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Comment: Re:That's not news (Score 2) 393

by darthium (#44413851) Attached to: Every Public School Student In LA Will Get an iPad In 2014

Class size has one of the largest impacts on quality of education.

Actually, no. There is a wide spread belief that class size improves education, but there is shockingly little evidence to support that belief. The biggest controlled study was the STAR Study done in Tennessee during the 1980s. It found the benefits to be minimal and uneven. Other studies have generally found even less benefit. Kids in early grades benefit most, with little to no benefit from smaller classes beyond grade 3. Most of the improvement goes to the underperformers. In some cases, the smarter kids actually do worse with small classes. This may be because they are forced to follow along with the class instead of reading ahead or learning on their own.

Much of the benefit from "smaller classes" may actually be from "quieter classes". Many young children have difficulty filtering out distracting noise. Good sound proofing, and reduction in disruptive behavior, can often bring as much benefit as smaller classes. Interesting, improving student/teacher ratios by adding teaching assistants has been found to provide no benefit.

If correctly targeted, smaller classes have their place, but they are far from a panacea.


Smaller classes with careless teachers are a waste, for sure. But I suspect that the lack of results regarding smaller classes is because lack of teacher's competence and willingness..

In other cases, the effort goes into the bottom students (the slogan "no child left behind" meaning really "no bright child is allowed to advance at a better pace than the mediocres", leaving no impact in the gifted and brightests.

However, no matter how many studies (fail to find such studies with clear results) supposedly exist, the issue is plain common sense, in a smaller class, the teacher has more time to nurture students in a customized way..

If you get smaller classes, you have to implement policies to ensure that the teacher will use such time advantage, to really improve customized teaching, and not focusing only in the ones with problems, but also in the brilliant students.

Comment: Re:Nice (Score 1) 719

by darthium (#44296067) Attached to: Edward Snowden Nominated For Nobel Peace Prize

Going to an atheist president won't help either. Officially atheist regimes were some of the biggest killers in the last century.

League of Militant Atheists The Black Book of Communism The Black Book of Communism - (book review) by Daniel J. Mahoney

The Black Book of Communism is one of those rare books that really matters. It is the first systematic and comparative analysis of the "crimes, terror and repression" that accompanied Communism everywhere and that seemed to define its "genetic code." The book's centerpiece is a relentlessly documented narrative of political violence and repression in the Soviet Union under Lenin and Stalin, drawing on extensive archival materials made available to researchers since the collapse of Communist rule in 1991. But The Black Book also contains absorbing accounts of Communist repression in Eastern Europe, Asia, and the Third World.

The Soviet Story (2008)

That's why it must be explained to everyone the DIFFERENCE between ATHEIST AND FREETHINKER.

The strict definition of atheism, only imply you must not believe in god. That's why you can find atheist that are superstitious and/or irrational, atheist who believe in homeopathy, or in Bach flowers, in gods. that's why Stalin is a good example of an irrational, superstitious&cruel atheist.

OTOH, a freethinker rejects irrationality and dogma by principle. A freethinker doesn't believe in god, because of its irrationality needed to believe the absurd religious scenarios, but he also can't be superstitious or irrational at all, in any other area, not only in subjects regarding to religion.

Comment: Re:The only thing missing... (Score 1) 136

by darthium (#44206995) Attached to: LXDE Previews Port From Gtk+ 2 to Qt

I had a click on the Velneo link... it might be awesome, but its in spanish(?) so that would put most people off it immediately.

You can change the language in the Velneo components easily (and Velneo v7 also enable you to build multi-language apps for your customers in a RAD way), check the image.

You can also contact them, AFAIK, most of the staff is fluent in English.

Comment: Re:The only thing missing... (Score 4, Informative) 136

by darthium (#44202023) Attached to: LXDE Previews Port From Gtk+ 2 to Qt

I don't have anything against Qt, but what makes you think that it "won"? Off the top of my head, I can't think of any major open source desktop applications that use Qt (other than those bundled with KDE). They all use GTK+: Firefox, LibreOffice, Chrome(ium), Gimp, Gnome, Eclipse and every Java app that uses SWT (and every Java app that uses Swing emulates GTK+ not Qt).

