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+ - Ask Slashdot: Hungry students, how common ? 1

Submitted by Gud
Gud (78635) writes "Opening the newspaper this morning this story hit me like bricks, as I recalled a number of these experiences from my time as grad student.

I remember choosing between eating, living in bad neighborhoods, putting gas in the car, etc. Me and my fellow students still refer to ourself as the "starving grad students." Today we laugh about these experiences because we all got good jobs that lifted us out of poverty, but not everyone is that fortunate.
I wonder how many students are having hard time concentrating on their studies due to worrying where the next meal comes from. In the article I found the attitude of collage admins to the idea of meal plan point sharing, telling as how little they care about anything else but soak students & parents for fees and pester them later on with requests for donations.
Last year I did the college tour for my first child, after reading the article, some of the comments I heard on that tour started making more sense. Like "During exams you go to the dining hall in the morning, eat and study all day for one swipe" or "One student is doing study on what happens when you live only on Ramen noodles!"
How common is "food insecurity in college or high school" ?
What tricks can you share with current students?"

+ - Experience with Free To Air

Submitted by Dishwasha
Dishwasha (125561) writes "Just a few days ago I incidentally discovered a little known secret called free-to-air. Amazingly enough even in the depths of /., there appears to have been no postings or discussions about it. Just like over-the-air programming, there is free programming available via various satellite systems that only requires a one-time cost of getting a dish and receiver. Both Amazon and Ebay appear to have a plethora of hardware out there. I personally settled on the Geosatpro MicroHD system with a 90cm 26lbs light-weight dish (queue lots of comments about my describing 26 lbs as being light-weight) and I should be receiving that in just a few days.

I'm curious, who else is using satellite FTA on /.? What are your setups? Has anyone hacked on any of the DVR/PVR devices available? Besides greater access to international programming, what are your channel experiences?"

+ - Is DIY brainhacking safe?->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "My colleague at IEEE Spectrum, Eliza Strickland, looked at the home transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) movement. People looking to boost creativity, or cure depression, are attaching electrodes to their heads using either DIT equipment or rigs from vendors like Advocates believe experimenting with the tech is safe, but a neuroscientist worries about removing the tech from lab safeguards..."
Link to Original Source

Comment: Re:Higher SAT scores, etc (Score 4, Interesting) 529

by ideonexus (#46504965) Attached to: The Poor Neglected Gifted Child

It's interesting that no one is questioning the basic premise of this article: that the US puts more resources into remedial students than gifted. It makes for just one more thing people can complain and get self-righteous about, but my experience in Virginia schools is just the opposite. Here in Virginia, my gifted friends got to attend special highly-funded magnet schools or got to attend the #1 public high school in the country and the gifted classrooms at my high school got the best supplies and brightest teachers. As someone who was originally tracked in remedial everything and had to fight his way up to advanced-level courses, I can tell you that the remedial classes received no instruction whatsoever and were basically just holding-pens for students until they turned 18 and the system could kick them out.

Maybe some states don't have a gifted program, but before we all go tilting at windmills, maybe we should realize this is a state-level problem, one that does not apply to Virginia, and may not apply to your state either.

+ - Should developers fix bugs in their own time? 7

Submitted by Bizzeh
Bizzeh (851225) writes "Today my boss came to me with what he thought to be a valid point and analogy. If a builder builds a wall, and a week later, bricks begin to fall out of the bottom, but he continues to build the wall higher, he would have to replace those lower bricks he did not place correctly at his own expense and in his own time. When a software developer writes a piece of software, when bugs are discovered, they are paid to fix them by the company and on the companies time. I didn't know how to refute the analogy at the time, but it did make me think, why are bugs in software treated differently in this way?"

Comment: Re:terrorism! ha! (Score 2) 453

by ideonexus (#45494847) Attached to: Imagining the Post-Antibiotic Future

This is where they lost me. How often are scrapes and cuts (or even car accidents) treated with antibiotics? Sure, major lesions will warrant a general antibiotic, but in my first three decades of life i can count on one hand the number of times I took antibiotics, and almost all of them were preventative (meaning even without them, the risk to life was statistically indistinguishable from 0). Trying to rally the public with "if you get a scrape you will die" is pretty much fear mongering. And fear mongers can fuck right off.

You say you " can count on one hand the number of times I took antibiotics, and almost all of them were preventative," meaning you took them to prevent infection, so you don't know how many times you could have actually gotten an infection. I did an informal survey of my friends to find out how many have taken antibiotics to fight an actual infection, and the response was 100%. If those infections were antibiotic-resistant, that means 100% of them would have died. I think you're misunderstanding the risk and your comment actually reinforces the danger of infection.

