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Birth Control Pills Threaten Fish Stocks

matbury Re:So add testosterone too (147 comments)

These stories have been circulating for decades. I've yet to see any that correlate estrogen in contraceptive pills with the quantities of estrogen in waste water. Modern contraceptive pills use minute amounts. Additionally, our bodies produce estrogen in the liver,adrenal glands, breasts (in women), and fat cells (are increased obesity rates producing more waste estrogen?). We put far larger amounts into some cosmetics and shampoos. We also use synthetic estrogen compounds in substantial amounts plastics in our food packaging and containers. They've long been known to leech into our food and are harmful endocrine disruptors which can have effects that are passed on to our offspring, including infertiility and cancers.

So, have they established that contraceptive pills are the source of the estrogen theyr'e finding in the water? Anyone have a link to the study handy?

about a week ago
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ChromeOS Will No Longer Support Ext2/3/4 On External Drives/SD Cards

matbury Re:Are those Amazon sales legitimate? (344 comments)

Re: I'd rather pay Google than M$.

Why? What's the difference? Aren't they equally bad but in different ways?

about a week ago
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Despite Push From Tech Giants, AP CS Exam Counts Don't Budge Much In Most States

matbury Too soon to say (144 comments)

In K-12 education, changes in policy, curricula, and other interventions such as supplementary classes (in this case) don't show much effect on learning outcomes until they've been in effect for at least 10-15 years. So, if Google, Faccebook, Microsoft, et al. can maintain their coding instruction projects for the next 10-15 years, they'll see what's possible with those approaches. So far, extra-curricula interventions in other subjects don't appear to show significant differences in learning outcomes. It's safe to ignore all the marketing B.S. from private and commercial after-school providers and heart-rending case histories from parents... that's the road that leads to snake-oil and quackery.

about a week ago
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Flash IDE Can Now Reach Non-Flash Targets (Including Open Source)

matbury Re:Why did this read like an exploit report? (57 comments)

So you're claiming that Flash Player is a security threat and a vector for malware. Is that correct?

OK, the article is about developing apps and web content that don't use Flash Player, i.e. HTML+JS+CSS, C++, etc.

An IDE they mention, OpenFL is free and open source. Anyone can see the source code and check for any potential malware or exploits.

Installing native apps in your OS is a way bigger security and privacy risk than accessing web content and apps through a browser.

Even if you do publish apps for Flash Player, Flash Player is less of a security/malware threat than Apple Quicktime, Adobe Acrobat, and Javascript (JS usually tops the malware threat charts). In fact, Flash Player consistently falls low on the lists of security threats. Flash Player is iTunes' App Store and Google Play's biggest competitor. Where did you hear that Flash Player is a malware problem again?

BTW, has anyone mentioned that FlashDevelop http://www.flashdevelop.org/ is free and open source and supports multiple export/compiling formats?

about two weeks ago
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Europol Predicts First Online Murder By End of This Year

matbury Re:Self fulfilling prophecy (155 comments)

Isn't it still murder if you kill someone outside of any judicial process or theatre of war? Is the US at war with Pakistan, Yemen, Somalia, etc.? Is Israel at war with Palestine?

"Targeted killing (also known as Selective assassination) is the premeditated killing of an individual by a state organization or institution outside a judicial procedure or a battlefield." -- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/T...

about two weeks ago
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Brits Must Trade Digital Freedoms For Safety, Says Crime Agency Boss

matbury Re:Trading Freedom for Security? (264 comments)

Yep, USA, Canada, UK, Australia, & New Zealand, AKA "The Five Eyes." They're valiantly defending us from an unprecedented wave of attacks from paedophiles, kidnappers, and terrorists. If it weren't for them we'd be overrun, our children taken into sex slavery, our families kidnapped, and our public buildings and spaces blown up. I'm so grateful they've been able to stop all this simply by recording and storing every electronic communication we make.

So, how many child abductions/abuses, kidnappings, and terror attacks have they stopped because of this so far? How much does that add up to per crime?

about two weeks ago
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Is It Time To Throw Out the College Application System?

matbury Re:If yes then what ? (389 comments)

The current system isn't broken, it's the system that's cheap enough to administer and accurate enough to be acceptable to colleges. All testing and assessment is a big bunch of compromises between validity, reliability, accuracy, and how well it predicts future learning outcomes for candidates, vs. how long it takes to administer and how much expertise is required to assess candidates (you need to pay experts). There are dozens of alternative assessment methods available that are more reflective of candidates knowledge, skills, and abilities, as well as teamwork skills and perseverence. The trouble is they cost more to adminsiter in their present forms than people are willing and able to pay.

