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Comment: A concept for higher education (Score 2) 335

by SpectreBlofeld (#46996007) Attached to: Zuckerberg's $100 Million Education Gift Solved Little

Some years ago, when fantasizing about being a billionaire, I gave thought to how I would improve upon education.

The solution I came up with was to found my own network of private schools and colleges, which I could hold to a high standard due to them being under my control.

The private schools and colleges wouldn't be free to attend, per se, but I'd make it sort-of-trivially-easy for an ambitious student to gain admittance to the private high school without paying tuition (say, the student must participate in on-campus work, organized charity volunteer work, or extracurricular research work, or simply be gifted, etc).

Exceptional students at the private schools would be given scholarships to the colleges, and billionaire-money would attract top-tier professors and researchers. I fantasized about eventually running the top private research institution in the world.

In essence, you create a brand. Use the money to create top-tier colleges under a brand name, then 'franchise' private high schools under the brand, and funnel kids from those schools to the colleges.

Punctuate the concept with aggressive job placement assistance, complimentary career counseling and even therapy for all graduates that extends for for a lifetime beyond graduation. (I think this point is a huge idea in itself, to be honest, and is something that universities should do anyway).

Being a graduate doesn't just mean you got a degree there - it means you're part of a lifetime club, a member of a 'living network' (as opposed to 'social network') with high ideals in mind. Graduates would be encouraged to serve as mentors to students in their spare time in exchange for their lifelong benefits.

Above all, this all could exist without being exclusionary toward non-'members'. For instance, tuition credits could be earned for students who agree to tutor public school students in the community and 'take them under their wing'.

Basically, in the end, you have what a real society should be - a nurturing network of educators, counselors, mentors, and just plain *people* helping each other out for their entire lives. A community, you know? Rising tide, lifting boats.

I actually think this sort of thing could be profitable, and not an expense, in the long run. Once you are established as a top-tier educator, your 'product' will become desirable and those with money will gladly pay for their child's enrollment. Build a solid reputation for producing high-quality, well-rounded, well-adjusted, successful graduates, and marry that to the benefits of being part of this fantastic 'life support group', and you've got one hell of a desirable thing, here.

In short, if you want to do something right, do it yourself. Throwing money at a flawed system isn't going to fix anything. It's like trying to fix a leaky bucket by pouring more water in it.

Slashdot-reading billionaires, feel free to run away with my ideas and do something great with them. Also feel free to contact me if you need help in the implementation. :)

Comment: I admire their spunk, but... (Score 4, Insightful) 275

by SpectreBlofeld (#46590663) Attached to: Operation Wants To Mine 10% of All New Bitcoins

My friends and I have already switched to Dogecoin. Sorry. And when you start mining that, we'll move again, etc.

I'm not serious, I haven't invested in any virtual currency. But isn't this a sort of problem? When it looks like a Major Player moves in and starts dominating the generation of your pet virtual currency, why wouldn't you just jump ship to the next one, where you can stand a chance to make money in the early days of generation?

It's not like mining gold. Gold is gold and there's only so much of it, and it's there or it's not. These virtual currencies only have value due to consensus, and can be abandoned on a whim, especially when some guy comes in with his 1.4 million mining chips and upsets everything. I know there's a limited number of bitcoins available before computation is done, so in that sense it's 'limited' like gold and thus perceived to be a scarce valuable item, but unlike gold, the users can just up and quit Bitcoin forever, especially when they sense 'unfairness' in the operation.

Comment: Re:EL and SCUBA (Score 1) 127

by SpectreBlofeld (#46589741) Attached to: NASA Puts Its New Spacesuit Design To a Public Vote

Don't worry, it involved sound too. In fact, I came up with the idea the other day during a discussion with someone about the current missing plane crises - he asked why airplane black boxes (that end up in the ocean) can't transmit an underwater ping that could be heard for miles by listening stations. That would never be practical, of course, but it got me thinking about underwater signaling in general. I live in South Florida and am surrounded by boat and diver culture.

