was amature. Over the past 20 or so years, society has been making it harder for amatures to do real science despite the technical costs falling. With the recent upswing of the "maker movement", amature science has seen an increase as well, but is running into an assortment of legal issues.(An exception is astronomy, where amatures continue to play important roles. Of course, astronomy doesn't involve chemicals or other (currently) "scary stuff".)

Can amature science make a come-back? Or are the legal obsicles too entrenched?"
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Review: Sintel

UnderCoverPenguin UnderCoverPenguin writes  |  more than 4 years ago

UnderCoverPenguin (1001627) writes "Last night, I watched Sintel (sintel.org). Technically, it was a beautiful showcase for Blender. The models and animations were very well done. The fight and chase scenes were excellent. I think the movie can stand on its own among professionally made short movies of similar style and genre. Story-wise, the plot was weak and predictable. Also, the end of the final fight was too bleak and disturbing for the likely audience. Spoiler: I think the ending would have been better if the woman had been killed by the dragon. Unfortunately, I don't have the skill needed to re-do the ending myself."
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Stage 1 works perfectly, Stage 2 fails to seperate

UnderCoverPenguin UnderCoverPenguin writes  |  more than 6 years ago

UnderCoverPenguin (1001627) writes "In the 3rd launch of Falcon 1 (http://spacex.com), the first stage, with the latest version of the Merlin engine, works perfectly. Unfortunately, the second stage failed to separate. (http://www.spacex.com/updates.php) Hopefully it was only a minor setback, despite the huge cost."

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