46 posts • joined 7 Jun 2011
And there is another problem: the moving target. I was at a university a few years ago and asked to develop a program preparing a person for whatever certification was supposed to make you walk on water to the hiring people. We were going to do it with the experiences, not the "test preparation" strategies. We invested considerable time and energy over a few months, designing the labs and specifying the equipment needed. When we were about to finalize the proposal, Microsoft announced the test would be eliminated at Christmas that year. At the time of the announcement, and it wasn't obvious what other tests would take its place and in some ways it looked like whack-a-mole.
So we went to the relevant administrator, who was annoyed at the situation and what it had cost to get us to that point, and not with us. (Can you guess why we picked him to report to?) After asking the appropriate questions about what we could salvage out of our efforts, he said he'd explain to the people uphill that a test prep program just didn't look like a good use of the university's resources.
Re: No Specs
I want a prosthetic eyebrow. Something in an asymmetric Groucho Marx.
And a corrective hat.
Re: stick linux on it, and use it to read books
>>stick linux on it, and use it to read books
At least it's WalMart, which has a pretty good return policy. There have been instances recently where a warranty was voided because the purchaser installed Linux.
>>roughly seven out of ten teacher homework assignments require internet access"
>>then seven out of ten homework assignments are failing to educate our students
>>and that's not a problem the FCC can solve.
When I was growing up back in the last millennium, my school had a pretty fair library and I could walk to a university library and use their stuff, even if I couldn't check it out. The problems are (1) the students who live in communities that don't have good library facilities and (2) the topics that aren't available in whatever libraries are available. The alternative to an Internet search may be selecting from a much more limited number of topics and having less breadth of material.
(We're talking United States) If the topic of a research paper is the early life of Abraham Lincoln, along with the general characteristics of the times, there probably won't be material in the local library. But there might be what she/he needs on the Internet if sufficient searches can be done. And searching the Internet is a valuable skill with so much available there--and the skill is only developed with practice. (That's something I try to explain to my wife, when she asks me to search for something for her. Give a man a fish...teach the man to fish...)
I was fortunate when I was teaching there were several "open" computer labs the students could use to do their homework in whatever subjects they had. Often the smaller public schools won't have the extra labs/computers availablel and even more frequently, the budget is such that there won't be funding to keep the labs open after school.
Thank you to the sponsors
I'd like to thank the people who are providing the support--money, equipment, and brains--for this effort. When I first saw it, I thought it was just somebody's weekend project, but reading more and seeing the comments of Lester Haines and others, I've found it to be much more serious. (And as a longtime Linux user and user of Samba, adding Andrew Tridgell to the mix definitely added to its status.)
Anyway, thank you to all the people who are making this possible.
Re: ... it could “overwrite your entire filesystem”
As I was reading this article, I stopped and looked down at my "packages need updating" notifier. Clicking on it, I discovered that my Mint 17 wanted to update to 1.15.
That's fast. Thanks, Clem & Co.
Your choice of vocabulary, writing style, and comments made this article a lot more understandable than I expected it would be at the outset.
And did anybody besides me read "Kam" and immediately think of a rotund entrepreneur from New Zealand?
Sometimes it works the other way--rarely
A young lady who had worked for us while she was in university got a job with a major discount retailer (if you're an American, yes--that one), as they apparently needed females in that section of Info Tech. She got a $50,000 signing bonus and a salary about $10,000 higher than any other graduate I knew of. I will point out she was VERY sharp and good at her stuff and there was no hint it was because of anything inappropriate.
Re: By no means a Microsoft fan, but ...
Yes, in some cases discrimination was even a policy. I recall seeing a job posting (an incredible number of years ago) that gave the base salary and that a man would get $350/month more. Obviously, that was before the equality legislation came along, but more than once I've heard the thought that a woman might be less company-oriented because sometimes she might have to care for her family, she might be more concerned for her family than for the company, that she might move away if her husband got a job in another area, that she might have to have time off to have a baby... All of these and more say you're likely to get less value from a woman, at least to the person who was saying it.
