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Comment: Re:what size group? (Score 2) 133

by i.r.id10t (#48943721) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: How Do I Engage 5th-8th Graders In Computing?

Indeed. I taught a "this is what programming looks like, this is what these simple loops and logic statements do, this is a large library of functions that let you do relatively complex things very easily", etc. course for a 2 week summer camp last year with kids that were 10-14. Just getting their attention to start takes a few minutes, then showing something, explaining it real quick, then asking for ideas on what else it could do worked, but for every even slightly related question there were 3-4 that had absolutely nothing to do with anything going on at all.

At then end, I did manage to get about half of them actually writing simple PHP to do stuff (they already had a HTML class), the other half ended up playing Tanki Online.

Comment: Re:Well Shoot... (Score 1) 262

by i.r.id10t (#48936657) Attached to: Microsoft To Invest In Rogue Android Startup Cyanogen

How exactly is this selling out? The parts of Android that are Free will still be Free, the parts that aren't still won't be. If Microsoft wants to bring its office software, exchange clients, etc. to a new platform, who is to stop them?

Believe it or not, some of us not only appreciate the Free part of free software, but the cost, stability, flexability, varieties of software (or specific software) available, etc. The Stallmanites care more about ideals than anything else, but not all of us are Stallmanites.

Comment: Re:Once more (Score 2) 100

by i.r.id10t (#48888979) Attached to: U.S. Gas Stations Vulnerable To Internet Attacks

Or even why the sensors are needed. I worked at a gas station in the late 80s and we "sticked" the tanks each night. Looong stick (about 30 feet) w/ an inch scale on it, a little dusting of baby powder and stick it in the tank until it hits bottom. Pull up immediately, see what number is visible closest to wet line on baby powder. Write in log for manager to see in hte morning.

Comment: Re:Your analogy doesn't hold up (Score 1) 200

The college I work for is in the same town as a major state university. The CompSci program at said university has *one* programming class (in Java) as part of the degree track, simply to let students demonstrate the principles they are learning in all of the other classes.

A kinda big software dev place recently moved to town, thinking they'd grab all of these CompSci grads and have a built in supply of capable coders. After a few months of interviews, they came to our college president, worked with our ITE department, and are hiring our grads. For our AS in "systems analysis and programming" students get 5 semesters of coding (covering a student selected mix of c++, objective c, java, php+mysql, ios development and android development), plus stand alone clases in relational databases (again w/ mysql), HTML+CSS+JavaScript, and general programming logic.

As a bonus, another state university just a few hours south of us offers a BAS degree in software development that our AS degree is a "feeder" for. 5 more semesters of programming plus project management and then a bunch of slightly useful gen-ed courses.

Comment: Re:Here's why this is a bad idea (Score 1) 200

I'm in the same position, work in academic technology but teach as an adjunct - Linux Admin I and II, and a PHP+MySQL class.

I can generally guess at success levels by how curious a student is about how stuff works, whether they want to work ahead, or try to figure out what tool would work to solve a problem they've been thinking about.

And like you I have had student that thought since they spend 10 hours a day online on facebook, playing WoW, etc. that they should be "in computers" for a living. I've also had recent HS grads taking (and failing) the courses because their high school counselor said that there was good money to be made "in computers" and they'd be working in AC all day instead of digging ditches. These same students couldn't follow a step-by-step direction list wtihout problems.

Comment: Re:Dumb it down? (Score 1) 303

Or maybe have the ability to provide a "friend to the jury". Much like an opinion or statement about a case can be filed as a "amicus curae" brief (friend of the court), perhaps being able to give the jury a (hopefully neutral re: the case) expert in the field to ask questions of.

Comment: Re:This May Protect Cheaters (Score 3, Interesting) 125

by i.r.id10t (#48795823) Attached to: Obama Proposes 30-Day Deadline For Disclosing Security Breaches

I have issues with as well (and I'm a teacher and work in academic technology) but mostly because instructors/institutions can force a student to give up their intellectual property in order to support a 3rd party's business model.

I've started adding a footer on my papers I submit as a student along the lines of "this paper is the intellectual property of i.r.id10t. any commercial use is prohibited"

Don't think I'll ever get anywhere because of it, but at least it makes me feel half way ok for a few moments...

Comment: Re:Remove the goddamn box (Score 1) 320

by i.r.id10t (#48762327) Attached to: HOA Orders TARDIS Removed From In Front of Parrish Home

Some do have use, if they are constructed carefully at the beginning.

For example, a coworker lives out in a rural area, on a 7 acre lot, surrounded by other 7 to 10 acre lots. The "road" through the "neighborhood" - a big U shape connecting to the same 2 lane county road at both ends - was hard packed lime stone.

The HOA was formed and its sole purpose is to collect $50 per month to pay to have the road re-graded every year with the extra going into an account to have the road paved "for real" at some point in the future.

But yeah, I agree, the behavior that "most" HOA horror stories depict needs to be made illegal.

Comment: Re:Don't put cameras on everything (Score 1) 138

by i.r.id10t (#48760331) Attached to: Connected Gun Lets Anyone Watch What Or Who You Are Shooting

I can see where it would be beneficial to some types of training - working on follow through, etc. for shooting skeet, trap, or sporting clays. Or working on control for position shooting matches.

But for the common consumer end user? Pure novelty. And we've been doing similar for a long time - taking pictures or video thru scopes, etc. so it really isn't much new. I guess being able to include range finder and calculate distance so you know about the drop would be nice, but usually wind is a much bigger issue (for me anyway) and I'm not sure how it could help there without more specialized equipment (wind flags w/ maybe a pattern or something so it can provide a speed/direction reading to the computer)

Comment: Re: Thanks, assholes (Score 1) 573

by i.r.id10t (#48748473) Attached to: Gun Rights Hacktivists To Fab 3D-Printed Guns At State Capitol

Nah, wasn't poor shooting - it was vandalism. Guy walked the lenght of a cinder block wall separating 2 pistol ranges and blasted a hole every few feet with a shotgun.

There was an off duty fish and game officer there, arrested him for destruction of federal property (the range is in the Osceola National Forest and is maintained by funds from the Pitman-Robertson act)

If you're not part of the solution, you're part of the precipitate.