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Comments

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California Utility May Replace IT Workers with H-1B Workers

retroworks Re:What benefits? (169 comments)

There are winners and losers. I don't mean to be callous towards the losers, but the baseball analogy stands. Integration of the negro league with the white league cost a lot of white and black baseball players their jobs in the short run, and most of the anger at the integration was from players that couldn't compete.

And sorry but what are you talking about with NAFTA? With the exception of the drug economy (which is by no means free and transparent trade), Mexico has made tremendous progress since 1993. Where is "plenty of evidence" that the same growth would have been achieved by trade restriction? People who oppose trade spend a lot of time emphasizing incremental losses, in the way you could show lost income from baseball pitchers who lost their place on the bench to Bob Gibsons.

All these arguments were made in Massachusetts when the Worcester textile industry relocated to North and South Carolina, it was all "doom and gloom" and externalized pollution. It was disruptive but Massachusetts economy did better by getting out of textiles and North Carolina did better by getting into them. Now NC has lost it's textile industry, and has Research Triangle in its place. A rising tide lifts all boats not anchored by protectionism.

1 hour ago
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Minerva CEO Details His High-Tech Plan To Disrupt Universities

retroworks My kid applied for one of 45 spots (59 comments)

And we aren't all "sour grapes" about not getting admitted. Minerva offered free tuition to the first class of 45, which seemed like both a good deal, and appropriate given they were still going through "shakedown" (the interview by skype process was more like a high school play than a Broadway performance). There is no doubt that the model, given the time and attention these 45 kids will get, will provide for a stunning class. As does United World College, another free tuition experiment started by Armand Hammer which relies on subsidy to maintain recruiting excellence.

What remains to be seen is whether it succeeds in creating a sustainable economic model. Yes, the USA's universities have probably overinvested their endowments in a "country club" gyms and campus accouterments. But Minerva is "pure play", the equivalent of penny stock. Will the fact that these 45 students are impressive today cause impressive students to pay tuition tomorrow, and will the lack of accouterments generate savings for the student consumer, or be siphoned into the startup costs of Minerva? Since it will probably take 10 years before any of these graduates have a chance to be recognized, they have to either produce evidence of superior education and training, or continue to make it a high value, or have to compete more seriously with a Stanford/Harvard than they had to a $0 tuition. The fact that free software attracts smart users doesn't prove your software will take significant share from Microsoft, and the fact that you get smart students to enroll in free education doesn't signify the universities charging tuition are doomed.

If the impressive kids come out in 4 years and say the Minerva experience was "not ready for prime time" and that they wish they'd gone to college, will Minerva be able to fix the bugs in the software? By the way, my kid's going to a top Canadian university, $6K per year, and is certain to have a recognized degree in 10 years. The strong arguments Minerva makes about the true value of Harvard speak well for Kings and McGill. Twin goes to UWC, btw.

1 hour ago
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California Utility May Replace IT Workers with H-1B Workers

retroworks The King of 18th Century England Called (169 comments)

He wants his Outrage back. Protecting "jobs" based on lines drawn on maps is so pre-globalization. Free trade has distributed far more benefits than it has sacrificed. Our children are going to live in a world where fewer people are poor, and maybe they will even marry and have bi-coastal families in the oceanic sense. H1-B is to American progress as interracial basketball league was to the NBA. Let's play ball.

yesterday
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Inside the Stolen Smartphone Black Market In London

retroworks EcoATM Kiosks (109 comments)

Well, did BBC investigate the alternative? Will these cash-dispensing kiosks do a better job? http://flipsy.com/blog/13/11/e... Maybe, if you have to have your photograph taken to get the cash?

