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Time Warner Turns Down Takeover Bid From Rupert Murdoch

DarkFencer Re:Weren't they trying to merge with Comcast? (70 comments)

Yes, Time Warner, Inc (what this story is referring to) is a different company from Time Warner Cable (which Comcast is looking to acquire).

Its also different from TW Telecom (formerly Time Warner Telecom, which is being acquired by Level 3.

Its a complicated mess of mergers and spinoffs...

about two weeks ago
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Teacher Tenure Laws Ruled Unconstitutional In California

DarkFencer Re:Tenure should be available but not inviolable (519 comments)

Therein lies the problem. What should it be based on? How many students pass? Standardized test scores? How about teachers that are good but get a job at a school whose students are generally poorer-performing vs teachers that aren't as good but work at a school with a higher caliber of students?

Oh - I completely understand that it is a difficult question. Many of the evaluation options thrown out by people involve more standardize testing (which will favor students, and in turn teachers in better socioeconomic classes and with less English language learners).

I'm not an educator myself, but I think an honest review for tenure purposes would have to consist of a comparison of student results from year-to-year, not just comparisons between students district/state/nation-wide. Then you could possibly see how a teacher has had a negative or positive (or net-zero) effect on student progress in their subject area.

But again, this is my own layman's guess.

about a month and a half ago
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Teacher Tenure Laws Ruled Unconstitutional In California

DarkFencer Tenure should be available but not inviolable (519 comments)

There are important reasons for tenure in K-12 education, especially in this era. K-12 schools (and in turn teachers) in many areas receive incredible pressure from parents. It used to be if a child got poor grades the teacher wasn't the one blamed. Now there are many parents who have spoiled brats who they believe can do no wrong.

That being said, tenure's protections should exist but should make teacher's positions far less invincible than they are in many areas now. There should be a process of discipline and removal for poor teachers. It should be as objective as possible so as to avoid undue parental pressure.

Otherwise it creates a perverse incentive for teachers to inflate grades of their students.

about a month and a half ago
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The Strange Death of Comet Ison

DarkFencer Not sure why anyone was surprised (49 comments)

All the coverage I saw (from astronomy writers, NASA, etc.) said there was definitely a chance of it burning up.

If the non-science media hyped it up somewhat, well they do that for everything. Yes, I a (and many others watched for ISON). Yes, we were disappointed, but no one should have been surprised.

about 3 months ago
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Gabe Newell Responds: Yes, We're Looking For Cheaters Via DNS

DarkFencer Re:Visiting a Site Isn't Cheating (511 comments)

Assuming Gabe is being truthful when he states that this is a secondary check triggered by some other evidence for cheating, then just visiting these sites wouldn't be enough.

Its suspicious activity (reported by players? detected through other methods? not sure) that triggers the additional check(s).

about 5 months ago
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How Good Are Charter Schools For the Public School System?

DarkFencer Re:Level the playing field (715 comments)

the point is to take students who's parents care from bad schools and put them in an environment where they can get a decent education.

Its not always about level of care the parents are providing but what they can provide. How much care towards education can a low-income single parent working two full time jobs provide?

What is the parent doesn't have a great education themselves and aren't able to help their child academically (and only motivationally)?

Should that child suffer, not only because of that, but because of dwindling resources in the public school system that are being drained by the charter schools?

The students who are struggling are the ones who need the best resources/teaching/etc. If charter schools are as great as they are made out to be - they should be VOLUNTEERING to take students who are struggling academically, not shunning them like lepers.

about 6 months ago
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How Good Are Charter Schools For the Public School System?

DarkFencer Level the playing field (715 comments)

If charter schools are allowed to operate, then they shouldn't benefit from special privileges that public schools don't have. They should have to accept any students in the area (regardless of academic level, just like the public schools). They also should be required to have all students take the standardized tests (instead of finding reasons to exclude children who they know won't do as well, so the school looks better ranked in comparison).

If charter schools aren't cheating and they are showing an improvement that is one thing. But too often they are cheating to make themselves look better compared to public schools.

about 6 months ago
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The Case For a Global, Compulsory Bug Bounty

DarkFencer That's absurd (81 comments)

That is an absurd argument. Yes some companies can and should offer bug bounties but if the only method you can rely on is out bidding the black market, then you've already lost.

Not to mention, there are a lot of small companies, small foundations, and open source projects which could never afford such prices.

about 7 months ago
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Judge: NSA Phone Program Likely Unconstitutional

DarkFencer Re:About time (345 comments)

All three branches are immune from politics, when it comes to national security issues. There's a reason why blatantly illegal practices have near unanimous support amongst our representatives, and it's not because our government is a functioning democracy.

