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Comment: Pods are stupid expensive (Score 1) 369

I know it's been said before (and most likely even within this thread), but it's worth repeating: coffee pods are stupidly expensive. Keurig's business is model is to package up beans that cost between $6 and $12 per pound at retail and jack the price up to, at the high end, $40 per pound.

If you're in a household that drinks 3 or 4 cups a day, you can buy an all-in-one coffeemaker like a Jura (whole beans on one side, water on the other, coffee out the middle) and come out ahead in 2 or three 3 years. You also get a similar level of convenience, wider selection of coffee (especially at the higher end of the coffee spectrum), less trash (the grounds get dumped into a container, ready for composting) and, generally, a better cuppa (freshly ground beans make a difference).

Yes, refilling your own pods is cheaper -- as is using a French press. But, when it comes to convenience and TCO, you've got better options.

Comment: Re:What's wrong with this? (Score 1) 634

by MyNicknameSucks (#49575455) Attached to: How To Increase the Number of Female Engineers

Errrr ... who said anything about removing other courses?

Also, FWIW, classes get added to and removed from curricula all the time. I just googled up my old school. The intro courses still contain some old favourites from 20 years ago; the second year+ courses are mostly unrecognizable.

Comment: What's wrong with this? (Score 1) 634

by MyNicknameSucks (#49568803) Attached to: How To Increase the Number of Female Engineers

Seriously, guys, what's wrong with this? What's wrong with getting more women into engineering?

It's not like the curriculum is changing to be all SJW-y. Or that the courses are any less rigorous. Or that women simply can't handle math, science and engineering at a high level. So why the consternation over adding some programs in applied engineering? Was there this level of consternation when science was hived off from philosophy? Or science into chemistry, physics, and biology? Or when branches of science were thrown back together (biochem)? When electrical engineering became its own thing?

Before anyone gets too POed at me, there is also a SJW-y movement afoot aimed at tackling the over-feminisation of elementary school education. Yes -- it really is a thing, and it relates to boys underperforming girls in elementary schools. It flares up and down in Canada (and I think also in the States). And it's something that my kids' Toronto-area school is working very hard to fix, to the point of hiring moderately under-qualified men (like the grade 7 / 8 English teacher who, demonstrably, doesn't read what he assigns and pulls all of his lesson plans off the intertubes) at the expense of better qualified women. That's right, if you're a male elementary school teacher, you will be actively recruited by a variety of schools to close the gender gap.

Comment: Re:Leave then (Score 1) 886

Actually, it isn't. The US constitution guarantees the rights to assemble and to petition the government. Freedom of association was inferred via a court decision from, somewhat ironically in this case, the NAACP v. Alabama.

Yeah, look. The legislation in question is horse shit. It's not made to redress any actual wrongs; it's window dressing meant to pander to a certain kind of social conservative. Further, it, pretty much by definition, allows for state sanctioning of particular kinds of discrimination which is, at best, icky, and, at worst OMG wrong.

Comment: Re:Network layer and education (Score 1) 260

by MyNicknameSucks (#49104823) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Parental Content Control For Free OSs?


A good example is alcohol, when i was in school many of the other kids in my class were forbidden from touching alcohol and that made them seek out ways to obtain alcohol... Myself and a few others were never forbidden, our parents allowed us to try alcohol if we wanted... I found alcoholic drinks tasted quite disgusting, and lost interest in them.

I liked the taste and (ultimately) became a brewer.

Comment: Re:A quick summation (Score 1) 700

by MyNicknameSucks (#48978513) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Pros and Cons of Homeschooling?

I should also clarify something.

Being involved in your kids' education is not just about nagging them to do homework. It's about encouraging them to read; it's about talking to them about the merits of one movie over another; it's about museums and galleries; it's about board games and puzzles; it's about what is the nerdiest rock and roll song ever recorded (I think it's "Ramble On" because of the hobbits, the kids voted for "Why Does the Sun Shine"); it's about talking over current events; it's about the kid with 7 years' worth of violin lessons teaching you how to do vibrato on a guitar.

Comment: A quick summation (Score 1) 700

by MyNicknameSucks (#48978457) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Pros and Cons of Homeschooling?

