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SOTU: Community Colleges, Employers To Train Workers For High-Paying Coding Jobs

jenningsthecat Better to teach people to "program"? (200 comments)

Let's teach more Americans to code.

Everybody and his dog who happens to be an Excel whiz or a Word macro expert is arguably a coder. As are a lot of people who call themselves programmers. Do we want more of that skillset? Or do we want more people who can take a longer, more structured, project-oriented view and who write maintainable, extensible programs? I'm asking the question in all seriousness.

4 days ago
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Spanish Judge Cites Use of Secure Email As a Potential Terrorist Indicator

jenningsthecat Books and curtains do not a terrorist make (174 comments)

FTA:

According to the prosecutor, the evidence against them includes finding numerous copies of a book called “Against Democracy”...

By the Spanish judge's logic, closing the curtains in your house and owning a copy of Mein Kampf would also cause him to view you as a potential Nazi.

Perhaps those who control the police are the only ones who are allowed to be "against democracy"...

about a week ago
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Belgian Raid Kills 2, Said To Avert "Major Terrorist Attacks"

jenningsthecat Re:How many attacks will it take? (257 comments)

One thing I don't get - why is the West - Europe and Americas - continuing to poke their noses into other countries' business? Yes, terrorists need to be stopped - but how about we just stop creating terrorists? If the US and other countries hadn't been massively interfering in Middle East politics for decades, propping up dictators in the name of Big Oil, causing wars, and doing all sorts of other shitty things, do you really think even the batshit-craziest of Muslims would be so upset about some cartoons that they'd come to our countries to commit suicide just so they could kill us? I sincerely doubt it. No, we went out of our way repeatedly to make enemies in the Middle East long before Charlie Hebdo added one more insult to a long list of grievous injuries.

Have you ever read Frank Herbert's 'Dune'? The Fremen are an object lesson in what happens when people with an extreme religious streak whom you've oppressed for a long time finally acquire the wherewithal to fight back. And interestingly enough, Fremen culture was clearly modelled on Middle Eastern cultures.

about two weeks ago
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Belgian Raid Kills 2, Said To Avert "Major Terrorist Attacks"

jenningsthecat Re:Prepare for more (257 comments)

Well spoken sir, and well thought out. I wish I had mod points.

about two weeks ago
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Belgian Raid Kills 2, Said To Avert "Major Terrorist Attacks"

jenningsthecat Re:Prepare for more (257 comments)

I was getting ready to tell you that bullshit flag wasn't gonna fly, as I also was under the impression that Japan would have surrendered soon even if the bombs hadn't been dropped. But it seems there's still quite a bit of controversy regarding the point:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Debate_over_the_atomic_bombings_of_Hiroshima_and_Nagasaki

So your call of bullshit may or may not be correct, but we'll probably never know definitively one way or the other.

about two weeks ago
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Facebook Targets Office Workers With Facebook At Work Service

jenningsthecat 'Cause that's just what Facebook does (112 comments)

"...we'd like to make that available to the whole world."

Yup, they make your 'stuff' available to the world. Even when you don't want them to.

about two weeks ago
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Professor: Young People Are "Lost Generation" Who Can No Longer Fix Gadgets

jenningsthecat Re:Dupe (840 comments)

At least for automobiles, there's a simple legislative fix for this - if only government had the guts. Mandate that EVERY automotive engineer be forced to spend two months every year, (or one year in every four, or whatever), working in a dealership garage as an auto mechanic fixing the cars his company produced. A few experiences with having to lift an engine to replace an oil filter or a spark plug, (all the while listenening to the taunts of the 'real' mechanics he's working with), and that kind of design stupidity would stop right quick.

