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Comment No, tech alone will not save education (Score 5, Insightful) 234


I am always amazed how everyone seem to think that throwing money at the educational issues will somehow solve them. The biggest problem is not with the lack of funding in general especially in western countries (although there are exceptions).

The biggest problem lies much deeper than that in the fabric of society itself. Parents just want the state to take the problem of properly raising their children away from them. They send their children to public schools and expect that the children will be educated so they don't have to do it themselves.

Look at the standardized testing system. It is utter BS. The notion that all children across a country or even across borders have to be tested against (more or less) the same set of standards is just nonsense. It's a tool of the establishment to dumb them down and make everyone conforming and easier to control.

Add to this this kind of corporate agenda pushing like give children iPads. Sure Apple gets to make a good money on it and expand their market share and vendor lock-in while the taxpayers will subsidize the cost for little or no benefit for the children. Even if we agree that tablets are useful in education, why does it have to be iPads? A single brand of tablets? And arguably the priciest.

And what sorts of things can you use a tablet to enhance education? Provide cheap/free textbooks which won't wear out? Doesn't happen, because of copyright issues. You will have to sell a copy to all children. And every couple of years the textbooks get rewritten so that somebody makes more money on it. In the days when I was a kid, the school issued paperback textbooks which were re-used year after year until they were completely worn out.

You would think that with the digital textbooks all this is solved: no wear and tear, you can make many copies of it for absolutely no cost, can be upgraded whenever necessary for free. Guess what: it does not happen! Even worse, it probably costs more nowadays then back in the days. Just because of stupid copyright issues and the push for constant consumption for the benefit of a few large corporate entities.


Anyway, Happy New Year to all of you, fellow Slashdotters!

Comment Re:I'm there!!! (Score 1) 211

It is really interesting how quickly the world forgets.

Prior to referring to screen resolutions as 720p or 1080p and the like, people actually used the pixel-count, like 1920×1440 for example. I know that 1080p also refers to the vertical pixel count (which in this case goes along with the 1920 horizontal pixel count), but somehow 1080p has been made to sound like the holy grail of resolutions, while in reality it is not so great. Especially compared to monitor screen resolutions from 5-10 years ago used by serious gamers.

1080p for a game is just so-so even if your playing on a HDTV from just a couple of feet away.

Just compare the total number of pixels per screen surface for different resolutions:

Comment Re:I've always preferred a global menu bar (Score 1) 272

There is a main difference between global menu on the Mac, and global menu on Ubuntu/Unity: on the Mac platform every one application has exactly one menu, independent of how many windows it has opened; on Ubuntu every window has exactly zero or one menu, independent of the application which owns the window. I generally like the concept of having a global location for the menus, however, Unity sacrifices too much to obtain this. The single main shortcoming being the necessity to select the window for which you need to access the menu. You can not access the menu of an application which is not in focus, but before Unity you could. This would only make sense if you ran all your apps and all their windows fullscreen all the time. Then you would need to select the window first anyway to access its menu. I am using Unity since it was released, and I do want to like it. I really like the new scrollbars, I think that was a great step in the right direction. But there are very clear shortcomings for which I can't really see a possible solution without dropping parts of Unity. Will they realize the mistakes in time? I guess time will tell.

Submission + - eBay sells Skype to Netscape founder

Julefrokost writes: "Computerworld has a story about eBay selling Skype. Marc Andreessen, co-founder of Netscape along with a group of investors, are reported to have paid $2 Billion for Skype. According to New York Times, Google was also a potential buyer. Also the original founders of Skype are said to have placed a bid, but Marc Andressen & Co was the highest bidder."

Comment Don't know but... (Score 1) 586

At my workplace, where I work as a "web developer", my main job is to write code (PHP as that is what we use there), and administer the databases (MySQL). We also have "web designers", who's job is to create nice graphics (images, flash animations, etc.) and integrate that into static HTML pages, with the occasionally added JavaScript for nice animations and other effects. The problem with those "web designers" is that, although they might have good artistic skills in the field of graphics, they are just Dreamweaver web monkeys, who throw together some junk HTML with a couple of clicks, copy and paste JavaScript from all over the web for the effects without the slightest understanding of what script does what, what is semantic HTML, what is the difference between HTML and XHTML, what does strict or loose mean in the doctype declarations, and why the doctype is necessary at all. When the "web designers" are finished, I get the result of their work and I need to integrate that into the web application. So, by the time I get those "designs", they are filled with at least two JavaScript libraries (Scriptaculous + Prototype, jQuery, Mootools, etc.) and a good amount of non-library utilizing scripts just for fun. And because I am a little bit zealous about markup correctness, and elegant code, I almost have to redo the whole thing, using just one JavaScript library, rewritten markup, and so on. Basically my job now includes PHP coding, database design and administration, (X)HTML markup writer, user interface designer with the added JavaScript (AJAX), CSS writer. I just recently got the job at this company and I already started to educate the designers about the basics of these modern concepts (for them), but it is painful and slow process as hell. It is just my colleagues who I know and can talk about. So, in some situations, even web monkey is a little bit of an exaggeration when it comes to how would I call them.

Comment Dreamweaver isn't bad, it ain't the best either (Score 1) 318

When I got in the web-dev business I started with Dreamweaver. Not because it was all that good, but everybody I knew (and thought was a "pro" web-designer/developer) used it, and loved it. In the beginning I started as an all-in-one web developer, meaning I've done the server side programming, client side HTML and CSS, and the occasional JavaScript.

Couple of years passed away since then, and I now absolutely don't want to use Dreamweaver at all. Why? Because I do not create static sites anyway, PHP support is worth shit (no autocomplete, no outlining, etc.), the HTML autocomplete feature just doesn't cut it for me (it works, sort of, but not the way I like it; it doesn't prevent you from introducing not-valid-for-the-doctype attributes, etc.). The only good things, which I do liked was the integrated FTP support (but no version control support of any kind), and the CSS editing mode (I could edit the CSS rule from the HTML file and the modifications were saved in the external CSS file, linked to the HTML file).

Since then, I use Aptana Studio, and I absolutely love it. It has all I need. It works good with PHP, Ruby, HTML, CSS, JavaScript (actually this is awesome, very good quality). It has FTP, SFTP support. It has version control support (CVS, SVN, GIT, maybe more). And a very big plus: it has support for the most popular JavaScript libraries (autocomplete and all), like: jQuery, Prototype, Scriptaculous, MooTools, EXTjs, Dojo, etc.

And to top it all, it has integrated support for online deployment to the cloud (Aptana Cloud) where you can have a hosting plan and deployment done with a few clicks right from Aptana Studio.

Oh, and did I mention the server-side JavaScript AJAX server, Jaxer?

It beats Dreamweaver hands down any minute.

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