US Government Fights To Not Explain No-Fly List Selection Process
If somehow we could avoid letting the worst ideas just kinda slide.
There's not a lick of evidence that no-fly has helped anyone, but we need to insist its policies not face even the slightest judicial review. Asshole libertarians tend identify me as an authoritarian because I state the obvious vis a vis their fundamental beliefs, but this kind of deprivation without due process is still completely nuts.
I guess that Americans feel comfortable living in a dictatorial country. Since when does the Federal government have higher rights than the judicial system and courts?
If it was for espionage or spying, I still think that the courts should be allowed to know the rules. I hope the courts in the end are going to force the Feds to clean up their NoFlyList.
And if you criticize them, you too may find yourself on it.
HP Recalls 6 Million Power Cables Over Fire Hazard
I bought some lamps and other electrical stuff from the big box stores and even from IKEA. The power cords on all these products appear to be manufactured by a plastic that loses its flexibility and dries out, peeling away from the copper conductors underneath.
The insulation is good for about 2 years before problems start. The problem is not due to flexing, but to some kind of soft disintegration plastic
Limiting the Teaching of the Scientific Process In Ohio
What the hell is up with you people over there in the US. Still using Imperial measurements? Banning science in favour of teaching about a wizard who made everything not so long ago. producing 40% of the worlds pollution whilst only having 4% of the worlds population
Your priorities are fucked.You do good war and spying though, I'll give you that.
Bravo to you. The worst is that most of the population does not recognize that that is what they are doing. I call it living in ignorance.
Net Neutrality Is 'Marxist,' According To a Koch-Backed Astroturf Group
Net neutrality is like being able to drive on back country roads and public without cock blocks, or booths at every corner. Without it you get toll roads everywhere, and you constantly have to pay by the mile, or bit the MB, per content, on top of having your basic ISP connection. Some Internet backbones would get overloaded from crowds because of cheap surfing pathways, but the rich would have their luxury Internet highways uncongested, but high cost. Should you wander unto one of these highways, it'd be like stumbling into a high class restaurant, and accidentally eating there, when all you wanted was a burger. Even on regular Internet surfing you could quickly drain your bank account balance to zero via toll road-like per mile fees. However there is something to be said about availability of high class restaurants, they are nice to have, as long as you're not forced to eat there, and without net neutrality, you might be forced to go through only the high cost toll roads, at least occasionally, to access simple things like check your email, or file a job application, to the point where you might completely abandon the Internet altogether, and vote for regular paper mail, instead via the US post office, instead of Email, and on your foot walk into a branch banking instead of on line banking. Maybe that's what they want, de-Internetize the world. Come on, we love Google, Ebay, Email, Youtube, mp3 downloads, ebooks, Amazon, and especially what the Internet was made for: pron.
Aren't you saying that buying higher speed access, and more allowance for gigabytes of transfers, is the way we respect net neutrality?
I would say, that if the difference between regular residential access, business access, and entertainment access, could be addressed by reasonable cost differences. For example, 2xresidential$ = business access$ and 2xresidential$= entertainment access$. If you need more resources, then it becomes x*residential$ for each step.
Outside the USA, internet multi-megabit speed costs begin at $10.00/mo to $20.00.
Dropbox Caught Between Warring Giants Amazon and Google
A while ago some big company offered to buy out dropbox and they declined. Surely it was a sign of the times that the big guns were going to enter the market, and when they get in, they don't muck around. Fair competition isn't something the big companies enjoy doing, as their whole business model tends to revolve around destroying competition then bleeding the market for what it's worth.
I used dropbox for cloud storage, I liked it for collaborative work. Would be a shame to see it get destroyed through aggressive anti-competitive practices.
I second your like of Dropbox. I am now retired, and I only use 1 gig of the 2 that I am allotted. When my business was active, we were delighted at the $10/mo rate. Dropbox was and is very easy to use, and support is very good.
I keep the corner store alive by buying my groceries there. He gives me personal service and special deals that the Big Supermarkets are unable to do. Maybe I don't want to always deal with a Walmart type of business. My local independent Dollar store puts Walmart to shame for everything. I recently bought a 5 megapixal webcam ($3.00), 6foot length of hdmi cable($3.00) and a cord mouse ($3.00). Of course they have other stuff that I do not need, but one begins to question what happens to prices once you kill the small business person. Why are laptops selling at between $700 to $1000. when in the boom years (2010), they offered more and were usually priced around $400.00 for a dual core system. The small guy was forced out of business, and now the Big Box stores have no competition.
