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Comment Re:they want cheap workers folks. please understan (Score 1) 168

All of those skills are helpful in actually being able to get yourself through university before you get to the corporate world.

But that's beside the point. I appreciate MS cynicism, but when GE says we need more engineers they're not asking public schools to teach them to make power generators or toasters. They really do want people to actually be knowledgable and capable in computing as a discipline. When you need to fill seats with foreign students by the dozens or hundreds in a CS course, and can't find seats for all the students in an english lit class you know education has failed somewhere.

Also, I don't know what world you're living in, but our CS and Software eng grads are all employed within a couple of months of graduation at decent salaries. The industry might be dynamic and require you move a lot and so on, but there are definitely jobs.

Comment Re:No such thing as credible free education... (Score 1) 689

The Indian education system doesn't suffer from the issues you mentioned above

Not all of them, but most of them. I have 2 uncles who teach at Indian schools and 8 cousins in indian universities and we get about 30 indian grad students a year where I am and they all say the same thing: about 1/4 of degrees even from the best indian universities are basically fraudulent and bought with bribes, and there's no way to identify which ones those are on our end. We even occasionally get the odd student here who thinks they can bribe their way through, and it usually ends up being my job to tell them it's best to pack their bags and go home before they've paid tuition.

I grant you, that ratio for Harvard business school could be the same, but no one would know differently, harvard medical school on the other hand, no way.

India definitely has *far* more qualified people than it has resources to educate them. India has some combination of political connections and bribes pervading a lot of the system including the entrance exams an curriculum.

Universities in the US let them in more easily

Maybe the pay your way in schools, but we certainly don't. We take indian students (and chinese students) because they are on average significantly better than our domestic ones, and we get our pick of them. It's hard to realize just how much bigger india is than the US, but to find people at the quality of stop students from india and china in Canada or the US is very very hard, they exist, but in an absolute numbers problem, there aren't a lot of them, and indian and chinese students (and arabs and persians) are usually looking to go into fields like science and engineering which hard enough to fill with capable people at the best of times.

Comment Re:No such thing as credible free education... (Score 1) 689

And that is spoken like a person who has no clue how difficult it is for many (most?) Americans who desire an education past high school.

basically the same thing to your entire post: Orders of magnitude problem.

Yes, if your parent is a professor you can get in when you otherwise maybe shouldn't quite be able to. But there's space to allow for those sorts of risk at US schools, and it's limited in scope. With lots of other places that's the majority.

That is also true in the United States if you are a not-wealthy U.S. citizen.

While there is a huge difference in connections, the difference in quality of education between a hugely expensive one and an inexpensive one is not anywhere near what is in some places.

Comment Re:science or tech (Score 1) 168

Both likely.

Everyone needs to have basic computer literacy skills going forward. The sooner you start the better. But you need to get kids interested in how that box works early on. If you can read, write and do basic math you can write basic programs that can solve math problems for you.

Computer science is a lot of different things, but if you mean computer science in the sense of trying to efficiently solve problems (notably maths problems) through programming, then absolutely from grade 6 on you can do stuff, if not earlier. I certainly was programming at age 13 and 14 and that was 20 years ago when the options for computers were somewhat more expensive and limited. There were computers in classrooms before that but the teachers didn't know how to use them and neither did we. Now computers are sufficiently ubiquitous and cheap that you can have a Windows/Linux/whatever set of 3 or 4 computers along the wall in the classroom and expect there to be people in the room who know how to use them (obviously you'd need windows for that in general as most grade school teachers don't know linux, but times might change).

It's going to end up as computer science in the same way pouring two chemicals together is chemistry or trying to categorize animals is biology. They're not going to be trying to prove if something is NP hard, but if those of us in our 30's could learn BASIC programming in the 1980's and 1990's I think we can find something for the modern 10 or 12 year old.

When they get to me, at 17 or 18 years old in university there's a clear split. There are people for whom the computer may as well be some combination of alchemy and witchcraft and they know literally nothing about it and are terrified of it. And those who are varying levels of tech savvy, but are happy to sit down, start clicking buttons and can learn to do documents spreadsheets and or programming. In the modern world though, everyone who is going into science or engineering should now some basic programming skills and how to use spreadsheets etc. This doesn't have to be CS research, but even basic stuff like reading in files and doing basic maths on the contents and spitting it back out. We're not worried about stacks and heaps and doubly linked lists in grade school. But if their impression of java is only that it's a thing that pops up on their computer to annoy them they've missed out.

Comment No such thing as credible free education... (Score 2) 689

then wouldn't another option be not providing them with the skills in the first place?"

Spoken like an american who has no clue how good he has it, which is saying a lot given how terrible US education is.

In India, or China or the middle east, assuming the program you want exists there are far more qualified applicants than there are places. So that's the first hurdle. Those spots may be decided by bribes, clan, political connections, or gender. And not 'oh they bias admission to black slightly' I mean 'they don't let you in if you're a woman' kind of bias.

Once you're there you have a problem. All of those political connections, bribes, clan loyalties etc. determine who gets the test questions in advance, and who doesn't. The US system, for all of its faults is relatively honest. If you get a 70% on an assignment then you can be reasonably sure that the identical assignment submitted by someone else should have gotten about 70%. And not 100% for being in the right clan, or 0 for not paying the right bribe to the right person today.

You can't just 'give people skills'. Skills come from practice, honest evaluation and actually being taught something related to the skills you are trying to learn. Those things are work, sometimes hard work, and they cost money. Which is why some places regularly charge a huge amount of money for foreign tuition. You aren't going to become a good programmer by watching youtube videos, and you have no way to prove you know how to program if no one will honestly asses your work. That's why the very best and brightest from a lot of places get sent away: because even their own governments don't trust their own education system.

