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The Dying DVR Box and Woz Wisdom

Soulskill posted more than 3 years ago | from the wozdom-should-totally-be-a-word dept.

Television 207

Lucas123 writes "At SNW in Santa Clara this past week, a diverse group of techies shared insights into their industries, such as the DVR market. TiVo's senior director of IT, Richard Rothschild, for instance, explained how those set-top boxes track everything you watch for advertising and marketing and then combine the information with supermarket membership card data to determine how effective ad campaigns are. Oh, and TiVo's planning to integrate its box with your flatscreen, so no more set-top device. And Steve Wozniak attacked the American education system, saying students should be graded on a single, long-term project rather than a short learning/testing cycle. 'In school, intelligence is a measurement,' he said. 'If you have the same answer as everyone else in math or science, you're intelligent.'"

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I really like Woz but.. (1, Insightful)

LWATCDR (28044) | more than 3 years ago | (#35762062)

I had no idea that he has a degree in education or did postgraduate studies in education or even home schooled his own children. Is this just as iffy as a Musical composer telling an engineer how to build a bridge?

Re:I really like Woz but.. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35762126)

I'm not an engineer, but I can recognize a train wreck when I see one.

Re:I really like Woz but.. (2)

jedidiah (1196) | more than 3 years ago | (#35762172)

I like how he tries to compare teaching to civil engineering.

I think all of the engineers I know would be gravely insulted by that sort of comparison.

I would like to see the average "teacher" manage to get through ANY single course in the engineering curriculum.

Re:I really like Woz but.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35762330)

When it comes from Woz, I really don't care if lesser engineers are insulted.

Re:I really like Woz but.. (1)

digitig (1056110) | more than 3 years ago | (#35762336)

The average teacher in a randomly chosen subject, or the average teacher in a technical subject?

Re:I really like Woz but.. (1)

jdgeorge (18767) | more than 3 years ago | (#35762408)

I'd certainly expect the average engineering "teacher" should be able to get through ANY single course in the engineering curriculum.

As long as the people teaching their subjects are competent teachers of that subject, I don't expect it matters if the art faculty are especially skilled in biochemistry.

Re:I really like Woz but.. (5, Insightful)

Kemanorel (127835) | more than 3 years ago | (#35762448)

I'm not quite sure why you used quotes on teacher, but, seeing as how I have a Bachelor's in Electronic Engineering and I am a teacher, I'd say I meet your request.

Personally I find my career in teaching to be far more enjoyable and emotionally rewarding than designing circuits ever was. Are there flaws in the U.S. educational system? Of course there are. Rather than piss and moan about it, why don't you actually get off your ass and do something about it? Try volunteering in a public school near you. See what the actual demands are from the other side of the desk. See what differences there are between a good teacher who gets students interested enough in material to get them to improve, often against competing forces that teachers have no control over, and a teacher who is just punching a clock. There are plenty of the latter, but you'd be surprised at how many of the former there really are... Or at least were before they caved to the pressure placed upon them by administrators, parents, and various levels of local, state, and federal government.

Until you are willing to do something about it, quit acting like an ass and work on opening your mind a bit.

Re:I really like Woz but.. (4, Insightful)

jejones (115979) | more than 3 years ago | (#35762826)

"Rather than piss and moan about [the US educational system], why don't you actually get off your ass and do something about it?"

I do my best to vote for people who will get rid of the public schools' effective monopoly on K-12 education for all but the few; does that count?

Re:I really like Woz but.. (1)

Kemanorel (127835) | more than 3 years ago | (#35762934)

While it is good that you are at least trying something, why not do more? You could put yourself out there as a candidate to make those changes. Better yet, go volunteer, find out what the problems really are, and then place your vote accordingly. Don't just look from the outside, but get involved and look within. Local school boards are often a good place to effect some real changes in the K-12 education system.

I don't quite understand your meaning of, "public schools' effective monopoly on K-12 education for all but the few." Would you please elaborate on that for me? I'm honestly curious as to what it is that you mean.

Re:I really like Woz but.. (2)

hedwards (940851) | more than 3 years ago | (#35762544)

And I'd very much like to see an engineer working under a system that's comparable to what teachers have to work with. Ultimately, it's the voters and the people who refuse to provide the necessary funding that are primarily to blame. You can't change course completely every couple years and expect to make progress. I have a hard time imagining a system of education so incompetently run that there isn't even one aspect that deserves to be preserved.

Trust me, education is a lot harder to provide than you think. You don't get to work with these nice clean materials that do mostly what you want them to. You're dealing with people, people who may or may not be interested, willing to work or even be able to see things the way that you were taught to see them.

Re:I really like Woz but.. (2)

Penguinisto (415985) | more than 3 years ago | (#35762958)

While I agree with your sentiment, I sincerely doubt it's funding that's the biggest issue.

You want to fix education? Here's the steps you'll need to take:

First, ditch the zillion middle-managers and "curriculum specialists" (the last school I taught had 300+ employees, and only 40-45 actual teachers), you'd see an immediate improvement in funding, and at the same time remove a lot of the bureaucracy that more often hinders a teacher than helps.

Next, dig through the mountain of idiotic and contradictory rules, and streamline them into a coherent, legible, and universally-applied code.

Third, allow teachers and the school administration (that survived the initial cut) to throw out students who refuse to behave, learn, etc. Basically, no more of the endless second chances... if a kid screws up x number of times at a certain severity, it's expulsion time. Make it clear to parents and faculty alike. If 'mommy's little angel' still wants to go to school, let him/her go to a private school at parental expense until (or if) he/she graduates.

