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Comment Re:Controversial because? (Score 1) 284

Good point. In all of this it seems like there are several discreet issues tangled up in one discussion. My impression (as someone twenty years out of parenthood and forty years out of school) is that we mix up:

a.) common core - the idea that there is a base body of knowledge to which all students should be exposed, whether schooled in California, Massachusetts, North Dakota or Florida
b.) standardized testing - the idea that there should be one method, consistently designed, delivered and evaluated, for measuring students mastery of a.)
c.) teacher/school evaluation - the idea that there should be some objective scale by which communities can determine if teachers are doing their jobs well or poorly

For the record, I endorse a.) but wonder about b.) and c.), mainly because I believe there are many non-academic, social conditions that affect their outcomes.

Comment Re:Parsing Error (Score 1) 68

This may seem pedantry, but the last sentence in the fourth paragraph is problematic for this nitpicker-in-chief: "And Schneier deals extensively with social and moral pressures that effect trust." Does he really mean "affect," in the sense of "influence" or "alter", or does he really mean "effect," in the sense of "create" or "cause to happen"? I'm guessing the former, but I'll just have to buy the book.

Retrievable iPhone Numbers Raise Privacy Issue 146

TechnologyResource writes "When a couple of voicemails didn't show up recently, I thought nothing of it until a friend asked me if I'd gotten his message — people just don't call me that often. But the iPhone is indeed a phone, as some users are reportedly being reminded when they get phone calls from the publishers of a free app they've downloaded from the App Store. The application in question, mogoRoad, is a real-time traffic monitoring application. As invasive and despicable as that sounds, it raises another question: how did the company get hold of the contact information for those users? Mogo claims the details were provided by Apple, but Apple doesn't disclose that information to App Store vendors. French site Mac 4 Ever did some digging (scroll down for the English version) and determined it was possible — even easy — for an app to retrieve the phone number of a unit on which it was installed."

Comment What about History? (Score 1) 190

Altho I agree that the inertia of keeping records trumps the work of evaluating them, the large financial services company I work for is turning with the tide, starting to focus on deletion and destruction, mainly for potential liability reasons. Not just aged documents, but prior versions, drafts, notes, etc. It makes me wonder what the historians of the future will have left for primary sources--besides the final, signed-off Establishment-sanctioned records of events. Are we on the road to compromising their ability to determine and describe What Really Happened, and thus our own ability to understand our past? Could John M. Blair write "The Control of Oil", or Ron Chernow "Titan: the Life of John D. Rockefeller Sr." fifty years hence?

"Spock, did you see the looks on their faces?" "Yes, Captain, a sort of vacant contentment."