4 days ago
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How Cochlear Implants Are Being Blamed For Killing Deaf Culture

retroworks The New Latin (509 comments)

If it's a valuable culture, and I don't doubt it is, they should look at Latin and begin the process of preserving the greater works.

about two weeks ago
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The Amoeba That Eats Human Intestines, Cell By Cell

retroworks I for one... nevermind (71 comments)

This is like the Animal channel bugs that infest you program.

about two weeks ago
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Wireless Carriers In Huge Washington Lobby Fight Over Spectrum Auction

retroworks Shorten the Purchase Horizon (51 comments)

They don't have to auction it forever, exhausting future generations rights. It should not be worse than selling Grimms to Disney. Shorten the rights, let our kids have a say.

about a month ago
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Time Dilation Drug Could Let Heinous Criminals Serve 1,000 Year Sentences

retroworks But there's a Catch. Catch-22 (914 comments)

“Dunbar loved shooting skeet because he hated every minute of it and the time passed so slowly. He had figured out that a single hour on the skeet-shooting range with people like Havermeyer and Appleby could be worth as much as eleven-times-seventeen years." As author Joseph Heller's Dunbar character saw it, the more miserable you are, the slower time passes, and the longer (relatively) you live.

about a month ago
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Facebook's Face Identification Project Is Accurate 97.25% of the Time

retroworks I am the 2.75% (149 comments)

Or at least I hope so. I've been falsely tagging myself in Facebook, reversing and randomizing the tags, for years. I wish more people would poison the well instead of trying to go "invisible", we just need about 1/3 errors to discredit positive ID as a method.

about 1 month ago
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Why Did New Zealand's Moas Go Extinct?

retroworks Re:Probably because they were big and meaty (180 comments)

Agree, I was just reading about the extinctions of Moas and Dodos a few months ago. The arrival of human-associated pests and pets (rats from ships, cats) vs. human hunting itself may be less settled, but there didn't appear to be any "news".

about a month ago
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Transhumanist Children's Book Argues, "Death Is Wrong"

retroworks I, for one, Welcome (334 comments)

the new Childrens Storybook Fiction Writer overlords.

about a month ago
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Is the New "Common Core SAT" Bill Gates' Doing?

retroworks Khan Academy Link (273 comments)

Part of the revamped SAT involves establishing Khan Academy SAT Prep courses. https://www.khanacademy.org/te... The perception has been for years that test takers from wealthier families have key advantages, including taking the test multiple times and paying for special training. Gates has been a backer of Khan Academy already. I think it's a positive step if they do more to level the playing field.

about a month ago
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Study: Happiness Improves Developers' Problem Solving Skills

retroworks From TFA (91 comments)

From TFA "It seems obvious to say that happy developers will perform better than unhappy ones"

Then FTFA goes on and on explaining ... the obvious.

about a month ago
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Neil Young's "Righteous" Pono Music Startup Raises $1 Million With Kickstarter

retroworks Neil's Pono Goes up to 11 (413 comments)

I read the article a few days ago, and thought lookout mama there's a white boat comin' up the river at Spotify. If Neil doesn't get in front and interfere, the bandwidth can support his increased quality, and the price point is cool.

about a month ago
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Environmentalists Propose $50 Billion Buyout of Coal Industry - To Shut It Down

retroworks Re:Easier Still: Reform General Mining Act of 1872 (712 comments)

Yes. You can. But most people buy stock, shares in BHP Billiton, Vale, Xstrata, Rio Tinto, Asarco.... buying rights to hundreds of thousands of acres at a time.

about a month ago
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Environmentalists Propose $50 Billion Buyout of Coal Industry - To Shut It Down

retroworks Re:Easier Still: Reform General Mining Act of 1872 (712 comments)

The source of the parent quote above is the Bureau of Land Management federal website. Perhaps whoever authored your wikipedia article is making a distinction about the "Mineral Leasing Act of 1920" which is derivative of the GMA. Or perhaps Jack Abramoff's mignons have been editing your wiki. But again, this is from BLM.gov

http://www.blm.gov/wo/st/en/prog/energy/coal_and_non-energy.html "BLM has responsibility for coal leasing on approximately 570 million acres where the coal mineral estate is owned by the Federal Government. The surface estate of these lands could be controlled by BLM, the United States Forest Service, private land owners, state land owners, or other Federal agencies. BLM receives revenues on coal leasing at three points: 1) a bonus paid at the time BLM issues the lease an annual rental payment of $3.00 per acre or fraction thereof, 2) royalties paid on the value of the coal after it has been mined. The Department of the Interior and the state where the coal was mined share the revenues."

