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Comment: Re:As a K12 teacher, I have to say . . . (Score 3, Informative) 209

by Overzeetop (#49557533) Attached to: The Future Deconstruction of the K-12 Teacher

Unfortunately, that is the crux of the problem. The cost of any service or product that requires real human interaction is skyrocketing when compared to other fields. Every technology sector job is based on one human producing a product which will be used by thousands to millions of people with almost no incremental cost. Electronics are assembled more and more by machine. Mineral exploration and energy production is becoming automated. Factory farming and staple goods production is the culmination of 200 years of industrial revolution efficiency.

Look at anything where costs are increasing fast and you'll find people - one on one interaction - is at the root. Unfortunately, public education is under the thumb of reduced municipal revenues at a time when more and more is expected. We can't go back to a one room school house and school finishing up at a 3rd grade level for 90% of the population, which is where much of the current "overtaxed" public seems to feel we should go.

I don't see this ending well.

Comment: Re:As a K12 teacher, I have to say . . . (Score 3, Interesting) 209

by Overzeetop (#49557501) Attached to: The Future Deconstruction of the K-12 Teacher

When 1/4 of the class flunks a college intro to bio class, they pay the university another $15,000 and they take it again - or they look for a major which doesn't require bio. When a 1/4 of a 5th grade class flunks a standardized test, the teacher can get fired.

See the difference?

Comment: Has nothing to do with re-invention (Score 1) 209

by Overzeetop (#49557489) Attached to: The Future Deconstruction of the K-12 Teacher

It has everything to do with dollars. Top private schools can spend $30k a student on teachers and amenities. Public schools have 1/3 of that, and the most challenging students to deal with.

The 1% and the educational experts know the same thing: Education is an intensive, hands-on process which is by its very nature an expensive endeavor. They know that it's more efficient if you can weed out poor educational candidates before they enroll. They know that the educational success of a student is highly correlated to the involvement of the parents in the process.

Public education isn't looking for a better way to educate people. That's easy. What they're looking for is a way to educate the worst learners with the least parental support using 1/3 of the money that top-notch education would cost. Is it any surprise that they're going this direction?

Comment: Welcome to the future (Score 1) 209

by Overzeetop (#49557465) Attached to: The Future Deconstruction of the K-12 Teacher

We may not have flying cars, but we already have a one-size-fits-all educational system. Mainstreaming, where slower learners and those with reduced cognitive function are added to classrooms (with and without aids, depending on severity) brings up the bottom, and all but the brightest on standardized are discouraged from entering "gifted and talented" programs. Teaching is aimed at producing the maximum number of passing grades on standardized tests.

The top and bottom 2% are weeded out - charter schools or G/T at the top, traditional special ed for those who will never achieve. The other 96% are lumped together and the teacher is salary-bound to make as many of them pass as possible. That means standardized worksheets and test prep pretty much from day one. The result? The bottom 10%, which would require extraordinary help to pass, are dropped as a waste of effort, the next 30% get most of the attention to try and get them to make the grade, and the rest of the class pretty much floats for the year with little or no real instruction because they learn well enough from the books and videos to get a passing grade. Anyone in the top 30 percentile points is bored to tears.

There are exceptions to this, of course. Some teachers put in lots of extra time and effort, others are the truly gifted teachers who weave engaging lesson plans and get the kids interested enough to retain the knowledge and pass the tests without crazy drilling. But, for the most part, when your job depends on hitting a number and there's no accounting for whether you have the smart class or the dumb class you're going to get a rhythm down and stick to it. At least if the test scored come back poor, you can open you planner and show all the drills and fact sheets you went over showing you covered the material.

It's pretty damned sad.

(Oh, and as for private schools...have you seen the cost? It's unlikely a family with 2 children who aren't in the top 10% of wage earners are going to be able to afford 12 years of private education. The opportunity is there, but the consumers to support it are pretty thin.)

Comment: Re:Automated sorting of mail and metadata? (Score 1) 65

by causality (#49537733) Attached to: New Privacy Concerns About US Program That Can Track Snail Mail

The USPS has been using automated systems of sorting mail for decades. It's why mail across town goes to a consolidated center (perhaps halfway across the state) first for sorting into carrier routes and has been for decades.

That Homeland Security want to capture this information - which has long been determined to accessible (the original pen-trace) isn't surprising at all.

And they only have to photograph/image the ones that the machines can't read. It's only surprising to people who drink the conservative kool-aide that government can't do anything right.

