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Researchers Say the Tech Worker Shortage Doesn't Really Exist

zerofoo This isn't a tech issue, it's a immigration issue. (374 comments)

When an economy has 8-10% unemployment, that economy should not import labor for any reason. Governments exist to protect it's citizens - that includes REASONABLE immigration policies.

I'm the second generation of a family of immigrants. My grandparents came here almost 10 years apart due to restrictive immigration policies. Generally grandpa waited his place in line, came here with a sponsor, worked, and paid taxes. After establishing himself here, was he allowed to bring over the rest of the family.

Allowing too many people into a country, too quickly, is a sure fire way to hurt the local workforce, and stress social support systems to their breaking point.

Unfortunately the politicians in charge don't give a damn about the citizens they claim to serve.

7 hours ago
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Researchers Say the Tech Worker Shortage Doesn't Really Exist

zerofoo Government created the H-1B visa you twit. (374 comments)

Those "pesky regulations" are the exact cause of this problem - and is the exact reason why Libertarians want government out of employer/labor relations.

If government had not given favored immigration status to tech workers, the free market would naturally settle on wages via supply and demand. Tech companies with the aid of the US government distorted the labor market to increase supply and drive down wages.

An Econ 101 student could understand this and see what is happening. Why you can't is a mystery.

11 hours ago
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Doubling Saturated Fat In Diet Does Not Increase It In Blood

zerofoo Control the carbs and you control blood lipids (249 comments)

I tried a "low-cholesterol" diet and it made my lipid profiles worse. I went on cholesterol drugs, and they had awful side effects. Finally I gave up the cholesterol meds and started restricting carbs. My lipid profiles got much better and I've decided to simply live as a "borderline" case without cholesterol meds.

I'm 20 pounds lighter, and I feel a hell of a lot better than on the meds.

I'm not sure medical science understands (well enough) the relationship between carbs/blood sugar/cholesterol and cardiovascular disease. The low-fat diet and food pyramid is probably the worst thing ever foisted on the American people. With 30 years of run-away obesity and diabetes, maybe it's time to admit failure with those recommendations.

We still let cereal manufacturers pitch their wares as "heart-healthy" - what a joke.

3 days ago
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Head of FCC Proposes Increasing Internet School Fund

zerofoo E-rate doesn't fix the infrastructure problem. (106 comments)

Our schools are in a part of the country with decent access to broadband. Both schools where I work have roughly 100 Mbps access via Cable Modem or FIOS for less than $200 per month.

If you don't have decent broadband choices near your schools, E-rate won't make that problem any better. All it will ensure is that your local school district spends thousands of dollars per month on private connections that are mostly unnecessary.

The FCC should focus on getting multiple broadband providers into every market across the country. Once that problem is solved, the E-rate program will not be necessary.

about a week ago
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Microsoft Losing the School Markets To iPads and Chromebooks

zerofoo Re:As a technology director for a K-12 district (219 comments)

Our experiences mirror yours. We've had great success with chromebooks, but the iPad thing is still a pain.

I recently spoke to a couple of Apple reps about their lack of focus on enterprise management for iPads. I explained how terrible the Apple Configurator is, and how their new Apple Device Enrollment Program is simply not enough. Apple needs to stop relying on third parties for large scale management if iOS devices. They need to build a management portal similar to Google's device management portal - and they needed it yesterday.

As a long time Apple fan, I still admit - Apple sucks at enterprise management.

about two weeks ago
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Microsoft Losing the School Markets To iPads and Chromebooks

zerofoo You're doing it wrong (219 comments)

We've successfully implemented chromebooks - their low cost and ease of management can not be beat.

Your model of office coupled with local storage is a dinosaur. Modern companies (where your students will eventually work) require a mobile workforce that can connect and collaborate from anywhere. Getting your students onto cloud based apps and data prepares them for how they will work in their future careers.

We do not have kids walk around with laptops. We have carts in each classroom, and laptops are pulled out as needed. Students don't walk around with other classroom materials like microscopes and yardsticks. Why would you make kids walk around with computers?

Chromebooks work well in a "classroom cart" environment. They boot quickly, their data is stored in the cloud, and they shutdown quickly. The instructional overhead of traditional windows based computers simply does not exist with chromebooks.

