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Comment: Re:Moodle. (Score 2) 120

by JavaJones (#41005237) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Open Source Software To Manage Student Grades?

Speaking as the tech director for a school that actually uses Moodle, it is actually fairly *in*-appropriate because it is designed as a "Virtual Learning Environment", i.e. it focuses on the "learning environment", not the "record keeping". There are several major issues with using it as a grade-keeping, report-generating system. Grading is based on "enrollment" in a "course", unenrolling them makes their grades difficult to access, so it's hard to track student's actual status, e.g. is this student an active, enrolled student, a past student, etc. Long-term management of grading records is problematic at best, and unless work is actually being graded *in* the system, the process of entering grades into it is cumbersome and time-consuming. It is simply not designed for this. A "Student Information System" (SIS) is the real need here, but unfortunately I haven't found many particularly good open source options.

Comment: Alamo Drafthouses are the model of the future (Score 5, Informative) 865

by JavaJones (#38532734) Attached to: Ebert: I'll Tell You Why Movie Revenue Is Dropping

The Alamo Drafthouse theaters, mostly in Texas but slowly spreading out (1 in Colorado and one in Virginia now) are superb models of successful customer-friendly theater experiences. Good equipment and seating, first-run movies, a clear and well-enforced no talking/texting policy, and oh yeah, good (yes, actually pretty good) food and *beer*. Not to mention great local events, a variety of special showings and unusual feature runs, and no crappy ads for cars and stuff before the show (instead a series of usually topical shorts or Youtube vids, usually hilarious). They are awesome and I hope they continue to spread.

- Oshyan

Comment: Zen magnets ("buckyballs")? (Score 2, Informative) 458

by JavaJones (#34293998) Attached to: Thought-Provoking Gifts For Young Kids?

Surprised no one has mentioned the magnetic ball kits, they're "all the rage". I prefer Zen Magnets: http://www.zenmagnets.com/ (for the following reason: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S7Tka4NUmUo). Of course they're probably a choking hazard, depending on age of the children. Maybe other Slashdotters have more sense than I...

Comment: Re:The choice is Apple's to make (Score 1) 731

by JavaJones (#32199946) Attached to: Adobe Calls Out Apple With Ads In NY Times, WSJ

Apple doesn't seem to care much about the hordes of people saying "iPhone sucks!" due to the poor quality of the AT&T network. Or... maybe it's not just AT&T's fault. I have two friends who both just recently got iPhones, both of whom had other phones on AT&T before this. Both of them now have constant call quality issues, call drops, etc. This is in San Francisco, hardly a backwater burb. Now their earlier experience with much cheaper cell phones on the same network in the same places might almost lead one to believe it's an iPhone hardware problem (incidentally one has a 3G and one a 3GS).

So if Apple cares so much about negative effects on their product perception from 3rd parties, it might be a good idea to get a different network partner. It might also be a good idea to design a cell phone antenna that works. But, as we all know, their current lock-in makes them a nice pile of cash, and iterative product upgrade cycles do too, so it's in their best interest to fix neither of these issues right away.

From this we can conclude: If there was money in having Flash on their platform, they would do it. Let's not dance around the issue here and pretend it's about "user experience" and "reputation", etc. This is about money, plain and simple.

- Oshyan

"Help Mr. Wizard!" -- Tennessee Tuxedo

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