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Bill Gates Enrolls His Kids In Khan Academy

timothy posted more than 4 years ago | from the open-course-ware dept.

Education 286

theodp writes "At some schools, a teaching load of five courses every academic year is considered excessive. But Sal Khan, as an earlier Slashdot post noted, manages to deliver his mini-lectures an average of 70,000 times a day. BusinessWeek reports that Khan Academy has a new fan in Bill Gates, who's been singing and tweeting the praises of the free-as-in-beer website. 'This guy is amazing,' Gates wrote. 'It is awesome how much he has done with very little in the way of resources.' Gates and his 11-year-old son have been soaking up videos, from algebra to biology. And at the Aspen Ideas Festival in front of 2,000 people, Gates gave Khan a shout-out, touting the 'unbelievable' Khan Academy tutorials that 'I've been using with my kids.'"

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khaaan (5, Funny)

roman_mir (125474) | more than 4 years ago | (#33408252)

KHAAAAAAAAAAAAN.

What do you get if you cross God Father and an economist?

An offer you can't understand

I have nothing else :(

Re:khaaan (1)

Dexter Herbivore (1322345) | more than 4 years ago | (#33408294)

Dammit... 8 comments in and somone has already beaten me to the ultimate Star Trek "Mendoza moment". It's a sad world for the /. comedian when all your material gets taken early.

Re:khaaan (5, Funny)

Joebert (946227) | more than 4 years ago | (#33408336)

If all of "your material" is constantly getting "taken early", you're not a comedian, you're a clown. Or Carlos Mencia.

Re:khaaan (4, Funny)

Yvan256 (722131) | more than 4 years ago | (#33408476)

All your material are belong to us.

Re:khaaan (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33408502)

8 comments in? Pffft, it was an actual first post

imagine if copyrights didnt exist or (0, Troll)

chronoss2010 (1825454) | more than 4 years ago | (#33408402)

imagine if copyrights didnt exist or patents, hed be even more awesome eh billy boy

Re:khaaan (1)

herdingcats (21219) | more than 4 years ago | (#33408686)

and as i recall from my mba-garnering days:

q: what do you get if you lay every economist in the world head to toe in a line snaking, it would seem, around the globe?

a: nothing....they'd never reach a conclusion.

now i will duck as you throw things in my general direction. ;)

Here we go again ... (-1, Offtopic)

daveime (1253762) | more than 4 years ago | (#33408256)

Cue the outraged /. nerds whining that he should "give something back", even though his lectures are "free".

But it's Bill Gates ... Microsoft is evil !!!

Frosty Piss ?

Insert Star Trek Quote (2, Funny)

alphatel (1450715) | more than 4 years ago | (#33408258)

Using Gates in place of Kirk, make your own cool Star Trek: Wrath of Khan movie quotes! Discuss...

Gates Foundation (5, Insightful)

sourcerror (1718066) | more than 4 years ago | (#33408262)

It would cool, if the Gates Foundation donated for Khan Academy, because as far as I know Khan is now burning his savings.

Re:Gates Foundation (5, Insightful)

gilesjuk (604902) | more than 4 years ago | (#33408284)

It would be nice if Microsoft hadn't been overcharging education establishments for their software for years. Perhaps then they would have had more money to spend on other things.

All that money Gates and Microsoft have is down to them emptying everyone's pockets for mundane software like Office, adding the Microsoft "tax" to every PC sale and so on. Gates's charity is all about recognition. The best charity is that where the donors are anonymous, that way they have no agenda, they aren't trying to change the way people think about them.

I'm sure if we all had more money than we could possibly spend we would give it away.

Plenty of criticism here:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bill_%26_Melinda_Gates_Foundation#Criticism [wikipedia.org]

Re:Gates Foundation (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33408338)

It would be nice if Microsoft overcharged educational establishments enough that academics outside math, physics, computer science, and finance also started using LaTeX, which is older but vastly superior to Word.

I love LaTeX, but really, now (5, Insightful)

Mathinker (909784) | more than 4 years ago | (#33408362)

> started using LaTeX, which is older but vastly superior to Word

I love LaTeX, it produces beautifully typeset math, but for your average biologist, English professor, etc., I can see that something a bit less high-powered and easier to use ("what you see is approximately what you get") would be more optimal.

In other words, it's not chance that many academics don't use LaTeX.

Re:I love LaTeX, but really, now (1)

wjh31 (1372867) | more than 4 years ago | (#33408372)

you should have a look at Lyx

Re:I love LaTeX, but really, now (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33408518)

I wouldn't wish LyX on my worst enemy.

Anyone who thinks LyX is worth its weight in bits is kidding (him/her)self. The UI is horrible and it's buggy as hell.

Re:I love LaTeX, but really, now (2, Insightful)

Mathinker (909784) | more than 4 years ago | (#33408396)

Ooops, forgot to add --- all those academics who don't use LaTeX could probably use something open-source (OO.o, Abiword, KWord), except that my guess is that (many of) the journals they publish in only accept their submissions in MS Word format. So they decide to play safe and use MS.

RTF and ODT are Word-compatible formats (2, Informative)

tepples (727027) | more than 4 years ago | (#33408496)

(many of) the journals they publish in only accept their submissions in MS Word format

RTF is an "MS Word format" because Word 2007 will read it. As of Office 2007 SP2, so is ODF [msdn.com] .

Re:I love LaTeX, but really, now (1)

gortner (926465) | more than 4 years ago | (#33408538)

I support a lot of academic's computers. Lots of them use TeX. Mostly Math and Physics, but a little in all the sciences. I don't think they could write their papers w/o TeX. They look great with lots of complicated math formulas, all in a nice .pdf that everyone can read and journals can publish. I install MikTeX, GSView, GhostScript, and WinEdt (shareware) and they're happy.

Re:I love LaTeX, but really, now (3, Informative)

Greyfox (87712) | more than 4 years ago | (#33408952)

TeX and LaTeX produce the most beautiful documents I've ever seen off a computer. If you're googling for them, be sure to include "document preparation system" in your keywords, though. Otherwise you'll have to wash your brain.

Re:Gates Foundation (5, Insightful)

thenextpresident (559469) | more than 4 years ago | (#33408388)

The criticisms presented there seem to essentially be criticisms that could be thrown at any charity. None of them registered as problem with the foundation itself. In some of the cases, the only solution to resolve the complaint is to lower or eliminate the amount donated.

Sorry, but those people complaining are going to complain whatever happens.

Re:Gates Foundation (4, Insightful)

Beetle B. (516615) | more than 4 years ago | (#33408732)

The criticisms presented there seem to essentially be criticisms that could be thrown at any charity.

