Want to read Slashdot from your mobile device? Point it at m.slashdot.org and keep reading!


Forgot your password?

Comment Re:Whatever happened to the do not call list? (Score 1) 253

It works. I successfully settled with a telemarketer for $300. Suntasia out in Florida. I'm in Arizona. They later got raided by the feds.

You have to tell them not to call you, document every call they make to you and track them down. I managed to find Suntasia's lawyer and got the ball rolling. They hired a local firm so I made it a point to divide responses between the states to waste their time and money.

After they gave me $300 I told the lawyer that I really didn't care who got their money, I was happy that the lawyer made some money as well. I didn't hire a lawyer. I think it cost a few bucks to file. So basically they probably spent 3-4 hours of their money on very expensive lawyers and lost.

You have to read the telemarketing laws and match up your documentation with the laws they broke and then file the paperwork and follow through.

It takes awhile and they'll fight it but you just have to stick with it until they cry uncle.

Comment Re:The national average is 15.9 students per teach (Score 1) 162

Right, my point is that the average is 15.9. So if some classrooms have 30 kids and the average is 15.9, that proves the point that there are a lot of classrooms with less than 15.9 kids so that the average is 15.9.

That's the whole point of averages.

Every classroom could have 15.9 kids, but because we like paying people not to do anything, we have 30 kids in one room and (30 + x) / 2 = 15.9 which works to 30 + x = 31.8, x = 1.8

For every 30 kid classroom there can be a classroom with 1.8 kids and the average is 15.9

Which is my whole point that we have a lot of half empty classrooms with teachers collecting a full paycheck while other teachers have overflowing classrooms for the same pay.

Comment The national average is 15.9 students per teacher (Score 1) 162


When you talk about overloaded classrooms you're talking about STEM classrooms.

We have plenty of teachers. In fact, we could fire a lot of them and still be below 18-20 per class.

The issue is that we specialize in worthless teachers who collect full paychecks with empty classrooms because they're not competent enough to step in and teach a STEM period or two. As if the standards for becoming a K-12 math teacher are even particularly difficult.

As a bonus for firing a lot of worthless teachers and actually having full classrooms, we can give significant raises to the teachers we actually need. Which will in turn attract a lot more competent teachers who can solve other issues.

Comment Re:Follow the money. (Score 2) 234

This is brain dead capitalism. This is Scarlett O'Hara exploitative, short sighted, moocher stuff where you go in, get what you want and have no concern for the people or big picture view. When things fall apart you go cry and run off to the next batch of suckers.

This isn't Ayn Rand, understand your interdependencies, work together and support your highly competent support structure to build a larger ecosystem where everyone wins and improves in their core competencies to the benefit of everyone else.

Uber doesn't just need researchers. They need Google. They need Tesla. They need other car brands that are working on the problem. And they certainly could have used the money that the government and students were putting into the school to fund those researchers and give them access to other projects which may have given insights to the project they cared about. You can bet the government is interested in autonomous vehicles. Now that's gone because those researchers won't be given money or access to work already done in that area for the government.

Comment Idiots (Score 3, Interesting) 234

If they had let the researchers work through the university, they would have saved themselves a lot of money paying for the research.

Uber apparently thinks they need to own patents on self driving technology rather than just mass produced self driving cars ASAP.

Google is light years ahead of everyone else when it comes to navigating highly complex city streets. By destroying a research facility and bringing researchers in house, they've pretty much just cooked the golden egg. A university has a much better inroad to private industry and public funding to work together to solve this kind of complex problem.

They didn't just need those researchers. They needed access to everyone's researchers who are working on solving this problem. It's a huge win for everyone when people no longer drive cars and everyone gets to their destination safely. There's a huge motivation for collaboration. And apparently Uber isn't interested in that sort of thing.

So a university is out of a lot of money and valuable education resources for nothing.

Comment Re:A good language that'll get slammed... (Score 1) 520

Yep, found that. Apparently a lot of Python programmers aren't aware of the """ thing because I've only ever seen the obnoxious escape character used.

And people keep harping on the forced indentation just like they keep harping on the lack of a start menu in Windows 8 because it's really annoying and adds nothing.

And exactly, it's the noobs that don't indent properly. I'd like the language to not force it so they can be spotted easily. Having to force the indentation issue tells you you're working with a lot of noobs.

Comment Re:Such potential (Score 1) 520

All the Python I've seen used an escape character rather than the """ which is a pretty silly way of doing it. But at least it can be done.

C# uses @"

But no, it won't change my mind because forced indentation is a non-starter. It's just an aggravation that doesn't add anything.

Comment Re:Such potential (Score 1, Interesting) 520

"End" just reminds me too much of BASIC and Visual BASIC.

