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Comment Re:Torn between reading and doing (Score 1, Insightful) 379

I read most of volume 1. 30 years ago we were still working out basics and many programmer had to write or at least understand, basic processes. This is why this book was useful. In addition we were still writing lots of code, rather than just understanding and applying APIs. For instance no one is going to write a sort, or a gaussian elimination, or a GUI outside of classroom anymore. Few developers are going to have to know how to really code, or what is really happening in the engine they are using.

Comment Re:Not the only criticism (Score 1) 89

This is what is happening to US schools. A lot of the new school models are based on hiring new cheap teachers, working them to death, then getting rid of them before they have a real salary or a pension. There is no reason to even have teachers certified, because a teacher can teach for three years without certification. There is benefit to a certificated teacher as that teacher is just going to feel like they can stay for years.

Teaching is about the only professional job I know where corporate wants random people with dubious qualifications and no experience working. This is different from what it used to be, where teachers were put through a trial of fire but trained and mentored so that those who could be good teachers in 5 years were kept. These then helped the new teachers. It is important to have a long probation, simply so that good teachers can be identified and bad teacher let go. But this probation period should not be an excuse to just have a staff that can be worked until they are burned out, and students are not learning.

Corporate education does not work. We see this at the college level with the default rates on student loans, at the school level with the constant lawsuits against firms who steal money. Public education already knows how to educate a curated population. I went to such public schools, many of friends did as well, and we all are productive tax paying members of society. It is the general population that is a challenge, and all results show that corporate schools funded with public money do worse, or at best as well, as public schools. And this does not even take into account that corporate schools have much more leeway to choose who they wish not to educate.

Comment Re: Incentives aren't the problem. Shills are. (Score 1) 106

It is like the proposed ban on lobbying at the federal level. If you regulate it, then there is some control and transparency. If you ban it, then it goes underground.

The problem with these reviews is that they get elevated to the to-, presumable because sellers then have everybody click to find it useful. If amazon would mark these reviews, the relegate them to a lower position, they would serve a purpose without being overwhelming.

Comment Re: I don't think this is a well thought out plan (Score 1) 83

Because they can't make a decent mobile device to save thier lives, and desktop monopoly is not going to matter that much in a decade. Fewer people will use MS studio because the tools for Andriod are free and Xcode is basically free. MS studio will basically be B2B only, and IBM does it better. It is not a well thought plan. It is desperation from a lazy company whose only skill was OEM intimidation and lock-in.

Comment US or World? (Score 2, Interesting) 430

Depends if you are talking US or the world. The people who voted for Trump in the primary likely see technology as a threat. They are largely uneducated rural people who expect to be paid to mine coal even if no one wants it or assemble products even if a robot can do it better. Can you imagine what computers would be like if we were still forced to hand solder components because we were required to support semi-skilled workers? No surface mount.

So even though the people who elected Trump is broader, the basic tenet of isolationism and coal miners is still inherently anti-innovation. The wind mills and solar panels that are being installed in Texas and other states, and are going to be a significant part of the energy grid in the next decade, is an extensional threat to the unskilled workers who elected Trump. The semi-skilled service jobs that require an associates degree and significant computer literacy are beyond the average Trump supporter who thinks that they deserve a middle class income for doing work a computer could do more accurately.

Which further opens the path for Asia and Germany to take over the technological world. Our trains are not designed in the US, but in Germany. More of out high technology is not only going to be built, but engineered, in Asia.

Comment Re: well... (Score 1) 76

Kids need to learn that if it is not your machine, not your network, there is no expectation of privacy. They need to know that when they are using wifi at McDonalds or Starbucks every they do is logged. If a school owns a computer, and they take it home that compuer shouldbe kept in a common area and not in private area where the kid might have naked time. Like any computer owned by an employer, nothing should be done in it that is not work related.

Kids are given computer so they can learn skills and etiquette so when they grow up they can be successful for a lifetime. Teaching them now so they don't get fired for making p0rn on thier work laptop is a good thing.

Comment Re:150% Sure (Score 5, Insightful) 171

In previous years Apple and Samsung accounted for the majority of profits in the smartphone category. Now that Samsung has sunk itself, not only with exploding mobile devices but also exploding washing machines, the only profitable firm is Apple.

The larger than 100% number is because most firms operate at a loss. For example, one can easily be 200% more productive than a very lazy coworker.

