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Comment: This isn't a tech issue, it's a immigration issue. (Score 1) 443

by zerofoo (#48461447) Attached to: Researchers Say the Tech Worker Shortage Doesn't Really Exist

When an economy has 8-10% unemployment, that economy should not import labor for any reason. Governments exist to protect it's citizens - that includes REASONABLE immigration policies.

I'm the second generation of a family of immigrants. My grandparents came here almost 10 years apart due to restrictive immigration policies. Generally grandpa waited his place in line, came here with a sponsor, worked, and paid taxes. After establishing himself here, was he allowed to bring over the rest of the family.

Allowing too many people into a country, too quickly, is a sure fire way to hurt the local workforce, and stress social support systems to their breaking point.

Unfortunately the politicians in charge don't give a damn about the citizens they claim to serve.

Comment: Government created the H-1B visa you twit. (Score 2) 443

by zerofoo (#48458551) Attached to: Researchers Say the Tech Worker Shortage Doesn't Really Exist

Those "pesky regulations" are the exact cause of this problem - and is the exact reason why Libertarians want government out of employer/labor relations.

If government had not given favored immigration status to tech workers, the free market would naturally settle on wages via supply and demand. Tech companies with the aid of the US government distorted the labor market to increase supply and drive down wages.

An Econ 101 student could understand this and see what is happening. Why you can't is a mystery.

Comment: Control the carbs and you control blood lipids (Score 4, Informative) 252

by zerofoo (#48441831) Attached to: Doubling Saturated Fat In Diet Does Not Increase It In Blood

I tried a "low-cholesterol" diet and it made my lipid profiles worse. I went on cholesterol drugs, and they had awful side effects. Finally I gave up the cholesterol meds and started restricting carbs. My lipid profiles got much better and I've decided to simply live as a "borderline" case without cholesterol meds.

I'm 20 pounds lighter, and I feel a hell of a lot better than on the meds.

I'm not sure medical science understands (well enough) the relationship between carbs/blood sugar/cholesterol and cardiovascular disease. The low-fat diet and food pyramid is probably the worst thing ever foisted on the American people. With 30 years of run-away obesity and diabetes, maybe it's time to admit failure with those recommendations.

We still let cereal manufacturers pitch their wares as "heart-healthy" - what a joke.

Comment: E-rate doesn't fix the infrastructure problem. (Score 1) 107

by zerofoo (#48420137) Attached to: Head of FCC Proposes Increasing Internet School Fund

Our schools are in a part of the country with decent access to broadband. Both schools where I work have roughly 100 Mbps access via Cable Modem or FIOS for less than $200 per month.

If you don't have decent broadband choices near your schools, E-rate won't make that problem any better. All it will ensure is that your local school district spends thousands of dollars per month on private connections that are mostly unnecessary.

The FCC should focus on getting multiple broadband providers into every market across the country. Once that problem is solved, the E-rate program will not be necessary.

Comment: Re:As a technology director for a K-12 district (Score 2) 219

by zerofoo (#48377159) Attached to: Microsoft Losing the School Markets To iPads and Chromebooks

Our experiences mirror yours. We've had great success with chromebooks, but the iPad thing is still a pain.

I recently spoke to a couple of Apple reps about their lack of focus on enterprise management for iPads. I explained how terrible the Apple Configurator is, and how their new Apple Device Enrollment Program is simply not enough. Apple needs to stop relying on third parties for large scale management if iOS devices. They need to build a management portal similar to Google's device management portal - and they needed it yesterday.

As a long time Apple fan, I still admit - Apple sucks at enterprise management.

Comment: You're doing it wrong (Score 1) 219

by zerofoo (#48377105) Attached to: Microsoft Losing the School Markets To iPads and Chromebooks

We've successfully implemented chromebooks - their low cost and ease of management can not be beat.

Your model of office coupled with local storage is a dinosaur. Modern companies (where your students will eventually work) require a mobile workforce that can connect and collaborate from anywhere. Getting your students onto cloud based apps and data prepares them for how they will work in their future careers.

We do not have kids walk around with laptops. We have carts in each classroom, and laptops are pulled out as needed. Students don't walk around with other classroom materials like microscopes and yardsticks. Why would you make kids walk around with computers?

Chromebooks work well in a "classroom cart" environment. They boot quickly, their data is stored in the cloud, and they shutdown quickly. The instructional overhead of traditional windows based computers simply does not exist with chromebooks.

We have some traditional Mac desktops for staff members and for special purpose labs, but for general purpose computing chromebooks can not be beat.

