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Comment Re:Do we really want Google... (Score 0) 177

This should not be an issue of seeing content, it should only be an issue of requesting content. Autoplay on anything, be it GIFs or silverlight is not only an annoyance issue, but a accessibility issue. In any case, remember that Google is largely responsible for autoplay flash. As the largest ad network, the lack of control by the user grew it's ad revenue. Now that HTML 5 has removes even minimal control from the end user, flash is depreciated. This really only has to do with Googles ability to make money through ads.

Comment Re:Bingo (Score 4, Interesting) 95

Learning, at some point, depends on the motivation of the student. The difference between a teacher and a professor is that the teacher actively encourages motivation in the student, while it is hoped that the professor though deep knowledge in the subject and inherent interest will passively generate the motivation.

Or, to be more realistic, that the college student due to the money being spent will be inherently more motivated. This ignores the fact that some students go to college just for health insurance.

I see the situation with using technology to be more complicated. An underlying assumption that the computer will be more motivational that a 'boring' professor. I have not seen this to be the case. The long term motivation of the student still depends on human intervention. Gamification is not going to work for every student, and while there is nothing wrong with a college that uses it, such a college would not inherently be better than a more traditional college

There is also an assumption that the making the buzzwords more precise will help, i.e. Competency, Adaptive, Individualized,Differentiated. In fact it comes back to motivation. Most of these are not expecting an equal level of achievement by the end of the course, i.e. not every student is expected have read and analyzed the Odyssey by the end of the course, and maybe that is ok. Some will see it as unfair that they were expected to comprehend Ulysses while others were given an A for reading the Devil Wears Prada, but that is an issue with equity and equality being different things.

No, the problem is that an intelligent student can game the system. I have seen it will well respected adaptive courses. Student purposefully keep their level low so they are able to get credit with minimal effort. If the system still requires equal outcomes, then they are not adaptive or whatever buzzword one wants to use.

I see the problem as it always has been, valuing a degree over learning. There is no technology that is going to educate a student that is simply in school to buy a sheet of paper. For a student that is there to learn, the old technology of a book, a professor who has time to talk, and equally motivated classmates, cannot be beat.

Educational technology is therefore a critical part of universities who simply exist to funnel student loans to executives of the university. It a symbiosis between institutions who care nothing for education, and students who do not care to be educated.

Comment Re:too much emphasis on vocational skill too early (Score 1) 61

How much reading and writing is necessary for an average person to succeed. Donal Trump speaks at an elementary school level. I my self have a terrible time with handwriting, and if weren't for computers I would not even have a job.

I also went through school during the 80's, the difference is that I did not learn specific programs because there were no dominant programs. So as a young student I learned to copy basic using a teletype and make it work, then I learned fortant on mainframe and to do shape tables and write papers and spreadsheets on a Apple II, and program an EEPROM copying prewritten assembly. When MS Excel came out my skills allowed me quickly learn it and get a good paying job. I learned whatever text editor or word processor I needed. I learned Pagemaker. Of course by 1990 MS Office had become dominant, so people learned an office suite, not how to use the computer.

I really don't know how anyone thinks that kids can make a living now without have deeply embedded basic computer skills that are taught from a young age. I don't mean how to use a program, but that computers are not magic and when we press a key a number of programmed routines are run to make things happen. So making a turtle move or a princess move or a robot move is teaching the kid or president how computers work, just like having kids play with toy hammers and screws teaches the kid concretely how things are put together,.

OTOH, a big problem is that computer education is not started early so we never get to the abstract stuff. We still test kids to see if they can use MS Office in a very concrete way, such as which function key starts the presentation, and then congratulate them that can do the work of a 10 year old. I know few schools that require a student to know the three or four top office suites, and be able to do real work in all of them.

In fact, this is the same problem we have with reading. So much time is spent on decoding and vocabulary, so little on whole reading. This means that the student gets trained to spend all their metal capacity on the words, and never learns to abstract to sentence, paragraphs, and structure. Reading, and actually knowing how to use a computer, is hard. A decent elementary school should be laying concrete scaffolding. A decent high school should be abstracting that to a useful skill. That way we are not teaching kids for their first minimum wage job, but for their fist middle class job when they are in their mid twenties, or for college that will increase the chance that they will have the skills to be successful when age discrimination sets in at 40.

Comment Re:Police chief should be fired (Score 1) 220

The kid accused a teacher of what could be a felony. It would cost her a teaching ceritificate, which could be the only ways she makes a middle class income. Yes the kid was too dumb to know what he was doing, just like kid about decade ago was too dumb to know that holding up a liquor store with a gun so he could get some cash to go a date would mean that he would be on death row. Being dumb when on is a teenager is not an excuse for everything.

The fact is, without hyperbole, is when a kid makes an accusation if the accusation is not refuted in the most direct method it can be used to take away a certification. This is a fact and no alternative reality, be it fox news or the self centeredness of a kid can change it. This kid made a mistake. changing schools is is a reasonable consequence that is not going to destroy the kids life but will make sure that other kids are reminded not to do the same thing. 30 years ago these things were taken must less seriously, and it resulted in child care providers spending time in jail.

Back to the hyperbole. For the adults here, if some kid said you were part of satanic cult that murdered babies, do you think that this might negatively effect you work, or do you think that these accusation should be just left online to fester?

Comment Re:Police chief should be fired (Score 1) 220

I wonder, assuming some of the people writing in response to this actually have a job, or will ever have a job, would be happy if some punk kid caused them to lose that job, lose the ability to feed their family, and lose the ability to every work at that job again.

