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Comments

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US Educational Scores Not So Abysmal

dreampod Re:Shocking! (412 comments)

However, that doesn't give an accurate picture of the education system which is what was being studied. While there was a legitimate argument/complaint to be made about oversampling free lunch schools (40% of sample, 23% of real world) what the EPI report did in pretending that America doesn't have more poor students than other countries is sheer scientific malpractice.

Interestingly though, America probably wouldn't do very well in a top 10% comparison. According to the EPI interpretations of the PISA data the US consistently underperformed all the other six nations being compared to in the Group six economic category (wealthiest category making up about 6% of all nations). The groups 1&2 scores were somewhat better than but the US populations in those groups are 35%-400% larger than in those nations which is what really tanks our score.

about a year and a half ago
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US Educational Scores Not So Abysmal

dreampod Re:Gaming the system (412 comments)

Except the 'study' in question is trying to pull a fast one by effectively saying if we compare the health of American's and Japanese that their outcomes are the same in the *general population* when obesity rates are 'normalized' ignoring the fact that the obesity rate in the US is nearly 3 time that of Japan. If you pretend we don't have millions of poor poorly educated Americans then our test scores are GREAT. However the truth is that those poor children still exist and pretending that our performance is adequate just gives people the ability to ignore the need to do better.

about a year and a half ago
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YouTube Alters Copyright Algorithms, Will 'Manually' Review Some Claims

dreampod Re:official takedown notice? (71 comments)

Because they don't have to. Since it is their property they can institute any rules or program that they want (provided obviously that it doesn't break the law) that will help them manage their service or please their partners. In this case they offered a content matching and content removal system to their corporate clients as a means to encourage them to use youtube heavily and stop suing them. The reason youtube is changing their policy is that it has been heavily abused and is starting to generate negative publicity and shift users elsewhere not because they have any obligation to.

They have always accepted DMCA notices but also allowed an alternative non-DMCA process too.

about 2 years ago
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White House Refuses To Comment On Petition To Investigate Chris Dodd

dreampod Re:This is overblown nonsense (765 comments)

They should be indicted - every last one of them.

Being a elected official in the US is extremely lucrative with lots of 'gifts' and 'free' vacations from friends and supporters after they have finished serving their terms, highly paid jobs within industries they 'regulated', highly paid jobs with companies that got legislated overpriced no-bid contracts, highly paid lobbying jobs that take advantage of their access, and a rate of return on investments 60% higher than market average (and about 20% higher than average RoR with insider trading). Simply because the payoff is delayed doesn't mean that it isn't happening and because it is so well known about nobody ever has to actually make an agreement for the bribery because the politician takes the lead knowing that if they behave in a particular way that they are guaranteed a lucrative result.

One of the reasons that other countries look at the US with horror is how blatant and openly corrupt your government officials are. In Canada the governing party for over 40 years fell and was replaced over a scandal directing work to a company that supported the Liberal party. The total amount was under $2 million dollars over 8 years which is less than every single representative and senator directs to supporters each and every budget. Even the most ethical politician on the national stage is wildly corrupted and should be charged and imprisoned.

more than 2 years ago
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Don't Worry About Global Warming, Say 16 Scientists in the WSJ

dreampod Re:the 16 scientists are not climatologists (1367 comments)

Are you trying to suggest that Lead and Mercury are modified from their 'natural state'? If so, I strongly recommend looking at the periodic table of elements and getting a remedial science education. They may be purified but they are dangerous at naturally occuring lower purities as well.

As well the claim that CO2 is natural and thus as a natural occurrence we shouldn't need to concern ourselves with it is completely non-sensical. CO2 exists at levels not seen in 800,000 years simply because it existed before doesn't make it harmless or not potentially catostrophic to human survival. A jug of water is useful, having a river redirected into your town is incredibly destructive but we shouldn't worry because water is a natural product and thus massive changes in the quantity and location of it are entirely irrelevant.

more than 2 years ago
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Romney Invokes Fair Use In Dispute With NBC Over Campaign Ad

dreampod Re:Not 'fair use' but no sympathy for the news med (242 comments)

Beyond the fact that NBC has a history of doing this with political ads (for both parties) which clearly are fair use, I think this particular use does not rise to the criteria of fair use. The entire ad is the copyrighted material with nothing else except the legally mandated "paid for by" and thus is not transformative, doesn't comment or criticise it, and is simply a recitement of facts on record that could be presented in a different way without using the copyrighted material without losing any impact. Except to falsely imply an endorsement by Brokaw there is no reason that they couldn't have presented the exact same facts in this ad without using the NBC clip.

more than 2 years ago
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Romney Invokes Fair Use In Dispute With NBC Over Campaign Ad

dreampod Re:Not 'fair use' but no sympathy for the news med (242 comments)

