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Ask Slashdot: How Do I Engage 5th-8th Graders In Computing?

i.r.id10t Re:what size group? (169 comments)

Indeed. I taught a "this is what programming looks like, this is what these simple loops and logic statements do, this is a large library of functions that let you do relatively complex things very easily", etc. course for a 2 week summer camp last year with kids that were 10-14. Just getting their attention to start takes a few minutes, then showing something, explaining it real quick, then asking for ideas on what else it could do worked, but for every even slightly related question there were 3-4 that had absolutely nothing to do with anything going on at all.

At then end, I did manage to get about half of them actually writing simple PHP to do stuff (they already had a HTML class), the other half ended up playing Tanki Online.

2 days ago
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Microsoft To Invest In Rogue Android Startup Cyanogen

i.r.id10t Re:Well Shoot... (277 comments)

How exactly is this selling out? The parts of Android that are Free will still be Free, the parts that aren't still won't be. If Microsoft wants to bring its office software, exchange clients, etc. to a new platform, who is to stop them?

Believe it or not, some of us not only appreciate the Free part of free software, but the cost, stability, flexability, varieties of software (or specific software) available, etc. The Stallmanites care more about ideals than anything else, but not all of us are Stallmanites.

2 days ago
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U.S. Gas Stations Vulnerable To Internet Attacks

i.r.id10t Re:Once more (100 comments)

Or even why the sensors are needed. I worked at a gas station in the late 80s and we "sticked" the tanks each night. Looong stick (about 30 feet) w/ an inch scale on it, a little dusting of baby powder and stick it in the tank until it hits bottom. Pull up immediately, see what number is visible closest to wet line on baby powder. Write in log for manager to see in hte morning.

about a week ago
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Illinois Students Suspected of Cyberbullying Must Provide Social Media Passwords

i.r.id10t Re:Oblig. (323 comments)

Post from open wifi from a neighbors house, or a McDonalds, Starbucks, etc.

about two weeks ago
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SOTU: Community Colleges, Employers To Train Workers For High-Paying Coding Jobs

i.r.id10t Re:Your analogy doesn't hold up (200 comments)

The college I work for is in the same town as a major state university. The CompSci program at said university has *one* programming class (in Java) as part of the degree track, simply to let students demonstrate the principles they are learning in all of the other classes.

A kinda big software dev place recently moved to town, thinking they'd grab all of these CompSci grads and have a built in supply of capable coders. After a few months of interviews, they came to our college president, worked with our ITE department, and are hiring our grads. For our AS in "systems analysis and programming" students get 5 semesters of coding (covering a student selected mix of c++, objective c, java, php+mysql, ios development and android development), plus stand alone clases in relational databases (again w/ mysql), HTML+CSS+JavaScript, and general programming logic.

As a bonus, another state university just a few hours south of us offers a BAS degree in software development that our AS degree is a "feeder" for. 5 more semesters of programming plus project management and then a bunch of slightly useful gen-ed courses.

about two weeks ago
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SOTU: Community Colleges, Employers To Train Workers For High-Paying Coding Jobs

i.r.id10t Re:Here's why this is a bad idea (200 comments)

I'm in the same position, work in academic technology but teach as an adjunct - Linux Admin I and II, and a PHP+MySQL class.

I can generally guess at success levels by how curious a student is about how stuff works, whether they want to work ahead, or try to figure out what tool would work to solve a problem they've been thinking about.

And like you I have had student that thought since they spend 10 hours a day online on facebook, playing WoW, etc. that they should be "in computers" for a living. I've also had recent HS grads taking (and failing) the courses because their high school counselor said that there was good money to be made "in computers" and they'd be working in AC all day instead of digging ditches. These same students couldn't follow a step-by-step direction list wtihout problems.

about two weeks ago
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Why Run Linux On Macs?

i.r.id10t Re:Because OS X is no longer supported on my Mac (592 comments)

Dunno, I've gotten high end PPC based Macs for free, in excellent shape. Why not run Linux on 'em? Heck, I've got a G3 iMac in my garage that I use for streaming audio/tv when I'm working out there...

about two weeks ago
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There's a Problem In the Silk Road Trial: the Jury Doesn't Get the Internet

i.r.id10t Re:Dumb it down? (303 comments)

Or maybe have the ability to provide a "friend to the jury". Much like an opinion or statement about a case can be filed as a "amicus curae" brief (friend of the court), perhaps being able to give the jury a (hopefully neutral re: the case) expert in the field to ask questions of.

about two weeks ago
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How To Hijack Your Own Windows System With Bundled Downloads

i.r.id10t Re:Not Surprising (324 comments)

How about all the crapware/trialware you get with a new machine from Dell, etc?

about three weeks ago
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Obama Proposes 30-Day Deadline For Disclosing Security Breaches

i.r.id10t Re:This May Protect Cheaters (125 comments)

I have issues with turnitin.com as well (and I'm a teacher and work in academic technology) but mostly because instructors/institutions can force a student to give up their intellectual property in order to support a 3rd party's business model.

