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Russian GLONASS Down For 12 Hours

kbdd Re:So much speculation... (148 comments)

"So much speculation from people who do not appear to have even read the article."

I find that the impact of my arguments suffer when I try to base them on facts. It is so much more fun to shoot from the hip while looking in another direction.

about two weeks ago
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Quebec Language Police Target Store Owner's Facebook Page

kbdd Re: And in other news... (506 comments)

It seems you are correct, I came across this (PBS web site):

"Under current law, only applicants for U.S. citizenship, not those applying for green cards, must prove English proficiency."

http://www.pbs.org/newshour/bb...

Maybe I was confused. I was pretty certain that I had to pass a proficiency test when I applied for a green card 25 years ago, but maybe it was for the citizenship, or maybe the law changed since then, or maybe it was just a policy of the US Immigration Services at the time.

Apparently English proficiency was a provision to the ill-fated immigration reform bill that was put together by a bi-partisan group last year. In my opinion, that would be a good thing. US born kids have to go to school (or be home-schooled) and therefore have to possess at least a minimum of English proficiency by the time they turn 18 (I will readily admit that in some cases it is really minimum.) I see little reason for not asking the same from immigrants.

about a month and a half ago
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Quebec Language Police Target Store Owner's Facebook Page

kbdd Re: And in other news... (506 comments)

"a condition for being a citizen of the USA is that you have to speak the language" was what I said, not what I meant :)

I meant: "a condition for becoming a permanent resident or a citizen (by naturalization) is that you speak the language". That is part of the regulations that used to be applied by the INS. I suppose the courts probably can decide to make you a citizen without the involvement of the INS, but that is not to my point. The majority of immigrants have to go through the INS.

Thank you for catching this. The rest of your post is informative (thank you, I did not know:), but only tangentially to my point.

It is only one of the differences naturalized Americans have compared to naturally born Americans.

about a month and a half ago
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Quebec Language Police Target Store Owner's Facebook Page

kbdd Re: And in other news... (506 comments)

I do not want to force anybody to do anything they do not want to do, but a condition for being a citizen of the USA is that you have to speak the language. It actually is the law, if that means anything. Candidates do not have to promise to never speak their native language, but they have to show that they are sufficiently proficient in English to be able to conduct business as a permanent resident or citizen, and I happen to think that it is a good law. You make your choice, if you do not want to do that, nobody is forcing you to come live here. At least that was the case when I got my green card (and later my citizenship) over 20 years ago. The interview was conducted in English, and if you could not answer the questions in English, you simply did not get a green card.

Therefore I do not understand why those who want to become citizen (or green card holders) simply do not just do that and we let them. I actually know a lot of people who have a green card yet would fail the test I had to go through 20 years ago. I also do not agree that the government should spend taxpayer's money to develop government paperwork (intended for citizens and permanent residents) in languages other than English. Just like you have no expectation of privacy when you use electronic means to communicate, you should have no expectation that the government will develop tools and procedures in languages other than English when these tools are intended for residents and citizen.

If the laws on the books had been reasonably enforced, and if a majority of immigrants had shown a minimum amount of respect for the country that gave them a place to live, we would not have gotten in a situation where 50%+ of the population in an area *only* speaks a language other than English in the first place. Again, I have no beef with people speaking a language other than English, even conducting business in it, I have a problem when I find myself in an area of the USA where *nobody* (or a small fraction) speaks English and I cannot conduct business (or ask for directions) in English. I realize I start to sound like a Republican and that makes me uncomfortable...

I am an immigrant myself, but I would not have considered coming to the USA (or any other country) without having first a basic proficiency in English (or the local language) and improving it once here. I certainly would not have expected (or demanded) that the government generates instructions and forms in any language other than English, or provide a translator. I made it a point to be proficient in English and I would not have come if I had not been able to achieve that. I observe that for those who may not know English before coming here, the local college provides very inexpensive classes for "English as a Second Language" and that many people do take advantage of those, so even if you end up in the US under duress and do not speak English, there is no reason for not learning English once you are here.

I deplore that obviously many do not have such standards or do not take advantage of these classes, but I am not sure we can fix it at this point.

The issue with the banks or hospitals is different since no taxpayer money is involved. The issue is not that they cater to their foreign customers, what bothers me is that they do not even say "for Spanish, press 9" in English. How hard can it be for a Spanish speaking customer of a US bank to recognize the sound of "for Spanish, press 9"? This one is more of a gripe than anything, but it is the most apparent and one that I find offensive because of the pervasiveness of it where I live (north-west Florida, even though the Spanish fraction of the local population is much smaller here than in the rest of the state). I understand in other parts of the country it may be different. That is a personal thing I suppose.

about a month and a half ago
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Quebec Language Police Target Store Owner's Facebook Page

kbdd Re: And in other news... (506 comments)

Well, of course I agree with you, and not just because I am of foreign origin. I do appreciate the value of cultural blending as I am participating in it myself, voluntarily or not :) And as I pointed out earlier, there is much value in it, not only in tourism but also in quality of life for those who choose to see it that way (bigots need not apply).

