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Comment I still can't for the life of me (Score 1) 285

My daughter got a school-issued iPad last year (junior in high school) and in my opinion it only served to distract her from studies at home (due to the constant Twitter/Instagram/whatever checking), and watch Netflix in her room rather than in the family area.

In her opinion, it did nothing to improve her educational outcomes, and only served to provide another distraction to kids in her classes. Most teachers did not integrate it into lessons at all. Many kids would simply play games in class all day. This is in a middle-class, suburban U.S. high school. After reading Amanda Ripley's "The Smartest Kids in the World", I'm even more against them in schools.

With these devices, the schools are adding more burden to the parents to control the kids' access to the devices simply so that they can get their regular homework done.

Unfortunately, it seems the "oooohhh, shiny!" perspective seems to win out with schools rather than encouraging hard work.

Comment Re:Do online with a real university (Score 1) 428

I recently finished a Masters in CS online from DePaul University (a decent brick and mortar college in Chicago) and was really happy with it. Learned a lot of theory that filled in the gaps of my self-taught understanding of a lot of things CS, even though I've worked in CS for 20 years (my BS is in Electrical Engineering).

All the classes were recorded versions of in-class sections. Being a working father, it was great for accommodating my schedule.

I initially started the program just to get the piece of paper, but I also found that now that I'm in my 40s, I really enjoy learning. MUCH more than undergrad when I was 20. I would definitely recommend the "online version of brick and mortar" programs at non-profit or state schools. You likely won't get to do research, but I think if you really wanted that, you'd be in a PhD program.

Other schools I looked at that had similar programs were Colorado State, Stanford, USC, U of Illinois, Texas Tech, Penn State, Arizona State, and (I think) UCLA. Ironically, I decided on DePaul because it was close, but it turned out I never had to be on campus at all. I'm sure we'll be seeing a lot more online programs at most universities simply because it can increase their revenue with little marginal cost. Maybe not for liberal arts degrees which require discussion and face-to-face interaction. But I think for the sciences, and especially CS, the model works well.

The Real Science Gap 618

walterbyrd writes "This article attempts to explain why the US is struggling in its competition with other countries in the realm of scientific advancement. 'It's not insufficient schooling or a shortage of scientists. It's a lack of job opportunities. Americans need the reasonable hope that spending their youth preparing to do science will provide a satisfactory career.' I can hardly believe that somebody actually understands the present situation. It continues, 'The current approach — trying to improve the students or schools — will not produce the desired result, the experts predict, because the forces driving bright young Americans away from technical careers arise elsewhere, in the very structure of the US research establishment. For generations, that establishment served as the world’s nimblest and most productive source of great science and outstanding young scientists. Because of long-ignored internal contradictions, however, the American research enterprise has become so severely dysfunctional that it actively prevents the great majority of the young Americans aspiring to do research from realizing their dreams.'"

Google Stops Ads For "Cougar" Sites 319

teh31337one writes "Google is refusing to advertise CougarLife, a dating site for mature women looking for younger men. However, they continue to accept sites for mature men seeking young women. According to the New York Times, had been paying Google $100,000 a month since October. The Mountain View company has now cancelled the contract, saying that the dating site is 'nonfamily safe.'"

Comment Warrior == Poor (Score 5, Interesting) 284

I can't say anything about the other person, but Ms. Warrior would be a disastrous pick, IMHO. I had some contact with her when she was CTO at Motorola and I came away from that experience thinking she was:

1. Was a poor leader
2. Did not consider opinions other than her own on making decisions.
3. Was really not very knowledgeable
4. Was only out for her own advancement

Perhaps these are the attributes of many successful executives, but don't strike me as qualities you want in a civil servant.

Did you ever have contact with a person of real power/wealth/influence and come away thinking "How did they EVER get to where they are?" The older I get, the more I think success requires some work + many connections + a lot of luck.

It looks like the last might strike Ms. Warrior here again pretty soon.

Comment Not as great as I expected (Score 1) 1055

I did 9/80 for awhile a few years ago when my employer offered it. At the time, my kids were younger and I ended up only seeing them an hour or less every work day. Even though I made up the clock time on the off Friday, I still felt I was missing too much of their lives by rarely seeing them for 9 days out of 14.

Probably be different now that they're older and awake so much more of the day, but haven't tried it again.

Comment Humility (Score 2, Interesting) 662

For heaven's sake, try to be humble. For some reason, this industry just breeds arrogance. You'll run into many colleagues that think they are experts at everything.

Few are, and the real experts are usually the humble ones you don't know about until you actually work with them.

Find those people. Emulate them, befriend them.

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