As for the issue of Comcast or Verizon choking services like Netflix, The FCC needs to get off its keister and fix the debacle it made of net neutrality. There are some days I really wish Google/Apple etc... would band together for a hostile takeover of the last mile trolls and reduce them to dumb pipe service providers to lower the access bar for all the content they aggregate. For them a low margin dumb pipe ISP environment would seriously pump up their content distribution capabilities because more folks could afford more access. It seems pretty obvious the telecom industry still holds to much sway over the congress critters to think government will ever roll back their current 'entitled' last mile troll position on its own. In fact they will likely end up being a puppet used by telecom to fight tooth and nail against any such attempt... witness the growing body of legislation directly hindering google FIOS efforts. Someone seriouly want to defend those actions as being 'in the publics best interest'?
Unsurprisingly, I am one of the folks that ditched cable TV. Even when I realized it was an insignificant price drop I still insisted on internet only service. I believe cable TV is broken and has been since they introduced commercials on top of paid subscription. Even so I got a cable subscription once I started living on my own pretty much because it was what you did. Then I realized at one point I hadn't turned on the TV in several months (Everquest) and when I did it was almost painful to try and sit through a typical broadcast. It became absolutely galling to me to pay 90+ dollars a month to be bombarded by advertisements. Even premium channels like HBO now bombard you with a significant percentage of advertisement (of their own materials, but advertisement no less). Back when they started you paid your fee to have movies movies movies and more movies. These days any given channel is dishing out something like 20% advertisements and that is if you do not consider the product placement sequences that are now common and unavoidable through any medium. An example of that method is on Bones when Booth and Bones talking about features in Ford vehicles while they 'drive' to or from something on the show. In and of itself I have little problem with that. But when they then break to a ford commercial it is enough to make me want to put a fist through my TV. Arrrrggghhhh.... Charge me, use commercials, or do product placement. Pick ONE. Using all three is just greedy.... worse than that it is a deal breaker. It made it such that it was no longer something I wanted any part of. I hate HULU for the same reason, but at least that service lets you watch a show on your own schedule. The only thing I really really REALLY miss is easy access to sports. I get some over the air... but cable has sucked up a lot of the cherry deals. These days I often have to go to a sports bar if I want to catch a game. And I believe it is worth the additional cost that has entailed for me.
I would switch to this new plan in a heartbeat if it were not for the tethering surcharge and gladly pay $10 per GB over the included 2GB. It would be pay as you go with a reasonable monthly minimum for access and service. Considering most AT&T plans in the past have charged on the order of $1 a mb for overage, $10 a gb is not to bad.. that is less than $.01 per mb.
As for folks wanting to run a house off of an 'unlimited' plan... I blame AT&T not them. Unlimited is a pretty cut and dried term and one which is used ridiculously by the mobile operators, especially when complaining about users that actually have the unmitigated gall to act as if their unlimited plan actually was unlimited. Unless they are ready for the customer to challenge the technical limits of their devices, the plan should not be listed as unlimited.
I find it concerning that they are dropping back the 5gb soft cap on the current iPhone unlimited plans to 2Gb in the face of growing mobile data uses. But if it comes with setting the overage rate to ~$.01 per Mb then fine. The reason this option seems difficult to swallow for me is dropping from a soft cap of 5gb and no tethering for $30 to $25 for a defined 2gb cap with a $20 tethering surcharge leading to a $45 monthly cost. They might have had me with $25 Data pro and a $5 tethering surcharge making it a zero change on my monthly bill to have tethering as a fully supported legal option.
Dropping the 3g iPad unlimited plan after not even a month of it on the market smells really fishy. Either Apple and AT&T have had (or are about to have) a serious falling out or they are in bed together in a very unsavory way. I can not tell you how many people that seriously started considering the 3g after I explained how the two data access plans worked. The idea that you could have no or low access rates or even step up to an all you can eat option as needed was a serious selling point. 2gb on the iPhone is probably close to 'unlimited' for the vast vast majority... but not so much on the iPad. I chewed through 300+Mb in just a few hours using maps for a road trip (I did use the terrain feature, but not satellite imagery which would have been even higher). Throw in netflix, some real media downloads or major slate of app updates and 2gb over 30 days can get pretty paltry in a hurry.
