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Girls-Only Computer Camps Formed At Behest of Top Google, Facebook Execs 449

theodp writes: Reporting on Google exec Susan Wojcicki's appearance at DreamForce, Inc.'s Tess Townsend writes: "The YouTube CEO said her daughter had stated point-blank that she did not like computers, so Wojcicki enrolled her in a computer camp. The camp made her daughter dislike tech even more. Wojcicki reported her daughter came back saying, 'Everyone in the class was a boy and nobody was like me and now I hate computers even more.' So, mom called the camp and spoke to the CEO, asking that the camp be made more welcoming to girls" (video). Fortune reported last July that it was the urging of Wojcicki and Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg that prompted iD Tech Camps — which Wojcicki's and Sandberg's kids had attended — to spin off a girls-only chain of tech camps called Alexa Cafe, which was trialed in the Bay Area in 2014 and expanded to nine locations in 2015. Earlier this month, Fortune noted that Wojcicki's daughter attended the $949-a-week Alexa Cafe summer camp at Palo Alto High, which was coincidentally hosted in the multi-million dollar Media Center (video) that was built thanks to the efforts of Wojcicki's mother Esther (a long-time Paly journalism teacher) and partially furnished and equipped by sister Anne (23andMe CEO) and ex-brother-in-law Sergey Brin's charitable foundation.

Comment Re:Ditch the smartboard (Score 1) 96

Try OneNote with the smartboard. It sounds like others have done it successfully:

One problem that I have read is that OneNote's hand-writing recognition is not as good on smart boards as it is on a tablet (especially one with a Wacom pen), but it still works relatively well. Set OneNote to automatically index all handwriting, photos, and audio, and it can make it easy for students to search the notebooks if they are looking for a specific topic that was discussed. You insert your existing Word/Writer/othertextfile into the Notebook before class and have students go to the board to answer the questions, etc (my brain thinks from the Mathematics/Sciences, but if you have another subject, I'm sure you can still come up with novel ways to utilize the technology.

Comment Re:Ditch the smartboard (Score 1) 96

I'm a OneNote convert myself. I find it useful to embed photos and audio directly into lecture notes, and you can synchronize audio with the notes and post them online easily. This allows students to reference not only the notes from within class, but the context of the notes from the audio spoken in class. You can also record video in OneNote and embed it within the notebooks.

I personally use a tablet (Samsung Ativ 500T) and screencast to a projector. If for some reason something is done on someone's pen/paper or the physical whiteboard, just take a quick photo and add it to the notebook. When the lecture is finished, it's automatically synchronized to a shared OneDrive notebook that the students can view in browser or via their own OneNote desktop, Android, iOS, or WP applications. The only big thing they need to fix is that viewing OneNote in the browser can cause hand-writing to not be perfectly aligned with photos, so it can make it annoying on my Linux box if I have too many photos in the page (the effect amplifies the further down the page you go).

I would be interested to see someone do a smartboard setup with OneNote, but I've not researched to see how well it works. Mostly, you just need cursor tracking and some way to know when contact has been made.


Scientists Baffled By Unknown Source of Ozone-Depleting Chemical 303

schwit1 writes: Scientists have found that, despite a complete ban since 2007, ozone-depleting chemicals are still being pumped into the atmosphere from some unknown source. "Carbon tetrachloride (CCl4), which was once used in applications such as dry cleaning and as a fire-extinguishing agent, was regulated in 1987 under the Montreal Protocol along with other chlorofluorocarbons that destroy ozone and contribute to the ozone hole over Antarctica. Parties to the Montreal Protocol reported zero new CCl4 emissions between 2007-2012. However, the new research shows worldwide emissions of CCl4 average 39 kilotons (about 43,000 U.S. tons) per year, approximately 30 percent of peak emissions prior to the international treaty going into effect. "We are not supposed to be seeing this at all," said Qing Liang, an atmospheric scientist at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, and lead author of the study published online in the Aug. 18 issue of Geophysical Research Letters, a journal of the American Geophysical Union. "It is now apparent there are either unidentified industrial leakages, large emissions from contaminated sites, or unknown CCl4 sources."

Men And Women Think Women Are Bad At Basic Math 384

sciencehabit writes "Think women can't do math? You're wrong — but new research (paywalled) shows you might not change your mind, even if you get evidence to the contrary. A study of how both men and women perceive each other's mathematical ability finds that an unconscious bias against women — by both men and women — could be skewing hiring decisions, widening the gender gap in mathematical professions like engineering."

