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Comment My experience (Score 1) 428

I finished out my Bachelor's (from having an Associate's) completely online at an established, bricks-and-mortar state school (Troy). Now MIT it ain't. But it's regionally-accredited, and the price was right. Overall, it was a good experience, and, for the classes that weren't already old hat for me, I did learn a lot. Some professors were good, others not so much. Some were fantastic.

Yes, I had to take some classes I could probably have taught. But as others have said, that's pretty much how it is everywhere. Remember: Getting your degree is only partially about learning new things. It's also--perhaps mostly--about getting proof that you've learned things. Many classes are more about demonstrating knowledge (by passing) than about gaining knowledge. It's a big, fat certification.

And yes, I had some classmates whose class postings would make me wonder not only how they managed to get admitted to college, but how they even graduated high school in the first place. Some would even copy-and-paste their posts directly from Wikipedia--underlined links and all. Ugh.

But there are goobers in B&M classes too. You just don't normally get to read or hear what they have to say. They have the option of participating very little in class and just turning in their papers directly to the prof. In an online class, there's usually a specific participation requirement in terms of number of posts, etc. You see a lot more of everyone's written work.

When it comes down to it, all education is self-education. No one can educate you--they can only facilitate you doing it to yourself. If you want to stay where you are, then go for it. Trudge along, get the grades, learn what you can from the textbooks and elsewhere, and get your "certification."


Comment Raiser's Edge ain't the only big player... (Score 1) 97

I work for a very large non-profit. We use an older version Sungard/BSR Advance, with a bunch of specially-made front-ends, third-party reporting tools, etc., all hitting the Oracle back end directly. Most of us barely touch the actual client.

That said, the client isn't too bad. And the product certainly supports just about anything you'd want to throw at it. Of course, if you're dumping Raiser's Edge due to expense, Advance would probably not be the way to go.

Have you looked at Tessitura? It's especially nice if you're in the arts or any other type of non-profit that does ticketing.


Comment Re:Ok wait a minuet (Score 1) 164

IANA biologist, but nothing in the theory of natural selection precludes "intelligent" selection, as far as I know. There simply needs to be some sort of fitness function. Intelligence, in some form or another, factors into this all the time. In this case, fitness is determined by whether a bunch of people like it or not. That's really no different than a plant appearing attractive to a bee, or a beetle tasting nasty to a lizard.


Comment Re:Just Plain Stupid (Score 1) 302

Actually, there are tons of good examples where pairs resulted in fantastic creative endeavors. Go see a Rogers and Hammerstein musical, or a Gilbert and Sullivan operetta. Or watch "The Matrix" or "The Big Lebowski" while sitting in an Eames lounge chair.

Programming is an art, sure. But no more or less than any other engineering discipline. Go tell the Wright brothers or Hewlett and Packard that working in pairs is "just plain stupid".

There are valid arguments against Pair Programming. However, the old "creativity is a one-man show" idea isn't one of them.


Submission + - Google Maps has Traffic Information

An anonymous reader writes: Has nobody else noticed that Google Maps now has Traffic information?

Submission + - Leopard could attract Windows switchers

MacAddict writes: Prudential Equity has raised its rating and target price on Apple stock. Analysts there now see Apple as an 'overweight' stock, raising the target price 20 per cent, from $100 to $105. Prudential cites expectations of higher Mac sales, better margins and new product launches — including a widescreen, flash-based video iPod in the second half of the year — as catalysts for better performance from Apple. The 27 March announcement of Adobe CS3 is likely to generate a spike in sales of Apple's professional Macs, Prudential said. "Given that Microsoft's Vista has not been very well received by the consumer, a successful Leopard launch could drive more consumers to shift form Windows-based PCs to Macs," said the analysts, according to MacNN. Prudential's analysis emerges as Banc of America analyst Keith Bachman speculates that the release of Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard will add $200 million to Apple revenue this year, observing that the Mac OS X user base now sits at 22 million users. newsid=17406

Feed '30s Hollywood Cartoon Censorship (

Cartoon Brew highlights how the Hayes Code impacted cartoons in 1939 -- male characters couldn't be effeminate, kids had to behave and Flossie the cow's sexy udders had to be clothed. At Table of Malcontents.

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