This. Essentially, the criticisms are saying that the money could be better utilized, and not saying that it is doing any damage as it is. Put another way, had Bill Gates never provided the money in the first place (which is his right), nothing would be better. The Foundation isn't making anything in the world worse.

Re:Gates Foundation (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33408782)

The GGP was mostly referring to Microsoft charging ridiculous amounts to schools, and that leading to the B&M Gates foundation. I consider that damage.

Re:Gates Foundation (5, Insightful)

Aquitaine (102097) | more than 4 years ago | (#33408450)

Wow. What an angry, narrow-minded post. 'Insightful' indeed.

I have no more love for Microsoft than the next guy, but you act like we're all being forced to buy MS products and that every cent they've earned was all but stolen from our pockets, and that, if it weren't stolen from our pockets, we'd be giving all that money to charity ourselves. Yeah, right.

Gates believes that recognition will drive more people to charity than anonymity. As an un-involved businessman who gives a small piece of his small profit to charity every year, I share your preference for anonymous donations, because the cause (whatever it may be) is certainly more important than the donor. This isn't what Gates is arguing. He's saying that whatever harm comes from the recognition factor, at the end of the day, you'll have an order of magnitude more money coming in from people who want that recognition such that, if the cause is so important, funding it an extra order of magnitude is much more important than our anonymity principle. That's a tough case to argue, because vanity is definitely a big piece of philanthropy, and as much as I think stamping people's names on university buildings or theater/classroom seats is dumb, I'd rather have a theater or a classroom with some stranger's name on everything than not have it.

Gates' charity is not 'all about recognition,' either. He honestly believes that recognition is an important piece of the cycle; you're free to disagree, but as I imagine that neither you nor I have achievements that even come close to what his charity accomplishes in a single year, I think it's very easy for us to throw stones and paint him as a jerk.

As it happens, I actually don't completely support a big piece of what his charity does -- focusing on disease in Africa -- but it's foolish and simply wrong to suggest that Gates is just a successful crook rather than an accomplished individual who is free to spend the fruits of his labor as he pleases.

Re:Gates Foundation (1)

rtb61 (674572) | more than 4 years ago | (#33408552)

What he is saying is give your time away free now rather than 5 percent of profits from over charging for it later. In terms of karma of course giving you time counts far more that giving a portion of the proceeds of deceit (false advertising is deceit upon a grand scale).

Whilst it is nice to donate to charity you can not of course buy karma. If a doctor and their research who spent the life learning and focusing upon solving some of the humanities greatest problems comes up with a cure for a terrible disease, you can not buy that karma by funding their efforts, the only karma you gain is for supporting their life, not for the lives they save and of course beyond that the people in the field who actually applied the cure and the karma they gained.

You can not steal others people's karma that they gained by focusing upon supporting humanity or in giving away the creative efforts to the benefit of humanity, by trying to buy it with a small portion of the proceeds of countless lies (one lie broadcast to a million people is a million lies). Even worse if you tried to destroy those creative efforts that other people gave away freely for the benefit of humanity because it did not suit your lust for even more money. You really think you can buy off a living universe after that especially when some of that almost 'donated' but still controlled by the 'philanthropist' ends up doing harm rather than good, fed by the attitude that they know better than hundreds of millions of lesser people (not as successful 'er' greedy).

Re:Gates Foundation (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33408692)

but you act like we're all being forced to buy MS products

Umm, we are. Every time you buy a computer from a large vendor, it WILL have windows preinstalled. Sure, you could assemble your own or buy from a small, independent retailer that does this for you, but economies of scale will ensure that even with the "microsoft tax", the large vendor will be cheaper.

But don't make the mistake of assuming that this means everything is fine. The large vendor would be EVEN cheaper if it weren't for the microsoft tax. So your only choice is between paying an extra in the form of the microsoft tax, or paying a bigger extra to make up for the economies of scale that the small vendor can't tap into.

For people who actually have to watch how much they spend (read: MOST people), the choice is pretty clear.

That said, if you'll allow me to end this on a personal note, you swallowed Gates' bait hook, line and sinker. Here's a guy whose company HAS been abusing its monopoly, HAS been convicted in court, and WOULD have been broken up if it weren't for Ashcroft taking office after Dubya's elected and helping them out (good old boy!) - a guy who, for all practical purposes, has been breaking into your house and stealing your savings for 30 years, and now he's spending PART of the billions he's stolen on charity, and you cheer him on? Grow a spine, you lickspittle.

Re:Gates Foundation (1, Insightful)

BasilBrush (643681) | more than 4 years ago | (#33408734)

OK, I'll bite. What do you think is wrong with a charity combatting disease in Africa?

More important than Africa (0, Troll)

squirrl (1544899) | more than 4 years ago | (#33408898)

Because fighting disease in America is more important?

Re:Gates Foundation (1)

TheVelvetFlamebait (986083) | more than 4 years ago | (#33408994)

I have no more love for Microsoft than the next guy

You have no more love for Microsoft than cmdrsalamander (102098)? [slashdot.org] The guy posted one comment 10 years ago, and it wasn't even about Microsoft. How could you possibly tell? ;-)

Re:Gates Foundation (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33408684)

i work IT in the education industry. what we pay for MS licenses is about 1/6th what was paid when i worked in the private sector.

Re:Gates Foundation (1)

Beetle B. (516615) | more than 4 years ago | (#33408742)

It would be nice if Microsoft hadn't been overcharging education establishments for their software for years.

Citation?

Plenty of criticism here:

Sorry - those criticisms are not "The Foundation is causing harm", but "If I had the money, I'd spend it on something else". Had the Foundation not existed, nothing in the body of those criticisms would be better in the world.

Re:Gates Foundation (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33408356)

It would be cool if each of us could contribute videos in the areas we are good at, and Khan could vet and modify the videos to match his teaching methods. It would also be cool if we could sponsor graduates in other area to produce free videos in their degree for this program. How easy would it be to pay an English, or Psychology, or other low-paying career major so that this academy would not be tech-heavy?

Re:Gates Foundation (1)

hedwards (940851) | more than 4 years ago | (#33408392)

The problem with that is that the cost of quality control would easily come out to being more than just producing it themselves. Particularly for more complicated fields like Pyschology, Biology and other more advanced subjects, it takes a long time to review the information to make sure that it's both appropriate and accurate.