Forcing indentation and not having multi-line strings (without the need for escape characters) are the two biggest oversights of these hipster languages. C# finally realized that SQL is a big part of modern coding and you need multi-line strings to make inline queries readable. Not every query needs to be a stored proc and you often need to write inline queries to do what you want for testing before you kick it over to the DBA to make it a stored proc.

It's like MS releasing an operating system without a start menu.

It's incredibly annoying, completely unnecessary and not that difficult to implement.

DBA's do not appreciate having to remove your stupid escape characters rather than simply copying and pasting the query you wrote.

Comment Re:A good language that'll get slammed... (Score 1, Insightful) 520

Forcing code indentation is a sign you're going to be working with a bunch of "coders" who took a weekend course and not actual software engineers.

If you need a language to force you to do what you should be doing and naturally do because of experience, then you're not very good at your job.

There are far more important things in software engineering than being a white space nazi. Something that "coders" don't understand and it shows in their languages of choice.

What's really pathetic about python is that while being obsessed with white space, it can't handle multi-line strings without escape characters. Derp. Indentation essential for readability. Being able to write SQL queries with proper indentation, not important.

It's not surprising that most things people like about these "hip" languages are things you can do (and actually do) in any other language if you're actually skilled. And doing them in the "hip" languages is no indication of skill level.

Comment Re:Home storage (Score 1) 488

Batteries currently cost about as much as the solar panels needed to charge them. You have to be able to charge the batteries about 3 times faster than they are discharged since there is maybe 8 hours of daylight and 24 hours of usage with the AC running 24 hours to keep the house at a certain temp.

And the batteries will need to be replaced every 5-10 years as they wear out. Solar panels need to be replaced every 20-25 years.

A better goal is to have houses running everything but the AC on clean energy in the next 10 years.

The market will naturally gravitate towards cheaper alternatives. The environmentalists are using flawed economics 101 logic that says that costs go down as demand goes up. They don't realize or don't want to admit there is a limit to how low the prices can go. And we are no where near economical no matter how many people are forced to buy solar panels.

There's a reason ObamaCare didn't lower prices. Demand isn't a magic wand to lower high prices and high demand is perfectly capable of causing the prices to go up as well as lower it.

Comment Re:Speaking for myself (Score 2) 320

In the mid 1990's the government mandated that children's programming be educational.

That killed every good cartoon on network TV. Cable isn't subject to those laws. Corporate greed is killing those shows though for the reasons you listed. Also, cable just isn't a big money thing for the average show. They don't have the budgets that network shows have.

I buy box sets of the good shows so my daughter can watch them when she wants. And the best part is no ads and there are rarely still existing products so she's not being sold anything even passively.

Comment "Smart" is a misnomer (Score 4, Interesting) 96

A "smart" board is just a touch sensitive surface that is recognized by the computer as pretty much a standard mouse. It plugs in through USB. The only thing "smart" about it is that there are a few extra sensors on the board that identify which color "marker" you're using (simple IR sensors in the holders) and a calibration button.

It's no smarter than the touch surface on your tablet or phone.

It's pretty much the worst investment a school can make, but the alternatives somewhat require a resident nerd willing to put in the effort to assembly them. I'm checking the price on Alibaba for a 48" x 96" infrared overlay. If I can get it for $300 a less I'll buy it and see how it goes with my own set up at my house.

Frankly, a $100 document camera and a simple whiteboard are perfectly sufficient for 90% of what a "smart"board is used for.

Comment Re:Need more than a legal precedent (Score 1) 421

Why should people be required to work for free? And why do you get to dictate the time it will take?

All they have to do is remove the hard drive and put in a blank OEM drive and then destroy the license sticker if one is on it and report to MS that that license is no longer valid.

And then you can have your $10 back which is about what Windows amounts to costing you after factor in the discount MS gives them and the amount the advertisers spent putting 3rd party software on the thing.

Comment Re:World's worst projector? (Score 1) 44

I picked up one of those cheap toy projectors. They great thing about them is that they use standard halogen bulbs. So I went to Home Depot and got the brightest version of the bulb I could find which was double the original lumens.

I found that the limiting factor was the heat. After a few minutes a black circle started to appear on the image. It was the bulb melting the LCD panel. I had to put a little desk fan next to it to keep the air moving sufficiently to keep it cool.

These little 75 lumen projectors with a low resolution are likely running into the same problem. Obviously much brighter LEDs exist but there's not enough space to properly cool them.

The resolution is good enough for a smart board which only can handle 480 vertical lines anyway. I opted to get a the $320 proper projector with a 1024x768 resolution. Smartboards are easily replaced with a much simpler HD document camera.

Slashdot Top Deals

It is much harder to find a job than to keep one.