Again, the total fees collected (GMA 1872 and MLA 1920 combined) do not even cover the costs of staff at the Interior Department or BLM!

about a month ago

Submissions

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WSJ: Prepare to hang up the phone - forever

retroworks retroworks writes  |  about three weeks ago

retroworks (652802) writes "Telecom giants AT&T and Verizon Communications are lobbying states, one by one, to hang up the plain, old telephone system, what the industry now calls POTS--the copper-wired landline phone system whose reliability and reach made the U.S. a communications powerhouse for more than 100 years. Is landline obsolete, and should be immune from grandparents era social protection?"
Link to Original Source
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Google Public DNS Hijacked for 22 Minutes in South America

retroworks retroworks writes  |  about 1 month ago

retroworks (652802) writes "Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols of ZDNet reports:

"Without the Domain Name System (DNS), we're all lost on the Internet. DNS provides the service that translates our human readable Web addresses such as google.com to their real, but mysterious Internet Protocol version 4 (IPv4) addresses, such as 8.8.8.8 or IPv6's 2001:4860:4860::8888. The problem with this master yellow pages directory to the Internet is that DNS records themselves can be corrupted or your communications with the DNS servers interrupted by a man-in-the-middle (MiM) attack. "

While it's only 22 minutes, and apparently only affected internet users in Brazil and Venezuela, the repercussions of DNS hijacking could be huge for online commerce. Since many of these attacks in the past have originated in Eastern Europe, should we all be on guard now that Russia has been sabre-rattling? How likely is this to occur in California-based Google servers? For reaction on Twitter, visit here https://twitter.com/bgpmon/sta..."

Link to Original Source
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U.S. to relinquish remaining control over the Internet

retroworks retroworks writes  |  about a month ago

retroworks (652802) writes "Columnist Craig Timberg reports from the Washington Post:

"U.S. officials announced plans Friday to relinquish federal government control over the administration of the Internet, a move that pleased international critics but alarmed some business leaders and others who rely on the smooth functioning of the Web.

"Pressure to let go of the final vestiges of U.S. authority over the system of Web addresses and domain names that organize the Internet has been building for more than a decade and was supercharged by the backlash last year to revelations about National Security Agency surveillance.

"The change would end the long-running contract between the Commerce Department and the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), a California-based nonprofit group. That contract is set to expire next year but could be extended if the transition plan is not complete."

Out of the frying pan, into wait-what?"

Link to Original Source
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Income Inequality Through Assortative Mating: Marry Up

retroworks retroworks writes  |  about a month and a half ago

retroworks (652802) writes "While tax laws, minimum wages, and patent extension are frequently blamed for the rising gap between "haves and have nots", an international economics study finds another simple factor behind income inequality. Marriage. As gender equality has improved in the professional workplace, paired incomes don't occur randomly. "Better educated people are increasingly more likely to marry other better-educated people while those with less formal schooling are more likely to choose a less well-educated partner." Using Census data, the (UPenn directed) researchers found that "across the board, the income gap between couples with relatively high and those with relatively low levels of education had widened substantially since 1960 relative to the average household income... the relative earnings of couples with high school degrees had fallen by 20 percentage points relative to the average while the household incomes of highly educated husbands and wives had increased by 43 points."

The Economist http://www.economist.com/news/... notes, " The economic incentive to marry your peers has increased. A woman with a graduate degree whose husband dropped out of high school in 1960 could still enjoy household income 40% above the national average; by 2005, such a couple would earn 8% below it." And in Slate, http://www.slate.com/articles/... Matthew Iglesias puts it in terms a nerd can related to. "She likes Doctor Who; I like Star Trek...But one thing about us is pretty similar: We both went to fancy colleges full of people with high SAT scores. And in that regard, we’re pretty typical." Perhaps "Natural Selection" is the best explanation for rising college tuition, and increasing student debt."