VLC media player is qt-based

And this other is less known but even more impressive, Velneo: It's a RAD tool, where the awesome productivity is cross platform.

Check a full-fledged ERP, running i Android The very exact set of advanced corporate features are available in Windows, MacOSX, Linux and Android. In the video, it is shown accessing a remote database in realtime. I tested it on my own, you develop once, and you don't have to know anything advanced about Windows, Android, MacOSX or Linux, to run the software you developed in such OS.

The power of Qt is noticeable in Velneo, and I talk after a decade and half of experience in software development, including using mainstream development tools.

Comment: Animal supremacists are sick people (Score 5, Interesting) 285

by darthium (#43526605) Attached to: Protesting Animal Testing, Intruders Vandalize Italian Lab

Hah.... Problem is, for the nuts that do this it doesn't matter if the animals live or die. Either they're "saved from a worse fate" in the lab, or it's "the scientists who made them like this" so their existence is already unnatural or they're even "martyrs to the cause", but it's a flimsy justification for wanting to bust up someone's workplace without running into the level of security to be found in the average factory or office complex.

Ultimately, it's not that they like animals. It's that they hate people.

And I'm not exagerating, last year, in a spanish 'animal lovers' facebook group named F.R.A (you can verify it by yourself), a girl told the rest how 'good person'was an old lady, who beat up his grandson (who was just learning to walk) after being bitten by the house's dog, she produly told the group that 'no question was asked' and she inmediatly figured out that the dog was innocent.

And many cheered it up!

Even in youtube videos, where little children got severely injured (look for instance, "perros atacan niño", there are comments accusing the victim that 'the kid must have provoked the dog, dog's won't attack without being provoked', and when I ask them to watch videos in youtube, like "Dog attacks Police Officer Taser Full News Report" they get angry, and many of them say I'm a nasty person, and that they refuse to watch the video.

FWIW, they openly say they prefer animals than humans, they don't bother to deny it.

Would you feel well, if you realize some of these individuals, is near your children on daily basis? Shouldn't PSYCHIATRY already have noticed them? Or are there studies of this mental illness that Im not aware of?

Comment: Re:France was always top notch (Score 1) 139

by darthium (#41538743) Attached to: French Science and Higher Education Programs Avoid Austerity

Believe it or not, the US spends more per capita on student education than France. I tend to think part of the US problem is that we do not target our money well, instead spending a disproportionate amount on those who don't want to learn. I do think we need to help those in lower income brackets, but I think it would be better to spend the money inside of that bracket on those families clearly trying to improve their situation.

My wife teaches in inner city schools and there are programs that focus on high achieving students. But programs for those with disciplinary problems, behavioral issues or developmental problems seem to get funded much better. One program, for example, for children with severe disabilities is really just a day care program with a teacher and an aide for 6 children. The ratio is so low because the kids need constant care to keep them from hurting themselves. Is this a role for an educational system or for a welfare program? I want these kids to be safe, but I also want our educational system focusing on those who will lead our future. Do we really need Master's degree teachers in a role that is probably better suited to nursing. These kids will never learn what four plus four is yet we spend money on a teacher that could be used elsewhere in the inner city.

Please mod the former up.

The Politically correct BS prevent people from saying the obvious. There is far more attention to 'disadvantaged' than to GIFTED KIDS.

Isn't it tru that 'no child left behind' somehow became 'no child allowed ahead'

In times of severe crisis, is it wise to invest mainly in the bottom, wasting the talent pool of a nation?

The inventions and innovations that make mankind progress, have come from such bottom pool, or from the bright people?

Shouldn't at least be a fair similar budget between 'disadvantaged programs' and 'gifted programs'?

Why would that be wrong?

Comment: France was always top notch (Score 2) 139

by darthium (#41538455) Attached to: French Science and Higher Education Programs Avoid Austerity
Since Piaget et al times, France always gave priority to education and science. One example is the AEFE network of French Schools abroad (For instance, check here for an insight), with their trademark of academic excellence. No other country have such kind of networked schools abroad. Illegal immigration from Africa, unskilled immigrants mainly, supposed them a lot of problems, but investing in education and science, is the best possible bet to face problems with long term vision. It's amazing how other first world goverments lack such basic common sense.

