Want to read Slashdot from your mobile device? Point it at m.slashdot.org and keep reading!


Forgot your password?
Check out the new SourceForge HTML5 internet speed test! No Flash necessary and runs on all devices. ×

Comment Re:US education policy... (Score 3, Insightful) 227

Until you have something that absolutely, definitely works, let's just teach kids with teachers who are masters of their subject.

That sounds good, but in practice it's not good. Why? To be a master of your subject, you have to live and breathe your subject. To be a good teacher you need to be a bit of a generalist. You can't be so hyper-focused on one thing that everything else in life gets excluded.
I've got an education degree and some teaching experience, and I've also spent a fair bit of time working in and around grad-school STEM programs. The experts in those programs are the shittest teachers, for the most part. Why? They never learned about how kids learn, because they were busy becoming experts. They never learned the basics of assessing learning because they were becoming experts. They never learned motivational strategies because they were hyper-motivated on an exclusive topic, and it never occurred to them that some students need some motivation the way they would for any other topic.
What we need are not masters of their subjects, but communicators and collaborators who can give kids access to people who are masters of their subjects. I once filled that role, connecting NASA scientists to middle school science classrooms. The NASA scientists weren't teachers and didn't know the first thing about it, and the middle school science teachers weren't scientists and engineers. But when we set up the communication and collaboration between the kids and the experts, amazing stuff happened.
That's one thing we need. The other is equitable funding. I think that it's Germany that does the opposite of what the US does. They still have standardized tests, but the results are secret. The lowest performing schools get more money, and the highest performing schools get less. That makes all of the schools roughly the same, and parents don't know which ones are better, so the rich parents can't move their kids out, leaving behind the poor (minority) kids. The US does the opposite - we openly publish our assessment scores, and we threaten to withhold funds from poorly performing schools. Since we also have wacky local funding, parents create these "ghetto schools", as rich parents move their kids to the best performing schools, and work to ensure that they don't need to pay for the schools they left behind. Great for their kids, but terrible for all the other kids. But who cares when you can live in a gated community with a guard to keep the rabble out, right?

Comment Re:A picture is worth a thousand words (Score 2) 84

Why didn't you just post a video? But more seriously:

I would've preferred it to have happened in your browser which could automatically poll certain bookmarked sites every x hours, and put any of those pages updated since your last visit into a special folder (would be really handy for the list of web comics I follow).

Congratulations, you just described an RSS reader, and the way I've been using it for two decades now. INOReader, for one, can even poll some social media sites. Did you seriously never learn about RSS? I mean, it's decades old and designed to do exactly what you're describing.

Comment Re:Egress Problem is easily solved (Score 1) 146

That was my thought as well. Hell, you could even allow the user to input some pathing for the last little bit, in the case of the map being inaccurate or to access a slightly different area than the exact address.
One place where I lived the house was on a steep hill, with no real access between the front door and the road. Yet the street address was directly in front of the house. To get picked up at my doorstep, I'd need to set the path so the car would drive past the house, around the building next door, and up the driveway behind it.
Google maps already lets you do this. I don't see a reason you couldn't port that technology to the self-drving car app.

Comment Re:There should be investigations immediately! (Score 1) 528

And the crazy "Clintons get a free pass" meme, which I can't even wrap my head around. Republicans have spent tens of millions of taxpayer dollars trying to nail the Clintons, and have had 0 success. Either the Clintons actually haven't done much, or the Republicans are comically bad at using government to take someone down. Regardless of which is true, it doesn't speak all that highly of the Republican machine.

Comment Re:My Incoming Call Rule #1 (Score 1) 105

Like the AC here noted, I haven't picked up a call that I didn't want to for about 25 years either. Most everyone is smart enough to email me, because that's what I tell my contacts, friends, and relatives. The few people who insist on a phone number generally get a fake one, unless there's a damn good reason for them to be calling me.
Barber shop wants my phone number, mall stores want my phone number, online forms want my phone number, everyone wants that shit.
The flip side is that since I don't give it to anybody for the most part, the few calls I get are generally pretty important. Anyone who abuses access is blacklisted immediately. And unless I'm expecting a call, any number I don't recognize or any one that I do and which doesn't have pressing business with me gets sent directly to voicemail.
I'm not a slave to synchronous communication. Life is too short for that shit. I bought a house, furniture, had service calls, traveled extensively, and I've never felt the need to be on call for my own phone. It blows my mind that people like yourself still allow themselves to be tied down like that.

Comment Re:What if we don't care? (Score 2) 219

That was my instant thought. Amazon sets up warehouse voting areas where employees can vote under supervision "if they want to". Those that don't want to might not have jobs after the election. Every at-will state could work like this if the option to choose not to vote in secret existed.
I'm even in favor of getting rid of absentee voting for this reason. Lets have the polls open for 2-3 weeks, and offer rides a few of the days instead of mailing ballots back and forth. If you can't make it to an authorized polling place*, you don't get to vote.
*And I think we could come up with a system to authorize embassies and military bases to hold elections. A little trickier, but doable.

Comment Re:Why? (Score 1) 385

You actually believe the bank is giving you free money?

Credit union.

The cash "back" actually comes from you....they can charge you as many fees as they like...

