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Comment Re:Teaching is a social "science" (Score 1) 264

This has been true for a long time, and it becomes increasingly true as tuitions continue to skyrocket.

Increasingly, the point of college isn't to educate a person, but to provide vocational training. There's a place for vocational training, but vocational training is always open to abuse. Many professions have non-college certification mills, and training and testing companies frequently make extraordinary profits from it.

Maybe the era of a "classic" education is gone forever, but it still puzzles me when colleges today have so few general education requirements and yet one of them ISN'T media literacy.

Comment Re:2014 won't be the year of Internet of Things (Score 2) 142

Tangental story:

I lived in an apartment complex with other residents who were NOTORIOUS for leaving stuff in the dryer overnight. After it happened multiple times, I put their clothes in a bag, did my own laundry, and then when I came to get mine out of the dryer and the bag was still there, I sorted out all the women's undies and carefully and neatly folded them and put them in a pile.

Problem solved, it didn't occur again until months later when a new resident moved in and started doing the same thing. The same approach worked again.

I don't have a stranger underwear fetish, but I figured it would creep people out without actually doing them any harm, to the point where they might not let their stuff sit overnight (or even over TWO nights), and apparently it did.

Comment Finally, the rich get a break. (Score 1) 213

I'm reminded of the mortgage company where I worked where loan officers pulling in monthly commissions of $10,000 a month and higher were "incentivized" by awarding the top sales every month perks like a $500 gift certificate for a golf shop, and the people who did the most work (hourly and salary employees) were incentivized by the knowledge that, if the owner ever needed to make a payment on his BMW SLK and his finances were tight, the money the company and owners saved from firing any of those employees would be more than enough to offset the burden.

This happened more than once.

Comment Re:Thank Goodness... (Score 1) 218

This notion really needs more attention that it gets. Copyright law is a ruinous no-man's-land whose primary function is to denude the public domain of anything that some publisher might squeeze value out of, when it was intended to do quite the opposite.

Publishing companies want to turn culture into something we consume rather than participate in.

I'm not sure why, if I am not due a share of my grandfather's income as "royalties" for his farm or factory work, I am somehow due a share of royalties for a book he wrote. If he left the only copy with me and I'm the first person to take it to a publisher, it can be argued that that is a slightly different matter.

Comment Re:That's terrible... Salinger won't write any mor (Score 1, Insightful) 218

Maybe Princeton shouldn't be in the business of playing gatekeeper to a dead man's paranoiac death wishes about publication. If Salinger was a serial killer or a despot, would Princeton feel morally obliged to follow his wishes about what he wanted published after his death?

The fact that copyright lasts for the author's life "+ X years" where X gets increased every time it nearly expires means that we have infinite copyright, which is blatantly unconstitutional, and definitely contrary to the original stated purpose of US copyright law.

If Salinger wanted to keep his precious manuscripts away from the public eye, instead of granting precious sanctimonious access of it through an agreement with Princeton, maybe he should have entrusted it to a private individual, or an institution without a duty to higher learning, such as a legal firm or a publishing house.

Comment DST-haters are exhausting. (Score 1) 545

Just stop. Mind you, I'd be happy with a country-wide single-time-zone if and only if either I were at the western edge of it, or if we just pushed the clock ahead 2-2.5 hours ahead before standardizing it.

All of the "just change your schedule instead of the time" arguments come from a naive understanding of what it's actually like to hold a regular job like most people have: your employer is pretty much the one and only determiner of your schedule for the majority of your week and your life. "Hey, I'm just going to come into work a few minutes later each day in the winter, and I'll start to float back the opposite way once spring kicks in" presumes the corporate world gives a damn about your scheduling needs. Most of the working world does not have the luxury of a job that, if they arrive 30 minutes late as a regular basis, they will not be fired from. Many people who work in workplaces with a time clock will get fired if they're a few minutes late from the employer-mandated start time more than a few minutes per month.

Also, many detractors of DST obviously don't have to schedule their work life with the starting times of their children's schools. "Well, if everyone floated,they could all float the same!" That's simply not happening. Workplaces like standardized time for a reason: because it places the burden of scheduling the workplace on the employer without having to have complicated time shifts every day (or every few weeks). If you have a job and children, and they shift time expectations in blocks independent of one another, the problem persists.

Many DST-detractors also seem to presume that, if you have children, getting them to school is simply a matter of getting them up in time to catch the bus, or to walk. Most areas of the country either do not have dependable public transportation where children can learn to commute themselves, nor live within walking distance of their school, and an increasing number of parents have to drive their children to school every year precisely because tight education budgets means something has to get cut, and school busing is one of the first to go - and it's easy to justify, because the logic is that if the parents don't approve a busing millage, they're the only ones who will be inconvenienced by it, anyway. Admittedly, this is a political failure where the citizen is somehow given collective veto power over the funding of schools, police, and fire services, but can't disapprove "millages" for any meaningful government spending such as corporate tax breaks and military weapon systems.

As far as California goes, some of its tech service sector effectively works from 5 to 5 precisely because they have to serve the needs of a country whose major business hubs are either in Eastern Time, Central Time, or Pacific Time. Mountain Time is said to exist, but I have deliberately chosen to forget it does.

Moving to one time zone wouldn't be impossible, of course. China does it and they are, roughly speaking, as wide as the mainland US.

Whatever the solution is, if it means that most Americans who leave work after 5PM get almost no useful daylight time for much of the year, it's a dead letter, and that won't change regardless of how many slashdotters who make their own hours tell them to "just" adjust their schedules.

Comment Re:It's A Dumb "Standard" (Score 2) 291

Amen. I find 16:9 to be too cramped, and this is compounded by the fact that a lot of web developers are still making content that assumes we're back in the age of non-widescreen monitors, meaning more scrolling. Or in the case of 16:9 monitors, MORE more scrolling.

16:10 is a compromise I can live with, and it disappoints me that 1920x1080 has somehow become dominant merely because of a video distribution standard. Don't shackle me in your 16:9 chains.

Frankly, I'd rather see a move to higher-resolution mainstream monitors with higher pixel density (again, at 16:10) than anything else as far as video improvement goes.

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