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Google Announces "Classroom"

Kaptain Kruton Re:Please be a viable Blackboard competitor (143 comments)

Unless they implement things like attendance tracking, a gradebook, a solid method for it to interact with the school's SiS, and several other things, no school will consider it to be an LMS and Blackboard will have nothing to worry about. This will only be useful to individual teachers that want to use tech in their classes instead of their school's LMS (assuming it has one).

about 4 months ago

Google Announces "Classroom"

Kaptain Kruton Re:Please be a viable Blackboard competitor (143 comments)

Are there any specific reasons you went with Canvas instead of D2L? I work at a local college and we are going to switch LMSs and we are currently considering those two.

about 4 months ago

The $5,600 Tablet

Kaptain Kruton Re:Alternative to one tough tablet (96 comments)

For that price, you could buy 50 regular Android tablets and luggage to keep them in. Just grab a new tablet when you break one.

That's fine... unless you have data saved on the broken tablet.

about 4 months ago

Ask Slashdot: Will Older Programmers Always Have a Harder Time Getting a Job?

Kaptain Kruton You don't have to work at a tech company to prgrm. (379 comments)

A lot of companies and businesses have programmers that do not fall under the 'tech company' category. Insurance companies, colleges, railroad companies, large store chains (eg: Walmart and Target), RV companies, and many other industries all have in-house programmers. All of these businesses and industries are scattered across the country. Unless you absolutely must work in a tech company in silicone valley, you should not limit your options. My first career oriented job was at a relatively small health insurance. A very large part of their software was developed in-house. They had some developers that were only in their twenties, but the majority of them were at least 40, if not in their 50s or early 60s and preparing to retire. Why? These companies see the software as just an in-house solution to a problem and not a product in itself. They do not need someone that can write in whatever the fashionable language of the day is. They need someone that has the skill and efficiency to maintain a system that was probably written some time ago in a language that fit their needs. A 20 year old that only knows C# is not going to be of any use to them when they need someone that can quickly adapt their in-house solution that was written in C or Fortran to fit new health insurance laws.

Some places higher young programmers because they are cheaper.... but some places purposely higher older, experience people. Consider all options, not just tech companies in Silicone Valley.

about 5 months ago

Ask Slashdot: Online, Free Equivalent To a CompSci BS?

Kaptain Kruton Re:Donald Knuth (197 comments)

Discrete Math: Yes. I do not think I actually took a course labeled 'discrete math', but I know many of my CS classes used it.

Algebra & Calculus: It depends on what you plan on doing. Some careers related to CS may require it. However, most software development positions for businesses only require basic algebra when writing code.

Technical writing: No. In my experience, you just use common sense. You write for your intended audience and include information that is relevant. Upper management does not want to know what algorithms you use to complete something. Documentation created for other developers to maintain your code in the future does not need fluff or information that only applies to the initial implementation of the project (eg: budget and deadlines).

Other courses: Not necessary to CS. They are intended to give you a more well-rounded education and make you pay for more credit hours. Unless your career is closely related to one of these fields, they will be useless. If you were actually trying to get a B.S. degree, then take them. If you are just trying to learn the CS realted things you would get from the degree, don't bother with things like psych and business. They are of no use to most people.

about 6 months ago

How Well Do Our Climate Models Match Our Observations?

Kaptain Kruton Re:Minor Fluctuation? (560 comments)

Doh! I made an error when correcting someone else's error.
I said 700 dollars and meant 700 million.

about 6 months ago

How Well Do Our Climate Models Match Our Observations?

Kaptain Kruton Re:Minor Fluctuation? (560 comments)

Doh... I make a error when I correct someone else's error!
700 dollars -> 700 million dollars.

about 6 months ago

How Well Do Our Climate Models Match Our Observations?

Kaptain Kruton Re:Minor Fluctuation? (560 comments)

7 Billion pennies totals 70 million dollars, not 700 dollars. 700 is a large amount... but so is 630 million. :)

about 6 months ago

Rand Paul Files Suit Against Obama Over NSA's Collection of Metadata

Kaptain Kruton Re:How? I'll tell you. (380 comments)

Why shouldn't the Senate be connected to the states? The House of Representatives is. Unless you are planning on getting rid of states completely (and all of the state-level laws, regulations, taxes, public representation, correctional facilities, etc.), you have to ensure Congress consists state representatives. Our entire country is built on the concept of different levels of government with different levels of authority. By removing state representation, you are essentially talking about a fundamental recreation of our government.

