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Slashdot Tries Something New; Audience Responds!

gizmo_mathboy The comment/karma/moderation system (2219 comments)

For as long as I have been using the internet and the web I have yet to find a comment system that works as well as Slashdot does.

I don't get why no one has copied it. Slashcode is out there.

The karma system, meta-moderation, mod points...it's all there.

Disqus, stack exchange, discourse they are all shit compared to what Slashdot has grown.

You fuck with the ecosystem of curation of comments and I might as well be reading reddit, gizmodo, or some other site's 3rd rate system.

Which means I might as well not come here.

about 10 months ago
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Slashdot Tries Something New; Audience Responds!

gizmo_mathboy Re:death of a "brand" (2219 comments)

I hate to "me too" this, but as far as brand goes this nails it.

UX may say to get rid and the bars and such but they provide visual structure.

about 10 months ago
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Slashdot Tries Something New; Audience Responds!

gizmo_mathboy Re:And here is the problem (2219 comments)

I submit stories too. I read stories too. I add comments too. I moderate comments too. I am the reason that there is ad revenue and I am one of many reasons why those ads sell.

I am Slashdot #43426.

Changing /. change the community. Don't change the community.

about 10 months ago
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Study Shows Professors With Tenure Are Worse Teachers

gizmo_mathboy Re:Gotta be some kind of compensation. (273 comments)

Which is why we as a society (used to) put money towards education from kindergarten through undergraduate (and nominally masters and doctorate).

Then the millions of people in a state can put in that $25 to help pay for the cost of thousands of students.

We did this because an educated populace makes for an educated government.

Nowadays we are job driven in our educationi and our funding and focus of what we consider valuable has shrunk.

Public colleges typically get less than 20% of their funding from the state, down from around 30-40%.

Also, I got as much joy and knowledge from my liberal arts classes as my math, science, and engineering classes.

So yeah, $25 each from a body of 40 individuals isn't much, but it really comes the rest of us that think an education (and not job training) is important.

B.S. AAE 1993

about a year ago
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Why Engineering Freshmen Should Take Humanities Courses

gizmo_mathboy Re:Humanities can't explain the need for humanitie (564 comments)

In a word, Hume.

That dude does more to question the fundemental, philosophical principles of science than just about any philosopher.

Philosophy examines the fundamentals of thought.

History gives us context for our place in the world.

Economics helps justify and reason the misery we live in.

A foreign language introduces you to a different mode of expression and how your native language might need more or less regularity to it's verbs and their conjugations.

All of the social sciences try to apply reason to a disorderly and messy world, some times it works better than others.

Then again, I got tired of my fellow engineers in school thinking they were so much better than everyone else. I really enjoyed all of my non-STEM classes. While they might have been "easier", they were just as thought provoking and fun as any thermodynamics or rocket propulsion class I took.

BS AAE 1993

about a year ago
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Professors Rejecting Classroom Technology

gizmo_mathboy Ordnung (372 comments)

I did the IT support for a top ten engineering department for almost 10 years.

I half agree with TFA.

Most online tools (Blackboard here) are not that great about making it easy for the instructor to upload content and to migrate it between semesters.

About the nicest thing I could say is that having the grades online is nice.

Of course, things could have become better. It's been 2 years since I directly supported faculty in that matter.

The heart of the matter is the idea I've borrowed from the Amish. Their Ordnung.

What is the purpose of the technology? How does it affect the community?

If it doesn't really improve things for the instructor and the student (in the instructor's view mostly) then why use it?

Most faculty really just need a place to upload files to share with the class and that's about it (as has been mentioned earlier). They (or their TA's) still need to create and assign homework, quizzes, exams and project; and then grade all of that. Not easily automated.

Some (most in my opinion) transfer of knowledge is best done when you can interact with the person. I think this image best illustrates that (from Software Development as a Cooperative Game).

A technology has to be useful and have a purpose beyond itself.

about 2 years ago
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Internet-Deprived Kids Turning To 'McLibraries'

gizmo_mathboy A fee for growth and improvement. (331 comments)

If only the FCC had the forthought to have the telecos to charge a small monthly fee to pay for the expansion of broadband networks in underserved/rural areas.

I bet they could have raised several billion dollars.

There is also no way that the telecos would just take that money and not extend and improve their networks.

It is unpossible I tell you.

about 2 years ago
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Beer Is Cheaper In the US Than Anywhere Else In the World

gizmo_mathboy beer and revolution (633 comments)

"Give my people plenty of beer, good beer and cheap beer, and you will have no revolution among them" - Queen Victoria

more than 2 years ago
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Ask Slashdot: Explaining Role-Playing Games To the Uninitiated?

gizmo_mathboy Re:Collaborative Story Telling (197 comments)

Um, no not really. That is one way to do an RPG.

