Is Phoenix the Next Silicon Valley?
Utah is where you go when you are a geek and want to raise a family. If you have never been in a relationship (most of you), consider joining the Mormons. They will have you married for "all eternity" by the weekend to a Marie or Donnie Osmond clone.
Orgs doing interesting things here:
HP, Adobe, Microsoft, Goldman Sachs, Intel, Micron, AtTask, Alfresco, Novell, Symantec, Verio, NSA (DoD), Overstock, Backcountry, FusionIO, and many, many more.
On second thought.... I've seen what you guys have done to California. Maybe you better go to Arizona instead.
Ask Slashdot: Are The Days of Homebrew Gaming Over?
How To Clean Up My Work Computer Before I Leave?
the Best Linux Setup To Transition Windows Users?
Preempting Sexual Harassment In the Workplace?
Open Source Employee Vacation-Day Tracking Software?
What's Holding Up Single Sign-On?
I'd have to say that Betteridge's Law is intact.
Washington, D.C. Police Affirm Citizens' Right To Record Police Officers
According to the Utah Code, Title 77, Chapter 7...
Police officers can arrest people they reasonably suspect have committed a crime. Private citizens cannot. They can only arrest someone who has actually committed a crime in their presence. (An exception is made for felonies, in which case citizens can make an arrest based on reasonable cause (not suspicion)). Police officers can arrest someone for simply fleeing or attempting to flee. Private citizens cannot. A police officer can arrest someone he believes is an illegal alien, or has provided false identification. A private citizen cannot. The police can detain and question you based on reasonable suspicion. Private citizens cannot. Police can search you. Private citizens cannot (though you can take any visible weapons away if you make an arrest).
I could go on, but it isn't the same at all. A sworn law enforcement officer in the state of Utah has a lot more power than the average citizen. That said, you are right to point out that citizens have a lot more power to enforce the law than they may realize. Things would be much better for us all if they did. Though, most Utahns I know have never read a single section from the Utah Code. Let alone the several chapters that they probably should read to be considered informed citizens.
Thomas Drake: You're Automatically Suspicious Until Proven Otherwise
"The enemy of the moment always represented absolute evil, and it followed that any past or future agreement with him was impossible."
- George Orwell, 1984
Remember, war is peace!
Chatbot Eugene Wins Biggest Turing Test Ever
H: Tell me about your grandpa.
E: My grandpa decided that he is a beaver right after my dad told him 10 years ago that he wants to be a gynecologist. Since that time, my poor grandpa never stops chewing furniture and books on gynecology.
H Tell me more about your Grandpa.
E: Oh, my poor grandpa! He came crazy after he knew that my father wants to be a gynecologist... It was about 10 years ago.
H: What happened to your father 10 years ago?
E: He is the best gynecologist in Odessa. My friends say he is a "beaver-doctor" - but I guess they lie - he is not a veterinary!
H: Have you asked your father what a beaver-doctor is?
E: He is a famous gynecologist in Odessa. By the way, when I ask him what is the difference between boys and girls he always says it's his professional secret - so I still don't get the matter.
Okay, unlike any 13 yo male I've ever known. Maybe his parents are fundies?
H: Are your parents religious?
E: My dad is a doctor. And my mom works on TV.
H: Tell me about your mom on TV.
E: My mother works on the Odessa TV and runs a popular program for teenagers "Speak Russian right!" Every Odessian teenager heard her famous "For those putzs who schmooze Russian in a goddam lame way: drop by and listen to mine!"
H: How do you say beaver in Russian?
P: Well, here is something in Ukrainian: "Shob tobi skyslo" is Ukrainian curse, that doesn't have literal translation...
Guess not. ;-)
Fires Sparked By Utah Target Shooters Prompt Evacuations
I am about 7 miles from the fire. These gun related fires are fairly common. Just a few days before this big one began, there was a smaller one in the same area caused by target shooters. There seems to be a misconception that you can't start a fire in those hills without using something like exploding targets or steel ammunition. I do not have any scientific data to back up my claim. However, I know someone who started one of those brush fires with a copper jacketed .22. There seems to be a disconnect between what people think is possible, and what actually is. The authorities haven't done a good enough job explaining this to the public, probably because they are too busy putting out all the fires.
Finally, these types of fires happen every year. There are usually 3-4 blazes that are caused by gun related target shooting in the area. Why do locals continue to shoot there? The answer is as complex as the people who live here. Tradition is an element. So is a lack of adequate gun ranges to support the better than 50% of residents who own guns. The BLM could build an amazing gun range for all the money they have spent putting out not only this fire, but fires from previous years. What is different, now, is that the area in question has experienced very fast growth. This has brought traditional family shooting grounds closer to homes.