Comment: Re:Prog rock is not 'complex' :-) (Score 2) 576

by darthium (#40823451) Attached to: Study Finds New Pop Music <em>Does</em> All Sound the Same

You can't compare rolling stones and beethoven. Beethoven's works are much more complex than anything rolling stones made.

Rolling stones is simple, beethoven is complex.

Most progressive rock is complex and that's because it IS complex though it tends to make more of a show of it than Beethoven.

You're mixing up quality and complexity.

Rolling stones are non-complex and good. Beethoven is complex and good. Progressive rock is complex and everything from good to crap.

Prog. Rock can't be compared to Beethoven, Bach, Mozart or Debussy, etc. work, not in complexity, neither in quality.

Comment: Re:Prog rock is not 'complex' :-) (Score 2) 576

by darthium (#40823435) Attached to: Study Finds New Pop Music <em>Does</em> All Sound the Same

Rolling stones is simple? You've never tried to play a Keith Richards fill have you ?

Rolling Stones' music is very simple, compared to classical music. Even one of the stones would admit it.

The most complex music of the stones, is child's play compared to any decent classical piece.

Check this for instance, achieving something like this (complexity and perfection of execution) would mean a brain collapse to a popular musician.

Comment: French universities get underrated in rankings (Score 2) 147

by darthium (#40406531) Attached to: Fastest Growing US Export To China: Education

The grade school system is terrible and needs improvement. Luckily they do not run the university system. The US consistently has more top universities than any other country.

US News and World Report: ARWU (compiled by Shanghai Jiao Tong University): QS World Rankings (compiled by a London corp):

One Small example, Stanford, who is #3 in several rankings, has 8 Nobel laureates and 1 Fields Medal among its alumni, pretty good isn't it?

However, this example is completed with the École normale supérieure - Paris (usually out of the top30), despite being very small (compared to the number of Stanford students), it has 12 Nobel laureates and 10 Fields medal.

In France, research isn't as strictly linked to the university (due to the way legal setting is there), as it is in the US, I guess that makes such universities decrease their ratings, and gives US unviersities an advantege in the evaluation (papers and citations generated from the university are evaluated and have weight).

Comment: Lawyers earn money from software, let's hit back. (Score 1) 150

by darthium (#40053997) Attached to: Software Patents Good For Open Source?
This patent nosense is making lawyers get a lot of money as parasites of software development. We developers must work in improving AI to make the lawyers each time less necessary, so any CEO, CFO can use the expert system and minimize the need of lawyers. Same for patents. With clear and strict rules (also aimed at using only patents only when extremely necessary), less litigation would be needed.

Comment: Re:In other words, (Score 1) 368

by darthium (#38780647) Attached to: Web Developer Sentenced To Death In Iran

Because it is remote, inaccessible and dangerous. That's the fun for the hiking hardcore.

This kind of people seem desperate to get a Darwin Award.

If theyre so eager to go into ' inaccessible and dangerous' after being warned, they should not become a burden to other people to 'save them' (wasting tax money or even the life of others in the process of saving them). They looked for it, they should be allowed to fix the issued themselves, its not the same case of an innocent hostage, isn't it?

Comment: Re:I don't care about BEAUTY (Score 0) 197

by darthium (#38773188) Attached to: The Headaches of Cross-Platform Mobile Development

Not everything is about beauty

I don't care a whit about beauty. What I care about is USABILITY. That app (like so many other enterprise apps have worked with) was built by a bunch of people who didn't have to use the damn thing day to day. I didn't say anything about the widgets or color or anything. I just said it was not a very usable application and that could be improved.

I, like so many other enterprise developers, had to work with what people were trying to design but also listen to the complaints of the people on the front line really using the software. It's amazing how little THOSE two groups end up really talking, even when in theory there is someone in part of the development process representing their interests... but it's almost always a manager who again doesn't REALLY know where problems are or what would make things better.

You make me remember a Mac supremacist and how I embarrased him when he bragged about his new macbook G4 back then

You remind me of every wanker I ever worked with who didn't care about people who used the software we wrote. God I detested those people. Utter wastes of a chair.

