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Comment Re:The real problem is accelerated math (Score 1) 908

Hey-o,

You misunderstood my points.

I didn't say that kids should be in class for 50 hours a week -- I said, basically, that we're trying to cram 50 hours' worth of stuff into 30 hours with, sometimes, incompetent teachers and poor environments, "we're kinda' asking the impossible."

And the physical activity correlation with academic achievement works (particularly with boys) when it's rolled into the school day. The problem is more with bad teachers, as you yourself pointed out, rather than with the concept itself. You might not have liked gym, along with many other kids, but it's an essential release of pent up energy during the school day for many others. Again, just like teaching math, there isn't really a one size fits all approach to fostering academic achievement.

Comment The real problem is accelerated math (Score 1) 908

Howdy folks,

The problem with the math curriculum is how much ground high school kids are expected to cover in one or two classes per year. Just look through older posts: algebra; polynomials; logarithms; stats; calculus; trig. That is a massive amount of material to cover. Further, since math builds upon prior concepts, if you had a teacher who skipped over part of the curriculum or you simply had trouble with earlier material, you're boned once you reach the more advanced concepts -- and things can get exponentially worse unless you either get tutoring or have a sudden epiphany.

I actually don't know what the solution is. I know a couple old school Ph.Ds in biology who have had to take crash courses in stats the last few years as they work through DNA analyses. Their joke is that they went into biology because it was considered math-light 25 years ago. But then, I also know people with solid math backgrounds who stumble on figuring out tips (it's not just the % -- there are social norms involved that influence the calculation). Most math curricula are light on doing everyday math mentally.

If you breezed through math in high school? That's freakin' awesome. I honestly wish I was better at higher math -- my job options would've been wider post-graduation.

But ... we're taking an accelerated math curriculum and throwing it at everyone, regardless of ability or, importantly, regardless of prior education. The one size fits all approach is kinda' crazy in a subject that, essentially, builds a scaffold from scratch.

Anywho ... with regard to "useless" classes like gym and the arts ... gym and music have pretty solid evidence showing they help raise academic scores (especially with regards to boys and doing something physical). Ditto for having green spaces for kids to spend time in during the day. Humanities classes, done well (trust, just like math and science, they often aren't), also teach critical thinking, but of a type that places value on being able to read emotions and placing events in context. The emotional IQ thing, as current thinking holds, is essential in making effective teams -- http://www.nytimes.com/2016/02...

Basically, we should be teaching kids 50 hours a week, giving them time to burn off energy, in environments with green spaces, with fully involved teachers, including individualized learning regimens (with private tutors, as needed), with music instruction (especially in groups) all in a cost-effective manner. IME, we're kinda' asking the impossible.

Comment Re:-1 Stupid (Score 1) 214

Jeep releases vehicle with buggy software.

Buggy software comprises 10 million lines of code (the estimate of the size of the offending VW code).

Years down the road, after extensive analysis, white hat posts new and improved software to Git.

????

At issue here is how does a third party hack get distributed to end users?

Further, car makers really don't like it when you chip your car. Last year, I got a warranty notice for my A3 TDI saying my car needed new software to fix part of the emissions control system (ha!). There was an extensive bit saying that chipped cars were ineligible for (in my case, extended) warranty work. The reason for this is straightforward enough: most people chip their cars for performance which can introduce added stress to components.

Comment Re:Fiddling while Rome burns? (Score 3, Interesting) 236

For the record, I also don't like Metro on a desktop PC.

That said ... Metro was optimized for touch and keyboard (but definitely not mouse). Type to search is usually faster than drilling through the Start menu with a mouse if you go more than a menu or two deep. Old-school shortcuts like alt-tab to switch windows and alt-F4 to close the current window are still there. If anyone cares, here's a list -- http://windows.microsoft.com/e... . We're going back 30 years or so, but I believe that some of those shortcuts go all the way back to WordStar (ctrl-c to copy, for instance).

