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Comment: Re:Yeah, students will use bandwidth (Score 1) 208

by schnell (#47505281) Attached to: How One School District Handled Rolling Out 20,000 iPads

Even your post suggests that teachers are to blame for poor educational outcomes

Teachers are a part of the equation of educational outcomes. Parents and economics, I agree, have far more to do with results. But barring extreme circumstances, you can't do anything about a child's parents. You can far more easily do something about their school and their teacher. And I had teachers growing up who ranged from those fostering my love of learning and enriching my young life... to those making every day a litany of scorn and drudgery.

My partner works in a primary school across town, and sees every day what leads to poor educational outcomes.

I'm sure your partner is a very good teacher, and deserves great praise for it. But sure she/he would admit that there are good teachers and bad teachers, just like there are people who are good and bad at any job.

Wouldn't she/he want to get paid more for being good at teaching vis-a-vis someone else who didn't put in as much effort or have the same skills? I'm not saying it's a panacea, but I cannot help but believe that paying better teachers more would make the profession more attractive and more rewarding. What's wrong with that and why won't teachers' unions even countenance the idea?

Comment: Re:Expensive? (Score 1) 208

by schnell (#47504657) Attached to: How One School District Handled Rolling Out 20,000 iPads

you can get Shakespeare's works *FREE*

Is it the edition of Shakespeare's works that comes with tests & answers, definitions of archaic words, historical background and age-appropriate commentary and explanations? I always forget if that is the First or Second Quarto.

As an adult, I enjoy reading Shakespeare's works and have copies, both printed and electronic. But to teach Shakespeare you need textbooks, not just the source texts. Textbooks do actually add value in many cases, and it requires someone knowledgeable (e.g. not Wikipedia) to write, edit & proof them and get paid for it.

Comment: Re:Yeah, students will use bandwidth (Score 4, Insightful) 208

by schnell (#47504363) Attached to: How One School District Handled Rolling Out 20,000 iPads

yet the most important people in society -- teachers barely make a decent salary??

I went to public school and had some great teachers who were worth their weight in gold. I also had other teachers who weren't worth a nickel and did a great amount of harm to their students.

If teachers' unions ever agree to let teachers be paid based on how good they are - rather than just by seniority - you might actually see more attractive salaries for good teachers. You might also see more bright people interested in taking up the profession if they knew they could make a better living doing so.

With that being said, my only experience in this is with US public schools and their teachers' unions. I'm curious if anyone else knows of examples where teachers are paid purely on merit and the effect (or lack thereof) it has had on educational outcomes.

Comment: Re:Do you have any hands-on experience ? (Score 3, Insightful) 653

by schnell (#47498291) Attached to: Russian Government Edits Wikipedia On Flight MH17

When you perform a terrorist act you tell that YOU did it in order to intimidate.

Al Qaida never formally accepted responsibility for the 9/11 attacks. Some things you do as a ragbag organization with grandiloquent revolutionary blather, but then realize, "Oh shit, that actually happened. Yay us and all, but I really don't want to deal with the ensuing sh*tstorm of admitting it was us."

Comment: Re:But scarcity! (Score -1, Troll) 388

by schnell (#47482259) Attached to: Verizon's Accidental Mea Culpa

Ugh. We're back to the same knee-jerk reactions and slanted clickbait stories. Shame on Slashdot.

This is not a one-sided story (very few stories in the real world are) as the summary attempts to show it. This isn't about wantonly deciding to screw over paying users, it's about a peering dispute. Of course Verizon has bandwidth to spare, that's not the problem. The issue is that they don't think of a much smaller ISP like Level3 as a peer, and don't want to give them settlement-free peering - they don't peer for free with lots of other ISPs for the same reason. Level3 offering to pay for the hardware is completely disingenuous, since that is a drop in the bucket of what paid transit costs as a monthly service. (By the way, Level3 played the role of Verizon to Cogent in the exact same kind of dispute a few years ago.) But clearly if Verizon cared about the experience of its end users it would find another solution that didn't involve free peering, like CDN installations to support Netflix. So they are being jerks as well.