Re:Gates Foundation (4, Insightful)

IamTheRealMike (537420) | more than 4 years ago | (#33408398)

The website says that "generous individuals" have donated enough that he can do it full time. Given Gates' well known financial commitments to education it wouldn't surprise me at all if Gates has donated.

To a lesser extent I guess Google is also donating by hosting the projects infrastructure for free, notably YouTube but also AppEngine and other things.

Re:Gates Foundation (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33408416)

He should donate to Khan. Besides which, is this Bill Gates finding the advantages of Open-Source? What next, Linux??

Re:Gates Foundation (1)

xtracto (837672) | more than 4 years ago | (#33408464)

Haha... I would love to see his son become an Open Source advocate. ;-)

Re:Gates Foundation (1)

xtracto (837672) | more than 4 years ago | (#33408462)

Definitely...

Shit, not the Gates and Melinda foundation. It would be good if Bill would give a "relatively small" donation to this guy for his services.

Re:Gates Foundation (1)

timeOday (582209) | more than 4 years ago | (#33408636)

It would cool, if the Gates Foundation donated for Khan Academy, because as far as I know Khan is now burning his savings.

Seeking out people who are already doing great things on their own and then offering help is probably the only Gates can get any real work done; I'd imagine there's a deluge of people promising him the moon 2-3 years after they receive his "support," but 99% of them don't really have a vision.

Re:Gates Foundation (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33408672)

He has received significant donations.

http://money.cnn.com/2010/08/23/technology/sal_khan_academy.fortune/index.htm

attention to the polarised (5, Interesting)

FuckingNickName (1362625) | more than 4 years ago | (#33408266)

He's the rich founder of MS, yet he's an awesome [givingpledge.org] philanthropist and geek father keen to educate his kids properly.

You have stuff to learn from this guy.

Re:attention to the polarised (1)

chichilalescu (1647065) | more than 4 years ago | (#33408308)

it makes you wonder. was he being an asshole about microsoft and money just so that he could have more to give now?

Re:attention to the polarised (5, Insightful)

hedwards (940851) | more than 4 years ago | (#33408418)

No it doesn't. He started giving money away because his dad yelled at him about not giving anything back. William Gates Sr [wikipedia.org] has been well known around Seattle for a long time. And one of the things he's known for is his generosity and more recently his push for an income tax on only high earners to compensate the state for the relative free ride that those individuals get under the current sales tax system.

Re:attention to the polarised (4, Insightful)

FuckingNickName (1362625) | more than 4 years ago | (#33408574)

Even if his giving today is completely the result of his dad persuading him, what exactly is wrong with that? Are you saying that goodness is only goodness if the decision to be good is made in a vacuum?

"Yeah, he saved my life, but he only saved my life because last Thursday his grandmother encouraged him to attend a First Aid course." The guy still considered the options and made the final decision to attend the course / give away the money. He didn't have to.

Re:attention to the polarised (4, Insightful)

Sponge Bath (413667) | more than 4 years ago | (#33408324)

"He's an overflowing cup filled with the very cream of human goodness. In all the time I've known him he's never done anything immoral." - Hanover Fiste

Give me fooking break (2, Interesting)

s-whs (959229) | more than 4 years ago | (#33408340)

He's the rich founder of MS, yet he's an awesome philanthropist and geek father keen to educate his kids properly.

He gives money away that he has no use for anyway. Result: He can steer the direction of research that 'his' money goes to, he gets to decide which charities get money. With being an criminal in how he did business in Microsoft, he's effectively stolen money from hundreds of millions of people, driven other business into the ground, and taken away the choice to give to charity to other people. Whether that would have been done is another matter, he's still taken away the choice. Oh and as to giving away 'his' money, from what I've read he has not actually done so but in effect set up another business (the business of providing money to his selected charities) which is based on 'his' money but mainly giving other people's money, those people who have given their money to his foundation, away to his selected charities.

You have stuff to learn from this guy.

Let me me be quite blunt here because it's appropriate: Give me a fooking break! There is nothing I can learn from a sociopath like Billy gates.

Re:Give me fooking break (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33408374)

He didn't hold a gun to anyone's head. He made his money because people CHOSE to buy Microsoft products. They could have easily bought something else.

Re:Give me fooking break (3, Insightful)

hedwards (940851) | more than 4 years ago | (#33408430)

For much of that time there wasn't a viable alternative and his business plan was to keep it that way. It's a bullshit argument people make that because there wasn't a gun involved that there must therefor have been a reasonable choice. Which is just something that Libertarians say so that they can sleep at night, the reality is that if you wanted to apply for a job and send in an electronic resume, good luck doing so with any other format than .doc because nobody would be looking at it. Or at work if you wanted to collaborate, you were stuck with Excel, Word, Powerpoint, etc., all owned and sold by MS. And that was their business plan, make people an offer that they had little choice but to accept at a price that was much higher than what the market would bear were there any real competition.

Re:Give me fooking break (1)

FuckingNickName (1362625) | more than 4 years ago | (#33408586)

On what date precisely were all these businesses forced to simultaneously install Microsoft software?

Re:Give me fooking break (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 4 years ago | (#33408670)

When even the USDOJ finds you guilty of exploiting your monopoly position, and engaging in anticompetitive practice, you know you've fucked up.

Microsoft has been repeatedly shown to have developed their own applications using secret APIs, and to have inserted unnecessary delay loops into public functions. So even if you don't believe that they behaved anti-competitively from a business standpoint, they did so from a technical one! And frankly, the old saw "DOS ain't done 'til Lotus won't run" has not been debunked any more than Bill Gates suggesting that 640k should be enough for anyone. Microsoft has a long history of malfeasance of all types and to ignore history is to be an idiot.

Re:Give me fooking break (1)

FuckingNickName (1362625) | more than 4 years ago | (#33408914)

When even the USDOJ finds you guilty of exploiting your monopoly position, and engaging in anticompetitive practice, you know you've fucked up.

You know that you haven't spent enough time lobbying in Washington. MS was fairly apolitical before that. It learnt its lesson.

Microsoft has been repeatedly shown to have developed their own applications using secret APIs,

So what? The question you should be asking is, "Are the public APIs good enough?" not, "Why can't MS do everything exactly as I want it?" And you're always welcome to use secret APIs, unlike on many Apple platforms - it just won't be supported and may break.

and to have inserted unnecessary delay loops into public functions.

Evidence?

the old saw "DOS ain't done 'til Lotus won't run" has not been debunked

I hear you are a paedophile. I see this hasn't been debunked.

Microsoft has a long history of malfeasance of all types and to ignore history is to be an idiot.

