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Comment Re:What about privacy? (Score 1) 282 282

Even the article doesn't mention the "privacy mess" too much. It mentions the "Wi-Fi Password Sharing" non-issue, says "by default Win10 will be sending a lot of your data from your computer to Microsoft that they never had access to before", and then references ANOTHER article that details what settings Windows 10 has that might be used for privacy invasions (but might also be used for feature enhancements). If you're going to claim that there's a privacy issue, at least give more of a summary instead of just linking to another article.

Comment Re:Doubtful (Score 1) 700 700

I agree that, for most people, electric car don't make sense right now. The key words are "right now", though. Electric cars will come down in price until they are price-competitive with gas models. The range will also be increased and could one day match gas cars. As for apartment dwellers, that could be a different issue, but perhaps people will get creative on how they charge.

The ideal for electric vehicles would be to have a fast charge time (around the same amount of time it takes to fill a gas car from 1/4 tank to full), long range, and a price point around that of gas cars. If all three points are hit, people would flock to electric cars and gas stations could convert into "Recharge Stations" to stay in business. The closer we get to the ideal, the more electric vehicles that will be on the road.

Comment Re:quickly to be followed by self-driving cars (Score 2) 700 700

We've owned a home for 11 years now. (Yes, in NY.) There are definitely days where I see something's broken and I wish I could just call the landlord, say "have this taken care of", and not have to worry about the details. Then again, when we were living in our apartment, our rent would increase every year and our landlord would blame the repairs he had to make. "The central air conditioning system was broken and needed to be fixed so your rent is going up next year." (As if leaving everything broken was a valid option and he was doing us some big favor by fixing what broke.)

Comment Re: Jury Nullification (Score 1) 583 583

I think the reason that people are skeptical whether or not he would survive the trip to the trial is that Snowden angered a lot of people who a) have a lot of power, b) aren't afraid to use it, and c) have been known to use said power "behind the scenes."

Would the director of the NSA walk up and shoot him in the head? Of course, not. However, it would be trivial for the director of the NSA to arrange to have the holding prison's chef "accidentally" spill some drug into Snowden's food, Snowden could wind up dead from a "self-inflicted drug overdose."

Comment Re:You just described SoylentNews. (Score 1) 550 550

I definitely enjoy the differing opinions on Slashdot and hope that doesn't change.

If an article about some controversial subject comes up, you can be sure that people from both sides will post their views. If, for example, the subject is gun control in the US, you'll have one post from someone proclaiming the Second Amendment as sacred and not to be trampled upon by the federal government, another post from someone calling on the feds to round up all guns and melt them into a giant "peace sign" statue", and a bunch of other posts in between.

I definitely don't agree with everyone here, but it would be a big loss if the entire community was shoved into one side or the other.

Comment Re: Is anyone actually suprised? (Score 5, Informative) 583 583

And when there were whistleblowers before him who tried to report issues they saw. These people don't have the name recognition of Snowden because their reports were hushed up and the whistleblowers were accused of wrongdoing themselves. Snowden saw how "work within the official channels" went and chose a more effective method, albeit one that put him into permanent exile.

Comment Re:Just like Teacher "Grades" (Score 1) 245 245

Until now, in New York at least, standardized tests didn't impact teachers' jobs. So if Sally got a low test score because her teacher didn't teach her the EXACT method that the standardized test said should be used, there was no problem. Now, however, Sally's teacher could be fired because Sally learned a method that worked better for her and not the cookie-cutter, one-size-fits-all method that the test demands. If you get the right answer with the wrong method, it's counted as wrong.

Furthermore, I've seen teachers come under fire when multiple students answered questions similarly. They were taught by the same teacher under the same standardized curriculum to answer things in the same way. When this resulted in similar answers, the test scorers claimed that the teacher must have coached them during the test. The teacher even had to fight against the district because they wanted to fire her under suspicion of cheating. (There was zero proof beyond a vague "some answers looked similar" but if you teach kids to answer a question in a certain way, you're bound to get similar answers.) So now teachers apparently get penalized if they stick to the script or sway off of it.

Comment Re:Just like Teacher "Grades" (Score 1) 245 245

And NY also declared that "failing" schools (as determined by state ed) would be put into receivership. The first year, the superintendent runs the school. He can fire teachers/administrators for no other reason than "it's my whim", he can lengthen or shorten the school day, change the teachers' pay (again, no union dealing, just "this is what you're paid now, deal with it"), and more. If, after a year, state ed determines that the superintendent didn't turn the school around, it goes into a third party receivership (likely a charter school) who can permanently change the school into a charter school as well as all of the things the superintendent was able to do.

Of course, the schools most at risk for receivership are inner city schools. So why would a teacher take a job in an inner city school where they could be fired for low student test scores or fired when the school goes into receivership?

Of course, all this was put into play because the teacher's union didn't support the governor's reelection campaign. Charter schools did support him, though. He's taking political revenge on the teachers and doesn't care how many students get hurt in the process.

Comment Re:Just like Teacher "Grades" (Score 1) 245 245

Except now the teachers' jobs are at stake. In New York, if a teacher's students don't do as well on their standardized tests as the state says they should, the teacher can be fired. If this happens three years in a row, the teacher IS fired. No argument is accepted to avoid termination (except fraud and good luck proving that).

Comment Just like Teacher "Grades" (Score 5, Interesting) 245 245

In NY, where I live, we're now "grading" teachers based on how well their students do on standardized tests. Any teacher who strays from the "prep for the test" subject matter and uses inventive ways of helping their students learn is going to have students who might know more, but who will perform worse on the tests. Teachers who stick to the script and drill test preparation into their students will wind up with better scores even though their students will know less (except how to fill in bubbles).

Just like the Doctors example in the article, the "teacher grading" system is going to backfire. Talented teachers will be kicked out (test scores are tied to their jobs now, your students get low scores and you're out) and mediocre teachers will remain. It's almost like trying to take the jobs that teachers and doctors do and standardize their job functions across every student/patient they see doesn't work. Maybe because their jobs require using their brains and trying different techniques as opposed to an assembly line worker who just needs to perform the same task every time with no variation.

Machines that have broken down will work perfectly when the repairman arrives.