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Comment Re:Status of datacenters affected (Score 1) 231

I can only speak to 111 8th Ave. The affects in that building appear to be company specific. There's no power in the building, but our datacenter [NTT/Verio] there has successfully been running on generator since 8am Monday.
I guess we got lucky on tank/pump placement? Either that or our frequent generator testing has been a huge success. :)
We've already had one fuel delivery and are expecting another today.

Our other datacenters in the area [NY, NJ, CT] have also managed without outages. Many of them already have commercial power back on again.

NOTICE: The above information is unofficial and may be wildly inaccurate as I am located in another region.

Comment Long list (Score 1) 867

Yggdrasil [couldn't get it working]
Mandrake 5.1 beta - best, most functional desktop I ever had
Debian [today]

Of course there were many test installs of other distros but that's the list of what desktops [and servers] I've run as my main environment

Comment Re:Well that cinches it for me (Score 2) 608

I don't think you proved your point. As per your quotes of the constitution, the president is required to occasionally give a speech telling Congress how things are going. He can *recommend* to Congress things he thinks are needed or a good idea. But it's still Congress who has to make the law. He can call either or both houses of congress together to make them discuss things, and [and I'm not 100% sure I'm reading this part right] the president can tell them to go away for awhile. He can meet with Ambassadors and other public folks. His job is to ensure that the law [as passed by congress and, only after that, signed by him] is executed.

So with respect to determining the direction the country takes as far as what laws are created and passed, the president can only make suggestions to congress, and make them get together to discuss it. He can't make them agree to it or make an actual law out of his ideas.

Comment Re:Farewell iGoogle (Score 2) 329

Agreed; it seems odd to me that they'd kill something that (at least to my eyes) doesn't look like it requires any maintenanace, and is really quite a good tool. Maybe they have something up their sleeves, but I'd have appreciated if they did that they'd release it before killing something like this...

They DO have something up their sleeves, and it's called Chrome. They want everybody using Chrome, that's the point.

And exactly what does Chrome have to do with replacing iGoogle? Chrome is a browser. iGoogle is a customized homepage. I use Chrome [love it]. I use iGoogle.I have my iGoogle home page set up exactly how I like it. I have my most frequently visited bookmarks set up, I have the site feeds I want, the weather I want, the various other widgets I want, and they're all in the same place they've been for the last half-decade so I know exactly where to click for what I want.

I will not be happy if they retire iGoogle.

Comment Re:i don't really like bill gates that much but... (Score 1) 575

Okay perhaps I phrased some of my points poorly.

a) Yes, the research and curriculum needs to be focused on what the student needs. I just happen to believe that if used correctly, the technology can be used as a really great tool for providing what the student needs in an engaging way. Then again, we as a society can't even agree on what students actually need. What should a student know when they are done with their mandatory years of education? Do we really need to be attempting to push every student in the country to a college degree? Should they at least know how to balance a budget at home? Because as it stands now, students exiting high school can't even do that.

b) If the teachers can't even be bothered to spend some time learning tools which have the potential to help the students learn, then how can they be surprised when the students can't be bothered to learn what the teachers are trying to teach? If the teacher has no interest in improving their ability to teach then they have no business being a teacher.

c) No, I wasn't trying to say that money was "the answer". But money is needed. It needs to exist to be spent on education. It needs to be **properly managed** [something that is certainly not happening now]. And as you say, we spend a lot of time and money trying to educate kids who don't want to be. I think we would be much better off if at some point in their educational career, kids were given a choice [with some guidance] to choose different tracks. If a kid wants to aim for college, then they can take the college prep track. If they want to work on cars, then put them in an automotive repair/engineering track and so on. They'll still need to have basic knowledge/skills [history/govt, english/grammar, some level of math, some level of basic science. *comprehensive* sex education] but there's no reason to force them to take a bunch of [these are just examples] advanced algebra classes or biology [beyond very basic biology] if they have no interest in it. So yes, there are sociological issues that also need to be dealt with. That doesn't mean it's totally worthless to spend money on some level of education for all the children in our society.

Re the conclusion: I never said technology was a panacea. I never said we didn't still need good teachers [you know, the ones that are willing to learn to use tools]. Good teachers will always be the key. But as I said, a LOT of education can be done by technology in a way which multiplies the force of the good teacher. If we try to go 100% technology then I agree, that's the wrong way to go. But wouldn't it be great if the technology could be used to teach the things technology is good at teaching, and the teachers could be used to teach the things that people are good at teaching?

As an example, in the late 90's I used to work for a company that sold an educational software/hardware package to schools. It was a really great system. Based on the results of a private school that did educational research, it was a set a 3 computers that would be installed in a Kindergarten classroom [eventually they had 1st and 2nd grade versions]. Throughout the day the kindergarten kids would spend 15 minutes on the computer, and it would *help* teach them to read. It included an audio CD [with the various songs which were sung in the program], VHS tapes with some of the songs/videos, and a set of story books that went along with different parts of the program. The CDs, tapes and books went home with each student. So at school, they got a 15 minute lesson from software which had the ability to show the kids a lesson in a fun, engaging way, then check to see if the child had learned it [and throughout the program would double check previous lessons to make sure the kid remembered long-term]. If the child had trouble with a concept, the system would re-visit the concept occasionally until the kid learned it properly. The tapes and books were critical as well, sent with instructions for the parents to actually let the kids listen/watch, and to read the books with their kids.
If nothing else it was a prod to the parents to become involved in their kids education. To be honest, just the parents reading without the computer time would help the kids. Or just the computer time without the home reading/watching would help the kids read. But put them together and their reading improved dramatically faster, especially in low-income districts where the parents were less likely to spend time helping their kids read.