Yeah, I know it's a fantasy - but sometimes imagining a world where the government looks out for the interests of its citizens and the future of our planet by actually calling corporations to heel is all that keeps me going - especially when I'm faced with how determinedly stupid the human race can be...

about three weeks ago
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Box Office 2014: Moviegoing Hits Two-Decade Low

jenningsthecat Commercials (400 comments)

I often want to see a new movie at the cinema. But then I think of the car and bank commercials, trivia games, and other assorted pre-movie corporate crap that has become part of the standard cinema experience, and I decide to wait for the DVD release. I gotta wonder how many other people are staying away for the same reasons.

about three weeks ago
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Ask Slashdot: Are Progressive Glasses a Mistake For Computer Users?

jenningsthecat Progressives totally didn't work for me (464 comments)

I have had myopia since I was 12, and now have age-onset presbyopia aw well. I tried progressives for a week, then took them back and exchanged them for my normal ~-5.5 diopter prescription. Even for regular use just walking around, I found the weird distortions that varied drastically as I turned my head were just too obtrusive and disorienting. And I haven't been able to find contacts that don't make my eyes gum up and blur. But if I could wear contacts, I would have my optometrist prescribe them to under-correct for distance, so I could leave my glasses off for computer work and most casual situations. Then, for driving, or anything else that required good distance vision, I would have glasses with a small negative diopter value such that the combination of glasses and contacts would provide the necessary distance correction.

The more normal approach would be to have contacts to fully correct for distance and have reading glasses. But during the short time I wore contacts, I'd get panicky when I couldn't lay hands on my readers and was unable to see well up close, whereas being unable to see well at a distance bothers me much less. Now I just have two sets of glasses, and really need three sets. It sucks, but so far I've been unable to find a better solution.

about three weeks ago
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Tor Network May Be Attacked, Says Project Leader

jenningsthecat Re:TOR is a fucking honey pot ! (86 comments)

Mod parent up! Whoever modded this comment down either hasn't investigated the matter, or sympathizes with those whose goal is the total destruction of privacy for average citizens.

about a month ago
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T-Mobile To Pay $90M For Unauthorized Charges On Customers' Bills

jenningsthecat Finally! (51 comments)

A penalty that stands a chance of getting the offender's attention, rather than one that's considered simply a cost of doing business. The fine should have been higher though - perhaps an additional $90M as purely punitive damages. Companies need to learn that wilfully screwing over their customers really, really hurts their bottom line. Also, an award approaching a fifth of a billion would likely piss off enough shareholders that several heads would roll.

about a month ago
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Marissa Mayer's Reinvention of Yahoo! Stumbles

jenningsthecat Re:Is Yahoo! still a thing? (222 comments)

I don't use mobile email, and don't use Yahoo as my primary email anyway. But on the desktop Yahoo is pretty useable if you disable JavaScript. (In fact I find the non-JS version to be better than Gmail's incredibly annoying "we know what you want even though you don't think you want it" set of 'features'). You get a stupid warning on login and have to click a link to use the non-JS version. But after that, a lot of the annoying, bloated bling disappears. And as a bonus, you can have multiple emails open in multiple tabs - something the braindead JS version is incapable of.

Unfortunately, adding attachments to an email requires JavaScript. I just temporarily allow scripts for Yahoo, then revoke the permissions when I'm done.

about a month ago
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RFID-Blocking Blazer and Jeans Could Stop Wireless Identity Theft

jenningsthecat Here's an idea (110 comments)

Just stop with all the RFID bullshit on credit and debit cards! Really, is that extra few seconds taken to insert and enter a PIN such an onerous burden? People in that much of a hurry aren't likely to use that precious sliver of time to stop and smell the roses anyway.

For those worried about cell phones and the like, I suspect the new-style duds will do little or nothing to impede those signals. They're a couple of orders of magnitude higher in frequency than the current RFID payment systems, and they use far-field RF, whose intensity falls off with with the square of distance. The intensity of Near-Field Communications falls off with the cube of distance, and is more 'magnetic' than 'electro' in nature, so the shielding mechanism tends to be different.

For myself, I plan on de-activating all of my contactless payment cards by breaking the antenna loop with a drill, as soon as I can get them imaged so I know where the antenna traces are. I've already had my banks disable the feature, so in theory I shouldn't be able to make contactless payments, but that won't stop info theft via unauthorized readers.

And yes, I DO wear my tinfoil hat proudly...

about a month ago
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Microsoft Gets Industry Support Against US Search Of Data In Ireland

jenningsthecat How dare the government take Microsoft to task? (137 comments)

Everbody knows that invading digital privacy across international boundaries is the job of corporations, not governments!

about a month ago
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Uber Limits 'God View' To Improve Rider Privacy

jenningsthecat Title Correction (76 comments)

The title of the article, (and therefore the summary), should have said "Uber Claims To Have Limited 'God View' To Improve Rider Privacy". After all, does anybody other than gullible people and fanbois really take them at their word?

about a month ago
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Canada Waives Own Rules, Helps Microsoft Avoid US Visa Problems

jenningsthecat Re:Fucking Hell, Harper needs to go! (122 comments)

...Harper is seemingly doing everything he can to keep Canadians out of Canadian jobs.

