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Comment: Re:And there was much rejoicing (Score 2) 167

by fiziko (#46741107) Attached to: Anyone Can Buy Google Glass April 15

Google Glass may not bring about the end of privacy, but it's part of the problem. This is proprietary garbage, so you don't even know what it's doing. Anyone who buys it is a damn fool.

You aren't a damn fool just because you've bought one. Buying one just means you are curious and somewhat affluent. The "damn fool" part only kicks in if the thing is on and being worn while, say, doing Internet banking. As a teacher, I could see this being very beneficial to something like distance instruction, as it would be much more liberating than either teaching on a single whiteboard or depending on a third party camera person.

Comment: Of course not (Score 1) 650

by fiziko (#46683001) Attached to: Should Microsoft Be Required To Extend Support For Windows XP?

The end of XP has been a long time coming. Microsoft should not be legally obligated to provide XP support. The fact that XP is so pervasive is a side effect of the lack of appeal of its successors. The XP problem isn't a result of Microsoft failing to compete with others, it failed to compete with itself. If I worked at Microsoft, I'd maintain support in an attempt to maintain that customer base, but they are under no legal obligation to do so. The more likely result is that they'll end up driving people to Mac (and, in far lesser numbers, Linux) because the XP software customers use doesn't work in Windows 8, so they're looking at buying a lot of new software for any system.

Comment: More than that. (Score 1) 278

by fiziko (#46555097) Attached to: Don't Help Your Kids With Their Homework

As a professional educator working in the private industry, I can tell you that a lot of parents also cannot distinguish between "helping student understand principles better so student can do the homework independently" and "do homework for student." This can happen with poor tutors as well. If the "help" means the student doesn't understand the work enough to do it alone, it's not help. The student will then often end up in worse shape in the long run, as they won't understand future skills that the current skill is prerequisite to.

Comment: Re:Cultural bias biggest factor (Score 1) 384

by fiziko (#46462159) Attached to: Men And Women Think Women Are Bad At Basic Math

I live in Alberta. From 1965 to 2004, we climbed to having the #2 math performance in the world, second to Hong Kong and one notch above Japan. (At that time, matrix operations were still included in our semi-remedial math programs.) The gender gap was closing the entire time. Our standards have only dropped since then. As I said in another reply, that's a contributing factor, but it started more recently than the closing of the gender gap in this region.

Comment: Re:Cultural bias biggest factor (Score 1) 384

by fiziko (#46454663) Attached to: Men And Women Think Women Are Bad At Basic Math

That trend is out there, but started relatively recently compared to the closing of the gap. I also believe that will necessarily turn around at some point, as less competent local employees will force people hiring engineers and the like to hire from overseas in greater numbers than they are now. Something will have to give at some point in the near future.

Comment: Cultural bias biggest factor (Score 4, Insightful) 384

by fiziko (#46454003) Attached to: Men And Women Think Women Are Bad At Basic Math

As a math and science teacher, I've seen multiple studies on performance of different genders in math and science. There is a gap in North America, although it's closing rapidly. (In the past 40 years, men have gone from having 20% higher averages than women to having 2% higher averages than women. Evolution doesn't act that quickly; it's a purely social bias.) Men still perform slightly higher than women in this region because there are still teachers out there who expect more from male students and push them harder. In other words, if the teacher *expects* female students to get 60s and down and *expects* male students to get 70s and higher, then that teacher who sees a male and a female student with 68% averages, then the teacher will work with the male to improve his performance, but not put in the same effort with the female student. It's a horrible thought, but it's still happening out there. The same is true for race factors, for "learning disabilities" (which I would rather call "learning anomalies" but that's another story) and more.

Bottom line: there is a slight and closing gap between men and women in math and science in North America, not because there is any biological difference in this particular area, but because social biases that exist in the system are failing the female students more often than they are failing the male students.

Comment: Re:"Apple Maps as in-car navigation" (Score 1, Interesting) 198

by fiziko (#46378595) Attached to: Apple To Unveil Its 'iOS In the Car' Project Next Week

Most Apple Maps issues were a side effect of an early launch. They thought they'd have another year with Google Maps, and development was incomplete, but they opted for poor navigation rather than no navigation. I find it about as effective as Google Maps for my region these days. They've had the time to make it the product they always wanted it to be.

Comment: Dead Man's Switch (Score 3, Interesting) 381

by fiziko (#45897009) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: How To Protect Your Passwords From Amnesia?

Write a script with a "dead man's switch." Store passwords in an encrypted file on a secure system. If you don't log on and issue some sort of "wait" command every 30 days or so, then passwords get emailed to an account whose password is stored on a phone. At the time the passwords are issued, it's bloody insecure, but it should work well enough to get into the systems and change the passwords to something else. Not a perfect system, of course. What happens with a 60 day coma? Passwords are accessible for at least 25 of them, but not to you, etc. Existence of the script and encrypted file on an email ready system means there's a vulnerable spot there, too. It's better than nothing, though, and doesn't involve lawyer fees.

Comment: Re:Fantasists (Score 1) 224

Exactly. In addition to lacking personality, memories and learned talents, he's also going to be under tremendous pressure to live up to an impossible standard. Very few musicians stay as relevant as they used to be. A clone now could make Lennon-like music almost perfectly, and wouldn't be the pop culture phenomenon Lennon was because the music industry has changed. I cannot imagine circumstances in which a clone can have a healthy upbringing with no abnormal expectations.

Comment: Re:It was me. (Score 4, Interesting) 126

by fiziko (#44266603) Attached to: Limitations and All, Chromebooks Appear To Be Selling

I'm a teacher who was about to say what s/he said. Our students already use Google Docs for their work, so these make a great, cost-effective fit that eliminates a lot of the educational environment security headaches.

FYI, we circumvent the printing issues by having students share documents with staff accounts when they are ready to submit. The staff can either print or mark and comment online through the existing format, depending on whether a printout is really needed. Doesn't scale well for large student loads, but it's enough for us.

Comment: Outsourcing Concern (Score 4, Interesting) 98

by TheAngryMob (#44060861) Attached to: Nationwide Snooping System Launched In India

So, does this mean that the Indian Government will get to see everything that's outsourced to India, including US Government contracts?

Basically, any corrupt Indian official (which apparently, there are more than a few) with access can sell trade and/or government secrets from any outsourced company.

Way to set the standard NSA.

Numeric stability is probably not all that important when you're guessing.