The first salary in a job can make a difference, and if a woman were hired by somebody who thought that (nothing in writing or out loud, of course) the pay rate could stick. I'm a white male and I recently retired from a job where each hire contracted for his salary and that was the basis for what you were going to make as long as you were there. A 5% raise for everybody this year, 2% another year, etc. I was hired at a bad economic time so I didn't start out as high as some people had been a few years before and were a few years later. It was informally understood that if I wanted to get ahead, I'd need to take a job somewhere else and be hired at a new rate. I stayed and was fortunate that a few times I received raises to partly catch me up.
Yes, the ~78% is a bare number, without explanation or adjustments for differences. But I think I'd argue that in some significant number of cases, there probably can be found a sex-related factor in that difference.
Re: "news publishers have had links to their stories blocked"
Upvote and thank you for using "stroppy" in a sentence. We merkins can learn.
Re: The joke is on you! You need to read between the lines...suckers.
Worse than that--don't even THINK about trying a new plan.
Got a missive from a local dealer telling me I could save money. Went to the store and the lady manager did a paper and pencil and showed me it would save $60/month on the before taxes and fees charge, plus give me a new phone. So she entered my details and started the process. OOPS! You don't have the super-duper shared data plan, so the $60 off doesn't apply. And adding the plan adds $80, so you'd be $20 worse off.
Not surprisingly, I indicated I wasn't interested. Please cancel everything and put it back like it was before. So she canceled this and canceled that and OOPS! Let me call Verizon. Sorry, we can't reinstate your unlimited data plan I just took off because they don't offer that any more and they can't enter it on the computer. So you get a 2 gigs a month plan unless you pay (monthly) for an upgrade.
This is the second time I've been to one of that company's stores and worked with the manager and the second time I've ended up worse off as the result. Guess I learned my lesson.
The reason I was upgrading was my existing phone was getting flaky (a friend with the same phone was having the same problems) and decided to get a new one. Changing companies wasn't really an option because Verizon has better service in my area and I'm the "daddy" in a family plan. I went to the real Verizon store and had to pay for what I got, but at least they got it right on the first try.
And I felt like a sucker, of course.
Can't get no satisfaction, etc.
Kids these days. No reference to Tumbling Tumbleweeds at all.
Re: That sounds like American politics...
>>Funny I don't see managing computers anywhere in the Australian Teaching Standards.
Some attempts to implement don't work perfectly, either. My university in the USA created a Master of Science program in technology (I've forgotten the program name) to train teachers to to support the advanced stuff du jour and to also instruct others in using it--because it was often easier to give a teacher an extra job to do "in her/his spare time" than to hire a support person. So tech support was to be an assignment like coaching the cheerleaders or sponsoring a club or two.
I taught courses in computer troubleshooting, networking, and some Internet topics, including web design. My predecessor did what he could to make them academically honorable courses and taught things like digital vs analog power supplies, the seven layers of networking, etc. I looked at what such a tech support person was likely to actually do--and went to my department head to get his blessing. I had the students take a computer apart down to the screws, put it back together, and show me it worked--on the first day. I showed them how to format a drive and install an operating system (Windows, Linux, whatever was handy), set up a server, and crimp an end on a CAT5 cable. Heavens, no--I never claimed I thought it was graduate-level work in the sense of what I did for my doctorate. But I had a good time, they had a good time, and some of them are still being useful for their schools.
Alas, like many, the program was created and sent off to take care of itself. The buzzwords and hot topics change. It was like giving somebody a car and not verifying there was a source for gas money. This has been the case for university programs for decades. My lab equipment was scrounged from university surplus--which wasn't bad, as many of the schools had similar vintage and it wasn't a crisis if we broke something. And (win-win) I could have the students do the setups and troubleshooting. But there was nobody to push through updates to the program or to the courses. The web design course assumed that FrontPage (forgive me!) was already installed on the computers and it was expected that's what we'd use. (It's not where I stayed, of course.) There was a semester course in another department on making overhead transparencies. I don't know what they did over the years.
After fifteen years or so, the program was de facto dropped--it stayed on the books, but no more students came along. It's probably still on the books and in the catalog. I hope that most of the public schools are now hiring "real" tech support and funding them.