It still pisses me off when I call the bank though !

I also believe that in the long run, these groups have to integrate somewhat into their host country, and that means losing at least some of their culture while assimilating the local culture, otherwise what would it mean to live in a particular country? Individual countries would have little identification for themselves.

Maybe that is just the way it is going. I reserve the right to decide later if it is good or bad :)

about a month and a half ago
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Quebec Language Police Target Store Owner's Facebook Page

kbdd Re: And in other news... (506 comments)

I tend to agree with you, but it is to a large extent a chicken and egg thing.

If people are not somehow gently pushed to learn English by speaking it, they have little incentive to do so, and you have these enclaves of foreign-speaking residents who develop a society of their own separate from the rest of the country. Overall, society pays the cost of having to support business (private and government) in more than one language. It does not provide value, except to facilitate tourism and immigration, which I agree may actually be valuable in other regards.

If people were obligated to at least do formal interface with the government in English, they would be more likely to conduct other business in English too, and we would all benefit (me, who does not speak Spanish, could do business with that fraction of the country which currently only does business in Spanish for instance.)

What offends me the most about the calls to the bank is that Spanish is the primary language you hear. I am not offended that they are actually able (and find it profitable) to conduct business in Spanish, it is that Spanish is the first language you hear when you call.

If people are invested enough in this country that they have to have a local bank account, they should be able to understand at least enough English to know that pressing 9 during the first few seconds will get them a Spanish menu without having to be told, in Spanish.

about a month and a half ago
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Quebec Language Police Target Store Owner's Facebook Page

kbdd Re: And in other news... (506 comments)

As an immigrant who started learning English in school, I have no objection to anyone using the language of their choice for whatever private purpose they want to. However, I have an issue with the government (local, state or federal) spending taxpayer's money to make government services available in languages other than English. It seems to be common courtesy that if you want to move in and live in a country, you learn the local language as a courtesy to the locals you are invading as a mark of respect.

Similarly, I am very offended when I call a bank or any other local business and the first thin I am asked is if I speak Spanish, to press '9'.

Now, I also recognize that "speaking English" is not a strict definition. Many natives don't do that very well.

about a month and a half ago
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Slashdot Tries Something New; Audience Responds!

kbdd What problems are you trying to fix? (2219 comments)

I think it would help the users understand the redesign if it's purpose was more clearly stated.

You say you want to make the site "more accessible and shareable by a wider audience". In what way is the current site ineffective in this regard?

The only serious issue I ever had with the current site was nullified when the mobile version came out. I found it quite satisfactory, so much so that the slashdot reader apps I had installed on my phone stopped being used immediately.

I noticed a significant change in the look and feel in the beta site, leading to a considerable loss of usability for those who were used to the current style (aside from the specific usability issues of the new code base). Certainly there has to be a purpose to inflict so much aggravation on your current users. When Microsoft does that, the purpose is clear: they want to make the old programs not work so well with the new OS so that you buy the new programs, but for Slashdot, there is no such incentive, so I wonder what is the reason. If the under;ying code is causing you problem, you do not need to change the look and feel in order to change the underlying code.

If the reason is that "the site has not been redesigned in xxx years", that is absolutely the wrong reason, particularly when your target audience is a group of people which I believe is generally more interested in efficiency (as in "look follows function") than looks alone.

I may be wrong...

about 2 months ago
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Starbucks Phone App Stores Password Unencrypted

kbdd Re:Android security (137 comments)

On my Android phone (Moto Droid Razr), the flash storage is not accessible via USB until I unlock the phone. Of course, the SD card could be removed, but most applications store to the internal flash by default, so there is at least a moderate level of protection against that kind of attack on Android.

about 2 months ago
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'Approximate Computing' Saves Energy

kbdd Fuzzy Logic anyone? (154 comments)

Fuzzy logic was also supposed to save energy (in the form of requiring less advanced processors) by replacing computation intensive closed loop systems with table driven approximate logic.

While the concept was interesting, it did not really catch up. Progress of silicon devices made it simply unnecessary. It ended up being used as a buzz word for a few years and quietly died away.

I wonder if this is going to follow the same trend.

about 4 months ago
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Gunman Opens Fire At LAX

kbdd Re: damn (520 comments)

I found my arguments and my conviction suffer when they have to backed up by facts.

There would be little political discourse if facts were given consideration.

about 5 months ago
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Japan Refused To Help NSA Tap Asia's Internet

kbdd Re:envy (375 comments)

"Its great to be a temporary worker and pay taxes, but not so great if you actually want to become a citizen and have a future there."

