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Comment Re:Teaching not production (Score 1) 233

Yes, or at least a Windows license running in kvm so they can experience how things render differently on various browsers. Thats how I used to set my wife up.

As for Photoshop, maybe have one Windows machine so the kids can put it on their resume because thats really what he is probably thinking about as a classroom?

Comment I'd say visi.com (Yes, 3rd party, NOT MSN) is good (Score 1) 269

I only route their daily digest to a folder because maybe every YEAR OR TWO I check for a false positive that may or may not be there.

What gets through is always a question. If you've purchased from a company and might do so again, are their weekly, biweekly or daily ads spam? I have an extensive local filter so most ads go to an "ads" folder for more frequent removal and pure spam gets added infrequently as needed.

Comment Re:What is critical thinking? (Score 1) 553

You teach a little geometry, you teach a little set theory, and it's so abstract it has nothing to do with the real world and that's the way they like it. Informal logic is like biology. It needs specimens to dissect and the moment a teacher discusses a "self-sealer" like astrology or seances or asks students to discuss when a fetus is a "person", there will be people with pitchforks outside the superintendent's office.

Seriously. This is America. How are you going to allow students to think about the real world?

Comment Mandatory linux 4.3 upgrade (Score 1) 174

It always seemed we could at least sandbox Skype as a limited unique user, but 4.3 requires Pulse and pulse is increasingly the de facto sound system over alsa. Correct me if I'm wrong but doesn't pulse running at the user level only allow ONE user and system-wide utilization is vehemently discouraged by the developers for SECURITY reasons? If so, it seems like Microsoft and the NSA have worked out a way to p0wn any linux box where a person has installed a working 4.3 Skype.

I guess you could still use it for chat as a unique user.

Comment Re:Binoculars (Score 2) 187

Binoculars are the recommendation in The Backyard Astronomer. But, then, they don't particularly recommend buying a child a telescope either.

Personally, I went with a used 4.5" Orion Dob as the first instrument and I think it was a good choice. Now I have larger instruments _and_ binoculars. Yes, a small Dob isn't great for groups because you have to keep adjusting it. But, like people say, polar aligning an EQ is something to be explained too and you're still going to be moving it regularly manually. Doesn't sound like you are budgeting for a motor mount. I can just see binoculars being an interesting challenge as you try to get _each_ kid to find stuff. "No, look at where my finger is pointing. That one! Are you seeing it, the one I'm pointing at?" And, sure, I can see stuff like Jupiter's Galilean moons, the Orion nebula, a lot of moon detail, etc. with the 10x70s but anybody who tells you it's more fun to recline in a lounge chair, hold your breath and maintain your arms as rigid as possible so things don't move _too_ much should probably have his disdain for small Dobs taken with a grain of salt.

Comment Call me a rock wielding barbarian (Score 2, Informative) 127

But I absolutely, totally LOVE depth of field. Screw the art school graduates. I bought a large screen digital tv for the illusion of a window upon the world.

I would like to think -- I sincerely HOPE -- that artificially inducing audience "focus" by depth of field will be as quaint as silent movie captions in 50 years.
 

Comment So who's going to defend the principal (Score 2) 470

This is one of the more compelling arguments for national standards where local administration would have the excuse that they were "forced" to follow imposed guidelines. Otherwise, every nutter in the community will rally to tar and feather the administration.

"Don't tell me I'm burning the candle at both ends -- tell me where to get more wax!!"

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