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Comment Re:more info? (Score 1) 441

Taking the school system's superintendent at his word, it appears that the initial press report got the story wrong. They seized on the incidental but sensational factor: the books that he had authored. And they ignored or were unaware of the real factors that got the whole thing running.

Of course, authorities have been known to change their story in order to coverup things that they find embarrassing. But there's also the tendency of the press to play up the most sensational aspects of a story. So either is plausible at this point.

Comment Guilty (Score 2) 441

I read the opening paragraph of his book on Amazon. The man *is* guilty of a crime. Assault and battery on the world of literature!

Really, his stuff is "dark and stormy night" bad. Toss him in jail. No, wait, that's not a severe enough punishment for what he's done. Something more extreme is required. I know, make him teach middle school!

Comment Re:LMGTFY (Score 2) 148

Well, vimeo has it wrong. Here is the actual text of the applicable part of the law:

(vi) A statement that the information in the notification is accurate, and under penalty of perjury, that the complaining party is authorized to act on behalf of the owner of an exclusive right that is allegedly infringed.

The possible perjury only applies to the statement that the person sending the notice is authorized to act on behalf of the copyright owner. It doesn't apply to any other part of the complaint.

Comment Half Right and Half Very Wrong (Score 2) 373

It comes down to good engineering. Some of the words on the list are pretty reasonable. Telling your engineers not to use terms like apocalyptic and powder keg is fine--those aren't necessary to accurate technical writing. But defect and safety seem like words that an engineer needs. It's hard to believe that GM's engineers didn't object strongly to those restrictions.

Comment Employee or Business? (Score 1) 716

The analogy is seriously flawed.

If the builder is running a business and has contracted to build a wall, it may be that the business is obligated to fix problems at no additional cost (depending on the terms of the contract). But the situation is entirely different if the bricklayer is an employee. I don't think that many builders can get away with forcing their employees to perform work on their own time and at their own expense.

Similarly, if a software developer is running a business and has contracted to build a piece of software, there may be contractual obligations for the software business to fix errors at the business' expense. But I'm unaware of any instance of a software developer who is an employee being required to fix errors on the employee's time and at the employee's expense.

Comment Re:I don't get it (Score 1) 203

Having a nation state to back up your currency isn't necessary. Back in the early 19th century the United States depended primarily on private banks issuing currency (banknotes) on the basis of deposits (hard currency--metal, usually in the form of gold or silver coins). There were problems, like they often over-issued, putting out more banknotes than they should have relative to the deposits. And the banknotes circulated well away from the banks that initially issued them--making it difficult to know if the bank was still solvent.

But it worked. At the macro level it was because people needed some kind of currency to keep the economy rolling and there just wasn't enough coinage to support it. At the micro level, it was all about a kind of group acceptance of the banknotes as being legitimate. Would you accept a particular banknote as payment for something? Well, if you were reasonably certain that the next person down the line would accept it from you, then yes.

Coming back to today, the question to ask is, "Does BitCoin have enough volume of currency in circulation to meet the demand?" Or to rephrase it, "Is the BitCoin money supply sufficient to meet the needs of this particular part of the economy?" If the answer is yes, then there really isn't a reason for other, similar currencies to be created. But if the answer is no, then other currencies might be viable.

Comment Re:logic (Score 2) 299

Most soccer coaches at the middle school and high school level aren't actually qualified to *teach* soccer. It would be more accurate to say that they run a soccer program: choosing players, arranging a schedule, and running the team during games. The players learn to play soccer in other programs.

Similarly, a teacher with some interest in computers and a basic familiarity with programming can organize and run a set of programming activities. But he or she wouldn't be able to actually *teach* programming at anything more than the most basic level. For the students to get a real education in computer programming you need someone who has a greater depth of knowledge and experience.

With that said, we live in the real world and sometimes we have to take what we can get. It's better to have inexperienced but enthusiastic soccer coaches than shut down the program because more knowledgeable coaches aren't available. And better to give interested kids some exposure to computer programming, even if they have to do most of the real learning on their own.

But if your goal is something greater than that, to really be teaching computer programming in middle and high school, then you're going to have to recruit teachers who know what they're doing--and that includes both the technical material as well as the teaching aspect.

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