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Education

AP CS Test Takers and Pass Rates Up, Half of Kids Don't Get Sparse Arrays At All 111 111

Posted by timothy
from the kids-these-days dept.
theodp writes: Each June, the College Board tweets out teasers of the fuller breakouts of its Advanced Placement (AP) test results, which aren't made available until the fall. So, here's a roundup of this year's AP Computer Science tweetstorm: 1. "Wow — massive gains in AP Computer Science participation (25% growth) AND scores this year; big increase in % of students earning 4s & 5s!" 2. "2015 AP Computer Science scores: 5: 24.4%; 4: 24.6%; 3: 15.3%; 2: 7.1%; 1: 28.6%." [3 or above is passing] 3."Count them: a whopping 66 AP Computer Science students out of 50,000 worldwide earned all 80 pts possible on this year's exam." 4. "Remember that AP exam standards are equated from year to year, so when scores go up, it's a direct indication of increased student mastery." 5. "Many AP Computer Science students did very well on Q1 (2D array processing–diverse array); >20% earned all 9/9 pts" [2015 AP CS A Free-Response Questions] 6. "The major gap in this year's AP Computer Sci classrooms seems to be array list processing; Q3 (sparse array): 47% of students got 0/9 pts."

Comment: Re:That's good (Score 1) 139 139

by Blue Stone (#50008515) Attached to: BBC Curates The "Right To Be Forgotten" Links That Google Can't

Why are we letting this hypothetical employer off the hook for basing their hiring decision on this non-issue? That's my question.

The narrative that you pose is one where people must be protected from the unreasonable views and actions of third parties as a result of finding information out efficiently. Is that feasible, practical, reasonable? And how are we to ascertain if it is worthwhile? By what metric?

Censorship

BBC Curates The "Right To Be Forgotten" Links That Google Can't 139 139

Posted by timothy
from the good-on-them dept.
An anonymous reader writes, quoting the BBC's Internet Blog: "Since a European Court of Justice ruling last year, individuals have the right to request that search engines remove certain web pages from their search results. Those pages usually contain personal information about individuals." The BBC, however, is not obligated to completely censor the results, and so has taken an approach that other media outlets would do well to emulate: they're keeping a list of those pages delisted by the search engines, and making them easy to find through the BBC itself. Why? The BBC has decided to make clear to licence fee payers which pages have been removed from Google's search results by publishing this list of links. Each month, we'll republish this list with new removals added at the top. We are doing this primarily as a contribution to public policy. We think it is important that those with an interest in the “right to be forgotten” can ascertain which articles have been affected by the ruling. We hope it will contribute to the debate about this issue. We also think the integrity of the BBC's online archive is important and, although the pages concerned remain published on BBC Online, removal from Google searches makes parts of that archive harder to find.
United States

Google, Apple, and Others Remove Content Related To the Confederate Flag 812 812

Posted by Soulskill
from the symbols-are-for-the-symbol-minded dept.
davek writes with news that Google is removing results related to the Confederate Flag from Google Shopping, the company's online marketplace. They're also blocking advertisements involving the flag. They say, "We have determined that the Confederate flag violates our Ads policies, which don't allow content that's generally perceived as expressing hate toward a particular group." At the same time, Apple is removing from the App Store any games or other software featuring the Confederate Flag. This, of course, follows the recent shooting in South Carolina, which triggered a nationwide debate over whether the flag should be flown at government buildings (or anywhere). Major online merchant websites like eBay and Amazon have already taken the step of banning merchandise relating to the flag.

Comment: Re:Ugh (Score 4, Insightful) 126 126

Ad blocking was born in response to the arms race advertisers launched (and lets be fair here, also the websites that hosted them) where their ads became increasingly intolerable, obnoxious, disturbing and disruptive (to simple reading comprehension, never mind anything else). This behaviour *necessitated* a response; intitially simple pop-up blockers (now integrated into browsers AS STANDARD!) and gradually moving forward.

If anything, we've seen a lull in hostilities for the past few years as ad blockers have proved very successful, limited only by their install base.

The next round will probably involve websites refusing to show content until adblocking software is disabled (seen here and there already) and if/as this becomes more prevalent, ad blockers responding with stealthing mechanisms.

Since users ultimately own the rendering device, I'm not certain the advertisers can ever win. And god knows, they lost the moral argument long, long ago.

The Media

Sunday Times Issues DMCA Takedown Notice To the Intercept Over Snowden Article 125 125

Posted by Soulskill
from the best-defense-is-a-hilariously-weak-offense dept.
An anonymous reader writes: On Sunday, British newspaper The Sunday Times published an article citing anonymous UK government sources claiming that the cache of documents taken by Edward Snowden was successfully decrypted by the Russians and Chinese. Shortly thereafter, Glenn Greenwald at The Intercept published scathing criticism of the article. In Greenwald's article, he included a photograph of the newspaper's front page, where the story was featured. Yesterday, The Intercept received a DMCA takedown notice from News Corp alleging that the photograph infringed upon their copyright. The Intercept is refusing to comply with the takedown demand.
Businesses

Restaurateur Loses Copyright Suit To BMI 389 389

Posted by samzenpus
from the pay-up dept.
Frosty P writes: BMI claims Amici III in Linden, New York didn't have a license when it played four tunes in its eatery one night last year, including the beloved "Bennie and the Jets" and "Brown Sugar," winning $24,000 earlier this year, and over $8,200 in attorney's fees. Giovanni Lavorato, who has been in business for 25 years, says the disc DJ brought into the eatery paid a fee to play tunes. "It's ridiculous for me to pay somebody also," he said. "This is not a nightclub. This is not a disco joint . . . How many times do they want to get paid for the stupid music?"
The Media

