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Waze Causing Anger Among LA Residents

dmiller1984 Re:Perhaps use Waze's analytics against it (594 comments)

If it looks for passive movement data, why not create a bunch of accounts and put some old cell phones to good use broadcasting traffic data? Hook them up to wireless, use a VPN if needed to mask the IP, and show "cars" stopped. You could add in accident reports to make it more realistic. Maybe even some VMs running an iPhone simulator to increase the number of spoofed cars. Remember, technology is your friend if used correctly; just don't get any on you...

The problem is there would be more cars moving through the area than the "stopped" cars. Waze ignores obviously false reports as it states in the article.

5 days ago

Microsoft's New Windows Monetization Methods Could Mean 'Subscriptions'

dmiller1984 Bucking the Trend (415 comments)

So the trend seems to be to give the OS away for free as Apple, Google, Linux (for the most part) are doing. Microsoft decides to be different any make people constantly pay for the OS instead of just paying up front. Sounds like a great plan, and I really hope it stays in the rumor realm.

about two weeks ago

How Sony, Intel, and Unix Made Apple's Mac a PC Competitor

dmiller1984 Short Article (296 comments)

I kept looking for a "next page" link. That article didn't go into any depth whatsoever.

about 2 months ago

VHS-Era Privacy Law Still Causing Headaches For Streaming Video

dmiller1984 Re:I disagree with the article's author (62 comments)

I wish I had mod points right now. The GigaOm article explain the issue much clearer. I originally thought the Like button just shared the video watched, not the entire viewing history. That makes a big difference

about 8 months ago

Is the New "Common Core SAT" Bill Gates' Doing?

dmiller1984 Re:Why all the fuss about Common Core? (273 comments)

Also, most states only have one of these evaluative tests a year, so you're not comparing students to their own scores, you're comparing them to the scores of the previous year's class.

If that's how the test is being interpreted, the administrators are idiots. You have test results for each class from last year, look at the difference between those results and the results from this year. That gives you the change in test results as affected by the teacher under scrutiny.

This isn't quantum loop gravity, if your only argument against holding teachers to a standard is that the administration is too stupid to apply one correctly, then it's time to nuke the whole district and start over.

It's harder than it seems. First of all, it's the states who administer these exams, not the schools. The public schools have no choice as to how or when these exams are administered. Students are held to different standards during each school year so comparing them to their scores from the previous year doesn't make sense since the material isn't the same. Also, how do you evaluate teachers who teach non-core subjects such as music, PE, or computer science? The whole data driven movement in schools is fine, but not everything in education can be quantified. Teaching is more of an art than it is a science.

about 9 months ago

Is the New "Common Core SAT" Bill Gates' Doing?

dmiller1984 Re:Why all the fuss about Common Core? (273 comments)

"First off, getting stuck with a class of crappy students can cost you your job . . ."

No, that's not how the evaluations would work. The improvement of individual students could be tracked and evaluated against the standard.

"Once they receive tenure, they should no longer be subject to evaluation . . ."

That should not be true of anyone.

Is it really fair to judge a teacher on a test that doesn't mean anything to the students? Also, most states only have one of these evaluative tests a year, so you're not comparing students to their own scores, you're comparing them to the scores of the previous year's class. So the class of crappy students certainly could cost a teacher their job if their previous class was much better.

about 9 months ago

Wozniak Gets Personal On Innovation

dmiller1984 Re:On Education (161 comments)

2 when they hit K5 1 separate the boys from the girls (outside of Dance Class and Recess)

This has been tried before and it's been found to not work. It's one of the few things in education that has been pretty much proven not to work. I just read an article the other day about seperating by gender, and it just serves to reinforce sterotypes when the genders are not together. Boys are allowed more freedom to move around since "boys will be boys" when there are girls who could use freedom of movement as well. If you were going to break up classes, break them up by the way they learn.

about 10 months ago

Will Microsoft IIS Overtake Apache?

dmiller1984 Re: why not? (303 comments)

I don't know if Microsoft paid them, but GoDaddy did move all of their parked sites to IIS by default instead of Apache, which caused a major percentage change for Microsoft.