Yes, MS does lots of annoying things. I sincerely recommend factoring their painful licensing and interoperability problems into deciding the extent to which you want MS servers in your shop. Similarly, I don't particularly encourage the writing of Linux drivers while the kernel API is such a whimsically moving target, and consider Samba to be a weak replacement for MS' own SMB offering with everything not-quite-working-properly. The BSA abuses the philosophy it claims to be built on, just as various OS vendors do when they offer closed source enterprise versions or document so fucking terribly that you need to take out a support contract.

Re:Give me fooking break (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 4 years ago | (#33408942)

and to have inserted unnecessary delay loops into public functions.

Evidence?

It would be nice if I could scrape some up; we've discussed this issue here on Slashdot when discussing Microsoft's secret functions before, but I'm sure you know that the local search function is useless, and that google does not maintain a full cache of Slashdot's content.

I hear you are a paedophile. I see this hasn't been debunked.

Very funny, but they're not remotely the same thing. There's good basis to believe that Microsoft really did break Lotus on purpose, whereas the only evidence that I'm a pedophile is that one with my name lived in my town once. I was shocked and horrified to discover it myself, but they had a picture of a small brown man old enough to be my father, so I knew I wasn't living in a sequel to The Net.

, I don't particularly encourage the writing of Linux drivers while the kernel API is such a whimsically moving target,

oddly enough, many win2k drivers don't work on XP, most XP drivers don't work on Vista, and many Vista drivers don't work on Windows 7.

and consider Samba to be a weak replacement for MS' own SMB offering with everything not-quite-working-properly.

In both environments everything is not-quite-working-properly. I've been using Samba for a long, long time, and what stands out for me is that it causes me less headaches and tends to provide better performance, yea, even onto the same hardware.

Re:Give me fooking break (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33408932)

I have never sent a CV in any format other than plain ASCII text, nor have I ever been asked to send in any other format. That hasn't ever affected my ability to find work.

Re:Give me fooking break (1)

siride (974284) | more than 4 years ago | (#33409000)

Whose fault is it that there were no viable alternatives? Any of the Unix vendors could have chosen to make a desktop Unix at the time. Or Apple could have had more reasonable prices and tried to conquer the PC market. But they didn't. Microsoft came in and fulfilled a need that nobody else really cared about, at least not to the level that Microsoft did. Aside from some unethical business practices here and there, such as the DR-DOS issue, and the IE bundling issue that got them in trouble with the DOJ, Microsoft won fair and square.

Re:Give me fooking break (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33408410)

Let me me be quite blunt here because it's appropriate: Give me a fooking break!

There is nothing I can learn from a sociopath like Billy gates.

Because you're a bigger sociopath than he allegedly is? Better leave a medical diagnosis to medical professionals which for some reason I just very much doubt you are.

Re:Give me fooking break (1)

rotide (1015173) | more than 4 years ago | (#33408756)

What the fuck have you donated to?
What diseases have you put a real effort into trying to solve/cure?

Yes, I get it, you don't like the guy. So lets just bash him into the ground with whatever made up bullshit you can just to get mod points on anti-MS slashdot. Fuck facts, as long as you can pull mod points for flamebait and outright trollish posts.

Give me fooking break -- its lobbying not philanth (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33408810)

What he's doing is marketing and targeted lobbying even bribery [blogspot.com] . It's only philanthropy in name and then only in front of the cameras.

It's pathetic that you give him credit where credit is not due.

Re:Give me fooking break (3, Informative)

Beetle B. (516615) | more than 4 years ago | (#33408778)

He gives money away that he has no use for anyway. Result: He can steer the direction of research that 'his' money goes to, he gets to decide which charities get money. With being an criminal in how he did business in Microsoft, he's effectively stolen money from hundreds of millions of people, driven other business into the ground, and taken away the choice to give to charity to other people. Whether that would have been done is another matter, he's still taken away the choice. Oh and as to giving away 'his' money, from what I've read he has not actually done so but in effect set up another business (the business of providing money to his selected charities) which is based on 'his' money but mainly giving other people's money, those people who have given their money to his foundation, away to his selected charities.

You make it sound as if he made most of his money by charging the Windows tax for every computer sold, because that's the only really troublesome thing he did.

Since you're talking about "choice", almost always people had the choice not to buy MS software. Almost always there was a viable alternative. If they paid for an overpriced product, almost none was forced to.

And suggesting he's not giving his own money is just plain ignorant. Look it up - he gave $3.5 billion of his own money just in the last few years. And it's estimated that over his whole life, he's given $28 billion of his own assets away.

Re:attention to the polarised (0, Flamebait)

JonJ (907502) | more than 4 years ago | (#33408346)

Fuck Bill Gates. I don't care how much money he gives out, he has singlehandedly brought an entire industry to a standstill and ruined the competetive marketplace with his buisness practices. He has broken laws and destroyed lives, he fucking owes society. If there was any justice in the world, this man would be in prison.

Re:attention to the polarised (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33408384)

Take a step back,think about what you just posted, and get a life.

Considering what goes on in the world today, is "what Microsoft did" so deserving of your wrath and your feeling of injustice?

The guy does good philanthropic work, and his business practices never killed or maimed anyone.

Re:attention to the polarised (2, Interesting)

JonJ (907502) | more than 4 years ago | (#33408504)

Take a step back,think about what you just posted, and get a life.

What kind of argument is that? 'Get a life'? This is not relevant at all to the case at hand. Even if I didn't have a life, it still wouldn't be relevant.

Considering what goes on in the world today, is "what Microsoft did" so deserving of your wrath and your feeling of injustice?

Considering how many of the criminals that get their funding via Microsofts incomptence and Microsoft creating an insecure monopoly in computers, I'd say they're guilty of quite a lot. What Microsoft did was hinder development and destroy innovation, who knows how far ahead we would be if Microsoft didn't come along? They had a propelling effect in the start, but that effect dwarves the stifling effect they've had on the industry since.

The guy does good philanthropic work, and his business practices never killed or maimed anyone.

I never claimed they did either, I said they ruined peoples lives. You can do that without kill or maim, it's enough to drive someone out of buisness using underhanded tactics. Which Microsoft is a master at. http://web.archive.org/web/19991115213922/http://www.vcnet.com/bms/departments/dirtytricks.shtml [archive.org] This is just a few things, Microsoft has a long history of dirty tricks. And like Darl McBride, Bill Gates and Steve Ballmer should serve hard time. However, the United States prefer to reward sociopaths and law breakers. For some insane reason. Why aren't people brought to justice for the shit they pull?

