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Teacher Tenure Laws Ruled Unconstitutional In California

giltwist Re:My Arrogant Suggestion (519 comments)

The biggest problem is that we teachers allow the government to set the bar for becoming a teacher, and the government sets it too low. When you mess up as a lawyer, you get disbarred by a committee of lawyers. That is what we need to do. Tenure is a good thing, because it protects, for example, science teachers who want to teach evolution in a conservative district. However, tenure is tarnished by the fact that unions won't police their own. If, for example, the NEA looked at the bottom 1% of its national membership each year for potential ejection, nobody would have any problems.

about 2 months ago
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Why Snowden Did Right

giltwist Re:Hah hah hah (348 comments)

Apparently the NSA and CIA don't want us to read that - the link points to how / when to write a kernel module.

It's been fixed now, but it totally pointed to http://www.linuxvoice.com/be-a... originally

about 2 months ago
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Professors: US "In Denial" Over Poor Maths Standards

giltwist Re:Propaganda (688 comments)

I really don’t get what that crap above is about, but doing it in my head I just took off 300 and added 2.

So you might think you know how I would do that problem, but you’re wrong.

You're still guilty of using Common Core style math! You understood that 426-298 is the same thing as 426-(300-2) which then simplifies to 426-300+2. You've just used both the associative and distributive properties of arithmetic! That's what the Common Core teaches. The "traditional" algorithm requires the following steps: 1) You "can't" subtract 8 from 6 (yes you can! negative numbers! Already one strike against traditional methods) 2) You need to borrow 1 from 2 and make 6 into 16 (why do we do that? Place value, something the Common Core methods emphasize) 3) 16-8 is 8 (three steps and only one column is done? How is this faster?) 4) You need to remember that the 2 is now a 1 and you "can't" subtract 9 from 1 (Again?!) 5) Borrow 1 from the 4 to make the 2...err 1 into an 11 6) 11-9=2 7) Remember that the 4 is now a 3, 3-2 is 1 8) The answer is 128 That was WAY harder than the either of the Common Core style strategies that have been discussed and actually teaches kids some VERY WRONG concepts about place value and negative numbers.

about 2 months ago
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With the Surface Pro, Microsoft Is Trying To Recreate the PC Market

giltwist Hit the nail on the head (379 comments)

I had used a Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 all through graduate school. It was great for me then because I did all my typing at my home desktop or in one of the university's many computer labs. I did not need a full computer to be mobile, especially when I've lost several laptops to damaged power jacks over the years. Now that I'm in the corporate world and need to be able to work on a report in a hotel or at a client's place of business, I needed something portable. However, I still wanted a tablet for personal use. The Surface Pro 2 filled exactly that niche. It's got honest-to-goodness Microsoft Office for when I need it and a pretty decent keyboard (if you disable the glitchy trackpad) to boot. At home, I disconnect the keyboard and watch Netflix in bed. The pen is even better for drawing than my Wacom tablet, because I can draw right on the screen. I'm a young, technologically-savvy professional. I'm the target audience for the Surface Pro line.

about 2 months ago
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Watch the FCC Vote On Net Neutrality Live At 10:30am Eastern

giltwist Re:It passed. (90 comments)

Of course it's already happening. As Commissioner Clyburn stated, there are currently no rules prevent it from happening. Wheeler conveyed that his rush on this matter was to get some protection in place sooner rather than later. He cannot prevent it from happening until rules are in place that the courts won't throw out.

about 3 months ago
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Watch the FCC Vote On Net Neutrality Live At 10:30am Eastern

giltwist Re:It passed. (90 comments)

I think Commissioner Wheeler's final comments provide hope. "It's not about whether the internet will be open, it's about how and when rules protecting openness will be in place." He also specifically namedropped Netflix and commented that ISPs should not be double-dipping.

about 3 months ago
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Internet Transit Provider Claims ISPs Deliberately Allow Port Congestion

giltwist So crazy it just might work (210 comments)

You know how the US Postal Service is basically going bankrupt? The White House basically blames this on the shift to email. So, in an effort to continue its basic mission of enabling citizens to communicate quickly and reliably with each other, how about we make the USPS a nationalized internet common carrier at the Federal minimum definition of broadband? This will allow existing ISPs to continue to remain unregulated by the common carrier rules, but will provide a meaningful alternative to the (literally) entrenched monopolies? Comcast will be unable to reasonably argue that a 4/1 connection is unfair competition when their top tier services are more than 10 times that speed.

about 3 months ago
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How the FCC Plans To Save the Internet By Destroying It

giltwist Less Open now than 20 years ago (217 comments)

When the Internet first became popular, I had to connect to it over a phone line which meant my data was protected by common carrier laws. Why should I be less protected now that I connect to it over cable wires rather that telephone wires?

about 3 months ago
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Supreme Court Upholds Michigan's Ban On Affirmative Action In College Admissions

giltwist Correlation / Causation (410 comments)

Affirmative Action, in general, is a good concept. However, Affirmative Action based on race is not for these two important reasons:

1) Race is not well-defined casually or biologically.
2) While people of minority races are statistically more likely to get the short end of the stick, educationally, it is not race that causes it.

