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theodp (442580) writes ""Investors have poured over $2 billion into businesses built on Hadoop," writes the WSJ's Elizabeth Dwoskin, "including Hortonworks Inc., which went public last week [HDP], its rivals Cloudera Inc. and MapR Technologies, and a growing list of tiny startups. Yet companies that have tried to use Hadoop have met with frustration." Dwoskin adds that Hadoop vendors are responding with improvements and additions, but for now, "It can take a lot of work to combine data stored in legacy repositories with the data that’s stored in Hadoop. And while Hadoop can be much faster than traditional databases for some purposes, it often isn’t fast enough to respond to queries immediately or to work on incoming information in real time. Satisfying requirements for data security and governance also poses a challenge." So, how does this jibe with the experience of you Big Data practitioners?" top
Microsoft Aims to "Reach Every Individual Girl in Her House" w/CS Toolkit/Course
theodp (442580) writes "Politico reports on how a tech PR blitz on the importance of coding in K-12 schools has won over President Obama, who's now been dubbed the 'coder-in-chief' after sitting down Monday to 'write' a few lines of computer code with middle school students as part of a PR campaign for the Hour of Code, which has earned bipartisan support in Washington. From the article: The $30 million campaign to promote computer science education has been financed by the tech industry, led by Steve Ballmer, Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg, with corporate contributions from Microsoft, Google, Amazon and other giants. It’s been a smash success: So many students opened up a free coding tutorial on Monday that the host website crashed. But the campaign has also stirred unease from some educators concerned about the growing influence of corporations in public schools. And it’s raised questions about the motives of tech companies, which are sounding an alarm about the lack of computer training in American schools even as they lobby Congress for more H-1B visas to bring in foreign programmers. Much of the marketing for the campaign, run by the nonprofit Code.org, explicitly touts the need to train more employees for the industry. “Nowhere else in education do we start by saying ‘We have a need for this in the K-5 curriculum because there are good industry jobs at Google,’” said Joanna Goode, an associate professor at the University of Oregon who works on computer science education. “I’m not doing this work to train Google employees.” Such skepticism hasn’t slowed the industry’s momentum. Founded just last year, Code.org created three introductory programming courses for students in elementary and middle school in a matter of months. The curriculum has not been formally tested — but already, about 60,000 classrooms nationwide already have committed to using it. The group is also promoting two courses for high school students that were developed before Code.org was formed, under grants from the National Science Foundation. The NSF had been rolling the courses out slowly to research their effectiveness. Now, with NSF’s blessing, Code.org is racing full-speed ahead: Industry funds will be used to train 25,000 teachers in 60 public school districts from New York to Los Angeles." top
Obama Administration Counting on Wealthy to Train 35,000 K-12 CS Teachers
theodp (442580) writes "The Washington Post reports the White House holiday decor is going digital this year, with dog-bots and crowdsourced tree lights. "Thanks to Google's Made with Code initiative," reports a National Park Foundation press release, "girls across the country will experience the beauty of code by lighting up holiday trees in President’s Park, one of America’s 401 national parks and home to the White House." Beginning on December 2, explains the press release, girls can head over to Google's madewithcode.com (launched last June by U.S. CTO Megan Smith, then a Google X VP), to code a design for one of the 56 state and territory trees. Girls can select the shape, size, and color of the lights, and animate different patterns using introductory programming language and their designs will appear live on the trees. "Made with Code is a fun and easy way for millions of girls to try introductory code and see Computer Science as a foundation for their futures. We're thrilled that this holiday season families across the country will be able to try their hands at a fun programming project," said former Rep. Susan Molinari, who now heads Google's lobbying and policy office in Washington, DC." top
'94 Harvard Crimson: Require CS or Grads of 'Much Shittier Schools' Get Jobs
theodp (442580) writes "If you're a programmer who's put a few miles on your life, be sure to check out Stephen Hazel's Bout Steve which may just be the most poignant 'About Me' you'll ever read. Tucked away behind his PianoCheetah piano practice software website, Hazel covers the ups and downs of his journey from being born into a family headed by a manic depressive missionary father to his current life as a (young) grandfather, and he frames it all within the context of an illustrated timeline of family, music, electronics, computers, and software. This is Parenthood for the Slashdot set, kids!" top
Codecademy: Google Bonus for Getting Kids to Code Excludes Asian/White Boys
theodp (442580) writes "GeekWire looks at the 'game film' from ex-Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer's guest lecture at Harvard's CS50, in which Harvard alum Ballmer touched on a wide variety of topics, including the LA Clippers ("500 times less complicated than Microsoft"), how his career started at Microsoft (BillG convinced him to drop out of Stanford Business School), his views on Net Neutrality, his favorite products ("Surface Pro 3 in modern days and Windows 1.0 in historic days"), and his 15-year-old's biggest concern about Dad leaving Microsoft (no more early access to new Halo releases). Ballmer was fairly subdued in the lecture and Q&A, but couldn't resist cranking it up to 11 for a CS50 intro. Ballmer, who was an applied math and economics major at Harvard, was visiting his alma mater to drop off a $60 million check to beef up Harvard's Computer Science faculty." top
2014 Hour of Code: Do Ends Justify Disney Product Placement Means?