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Education

CSTA: Google Surveying Educators On Unconscious Biases of Students, Parents 173

theodp writes: According to a Computer Science Teachers Association tweet, Google is reportedly asking educators to assess the unconscious bias of students and their parents for the search giant. "We are in the early stages of learning how unconscious bias plays out in schools, and who would benefit most from bias busting materials," begins the linked-to 5-page Google Form, which sports a ub-edu@google.com email address, but lists no contact name. "This survey should take 15 minutes to complete, and your responses are confidential, meaning that your feedback will not be attributed to you and the data will only be used in aggregate form." The form asks educators to "list the names of organizations, tools, and resources that you have used to combat unconscious bias," which is defined as "the attitudes or stereotypes that affect our understanding, actions, and decisions in an unconscious manner." A sample question: "Who do you think would benefit most from unconscious bias training at your school (or program)? Rank the following people in order (1=would most benefit to 5=would benefit least) training: Student, Parent (or guardian), Teacher (or educator), Guidance counselor, Principal." Google deflected criticism for its lack of women techies in the past by blaming parents' unconscious biases for not steering their girls to study computer science, suggesting an intervention was needed. "Outreach programs," advised Google, "should include a parent education component, so that parents learn how to actively encourage their daughters."
Movies

J.J. Abrams On "Star Wars" Cast's Racial and Sexual Diversity 504

Yesterday at Comic-Con, director J.J. Abrams held forth on the racial and sexual diversity of the actors portraying the characters of the Star Wars franchise. From CNET's article: For Star Wars, it's a complex debate. The franchise has included prominent and strong female characters, like Princess Leia, as well as central characters played by black actors, such as Cloud City administrator Lando Calrissian, played by Billy Dee Williams, and Jedi Mace Windu, played by Samuel L. Jackson. On the other hand, Jar Jar Binks, a computer-generated alien in 1999's "Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace," drew fire from some critics, who said he called to mind demeaning black film characters such as those played by Stepin Fetchit in the 1930s. (Not to mention other cultural stereotypes that pop up in Episodes I, II, and III.)

Comment Re:Ummmmmm (Score 1) 81

I've encountered things like this a number of additional times with psychology/sociology/behavioral researchers. Their grasp of computer technology is so poor that their studies are extremely flawed because they don't understand the tools they are using.

Yet the same people clamor about hiring practices in STEM fields, and study choices by women, without having any clear understanding how scince or technology work, themselves. Dunning-Kruger at its finest.

Comment Two obvious reasons (Score 1) 414

You can look very busy having to deal with all the overhead and boilerplate to get trivial stuff done in Java. Programmers will feel needed and busy, while the superiors can avoid being bombarded by tasks, because everything takes ages.

Another good reason is that non-programmers have very weird metrics for productivity. I remember studies being linked here on /. that measured a programmers productivity by the amount of lines comitted to github projects. This of course makes Java an inherently more productive language than languages where you can simply get shit done.

Comment Re:This is great (Score 1) 104

One insane "feature" of GOG is that you get game updates for Linux only by downloading the whole installer again, while the other two platforms get incremental patches*. I really hope that GOG Galaxy fixes that, I'm fed up with constantly redownloading Wasteland 2 and Pillars of Eternity.

* yes, I know there are fan-made incremental patches for Linux, but this really should be a core functionality in GOG itself.

Submission + - Acer wants to be "last man standing" in PCs->

An anonymous reader writes: Acer used a New York press conference last week to unveil more than 40 new products, as it seeks to move from "stabilisation mode" and back to growth. Chief executive Jason Chen said he wants to company to be "the last man standing" in the PC sector, although admitting it won’t be an easy task with all five major vendors in the sector proving to be "survivors". Market conditions won’t make it easy for Acer, or any PC maker, to gain ground in the year ahead, with the high foreign exchange rate dulling consumer sentiment, and the coming Windows 10 launch set to bring disruption before, hopefully, providing an upturn in PC sales. In the PC market, Acer's "next big thing" is to get its gaming initiative going. ""To be loved we need emotions and gaming is the Formula 1 of the PC industry," said pan-Asia Pacific president Oliver Ahrens.
Link to Original Source

Submission + - Linux 4.1 Bringing Many Changes, But No KDBUS->

An anonymous reader writes: The first release candidate of Linux 4.1 has been released, Linus noted, "The merge window is pretty normal in terms of what got merged too. Just eyeballing the size, it looks like this is going to fit right in — while 4.0 was a bit smaller than usual, 4.1 seems to be smack dab in the middle of the normal range for the last couple of years." There are numerous new features in Linux 4.1 like Xbox One controller force feedback support, better Wacom tablet support, Intel Atom SoC performance improvements, Radeon DisplayPort MST support, EXT4 file-system encryption, ChromeOS Lightbar support, and ACPI for 64-bit ARM, among other additions. However, KDBUS wasn't accepted for Linux 4.1.
Link to Original Source

Comment Not even trying (Score 1) 304

They are not even trying to compete with the major torrent trackers/piracy sites anymore. Instead of massively reducing pricing and DRM the media industry is putting up even more hurdles. If I buy a movie, I want to be able to play it on any device I own, at any time I want, and I want the right to make backup. Also I need to be able to downconvert it to lower resolutions to play it on lowlier devices. Nothing that is possible with DRM-infested media, and all of that is possible with pirated movies. They finally need to understand that piracy will stay, and treat it as competion.

Slowly and surely the unix crept up on the Nintendo user ...

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