I think characterising anything related to politics as 'non-profit' is ludicrously ironic despite the puported purpose of representing the public good. Beyond the kickbacks (read Campaign Donations), cushy jobs with industries they regulated, and wealthy friends who appreciate their 'hard work' over the years US Senators have an average rate of return on their stock investments on 30.2% annually compared to a 17.9% market average (Representatives average 23.9%) and in fact consistently outperform corporate insiders (who only manage 25.3%). Unless you somehow believe that Senators and Representatives are better stock traders than professional brokers it is pretty clear they are using insider information on bid distributions, regulations, and hearings to profit.

more than 2 years ago
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Linguists Out Men Impersonating Women On Twitter

dreampod False Headline on Slashdot - News at 11 (350 comments)

This study in no way outs men impersonating women. In fact it specifically identifies gender for analysis by comparing it to the linked blog/website profile information and assuming that "the effort involved in maintaining this deception in two different places suggests that the blog labels on Twitter data are largely reliable". Basically it assumes that anyone attempting to impersonate the opposing gender is a tech ignorant moron that has made no effort to create a persona - something that is contrary to pretty much every piece of information we have on people who do this.

Overall, a poorly constructed study that oversells what it discovers and is then exagerated and stretched by the media who claim things that even the study isn't pretending that it does - in other words a typical day in research and scientific reporting.

more than 2 years ago
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Linguists Out Men Impersonating Women On Twitter

dreampod Re:Let's hope that 15%... (350 comments)

They also had a handful of Amazon Mechanical Turk users identify gender for the same tweets and they were 67.3% accurate for single tweets compared to the automated system's 67.8%.

more than 2 years ago
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Linguists Out Men Impersonating Women On Twitter

dreampod Re:Well depends on how it increases (350 comments)

They claim 75% accuracy when they analyze every tweet the account produced.

more than 2 years ago
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Linguists Out Men Impersonating Women On Twitter

dreampod Re:Let's hope that 15%... (350 comments)

According to the study's (dubious) technique of identifying the gender of tweeters, the breakdown is 42% female, 35% male, 23% unidentified.

more than 2 years ago
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Slate: Amazon's Tax Stance Unfair and Unethical

dreampod Re:It's About Who Collects (949 comments)

To be fair California (and all the other states) don't trust their citizens to pay the use tax with good reason - the vast, vast majority don't. Not only is it complicated and time consuming for the individual consumer to do so it also results in things online costing more than they appear to and thus less money in their pocket.

Amazon also trusts the citizens aren't going to pay the use tax - their entire business model requires it and thus why they are fighting so hard against it. Without being able to avoid paying taxes the goods Amazon (and other online retailers) sell aren't particularly better priced than those you could buy at your local brick and mortar store - so instead of the purchase tradeoff being something like 20% cheaper on Amazon but more convenient at a local store it would become only a 5-10% price advantage at which point they start losing a lot of sales due to convenience. I'm sure brick and mortar stores would love to be able to use Amazons 'the customer is responsible for paying the sales tax' line and drop all their prices too. However we don't do that for two major reasons (1) It is completely rediculous and wasteful to force the customer to track and record all their purchases and once annually pay the accumulated tax amount rather than having the retailer collect it at the time of purchase with minimal cost or imposition and (2) People won't pay it and the cost of tracking purchases down and litigating non-payment would be prohibitive, just like doing it for online purchases is.

Amazon can not be nearly as profitable if they had to charge customers the real cost of items so their business model relies on encouraging widescale fraud in order to maintain a price disparity. It is unethical and immoral and probably illegal too. If it isn't actually illegal than it should be - something that these laws intend to address.

about 3 years ago
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Slate: Amazon's Tax Stance Unfair and Unethical

dreampod Re:Sidestepping for a moment... (949 comments)

So in addition to outsourcing manufacturing and customer service, we can also start outsourcing retail jobs?

How exactly do you think the American economy is going to continue to function when there are no jobs on a permanent basis rather than just a temporary one? Already the wealthy avoid taxation on a vast scale, without the middle class and poor paying taxes (something that requires an income) how will the government avoid collapse?

about 3 years ago
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What Cybercrime Stats Have In Common With Sexual Braggadocio

dreampod Re:There's a difference (69 comments)

That might make sense if we were talking about a single study but the data is consistently out, in the same manner, across hundreds of studies over several decades. You can't just accidentally miss the really promiscous women every single time (well you could but it is statistically improbable).

The only two viable explanations I've ever heard (and I use the term loosely for the second) is that either there is consistent incorrect self reporting or extremely promiscous women have such a higher rate of death that they are able to rack up huge numbers of partners and then throw the reporting off by dying and thus no longer being counted.

more than 3 years ago
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Google Redirects Traffic To Avoid Kazakh Demands

dreampod Re:Legal vs Technical Issues (169 comments)

Personally I really wish there was a way to ensure routing so that my traffic would never enter or be processed by a particular jurisdiction to avoid legal problems and illegal (but commonplace) monitoring.