Fourth, test teachers on a yearly basis for competency in the subject they're teaching. You'd be amazed at how many teachers do not know the subject, or know very little... you'd be further amazed at how vicious and vociferous teachers can get in those districts which do not test, whenever this subject is proposed.

Finally, insure that budget priority goes for the basics: Math, English (well, this is the US we're talking about, yes?), (hard) Sciences, History, etc. Also, cut out the indoctrination/make-work courses (those usually disguised under ambiguous names).

Do just these basic things, and you'd be surprised at how much extra money there happens to be afterwards.

Re:I really like Woz but.. (1)

david_thornley (598059) | more than 3 years ago | (#35762962)

I consider myself an authority on the education of two people, one of whom (my son) is currently in high school.

My son is getting excellent teaching, and his school is well run. I can find problems, of course, but I can find problems with anything if I bother to look. The only sizable one was bullying in elementary school; the administration was either unable or unwilling to stop it. Bullying stopped in sixth grade when he moved to middle school.

Yes, I've read the horror stories. Aside from the bullying, I haven't seen anything seriously wrong myself. Instead, I've seen him challenged with rigorous coursework and gaining confidence in his ability to learn from it.

There are good public schools in the US. There is at least one good middle school, and one good high school. I suspect there may be more.

Re:I really like Woz but.. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35762132)

You just don't have the intelligence to understand what he is saying.

Re:I really like Woz but.. (1)

jedidiah (1196) | more than 3 years ago | (#35762142)

...clearly someone suffering from not actually bothering to read the article.

A common affliction here at Slashdot.

Although even without that it still belies a certain 16th century mentality.

Re:I really like Woz but.. (2, Insightful)

sentientbeing (688713) | more than 3 years ago | (#35762320)

They have articles here too?

Re:I really like Woz but.. (0)

Frosty Piss (770223) | more than 3 years ago | (#35762176)

So you are saying that teachers know best, parents know noting and should not be allowed to have ideas about the education of their children? "I am a professional, do not try this hat home"? Blind faith in a group of people with a significant percentage (mostly in the South) that believe the Earth is around 4000 years old?

Re:I really like Woz but.. (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35762302)

Considering how many parents basically fuck up their kids, never bother to take any interest in their school and then blame the teachers while subsequently trying to rob teachers of any authority in the classroom when their little monster acts like a shithead? Yes, parents in most cases DO know nothing.

Re:I really like Woz but.. (2)

Kemanorel (127835) | more than 3 years ago | (#35762570)

This is so very true. If I had mod points and hadn't already posted, I'd be willing to give them even to an AC.

Re:I really like Woz but.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35762696)

As illustrated such trait is not exclusive to parents only. Oh well, like they say, everyone is entitled to their opinion.

Re:I really like Woz but.. (2)

DarkOx (621550) | more than 3 years ago | (#35762406)

Not only that we have all sorts of laws in most states that say only people with teaching degrees can go anywhere near a class room, and all of them have to do continuing education in the subject of education. We appoint for the most part only education academics to develop curriculum ( well except we we legislate teaching ID ) and design course material etc, etc.

You know what though for the most part even when the Democrats rain down money on it, by most measures our educational system is getting worse. If Engineers continuously built less and less reliable bridges we'd probably stop taking their input too.

Re:I really like Woz but.. (4, Insightful)

Altus (1034) | more than 3 years ago | (#35762530)

To a large degree, we don't take teachers advice on teaching. I'm not even sure that most teachers would disagree with Woz. Most of the reason that classes are structured the way they are is because of regulations at the state and federal level. Teachers don't get as much leeway as you think they do.

Re:I really like Woz but.. (1)

Kemanorel (127835) | more than 3 years ago | (#35762652)

So true. So very, very true.

Re:I really like Woz but.. (1)

Kemanorel (127835) | more than 3 years ago | (#35762598)

Not only that we have all sorts of laws in most states that say only people with teaching degrees can go anywhere near a class room, and all of them have to do continuing education in the subject of education.

You know, most, if not all, schools will gladly welcome volunteers. They can be guest speakers or classroom helpers. There may be need for a background check depending on locality, but I don't know of any school that would turn away a volunteer.

Re:I really like Woz but.. (1)

DarkOx (621550) | more than 3 years ago | (#35762820)

Well, I actually have done some volunteer work teaching CompSci to HS students and yes its a great way to make a difference. I do think that schools should relax the rules on needed education certificates and such to teach no core subjects at least at the HS level. There are lots of good industry people that would like to teach for a some years and have great experience to offer students. There are lots of young people that could contribute energy too, but the Union establishment in my state is doing everything they can to keep Teach for America out!

I also agree that the average class room teacher gets no voice. Its the academic education people that dream up rules who are the problem. I suspect we really would be better off with lay people as local Supers and District managers! We would certainly be better off with them running state eduction boards and the like, the education establishment has FAILED!

Re:I really like Woz but.. (1)

jdgeorge (18767) | more than 3 years ago | (#35762504)

.... Earth is around 4000 years old?

Yeah, it's pathetic. That's off by another 50%.

You neanderthal (1)

Lucas123 (935744) | more than 3 years ago | (#35762538)

The earth is 6,000 years old

Re:You neanderthal (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 3 years ago | (#35762720)

You need some medicine, you are displaying magical thinking.