Journalist Burned Alive In India For Facebook Post Exposing Corruption 219 219

Posted by Soulskill
from the rest-in-peace dept.
arnott writes: Journalist Jagendra Singh used a Facebook page to expose corruption in the state of Uttar Pradesh in India. Though he posted under a pseudonym, he was quickly found and burned alive by police, allegedly on the order of the minister accused. He died a week later from his injuries. This is not the first case of a journalist being attacked in this state. Amnesty International had urged the local government to launch an official investigation, and now five policemen and a politician have been brought up on murder charges. What can Facebook or other companies do to help these journalists report on corruption in a safe manner?
Education

Writer: "Why I Defaulted On My Student Loans" 1032 1032

Posted by Soulskill
from the instead-of-paying-money,-consider-not-paying-money dept.
schwit1 writes: There are some valid points raised in Lee Siegel's 1,100 word rant against college loans (if not so much against college education). There are also some bad ones. But two things are clear: the words "personal" and/or "responsibility" were used precisely zero times. Siegel, who described himself as "the author of five books who is writing a memoir about money," is hardly a glowing advertisement for the return on nearly a decade in university just to achieve a Master of Philosophy degree.

Siegel says, "As difficult as it has been, I’ve never looked back. The millions of young people today, who collectively owe over $1 trillion in loans, may want to consider my example. It struck me as absurd that one could amass crippling debt as a result, not of drug addiction or reckless borrowing and spending, but of going to college. ... The rapacity of American colleges and universities is turning social mobility, the keystone of American freedom, into a commodified farce. If people groaning under the weight of student loans simply said, 'Enough,' then all the pieties about debt that have become absorbed into all the pieties about higher education might be brought into alignment with reality. Instead of guaranteeing loans, the government would have to guarantee a college education."
Java

Supreme Court May Decide the Fate of APIs (But Also Klingonese and Dothraki) 210 210

Posted by timothy
from the will-people-finally-stop-saying-frak? dept.
New submitter nerdpocalypse writes: In a larger battle than even Godzilla v. Mothra, Google v. Oracle threatens not only Japan but the entire nerd world. What is at stake is how a language can be [copyrighted]. This affects not just programming languages, APIs, and everything that runs ... well ... everything, but also the copyright status of new languages such as Klingon and Dothraki.
SourceForge

SourceForge and GIMP [Updated] 384 384

Posted by Soulskill
from the yelling-on-the-internet dept.
New submitter tresf writes: In response to a Google+ post from the Gimp project claiming that "[Sourceforge] is now distributing an ads-enabled installer of GIMP," Sourceforge had this response: "In cases where a project is no longer actively being maintained, SourceForge has in some cases established a mirror of releases that are hosted elsewhere. This was done for GIMP-Win.

Submitter's note: Gimp is actively being maintained and the definition of "mirror" is quite misleading here as a modified binary is no longer a verbatim copy. Download statistics for Gimp on Windows show SourceForge as offering over 1,000 downloads per day of the Gimp software.

In an official response to this incident, the official Gimp project team reminds users to use official download methods. Slashdotters may remember the last time news like this surfaced (2013) when the Gimp team decided to move downloads from SourceForge to their own FTP service. "Therefore, we remind you again that GIMP only provides builds for Windows via its official Downloads page." Note: SourceForge and Slashdot share a corporate parent.
Editor's note: I just got back from a busy weekend to see that a bunch of people are freaking out that we're "burying" this story, so here it is. Go hog wild. Sorry it took so long. (And for future reference, user submissions are easily found in the firehose, listed in the order they appear, newest first.)

Update: 06/01 22:37 GMT by T : The SourceForge blog has a welcome update; SourceForge, it says, has effective today "stopped presenting third party offers for unmaintained SourceForge projects. ... At this time, we present third party offers only with a few projects where it is explicitly approved by the project developer, or if the project is already bundling third party offers."
Communications

Orange County Public Schools To Monitor Students On Social Media 166 166

Posted by timothy
from the well-that's-air-tight dept.
The Orlando Sentinel reports that Orange County, Florida, is undertaking a sweeping effort to snoop on the social media communications of the county's public school students and staff, for the nebulous task of "[ensuring] safe school operations," and say they will use the software (at a license cost of about $13,000 per year) "to conduct routine monitoring for purposes of prevention or early intervention of potential issues where students or staff could be at risk to themselves or to others." The software they're using is from Snaptrends, which offers "location-based social media discovery." According to one of the comments attached to the linked story, there are monthly fees, in addition to the annual licensing cost.
The Courts

Silk Road Founder Ross Ulbricht Sentenced To Life In Prison 363 363

Posted by Soulskill
from the sorry-about-your-luck dept.
An anonymous reader sends an update on the trial of Ross Ulbricht, the man behind the Silk Road online black market. Sentencing is now complete, and Ulbricht has been given life in prison. He had been facing a 20-year minimum because of the charge of being a "drug kingpin," and prosecutors were asking for a sentence substantially higher than the minimum. Prior to the sentence being handed down today, Ulbricht spoke before the court for 20 minutes, asking for leniency and for the judge to leave him a "light at the end of the tunnel." The judge was unswayed, giving Ulbricht the most severe sentence possible. She said, "The stated purpose [of the silk road] was to be beyond the law. ... Silk Road's birth and presence asserted that its creator was better than the laws of this country. This is deeply troubling, terribly misguided, and very dangerous." Ulbricht's family plans to appeal.

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