Link to Original Source
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Blood Test of 4 BioMarkers Predicts Death Within 5 Years

retroworks retroworks writes  |  about 2 months ago

retroworks (652802) writes "NHS and the Daily Telegraph report on two studies (original and repeat duplicating results) in Estonia and Finland which predict whether an apparently healthy human will likely die within 5 years. The four biomarkers that appeared to determine risk of mortality in the next five years were:

alpha-1-acid glycoprotein – a protein that is raised during infection and inflammation
albumin – a protein that carries vital nutrients, hormones and proteins in the bloodstream
very-low-density lipoprotein (VLDL) particle size – usually known for being “very bad” cholesterol
citrate – a compound that is an essential part of the body’s metabolism

Researchers found that people in the top 20% of the summary score range were 19 times more at risk of dying in the next five years than people in the lowest 20%."

Link to Original Source
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Unlock Your Cell Phone? Forget First Use Doctrine, Go Directly to Jail

retroworks retroworks writes  |  about 2 months ago

retroworks (652802) writes "CTIA, the Wireless Cell Phone Association http://www.ctia.org/about-us, has members who want to extend copyright law beyond the first use doctrine. The LG vs. Quanta case was the third time patent infringement lost to "first use" or "right to repair" precedent in the USA. https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/... Rather than continue to lose technology patent court cases against reuse or "market cannibalization" gray markets, CTIA wants to take this to Congress. Bloomberg reports on a bill to make it illegal to tinker with your cell phone and move it to another carrier.

Since the Supreme Court rulings on first use are based on precedent rather than law or constitutional rights to ownership (an 1860s cotton baling wire case), passing an explicit law to ban repair seems like a more direct approach to making patents and copyrights apply to the multi-billion-dollar secondary market."

Link to Original Source
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Math Models Predicted Ukraine Uprising

retroworks retroworks writes  |  about 2 months ago

retroworks (652802) writes "Just over a year ago, complex systems theorists at the New England Complex Systems Institute http://necsi.edu/research/soci... warned that if food prices continued to climb, so too would the likelihood that there would be riots across the globe. Sure enough, we're seeing them now. The paper's author, Yaneer Bar-Yam, charted the rise in the FAO food price index—a measure the UN uses to map the cost of food over time—and found that whenever it rose above 210, riots broke out worldwide. It happened in 2008 after the economic collapse, and again in 2011, when a Tunisian street vendor who could no longer feed his family set himself on fire in protest."
Link to Original Source
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Ask Slashdot: What is the basis of 5-Cap Moderation Limit?

retroworks retroworks writes  |  about 2 months ago

retroworks (652802) writes "Sometimes I submit a comment that is really good and deserves a 5 and is modded a 5. Sometimes it was really worth only 4, but someone was going to lose his mderator points and needed to spend them. Sometimes, once every couple of years, we submit a comment we think is worth 11. What was the original basis for the 5-max moderation, and does it still apply to comments today?"
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Correlation, Causation, and Cancer: Temperature of Lab Mice Twists Tests

retroworks retroworks writes  |  about 2 months ago

retroworks (652802) writes "The Economist reported on a study by Elizabeth Repasky, an immunologist at Roswell Park Cancer Institute in Buffalo, New York. Repasky noticed that mice prefer and will seek out a temperature of 30 Celsius, but that most lab technicians prefer to keep the mice at 20-26 degrees... it makes for cleaner cages. She then re-performed previous research showing causal cancer links on two sets of mice, one kept at 30 degrees, and one kept a 22 degrees. The report shows that temperature, a third variable, changes the correlations significantly."
Link to Original Source
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LA Times: Snowden Had 3 Helpers Inside NSA

retroworks retroworks writes  |  about 2 months ago

retroworks (652802) writes "Three people at the National Security Agency have been implicated in Edward Snowden's efforts to copy classified material, including a civilian employee who resigned last month after acknowledging he allowed Snowden to use his computer ID, according to an NSA memo sent to Congress. The other two were an active-duty member of the military and a civilian contractor. The memo does not describe their conduct, but says they were barred from the NSA and its systems in August.

