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Sheila Kaplan has been on this since federal child provacy laws were relaxed to permit it in 2011. She launched Education New York's National Opt-out Campaign to alert parents to their rights under FERPA to restrict third-party access to their children's information and encourage them to review their school's annual FERPA notification at the beginning of the
school year. Here's her website:
and a parent information page
Stripped of the invective, AC is 100% correct - did you actually READ any of the articles above?
In either story?
The fact that the Gates Foundation can do more-or-less whatever it wants (Karl Rove is an even more egregious example) and deduct that from their taxes is a minor problem. The real problem is that they're using their combination of leveraged money and free P.R. from fools like you to take over vast quantities of [b]our tax dollars[/b] and redirect that money into their coffers and the coffers of their allies like Pearson Education, Murdoch, etc.
The final round of the dialog has begun, and is available for comment on the Gates Foundation's own blog. Slashdot readers may not know about Gates' sponsorship of specific edutech industry partners, such as Rupert Murdoch's Wireless Generation, and Pearson Education. Cody poses tough questions, including, "Can the Gates Foundation reconsider and reexamine its own underlying assumptions, and change its agenda in response to the consequences we are seeing?" According to the agreement, the Gates Foundation will answer in the coming week, concluding the series."
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This is cool, but as I read it here (and someone correct me if I'm wrong), it's no substitute for doing a real experiment. I'm going to launch into a long explanatory diatribe - models like this one can be VERY useful for hypothesis generation, or to try and understand seemingly disconnected results that (very often) arise in a biological experiment. They are especially useful when you have some hypothesis/theory of how a complex system is governed and you need to generate some prediction which you can experimentally test based on your theory.
But not a substitute for the real experiment, no way no how. Why? Because living things aren't designed, and they don't respect your modularity, abstract data typing, etc. etc.
For example, suppose your bacterium starts making some huge amount of a membrane protein (a common thing you do in the lab, for reasons outside the scope of this example). What's going to happen?
Well, that protein is going to try and fold up in the membrane, but as you make more and more of it, the protein is going to fail to get there. Other proteins destined for the membrane are going to experience the same problem. Are you going to update every single module that contains something membrane bound, to reflect this? As they accumulate in the membrane, the membrane curvature is going to change, and this in turn is going to change the relative concentrations of various lipids on each leaf of the membrane, which alters the chemistry of everything that interacts with the membrane in any way (a whole bunch more modules.)
Even if you have those effects covered, they're going to have indirect (and non-linear) effects on the concentration of various ions in the cytosol (all of which, just for starters, interact with the inner membrane with different affinities), the excess protein is going to start accumulating in inclusion bodies which are going to start taking up physical space inside the cell. These two changes alter the likelihood of interaction and the energy of interaction of every single other thing going on in the cell (!). So good luck with that.
That's just one example. The same thing would happen if you sheared the DNA, or heat shocked the cell, or put the cell in an environment of rapidly changing nutrient concentrations. To put all that in CS terms - the actual cell isn't object oriented, there's all sorts of cross-talk between the different components (because they're physical objects in a little tiny soap bubble, they're bumping into each other) and no abstraction layer or anything of that kind.
To be quite honest, I am of the opinion that a living cell is an irreducible system, and the only way you'd get a real substitute for experiments on actual cells would be JUST MAYBE if you ran a molecular dynamics simulation on all 10^14 or so atoms; and if you did so with a much better physics engine than we have now.
There are a lot of reasons to be physically present at a "brick and mortar" university with an instsructor in the room with you.
To the extent that universities want to break from this model, it isn't about education at all. It isn't even about making an education cheaper; it's about extracting money from suckers.
So, good for Khan Academy for doing what they're doing and giving it away for free. All the bottom feeders (including Bill Gates) who want to charge money for this stuff have nothing useful to offer and are just trying to game the system in one or another way for a buck.
Part I, about the Gates foundation in Africa and elsewhere, was covered on slashdot last week."
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The pressure to do this is NOT coming from the federal government, it's coming from the companies that sell the cloud services!
So instead of having the federal government just maintain an emergency backup infrastructure itself, these private companies (Amazon etc.) WANT the federal government to buy electronic services from them! And the feds come back and say, "well, in order to make that workable we'd need guaranteed access in an emergency and bleah-de-bleah." Privatization of emergency services is an unmitigated disaster and we just shouldn't do it.
The obvious solution is: How about No? But it's the federal government that needs to say that to the cloud-computing vendors, not the other way around!
You're accusing her of doing a hatchet job, but you're clearly not reading any of the links, which discuss the details of the partnerships extensively.
Your accusation - that she has a "conspiracy theory" *is* a hatchet job. What makes it a conspiracy theory? None of this is particularly secret; these people don't all have to be in the room at once, plotting. The accusation is that the Gates foundation's supposed charity does significant harm, based on an ideological commitment to corporatism, and she's assembled scads of material to document that assertion.
If you can't see anything but paranoia, that's something that you're reading into it, not a criticism of the substance; which, again, you appear not to have even read.
The way that the trust is organized doesn't protect from conflict of interest; and that's a concern. But the real issue is the awful things they enduce other charitable actors to do with other-people's-money.
Oh, please, that's just complete bullshit.
I'm assuming you didn't actually read the article? Perhaps you read the careful research in the primary source:
Pharmaceutical companies make third world dictatorships look like Finland.
No, that's not what it says; in fact, that is the OPPOSITE of what it says.
STAKEHOLDERS (not Shareholders) is occupy-wallstreet-speak for the people who have some vested interest in the outcome - employees, customers, people in malaria-infested countries, doctors, etc.
Third world DOCTORS - the recipients of Bill's so-called generosity - are the ones complaining.
In fact, no, that is not it either. Plenty of money is going to corrupt African dictatorships.
But money is being directed AWAY from public health infrastructure, and the people who are complaining about it (I know: too much to ask for you to read the article) are doctors and public health workers in the African countries.