I thought wireless charging was an expensive gimmick, myself...until our family's second broken/worn out charging port. Had they been wireless lay-it-on-the-charger devices, they would probably be still in service.
Of course, making the charging port more durable would have dealt with that, too, and probably for less money. Wonder how the manufacturer figured out how to make the connector on my phone last until just a few months after the contract was over.
Precedent and clue
Sherlock Holmes and the Red Headed League.
Doesn't anybody read the classics?
Scratch-built COSMAC ELF
Ah, the memories. When I was buying it the company called it a kit, but what I got gave me a lot of practice soldering sockets onto a circuit board so I could stick in CMOS chips. I also learned a LOT of troubleshooting with essentially no tools, which were way too expensive. Substitution are us and finding the chips to substitute involved a lot of looking.
The BOFH had a relevant observation
THE CLOUD: You want to keep data which is local, only ever going to be local, only needed locally, never accessed remotely, not WANTED to be made available outside our building, which can only WEAKEN our security by being off site, hosted offsite.
BOFH: Simon Travaglia
There are some data situations which definitely ought to remain within the walls of the company (plus secure offsite backups), accessible only by the company.
And the NSA.
Be careful of how WalMart does it
Let's lower prices every year! Let's push out the competition! Let's sell the cheapest stuff at the lowest prices, even if it means the stuff has to change its character, not just its price. Like the price point for a popular food item? Reduce the quantity in the box but don't change the box. Those dumb customers who buy by price alone won't know the difference. John Ruskin talked about this over a hundred years ago.
Go back to the 2006 articles about how Snapper stopped selling to WalMart, then look at the articles from the last year or so saying they're back. That is, lawn mowers painted Snapper red and with the Snapper name on the side are now being sold at WalMart. Check the labels--they don't come out of the Snapper factory in McDonough, Georgia, USA. Those are still at the authorized Snapper dealers.
Yes, it's possible the traditional suppliers are pricing their items higher than they need to. It's also possible the "commodity" suppliers are providing products that do the job well and for just as long at a lower price. But when anyone tells you, "You get what you pay for," remind them that's not a sure thing and sometimes you undeniably do NOT get what you pay for. But you're probably going to have to pay for what you get.
Anybody had the other situation?
Early on in a new position in education I was on the server, looking at the student files they had turned in for a class. I did something fairly ordinary without thinking (possibly created a subfolder--whatever it was, it wasn't destructive or disruptive) and then it hit me I shouldn't have been able to do that. I went to the network boss and asked if I had mistakenly made an administrator. He said that because the dozen or so of us MIGHT need to do certain things, for convenience we had all been made administrators way in the past. That way, we wouldn't have to go to the real administrator and ask to have it done.
From that point on, I was VERY careful what I did on that server. Over the years, I don't recall hearing that anything ever got messed up, so I guess all of us were careful.
Re: Don't use it
>>but I have fond memories of the simplicity of non wysiwyg wordperfect 5.0 & 5.1.
As one who still thinks that WordPerfect 5.1 for DOS was as close to perfection as I'm going to see in this life, that all but brought tears to my eyes.
Re: I tire of all this (woe is middle-class, first-world me, apparently)
>>The Munich migration has been going since 2003 (IIRC) and still hasn't finished,
>>with a saving of next to nill. It's probably not a good example of a Linux migration,
>>I would look elsewhere. Were I a CTO of a company looking to migrate from MS
>>to Linux, I'd look very dimly upon someone saying "look how well it went for these guys".
Interesting comment, since there was no claim at the outset they were doing it to save money. As I recall, they wanted to get away from vendor lock-in, which they have done for most purposes. Certainly there were some training and changeover expenses they wouldn't have had with Microsoft products, uh, maybe...
Wonder how much they paid for upgrades to Office 2007, 2010, and 2013, plus upgrades to Windows 7, 8, 8.1, etc. And Microsoft the training those required was included in the purchase price, of course.
This sounds like the time...
