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Comment Re:Stupid (Score 1) 387

...blah blah boilerplate rant about the evils of single-source technology blah blah blah...ok, now let me rant about educators using my oversimplified knowledge of the education system based primarily on anecdote, truthy statements offered by 'they', and presumably a dash of personal experience...

The problem with education is not that teachers don't have access to computers but that if you gave those teachers access to everything they wouldn't know what to do with it.

If you want to get kids knowledgeable and excited about technology then you need teachers that are knowledgeable and excited about technology. Most aren't. Most are liberal arts majors that think the internet is facebook.

Because of licensing requirements, most teachers were probably education majors with an emphasis on their subject area, not pure 'liberal arts' majors. Regardless, the internet has been around long enough younger teachers are probably as savvy with internet usage as any other millennial, while older teachers were using the internet before Facebook let them register with the site.

Your school needs some help? Hire some CS majors. Why is this rocket science for people?

If we wanted to teach our kids how to play a musical instrument, would it not be obvious that the teacher would themselves have to know how to play? Obviously.

Yet how many teachers presumed to be able to teach technology are actually knowledgable about technology?

Exactly.

Exactly what? You have given exactly no data regarding the technology expertise of elementary or secondary teachers. You have just assumed we all think teachers are idiots who can't possibly be as smart as a CS major, because if there's one thing I've learned about CS majors in my time on Slashdot is that clearly they know everything about everything...just ask them!

In fact, many schools now hire technology specialists who not only help teachers use technology appropriately in the classroom, they can also teach students how to use technology. In elementary grades, this position works just like a music or art teacher. In upper grades, they may have their own specialty classes, again, like the music and art teachers, where technology is the focus. Other than that, if my kid is in an English composition class, I want him to be able to focus on researching a topic and then writing well about the subject, using the tools that are most appropriate for the task, not getting a CS lecture on logic gates or learning how to write his own word processor.

[snip]...The entire teacher hiring process has to be reviewed.

The teaching profession is not attracting the right people. Here someone will say "they're not paid enough money"... Yes and no. Some of them are not paid enough and some of them are paid far too much. Part of the issue is that the teachers want to be paid based on seniority rather on the actual quality of their work or on whether their skills as a teacher are actually in demand. So a PE coach that has been working at a school for many years expects to be paid more than a new science teacher that is actually hard to attract.

Wrong way to do it. You pay people according to how hard they are to attract. People that are really easy to get are paid less. People that are harder to get are paid more. Added to that, you reward teachers that are good at their jobs while generally paying the crappy ones what you think they're worth... which might be not a lot...[snip]

Frankly, there's more to being a good teacher - particularly in the younger grades - than just subject knowledge. If you think it's all babysitting and giving busywork, then I can see why you think some (non-science) teachers are overpaid. Teachers are not only responsible for having subject knowledge, they are responsible for: imparting that knowledge to 20-30 different learners at a time; keeping those students on task and progressing; constantly evaluating if the students are actually grasping the knowledge and applying it correctly; keeping track of a host of non-instructional and administrative tasks and responsibilities; and of course, teaching to whatever standardized bullshit test your state's legislature has mandated so they can be sure the children in their state can take multiple-choice tests as well as the kids in East Bufukistan.

So teaching is not just being the smartest person in the room; teaching is being the smart person at the front of the class who knows how to make the rest of the people in the room smarter while putting up with their constant bullshit. Paying based on seniority isn't ideal, but in a field where literally every classroom and every subject can be unique, it's almost the only constant that all teachers can be compared against. And the longer someone is in the field, the better they become at their craft. Make no mistake, even that PE teacher who has been at your school for 25 years is still evaluated on a regular basis, and if they're doing a crappy job at teaching PE, schools have ways to encourage that person to leave on their own accord long before they get to 25 years.

[snip]...Doubtless every kid with a relative that teachers is going to call me an asshole... I'm regret that I offend... I really do. But I'd rather offend then lie to people.

Congratulations. You managed to offend people WHILE lying! Ok, maybe they weren't intentional lies, but in repeating every trope about teachers being idiots without offering any kind of tangible evidence or data - merely your impression of teachers - your screed was truthy at best, while being nowhere close to the actual truth.