You say that it is insane that New York gets the same number of senators as North Dakota. Why is that insane? We have the House of Representatives to ensure that people are represented in terms of population. We have the senate to ensure the needs of the less populated states are not simply ignored. Because the Senate and House represent the population in different ways, different needs can be addressed, which forces compromise. The conflict between the Senate and House also will delay bills and limit heat-of-the-moment and knee-jerk bills from being passed to quickly... this does not always happen, but it does to an extent.

You want an automated system to create districts that ignore states. Well, even if you ignore the concept that our entire federal legislative system is built on the idea of state representation and such a change would mean a recreation of our country's government, how would you create such a system that was fair to all? It would obviously have to be dynamic to change as the population changes. But a change in the algorithm to create the states could have just as much of an affect as intentional gerrymandering. In many cases, large cities have very different needs than the rest of the state. If an automated system made a put a large city in a single district, then you have 1 district that will view things a certain way. If the automated system split the city into quadrants and included a little bit of area around the city, then you will have 4 districts that represent the city that will also override the needs of the areas surrounding the city. What type of automated algorithm can be created that is fair to all? Gerrymandering is typically done by parties. An automated system could potentially be far worse, IMO

about 7 months ago

Would Linus Torvalds Please Collect His Bitcoin Tips?

Kaptain Kruton Perhaps he ignores it for some tax or legal reason (231 comments)

I don't know much about tax laws and financial laws other than they can often be complex and confusing. I suspect the complexity grows substantially with non-profit organizations (such the Linux Foundation, in which Torvalds is a key person). Perhaps by accepting tips for what is essentially his job, he is opening up a can of worms that he doesn't want to touch.

That is just wild speculation, though.

about 6 months ago

US Navy Launches Drone From Submerged Submarine

Kaptain Kruton Re:RF? (55 comments)

According to the article the UAS is completely autonomous. This means the sub can simply 'listen' to what the drone broadcasts without giving away its location. The drone may indicate a sub is within listening range, but it does not give away its location.

about 9 months ago

Using Laptop To Take Notes Lowers Grades

Kaptain Kruton Laptop notes never really helped me (313 comments)

Perhaps the grades are lower because the notes are not as helpful.

When I was in college, I always found that laptop notes were of little to no use when taking notes for anything other than text. If I wanted to copy a graph, I couldn't do so without wasting time or taking my focus away from the prof. If I needed to draw a diagram, I couldn't do it very well on my laptop's small touch pad. And finally, if anything involved non-standard text (subscripts, mathematical symbols, etc), then I encountered even more difficulty. Using a stylus and a tablet may be easier than a laptop now... but that is still just writing and I would rather do it on paper in most cases.


1 year,14 days

Canadian Couple Charged $5k For Finding 400-Year-Old Skeleton

Kaptain Kruton Re:TFA says that they can apply for relief (601 comments)

The Act allows for them to apply to the minister for an exemption, upon granting the state will pay the cost

Correction: TFA says they can apply for REIMBURSEMENT. I don't know about you, but I don't want to pay $5000 now and then wait several months to get my money back.

The law as written was meant to ensure companies are responsible for the archaeological costs incurred from digging up their land instead of saddling the taxpayer.

I don't care what laws are meant to do nearly as much as what they actually do. Isn't that part of the reason why /. loves to bash things such as the Patriot Act and SOPA? Please do not defend laws by saying they are meant to do something good.

about a year ago

Realtime GPU Audio

Kaptain Kruton Impossible geometries? (157 comments)

What do they mean by "physically impossible geometries"? Are they talking about things that have a higher or lower number of physical dimensions (eg: a 4 dimensional object or a 2 dimensional object)? A weird combination of Euclidean and non-Euclidean geometry?

about a year ago

Ask Slashdot: Why Won't Companies Upgrade Old Software?