Comment: I didn't solve the Towers of Hanoi problem in CS (Score 1) 320

by zerofoo (#48369147) Attached to: Duke: No Mercy For CS 201 Cheaters Who Don't Turn Selves In By Wednesday

I merely implemented the solution in software. Is that cheating?

Yeah, I wrote the recursive algorithm in Pascal, but I didn't "invent" the solution. Somebody a long time ago did that.

Unless you are doing PHD level research into something no one else has done, most undergrad work is a rehash of something someone else already figured out.

The point is to learn the material - how you learn it is irrelevant. Presumably, college professors have a way to measure your knowledge before giving you a grade - I think that is called a.......test.

Comment: Wifi cameras? Really? (Score 1) 698

by zerofoo (#48369025) Attached to: US School Installs 'Shooter Detection' System

I've bought tons of IP cameras in the past - all of them have varying degrees of crappyness. Do you really want to lean on WiFi during an emergency?

Direct cabled SDI cameras to a network connected DVRs are they way to go - but it's doubtful those would be any cheaper in a large scale installation. I've priced out systems in the $30k range for a mid size building. A large building could easily cost $100k.

The real issue is whether or not these costs are acceptable for what is a statistically rare event.

Comment: Where is the money to hire support staff? (Score 4, Insightful) 143

These gifts and grants are nice, but without long-term funding of support staff this is what happens:

http://www.njspotlight.com/sto...

You can't simply push tons of technology into schools and forget about it. The "light the fuse and run" approach never works. You need a staff of technology people who will train staff, maintain and repair the tech, and integrate the technology into the curriculum.

Without adequate support, these systems will simply collect dust and end up in a storage locker.

Comment: Equal opportunity vs equal outcomes (Score 4, Interesting) 608

by zerofoo (#48239381) Attached to: Solving the Mystery of Declining Female CS Enrollment

Everyone is entitled to equal opportunity, but absolutely no one is guaranteed equality in outcome.

So long as the CS field is accessible to everyone - that's all that matters. If a group of people decide that CS work is not for them - that's OK. That is how markets work.

We should stop wringing our hands about things we cannot control and start focusing our efforts on real problems.

Comment: IT is becoming a utility (Score 1) 345

by zerofoo (#48136671) Attached to: ChromeOS Will No Longer Support Ext2/3/4 On External Drives/SD Cards

Your main concerns seem to be:

1. Cost
2. Management
3. Data location/security
4."Cloud"/internet access?

1 and 2. Google's chromebook/apps platform is completely free. You buy a chromebook (about $250) and a management license ($30) - and that's it. Your Microsoft products and their supporting management/backup software cost way more than that - I know - I bought them for years.

3. Backing up your data - google backs up your data to data centers all over the world and snapshots your data so you can go back in time - again for free. I've bought EMC and Dell SANs - even the cheap ones are very expensive.

4. Cloud/internet access. We have existing filtering systems in place, and our chromebooks work with those systems just like our old machines did. Google also goes one step further by giving you the tools in their management console to build web access policies. You can make web access as tight or as loose as you like. The really great thing is that these policies are applied directly to the machine. If a student takes a chromebook home, those policies are still enforced. This means that web filtering is no longer tied to your physical network located at the school.

The bottom line is that this is where computing is going. Just like it is usually not efficient to generate your own power and water, it will soon not be efficient to generate every IT system you use in house. Sure, lots of people will fight that trend, but efficiency always wins. It's going to be very hard to justify hundreds of thousands of dollars (if not millions) poured into your datacenters, when competing schools are doing similar things for free (or near free).

Comment: No ads in Google Apps for Education or Nonproft (Score 2) 345

by zerofoo (#48136541) Attached to: ChromeOS Will No Longer Support Ext2/3/4 On External Drives/SD Cards

There are no ads in either the Google Apps for Education service or the Nonprofit service.

From the Google Apps for Education - Common Questions:

"For all EDU domains ads are turned off in Google Apps for Education services and K-12 Google Apps for Education users will not see ads when they use Google Search signed in to their Apps for Education accounts."

As far as "student records privacy" goes, there is tons of case law siding with schools and email providers - there is no expectation of privacy when you are using someone else's email system:

Reichert v. Elizabethtown College, 2011 WL 3438318 (E.D.Pa. August 5, 2011)

http://blog.internetcases.com/...

We provide computer networks for school work related use. Any other use is unacceptable as defined in our acceptable use policy. If students want privacy, they should use their own systems on their own time.

That does not compute.

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