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Comment Here here (Score 1) 1305

I couldn't have said it better myself.

I'm another active slashdot user since '99. I'd also hate to see it go away. And to resonate what you just said, I think it's quite marvelous that a post about Slashdot being sold has become a post about what Slashdot is and what we'd like to see it become. Not to mention the fact that it's already has 650+ posts. I appreciate our community caring about our community.

And I appreciate the BIZX owner who was interviewed who had this to say: “What impressed us about Slashdot was the quality of the typical community member and how truly informed and educated they were on a wide variety of discussion topics that directly relate to today’s relevant tech news. There’s a lot more noise on the Internet now than there was when Slashdot was created, but we think the Slashdot user base is one of the most knowledgeable and informed communities anywhere on the web. We ultimately plan to listen to the community.” I hope that means he understands the community and appreciates its value. Yes, he intends to make money, but let's hope he does it in a way that doesn't destroy the community.

As a technology director and math teacher in the state of Minnesota, I appreciate the opportunity to contribute my perspective to this community, and I value the perspective of others who also contribute to it. Despite Slashdot's many struggles and failures, its community remains vibrant. BIZX, please don't destroy that.

Comment Accidentally? (Score 0) 500

Do you really think it's an accident every time? If you were caught in the TSA line with a gun, what do you think would be the "correct" response?

A) "I was planning to hijack the plane, sir."
B) "I was planning to defend the plane in case of a terrorist attack, sir."
C) "I'll give you my gun when you pry it from my cold, dead hands."
D) "I forgot."

It wouldn't surprise me if there were that many gun-lovers who think they have a right to carry regardless of the circumstances, or at least just like to see what they can get away with. Also makes me wonder how many guns make it past TSA.

Comment One of those actual teachers... (Score 2) 145

Thank you for your support of teachers. I've already reported and weighed in a few times about this subject, and I'd like to just expand on a few of your points.

Unfortunately, money speaks, and superintendents listen. When someone walks into a sup's office and says, "I'd like to donate $50,000 to the district to buy more technology," who would say no? And, on a national scale, if Zuck & Gates walk into the president's office to say, "We'd like to donate $1,000,000 to get more school districts to code," do you think Obama would be any different?

I do wish that we would just let labor markets let supply and demand naturally encourage or discourage people from entering and leaving the profession, as it happened a decade ago. While Microsoft claims that we aren't supplying enough computer programmers to meet demand, the BLS begs to differ. Salaries have grown at 1.5% annually between 2004-2012, barely keeping up with inflation. All the while, we continue to bring in more H1B visa applicants. If these companies -really- want more programmers, all they need to do is raise salaries. It sounds like they have plenty to spare. Not to mention repatriating all that money would go a long ways in increasing tax revenues to help states pay for their K-12 institutions.

Comment Well, since we're now reviewing the movie... (Score 1) 562

where the lead happens upon it...

Probably my greatest frustration with the movie (though, there were many) was that there was no clear lead character. Is Ray really the protagonist of the movie? From my count, there was at least three: Ray, Finn, and Han Solo, and none of them were developed particularly well. Of course, we already knew everything we needed to know about Han Solo, but as for Ray and Finn, we understand very little about their backgrounds. We are never really told why Finn becomes "self aware" of the evil that he is a part of, aside from some quick cop-out line about occasional storm troopers going rogue and needing "reprogramming". And Ray just is abandoned on Jakku as a child; we don't know who abandoned her, and we don't know why. As an audience, we really cannot empathize with either character, making it challenging at best for us to identify them as lead characters or feel any attachment to their plight or their struggle to overcome it.

When comparing the two stories, episode 4 wins hands down.

Comment This isn't just at the Federal Level (Score 4, Interesting) 242

In my home state of Minnesota, they allow anyone with either a business licensure or a mathematics licensure to teach computer science. In college, I majored in Computer Science and Secondary Mathematics Education. I found it ironic that it was my math licensure that allowed me to teach computer science and not my computer science degree. I found it just as silly that I was not allowed to teach keyboarding; mathematics teachers are not qualified for that. Also, just as amusing, anyone in the state with an English licensure is licensed to teach web page design.

It's a complete joke that our government advocates for increased computer science education, while in the same breath says that anyone can teach it. By that same perverse logic, I should be fully qualified to become a law professor. Right? Computer science is very logical...very layered...very structured...lots of inheritances...sounds like a good foundation of law to me.

Submission + - College Board Mainstreams AP Computer Science

Pollux writes: In the Fall of 2016, the College Board wil begin a new course titled "AP Computer Science Principles", designed to "introduces students to the central ideas of computer science, instilling the ideas and practices of computational thinking and inviting students to understand how computing changes the world." This course will not replace the existing "AP Computer Science A" course, but has been added, "To appeal to a broader audience, including those often underrepresented in computing." A short list of differences between the two courses notes that instructors can choose a language of their choice. The curriculum framework directs the focus of instruction away from programming as a skill and towards programming as an activity, "enabling problem solving, human expression, and creation of knowledge."

Comment The Nuclear Waste Policy Act (Score 2) 143

We should use the facility that has been built, instead of letting one lone-wolf senator prevent that from happening. Yes, a national repository would be much, much safer than the status quo.