Comment Re:"I run the planetarium" (Score 1) 201

Digitalis Education Solutions (yes, I work for them) has sold around 500 fully digital planetarium systems in the last decade alone. About 65% sold are portable planetariums with most of those costing between $10k and $70k depending on model and when we sold them. We also develop the open source project called Nightshade which is used by dozens if not hundreds of DIY planetariums out there.

If you include the old and busted Starlabs still out in the world (old cylinder based planetariums that did little more than spin the same starfield over and over) and the other vendors, you're looking at probably 2,000-5,000 planetariums in the world.


Submission Wind Power Without the Blades-> 1

Warmlight writes: "Noise from wind turbine blades, inadvertent bat and bird kills and even the way wind turbines look have made installing them anything but a breeze. New York design firm Atelier DNA has an alternative concept that ditches blades in favor of stalks. Resembling thin cattails, the Windstalks generate electricity when the wind sets them waving. The designers came up with the idea for the planned city Masdar, a 2.3-square-mile, automobile-free area being built outside of Abu Dhabi. Atelier DNA’s "Windstalk"project came in second in the Land Art Generator competition a contest sponsored by Madsar to identify the best work of art that generates renewable energy from a pool of international submissions."
Link to Original Source

"Learn To Code, Get a Job" According To CNN 688

An anonymous reader writes "CNN is running an opinion article that talks about Michael Bloomberg's taking part in CodeAdacemy's CodeYear program, which aims to teach average people to learn enough to work as a Software Developer by year end. I'm trying to not be elitist in judging this article and those involved, but I'm curious as to what /. thinks of this questionable plan."

Microsoft Developer Made the Most Changes To Linux 3.0 Code 348

sfcrazy sends this quote from the H: "The 343 changes made by Microsoft developer K. Y. Srinivasan put him at the top of a list, created by, of developers who made the most changes in the current development cycle for Linux 3.0. Along with a number of other 'change sets,' Microsoft provided a total of 361 changes, putting it in seventh place on the list of companies and groups that contributed code to the Linux kernel. By comparison, independent developers provided 1,085 change sets to Linux 3.0, while Red Hat provided 1,000 and Intel 839."

Comment Re:I don't need no steenkin' permission... (Score 1) 804

It takes a bit of digging, but if you look at those test scores, you'll see some major biases there. Take China and India for example: their scores on international tests are not for the country as a whole, but only the rich metropolitan areas.

Same goes for many other countries which track students into trade schools before ever getting to these tests.

If we only tested our best performing schools, we'd look like the cream of the crop, too!

Comment Re:I don't need no steenkin' permission... (Score 1) 804

College/University professors, at least in the US, have no training in how to teach. It's appalling that our higher education centers do not require the professors to take courses in HOW to teach, as many of them are piss poor teachers.

We require certification to teach up through high school, but once you hit college, we don't care about your teaching abilities as long as you are a subject area expert.

Comment Re:I don't need no steenkin' permission... (Score 1) 804

"Banning laptops is not the answer here. If one student is a problem, address that student directly and respectfully resolve the issue. Don't make capricious rules against everyone because of a few students who are an issue."

How about I quote my above statement for you:

"Banning laptops in the classroom is absurd. It's hitting a nail with an anvil. Establishing proper etiquette protocol and disciplinary procedures for students who disrupt a classroom is a much more sensible solution to outright bans. Computers are increasingly becoming an integral part of our lives, and students need to learn to be able to use them in a professional manner. Just as you don't see people staring at porn in the classroom or in a business meeting (typically), we shouldn't see people staring at their friend's FB page."

Classroom disruption procedures are already in place in almost every student handbook (every one I've looked at both on the student and the instructor side). This is simply accepting that laptops, cell phones, and other media/internet devices can and do disrupt the classroom. They need to be treated like Walkmans, drum sticks, and naked people.

If someone is quickly checking a fact online or is typing an a word processor, it's no more a distraction than a pen and paper being held upright. If someone is playing a flashy game or flipping screens regularly, its no different than excessively tapping a pencil on a desk or jumping up and down saying, "the power of Christ compels you!"

Use the procedures in place to address the issue, and if necessary, simply add the couple words in the handbook to ensure the idiots out there can't run around the rules claiming it isn't explicitly spelled out that their distraction of choice isn't covered.

In space, no one can hear you fart.