Re:I really like Woz but.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35762732)

So you are saying that teachers know best, parents know noting and should not be allowed to have ideas about the education of their children? "I am a professional, do not try this hat home"? Blind faith in a group of people with a significant percentage (mostly in the South) that believe the Earth is around 4000 years old?

Straw man arguments are lies.

Re:I really like Woz but.. (3, Informative)

shurikt (734896) | more than 3 years ago | (#35762186)

That's easy. Just use a contrasting 8-bar section as a transition between two verses. There, I did it.

Re:I really like Woz but.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35762784)

well played.

Re:I really like Woz but.. (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35762226)

He might not have a degree in education or post grad in this field, but he has run a school and tutoring facilities for years out of his garage. I can only imagine this is a large garage. He also has a few charity orgs that are tasked with eduction...having served on the board of a charity like this, you quickly learn whats going on...often to a larger extent than those that are invested in their education because they want to appear right regardless of proof of being wrong -- where as the charities want to change something.

I have advanced degrees in psych with focuses on experiential learning and measurement (of learning / IQ / whatever). I can safely say I agree with his assessment. A lot of graduate programs focus on measuring overall knowledge through a final paper or otherwise...the rest is just bench marks along the way to show you if you understand the material and really only beneficial to the student. I've heard him talk about this stuff in the past, and I'd say he is exactly right...

Re:I really like Woz but.. (1)

MillionthMonkey (240664) | more than 3 years ago | (#35762252)

We should stop admitting Musical immigrants to our shores who don't believe in our values as Americans.

Re:I really like Woz but.. (2)

Coeurderoy (717228) | more than 3 years ago | (#35762324)

I have 25 years of experience teaching computer science to students at all level of academia.
And most students who came to my courses came either because they found it interesting or because I had the reputation of being "difficult" but with the "midas touch" (basically if you had enough credit with me you where pretty sure to get an interesting job).

And I totally agree with Steve Wozniak.

First only long term projects can really check if the subject you are studying has any interest for you, too many people are looking for a "diploma" to get a job, not for an education.

BTW I got my "job positive results" by completelly ignoring "the industry wisdom" (or I would have teached GCOS MOD400 and/or PL1 and/or RPG and other "magic recepies to get some work", and gradually moved to .net & java)..

Second only long term project enables you to understand the difference between "half cooked solutions" and something you can actually inflige to somebody ele.

Third it shows the relevance of what you learn

Of course it has the unfortunate effect that you might find out that your teacher is fading into obsolescence, and too busy with external money making schemes to follow what you are doing, and I believe that is the main reason institutions prefers "tests"...

And I would have more trust on Woz about what makes a good "maker of things" than a "learning expert" who might or might not have made a serious study of "teaching and grading methods impact on long term creativity". not because of some bias against "humanities studies" but because it is almost impossible to organize large scale provable experiments in such a situation, most students request "fairness", so if you would organize to groups one being tested on long term projects and the other on "conventional grading" the result would be that in the first group you would get all the "geeks" and a good part of the would drop out running with their pet projects, and the other would get all the "mundane", and unless you force some to "switch" you would not be able to have a statistically relevant sample.
And if you ask them to swich all so the "mundane" would protest, and you would not be able to see if they would actually be able to morph in something useful...

Re:I really like Woz but.. (1)

PIPBoy3000 (619296) | more than 3 years ago | (#35762582)

There is certainly value with long-term projects in education (I have a master's degree in biology education but am not currently teaching).

At the same time, I think there's immense value in giving regular feedback to students. I'm most fond of unified smaller projects which lead up to larger projects, with guidance along the way. Imaging starting a year-long course by saying "Everyone, build a content management system!" and not providing any indication of how they're doing until the end.

Re:I really like Woz but.. (1)

Coeurderoy (717228) | more than 3 years ago | (#35762648)

An interesting example is the construction of "ingres" that started as a "large project development" course...

I agree that feedback and small steps are necessary, but it can be done within the scope of a large project..

If you start by "everyone, build a CMS" you will also want to decide if you run it as "n projects" or a project in n parts" and you'll have to make sure tat somewhere basic project management methods have been or are being teached...

And what is happening now in most of the case it that students get regular feedback on not very relevant evaluation of "testing events"

I agree with him. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35762338)

The way the US education system works: 16 weeks of ramming information down student's throats, test, another session of throat ramming, and then Summer off to do nothing - or take more condensed versions of subjects. And in those 16 weeks, there are 8 week or less sessions where you got to cram material for a mid-term or what have you. And the retention rate is - 20% at best. In order to innovate is to be able to remember information and concepts - it allows the brain to stew on it.

Re:I agree with him. (1)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 3 years ago | (#35762418)

The way the US education system works: 16 weeks of ramming information down student's throats, test, another session of throat ramming, and then Summer off to do nothing - or take more condensed versions of subjects. And in those 16 weeks, there are 8 week or less sessions where you got to cram material for a mid-term or what have you. And the retention rate is - 20% at best. In order to innovate is to be able to remember information and concepts - it allows the brain to stew on it.

For your ability to read the previous post and write your reply thank teachers.

Lord knows their job wasn't an easy one.

Re:I agree with him. (1)

517714 (762276) | more than 3 years ago | (#35762828)

So you are saying the educational system failed him in being able to formulate a compelling argument?

Re:I agree with him. (1)

Gilmoure (18428) | more than 3 years ago | (#35762960)

How does someone retain -20%?