The Nuclear Waste Policy Act of 1982 was passed to create a national program to dispose of nuclear fuel safely. The bill arranged for utility companies to pay for the development of such a site, which technically was a fee payed for by customers, not taxpayers (though that's really not much of a difference). Congress in 1987 decided that Yucca Mountain was the site to use, and all that money was collected and spent to build the site.

I don't understand why Yucca Mountain even needs to be a permanent storage solution. At least storing our nuclear fuel in one location is magnitudes safer than storing it at hundreds of nuclear power facilities throughout the country. Because we all know how safe coastal power plants are, and there's no worry about rivers ever flooding them either. The only reason why we aren't in a panic about Yucca Mountain being shut down is because we haven't had an accident yet. But just getting lucky should be no basis of national policy.

Comment That he may be (Score 5, Insightful) 543

I don't like Ted Cruz. I don't like that he has double-standards. I think he's a hypocrite. And I don't like the platform he has chosen to run on.

But a good idea is a good idea. And when someone we disagree with shares a good idea, we should unite behind it, rather than censor it because of its source. If we don't, we just divide this nation further.

Comment Coincidentally (Score 5, Interesting) 210

I just finished watching the movie Tomorrowland yesterday. It was a bit of a let-down ... good acting, but the story made the movie weaker than it should have been.

But, hidden within it was this very insightful gem:

"In every moment, there is the possibility of a better future. But you people won't believe it. And because you won't believe it, you won't do what is necessary to make it a reality. So you dwell on this all-terrible future and resign yourselves to it for one reason: Because that future doesn't ask anything of you today." -- David Nix / Hugh Laurie

We like being pessimists when it comes to our future. When we imagine a brighter future, then we are responsible for doing what is necessary to create it. But when we imagine a bleaker future, there's nothing we have to do to make it a reality. We can just live as hedonists until our passing.

Comment Only Red Mercury? (Score 1) 330

I mean, if they're really this gullible, why stop there? If we want to talk about fictional destructive fluids of a crimson color, why not try to sell them red matter? What faster way to your 72 virgins than destroying an entire planet? Or don't they have a way yet to drill to the Earth's core?

Comment Re:In the search for truth (Score 1) 519

I welcome the opinions of others, especially those that differ with my own. I don't welcome the name calling that accompanies it.

There's a big difference between saying, "I disagree with your idea" and "Your idea is stupid." The former leaves room for discussion. The latter is designed to censor or invalidate the statement based on emotional argument, leaving no room for debate.

There's an even wider difference between saying "Your idea is stupid", and "You are stupid for having come up with such a stupid idea." Gstoddart transitioned from the former to the latter, though, instead of calling me stupid, he called me a "fucking idiot." Now we're not only invalidating the statement, but also the person who made it. But the individual being censored is not silenced for valid reasons, but rather over emotions.

And there is an irony in that. These terrorists have abandoned reason in their acts; emotion has clouded their judgement, emotion influenced by corrupt religious leaders. We should not allow emotion to cloud our judgements in the same way. (No, our judgements are not anything near the same as their atrocious acts. But we still are allowing emotions to interfere with the ability to scrutinize them properly.)

Comment In the search for truth (Score 1) 519

We must be willing to accept any and every possible examination of the truth.

Comments like yours are what's making our country more difficult to live in. People are too afraid to share ideas, because they fear being judged for them.

In fact, the very essence of your comment is a quintessential illustration of the problem I was trying to highlight. Let's not debate the idea. Let's judge the voice.

Comment Sigh^2 (Score 1) 519

All I can say is wow. I came back to check on responses to my comment four hours after posting it, and it looks like only the parent seems to have understood my meaning.

I know very well that the 1st Amendment is a limitation on actions the government may take against the people. My point had nothing to do with government action against an individual. My point is that we as a society would rather lynch anyone who dares to rationalize the actions of these bombers before we ever will find the courage to consider it ourselves.

In our rush to defend the victims of this tragedy and protect them from further harm, we are quick to decry any-and-all rhetoric that fails to condemn those responsible as anything less than psycopathic, sadistic, demented, and/or depraved. So, when someone has the courage to merely suggest that these individuals may be acting out in a manner that is, dare I say, human, we must as a society silence that voice. We will not allow ourselves to, as the parent put it, "foster debate, free from intrusion". These individuals who attacked civilians in Paris were/are monsters, we must forever see them that way, and we must treat them that way.

But it's that exact point-of-view that got us into a 10-year war in Iraq. It's that exact point-of-view that is keeping us in a 14-year war in Afghanistan. We as westerners do not understand the Arab mindset. (A decade ago, I lived for a year in Cairo, Egypt, myself. I'm not a Muslim, but it did certainly give me perspective on this subject.) The more we seek revenge / justice / reparations / etc. from these individuals, the more it will inflame them. We're pouring water on a gas fire, and it's only spreading further and further. If we want to ever succeed in solving this Crisis in the middle east, we -must- see these terrorists not as savages, but as humans. We need to understand what drives them to such ends, and cure the sickness rather than treat the symptoms.

And when a politician of all people has the courage to suggest as such, we cannot treat him or her as a monster either.

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