Yes, I will support Dropbox. Their software is reliable, easy to use, has excellent features and I am loyal to them.
Choose Your Side On the Linux Divide
You got a bunch of "upstarts" who don't know, or don't care, about Linux's roots and want to turn it into something it just never was meant to be
When I was a junior network engineer, I sometimes had to work on (what we now consider ancient) technology such as ATM, Frame Relay and ISDN. I even had my share of IPX/SPX. Back in those days, the experienced network engineers with 20+ years of experience despised Ethernet while complaining about those junior folks who knew nothing about the established technologies. As it turned out, all of them are out of a job now.
Bottom line is, when it comes to technology progress, roots are pretty much irrelevant. I don't care if something has been done like this for 1000 years. If we can find a better way to do it, let's do it.
The question should be whether or not systemd is progress, or an unnecessary burden. History is irrelevant in this case.
Did you forget token-ring or Novell?
ACM Blames the PC For Driving Women Away From Computer Science
You can't be serious. Of course the answer here is to force them to do something they don't want to do. Because clearly if there's a deficiency in the supply of women in a given field it's clearly because there's something wrong with the men in the field. If we force women to get involved in the field we can put those men in their place.
The fact that you'd now have men that are unhappy and being underpaid due to the increased competition and have women that are unhappy with a career that they didn't really want is completely beside the point.
Women and many men did not want to pay the membership dues demanded by the ACM. And then there was the cost per reprint. It ,was best to just chose another discipline
For Microsoft, $93B Abroad Means Avoiding $30B Tax Hit
It's almost like the editors wanted to publish a biased article or something.
Or a truthful one, see below.
And to those apologists who claim it's the laws that are at fault, not Microsoft, the thing to remember is that all those millions of dollars Microsoft has used to buy those laws were extorted from their customers. They charged massive monopoly rents for their lockin-based software so they could have enough cash to buy as many legislators as they needed to avoid funding infrastructure and civil protections in the states and countries they're based in.
Microsoft has a massive system by which to avoid taxation, detailed in another Senate report from last September.
American companies keep 60 per cent of their cash overseas and untaxed, some $1.7 trillion, according to a U.S. Senate HSGAC Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations released in September 2012.
That report used Microsoft as a case study for the leaps and bounds that U.S. corporations go through to minimize their tax exposure, and illustrate the current flaws with the international corporate tax regime.
The Senate investigation found that Microsoft reduced its 2011 federal tax bill by a whopping $2.43 billion — or 44 per cent — by using a wide, international network of controlled foreign corporations and the exploitation of various loopholes in the U.S. corporate tax code.
According to Microsoft, the company paid $3.11 billion in federal taxes in 2011.
According to the full Senate report, Microsoft Corp does 85 per cent of its research and development in the United States. Of its 94,000 employees, 36,000 are in product R&D. The company had reported revenues of $69 billion, but with a federal tax liability of $3.11 billion only paid an effective federal tax rate of 4.5 per cent. That’s much lower than the top statutory rate of 35 per cent for corporations.
Microsoft Operations Puerto Rico (MOPR) is the company that pays for the right to sell Microsoft products in the Americas. MOPR makes digital and physical copies of Microsoft software and sells it throughout the United States and the rest of the Americas through different regional distributors.
When an American buys a copy of Microsoft Office in a Best Buy in Manhattan, that was produced in and shipped from Puerto Rico.
MOPR is owned by a Bermuda-based entity, MACS Holdings, which in turn is owned by Round Island One, a fully owned Microsoft subsidiary that is based in Bermuda but operates in Ireland.
To review: An American buys a copy of Microsoft Office at Best Buy in Manhattan. Best Buy bought that copy of Office from a Microsoft distributor. The regional distributor bought that copy of Office from Microsoft Operations Puerto Rico. Microsoft Operations Puerto Rico is owned by MACS Holdings, which itself is owned by Round Island One, which itself is owned by Microsoft Corp.
The reason for that convoluted supply chain — the reason why that copy of Office wasn’t just shipped from Microsoft Corp in Redmond, Washington to Manhattan — is that 47 per cent of the profits from that sale go to Puerto Rico, untaxed by the U.S. federal government.
Those profits were taxed by Puerto Rico at an effective rate of 1.02 per cent in 2011, a massive savings from the U.S. corporate tax rate of 35 per cent. Over three years, Microsoft saved $4.5 billion in taxes on goods sold in the U.S. alone. The company saved $4 million per day by routing domestic operations through Puerto Rico.