Comment Re:What happened? (Score 1) 114

Unlike IBM and thinkpad, where the company wasn't in any risk of bankruptcy, it was just not part of the new strategic plan, RIM is a whole other ballgame. They could well be completely bankrupt and liquidated in a couple of years and if someone is dumb enough to pay billions for it we (as in canada) should probably happily take their money. A change in direction might save the company, and failing that billions of dollars is better than not billions of dollars.

Comment Re:I'm calling my accountant !! (Score 0) 514

Well the point is that the law was not legal. If the law had made you pay a tax that was unconstitutional they'd have to send you a refund. This is simply rolling back all of the gains of the law, and it's up to the legislature to pass a law that would create (or not) and amnesty for it.

In effect this is simply reassessing the taxes for that period under a corrected tax code. They're not writing a new law, they're invalidating one that was applied inappropriately.

Comment Re:Pffft... "Education" (Score 1) 248

They aren't.

But that doesn't mean we need to deliberately hamstring ourselves either. No more than we should be asking people to work on a Wang for everything. We need to keep pace with the technology and culture (and the challenges those pose) like any other field. My first computer networks course was still teaching token ring and FDDI, because they were still relevant as in place technologies at the time. Today, if we talk about them at all, we gloss over them as historical concepts.

Unfortunately CS departments are just that, departments. They're part of a much bigger school, and there isn't the money at most of them for running a dedicated IT system separate from the schools IT system. Assuming they'd be allowed to anyway. And even if they did (and all CS departments end up with some dedicated IT) you can't both grant students access and expect the system to be secure.

Schools that have a lockpicking programme don't let you go around opening labs in the middle of the night - that's the unethical part. We *should* have systems that undergraduates can experiment with hacking as part of learning about security, but not all of us do.

Just because we aren't a tradeschool for programmers doesn't mean some of the students shouldn't have a strong grounding in programming, (and the rest at least a weak grounding in it). You can't really do much in say the theory of programming languages if you've never had to program, or do much in the theory of security if you've never at least been through some basic examples of how encryption and various attacks work. That doesn't mean you should be trying it on in use production systems that the school uses however. No more than fireman should practice on their own building.

Comment Re:put up or shutup time (Score 1) 356

Bad is relative.

The price of war is that innocent people will get killed, and you don't exactly have a choice in all of the wars you fight. I realize there are candidates more in favour of peace than others, but the practical realities of the world have something to say about it. How much oppression of women is worth preventing the death of children over? How many people would the taleban be murdering were it not for the allied presence there? No doubt we can always try and do better, but peace required everyone agree, war needs only one party to decide. And make no mistake about it there is a clash of ideals in the world today. Between Al Qaeda and it's allies, and everyone else. And the US is involved because it's part of the world, and you can't just bury your heads in the sand any more than you could in WW1 or WW2.

If these programmers' work was actually influential in the election's outcome (I doubt it, but for the sake of argument...)

How much did any single ad impact the election? Does any tool that keeps voters interested and likely to go to the polls matter? Were they using their vast databases of people to e-mail spam requests for donations? Every little bit does something, not necessarily something good, but tools are just that, and they can be used well or not at all.

You are, I'm sorry, blatantly naive about the world. Opposite the people who stand for peace are people who stand for nuking afghanistan and pakistan, and the really bad people are the ones who would quite happily for a new Islamic caliphate from morroco to pakistan and kill all of the crusaders (christians), Infidels (Jews) and idol worshipers (shia's) in between. You may think Obama is a bad person, but the truth is we're all bad people. There are literally millions of people around the world at risk of starvation, who are dying of treatable diseases, there are people in the world trying to deny women the chance at an education and healthcare and we're sitting here posting on /. Omission and indifference are killing far more people every year than drone strikes.

6 million children die every year from starvation. (http://edition.cnn.com/2009/WORLD/europe/11/17/italy.food.summit/). That's about 11 per minute. So in the time it took you to write your post, and me to reply (about an hour) 3x more people have died due to the solvable problem of hunger than innocent children to drone strikes. And yet.. here we are. And most of those people who do die from hunger do so because some corrupt government (or local warlord or the like) is stealing their food or otherwise helping them along the path to dying.

I'm not saying drones are the right tool for the job, they aren't, and they're making the US more enemies, but 4 years from now you're going to have enemies and a new President who will have to deal with them. Such is the world unfortunately. Whomever won the US presidental race would have woken up this morning to the same harsh reality of a persistent low intensity war around the world, states at risk of collapse due to these extremists, a war in mali, about 40 gun murders a day, about 100 deaths due to car accidents etc. etc. etc. Death and destruction is everywhere, and the US has a lot of enemies, some more deserved than others, but enemies none the less.

Comment Re: as a Radeon 6870 owner (Score 4, Informative) 108

Since when is disk I/O speed or access time relevant to frame rates in a game?

When the engine is trying to grab data in real time from disk.

This is most assuredly *not* every game. But it is some games, or games in some scenarios. In MMO's you don't have enough RAM memory of all of the possible character armours these days, so you have to dynamically grab only that which will be on screen, same with any zone streaming in data from whatever area you have around you.

I can see why people would think this is a HDD speed issue. If you have burst loads of up to say 200 MB/s on a HDD, but average around 20, well then a regular drive will hiccup periodically whereas the SSD won't even bat an eye. As you say, that isn't actually *this* issue.

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