Not much detail disclosed in the article, but the one who is talking seems to have just loaned Snowden his ID and password without really knowing why Snowden wanted it.Prompts reasking of the question on /. last week... "How many other NSA contractors / staff / moles / spies have been doing the same thing, without Snowden's intention to disclose their behavior?" http://slashdot.org/comments.p..."

Link to Original Source
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Ask Slashdot: Best Valentine Day Gift from Nerds?

retroworks retroworks writes  |  about 2 months ago

retroworks (652802) writes "Cracked.com is increasingly setting itself apart from the 1970s B-Movie-Mad-Magazine days, with some interesting online writing and a huge following on Facebook. Today, Cracked posted an article on the top ten "geek" gifts for Valentines Day, going to tired old staples like "one ring to rule them all" and a "chunk of gallium". Ok, I'd dig the gallium. But can Slashdot suggest another valentines day gift besides "non-BETA" /.? (The answer may be "NO")"
Link to Original Source
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Deposition of John Beale, ex-EPA official who faked being CIA officer

retroworks retroworks writes  |  about 2 months ago

retroworks (652802) writes "The Washington Post has an interesting article about the public release of depositions by former EPA Bigwig John Beale, who was arrested for misuse of millions of dollars in EPA funds. The story describes how Beale at first was merely abusing travel junkets, claiming to promote "efficient wood stoves" in Africa. Within the EPA, the rumors started that Beale was actually working undercover for the CIA. Beale explains that he didn't think of that cover, but it definitely helped that his colleagues (including Gina McCarthy, who worked under Beale, and is now the Head of the EPA) believed he was up to something top secret.

“People would ask me, and I would either say no, or I would slough it off as a joke or deny it, and then it became such a common kind of thing that was talked about that I just stopped responding to it at all,” Beale said in a 263-page transcript of his deposition that was released by the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform. “So I began the fraud and I was looking for some cover for it,” he added. “... I took advantage of the rumors, but the rumors didn’t inspire me or impel me to begin the fraud.” Last year Beale, 65, entered a plea agreement that will send him to prison for 32 months and require him to pay nearly $1.4 million in fines and restitution. (link address to deposition https://docs.google.com/viewer...)

Those of us who lived in Africa in the 1980s were pretty familiar with the "efficient wood stoves", they were nothing special, typically sold in open markets. Had he been going Bahamas, claiming to represent microwave ovens, he would have been caught much sooner."

Link to Original Source
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Netherlands Audio Speakers: Loud Enough to be heard in Space

retroworks retroworks writes  |  about 3 months ago

retroworks (652802) writes "Located in Noordwijk, Netherlands, and part of ESA's ESTEDC Test Center, is the Large European Acoustic Facility (LEAF). I09, Gizmodo Australia, and The Mail Online run stories about the awesome power of sound amplification system "powerful enough to kill a human being".

LEAF is capable of generating more than 154 decibels, the sound equivalent to standing next to several jets taking off. It is used to blast satellites and spacecraft with sound. Large horns are housed in a sound-proofed room that is 16.4metres tall. One wall of horns stands 11 m wide by 9 m deep and 16.4 m high. The nitrogen that's shot through the horns can produce a range of noise up to more than 154 decibels.

LEAF requires all the doors to be closed, operating in steel-reinforced concrete walls to contain the noise. The walls are coated with an epoxy resin to reflect noise, producing a uniform sound field within the chamber. The article doesn't say whether the knobs go past 11."

Link to Original Source
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Nobel Prize Winning Economist: Legalize Sale of Human Organs

retroworks retroworks writes  |  about 3 months ago

retroworks (652802) writes "Dr. Gary Becker (University of Chicago) and Julio Elias (Universidad CEMA, Argentina) wrote a thought provoking editorial in last week's WSJ, arguing that the prohibition on voluntary sale and trade of human organs is probably killing people. In 2012, 95,000 American men, women and children were on the waiting list for new kidneys. Yet only about 16,500 kidney transplant operations were performed that year.