You ask, "How often are scrapes and cuts (or even car accidents) treated with antibiotics?" The answer is very few, but over the course of a lifetime, we experience many scrapes and cuts, and only need to get infected once with an antibiotic-resistant bacteria to die. That's why it's a problem, and it's not being overstated.

+ - Bill Gates's Plan to Improve Our World->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Bill Gates has written an article in Wired outlining his strategy to improve people's lives through philanthropy and investment in technology and the sciences. He says, 'We want to give our wealth back to society in a way that has the most impact, and so we look for opportunities to invest for the largest returns. That means tackling the world’s biggest problems and funding the most likely solutions. That’s an even greater challenge than it sounds. I don’t have a magic formula for prioritizing the world’s problems. You could make a good case for poverty, disease, hunger, war, poor education, bad governance, political instability, weak trade, or mistreatment of women. ...I am a devout fan of capitalism. It is the best system ever devised for making self-interest serve the wider interest. This system is responsible for many of the great advances that have improved the lives of billions—from airplanes to air-conditioning to computers. But capitalism alone can’t address the needs of the very poor. This means market-driven innovation can actually widen the gap between rich and poor. ... We take a double-pronged approach: (1) Narrow the gap so that advances for the rich world reach the poor world faster, and (2) turn more of the world’s IQ toward devising solutions to problems that only people in the poor world face.'"
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+ - Growing Up Poor Is Bad for Your Brain->

Submitted by Daniel_Stuckey
Daniel_Stuckey (2647775) writes "Poverty sucks so much that it may literally rewire the brains of those who have the misfortune to be born poor. This is a doubly important finding in our era of unchecked income inequality, where the poverty rate is actually rising in the US despite economic gains for the rich. “Our findings suggest that the stress-burden of growing up poor may be an underlying mechanism that accounts for the relationship between poverty as a child and how well your brain works as an adult,” said Dr. K Luan Phan, a professor of psychiatry at the University of Illinois, Chicago College of Medicine, who led a team of researchers that just published a paper revealing the poverty-brain dysfunction link."
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Comment: Students are Hard on Hardware (Score 4, Interesting) 177

Unfortunately, this mirrors my own experience when I bought all the kids on my street laptops on the condition that they spend weeks with me learning how to handle and respect them. One year later, every single laptop was inoperable. Of course, every one of these kids owned an iPod touch... with a broken screen, so there were warning signs.

I think the problem is the portability of these devices. The reason I didn't break my Commodore 64 when I was a kid is because it sat on a desk. If it was portable, I probably would have shattered or lost it at some point too. I don't think we can make these devices rugged enough to survive your average teenager.

Comment: Re:Sure... (Score 4, Interesting) 323

by ideonexus (#44526715) Attached to: Have eBooks Peaked?


Why should I pay $9.99 for an ebook that can be taken away from me anytime Amazon wants, can't be lent out or given away, and can't be resold? When I buy a real book, it's an investment. I can resell it, donate it to my local library, or buy other real books from used book sellers for $0.99. My wife's grandmother just passed away, and her family let me take a wealth of old books from her collection. All the money she spent on those books over her lifetime has transferred to her children and grandchildren. When I die, the hundreds--maybe thousands--of dollars spent on my ebook collection dies with me.

I love my kindle. I love reading ebooks. I love highlighting, clipping, and making notes in them, but there's a very tough tradeoff here. Real books are a material investment, ebooks are ephemeral.

+ - NRA Launches Pro-Lead Website

Submitted by ideonexus
ideonexus (1257332) writes "The National Rifle Association has launched a website defending the use of lead ammunition against scientists and environmental organizations who argue that lead bullets are poisoning the environment and tainting game meat with a known neurotoxin. The rise and fall of lead levels from gasoline and lead-based paint are strongly correlated to the rise and fall of crime rates in communities around the world."

Comment: Re:Oh the irony! does nobody remember (Score 4, Interesting) 290

by ideonexus (#44326287) Attached to: How One Drunk Driver Sent My Company To the Cloud

I was thinking the same thing. I keenly remember Microsoft Azure going down for eight hours, right after we migrated to their cloud service. With our old datacenter, we were alerted immediately and their tech support had a bang list to alert all our customers for us that the system was down. With Microsoft, we got NOTHING. Our customers alerted us to the fact that they couldn't access their applications, and we had to go to twitter to @WindowsAzure to ask when the servers would be back up. Then, a year later, the East Coast datacenter went down and we learned that Cloud service does not include disaster recovery and we were responsible for setting up our own recovery solution on Window's Azure's servers.

"The medium is the message." -- Marshall McLuhan