6 posts • joined 23 Aug 2007
so here's the innovation
A laptop you can't use on your lap. Brilliant, wish I'd thought of that and secured worldwide patents.
Re: They're not free
Microsoft has done this in the past. In 1997, I had a sabbatical at University of Michigan, then one of the biggest Mac users in the world. While I was there, Microsoft and Intel clubbed together to pay the cost of replacing most of their Macs with Wintel boxes. It ended costing the university money because they had to hire so many more support staff.
And no, I don't recall a lot of frothing at the mouth, even though this was a blatantly ant-competitive act.
While the iPads are being paid for somehow there is nothing in the university's terms and conditions that says you can't sell yours once you've had it past the date when your enrolment for becomes irrevocable for purposes of calculating tuition, so there's nothing to stop you selling it.
As for the benefits educationally, meh. I've read countless studies of computers in education and can't say I've seen any that make a compelling case.
This is the real news story
Clueless student can't make Ubuntu system work and drops out. How is that news?
Clues student buys Windows machine, nothing works, and drops out. That's news.
Oops, I have it backwards. It's the rare event that's news.
stop worrying about secure email
Anyone who thinks email is secure should take a careful look at the SMTP protocol. If the mail stays strictly within your organization or over encrypted links, you have some chance.
Accidentally include a Cc: or Bcc: somewhere that you didn't intend, and you can sent the latest spy stories out to the whole world, without even leaving something on the train.
You are much better off assuming email isn't secure and not using it to send information around that is not for public consumption.
I recently saw a documentary on the Apollo 13 rescue (not the movie); the fact that they were able to pull off something like that remains one of the great achievements of 20th century science. NASA may have had its bureaucratic screw-ups but it employs top talent in its science departments. It's not for nothing that "rocket scientist" is a synonym for someone able to do hard science.
It's plain ludicrous that people are asserting Hansen left out obvious things or is purely engaged in political spin. Read some of his papers at www.giss.nasa.gov and see for yourself. I am not a climate scientist and prefer to verify things myself; what I have been able to check out looks good. See for example http://opinion-nation.blogspot.com/2008/04/climate-science-predictive-power.html
speculation on unnanouced prices
In the US, much the same debate followed the "no subsidised handsets" announcement -- the overall cost over 2 years turned out to be less than competing options with comparable features, when someone bothered to check. "Free" means you pay for it somewhere else. So I would wait for the prices to be announced before jumping to any conclusions.