Kaptain Kruton Re:What a relief. (614 comments)

Anyone that has a large businesses' critical applications tied to decade+ old technology has grossly underperformed in their position. And if they inherited that mess, it was their first priority to clean up after former, horribly inept individual, with the explicit goal of dealing with the elephant in the room. If they still don't have a plan to extricate the business from a miserable position, where it's their job to do so, they're simply not doing their job.

The key words in that are " large businesses'". Small and medium size companies often try and prevent from getting tech that is completely outdated, but they often have small IT budgets and departments. This means they have to choose what is more cost effective... spending ten's of thousands of dollars maintaining a system that meets their needs works or spending hundred's of thousands upgrading a system simply because it is old. Those upgrades do happen occasionally, but not often. One of my friends works in IT a large company... he is still a relatively low ranking employee at his company, and yet, the number of employees that he has working directly under him is about the same size as the entire IT department at my country. When we talk, we are greatly amused at the differences in the working environments and problems we face. When an IT guy says they cannot understand why a company still uses technology X or has not upgraded to Y when X still works, I can tell they have never worked for a small company that views technology as little more than a necessary evil (as far as budgets are concerned). The smaller companies usually recognize that upgrading to various things could offer definite advantages... but most times, upgrading is not economically feasible. I know budget plays a role in every company, but It seems to play a much larger role in small and medium size companies that do not produce IT related products.

My $0.02

about a year ago

Ask Slashdot: Why Won't Companies Upgrade Old Software?

Kaptain Kruton Re:Yes (614 comments)

But businesses don't want "new". They want stability. They don't want to be constantly changing things because that disrupts their business and costs them a lot of money, with little or no benefit.

That is a big thing. Other departments that use systems hate any changes that disrupt their work. Learning new systems takes work and slows them down and often takes away what they see as advantages. On our old green screens, many users have key sequences memorized so they can carry out various actions (such as data entry) with only occasional glances at the screen. Forcing them to use a new tool takes that away that ability until they relearn it. Even if the new tool offers new feature or options, the user will consider it to be an inconvenience unless it benefits them, personally. If they can see how it benefits other departments, they will usually (grudgingly) accept the changes. If it only improves things on the back end (that only IT people see), they will avoid using it until we force them to use the new tool and take away the old tool.

Not only that, but many users will often use applications incorrectly unless it has checks to prevent this. If a new application implements something to prevent that misuse, the user will complain that the program has a "bug" because they can no longer do something. From their perspective, this is an inconvenience and a disruption because it forces them to change the way they do things without providing them with any benefits. For example, an old version of one of our apps lacked certain data entry checks. So the data entered by one department would often end up creating new data records because one of the users was too lazy to look up an existing record. This meant we would have multiple data records all representing the same supplier or multiple records representing the same customer. While this would occasionally affect other departments, it did not cause that department many (if any) problems... so they didn't see any problem with their way of doing things. When an updated tool was deployed, those users complained that it didn't work right or it was forcing them to do extra work (just a couple seconds), when in reality, it was preventing problems in other departments and saving another guy from spending time every week cleaning up data.

about a year ago

Microsoft Creative Director 'Doesn't Get' Always-On DRM Concerns

Kaptain Kruton Fixed it.... (572 comments)

"Don't want a gaming console that requires a persistent internet connection? 'Don't buy it.'"

There, fixed it.

about a year ago

How Would an Astronaut Falling Into a Black Hole Die?

Kaptain Kruton Re:Gravitational time dilation (412 comments)

Yes, because getting to a black hole will take a long time.

Your description of time is to general and relative.

about a year ago

Let Them Eat Teslas

Kaptain Kruton Re:Collateralized vs Non-Collateralized Loans (461 comments)

The infallibility of the free market is clearly a matter of Faith, as its proponents are impervious to empirical debunking.

Similar things can be said about those that believe the government has to regulate everything or constantly increase the national debt in an attempt to stimulate the economy, while ignoring empirical evidence that says it won't work.

The thing is, economics is not a hard science in which you can come up with a theory, test it and find you have a plausible theory or an error in your theory. One theory or model will not always work in every case and, if you look, you can find instances and empirical data the contradicts most models at some point. If there was a perfect model, you would have a lot more people that know exactly how to invest without risk. Faith in a free market is not some delusion as your post implies.... it is just not the cure-all solution that.

about a year ago


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