Yeah, but no. I pay $0 a year to have my accounts with my local credit union. $0 in fees. $0 in interest on the credit card because I pay it off monthly. $0 for them to print and mail a check to anyone for any amount I specify, and $0 to even schedule reoccurring payments this way. $0 to transfer money to anyone else in the credit union. $0 for a credit report. The only money I have ever given this credit union is $5 to open each account I have with them. And $10 for a cashier's check once. They cover their costs with their piddly interest rates, which aren't any better than any other banks in the area due to the federal rate being so low.
I just don't get how the world is happy with predatory banks who do the sort of crap you're ranting about. You don't even seem to understand that other types of financial organizations exist.

You see the thing is that the merchant pays 2-6% for accepting the card which, by the terms of his agreement with the banks, he has to build into his prices. So you're getting 1% back of the up to 6% you're spending to use the card.

And here is where you turn out to be a fucking dumbass. Because unless the merchant is giving a 2%-6% discount for using cash, which none are that I run into with any frequency, it doesn't matter what form of payment I use.

When I ran a business, accepting credit cards dwarfed my staffing costs.

Your clear lack of Econ 101 might be the reason you no longer run a business, if you ever did. No business takes their operating costs, pads a percent for profit, and then adjusts that price when things like merchant fees change. You charge what the market will bear. That's absolutely basic, day one, economy and statistics stuff. Is the merchant fee a negative hit on your profit for goods and services? Sure as hell is. Might it make the cost of what you're offering more than the market will bear? It might, in a competitive market. But to claim that it's somehow something that drives the final price is a basic misunderstanding of economics. And that's ignoring the fact that a sizable percentage of people don't carry cash, so if you don't accept cards, you aren't selling your goods and services to a percent of the population.
In summary, I think you're a hater.

Comment Re:I don't get it... (Score 1) 385

Half the companies decided that PINs are too hard, so they went with signature instead. So instead of swiping and then signing, you insert, wait, wait, it beeps. You push a button. You sign. It asks if you want cash back. You say fuck off. You pull the card out, it beeps saying that you ruined the transaction and that you need to do all that shit again.
You see, we largely didn't implement chip-and-pin. We replaced the quick swipe and sign with an insert of the chip card, and then layered a bunch of other mandatory, slow, stupid shit on top of it, any step of which could cancel the transaction and require you to start over. And different merchants and different card vendors do it differently. So you might have multiple ways it now needs to be done depending on what's in your wallet and where you're shopping.
We also weren't smart enough to design a system where you can insert and PIN first, then wait for the transaction to finish, like you could with swipe&sign. Most of the places I've seen with pin&chip now force you to wait until you're done until you do the payment process.
It's seriously like we wanted this to be a failure.

Comment Re:Identity Theft Victim Here with My Insight (Score 2, Insightful) 385

Yeah, you're a paranoid fuckwit. Bank with a non-abusive company and don't be a dumbass.
If you're using a bank, you're using an institution that is probably trying to fuck you. Don't do that. Pick a local credit union instead. Better service, better rates, less ass-fucking. My wife and I both push a monthly amount to a joint account which is tied to our bills and debit cards. I noticed fraud on that account recently. Went to the credit union at lunch, told them that I didn't know what card it was on, they figured it out, (mine) put the money back, shredded the card, printed me a new one, and I walked out of there 15 minutes later.
Their online banking is the shit. We do our banking through their portal most of the time. And that includes their free, scheduled, repeating if necessary bill payments where they format a check with your account number on it and mail it out. And do electronic transfers with some companies. "Only use checks" lol, how quaint. We have our payees set up in the web portal. Log in, click "Utilities", enter the amount, click send. Done. Check is in the mail the next morning. Same with mortgage, student loans, cell phone, etc.
I used to use big banks, but they spammed me, fucked me, and generally treated me like shit. I moved to a local friendly place, and they treat me like a king. It's amazing that you recommend using fucking Walmart and pre-paid cards and cash. Those can be lost and stolen. And if they are, you're SOL. And pre-paid cards have overhead.

If you have any questions, let me know

If anyone does, it's going to be why you aren't taking your meds. The fuck is wrong with you? How did your world get so broken?

Comment Re:Why? (Score 1) 385

For me, yes. Local credit union. 1% cash back on everything, no annual fee, low interest on the card. I make $50-$100 a year from using my credit card. The wedding year we broke $200. My cards have been compromised a number of times in the last year or two, and it seems to be a mixture of local skimmers plus Russian gangs brute-forcing card numbers. I had a brand new card used to buy $35 of McDonalds in St. Petersburg before I had used it more than 2-3 times locally, which leads me to believe that there's some brute-forcing going on.
They print on demand, so I walk down at lunch, fill out the fraud form, they shred my card, print a new one, and I'm on my way 15 minutes later. That night their website notes that my card number changed and some reoccurring charges are possibly tied to it, and nudges me to update my card anywhere it's used.
I haven't used a bank in almost two decades, and I don't see myself using one anytime in the near future. Until they offer service and rates that beat my credit union, no reason to bother with them.

Comment Re:I don't (Score 1) 385

That's the way I secure it, with one addition: I have a local credit union that prints cards on demand. I see a fraudulent charge, wander down on my lunch break, sign a form, they print a new card, shred my old one, and their website even notes things that look like reoccurring charges and nudges me to update my card for those places whenever the number changes. Hard pressed to beat service like that!

Slashdot Top Deals

When it is not necessary to make a decision, it is necessary not to make a decision.