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Study Finds US Is an Oligarchy, Not a Democracy

cwgmpls Re:Terrible summary of an interesting paper (818 comments)

"The actual conclusion of the paper is simply that the power in government... is concentrated in the small-but-vocal interest groups and economically influential individuals."

Oligarchy: a form of power structure in which power effectively rests with a small number of people, distinguished by wealth.

In other words, the summary was exactly correct. By definition, the U.S. is an oligarchy, not a democracy.

about 5 months ago
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Beer Is Cheaper In the US Than Anywhere Else In the World

cwgmpls Notify the Obama Campaign (633 comments)

Here is one economic achievement that people of any political persuasion can applaud. Nobody can say the U.S. economy is a complete dud when its citizens have the most beer buying power in the world!

about 2 years ago
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Texas Opens Fastest US Highway With 85 MPH Limit

cwgmpls Re:80's flashback (992 comments)

The 1980's 55 MPH federal mandate was not done to save lives. It was done to conserve energy. In fact, some states at the time even issued tickets for people driving over 55 that read "failure to conserve energy", not "speeding". The federal government still has its hands in regulating energy used by cars. Although we have now learned that it is more effective to regulate at the manufacturing stage, not at the operating stage.

about 2 years ago
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Ask Slashdot: Open Source Software To Manage Student Grades?

cwgmpls Consider Cloud options (120 comments)

Moodle is nice. And free. But how are you going to pay for the web host to run it, and the software developer to install, configure and maintain it to meet your needs?

For $1.50 per student per month you can use a cloud-based tool like quickschools.com to track attendance, homework, grades, report cards, transcripts and more. And you can start tomorrow, not after a 6-month project development cycle has passed.

Sure, Moodle can do much more than that, but for the features you are asking for, no Moodle implementation will cost less than $1.50 per student per month and be ready to use tomorrow.

more than 2 years ago
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The Cost To 'Promote' a Facebook Post: $200 To $500

cwgmpls Re:Poor marketing investment (117 comments)

Which is why, of the companies you mention, Google is creating a hardware & software ecosystem where they can control what ads you see, and what data they collect, directly on your device. Apple and Amazon are doing the same. If Facebook doesn't get into the platform game, they are going down the same road that MySpace, Yahoo!, and several others already traveled. Microsoft, on the other hand, is getting by with fat profits from its legacy enterprise products, so I'm not sure they have the chutzpah to really engage in the consumer space, even though they keep throwing dollars at it. Sorta like IBM 20 years ago, right?

more than 2 years ago
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The Decline of Google's (and Everybody's) Ad Business

cwgmpls Mobile is the culprit (313 comments)

Most casual computing, especially by the consumers that ad buyers are trying to reach, is now being done on mobile devices. And it is just not possible to make an attractive, informative ad on a small mobile screen without crowding out some other essential function. Mobile devices simply don't have enough spare real estate on which to place ads. Compared to computer screens, the number of ads that can be displayed at one time on a mobile device is severely limited, and the ad itself has to be relatively small

Moving to mobile helps get rid of many ads. Now, if we could just get everyone to move to text-only devices, we should be able to get rid of ads completely!

more than 2 years ago
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The Nation Is Losing Its Toolbox

cwgmpls Pre-made is more efficient (525 comments)

If your goal is efficiency, then pre-fabricated, pre-framed, "slip-in" window units are much more energy efficient than expecting typical homeowners to properly miter, seal, and mount a window into their house. Sure, framing your own window may conjure up romantic, 19th-century images of quality hand craftsmanship. But those notions won't go far to pay the heating bills or halt global warming caused by all of the wasted energy lost through these drafty windows. Prefabrication and efficiency are better for everyone. If you want romance, start a hobby building coffee tables.

more than 2 years ago
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Correcting the Record: the Government's Role In the Internet

cwgmpls So Solyndra was the right idea (257 comments)

f handing manufacturing over to private business is the right strategy, then Obama was on the right track when he tried to move solar panel production out of government-funded research labs and into private business production. While initially funded with start-up grants, Solyndra was to eventually produce and sell solar panels in the open market. Of course, nobody could have predicted that China would flood the solar panel market with Chinese-government subsidized, Chinese-made panels that no open market firm could compete with.

Still, Obama was on the right track to try to move production into private industry rather than create another federal agency to make solar panels. If solar panel production had remained a federal agency project, the production likely would have continued long after the Chinese dumped their own panels on the market, costing U.S. taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars more as the federal-run production would continue even when the market was unprofitable. As it was, Solyndra folded, as any private business in an unprofitable market should, and the loss to the taxpayer was minimized. Moving producing to Solyndra was exactly the free-market strategy that everyone asks for, and was the right thing to do.

more than 2 years ago
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Facebook Loses Users, Satisfaction Higher at Google+

cwgmpls MySpace (274 comments)

Frustration with UI changes and too much advertising -- the exact same problems MySpace had before they went down.

more than 2 years ago
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Why We Should Remain Skeptical of the Ouya Android Console

cwgmpls Exactly, open architectures never succeed (184 comments)

That is why the IBM PC was such a failure and Microsoft never made any money writing software for the PC platform.