Comment: Wow, timing. (Score 4, Interesting) 127

by SpectreBlofeld (#46581069) Attached to: NASA Puts Its New Spacesuit Design To a Public Vote

I was working on a personal design project with very similar features, for undersea divers - an electroluminescent (EL) panel or wire system for divers to use to signal each other underwater, even at distances where hand signaling would be an issue. Different colors for different situations, and the ability to 'flash' a sort of morse code communique to one another.

A diver's illumination would also light up or flash when air reserves reach low levels or the diver is otherwise in distress, so others could recognize the issue and come to aid.

Feel free to steal the idea and run away with it, if anyone reading this is in the industry. Like I said, it was just a personal design project that I was planning on giving away to improve the general state of things.

Comment: It makes me feel better (Score 5, Funny) 224

I am at such a loss of understanding what exactly quantum computers are and how they work (no matter how hard I try)... so it makes me feel like less of an idiot when I find out that it's so complicated that even Google engineers aren't even sure if what they have IS one.

Comment: Dixie Flatline (Score 3, Interesting) 241

`How you doing, Dixie?'
    `I'm dead, Case. Got enough time in on this Hosaka to
figure that one.'
    `How's it feel?'
    `It doesn't.'
    `Bother you?'
    `What bothers me is, nothin'~ does.'
    `How's that?'
    `Had me this buddy in the Russian camp, Siberia, his thumb
was frostbit. Medics came by and they cut it off. Month later
he's tossin'~ all night. Elroy, I said, what's eatin'~ you? Goddam
thumb's itchin'~, he says. So I told him, scratch it. McCoy, he
says, it's the _other_ goddam thumb.' When the construct laughed,
it came through as something else, not laughter, but a stab of
cold down Case's spine. `Do me a favor, boy.'
    `What's that, Dix?'
    `This scam of yours, when it's over, you erase this goddam
thing.'

-Neuromancer

Comment: Re:The basics... (Score 1) 324

You'll never find this reply because you're posting as AC, but...

- Laser pointers are cheap, and the spotting scope was purchased for the endeavor and then returned to get the money back (yes, lame, but there you go)

- FRS/GMRS radios are cheap and have a range of several miles, and when I say we were 'poor', I don't mean 'destitute', but in 2003 it wasn't common for lower-middle-class 20-year olds to have mobile phones

- Almost all the equipment used came from the company we worked for (a tech company - and not in secret, our boss knew what we were doing and didn't object), and it indeed had its facility at the foot of a mountain ridge. Yes, we ran power and backhaul up the mountainside, but keep in mind we only had to go a hundred feet up the hill or so, being a mile away - it's not like the stuff was at the crest of the ridge.

  And it wasn't 'all by its lonesome'. Hills and mountains aren't exclusive to the remote corners of the globe. This took place in Knoxville, TN, which has a population roughly the size of Fort Lauderdale, and is bisected by several mountainous ridgelines. Take a look on a topo map sometime.

Comment: Re:Interesting as it points to how to decipher it. (Score 5, Informative) 170

by SpectreBlofeld (#46032259) Attached to: Voynich Manuscript May Have Originated In the New World

That's not even remotely plausible. You can't develop a writing system overnight.

Sequoyah.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/...

"In 1821 he completed his independent creation of a Cherokee syllabary, making reading and writing in Cherokee possible. This was the only time in recorded history that a member of a non-literate people independently created an effective writing system.[1][4] After seeing its worth, the people of the Cherokee Nation rapidly began to use his syllabary and officially adopted it in 1825. Their literacy rate quickly surpassed that of surrounding European-American settlers.[1]"

  So, yes, it's remotely plausible, in the sense that it's absolutely happened (at least) once.

Of course you can't flap your arms and fly to the moon. After a while you'd run out of air to push against.

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