Fucking neocons.

Fucking neocons? Fucking traitors, I say. I also despair for our country under Harper's dict - er, leadership. His ultimate goal seems to be to turn Canada into America's bitch and/or the stooge of any multinational corporation wanting to bend us over and take advantage of us. We used to have a good reputation internationally and some influence on the world stage - hell, we used to have *autonomy*. Now we're increasingly sticking our nose into other countries' business at the behest of our cousins north of the border, we're a target for ISIS terrorists, and our environmental record sucks. Government scientists have government handlers to 'advise' them before they talk to the press - North Korea, anyone? We have gone downhill in so many ways and been sold out so many times under Stephen 'Brown-nose' Harper's regime, I'll be doing a dance when Canadians finally wake up come next election and give him the bum's rush.

about a month and a half ago
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Swedish Police Raid the Pirate Bay Again

jenningsthecat Why TPB and not the banks? (184 comments)

Banks in EVERY jurisdiction carry out transactions with and pay interest on money deposited by criminals of various stripes, from tax evaders to mobsters to drug lords to terrorists. And in many cases the banksters know the provenance of those funds, and simply don't care, 'cause business is business after all. Not to mention the thefts the banks themselves commit, which are only not considered illegal via the legal legerdemain of calling them 'service fees'. So why do governments, (and by extension, their corporate masters), have such a hate on for the TPB? Yeah, I know, it's a rhetorical question, but I had to ask it.

So Pirate Bay is raided and shut down, and its founders thrown in prison, while bank CEO's are allowed to conduct business freely and in full daylight with impunity. It seems that a lot of somebodies in a lot of places consider the facilitation of file sharing a more heinous crime than the facilitation of theft, murder, gun running, etc. Gee, that disconnect wouldn't have anything at all to do with the profits of big corporations, would it?

about a month and a half ago
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Microsoft's New Windows Monetization Methods Could Mean 'Subscriptions'

jenningsthecat Re:Full-circle (415 comments)

Along came guys like Jobs, Wozniak and Gates who took on that old system and trashed it by saying to small business "you can own your system, have full control of your data, and pay for your software only once". Using this model, they defeated to old corporate giants while competing against eachother and bringing the consumer innovation and value. Now that they have become the corporate titans with near a monoply grip on the market, they have seen what the old titans saw: to keep growing your profits and keep your shareholders happy when you already have essentially all the available customers, you must find a way to get more cash out of your existing customer base.

Too bad I already posted - I SOOO want to mod you up!

about a month and a half ago
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Microsoft's New Windows Monetization Methods Could Mean 'Subscriptions'

jenningsthecat Re:Boy that will win more users.... (415 comments)

...the way they price their OS upgrades make a lot of sense. Small yearly upgrade - small price.

Apple can do that because they own their hardware market. Microsoft can't even manage to own a decent-sized piece of a free-for-all hardware market, much less create their own viable hardware ecosystem.

about a month and a half ago
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Unity 8 Will Bring 'Pure' Linux Experience To Mobile Devices

jenningsthecat I see what you did there! (125 comments)

A great deal of work is happening at a deeper level that may not have yet surfaced. It will surface eventually, however.

about a month and a half ago

Submissions

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Is Zoosk really so desperate for clients?

jenningsthecat jenningsthecat writes  |  about 2 months ago

jenningsthecat (1525947) writes "A happily married Ontario woman was shocked and dismayed last January to discover that she had an active account with dating site Zoosk.com. Mari Sherkin saw a pop-up ad on Facebook for Zoosk, but wasn't interested, so she "clicked on the X to close it. At least I thought I did."

She immediately began to receive messages from would-be Zoosk suitors in her Facebook mailbox. When she had a look on Zoosk she was horrified to find a dating profile with her Facebook picture, name, and postal code. Zoosk denies ever setting up profiles in this way, yet their terms of service explicitly allow them to do it, and there are apparently several Facebook pages with complaints of similar occurrences.