This puts the AT&T exec who stated they were unconcerned about iPad usage in a very different light as well... perhaps he already knew how they were going to manage it. Also wonder if perhaps AT&T had escape hatch clauses in their agreements with Apple in case the thing sold at much higher than anticipated rates.... and Apple not being able to keep its supply line in sync with demand is a very serious indication that this thing has been a success beyond their wildest dreams. I am sure it is a problem Apple is glad to have... but this could give them a pretty nasty black eye courtesy of AT&T.
However, that being said, just because it is in a contract you sign does not make it 'right'. The idea that the service provider has a say over what happens to content I transfer via the service once it reaches my device is absurd. I seriously doubt you could claim that someone downloading a picture/video/file to their phone and then transferring it to their computer constitutes something that is illegal given said content has no restrictions (say project Gutenburg book files). And yet that is what a 'no tethering' clause claims on at least one method of such a transfer.
There is zero difference to the service provider if a file makes it to a computer via a network request transfered by the phone or via the phone downloading the file and then transferring the file via bluetooth or usb. The phone is in both cases providing the network access to the file in question. On what grounds (other than greed) should they have any say regarding if the secondary transfer happens as the information reaches the device or shortly there after via another means of file transfer?
Now they may have grounds to be concerned if I exceed my bandwidth allotment. The problem with that is dealing with the word 'unlimited'. When the plan states unlimited data and then buries a bandwidth cap clause in the legalese I consider that an open case as to whether or not it is 'false advertising'.
The definition of 'unlimited' should always be clearly defined and not buried in the terms of service. I would argue that to use the word unlimited the provider must define a quality of service rate accessible for the duration of the contract. I would suggest the average transfer rate the device is capable of across the providers network times the length of the contract. Anything less should not legally be allowed to advertise as an 'unlimited' data plan.
For example having a monthly 1gb bandwidth cap on an 'unlimited' plan attached to a device capable of downloading multiple gb's of data on any given day (before even considering tethering) is an unacceptable stretch of the term 'unlimited'. And even if they removed the word unlimited and explicitly advertised a monthly 1gb data plan they would still have no dog in the 'tethering' fight. Only the right to gig me if I exceeded 1gb of bandwidth in the alloted period of my service contract.
Obviously for any of this to take effect challenges will have to be brought in court based on enforcement of these contract terms. Oddly enough if you read up on people that do run afoul of the 'no tethering' clause you find they are generally penalized on bandwidth grounds... not the tethering. Consequences are in my experience always driven by dealing with the bandwidth usage... ie paying for overage and/or having your account upgraded to allow for the increased usage. The reason is that the bandwidth overages are far far far easier for the service provider to pursue in court. Here is the common sense reason why. The terms of service to often explicitly state what constitutes excess bandwidth usage. They do not clearly show why 1gb of 'tethered' data is any different from 1gb of "untethered" data... because there is none.
You have an interesting notion of failure there. You seriously trying to suggest that Jobs was not a success as a CEO until his return to Apple? Hell it seems the only job position he has Held since age 21 is CEO.
Sure he got ousted. He ran Apple so badly that when he departed he was able to personally fund the purchase of a segment of ILM which he turned into PiXAR. He founded NeXT which admittedly failed to emerge as a hardware contender at which point Jobs refocused it on OS development. As a result he was bought out by his Old Company who thought so 'poorly' of what he had done with NeXT that they made it the foundation of their OS and re-instated him to his former status as CEO of Apple.
This is what you point too as a history of failure which was only overcome with experience? Being a founding father of the home computer revolution? Presiding over a company that redefined feature length animation? Presiding over the creation what many consider to be the best personal computer OS available?
I truly wish I too was capable of such a history of 'failing' as Steve Jobs did as a newbie CEO of an industry he helped create. Did he get better with age? Certainly. Did he fail out of the gate? I have a hard time believing you are putting that theory forward.
I have little doubt the experience of losing control of the company he started was a valuable Lesson for Jobs. But dude... by that time he had already experienced a very high level of success by any sane standard.... a level of success that I am willing to bet many 'experienced' potential CEO's would gladly sacrifice a testicle (or other valuable piece of anatomy if that one is unavailable) to experience.
Also noticed you did not mention Gates or the Google wonders.
Again, I am not positing this as an excuse for the insanity that is JJ Abraham's decision to drop a midshipman into the command seat of the flagship. Merely pointing out there are exceptions to the rule of 'experience' being the only way for someone to succeed in the big chair.
Well I think you chose a poor example there in Apple... Steve Jobs is not the best example for someone arguing CEO's shouldn't be young. You do realize he was 21 when starting Apple? Heck... some of the most successful CEO's of our time were kids when they conquered their respective worlds. Microsoft, Google, Apple.
