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Comment: Re:Wow. Just wow. (Score 1) 319

by orasio (#49493443) Attached to: LA Schools Seeking Refund Over Botched iPad Plan

OK, I get that, I'm not sure that's more prevalent, and I was just providing a counter example. In Uruguay, spending on technology for education is a lot wiser at the government level, than it is at the private level.

I think that the market and the private interests are overrated. There are lots of cases where markets just don't work, and private interests add up against the common good. In those cases, people spending other people's money can end up with a better result, even accounting for corruption or lack of accountability.

Comment: Re:Wow. Just wow. (Score 1) 319

by orasio (#49493399) Attached to: LA Schools Seeking Refund Over Botched iPad Plan

And about our education system...
In Uruguay, it's not really better than the US system. It's more egalitarian, but not that good.
Public Universities are free, but poor kids can't really use them. If you are poor, chances are you will drop out of uni after one or two years, because you are unprepared in the first place.
There are some student aids, but they don't meet demand. Also, high school results are worse in poor neighborhoods. Private schools are popular because of this, but they don't achieve better results, if you compare within the same economic bracket of population.

Comment: Re:Wow. Just wow. (Score 1) 319

by orasio (#49493331) Attached to: LA Schools Seeking Refund Over Botched iPad Plan

The OLPC is getting old, but it's WAY cooler than an IPAD.
It has a keyboard, and is suitable for kids holding them for hours.
Kids use them on the doorstep of someone with wifi, or even the school on weekends.
They don't really get stolen, because there's no market for them, and they "die" if stolen.
You can use them in the sun, because they have suitable screens.
There's a dedicated network of local content, curricular and otherwise, even textbooks, tailored for it.

No way you can replicate all this, just by buying a crapload of consumer products. You need to create a tailored solution, thinking about the kids you are trying to reach. For instance, if they were doing this from scratch, it would look closer to a Lenovo Yoga or something like that, but with padding for kids, dedicated LTE or something close, and all textbooks included, something for teachers, something in that line.

Comment: Re:Wow. Just wow. (Score 4, Interesting) 319

by orasio (#49487709) Attached to: LA Schools Seeking Refund Over Botched iPad Plan

Here in Uruguay, they got the OLPC. There is no market, and it works great.
All kids in public school have their own, you see them using them on the streets, public squares. It has its application in classes, and most importantly, it was instrumental in connecting all schools with quality internet service, allowing for remote classes, that kind of thing. It was a success in many regards.

Private schools, on the other hand, are subject to market forces and stuff, but are usually pretty poor in their decision making. For example, my kids goes to a private kinder, and their usage of computers is pretty dumb, they still have a computer lab kind of thing, mainly because they weren't wise enough to get a complete solution. Public spending was a lot better around here.

Comment: Re:Broadband speed and cost vs other countries (Score 2) 142

by orasio (#49477941) Attached to: How do your actual ISP speeds compare to the advertised speed?

Just think about it.
This is not an economic problem. It's a problem with regulation, strategy, or whatever.
Wherever you live, you have roads to get there. Roads are thousands of times more expensive than fiber, and they need constant maintenance, investment, and rebuilding. You also have electricity virtually everywhere, or you wouldn't care so much about internet access. Internet access is chump change compared to the rest of infrastructure that you keep building and maintaining.

The problem must be somewhere else, not in the level of difficulty, or the cost. Maybe the strategy, the regulation isn't working, but it's not because it's hard.


Transforming Robot Gets Stuck In Fukushima Nuclear Reactor 99

Posted by samzenpus
from the bend-me-shape-me dept.
An anonymous reader writes with more bad news for the people still dealing with the Fukushima nuclear accident. "The ability to change shape hasn't saved a robot probe from getting stuck inside a crippled Japanese nuclear reactor. Tokyo Electric Power will likely leave the probe inside the reactor housing at the Fukushima Dai-ichi complex north of Tokyo after it stopped moving. On Friday, the utility sent a robot for the first time into the primary containment vessel (PCV) of reactor No. 1 at the plant, which was heavily damaged by the 2011 earthquake and tsunami in northern Japan. 'The robot got stuck at a point two-thirds of its way inside the PCV and we are investigating the cause,' a Tokyo Electric spokesman said via email. The machine became stuck on Friday after traveling to 14 of 18 planned checkpoints."

Comment: Re:Technology in Education (Score 1) 99

ipads are most useful if you want to consume content. Not much to experiment with them, at least not with the Ipad itself.

3D printers are tools, awesome tools. They have nothing in common with Ipads, you can do stuff with 3D printers. Think of them as the logo turtles of today. They show kids a tangible application of programming, physics, math.

