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Comment: Executive? Really? (Score 1) 219

by chortick (#38606706) Attached to: UK Executive 'Forced Out of Job' For Posting CV Online
I am surprised that OP would describe someone as an 'executive' when they're earning that little and carry a 'manager' title. That's far from being an executive in most organizations. Executives usually carry a VP title, and are usually able to speak for the company (i.e. have P&L responsibility and authority to enter into a contract). A manager usually simply has some people reporting to them, and in a modern organization their authority is firmly circumscribed. As to the substance of the story, there has to be more to it. If everyone who was willing to entertain an offer was fired, there would be noone left.

Comment: Ex-squeeze me? (Score 1) 575

by chortick (#37943542) Attached to: EU Scientists Working On Laser To Rip a Hole In Spacetime
Pardon the commercial intrusion, but are we discussing a $1.6B innovation by the same "Europe" currently facing an existential crisis that is threatening to destroy the very economic fabric of the world? Either I am confused, or the media are confused... because they are portraying the current fiscal situation as one step removed from "widespread cannibalism", and here we are talking about physics.

Comment: Re:Scratch -- the latest from MIT for kids... (Score 1) 510

by chortick (#36557294) Attached to: Learning Programming In a Post-BASIC World
My son's grade 7 class are using Scratch. He's built some cool things with it, but it seemed like everything was wrapped in protective padding to me. From memory, it's a derivative of Squeak, which is a fairly serious Smalltalk implementation. I became interested in the virtual worlds stuff that the Croquet project was doing, but ran out of cycles before I could get too deep.

Comment: Re:Mental illness is no laughing matter (Score 1) 421

by chortick (#29604609) Attached to: Jack Thompson Sues Facebook For $40M
I'm not sure what the case is in your/his jurisdiction, but in the Province of Ontario (Canada), there is a designation of 'vexatious litigant' that can be applied to someone who wastes the court's time with repeated frivolous lawsuits. A person designated as a 'vexatious litigant' cannot initiate proceedings without a judge's permission.

Comment: Why does this matter? (Score 1) 1505

by chortick (#27822413) Attached to: Battle Lines Being Drawn As Obama Plans To Curb Tax Avoidance
Many large banks (I imagine this applies to enterprises above some size, but I happen to have direct knowledge of banks in this regard) decide how much tax they will pay in any given year as a matter of policy, as opposed to a matter of accounting. The tax laws are sufficiently complex that with a little creativity, they easily could pay zero tax. Instead, they choose a tolerable level of tax that will not expose them to political grief.

Comment: Spend in the right place (Score 1) 459

by chortick (#26693881) Attached to: A Gates Foundation Education Initiative Fizzles
See Sugata Mitra's excellent TED talk. He makes the point that rather than deploying technology in support of education in places where the improvement is marginal, we should target it instead at places where teachers are either bad or non-existent, and where the impact will be larger.

I'll spoil some of his best lines: as part of their research on how kids can teach themselves, they dropped a hardened computer kiosk in a remote rural village where "they were assured that noone had ever taught anyone anything"... and left it for a few months for the kids there to play with. They came back to see what progress was being made, and the first kids they spoke to led with "Oh, it's your machine? Good. We need more RAM and a faster CPU, please."

Comment: Is this a North American problem? (Score 1) 282

by chortick (#26646533) Attached to: Cox Communications and "Congestion Management"
The 'provider so-and-so throttles traffic' story keeps coming up. My own Canadian telco is guilty of this. I keep hearing 'in Japan you can get 100MB/s consumer-grade service' or 'in France you can get 60MB/s'... but I never hear that a provider outside Canada and the US is shaping/throttling/whatever their traffic.

Is this truly a global problem that I just don't hear about because of my own media filter?

Comment: Re:Dear poor schools..... (Score 4, Informative) 248

by chortick (#25542891) Attached to: Microsoft Pushes Windows To Battle Linux In Africa
Interesting TED talk on the impact of technology on education: http://www.ted.com/index.php/talks/sugata_mitra_shows_how_kids_teach_themselves.html.

The speaker begins by noting that technology has marginal impact where schools are already good, but huge impact where schools are bad or non-existent. He then discusses how his work shows that children collaborate in learning.

Also http://www.ted.com/index.php/talks/hans_rosling_shows_the_best_stats_you_ve_ever_seen.html which in addition to some super cool eye candy graphs, points out the growing convergence of first-world and third-world problems.

A big ask where respondents are notorious for not RTFA, but I found both talks fascinating and hope that you do too.

Long computations which yield zero are probably all for naught.

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