Warm Southern Breeze

"… there is no such thing as nothing."

Posts Tagged ‘Technology’

It’s Your Call

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Sunday, January 14, 2018

Most of us are leery about accepting calls from unknown sources. In the happy age of Caller ID, it’s as if a virtual butler brings each visitor’s card on a silver tray into our drawing room. We can decline to be “home” to any undesirable contact. Still, people of Read the rest of this entry »

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Science Versus Science Fiction In Alabama Education

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Thursday, May 7, 2015

I find it strangely fascinating that so many are so fearful… particularly in the South, and in Alabama especially.

Two days ago many celebrated Cinco de Mayo – the 5th of May – by eating out at Mexican-themed restaurants, quaffing a few margaritas, or by making Mexican-styled eats at home. It’s a way, in part, to acknowledge solidarity with our Mexican brothers and sisters and commemorating Mexico’s 1862 victory over France at the Battle of Puebla during the Franco-Mexican War. A turning point in Mexican struggle for independence, the firefight pitted 2000 ragtag, poorly equipped Mexicans against 6000 well equipped, battle-tested French soldiers. By the time the French retreated from the all-day battle, 500 French, and 100 Mexican lives were lost.

Alabama State House, 11 South Union Street, Montgomery, Alabama

Alabama State House
11 South Union Street, Montgomery, AL

But May 5 also marks another significant event, largely unknown – and certainly unrecognized – by many, if not most.

On May 5, 1925 John T. Scopes was arrested in Tennessee for teaching Darwin’s Theory of Evolution.

It certainly seems Southerners have had it out for Science for quite some time.

Now, like hogs wallowing in mud, Alabama politicians want to meddle even more in the stinking pot of their own making by… well, here’s the news item: Read the rest of this entry »

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Alabama Common Core Math

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Thursday, May 29, 2014

According to Dr. Tommy Bice, Alabama State Superintendent of Education, high schools in the state have achieved an 80% graduation rate. While that sounds impressive, there is an underlying problem, which is this:

How do we know that the children being graduated are competent?

Competency is exemplified as being able to do something successfully. So if merely graduating high school was sufficient demonstration of competence, everyone with a high school diploma would be competent. But sadly, we know that is NOT the case. For example, one need only look to private high schools to so illustrate. Very few private high schools have any such problems. And, it is not to say that all public schools suffer problems. And yet, it is evidence as well that many courses taught in 1960, or even 1860 at the “high school” level are more advanced than those taught today.

For example, consider the following courses of study were required for a diploma of graduation from Middletown City High School, Connecticut in 1848: Read the rest of this entry »

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Could Not Activate Cellular Data Network

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Sunday, August 4, 2013

iPhone 5 Error message: Could not activate cellular data network

iPhone 5 Error message: Could not activate cellular data network

Ever had this problem?

You’ll notice one other thing about the display on the iPhone.

As you look atop the image, you’ll see numbers instead of the “bars” used to display signal strength. The number -103 is a numerical signal strength indicator, which the proper, and only way to indicate signal strength.

Just in the case you’re not aware of the technical aspects of signal strength, or what the number means, signal strength is measured as a loss.

The number itself is Read the rest of this entry »

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Global Educational Attainment, 1950-2010

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Sunday, August 4, 2013

Educational attainment in the world, 1950–2010

Robert Barro, Jong-Wha Lee, 18 May 2010

Empirical investigations of the role of human capital require accurate measures across countries and over time. This column describes a new dataset on educational attainment for 146 countries at 5-year intervals from 1950 to 2010. The new data, freely available online, use more information and better methodology than existing datasets. Among the many new results is that the rate of return to an additional year of schooling on output is quite high – ranging from 5% to 12%.

It is widely accepted that human capital, particularly attained through education, is crucial to economic progress. An increase in the number of well-educated people implies a higher level of labour productivity and a greater ability to absorb advanced technology from developed countries (Acemoglu 2009). Empirical investigations of the role of human capital require accurate and internationally-comparable measures of human capital across countries and over time.

Our earlier studies (1993, 1996, and 2001) constructed measures of educational attainment of the adult population for a broad group of countries. This column introduces a new data set (available at barrolee.com) providing improved estimates for 146 countries at 5-year intervals from 1950 to 2010. The data are Read the rest of this entry »

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Yahoo! CEO Marissa Mayer gives new iPhone 5 to all Yahoo! employees & pays their cell phone bills

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Sunday, September 16, 2012

In reality, she offered a choice from among 6 smartphones.