FWIW, I don't think it's Metro that MS bungled, but rather how the plain old desktop, Metro, and settings were intermingled, especially in 8.0. Metro is fine for what it is: a UI designed for single / double-tasking media consumption. The default full-screen view is slick for Netflix and YouTube, while the default Mail and Calendar apps are good enough for my mom, but horrible for work needs. My biggest gripe is that the default apps for image viewing, the calculator, user settings and so on were all Metro apps -- even when launched from the desktop. One of the absolute stupidest things I've ever seen on a PC was day 2 or 3 with 8.0. I was writing an email in Outlook and wanted to double check some math. I fired up the calculator and was presented with a 22" fullscreen 4 function calculator that completely obscured the numbers I wanted to check.

Throw in how some OS settings were only available in Metro ... and, yeah.

But my issues with Metro were, by and large, focused on how I kept on being punted into it even when I most definitely did not want to be.

As for the icons? I think MS is simply going for consistency across the different flavours of device (phone, tablet, desktop). As 8.1 stands right now, it has two sets of icons, one for desktop, one for Metro. With 10's move towards windowed Metro apps, it doesn't really make much sense to maintain multiple sets of icons -- that lack of consistency, in and of itself, I believe, is poor UI design.

Comment Pods are stupid expensive (Score 1) 369

I know it's been said before (and most likely even within this thread), but it's worth repeating: coffee pods are stupidly expensive. Keurig's business is model is to package up beans that cost between $6 and $12 per pound at retail and jack the price up to, at the high end, $40 per pound.

If you're in a household that drinks 3 or 4 cups a day, you can buy an all-in-one coffeemaker like a Jura (whole beans on one side, water on the other, coffee out the middle) and come out ahead in 2 or three 3 years. You also get a similar level of convenience, wider selection of coffee (especially at the higher end of the coffee spectrum), less trash (the grounds get dumped into a container, ready for composting) and, generally, a better cuppa (freshly ground beans make a difference).

Yes, refilling your own pods is cheaper -- as is using a French press. But, when it comes to convenience and TCO, you've got better options.

Comment What's wrong with this? (Score 1) 634

Seriously, guys, what's wrong with this? What's wrong with getting more women into engineering?

It's not like the curriculum is changing to be all SJW-y. Or that the courses are any less rigorous. Or that women simply can't handle math, science and engineering at a high level. So why the consternation over adding some programs in applied engineering? Was there this level of consternation when science was hived off from philosophy? Or science into chemistry, physics, and biology? Or when branches of science were thrown back together (biochem)? When electrical engineering became its own thing?

Before anyone gets too POed at me, there is also a SJW-y movement afoot aimed at tackling the over-feminisation of elementary school education. Yes -- it really is a thing, and it relates to boys underperforming girls in elementary schools. It flares up and down in Canada (and I think also in the States). And it's something that my kids' Toronto-area school is working very hard to fix, to the point of hiring moderately under-qualified men (like the grade 7 / 8 English teacher who, demonstrably, doesn't read what he assigns and pulls all of his lesson plans off the intertubes) at the expense of better qualified women. That's right, if you're a male elementary school teacher, you will be actively recruited by a variety of schools to close the gender gap.

Comment Re:Leave then (Score 1) 886

Actually, it isn't. The US constitution guarantees the rights to assemble and to petition the government. Freedom of association was inferred via a court decision from, somewhat ironically in this case, the NAACP v. Alabama.

Yeah, look. The legislation in question is horse shit. It's not made to redress any actual wrongs; it's window dressing meant to pander to a certain kind of social conservative. Further, it, pretty much by definition, allows for state sanctioning of particular kinds of discrimination which is, at best, icky, and, at worst OMG wrong.

Comment Re:Network layer and education (Score 1) 260

>

A good example is alcohol, when i was in school many of the other kids in my class were forbidden from touching alcohol and that made them seek out ways to obtain alcohol... Myself and a few others were never forbidden, our parents allowed us to try alcohol if we wanted... I found alcoholic drinks tasted quite disgusting, and lost interest in them.

I liked the taste and (ultimately) became a brewer.

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