When will people ever learn to practise ''safeWeb"? I guess maybe the answer is 'never', given that it seems at least some of Zoosk's victims are still active on Facebook. Or should we just start calling it 'Faceplant'?"
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Ft. Lauderdale Men Charged for Feeding the Homeless

jenningsthecat jenningsthecat writes  |  about 3 months ago

jenningsthecat (1525947) writes "90-year-old Fort Lauderdale resident Arnold Abbott and two local pastors were charged on Sunday with "feeding the homeless in public". Abbott was told by police to "drop that plate right now" when he was attempting to distribute food. The three men were charged under a new city ordinance banning public food sharing, and face up to 60 days in jail and a $500 fine. The ordinance "limits where outdoor feeding sites can be located, requires the permission of property owners and says the groups have to provide portable toilets".

Mayor Jack Seiler was quoted as saying "Just because of media attention we don't stop enforcing the law. We enforce the laws here in Fort Lauderdale". He believes that "Providing them with a meal and keeping them in that cycle on the street is not productive."

Really, I have no words for this other than "heartless jackbooted fuckwits"."
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Integrated Circuit Amplifier Breaches Terahertz barrier

jenningsthecat jenningsthecat writes  |  about 3 months ago

jenningsthecat (1525947) writes "DARPA's Terahertz Electronics program has created "the fastest solid-state amplifier integrated circuit ever measured". The TMIC, (Terahertz Monolithic Integrated Circuit), boasts a gain of 9dB — previously unheard of for a monolithic device in this frequency range. Plus, the status of "fastest" has been certified by Guinness — seriously! ('Cause you might not trust DARPA, but you gotta trust Guinness — right?).

In related news, DARPA has also created a micro-machined vacuum power amplifer operating at 850 GHz, or 0.85 THz."
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Another Silicon Valley Supercar

jenningsthecat jenningsthecat writes  |  about 5 months ago

jenningsthecat (1525947) writes "Four-and-a-half years in the making, The Coupe, billed as "the first all-electric American supercar", was revealed on August 17 of this year at the Pebble Beach Concours by Silicon Valley firm Renovo Motors. Slated for availability in late 2015, the $500K-plus car does 0-60 in 3.4 seconds, and is spec'd at 500 brake horsepower and 1,000 pound-feet of torque. Top speed is said to be 120 mph. The fast-charge time is 30 minutes — not surprising given the rather small 100-mile range. The car is modelled on the '64 Daytona coupe and has a Shelby chassis.

Lots of cool factor there, and lots of grunt off the line. But if you had enough money for only one supercar, would you pay more than $500K for something that only gets 100 miles per charge?"
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Overzealous Management Corp Removes, Impounds Bicycles Parked on Public Property

jenningsthecat jenningsthecat writes  |  about 5 months ago

jenningsthecat (1525947) writes "In an instance of apparent corporate over-reaching, $50-billion Brookfield Office Properties has been cutting locks and removing bicycles from what appears to be public property in Toronto Canada.

A bicycle owner who had locked her bike to a Toronto Transit Commission sign pole just outside the city's Hudson's Bay Centre, returned 90 minutes later only to discover that it was missing, and that it had been removed by a security guard. Brookfield Properties says that the pole is on its property, while City Manager Andre Filippetti confirms that the pole is in fact on public property.

In an email statement Brookfield says:
“As adjacent property owner, we have the right to remove a bike or otherwise affixed object to property and the TTC pole on the sidewalk outside of our building if it poses a perceived risk to pedestrians. It is our first and foremost responsibility to protect the health and safety of our tenants and all those that visit the building. There have been numerous instances at this location where pedestrians have tripped over or have otherwise been injured by bicycles affixed to the pole.”

It's unclear how many bicycles in total have been removed by the company, but three had been removed on the day in question, and a security guard working for Brookfield is reported to have said that they "get several angry cyclists a day complaining about bikes being taken". It is believed that many cyclists simply assume that their bikes have been stolen — which, arguably, they have.

It will be interesting to see if Brookfield receives anything like the legal punishment that a private citizen could expect for exactly the same actions; I suspect they won't be charged, or even very much inconvenienced."
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Dying Veteran blasts Cheney, Bush in 'Last Letter'

jenningsthecat jenningsthecat writes  |  about 2 years ago

jenningsthecat (1525947) writes "In a public letter, Iraq war veteran Tomas Young lambastes former US Vice President Dick Cheney and former US president George W. Bush for sending "hundreds of thousands of young men and women to be sacrificed in a senseless war with no more thought than it takes to put out the garbage". Mr. Young further accuses Bush and Cheney of "egregious war crimes" and of "cowardice and selfishness".