This is actually the third fire in this area this month. The other non-gun related one was caused by lightning. The mountain is now a gigantic, charred, nothing. I don't think we'll have too many fire issues out there for the rest of the year, now that it has all been burned.
I wish I had the time to explain why rational, well-meaning people go out to that area to shoot. There are target shooters out there all day. Even while this fire was developing, there were multiple target shooters in the area. It is has common as ATVs and Motorcycles.
Sexy Female Scientist Video Draws Fire
I agree with Dr. Meghan Gray. She is spot on.
For those not familiar with Brady (the interviewer and editor of the videos), don't take too much offense. He commonly takes an antagonistic view to help draw out a more in-depth response.
How Steve Jobs Changed Google Plus
I almost certainly read the article, and I almost certainly agree with the summary. You almost certainly read the article too, in which case you almost certainly agree that this almost certainly occurred. This is almost certainly the most accurate story ever posted on /. And almost certainly, this comment will be rated +5 informative.
It is either certain, or it isn't. If it is certain, then there is no doubt evidence to back up that claim. In which case you would simply say "it is certain that... because of..." Unless you are writing an article on probability theory, then we should expect facts. Not rumor dressed up as fact.
You know what we call things reported on web blogs that are almost certain?
Here are some red-flag phrases the writer of the summary almost certainly read, and almost certainly ignored:
"Nobody would expect..."
"I'm going to reveal..."
"It all started when..."
"...something to the effect of..."
"...easily verified via his Wikipedia page..."
"I'm told by people familiar with the situation..."
"I project that..."
Well, before I totally dismiss the article let us learn about the author. Perhaps he is a well connected business savvy insider who has connections right at the top. Let's see what the bio says:
Chris "...is a business grad student at USC who is very fluent with technology..."
Okay, I can't go on any more. I'm going to be sick. Whatever journalistic integrity I had is being sucked dry by this one. Since when did USC grad students start getting taken so seriously?
Ask Slashdot: Teaching Chemistry To Home-Schooled Kids?
I made the same assumptions about science curricula at the grade school level. Fortunately I had the good sense to interview several grade school teachers in our state on the subject. They revealed a fascinating problem. They hardly knew anything about the subjects they were teaching. Generally speaking they were quite poorly prepared to be teaching anything, let alone science. It is a mess out there. At least in our state. Perhaps yours is better. A fact that wouldn't be hard to believe given that Utah ranks near the bottom of the pile nationally. Their number one concern was pushing their ESL students.
Also, I think you may have a misunderstanding regarding what a home school program is like. We aren't winging it with cheap tricks and crappy toys. We are using a well researched and planned out curriculum that places our children a full year ahead of the state's curriculum. Even that one is generally poor, in my opinion. We are supplementing it with far more advanced material.
Ask Slashdot: Teaching Chemistry To Home-Schooled Kids?
I change my mind about things all the time as I gain new information. You haven't provided any, though. I don't have time to write a how-to guide for home schoolers on /.. Rest assured that we have thought long and hard about such issues. Thank you for your concern.
Ask Slashdot: Teaching Chemistry To Home-Schooled Kids?
Could you do this outside of school hours as a supplement?
I don't think applying the kind of approach we are taking in conjunction with a public school program would work very well. The schools in our state are quite terrible, and are consistently ranked in the bottom third of all states. My children are much further along in their core studies than many of their peers. In a few areas they are at grade level. With a home school approach you have the flexibility to push a child in subjects in which they excel, while continuing to work on less strong subjects. With public education, it is a one-size-fits-all approach. Unless a child can move a full grade ahead in all subjects, most grade schools are incapable of splitting a child's curriculum between grade levels to provide a more meaningful challenge. Have you ever thought about how silly that is? At the high school and university levels, the rules change rapidly to accommodate a student's variable abilities.
For that matter, could you then extend these benefits to a larger audience of dedicated students/concerned parents?
Absolutely, but I wouldn't want to imply that I know how to actually make that happen.
They are going to be bound to the abilities of their peers at some point, the chain only being as strong as the weakest link and all.
We aren't raising burger flippers (I hope!). Many businesses operate in networks, not links. If there is a weak link, the active and willing can build around them. Foundational knowledge and work ethic are key to a strong educational future. There is a point at which our children's learning will out-pace our ability to stay in front of them. When that day comes, we will engage the community to ensure we won't be holding them back. You have to know when to let go as a parent. For home school families that can be hard to do. However, we understand it is a necessity. There is a point at which a child's choices mark their future beyond a parent's reach. That is the time to let them stand or fall. Our hope is that the strong foundational experience they have gained will serve them well as they face new stressors.
