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Windows Tax Shot Down In Italy

KalvinB Re:Need more than a legal precedent (416 comments)

Why should people be required to work for free? And why do you get to dictate the time it will take?

All they have to do is remove the hard drive and put in a blank OEM drive and then destroy the license sticker if one is on it and report to MS that that license is no longer valid.

And then you can have your $10 back which is about what Windows amounts to costing you after factor in the discount MS gives them and the amount the advertisers spent putting 3rd party software on the thing.

4 days ago
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Gigabyte Brix Projector Combines Mini PC With DLP Projector In a 4.5-Inch Cube

KalvinB Re:World's worst projector? (44 comments)

I picked up one of those cheap toy projectors. They great thing about them is that they use standard halogen bulbs. So I went to Home Depot and got the brightest version of the bulb I could find which was double the original lumens.

I found that the limiting factor was the heat. After a few minutes a black circle started to appear on the image. It was the bulb melting the LCD panel. I had to put a little desk fan next to it to keep the air moving sufficiently to keep it cool.

These little 75 lumen projectors with a low resolution are likely running into the same problem. Obviously much brighter LEDs exist but there's not enough space to properly cool them.

The resolution is good enough for a smart board which only can handle 480 vertical lines anyway. I opted to get a the $320 proper projector with a 1024x768 resolution. Smartboards are easily replaced with a much simpler HD document camera.

about 4 months ago
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Professors: US "In Denial" Over Poor Maths Standards

KalvinB Re:Coded Racism (688 comments)

In New York, low SES / Minority students are doing very well in charter schools that the government is trying to shut down.

Like I said, you can make all the excuses you want but the simple fact is, Public Schools are awful. "White" flight happens because the racists in charge are trying to lock minorities into the plantation and anyone that gives them an exit strategy is fought against. That raises the bar for who can successfully escape the plantation.

The color of a student's skin has no impact on their learning potential. As charter schools prove over and over again.

Public schools can make excuses decade after decade or they can fix the problems.

about 4 months ago
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Professors: US "In Denial" Over Poor Maths Standards

KalvinB Re:Coded Racism (688 comments)

Maybe you should look into charter schools that cater to low SES students and end up having a vast majority of success stories.

If the public education system wasn't hiding behind racism, they'd be looking at why low SES students excel in charter/private schools and either encourage low SES students to go to those schools, or figure out how to replicate that success themselves.

As it is, public schools are more interested in plugging their ears and making excuses.

As you perfectly demonstrated.

Studies have shown that the children most likely to get their homework done come from families with a single black mother.

Low SES and minority.

about 4 months ago
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Professors: US "In Denial" Over Poor Maths Standards

KalvinB Coded Racism (688 comments)

Morgan Spurlock made the idiotic comment about how Norway is "homogeneous" right before transitioning to his piece on a charter school with minority students who were excelling.

SES or "Socio-Economic Status" is the most common race bait thrown around in the education system. Anyone who has experience outside the public education system figures out real quick that you can't look at the skin color or bank account of a student to see how well they're doing.

Racism is the last excuse that our failed public education system still clings to. That and "we don't have enough money."

It's just one of the many reasons why despite being certified to teach high school math, I have no intention of ever teaching in a public school. I'm more interested in helping out at my daughter's small private school. My summer project is overhauling their library system. I've already fixed all the laptops as well as they can be. If possible I'd like to go into a part time teaching role to help out.

The school is filled with students from a variety of racial backgrounds and financial circumstances and oddly enough I can't judge their grades by any of that.

about 4 months ago
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Sony Warns Demand For Blu-Ray Diminishing Faster Than Expected

KalvinB Quality Rarely Wins (477 comments)

With HD digital projectors getting below $700 and Blu-ray players getting well under $100 and tons of classic movies on Blu-ray for $15 or less, it should be doing fine.

I can't imagine being dependent on streaming to watch the movies I want to watch. A lot of kids these days only care that it looks good on their phone or tablet.

If I get Blu-ray, it's for high quality shows/movies and I prefer to get a DVD with them. It's rare that I'll buy a Blu-ray only movie. I know that I in theory can back it up, but it's going to cost a bunch of money to get the software and hardware to do it. It's going to be a long time before I have a blu-ray collection that justifies it.

