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Comment: NSF Young Investigator Awards (Score 1) 153

by saccade.com (#48778085) Attached to: Fewer Grants For Young Researchers Causing Brain Drain In Academia
Back when I was in school (1980's), the NSF recognized this problem and had a special grant ("NSF Young Investigator Award") that would issue small to medium sized grants to faculty under a certain age. I took a quick spin on Google, couldn't tell if the program (or something similar) still exists. Even though the grants weren't large, it enabled junior faculty to get a "Principle Investigator" line on their CV, hopefully enabling future funding.

Comment: Re:I just don't get it (Score 4, Interesting) 229

by saccade.com (#48511745) Attached to: FBI Seizes Los Angeles Schools' iPad Documents
+1. Our kids' middle school also jumped on the iPad bandwagon. For the most part, the kids hated it. The iPads didn't displace any textbooks, so it was 2 lbs of extra deadweight in their backpacks (tablet+mandatory case & keyboard). It was a source of stress, because on the rare occasions they were actually used in class, you got marked down if your iPad wasn't charged. Assignments still had be printed out and turned in on paper, so a separate PC/Mac was still required. The tablets were supposedly locked down to prevent loading games, etc. but tech-savvy students usually found work-arounds. And some of the edu-ware screw-ups were truly appalling - like the "spelling test" app that didn't disable the iOS dictionary feature. Fortunately, the high-school principals are saner. Quote one: "No, I won't bring tech like tablets into the school just because it's new shiny. It really has to fulfill a serious purpose or solve real problems". Amen.

Comment: Take the money and run (Score 2, Interesting) 54

When the settlement was first announced (works out to $1-2K/defendant) I sent a complaint about the small amount to the generic email address at the plaintiff's law firm. Much to my surprise, one of the lawyers on the case contacted me back. He pointed out the defendant's legal budgets are essentially infinite, and they are more than willing to fight the case to the supreme court. Once you get there, a victory by the plaintiffs are not assured. Remember, these are the guys who handed down Citizen's United. Do you want a new TV now, or a very(!) small chance to get a new car 5-10 years from now? That's what it comes down to.

Comment: Be careful what you wish for (Score 2) 215

by saccade.com (#46985503) Attached to: Plaintiff In Tech Hiring Suit Asks Judge To Reject Settlement
I was also annoyed by the possible $3B win vs. $324M settlement, so I contacted one of the class action plaintiff's lawyers. He called back and I spent about 20 minutes on the phone with him. Among other things, he pointed out the defendants in the case (Apple et. al) have monster legal budgets, and the case will very likely (after many years) be fought all the way to the Supreme court. The current SCOTUS is more corporate than citizen friendly (witness Citizens United, etc.) and a win there is -not- assured. It is sickening to see the lawyers get a big payday, while you (the class member engineers you) are getting a new TV instead of a new car. But the TV is a sure deal, the car most likely is not.

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