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Comment: Re:Yeah, students will use bandwidth (Score 1) 277

by Bryan Ischo (#47506307) Attached to: How One School District Handled Rolling Out 20,000 iPads

Surely if there is a will, there is a way. How about:

- Hiring an independent third party to evaluate each teacher, evaluating:
- The lesson plan that the teacher is using
- The coursework assigned to the students over the course of the year
- The quality of grading and written feedback given to students
- Observe classroom interactions over periods of time (probably would require a video camera to be installed in the classroom full time which is only sometimes turned on, and the teacher cannot know when it is turned on)
- Compare testing outcomes as a broad metric (with the full understanding of how outcomes cannot necessarily be correlated to teacher effectiveness since so many other factors apply - but surely *some* limited conclusions can be drawn, and over years, a pattern established)
- Solicit anonymous feedback on teachers (once again using obvious common sense in recognizing that some feedback will not be accurate, but one would expect a pattern to appear over time)

It's not rocket science and you don't have to be 100% accurate to have a significantly positive effect on teacher quality using these and other obvious techniques.

Comment: Re:Little Snitch (Score 1) 349

by Whiney Mac Fanboy (#47373595) Attached to: Bug In Fire TV Screensaver Tears Through 250 GB Data Cap

The trick is that you use the Mac as a proxy, so all traffic from the device goes through the Mac

The real trick would be to put your unix-like box behind your gateway, routing all traffic through it. This has the massive advantage of not requiring you to go around, reconfiguring all suspect devices to use a proxy server (if they even can).

I assume this is possible with a mac, its certainly relatively easy to do with linux.

Comment: Re:misunderstanding of the internet? (Score 1) 484

by Bryan Ischo (#47316449) Attached to: Supreme Court Rules Against Aereo Streaming Service

Obviously you can construct any complex scenario closer and closer to the imaginary line separating legal from illegal, for pretty much any law. As you get closer to that line, each such concocted scenario gets harder and harder to argue about because the issues become more and more subtle. All you're doing is trying to define that line exactly, when typically laws cannot be defined so exactly. Getting closer to the line just means you are "more likely" to be found guilty. There is never a perfect line that can be drawn, on one side being 100% guilty and the other side being 100% innocent.

The best answer to your question is that scenarios that close to the line are typically going to be decided on a case by case basis. Who knows what the decision would be until a court actually decides it, and we're not going to be able to go through all of the arguments and predict what the outcome would be here.

However, if you enjoy speculation, the I'd say the scenario you described is probably legal because you own the device in question, and are not profiting from using it in the way you describe. Profiting from your actions tends to bring your actions into much closer scrutiny because of the implication that your profit may represent illegal gains at the expense of whoever is losing profit because of your actions.

Comment: Re:Most interesting part... (Score 1) 461

by Bryan Ischo (#47315951) Attached to: Half of Germany's Power Supplied By Solar, Briefly

Read the other comments before posting, it will save us all some time. All that Germany proved is that in ideal conditions on one afternoon solar contributed significantly to their energy supply. Solar only contributed 5% of their total power over the year. That is hardly proof that such a methodology can scale as you suggest.

Comment: Re:Is there a 'less nerdy version'? (Score 1) 347

by Bryan Ischo (#47315865) Attached to: Evidence of a Correction To the Speed of Light

That doesn't make any sense to me. Any pull that has any component other than directly and exactly away from Earth would bend the direction of the light so that it completely missed Earth. Even the tiniest deviation thousands of light years away would cause the light to miss Earth by a huge, huge distance.

Or is the light somehow being pulled into a different direction and then pulled back on course to aim directly at Earth? How in the world would that work?

Comment: Re:So, what's the correction? (Score 1) 347

by Bryan Ischo (#47312451) Attached to: Evidence of a Correction To the Speed of Light

Are you sure that the cause-effect relationship between an electric field propogating a magnetic field, and vice-versa, is included in this theory? Because there is no time component in the equations and therefore there is no unit of time to be made shorter.