...for the folks in (or formerly in, my case) the education business to mention "merit pay." Merit pay is claimed to be a system for rewarding teachers for doing excellent work. As with many people-evaluating schemes, it has invariably concentrated on process, rather than results. It's as if you reward the cow for eating grass for more hours per day than her peers, rather than for producing milk. On top of concentrating on the wrong measures, merit pay then attempts to be "objective" or "scientific," rather than "a popularity contest." So the way to be rewarded is to do things the evaluator can count--presentations in meetings, articles published (with such further evaluated on whether the meeting was local or international, the status of the publication in the eyes of "the profession) and so on.
Then, of course, there is the evaluation conference where the results are explained, with the infamous words, "just one more." You could have gotten a raise, been promoted, or whatever, if you had done "just one more." Doing things like helping a depressed and despondent student survive an impossible home situation for fifteen hours over the course of a month doesn't lend itself to "counting" using such criteria.
Oh, no! Somebody told us w're not looking at the outcomes! Let's give the students some kind of test and reward the teachers whose graduates score higher on a paper and pencil (nowadays computer administered) exam! This saves the teachers all sorts of time trying to figure out what material is important and how to present it effectively--just teach the stuff that's on the test.
<... A regular Garden of Eadon. >
AAAAAAAHHHHHHH!!!! My head!! My head!!!
Re: Mashing the screen makes me want to kill...
@Yet Another Commentard
>What a computer really needs is some form of pointer device (like an on screen arrow) that
>could be used by the observer to accurately indicate what they were talking about. It could
>be moved around by some form of physical control, maybe kept near the keyboard.
A few years ago I was a faculty member in a university Computer Science department. The department head from MIS wanted to give a demo, needed to point, and excused himself to go get his red dot laser pointer. Before he ran, I suggested using this arrow thing you mention--but he didn't understand how it would work for just pointing.
Fortunately, he's beyond the point of breeding.
Re: Unlimited may be a word..
"But so is Class and Action and Lawsuit."
No, class and action are no longer with us as of their new contract. Arbitration and/or taking it to court as an individual are the words now.
@Tinker Tailor Soldier
Speaking of getting your facts straight, the verdict was not remanded to a lower court and still stands. The penalty phase was remanded to a lower court. The penalty is what was settled with the DoJ lawyers and I'm sure it's only coincidence, of course, that the DoJ seemed to soften their position dramatically after the occupant of the White House changed.
The first time I've heard of Twitter's possibly being useful.
Re: 2 birds with one stone
By coincidence--probably not!--my university's CS department began looking at other languages because of concerns that Oracle might not be including our students' use of Java in their plan. In fact, it seemed to be quite uncertain what direction they have in mind.
Re: Patent Law Dicktionary
"Its difficult being a sane person in this world..."
The way things are going, if this was true when you wrote it, it won't be long.
I want him hung with a knife after that!
Best Higgs Boson comment I've seen
"So at least boffins will understand the universe, even if they're not quite able to explain it to anyone else... "
My thought exactly.
Re: Because no facebook thread would be complete without a post like this...
Your friend is mistaken. I have an account using a pseudonym that's even less believable (to me) than the one I use here, and all fake information. I did, however, go to the trouble of picking a town that exists and using its zip code for the street that doesn't exist and its area code for the fake phone number, so if their bot does a check, it might seem plausible.
The Queen's English
Beg pardon, "morally ambiguous" doesn't seem to describe the individuals being talked about. I'm thinking "ambivalent" is a little closer, but "naughty" would do even better.
Even being merkin, I like whoever thought up "errant pedantry, up with which I shall not put" and its variations. Apocrypha, indeed.
Somewhere I read that in a glamor pic the model should be pointing her toes--that is, making her ankle joint as straight as possible. I think she's doing that and it turns out that looking at it from the toe end in an opaque stocking isn't as appealing as in profile and bare.
"...does not lie about who he is being paid by."
I suppose he hadn't literally lied, but it seems like he waited a LONG time and made a LOT of comments before mentioning Oracle and Microsoft are a part of his financial life.
Missing the obvious new threat
WHERE OH WHERE are the people studying fingertip cancer! With so many people using smart phones, but not talking on them, that's where the current hazard is. I know there have been a few articles warning of the risks of repetitive motion damage to thumbs and a few other joints related to phone use (from the distant past--anybody remember mouse shoulder?), but it's CANCER! that will kill us.
