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Education

+ - Desktops vs mobile devices in the future classroom?

Submitted by racerx509
racerx509 (204322) writes "I do IT for a medium to large sized school district who was just awarded a charter earlier this year. They are getting ready to plan the next generation school building which all new schools must follow and the new CTO has decided to leave all computer labs out in favor of 1:1 mobile devices for each student. We've had a fairly bumpy trail this year with some bot based and fruit based tablets already in the classroom, so I am a bit leery of a wide scale deployment.

Besides technical issues of wireless connectivity and issues of kids taking care of their new shiny tablet, what are some of the other pitfalls with this strategy? Any benefits? From a sheer maintanence perspective as well as an accounting perspective, I can see this being a nightmare, plus, you can't code well on a tablet."

Comment: Re:Same happened in all ages, with everything (Score 1) 525

by racerx509 (#40748257) Attached to: The Nation Is Losing Its Toolbox

When technology moves on, the end users learn to use the new tools and new materials, and only experts use the expert's tools to make the tools and materials for the every day man. But the experts do that much more efficiently and at a lower price than the normal people could do before.

There was a time when you could fix your own car, but that car would be so simple that it could only do 100 km/h, had no satnav, no ABS, no fuel injection, no mp3 player, no central locking system, no electrical windows, no indicators when something was wrong. And I spend my time to do something else (like spamming on /.), instead of tinkering on my car.

Nostaligia is a rubbish argument against technological progress.

My car may not be very new; a 2001 audi with twin turbo v6, but has ABS, Fuel Injection, MP3 player, central locking, indicators, electric windows, front/rear heated seats and aircon, Blue-tooth for cell phone and is capable of 240km/h(stock...mine is modified to do nearly 270km/h). I work on it myself quite regularly, recently replacing the A-arm and suspension bushings in the front. I also installed my own transmission (with front/rear diffs and drive shaft in my back yard). The knowledge is still there for those who seek it, but it is not as widely distributed as it used to be.

That is the "fun" car, with the daily driver being a 95 volvo T5/r that will also do nearly 270km/h but it takes a little longer to get there :)

The article is quite valid and other countries, specifically the ones that seem to be above the European debt crisis (germany, finland, sweden) seem to still value craftsmenship. I"ll agree that nostalgia is rubbish, but the ability to work with one's hands is still a very valuable trait. The meteoric rise of economies in the far east can be evidenced if this, as well as those previously mentioned European countries. If we are to remain a superpower, we will have to stop the secret war we are waging on skilled workers and/or those who work with their hands.

Comment: Re:Old burned-out gamer chiming in (Score 1) 308

by racerx509 (#39967117) Attached to: How Much Of Your Day Is Dedicated Video Games?

QFT. I was a serious online FPS gamer back in college, to the tune of Q3, halflife and counterstrike, but after graduating, starting a business and working a 9 to 5, I find I simply don't have the same amount of time that I used to. I still make time to game, but online games don't strike my fancy like they used to. these days, I find myself playing adventure games, first person and third person action games with lengthy single player campaigns. If a game has a good story, decent graphics and controls, I'll load it up and play it a few hours a week at a time, often whittling it down in a few months. I picked up Crysis 2 in january, conquered it in march. I picked up Metro 2033 on steam back in jan, but the lengthy time between save points, and no quicksave has put me off it.

Comment: It could help diagnose disabilities. (Score 1) 133

by racerx509 (#39773113) Attached to: Brain Scan Can Predict Math Mistakes

I think such a technology would be very useful for the early detection of math learning disabilities. I went through grade school, middle school and high school with high grades in all subject areas with the exception of any sort of maths. It took 6 years to pass basic algebra. I was later tested and diagnosed with dyscalculia and had to give up a long dreamed career of engineering.

Such a tool would be useful to help get students the help they need early and not have them either waste time, or languish in school beating their head against a wall.

Comment: Re:FCC chair should mind his own store first (Score 1) 110

by racerx509 (#39135691) Attached to: FCC Chair Calls On ISPs To Adopt New Security Measures

The FCC is currently mismanaging radio spectrum sales and partitioning. That is their primary function. Do that and once you're doing your ACTUAL job then worry about the internet which you in fact have no authority over.

The FCC seems to be trying to fail up. TV viewership is dying so they're trying to expand themselves into the internet. I get it. But first maybe they should sell off that radio spectrum and do their actual jobs.

except for the fact that the original mission of the FCC was to regulate communications mediums by wire or radio. In the very beginning, their roots were traced to the FRC and they used the reasoning of spectrum scarcity to regulate radio waves, but it spread to broadcast and wire due to the pervasiveness of the medium. Like it or not, legal precedent is on their side until someone challenges it.

Comment: Re:Interesting (Score 1) 412

by racerx509 (#34346652) Attached to: PC Gaming 'a Generation Ahead' of Consoles, Says Crytek Boss

Maybe someone should tell him that it's the GAMEPLAY that matters, not flashy graphics. I never did like Crytek's games because they felt more like tech demos that real games.

Also, consoles have one more advantage. If I want to play a game I just stick the disk in and that's it. No worries if my drivers are current, or if my combination of mb+graphics would cause a problem etc. Also it's much cheaper to be a gamer on the consoles. Sure, the games are more expensive but ask yourself how often do you have to upgrade you machine? I did it every 6-12 months and each time i spend around $500 on it (new mb, new graphics and usually a new cpu) just so I could play the latest games with details on max

I take it you haven't played any of the newer consoles. The only system like this out of the box is the Wii. I"ve gone through 3 xbox 360 consoles and a ps3. Two of the 360s red ringed and the third began cutting rings in the bottom of the games. Even still, you have to go online for updates to the dashboard and some games want drive installs. The ps3, most games *require* drive installs, and/or online updates with GT 5 taking 30 minutes to install itself.

