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Comment Re:Bingo (Score 2) 95

Gamification existed long before "online". People have always played the angles to get a better grade, and some even mistake the effort of "begging for points" for "doing actual work and learning from it". They've learned only how to game the system, so to them every future task becomes a game in which they only have to demonstrate a positive outcome.

We generally call them "executives."

Comment Re:"Online" classes (Score 1) 95

My online classes have occasionally included a few points for "participation". Some profs simply stated "thou shalt post thrice weekly to thy Blackboard forum", and that gets them off the hook for having to think about how to get online students to participate. They can show a metric to the department chair and say "see, 80% of my students are participating. Therefore your decision to mandate classroom participation online was a good and wise decision, o chair of my department." </brownNose>

The better profs didn't define participation. They simply said "I'll notice when you participate." The ambiguity encouraged people to speak up, ask questions, send emails, etc. I don't remember any case where the Blackboard forum was effectively used for "participation" in those classes.

Pretty much the only thing I ever remember people posting to Blackboard were whiny complaints about 'hey, I answered question #17 with A, and you said A and B, so I should get half credit right? And you should round all those half points up, so I will get a B- instead of a C+."

Comment Re:Your phone as a lifestyle: NO. (Score 2) 134

This lack of real communication between people is leading to more and more misunderstandings.

Au contraire. In an email, I can carefully choose the exact words to tell you what I think of you, your ideas, and describe in precise detail where you exist on the food chain. After reading that email, you will have no doubt as to what was said. In conversation, I could slip up and say the wrong thing in the presence of the wrong person, or forget what X said about Y even though I was there and so I must have been "listening".

Email is great. Conversation is for chumps.

Comment Re:Bureaucracy (Score 2) 269

I thought this was going an entirely different direction.

Thank you for your request for a citation. Please fill out form 132-B if you would like a citation for a traffic offense, 132-G if you would like a citation for a parking violation, or form 132-Q if you would like a citation for improperly posted signage outside your place of business. We would be happy to issue you a citation, and we thank you for your self-reporting. The fees from these citations for self-reported infractions help fund our department.

If you would like to report an infraction being committed by someone else, please call us on the phone at 555-555-5555. We apologize that third-party reporting cannot be done online or by mail at this time.

Comment Re:Ulterior motive implied (Score 5, Insightful) 198

Yeah, I was thinking much the same, except slightly more cynically:

  1. Develop a faster negotiation scheme for 802.11 with encryption that involves extra data in the beacon frame plus a single ARP with shortened delay waiting for a response
  2. Make changes to improve handoff speed between 802.11 and LTE
  3. Become an MVNO for Android devices
  4. Silently introduce a software update that automatically shares a portion of your bandwidth with Android cell phones for voice call purposes

Comment Re:Filtering (Score 1) 34

Your traffic, yes. The average user's traffic, no. The average computer user has Windows file sharing turned on for the root volume, with the relevant ports wide open to the outside world, and with an empty admin password.

Unfortunately, the vast majority of people are simply not equipped to protect their own networks, and need their ISPs to do it for them. As long as that is the case, network connections that allow unfiltered inbound traffic should be by request, not by default. If you know enough to ask, you probably know enough to set it up correctly, and if you don't, you probably aren't missing anything by being limited to the handful of end-user server-like apps that support NAT-PMP.

Comment Re:Filtering (Score 1) 34

Yes, though it might also break things for larger customers who have more than one ISP, whose IP ranges should at least ostensibly be advertised as routable through both networks. Mind you, that's a fairly small percentage of users out there, so yes, the default policy for such traffic should almost certainly be "drop".

Of course, you could do the port blocking at the ISP level and be done with it. IMO, an ISP should port filter everything into the ground by default; a customer should have to explicitly request that his or her connection be fully open to incoming requests. Doing so would have basically the same effect as blocking based on source address, but you'd just have a short list of open incoming ports (22, 80, 443, and the ephemeral range, give or take) instead of a potentially long list of IP ranges.

Comment Re:Filtering (Score 3, Informative) 34

In case you're not joking, the problem is that by the time it reaches the customer premises equipment (your router), it has already wasted bandwidth on the slowest link (the one between the home/business and the ISP). So if you are the target, the damage is already done before you can filter it. That's why amplification attacks have to be prevented by blocking the ports of the systems participating in the amplification, rather than by blocking ports at the victim's site.

Comment Re:No, not economics at all (Score 1) 185

I don't have to apologize for national fiat currency, it's silly too, and I don't keep my assets in cash. My problem with Bitcoin is that it is even less credible than "the faith and credit of the United States government", which has been the justification of the Dollar since it was allowed to float. It seems to be nothing but "wish and it will come true".

Comment Re:And, it's spreading to more companies in Seattl (Score 1) 268

And, that is now the new normal at Seattle tech companies. When I first moved here seven years ago, I asked how to notify the company of planned vacation time. I couldn't find it in the HR system. I got screamed at for using the word "notify" rather than "request." Our HR director called me "an arrogant little sh--" for that. Because she also bitched at my boss, he told me no vacation time for one year. The jerk was serious.

I'm pretty sure I would have handed in my resignation the next day. Life's too short to put up with an abusive sociopath as a boss and coworkers who create a hostile work environment. That's simply inexcusable behavior, period.

And as much as I hate to say it, have you ever thought about forming a union? Because it sounds like your company is precisely the sort of abusive company whose workers are most in need of that sort of protection.

Comment Re:Are they going to fine airlines for doing the s (Score 1) 188

No, the small-aircraft owners aren't at risk of messing up their avionics. They are, however, consciously messing up the cellular network for everyone else. You see, you are supposed to be in range of just a few cells when you use your phone, so that we get frequency reuse between cells. If you are at altitude, you are in line-of-sight communications with all of the cells out to the visible horizon on all sides. And the frequencies you are using are probably locked out from reuse over that entire vast area. It would not take very many phones at altitude to disrupt the entire system.

Real Programs don't use shared text. Otherwise, how can they use functions for scratch space after they are finished calling them?