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+ - Ask Slashdot: Is security-related slowness inevitable?

An anonymous reader writes: Our organization's PC's are growing ever slower, with direct hard-drive encryption in place, and with anti-malware scans running ever more frequently. The security team says that SSD's are the only solution, but the org won't approve SSD purchases. It seems most disk scanning could take place after hours and/or under a lower CPU priority, but the security team doesn't care about optimization, summarily blaming sluggishness on lack of SSD's. Are they blowing smoke?

Comment: Re:Teachers, the oldest profession (Score 1) 89 89

"Teaching" as we know it is going to be replaced. We will always have teachers and people that foster learning but it will not be done as it is done now.

Yep, teachers are just going to keep incorporating new technologies... like blackboards and whiteboards and textbooks and transparencies and TVs and computers and projectors and the internet and laboratory equipment. But kids that can learn on their own will continue to learn on their own, and teachers will be there to try to keep those students engaged and motivated and get the best that they can out of the rest.

Why does a tiny small school in the middle of nowhere need both a French AND Spanish teacher when you could have someone in Spain and France teaching them through Youtube and interacting through Skype. Look at how Duolingo[0] has taken off. That's something that can be introduced to a 3 year old and they will intuitively pick up without fighting 13 years of trying to 'unlearn' some things in English.

I'll check out duolingo, but usually it's relatively difficult for a native speaker to teach their "milk" language to a mature student learning it as a second language. My wife is a native Russian speaker, but she only professionally teaches her other languages (German, Spanish, ESoL) since her knowledge of those is more academic than guttural. Later on when you're ready to try to pick out the nuances of native speakers, then you're much better off doing a full immersion program abroad if you really want to work on fine-tuning your accent and tone and colloquialisms. It's actually pretty silly that many foreign language education programs really insist on hiring native speakers for beginner - intermediate language education.

Comment: Re:Teachers (Score 3, Informative) 89 89

Eh, we're not going to get rid of teachers. They're just going to have more tools and instructional models at their disposal.

This sounds like a good instructional model. After all, one of the best ways to truly learn a topic is to attempt to teach it to someone else.

I'm pretty sure they're going to find out they still need someone in a "teacher" role to monitor progress, resolve conflicts, keep students motivated, adapt the curriculum to individual students' abilities and learning styles, and so on.

+ - Anti-Uber Taxi Protest Blocks Access to Airport in France->

An anonymous reader writes: Taxi drivers in France have been complaining that a recently passed law against unlicensed commercial drivers is being flouted by Uber, and going relatively unenforced by authorities. They claim to have lost 30% of their income to Uber over the past two years, and they've become fed-up with the situation. French taxi drivers have now started an indefinite, nation-wide strike in protest. Part of that strike involves blocking access to Paris's Roissy airport as well as the main road encircling the city. Protesters have also blocked access to train stations in Merseille and Aix. "The drivers — who have to pay thousands of euros for a licence — say they are being unfairly undercut by Uber, which is not licensed by the authorities. Prosecutors have cracked down on Uber, filing almost 500 legal cases involving complaints about UberPOP. About 100 attacks on Uber drivers and passengers have been reported in recent weeks."
Link to Original Source

+ - New Google and CMU Moonshot: The 'Teacherless Classroom'

theodp writes: At the behest of Google, Carnegie Mellon University will largely replace formal lectures in a popular introductory Data Structures and Algorithms course this fall with videos and a social networking tool to accommodate more students. The idea behind the multi-year research project sponsored by Google — CMU will receive $200,000 in the project's first year — is to find a way to leverage existing faculty to meet a growing demand for computer science courses, while also expanding the opportunities for underrepresented minorities, high school students and community college students, explained Jacobo Carrasquel, associate teaching professor of CS. "As we teach a wider diversity of students, with different backgrounds, we can no longer teach to 'the middle,'" Carrasquel said. "When you do that, you're not aiming at the 20 percent of the top students or the 20 percent at the bottom." The move to a 'teacherless classroom' for CS students at CMU [tuition $48K] comes on the heels of another Google CS Capacity Award-inspired move at Stanford [tuition $45K], where Pair Programming was adopted in a popular introductory CS class to "reduce the increasingly demanding workload for section leaders due to high enrollment and also help students to develop important collaboration skills."

+ - Microsoft brings Office to Android smartphones for free->

Mark Wilson writes: After a few weeks in preview, Microsoft Office is now available for Android smartphones. Despite Microsoft's mobile-first, cloud-first philosophy, it has actually taken some time to bring the world's most popular office suite to Android phones — it joins the tablet version of the suite that was released last year.

Just like the tablet editions, the phone versions of Word, Excel, and PowerPoint won't cost you a penny, allowing for the viewing and editing of a range of files when on the move. There is a cloud focus with support for not only OneDrive, but also Google Drive, Dropbox, and Box, and Microsoft says it has made changes based on the feedback received during the preview period.

Link to Original Source

Comment: Re:How about the government (Score 1) 268 268

You are absolutely right. And the reason for that is that I am a cheapskate.