I wouldn't say near unanimous by any means. There are lots on the edges of the right and left who were against this. The Amash amendment, which would have drastically reined in the data the NSA collected (not as much as necessary, but a good start). It failed in the US House by only 217-205. Of those voting for the amendment, it was 111 Democrats, 95 Republicans.

That it failed was disappointing but it shows that we're not that far from having a majority for bills like this. We just need to get more of the establishment folks on both sides out of office.

about 7 months ago
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Martha Stewart Out To Exterminate Patent Troll Lodsys

DarkFencer Re:...and suddenly (150 comments)

I always had sympathy for her after her jail sentence. She went to jail for a MINOR insider trading case (where they couldn't even prove that, just obstruction of justice), while those who collapsed the economy got off scot free.

Hope her company drives the patent trolls into the ground. And then she decorates the grave with some potpourri warning signs to other trolls or some such.

about 10 months ago
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Biggest Headache For Game Developers: Abusive Fans

DarkFencer Re:Couldn't have happened to nicer people... (381 comments)

No, of course not; there should definitely be a censhorship apparatus put in place.. right? That's what you're implying/suggesting, I assume?

Yes - self-censorship. The internal voice that says, or should say, "This is something that should not be said to another person, since I (ideally) don't want to be a jack ass".

about a year ago
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Biggest Headache For Game Developers: Abusive Fans

DarkFencer Re:Couldn't have happened to nicer people... (381 comments)

Gaming industry deserves all the abuse it gets. Extreme cases of abuse aside, all criticism is they get is deserved.

But who should be getting the abuse you advocate? The executives of the big publishers or the regular folks working for the industry to actually make games? I've disliked games before but that doesn't mean that I should be justified to spew vitriol at the coders, artists and others working in the industry.

about a year ago
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Small Town Builds Its Own Gigabyte Network; Cost To Citizens $57/month

DarkFencer Re:Started out impressive (269 comments)

for the same price that they currently pay for a guaranteed download speed of 100 megabits per second

The 100 megabit figure is what they currently have, not the new network.

The summary is right, but the subject (gigabyte vs gigabit) is wrong.

1 year,8 days
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Fox, Univision May Go Subscription To Stop Aereo

DarkFencer Re:While you are at it (306 comments)

http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/powerpoint-help/copy-and-paste-your-slides-HA001230242.aspx

But they're creating that now anyway. Channels like History, Discovery and TLC have moved from their original focus to reality TV garbage.

If people really paid per channel then a channel would be much less likely to drastically change their content type in favor of another (since the former customers would likely drop the channel much quicker then they could get new customers).

about a year ago
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RSA: Phish Me If You Can (Video)

DarkFencer Re:More stupid victim-blaming (171 comments)

Its rarely about just opening an email. Its about opening attachments in that email, or opening links that lead to sites with malware. There have been enough vulnerabilities (OS, Adobe, Java, etc.) that have been around which don't require any special privileges. Just a user to click through warning prompts.

It cannot be solely IT's responsibility - especially in this day of BYOD (Bring your own device). IT isn't always able to remove admin privileges from corporate/organization owned computers - much less the Sales guy's personal laptop.

about a year ago
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In the 2012 U.S. presidential election:

DarkFencer Re:Vote (707 comments)

There are a growing number of states where the Democratic legislature has passed gay marriage - most notably New York.

California on the other hand had it banned via a proposition.

about a year and a half ago
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Hurricane Sandy Nears East Coast

DarkFencer Re:See what happens? (281 comments)

So, in other words, it's not that different than the winter storms we regularly get out here in the Montana, Nebraska, North/South Dakota, Minnesota regions of the country where we'll have 2-4 days of gale force winds, blowing ice and/or snow, zero visibility, and 15' drifts at regular intervals? You know, the ones we'll sometimes have 2-3 times a winter.

New York City alone has almost as many people as the states you mentioned. Then add the rest of New York State, the entire eastern seaboard, parts of Canada, etc due to the massive size of this storm and you get probably 6 to 10 times the population of the states you mention. And you wonder why people make a big deal about it?

about a year and a half ago
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We Don't Need More Highways

DarkFencer Re:Roads killing communities (244 comments)

An interesting study shows how the cross-bronx expressway was almost instrumental in destroying the vibrant pre-war south bronx neighborhoods.

The Cross-Bronx is also instrumental in destroying my will to live when driving on it. Thankfully I'm rarely near there and know ways around it but if that's not the worst highway in NY, I don't want to know what is.

about 2 years ago
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Ubisoft Ditches Always-Online DRM Requirement From PC Games

DarkFencer Will they patch existing games? (218 comments)

If they patch existing games to not use this as well, I may consider purchasing one (Heroes 6). I've held off on this purchase specifically because of this.

about 2 years ago

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