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Comment CTE Computer Programming teacher here (Score 5, Interesting) 152

This is my second full year teaching 11th and 12th graders at the local BOCES CTE department. I have no industry background, but a strong interest in programming. I know I am not an ideal candidate for teaching the content, so you'll have to trust me when I say there is no one more qualified who would do the job for the money, and the change from my last job is a huge benefit for me as suddenly I'm spending a lot less money on gas and I have a job that is challenging but worth the challenge. For some reason, an actual Computer Programming course is the only thing for which funding is not on offer, unless of course we cater to several girls, which does not seem to happen much.

As noted in several other comments, this type of job usually falls to someone who has never written a line of code; I have a goal this year to write a program that the students at least will use, and that I will post to GitHub. I have been a follower of many open source projects and I am very familiar with the community. I have little teaching experience, but I am making the most of my PD and taking the courses required for CTE teacher certification (i.e. not a Master's in teaching but a handful of required undergrad courses).

The current "industry-based" assessment for the program is the NOCTI -- a test that has no guidelines on content, language or other skills but requires students to make a form to purchase music items in order to be certified. I am open to suggestions and have put a feeler out to Google's Education twitter handle to see if they know of something more relevant, but have gotten no response. Without a certified industry assessment, I am doomed to fail my students, and to be labelled ineffective as a teacher. I am willing to work on an assessment and curriculum based on community and open source software, but to my knowledge no one else is working on this. It would be great to produce it myself, and I am not afraid of the work, but I doubt that I could get it certified by any authority without backing from a major household-name industry player such as Google. For some reason all material I find online is geared toward teachers in core subjects teaching a week or so of programming.

As for AP CS, the requirement for me to be able to give my students the credit for AP is that I myself have taken all the required courses in CS that a professor in college would have -- i.e., a Master's in CS plus a prereq undergrad courses. I started college in a CS program, but changed colleges and majors in order to earn a BA in English (I know, I know...). The AP seems to favor Java, which is not problematic for me as that's on what my first year of college focused. The initial courses required for AP require hundreds of dollars that are not on offer for new teachers; I have dropped over $1000 so far just to maintain the requirements for initial certification and the course I am taking now will cost another $1000. Reimbursement is offered but there are so many gotchas that it's worth it to plunk down the cash and then beg for it back.

The good news is that between O'Reilly's free "Safari for Schools" library containing much recent material on diverse fresh topics such as Raspberry Pi, Arduino, Python, web apps and mobile apps, and traditional technologies and languages such as SQL (especially MySQL), C++, etc, as well as possible school-wide access to, I could teach the students literally anything they might want to know about programming. Unfortunately, I need to focus on a set of industry skills and narrow that to get them to pass the above-mentioned NOCTI assessment in order that some of them will earn a gold seal.

Any advice is appreciated. I'm looking forward to many years working with young people providing what I wished for during those same years. I have a supportive administration (except when it comes to finance, until I can prove I know what I need and why) and fellow faculty, and the best students I could ask for. I need to be a better programmer and teacher, and fast.

Comment Re:Desktop Linux (Score 1) 91

It's called Windows XP. Don't want viruses? Install Chrome, they hear from their friends, and continue plugging away on what Microsoft won't support, but which runs fine for them. Plus it doesn't have to be associated with that 'Linux' that nobody ever heard of or be installed in what is usually a destructive way even when you know what an operating system is and to be careful.

Comment Re:Crime does pay (Score 4, Insightful) 111

This. Not everyone worth their salt in security sees financial gain as the sole objective, or there would be no honest work left in the world. Would the GP recommend to a factory worker that if he just stole 10 of the devices on the conveyor a day, or drove the forklift full of pallets to his house, he could make his yearly wage in a week? If you work on the wrong side of the law (in this case, the laws being entirely ethical as so much is at stake), you are not guaranteed to not get caught, nor are you guaranteed a working wage after finding and selling a flaw. Jailtime and honest work in this case are carrot/stick factors deciding how finding the exploit is to the benefit of the discoverer.

Comment Re:Debunk? (Score 1) 301

Found your site yesterday linked from Yahoo! Shared some of the things you found with friends, who also thought it was cool. Don't mind the people saying it's needless, as I found it really entertaining, especially where you identify commonly found code being presented, as in the Iron Man case or how it would actually be interpreted, as in the Malbolge from Elementary. It's a little educational but mostly fun, which is what it should be. I look forward to what else you and your subscribers find!

Comment Re:That's not the most important thing (Score 4, Informative) 372

Just tried it in Virtualbox, and it has made strides since I last tried it some years ago. Some notes:
Select "Other/Unknown (64-bit)" in the Operating System type drop-down, unless you specifically download the 32-bit version.
Add a floppy controller and add the image as a floppy disk attached to that. Delete the other controllers that are present by default, unless you have a specific reason not to (like listening to your outdated music on disc from within MenuetOS, or loading a WAD or PAK file for Doom/Quake).
Does not work with my work MacBook's iSight camera (afaict).
Boots in 5 seconds, and I'm thinking of ways to demonstrate it to students at the schools where I work.

Comment Re:Not going to happen (Score 1) 112

When has Google followed the model you're describing? Theirs is "support a dev phone for at least two major release cycles, sell at less than half the price of a similar-spec OEM phone, put a dent in the entrenched scheme of subsidized phones at appalling retail prices." Everything Google has done in this space has been good for Google, and often good for nerds who like having a decent device that's also hackable. Modular phones means that the few friends who trust someone like a Slashdotter to help make purchasing decisions get to see what something like this can become in the hands of a capable nerd. And the OEMs who build a disposable phone type are the ones who lose market share. Those who create something worth supporting for its product lifetime will continue to provide for those who want something integrated and are willing to keep signing a 2-yr (now, potentially 1-yr, though with the caveat of selling your old phone or paying more upfront or over time) contract.