We have some traditional Mac desktops for staff members and for special purpose labs, but for general purpose computing chromebooks can not be beat.

about two weeks ago
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Duke: No Mercy For CS 201 Cheaters Who Don't Turn Selves In By Wednesday

zerofoo I didn't solve the Towers of Hanoi problem in CS (320 comments)

I merely implemented the solution in software. Is that cheating?

Yeah, I wrote the recursive algorithm in Pascal, but I didn't "invent" the solution. Somebody a long time ago did that.

Unless you are doing PHD level research into something no one else has done, most undergrad work is a rehash of something someone else already figured out.

The point is to learn the material - how you learn it is irrelevant. Presumably, college professors have a way to measure your knowledge before giving you a grade - I think that is called a.......test.

about two weeks ago
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US School Installs 'Shooter Detection' System

zerofoo Prohibition never works. (696 comments)

See our war on drugs, or revisit the prohibition of Alcohol in the US if you doubt me.

Just because you would give up guns, does not mean that bad people would.

about two weeks ago
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US School Installs 'Shooter Detection' System

zerofoo Wifi cameras? Really? (696 comments)

I've bought tons of IP cameras in the past - all of them have varying degrees of crappyness. Do you really want to lean on WiFi during an emergency?

Direct cabled SDI cameras to a network connected DVRs are they way to go - but it's doubtful those would be any cheaper in a large scale installation. I've priced out systems in the $30k range for a mid size building. A large building could easily cost $100k.

The real issue is whether or not these costs are acceptable for what is a statistically rare event.

about two weeks ago
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Tech Giants Donate $750 Million In Goods and Services To Underprivileged Schools

zerofoo Where is the money to hire support staff? (143 comments)

These gifts and grants are nice, but without long-term funding of support staff this is what happens:

http://www.njspotlight.com/sto...

You can't simply push tons of technology into schools and forget about it. The "light the fuse and run" approach never works. You need a staff of technology people who will train staff, maintain and repair the tech, and integrate the technology into the curriculum.

Without adequate support, these systems will simply collect dust and end up in a storage locker.

about a month ago
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Solving the Mystery of Declining Female CS Enrollment

zerofoo Equal opportunity vs equal outcomes (608 comments)

Everyone is entitled to equal opportunity, but absolutely no one is guaranteed equality in outcome.

So long as the CS field is accessible to everyone - that's all that matters. If a group of people decide that CS work is not for them - that's OK. That is how markets work.

We should stop wringing our hands about things we cannot control and start focusing our efforts on real problems.

about a month ago
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ChromeOS Will No Longer Support Ext2/3/4 On External Drives/SD Cards

zerofoo IT is becoming a utility (345 comments)

Your main concerns seem to be:

1. Cost
2. Management
3. Data location/security
4."Cloud"/internet access?

1 and 2. Google's chromebook/apps platform is completely free. You buy a chromebook (about $250) and a management license ($30) - and that's it. Your Microsoft products and their supporting management/backup software cost way more than that - I know - I bought them for years.

3. Backing up your data - google backs up your data to data centers all over the world and snapshots your data so you can go back in time - again for free. I've bought EMC and Dell SANs - even the cheap ones are very expensive.

4. Cloud/internet access. We have existing filtering systems in place, and our chromebooks work with those systems just like our old machines did. Google also goes one step further by giving you the tools in their management console to build web access policies. You can make web access as tight or as loose as you like. The really great thing is that these policies are applied directly to the machine. If a student takes a chromebook home, those policies are still enforced. This means that web filtering is no longer tied to your physical network located at the school.

The bottom line is that this is where computing is going. Just like it is usually not efficient to generate your own power and water, it will soon not be efficient to generate every IT system you use in house. Sure, lots of people will fight that trend, but efficiency always wins. It's going to be very hard to justify hundreds of thousands of dollars (if not millions) poured into your datacenters, when competing schools are doing similar things for free (or near free).

about a month and a half ago
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ChromeOS Will No Longer Support Ext2/3/4 On External Drives/SD Cards

zerofoo No ads in Google Apps for Education or Nonproft (345 comments)

There are no ads in either the Google Apps for Education service or the Nonprofit service.