She is also also going to pay its employees data and phone bills.

Marissa Mayer Just Gave Every Yahoo Employee An iPhone 5

Nicholas Carlson | Sep. 15, 2012, 11:32 PM
New Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer just sent an email to all of Yahoo’s full time and part time employees in the US, promising them a new Apple, Samsung, Nokia, or HTC smartphone.

Yahoo! CEO Marissa Meyer with Michael Arrington at TechCrunch Disrupt

Yahoo! CEO Marissa Meyer with Michael Arrington founder and former co-editor of TechCrunch at TechCrunch Disrupt September 14, 2011. Photo by Kevin Krejci

“People are happy,” says a source at the company.

A couple weeks ago, we reported that new Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer was considering giving every Yahoo employee a new iPhone or Android smartphone.

Mayer has now put that plan into motion through a program Yahoo is calling “Yahoo! Smart Phones, Smart Fun!”

We learned about this plan from an internal memo, which we received from one source and confirmed with another.

Through the program, Yahoo employees will have a choice of phones: iPhone 5, Samsung Galaxy S3, HTC One X, HTC EVO 4G LTE, or Nokia Lumia 920.

Yahoo is also going to Read the rest of this entry »

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Digital divide? What digital divide? We don’t need no stinking “digital divide”!

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Sunday, July 8, 2012

“Digital divide?”

What “digital divide”?

We don’t need no steenking “digital divide”!

Funny, ironic, and true.

Haves, meet Have-Nots.

How the digital divide developed in New Orleans & what that means for the future of news there

by Tracie Powell Published July 5, 2012 4:00 pm Updated July 5, 2012 7:03 pm

Come September when changes at The Times-Picayune take effect, not only will New Orleans become the largest city without a daily newspaper, its residents will likely become some of the most disconnected in the country.

New Orleans lags behind the rest of the U.S. when it comes to broadband Internet service connections, according to an investigative report produced by the nonprofit journalism organization The Lens in conjunction with the Center for Public Integrity and the Investigative Reporting Workshop at American University. About half of Louisianans subscribe to broadband services while the national average is 60 percent. Those who do subscribe to broadband Internet service tend to be white and in higher income brackets, the report shows.

Only 43 percent of Americans who make less than $25,000 a year have home Internet access, according to a U.S. Department of Commerce study. “It’s clear that, in the midst of moving toward digital news, many people still need access to information that doesn’t require a computer,” Jesse Hardman writes in the Columbia Journalism Review.

This is especially true in New Orleans, where half the residents make less than $35,000 a year and The Times-Picayune will emphasize digital products, Hardman states. The concern should not be about a business decision, “but on how the citizens of New Orleans are going to get important information if they are not online,” he writes.

Poorer, more African American areas of New Orleans, such as the Lower 9th Ward, have broadband subscription rates between 0 and 40 percent while those living in more rural parts of the area account for subscription rates between 0 and 20 percent, Matt Davis writes in The Lens.

It’s harder to profit from the investment in broadband infrastructure in rural areas where fewer residents live further apart. Among poorer residents, broadband – and even newspaper subscriptions – tend to be luxuries for job seekers or people who are still trying to rebuild homes damaged by Hurricane Katrina nearly seven years ago. The Picayune’s decision to print only three days a week means fewer newspapers will get passed around local barber shops, beauty salons, cafes and convenience stores — places where many people who don’t have broadband access at home often go to exchange information about what’s happening in their neighborhoods.

At the same time, private business executives and public officials seem to be in denial. They aren’t planning for a diminished newspaper presence and are holding out hope that a hero will swoop in and buy The Times-Picayune, even though the paper isn’t for sale. They also continue to support policies that favor the telecom industry rather than working to make broadband more affordable.

The other primary sources of information for poorer residents, television and radio, will have to step up their game to fill in the gap once the Picayune ceases daily publication, media observers say.

Why the Digital Divide

New Orleans is one of the most digitally divided cities in the country. The Lens’ report contains Read the rest of this entry »

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Sure, money is power. But, is it also liberty and freedom? Or, is it a tool?

