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Comment: Re:You make it... (Score 1) 519

by nobodie (#47237957) Attached to: Teacher Tenure Laws Ruled Unconstitutional In California

OK, OK,
Let's calm down, boys and girls. Back up a minute and think about the full panoply or facts involved in the questions here.
First: Teachers get paid shit for their masters degree plus of education
Second: Teachers have crazy hours impressed on them through an evaluation system that you would not want to contemplate. If you are not working 50-70 hours a week you aren't keeping up with your responsibilities. Trying to get tenure with bad evals is impossible.
Third: The evals are not based on skilled evaluators who actually watch and eval what you are doing, no, most of the eval comes from students. Students who have a different world view than their parents or the education system.
Fourth: teachers are highly restricted by the ir contracts in terms of what they can do at work and outside of work. How many teachers have been fired for being gay or lesbian (obviously not on the face of it, because that would reflect on the super who hired, but never the less)?
Fifth: Look at the numbers for teacher turn-over up until the last unemployment increase, people don't stay teachers by choice anymore.

Tenure is a dead issue really. The only people who want it shouldn't have it and the people who don't care are leaving anyway. The reason schools give it so easily is to try to hold on to teachers who might end up being good, but will leave without it (or anyway).
So let's get off our high horses and recognize that the issues that we face in the education of ourselves and our young are greater than this issue, which is relatively small in the larger view.

Comment: Re:Behind the curve (Score 1) 1040

by nobodie (#47201435) Attached to: Seattle Approves $15 Per Hour Minimum Wage

Yes, and this:
Living wage varies from area to area. Parts of Washington state have a high living wage, parts are similar to other agricultural regions in the country. Seattle has a very high living wage standard. Still, it will help and will provide an impetus for one or all of the knock-on effects:
1) upward pressure on wages for all working to middle-middle income people
2) downward pressure on new hiring of working to middle-middle class people
3) increase in/ decrease in short hours (so-called part-time workers) workers to reduce benefit load on business
4) conservative screams and howls of suffering and pain (esp. from the very rich who it affects not at all)
5) general increase in personal spending in Seattle which will help to support the very businesses that scream the loudest about how it is killing them (lookin' at you Walmart)

Overall, working people will benefit (probably), business will NOT suffer, and the economy of Seattle will benefit. Even if business does take a small hit it will be offset by worker dissatisfaction improvements (less problems in inventory stealing, petty and random acts of destruction and other negative worker actions that businesses don't even want to consider other than as "cost of doing business).
Win-win

Comment: Re:Wow, the Republicans... (Score 1) 194

by nobodie (#46978557) Attached to: Shunting the FCC To the Slow Lane

When I lived in the US mostly (60-80s) I would have thought that more than 2 parties would be chaos. Then I lived:
Holland: a gazillion parties, from greens, to commies to libertarians to pastafarians to white supremacists to religious conservatives to who knows what else. Absolutely fantastic! Love, love loved it, real republic with a complete spectrum of interests that battle it out in public. People switch sides, change sentiment, have a chance to talk about crazy ideas and think, think think.

China: one party. The trains run on time, and fast, and the focus is on giving the people what they want: toys toys toys for kids and adults. The government knows what you want, really they do: toys and more toys and cheap toys that break but then you can just get more, all supported by western economies.

Thailand: two parties. One party is the middle class beaurocrats, mostly in the capital city who want a strong middle class and are supported by the armed forces (and thereby America) and the King (and thereby, secretly, by some of the rich and powerful entrenched power and education elites). The other side is the poor, rural and uneducated people who fall for schemes like: "two cows in every backyard" and "$.50 per visit hospital charges" and other stupid public policy ploys to get votes from people who can't do math (and also supported by the remainder of the wealthy power elite who see the aged king as a power vacuum that they can exploit, as well as the police force and therefore the drug trade, casino and prostitution trades).

While I am sure that there are disfunctional examples of the multiparty model (Greece, Italy and others no doubt) the thing I saw and see is the importance of an informed electorate. It is easier to control the terms of the discourse if you control the information being debated in public forums. This is why we need an open internet and why the FCC ruling is so very important to our political discourse.

I came back to the US 3 years ago, and frankly, we are stupider than I thought possible. ALL the "news " programs are lame and single POV. From the far left to the far right there is no real room for intelligent discussion. It is probably NOT the number of parties, but that has supported a stupidification of our political discourse by making it more polar.

We need to choose a small number of very important issues, such as net neutrality and campaign finance reform. and focus on these. Anything that pulls us away from the core will just weaken our strength. I am not saying that we need to forget about the other issues, just that if we try to make a tidy package of them we will lose the war while busily winning useless, unfocused battles.

Comment: Re:Down 3%?! (Score 1) 131

by nobodie (#46977973) Attached to: Tesla Logged $713 Million In Revenue In Q1 and Built 7,535 Cars

This is exactly how I invest: I put my money where my mouth is. I should note that this has made it possible to put a good down payment on the house we live in two years ago and to rebuild that investment since. And, yes, I did own some stock in Tesla, saw that with the current volatility it would drop more than reasonable for its value, sold it and will buy back in after the drop bottoms (next week). Might even pick up and extra share or two from the dif.

Comment: Re:"For advertising purposes" (Score 1) 143

by nobodie (#46969861) Attached to: Google Announces "Classroom"

Well this sounds like only a small part of what CMS like Canvas provide (www.canvas.instructure.com), so I can see where this might be a move to begin to prepare to consider making an offer to purchase something like Canvas, or maybe not.
Seriously, when things like Canvas are available for free, using the same tools (Google drive) plus a ton of other things, why bother with something that doesn't do things like your attendance, your grading, your messaging (linked to your email, probably what Gedu is doing too), your portfolio, plus submission through Turnitin to check for plagiarism. Really Google?