Re:attention to the polarised (5, Insightful)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 4 years ago | (#33408382)

Gates Foundation makes for-profit investments that are killing the very people they claim to be helping [latimes.com]

Gates is personally heavily invested in big Pharma [theregister.co.uk]

You have stuff to learn from this guy.

Yeah, how to hide in plain sight and control governments.

Re:attention to the polarised (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33408520)

What's wrong with being invested into "big pharma"?

To me, if you want to change an industry the most effective means is to be a player in that industry. Sure... everyone around here can rant and rave that "they should do this" and "they should do that." By investing in them it shows that you're willing to put your money where your mouth is. Too many people around here want others to change without putting out a little of themselves in that change. Hate "big oil"? Stop driving your car. Hate "big government"? Stop putting your hand out to take their give aways. Hate "big media"? Put out your own free media so that people have an alternative.

Stop demanding that others change, change yourself. Take your own risks. Invest yourself into systems you think are corrupt and change them yourself.

Re:attention to the polarised (4, Interesting)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 4 years ago | (#33408644)

What's wrong with being invested into "big pharma"?

The Gates Foundation will not provide immunizations for nations which do not provide strong patent protection for pharmaceutical companies. This is not necessary for immunizing the developing world. This is a clear conflict of interest when coupled with Gates' personal investments, to say nothing of those of the foundation itself.

Hate "big oil"? Stop driving your car.

I drive as little as possible, I've changed my vehicles for more fuel-efficient turbo-diesels, and I've amassed some oil and a biodiesel processor. As soon as I work out a way to get the 55 gallon drum of methanol to my house I'm going to make a whole bunch of biodiesel.

Hate "big government"? Stop putting your hand out to take their give aways.

Indeed, I wish they would stop trying to give me so much. Then they would stop taking so much, and then I could afford to do as you say. But of course, the system was designed to be self-perpetuating.

0

Hate "big media"? Put out your own free media so that people have an alternative.

Plenty of people are doing that, for the average person it is enough to consume such media and support the artists.

Stop demanding that others change, change yourself.

Oh, the irony. Keep your hypocrisy to yourself. Log in so I can foe you.

Invest yourself into systems you think are corrupt and change them yourself.

Fighting the system from within is a sad joke. The answer is to put your energy into another system.

Re:attention to the polarised (5, Insightful)

FuckingNickName (1362625) | more than 4 years ago | (#33408548)

Yeah, what's happening here is that someone with a lot of capital is investing it to increase the amount of money available. This is what almost all well-funded foundations do. It would be, you hopefully realise, fucking stupid to either stuff the money under the mattress or give it all away immediately.

Now, such investments will almost certainly in some ways trickle down to operations which are harmful to some people in some way. Every cent you have in a bank or other investment account is doing a similar thing. It is perfectly legitimate to call a foundation up on this in the hope that you can encourage them to make investments you consider more ethically sound, but it doesn't imply some sort of plot to exploit / harm the ones you're helping.

In Gates' specific case he's tried to stop the investment side from interfering with the giving side and vice versa to prevent conflicts of interest. The inevitable result is that sometimes an investment will appear in some indirect way to harm a charitable effort. Perhaps you can argue that each side should keep a closer eye on what the other is doing.

Re:attention to the polarised (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 4 years ago | (#33408610)

Yeah, what's happening here is that someone with a lot of capital is investing it to increase the amount of money available. This is what almost all well-funded foundations do. It would be, you hopefully realise, fucking stupid to either stuff the money under the mattress or give it all away immediately.

It's also bullshit to claim that you're altruistic when you're too uninterested in positive progress to even be cautious about where you invest.

Every cent you have in a bank or other investment account is doing a similar thing.

This is why what little money I do have is banked with a local credit union, not a federal one, or a mainstream bank. For a while I was using WAMU because they seemed less evil than other banks and I liked being able to find an ATM, but then they were declared insolvent even though they were in a better position than many other banks, and taken over by Chase. Chase is of course pure, concentrated evil on the same order of BofA, and when it was announced I marched into my bank and told them I was closing my account and moving to a bank that didn't require a bailout.

In Gates' specific case he's tried to stop the investment side from interfering with the giving side and vice versa to prevent conflicts of interest. The inevitable result is that sometimes an investment will appear in some indirect way to harm a charitable effort. Perhaps you can argue that each side should keep a closer eye on what the other is doing.

Just to be clear on this, after that story was published in the LA Times the Gates Foundation posted a press release stating that they would be reviewing their investments for ethical content. Then the next day, they withdrew it and posted another one saying that they wouldn't be, because it's too difficult. As I said then, and as I'll say now, saving the world is hard. But don't act like Gates is a good guy, because he doesn't actually care how much good or ill he does, or they would be investing ethically. We all have this responsibility; I don't care what scale you're talking about.

The Gates' foundation's purpose is to promote strong IP laws across the developing world now, while there is a serious chance to interfere with their lawmaking process, to prevent what happened in Brazil with AIDS medication eventually happening to all intellectual property. Once you recognize that it is in the public interest to override some IP law, it is a natural thing to extend it to other areas, and this terrifies corporations and governments alike across the planet, who have come up with tidy revenue-generating schemes tied to it.

Re:attention to the polarised (1)

FuckingNickName (1362625) | more than 4 years ago | (#33408930)

It's also bullshit to claim that you're altruistic when you're too uninterested in positive progress to even be cautious about where you invest.

Except that the aim is not to "claim that you're altruistic" but to support a specific set of causes. If I love cats and donate billions a year to cat charities you can't bitch, "You're not being altruistic because you made your money selling landmines!" All I claimed was that I wanted to help cats.

Also, you can argue that he's not being cautious enough if you like - that he's too goal-directed and happily makes certain high-return investments to guarantee the greatest possible revenue source for his specific projects. This is a common geek problem and I'm sure sufficiently loud arguments from the right people will change Gates' investment strategy. He's not investing in land mines, though.

This is why what little money I do have is banked with a local credit union

Some mutuals and cooperatives have sadly been selling out (or plain over-selling) in the past couple of decades, but it can be an ethical and even practical option for small amounts of money. Still need to watch out where they're investing, but I'm sure you are!

But don't act like Gates is a good guy

This isn't He Man vs Skeletor. Consider what he's doing that's good and try to do something about what he's doing bad. Don't just exclaim, "Well he's a cunt because he does at least X Y Z wrong; we'll ignore him!" and throw your arms up in self-righteousness.

he doesn't actually care how much good or ill he does, or they would be investing ethically.

You give me a 15 minute walk around where you live and I guarantee you I will be able to find at least two dozen negative ethical implications of purchases you have made.