We need a study!
@Christoph - The Group W Bench ?
You must be VERY old and with an impressive memory. Well done!
Anybody remember the User Port?
The user port was a part of one of the two 6526 "Complex Interface Adapter" used on the C64, an upgrade from the occasionally buggy 6522 "Versatile Interface Adapter" used on the PET and the Vic-20. The 24-pin edgecard connector had quite a number of functions available, but I was interested in the six TTL-compatible lines that were otherwise not used for anything most of the time. I created two or three interfaces over a few years and ran a CNC milling machine from it. 1 MHz sounds slow today, but I calculated that the program I had written (in 6502/6510 machine language) was in wait loops more than 98% of the time.
Later on, the PaperClip word processor included software to control a Centronics printer from the interface. A few days waiting for the connectors via mail order and an afternoon of soldering and my father's Epson MX-80 was printing his notes.
Consumer Reports report
As I recall, the Consumer Reports folks gave the iPhone 4 very high marks for its features and how well they worked, but then verified the antenna issue and gave it a reluctant Not Acceptable.
@James Micallef Re: destroying the climate change doubters
Yes, the change being discussed is only a half a percent of the temperature above absolute zero, but that isn't the starting point of the change. The quantity of the change from the present mean temperature that is anticipated to cause the phenomenon has been cut in half. If I now pay 30p for something that cost 60p before (dream of that), that is cutting the price in half, regardless whether I have 60p in my pocket or I'm weighed down with currency of the realm.
If we assume the existence of a "present rate of warming," this means that at this "present rate," we have half as long for the melting to occur. The existence of warming and a "present rate of warming" is one of the questions being debated, of course, but the point that it's half as much change as previously believed is the relevant point.
One wonders whether the heat of the debate is a factor in global warming.
Re: This is good
There is basically no argument that kiddie porn, incitement to violence, encouraging acts of terror, etc. on the Internet are bad and should be avoided. The problem some people miss is that it isn't an either/or argument. Having insects crawling on a glass of fine wine or a child's glass of milk is also bad and should be avoided, but we don't dispatch the bugs with a sledge hammer or a grenade. We use a tool that deals with the problem and doesn't cause a lot of damage to people and valuable property. The same thing with the Internet--use tools that protect people but preserve rights and liberties.
If there are any terrorists listening, I'll give you a recipe for causing maximum disruption to the people of the free countries of the world: get yourselves elected to the parliament/congress/legislature of a country and argue for laws that eradicate the freedoms the countries fought wars to preserve--just a little at a time. You're patient--you've been fighting some wars for years and years and years. Run as a conservative: I'm here to protect our values. Use whatever emotional and irrational means you find effective and do anything you can to avoid a reasonable discussion of the issues. Ad hominem attacks are great: tell the people that if they're against your law, they're helping the pornographers, terrorists, and nasty people of the world! Find any way you can to claim the new legislation will protect the people. When you are successful, you will have accomplished your objectives without shedding any blood or destroying any buildings. No mess to clean up. And you've won!
Now start collecting money for your campaigns.
Re: Re: Solar winds
Yep, thinking outside the box, getting out of our comfort zone...and numerous other expressions read by people who saw them on a page but generally didn't read the rest of the page.
Then, of course, there are those of us whose relatives were displaced by recent snowstorms and went to hotels for shelter. To fill the time, they posted their problems on their FB pages.
Makes you proud to have technically adept relatives.
You beat me to the Darwin Awards line...
...unless you think GIMP really is the equivalent of Photoshop
@JC_ Specious argument. It doesn't matter whether it is the "equivalent." It doesn't matter whether Open Office/Libre Office is only as good as Office 2003 or 2000, or 1997. What matters is whether the software does what you need to have done.
Frankly, I think Office 97 got it right--does what I want and the help system pops right up, rather than waiting to see whether it has a network connection and finally bringing up a window. I would probably still be using it, if I hadn't had to teach a couple classes of "ribbon." Yuck.
Not quite as good as it could be
Increasing the density of trees improves the CO2 absorption, and that's good. However, it gives other things--animals and other plants--less area to live and probably decreases biodiversity.
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