Comment Wind and natural gas (Score 4, Interesting) 275

Carbon capture was a technology that was useful in the US when it was thought coal would remain the primary fuel. Now that natural gas is dirt cheap, partially thanks to fracking, it is not so critical. Natural gas produces about half the CO2 per BTU as dirty coal. Switching from coal should reduce emissions at least 40%. In fact Texas can meet standards by shutting down a few very dirty plants and moving to natural gas.

But what is going to change everything is when the rest of the US follows Texas which now gets at least 10% of the power from renewables, mostly wind. This is where the climate change problem will begin to decline.

Which is not to say the carbon capture technology is dead. In other developing countries it may be useful,and the US could be the supplier for those systems.

Comment Re:Just the fake ones? (Score 1) 212

Exactly. Never talk to a debt collector or charity on the phone. Never take any bill that is mailed at face value. Always type the link of your financial institution of use a bookmark.

In the US laws tend to protect the debtor. If you owe money, there will always be time to pay. Firms buy old debt without knowing if he debt is genuine. I get calls all the time trying to collect fake debt.

Comment Re:Sapphire crystal lens cover (Score 1) 111

I woud suspect it was something like a epitaxial layer of safire to coat a glass lens. In fact, depending on how the measurement was done, the lens could be safire. Glass is a generic term to mean a substrate that is not a single crystal, and could be of many compositions, including Aluminum Oxide doped with titanium. One requirement is that the lens does not preferential reflect and visible frequency of light, so that rules out most of what one would commonly call sapphire.

Comment Never updated (Score 2) 63

The collaboration in the word processor is nice, but even Apple has that to some extent now. Google does this a lot, provides a decent product then ignores it and lets it get stale. I was thinking they were going to kill it off like they do with most of their products. Does the spreadsheet have a real regression line feature yet?

Comment Re:CS should _not_ be taught to teenagers (Score 1) 241

We live in a world where it is increasingly important to understand process. Think of teaching a spreadsheet to a kid who understands how a computer works, rather than just thinking the buttons are magic. Understanding is key. Everyone else is going to have their job taken over by a robot or by kids who did have some basic CS.

No one is saying that we teach a CS curriculum in high school, just like not one is saying that we teach math or science or literature or history to the levels taught in college. What some, like the poster are saying, is that we decide the few we are going to educate, and ignore the rest.

In the end CS in high school is a practical problem. CS is still a relatively rigorous topic, and relatively few people understand it. I have sat in rooms with adults playing on an arduino, and most could even to the simplest tasks. They simply are not trained.

In the end we don't have CS in high school for the same reason that in may high schools we have 4 years of required history and English but only three years of math and Science. There are simply not enough teachers. And yes, many teachers will deny it and say that math and science is useless, and no kid needs to know physics or calculus.

I am certainly glad that i did not have parents of go to a school that represented this level of stupidity. Otherwise I would not have a job. I also had to learn to read literature and write and do many other things, even if I did not have an aptitude for it. It is called being educated.

Comment Don't drink and derive (Score 2) 201

Just imagine how dangerous the roads would be if you just said that adult could just start to drive at 18 or 21, but were not allowed to drive a car before. At 21 you could buy and drive a car, but if you were caught driving before that you would be arrested.

I am not saying that drinking is a skill, but the craziness occurs because many kids go from not being allowed to drink, ever, to having unrestricted access. I think that most of us have learned that abstinence does not work, but still we think we can let kids learn to drink all at once and not see terrible consequences.

In civilized places like Texas a parent is an affirmative defense to a minor drinking. I certainly knew how to manage my drinking by the time I was 18. I saw many people without this skill get shit faced. Of course when people are getting drunk for the first time as adults without supervision there are going to be negative consequences.

Also, of course, there are people who are addicts, and those people need to be identified early and provided with appropriate medical attention. I can't imagine a worse time to learn one is an addict than at college.

Comment Re:It's Hillary time! (Score 2, Interesting) 271

The Russians are suspected of hacking computers of US political people, and then releasing edited documents. One POTUS candidate has very close ties to Russia, and even though Russia is not an enemy this is a concern, just like the same candidates direct request for campaign funds from a another foreign governement.

There are two problems here. First, nothing on Wikileaks should be taken as fact without corroboration. Right now too many just accept everything posted as fact. This is what lead to the current situation.

Second, Assange needed to have negotiated a trial for the rape charges. Right now he is a fugitive suspect. If what he did was rape under the laws of the country he was in, and if he really believes in the rule of law and is not in fact just a narcissistic demagogue, he needs to face the consequences of his actions. By not doing so he has lost all credibility as fighter of truth. He is a fighter for truth he finds useful.

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