The Gates' foundation's purpose is to promote strong IP laws across the developing world now,

Really? Do you have a coherent argument for this?

Re:attention to the polarised (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 4 years ago | (#33408976)

This isn't He Man vs Skeletor. Consider what he's doing that's good and try to do something about what he's doing bad. Don't just exclaim, "Well he's a cunt because he does at least X Y Z wrong; we'll ignore him!" and throw your arms up in self-righteousness.

Self-righteousness? Ad Hominem. Gates is a cunt specifically because he is aware of examples like this one in which his foundation is investing in evil, and his response is that checking to see if he's doing harm would be difficult, so it's not going to be done. The most important vote you can cast is the disposition of a dollar, or other currency unit. Gates controls more of them than almost anyone else on the planet. He deliberately chooses to be careless, or to be evil in the guise of carelessness, about where he invests money. Meanwhile, his so-called charity work furthers his own economic goals. And if one is inclined to be cynical, one might well wonder who profited, or developed a profitable relationship, when Ashcroft's DOJ let Microsoft (and by extension, BillyG) off the hook after finding them guilty of illegal exploitation of a monopoly position and a number of other examples of unethical and illegal conduct in the marketplace. Who exactly was served by that decision?

Bill is knowingly doing evil for personal profit, that makes him evil. I don't know what's so hard to comprehend about this. Charity is a very useful smokescreen and if you spend lots of dollars on it everyone will be impressed, but what makes an impression upon me is the balance of his actions. How many livelihoods have been destroyed by Bill Gates' behavior? What makes you think that the man has changed at all, in spite of the mountain of evidence to the contrary? Sure, people can change. Bill Gates has not, at least, not for the better.

Re:well written apology for Mr. Gates' behavior (2, Interesting)

Johnny Loves Linux (1147635) | more than 4 years ago | (#33408664)

It was a well written, respectful, explanation excusing Mr. Gates' behavior by rationalizing that everybody's money in some way or another funds "bad" things in life. I, however, don't agree nor do I accept any attempt to excuse his behavior. The bottom line is that MOST people don't have BILLIONS of dollars invested DIRECTLY into corporations with unethical behavior. Does Gates foundation fund charities? Well, maybe they do. The questions I have for everyone who thinks that Mr. Gates is doing good is this: Are there any restrictions on the donations,i.e., does the charity have to use ONLY Microsoft products? If the answer is yes, they do have to use ONLY Microsoft products, then do you still believe that is he's doing good charity or good marketing? They are not the same, and they are exclusive.

Re:attention to the polarised (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33408578)

He provides money and other resources to help clean help the environment where his companies own factories which has polluted the water and the earth.

This is the same with Medical supplies and personnel after his companies private security forces has beaten, raped, those who live close by.

Check any African countries where he, or any of his companies has factories and offices. There is a famous case of a security personnel from one of his companies in Africa using glue to a child quite.

Re:attention to the polarised (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33408616)

Interesting. So, by that measure, Al Capone would be a standup guy as long as he donated half his take to charity, right? I bet he actually used to do that to, to keep the city happy. Wouldn't surprise me.

Most of Bill Gates money was taken by illegal measures, and that means he isn't a nice guy until he gives it all back and does what's right. You don't get to commit perjury and you don't get to run an illegal monopoly and fix it all with some charitable donations, no matter how large, in my books.

Education... (5, Funny)

mayberry42 (1604077) | more than 4 years ago | (#33408286)

you Khan believe in!

Re:Education... (0, Flamebait)

sourcerror (1718066) | more than 4 years ago | (#33408448)

... but not scientific for sure ...

Re:Education... (3, Insightful)

xtracto (837672) | more than 4 years ago | (#33408488)

Can you elaborate on that?

I am a scientist (PhD in Comp. Sci., currently working in an EU project along with around other 20 scientists and their PhD students) and do not see any issue with the Kahn material.

Basically, because he is not claiming any new scientific achievement but just explaining currently known and proven facts and processes in a way which is easy to understand to the majority of people.

Hence, he does not need any "scientific method" to impart such knowledge.

So I reiterate, can you please elaborate what is wrong with his approach?

just how much lower can we go (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33408304)

pretty sad that nobody bats an eyelid if someone equates teaching with delivering lectures

Re:just how much lower can we go (1)

hedwards (940851) | more than 4 years ago | (#33408442)

You have to remember that it's a small minority of people that are genuinely capable of educating themselves. Most people need it, the only problem is forcing those of us that don't need it and are in fact damaged by it to go. A rather unfortunate situation, but the Becks, Limbaughs and Bushes of the world demonstrate quite clearly the dangers of allowing people to essentially opt out of education.

Where's the lecture on ... (1)

Skapare (16644) | more than 4 years ago | (#33408320)

... how to make your computer and/or your web browser be able to play these videos without borging it with Flash?

Re:Where's the lecture on ... (1)

blackest_k (761565) | more than 4 years ago | (#33408358)

flash gordon will play flash by converting it to javascript.
presumably you could create your own page feed in the flash object of interest and be able to play the flash video without flash, of course the details are left as an exercise for the reader.
alternatively you can use the adobe's flash player or use the gpl version.

seriously get over it, flash may not be open but its free enough to work on most systems where allowed. It's only Apple really that has an issue with flash on the iPhone. Not that flash couldn't run on the iPhone Apple will not allow it. I believe with android you are good to go.

Flash is available for most platforms, the only problems with it are in your head.

Re:Where's the lecture on ... (1)

hedwards (940851) | more than 4 years ago | (#33408452)

But it's not available on all systems, and where it is available it sucks. It's not now nor has it ever been a legitimate standard, if Macromedia, now Adobe, doesn't care about your platform, then you can pretty much expect to be locked out of large portions of the internet. Worse is the fact that there are sites out there that don't feel like offering an alternative for those without flash. Not to mention that flash sites are not ADA compliant as they don't allow access to the blind.

Those are very real problems and very serious ones which should have been remedied years ago. As it is large parts of the net are essentially walled off until gnash gets good enough to deal with them. But chances are by then there'll be new features to keep that from happening.

Re:Where's the lecture on ... (1)

Skapare (16644) | more than 4 years ago | (#33408680)

Security is not a "get over it" issue. Flash is broken and insecure. It would be the big gaping hole in an otherwise secure computer. Just because the masses run their computers insecurely, that doesn't mean others should, too.

This would not be the same issue if we were talking about something that ONLY Flash could do. If that were the case, then it would be a genuine tradeoff. But playing video is NOT limited to Flash. It's been possible long before web sites like YouTube. And browsers like Firefox could at least as far back as version 2.0 could play video directly (I found a few sites that had playable videos).