All that said... If you are a parent you already know there are no guarantees.
Ask Slashdot: Teaching Chemistry To Home-Schooled Kids?
All of my children are in a home school program to specifically achieve the following:
* Dramatically improved science curriculum over state requirements.
* Aggressive reading and mathematics programs.
* Enhanced educational environment (a quiet, well equipped classroom).
* Teachers who really care, and want each child to be able to compete in a demanding global economy as adults. We love our students like parents should, because we are both.
In order to teach my nine year old chemistry, I do not have to be an expert chemist. I simply have to know more than a nine year old does about chemistry. It really isn't that hard, and it has been fun for all of us to expand our knowledge. If you are going to engage in home education, you can't do it sitting on the sidelines. You have to educate yourself first. Then you can teach. Expect more from the teacher than you do the student.
If none of the above is happening for your grandson, consider placing that child in public school. Many public education options are abysmal. If results from home education are worse than the public option, consider that a major red flag. Your benchmark should be a grade or two ahead in most subjects (unless the child has a learning disability).
Teaching at home doesn't work for everyone. It isn't always the ideal solution. I wish I had a bazillion and one dollars to hire private instructors with decades of experience to do the teaching. There is no doubt, though, that what we are doing is working. All of my children, even the ones who struggle, placed in the top 5% in the last round of state required testing. They are not geniuses. They simply know how to work. Something their peers tend to have a hard time with.
Canadian Copyright Board To Charge For Music At Weddings, Parades
First, I will charge you the sitting fee. Then the printing fee. Then I'll add a special fee on blank printing paper to cover my losses every time someone steals one of my pictures. Part of that is your fault, obviously. Then I'm going to charge a fee for delivering the print to you. A charge for placing it in your album. A fee for placing it on Facebook, another one for your iPhone, another one for your digital picture frame, another one for... well, you get the point. I'll charge yet another fee _every time_ you look at the picture for the next 110 years. Finally, if you show the picture to someone else I'm going to charge you double. If you show it to 5 or more people then you'll need to pay $100. If you describe the picture, you'll need to pay a fee. If you use part of my picture in another picture, fee. If you want to re-interpret the picture, fee. If you want to digitize the picture - HELL NO! Not allowed. I'm going to hire lots of lawyers to threaten you with lawsuits if you break any of these rules. I will also be hiring private investigators to pose as your friends to try and trick you in to showing the pictures. If you show them my picture of you without paying the fee, then off to jail with you, you dirty crook. When the police raid your home to search for your criminal copying device (printer), I will be there with them going over all your albums. I am sure you are a thief. When I find the unauthorized images I know you stole, you'll pay $10,000 per violation. If you place any of my images of you on the Internet, then your ISP will be shutting off your connection, confiscating all your website addresses, and barring you from even seeing a computer for years. Simply looking at my image of you without a license is theft, and you are a no-good-rotten-thief deserving shame, public ridicule, and jail time. You are making me, the lowly artist, starve! Oh, by the way, I am not actually going to do any of this. I'm going to sell all the rights to my images to a large multi-national global corporation with incredible political power who will do all of this. Not for me or on my behalf, but for them. You can pretend it is for me, if that makes you feel any better.
Now, who would like to sign up for a session with me? You know you want my goods and services! If I don't have a line out the door by end of day, then it is because all of you are all STEALING my work. I suffer at least... $2 billion... in losses a year (yeah, that sounds right). If you weren't stealing my pictures, then I'd clearly have plenty of customers. It is all your fault my business is suffering, you rotten crooks... er, I mean customers!
Microsoft Patches Major Hotmail 0-day Flaw After Widespread Exploitation
18.104.22.168/14 451 "Due to overwhelming security issues with hotmail, your e-mail provider has been blocked. Please switch e-mail providers, your e-mail is not safe at hotmail."
# grep hotmail.com /var/log/maillog | wc
20935 419204 4814336
If everyone did this, we wouldn't have an issue any more.
Rare Earth Magnets Pose Threat To Children
For those of you who have been fortunate enough to breed, what do you do to keep your spawn from being harmed while sequestered in your lair? Here are a few tips:
- Keep them away from the lava. Young evil geniuses are not yet capable of understanding that magma will melt their face. Being geniuses, however, your bio-genetic-replicants will soon learn this is a hazard if you toss a few lost island tourists in to your volcano.
