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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 a week ago

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 3 months ago

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 3 months ago

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 3 months ago

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 4 months ago

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 5 months ago

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 6 months ago

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 6 months ago

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 6 months ago

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.


"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.


"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 6 months ago

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 6 months ago

Will Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn Stay With MySQL?

KalvinB No Cross Database Joins (245 comments)

PostgreSQL is a toy. It also can get sequences out of sync with data in the database. That's just asinine.

PostgreSQL is blacklisted now for my development. If it can't do basic things that a programming language can't make up for efficiently then it's just garbage. I haven't run into anything that MySQL can't do that are mission critical that they be done in MySQL.

Start with MySQL. If you outgrow it, use a real commercial product that has been vetted in real production environments. By the time your business outgrows MySQL you should be making enough money that an MS SQL Server won't break the bank.

about 7 months ago

45% of U.S. Jobs Vulnerable To Automation

KalvinB Re:My father once said... (625 comments)

If a robot can do your job as a teacher you're not a good teacher.

about 7 months ago

Google Releases Raspberry Pi Web Dev Teaching Tool

KalvinB Re:Tenant? (68 comments)

When I started web development I started with HTML. Then I learned JavaScript and later CSS. Much after that I started with backend scripting languages and then databases. I wanted to be a game programmer initially so I learned BASIC then C and C++, Java and C#. Web stuff came later and that's what I do now with PHP, Perl, Python, etc.

This is for kids getting started. If you want to be a web developer, the best place to start is with the visual stuff. You can now make 3D games with JavaScript so it will support starting programmers for a very long time. JavaScript has replaced BASIC as the go to language for kids who want to create things. All you need is a browser and a text editor. And of course the internet or a good library with plenty of resources to guide you.

The real issue is that the Pi with a decent monitor, keyboard and mouse is going to set you back over $200. It isn't exactly cheap. For $100 more you can get a proper laptop that isn't horribly crippled.

about 7 months ago

Raspberry Pi, Smart Highways Win World's Biggest Design Prize

KalvinB Re:about high-tech highways that light up at night (91 comments)

Why not just put the images in the street lamps and use a simple motor to select the image appropriate for the conditions?

about 8 months ago

OLPC Now Distributes Kid-Friendly Tablets, Not Just Notebooks (Video)

KalvinB Garbage (55 comments)

Just another consumerism device. Not a device for teaching kids how to create.

A device that would actually be useful is a device that can be used to interface with the environment through sensors and be programmable to solve real world problems.

OLPC should be working with the Raspberry Pi people to create a rugged cheap complete solution. Change the flimsy GPIO Pins to a standard Parallel connector and enclose it with a decent LCD screen with keyboard and USB mouse and you'd have a far more useful and productive device.

about 8 months ago

How Much Should You Worry About an Arctic Methane Bomb?

KalvinB Re:More hoax maskerading as "science" (416 comments)

It was still colder in Phoenix in June than it was the year I moved here in 1995.

Also, in 1995 it was snowing in Minnesota until late April. A few years prior, the snow never completely covered the ground.

The fact that the weather can change so drastically so quickly should disprove any scare mongering.

I remember when they used to blame the warm winters or cold winters on El Nino's intensity that year.

Now we've got a bunch of chicken littles running around.

about 8 months ago

US Intel Agencies To Build Superconducting Computer

KalvinB Re:what a joke (73 comments)

Providing for the common defense is constitutional. Health Insurance is not.

We should be worrying about getting our government to do the things it is supposed to do correctly instead of pretending that since we're paying for A we're entitled to B, too.

about 8 months ago

Sony & Panasonic Plan Next-Gen 300 GB Optical Discs By the End of 2015

KalvinB It's not for consumers (289 comments)

Consumer data storage always comes after the optical tech is used commercially. CDs were for music. DVDs are for standard def movies and Blu-Ray are for HD movies. This new tech will be for super HD 4K movies.

Optical disks have never been suitable for long term storage. They're for content consumption and consumers eventually get a burner that can use some portion of the available space.

about 9 months ago


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