The point is, playing video is NOT a Flash specific thing. But it all comes down to how the web site is configured. If there is a plain video link, it can be made to trigger mplayer or other video players (you might need to set your browser to know which player you want to run) in a separate window. With the video tag, you can also easily embed the video to play inside the browser (unmanaged, or managed with a little simple Javascript). And this can even be done in a way that still allows those who don't care about the security of their computers and prefer to use Flash to still use it anyway.

So where is the video about how to make a web site with universally playable videos that don't need Flash?

Oh god... Khan shall come! (1)

xQuarkDS9x (646166) | more than 4 years ago | (#33408342)

Oh god indeed, Khan shall come alright with a massive flood of KHAAAAAN quotes and jokes! Better button down the hatches and prepare for the onslaught! :)

Think about it (5, Interesting)

giltwist (1313107) | more than 4 years ago | (#33408394)

Thirty years ago, the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM) released a controversial document entitled An Agenda for Action. Part of what made the position statement so controversial was the recommendation that computers and calculators should be a part of every mathematics classroom (http://www.nctm.org/standards/content.aspx?id=17282). Many teachers and parents feared that students might never learn mathematics properly if they could just press a few buttons to produce a correct answer. In stark contrast, the schoolchildren of the YouTube generation are virtually inseparable from their portable electronics - many of which are more powerful than early graphing calculators that NCTM. Dubbed digital natives (http://www.marcprensky.com/writing/Prensky - Digital Natives, Digital Immigrants - Part1.pdf), none among them were alive during a time when there was no Internet. As a result, the question is no longer “if” technology should be a part of public education but is now “how much”.

Many schools are emerging that are online-only (http://keystonehighschool.com/) or otherwise devoted to technology (http://www.neatorama.com/2010/01/09/school-teaches-its-students-almost-entirely-through-video-games/). You can even earn a doctorate at an online university (http://www.phoenix.edu/colleges_divisions/doctoral.html)! Additionally, online resources like the amateur Khan Academy or the commercial ALEKS (http://www.aleks.com/) are beginning to challenge several long-standing assumptions about the need for face-to-face instruction or even the need for teachers. Most importantly, it is worth stating that the research on eLearning is mixed, as a whole. A specific eLearning package may help in reading but not in mathematics, may help at third grade but not eighth grade, or may help on a state-level test but not on a national-level test. So, there is no clear answer on a “best” package or way to use technology. However, there are several key points to consider:

Embarrassment

To be honest, nobody likes to be wrong, and mathematics is a subject in which students are often told that they are, at least technically, incorrect. It is no wonder that eLearning can get such positive feedback from students. Many packages use little to no direct contract with a teacher; even if they do, a student is not going to be told they are incorrect in front of twenty or thirty of their peers. A private email is not so bad in comparison to even the gentlest public rebuke. Similarly, nobody needs to know if a given student has been successful either. It is often considered geeky to be good at school, especially in the STEM subjects. This turns many people away from science and mathematics, particularly girls. eLearning can provide a method to circumvent such peer scrutiny.

Motivation

Students like computers. Given a choice between a hands-on activity and an identical computer activity, many students will opt for the latter. Moreover, students like games, and eLearning developers are actively trying to capitalize on that appeal. While good in theory, a key implementation problem is that much edutainment uses the games as a reward for practice (http://www.funbrain.com/math/index.html) rather than as the means for actually teaching the material (http://ldt.stanford.edu/ldt1999/Students/kemery/esc/rockyDemoFrame.htm). I certainly approve of additional practice, but even the most motivated student requires a good explanation now and then.

Willingness

Another thing to keep in mind is that school occurs on a set schedule over which the student has little to no control. Much of eLearning is available whenever the student is willing to participate. In other words, those who succeed are those who have chosen to participate. In fact, research often shows that eLearning success is strongly dependent upon the amount of time a student participates. Of course, convincing someone to dedicate time and effort to actual eLearning is not much different than trying to accomplish face-to-face learning.

Quality

The final point I’d like to address is quality of instruction; it can be very hard to predict which eLearning projects will provide the best instruction for a given topic. Contrast, for example, the Khan Academy (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2UrcUfBizyw) with the Ohio Resource Center (http://www.streaming.osu.edu/ohiorc/THSM_AC007FLA/f.htm) as they each explain how to graph a linear equation. Both are free to the user and last about ten minutes, but the latter has significantly more accurate terminology as well as depth of instruction. Yet, both are just as dry as a chalk-and-talk lesson in real life, and neither will ever be able to answer questions a student might have about clarification.

Conclusion

eLearning has a lot to offer public education, and might even have something to offer the readers of this blog. However, just as lasers can correct your vision or permanently blind you depending on how they are used, so too can web-based learning hurt as much as it can help. Somewhere between Idiocracy’s infocalypse and THX 1138’s bottled knowledge there’s a promised land of computer-assisted learning, but we haven’t found the perfect blend just yet.

Re:Think about it (1)

shentino (1139071) | more than 4 years ago | (#33408646)

A calculator can only crunch numbers, it can't think for you.

Just because you can push buttons doesn't mean you're dumb if you use it.

You still have to be smart enough to know which buttons to push.

Re:Think about it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33408696)

[quote]it can't think for you.[/quote]

yet

Re:Think about it (1)

Nemyst (1383049) | more than 4 years ago | (#33408736)

I'm still of the opinion that e-learning can work... up to a point. You need face-to-face interaction once you reach a certain level of complexity. Online universities don't have much of a reputation, and for good reason: interaction with teachers and other students is absolutely critical at that point. It not only helps you solve problems and understand things more effectively, it also allows you to share and hear new ideas and thoughts that others might voice, making you a more aware, more diverse being thanks to it. You simply cannot replace the totally impromptu discussions you sometimes have with other students.

E-learning can have its place, but I see it more as a supplement to the "real" teaching (good for revising) than anything else.

Re:Think about it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33408780)

Removing embarrassment from education will continue to produce the weak sniveling masses of kids with "high self confidence" but no actual efficacy.

Or am I just getting older...?