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Thursday, May 3, 2012

As Bob Dylan sang some years ago, “The times, they are a-changin’.” Our laws should reflect those changes while adhering to the values ensconced in our Constitution. In essence, the argument is about freedom – freedom from the large corporations that supply “content” via the Internet. As well, openness and honesty – popularly termed as transparency – should be the hallmark of all dealings, by government and enterprise.

In short, what we’re encountering in this age, in this era, is an almost unprecedented and wholesale onslaught of money and the power that comes with it. It is, in essence, a corrupting influence. It is, in essence, a type of bribery – and bribery is itself, a form of theft. Bribery is a form of theft because it takes away, removes, or forbids resources from going where they ought, or rightfully should. In this case, it robs freedom from the people. Not only does it usurp their decision-making capacity, it is a blatant announcement and condemnation of freedom, because it says that the rich, the wealthy have freedom, while the poor and disenfranchised have none.

If – as the Supreme Court has declared – money is the equivalent of free speech, and neither cannot, nor should not be limited, what freedom does the poor man have? Again, if money is equated with free speech (that is, our First Amendment rights), the poor man has none. And that, my dear readers, is but one reason why such a ruling is not only ANTI-Constitutional, but is antithesis of freedom.

Making a further case, our nation’s specie – that is, the currency and coinage – is the property of the United States government. It is NOT private property. Money is a thing used to represent something else. So again, I ask rhetorically… in such instances, and in this case, what does it represent?

Google Says “It’s Our Web”–and they bought it fair and square

April 23, 2012

Who can forget then-candidate Ronald Reagan’s classic line at the 1980 New Hampshire candidate’s debate:  “I’m paying for this microphone!”  And Google probably is wishing that whichever Ivy League idiot thought of rebranding their anti-SOPA campaign site with the double entendre “It’s Our Web” had not been quite so…uh..transparent…about it all.

President Obama had dinner with technology moguls February 17, 2011 in California’s “Silicon Valley” at the home of John Doerr, venture capitalist and partner at Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, in Woodside, California. Flanking the president are (L) the late Steve Jobs, Founder/CEO of Apple Computer, and (R) Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of FaceBook. Also present are:Cisco CEO John Chambers, Google CEO Eric Schmidt, Netflix CEO Reed Hastings, Oracle CEO Larry Ellison, Twitter CEO Dick Costolo and Yahoo CEO Carol Bartz. Art Levinson, chairman and former CEO of Genentech, is on the Apple board of directors, and was also present. White House press secretary Jay Carney said after the dinner President Obama exchanged ideas with the business leaders “so we can work as partners to promote growth and create good jobs in the United States,” and discussed research and development spending proposals with the CEOs. (Official White House photo by Pete Souza)

Because it certainly is “their web” and they bought it fair and square according to Read the rest of this entry »

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Why is your cellular service so crummy?

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Tuesday, February 7, 2012

In writing to a friend about telecommunications – starting with the demise of the pay phone – I wrote “I know how ya’ feel.

“How some ever… we were told about how these things might change as far back as ten years ago (or thereabouts), or so.”

I began to explain that we’re now undergoing is a national transformation – albeit one that the telecoms are hating/loving. The problem is, that the dinosaur telecoms are being driven toward revolution by the technology. They’re not leading, they’re being moved by force.

And that force is the people – the market. And yet, there’s a problem with being moved by force. And I do not refer to force in a mild way. I refer to force as ‘when-push-comes-to-shove’ type of force.

The seeming ubiquity of such low-cost technology is Read the rest of this entry »

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Why hate on Wikipedia? Here’s why.

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Tuesday, January 24, 2012

It’s easy to hate Wikipedia.

There are too many reasons not to hate it.

But let me be more precise, and explain what’s wrong with Wikipedia.

To be certain, what you’re about to read is in no way a defense of Wikipedia.

Instead, I will bash it unashamedly, and will explain why it is unreliable, and supply reasons for others to look askance at it. This critique is no casually jaundiced glace, but rather scathing.

It can be difficult to know exactly where to begin, but I think it possible to start with reliability, and move tangentially to toward other areas.