Most museums have language saying how much of the membership fee is tax deductible, so you wouldn't be able to deduct a portion of your membership fee that represented the "fair market value" of any merchandise or "admission tickets" that your annual passes represent. But then the bulk of the fee actually goes on to support the operation and is tax deductible. And of course you can simply donate more than the minimum recommended membership amount. But money that goes to a registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit is charity as far as the IRS is concerned, so why not include it in your calculation for your charitable giving? It's not like the girl-scout cookies you buy from your neighbors is tax deductible (well, apparently it is if you donate the cookies to someone else).

Anyway, we may all hate playing taxes, but why not take some joy in the tax incentive meta-game?

Comment: Re:If you cannot answer your own question.. (Score 2) 296 296


I've been pretty happy using python for prototyping, and it's actually fairly fast using a JIT wrapper like pypy. And the C++ bindings are there for when you have to rewrite one of your modules for performance. There's even an interface to Boost and maybe even ASIO if you want to tinker with those for some reason... I played with some Boost libs briefly years ago but found they added too much complexity and got by fine using much cleaner "pure" python modules instead.

+ - Is C++ The Right Tool? 8 8

ranton writes: I am about to start a personal project which I believe should be done in C/C++. The main reasons I have for this are the needs to manage memory usage and disk access at a very granular level and a desire to be cross-platform. Performance is also important but I am unlikely to spend enough time optimizing to be much faster than core libraries of higher level languages.

On the other hand, network access is also a critical part of the project and I am worried about the effort it takes to make cross platform code for both network and disk access. I have been working in the Java / C# world for the past decade and things like TCP/IP and SSL have just been done for me by core libraries. Do libraries like Boost or Asio do a good job of abstracting these aspects away? Or are there other options for doing granular memory and disk management with more high level languages that have better cross-platform library support? I am willing to brush up on my C/C++ skills if necessary but want to spend as much time as possible developing the unique and potentially innovative parts of my project. Thanks for any advice you can provide.

+ - GMail Lets You Undo Sent E-Mails

jones_supa writes: A GMail feature that Google has been testing for years is one you might not even know exists: Undo Send. It artificially delays sending your e-mail for a few seconds after you click Send, so you can take the message back if you realize that there is a mistake. Google announced in a blog post this week that Undo Send is becoming an official feature. For users who already had the Undo Send beta enabled, the feature will remain on, and those who didn't, can turn it on via the General tab under Settings. Users can choose if they want to hold their mail for 5, 10, 20 or 30 seconds.

Comment: KeePass (Score 1) 107 107

Not a complete filesystem-level solution. But I'm pretty happy with KeePass for sensitive stuff.

Using the KeePassX client on Linux, with the .kdb file on Google Drive.
KeePass2Android on our phones. We have a secret key not stored on Google Drive, and a passphrase to unlock that. Haven't had any trouble with the automatic sync of the .kdb back to Google Drive after making any changes.

If encfs works fairly well on Linux, what's stopping you from getting working on Android and mounting your encfs file in a full Linux chroot environment? Then on Windows just run a Linux VM that exports a Samba share of the unencrypted files.

The other thing I've always done since forever is just use my phone / internet kiosk to VNC+SSH back to my home PC.

+ - SpaceX and OneWeb -- same goal, different technology and strategy

lpress writes: OneWeb has announced that Airbus will manufacture their Internet-connectivity satellites and told us more about their plans and progress. Both OneWeb and their competitor SpaceX have the same goal — global Internet connectivity and backhaul using satellite constellations, but their technologies and organizational strategies are different. SpaceX will use many more satellites than OneWeb, but they will be smaller, shorter-lived, cheaper and orbit at a lower altitude. They are also keeping more of the effort in-house. This is competitive capitalism at its best — let's hope both succeed.

Comment: Re:How about the government (Score 1) 268 268

Oh, I dunno, I haven't regretted making tax-deductible membership contributions to educational stuff run by our evil government, such as:

* National Parks Annual Pass - usually pays for itself within 4 visits, and always provides the best experiences our country has to offer.

* Science Museum Annual Pass - this is typically a state-funded thing, but the passes often have reciprocity at science centers across the country. Some are more amazing than others, but all are great places to take kids on rainy days.

* Smithsonian Institution - yeah, more useful if you live or visit near the nation's capitol, but these museums house or nation's treasures and make them free for all.

Can't really go wrong with any of these, all are staffed by amazing, capable, motivated, and certainly underpaid US gov't workers. But of course, YMMV.

Comment: Re:Local and small (Score 1) 268 268

That's pretty impressive, I always enjoy your posts and hope I'm half as awesome as you when I get to that certain age (though it's not actually that far off nowadays).

What percentage of income do other people spend on directing support to charity? I always feel woefully inadequate since we only do maybe a few hundred dollars per year, which comes out to fractions of a percent of our joint income. OTOH, we feel like we're pretty frugal with money and don't really waste anything... no entertainment budget for movies or Netflix, eat out cheap just a couple of times a week, maybe one vacation per year, and the rest goes to mortgage and utilities and education activities for the kids, as well as some minimal token amount for 401k and 529 savings plans.

I hear Muslims are more or less required to donate something like 5% of their income to charity, so I wonder what that says about my prospects towards society if I'm only puttering around at one tenth of that :P

A fail-safe circuit will destroy others. -- Klipstein