Catch up on stories from the past week (and beyond) at the Slashdot story archive


Forgot your password?

Comment Re:Oh, really? (Score 1) 1255

It also means that teachers are incentivised to focus their attention on children who are on grade boundaries. If you're a solid B student, there's no incentive to get you up to an A. If you're an A student, there's no incentive to really stretch you. If you're on the C-B or B-A border line, then helping get you across the line has a big return on investment for the teacher's ranking.

Comment Re:Oh, really? (Score 1) 1255

Parental involvement also correlates with parental wealth. The number of people with large amounts of inherited wealth is statistically irrelevant (they control a lot of the total wealth, but they're not a large percentage of the population). Once you factor those out, you're left with a middle class that is predominantly in that position because they have some kind of job that depends on their education and so are likely to value education highly. They're also most likely to be working a job (and not multiple jobs) that allows them enough time to engage with their child's education. Oh, and wealth negatively correlates with number of children, so they have more time per child.

Comment Re: Oh, really? (Score 1) 1255

Private and public schools in the UK have a very widely varying level of quality. I went to a public school that was consistently near the top of the league tables. The teachers varied between good and exceptional, labs and so on always had all of the equipment that they needed[1] and there was a large a variety of extracurricular activities to choose from outside. Students were required to take the Common Entrance Exam, and the pass mark put the line at something around the top 20% nationwide.

In contrast, there was a private school about 20 miles away that let in anyone who could pay the fees (and had very high fees). The main benefit of going there was that you got to meet other rich people. They consistently placed in the middle of the league tables, and were usually lower than the nearest comprehensive school.

[1] A lot of this was probably costing less than at state schools. Much of our lab equipment was over 20 years old, but they'd bought really good quality stuff back then and it showed no signs of needing replacement. Meanwhile, the state school where my mother worked at was buying cheaper equipment and didn't have anything over five years old because it wore out.

Comment Re: Oh, really? (Score 3, Informative) 1255

There's so much bullshit in your post that I don't know where to start replying:

You clearly and your mother clearly holds the children and parents in contempt.

I honestly don't know how you got that from reading the grandparent post. What he's saying about the low-income schools reflects large bodies of research (parental involvement in education is one of the largest determining factors in academic success). That's not regarding the students or parents with contempt, it's wanting what's best for the students and realising that it requires parental support.

The private schools understand that in their bones. They know that they either deliver a top quality education that meets the standards of the parents or they're out a customer.

Complete bullshit. The big difference between private and public schools is that private schools are allowed to turn away anyone that they want and they usually have more applicants than they have room for. I went to a public school in the UK (which is roughly equivalent to a private school in the US) and they periodically expelled people (or, rather, asked them to voluntarily leave so that they didn't have the expulsion on their record). My mother worked in a state school (the equivalent of a public school in the US) and the biggest sanction that they had was a week's suspension, which the pupil treated as a week-long holiday and then the school was required to take them back (at which point they'd be a week behind). Permanent expulsion was possible in theory, but it never happened.

Private schools make it clear to pupils that it's a privilege to be there. If the parents complain or if the students are disruptive, then the parents will be invited to have a chat with the headmaster, who will politely suggest to them that their child might be happier in a different school. They'll have no problem filling the space. They usually have waiting lists and so if they need to then they'll start calling people further down and ask if they're still interested in the place. If not, then they'll just wait for the end of the academic year and let in more people.

Comment Re:Oh, really? (Score 1) 1255

Part of the reason that school uniforms became unpopular was that they tend to be quite expensive. And this doesn't remove the social stigma if it's related to wealth: it's quite easy to tell who has the new uniform that fits well, and who has the second-hand one that almost fits. I don't remember anyone being teased for that at my school though, although people did get teased for having new shoes that were still shiny and not having the decency to get some mud on them on the way in...

Comment Re:Better than a hidden partition (Score 2) 555

So how do you boot the laptop to demonstrate that it's a real laptop? I've been asked to do that at a US border before (leaving, at the time). They didn't care what was on the laptop, but they did care that it was actually a laptop and not a bomb made to look like a laptop. Getting to the 'enter password' screen was enough for them.

Comment Re:Profit (Score 4, Informative) 85

If you're not intending to make any profit from it, then you can set up a company that has no assets to distribute the app. This will cost you a small amount, but it means that the patent troll can take the company to court if they want, but it will cost them money and the company will just declare bankruptcy without attending court and they won't be able to recoup their legal fees.

Comment Re:I like the idea (Score 1) 292

It's harder to covertly insert a backdoor into an open source client because people can watch the changes. It's much easier to insert it before it's open sourced, because then people have to review the entire code drop at once. That said, adding a back door into OpenSSL would be comparatively easy because no one understands the convoluted twisty maze of code paths in it.

Comment Re:I like the idea (Score 5, Interesting) 292

Full homomorphic encryption is really hard. Homomorphic encryption allows you to encrypt your data, do some computation on the result, and then perform some operation on the output to get the same result as doing the operation on the unencrypted data. Current solutions are at least a factor of 1000 slower than doing it on unencrypted data, but that's only for general case. There are ways of encrypting data that preserve certain properties so you can, for example, perform simple database operations on it in the encrypted form and only interpret the results if you hold the keys. The down side of these approaches is that they increase the size (effectively doubling it for every primitive operation that you want to support), but with storage becoming cheap they may become interesting...

Comment Re:10 quid for broadband access? (Score 1) 120

and only gives you 10GB of data. Line rental is extra for the dial-up package as well. In terms of units better understood by the general public, that is about 8 hours of BBC iPlayer per month.

Not sure how you did that calculation. iPlayer HD is 3.6-4Mb/s, which works out at around 5-8 hours for 10GB. Standard definition content is 0.7Mb/s, which works out at just under 32 hours in 10GB.

Comment Re:How to simulate dialup (Score 1) 120

That's 56Kb/s if you've got a good line, but if you've got a line that can do 56Kb/s then you're probably also close enough to the exchange that you can get ADSL, and a cheap ADSL package will cost less than dial-up these days. If you're somewhere where you can't get ADSL, then the line quality is likely not going to give you more than 26.4Kb/s, which works out to under 3KB/s once you add in protocol overhead and 2-2.5 being more common.

Comment Re:Apple press release (Score 1) 362

Sounds pretty sensible then. I suspect, from what they say on the Apple site, that it's actually slightly more subtle than reducing the priority, as that alone wouldn't give the power savings that they claim. I would think that what they're actually doing is increasing the time between scheduling quanta for AppNap applications and tacking them on to the end of quanta for foreground apps so that the CPU doesn't get two wakeups.

Slashdot Top Deals

Systems programmers are the high priests of a low cult. -- R.S. Barton