That's really all they need to do, they need to package DVDs with Blu-ray discs at no extra cost. I get my digital backup and if I want to watch the movie in maximum quality, I can.

about 4 months ago
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Ask Slashdot: Joining a Startup As an Older Programmer?

KalvinB Re:My old dev manager... (274 comments)

WTF did I just read?

about 4 months ago
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'The Door Problem' of Game Design

KalvinB Missing the point (305 comments)

The parents point is that all doors need to behave the same way. If one door can be locked, they all can be locked. The question is not "can a door be locked" but "should this door be locked so the player has to find a key?" If a player can block one door, they all need to be blockable. There should not be two doors that look identical but one will swing through a player, and the other will be blocked by the player.

It's about consistency of behavior. If one door behaves differently than another door then it needs to look different. If a door cannot be locked, then it shouldn't have a key hole. Any door with a keyhole should have a key somewhere in the level and it should be able to be locked and unlocked with that key. The only question is the starting state of the door and how many copies of the key there are.

It's not really a hard concept. It's about consistency of behavior.

about 5 months ago
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Supreme Court OKs Stop and Search Based On Anonymous 911 Tips

KalvinB Re:Anybody know the plate# for each scotus? (461 comments)

Go ahead.

The whole point of the ruling is recognizing that an "anonymous" tip isn't really anonymous to the police. They can track down who made the call. They have the call recorded. So if you decide to file false reports against people, there are laws for that.

This was a no-brainer ruling that police are allowed to act on anonymous information. And if in the process of acting on a tip they deem worth putting resources on they find other things you're doing wrong, they have every right to act on that as well.

The cops had no idea this guy was hauling drugs. They pursued the information because they thought the information was worth putting resources into.

It's up to the cops to decide if they're going to risk the cost and embarrassment of following up a tip without getting some identifying information about the tipster.

about 5 months ago
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Phil Shapiro says 20,000 Teachers Should Unite to Spread Chromebooks (Video)

KalvinB Stay away from my school please (101 comments)

Chrome laptops are consumption devices. They are not creative devices.

Schools need computers that you can hook Arduinos up to or Raspberry Pis or install Apache, MySQL, PostgreSQL, PHP, Ruby, Visual Studio Express, etc. on. Computers you can install Gimp or Photoshop on.

They do not need fancy TVs.

The iPad failed in LA, not because it was expensive, but because it was a very dumb idea.

We need to get people involved in schools that at least have some clue about technology and what would be most useful to kids.

And frankly, until we get that sorted out, you'd be better off buying the students $200-400 worth of notebook paper and pencils.

about 5 months ago
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California Students, Parents Sue Over Teacher Firing, Tenure Rules

KalvinB Are you joking? (399 comments)

Unreasonable hours and unreasonably low pay have been the norm in public education for decades.

If the unions did their job in public education, teachers would be working 40 hours a week and making at least 50K a year.

about 8 months ago
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California Students, Parents Sue Over Teacher Firing, Tenure Rules

KalvinB Re:Dangerous... (399 comments)

Because the average person doesn't have to suffer the consequences of the prison system?

The real problem is, you are right and the anti-union people are right. Last hired - first fired policies do nothing to protect quality teachers. And policy that doesn't consider the teacher is a policy that has no interest in the educational quality being provided by a school. The work environment that administrators continue to force teachers to work in with miserable pay do nothing to attract high quality educators. And the result is a miserable education system.

The unions fought for the 40 hour work week back in the day and the alleged teacher "unions" force teachers to work unreasonable hours for unreasonable pay.

Funny how businesses that attract competent talent don't require union protections to keep their employees around.

about 8 months ago
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How Good Are Charter Schools For the Public School System?

KalvinB Re:And children of public school cheerleaders (715 comments)

The public school system has no interest in what parents have to say whether their kids attend the school or not.

Public schools should be happy to have the time, talents and money of people interested in fixing the system. They have no right to those people's first born children.

Claiming you have to put your kid in public education in order to have a say in fixing it is as idiotic as claiming you have to move to Africa to help them.