Microsoft Ireland Research (MIR) is the entity that buys into the R&D cost sharing agreement in exchange for the right to sell Microsoft in Europe, the Middle East and Africa.
MIR doesn’t actually create or sell any products to any customers. Instead, MIR immediately licenses the Microsoft intellectual property rights to Microsoft Ireland Operations Limited (MIOL) — a wholly owned subsidiary — for $9 billion.
MIR and MIOL are fully owned by Round Island One — the Bermuda company that operates in Ireland and also owns MACS Holdings.
MIOL manufactures copies of Microsoft products and sells them to 120 distributors in Europe, the Middle East and Africa. MIOL has 650 employees and MIR has 350 employees in Ireland, where they have an effective tax rate of 7.3 per cent and 7.2 per cent, respectively. MIR reported profits of $4.3 billion in 2011 and MIOL reported profits of $2.2 billion. Microsoft did not pay any U.S. tax on any revenues made by the Irish groups.
No U.S. tax was paid on the $9 billion licence payment from MIOL to MIR.
In Singapore, Microsoft Asia Island Limited (MAIL) is the group that pays into the cost sharing agreement. MAIL is actually located in Bermuda and has no employees.
MAIL paid $1.2 billion to Microsoft Corporation for retail sales in Asia. MAIL licenses its rights directly to Microsoft Operations Pte. Ltd (MOPL) for $3 billion. Again, no taxes are paid on this amount. MOPL duplicates the Microsoft software and sells them to distribution entities around Asia.
MAIL and MOPL are both wholly owned subsidiaries of Microsoft Singapore Holdings Pte. Ltd, which is itself a wholly owned controlled foreign subsidiary of Microsoft U.S.
MAIL had no employees but $1.8 billion in earnings. MAIL paid an effective tax rate of 0.3 per cent. MOPL had $4.8 billion in revenues from the sale of Microsoft products, with a profit of $592 million and an effective tax rate of 10.6%. MOPL has 687 employees.
AC above should have a shill alert attached, I'd suggest...
I would say that the USA government and state governments should follow the Canadian or British system of taxation and use a VAT. A value added tax. The consumer has to pay the federal and state taxes on the value of the item sold at retail.
You may object, but what it will do is raise the cost of the items very substantially, and in so doing, put pressure on offshore companies to lower their prices. Why pay $100, when with a good VAT, you can be charged $150. And with pressure to be competitive, the wholesale / resell cost, before taxes should drop by 1/3rd.
South Carolina Student Arrested For "Killing Pet Dinosaur"
Mandatory panic! Alert the police! Search EVERYTHING! Connect the dots! Personally, I blame the teacher for not sufficiently explaining the limits of the assignment.
I doubt very much the reaction would have been the same if he'd written that he did it with bow & arrow.
As far as I am concerned, it was the school's actions that were criminal. First, censorship is not the business of schools. Second, they called the police over a non-crime. They didn't even have a reasonable suspicion that any crime had been committed.
It's one thing to say "no guns in school". It's quite another to ban any mention of them. This isn't China.
When you live in a gun society, and you glorify the criminally insane, what do you expect. You live in fear, in fear of another mass killing.
And the sad part is that the wild west ended in the 1800s around the world, but in the USA. So, the right to bear arms is a right that results in the country with not the largest population, but the largest per capita gun killings, accidental of intentional.
Tech Looks To Obama To Save Them From 'Just Sort of OK' US Workers
So this tool just shit on U.S. workers and claims that people who are essentially nothing but ITT Tech graduates from a third world country are superior.
They are cheaper, more subservient, less likely to push for raises, and are perfectly happy work 60-80 our weeks.
I'm sure he has illegals mowing his lawn too. I wonder if Google Car can be programed to run someone down.
Our Junior Colleges (CGEPs) produce graduates that can run around most Super-Tech developers. They get a proper grounding in math, systems architecture, programming (functional and with classes), documentation, networking and multiple 16 week experiences at doing a project with a software company. How do I know? I employed many of them, and it all worked out well. They are now the seniors in their respective departments and companies.
Netflix CEO On Net Neutrality: Large ISPs Are the Problem
It's extortion plain and simple. It's never been about actual capacity. Big Data is trying to squeeze as much revenue out of us as the can.
Yes, you are right.
