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Comment: Embrace, Extend, Extinguish Whites/Asians from CS? (Score 1) 307

To address the challenge of rapidly increasing CS enrollments and increasing diversity, reports the Computing Education Blog, Google in November put out an RFP to universities for its invite-only 3X in 3 Years: CS Capacity Award program, which aims "to support faculty in finding innovative ways to address the capacity problem in their CS courses." In the linked-to RFP document, Google suggests that "students that have some CS background" should not be allowed to attend in-person intro CS courses where they "may be more likely to create a non-welcoming environment," and recommends that they instead be relegated to online courses. According to a recent NSF press release, this recommendation would largely exclude Asian and White boys from classrooms

In other words, they're trying to remove White males and Asians for non-merit reasons, and making it look like it was a merit-based criteria.

The project suggested in the Google RFP — which could be worth $1.5 million over 3 years to a large CS department — seems to embrace-and-extend a practice implemented at Harvey Mudd College years ago under President Maria Klawe, which divided the intro CS offering into separate sections based upon prior programming experience to — as the NY Times put it — reduce the intimidation factor of young men, already seasoned programmers, who dominated the class.

Intimidation? That sounds like they're not interested in merit but in discrimination against Asians and White males - as in wanting to see them leave CS. As one of those "white males that dominated the class" through performance, I used that knowledge to legitimately help others (which might be an extraordinary concept at Harvey Mudd).

The only thing they want to do is to embrace and extend a false sense of diversity while extinguishing the supply of education to those not "diverse" enough.

Google Director of Education and University Relations Maggie Johnson, whose name appears on the CS Capacity RFP, is also on the Board of (where Klawe is coincidentally an Advisory Board member), the K-12 learn-to-code nonprofit that has received $3+ million from Google and many millions more from other tech giants and their execs. Earlier this week, received the blessing of the White House and NSF to train 25,000 teachers to teach CS, stirring unease among some educators concerned about the growing influence of corporations in public schools.

As long as you're a Diversity Candidate, they want you to learn. If you're a White male or Asian, they want you not to learn. That, and combined with the preference for non-US labor, they don't want White males or Asians in traditional lines of work either.

Comment: van Der Snoot Private Academy much? (Score 1) 105

by sethstorm (#48562881) Attached to: Seeking Coders, Tech Titans Turn To K-12 Schools

Wow, sounds just about like classes we had in the US until the 1930s when we adopted the Prussian designed "Industrial Education system" which made people smart enough to calculate artillery range but too damn stupid to question orders doesn't it? Oh, you may not know this part of history since it's buried in piles of bureaucratic shit to hide it.. but it's there!

Your epic contempt for public schools, however good they can get, is shining brightly. Then again, I doubt you've seen a well-run, highly-ranked public school.

On the other hand, no real problem exists with the people we have.

Comment: Businesses caused the problem by being too picky (Score 1) 105

by sethstorm (#48562769) Attached to: Seeking Coders, Tech Titans Turn To K-12 Schools

It certainly could turn into a cheap labor scenario, and I am no fan of the H1-B, having worked with many in my time, but businesses that do not have a good pool of candidates are in big trouble, because you need talent as well as skill on your coding bench to make money and get ahead unless you're already a giant, and even then it hurts when your coders suck. Many H1-Bs are sweatshop hacks. However, there are some who are very talented and I am happy when they manage to upgrade to green card or even naturalize.

That's what you get when you do nothing to counter the entitlement mentality of businesses.

Comment: Razors and blades (Score 1) 415

My wife has a $100 color HP printer; each ink refill costs $60 but she's become attached to it. The printer won't print unless it's a "genuine HP cartridge" with DoD level 5 DRM and ink that costs more than Zafrio Anejo tequila laced with polonium 210. It should be spraying powdered rubies, emeralds, and sapphire, not marked-up food coloring. And when their overpriced black cartridge runs out, they trick you into wasting all your remaining cartridges by combining all three to make black.

I ended up pulling my ten year old laser printer out of the closet (tucked next to a ten year old Win XP laptop), got a third party drum cartridge for $15, and now I can print things without having to decide whether it's worth the ink.

Carly Fiorina left HP's reputation lying in pieces on a seafloor before she switched to a more appropriate career. Now we have Satya Nadella who is synergistically pumping Microsoft's reputation down a fracking well. After Microsoft fully transitions its business model from software to cable compary fuckery,, he'll change careers and become a Senator.


NSF Accused of Misuse of Funds In Giant Ecological Project 116

Posted by Soulskill
from the $15000-for-porpoise-sweaters dept.
An anonymous reader writes: The National Science Foundation (NSF) and a contractor have been accused by both an audit and by Congress of a significant misuse of funds in a major ecological monitoring project costing almost a half a billion dollars. From the article: "With a construction budget of $433.7 million, NEON is planned to consist of 106 sites across the United States. Arrays of sensors at each site will monitor climate change and human impacts for 30 years, building an unprecedented continental-scale data set. Although some initially doubted its merits, the allure of big-data ecology eventually won over most scientists.

But a 2011 audit of the project's proposed construction budget stalled three times when, according to the independent Defense Contract Audit Agency, NEON's accounting proved so poor that the review could not be completed. Eventually, DCAA issued an adverse ruling, concluding that nearly 36% of NEON's budget proposal was questionable or undocumented.

When the NSF green-lit the project, the agency's inspector-general ordered the audit released on 24 November, which found unallowable expenses including a $25,000 winter holiday party, $11,000 to provide coffee for employees, $3,000 for board-of-directors dinners that included alcohol, $3,000 for t-shirts and other clothes, $83,000 for "business development" and $112,000 for lobbying."

Comment: Flare stars (Score 3, Informative) 62

by MillionthMonkey (#48512171) Attached to: 'Mirage Earth' Exoplanets May Have Burned Away Chances For Life

Ok, I understand that, but isn't it possible for an ice bearing comet (or several) to impact the planet at some later time when the sun was cooler? Surely those planetary systems have their own equivalent of oort clouds?

The whole reason that a red dwarf is so dangerous to live around is its low gravity. It can hurl flares from its surface that ascend far out into space and reach its tight little "habitable zone", and its planets will occasionally orbit through a flare and get zapped. The flares are channeled and accelerated by electromagnetic turbulence that originates from deep inside the star. Even after the surface temperature of its photosphere finally declines, the star will continue to flare until it shrinks down to a white dwarf (which has no habitable zone at all, since its starlight is extreme ultraviolet radiation that can easily blast water molecules apart). Since M-class stars typically have expected lifetimes of trillions of years, you'd have to wait a long time to see it happen.

Comment: US Citizenship is an excuse for discrimination (Score 2) 139

by sethstorm (#48503341) Attached to: Want To Work For a Cool Tech Company? Hone Your Social Skills

You are disposable. There will always be another one just like you that they can hire. They can get a dozen resumes with a single call.

Only if citizens are not given their proper prioritization above non-citizens.

That's if they don't just get someone on a H1B visa.

That's an even bigger problem since it presumes that a US citizen is never competent enough.

Comment: Rarity. (Score 1) 376

by sethstorm (#48501157) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: IT Career Path After 35?

I am running my own business these days. but several years ago (2008-2012) I was working for an Israeli start up and was enjoying myself. They appreciated the life-long experience gained during dozens if not hundreds of software projects big and small.

Exception case of someone doing well in a unstable environment designed to be bad for most - versus a system of good pay & security that is better for most.

Our policy is, when in doubt, do the right thing. -- Roy L. Ash, ex-president, Litton Industries