Teachers have the opportunity to choose to use that for teaching, or just let them tinker with cool stuff.
  And I mean single teachers, they can just print a mechanical assembly, or an atom model, or a dna model, a geometric shape . With already existing, easy access easy to use, and most importantly, easy to share tools.

Compare that to the authoring you can do with an ipad (or a classroom full of ipads) by itself. You _might_ be able to sketch something, but the tools are just not there, or available.

Comment: Re:Double tassel ... (Score 1) 216

by orasio (#49439905) Attached to: Senate Draft of No Child Left Behind Act Draft Makes CS a 'Core' Subject

I've know really smart mathematicians who couldn't be made to understand computer programming. And, likewise, I've known some awesome CS people who struggled with math.

Are you sure?
It's hard for me to imagine an awesome CS person who struggles at math. CS is mostly math, or pretty close. Computability, regular expressions, automata, formal proofs, all of those are needed, in my book, to be awesome at CS, and I think you should be at least decent at math to grasp those.

Comment: Re:ad blocker? (Score 1) 358

by orasio (#49437277) Attached to: Google To Offer Ad-Free YouTube - At a Price

There is a way to expand the model to the internet.

Say you pay a youtube subscription, and you get ad-free youtube, and for the same price, or for an additional, you get ad-free adsense.
That means you won't ever see an adsense ad again. The sites will still have the adsense code, and google will just micro-pay, based on your usage of their site, from your subscription money.

Doesn't look like a bulletproof strategy to me, but something like that might end up happening.

Additionally, those who don't use adsense would be at a disadvantage, because youtube subscribers won't be able to make ads go away.

Of course, the privacy implications of all this are huge, because you would be essentially logged in everywhere, and that's another service that google would be able to provide.

Comment: Re:edgerouter.. (Score 1) 225

by orasio (#49430217) Attached to: How Ubiquiti Networks Is Creatively Violating the GPL

So it's not stealing. It's something else.

And you might want to get your analogy checked, I don't thing it holds. Maybe if it was potato soup + recipe or something like that. In any case, no need for analogies. It's easier to get it without them.

They are not stealing anything from anyone. The users didn't have any source to begin with, for example. They are not entitled to the source. The problem lies in the other end. Ubiquiti is licensing some code, and not complying with the license, by not providing source. This means they are not covered by the license.

This is plain, simple, copyright infringement. Not stealing, something else. And when you do it for profit, most people agree it's a bad thing. At least in the current context.


Ask Slashdot: Living Without Social Media In 2015? 394

Posted by timothy
from the you're-clearly-living-in-throwback-thursday dept.
An anonymous reader writes On Slashdot, we frequently write derogatory comments regarding social networking sites. We bash Facebook and the privacy implications associated with having a great deal of your life put out there for corporations to monetize. Others advocate for deleting your Facebook profile. Six months ago, I did exactly that. However, as time went on, I have fully realized social media's tacit importance to function in today's world, especially if you are busy advancing your career and making the proper connections to do so. Employers expect a LinkedIn profile that they can check and people you are meeting expect a Facebook account. I have heard that not having an account on the almighty Facebook could label you as a suspicious person. I have had employers express hesitation in hiring me (they used the term "uncomfortable") and graduate school interviewers have asked prying questions regarding some things that would normally be on a person's social media page. Others have literally recoiled in horror at the idea of someone not being on Facebook. I have found it quite difficult to even maintain a proper social life without a social media account to keep up to date with any sort of social activities (even though most of them are admittedly quite mundane). Is living without social media possible in 2015? Does social media have so much momentum that the only course of action is simply to sign up for such services to maintain normality despite the vast privacy issues associated with such sites? Have we forgotten how to function without Facebook?

Comment: Re:HTTPS? (Score 1) 48

by orasio (#49392207) Attached to: EFF: Wider Use of HTTPS Could Have Prevented Attack Against GitHub

There's also another bit that I fail to understand.

If the Chinese Firewall guys wanted to DoS github, they could just do it. Playing synthetic traffic against github, for example.
Instead, we say that they hijacked their users computers, so they could generate traffic that in the end would have to go through the firewall.

From the firewall point of view, that wouldn't be a DDoS, because the attacker is always them, no distribution happens. It doesn't make sense, and it's a lot more work than just doing the DoS attack themselves.

Of course, MITM is something they can do, they might be doing that kind of thing, and hijacking clients computers for other reasons, but for this attack, it doesn't make a lot of sense.

"Now this is a totally brain damaged algorithm. Gag me with a smurfette." -- P. Buhr, Computer Science 354