I would happily accept the potential for greater latency to keep anything that does not have an end destination in the US from passing through that country. The madcap laws and privacy invasions don't even recognize the token acknowledgement of the constitution that citizens get for us foreigners and I'd feel much better not being hostage to the American governments descent into totalistarianism.

more than 3 years ago
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Google Redirects Traffic To Avoid Kazakh Demands

dreampod Re:Who are we fooling here? (169 comments)

I actually agree with you on governments having the right to control their own TLD and leverage that towards employment but lets be honest that this is not why Kazakhstan has made this law. Nazarbayev the (first and only) president, commander of the armed forces, and head of the political party which controls the 'democratic' legislature is a dictator in all but name. The reasoning for this law is to place Google's data where it is physically vulnerable to being seized, blackmail, or some similar tactic. The government there is interested solely in suppressing opposition and increasing personal wealth and power rather than high minded concepts like ensuring their populace has jobs except insomuch as it impacts their real interests.

more than 3 years ago
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Google Redirects Traffic To Avoid Kazakh Demands

dreampod Re:What? (169 comments)

Because it wouldn't let them punish Kazakhian internet users for their governments foolish behaviour. As a result it wouldn't allow Google to implicitly threaten any other country (due to lack of economic clout and small internet using population) where a law like this might actually have a non-negligable effect with unhappy constituents as a means of preventing them from excercising their sovereign rights and obliging Google to abide the laws outside the US.

more than 3 years ago
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France Bans Facebook and Twitter From Radio and TV

dreampod Re:This is normal throughout (large) parts of Euro (278 comments)

Mostly because unlike the US the system is not designed to encourage corruption. You get people making bad decisions because they are wrong rather than because they were bought off by commercial interests who don't want restrictions to impair their ability to make money.

-Lobbying is tightly controlled and restricted with real criminal penalties levied against both the politicians and the companies who violate the restrictions.
-Revolving doors between regulators and industry are often illegal and even when not are considered highly inappropriate causing major social suffering and diminishing their ability to abuse their previous contacts.
-Money is a less significant player in elections. Most countries have some form of public financing and thus the legal bribery of the US does not occur.

more than 3 years ago
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France Bans Facebook and Twitter From Radio and TV

dreampod Re:This is normal throughout (large) parts of Euro (278 comments)

So very true.

On the other hand Europe does have its extreme right which is a touch to the right of any US politician who actually is capable of getting elected. The simple fact is that in European countries that have minimal visible minorities due to lack of imigration the extreme right can get away with extremely overt racism and still occasionally grab a seat or two in a way Americans can't. Instead the republicans and tea party just have to look on with awe and stick to using dogwhistle language and covert racism.

more than 3 years ago
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France Bans Facebook and Twitter From Radio and TV

dreampod Re:Inb4 "freedom of speech" comments (278 comments)

On the other hand compare the quality of news programming available in France and the UK which 'restricts' them to producing relatively unbiased, non-promotional programs to the US which does not.

US news programming varies wildly in quality from Fox News,a wholly owned subsidiary of the Republican party (or vice versa), to ABC, NBC, and CBS which compete with each other for the position of television tabloid. At best in the US you are getting wildly pro-corporate news typically focused on extremely rare crimes in far away places, this weeks sex scandals, and junk filler that oftens is promoting a product. In France and Britain you get in-depth analysis of real issues, opinions and info from non-partisan sources, and less tabloid fear mongering.

Removing bias from newscasting may not be why the European news networks produce content that is head and shoulders above Americans but the lack of restrictions in the US certainly does not ensure that anything resembling news is actually produced.

more than 3 years ago

Submissions

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Canada refuses extradition of Cisco whistleblower

dreampod dreampod writes  |  more than 3 years ago

dreampod (1093343) writes "Canadian courts blocked the extradition of Peter Alfred-Adekeye, a former Cisco exec who filed a civil antitrust lawsuit against Cisco for 'forcing customers to buy maintainance contracts'.

Justice McKinnon called the expedited extradition request a 'perversion of justice' to attempt to resolve a civil dispute by filing criminal charges that 'grostequely inflate' a minor issue into serious charges that could require 500 years of jail time. He further slammed the collusion of Cisco and and the DOJ as an improper abuse of the courts. He singled out the DOJ prosecutors for having provided 'laughable' and misleading claims and failing to provide relevant information. This resulted in an arrest in the midst of Alfred-Adekeye giving testimony to a special sitting for the District Court of North Carolina because Cisco's Homeland Security friends had denied him re-entry to the US in a attempt to prevent him testifying against them. McKinnon describes the whole arrangement as 'simply not done in a civilized jurisdiction that is bound by the rule of law.'"

Link to Original Source
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Scientists develop brain-microchip bridge

dreampod dreampod writes  |  more than 3 years ago

dreampod (1093343) writes "Canadian scientists have developed a microchip capable of monitoring the electrical and chemical communication channels between individual neurons. This is the first time scientists have been able to monitor the interaction between brain cells on such a precise and subtle level. In addition to providing the ability to more easily see the impact of drugs on various mental disorders during testing this provides one of the first fundamental steps towards real mind-machine interface."
Link to Original Source

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