Wikipedia calls itself Read the rest of this entry »

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This is where I’m supposed to cobble together some title that clues you in to what you’re about to read. Just so happens, you’re SOL. ;-)

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Sunday, October 9, 2011

As a kid, I recollect lying in bed one evening and thinking that nothing was something… that there was absolutely no such thing as “no thing” because “thing” was something, and that a void, or chasm were things which also existed because there was something before and after, and which may have surrounded the same void or chasm. I reasoned further, that the existence of a void, or chasm could only be identified first by the presence of another thing which was opposite. Those thoughts I had long before I’d heard of the names of the world’s great philosophers, or even read any of their thoughts. My questioning led me to suppose that, when I met the Almighty – I still aspire to that Beatific Vision – I would ask Him, “Where did you come from?

For quite some time, I have also shared that we understand the things we do not now understand by comparing them to the things we do understand. We analogize. It was fascinating – indeed exciting – to recently hear a scientific researcher – an astrophysicist – say almost verbatim the exact same thing.

In much the same way, we use our brains to understand. Read the rest of this entry »

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AL GOP Rep Mo Brooks, 5th, confesses incompetence

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Thursday, February 3, 2011

You’d never have imagined hearing the radical Madison county Republican cozying up to his favorite pork projects in North Alabama. But hey, any job is a good job in this economy, eh, Mo? And you sure as Hell don’t want to put folks out of work… now DO you, Mo? Seems like you’re caught between the proverbial “rock and a hard place,” old man.

Those “pork barrels” sure do look different when they belong to you, don’t they? (I think they’re called “JOBS” and they belong to those class of people you call your “constituents.”)

Let’s buy more waterproof coffee pots, HSNDDs, and HSBLDs – hard steel nail driving devices, and highly specialized bullet launching devices.

Instead, why don’t we spend some money to  improve (translation: INVEST in improving) our national infrastructure – roads, electrical power grid, waterways, schools and parks? Surely you remember GOP President, former 5 Star General Dwight David Eisenhower‘s warning about the “military industrial complex,” don’t you?

 

Congress will cut defense, Congressman Mo Brooks says, possibly programs in Huntsville

Published: Thursday, February 03, 2011, 5:30 AM     Updated: Thursday, February 03, 2011, 6:12 AM

HUNTSVILLE, AL – U.S. Rep. Mo Brooks, R-Huntsville, said here Wednesday that Congress will “probably” cut defense spending next year, possibly including R&D programs based in Huntsville, but, if he gets his way, it will boost Read the rest of this entry »

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Ten Great Tips for 2011: #7

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Monday, January 17, 2011

And a top ‘o the Monday mornin’ to ya’!

We’re staring down the barrel at a brand new, and exciting week ahead!

And we’re already half-way over January!

My, my, my! Where has the time gone?!

Let’s pick right back up with our next weekday installment of Ten Great Tips for 2011!

Here’s #7!

Read the rest of this entry »

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Ten Great Tips for 2011: #3

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Hi! Welcome back!

It’s good to see you again, this Tuesday morning!

We’re already eleven days into the New Year, and things are off to a great start!

Let’s take a look at our third of Ten Great Tips for 2011!

Here’s 3#!

Read the rest of this entry »

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Another one bites the dust: Ex-Nazi dead in Huntsville, AL

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Saturday, December 11, 2010

I have nothing good to say about Nazis, ex-Nazis, or dead Nazis.

Remember Operation Paperclip – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operation_Paperclip

It was because of the mercy of God, and good American people that he lived, while millions of others died in ovens, or in dark, cold, wet subterranean chambers making the V2 – Vergeltungswaffe 2, e.g. “Vengeance” weapon.

The V2 rocket was Hitler’s Nazi terror weapon of mass destruction.

Rocket pioneer, von Braun team member Walter Haeussermann dead at 96

Published: Saturday, December 11, 2010, 6:00 AM

HUNTSVILLE, AL – Dr. Walter Haeussermann, a key member of Dr. Wernher von Braun‘s German rocket team and pioneer of the American space program, died Wednesday in Huntsville.

Haeussermann, 96, died at Huntsville Hospital of complications from a fall. He is survived by his wife, Ruth.

Haeussermann’s death leaves five surviving members in Huntsville of the team that took man to the moon and put Huntsville on the international map. A sixth survives on the West Coast.

Haeussermann was with von Braun at Peenemunde, Germany in World War II and helped develop the V-2 rockets that were launched against London and later formed the basis of the American rocket program. …Continue…

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