As for the notion that young people cannot command well... Alexander the Great? Not that I disagree with the basic premise that handing Kirk the keys to the flagship was over the top. I just do not find his age to be the main problem. The problem in my eyes was that there was no reason to place him in command of the flagship. Field promotion under extreme circumstances is easy to believe especially for someone performing, especially if they are in the midst of continuing action with no time to properly reshuffle.
Now I think the story did have a premise of the Federation being involved in a serious long standing all hands on deck war... hence why the academy cadets were called out to Vulcan in the first place. But they really did not develop that angle at all and did not use it to keep a field promoted Kirk in the saddle.
They should have put him on a different ship for this movie in the first place rather than going straight to the Enterprise. The story of Kirk gaining the Enterprise would have been good grounds for say the next movie or perhaps even one further down the line.
Well... they did not say it was an intrinsic superiority/inferiority. They said there was a cultural rejection of learning. Not inability to learn... a bias acting negatively against learning. Granted It would be more politically correct and far less controversial to state this whole issue in terms of economic status rather than in racial terms. Instead of african american culture you could describe it as the culture of the the projects/urban lower income vrs that of the middle-upper class. However it isn't inaccurate or racist to say there are cultural issues which impact academic success faced by african american children regardless of their family economic status. In other words issues that most certainly are cultural in nature. Black middle-upper income kids are an unfortunately small minority in most african american communities who tend to feel torn between the social norms of both groups. And those social norms are most certainly not academically neutral. That was a pretty much the whole premise behind the 'Fresh Prince' show with Will Smith. See Carlton in any episode where he wants to 'be cool like Will' for one side and any show with Will actually trying to succeed at school without being 'Carlton'. A silly show... but one that had its finger on the pulse of a very serious issue.
While the driving factor here is far more likely to be economic than racial it is going a bit far to say there are no cultural issues involved. The dividing lines of race and economic status track unfortunately close in this country. They are both correlated strongly to academic success (or lack of)... as for which provides causation (if either) is still a subject of plenty of debate.
For more examples of this in media (excellent for cultural references) go disect some of the following tv shows and movies... Good Will Hunting, Family Matters, Finding Forrester, Lean on Me, Stand and Deliver, and Coach Carter.
Those are the ones I can think of off the top of my head and I find it telling that only one entails the story of a poor white person becoming successful. Consider if you will how successful Mat Damon's character has to be in comparison to some of the other feel good stories I mentioned to make that story 'special'. Will Hunting's success would be so by ANY standard. What is so impressive about a school getting its kids past a standard exam? Why is it special that a group of low income hispanic high school kids learned Calculus? Perhaps particularly relevant to this tangent go watch Coach Carter and really consider the reaction both by the media, community, and the school to his refusal to let his players play on academic grounds. Going a bit deeper pick through the differences in peer interactions with regards to intelligence between Screech in saved by the bell and Erkle in Family matters.... Or the same for Forester and Will Hunting.
Anyway, back to the topic at hand. Accurately judging the ability of a teacher to teach is a true bastard of a problem. You have the issue under discussion here of different cultural approaches to education. You have the issue of inheriting the results of a long line of less than stellar education... ie systemic problem... and the basic difficulty of how to measure success in such a way that doesn't torpedo the education process in the first place (teaching the test, grade inflation etc...). My suggestion would be to avoid trying to rate their success in the classroom on the fly. You should have successive teachers rate the results in related subjects further down the line IE as a teacher in a subject you should provide a 'grade' for the pervious teachers ability to ground the student properly for starting the next level. After all the true success of a teacher is not in getting a kid to pass a test... but to actually instill long term skills and knowledge. If a teacher is constantly having to backfill and re-cover building block knowledge for a significant percentage of students from a particular teacher that is a very good indication they can't teach.
Proving a teacher can't teach is almost impossible on the individual level, and difficult even at the 'class' level. Many many factors go into the ability of a teacher to successfully impart knowledge to a group of kids, and quite a few of them are not in their control. When they encounter problems such as unruly children there are precious few things they can do about it. Getting rid of teachers is hard... so is getting rid of the spoiled apple(s) ruining the bunch. In the cases where there are systemic issues they often have the impossible task of trying to catch the entire class up to where they should already be in addition to trying to actual advance them through the material at hand. Whether it is cultural or economic based this is particularly common problem in school systems made up primarily of lower income students, particularly in urban areas.