about a year ago

The Whole Story Behind Low AP CS Exam Stats

dmiller1984 Re:the real reason (325 comments)

Most high schools don't force you to take the exam. The exam itself has no affect on your high school grade. It only determines if you get college credit or not.

about a year ago

The Whole Story Behind Low AP CS Exam Stats

dmiller1984 Re:the real reason (325 comments)

Almost no colleges offer credit for taking AP tests regardless of score so high schoolers have absolutely no reason whatsoever to take those tests. You can either study for just your real final exams that actually go into your grades or you can add in an even harder test that benefits you in no way. Hmm, tough one. Oh and they typically charge money to take the tests as well.

That's not true at all. You can go to the College Board website and search by school to find what they offer credit for. I got half a semester of credit from AP exams when I was in high school.

about a year ago

The Whole Story Behind Low AP CS Exam Stats

dmiller1984 Re:Do all schools even offer CS classes? (325 comments)

Most colleges accept APCS for credit. Of the top 5 CS schools (Stanford, Cal Berkley, Carnegie Mellon, U of I, and MIT) only MIT doesn't accept APCS, but MIT doesn't accept any AP exams.

about a year ago

GPUs Dropping Dead In 2011 MacBook Pro Models

dmiller1984 Warranty Shouldn't Matter (359 comments)

If it's truly faulty hardware Apple will typically own up to it and offer repairs free of charge. I have the 2008 MBP that had a logic board issue and Apple replaced it for free even though I was well past the warranty and didn't have AppleCare.

about a year ago

How Good Are Charter Schools For the Public School System?

dmiller1984 Re:Yeah, like the present school system is working (715 comments)

When I emailed the teacher (they don't answer the phone)

Do you expect a teacher to answer the phone during the school day? Elementary teachers typically only have about 30 - 45 minutes of prep time during the day when they aren't directly working with kids. Even if you called after school, that is usually the time teachers are using to make copies, work with other teachers, etc. It isn't like a desk job where you can answer the phone the moment it rings. However, you do have an argument if teachers are not returning your calls. My school district tells us we should return calls within 24 hours, and that's something I try to stick too. Most parents find email easier themselves, but I understand a phone call can sometimes clarify the situation quicker.

about a year ago

Streaming and Cord-Cutting Take a Toll On the Pay-TV Industry

dmiller1984 Re:Stanley Cup on cable (261 comments)

Actually, the NHL streamed the Stanley Cup finals for free on their website this past season. I don't know if they did it during the entire playoffs, but I was very happily surprised to see at least one of the major sports getting with the modern times. I'd be more than willing to pay for a streaming sports package, but they all seem to blackout local teams, which defeats the purpose for me.

1 year,4 days

Chicago Public Schools Promoting Computer Science to Core Subject

dmiller1984 Re:PC-free households (236 comments)

I teach CS and my students never have homework. One of the benefits of a CS class is the flipped model that allows most, if not all, of the work to be completed in class.

1 year,10 days

Teaching Fractions: The Tootsie Roll Is the New Pie

dmiller1984 Hershey Bars Are Better (194 comments)

It's much easier to get the concept of a whole with an entire Hershey bar than with an arbitrary number of Tootsie Rolls.

about a year ago

Schools Scanned Students' Irises Without Permission

dmiller1984 Re:Oh, the ironies... (342 comments)

This clearly indicates how out of touch your expectations of the public school system are. Even in the early 90s, I never dealt with the Bill of Rights or the Constitution as a whole in school. Not even in civics class. The only time we ever discussed it was in third grade, when we each had to remember one paragraph of the pre-amble in class and repeat it. One paragraph.. of the preamble...

