Articles, Page 23 of 208

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01 Aug 11
Newspaper

Internet Explorer Users Are Downright Stupid

AptiQuant is a company that gives pyschometric assessments to employers about their applicants. They recently combed through their data for over 100K of their users to break down browser choice by measured IQ. It was found that users bound to IE6-9 were scraping IQs in the 80s (which rates as dullness and is barely above borderline deficiency). Middle of the road IQs were using Firefox, Chrome and Safari while the geniuses utilized Opera or Camino.

31 Jul 11
Newspaper

Faster Than Light Time Travel Proven Impossible

There are those who believe the key to time travel is being able to exceed the speed of light. Unfortunately for them, Professor Shengwang Du from the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology has proven such a feat is impossible.

“The results add to our understanding of how a single photon moves. They also confirm the upper bound on how fast information travels with light,” said Prof Du. “By showing that single photons cannot travel faster than the speed of light, our results bring a closure to the debate on the true speed of information carried by a single photon. Our findings will also likely have potential applications by giving scientists a better picture on the transmission of quantum information.”

31 Jul 11
Question

How Do You Backup Your Data?

I recently purchased a CrashPlan+ plan and blogged about why I picked CrashPlan in favor of several other options. I’m curious what others are doing. More specifically, do you have unique needs that a service provider or application must offer before you would consider it?

30 Jul 11
Cup

Debt Debacle

While Americans understand and tolerate the political brinksmanship that is at the heart of this debt crisis, the rest of the world is suffering, and is increasingly becoming angry with the USA.

We are even hurting our friends. Our faithful ally, Australia, for example has had $50 billion wiped of the value of its stock market and its dollar has been forced up to 10% above the $US thereby devastating its export revenues. China, which holds US$1.16 trillion in US debt is really pissed off. This follows on top of the Wall street-caused GFC which greatly devalued the investments of millions of people outside of the USA. They lost life savings and retirement funds because of greedy uncontrolled Americans, and there is no escaping that fact.

30 Jul 11
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A National Strategic Narrative

In light of the current situation in Washington, and recent discussion on this site about national policy, this paper (.pdf) published by the Wilson Center in April 2011 deserves another look.

Written under the pseudonym “Mr. Y” by two members of JCS Chairman Admiral Mike Mullen’s staff, Navy Captain Wayne Porter and Marine Colonel Mark Mykleby, “A National Strategic Narrative” attempts to describe a long-term vision and defining purpose for the United States, to update and replace the narrative of the last 60 years which was crafted in the context of the Cold War. The thesis is that our national priorities and resources should be committed in accordance with a clear vision of the direction America is headed, to ensure future prosperity and security, bounded by enduring values. Further, that the U.S. should move away from the current threat-based, reactive outlook to a more proactive stance focused on opportunities and interdependence.

25 Jul 11
Cup

Noewegian tragedy

It did not take long for the conspiracy theorists to come out on this one.
Probably the usual blame the Jews crap, but it did make me think about the potential for it to happen here.

Many Europeans, like many Americans are concerned about the influx of Islamic people and the long term effect that this may have on their safety and security.

Given that most terrorism has come from followers of Islam, in my opinion these fears really do have a validity that cannot be denied. Importing the Jihad is questionable policy. However, these fears are certainly cancelled out by acts such as this that bring on suffering equal to the worst that the Islamic fanatics are ever likely to do.

25 Jul 11
Newspaper

Value in Pursuing Higher Education

A somewhat recent study by the University of California-Davis computer science department takes a different spin on the perceived shortage of Americans in the technological workforce. They assess that America’s lackluster representation in quantity is not due to a diminishing number of skilled Americans but rather a glut of imported talent from overseas. The situation may still lend itself toward a smaller pool of American tech workers in the future, however, as diminished demand for them will inherently drive students towards other fields. After all, the question is often asked whether paying continuously inflating tuition prices or even attending elite colleges is worth the effort anymore.

24 Jul 11
Newspaper

Linux Goes to 3.0

Linus Torvald’s announced the other day that Linux version 3.0 was released. This followed a short delay after a patch was applied just hours before release to correct a pathname bug. The change in numbering convention is partially Linus’ desire to reduce confusion with three number codes being reduced to two (so it’s not 3.0.0) and because Linux has been 2.6 since 2003. Are there big changes for the code base? According to Linus, “NOTHING. Absolutely nothing. Sure, we have the usual two thirds driver changes, and a lot of random fixes, but the point is that 3.0 is just about renumbering.”

