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In the end, I think the problem has to do with the last point.  Students really need to consider why they are getting Ph D, and programs really need to look at why companies will rather higher an undergraduate than their PhD candidate.

Finally, it may be time to encourage some young people to forgo graduate education and enter the workforce. Some companies actually prefer to hire recent college graduates—or even undergraduates—because they believe that PhD students are not well-prepared for real-world jobs. Although this point of view is still somewhat rare, and having a graduate degree does open some doors, it might be wise to encourage students to consider their options before they jump into a PhD program with dreams of a tenured professorship.

via The PhD problem: are we giving out too many degrees?.

Bravo, open source community.

A group of prominent OOo contributors eventually decided to fork the project, creating an alternative called LibreOffice. They founded a nonprofit organization called The Document Foundation (TDF) in order to create a truly vendor-neutral governance body for the software. LibreOffice is based on the OOo source code, but it also incorporates a large number of other improvements driven by its own developer community.

Most of the major companies that have historically been involved in OOo development have moved to stand behind TDF and LibreOffice, including Red Hat, Novell, Google, and Canonical. LibreOffice has also succeeded in attracting a significant portion of OOo’s independent contributors. The ecosystem-wide shift in favor of LibreOffice has left Oracle as the only major party still developing OOo, forcing the company to compete against the broader community.

via Oracle gives up on OpenOffice after community forks the project.

One hour a day, and not more than 21 hours a week.

Fortunately, however, this temporary exodus is not a complete waste of time! When we play a good game, we get to practice being the best version of ourselves: We become more optimistic, more creative, more focused, more likely to set ambitious goals, and more resilient in the face of failure. And when we play multiplayer games, we become more collaborative and more likely to help others. In fact, we like and trust each other more after we play a game together — even if we lose! And more importantly, playing a game with someone is an incredibly effective way to get to know their strengths and weaknesses–as well as what motivates them. This is exactly the kind of social knowledge we need to be able to cooperate and collaborate with people to tackle real-world challenges.

via Jane McGonigal: Video Games: An Hour A Day Is Key To Success In Life.

Atul Gawande is at it again.  This article really needs to be read by everyone in Health Care or who is interested in the Health Care debate.  And particularly anyone who dose Health Care and Statistics.  Courtesy of The New Yorker

Brenner wasn’t all that interested in costs; he was more interested in helping people who received bad health care. But in his experience the people with the highest medical costs—the people cycling in and out of the hospital—were usually the people receiving the worst care. “Emergency-room visits and hospital admissions should be considered failures of the health-care system until proven otherwise,” he told me—failures of prevention and of timely, effective care.

If he could find the people whose use of medical care was highest, he figured, he could do something to help them. If he helped them, he would also be lowering their health-care costs. And, if the stats approach to crime was right, targeting those with the highest health-care costs would help lower the entire city’s health-care costs. His calculations revealed that just one per cent of the hundred thousand people who made use of Camden’s medical facilities accounted for thirty per cent of its costs. That’s only a thousand people—about half the size of a typical family physician’s panel of patients.

Things, of course, got complicated. It would have taken months to get the approvals needed to pull names out of the data and approach people, and he was impatient to get started. So, in the spring of 2007, he held a meeting with a few social workers and emergency-room doctors from hospitals around the city. He showed them the cost statistics and use patterns of the most expensive one per cent. “These are the people I want to help you with,” he said. He asked for assistance reaching them. “Introduce me to your worst-of-the-worst patients,” he said.

They did. Then he got permission to look up the patients’ data to confirm where they were on his cost map. “For all the stupid, expensive, predictive-modelling software that the big venders sell,” he says, “you just ask the doctors, ‘Who are your most difficult patients?,’ and they can identify them.”

via Lower Costs and Better Care for Neediest Patients : The New Yorker.

Interesting.  ABA doesn’t have anything to say about this?  As much as everyone makes jokes about lawyers being liars, it does seem different for a company to defend lying, and state that they can’t be punished or sued.

So, can I lie and extort money from people?  Or do I have to be a lawyer to have that privilege?

Yesterday, DGW fired back with both barrels. Barrel number one was the claim that Shirokov had no right to sue for any of this, even if his claims were all true. For one thing, Shirokov never settled, so had suffered no harm. For another, attorneys can’t be sued for lying.

Thomas Dunlap of DGW

“Although an attorney may be accused of defrauding opposing parties, knowingly committing discovery abuses, lying to the court, or purposely and maliciously defaming another individual, if it takes place during the course of litigation, the conduct simply is not actionable,” says DGW’s response. Such behavior may result in judicial sanctions, but private citizens can’t file lawsuits against opposing lawyers who are “simply doing their job.”

via “Bullies”: P2P lawyers demand sanctions against those suing them.