This reminds me of Obamacare, which was implemented in the rest of the world in 1966. That said, When can you expect to have HS internet at $10/mo for 500megabits/sec as it is in other countries?
The Netflix guy is absolutely right. But the USA is owned by corporations, not by it's majority of taxpayers.
Smartphone Kill Switch, Consumer Boon Or Way For Government To Brick Your Phone?
Your sarcasm aside, turn the idea around and convince me there is any situation short of an emergency where the big evil government would use this power even if they had it? Bricking phones would Streisand effect whatever situation they were trying to clamp down on. And, it doesn't necessarily prevent data from being exported off the flash drives. I can't imagine this being useful to any sort of authoritarian power in any regular way. Sure you could probably imagine one scenario where they use something like this to stop a story getting out -- but it wouldn't always work, and they would never get to use it again.... This isn't an illegal search of someone's phone, there is no point in abusing the power to brick someone's phone.
Conversely there is very real and tangible benefit to crime reduction.
So, yes, why such paranoia?
Someone leaks sensitive information to the media. Government tracks phone. Government dispatches goon. Government bricks phone to prevent victim from alerting the medial, recording the incident, calling for help, etc. Victim is disappeared.
My view is that a hacker will find out the software switch to transmit, and then visit your cellphone provider and do his disgusting brick of all cellphones belonging to your ISP. Your wonderful cellphone will be bricked and your provider will wash his hands of responsibility, as he tries to avoid bankruptcy.
Companies That Don't Understand Engineers Don't Respect Engineers
Of course they do. Real Engineers design up front, before implementing. We understand the implications of our decisions. We optimize. We know that there are many orthogonal factors to consider in doing this. Shoud we optimize with an emphasis size or speed? If we optimize for size, how will that decision effect scalability and the ability to add functionality we may not have originally considered, or that the original design specification didn't call for?
Anybody who thinks that Engineers don't have a major impact on the entire business model have never worked in the real world, or have no idea the impact we have. "Why do we do thing X even though it no longer makes sense? ... because they system won't work if we don't, and it would cost too much and be too risky too change it!.
IS IT THE "Who you know" VERSUS "What you know" syndrome that these identify "Companies who do not understand Engineers?"
For example, companies getting contracts awarded because of friendships, election contributions, and stuff?
Ask Slashdot: What Recliner For a Software Developer?
To "First World Problems" ... for enough people for it to matter, this isn't a first world problem any more than coding is a first world job (and these days it isn't). As someone with hereditary back issues since my teens that, after 25 years of pain and bad surgeries with severe complications, I am now on disability. I wouldn't have made it 25 years without an extreme ergonomic solution that I paid for out-of-pocket because until recently employers didn't recognize that even "ergo chairs" aren't enough.
For the original question ... you're probably not as bad off as I was. But if you're getting close you have a few solutions depending on how much you can spend (or get expensed). If you're not looking for this level of solution, hopefully the article attracted someone who did.
* Not a recliner, but for helping your back similar to how an exercise ball does but with more support for long coding, I have used a "SwingSeat" at my desk for a decade or more (http://www.swingseat.com/). This was good enough to get me by until the last round of surgery (which was actually a success) made it too hard to sit upright all day.
* A "Zero G" chair, like the ones by Human Touch (I use a Human Touch Perfect Chair), a bit pricey but not awful. Combined with a laptop table that can raise and angle the laptop you can actually do the vast majority of your work from a completely reclined position.
* For a desk, rather than reclining all the time, I assembled a custom desk from Anthro using their Console line that has a tray that can raise and pivot from sitting to reclining (which actually needs to be raised higher than sitting) to standing (great for those of you who don't have partial leg paralysis, good for me on rare occasions). The desk is HUGE but dang, it does everything. It is the Console with full pole extensions bringing it to almost 6' with monitors on a shelf 8" higher than the shelf that hosts the keyboard tray. Which means the monitors can raise up to standing position as well. I can, if I use a trackpad to avoid mouse problems, use this in combination with the Perfect Chair as a rigged solution similar to the next one.
* I couldn't afford this, or at least I could have before I needed it, but can't now. But if you can, the desks from ErgoQuest are perfect. And some of them are inexpensive enough to be not tooooo awful on the budget (if I had the money I spent on the SwingSeat, Anthro Console and Perfect Chair I could afford an ErgoQuest). You can -sometimes- find these on Ebay but not usually from someone willing to ship and often not for significantly less than having the right one built to your specs.