BTW, If you brag about so heavily about your work

It's not bragging asshole. It's telling you what real life experience I have had with the issues at hand. I am passionate about this because in any context (mobile or not) the software industry COULD be doing a way better job designing software built to meet users needs but instead all to often is merely the bitch of business groups who have total say over how something comes out, and your video frankly brought out PTSD style flashbacks of some of the horrors that came out of that process.

You can defend it all you like but every single person on earth who has developed software for the enterprise more than a year knows I am correct.

You may have the last reply; I see no need to someone hell bent on pushing people into using unusable software even when better could be had.

As for examples that prove my case, simply look at any large data visualization or data entry app like Salesforce Viewer on the iPad... SInce all of my work is pretty much client work (I am an iOS consultant) I cannot point to it directly, either because it's not public or it's not polite to build and tell.

Blah blah blah, when youre so arrogant, you must have VERIFIABLE EVIDENCE to backup your arrogance, you failed to provide any.

Again, do you know SAP? Did you check its UI? Do yuo know what SAP is?

And then, you claim that such apps are not usable, despite million of people using them (Windows apps have A LOT MORE of marketshare than fancy Mac apps), theres not rocket science using them, unless people is too dumb (perhaps your case, that why the arroganse without backup?) to understand what 'Insert, Update, Delete' buttons are, or that clicking on an icon will do this thing indicated in the popup help when you place over the control you want.

And hey, scientific R&D work in any subject is the most important thing, there are UI specialists that can be hired in any project, but most of the value of an app, comes from innovative approach to solving a problem, not from how more usable is an UI. From a basic level of usability, the rest is fine, but not critical.

Comment: Re:For Enterprise, yes (Score 1) 197

by darthium (#38770022) Attached to: The Headaches of Cross-Platform Mobile Development

Did you watch the video? Did you understand the functionality shown there? Would you say it'd survive just because of 'lack of competition'? Do you think the best under100 U$ app sold in the app store is more complex than the ERP shown there wroking on Android and updatign a remote DB in realtime?

I used to be an enterprise developer, for over a decade - working on all kinds of similar very heavily data-driven systems, many with lots of complex forms as well.

YES I understood what was going on in that video. Between understanding that AND understanding now from working full time as a mobile developer since the release of the iOS SDK, also on many heavily data-driven applications on the iPhone/iPad, the application demonstrated in that video is AWFUL. Not even good mind you; I would say that monstrosity sucks and for every screen I saw there are easily 10 ways you could improve the UI and in the end possibly even make it useful for the poor bastards that have to use it every day. That's not even taking into account the myriad of ways you could make it better just because it's running on a tablet and not a PC (which the application obviously had little understanding of) or taking advantage of tablet hardware....

But that's what glorified form designers do for you - they give you something functional that works, very quickly. Well it sort of works, since every single freaking enterpriseapp I've worked with has ended up with a TON of customization that in the end the tools either made impossible or very hard, so I had to tell the business owners I couldn't do the thing they were asking for.

With a native application I can do ANYTHING. If they want text in a cell alternating colors, or pulling up a map, or zooming an element to full-screen by God I can do it. I generally do build out a lightweight framework that makes form definition simpler but then I can attach native functionality anywhere instead of being gated by the tool.

That video is pretty much the DEFINITION of what I was thinking of with my original post. If I saw an application like that and I knew it was making any kind of money I would cry with joy at the opportunity presented to me.

Not everything is about beauty, if so, Nobel or Fields Medal laureates would be beauty pageants, in fact, mostly shallow dumb people is the one who place beauty over complexity.

You make me remember a Mac supremacist and how I embarrased him when he bragged about his new macbook G4 back then. A very ugly and old wrecked Pentium3 with just 192 MB of RAM beat the hell out of the G4 in a Chess game, cause the intel laptop used Hiarcs, and 'ugly' chess software, while the G4 had a very beauty but weak Chess app


BTW, If you brag about so heavily about your work and mock other people's work, backup your bragging with FACTS, if you are a so superior developer, show your very complex iOS expert system in a youtube video, as these guys do, to see how your iOS ERP-Expert system is far better (better, not just prettier). If you don't youre just hot air. It's easy to brag, more difficult is to accomplish.

Mathemeticians stand on each other's shoulders while computer scientists stand on each other's toes. -- Richard Hamming