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NSF Makes It Rain: $722K Award To Evaluate Microsoft-Backed TEALS 64

theodp writes: Microsoft has $92 billion in cash parked offshore, so it's kind of surprising to see a $722K National Science Foundation award is going towards validating the efficacy of Microsoft TEALS, the pet program of CEO Satya Nadella that sends volunteer software engineers with no teaching experience into high schools to teach kids and their teachers computer science. Among its Program Changes for 2015, TEALS said it "explicitly commits to provide a core set of curriculum materials that are complete, organized, and adaptable," which should help improve the outcome of the Developing Computer Science Pedagogical Content Knowledge through On-the-Job Learning NSF study schools are being asked to participate in. Meanwhile, CSTUY, a volunteer organization led by experienced CS teachers (including Slashdot user zamansky), finds itself turning to Kickstarter for $25K to fund Saturday Hacking Sessions. So, as Microsoft-backed — which has also attracted NSF award money to validate its CS program — is fond of saying: What's wrong with this picture? (To be fair to TEALS: it may have Microsoft backing, but it's not strictly a Microsoft effort, and also started out as a pure volunteer effort, as founder Kevin Wang explained earlier this year.)

Comment Solve the actual underlying problem (Score 1) 492

Not the symptom or its manifestation.

The fundamental problem is that few US citizens are motivated to attain high levels of education, and to earn their wages / wealth by contributing to society, rather than living off subsidies doled out by the guvment.

A related problem is the high debts incurred in the process of getting educated, thereby creating wage slaves.

Another less fundamental problem is that the dollar is artificially high, and kept there by vested interests. If the market value of the dollar reflects its true worth, people from India will neither be motivated to move in to the US, nor supply manpower, because it will yield fewer rupees.

So long as these basic issues are addressed, we will see more of such Hem and Haw, dithering and filibustering, rather than resolution.

Comment Re:No problems for me (Score -1, Troll) 203

Idiot. The problem occurs when there are orphaned SIDs in the registry and no real users corresponding. Happens every time in a domain attached PC with Active Directory in every single corporate network. So about let's say 30% of the cases.

Roughly 10 million machines with the problem. Very good I say!

Comment No need to kill Microsoft, suicide in progress... (Score -1, Troll) 203

Microsoft's saga on desktops went like this:

1. We will not make hardware, we only write operating system software, so applications can run.

2. Our OS runs on many hardware configs., so many many applications run on our desktops

3. We own the desktop. We are on a billion devices, but we still don't make h/w, yet we still get to decide how h/w should be built for Windows. We can break h/w, h/w drivers, updates if we choose to. We don't care the OS is insecure, 'cos we are on a billion boxes, and that's all that matters.

4. Oh! So you turn off updates, so we can't force patch our buggy OS? You gave us a bad rep. in the market? Here... Take this 'free' upgrade, and you can't stop my forced updates. We get to a billion devices again.

5. Oh, the forced updates eat your bandwidth, infinite loops crashes??? Your bad... thanks for being our valuable beta tester.

6. What? You're running away to Ubuntu or Fedora to get stuff done? Boo...hooo, why does no one think of me, the great Microsoft? I'm giving you the OS for free, you still don't want it... boo..hooo!!

Comment Re:Lipstick on a pig! (Score 1) 123

True, but they were differnt Windows, or rather true Windows. WinCE, Win XP-Embedded, even Win3.11 was available for devices until a few years back.

This Windows10 for Embedded is like WindowsRT for ARM CPUs which was largely abandoned by Microsft themselves, and the hardware was written off for a few billions.

The traditional VB style apps and the huge library of VB plug-ins for devices and peripherals do not wxist in Windows 10 anymore. All device developers have long jumped ship to the Raspberry Pi, and this is MS playing catch up just like in the Android and mobile markets which they lost.

Comment Lipstick on a pig! (Score -1) 123

will not make the pig attractive. People working on embedded systems and hobyyist electronics, are already well aware of command line unix and linux, languages like C, C++, Python, shell programming etc. Kids dabbling with these toys know Scratch, Alice. BlueJ Java IDE etc.

None of the above require Windows with or without the hideous UI or built-in anti-virus. The very notion of anti-virus drives hobbyists away from Windows, because the hobbyist thinks he is in charge of the toys, and not some uncaring 800lb gorilla.

It would've made sense a decade ago, if VB6 on Embedded Windows ran on these devices. node.js or Python do not need Windows at all. Another entire team at Microsoft wasting their time and money, distracting a few hobbyists and achieving nothing. After a year the whole team will be sacked en-masse, or moved on to other worthless projects.

Comment Re:Does anyone remember... (Score 1) 248

He is still the largest shareholder in the 'Evil' company.

He still has the power to set right the source code of Windows, so as to completely remove any necessity of running any anti-virus software, just like on Linux PCs and Macs. Around 2 billion devices are said to be running Windows, so this single "Good Deed" alone will result in energy savings of atleast 2000 MWhrs per day.

But Bill will not do that. Instead he will criticise governments and pay lip service to poverty alleviation and the Press will lap it up, and declare him as Better than God!

Comment Uber will succeed in India (Score 3, Interesting) 54

The 'call taxi' market, as it is called here in India, is fractured and ripe for disruption. Unions in taxis are very weak. People here do not value privacy over saving a few rupees. RedBus and TicketGoose have made it big in bus reservations. Uber will tie up with Microsoft and Google to plunder the call taxi market.

I helped write taxi dispatch s/w for 3 firms, and I feel Uber will drive out Ola, TaxiForSure and other fringe players...

Comment Simple answer: No. MS is not a fool... (Score 1) 492

The editions for which "Free" upgrade options have been provided, Microsoft makes money by seling your data, and ensuring you don't run away to Linux. If you want all these controls and fancy stuff, you must pay about $800 for a copy., and get Enterprise edition.

Malware has given a very bad name to Microsoft. This is because of the immense, needless complexity in the so-called OS which contains linkages to non-essential things for an OS. Like the browser, Office, Email client, device drivers, etc. Even Enterprise users are afraid to apply latest patches due to stability issues.

But Enterprise users usually have firewalls in place, so atleast for them, MS provides complicated round-about methods to bypass snooping. To fix the malware problem permanently, Microsoft will have to reveal source code and truly give full vontrol to the users of their software. Neither of these will happen. So the control is with hardware vendors who have to write device drivers, and malware writers who have figured out the chinks anyway.

Thus MS is now in a race of continuously patching their shoddy OS, at your expense, your bandwaidth and your privacy. Live with it. Or go to another OS that runs on PC hardware, aka Linux. Or get a Mac for twice the price and half the funstionality and features. Or shut up and put up with Microsoft.

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