I sympathize with you. But different folks need differing solutions. I used the Staples recliners, and tilted them to different degrees, adjusted arm heights, changed heights, and even tried ergonomic chairs as prescribed by Chiropractors. I bought what was defined as a programmer's chair.
Still, I had cramps in the legs, burning sensations on my hips, and general back fatigue.
In the end, the $7.00 flat resin chair from the hardware store was the best solution. I bought a cushion for it, and it was the best investment I made. There are no wheels, and there is no height adjustment, just a cushion. I have no more backpain, no carpal tunnel pain for my arms and I am without the back issues.
My three other fancy chairs are now collecting dust.
Ask Slashdot: Should You Invest In Documentation, Or UX?
For the Support Person
My experience and my position about documentation management is to put the documentation into the source code. In this regard, I use doxygen and use it to scan source code documentation headers. Not all functions need documentation, but the critical ones do. Don't want doxygen, use whatever you like, as long as documentation is within the same source file that it is describing. Nothing is worse than completing some source code, and then having to start over again to document with a word processor, when both development and documentation can be done concurrently.
Where the documentation has to be the user interface, I would still use doxygen for each window. And if the Window or function changed, the documentation header would be revised.
Finally, I would also create a very few narrative documents to cover more of what the end-user expects from the application.
Why the Public Library Beats Amazon
Whereas Amazon has ample table space, quiet study areas, and you can browse through every part of every book in stock.
Surprise, Surprise, Surprise.
I was told that Quebec public libraries do not support the Kindle. They do support other readers, as long as the software is open source and can read the e-books, held by the library system. Kindle is proprietary end hence is a no-no.
The IPv4 Internet Hiccups
You're right. It was time 10 years ago. Now it's way PAST time.
Ah don't worry, Comcast, AOL, Verizon, TimeWarner and NSA will come to the rescue. They will block EurAsia from the USA Shores and then there will be enough addresses available. There will be a new definition of Global Access.
If you want Europe, The defunct Net Neutrality rule will allow you to purchase "World" global access.
Reversible Type-C USB Connector Ready For Production
It likely won't, and its failure will be expensive on the device.
As a non-apple-fanboy, I do have to say that the lightning connector used on iPhones is a smarter connector. If it's going to break due to external force, it'll break the tongue off the plug, rather than damaging the socket, subsequently a lot cheaper and easier to fix. Replacing broken microUSB ( and soon Type-C ) sockets on phones, tablets and similar devices is rarely cheap and frequently has additional complications ( such as lifting tracks, broken PCBs or just nearly impossible to find a suitable replacement connector ).
It's a lot simpler extracting a broken off tongue from a lightning socket and getting a new cable.
Just because you have common sense, does not mean that others have it too. Have you thought that they want to start a new cottage industry, whose aim is to repair broken plugs? Why allow you to buy a $3.00 cable when you can pay $50.00 to replace the plug jack.
Microsoft Surface Drowning?
For years I hated MS. But of late they are doing really nice work and getting mocked despite doing real innovation. It feels weird to like MS as an underdog, but that's what it's come to. And I will be be getting a Surface 3 - it's the one that finally kills it in terms of compact size and decent computing power. I just gotta save up cuz it's not a cheap machine.
My son-in-law has one (golf club prize), and likes it very very much. Likes it better than the Google or Apple tablet (of which he passed one to my daugher, and one to my granddaughter).
Now, we need the "price is right" to go for it.
DARPA Wants To Kill the Password
Off topic slightly How about swapping the position of two fields
One of my pet peeves is that the masked password field does not precede the logon field for the name. A good way is prevent the accidental revealing of a password to enter the password field, skip to the logon field (no message), enter the logon name and then discover that the pwd or logon name was wrong.
Why??? Why would I want to do that? Well....
When you have a logon name, but forget to move the cursor to it, and you are in a hurry, you end up entering the password in the logon name field before you noticed the error.
Someone standing behind your back, (as it almost always is, because they are waiting for you to do something for them), has full view of the revealed password as it is in plain view.
Logic can be used to block the logon field until the pwd field has an entry.
Validation to take place at completion of both fields.
As it is now, the logon field is wide open, without being blocked. Even if you do not want to flip the fields, it should be mandatory for the password field to be completed and then allow the user to have the logon field accessable. Of course, it means that logons without passwords would require a dummy password. Is there harm in that?
Justification My desk used to be in a large cubicle, shared with non-system adminstrators.