Mr. Young, who joined the Army two days after 9/11, was critically wounded in 2004, five days into his first tour of duty in Iraq. He then suffered Anoxic Brain Injury in 2008 as a complication of his earlier injuries. After almost ten years of what sounds like a living hell, Mr. Young is now receiving hospice care in his home while he starves himself to death.

You can read an interview with Tomas Young here"
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Is it time to commit to ongoing payphone availability?

jenningsthecat jenningsthecat writes  |  more than 2 years ago

jenningsthecat (1525947) writes "Public payphones seem headed the way of the dinosaur, as noted here on Slashdot 10 years ago, and again by the CBC earlier this year. Reasons typically cited for their demise are falling usage, (thanks to the ubiquitous cell phone), and rising maintenance costs.

But during the recent disaster in NYC caused by Hurricane Sandy public payphones proved their worth, allowing people to stay in contact in spite of the widespread loss of both cellular service and the electricity required to charge mobile devices. In light of this news, at least one Canadian news outlet is questioning the wisdom of scrapping payphones.

Should we in North America make sure that public pay phones will always be widely available? (After all, it's not as though they don't have additional value-added uses). And, should their continued existence be dependent on corporations whose primary duty is to their shareholders, rather than to the average citizen?"
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One more step towards loss of Canadian sovereignty

jenningsthecat jenningsthecat writes  |  more than 2 years ago

jenningsthecat (1525947) writes "The latest step in implementing the Canada — US Perimeter Security Initiative will have FBI and DEA agents pursuing suspects onto Canadian soil .

The RCMP recognizes that "this approach would raise concerns about sovereignty, of privacy, and civil liberties of Canadians", so they'll "take baby steps, let's start with two agencies to test the concept, let's demonstrate to Canadians and Americans that such an approach might work".

In related news, a discovery that if a frog is put into a pot of water and the temperature is raised slowly enough, the frog won't hop out — he'll just boil to death."
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Why Monsanto didn't expect Roundup-resistant weeds

jenningsthecat jenningsthecat writes  |  more than 2 years ago

jenningsthecat (1525947) writes "From NPR comes the story of how Monsanto thought Roundup was "a herbicide with low risk for weed resistance." The explanation seems to pretty much boil down to "we had a hell of a time creating Roundup-resistant crops, so we figured Mother Nature had little or no chance".

In the face of Monsanto's hubris, Mother Nature went ahead and made 20 strains of weeds, (so far), tolerant to glyphosate. Good for her!"
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ICE Propaganda: Your Tax Dollars at Work

jenningsthecat jenningsthecat writes  |  about 3 years ago

jenningsthecat (1525947) writes "From a story on Techdirt comes this link to aa propaganda video on YouTube, starring ICE Director John Morton

Of course, the video makes no mention of the 84,000 subdomains wrongfully seized by ICE last year as part of Operation In our Sites. Equally predictably, it self-servingly equates counterfeiting with copyright violation. Don't you just love it when the government spends your money to trample on your rights, and then wastes more of it to tell you what a great job it's doing violating them?"

Link to Original Source
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Anaheim schools using GPS to fight truancy

jenningsthecat jenningsthecat writes  |  more than 3 years ago

jenningsthecat (1525947) writes "In an effort to help chronically truant students, the Anaheim Union High School District is using GPS as part of a program to make sure that students are where they're supposed to be, and on time. (A similar scenario in Texas was discussed on Slashdot in 2008 — http://slashdot.org/index2.pl?fhfilter=truancy). In addition to tracking students' whereabouts, this latest initiative also assigns them an adult coach who calls them three times each week to help keep them on track.

Indications are that such programs actually work, and that at least some students are grateful for the help. But I can't help thinking that there is something really wrong, with the educational system and/or with society itself, when we have to go to such great lengths to keep students motivated and committed to their own education."

