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Submission + - GCSE Teachers Are Against Performance Related Pay (

An anonymous reader writes: Teachers were asked, taking in to account their entire teaching career and experience of a school environment, to give their agreement with the following statement on a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being total agreement and 1 being total disagreement:

Paying teachers based on performance in exams will result in a better education system in terms of providing students who are prepared for further study or the workplace.

The results showed that teachers at GCSE level – who it is likely the new policy will effect most directly – are vehemently against the proposal, with half (50%) giving a score of 1 – total disagreement. Indeed, four in five (79%) of respondents gave a response from 1 to 3, with only 3% (less than one in twenty) giving a comparable score of 8-10 at the other end of the scale. If we consider 5-6 to be ‘neutral’ numbers indicating no real agreement or disagreement, then less than 1 in 10 (9%) of GCSE teachers spoken to by VoicED could be said to have had any level of agreement at all, as shown by the chart below. More research on this topic is contained at the URL cited.

Submission + - Majority of Americans Say NSA Phone Tracking Is Not OK To Fight Terrorism (

An anonymous reader writes: According to a weekend poll by Rasmussen, a majority of Americans believe that the feds are spying too much on US citizens, and oppose programs which collect Americans' phone records without specific suspicion of wrongdoing. Rasmussen's results appear to contradict those of an earlier, widely reported Pew survey on this issue.

Submission + - Mozilla, Reddit, EFF, 83 others demand halt of PRISM, NSA Spying (

hypnosec writes: Civil liberties organizations and internet companies including Mozilla and Reddit have teamed up and are demanding for a swift action and calling for a complete halt of PRISM as well as any other internet surveillance activities that the NSA is involved in. A total of 86 such groups and companies are sending out a letter to Congress demanding the closure of PRISM and have also launched a new online campaign dubbed "StopWatching.US" and are inviting users to sign the petition. The letter demands for a congressional investigatory committee, similar to the Church Committee of the 1970s, while also demanding for legal reforms in domestic spying. The letter also demands that public officials who are responsible for such illegal surveillance be held accountable.

Submission + - Windows 8 killing PC sales

yl-roller writes: IDC says Windows 8 is partly to blame for PC sales suffering the largest percentage drop ever.

"As if that news wasn't' troubling enough, it appears that a pivotal makeover of Microsoft's ubiquitous Windows operating system seems to have done more harm than good since the software was released last October."

Another article said IDC originally expected a drop, but only half the size.

I think people going to buy new PCs as often as they do cars — or even refrigerators. They're appliances. Microsoft should have realized it, and innovated in a new field instead of trying to update the old stuff. Maybe it's scroogled.
Book Reviews

Submission + - Book Review: Internet Architecture and Innovation (

Drywall writes: Barbara van Schewick's new book, "oeInternet Architecture and Innovation," is one of the very few books in the same league as Larry Lessig'(TM)s Code, in 2000, and Yochai Benkler'(TM)s Wealth of Networks, in 2006, in terms of its originality, depth, and importance to Internet policy and other disciplines. I expect the book to affect how people think about the Internet; about the interactions between law and technical architectures in all areas of law; about entrepreneurship in general. I also think her insights on innovation economics, which strike me as far more persuasive than lawyers' usual assumptions, should influence oe"law and economics" thinking for the better.
Social Networks

Buried By The Brigade At Digg 624

Slashdot regular Bennett Haselton writes in with an essay on a subject we've dealt with internally at Slashdot for years: user abuses of social news... this time at Digg. He starts "Alternet uncovers evidence of a 'bury brigade' coordinating efforts to 'bury' left-leaning stories on Digg. Digg had previously announced that the 'bury' button will be removed from the next version of their site, to prevent these types of abuses, but that won't fix the real underlying issue — you can show mathematically that artificially promoting stories is just as harmful in the long run. Here's a simple fix that would address the real problem."

The Tuesday Birthday Problem 981

An anonymous reader sends in a mathematical puzzle introduced at the recent Gathering 4 Gardner, a convention of mathematicians, magicians, and puzzle enthusiasts held biannually in Atlanta. The Tuesday Birthday Problem is simply stated, but tends to mislead both intuitive and mathematically informed guesses. "I have two children, one of whom is a boy born on a Tuesday. What's the probability that my other child is a boy?" The submitter adds, "Believe it or not, the Tuesday thing is relevant. Well, sort of. It's ambiguous."

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PL/I -- "the fatal disease" -- belongs more to the problem set than to the solution set. -- Edsger W. Dijkstra, SIGPLAN Notices, Volume 17, Number 5