24 Jul 11
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Music Purchase Log: 2011 Q2

My music purchases in the second quarter of 2011:

  • …And You Will Know Us by the Trail of Dead – The Century of Self
  • Against Me! – Searching for a Former Clarity
  • A Skylit Drive – Wires … and the Concept of Breathing
  • Beastie Boys – Hot Sauce Committee, Pt. 2
  • Born of Osiris – A Higher Place
  • Bright Eyes – The People’s Key
  • Converge – Axe to Fall
  • Darkest Hour – The Human Romance
  • Dodos, The – No Color
20 Jul 11
Newspaper

Stockpile Your Bacon

If only getting bacon were as easy as pushing a button. Commodity items like barrels of oil are often used by economists to make forecasts because supply and demand estimates against tangible substances is much easier. Pork bellies are another commodity indicator often used as a predictor on food prices and livestock supplies. Currently at an all-time high of $4.77 a pound, pork bellies are expected to exceed $6 a pound in only a matter of months leading many to joke about stockpiling bacon to continue eating tasty sandwiches. Bacon has always been a popular staple food but the recent skyrocketing in pork belly prices has been attributed to bacon’s peculiar rise in Internet sourced trends like the receive bacon icons, the bacon explosion and subsequently Denny’s meatspace advertising campaign for Baconalia.

18 Jul 11
Newspaper

Clinton's 14 Proposals

One of the more memorable slogans from former President Bill Clinton’s ‘92 campaign was "It’s the economy stupid." In a recent publishing of his in Newsweek, he outlines fourteen of his own recommendations for simple initiatives to get the economy moving along again. Many of them center around energy conservation as a way of saving both businesses and consumers utility money while helping the environment. Others focus on incentives to business like speedy approvals, loans and job-training for unskilled laborers. I personally found it interesting that in #9 he lauds the TARP bailouts and stimulus that “saved us from a second Great Depression” and being directly responsible for saving jobs and industry … the interesting part being that it was a Bush Administration strategy that was lambasted pretty hard at the time.

16 Jul 11
Question

Google+ - Jeers Or Cheers?

Not too long ago, people began scrambling for exclusive access to Google’s beta social networking tool – Google+. Already, many are hailing the system for it’s simplicity (no games, poking, quizes, etc.) and adherence to privacy first. Google’s last forays into social networking flopped pretty hard, Buzz and Wave were hardly successful ventures. But the beta version of Google+ allegedly has 10 million users already with many hoping to get an invite. Did Google create the Facebook killer or are those users too firmly embedded to leave?

16 Jul 11
Newspaper

Debt Crisis

Political leaders from both parties have been forced into budget talks for days by President Obama. Each is steadfastly holding to their alleged constituent pledges and seem to be absolutely defiant to making any concessions to the other side. Democrats refuse to budge on curtailing entitlement programs. Republicans are adamant about not allowing tax increases. The President refuses to allow Congress to sweep the matter under the rug with another debt ceiling increase. CNN has a nice summary of the various proposals currently at play. What is the proper mix of acquiescence towards achieving a real solution?

10 Jul 11
Question

The Pentagon and Slave Labor in U.S. Prisons

Most of us seem to be happy for felons to have a miserable time in Prison, but is it OK for them to be used as slaves to make other Americans rich? Sure, it is a good idea to make them earn their keep and not be on a holiday paid for by the tax payers. But!!

Is it acceptable to suspend all the normal industrial safety requirements in relation to people who are being compulsorily kept in our care. There is only one reason why this is being done: because it is cheaper that way.

It is in the nature of the beast that sometimes capitalism gets out of control and citizens have to stand up to it and demand to be treated reasonably. Our prisoners are in no position to do that, so this can be exploited by the unethical people who run many of our major corporations.

06 Jul 11
Cup

The Advantage of Diversity in the Workplace

Diversity is a big thing where I work. Every year employees attend workshops designed to instill an appreciation for it (along with its buddy, inclusiveness). I’ve always thought of myself as being fully onboard with the whole D&I thing, but I saw a poster today on my way in today that made me wonder.

As you can see in the image to the right, the poster attempts to convince the viewer of the value of diversity by comparing a typical, multi-faceted pocketknife with one that only only has corkscrews. Now, I know the idea is to show that having various tools at your disposal is generally more useful than only having one, but the analogy breaks down quickly if you think about it.

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