There actually isn't any time between the change in the magnetic field and the change in the electric field; and there isn't any distance, either. But the ratio of these two values does produce a finite number, just like how calculus can calculate the ratio between the limits of two formula converging on zero at infinity.

Comment: Re:I've quit two jobs, due to overwork (Score 1) 710

by Bryan Ischo (#47312441) Attached to: Workaholism In America Is Hurting the Economy

You probably are in the 5%. Also, what kind of office has more distractions than a home would? Don't people specifically *have* homes so that they can fill them with all of the distractions that they love? Don't offices exist so that people can get work done away from those distractions?

I guess if I worked somewhere with the kind of environment that you are describing, then it wouldn't matter if I worked at home or at work. But I work somewhere that the work is taken seriously and most those distractions are kept where they belong - at home.

And to counter your jab, I also find the best workers don't feel to need to be seen in the office to prove their worth. They feel the need to be in the office to maximize their productivity.

Comment: Re:So, what's the correction? (Score 2) 347

by Bryan Ischo (#47312213) Attached to: Evidence of a Correction To the Speed of Light

Agreed. But that's kind of my point. It's easy to wonder why light has to be bounded by a maximum speed because we can easily ask "why not faster"? For me it makes it clearer that there are fundamental aspects of physics/reality at work here to keep in mind that it's really the ratio of the smallest distance to the shortest time.

Yes, you do then have to ask "why is there a smallest distance" and "why is there a shortest time", but at least for these questions, I have an answer I can live with: because there has to be a separation between cause and effect, so there has to be a shortest time in between which two things can happen. If the time that it takes for an electric field to propogate a magnetic field and vice versa, which has no time component as far as I remember in the equations governing how this happens, has nothing limiting it to happening with a shorter time duration between the cause and the effect (which I believe is true, at least according to electromegnetic theory), then this is the shortest time.

A similar argument can be applied to explaining why there is a shortest distance.

So basically, for me, it is more directly meaningful to think of there being a smallest possible time increment (because there *must be*, otherwise zeno's paradox and all that), and a shortest possible distance (once again because there *must be*, for the same reason), than to think of there being a limit to the speed of light, which otherwise logically I can't understand, except in the terms that I described in this and in my prior post.

Comment: Re:Is there a 'less nerdy version'? (Score 1) 347

by Bryan Ischo (#47312137) Attached to: Evidence of a Correction To the Speed of Light

Why is the force of gravity pulling these electron/positron pairs away from Earth? Why is there any net effect at all? Is there "more stuff" on average on the other side of that supernova than on this side?

Correspondingly, if a supernova were to happen here and direct photons in the other direction, would the light get there "faster"? If not, why not? Why is the net drag caused by gravity always away from the direction that the light is travelling?

Sorry if this is a double-post, Slashdot eats my comments sometimes, I swear.

Comment: Re:Is there a 'less nerdy version'? (Score 1) 347

by Bryan Ischo (#47312103) Attached to: Evidence of a Correction To the Speed of Light

In this explanation, why is there a net gravitational pull away from Earth? In those brief moments where the photons disassociate into electron/positron pairs, why are they pulled in any direction in particular? Why are they more likely to be pulled in a direction that slows them down rather than speeding them up?

Comment: Re:Don't mess with "c" (Score 1) 347

by Bryan Ischo (#47312053) Attached to: Evidence of a Correction To the Speed of Light

You're playing games with words. Viscosity is "a measure of its resistance to gradual deformation by shear stress or tensile stress, due to friction between neighboring particles that are moving at different velocities". How could any part of that definition have anything to do with light?

Or do you intend viscosity to mean "a force which slows down photons"? In which case your sentence is "Space-Time could have a non-zero force which slows down photons, and slow down photons", in which case you aren't really saying anything other than, "something could be causing these photons to slow down", which isn't actually saying an explanation at all given that the whole question is *why* these photons appear to be slowing down.

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