Re:Think about it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33408832)

The final point I’d like to address is quality of instruction; it can be very hard to predict which eLearning projects will provide the best instruction for a given topic. Contrast, for example, the Khan Academy (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2UrcUfBizyw) with the Ohio Resource Center (http://www.streaming.osu.edu/ohiorc/THSM_AC007FLA/f.htm) as they each explain how to graph a linear equation. Both are free to the user and last about ten minutes, but the latter has significantly more accurate terminology as well as depth of instruction. Yet, both are just as dry as a chalk-and-talk lesson in real life, and neither will ever be able to answer questions a student might have about clarification.

yet as someone with ADD, the lesson from Khan is an order of magnitude better: I can stay concentrated for the whole lesson. The Ohio Resource Center is to cognitively loaded, the should be alternating between the live video, the slide and the chalkboard

Wow. (4, Interesting)

Dr. Evil (3501) | more than 4 years ago | (#33408446)

This is one of the most impressive things I've ever seen on the Internet. Finally, somebody is taking a new medium and presenting this kind of lecture material in a format and method where students can obtain the material themselves. Kids, without money, can actually obtain this stuff and learn from it. It's not a product being sold, it's just incredible. I dreamed of this kind of content as a kid. I think all geeks did. It was only available to be doled out by clueless adults to learn at the pace they felt you were ready for it, or it was crap being shoveled at parents to give their kids a "head start"

...and presenting it world-wide, this is *stunning*.

Re:Wow. (1)

Seumas (6865) | more than 4 years ago | (#33408550)

Unfortunately, Bill Gates makes the careless statement that if you really want to learn, you can get an education on line and be on par with anyone else who has access to wikipedia and this guy's archives. That simply isn't so. Anyone who has a grasp of the real world knows that a degree (preferably from a prestigious and expensive university) but no knowledge trumps someone with great knowledge, but no degree. Sure, there are a few exceptions in the world, but for the most part, you're not going to walk into an interview and say that your qualifications are "learning this complex subject on some screencasts on the intarwebs".

Re:Wow. (1)

bsDaemon (87307) | more than 4 years ago | (#33408968)

Bill Gates dropped out of his expensive and prestigious university. Of course, he already had trust fund money from his rich lawyer fore bearers, so its not as if he was going to be destitute if that whole computer thing didn't work out. But then again, we here tend to work in an industry that commonly lists "BS in CS, EE or related field, or equivalent experience". Self learning and a fully-stocked lab, perhaps at a local hacker space, and the smart people can get that equivalent experience whether they have the money for college or not. Of course, the ones that are that smart can generally obtain merit and/or aid scholarships and get into college anyway.

Gates complains a situation he created (5, Insightful)

walterbyrd (182728) | more than 4 years ago | (#33408512)

Gates complains about smart Americans all going to Wall Street instead of R&D. But Gates has gone before the US congress, many times, and argued that even more US tech workers should lose their jobs to H1B visa workers.

Just last year, even as Microsoft was firing US tech workers by the thousands, Microsoft was simultaneously hiring their H1B replacements.

Due to the situation that Gates himself has helped create, smart Americans would be stupid to train for STEM (Science Technology Engineering Mathematics) jobs.

Re:Gates complains a situation he created (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33408564)

Well, perhaps you Americans need a more xenophobic government? We had this over here some time ago and you still take pride in being the major force that overthrew this dictatorship, yet you really just want to get rid of those pesky foreigners taking "your" jobs. It just get's uglier if you continue down that path ...

Re:Gates complains a situation he created (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33408618)

lol insightful, nerdrage strikes moar

H1B visas are a drop in the ocean and usually represent specialties for which there are few americans doing them anyway. Oh, and an excuse for angry american nerds to whine about brown people.

Re:Gates complains a situation he created (5, Insightful)

DarkFencer (260473) | more than 4 years ago | (#33408656)

No - what often happens with H1B is the lying. You ever see those job postings which ask for impossible things like 20 years experience with Java or 7 years experience with Windows 7? The companies that want an excuse for H1B will accept (knowing its false) that the H1B applicants actually have that experience. They will use that excuse to say "Look - we can only find people with H1B that have this experience! We need to hire internationally!".

I'm not saying all the time impossible skill requirements are because of this (there are ignorant people often writing job requirements) but it is true sometimes.

Re:Gates complains a situation he created (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33408918)

Actually I have never seen HR postings that ask for impossible things.

Re:Gates complains a situation he created (3, Interesting)

mc moss (1163007) | more than 4 years ago | (#33408638)

This is why I left the tech sector and went straight into finance. That along with the ridiculous job requirements (must know every language under the sun) & ageism, staying in the tech sector for the long run didn't seem like a good idea.

Still code as a hobby though :)

Re:Gates complains a situation he created (1)

chrb (1083577) | more than 4 years ago | (#33408714)

Just last year, even as Microsoft was firing US tech workers by the thousands, Microsoft was simultaneously hiring their H1B replacements.

Were these people in directly comparable jobs? I am no defender of Microsoft, but it is hardly unique during a recession to lay off some unprofitable divisions whilst maintaining other more profitable ones (a company has to keep hiring to replace people who leave).

Due to the situation that Gates himself has helped create, smart Americans would be stupid to train for STEM (Science Technology Engineering Mathematics) jobs.

There are many people working in financial services who have degrees in mathematics or the sciences.

Re:Gates complains a situation he created (2, Insightful)

Phil06 (877749) | more than 4 years ago | (#33408748)

Agreed, however those workers from other countries are only good at doing what they are told to do. Soon there will be nobody left to tell them what to so. When I was let go last year, I was told that my job was going to be done by two guys in India; great at doing what they were told but utterly incapable of figuring out what needed to be done. We don't need more science and tech workers, we need more innovators, in all fields. We have a culture that reveres innovators, people who probably have failed dozens of times but still came up something brilliant. Those other countries don't have that culture. The problem is that you can't teach innovation. All you can do is create an environment and numerous opportunities for individuals can be rewarded for coming up with something clever. We need brainstorming classes, not more pre-calculus.

Gaates (2, Funny)

fartrader (323244) | more than 4 years ago | (#33408546)

GAAAAAAAAAAAATTTTESSSSSSS!

Happy Student (4, Interesting)

Soulshift (1044432) | more than 4 years ago | (#33408606)

I'm currently teaching myself linear algebra with the aid of Khan's videos, and I couldn't be happier with the quality of the material.

The fact that his work is steadily garnering more attention is a good thing in my view, since it increases the likelihood of more excellent videos being made available for free as a result of donations, grants, etc.

Bill Gates and scorched earth (1)

countertrolling (1585477) | more than 4 years ago | (#33408746)

Isn't he like those who

1) destroy your crops and drive you off your land, then expect you to be grateful when he hands you a bag of rice and a bottle of Perrier ?

2) lock you in a room with a crazy person for 25 years, then expect you to be grateful when he lets you out?

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