Re:I really like Woz but.. (1)

tthomas48 (180798) | more than 3 years ago | (#35762356)

Well if you had no idea, obviously he doesn't.

Re:I really like Woz but.. (2)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 3 years ago | (#35762362)

I had no idea that he has a degree in education or did postgraduate studies in education or even home schooled his own children. Is this just as iffy as a Musical composer telling an engineer how to build a bridge?

I watched a movie about building a bridge and defeating Japanese troops. That makes me an expert on two things - I can now defeat the North Koreans, bridge the Tacoma Narrows and for an encore I'll fix Fukushima Daiichi with a wad of chewing gum.

Yeah, Woz is a cool guy, but when you quote people outside of their core competency don't expect them to come across as competent.

Re:I really like Woz but.. (1)

timeOday (582209) | more than 3 years ago | (#35762668)

Oh, and here I thought your analogy was about to crap on the notion of educators presuming to know how to prepare people for the real-world job responsibilities of engineers.

Many would Woz is the bridge builder, and educators are the movie watchers, not the other way around.

Wozniak taught fifth grade ... (5, Informative)

perpenso (1613749) | more than 3 years ago | (#35762466)

I had no idea that he has a degree in education or did postgraduate studies in education or even home schooled his own children. Is this just as iffy as a Musical composer telling an engineer how to build a bridge?

You are correct, you have no idea. After leaving Apple Wozniak gave back to the community, literally, as a fifth grade teacher at a local public school. He instructs teachers on the use of technology. He also setup and helped maintain, personally, computer labs at local schools. So he does know a little about child education.

Re:Wozniak taught fifth grade ... (1)

fermion (181285) | more than 3 years ago | (#35762936)

Project based learning is an effective way to teach students. A properly constructed project can teach students process, skills, and curriculum. It is non trivial to implement for the high level students like Wozniak, and beyond non-trivial for the average student. I can understand why Wozniak preferes this method, as it matches his learning style.

There are several issues with project based learning. First the student must have skills outside of those tested on average high school exit or college entrance exams. These skills must be explicitly taught. They can't just be held up to chance. Skills like time management, dividing a large problem into smaller problems, integration into a presentation. Most expecially the skill to keep up with work over a number of weeks, and learning that each day is the continuation of the last, not a new day with no connection to the previous day. Kids can learn appropriate level of these skills. It does take class time, and if a kid is going to graduate on time, there is not always class time available. There has to be a commitment to the project skills, even at the sacrifice of the official curriculum.Therefore project based learning is ideal for students who are going to master the basic skills quickly, and at the high school level, is not going to freak if they do not get a 5 on the AP exam.

I do believe Wozniak has a good point because in many ways project based learning, when implemented properly, will teach kids a better balance of the skills needed in work and college than other methods. But it does require a student that wants to learn. Many a student will not spend the hours on the project, rather thinking they can get everything does right before the due date. Some of this can be handled by having benchmarks, but if the benchmarks are too close together the kid might as well be doing worksheet, and if they are too far apart the kid will get off track.

At the base, however, is that we know how to educate the kids who want to be in school. Projects can help the kids who are smart but don't want to be in school. Most of these kids, like Wozniak, however, are going to do well with or without extra and expensive methods in school. What I don't know how to do, and what no one seems to want to address, is how to educate the truely reluctant learners that may be below average abilities. These are the ones that need help, but people are so interested in the profit opportunities in educating those will learn in almost any environment, that we are seeing kids who really need help being ignored. Project based learning may be one way to reach this kids, but likely at a much higher funding rate than is currently norm.

I'm sorry... (5, Funny)

Mechagodzilla (94503) | more than 3 years ago | (#35762116)

but I can not take comments on intelligence seriously from a man who wasn't smart enough to say NO to Dancing with the Stars. Let the Flaming begin in 3...2...

Re:I'm sorry... (2)

Lucas123 (935744) | more than 3 years ago | (#35762218)

So basically what you’re saying is you’re not in favor of taking chances and living life to its fullest. Woz is a brilliant, creative man who instead of focusing his life on earning as much money as he could, went off to teach 5-8 graders for 8 years after leaving Apple. I think his comments on education and especially on creating an innovative atmosphere in our schools have a great deal of validity.

Re:I'm sorry... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35762316)

GP was obviously a joke post.

Also please don't associate "living life to its fullest" with going on Dancing with the Stars. I'd prefer to think our lives are actually valuable in some way.

Re:I'm sorry... (1)

Gilmoure (18428) | more than 3 years ago | (#35762996)

He did that worm thing real well, though.

Re:I'm sorry... (1)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 3 years ago | (#35762480)

So basically what you’re saying is you’re not in favor of taking chances and living life to its fullest. Woz is a brilliant, creative man who instead of focusing his life on earning as much money as he could, went off to teach 5-8 graders for 8 years after leaving Apple. I think his comments on education and especially on creating an innovative atmosphere in our schools have a great deal of validity.

Ever work on a project team in school? Not quite like it is in the shop, where layabouts who contribute nothing eventually get reduced out (or promoted to management, if you believe everything you read in Dilbert.) In school we had people on our teams who did zilch nada, but still put on a suit and tie for presentation day. Really gave me a warm feeling, knowing they got the same credit those of us who worked on it got.

Re:I'm sorry... (1)

Coeurderoy (717228) | more than 3 years ago | (#35762670)

but still put on a suit and tie for presentation day. Really gave me a warm feeling, knowing they got the same credit those of us who worked on it got.