What this kid alleged was molestation. It was not a harmless joke. If the teacher, the school, the district, and even the cops did not respond to it then such an allegation could fester and result in the loss of a teaching liscense and the potential inability of the teacher to ever earn a living as a teacher again.

Just because some punk kid thought he was being funny.

This is not a case of excessive consequences. This is a case of a kid making serious allegations against a teacher. Even if those allegations were in jest they potentially would have serious consequences. Doing nothing puts ever other teacher in that school in danger as all students would feel they have the right to make similar serious allegations in jest. Removing the student, setting an example, was the best solution to nip the problem in the bud. He can start over at another school without the stigma of being the student who thinks denying the right of teacher to feed her family is funny.

Comment Re: No... HELL no. (Score 1) 206

The places I know essentially give employees a rebate who participate. Rates have not gone up significantly in years so I don't think they are hiking rates just to provide rebates. I don't have any problems with this, except that a Fitbit is so expensive I don't see how reduced insurance costs are really going to pay for them

Comment Re:OK, but... (Score 1) 161

The real overreaction here is the what how would this be useful in killing or maiming someone that do have easier or more effective alternatives. In reality, attaching one of these does not necessarily require physical access. Insurance companies are promoting drivers to use these in their cars so they can get data to raise rates. It would be easy enough to substitute a more malicious dongle for the less malicious dongle. The driver would voluntarily place the device and not know any better. In any case, the real insecurity here is a driver keeping and ODB-II device in their car semi-permantly. I have such a dongle for diagnostics, and I certainly do not keep it attached while driving except in certain circumstances. The real insecurity here is firms like insurance companies promoting unsafe products.

Comment Re: Sure you can. (Score 1) 492

You no longer pay for Mac OS, you pay for the computer and upgrades are free, even most Apple Apps. MS office was originally written for the Mac, and is even more ingrained with office 360. Adobe applications were also originally written for the Mac, and creative cloud is best on Mac. There are very small and expensive vertices market applications such as autodesk and Origin and the like that are windows only, but the cost of the computer is less than the software in these cases, and are one reason why upgrades do not happen because these are workhorse production machines that once set up are not changed.

Comment Re: stupid article (Score 1) 485

With Google you are for sure giving up privacy, support, and the product may be suspended at any minute. With MS at least you have a chance. The default setting are troublesome, but at least they be changed. That said MS generally will sacrifice security for ease. Does everyone remember when entire hard disks were by default shared on the Internet?

Comment Re:The argument is "leaky" at best too (Score 1) 195

Unfortunately even science people are afraid of using the word evolution because some religious whacko might want to shoot them. So other words are used like 'learned'.

In fact the human vaccines to treat the most virulent viruses, the one's that don't kill quickly but rather maim, have worked well. Small pox is eradicated, and Polio has not been seen in Nigeria for a year. Some people get sick from Vaccines, but they likely would have the most susceptible and the carriers anyway.

What is being seen is that vaccines used in livestock for purposes other than immunization is having significant negative side effects.

To be fair we are seeing some drug resistant strains that making people sick, but those are most bacteria, and are due to the routine use of antibacterials, even when there is little evidence that there is a bacterial infection.

Comment Re:Not a factor in actually secure environments (Score 1) 227

Which is to say that if your people do not follow policy, it is because the policy is unclear. For instance, I have had friends who worked in secure places where you cell phone could not be on in the secure area. Cell phones were not an issue because if you got caught you were fired. The policy was clear. The pay was enough to attract professionals who wanted their job. So the second part is management that is willing to support and enforce policy. Workers making minimum wage would not care so much if they were fired, and turnover would be excessive. If policy means that work is not getting done, then management obviously is going to make a judgement call to create a compromise policy. As far as pretend secure doors...I have worked in places where the official work area had secure doors, but the backend where the actual work was done was just a normal door, normally propped open.

Comment Re:Worry about drips while an river floods (Score 1) 154

To put this in perspective, If we were to send a single bomber to Iran with a single bunker busting conventional bomb, it would cost more than this. As far as slowness, the pentagon can't even get an American made cross trainer on soldiers feet because the bureaucracy is so vast. So yes, the pentagon does need to be slimmed down and made more efficient. On the other hand, I suspect that the reason we are spending 45 million dollars a year extra for the communication is because it would cost an order of magnitude more to refit with the new technology and train. This is not a small firm that can refit everything for 100K, and many of the soldiers are kids right of high school, many of who have trouble reading and writing. I have seen kids do well on the ASVAB that have great difficulty passing a state graduation test.

Comment Re:legal risk (Score 1) 165

I think the point the poster was making is that all risk has been transferred to the contracting company. If the contractors were working under the state,then yes under the new rules announced this week they could very likely sue for a big check. However, all that can happen here is the contracting company get sues and the state claims it had no idea that laws were being broken.

Comment Re: Truther? (Score 1) 321

When celebrities bacame a large part of the problem. After all we can't call Trump a crackpot, so we call him a truther.

I like the name because many of the problems in this world come from people thinking they know the truth when all they know is what they were taught to believe.

Comment Re:Engineering standards? (Score 1) 97

Honestly this is simply competent software development, like aggressively validating user input so a website can't be compromised with maliciously formed URLs.

It is understandable that a software glitch might unlock the door. But opening a door should be a more controlled thing that is designed to be secure. For instance there should be a distinction between a request to open the door by someone putting the door handle and a request from software. The request from software should have fairly low priority, so, for example, if the car is moving the door will not open.

The nice thing about software is that it is relatively easy to design safety and security in, as long as it seen as necessary.