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Comment: Re:This must be confusing to y'all (Score 1) 65

by MightyYar (#47517415) Attached to: Microsoft FY2014 Q4 Earnings: Revenues Up, Profits Down Slightly

Well, they've already become AAPL - their margins are almost identical at around 20%. But that is down from the roughly 30% margins they enjoyed over the last 5 years. And the trend is downward. A pessimist might look and see them trending towards Samsung's 12% margins if they insist on ramping up their hardware business.

Comment: Re:Yeah, students will use bandwidth (Score 1) 285

by MightyYar (#47517353) Attached to: How One School District Handled Rolling Out 20,000 iPads

I agree that it is hard, but we've had over a hundred years of public education to figure this out. I suspect some combination scoring from peers, parents, and administration along with maybe some test scores. We have to do something, and that is why I don't push too hard against the standardized testing - despite the obvious flaws, at least they are trying to affect change. It should be completely routine to lay off the bottom performing teachers in a district each year or so. Tiny districts are exceptions, of course - but most of your cities and suburban schools would stand to benefit.

Comment: Re:This must be confusing to y'all (Score 2, Insightful) 65

by MightyYar (#47516335) Attached to: Microsoft FY2014 Q4 Earnings: Revenues Up, Profits Down Slightly

They are taking on more and more hardware business. This is a much less profitable venture than they had before, so I don't expect things to be as rosy as you seem to. It is very hard to maintain the profit margins that they are accustomed to. Wall Street has given them a huge boost over the last year, but remember that comes after 10 years of no movement, and they still aren't anywhere near their highs during the dot-com bubble.

Still, the layoffs show that they are serious and PC sales have finally stabilized. While I am not a stockholder, I think you are right to be bullish in the short term.

Comment: Re:Yeah, students will use bandwidth (Score 1) 285

by MightyYar (#47515773) Attached to: How One School District Handled Rolling Out 20,000 iPads

Again, I completely agree. But I refuse to support throwing more money at the problem until they fix the systemic issues. If we are buying iPads while lacking pencils, this is just plain stupid and we need to address the stupidity. We already spend more per pupil than any other country in the world, and more in constant dollars than at any time in our history. More money will not fix anything.

Comment: Re:Yeah, students will use bandwidth (Score 1) 285

by MightyYar (#47515049) Attached to: How One School District Handled Rolling Out 20,000 iPads

I'm convinced that the teachers union is hell-bent on protecting bad teachers. Heck, they even oppose methods to try and measure teacher performance. Don't get me wrong - I'm not firmly on the side of the people who want to base teacher pay on standardized tests. But any interest which ignores the need to routinely purge the bottom of the barrel is clearly self interested at the expense of my kids. I therefore oppose simply throwing more money at the problem, since I feel it would be ineffective until the underlying structural problems are dealt with.

As an aside, I don't understand the approach that most unions take. Their position would be much stronger if they made their membership stronger. Culling the herd should not be such a cursed concept. Hard working union members should be incensed when slackers hitch on for the ride. Instead we see an institutional protection of the weakest members.

Comment: Re: We shall see. (Score 1) 285

by MightyYar (#47512253) Attached to: How One School District Handled Rolling Out 20,000 iPads

I'm gonna double quote you here:

I know this isn't true, because I sure as hell don't have most of the table memorized.

Earlier:

I made no specific effort to memorize a huge table of calculations. Instead, I *naturally* memorized the results of calculations that I saw often. 8*8 = 64. I saw such things often, so I memorized them naturally.

So do you have 8*8 memorized or don't you? I find it hard to fathom how you could see 8*7 and not immediately think "56". Can you provide an example of your thought process? That would allow me to understand what you are suggesting as an alternative and allow me to consider that my kids would be better off having that instead.

But that's their choice.

As kids get older, sure, they make more and more choices. But at the age of 8 when they learn multiplication tables, they have very few choices. The need to learn how to read, full stop. They need to learn basic arithmetic, full stop. These are essential life skills - as critical as learning about appropriate social interaction.

But I would say that using a calculator really doesn't take that much time

If you need a calculator to do 30% off, then I feel sad for our public education system. This is the reason that grocery stores get away with selling larger bottles for a higher price per ounce than the smaller bottles. Liquid Tide, I'm looking at you... If everyone spent 2 weeks rote memorizing these allegedly pointless tables when they were 8, we wouldn't have such shenanigans.

"Love may fail, but courtesy will previal." -- A Kurt Vonnegut fan

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