You mean they made the effort to put a suit on, must have been a high quality outfit :-), and by the way you ungrateful miscreants, it's called "support"

Re:I'm sorry... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35762580)

but I can not take comments on intelligence seriously from a man who wasn't smart enough to say NO to Dancing with the Stars.

Let the Flamenco begin in 3...2...

Registered to fix that for you.

DVR (1)

MikeB0Lton (962403) | more than 3 years ago | (#35762122)

DVR will eventually just be a relic from the push model. The market appears to be moving towards a customer-centric model of streaming and delivery when and where we want it.

Re:DVR (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35762180)

I've never even used a DVR, these things were uncommon and still completely overpriced in Canada.

I've dropped cable, never had satellite and went straight to getting content via internet. Keep in mind there's also no Hulu in Canada, not to mention that most websites restrict online content to USA I.P. addresses...

Re:DVR (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35762208)

TV programming service... its like the Internet, except that you only get 300 sites to visit, and they're all crap.

Re:DVR (1)

jedidiah (1196) | more than 3 years ago | (#35762254)

...that's all fine so long as your network holds out and the available "pull" choices suit you.

"Broadcast" is still remarkably more efficient in terms of network bandwidth. Decentralizing the "pull" part will likely make a lot of sense for a good time to come.

Although, I think the real problem with the DVR concept is that a good portion of the target audience really doesn't care and really don't mind the commercials or being at the mercy of the network schedule. Otherwise Tivo Corp would have a much easier time competing against inferior cable provider DVRs.

This really seems like a desperate attempt by Tivo to remain relevant.

Re:DVR (1)

imric (6240) | more than 3 years ago | (#35762260)

And dependence on Big Media to supply us with what is best for our entertainment, education, and news. If they take something off the air, it's for the good of the consumer!

Re:DVR (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35762326)

DVR will eventually just be a relic from the push model. The market appears to be moving towards a customer-centric model of streaming and delivery when and where we want it.

No if AppleTV takes off. Then the customer will be required to do as Apple wants.

no as long as they don't have live sports and caps (1)

Joe The Dragon (967727) | more than 3 years ago | (#35762392)

no as long as they don't have live sports and ISP has small download caps

Re:no as long as they don't have live sports and c (0)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 3 years ago | (#35762988)

Lack of live sports is a plus in my book.

Re:DVR (1)

Altus (1034) | more than 3 years ago | (#35762358)

I agree with you in general, but don't hold your breath waiting for the push model to disappear.

Re:DVR (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35762710)

I agree with you in general, but don't hold your breath waiting for the push model to disappear.

Hear! Hear! DVR's allow you to create your own mini "pull" model despite what box Big Media wants to trap you in. On a modern DVR, you have a sizable collection of formerly broadcast shows targeted to your preferences, an assortment of internet streaming video and music choices, and various on-Demand services for you to pull what you like, when you like, and where you like. Now the selection is less than ideal and you do have speed bumps here and there, but the pull model is here now and it is called DVR.

Re:DVR (1)

Coeurderoy (717228) | more than 3 years ago | (#35762706)

Nope, it's moving toward a "chanel centric" model of streaming junk to you but indentifying you in the smallest details to push advertisements and marketing actions.
And it does follow you around where ever you are....

but customer centric, nahh, no way... (it would be commie anyway, what an idea...)

Re:DVR (1)

Ichijo (607641) | more than 3 years ago | (#35762766)

DVR will eventually just be a relic from the push model. The market appears to be moving towards a customer-centric model of streaming and delivery when and where we want it.

Unfortunately, Amazon VOD's subscription feature still has a ways to go before it catches up with TiVo season passes. With Amazon, I can't subscribe to a television show in the middle of a season without also purchasing all previous episodes of that season. And when a new season becomes available, do I have to keep track of it and log in and subscribe to the new season, or will I be subscribed automatically like with TiVo?

The other nice thing about TiVo is you can see all the new episodes of all shows in one view, sorted by air date.

Re:DVR (1)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 3 years ago | (#35762972)

The cable TV industry went out of their way to kill the DVR. there is no reason for all the QAM channels to be encrypted, hey encrypt them to make sure that no unauthorized, as in not blessed by them, devices are receiving the precious content. They tried to get the evil bit passed and barring that they went to encryption to force the evil bit.

Thus it destroys the DVR market. The Tivo is a sad example compared to the ReplayTV and only recently is getting what that setup had 10 years ago.. I used to record in the theater and play back the recordings from the theater on my bedroom box. Only RECENTLY did this become possible on Tivo and the Cable company DVr's.

the only reason that TiVO is still alive is they forced the FCC to mandate the Cablecard so that the cable companies could not shut them out like they were trying to do. Problem is the cable companies simply own them hard by making it expensive.. You can buy a Tivo and two cablecards for $60.00 a month on top of your regular cable bill, or you can get the Comcast DVR box for FREE! and an additional one for another $8.95 a month! It's far cheaper than that Tivo thingy...

Yes tivo is a world better but 99% of the people out ther do not know that. the idiots at Best Buy do NOT have one where you can demo it live. so nobody buys a tivo.

Cable company wins. they killed tivo and those damned open source PVR's and only the rich would build a Windows 7 box and since that is Microsoft that locks the computer owner out of their property by encrypting the video as it records.... this is a good thing.

what do I do now? bit-torrent. Fuck em. I have satellite TV and bit torrent is my DVR. and no, unless they crack the servers at the VPN serice I pay for, they are not going to track me down. I pay less for the VPN service with unlimited traffic than I did for my 2 ReplayTV boxes guide data service.