"The altruistic giving of organs might decline with an open market, since the incentive to give organs to a relative, friend or anyone else would be weaker when organs are readily available to buy. On the other hand, the altruistic giving of money to those in need of organs could increase to help them pay for the cost of organ transplants."

Paying for organs would lead to more transplants, the article maintains. "Initially, a market in the purchase and sale of organs would seem strange, and many might continue to consider that market "repugnant." Over time, however, the sale of organs would grow to be accepted, just as the voluntary military now has widespread support.""

Link to Original Source
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NYT: NSA Put 100,000 Radio Pathway "Backdoors" in PCs

retroworks retroworks writes  |  about 3 months ago

retroworks (652802) writes "NY Times has an interesting story on how NSA put transistors into the USB input devices of PC, allowing computers unplugged from the internet to still be monitored, via radiowaves, from up to 8 miles away. The article mainly reports NSA's use of the technology to monitor Chinese military, and minor headline reads "No Domestic Use Seen". A link inside the story leads to a Dutch news article which maps placement of the monitoring system in 50,000 PCs. The source of the data was evidently the leak from Edward J. Snowden."
Link to Original Source
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Court strikes down net neutrality rules

retroworks retroworks writes  |  about 3 months ago

retroworks (652802) writes "A federal appeals court has struck down Federal Communications Commission rules that prohibit Internet service providers (ISPs) from restricting access to legal Web content. he ruling is the latest development in the long-running battle over net neutrality — the principle that all sites on the Internet be equally accessible. Net neutrality advocates want to preserve the Web's status quo, in which providers such as Verizon (VZ, Fortune 500) and Time Warner Cable (TWC, Fortune 500) can't auction off priority traffic rights to one site over another, or impose tolls for high-bandwidth sites such as video streamers Netflix (NFLX) and Hulu. The D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in Verizon's favor Tuesday. The court said that because the FCC had previously placed broadband Internet service in a separate regulatory category from phone service, it lacked the legal justification to impose the Open Internet rules.
Related: What your wireless carrier knows about you
But the ruling did affirm the FCC's authority in principle to regulate broadband Internet service, leaving open the possibility for the commission to rewrite its rules within a new legal framework. FCC Chairman Thomas Wheeler said in a statement Tuesday that the commission "will consider all available options, including those for appeal, to ensure that these networks on which the Internet depends continue to provide a free and open platform for innovation and expression."
Broadband provider Comcast (CMCSA, Fortune 500) said Tuesday that it supported the FCC's Open Internet rules, and would continue to abide by them for at least six more years regardless of how they are judged in the court system."

Link to Original Source
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Intel Challenges Manufacturers to Avoid "Conflict Metals"

retroworks retroworks writes  |  about 3 months ago

retroworks (652802) writes "Several news outlets, CBS, Verge, Engadget, National Geographic, MarketWatch, etc. report on Intel's announcement that the chips it produces will avoid purchases of rare earth minerals and metals, such as tantalum, sourced from high conflict areas such as Congo basin. Will recycled content follow? Will manufacturers begin stating the percentage of their boards which are made from recycled boards, like recycled paper greeting cards, closing the loop on the environmental conflict-mine-to-ewaste chain? Or is another De Caprio "Blood Diamonds" film in our future?

http://www.engadget.com/2014/01/06/all-intel-microprocessors-conflict-mineral-free/"