To homeschool or not to homeschool: that is the question, but the answer is not binary.

The research is absolutely clear: the kids who do best academically tend to have parents who are interested in their education and, specifically, read to their kids from an early age.

After that, everything is mostly details. You will find kids who do well academically in public schools, in private schools, in charter schools, in homeschools. And you will find kids who are pulled from one and placed into another because the latter didn't pan out.

The main takeaway is that you have to be engaged in your kid's education; that's really the only thing homeschooling has, by definition, over other educational avenues.

Time for my anecdote. Our eldest daughter had a rough time with bullying at her public school a few years ago. She is, at heart, a nerdy kid who had issues wondering why other kids couldn't relate to her ... which is, for better or worse, like chum to a bullying shark in elementary school. We talked to the vice principal, her teacher, and the piece of dog ***t's parents. The bullying mostly came under control. And then, we tried to figure out what to do to make sure our kid didn't look like chum. For us, it involved two things she loves: dance and swimming. Dance gave her good posture and the ability to look confident and strong even when she's nervous. Lifesaving classes taught her to be in control of a situation. And now, she's a confident teenager whose former bully politely ask her for tutoring (and she gets taken out, gratis, for tea and pastries).

If we had pulled her from her public school and homeschooled her, I'm not sure she would've learned that degree of self confidence and poise. And she still would have looked like chum in a private school, but we would have been paying for her to be bullied by well-heeled brats.

FWIW, that's not what my parents did under similar conditions ... and I HATED elementary school. My parents were oblivious, and I've never really learned how to deal with difficult people.

Our other daughter is a different kid; she got an award from her school last year mostly for standing up for classmates who were being bullied. She's ... intense. Public school is a good place for her to be.

Comment: Re:Not about mobile (Score 1) 489

by MyNicknameSucks (#48853753) Attached to: Windows 10: Can Microsoft Get It Right This Time?

For laptops (and even desktops) whether touch makes sense depends on the application. I've seen, for example, medical apps that work well on laptops and desktops with touch screen monitors. I've also seen DJ apps that, while designed for mouse control, are easier to use with a touch screen. And where I work, the "Prototype Manufacturing" lab has switched all their monitors to touch screen monitors (keyboards and mice are still available, but a lot of the time, the techs use just the touch screens).

The great divide between touch and mouse seems to come down to text. As soon as you need to highlight or edit text, touch rapidly starts becoming a hindrance to doing work. FWIW, one of my kids a touchscreen notebook. Much of her tech life revolves around touchscreens, from the family's smartphones to the Wii U to tablets. But the combination of horrible touchpad and Office ribbons had her rummaging in a junk drawer for a corded mouse that is almost as old as she is.

Comment: Re:Not about mobile (Score 1) 489

by MyNicknameSucks (#48853701) Attached to: Windows 10: Can Microsoft Get It Right This Time?

I love win 8.1 most of the time. It's fast, stable, runs on comparatively old hardware. But ... lordy. Networking problems today at the household. By force of habit, I double-click the tray's networking icon -- out slides a Metro charm-type thing that show my network connections. Cool -- I double-click Network 1. Nothing. I right click it. Nothing. There is nothing that can be done my to my PC's sole network connection from that Metro element intruding into my desktop which, somewhat ironically, covers up the network icon that CAN get me to networking properties.

And, you're right, Metro with a mouse sucks. But, you know what? Metro with a keyboard is OK. If you can remember some of the old shortcuts (alt-tab to change windows, alt-F4 to close windows, etc.), it's actually OK for dealing with a couple open apps. And I like type-to-search for docs and applications. And win-q/w/s for launching different kinds of searches is kinda' slick if you've been trained to open Explorer and pray. But I never, ever work with just a couple open windows open and there is, honestly, never a time when the only things I want to do on my PC can be done with just Metro apps.

Personally, I can't stand the senseless bouncing between full-screen Metro apps (most of the default OS tools are Metro apps, not their desktop counterparts) and windowed desktop applications. I was gob-smacked the first time I needed to check some math while writing an email in 8.0; a 22" four-function calculator taking up the entire screen was among the stupidest things I've ever seen on a computer.

It is not well to be thought of as one who meekly submits to insolence and intimidation.