Comment Re:The tragedy of CSS (Score 1) 180

I said that in 5 years CSS will be at the point where the elimination of the main pain points are supported widely enough to be able to use them in actual websites

My apologies. Since your original post used the past tense ("The problem with CSS is that it took 25 damn years to get to the point...") I took that to mean the 25 years prior to your post.

Also, it's good to know that in 5 years I will finally be able to work on "actual" web sites and not the imaginary web sites I've been working on for the past 18 years... ;-)

And I actually like CSS, I just think it took too long to get to this point. Why this is so is beyond me. Other technologies have advanced much, much faster.

What other technology has had to provide a consistent UI experience on multiple platforms through multiple applications, even while those application providers are trying to incorporate their own - often competing - interpretations of a standard? As alluded to in TFA, it didn't help that the original CSS spec didn't include a test suite. But beyond that, the browser wars were enough to freeze any meaningful implementation of web standards for at least a decade.

Comment Re:The tragedy of CSS (Score 1) 180

Just because CSS was proposed 20 years ago doesn't mean it sprang fully grown from Hakon Lie's head on that day. For that reason, I was referencing the date when CSS became a recommendation - December 1996 - which means that CSS is almost 18.

HTML's first draft was released in mid-1993. However, since this pre-dates the W3C and its recommendation standards, and because it was being used in NCSA Mosaic at that time, I was using this release date as its birthdate.

Comment Re:They _Should_ Replace It (Score 1) 180

I never bought into the "don't use tables" nonsense myself. Tables provide abstract organization of layout. It's a lot cleaner to apply some CSS to a table than to shoehorn it in to a whole lot of divs just for maintaine Ideotlogical Purity..

In my experience, a "simple" table layout still has more markup than an equivalent div layout. A three-column table layout will require a table, tbody, tr, and three td tag elements, all properly nested. A three-column div-based layout requires three div tags, possibly contained in a fourth div. That's hardly shoehorning.

Comment Re:The tragedy of CSS (Score 1) 180

The problem with CSS is that it took 25 damn years to get to the point where windowing system were already in the 90s....

TFA says that CSS was proposed 20 years ago today. It wasn't released as a spec until December 1996. While the number 25 plays nicely into your rant, in reality, CSS isn't old enough to vote. Hell, even HTML is barely old enough to drink.

Comment Re:Still a dumb idea (Score 1) 180

1) Cascading. What the F? In order to figure out what is going on I have to work back through all the cascaded sheets to figure out what's going on

Yeah! Why can't CSS be like any other language or framework where the functions, classes, methods, etc. are always automagically available to the developer without having to look through the codebase at all? If only developers had some sort of debugging type tool where they could trace where styles come from. Something like...Firebug. Or Developer Tools. Or Web Inspector. Or basically the tools that come packaged in any major browser....

2) "Separation of content and presentation" Yeah, that's a great idea, but not in HTML. HTML *is* a presentation layer. Who writes content in plain jane HTML? Idiots, that's who. Everyone else writes in something else (Markdown, XML) and compiles to HTML.. CSS is a negative there.

HTML is *not* a presentation layer, it's a content layer. That's why the elements used in HTML are primarily semantic - paragraphs, headings, lists, tables, field sets, inputs, labels, etc. Even the HTML 5 elements - navigation, callouts (secondary content), video, audio, etc. - are semantic and have no intrinsic visual/presentation value beyond what the browser assigns to it.

And even if you do use another means of authoring your content, the fact that it compiles to HTML only underscores the fact that HTML is a content layer. Markdown in particular compiles to some of the most vanilla HTML you will ever find.

3) CSS syntax is completely unrelated to HTML syntax. Thanks a lot

Why would CSS syntax be the same as HTML? The two languages have different purposes and areas of concerns. Are you also irritated that javascript has a different syntax than HTML? At any rate, CSS is well designed for doing its job: *describing* how to select an HTML element and assign appropriate styling to it.

Comment Re:this is a sign that the overall school / testin (Score 1) 238

If only it were as simple and predictable as that. In fact, most residencies will include one on-call shift every four days. This isn't IT call; you are actually residing at the hospital and entails getting to the hospital at your normal start time around 6 am to pre-round on your patients, then working straight through until around 12 or 1 pm the following day. You may catch an hour or two of uninterrupted napping around 3am on the second day of that shift, but only if your load is light and the nurses don't run into problems. So that's a 30-hour shift in between 10- to 12-hour shifts.

