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Comment Re:ISPs don't care what their customers want (Score 1) 705

A lot of the time they let you out of the contract if you can prove you've moved someplace they aren't providing service. At least that's what I was told when I opted to not take a 2 year contract with TW. You move out of the area, they can't hold up their end of the contract anymore, so they let you out, supposedly without penalties. I have no idea how it actually works since I declined the contract and haven't had to move away from one.

If you move and you're still in the service area, you're still bound to the contract.

Comment Re:Not just telecommuting? (Score 1) 484

Some offices have what they call a hoteling arrangement, and that's about what they do. My mother's office had people who worked mostly in the field, so they set up desks you could set up in as needed. Mobile filing cabinets, and employees all had laptops. This was about 10 years ago. They still had to have a lot of desk space for meeting days, when most employees would be in the office. It saved some space, but not quite as much as one might expect.

Comment Re:Less is more (Score 1) 484

This is the kind of thing I was thinking too. A part of the shrinkage is due to workers needing less space to do their jobs. Paperless offices aren't a reality by a long shot, but we don't need to keep so much paper on our desks anymore. That doesn't mean companies shouldn't consider the needs of the particular job, of course. Some will need more space to work effectively.

Comment Triclosan is hard to avoid (Score 1) 333

This study doesn't surprise me, and I've been doing my best to avoid triclosan for years. It's not easy. Lots of hand soaps tout their antibacterial effects. Very few don't, so you have to pay close attention to what you buy. It's in some kinds of toothpaste as well. It's also used on some toys and cutting boards.

My preference is to avoid anything claiming to be antibacterial that doesn't need to be. If normal washing will sufficiently remove the bacteria, that's good enough. Appropriate germ exposure is a good thing.

Comment Re:Weeding out the indifferent... (Score 1) 191

Very true about government employees. My husband works for the state, and they get paid just like normal for jury duty. We rather like that it makes jury duty an easy service for him rather than a financial issue. He's one of those people who gets it every two years, just about like clockwork. The one awkward time was when he got two summons about a week apart, one for Federal and one for Superior court, as I recall. Took a few calls to sort that one out, since you aren't supposed to do both so close together.

Comment Re:Not surprising (Score 1) 84

I don't know if the situation is the same as in the United States, but it could be a matter of accessibility. Not everyone has even a regular grocery store close enough to them. A convenience store may be it. That often means they have a very poor selection of healthy foods available, and it's cheaper to buy the unhealthy stuff. Just what are you supposed to do if you don't have a car, the bus doesn't pass near a grocery store, and it's too many miles to walk while carrying groceries home. I know that happens in inner cities in the United States. Not sure about Australia.

That said, lots of kids could use to get outside more to just play.

Comment Online Public School (Score 1) 325

My daughter is attending an online public school, a kind of charter school, for third grade. Part of the curriculum is online, but most of the actual work is still done with pencil and paper. So far we're loving it, but there are challenges. I found out after a couple of weeks that she regarded her online tests as seriously as she did playing a game on the computer. She hadn't realized it counted the same as any other test. I think we've fixed that misconception now.

I love that all of the math is still done with paper and pencil. Concepts are taught on the computer, but there's no calculator for them to figure out problems on the computer, and the instructions tell us to work out problems on paper.

The big advantage is that it allows her to learn more subjects than most regular public schools can handle anymore. She gets math, language arts, science, history, art, and then gets to choose between music, Latin, Spanish or French, and older kids may also choose to learn Chinese. This is much better than what my local public school offers at the third grade level, where they ignore science and history almost completely, never mind art, music or anything like that.

I think the program we're in does a good job of using the computer as a tool, rather than something to teach shortcuts sooner than students need them. The work is very challenging.

I don't know that this program would work well in a traditional classroom. It's great as an option for homeschooling, as far as I'm concerned.

I wouldn't want a program that didn't have a lot of hands on work and work on paper. You don't learn things well enough that way, so far as I can tell.

Comment Re:all kinds of distractions (Score 2, Insightful) 325

My oldest is just in elementary school, so I don't know how they do this in the higher grades, but her school does pay attention to truancy. More than 10 days missed in the entire school year results in a meeting with the parent, school admin and potentially someone from the sheriff's office. We came close to that with the flu and a couple days missed for colds. More than 10 days missed and you need a doctor's note for every one. I've heard from other parents of stricter rules elsewhere. I have to agree with you about class sizes. My mother was pointing out that when she was young classes were larger and discipline more strictly enforced. It worked. I think a big problem with modern education has a lot to do with parents being too willing to get their kids out of trouble with no consequences, and to complain about the teacher if their student isn't learning. It's not all about the teachers. They're a big part of it, but without family support kids don't learn very well. I saw a lot of that when helping in my daughter's kindergarten class a few years ago. You could really tell which kids were never read to by their parents.

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