So Verizon doesn't want to peer for free with Level3 even though it would help their customers; and Level3 wants to peer for free instead of paying like everybody else. This goes on all day every day in the ISP world. People only notice this particular instance because unfortunately users can see the negative effects directly. Long story short, there are no white hats in this story, only gray ones on both sides, both trying to spin public perception. Stories like this one on Slashdot do no favors to a reasonable understanding of the situation.

Comment: Re:Maybe, maybe not. (Score 1) 749

by schnell (#47453403) Attached to: Obama Administration Says the World's Servers Are Ours

everybody needs to have more than one passport

Why? The numerical majority of people on the planet will never have a passport, let alone use one. Personally, I have been all over the planet using the USA one that I have without any problem (although, to be fair, I've never felt like visiting Cuba or North Korea).

So why should everybody have multiple passports? What's the pressing need for that?

Comment: Re:quelle surprise (Score 1) 725

by schnell (#47393833) Attached to: When Beliefs and Facts Collide

what is the scientific doctrine that Democrats typically reject?

I wouldn't call these doctrines, but liberals (by the US definition) tend to be mistrustful of big corporations and the military, and as a result tend to show selection bias in seeing threats from them even where it may not scientifically warranted. Examples might be the hysteria over banning GMOs and nuclear power, or advocacy for scientifically dubious ideas like homeopathy or most "new age" thinking. It's not science per se, but there are also various liberal ideas about things like welfare and education that continue to be championed despite significant research indicating that these programs are in fact harmful in the long run.

Personally, I find the Democratic rejections of science less troubling than some of the typically Republican ones, but that doesn't mean they aren't there.

+ - When Beliefs and Facts Collide

Submitted by schnell
schnell (163007) writes "A New York Times article discusses a recent Yale study that shows that contrary to popular belief, increased scientific literacy does not correspond to increased belief in accepted scientific findings when it contradicts their religious or political views. The article notes that this is true across the political/religious spectrum and "factual and scientific evidence is often ineffective at reducing misperceptions and can even backfire on issues like weapons of mass destruction, health care reform and vaccines." So what is to be done? The article suggests that "we need to try to break the association between identity and factual beliefs on high-profile issues – for instance, by making clear that you can believe in human-induced climate change and still be a conservative Republican." But given the propensity of all humans towards cognitive bias and even magical thinking, should we just resign ourselves to the idea that democracies will never make their decisions based purely on science?"

Comment: Re:I can't imagine... (Score 1) 109

I did recognize the fake in 10 Minutes by numerous inconsistent things and numbers that did not add up and did not make sense at all. None of the reviewers apparently did.

This isn't intended to be disrespectful, so please don't take it the wrong way: why were you, as a PhD student, able to find this error when the reviewers (and theoretically other scientists in the field) weren't?

Is yours a small field with few people to review? Were the reviewers of this paper lazy or cowed by celebrity or influence? Was this published in a seldom-read journal? Or what? I'm honestly very curious about how a lapse like this happens.

Comment: Re:Boards or ROM's (Score 1) 133

who regularly uses emulators on a Mac as well

You must be a glutton for punishment. I was very active in the Mac emulator scene many years ago (provided hosting for MacMAME.org, etc.) and recently looked into it again, only to be very depressed by what I found. I had assumed that with the growing mainstream popularity of Macs over the past decade that emulator availability would increase but I found just the opposite. In fact, it seems like it's a PITA just to get a current version of MAME up and running, let alone MESS. The old sites and message boards I had visited long ago had vanished, and it just didn't seem like there was much of a community for Mac emulators any more.

Any suggestions on where the hub of the Mac emulator scene is these days? Or is it just gone?

Comment: Re:Who CARES what non-science approaches "think"? (Score 1) 567

Both sides deny science, if it fits their politics.