I'd love to pay for the tv show downloads that I watch once, maybe twice and then delete, but they will not sell them to me unencumbered.

Re:DVR (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35762982)

"customer-centric model" about as much as the iphone. The TV manufacturers will do the controlling.

I have a recent Samsung TV and it has internet access. FIOS, PC and BluRay player use HDMI. The Samsung TV's internet access only permits access to Samsung's approved apps. Things like Hulu Plus but not Hulu and I can't surf the net. It sucks knowing what is possible, but that means they don't have control.

Are all DVR's evil like the Tivo? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35762134)

From the FA: "For one, those set-top boxes you cherish so much because they offer sans-commercial entertainment programs, also keep track of all your TV habits. "

I'm glad I have a MythTV and eyeTV ...as far as I know, they don't report back anyone's TV watching/recording habits to anyone

Re:Are all DVR's evil like the Tivo? (1)

Beaker74 (453388) | more than 3 years ago | (#35762370)

We use the DTVPal, which was a DVR/Digital set-top box that was originally put out by Echostar. Now it's a Channelmaster product, but it is a stand-alone DVR that can record OTA on one channel and do live pause on another, or record 2 channels at once.

No external connections, no subscription. Only drawback is the guide if you don't have TV Guide On-Screen service on your TV, it just pulls the generic PSIP data from the signal. But still... it's been very nice to have.

Re:Are all DVR's evil like the Tivo? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35762746)

I wonder if there's any corollary to the conspiratorial almost paranoid nature of geek culture and geek shows getting cancelled for low ratings (but then doing very well in DVD). Nah, couldn't be!

Real students ship (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35762140)

Release early and release often.

I'm sorry (3, Funny)

squidflakes (905524) | more than 3 years ago | (#35762182)

TiVo's senior director of IT, Richard Rothschild, for instance, explained how those set-top boxes track everything you watch for advertising and marketing and then combine the information with supermarket membership card data to determine how effective ad campaigns are.

I feel at least partially responsible for this. When I was working for a large cable TV head-end provider, I pitched this exact idea to upper management. Not as a way to track people, but as a way to prove to advertisers that cable advertising was effective.

I was told that the idea was unworkable and stupid, but six months later was put in charge of a project to roll out the 'brilliant idea from one of or top executives'.

So yeah, sorry everyone.

Re:I'm sorry (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35762444)

Meh, that's nothing: I work for a company building the software that makes this all possible, and we've been doing it for *ten years*. We're already rolled out in one major telecommunications company, and deployments are ramping up quickly. The system allows targeting advertising to viewers based on household data collected from Experian, etc, and then tracks ad viewings and reports them back upstream.

As an aside... the cable operators still think giving the advertisers all that data is unworkable, as the advertisers would suddenly realize just how much their advertising dollars are wasted on television.

Re:I'm sorry (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35762614)

TiVo's senior director of IT, Richard Rothschild, for instance, explained how those set-top boxes track everything you watch for advertising and marketing and then combine the information with supermarket membership card data to determine how effective ad campaigns are.

I feel at least partially responsible for this. When I was working for a large cable TV head-end provider, I pitched this exact idea to upper management. Not as a way to track people, but as a way to prove to advertisers that cable advertising was effective.

Wasn't this TiVo's business plan from the beginning? Isn't that close to two decades now? I fail to see what's new.

WARNING: there be trolls here (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35762190)

I think Soulskill had to make sure he met his daily trolling quota.

Apparently all of the following are on topic: TiVo, Apple, and IQ.

This rivals the recent post where they managed to squeeze in a subtle emacs vs. vi troll into the summary.

Education and Woz... (4, Insightful)

JMZero (449047) | more than 3 years ago | (#35762192)

'In school, intelligence is a measurement,' he said. 'If you have the same answer as everyone else in math or science, you're intelligent.'"

Well.. not really. Schools don't measure intelligence, they measure compliance and effort. If you're intelligent and willing, it's easier to comply with "memorize this crap" and "be able to solve math problems in this form" - but grades are not intended to measure intelligence, nor are they good at doing so. Nor would it make sense. The feedback mechanism grading is requires something you can change - and that's why grades usually target things that all students are capable of and that are easy to evaluate: memorization, putting time into a report, etc..

At issue, he said, are rules that tell each student exactly what they should be studying and when.

Everyone knows there's more effective ways to teach, but it's also clear why teachers have structure: how else are you going to address the needs of 30 different students - many of whom don't want to be there - and keep them all doing something vaguely productive?

Re:Education and Woz... (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35762616)

Everyone knows there's more effective ways to teach, but it's also clear why teachers have structure: how else are you going to address the needs of 30 different students - many of whom don't want to be there - and keep them all doing something vaguely productive?

Good point. Also, Woz might have a skewed teaching perspective. Los Gatos, CA is a wealthy, insular Silicon Valley enclave (80% white, 10% Asian, small bits of "other"). So, what should we expect from the kids? High motivation, lots of parental support (not to mention intelligent parents), and plenty of money for the nice surburban schools. Let's see him try the same stuff in the middle of LA.

Beyond that, what's the point of our education system? Is it to provide an adequate (though not necessarily great) education for 10 million kids, or is to to provide a spectacular education for 500,000 kids and a crummy one for 9.5 million kids? They're both valid strategies, though Woz's comments seem to favor the latter.

