Still Falling Down

Still Falling Down

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Put your PC to work for something besides games and porn

No other technological breakthrough has demonstrated the power of individuals more than grid computing. By donating your unused computer time, you can begin to change the world for the better.

That’s what is says on the World Community Grid website. And they’re right!

Your PC at home or at work is in use MAYBE 5% of the time. So, assuming you have an ancient Pentium III processor runnning at over 1 BILLION Theoretical Operations per Second, each day that goes by sees 82,080,000,000,000 potential calculations NOT being performed.

Now, suppose that you could install a piece of software that knew when you weren’t using your computer. It would communicate with a central source, download some work to do, use a few trillion of those available calculations, and report the computed results back to home base.

Now suppose that this is done every day by hundreds of thousands of computers worldwide, and that the work being done allows scientists and other researchers to avoid hundreds of thousands of hours of trial and error research. IMAGINE the things that might be achieved!

The World Community Grid offers a screensaver which will use the available, otherwise unneeded computing power of the machines that sit idle almost all day long while you sleep or are at work or anywhere to develop new anti-AIDS treatment, to analyze the human genome for potential disease prevention, or for any of the other projects that will utilize this platform.

Get this screensaver now. Think of the lives that are lost because of every second you delay!

Seriously. This is a GOOD thing. It’s not a security risk, it’s not spyware. It doesn’t impact you when you’re using your PC. Do it. You have no idea what you might be accomplishing.

If the projects at World Community Grid aren’t to your liking, break out your favorite search engine and look for “screensaver distributed grid computing”.

Who attends Milton High School other than males and females?

Reuters reports today that a male high-school student in an affluent Boston suburb has filed a federal civil-rights complaint against his school because “the girls are treated better”.

OK, the obligatory “Get used to it kid. Wait until you’re married!”

Aside from the whiny complaint “Aw mom, Tiffany gets a better seat in Hegelian Dualism than I do!”, we have to note the principal’s reaction to the filing of this complaint:

“I don’t understand any basis for that complaint. Milton High School does not discriminate against males, females or anybody else for that matter.

So exactly which genders, other than male or female, is Dr. Drottar, the school’s principal, concerned about here?

As the school’s own Affirmative Action Plan shows, the 2000 census did not find any genders in Milton, MA other than male and female.

It’s heartening to see diversity and inclusion go beyond even the known human genders, although it apparently doesn’t apply to everybody who wants to be included.

MTA looks to buy some votes with your money

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority has generated a proposal to cut subway and bus fares by 50% between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Eve. According to the Authority’s 2006 Financial Plan, as a result of the Gap Closing Program, their New York City Transit division will save $43.7 million with a reduction of 432 positions. These positions are involved in the delivery of new subway cars, the design of new electrical and signalling systems, and, of course, station, car and bus maintenance.

“Gap Closing Program”? Why does a organization with a billion-dollar surplus need a Gap Closing Program? Or is there really a surplus? Will we hear next year about the deficit? Sounds a little too Enron/Worldcom/Adelphia to me.

The money New York City residents have been paying in increased fares, which we are told is needed for system upkeep, will go to subsidize the tourist invasion of Manhattan during the holidays, but also to buy your votes on the Transportation Bond Act. I happen to be in favor of this bond issue, since I haven’t been able to find where they’ve hidden the line items which will actually go to operational expenses instead of capital expenditures. As a rule, though, I just don’t like vote buying.

So, the trains, buses and stations will be dirtier, the new trains will be delayed another year, signalling improvements will take a few more years to design and even more years to install. And we’ll take on more debt.

So, thanks MTA Executive Director Katherine Lapp, for a thoughtful proposal. And I’m sure the suburban commuters (of which, Katherine, you would be one if you didn’t have an Authority provided car and driver) whose rides are subsidized at the expense of city dwellers will continue to thank you. Oh, and how’s that 22% salary increase from Pete Kalikow holding up?

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