Consoles of yore were simpler and would work out of the box, but today's systems act more or less like PCs, only with worse graphics and DRM.

Bleh.

Image

Cooking With Your USB Ports 188

Posted by samzenpus
from the sorry-your-dinner-crashed dept.
tekgoblin writes "Wow, I would never have thought to try and cook food with the power that a standard USB port provides, but someone did. A standard port provides 5V of power, give or take a little. I am not even sure what it takes to heat a small hotplate, but I am sure it is more than 5V. It looks like the guy tied together around 30 USB cables powered by his PC to power this small hotplate. But believe it or not, it seems to have cooked the meat perfectly."

Comment: Re:Sleep (Score 1) 259

by racerx509 (#33201374) Attached to: The Brain's Secret For Sleeping Like a Log

I find the endorphine rush that accompanies a good workout only serves to delay the sleep even worse. Much like the OP, I find it difficult to sleep before 2:00 or 3:00. I can sleep fine from this point until 12:00 the following day, but if I force myself to conform to a "regular" schedule, sleeping at 2300, and waking at 6:00, I am typically groggy and incoherent until well after 11am. On mornings when I can gather the mental energy and focus on a good workout, I'll awake at 6:00 and run a few miles or do some calisthenics. Nothing too complex, as usually at that time, I lack focus or coordination to do anything beyond the most simple exercises. Anyway, the resultant endorphine rush is like a natural cup of coffee; It wakes me up.

In contrast, doing a workout not long before bed causes one to also shower. Showering before bed time for me, at least is a huge no-no. I WILL NOT fall asleep until well after 430! I"ve attempted this a few times, and was faced with a full 8-12 hour work schedule the next day and things were not pretty.

Melatonin pills, a bit of white wine, some higher quality vodkas, and/or a bit of sexual activity (when the lady is around) all seem to work. I just hate being codependent on some outside stimuli to fall asleep, but until one can find a job that allows a 12:00 schedule, this is the way it has to be.

Image

Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Internet 92

Posted by samzenpus
from the vicky-who? dept.
MMBK writes "Our friends at JESS3 have unveiled The Ex-Blocker. It's a Firefox and Chrome plugin that erases all name and likeness of your ex from the Internet, even if they become a meme, or the president. You'll no longer have to threaten to delete your Facebook account or concoct an elaborate e-hoax to assuage the reality-shattering complications that are born from break-ups. Simply construct an Internet that omits bad vibes all together."

Comment: Re:Witless stenographers? (Score 1) 664

by racerx509 (#31427340) Attached to: Professors Banning Laptops In the Lecture Hall

I think it will never fly as discrimination.
If you are dyslexic, you can claim that you have a disability, and require special accommodations. This can be verified by a qualified third party, and you can then apply for an exemption to the rule (which I assume the school will grant automatically).

This is very true. I was diagnosed with dyscalculia early in my college career. Among my accomodations were a laptop computer and/or designated note taker in the classroom, as well as a calculator on any math exam and/or in class. There were a few professors who banned calculators from their classrooms, but with the accomodations, they had to allow it.

Comment: Re:$0 to click and download a file (Score 1) 406

by racerx509 (#29644201) Attached to: Hidden Fees Discovered For "Free" Windows 7 Upgrade

Downloading an ISO and knowing how to burn an ISO rather than copying the file across like they do usually when writing CDs (if they've ever even written one before) would be too much for some users.

and those same users will have trouble downloading drivers to the new hardware that will undoubtedly work without upgrades when migrating to windows 7.

Comment: I'm glad (Score 1) 1040

by racerx509 (#29626265) Attached to: Did Chicago Lose Olympic Bid Due To US Passport Control?

Frankly, I'm glad to see them reject our bid and I'm even happier to see them state why. Everyone knows the border restrictions are stupidly strict in some ways, and too lax in others. What makes this even better is that President Obama himself did the presentation, so it will come as a slap in the face to him. This will hopefully get him moving on rolling back some of the more bothersome portions of provisions of us air travel border restrictions

Comment: Re:Another Reason It's Important (Score 3, Informative) 303

by racerx509 (#28307087) Attached to: Why Natal Is a Big Deal

I guess Nintendo pioneered what is the next step in video games much like Sony pioneering the transition from directional pad to miniature joystick. My question now is really whether or not the PS3 will follow suit. They have to in order to attract these motion titles, don't they?

Nintendo pioneered the miniature joystick as well. The n64 had analog sticks more than a year before the dual shock debuted. Nintendo always innovates, while everyone else takes.

Networking

+ - Hack me please

Submitted by racerx509
racerx509 (204322) writes "The school district of West Palm Beach Fl has recently finished upgrades to their computer security systems that supposedly total in the millions. Their head of Security has invited any and all crackers to try and compromise their security. The first person to do so will recieve a free wireless router. http://www.abcactionnews.com/news/state/story.aspx?content_id=61b7c526-308a-4837-8f81-122e16a583eb&rss=795"

"You don't go out and kick a mad dog. If you have a mad dog with rabies, you take a gun and shoot him." -- Pat Robertson, TV Evangelist, about Muammar Kadhafy

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