Re:Education and Woz... (1)

hedwards (940851) | more than 3 years ago | (#35762632)

It depends greatly upon how competent the teachers are at assessment. One of the big problems is that these periodic tests just don't work very well. And the big standardized tests are essentially a complete waste of time and we're likely better of ditching them entirely.

The problem is that by the time you get to the end of the unit exam, it's way too late to do anything about any lack of knowledge. Doing small assessments constantly at least gives you some ability to make adjustments and clarifications as necessary. The whole idea of testing students and grading them on what they know completely misses the point that education is about thinking, learning and mastery, none of which typically shows up on standard tests.

Woz is correct in that having larger projects which span classes would definitely be a welcome addition, you just have to be very careful how its structured. Students tend to learn a lot more when the topics have some logical relationship to each other.

Re:Education and Woz... (1)

Kemanorel (127835) | more than 3 years ago | (#35762686)

Excellent post. I couldn't have said it better.

Hell, having only 30 students in a class is a joy compared to a full load of 36 or an overload upper limit of 38. You'd be surprised at how much of a difference 2-3 students can make.

25 and lower is the "magic" number where class size is most effective.

Re:Education and Woz... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35762876)

Please read up on modern standardized state achievement tests, their approaches critiqued by the educational psychology community, and the constant change the US education has had over the past 30 years.

You will then learn that the education system in this country, is severely fucked!

How To Make Customers Hate Your Product (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35762212)

"TiVo's senior director of IT, Richard Rothschild, for instance, explained how those set-top boxes track everything you watch for advertising and marketing and then combine the information with supermarket membership card data to determine how effective ad campaigns are."

And that's why I returned one that was given to me free. They can take those data-collecting electronic spies and shove them right up their fundament, sideways.

Same answer? (2)

SeNtM (965176) | more than 3 years ago | (#35762220)

'If you have the same answer as everyone else in math or science, you're intelligent.'"

Hmm, someone doesn't understand the importance of being able to reproduce the exact results for a given equation. I was required to show my work when I learned long division and that trend continued through trigonometry and calculus. The measurement of "intelligence" is being able to demonstrate that you understand the concepts behind the math and science you are doing...not just picking a random answer on a multiple choice question.

Re:Same answer? (1)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 3 years ago | (#35762388)

'If you have the same answer as everyone else in math or science, you're intelligent.'"

Hmm, someone doesn't understand the importance of being able to reproduce the exact results for a given equation. I was required to show my work when I learned long division and that trend continued through trigonometry and calculus. The measurement of "intelligence" is being able to demonstrate that you understand the concepts behind the math and science you are doing...not just picking a random answer on a multiple choice question.

I wrote 42 on every test in high school. As much as it was the answer to the ultimate question about life, the universe and everything, but I also did some of the problems and wotnot just to be on the safe side.

Re:Same answer? (2)

Altus (1034) | more than 3 years ago | (#35762422)

Someone doesn't realize who exactly it is they are talking about.

You really think that Woz doesn't understand the importance of being able to reproduce the exact results for a given equation? Do you know who Woz is?

Re:Same answer? (1)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 3 years ago | (#35762588)

Someone doesn't realize who exactly it is they are talking about.

You really think that Woz doesn't understand the importance of being able to reproduce the exact results for a given equation? Do you know who Woz is?

Woz is of course speaking of the ideal school which has unlimited resources. Meanwhile, in California, most elementary schools have had budgets slashed so severely they went from 18 pupils per teacher to 30 pupils teacher, which means Class Size Reduction isn't very important to people, otherwise they'd be rioting over such a trend. Go ahead and run Woz's idea past some other teachers, see what they think.

good to know (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35762244)

that western societies are devolving into creepy old men following and stalking each other or paying gangs of people to do it for them,
no need for a tag round your ankle in 21st century Earth comrade when you can get 10% off MSRP at largePurcha$ers premises all weekend!.

How long a project? (3, Insightful)

bryan1945 (301828) | more than 3 years ago | (#35762376)

In the article (yeah, I really read his part) Woz's says that projects can take up to years. He never expounded on how these long-term projects should take, or at what level he would like to implement them. From kindergarten to 5th project. 6th-9th? 10th-12th? K all the way through 12th? I like his premise, but then he goes off and says he developed the floppy disk for Apple in 2 weeks. Is that long term? Woz is a really smart guy and has done tons of good, but bring some clarity when you are declaring the need for changes. I personally agree with him that a, say, semester long (2 to 4 months) project should be able to teach a lot more than the memorize, test, & forget form of study. Longer than that and you are most likely getting into implementation phases.

My 2 bananas worth.

class where you can just cram for the test need (1)

Joe The Dragon (967727) | more than 3 years ago | (#35762414)

class where you can just cram for the test need to go and be replaced with a group project for the grade and get rid the filler classes that are full of stuff like this.

So... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35762492)

...what is this story about?

Who likes integration? (2)

BumbaCLot (472046) | more than 3 years ago | (#35762512)

I would potentially buy a new big screen if it had netflix or pandora integrated but would never buy one with a blu-ray, dvd or hard disk. How many of you like bundling failure-prone or potentially outdated devices into your most expensive component?

Re:Who likes integration? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35762624)

So you are saying that a Netflix/Pandora streaming component is NOT prone to failure and NOT prone becoming outdated? (or at least not moreso than DVD?)

