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News: Something Rotten in Hungary

  1. Something Rotten in Hungary (86 messages)

    On Monday, May 19, 2008 Steve Ballmer, CEO of Microsoft, paid a visit to Budapest, the Hungarian capital. It is a visit that no one would have noticed had it not been for a disgruntled student's attempt to pelt Steve Ballmer with eggs. Written on the back of the students shirt was "Microsoft = Corruption." Fortunately for Steve, the student's aim was as bad as his ability to deliver his message and see the real issue at hand, big business trying to influence educational systems for their own gain. Compared to their enormous success on the desktop, Microsoft has had very little penetration into any of the other areas of computing such as large enterprise wide systems and small devices embedded into consumer items such as cars and cell phones. Now they are facing the challenge of losing "mind-share" to Linux and other operating systems. Furthering Microsoft's troubles are mandates from governments that their departments must use software that falls under an open source licensing arrangement. Open source software is not only "free" as in free of cost, it is also free from many of the restrictions that companies like Microsoft place on users of their software. Even more troubling to Microsoft is that the source code is freely available and modifiable to everyone making it a very attractive alternative to those not wishing to be bound to a software vendor. This policy has been very successful for Brazil. They now have what is widely seen as one of the most advanced and cost effective health care administration systems, completely based on open source software. Following on the tail of that success is a complete reformation of the software supporting their tax system as well as other major systems. Interestingly enough, the open policies adopted by the Brazilians don't lock Microsoft out of the picture. One can still interact with the tax system while running Windows. However, moving away from a Microsoft solution means that you are not forced to use Windows to interact with the tax system. Even so, the consequence of moving to open source is very clear to Microsoft -the company understands that open source software marginalizes the value of traditionally licensed closed sourced software such as Windows. It is no wonder that Microsoft sees the open source movement as a force to be reckoned with. This animosity is very visible in a well-publicized leak of hostility towards open source (the "Halloween memos") and subsequent promises of cooperation (see "Microsoft pledges not to sue over open source," for an example). One of the ways to win in this industry is to excite developers about your technology. Youtube has many references to the legendary video of Steve Ballmer dancing around on stage chanting "developers developers developers, developers developer developers...." at a large Microsoft conference (MIX, in Las Vegas). He's simply trying to get developers excited about Microsoft. It works like this: if a business uses an application that requires Windows, he wins. Applications need to be developed. Who develops them? Well, developers, of course. Therefore, Microsoft has to cater to developers. In fact, every technology company has to cater to developers. Yet in courting developers to choose Microsoft, he has to make early adopters happy, so they are attracted to and refuse to leave the Microsoft development camp, while trying to maintain some sense of stability for those who don't like change. The early adopters are the "visible developers," those who blog for lots of readers, and whose attentions develop viral mindshare; the group that doesn't like change is a vast, silent majority, as most developers never move away from the computer languages and tools that they learned how to use in school. Here's how Microsoft's Titan program is designed: it teaches new developers all about Microsoft - as a captive audience, more or less - so that Microsoft will be their choice of the future. Microsoft isn't unique in this: Apple used to do the same kind of thing by providing inexpensive hardware to schools in the United States, where you'd find Macs (and, previously, Apple ][ machines) littering computer-related classrooms across the nation. The difference is that Apple contributed hardware and software to institutions without demanding control of what was being taught - and schools were relatively easy to find who chose to use something other than Apple's hardware. In the end, Steve Ballmer is doing what any good CEO should be doing, by recognizing where to best put his efforts to best sell his company to the world. Clearly, Mr. Ballmer sees the young minds as being valuable enough to invest 10 billion HUF (~40,000,000 Euro) in them. He's even has done something even better for his share holders: he has figured how to make this investment using someone else's money - namely, the EU taxpayers' money. Another set of players here are the Prime Minister of Hungary, Ferenc Gyurcsány, and his minister of education, István Hiller. For their part, they get to offload 10 billion HUF from their state education budget, not a small sum of money for a small country. To get this money offloaded, all they had to do was to turn over control of the states' IT curriculum to Steve Ballmer - which sounds like a win-win for all. Indeed it does look good for everyone until you consider the third party in the deal: the students. Is this really a win for the students or have their interests been betrayed by the custodians of their future? The short-term benefit of Titan are quite clear: Hungarian schools will receive some badly needed hardware and support. That said, it is difficult to assess the long term benefits to students as a result of Titan, as Titan is very poorly documented on the web. If Titan ends up binding a syllabus to Microsoft - then students run the risk of learning specific technology, leaving them unprepared for real work. (After all, chances are good that what seemed important to you, as a student, is far less important in the "real world," and one hopes that what you actually learned prepared you for the life in which you found yourself.) Contrast this to a world where the goals are to appease investors this quarter or this fiscal year. There's nothing inherently wrong with this kind of business-oriented approach designed to benefit investors - and it's mandated by the Securities and Exchange Commission in the United States. However, this approach is very short-sighted for an education system, because something that is in vogue today isn't necessarily going to be appropriate in two years. The fear in the case of Titan is somewhat magnified in that the current Hungarian government is betting every IT student's future on the success of a single (albeit large) corporations technology's ability to stay perfectly relevant. An even bigger danger in locking in one's educational system to a single technology stack is that curricula will likely ignore all the other possibilities. While this may be in Hungary's short term interests, it is clearly not in its longer term interests - especially since the proposed Titan project ends in 2012. What happens then, if the education system has already committed itself to MS technologies? Even more interesting is the EU's role in this deal. Remember, even though Microsoft, Cisco, HP, and a few others are at the helm, it is the EU that is writing the check. How is it that these funds that are potentially locking Hungary's future into a proprietary vendor could not be made available to a more balanced offering? Could there not be an offering not controlled by individual companies? Wouldn't it be better for the EU government to enrich the public domain by fostering support for open learning and processes in Universities? After all, education is about learning and sharing and this has a lot more in common with open source than it does with proprietary commercial products. So while the student protest may have been for a different reason, it did highlight a question that all Hungarians and indeed citizens of other countries need to answer: what do we want from our educational system? You have the right to ask, you are paying for it. -- contributed by Kirk Pepperdine

