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Comment Re:Android Dev (Score 1) 386 386

How much work was it to work around the actual differences? Everyone loves to throw around the number of different platform variants, but how bad were the actual problems you found? (I realize that the great number of platform variants makes testing take longer, even if you don't find any bugs in that variant.)

Comment Re:Hypocrisy (Score 4, Insightful) 244 244

For some topics, it's difficult to find an impartial-but-competent editor. Take politics: if the editor understands the topic, they will very likely have a personal position on it. If they don't understand it, they probably won't be able to figure out what's worth including, and how much coverage to give different points of view. (Articles that simply list every possible point of view -- like "Some people believe this; other people believe that..." -- are rather useless.) At some point, someone needs to make a judgement over which points of view are fringe and which are mainstream, if only to convey that to their readers, and that is a judgement that someone will always contest.

Comment Re:The brakes model (Score 4, Insightful) 240 240

The controversial .xxx domain, if it ever gets approved, would allow people and countries that do not want to see porn to have a way to ensure that they will never see it unless they intentionally go to those sites.

A "country" cannot decide for its people that it "doesn't want to see porn". I can assure you, at least some people (of legal age) in that country probably want to see it, and it's not (morally) up to the country to make that decision.

Comment Re:Wouldn't it be better... (Score 1) 65 65

The whole point of the GPL is that it grants a certain set of rights to anyone who gets the software, and requires them to pass those rights on to anyone they redistribute it to. Making it modular would make it easier for people to remove rights from the GPL that they don't like (say, the anti-Tivoization provision in GPL3). The FSF would never agree to it. (You might be able to just reuse their license text, depending on how it's licensed, though :)

Comment Re:NearlyFreeSpeech.net (Score 1) 456 456

I'd like to second this. I'm only using them for my personal sites, but their service runs fairly well, and their pay-for-usage model is neat. Their web interface for members is also elegant -- simple, not bogged down with graphics, works great in text browsers or from a phone.

Comment Re:No contradiction. (Score 3, Interesting) 578 578

Most scanners of this type do not even record enough detail to qualify as evidence. Those that do must have their data shared with law enforcement,

Do they have to just volunteer all the data automatically, or only if law enforcement asks? (If the former, [citation needed].)

Comment Re:Very easy, and very easy to get caught (Score 1) 684 684

True story 1: TA'ing at an institution with a mandatory-failure policy, I noticed two students copying each others' assignments. Thing was, they were mid-career professionals married to one another. What to do?

Absolutely fail them. Why does their marriage have anything to do with academic honesty?

True story 2: ...

I'm not sure what I'd do about this, although it sounds like the eventual outcome (new assignments) was good.

Comment Re:Very easy, and very easy to get caught (Score 1) 684 684

We do encourage our students to work together on some projects, but we also need individual assignments to test students' understanding. When they're just learning how to program, we can't risk that one partner in a group won't really get it -- we need to make sure they all know how to do the assignments individually.

Comment Re:Very easy, and very easy to get caught (Score 1) 684 684

Teamwork only works if all the team members can contribute. These labs are where they individually learn the skills they need. If we let them work together, some of them won't end up actually learning the material because their partner helped them through it, and then they'll pass the class when they don't know the material.

Comment Very easy, and very easy to get caught (Score 2, Insightful) 684 684

I've been TAing every semester since I got to college, and every semester we tell people that we run their submissions through MOSS (the canonical code plagiarism detector, hosted at [and perhaps developed at?] Stanford). We exhort that it's really not worth their trouble to try to get their code past it, and that they really ought to just contact the course staff if they're in a bind, as there's really nothing worse for them than getting caught cheating. And every semester, we find several pairs of students who have copied each others' code. Sometimes it's a literal, word-for-word copy (comments too) with the name changed (or occasionally without!); sometimes it's the same structure with different comments, suggesting they just sat side by side and wrote the lab together.

I'd really like to see the penalty for cheating to be an immediate failure in the course, if not expulsion. The idea that honest students spend hours working on an assignment, and then someone who didn't plan their time well, or doesn't get things as well, or is too lazy to ask for help thinks they can just not do the work and get the same grade is offensive, and cheaters should be punished accordingly.

Comment Re:Cheating is laziness... (Score 5, Insightful) 684 684

Cheating is very easy to avoid but it does require educators to be willing to create assignments that they themselves didn't download or buy from a teaching website.

I would also like to add, that cheating is far worse in the US since the teachers grade the students instead of third party independent testing organisations who are contracted to create unique material for each test.

...huh?! If we're talking about university classes, the idea that anything other than perhaps the intro courses would use materials provided by some company (say, the textbook publisher) is absurd. Also, what kind of a professor would outsource their tests to an independent organization? How can they possibly know the course material well enough, and adjust for what's been covered during the semester, and such?

"And do you think (fop that I am) that I could be the Scarlet Pumpernickel?" -- Looney Tunes, The Scarlet Pumpernickel (1950, Chuck Jones)

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