I've started adding a footer on my papers I submit as a student along the lines of "this paper is the intellectual property of i.r.id10t. any commercial use is prohibited"

Don't think I'll ever get anywhere because of it, but at least it makes me feel half way ok for a few moments...

about three weeks ago
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US Lawmakers Push For a Permanent Ban On Internet Access Taxes

i.r.id10t Re:Meaningless drivel (100 comments)

I'm in N Central Florida and I've regularly seen traceroutes leaving local residential/commericial access, go up to Atlanta, and back down to a local college.

about three weeks ago
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HOA Orders TARDIS Removed From In Front of Parrish Home

i.r.id10t Re:Remove the goddamn box (320 comments)

Some do have use, if they are constructed carefully at the beginning.

For example, a coworker lives out in a rural area, on a 7 acre lot, surrounded by other 7 to 10 acre lots. The "road" through the "neighborhood" - a big U shape connecting to the same 2 lane county road at both ends - was hard packed lime stone.

The HOA was formed and its sole purpose is to collect $50 per month to pay to have the road re-graded every year with the extra going into an account to have the road paved "for real" at some point in the future.

But yeah, I agree, the behavior that "most" HOA horror stories depict needs to be made illegal.

about three weeks ago
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Connected Gun Lets Anyone Watch What Or Who You Are Shooting

i.r.id10t Re:Don't put cameras on everything (138 comments)

What is the difference between live remote viewing or viewing a static file of the event later? Other than the "no spoilers" part, I can't think of one....

about three weeks ago
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Connected Gun Lets Anyone Watch What Or Who You Are Shooting

i.r.id10t Re:Don't put cameras on everything (138 comments)

I can see where it would be beneficial to some types of training - working on follow through, etc. for shooting skeet, trap, or sporting clays. Or working on control for position shooting matches.

But for the common consumer end user? Pure novelty. And we've been doing similar for a long time - taking pictures or video thru scopes, etc. so it really isn't much new. I guess being able to include range finder and calculate distance so you know about the drop would be nice, but usually wind is a much bigger issue (for me anyway) and I'm not sure how it could help there without more specialized equipment (wind flags w/ maybe a pattern or something so it can provide a speed/direction reading to the computer)

about three weeks ago
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Gun Rights Hacktivists To Fab 3D-Printed Guns At State Capitol

i.r.id10t Re: Thanks, assholes (573 comments)

Nah, wasn't poor shooting - it was vandalism. Guy walked the lenght of a cinder block wall separating 2 pistol ranges and blasted a hole every few feet with a shotgun.

There was an off duty fish and game officer there, arrested him for destruction of federal property (the range is in the Osceola National Forest and is maintained by funds from the Pitman-Robertson act)

about a month ago
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Gun Rights Hacktivists To Fab 3D-Printed Guns At State Capitol

i.r.id10t Re: Thanks, assholes (573 comments)

Most of the casual shooters I know (and a few not so casual) shoot more in any given month that the few dozen sworn officers I know shoot in a year.

The local police academy range has holes and divots in all sorts of "wrong" places indicating serious or potentially serious "accidents" - the public no restrictions range I shoot at has some intentional vandalism damage, but I've not heard of any accidents or near accidents happening there in years.

about a month ago
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Gun Rights Hacktivists To Fab 3D-Printed Guns At State Capitol

i.r.id10t Re:Thanks, assholes (573 comments)

Some states have even passed laws allowing new manufacture of machine guns *as long as* they are for in-state use. Theory being that the BATFE (and fed gov) only get the ability to restrict/deny based on interstate commerce.

And while I am definately for gun rights, and love shooting full auto (if someone else is buying the ammo) I don't have pockets deep enough to become a test case.

about a month ago
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Museum's Adults-Only Nights Show That Alcohol and Science Are a Good Mix

i.r.id10t Re:Who goes to museums (131 comments)

Depends on how many dollar bills I have in my pockets....

about a month ago
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Professor: Young People Are "Lost Generation" Who Can No Longer Fix Gadgets

i.r.id10t Re:One way to look at it (840 comments)

Dunno. Depends on the toaster. My current one is a 4 slice model with wide holes, so I can do the nice thick bagels we get from a local bakery. Haven't seen a toaster like it in ages, and if it died I may be tempted to have it fixed or try to fix it myself.

about a month ago
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AMD Catalyst Linux Driver Catching Up To and Beating Windows

i.r.id10t Re:So what games run in Linux? (136 comments)

They already did 15 years ago. I put my money where my mouth is - I use Linux not just for the Freedom, but for a stable OS, and yes, I'll cheerfully pay retail for software. In fact, I just unearthed my copies when I cleaned my garage yesterday. All Linux branded versions of Quake 3, Unreal Tournament, UT GOTY Edition, UT2004, Soldier of Fortune, MechWarrior II, Descent 3d, and quite a few others from Loki Games. I even found my unopened l33t tin editon of Q3 for Linux.

Of course, now my son wants to set it all up and play them.... :)

about a month ago

Submissions

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Happy Sys Admin Day!

i.r.id10t i.r.id10t writes  |  more than 5 years ago

i.r.id10t (595143) writes "Just a reminder to my fellow users out there — today is Sys Admin Day. Celebrated on the last Friday of July, we should all take the opportunity to send a thank you to the people that keep our infrastructure going. Of course, I'm sure a pizza or a few pints wouldn't be refused either..."

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