Read the definition of an H1B visa. It is a temporary visa and there is no defined path from an H1B to a permanent (immigrant) visa. Google it, it will be the first link.

It also says if your sponsorship is terminated, either you get yourself another sponsor of you go back home. Are you surprised that it is exactly what would happen? What else did you expect?

If you want to become a citizen, get yourself a green card, then after a few years you can apply to citizenship. You do not need an H1B to get a green card. If anything, an H1B holder will take LONGER to get a green card than a straight green card application from your home country. It took a year and a half for me.

about 6 months ago
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Japan Refused To Help NSA Tap Asia's Internet

kbdd Re:envy (375 comments)

You said " the US immigration system? Its almost 100% corp owned" The implication is that it is biased towards the corporations and not fair to the individual.

I simply wanted to rebuke that. The original company that originally sponsored me had no idea what they were doing. They did not even bother to read the regulations and just hired an inept lawyer that charged them and did nothing. That did not impress the INS and did not impress me.

When I got tired of going nowhere, I educated myself about the process (there was no internet back then) and took it over for myself. I was hellbent on getting a green card BEFORE actually coming here precisely because any kind of temporary visa is NOT supposed to be the path to a green card and I did not want that kind of uncertainty hanging over my head.

Once I was here with my green card, I was in full control of my destiny.

I am quite familiar with what you are talking about, as you are not the first one to make the same mistake.

Anybody who depends on a corporation for his or her immigration status and comes with a temporary visa is asking for trouble and should not complain when it does not go the way the individual wants. Beggars can't be choosers.

about 6 months ago
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Japan Refused To Help NSA Tap Asia's Internet

kbdd Re:envy (375 comments)

Here again somebody who does not know what he is talking about.

As an immigrant, married to another immigrant, the US immigration system is just about as fair as I could expect it to be.

My original corporation sponsored immigration undertaking failed flat on it's face, probably because of the original corporation's total incompetence in that matter. I ended up filing all the papers myself and getting a green card in a reasonable time after going through the recommended procedure by myself, no attorney involved. I have since become a citizen.

My wife did exactly the same thing 20 years later and had the exact same outcome. How surprising? The US immigration system actually is fair. If you do what the procedures say you should do, you obtain the desired outcome. However, many people who try to screw with it end up being rejected. Is that such a bad thing?

If your immigration status depends on a profit-driven corporation, are you naive enough to believe that the corporation will act contrary to it's own best interest and do anything other than what it needs to do to further it's own objectives? As long as your interests align with those of the corporation, you are on the gravy train. When they diverge, guess who is left holding the bag?

about 6 months ago
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Japan Refused To Help NSA Tap Asia's Internet

kbdd Re:envy (375 comments)

If they thought they were better or superior because of their race, they would be racist. If they simply think they are different, that is simply an opinion.

about 6 months ago
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Ask Slashdot: Best Language To Learn For Scientific Computing?

kbdd the language is probably not the issue (465 comments)

Nowadays, most languages can be pretty efficient. Your algorithms may be where the problem lies. Most any language can run most algorithms efficiently, but achieving that may not be easy.

No language will give you a magic speed boost if you do not understand how it processes the numbers and data structures.

My recommendation is probably not what you want to hear: pick a language that you are comfortable with and study it so that you know how to write efficient code with it.

about 6 months ago
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Japan's L-Zero Maglev Train Reaches 310 mph In Trials

kbdd Faster than what? (174 comments)

The French TGV did 357mph in 2007, six years ago. Interestingly, it was not a mag-lev prototype, it was a modified production train on a standard TGV track.

about 7 months ago
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Ask Slashdot: How Do I Request Someone To Send Me a Public Key?

kbdd Re: This is why encryption isn't popular (399 comments)

OK, I guess I am due for another round of PC mail software review. I used Thunderbird in the distant past, but at the time I did not have as many accounts and I had a Blackberry which integrated very well with Outlook, so I eventually went back to Outlook for the integration. But to be honest, I have not found anything that would give me the same level of integration (mail, contacts, calendar) under Android, so I am still kinda looking.

about 8 months ago
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Ask Slashdot: How Do I Request Someone To Send Me a Public Key?

kbdd Re:just be straight up (399 comments)

Actually, it would be desirable to encrypt all data, not just "the data that is important enough to encrypt" if we ever want encryption to be universally used and easy to use.

about 8 months ago

Submissions

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Iran capture drone by spoofing GPS

kbdd kbdd writes  |  more than 2 years ago

kbdd (823155) writes ""Iran guided the CIA's "lost" stealth drone to an intact landing inside hostile territory by exploiting a navigational weakness long-known to the US military, according to an Iranian engineer now working on the captured drone's systems inside Iran.""
Link to Original Source

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