Link to Original Source
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"Money for Nothing" not fit for Canadian radio

jenningsthecat jenningsthecat writes  |  about 4 years ago

jenningsthecat (1525947) writes "In a move that echoes the recent sanitization of Mark Twain's works, the Canadian Broadcast Standards Council has ruled that the Dire Straits song 'Money for Nothing' "contravenes the human rights clauses of the Canadian Association of Broadcasters' Code of Ethics and Equitable Portrayal Code". Twenty-five years after the song's release, it seems that a listener in St. John's, Newfoundland objected to the use of the word 'faggot' in the song's lyrics."
Link to Original Source
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Your Brain on Magnets

jenningsthecat jenningsthecat writes  |  more than 4 years ago

jenningsthecat (1525947) writes "An Australian scientist at the University of Sidney has been experimenting with Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation to temporarily induce savant-like capabilities and autistic attributes in test subjects. The research has implications for intelligence enhancement, and may hold improtant clues for understanding autism."
Link to Original Source
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CRTC fines Bell Canada $1.3M

jenningsthecat jenningsthecat writes  |  more than 4 years ago

jenningsthecat (1525947) writes "Bell Canada has just received a fine of 1.3 million dollars from the CRTC. The fine was levied after the CRTC determined that Bell violated the Unsolicited Telecommunications Rules. Bell's third-party telemarketers placed calls to people listed on Canada's Do Not Call List. Apparently, Bell also directly violated the legislation by placing automated telemarketing calls to prepaid cellular users.

As a victim of many unwanted Bell marketing calls, I applaud the CRTC's hard line stance. Now if we can only talk them into revoking Bell's recently granted right to apply Usage Based Billing to third-party ISP's..."

Link to Original Source
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Meta-research debunks medical study findings

jenningsthecat jenningsthecat writes  |  more than 4 years ago

jenningsthecat (1525947) writes "From 'the Atlantic' comes the story of John Ioannidis and his team of meta-researchers, who have studied the overall state of medical research and found it dangerously and widely lacking in trustworthiness.. Even after filtering out the journalistic frippery and hyperbole, the story is pretty disturbing. Some points made in the article:

- Even the most respected, widely accepted, peer-reviewed medical studies are all-too-often deeply flawed or outright wrong
- When an error IS brought to light and the conclusions publicly refuted, the erroneous conclusions often persist and are cited as valid for years, or even decades
- Your doctor is probably prescribing drugs, treatment, and lifestyle changes that may range from ineffectual to outright harmful
- Scientists and researchers themselves regard peer review as providing "only a minimal assurance of quality"
- These shortcomings apply to medical research across the board, not just to blatantly self-serving pharmaceutical industry studies

The article concludes by saying "Science is a noble endeavor, but it's also a low-yield endeavor...I'm not sure that more than a very small percentage of medical research is ever likely to lead to major improvements in clinical outcomes and quality of life."

I've always been somewhat suspicious of research findings, but before this article I had no idea just how prevalent untrustworthy results were. From now on I'll take my doctor's advice with a grain of salt — or is that a questionable prescription too?"

Link to Original Source
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Google proposes music store, music locker

jenningsthecat jenningsthecat writes  |  more than 4 years ago

jenningsthecat (1525947) writes "From Billboard comes news of a Google proposal for a music download and storage locker service.

Apparently the music store would "operate like a conventional digital retailer". But in addition, (and for $25 a year), it would provide users with both the ability to have their purchases transferred directly to their lockers, and the option to let Google scan their drives for tracks that it "recognizes as music that it has licensed" to be "listed by Google as being accessible to the user from their cloud-based account". The service would also provide some social networking features, including providing playlists to other subscribers.

In the proposal, the yearly fee would be split 50/50 between Google and rights holders. 10.5% would go to music publishers, but it's not yet clear whose half of the pie this slice would be taken from.

It seems pretty clear that the recording industry won't go for this proposal as it stands. But the writing's been on the wall for long enough now, that even some industry execs may know they've been fighting an unwinnable war. And Google has already shown remarkable talent as a well-paid middle man. What do you think, Slashdotters — could Google be the next big conduit between the recording industry and the music-buying public? Or is this proposal doomed to die on the vine?"
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Ghostery acquired by Better Advertising

jenningsthecat jenningsthecat writes  |  more than 4 years ago

jenningsthecat (1525947) writes "In an under-reported tech story from the beginning of 2010, David Cancel, creator of the Ghostery plugin for Firefox, announced that he has sold Ghostery to a company called Better Advertising. The company bills itself as "a new type of company that helps to build trust between consumers and brands that advertise online".