Comment: Re:It could use up all your activations (Score 1) 221

sorry, but this is the silliest thread I have read about VMs for a while.
Step 1: Install solid reliable Linux Distro (any 1 of a gazillion, whatever floats your boat) into a medium good computer: strip the computer to the bones and dump all the windows crap partitions
Step 2: Install virt-manager or qemu or virtual box or vmware or any of the many other vm creation and then install windows as a vm.
Step 3: when the windows install freaks contact MS, tell them what you are doing and open the desktop management from a distance software, let them fix it.
Step 4: install whatever you want in the windows, I don't care. You can probably setup the virt machine to start automagically with the computer, too, since you seem to really need it.
Notes: extra RAM is often helpful, as is an SSD of course. I did this with a Win7 install disk, and while the windows activation part was a pain, it is the price MS wants you to pay to use windows. The software I needed was Adobe Digital Editions, and I probably should have used WINE, but I had a $15 copy of WIN7 so I figured what the hell. actually it was just the usual Windows waste of time.

Comment: Re:Ass time (Score 1) 499

by nobodie (#46912755) Attached to: You Are What You're Tricked Into Eating

My 11 year old son has a friend in the neighborhood from a family with two working parents, both in menial, non-living wage jobs (one is a cashier at Walmart, the other I don't know). He would often eat dinner with us and clear his plate, then eat seconds. His choices at home were limited to the freezer and the microwave. It isn't that the parents are "bad", but they don't have the choices that we do: I can leave work when I choose so that I can cook dinner at home; my wife works from the home or on the road and can often cook at home or count on me to pick up the slack. We buy organic when possible, eat fresh meat and vegetables for all our meals and don't buy anything prepared (as in I make the mayonnaise and mustard and ketchup and chutney and pickles) so our life is quite different from most people's. We also spend about 6 or 7 hours a week watching TV, so there isn't that chasm in our time.

Some of this is choices, some is fate, some is planning, some is just because of who we have become.

Comment: Re:Oh Noes! (Score 1) 153

I teach a writing class at a community college and had to install Firefox on the lab computers myself (very clever workaround for the required authority to sign the install: just click "no" when the ID and password popup comes up. How does this work again???). But getting the students to drop IE is like pulling teeth. The first thing they do is open up 5 instances of IE for their personal crap and then complain how slow the 7+ year old equipment is. I.m using course management (cloud based) software that runs best (as in was built for) on Firefox. It makes a difference, but when I remind them to open Firefox they still want to keep an instance of IE (or 5) open in case they want to "go online."
I used to do a search example of the difference between Bing and Google as part of the class (a few years ago) but then Bing started to run a Google search instance on the backend and show those results, so there weren't any differences for quite a while.

Comment: Re:How to block trackers. Google on the way down. (Score 1) 99

by nobodie (#46895419) Attached to: The Fall and Rise of Larry Page

I used to ride my bike past Fairchild Semiconductor when I was working in Suzhou China. Yeah, they still exist, probably not making circuit boards like the old days, but who knows?

When I saw the name I had to Google it to remember what they were and discover how many times they had changed hands in the previous decade....

Comment: Re:Do you realize? (Score 1) 146

by nobodie (#46877721) Attached to: Texas Family Awarded $2.9 Million In Fracking Lawsuit

I am torn about whether to mod this up or post in support. I understand that "people" have opinions, but, as an old carpenter used to tell me: "opinions are like assholes, everybody has one and everybody else's smells bad."
Wasting my time and effort by not addressing the real issue: in the process of fracking to squeeze more money out of earth that has been pumped and squeezed for almost a hundred years already, the companies that do it are still not considering the economic costs of their activities to the people who own, work or live on the land they are "working."

The people whose lives are adversely affected by the company activity must be recompensed for the loss in value to their property and the loss in value of their time as well as the loss in value to their health. Add all those value-losses up and fracking, as a profitable enterprise, decreases in value. Thus, the companies are trying to stem the loss flow and fight back with legal teams every time they have to. People who don't have the resources to fight will lose, as usual.

Just to give everyone a heads up: one legal maneuver that is increasingly popular is having people who might be affected by value-loss sign an agreement that they will not be party to a class-action suit. This means that people who cannot afford to hire and risk a lawyer will never get heard. I would be very surprised if a class-action can come out of this, even though this is a classic case of the need for the technique.

Comment: Re:Yes they do (Score 1) 217

by nobodie (#46877571) Attached to: How the FCC Plans To Save the Internet By Destroying It

Ditto up:
My middle daughter went to a US public university and came out with $30,000 in tuition debt. My youngest is going to a Dutch university and pays 1250 Euro per semester tuition, receives a stipend to live on and pay rent and supplies, and her final cost per semester is under a thousand Euro since she lives cheap and she uses the extra money to pay down the tuition. After 4 years total cost: 8,000 Euros.

Tell me that socialism is bad for the "people" when the Dutch have an increase of 13% in income for the middle class and we are shedding middle class jobs/people like a snake sheds its skin!

Comment: Re:If you're just beaming it down to earth anyways (Score 1) 230

by nobodie (#46858903) Attached to: How Japan Plans To Build Orbital Solar Power Stations

Also, the weather in Japan is often not conducive to gathering solar. One other thing worth mentioning: no earthquake or tsunami in space. You pshaw, but think about this Americans: all those stupid poles we put up for power lines to supply electricity to our homes and offices. When the weather turns bad we lose power because of the poles, not because "the weather is bad so we lose power." If we had our power lines underground then the weather would have almost no effect on the power supply.
Apply that to the earthquake/tsunami/any ground based power equation and long term costs change in what might be interesting ways.

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