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Comment: Re:School technology (Score 1) 99

What's fucked up is that when i was in grade school (25 years ago) they were still using Ditto machines (70 years after its invention) despite Xerography machines being widely available (and having been around for 60 years).

There is nothing fucked up about that. That technology worked on the cheap (compared to Xerography or God forbit, modern laser/inkjet printers.)

Just because it is old, that doesn't mean it is shit. Enter the #2 pencil.

Comment: Re:Benefits? (Score 1) 99

Education is probably one of the areas that will benefit the most from 3D printers in the long run.

I don't see the reasoning for this conclusion, it seems to me this program is a colossal waste of money. I did a little searching and these benefits don't seem that great except in the cases of engineering classes.

And Fine Arts. And "shop" class. And adv. music classes where students experiment with manufacture of music instruments. And cooking/baking classes (be them introductory classes or classes that are part of a more serious culinary arts curriculum.).

I disagree with your assessment that STEM classes are the main beneficiary.

I do agree with you, however, in the need to proceed with caution, and not to expect an educational silver bullet out of this.

Comment: Re:The truth is, as always, more complicated... (Score 1) 143

Posting anon to be able to mod up against the jerk that modded this down. Pity I cannot comment too without undoing mod points. Spain is also ass-kissing the church, has still a feudalist mentality, and as long they do not kick out the king and the church, they are a fucked up country corrupt to the core and obeying to 3 masters (politicos, priests and king).

What does the king has to do with any of this?

Comment: Re:This cop is clearly wrong (Score 1) 489

by luis_a_espinal (#49437459) Attached to: The Courage of Bystanders Who Press "Record"

and unfortunately that requires police with guns and military gear now due to the influence of the NRA.

In the U.S., the police have always needed guns (at least to some degree). I am not sure how the influence of the NRA can be held responsible for the police "needing" military gear, considering that police began using military gear as laws restricting gun ownership increased. It is worth noting that when it was legal for the common citizen to own automatic firearms, the police were perfectly satisfied to be armed with civilian weaponry.

And back then when cops were using wheel guns, they were still doing stupid shit. Should I remind everyone that SF and NY PD used to have "queer hunts"?

Comment: Read again (Score 2) 489

by luis_a_espinal (#49437415) Attached to: The Courage of Bystanders Who Press "Record"

Now, we have access to independent video in a relatively small and unsystematic sample of those cases; and it turns out to differ from the official story fairly frequently.

But are these videos widespread because they exist, or because of the disparity between stories?

How can you ask if these videos are widespread when the OP is pretty much telling a few lines above that the videos represent (and I quote) "a relatively small and unsystematic sample of those cases"?

There is no reason to believe (nor data to back the belief) that people are filming only when a cop shots/hurts someone just upload them when the cop is in the wrong (and not uploading them the cop is in the right.)

So, without evidence that filming folks are displaying such a bias, then we have to consider the films as a really good random sample (of a small size, but it still random) out of a larger population of events (police encounters ending in confrontation, officially described "justified" on average.)

So now that we take a random sample (the videos), and we see that the expected properties ("justified on average") doesn't hold, then we have to re-examine the basic premise (that "justified" might not hold as common as it is officially trumpeted.)

Obviously, more evidence, more films (larger, more representative samples) are needed. But that doesn't deny the troublesome picture these films portray.

And to be honest, we all know this shit has been going on forever. We just like to pretend this shit doesn't happen, that them folk got it coming, and that the entire American experience is (and was) a mix of The Andy Griffith Show, Leave It To Beaver and Lassie.

It takes a couple of death people caught on film to get that shit of a notion a second look, doesn't it. That speaks volumes about a society's infinite capacity of self-deception.

Are there videos that show justified shootings that don't make national news because there's no story other than "cop defends life of self and/or others"?

Are you trying to prove a negative?

Comment: Re:no future for non-veterans (Score 2) 69

by luis_a_espinal (#49428633) Attached to: Feds Boost Goal To 75k New Solar Power Workers By 2020

Most who qualify as veteran achieved that status before President Obama was elected. It has nothing to do with serving HIM but rather serving the country. Veterans have a higher unemployment rate than the general public, mostly because most employers don't recognize the skills they bring and that their military training doesn't always translate clearly into civilian HR job listings. Also this isn't a jobs program but a training program. If the economy doesn't create 75k jobs for those trained through this program it won't help them. But if the market is there then they will have the training to work in the field.

Bingo... sort of. It is true that if there is no market, then there are no jobs, but I doubt that the training won't help them. Knowledge is knowledge. I bet quite a few of these people will go on their own establishing their own businesses, or work on the side along side some other activity.