The point is, yes, there needs to be a balance. More technology, if used correctly can help educate our children. No, that technology is not a panacea. But saying "Hey, the technology can't do everything" is no reason to avoid using the technology for the things it CAN do.

Comment Re:i don't really like bill gates that much but... (Score 4, Interesting) 575

>>>We need to learn how to use them to teach with

No you don't.
In the 1920s the newest technology was the shortwave radio which allowed worldwide communication. Did teachers suddenly needs radios in every classroom to be teachers? No. In the 1950s the newest technology was the TV. Did teachers suddenly needs TVs to be teachers? No. Now it's the tablet. (And the answer is still no.)

This was in large part because we tried to just drop the new technology into the classroom with no concept of how to use it to improve education. We kept the same education processes so of course the new technology didn't make a significant difference.

What old Billy-boy is missing is that Tablets [and even PCs still I think] have the *POTENTIAL* to significantly improve education; not by simply dropping them in classrooms, but by completely changing the way education is done. All this technology has the capability to be a major force multiplier for teachers. This requires the radical steps of:

a) Researching and developing curriculum based on the capabilities of the available technologies - something that can't be done overnight. This will take time.

b) Training the teachers and educators on this new curriculum AND the new technology. Unfortunately, far too many current teachers have ZERO tech skills. Seriously, my mother, step-dad and ex-wife are all teachers. My ex is the only one with any tech skills, and nobody else at their schools can even figure out an iPad. This will involve tech skills being part of future teacher certification and training.

c) Most importantly - the financial and political backing of these changes, and the willpower to see it through. Nothing here is a quick fix, and unfortunately educational administrators tend to try new educational 'trends' and drop them at an alarming rate if they don't make insane improvements immediately. Then a decade or two later, the exact same 'trend' comes along with a new name and it happens all over. They are like a serial dieter, they want a quick-fix pill that works instantly and that just isn't going to happen.

And no not a luddite. I just don't see how I am supposed to enter my engineering equations into a tablet. Or how students are supposed to do it either.

This is where the research and development come into play, both on a technological and curriculum basis. PCs/Tablets are obviously not the answer to every possible educational situation. Just because you can come up with one example of a situation which may be difficult to do on a tablet doesn't mean that tablets and other technological innovations can't make a significantly positive impact on education as a whole.
Over time, I hope that touch-screen capabilities improve to the point where you can [with or without a stylus] write as quickly and efficiently on the tablet as you can on a piece of paper with pen and pencil. Until then, paper can still be used for classes which require it, and tablets/PCs can be used for classes which don't.

Comment Re:HAHA !! DSL SUXORS !! (Score 1) 193

I have had nothing but good service from TWC here in Austin, I understand that in some other markets though that they do indeed suck.

My experience with DSL though has been nothing but shitty. YMMV.

DSL Used to be awesome, esp if you could get a 3rd party provider like Speakeasy. Once AT&T was able to avoid giving access to Speakeasy though, it went downhill quickly and has sucked ever since.

TWC sucks massively here in Arlington,Tx. One of the issues is that they route me through Houston, even if i'm connecting to my work systems a few miles away. But then if I try to access a system in Houston, it sends the traffic down to Houston, back to Dallas, then back down to Houston.

And those are my options. Nearly non-functional DSL limited to 6Mbps [but only actually getting 3Mbps most of the time] or horribly inefficient TWC at 30Mbps but that routes me all over the place and drops packets like nobody's business...

Comment Re:Improved Roaming (Score 1) 82

I am sure its just geo-ip location. I don't think they'd put GPS on the device. To many applications have inside structures with metal roofs, and underground where GPS works poorly if at all.

So you are pretty much a VPS host someplace and GRE tunnel away.

There is a GPS on the device. I have one and it won't work until it gets a GPS lock. It won't get a GPS lock unless it is near a window, and this information is clearly stated in the documentation.

Comment Re:The FBI webcam network (Score 1) 265

Nobody sets these things up without any authentication. Brigadier General is a man of few words who doesn't need to state the obvious: these cameras do have authentication.

Please don't misunderestimate the esteemed Brigadier General!

Would that be the same fantastic protection we put on drones in Afghanistan?, the video from which could be watched using a $26 software program?

Comment Re:Irony (Score 1) 265

And while all this fear mongering, submission to armed authority, 'convenience arrests', and security theater is happening, thousands of Americans will be singing

"mumble mumble mumble something something Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave!"

*shakes head sadly*

Yeah. Enjoy the game. Really. There's not a lot else left now, is there?

Not that I go to a lot of sporting events, but on the few that I do go to, I actually stopped singing [or showing any overt respect for] the national anthem when the government, under Bush, started with their Patriot Act, taking-away-our-freedoms crap. It was too much of a lie. I briefly started again when Obama was elected, but when he signed the NDAA, it decided it was time to stop again.

It's sad really, how many people will sing it proudly, and beam patriotically at the flag, and then turn around and take away your freedoms... :(

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