From the Google Apps for Education - Common Questions:

"For all EDU domains ads are turned off in Google Apps for Education services and K-12 Google Apps for Education users will not see ads when they use Google Search signed in to their Apps for Education accounts."

As far as "student records privacy" goes, there is tons of case law siding with schools and email providers - there is no expectation of privacy when you are using someone else's email system:

Reichert v. Elizabethtown College, 2011 WL 3438318 (E.D.Pa. August 5, 2011)

http://blog.internetcases.com/...

We provide computer networks for school work related use. Any other use is unacceptable as defined in our acceptable use policy. If students want privacy, they should use their own systems on their own time.

about a month and a half ago
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Samsung's Wi-Fi Upgrades Promise Speeds Up to 4.6Gbps

zerofoo Agreed on the state of Android (92 comments)

That's why every other year, when I run an Android device I only run a Nexus device. Pure Android on hardware that works, with frequent updates. Nexus devices are as good as Android gets. I made the mistake of running a Motorola Razr - what a cluster that was.

about a month and a half ago
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ChromeOS Will No Longer Support Ext2/3/4 On External Drives/SD Cards

zerofoo One huge customer - schools (345 comments)

Google Apps, combined with Chromebooks is a very compelling platform for schools.

We are deploying tons of these. They are cheap to buy, easy to manage, and great for 90% of the work that students are asked to do. (We use Macs for the other 10%).

When a kid drops a $1000 Macbook, I cringe. I cringe at the cost, and at the loss of whatever data that kid saved to his/her desktop. When that same kid drops a $250 chromebook, the hardware loss isn't too terrible, and I know that kid's data is saved to their Google Drive - automatically.

These things are fantastic in schools.

about a month and a half ago
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The Great Lightbulb Conspiracy

zerofoo A potential class action suit (602 comments)

Evidently enough people had similar complaints across many brands - enough to warrant a potential class action lawsuit:

http://www.slate.com/articles/...

The court decided against hearing the case, but there were over 23,000 complaints for one manufacturer. That tells me there is something wrong with the design of many HE machines.

about 2 months ago
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The Great Lightbulb Conspiracy

zerofoo New ones are mostly plastic. (602 comments)

My particular appliances, while steel on the outside, are almost entirely plastic on the inside. The large drum you can't see in most washers is plastic.

The guys that took my machines away didn't even want them for scrap. They said the little recyclables they contain are not worth the hassle.

My new machines, however, are porcelain coated steel.

about 2 months ago
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The Great Lightbulb Conspiracy

zerofoo The Government also ruined my washer and dryer (602 comments)

I recently tossed a set of 4 year old Bosch HE front-loading washers and dryers. The washer was full of mold and the dryer needed 2-3 cycles to adequately dry clothes.

I performed all the preventative steps periodically running a hot cycle, running bleach and cleaning agents through the machine, leaving the door open after every use, cleaning out the dryer vent twice per year...etc.

None of it mattered. The service tech says these problems are common to all HE machines. They simply do not use enough water at a high enough temperature to adequately flush the machine. They dryers are also garbage as the manufacturers are forced to use small burners and short cycle times to meet energy efficiency requirements.

My mom's 25 year old Kenmores washed and dried clothes without complaint for many years - now we are saving the planet by putting crappy appliances in a landfill every few years.

I finally opted for a non-HE washer and dryer (Speed Queen if anyone cares). They are old-school commercial-duty devices. No WiFi, no touch screens, no weather or twitter feed - simply clean clothes in half the time.

Yup they use more water and gas, but I wouldn't have it any other way.

I was told that by 2016 or 2017 these units will no longer be made thanks to more efficiency regs. It's madness.

How does this relate to CFLs and LED bulbs - well - I like my LED bulbs - my CFLs were almost all garbage that lasted a year or two. Most CFLs that I bought didn't last anywhere near their rated 7 year life.

It would have been better to simply give people economic incentives to buy the more efficient bulbs instead of being forced to buy the bulbs.

about a month ago
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Dealership Commentator: Tesla's Going To Win In Every State

zerofoo Spot on (156 comments)

I buy damn near everything over the internet. I get exactly what I want from a competitive marketplace. Why can't I buy a car to my exact specifications direct from the manufacturer? If Amazon can deliver almost anything to my front door, why can't GM, Ford and Toyota deliver a car to my door?

about 2 months ago

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