Those who get the training and expect to get a job just like that, they will be seriously disappointing. Which is true for many people getting pursuing most venues of education and training nowadays.

Comment: 30 years too early (Score 1) 324

by luis_a_espinal (#49378893) Attached to: Poverty May Affect the Growth of Children's Brains

Strange, I read that the cause of this was high amounts of lead in the environment. Why is it that all of a sudden the low tax rate is the cause of it?

Not for the 1930s. It was only till the 60's that lead (in the form of BOTH lead paint and lead gasoline additive) started playing a statistical significant role.

Comment: Not the medium, but the execution (Score 1) 87

by luis_a_espinal (#49378629) Attached to: No Film At 11: the Case For the Less-Video-Is-More MOOC

I have never been able to stand more than 5 minutes of a MOOC video before telling myself 'OK, I'll find a proper textbook.'. I usually have a basic view of the MOOC topic ; at least the textbook allows me to skim it and dig deeper on the points that I'm interested in. Just sitting at my desk and watching a video is usually boring and requires to watch the complete segment before realising it was not what I was looking for.

The same goes for all these video tutorials : why bother making a 5-min youtube video on some software installation when a one-page text with command lines would be appropriate?

Depends. I've taken quite a few via coursera, and that experience you describe, I've had it with some courses, but not others. Odersky's classes in Scala or Andrew Ng's courses in machine learning have been very nice, and I don't feel like I'm missing anything I could do with a proper text book.

OTH, I'v had other courses on the same venue that I simply could not stand.

So, it is not the medium, it is the execution.

The same applies to books in the good old brick-n-mortar world. Some textbooks take you where you want/need to. Other textbooks make you want to claw your eyes out.

Comment: Re:No one is forcing anyone to do anything (Score 1) 536

He purchased the space with the designated purpose of writing code. This isn't akin to conducting business in an office setting (seeing clients, conducting meetings, etc.). It is more akin to writing prose. If he feels he is more productive in a personal setting, then this is no different from a novelist renting a cabin in the woods to finish that novel that's just not getting out. Would anyone recommend a novelist to rent office space instead of a somewhat isolated personal space to do creative work?

Bullshit. Writing code is not writing pose, and the artistic characteristics of software development drown in the setting of engineering and problem solving.

No, I wouldn't recommend a novelist to rent an office space to write the next "The Old Man and the Sea", but this is not a novelist, but a software developer (or artistic code monkey or whatever) that needs fast internet access at an affordable price to make his living.

What he does is his business. But don't tell me that selling his house instead of renting office space is an objective, rational decision (it isn't), and don't tell me he is an artist that needs green space to arrange bytes into perfection, because that is bullshit and no one pays a developer to be a Dali or Hemingway of coding.

Comment: Re:welcome to home buying 101 (Score 1) 222

by luis_a_espinal (#49354025) Attached to: Broadband ISP Betrayal Forces Homeowner To Sell New House

"Always verify everything yourself and don't trust anyone.

Pay for the previous owner's internet for a month or two"

That's very easy to be said -after the fact.

What else should the prospective owner pay before buying the house just in case? Sewage? tap water? electricity? Maybe he also should burn out the house just to see if the firefighter brigade can really appear in time, right?

Apples and oranges. The items you mentioned are required by law to be accessible if they are mentioned explicitly or implicitly in a home purchase contract, are typically provided via the local government, and are part of a standard inspection. Fast internet access is not.

This is one of the reasons I always look for existing bills of service (internet) before I move in anywhere. And I like the idea of offering paying for installation of internet -or have it deducted it from the final sale price. It is something I will be trying in the next few weeks as I buy a house...

And this is another reason why I will never leave in the boondocks. If I require tech to make my living, I will stay in a tech hub, or in a worst case scenario, within trivial driving distance to a rental office space with the services I require.

Unless our country becomes like, I dunno, Finland, living in a remote area is a risky proposition for anyone who relies on fast internet at relatively affordable prices to make one's living.

Comment: Re:No one is forcing anyone to do anything (Score 2) 536

Presumably he paid for a home space which would accommodate the office. What he should or shouldn't do is pretty much his business and his alone.

Yes, it is his business alone, but that doesn't insulate him from reasonable criticism of his choices. Exploring the choice of renting office space is much,much cheaper than reselling a home, specially one recently purchased.

"Someone's been mean to you! Tell me who it is, so I can punch him tastefully." -- Ralph Bakshi's Mighty Mouse