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Comment: Re:If the tech's unusable by ordinary users ... (Score 1) 319

by Backward Z (#33106566) Attached to: Should Professors Be Required To Teach With Tech?

We would offer classes to the faculty on how to properly use the equipment--it's really not that hard if you take an hour to learn how to use it all. The problem is that most professors don't care enough to show up.

Back in the day, recording labels and studios (i.e. Motown) would have recording boot camps for all signed artists. They would learn how to properly use microphones and the basics of the other gear, gain structuring, etc. There's only so stupid-user friendly you can make gear before you're just up against the laws of physics.

Go search Youtube for one of Christina Aguilera's live performances. Notice how she works the mic. There's no substitute for knowing how to do that as a performer. There's nothing an engineer can do to even approximate correct microphone technique.

The problem isn't typically with the gear--it's with the user. Just because the gear doesn't operate like your imagination would like it to doesn't mean it's bad gear.

Comment: Re:Silly (Score 4, Insightful) 319

by Backward Z (#33102160) Attached to: Should Professors Be Required To Teach With Tech?

Requiring Professors to teach by certain techniques is certainly going to lead to disaster...What benefit would forcing professors to teach integration with powerpoints bring?

I want to address this. Full disclosure: I worked for several years as an A/V tech at UC Berkeley.

Your first sentence is spot on the money but that doesn't mean it shouldn't be done. Professors are like petulant children when it comes to learning new technology--it's as if they're proud that they don't know how to operate a VCR or speak into a microphone properly.

But the part that you're missing here is webcasting. At Cal, webcasting is becoming a huge huge thing. The professors don't like it because it means fewer students show up for class (if I were a student I'd appreciate this because it would mean more access for me) but the administration LOVES the idea. It goes something like this: "If all of the students could just stay home and watch the lectures online then why are we paying to heat the lecture halls?"

This is the way things are moving. The webcasting program at Cal, despite using stone-aged RealMedia technology, has been astoundingly successful. We'd get emails from the other side of the world thanking us for what we were doing (and complaining that the professors didn't know how to speak into a microphone properly).

What I'm trying to say is, whether or not the professors like it, this is the way things will be trending in the next generation. Professors that don't know how to interface with techonology will become relics.

Not like this will happen anytime soon--by and large the profs get their way. It was just a year ago that we finally discontinued support for SLIDE PROJECTORS for chrissakes. I should only hope that they're phasing out the VCR's by now.

In the end, though, the people who suffer when the prof doesn't want to learn the tech are the students and even moreso the people who are watching the webcasts online for free--people who possibly cannot afford a proper education or live in a part of the world where such a thing is unavailable to them. To them, a professor that can't take ten minutes to figure out where to pin a lavalier mic on their lapel should be nothing short of an insult.

Comment: Re:Ah Yes Evil Capitalism (Score 1) 659

by Backward Z (#32403072) Attached to: Students Show a Dramatic Drop In Empathy

You're suffering from what we call "limited thinking."

I'm totally game for socialism. It's working beautifully in Northern Europe.

But please, tell me: what's wrong with socialism and "big gub'ment?" I swear, there isn't a single conservative talking point that isn't total hypocrisy.

Personally, I think it behooves us to move beyond a money economy, but that won't happen for generations...

Comment: Re:Ah Yes Evil Capitalism (Score 1, Interesting) 659

by Backward Z (#32400762) Attached to: Students Show a Dramatic Drop In Empathy

WTF are you talking about?

Eating McDonald's Happy Meals and Spaghetti-O's were a couple of my founding principles--I used to eat that shit all the time when I was five years old. Nowadays, it has no place in my life.

Just... maybe... just... maybe... we're... outgrowing... capitalism...?

And what major political party is disappearing, again?

Comment: Re:You are all missing the point. (Score 1) 311

by Backward Z (#32316064) Attached to: Food Bloggers Giving Restaurant Owners Heartburn

I agree wholeheartedly.

Whenever I see pictures of meals people bought in a restaurant in my Facebook feed, my eyes they start-a-rolling.

It's the same thing as when people make these status updates along the lines of, "OMG my life is so awesome! I love my life!" They might as well be saying, "Your life isn't as good as mine."

Just... stfu already, people.

Comment: Re:A LOLcats declaration (Score 1) 347

by Backward Z (#32257390) Attached to: The Pirate Bay Sinks And Swims

I am sure I could garner 9% of the popular vote in the US with a Tittie Party. I suspect unless the turnout was heavily in favor of gays and women it might be close to 20%.

I'd like to see you try.

The Pirate Party having 9% means nothing.

No, you posting about it means nothing. Having 10% of a population supporting a radical political party means far from nothing.

"A mind is a terrible thing to have leaking out your ears." -- The League of Sadistic Telepaths

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