Be happy they're trying to improve the lives of the kids that have to go there.

about 8 months ago
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New Study Shows One-Third of Americans Don't Believe In Evolution

KalvinB Re:The conclusion may be wrong. (1010 comments)

None of those questions have anything to do with common ancestry.

about 9 months ago
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Nintendo Announces $99 Wii Mini For US Release

KalvinB No Internet is a Plus for Parents (147 comments)

The fact it doesn't have internet is going to be a plus for parents. Now they can let their kids play games without having to worry about listening to a tirade of profanity from half way around the world. The older people that play this, probably aren't getting on-line either.

It's also about $50 cheaper than the full size Wii which is the price of a Mario game.

For cost conscious parents whose kids don't have a modern video game system yet, this is a solid option for Christmas. There is a huge library of excellent titles for the Wii. The LEGO games are all about $20 now, there are plenty of very popular Wii games that are $20 now.

If I didn't already have a Wii, I'd buy it. While I use the Virtual Console, I could live without it. It's not an essential feature for the system. I just buy the old classics, Something that most kids don't care about.

about 10 months ago
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Can Nintendo Survive Gaming's Brave New World?

KalvinB Re:Nintendo is here to stay! (277 comments)

Meanwhile, Nintendo manages to stay on top despite ignoring everything that makes the other consoles popular: first person shooters.

They'll always be on top until the competition stops doing the same thing year after year expecting different results.

Parents are far more likely to spend buckets of money on a system with loads of kid friendly games and staple characters like Mario, Zelda and Pokemon.

The proven formula for staying on top is having top quality exclusive titles. Only Nintendo delivers in that area. And they're not going to dilute that value by licensing their money printing machines to sub-par third party games.

about a year ago
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Reprogrammed Bacterium Speaks New Language of Life

KalvinB Re:4^4 (141 comments)

Note that the only examples of words had 3 letters.

4^3 = 64

So what they meant to say was that there are only 64 ways of combining four letters in 3 letter words.

about a year ago
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Obamacare Website Fixes Could Take Two Weeks Or Two Months

KalvinB Re:you really want to know what obamacare is? (382 comments)

My health insurance that wouldn't bankrupt me cost $78 a month for myself and my 6 year old daughter. It went up to $100 for the October billing cycle. I'm hoping it's because it's grandfathered in. I've had the same plan for at least a couple years now and it's a plan Blue Cross Blue Shield has offered for a very long time.

If you want the same health insurance I have, it now costs hundreds of dollars a month.

Obama has officially attained celebrity status: his fans are happy to pay excessive amounts for merchandise simply because it has his name on it.

about a year ago
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Cost of Healthcare.gov: $634 Million — So Far

KalvinB No. (497 comments)

The system wasn't overloaded from people trying to sign up. That's government propaganda for you.

http://www.latimes.com/business/money/la-fi-mo-california-health-exchange-glitches-20131001,0,7108713.story

"State officials said the Covered California website got 645,000 hits during the first day of enrollment, far fewer than the 5 million it reported Tuesday."

And that's just hits. The government refuses to say how many people have actually registered accounts and how many have actually bought insurance.

The web-site not only can't handle a moderate amount of traffic, people aren't interested in signing up or buying the product even if they can get through.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2013/10/03/a-trickle-not-a-wave-what-insurers-are-seeing-in-obamacare-enrollment/

"After two days without any word on sign-ups, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Louisiana received some reassuring news Wednesday night: Seven people had signed up for its plan on the marketplace that day."

about a year ago
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US Adults Score Poorly On Worldwide Test

KalvinB Re:Computer literacy + social skills (745 comments)

The rich didn't vote for ObamaCare to take money out of the pockets of poor people to put in their own.

The foolish voted for ObamaCare thinking the Government should rob Peter to pay for Paul's medical care. They didn't realize they were Peter.

When the rich get to keep their money, so does everyone else. When the rich have to take more money out of their pocket so does everyone else. The difference is that the rich won't miss the money but the poor will. That's why the rich keep getting richer and the poor keep getting poorer.

Raising property taxes to pay for failing education system because you're a renter just makes it harder for you to move up to being a home owner. Meanwhile, the rich can afford the hike and will happily rent the home to you and raise the price to account for the rise in taxes.

about a year ago

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