(And if you're a surgical resident, that schedule is the one you use to lie on your time tracking reports, because you've likely worked 40 hours more than that in a given week.)

As for 'it's a pretty interesting job that pays well', it may be interesting, but per hour it pays slightly better than shift manager at a fast food restaurant.

Comment Re:MS is hurting (Score 1) 356

"Experience" == being the current fashion, making products with a brand that makes you feel better about yourself. If you can't describe what distinguishes it, the distinction just isn't there. You're like a Pepsi loyalist who can't pick it out from the other brand in a blind test.

Except "Experience" != "Trendy". Experience is something everyone encounters every time they use a device or software. As such, an experience is something that can be designed so that the end user has a positive, useful interaction. Now, the number of attributes that come together to form an experience - visual, spatial, technical, terminology, etc. - can be so numerous that it is hard to put your finger on why an experience is positive or negative, but just because a user can't describe the distinguishing characteristics doesn't mean the experience isn't there.

If your products are known for their good user experience, then by default, that becomes part of your brand. Whether or not the marketing folks explicitly tout that as part of the brand is actually optional. But if a company just says 'we've got a great user experience!' over and over again to try and make it part of their brand, it will almost inevitably fail. Instead, that company will either come off as tone-deaf to the needs of its users or just clueless as to what makes a good experience.

Comment Re:Zapp Brannigan's Reporting Strategy (Score 2, Funny) 588

If Apple really can't stand people poking fun at them when they screw up, perhaps they should stop being so fucking secretive and start doing some proper testing in the real world.

They were gonna do that, but unfortunately the guy who was supposed to carry out those tests lost his iPhone in a bar...

Comment Re:Do not want (Score 1) 579

I'm sorry, I missed the part where the government is depriving a citizen of any liberty.

Where hospitals or other medical facilities have instituted public health policies aimed at reducing infection risks for both their patients and staff, they have acted as private employers.

If you feel that your personal safety or liberty is somehow compromised by required vaccinations, and you can't stomach such draconian policies, no one - not the state, not the hospital - is requiring you to stay at that job. Walk away with your personal liberty intact.

Comment Re:What you don't know (Score 2, Informative) 541

Nice try, but squalene and other adjuvants are forbidden in U.S. vaccines by the FDA.

Yes, but they are not in Europe. It is still a concern.

Given that the article was about a U.S. hospital, and the bulk of the concerns in the comments were about U.S. vaccination policy, the fact that adjuvants are allowed in Europe really didn't warrant comment. Those vaccines aren't coming here unless the pandemic worsens significantly and there is no way to manufacture additional adjuvant-free vaccine.

With regards to the mercury, if it's that big of a concern to you, I hope you are on a tuna-free diet because there is more mercury in a tuna sandwich than in the thiomersal of any vaccine available in the U.S..

Sure about that? First of it's a ridiculous argument, indeed the level of mercury in tuna are alarmingly high, it doesn't make it right. And regardless, you would have to eat a heck of a lot of tuna to equal even one flu shot.

The FDA lists the mean methylmercury content of canned albacore tuna to be .353ppm. That means 6 ounces (170g) of tuna contains approximately 59.5mcg of methylmercury, or slightly more than a 1mg dose of flu vaccine.

The point IS salient becuase despite that level, the FDA has indicated that tuna is safe for children to eat up to 6 ounces per week.

Let me demonstrate and I will give references. The Flu vaccine contains 25mcg of mercury (http://www.cdc.gov/flu/professionals/acip/dosage.htm) this is the seasonal flu link, the h1n1 contains the same amount. Oh sure , you can request the single dose without the mercury, but unless you do, your probably getting the multi-dose. The safe level of mercury is 0.1 mcg per kg body weight, (http://www.gotmercury.org/article.php?id=1169) So a 68kg (~150lb) person safe limit is 6.8mcg per day.

Kind of. What you're quoting is a reference dose, and it's a rate with a time component, not just a simple level. The RfD that you're quoting is the EPA's reference dose, and yes, it's .01mcg/kg body weight per day. So on one day, your 68kg person would ingest a higher than recommended amount, but if the person avoid tuna melts for the next week, his reference dose is back within the EPA's recommendation.