Comment Re:No. (Score 1) 94

How many exploits do they have to find as "security researchers" in order to make six figures? You really think those companies that hire them pay six figures for just one (apparently, since you called a 5-digit payout per exploit "short of the mark"). That amount of money adds up quickly for those with the expertise, and they don't even have to be under Google's employ to earn it, meaning that their options are open and other companies won't balk from fixes and reports coming from a potential competitor, and they can increase their worth by finding multiple exploits in a given length of time. I don't have that level of expertise, but from what I gather, the potential in a professional white hat is often so great that they can dedicate their time to it without having a full-time job.

Comment Re:Credulousness (Score 1) 311

For the last three years, I have been driving between multiple locations for my job. The next on my list is rarely the nearest, sometimes in a different city, nor is it even often the one I'd planned on visiting during the morning, or day before. As such, I have been struggling to find the quickest route between any two given locations. I still consult my GPS from time to time to make sure I'm not losing valuable time to actually *perform* my job once I arrive, simply by heading directly North when I should head West first. I know *where* all the locations are, but the roads to the next change depending on the starting point.

Comment Still a lot (Score 4, Interesting) 391

No matter what the materials and other costs per unit, $900M still means a large number of units. There's ways they could use that stock to help keep up their fight for real estate in minds and hearts of users who still consider Microsoft and Windows and Office to be relevant, many of whom probably think the iPad was made by the "Windows people" since they've never seen anything by anyone else. Just imagine if they made a deal to start giving these away with Time-warner or Verizon service. As many home users consider the device and the network to be one thing anyway, they could gain a lot of mindshare that would be lost simply by doing so. Even $200 or more in rental fees from users adding a $10 line item to their bill for it would drop that $900M almost by an order of magnitude. App store purchases would increase overnight, and the remainder of the loss would disappear within a year. There's a lot of creative ways Microsoft could come out of this smelling roses, without "dumping" the stock, and end up better off. Just looking at the numbers you can tell they might be down, but they're not out.

Comment Re:Both computers can be used simultaneously (Score 1) 126

That does raise some interesting power-user possibilities, now you point it out. Tablet as remote display, media remote control, presentation remote control; debugging Android development on a second monitor, regardless of how the tablet is connected (I enjoy debug and test deployment to my Nexus with adb over TCP).

This is before even considering the possibility of using Linux as the x86/base laptop host or dual-boot OS, though I'm wondering just what hurdles would be to making the tablet/screen recognize the host? Anyone have more technical specs on this that can elaborate whether it's just a DVI or HDMI connection with a special pin short to tell the tablet to sleep the Android system and connect the display to the output, or if it has some more complicated or proprietary mechanism for switching modes?

I was already considering this as a machine to request from work for my next laptop, partly to eliminate the clutter in my bag (currently a Win8-running bulky Acer Iconia Tab W500, Lenovo SL400, Nexus 7 in case, iPad Mini in covers, and a hotspot) and partly for its utility -- switch to Android tablet for running Wifi-analyzer or Fing, back to WIndows to configure settings over the network with touchpad/keyboard.

Strange bedfellows, indeed, but quite the interesting marriage of good technology. Especially given the quality of the hardware.

Comment Re:Why not just "relax" and enjoy travel WITHOUT w (Score 4, Interesting) 273

Because growing as a developer is enjoyment for him. I have trouble explaining to my significant other that building electronics, developing software, and yes, even maintaining my work's servers in offtime, gives me not only a sense of accomplishment, but also a feeling of growth and even pleasure.

Otherwise, I might just find a deserted island and maroon myself there (possibly with my family).

But I would expect not to have to explain that on /.

Also, development skills can (sometimes, even in isolation from other developers) be grown with little more than a book, an IDE, a compiler and time -- the kind of time he's looking to avail himself by travelling while he has no immediate debts or job responsibilities. That's leaving the question of Internet connectivity and all that entails: wikis, IRC, Youtube, etc...

Again, not the sort of thing you think you'd have to explain to a fellow /.er

Comment Re:GCompris (Score 5, Informative) 338

Seconded. Married to a teacher who is now running daycare for some friends' kids so she can stay home with ours. I'm a tech for local catholic schools whose teachers and staff can't deal with Linux though I myself have been a user for more than a decade.

We have acquired some older P4 machines and I have one slightly newer one that I set up as an Edubuntu LTSP server. The older ones NetBoot from it.

Point is, my 3-yr-old and her friends between 3 and 4 love Gcompris, and my wife thinks it's incredible. Connect-the-dots, memory, typing blaster and even a simple mouse-learning game where one wipes translucent bricks away to reveal a fun animal picture. It gets used for maybe an hour total per day, so it's a fun reward for good behavior and a pastime while the babies need feeding or lunch prepared or laundry done, not a mindless zombie creator. Compare the activities with what's playing on the Disney or nick channels and you can easily see which is better for a developing mind. Most activities are nearly if not entirely on par with the sensory and craft activities my wife plans with the kids, though visits to the rec center are a nice break from monotony, and they also attend a nursery school 2 days a week. Nice days are also used well with play on the swings and trampoline. I'm just saying by way of comparison for the benefit of those commenters who will say, "why stick your kid in front of a screen?" As though life is binary.

Artificial intelligence has the same relation to intelligence as artificial flowers have to flowers. -- David Parnas