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Comment Re:black market of test takers ... (Score 1) 104

I'm not worried about the cheating, I'm more worried about the multiple choice like questions that require practically no effort for the computer to grade, and give the student an 25% chance at an A regardless if they know the material or not.

While you are probably just intentionally exaggerating, a multiple choice test does not give any student a 25% chance at an A (assuming 4 choices per question). That would only be true if there was only one question. With even 2 questions, the chance of even passing drops to 6.25%. With 3 it drops to 0.156, and so on.

I would agree it is much easier to write a crappy test when it is multiple choice though. Poorly thought out answer choices can give clues as to which options to rule out. I have taken many tests where almost every question could at least be reduced to a 50/50 chance without knowing the answer at all.

A well written multiple choice test can be just as difficult to pass as a long answer or essay exam. One obvious tactic is to determine how students might make mistakes in the problem, and then have that wrong answer appear as a choice. Another great option is to take off points for every wrong answer, so students are forced to leave questions blank instead of guessing.

Even though MIT's intent is to make student selection easier, they will still have strong incentive to put significant effort into the selection process. The best thing MIT has going for it is that it admits a higher percentage of elite students than other schools.

Comment Re:The solution is simple (Score 1) 291

Don't tear down neighborhoods to build commercial zones. In fact, make a concerted effort to keep a sensible ratio of residential to commercial zoning and the housing prices don't shoot through the roof.

Limiting commercial zones causes a similar problem, since companies with more money will force others out of the city. And if all of the non-tech companies start to leave the city, non-tech workers will have to leave to. You have the same problem with a slightly different cause.

Comment Re:black market of test takers ... (Score 1) 104

You're telling me that, even though we cannot do certs properly for much more important applications, online testing is a solved problem???

I'm not sure I understand your post. Who is saying we cannot do certs properly? Most certifications may be worthless, but the ability to authenticate the person taking the test is rarely in question.

Comment Re:MOOC = Massive Open Online Course (Score 0) 104

MOOC is not a commonly used term. The ones you mentioned are. Do you understand the difference?

Do you understand the difference between publishing a summary on CNN and publishing on a site where MOOC should be as commonly known as a term like SSD? If you are even remotely part of the IT industry, it is very unlikely that MOOC is a term you are unfamiliar with.

In terms of common usage, I would put MOOC in the same category as a term like UAT. Unfortunately google disagrees with me, since it appears MOOC is twice as commonly used as UAT (another term no one here should be hearing for the first time).

Comment Re:black market of test takers ... (Score 3, Informative) 104

This is already a solved problem for numerous certification testing programs. Just make sure all official tests need to be taken at a webassessor location, or something similar. If universities are serious about using MOOCs for credit or for admission, they have plenty of options that would significantly reduce* cheating.

* Obviously you cannot completely remove cheating, but that is true on campus as well.

Comment Re:Outsider (Score 1) 173

Besides, anyone in the general public could get that same information with enough effort by taking a poll of fantasy football players and aggregating the results.

A poll is not as good as real data. If it was there would be no need for elections; we could just rely on polls. And in this case polls would be far less reliable than looking at real customer data. For instance you could see the winning percentage of certain customers and add extra weight to their picks.

The debate is not whether or not this was insider information. It clearly was. The only debate is what to do about this behavior.

Comment Re:Ethan? (Score 1) 173

(ix) participation in any fantasy or simulation sports game or educational game or contest in which (if the game or contest involves a team or teams) no fantasy or simulation sports team is based on the current membership of an actual team that is a member of an amateur or professional sports organization (as those terms are defined in section 3701 of title 28) and that meets the following conditions

How is picking your NFL fantasy team members from the rosters of existing NFL teams not basing your team on the membership of an actual team? If Brees is on a team and the only reason you can pick him is because of that, then you've based your team on the membership of existing teams.

It says you cannot have a fantasy team composed of an amateur or professional sports team. Meaning my fantasy team cannot be "The Chicago Bears". It can be Jay Cutler, Matt Forte, Alshon Jeffrey, etc. In the latter case, my fantasy sports team is based on individuals, not a team. For your argument to hold up, the text would have to say something like: no [fantasy team] is based on individuals whose are currently members of an actual team ...