Beacon is back, and nobody notices.  What, you thought Facebook is free?

Now, users’ off-Facebook activities are basically part of the Facebook ecosystem thanks to “Likes” published all over the Web. If you click the Facebook Like button on any given site, that data is transmitted to your own Facebook profile and can be promoted by marketers in ads to your friends. We knew something like this was coming—it was rumored last year in advance of Facebook’s f8 conference—but it’s still fascinating to watch the evolution of Beacon and the very different reactions this time around. There are certainly users who are unhappy with their check-ins and likes being used to generate more cash, but the privacy concerns appear to be mostly gone—for now, that is.

via No opting out of Facebook turning your check-ins, likes into ads.

A really sad story, and really shameful of Deutsche Bank.  Really? Market value for taking away the home for almost 6 years?  So you can illegally sell someone’s property, dumping it in the market, and only owe the “market value” of the property?  It was illegal, the legal system has decided it was illegal.  This is really a poor way to treat our servicemen.

Typically, banks respond quickly to public reports of errors affecting military families. But today, more than six years after the illegal foreclosure, Deutsche Bank Trust Company and its primary co-defendant, a Morgan Stanley subsidiary called Saxon Mortgage Services, are still in court disputing whether Sergeant Hurley is owed significant damages. Exhibits show that at least 100 other military mortgages are being serviced for Deutsche Bank, but it is not clear whether other service members have been affected by the policy that resulted in the Hurley foreclosure.

A spokesman for Deutsche Bank declined to comment, noting that Saxon had handled the litigation on its behalf. A spokesman for Morgan Stanley, which bought Saxon in 2006, said that Saxon had revised its policy to ensure that it complied with the law and was willing to make “reasonable accommodations” to settle disputes, “especially for our servicemen and women.” But the Hurley litigation has continued, he said, because of a “fundamental disagreement between the parties over damages.”

In court papers, lawyers for Saxon and the bank assert the sergeant is entitled to recover no more than the fair market value of his lost home. His lawyers argue that the defendants should pay much more than that — including an award of punitive damages to deter big lenders from future violations of the law. The law is called the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act, and it protects service members on active duty from many of the legal consequences of their forced absence.

via Foreclosure for Reservist on Active Duty Prompts 4-Year Legal Battle – NYTimes.com.

It’s about time.  The office software that the Corporations don’t want you to have.  Time to move away from OpenOffice and Microsoft Office to LibreOffice.

The Document Foundation (TDF) has announced the availability of LibreOffice 3.3, the first official stable release of the open source office suite. It introduces a number of noteworthy new features and there are improvements throughout the included applications. More significantly, the release reflects the growing strength of the nascent LibreOffice project.

TDF was founded last year when a key group of OpenOffice.org (OOo) contributors decided to form an independent organization to develop a community-driven fork of OOo. The move was necessitated by Oracle’s failure to address the governance problems that had plagued OOo under Sun’s leadership, particularly the project’s controversial copyright assignment policies. Oracle’s acquisition of Sun and subsequent mismanagement of Sun’s open source assets have created further uncertainty about the future of OOo and the sustainability of its community under Oracle’s stewardship.

via First release of LibreOffice arrives with improvements over OOo.

I’m looking forward to being able to have up to a million rows in a spreadsheet.  It is really useful for some of the large data-set analysis stuff that I do.

A direct link to the website is here: http://www.libreoffice.org/

 

To me, this battle illuminates two rival religious approaches, within the Catholic church and any spiritual tradition. One approach focuses upon dogma, sanctity, rules and the punishment of sinners. The other exalts compassion for the needy and mercy for sinners — and, perhaps, above all, inclusiveness.

via Tussling Over Jesus – NYTimes.com.

Hmm, the screenshot of the @sprint twitter account is not showing in the quote, but that is basically the source.  hat tip to Android Central.

I was actually in the process of loading a custom rom to my phone when this came out.  I might hold off.  I still kinda want to try the ext4 format, but on the other hand I’m really not experiencing a whole lot of screen-lag either.  hmmm.

 

With news that the Samsung Vibrant may start seeing Froyo roll out as early as Jan. 21, all eyes are on the other major U.S. carriers and their news or lack of about the Froyo update for the rest of the US Galaxy S line of phones.  Sprint has come forward via Twitter and let everyone know they are still working closely with Samsung and will release Froyo for the Epic 4G once it meets the “rigorous testing criteria” it has for the popular handset.

via Froyo for the Epic 4G coming ASAP | Android Central.