Whether this is simply a pre-emptive strike in the online advertising privacy regulation battle,, or a real attempt to deal with consumers' increasing privacy concerns, it seems that Better Advertising has made a smart move in acquiring Ghostery. Now all they have to do is convince us that they aren't Evil, and won't be Evil in the future. (Google, anyone?)"
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Organ damage in rats from Monsanto GMO Corn

jenningsthecat jenningsthecat writes  |  about 5 years ago

jenningsthecat (1525947) writes "A study published in December 2009 in the International Journal of Biological Sciences found that three varieties of Monsanto genetically-modified corn caused damage to the liver, kidneys, and other organs of rats:

http://www.biolsci.org/v05p0706.htm

One of the corn varieties was designed to tolerate broad-spectrum herbicides, (so-called "Roundup-ready" corn), while the other two contain bacteria-derived proteins that have insecticide properties. The study made use of Monsanto's own raw data.

Quoting from the study's 'Conclusions' section:

"Our analysis highlights that the kidneys and liver as particularly important on which to focus such research as there was a clear negative impact on the function of these organs in rats consuming GM maize varieties for just 90 days."

Given the very high prevalence of corn in processed foods, this could be a real ticking time-bomb. And with food manufacturers not being required by law to declare GMO content, I think I'll do my best to avoid corn altogether. Pass the puffed rice and pour me a glass of fizzy water!"
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How much can Google search results be trusted?

jenningsthecat jenningsthecat writes  |  about 5 years ago

jenningsthecat (1525947) writes "Earlier this evening I did a Google search, using Firefox (aka Iceweasel), on my Debian box. I then performed an identical Google search on my Win2K computer, also using Firefox. Google preferences were set the same on both computers, and Personalized Search was disabled on both. Yet on the Linux computer there were only 20 results, whereas on the Windows computer there were 71! I cleared the cache on both, restarted the browsers, and re-entered the search criteria. Same results. I called a friend, who did the same search on his Windows and Linux boxes. Both of his computers came up with 152 results. Then a second friend did the same test, and also received 152 results. So thats 20 hits on one computer, 71 on another computer, and 158 on each of three other computers, all using identical search criteria and preferences. WTF?

A little Google searching, (oh, the irony!), turned up the following links (among many others):

http://www.4psmarketing.com/googles-results-vary.html

http://www.askdavetaylor.com/google_search_results_vary_based_on_which_computer_i_use.html

http://www.windmeadow.com/node/36

http://forums.digitalpoint.com/showthread.php?t=1162050

I wouldn't have been too surprised at seeing some minor variations, and the first link above explains why this is to be expected. But a factor-of-three difference between two computers on the same Internet feed, and a factor-of-seven difference on two computers separated by only 40 miles, seems a bit much. I wonder how much I'm missing in my daily Google searches?

(Additional info for the curious: the search that got me started on this was ' firefox linux "missing font" tahoma ', and my Linux computer supplies a user-agent string that makes it look like a W2K machine, to get around Yahoo mail's insistence that their 'new' mail system 'has not been tested on my operating system')"
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Canadian TV Networks, Carriers duke it out

jenningsthecat jenningsthecat writes  |  more than 5 years ago

jenningsthecat (1525947) writes "In Canada, the war is visibly heating up between television networks, and the telcos and cablecos that provide TV signals to more than 90% of Canadian TV-watchers. Both sides of the debate are airing TV commercials reminiscent of a political campaign, and of course each side has its own website:

http://localtvmatters.ca/

http://www.stopthetvtax.ca/

TV networks, hit hard by declining advertising revenues, are scrambling to make ends meet. They claim that cable and satellite carriers, (who currently don't pay TV stations for the use of their signals), are getting an undeserved free ride; so they're petitioning the Canadian Radio-television Telecommunications Commission for new legislation that would require carriers to pony up. On the other side, the carriers point out that the TV networks already receive government funding, and are spinning the networks' pitch as a "TV tax". The cable and satellite carriers have stated that they will pass any such fees on to subscribers.

Networks have been down this road with the CRTC twice before, and have met with no success; this time they're doing their best to get public opinion behind them."

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