There are four things government is in a position to do better than anyone else: military defense, law enforcement, public works, and the erosion of liberty.

Comment: Re:I'm driving a rented Nissan Pathfinder while my (Score 3, Insightful) 618

by Overzeetop (#49529139) Attached to: Cheap Gas Fuels Switch From Electric Cars To SUVs

There's a lot of truth in that. I have a Dodge Grand Caravan. I hate it with every fiber of my being, but it is the ideal vehicle in many ways except self esteem. It can carry longer items (up to 10') easier than my truck, it can carry more things inside than most SUVs - and all the back seats fold down to make a large flat cargo space in under a minute. It gets mid-20s gas mileage on the open road. It will *comfortably* seat 6 adults and still have room for a weekend of luggage, or four golfers with a weekend of luggage and 4 sets of clubs.

The only real down sides are
      it is not good in snow/ice conditions. Though, to be fair, my wife's Subaru is still better in bad weather than my 4WD truck.
      it cannot compete with a small car for fuel efficiency (if you're travelling with 4 or fewer passengers)
      it sucks the very life out of your soul as a driver and owner

Comment: Re:Obsolete smart TV's? (Score 1) 129

by Overzeetop (#49527983) Attached to: YouTube Going Dark On Older Devices

Yeah, I made that mistake. Never again. And it has nothing to do with being obsolete.

The difference between Panasonic's "Smart TV" apps and the cheapest plug in sticks (FireTV/Chrome) or puck STBs is absolute night and day in terms of functionality and responsiveness. We've given up on the embedded apps entirely because they're so slow and buggy.

Comment: Re: How about basic security? (Score 5, Informative) 388

by jd (#49516499) Attached to: Why the Journey To IPv6 Is Still the Road Less Traveled

IPSec is perfectly usable.

Telebit demonstrated transparent routing (ie: total invisibility of internal networks without loss of connectivity) in 1996.

IPv6 has a vastly simpler header, which means a vastly simpler stack. This means fewer defects, greater robustness and easier testing. It also means a much smaller stack, lower latency and fewer corner cases.

IPv6 is secure by design. IPv4 isn't secure and there is nothing you can design to make it so.

Comment: Re: Waiting for the killer app ... (Score 3, Informative) 388

by jd (#49516451) Attached to: Why the Journey To IPv6 Is Still the Road Less Traveled

IPv6 would help both enormously. Lower latency on routing means faster responses.

IP Mobility means users can move between ISPs without posts breaking, losing responses to queries, losing hangout or other chat service connections, or having to continually re-authenticate.

Autoconfiguration means both can add servers just by switching the new machines on.

Because IPv4 has no native security, it's vulnerable to a much wider range of attacks and there's nothing the vendors can do about them.

Comment: Re: DNS without DHCP (Score 4, Informative) 388

by jd (#49516387) Attached to: Why the Journey To IPv6 Is Still the Road Less Traveled

Anycast tells you what services are on what IP. There are other service discovery protocols, but anycast was designed specifically for IPv6 bootstrapping. It's very simple. Multicast out a request for who runs a service, the machine with the service unicasts back that it does.

Dynamic DNS lets you tell the DNS server who lives at what IP.

IPv6 used to have other features - being able to move from one network to another without dropping a connection (and sometimes without dropping a packet), for example. Extended headers were actually used to add features to the protocol on-the-fly. Packet fragmentation was eliminated by having per-connection MTUs. All routing was hierarchical, requiring routers to examine at most three bytes. Encryption was mandated, ad-hoc unless otherwise specified. Between the ISPs, the NAT-is-all-you-need lobbyists and the NSA, most of the neat stuff got ripped out.

IPv6 still does far, far more than just add addresses and simplify routing (reducing latency and reducing the memory requirements of routers), but it has been watered down repeatedly by people with an active interest in everyone else being able to do less than them.

I say roll back the protocol definition to where the neat stuff existed and let the security agencies stew.

Comment: Re:Got Fiber? (Score 3, Insightful) 101

They'll be happy to fleece the rest of the 99% of us that don't have fiber. And if the heat gets to be too much, they'll just charge those in single provider areas more and roll out fiber to compete where Google forces their hand, letting everywhere else languish, all the while pointing out that rolling out Gfiber is causing their rates to go up, up, up, and there's nothing they can do about it because the FCC keeps upping their costs through redefining broadband.

"America is a stronger nation for the ACLU's uncompromising effort." -- President John F. Kennedy