It's also worth noting that there are several reference doses issued by different agencies; the EPA's is the most conservative. The World Health Organization has the highest reference dose of 1.6mcg/kg/week of body weight.

So you just shot almost 4 times the safe limit for an average adult directly into your blood stream.

As a point of clarification, vaccines are injected into the muscle, not directly into the blood stream.

Worse the age group for fluzone is 6months or older... a large 6-7m infant might be 10kg as a high avg, that 1mcg safe limit... great you just shot up your infant with 25 times the safe levels.

Of course, that concern is why they also make the vaccine available in preservative-free doses. It's also why pediatricians will discuss the risks and benefits with parents.

This is on top most people already being near or above the safe daily limits taken in from water and foods. Looking at (http://www.csgnetwork.com/hgqtycalc.html) , eating a can of tuna for the same 150lb person a week is just slightly higher than what is considered safe levels. Don't forget children are to get 3 shots, 1 seasonal and 2 h1n1...

With the exception of broken lightbulbs, thermometers, and dental fillings, you've just outlined the major vectors for ingesting mercury. And again, the rates you keep referring to are rates over time, not absolute numbers, so as long as those vectors and seafood are avoided, it's simple to get children's levels back down.

I'm not even going to get into what effects that kind of dosage could have on a fetus, and pregnant women are first in line for the h1n1 vac. But it's perfectly safe they say...

According to the FDA, pregnant women can have 12oz of tuna per week. Since we've already seen that those 12 ounces have more mercury than two doses of vaccine, it's probably just as well that you don't go into how the h1n1 vaccine is any more harmful to pregnant women. But just in case, the H1N1 vaccine is also available in single-dose, preservative-free vials.

Finally, it should be noted that all guidelines relating to thimerosal are based on guidelines developed for methyl mercury. Thimerosal is actually a derivative of ethyl mercury, and since there have been fewer comprehensive studies done on ethyl mercury, the FDA has taken the caution to treat them as equivalent. However, initial studies have indicated that ethylmercury is less toxic than methylmercury and that it has a significantly shorter half-life. In addition, a recent study in Pediatrics indicated that "Because of the differing pharmacokinetics of ethyl and methyl mercury, exposure guidelines based on oral methyl mercury in adults may not be accurate for risk assessments in children who receive thimerosal-containing vaccines."

Comment Re:Captain TwatObvious (Score 1, Informative) 541

Well, I know that they don't prescribe medicine.

I have no beef with nurses; in fact, i respect and appreciate their role in the medical profession. But seeing as how they don't prescribe medicine and don't undergo the same training as physicians, the fact that one RN notes that pharmaceutical companies contribute to textbook production is an interesting anecdote and nothing more. It is just as meaningful as my observation that I know a lot of doctors who refuse any sort of drug rep gifts on the grounds that it might influence their decision to prescribe.

What neither anecdote indicates is that there is just as much skepticism within medical colleges to the relationship between funding sources and conclusions as there are outside of the walls; that there are ethics courses focused on the critical analysis of pharmaceutical claims; that, in general, no serious text can get around scientific fact just to present and position their own product. (The faculty, after all, have to approve the referenced texts, and precious few of them desire to be perceived as corporate shills.)

Comment Re:What you don't know (Score 4, Insightful) 541

Nice try, but squalene and other adjuvants are forbidden in U.S. vaccines by the FDA. With regards to the mercury, if it's that big of a concern to you, I hope you are on a tuna-free diet because there is more mercury in a tuna sandwich than in the thiomersal of any vaccine available in the U.S..

As for your scary-sounding list, yes, it's a list of possible adverse effects that a person may experience - but it is not an indication of likelihood. No medication is without risk, but in general, people take the medication because the benefits outweigh the risks by a significant margin.

To put it in a grossly exaggerated, probably flawed slashdot-style analogy, the documented possible side effects of flying in a plane are motion sickness, legionnaire's disease, food poisoning, lice infestation, mental anguish, deep vein thrombosis, alcohol abuse, insomnia, halitosis, delayed departure, poverty, or becoming part of a suicide mission that turns your plane into a bomb. But more likely than any of those you'll get to your destination with very little lasting impact on your personal health or safety - as long as you remember that stupid 4-1-1 rule.

"Old age and treachery will beat youth and skill every time." -- a coffee cup

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