Internet FOUL! How DARE you introduce logical and rational statements into an Internet argument, sir.

The next thing you know, people will be equating the same degree of "magical thinking" with conservative farmers denying the evidence of climate change and liberal farmers touting the lack of evidence of benefits of non-GMO produce. Have you no shame?

Comment: Re:You can just buy a sim (Score 3, Interesting) 146

by schnell (#47341241) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: SIM-Card Solutions In North America?

But US phones are mostly frequency locked to carriers.

Kinda sorta used to be more but not so much now.

Part of the confusion comes from the fact that, unlike pretty much the rest of the world, US carriers did not standardize on the GSM technology family. Back in the day, AT&T and T-Mobile chose GSM, while Verizon and Sprint chose the CDMA technology family. So right there you had incompatible technologies between carriers that didn't exist most anywhere else in the world (except for Japan and Korea, mainly).

Phones built to run on the GSM family of technologies use SIM cards and are generally "SIM-swappable." Some phones, typically the ones bought on a contract for a discount, are "SIM-locked" to a carrier meaning that the phone has to be unlocked by the original carrier before the phone can be used with a SIM from another carrier. However, pretty much all cheap/prepaid phones are not SIM locked and can be swapped easily. Phones built to run on CDMA family of technologies do not use SIM cards so are a moot point for "SIM swapping."

Oh, and don't forget this in your research - there are at least three popular SIM card sizes roaming (no pun intended) in the wild these days, and they are mutually incompatible. So don't expect to take the full-sized SIM out of your feature phone and transfer it to the micro SIM slot of a Galaxy S4 or the nano SIM slot of an iPhone 5s ... although of course you can buy adapters that will make smaller SIMs fit into larger slots.

In case you're wondering, the fact that all four major US carriers are using LTE nowadays should make the situation less complicated, but it really doesn't. That's because there are virtually no phones out there that use LTE exclusively. Unless your carrier has VoLTE deployed, your "LTE" phone is just using LTE for data but is falling back to 3G CDMA or GSM/HSPA to make your voice calls. So even though every LTE phone has a SIM, phones on legacy CDMA carriers aren't full "SIM-swappable."

Long story short - SIM swappability these days is far less about carrier locking and more about SIM sizes and which network you're trying to use. Good luck!

Comment: Re:Well, this won't backfire! (Score 4, Informative) 268

by schnell (#47315161) Attached to: Wikipedia Editors Hit With $10 Million Defamation Suit

I'm not a lawyer, I don't know the details of libel laws, but I was relatively sure that good faith belief is all that is required.

At least in the United States, the rules for libel are different based on whether or not the libeled party is a "public figure" or not. If someone is Joe Average, the only requirement is to prove that you said something incorrect about them which caused quantifiable damages. "Public figures," however, are expected to have good and bad things said about them as part of normal discourse. (Otherwise Ke$ha could sue someone for saying her album sucked.) So for public figures, the libeled party must prove that not only is the thing you said wrong, you must also have known it was wrong and had malicious intent in doing so. It's a high bar to meet, and that's why you see so few celebrities or politicians suing for libel - there's usually only provable malice in a few cases where a tabloid is printing knowingly false information in order to boost sales, etc.

Comment: Not sure what the "secrecy" fuss is (Score 4, Insightful) 222

by schnell (#47293967) Attached to: WikiLeaks Publishes Secret International Trade Agreement

All treaties are negotiated in secret. Furthermore, at least in the US, no treaty is in effect until it is ratified by the Senate, at which point all the elements of the treaty will be public and heavily debated down to the last comma.

It's great that Wikileaks is giving the world a heads-up view into what is being negotiated, but I don't understand why every Slashdot story about international treaties harps on "negotiated in secret" like that's unusual, or that a treaty can somehow take effect silently and invisibly.

I've never been canoeing before, but I imagine there must be just a few simple heuristics you have to remember... Yes, don't fall out, and don't hit rocks.

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