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Comment: Computers got faster over ten years... (Score 1) 147 147

by gozar (#49651381) Attached to: Technology and Ever-Falling Attention Spans

I don't see how they controlled for equipment getting faster. A computer in 2004 was probably a ~3Ghz Pentium 4 with a 800MHz bus and 1Gb of RAM. Now you have an i5 or i7 with an SSD that's probably 10 times faster. People just don't wait that long for their computer anymore.

(I miss the good old days when a print job got you a 15-20 minute break.)

Comment: These articles miss a very important point... (Score 1) 448 448

by gozar (#48765847) Attached to: Unbundling Cable TV: Be Careful What You Wish For

Who says a channel has to charge? TBS costs cable companies $.63 a month per subscriber, bringing in $731 million a year for 96,700 homes. ESPN is $5.75 a month per subscriber in 94,000 homes.

I'd pay $1 a month for TBS. Some channels wouldn't have to charge. QVC? That's just a big infomercial. Golf? Offer it for free.

It looks like we may get choices soon: Cable Under Fire: Plunge in Ratings Could Spell Trouble for Top Nets

Comment: Re:Chat is terrible hellscape (Score 1) 79 79

by gozar (#48460567) Attached to: Slack Now Letting Employers Tap Workers' Private Chats

Now we're seeing the slow death of IRC too at the hands of better but more proprietary user experiences being offered by Skype and Slack.

And it's easy to see why too. The proprietary chat tools out there like Slack are absolutely incredible user experiences.

If IRC and XMPP are ever going to be competitive with the new proprietary guys in town, it needs to get competitive on the usability front.

I think Slack is built on IRC, I use a bouncer and whatever IRC client I have handy to connect to our work Slack.

IRCCloud is putting a pretty face on IRC, if they would offer the Slack integrations they could be a real competitor.

Comment: Re: TCO (Score 1) 158 158

by gozar (#47559097) Attached to: Valencia Linux School Distro Saves 36 Million Euro
As someone who is doing Linux in schools, let me correct a few things. - Imaging isn't done anymore, except for a base image with nothing installed. The tools to manage machines can take care of anything that needs to be set. - To set up our 1:1 Linux desktops we boot from the network, enter the machine name and user name, and walk away. Ubuntu installs with minimal software and Puppet. Everything else is configured through Puppet. Configuration includes software to be installed and creating the username and password of the student that is assigned to the laptop. We haven't hopped on the Chromebook bandwagon. Linux can do everything Chromebooks can do but so much more.

Comment: Charter schools as is aren't the answer (Score 1) 715 715

by gozar (#45941865) Attached to: How Good Are Charter Schools For the Public School System?
Since they are for-profit institutions, learning is usually not one of the things they want to do.

Ohioâ(TM)s Largest Taxpayer-Funded Charter School, ECOT, Receives Bonus Check

The Electronic Classroom of Tomorrow (ECOT) is the largest charter school in the state of Ohio. The online school is larger than the vast majority of Ohioâ(TM)s traditional school districts and received over $88 million in state funding last school year. This year that amount is expected to jump to over $92 million. On the latest report cards released by the Ohio Department of Education, ECOT continues to rank below all of the 8 large urban schools that are often-criticized by legislators and in the media for their "sub-par" performance.

15 Months in Virtual Charter Hell: A Teacher's Tale - Living in Dialogue - Education Week Teacher

Last year I had a student who never showed up to class, never turned work in, skimmed by on gaming the system with a phone call every few weeks, just enough to keep from being dropped from the rosters. She called me three days after my final grades were submitted in June, desperate to find a way to graduate. I apologized, said my grades had been submitted, and offered information for the summer school we were holding. A week or so later, when I arrived for graduation an administrator pulled me aside to tell me that this student had passed "by the proficiency method" and would be graduating. Our graduation rate was so low that this was not a surprise to me, not after the year I had spent working in this system.

Comment: Wrong definition of A players (Score 1) 397 397

by gozar (#45782083) Attached to: Netflix: Non-'A' Players Unworthy of Jobs

I think most of the comments about A players are defining them incorrectly. An A player is one that:

- is competent in their skills and is continually upgrading their skillset
- works well with others, viewing criticism not personally. The A player uses criticism to get better
- will go the extra mile(s) so their projects and the company will be a success. No task is too menial. When they walk down the hall they will pick up any trash they find to throw away.
- is humble
- is not afraid of failure

In education, you see A players all the time. These are the ones you want to work with and work for. They make you better.

