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Comment Wasted opportunity (Score 3, Insightful) 189

Think of all the embracing, extending, and extinguishing they could've attempted! Probably not a good business decision, in retrospect. I bet MS's phone market share would've looked a lot better if they'd developed a super-fancy Exchange-oriented business email client for a line of custom Android phones rather than developing WP8.

Comment Re:Alien Names, Necessarily Silly, Never Believabl (Score 1) 116

I had a somewhat longer post prepared originally, which was essentially a complaint about how no one ever seems to go the imperialist route for naming and call things Betelgeusian (notable exceptions: Martians and Terrans.)

The natural thing for two cultures in contact, at least up until the later half of the 20th century, was for words to be assimilated more fully. The silly letters get massaged into something more legible, and sometimes even calqued or translated. Hence for hundreds of years we had "Canton" instead of "Guangdong" for a certain Chinese province. Still unfamiliar, but not rawly alien.

In my opinion it would make more sense if we saw more of these compromises, particularly for far-future settings where lots of contact would've been standard. Eventually new words, no matter how alien, get assimilated.

Comment Re:Only downside, parent backlash (Score 2) 169

The lectures are a whole hour long and take up the same amount of time that would normally be spent doing homework at home. By undergrad most students either live on their own or are preparing to, and they generally aren't so tied to their parents. Keep in mind these students are considered legal adults in most jurisdictions. You describe a crazy, strange world of high school and elementary school norms, not college.

Comment Re:Start 'em young ... (Score 1) 169

In order to get full marks in the flipped courses at my university, you have to watch the videos online (having logged into an account to do so) and answer questions that pop up at set points throughout the video to show you're paying attention. Considering that giving marks for attendance is a proven method of getting students to show up, it's safe to say any undergrad not destined to wash out by Christmas would kick themselves for failing to try.

Comment Re:5% (Score 1) 169

Given that exam scores are already percentages, usually percentages of them are discussed additively. The same can be said of most other surveys that incorporate comparisons between percentages, unless there's some election-trail-level obfuscation going on.

Comment Re:So.... (Score 3, Interesting) 169

I'm TAing a "flipped" course like this starting next week; it's an intro to CS course for people with no CS background. Our lecture slots are purely homework help and Q there's little or no attempt at lecturing except in the first week. We also allocate tutorial sessions (an additional 2 hours per week) which are mandatory for the first couple of weeks and then optional; the point of them is to give students more opportunity to get help with homework.

With this material, most students don't need huge swaths of time to do the assignments if supervision is available. It's not appropriate for all levels of instruction or all subject matter, but when there are a lot of fundamental concepts that need to be grasped, the fact that you're no longer doing the work in isolation at home is the real source of the improvement. There's still a final assignment where the students have to prove themselves, in case you're worried of overdependent students.

Comment Re:Moo (Score 1) 273

We're not even discussing tenured vs. non-tenured. The study was about tenure-track vs. non-tenure-track. The comparison is between professors who do any research at all and professors who only teach. There are plenty of elderly teaching adjuncts, and they're extremely competent because it's their life-long work to teach.

Comment Re:eh? (Score 1) 762

It is also very strongly wired into our brains insofar that I would consider it part of the human condition. Marginalizing people for showing this behaviour is never going to end well.

Mild objection—discrimination is also strongly wired into our brains. It's only been in the past century that the objectification of women has become so overt. As far as sensitivity is concerned, this event was backward from previous social norms, even though huge improvements in discriminatory behaviour have occurred over the years.

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