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Comment Insanity, I tell you! (Score 1) 363

This really is plain insanity. The cost of a university education is well out of control, and textbooks aren't helping.

While I agree that having the same coursebook over a whole section (i.e. All Math 101 classes use the same book, which hopefully Math 201 also use..) I do believe that our educators should have a hand in which textbook is selected. Unless the group deciding what textbook is used, teach from said textbook, they need to take a backseat and listen to the people on the front lines. Cost is one valid factor when deciding what to choose. Education like this is as much a business as it is an academic exercise. When your consumers can't afford the product you sell, you have fewer consumers.

Comment Re:Sounds familiar... (Score 1) 602

I would be surprised if any money is actually saved after it's all completed. I have seen multiple offshoring efforts and not one has yielded the expected results. My conclusion is that in the end management doesn't care about what IT does and doesn't care what kind of results they see. I always see offshoring as the last resort of a uninspired and lazy executive team.

Management seems to see IT the same way they see power and water in their buildings. They just flip a switch, they expect it to work the way they expect it to work. Or, perhaps a better analogy might be thinking of IT as office furniture. They take it for granted, because it's always there and are aggravated when it's broken. And when it gets old, (yes, that could be a reference to age discrimination), they look for a cheap vendor who can replace it for less than they paid the first time. Because, after all, office furniture is just office furniture. You simply take it for granted because it's always there, like you expect your lights to come on when you flip the switch.

If they end up spending the same or a little more.. "Well, ..oh, well. " It's done, they just move on, little concern about what they've disrupted, and the fact that they've disrupted productivity all the way around.

Comment A little different line of thinking.. (Score 4, Interesting) 193

I know you're asking to pay to offload this duty, but I have a suggestion that perhaps you should consider. I would encourage you to consider keeping those duties for yourself, and add a new application to help protect them all the way around.

Deep Freeze by Faronics -

This product will let you create the perfect configuration for your parents, then 'freeze' it in place. They can have places for documents to go that you can edit and change and so forth. But, if you get infected with something, or an application installs something extra you didn't want, or your browser gets fouled up, you reboot your computer and Deep Freeze makes your system revert back to what it was before those changes took place.

If they aren't changing or updating their system regularly, they just wait until you can do that for them, on your schedule. If they have problems, they reboot and get a working computer back. You'll still want to backup their documents, but you can use a cloud solution for that, so it'll be set-it and forget-it, except when it's time to pay the yearly bill.

It's juts something to consider. Again, I know it's not the hands off solution you're thinking about, but as your parents get older, they'll appreciate your help all the more. It lets you still use this to be connected to them, and feel more like you're taking care of them than pushing that duty off on someone else. Your time is worth way more than the money you spend on them.

Comment Is math that hard? (Score 1) 62

The plan is to spend $3.5M to train 600 people over 5 years. So that's roughly $1,167/person/year. These tech companies can't spend that per year to do their own talent search, the US Department of Labor has to subsidize their hiring practices in their HR departments? Honestly, this sounds like the cost of finding good candidates that fit your organization.

Spending the money up front to find the right person to fit the company, means you train them up, apprentice them if you will, and because they're the right fit, they stay longer, work harder, are overall happier with the organization and are more productive.

This isn't rocket science.

Comment Proof of Concept (Score 1) 272

Why don't we consider this question after we've gone to Mars and tried it there..or Jupiter perhaps. We should figure out if the idea actually works before we consider deploying it at home, what say? Humans are terribly at risk assessment. We didn't really have a clue what we were unleashing when we set off our first nuclear tests. We did learn quickly...sorta. However, using a nuke against an NEO is something we've only theorized about. We should do some testing. In a place that's not actually remotely near Earth.

Comment Re:Prior art (Score 2) 221

Actually AT&T deployed this network in the US. It was reserved as a backup communications network in case of emergency. However, it's been dismantled. The big relay towers are gone that were installed as a hub in Kansas City, and across the state of Missouri linking Kansas City with St. Louis and beyond.

Comment Drone Airline? (Score 1) 460

Let me get this straight...the thought is to propose a drone-based airline? While it may be mostly auto-pilot, there's a human remote co-pilot to watch over things, just in case. So, how many planes does this one co-pilot watch? What's the lag time between aircraft and their remote-cockpit? How fast do the backup remote-comm systems kick in when the primary is getting wonky? And what keeps the remote co-pilot session from being hacked/co-opted and then turned into a remote drone-weapon?

I ..just don't think it'll happen in my lifetime. I could be wrong, but ..I'm not putting any money in that stock today.

Comment Profit Margins on the Apple Watch Edition (Score 0) 450

If estimates on costs for the materials alone on the Apple Watch Edition are at least near the mark, the 18k gold used costs over $8,000. Plus you add the cost for electronics and the sapphire on top of that, this should mean that a $10,000 Apple Watch Edition has the lowest profit margin of the entire line, well under 20%, while the average profit margin on many Apple products are northwards of 30% - 40%.