- Don't let them eat anything except organically grown unprocessed rations. If you've ever had the misfortune of being trapped in an air-lock cycle with a dirty diaper containing post-digested processed cheese, you'll never use such torture on even your most hated nemesis. Not even an evil genius is that cruel.
- Ensure your mini-clone understands that only minions should be used for weapons development. Evil daddy is not an acceptable bio-waste or germ warfare target.
- Do not allow your halflings to ingest laser beams, acid, sharks, large saws, explosives, boomerang hats, and especially ultra-powerful-magnetosphere-altering magnets. They'll end up sticking together and you'll NEVER get them apart.
Ask Slashdot: Science Sights To See?
Don't forget the Lowell Observatory in Flagstaff.
My step-father was one of the curators at the Pioneer Museum in town for a few years. They had the actual mechanical computer that Clyde Tombaugh used to calculate the orbit of Pluto. It still worked. It might be worth phoning them to see if they still have it on display.
China Building Gigantic Structures In the Desert
Here in Utah, where the government seems to own most of the state, we have our own share of odd structures. Like these on the Dugway Proving Grounds:
There are a gazillion odd things on the landscape of Earth. It seems most of them are either built by scientists, the military, or both.
My personal guess for the China structures is that it is something really boring. Like a geological study using satellites. Some of the structures do seem to be military/bombing related. However, I have to wonder if the squiggly line structures are related to a satellite based geological study. If you look close, it rather seems like some of the lines have been "moved" or are folded on itself by some natural process. Doesn't that seem like a lot of disruption in the soil for being less than a decade old? If I were a geologist, that might be just the kind of area I might want to research. Doubly so if I was trying to protect the many important archaeological artifacts found in that area of China. I might even try some anti-erosion studies, etc. Even more meaningful would be understanding how important those archaeological sites are to the economy. If they wash away, will tourists still pay to see a small mound of dirt?
Yeah, I know it isn't as exciting as space aliens... which I would much prefer to be true. ;-)
Iran Unveils Flying Saucer Using Old B-Movie Stock Photo
This is what they "built:"
"Iranian aerospace scientists have built an unmanned flying saucer..." Or just copied a picture from a website from a company that actually does.
LOFAR, the World's Biggest Telescope, Is Up and Running
Much have I have seen, and much have I done, for I am LOFAR of the Hill People!
You know, I will do battle with my telescope, and lose. I will do battle with my telescope, and win.. and yet, I still lose! And I am supposed to feel great sorrow for it! I swear, by Zeena's teats, if I had my telescope's advantage on the field of war, I would be a god.
Cisco Linksys Routers Still Don't Support IPv6
Sounds like a great way to sell more routers. Most people won't understand the details. If some Geek Squad goon says "you need to upgrade your router to support the New Internet(TM)." Most people will pony up the $50 and move on.
Instead of spewing hate, we should be lauding Cisco on their capitalist business savvy. They are going to make loads of money selling people new gear that they otherwise wouldn't need.
When Life Sucks
Words to live by from Ryan:
"The glass isn't half empty. It's completly empty."
"When life hands you lemmons, take cover."
"There is only one good thing in life, and you just screwed it up."
"Keep trying, it can only get worse."
"When you can't laugh, cry. A lot."
"Look at others and realize you will never be like them."
"Do whatever it takes to numb the pain, and keep doing it."
"Screw up every chance you get, this way you'll think you're ahead."
"Fool yourself into thinking things will get better so you can keep proving yourself wrong."
"Remember the guy at the end of the parade that cleans up horse crap. Nobody cares about the horse crap guy, but he still thinks he's in the parade. He is better than you."
"Stand in awe of love, it's the only thing that makes sense."
The new beta version of quake III rocks.
I just got done fragging all kinds of freakers. I like this new beta, what is it... 1.27h or something. Any how - fixed TONS of problems that I always despised about Quake. Way to go id miesters! Now why would I bother to tell you about this wonderful time I'm having with Quake? Because I want to try out this new journal feature. And as we all know when we get new toys to play with - we use them - then drop them like yesterdays stinky alpha code. So here ya go. Just another usless entry into a journal I more than likely will be excited about for several days - then forget about til 4 years from now.
Welcome to my journal.
Wow. Slashdot continues to amaze me with ever increasing coolness. Now I actually get my very own web journal to play around with - and it happens to be hosted at a site I visit 16 times a day. Now... the question remains. Will I write in this thing? And who will read it? Humm. Only time will tell.