Not sure what state you went to school in, but in Illinois we have a required class on government in high school where the study of the Bill of Rights and Constitution are a big part of the curriculum. We also had to pass a state test on the Constitution to pass 8th grade. It's surprising, and disappointing, to hear that isn't the norm in other parts of the country.

about a year and a half ago

Ask Slashdot: How Do You Deal With Programmers Who Have Not Stayed Current?

dmiller1984 Re:Are universities teaching concurrency? (509 comments)

I graduated from a large state university 10 years ago and there was an entire course on concurrent programming. It wasn't required at the time for CS, but I believe it is now.

about a year and a half ago

Ask Slashdot: Best Alternative To the Canonical Computer Science Degree?

dmiller1984 Re:Wrong (347 comments)

I can't agree with this any more. I had some similar thoughts when I was getting my CS degree, but I now consider the things I learned in college invaluable. Most online tutorials don't teach you about reliability and efficiency and it's good to have the theory you learned in college to back up the programming you'll do as a web developer.

about 2 years ago

Ask Slashdot: Best Way To Watch TV In 2012?

dmiller1984 Re:Watch your local team (479 comments)

My only gripe is not having sports access. This year missed NBA completely. :(

You could always buy a season ticket to watch your local college or D-League team. Yes, I know that's not for everybody, such as someone with a family or someone who follows multiple sports.

The only issue with this is that many of the professional leagues have blackout restrictions that prevent you from getting their service if you are in the team's local market.

more than 2 years ago



Ask Slashdot: Is Javascript a Good Idea for a Beginning Programming Course?

dmiller1984 dmiller1984 writes  |  about a year ago

dmiller1984 (705720) writes "I have a dilemma. I teach high school computer courses, and I am considering teaching my introductory programming course using Javascript. When I first started teaching in my current school the course used VB6, but I quickly moved over to Visual BASIC .NET. After starting up an AP Computer Science course using Java, I changed my intro course to C# since it is closer to Java than VB. I liked the XNA framework that Microsoft created, but, now that XNA will no longer be supported, I decided I should move my intro class to something new. I thought teaching Javascript would help connect the course better to my web design courses, but I know there are some potential pitfalls to this approach. Here are the pros and cons I can think of:

Javascript Pros
  1. Easier language to learn for beginners.
  2. Games and programs can be easily published to the web.
  3. Platform-agnostic.
  4. A lot of decent game engines are available now for web game development using Javascript.

Javascript Cons

  1. Dynamic variable types.
  2. Lack of a lot of OOP functionality.
  3. Not as many good IDEs for debugging Javascript.
  4. It's Javascript.

I'm almost ready to pull the trigger on this change, but I worry that some of Javascript's pitfalls will affect my students when they move on to AP Computer Science or a college computer science course. Does anyone have any thoughts to add, or is there any point I made that's entirely off base?"


Chicago Public Schools to Add Computer Science as Core Subject

dmiller1984 dmiller1984 writes  |  1 year,10 days

dmiller1984 (705720) writes "The Chicago Public Schools, the third-largest public school system in the United States, announced a five-year plan today that would add at least one computer science course to every CPS high school, and elevate computer science to a core requirement instead of an elective. CPS announced this through a partnership with code.org, stating that the non-profit would provide free curriculum, professional development, and stipends for teachers."
Link to Original Source

Ideal High School Computer Lab

dmiller1984 dmiller1984 writes  |  more than 2 years ago

dmiller1984 (705720) writes "I am a high school computer teacher and I've been put in the unique situation of designing my ideal computer lab since our high school will be undergoing a major expansion over the summer. I thought the Slashdot community might have some great ideas to help me out. I've never liked the lecture hall labs that I've seen in some schools, but I would like some way to get natural light in the room without worrying about glare on the computer screens (skylights, perhaps?). What are some of your ideas for a great computer lab for education?"

Automating FTP Uploads

dmiller1984 dmiller1984 writes  |  more than 4 years ago

dmiller1984 (705720) writes "I decided to start my own web-based business. Cool, right? I'm using subdomains to host sites for customers that have MySQL databases running things in the background. I'm anticipating a problem in the near future, though. I only started accepting customers recently and have been uploading their sites using FTP and a find/replace command to change the MySQL database information. This isn't that big of a deal for now, but if this business does well I don't think it will be very fun to upload so many websites manually. Does anyone know of a good system (web-based or Mac-compatible) where I can easily upload files to multiple places and, hopefully, make the changes to the database information as well. I could build something myself, but the time it takes to make something may not be worth it if there is already a good solution out there. Free is best, but I'm willing to pay for something good."


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