Comment: Serverless Puppet (Score 2) 141 141

by gozar (#45492121) Attached to: Review: Puppet Vs. Chef Vs. Ansible Vs. Salt
Puppet can also run with out a server. You can clone your puppet repo and simply run "puppet apply main manifest.pp" The server gives you more control over what the machine receives, so each machine wouldn't have access to items such as ssh keys or user info that doesn't pertain to the machine.

Comment: Re:...and not academic freedom (Score 1) 284 284

by gozar (#43997783) Attached to: Professors Say Massive Open Online Courses Threaten Academic Freedom

This is a simple question about owning the intellectual property rights on material produced. Frankly the way I think this should be is that I own the copyright but the university has a permanent license to use any material I generate for education of its own students.

This has already come up under Any work you do for your job would most likely fall under "work-for-hire" and your employer, the univiersity, owns the copyright. This whole article is written by someone who doesn't realize that professors don't own the copyright on materials produced by the professors for their job.

Public school districts own the copyright on the lesson plans and supporting materials created by teachers, this is now different at the higher ed level.

Comment: Why let users choose their passwords? (Score 1) 211 211

by gozar (#43575139) Attached to: Mitigating Password Re-Use From the Other End

If you are going to do this, then why even let the user choose their password? Use an algorithm to create user's passwords (for example, randomly select a length, then randomly generate a password). Guaranteed strong passwords.

Yes, users will write it down. Is this worse or better than what is happening now?

(For the most part, I prefer OAUTH. I let Google handle the two factor authentication.)

Comment: Re:bets? (Score 1) 319 319

by gozar (#43574073) Attached to: $200 Intel Android Laptops Are Coming
As the IT director for a school district, are are looking at the ASUS X201E running Ubuntu for a 1:1 program. Say what you want about Chrome books, they have opened eyes in our district. It would have been a really hard sell before. Now its easy. The Ubuntu laptops can do everything a Chromebook plus more.

Comment: Re:Still fiddly if you RTFA (Score 1) 181 181

by gozar (#43512179) Attached to: Ars Reviewer is Happily Bored With Dell's Linux Ultrabook

It's bad enough having to find room on my already cluttered desk (3 desktops + monitors + 1 laptop + 4 mice + handover/ events diary + this shift's operations paperwork) in 1.3sq.m of desk space, but having to find space for each mouse when I need to move to each system

Check out Synergy. Use one mouse/keyboard with all four machines.

Comment: Re:Good point about archiving (Score 1) 137 137

by gozar (#43512159) Attached to: Blackstone Drops Dell Bid, Cites Declining PC Market

About archiving photos, videos, and the like to a hard drive, you make a good point. I'd like to see what certain staunch iOS advocates on Slashdot would say about that.

iOS users use the free 5GB of iCloud storage for backup, and when that is filled, they pay Apple for more storage. All automatic and no maintenance. Device dies/is replaced? Start it up and tell it to restore from iCloud. Everything is right back where it was. This even works going between the different iOS devices (have an iPhone and get an iPad? Restore your iPhone backup onto your iPad).

Pretty slick, and doesn't require the user to do anything but plug in their device at night (assuming they have wifi, if not, then no, it's not slick).

Comment: Make them into Chrome Browser boxes (Score 1) 260 260

by gozar (#43178077) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: How To Donate Older Computers to Charity?
I just put the final touches on taking older machines and making them into Chrome only browser boxes, the GozBrowserBox.

You can run it stand alone (I have it on some old 512MB Thinkpads) or in a client/server configuration (I have iBooks and eMacs using this running Chrome with Flash and sound). All it does is boot into a full screen Chrome session, so it depends on what you want to do on how useful it is.

In our public school system this has allowed us to repurpose any machine that comes our way. The limiting factor now is space.

(BTW, there are several security issues with it since the private key for the user browser is publically available in the Github project. It also downloads the configuration from Github everytime the machine is started, which means you have to trust me... Or fork the project and trust yourself!)

"Ninety percent of baseball is half mental." -- Yogi Berra