For me and my group the story is what happens when you look back at what you just did.

I don't Narrate. I DM. I kill, maim, and destroy.

Save or Die is shit that happens.

After all, it's just graphite and wood pulp.

3d6.

In order.

For the reall fucking hard core.

more than 2 years ago
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Study Finds Unvaccinated Students Putting Other Students At Risk

gizmo_mathboy The Unvaccinated (1025 comments)

The biggest problem with that anti-vax movement is that the herd immunity protects not just the unvaccinated that the infected mingle with both those that get the disease third hand. People like young babies that can't get a vaccination because they are too young.

Babies that wouldn't normally get whooping cough or measles or such because they were exposed to it because a sibling or parent (who was probably vaccinated) was exposed to a disease they then carried home.

If we're starting to stop people from smoking in bars because of second hand smoke we sure as hell can force most everyone to be vaccinated because of third hand infections.

more than 2 years ago
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Virgin Galactic Announces New Satellite Launch Vehicle

gizmo_mathboy Re:Why is this novel? (102 comments)

But there is greater flexibility with Pegasus and Virgin Galatic's vehicle.

The available launch times should be much greater than a standard rocket launch.

more than 2 years ago
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Virgin Galactic Announces New Satellite Launch Vehicle

gizmo_mathboy Re:Dead ringer for Pegasus (102 comments)

There is a difference as well in the carrier aircraft.

Pegasus looks to be using a commercial aircraft, Lockheed Stargazer per Wikipedia. It has to be retrofitted to accommodate Pegasus.

Now, Virgin Galactic has WhiteKnight2 which is purpose built to carry a craft bound for suborbital, or orbital flight.

There is a trade-off there. The Stargazer could in theory be cheaper since it is one of hundreds but has an increased cost for retrofit.

WhiteKnight2 might cost more because it's unique, but it can handle getting its payload to altitude better, theoretically.

more than 2 years ago
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Is Python a Legitimate Data Analysis Tool?

gizmo_mathboy Perl and Python both (67 comments)

Python and Perl make great data analysis tools.

They have a plethora libraries to handle things: Numpy/Scipy for Python and PDL/GSL for Perl.

They can access FORTRAN and C libraries as necessary for either performance or legacy needs.

THey are probably best because they are high level languages, very platform neutral, and cost signficantly less than other "serious" data analysis tools/languages.

more than 2 years ago
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Taking Issue With Claims That American Science Education is 'Dismal'

gizmo_mathboy Re:Problem is... (564 comments)

That is an average of $7642/year/student.

In Indiana, it is about $5,000 (for K-6). That is what is used to pay for the teacher's salary, any specialists (like art, special ed, etc.), any administrators (like a receptionist, principal, etc.), any bonds that need to be paid, any utilities, the list goes on.

And you wonder why there are 30+ kids to a classroom? Even if you cut the administration to the bone you still have lots of expenses that a school has to cover as a result of federal, state, and district mandates.

more than 2 years ago
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My primary work is ...

gizmo_mathboy Greetings, Program! (223 comments)

Stop the MCP!
De-resolution is the only solution
EOL

more than 2 years ago
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Is Gamification a Good Motivator?

gizmo_mathboy Re:It is like TPS cover sheets. (290 comments)

At one school I know of they handle this by giving report cards that aren't grades but rather written evaluations of each student and what they're doing well and what they need to work on, which take whatever factors they are aware of into consideration. Takes a lot more effort for all involved, but it's generally fair and it avoids the problem of a kid being judged by a system that has no way to account for his or her particular obstacles to success.

Exactly.

That it what progressive education is.

Not handing out worksheets and testing the little buggers all the time.

The motivation is the learning process and the acquisition of knowledge in and of itself.

My wife is a student teacher supervisor/lecturer (she helps make teachers) and she is big on discouraging gold starts, food, and other "material" incentives.

She tries to teach her students not to use those crutches.

As you can imagine, it can be a bit of an uphill battle for her.

more than 2 years ago
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TSA Defends Pat Down of 4-Year-Old Girl

gizmo_mathboy Re:TSA is a 100% failure (1174 comments)

Not to defend the lameass TSA, but no devices have been detonated under the TSA's watch.

That being said at least 2 instances there have been explosives on planes. The TSA didn't stop them passengers did.

I would say they haven't stopped a single, serious threat in their existence.

Nowadays a bomber won't target the planes, the bomber will target the lines at the security checkpoints.

The rest of your post I can 100% agree with.

more than 2 years ago

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