Two Topics at once? (3, Interesting)

Jeng (926980) | more than 3 years ago | (#35762522)

This is fucking stupid.

Are we discussing the education system or are we discussing set top boxes?

These are two completely different topics and should not be merged like this.

Re:Two Topics at once? (4, Funny)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 3 years ago | (#35762564)

This is fucking stupid.

Are we discussing the education system or are we discussing set top boxes?

These are two completely different topics and should not be merged like this.

You're right, of course, we should discuss the merits of the discussion, thus adding yet another thread to it.

Re:Two Topics at once? (1)

chargersfan420 (1487195) | more than 3 years ago | (#35762634)

Mod parent up! Have the /. editors gotten so sick of listening to complaints about non-stories that they decided to just start merging stories together? I'm not even sure either of these two stories alone is worth posting, and one of them doesn't even have a link.

Re:Two Topics at once? (1)

ran-o-matic (667054) | more than 3 years ago | (#35762646)

New Shimmer - It's a floor cleaner. No, it's a dessert topping.

Oh Woz. (2)

brit74 (831798) | more than 3 years ago | (#35762542)

"If you have the same answer as everyone else in math or science, you're intelligent."

First of all, you're graded on getting the answer right (often including showing how you arrived at your answer), not on your agreement with your classmates. If 90% of your classmates got the same wrong answer, you aren't "intelligent" for getting the same answer as they did. Second, if everyone in your class gets the same answer, then something is very wrong - probably the course-work is way too easy.

Re:Oh Woz. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35762918)

that's how math and science work

1 correct answer

anything else would not be science

DVR and cable are doomed (1)

tripleevenfall (1990004) | more than 3 years ago | (#35762640)

The cable TV model is doomed, due to streaming. Cable TV will be for the next decade what the land-line home telephone was for the last decade - everyone's favorite way to cut costs. Comcast, et al., will have to find ways to squeeze more money out of people like me who got rid of cable because we were paying $75 a month for just one or two channels we felt we couldn't live without, probably via bandwidth caps.

Re:DVR and cable are doomed (2)

tlhIngan (30335) | more than 3 years ago | (#35762914)

The cable TV model is doomed, due to streaming. Cable TV will be for the next decade what the land-line home telephone was for the last decade - everyone's favorite way to cut costs. Comcast, et al., will have to find ways to squeeze more money out of people like me who got rid of cable because we were paying $75 a month for just one or two channels we felt we couldn't live without, probably via bandwidth caps.

I've never understood how replacing a very efficient broadcast mechanism with a unicast mechanism is "better". It's better for the user, but really, it's not scalable.

In the current TV system we have, adding an extra TV costs very little to the network (maybe another amplifier if the signal gets marginal). But if we add another TV for Hulu or Netflix or something, the bandwidth usage goes up linearly. Add 100 TVs, bandwidth goes up 100 times.

Multicast won't save you, unless people have a habit of starting the same program at the same time and never pausing (in which case it's just as inconvenient as the broadcast method). This is used by cable providers in SDV because of bandwidth issues.

In the end, it's far more efficient to broadcast the show somehow then have some sort of DVR to record it for later playback. Which, hey hey, is what Netflix and Hulu are, in essence. The DVR is "in the cloud" (really, at your ISP). But hey, any cable provider can do that too - they usually call it "on demand" or something.

In the end, all that's happening is the DVR is moving somewhere because supporting 300M TVs with streaming data 24/7 is quite inefficient on bandwidth capacity. So the networks broadcast it to someone who records it, that recording is passed down the line to a local (to you) entity - ISP, cable provider, etc., and given to you "on demand".

No, the big change really is that cable is too freaking expensive, the bundling rules suck, etc. All Hulu and Netflix have done is shown that people don't want to pay $200/month because they want 6 channels spread throughout 6 different packages. I can understand why it happens (contracts - and you know one of your favorite channels will die off with a la carte because it's a niche one).

Streaming services are great, but I won't bet the house on them yet. If something like the Superbowl was availavle exclusively via streaming, people would complain of stuttery video, connection failures, etc.

It's called a dissertation/thesis... (3, Insightful)

theEd (61232) | more than 3 years ago | (#35762672)

And Steve Wozniak attacked the American education system, saying students should be graded on a single, long-term project rather than a short learning/testing cycle.

Those of us who want to become scientists or mathematicians (like myself) do get "graded" on a single, long-term project (I have 200+ pages of evidence of that at home). The only problem with a single project for the WHOLE grade is that if by chance something goes wrong (bad reagent or protocol) or it didn't work like you expected (*sarcasm* because nothing ever goes wrong in science *sarcasm*) you would have to spend more time (months+++ ?) or the project might fail. If your a grad. student you make due and move on but, I think that would completely demotivate most high school students. Besides K-12 is the time/place to learn the basics, like the multiplication tables, the periodic table, language, writing, etc., with some small projects to augment book knowledge. I can guarantee that I would not have been successful in my graduate career if I didn't have the 16+ years of structured education and short testing cycles that Woz has an issue with. And if I was only graded on a single project as a young student I might have failed early on and did something else than science.

Kids shmids (1)

therealkevinkretz (1585825) | more than 3 years ago | (#35762872)

F all that education talk. My TiVO is going to be tied to my television choice?!

SNW = Storage Networking World (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35762944)

Why is it assumed that this is common knowledge? Even on THEIR home page it isn't immediately obvious what the name of the conference stands for.
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