more than 2 years ago
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Gloves Translate Sign Language Into Auditory Speech

cwgmpls Re:Finger Spelling is NOT Sign Language (78 comments)

I'm sure they aren't the first people to exploit pity for others to make money, out of total ignorance.

more than 2 years ago
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Gloves Translate Sign Language Into Auditory Speech

cwgmpls Re:No, it translates fingerspelling into speech (78 comments)

Ask your coworker. They are signing, not finger spelling. Big, big difference. Using the money from this project to teach people about the difference would be much more beneficial to everyone.

more than 2 years ago
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Gloves Translate Sign Language Into Auditory Speech

cwgmpls Re:Finger Spelling is NOT Sign Language (78 comments)

They are not translating anything. They are transcribing within the same language. In the demo clip I saw, they are transcribing from English fingerspelling to English speech. There is no translation involved. You are right, even within a language, there can be regional variations. American fingerspelling differs from British. But they are transcribing, not translating.

more than 2 years ago
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Gloves Translate Sign Language Into Auditory Speech

cwgmpls Re:Why not just use a cellphone? (78 comments)

Presumably, but its not. These gloves transcribe finger spelling. Finger spelling is not a separate language, it does not require translation, and no deaf people use it as their primary form of communication. Any deaf person who knows how to type can easily type faster than they can finger spell.

more than 2 years ago
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Gloves Translate Sign Language Into Auditory Speech

cwgmpls Finger Spelling is NOT Sign Language (78 comments)

Mod parent up! Finger Spelling is *not* Sign Language. If all this does is translate finger spelling into synthesized speech, the same thing could be done much faster and cheaper by just typing the words on a standard smartphone device.

This is not even cool. It is just, plain, wrong in so many ways. All of the money and hype spent making and marketing this device would reap 10X as much benefit if the same money were spent educating people about the real nature of deafness and sign language. The developers of this waste of time could start by taking a class about deafness themselves.

The fact that Slashdot perpetuates the inaccurate headline equating finger spelling with sign language just demonstrates how ignorant we all are.

more than 2 years ago
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Telefonica Shows Prototype Firefox OS Phone

cwgmpls Set us free from U.S. cellphone carriers (91 comments)

Figure out some way to set us free from U.S. cellphone carriers. That is the only way Firefox OS phone could make a difference.

more than 2 years ago
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First Firefox Mobile OS Phones Announced

cwgmpls What problem does this solve? (116 comments)

Android phones are already more than affordable. It is the data plan costs that make smartphone ownership out-of-reach for many people. This phone won't solve that problem, and will probably make it worse as they will primarily be used as give-aways to entice people into an over-priced 2-year data contracts. What problem does this new OS solve?

more than 2 years ago
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Nest Labs Calls Honeywell Lawsuit 'Worse Than Patent Troll'

cwgmpls They copied Honeywell's iconic shape (137 comments)

Okay, it's round. But everyone knows why they made it round, because all of us grew up with round Honeywell thermostats. If I made an MP3 player that looked exactly like the original iPod, or a car that look exactly like the original Mustang, I would make plans to eventually expect a letter from Apple or Ford. You can't tell me that Nest Labs is not smart enough to know they would eventually get a letter from Honeywell.

more than 2 years ago
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Ask Slashdot: My Company Wants Me To Astroturf, Should I?

cwgmpls That's not astroturfing (391 comments)

Astroturfing is intentionally spreading a lie. You may not have authority to speak directly about the product in question, but you have authority to speak about the quality of the company that makes it. You are an employee, so you have a legitimate connection and interest in your companies products. Even if you've never used a specific product, you have an interest is putting your company in a good public light. Would you hesitate to say something good about your company and its products to a friend at a coffee shop? Neither do you have reason to hesitate about saying good things about your company and its products in social media.

Astroturing is intentionally spreading a lie. If you know that saying good things about your company and its products are not a lie, then this is not astroturfing. If saying good things about your company and its products is a lie, then start looking for a different job!

more than 2 years ago
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Best Buy CEO Brian Dunn Resigns After $1.7 Billion Loss

cwgmpls The future of brick-and-mortar (513 comments)

Best Buy has themselves to blame for developing a reputation of over-priced products and unknowledgeable, pushy salespeople. But their latest attempts at reformatting their stores is, I think, the only strategy in which brick-and-mortar can survive. It is the model pioneered by Apple Stores. Everybody knows that brick-and-mortar stores have turned into showrooms for online purchases. Best Buy's latest layout tries to take advantage of the new retail reality by filling the showroom with a variety of devices, but then offering a friendly user support desk onsite (just like Apple's Genus Bar). In addition, subscriptions services like cable or satellite TV, mobile contracts, and so on are easily available, plus a variety of accessaries, and quality, friendly tech support, installation, and repair services. Best Buy needs to find a model where they may never sell another device again, but can make money on subscriptions, accessories, and services. Their latest store formats are getting close; the question is if it is too late for Best Buy?

more than 2 years ago

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Journals

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cwgmpls cwgmpls writes  |  more than 8 years ago http://hardware.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=05/12/11/1727257&tid=196&tid=137

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cwgmpls cwgmpls writes  |  more than 9 years ago http://ask.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=05/02/22/018230&threshold=1&tid=4&tid=10

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