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+ - Is Google's Non-Tax Based Public School Funding Cause for Celebration?

Submitted by theodp
theodp (442580) writes "Google's "flash-funding" of teachers' projects via DonorsChoose continues to draw kudos from grateful mayors of the nation's largest cities. The latest comes from Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto (fresh from a Google-paid stay at the Google Zeitgeist resort), who joined Google officials at Taylor Allderdice HS, where Google announced it was 'flash funding' all Pittsburgh area teachers' crowd-funding campaigns on DonorsChoose reports that Google spent $64,657 to fund projects for 10,924 Pittsburgh kids. While the not-quite-$6-a-student is nice, it does pale by comparison to the $56,742 Google is ponying up to send one L.A. teacher's 34 students to London and Paris and the $35,858 it's spending to take another L.A. teacher's 52 kids to NYC, Gettysburg, and DC. So, is Google's non-tax based public school funding — which includes gender-based funding as well as "begfunding" — cause for celebration?"

Comment: Re:Black letter law (Score 1) 76

by TubeSteak (#47954373) Attached to: Proposed Law Would Limit US Search Warrants For Data Stored Abroad

Moreover the issue was always that USA people had control of the data: because Microsoft could access and retrieve the requested documents from a terminal within the United States, even though the actual search and retrieval would occur abroad, the data was still under Microsoftâ(TM)s control in the United States, and thus properly subject to the SCA warrant.

Microsoft USA has access to the data.
Microsoft Ireland has control of the data.

If there's no distinction between access and control, then why bother with multinational subsidiaries?

Comment: Re:Some criticism (Score 1) 106

by nine-times (#47953883) Attached to: KDE's UI To Bend Toward Simplicity

Perhaps it is rooted in system admin's job security fears?

I see this kind of idea floated in various situations, and it always seems bizarre to me. As someone who has worked in quite a few IT roles in quite a few different companies, I don't think I've ever run into a sysadmin who was making things more difficult for the sake of job security.

I've seen sysadmins do counter-productive things out of pride and stubbornness, unwilling to entertain a new way of doing things. I've seen them continue to use ineffective solutions out of fear, believing that the alternatives are too difficult to learn, too difficult to implement and support. Speaking generally and anecdotally from my own experience, sysadmins will enthusiastically welcome anything that means less work for themselves.

And "If everyone used Linux, there would no doubt be less demand for cleaning up PCs"...? No. People make that mistake all the time. "The IT department is pushing back on our goal of moving all of our servers to the cloud. It must be because they know it will mean there won't be any more IT work to do maintaining the servers, and they'll be out of a job!" Or "The IT department doesn't want to migrate to an all-Mac environment. It must be because Macs 'just work' without any problems, and they'd then be out of a job!" Sorry, no. Unfortunately, there's nothing that will get we IT people out of our jobs.

Speaking for the sysadmins, we'd almost welcome the soul-crushing unemployment if it actually meant things would work properly. But no, really you're just changing the nature of the work we need to do. Instead of maintaining our own servers, we then have to figure out which cloud service will work for the business needs, work out an implementation, and then manage and troubleshoot the cloud service on an ongoing basis. Moving to Macs or Linux machines, it just means we now need to figure out how to replace all of the Windows-only business-critical applications that your business is running, and then come up with a scheme to protect and manage all of those Mac/Linux workstations. Believe it or not, a Windows DC with Group Policies is a pretty effective way of managing a lot of desktops/laptops.

So either way it's work, and it'll require someone with expertise. And no matter what, it's not going to quite work properly. We're usually just looking for the path of least resistance.

Comment: Re:And they wonder why I block ads... (Score 1) 185

by Khyber (#47953679) Attached to: Google's Doubleclick Ad Servers Exposed Millions of Computers To Malware

" I reserve the right to pick and choose the fonts, to pick and choose the colours, to pick and choose the pictures, and to pick and choose the bits of content of every web page that's offered to me. "

I could guarantee you don't have the right and you don't even have the technological capability to do so unless you're intercepting the packets and re-writing the code on the fly.

Which means you're obviously not using HTTPS and thus you're a moron ripe for security hijacking.

Comment: Re:WTF? (Score 1) 106

by nine-times (#47953505) Attached to: KDE's UI To Bend Toward Simplicity

Going way off-topic, I don't know if I'd say that people like it, but I also don't know that I'd say that it's just because it comes on computers when you buy them. I think it's more that, over the course of the ownership of the system, you'll probably have fewer problems.

And that happens for a variety of reasons. One of the big ones is that it's more widely supported by hardware and software vendors. I think that is a major point. If you could get Microsoft Office and Adobe CS on Linux, I think you'd see a significant increase in adoption just from that. Yes, I know there are alternatives, but when people decide they want a particular application or a specific peripheral, they aren't going to like finding out that they can't use it because they have "the wrong kind of computer".

But getting slightly closer to the topic at hand, I think part of it is also just that they more or less know what to expect. Until the Windows 8 debacle, they knew which buttons to press and what would happen when they pressed them, more or less. People usually don't want to figure out how to operate their computer. They just want to know which buttons to press in order to get the result they want, and any change that moves or renames those buttons is unwelcome. If you must move or rename things, you'll get a better response from most people if the new way of doing things is so intuitive and obvious that they don't need to actually learn anything.

Comment: Re:can we have ONE non-dumbed down GUI please? (Score 1) 106

by nine-times (#47953459) Attached to: KDE's UI To Bend Toward Simplicity

A little offtopic, but since you bring it up: All hate aside, I've come around to think that the Windows 8 GUI, ignoring the Metro/Modern stuff) is very nice. It succeeds in hiding a lot of the complexity and nonsense while still allowing power users to be efficient. It's very clean, and makes good use of the interface conventions that everyone has gotten accustomed to over the past few decades. If they'd kept the start menu and ditched all the Metro stuff, I think Windows 8 would have been a big hit.

And I think there's a possible lesson there for KDE and Gnome and any other UI designer out there: Instead of constantly trying to reinvent the wheel, sometimes it's better to just refine the UI you already have, removing inconsistencies and redesigning anything that's confusing, problematic, or ugly.

Comment: Re:Some criticism (Score 2) 106

by nine-times (#47953187) Attached to: KDE's UI To Bend Toward Simplicity

This is the sort of criticism that software developers really need to get, and it seems good that maybe KDE is listening. I wouldn't be surprised, though, if a lot of people respond to this by saying the criticisms are stupid, that "if you know what you're doing" then you'll understand what's really going on, etc.

Comment: Re:Yes, pipelined utilities, like the logs (Score 1) 364

by drinkypoo (#47953011) Attached to: Torvalds: No Opinion On Systemd

The awesome structured and indexed log file format has a stable API and structure

Odd, so does a syslog. And you can still use tools to read it. Indexed files could be built from it if you had that much logging done. And since systemd has no option to output the ascii log in realtime, you have to use the tools. If you want to use the body of existing tools which do things with normal log files, you'll now need a FUSE filesystem to treat the binary logs like real logs, or you'll simply be out of date as you read the ascii logs from journald.

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