about two weeks ago
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Why the FCC Will Probably Ignore the Public On Network Neutrality

matbury Re:I got this one. (336 comments)

How quickly we forget who's behind the changes to net neutrality. Here's a quick reminder from early 2011: http://www.marketwatch.com/sto... Are the Koch Brothers gonna be celebrating yet another victory over us?

about two weeks ago
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Facebook Ready To Get Into Healthcare

matbury Re:There goes HIPAA (99 comments)

Re: "...are people so fucking stupid to voluntarily put all that information out there, and on Facebook to top it off?!?!" -- Sadly, yes. And why do you think Facebook have being trying so hard to make sure that users are identifiable as real people with phone numbers, credit cards, workplaces, and home addresses?

And hey, it'll be rich pickings for any scammers to find new victims. "Hey, are you dying of cancer? I have this miracle cure that absolutely, most definitely works, and only costs... erm... let me see, how much have you got in your bank account?.... ah, here it is... and your credit rating?.... (Thank you JP Morgan Chase!)... Yes, it costs $15,000 for the full treatment. (At least I think that's the maximum you could borrow).

Welcome to free market capitalist America!

about two weeks ago
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China Worried About Terrorist Pigeons

matbury Four Lions (92 comments)

Perhaps someone in the Chinese ministry for security and cointer-terrorism mistook the film "Four Lions" http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/F..., which featured a plot to bomb London using explosives strapped to crows as a training video? If so, did they ban anyone from attending the ceremony dressed as animals or mascots?

about three weeks ago
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Piracy Police Chief Calls For State Interference To Stop Internet "Anarchy"

matbury They didn't get it (302 comments)

I think the City of London police saw this: https://xkcd.com/386/ (Duty Calls) and misunderstood it. Now duty calls them to govern and correct the internet.

about three weeks ago
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Ask Slashdot: Multimedia-Based Wiki For Learning and Business Procedures?

matbury Youtube-like? GNU MediaGoblin! (97 comments)

Surprised that nobody's mentioned http://mediagoblin.org/ yet. Probably better than Youtube for a video oriented knowledge base. BTW, I don't recommend LMS'/VLE's. They're designed for controlled, linear progressions through courses and so are usually a nightmare to find random stuff on, i.e. often no global search, no filtering, no tagging, and no categories. You could always use an LMS/VLE and have MediaGoblin as a sitewide repository; best of both worlds!

about three weeks ago
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New Research Casts Doubt On the "10,000 Hour Rule" of Expertise

matbury Old research also casts doubt on Gladwell's "rule" (192 comments)

Gladwell took a German study of the practising habits of orchestral violinists compared to their achievement. In this particular study, the violinists who achieved mastery practised a wide ranging number of hours. 10,000 was only the average. Some practised far more and some practised far less. Gladwell clearly doesn't know what he's talking about.

about three weeks ago
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How the NSA Profits Off of Its Surveillance Technology

matbury Re:I can't quite decide (83 comments)

The premise of the article is misleading. The NSA is usually presented as this govt. monolith in that shiny blue glass building in the middle of a parking lot. 80% of the NSA's work is done by private subcontractors. There are 1,000's of them and, as Edward Snowden has pointed out, their security systems and auditing don't have much oversight, e.g. look at what happened to Stratfor and how easy it was for Snowden to get all that data and cover his tracks until he was ready to go to the press. The NSA still don't know what he took.

The NSA almost certainly offers its services and software to corporations and regimes around the world, regardless of their human rights records.

about three weeks ago
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Now That It's Private, Dell Targets High-End PCs, Tablets

matbury Re:Mind boggling (167 comments)

There's fewer obstacles to pursuing more complex, coherent, longer-term policies and strategies when you have your own, in-house team of bean counters who answer to you. Wall Street are a group of short-sighted, ignorant, knee-jerk reactionary, hubris-driven bean counters that nobody should be forced to work for.

about three weeks ago
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Stanford Promises Not To Use Google Money For Privacy Research

matbury Re:Bet they'll still cash federal checks... (54 comments)

Re: "snowden was not whistle blowing on google" -- Actually, he did. Google are responsible for collecting people's data in the first place and the NSA, CIA, DEA, etc. just piggy-back on them. Google hate Snowden as much as the NSA but they can't say it out loud in public. That's bad PR.

about three weeks ago
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Stanford Promises Not To Use Google Money For Privacy Research

matbury In accordance with the donors wishes (54 comments)