Link to Original Source
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Facebook is Dead and Buried: Survey

retroworks retroworks writes  |  about 4 months ago

retroworks (652802) writes "A study of how teenagers use social media has found that Facebook is “not just on the slide, it is basically dead and buried”, but that the network is morphing into a tool for keeping in touch with older family members"
Link to Original Source
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MIT Study: Only 3.1% of USA Used Electronics "e-waste" Were Exported

retroworks retroworks writes  |  about 4 months ago

retroworks (652802) writes "The MIT Materials Systems Laboratory, EU's StEP, and the U.S. National Center for Electronics Recycling (NCER) have released a study, Quantitative Characterization of Domestic and Transboundary Flows of Used Electronics, that analyses collection and export of obsolete electronics generated in the United States. It is the fifth study to debunk a widely reported statistic that "80 percent" of used electronics are dumped abroad. Last year, the United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP) released studies of 279 sea containers, seized as "e-waste" in African ports of Lagos and Accra, and found 91% of the goods were reused. According to the UN, most of the junk at Chinese and African dumps was generated in African cities (Lagos had 6.9M households with TV in 2007, World Bank). The UNEP study also bolsters African traders claims that used product purchased from nations with strong warranty laws outperform "affordable" new product imported from Asia.

Where did the "original" widely reported statistic of 80% dumping (see /. slashdot dumping story) originate? Last May, in response to an editorial by Junkyard Planet author Adam Minter in Bloomberg, the source of dumping accusations (Basel Action Network) claimed "never, ever" to have cited the statistic.

The new studies have not slowed USA legislation aimed at banning trade of used electronics for repair, reuse and recycling overseas. This month, the Coalition for American Electronics Recycling (CAER.org) announced 13 republicans and 5 democrats had signed on to support the bill 2791 to criminalize exports of non-shredded displays, cell phones, and computers. Interpol announced a new "Project Eden" targeting African geek importers in November 2013."

Link to Original Source

Journals

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Free Manoi-Go in Vermont

retroworks retroworks writes  |  about 3 years ago

Vermont environmentalists were torn when Agency of Natural Resources began a crackdown on "e-waste" reuse, recycling, and repair company in Middlebury. Japanese robot Manio-Go was seized and impounded as hazardous waste, under actual new Vermont laws classifying electronic devices with less than 80% battery levels as "hazardous". A petition was released to get Governor Peter Schumlin to commute the sentence of recycling-by-shredder, to Free Manio-Go. This is partly April Fools, but sadly not April Fools enough http://tinyurl.com/saveManoi

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To Our Recycling Friends In Egypt

retroworks retroworks writes  |  more than 3 years ago

Ten years ago this week, I was inspired to attempt to establish "fair trade recycling" exports of the much maligned "e-waste" (which is one of the most misleading and misunderstood terms ever coined). It was based on my experience in Africa, watching entrepreneurs and small businesspeople who "tinkered" and repaired goods, which I recognized was the way Japan, Taiwan, Korea, and Signapore emerged. The opposite of the "resource curse", repair and refubishment is so vital to economic development that one could even argue that it was worth the price of "waste"... but I also believe that proper recycling, the best recycling, is done with hand-disassembly.

[Read more about my fair trade recycling philosophy, and how it guides my own company, at www.retroworks.blogspot.com ]

Like Fair Trade Coffee (which emerged in response to a horrible "coffee boycott" idea to help coffee farmers), the result of fairly traded used electronics can result in proper recycling infrastructures within the developing world, which has its own "ewaste" to manage. More importantly, it can result in Egyptian revolutions... the 3 billion people in the world who earn about $3 thousand per year have gotten online at ten times the rate of growth of the developed world, and they are not doing it with brand new PCs. http://retroworks.blogspot.com/2011/01/to-our-recycling-friends-in-egypt.html

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Camouflage v. Cloaking

retroworks retroworks writes  |  more than 11 years ago Submitted for comment:

A program which submits random browser data can effectively complicate investigative work by 3rd party data collectors. It would take a lot of camouflage users to pollute Google or NSA's historic record base, but only take a few pieces of bad data to "poison the well" of information (e.g. he visited a gay website) used in court. I would like an option which is not completely random, which does not submit false terrorist or pedofile site data for example.

This would not be very effective against cookies (except when presence of cookies was to be used as evidence in a courtroom) but would effectively cloud any suspicions with doubt at the level of a large database such as a search engine.

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