If you read the conditions that follow the text you quoted above, it becomes clear what the intent of the law is. For instance, it clearly states the outcome of fantasy sports contest cannot be determined by the outcome of a game or the performance of a single individual. So any fantasy league which gives extra points if the quarterback wins his game is violating this exception and would be considered gambling.

Comment Helps Cloud Providers (Score 3, Informative) 202

I assume this ruling helps US cloud providers since even more small companies will be compelled to not host their own servers. I can easily spin up servers on AWS in Ireland and Frankfurt, but not so easily set up my own data center.

Its rare for any increase in regulation to not help large companies, since they have the scale to deal with the lawyer fees necessary to comply.

Comment Re:Except for the contractors. (Score 1) 349

I currently work at a company where about 30% of our IT staff is contractors, and it works out great

Unless you're a contractor, where you're considered a second-tier person that has to please two masters.

I come from a consulting background, and both contractors and FTEs can be considered second-tier based on their capabilities. A skilled contractor is never treated as a second-tier person (not by any company that will keep them that is). In my company for instance we have two contractors who are highly fought over resources by our project managers.

And everyone without their head up their ass knows they always have multiple masters, regardless of how far up the food chain they are. Ask the CEO of any major company how many people they feel they need to answer to, and I'm sure it would be more than one.

Comment Consulting Companies Serve Similar Purpose (Score 1) 349

I have worked for a consulting company as a full time employee in the past, and that relationship was very similar to a union. Our business development department set the rates we charged clients, and the partners determined my pay purely based on my own performance.

IT Unions could work if they functioned essentially as a consulting company. Sometimes they may place a "contractor" with an employer for a decade or more, but the contracting company would handle all negotiations with the employer. These "unions" wouldn't ever strike, but they could easily just pull their workers out and place them at a different employer if negotiations don't pan out.

The IT industry may already be moving in this direction anyway.

Comment Re:My experience with Infosys (Score 4, Interesting) 349

But don't underestimate their competence with technology once it's about 3 years old. Unlike most U.S. companies they pay for continuous formal training and certification for their staff. They DO catch up.

And from a business perspective, it's great to be able to "turn on" and "turn off" resources without paying unemployment and without spending 17 hours interviewing candidates over three months. Instead the new person is there-- next week.

My problem has rarely been Infosys's technical competence. Their staff is rarely as good as a quality senior developer, but they are usually as good as a generic mid-level developer.

My issue is with the companies that use Infosys as a core of their IT development staff, instead of just as staff augmentation. I have never witnessed a company whose core IT staff was contractors who ended up liking their IT systems 5 years down the road. They may like it on day 100 because they have new flashy websites and mobile apps, but then the technical debt starts creeping in.

I currently work at a company where about 30% of our IT staff is contractors, and it works out great. We can double our manpower on a project in under a month, and it allows our steering committees to make decisions based on the needs of the company instead of the capabilities of our IT staff. But our systems architects, lead developers, and most importantly our skilled project managers are all in house making sure these IT systems benefit our company instead of just fulfilling some poorly written SOWs.

Comment Re:Estimates (Score 1) 299

Yes, by all means, because management doesn't know how to do their job, software developers should spend ANOTHER $60,000 re-educating themselves

He never said to change jobs because management can't do their job. You will find incompetent management in every industry. But if you are not marketable to leave a company that has bad management, then you may be in the wrong industry. Either that or you aren't applying yourself enough. This is what I believe the AC meant when he said to consider changing careers.

Poor developers tend to gravitate towards poor management, since those companies are the only ones that will hire them.

Comment Re:Cant see why this is a problem. (Score 1) 201

You only understood it because you already had context. Without context, it's a ridiculously vague question.

Sure, the next step would be to carry on a conversation to clarify details but it's not there yet. IT'S NOT AN AI!

And luckily Cortana also had context because she was integrated with Salesforce for purposes of the demo

Comment Re: Cant see why this is a problem. (Score 1) 201

So was he referring to stocks available for purchase that had a high volatility? Potential vendors to his business that offered low prices but uncertain delivery schedules? Opportunities to score a blow job from a hot chick that may or may not tell his wife?

Context, dammit.

It had context based on the accounts and opportunities entered into the CRM software Cortana was integrated with. I really don't see why this is hard for people to understand.

Crazee Edeee, his prices are INSANE!!!