Disregard any claims that there's no conflict of interest here; "He who pays the piper calls the tune." There's no need for Google to explicitly state what they want in return. Stanford's bean counters understand that Google are a publicly traded corporation, not philanthropists. Just as the Koch Industries (fossil fuels and hard-line neo-liberal capitalism) partly fund Florida State University and dozens of other colleges on the understanding that all economics teaching staff and syllabi must adhere strictly to neo-liberal capitalist principles. They also get to veto any potential new faculty hires. This is pretty much what has already happened to the US political, regulatory, and governance systems and it was only a matter of time before it hit academia. The most shameful thing is how little money politicians and academics sell themselves out for. Google et al make massive returns on their investments.

about three weeks ago
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Is Google's Non-Tax Based Public School Funding Cause For Celebration?

matbury Re:Immoral (88 comments)

More than promote their brand, they want as big a slice of the public education budget as they can get. They want to be THE IT provider to education systems worldwide and are working towards that end as we speak.

On the crowdfunding front, having public education and curriculum policy decisions made by consumerist popularity polls, PR, and marketing couldn't possibly go wrong, could it? I mean, our democratic electoral systems are doing just fine right now, aren't they? There's no problem with corporations' money distorting the public political discourse, is there? I don't think Google and Pearson Education would try to influence such a system to their advantage, do you?

about a month ago
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Scotland Votes No To Independence

matbury Re:Free Willy! (474 comments)

An independent Scotland would already be in the EU, the message from Brussels was yes, they can, and the Euro or the Pound would work fine. The London-centric media is intensely unionist and propagated blatantly untrue FUD, backed by Coca Cola, Pepsi Cola, Microsoft, Accenture, IBM, Bayer, Daimler, EON Energy, Thyssen, XL Group, Alliance Trust, Bilfinger, and BMW, to scare Scottish voters into voting no. I'm English and have no particular affiliation to Scotland but it was shamefull how the English media, corporations, and Westminster politicians behaved during the referendum. Because of the hysteria, exaggerations, and lies implying increased crime and disorder as a consequence of the Independence Referendum, at one point Brian Docherty, Chairman of the Scottish Police Federation felt that they had to make the following public announcement:

“The Police Service of Scotland and the men and women who work in it should not be used as a political football at any time and especially so in these last few hours of the referendum campaign.

As I have previously stated the referendum debate has been robust but overwhelmingly good natured.

It was inevitable that the closer we came to the 18th of September passions would increase but that does not justify the exaggerated rhetoric that is being deployed with increased frequency. Any neutral observer could be led to believe Scotland is on the verge of societal disintegration yet nothing could be further from the truth.

Scotland’s citizens are overwhelmingly law abiding and tolerant and it is preposterous to imply that by placing a cross in a box, our citizens will suddenly abandon the personal virtues and values held dear to them all.

At this time it is more important than ever that individuals be they politicians, journalists or whoever should carefully consider their words, maintain level heads and act with respect. Respect is not demonstrated by suggesting a minority of mindless idiots are representative of anything. One of the many joys of this campaign has been how it has awakened political awareness across almost every single section of society. The success enjoyed by the many should not be sullied by the actions of the few.

Police officers must be kept free from the distractions of rhetoric better suited to the playground that the political stump. If crime has been committed it will be investigated and dealt with appropriately but quite simply police officers have better things to do than officiate in spats on social media and respond to baseless speculation of the potential for disorder on and following polling day”

about a month ago
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FCC Chairman: Americans Shouldn't Subsidize Internet Service Under 10Mbps

matbury Subsidies = corporate welfare (353 comments)

Take the subsidy money collected from the public and use to provide high-speed, high quality municipal internet services. It's the easiest, most doable, and cost-effective way to provide competition to the ISP monopolies, and to boot, if they start with impoverished neibourhoods, the corporate ISPs would look really bad if they opposed it. Sure some municipalities would resist at first but hopefully popularity and success in others would put them under overwhelming pressure to provide it.

about a month ago

Submissions

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Google Moves Right By Funding ALEC & Heritage Action

matbury matbury writes  |  about 10 months ago

matbury (3458347) writes "According to Jessica Devereux at The Real News Network...

"Corporate-funded American Legislative Exchange Council, or what it is more commonly known as, ALEC, is holding a conference celebrating its 40th anniversary through December 6. But the guest list may be running a little thin this year, as ALEC is losing some corporate friends. But it's also gaining some new ones, like Google. Google has been funding right-wing groups like Heritage Action and ALEC, which is known for drafting some draconian laws in education and right-to-work policies which undermine collective bargaining."

Whatever happened to "Don't be evil?""

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