Comment Seriously? (Score 1) 131

So, I'm not sure why this is even being considered. Why not sell man-pack, shoulder-mount know, without the actual ammunition while we're at it? If the military is all up in arms over a drone that goes down and isn't confirmed destroyed, lest someone get a hold of the parts and reverse-engineer it, why would you agree to sell one? Oh, sure, they'll agree to "proper use" of it, but that wouldn't keep them from tearing it apart and making their own copies, will it? I mean, that's just a piece of paper that's been signed, right? Not actually something that will keep the buyer from changing their mind.


Comment Public vs Home Schooling (Score 1) 700

If you're a US taxpayer, then those public schools are there in some small part because of you. They are a small army of individuals who were trained just for teaching and educating children. Go investigate and see if you have a good local school and a good school district. If it's "ok" but could be better, then figure out how to get involved. Get elected to the local school board. (It'll be a real eye-opener, and a big commitment, since usually it's an unpaid, elected position.) Make your local public schools better for not just your children but everyone's children.

And if you don't want to go quite that far, but do discover that the local public schools are above state average, then be an involved parent. Studies do show that students whose parents are actively engaged with them and their school are higher achievers. We're not talking about "helicopter parents" but ones who give guidance, set a high bar for their child, help them expect good things from themselves and help them cope and correct course when things don't go as well as they wanted.

As parents, you're always teaching your children, even if you don't mean to be. Your actions are some of the most powerful teaching tools you have, for good or for bad. While your child is young, go look at your local schools, talk to the local home schooling groups, check them out, grade them yourself, check their backgrounds, look at their track records. Good groups, home or public, should be quick to help you find their positive achievements. You need to mine your own data, in your local area. People here, we may have good intentions, but what we think is important in education, may be completely different from what you have where you live.

Good public schools are working to hit their stride, raise levels of achievement, and change the life-long trajectory of as many students as they can. Do they have a drop out rate below, or significantly below the state average? That's typically a tell-tale sign. Do they have their own alternative high-school? If they do, then that typically means they take drop-outs very seriously, and aren't willing to let them go without a fight. How much of their Special Education do they do in-house? If they're working to keep more kids with high needs inside their system instead of just taking the easy way and farming them out to special schools, making that a last resort, then they truly take educating every child, every day...seriously. It's not just their career, it's their passion. You want people of passion educating our children. They care about the outcome of every child who walks in the door, personally. It's their mission to get them to succeed.

If you don't find that at your local public school...then that's the sort of person you need to be when homeschooling. It needs not not just be your career to school your child, it needs to be something you jump out of bed, excited to start the day, type of passion. If you don't have that at the public school, and you don't have it at home, it's time to find a private school that will meet that need.

Public education has been a family business for my entire life. I'm the black sheep, I went into IT. My siblings are teachers, and my father is a retired educator and school administrator. I've watched our local schools very closely for well over a decade, after my father retired. Good schools attract great teachers...rock star teachers, because they all share a passion for changing the life trajectory of a student. Whatever school you decide to put your child in, make sure it has that sort of staff in it.

There are very good public schools, and poor ones. There are great homeschoolers, and ones that are overwhelmed. You're going to have to look at your local options, and make the best decision you can. And remember: If things don't go according to plan, change the plan. Set a good example and help your child make good decisions.

Comment FAA Regulation Enforcement (Score 1) 283

I'm not sure how the FAA will regulate anyone whose on the moon, with say, that Helium 3 mining facility. It seems it would be terribly costly to send inspectors, and if they're not a US-based company, how will they ever have any hope of having jurisdiction with regulations? It seems like a crazy idea to me.

Comment Precedent Law (Score 1) 323

I'm guessing that if currently Federal court precedent that says you cannot compel someone to give up their lock code for their cell phone or other account, is the same law that will allow a student to keep from giving up their social media or other pass codes.

Regardless of your standing, you can always invoke the 5th Amendment in the US, protecting themselves against self-incrimination.

Comment Learning Curve.. (Score 1) 105

This is an interesting event. Failure of the flash memory can only really be overcome by either replacing it or having a secondary flash that's on standby, syncing up periodically so that it has much less wear on it, so you can extend the mission by switching over to the backup/secondary flash memory. However, this would add precious ounces to the payload, thereby requiring more fuel, etc.

Comment Capital and Investment (Score 2) 454

I tend to agree, the issue in the Tech Industry isn't as much the shortage of workers, as it's much more a shortage of the Industry to pay a wage for the worker they want. In lieu of that, the Industry isn't as willing to invest in it's Human Capital, expanding training and skill sets. They're afraid if they train you, you'll go find a better job. Well, if you don't train them, what if they stagnate and don't go find a better job?

If you aren't challenging your Tech Workers, then they want to move on, to avoid being bored, to find a new challenge. But if you train them, invest in them, they become invested in their company, and if they're challenged, they're just too busy and too happy to think about if the grass is greener on the other side of the street.

There's a reason that H1B workers strive to be great English speakers. English is the language of business, and it's still where people want to move towards to be successful. If we cultivate a culture of Tech Workers to move a long...then companies become a Journey, not a Destination. Would you rather work for a company who is the proverbial Wilderness, or the Promised Land?

Invest in Human Capital. That's how a Company is built that becomes a Destination, and not just a Journey to something better.

"The most important thing in a man is not what he knows, but what he is." -- Narciso Yepes