What we really need is Affirmative Action based on socio-economic status or household income. This will be "color-blind" while still generally helping African-Americans and Hispanic-Americans more often than Caucasian-Americans. Being Black doesn't make it harder to succeed in school, being poor and hungry does. Sure, there is a correlation to race, but the root cause is poverty. Moreover, this helps (the often forgotten minority of) rural Appalachian White people just as much as urban Detroit Black people.

about 3 months ago
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Experiment Suggests Monkeys Can Do Basic Math

giltwist Re:Arithmetic != Math (87 comments)

I'm not saying that at all. I'm just saying that it's an overinflated claim to say that the ability to subitize is "doing math." Pigs can subitize better than humans, for example. Likewise, you haven't really understood addition just because you can tell that 3+1 is the same quantity as 4.

about 3 months ago
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Experiment Suggests Monkeys Can Do Basic Math

giltwist Arithmetic != Math (87 comments)

Let me know when one of them provides a novel proof that the square root of two is irrational.

about 3 months ago
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Second Federal 'Kill-switch' Bill Introduced Targeting Smartphone Theft

giltwist Re:Open Source Community (158 comments)

I agree that I should not have to, but the nice thing about being a regular /. reader is that I will be able to do so. We've survived DRM, we can survive this. However, I do hope it goes down the drain without passing.

about 5 months ago
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Second Federal 'Kill-switch' Bill Introduced Targeting Smartphone Theft

giltwist Open Source Community (158 comments)

I wouldn't worry too much about it. The open source community will have a high incentive to resolve this problem. The next version of ClockworkMod will come standard with a kill-switch disabler or there will be a step by step soldering guide posted to Instructables.

about 5 months ago
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Ask Slashdot: What Does Edward Snowden Deserve?

giltwist Re:Partial Pardon (822 comments)

While there is some reason to be concerned about whether the government would commit summary execution of Snowden, I'd like to think that he would be able to return home and live, if not normally, then at least reasonably. Moreover, I think such an "accident" would raise a whole lot of red flags for watchdog groups. Let's be honest, if he dies of anything other than old age, people will reasonably suspect the government.

about 6 months ago
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Ask Slashdot: What Does Edward Snowden Deserve?

giltwist Partial Pardon (822 comments)

I believe fully believe that Snowden should be classified as a whistle-blower with respect to domestic spying. Those revelations were absolutely vital to the continued integrity of our democratic mechanism. However, I do believe he released some documents regarding foreign spying that he should not have. Given the size of the cache of leaked documents, it was, perhaps, inevitable that there would be some documents not directly applicable to the domestic spying issue. I suspect, though, that he knowingly released some of those foreign spying documents to apply pressure to the US government. This crossed the line, but it is understandable. He needs to not be held as completely blameless. As a result, I believe Snowden deserves:

1) Immediate repatriation to the US
2) Complete amnesty for all release of documents to journalistic sources, particularly with respect to domestic spying
3) A due process trial, preferably managed by a third-party watchdog, to confirm/disprove allegations of foreign funding behind Snowden.
4) Assuming an innocent ruling from 3, a minimal slap-on-the-wrist punishment for the release of classified documents not related to domestic spying. Maybe a couple years of house arrest?

about 6 months ago
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Khan Academy: the Teachers Strike Back

giltwist Mandatory Attendance (575 comments)

I can sum up why Khan Academy is so popular in two words: mandatory attendance. To use the age old comparison, broccoli sucks when you are force fed it as a kid, but it can be quite good when you try it voluntarily as an adult. I haven't seen the recent vids, but when it was Khan by himself it was the same old chalk-and-talk you see in so many traditional classrooms, only with less precise terminology and no admitting you don't know the answer in front of the class. There's something to be said for what Khan is doing. It's rather like peer tutoring. It's a great supplement to teachers, but its no replacement. Much like Harry Potter is a great gateway to Lord of the Rings but not a replacement thereof.

about 2 years ago
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Young Listeners Opt For Streaming Over Owning

giltwist "Liberating" (390 comments)

Two thoughts come to mind here.

1) It's "liberating" in the same sense that being chemically castrated and color-blinded is "liberating" in Lois Lowry's The Giver. You are "liberated" from the onerous chore of responsibility for your own actions.

