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Comment Re:Who Wouldn't Want To Devote Their Efforts? (Score 3, Insightful) 216

Your rant runs out of steam very quickly:

* Going out and buying an overpriced Mac that is useless for anything other than running the Apple devtools

You can build a cheap Intel box out of spare parts and run a hacked copy of Mac OS X on it.

* Having to waste time hooking up monitor and keyboard switches to your work environment just for the Mac hardware

See my comment above.

* Wasting time learning Objective C that no other company uses except Apple

If someone's only goal is to write for Apple, and that's the world they live in, then that is a viable option to them. If its not for you, go about your life and leave them alone. They will live or die with their platform of choice.

* Having your application be at the total whim of Apple who could at any moment or for any reason decide to reject your app or pull your app from the Apple store

This comes down to a business decision. If you are a company (even if you're just an individual developer), you have to realize that the App Store is a distribution channel, and Apple is your distribution partner. You have to play well together. Bear in mind that they are not the only smart phone around, and the agreement is non-exclusive. There is nothing stopping you from offering your same app to other distribution channels.

Android will have rapidly taken over most of the existing Windows Mobile range of devices just looking at the public release list of Android based phones for 2009. And Palm's Pre is now the gold standard for high end phones.

This is pure speculation. If I was an investor, I would not dump my life savings into Android, or any single product platform.

Apple got lucky with Microsoft completely botching their phone efforts and arriving at a time before Android and Palm's efforts.

This issue is moot. Microsoft completely botches everything they do other than contract other companies to build video games for X-Box.

The iPhone is nothing more than an irrelevant and overpriced niche product.

I disagree completely. The "smart phone" movement was dead before the iPhone, because companies were complacent to put out products that people were willing to tolerate. Once iPhone came out, all the big players kicked their game into high gear. You think we would see the Palm Pre or the Blackberry Storm this year if it wasn't for iPhone? Like it or not, iPhone raised the standard for what a smart phone should be, and now everybody is going to look like they are chasing them.

Even more so now that Jobs is out of the picture and Apple can no longer leverage the Cult of Jobs in the media for massive hype, promotion, and marketing for their products.

There is some truth to that. But now this will be the test for Apple. Can they sell products based on their own merits? Or do they need that messiah? Time will tell.

Comment School (Score 1) 252

I believe that the best thing by far would be to teach computers to underprivileged children. I have to believe that if you take kids that have not had the chance to even see what's out there, once you put some of today's technology in their hands, their imaginations would take off. Nothing is more powerful than establishing hope and instilling a simple sense of accomplishment.

Comment Re:Amazing waste of money (Score 1) 1117

You have to look at this the way a company would:

What happens when someone gets a virus on theirs and all their work is gone?

-- Bring it to the help desk.

What happens when someone's computer isn't working during a class activity due to some failure (software or hardware)?

-- Bring it to the help desk.

What happens when a student damages their laptop, intentionally or otherwise?

-- They just bought it. Add it to their dorm bill.

What about someone stealing the laptop (not another student, but some random thief)?

-- Call the cops and report it.

What happens when (not if) someone reformat their machine?

-- They just bought it. Add it to their dorm bill. Oh, and it is no longer supported by the help desk.

What happens when (not if) someone bypasses the restrictions on their laptop?

-- They just bought it. Add it to their dorm bill. Oh, and it is no longer supported by the help desk.

Have the teachers been taught how to use a computer (a lot of teachers are idiots when it comes to this)?

-- If they don't know how to use a computer these days, they shouldn't be teaching.

Have the students been trained how to use these computers (there are some idiot students too)?

-- I'm sure they can figure it out. Point... click...

Why can't the students install other software? Do you seriously expect students to use these things if they can't customize them to their own personal tastes?

-- Because then they will install tons of crap and increase the risk of implosion. Will you stop all users forever? No. But that's why you have them sign a statement when the laptop is issued that they won't tamper with it, or they bough it.

How much money is this going to cost the school district every year in terms of support staff and replacement hardware?

-- Take it out of all the tuition and government grant money the school receives. Its about time that money went to the students.

I'm going to go on a rant here: School districts like yours have way too much money and unfortunately no one seems to have any idea how to spend it responsibly. The decision to give students laptops has already been made, without any type of plan for managing them (as evidenced by you asking slashdot what you should do). It's stuff like this that pisses off taxpayers. "I agreed to increase my taxes and they spent it on a bunch of worthless computers?!?!?!?" Don't be surprised if you get your budget slashed in the coming years if this program goes tits-up.

-- Actually, this could end up saving tons of money. Eliminate all the books and give them a login to a site where they can download the PDF. Also, students can submit their homework online IMMEDIATELY (or 5 minutes before class!) Think about all the uses.... Yes, a worthless computer. Now THAT'S an oxymoron!

Comment Re:useless (Score 1) 1117

You can easily block booting from usb flash drive/cd/dvd/whatever in the BIOS. Put a password on the bios and you've stopped most students from booting another OS (sure the BIOS can be changed/reset, but this usually requires some skill).

Huh? Have you ever dual-booted before? The OS selection menu shows up AFTER the bios. Think "grub".

Comment Flaw (Score 1) 1117

I agree with giving the students a laptop, but there's a flaw in their logic. They state that "all laptops should have web filtering." Stop right there! That requirement makes no sense! Once the laptops leave the campus and go elsewhere, they have absolutely no control over that laptop. They have no control, and no say, as to what they do with those laptops. What's stopping them from wiping the OS and reinstalling? And as far as surfing the web, the college has no control over what the kids do online if they are not on the campus network, so the college should not be held liable. If I was the person in charge of IT at that college I would push back like crazy. What they need to do is handle it like a company does: install a web filter on the CAMPUS NETWORK! That way they can filter all the internet activity coming from the campus network, and the college's liability is limited only to on-campus activity. Anything going on off campus is not their problem to solve. As for students tampering with their laptops, have the students sign a statement that they will not tamper with it, or they will be charged for the full price of the laptop immediately, will not be issued another one, and for the remainder of their time at the college, their laptop is immediate unsupported by the college's help desk. PROBLEM SOLVED!

Comment He's a hero (Score 3, Insightful) 521

From my perspective, the man is a hero. The Constitution was put in place to protect the people from a tyrannical government. In the spirit of the Constitution, he saw a tyrannical government on the horizon, and with a sworn duty to protect the Constitutional rights of the people, he made a sacrifice to stop it. That's the definition of an American hero. Anything else that the Bush administration tries to state about him and is actions is nothing more than the Bush administration trying to cover their own asses.

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