2) Oh, you know what, even though you've spent $100 bucks on every album by Blah Artist, he's now a bad influence on society. We, the corporations, will benevolently "liberate" you from such unwholesome thoughts. *287 files deleted*

more than 2 years ago
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TED Education — Video Lessons For Students

giltwist Re:3 edu-sites already. (88 comments)

So, setting a bar of 10,000 hours as the necessary hands on goal is way too high. Maybe a better question to ask is, what's needed to become competent? Any idea?

You have hit the million dollar question in education, my friend. I suspect its a question that doesn't have a one-size-fits-all answer. Sadly, educational policy has long operated under the same-training-same-results mentality which is diametrically opposed to the differentiated instruction models that have slowly crossed into mainstream education from special education research. However, I agree that 10,000 hours from a college is unfeasible, even undesirable. In fact, I really don't think a degree makes you an expert. That being said, I think you have to admit that, in general, an hour under mentorship/teaching gets you more bang for your buck than trying to figure it out all by yourself. Granted, I'm assuming GOOD mentorship/teaching, which is a WHOLE other conversation.

more than 2 years ago
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TED Education — Video Lessons For Students

giltwist Re:Academic worry (88 comments)

Do yourself a huge favor. Get at least one of your degrees in math education as opposed to pure math the whole way up the ladder. If you go the pure math route, I think your fears are fairly well justified. Chalk-and-talk teaching is going the way of the dinosaurs. That's what the Khan Academy is for. Go learn some of the cutting-edge teaching techniques that are being developed and you'll have a skill set that no mere computer can replace.

more than 2 years ago

Submissions

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Ask Slashdot: Contracts of Adhesion

giltwist giltwist writes  |  about 8 months ago

giltwist (1313107) writes "A few weeks ago, there was a story about a woman being sued for violating a website's terms of service. In this light, the ubiquitous "I agree" button and other such contracts of adhesion are becoming increasingly dangerous to Internet users. What steps, besides simply pulling out the Ethernet plug, can we take to protect ourselves? It would not be hard, for example, to use something such as Greasemonkey to replace the text on those buttons with "I do not agree," but would it do us any good?"
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#TakeWallStreet Briefly Trends Globally on Twitter

giltwist giltwist writes  |  more than 2 years ago

giltwist (1313107) writes "In an attempt to utilize social media in a manner similar to this springs protests in Egypt, Adbusters and Anonymous have created the hashtag #takewallstreet and met in NYC today to protest corporate corruption, particularly against Citizens United. Photos and videos from the scene indicate an unusually large police presence despite the peaceful nature of the protest. From the article:

More than 1,000 demonstrators descended on New York City's Financial District on Saturday for what could be a days-long protest of what they said was corporate greed favoring the rich at the expense of ordinary people.

"

Link to Original Source
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Ask Slashdot: ISP Throttling?

giltwist giltwist writes  |  more than 4 years ago

giltwist (1313107) writes "I have had Time Warner's 15mbps Road Runner service for two years in my current residence and have been generally pleased. However, for the last week I have been suffering from bandwidth that is between one-half and one-fifth of my advertised speed between the hours of 6pm and midnight. I've gotten all the way to the third level of tech support and had an in-home service call, but TWC claims there's absolutely nothing wrong with any of my hardware or their network though they acknowledge the slowness. I've run Glasnost test on HTTP transfers ( http://broadband.mpi-sws.org/transparency/glasnost.php ) with a nominally positive result, but it noted that line noise made the results dubious. How can I find out if TWC is intentionally throttling my connection? If they are, do I have any alternatives besides finding a new ISP?"
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Mandatory Overtime at Walmart on Black Friday

giltwist giltwist writes  |  more than 4 years ago

giltwist (1313107) writes "As you scour stores for cheap laptops, bargain Blackberries and discounted Droid phones this Black Friday, take a moment to consider the capitalistic insanity in which you are participating:

"Last year saw a huge boom of profits for retail discount stores like Wal-Mart and Target during the 2008 holiday shopping season that started on Black Friday, and in fact the frantic emotions of the consumer were so potent it led to a young employee being trampled to death when a Wal-Mart in Valley Stream N.Y. opened it's doors at 5 a.m.
In anticipation of this sort of attitude Wal-Mart has promised that it is taking every precaution this year to avoid a disaster like that again, they've enacted policies that are country wide for all stores, both normal hour and 24 hour super centers alike, to stay open and do what they can to alleviate the tension of the deals that they're offering.

But at what cost?

This year, Wal-Mart employees, especially those who are scheduled the over night shifts, will have to forgoe spending more than a token amount of time with their families, one super center in particular that I am aware of has decided to schedule its employees for a fourteen hour shift starting at 7 p.m. and continuing along til 9 a.m. the following morning.""

Link to Original Source

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