    Threaded Messages (86)

  2. I must be bored today. Read this entire Unabomber Manifesto.
    Could there not be an offering not controlled by individual companies?
    Who do you turn to for support?
    After all, education is about learning and sharing...
    Yes, in The Planet Bizarro. Here on Earth, education is a business.
    what do we want from our educational system?
    The end of Teachers' Unions, increased student vouchers, and the end of government education. Next question.
  3. Here on Earth, education is a business.
    In the United States of America where money is first and foremost king (above anything else, even honor), probably, in other countries, where people are more sane of mind, thank god, no. a++ Cedric
  4. +1 + 1 + 1[ Go to top ]

    "The end of Teachers' Unions, increased student vouchers, and the end of government education. Next question." Wow. I thought I was the only one.
  5. Here on Earth, education is a business.


    In the United States of America where money is first and foremost king (above anything else, even honor), probably, in other countries, where people are more sane of mind, thank god, no.

    a++ Cedric
    Do you really think that your government doesn't pay attention to money when deals with education ? Do you really think that your government doesn't pay attention to money when deals with healthcare ? Obviously the above have nothing to do with the quality of the educational/healthcare systems that a government decide to have. Every, repeat with me, every government decision has economical implications and, in the end, someone pays and someone earns. I don't think that who is the latter is always a trifling issue. Even in Wonderland. Guido P.S. Anyway, a non-business oriented attitude is always a feature of individuals, not of (abstract) people.
  6. Re: Greed[ Go to top ]

    In the United States of America where money is first and foremost king (above anything else, even honor), probably, in other countries, where people are more sane of mind, thank god, no.
    Seriously, what planet do you live on?? You think America invented greed? You need to seriously study history. Other countries mastered it long before us and sometimes the student becomes the master. Apparently the education system in other countries is failing as badly as it is in the US. From things I read on blogs like this and /., you'd think American's just sit around all day and talk about how to screw other people out of money. Wow, I can't wait for China to take over this super-power gig because it sucks. Oh, just a friendly little FYI: we didn't invent war or imperialism either.
  7. Re: Greed[ Go to top ]

    Seriously, what planet do you live on?? You think America invented greed? You need to seriously study history. Other countries mastered it long before us and sometimes the student becomes the master.
    Hi Marc, I was just being provocative as to what I consider a stupid statement. As such, it doesn't mean that my provocative answer is all to bright neither. By the way I didn't say Americans invented greed, I just stated that money rules in the USA more than anything else. I would probably say the student has been well schooled ... ;o) Debating on this point is going to end up being a my country is better then yours thing, which ultimately isn't going to be interesting... In particular for me because I have lived and worked in several countries/cultures, so the notion of "my country" is not clearly defined for people such as myself, other than being the origins of my recent ancestors There are advantages and drawbacks to each system, and corruption/greed/... exist everywhere, it is a distinct trait of human nature. That being said, there are certain costs in the USA that leave me bewildered, such as the doctors (or dental) bill (not what you pay, but what the doctor bills to health care and you) compared to other countries. As an example, a French doctor will bill 21 Euro for a visit, of which you will pay 1 Euro as co-payment. A New Jersey doctor will bill you 125$ and your co-payment will be 25$ (or 23$ can't remember, I'm not sick often). This is just for a "I have a cold visit". Also cost of scholarship in the USA is through the roof compared to other countries and the level of education is not necessarily on par. Furthermore, I would be inclined to think that litigation in the USA has reached levels that require some form of control. This and other experiences, relatively to other experiences in other places, tend to make me define the USA as a "money rules" country in the pejorative sense. However I did not and won't say that it is a trait unique to the USA. a++ Cedric P.S.: Side note, agree with you on China ... it's going to be real bad.
  8. Re: Greed[ Go to top ]

    By the way I didn't say Americans invented greed, I just stated that money rules in the USA more than anything else. I would probably say the student has been well schooled ... ;o)
    I would rather say that in USA money is an explicit item in any discussion that involves costs. In other countries the item is still present, but is unsaid. A sort of hypocrisy.
    That being said, there are certain costs in the USA that leave me bewildered, such as the doctors (or dental) bill (not what you pay, but what the doctor bills to health care and you) compared to other countries.

    As an example, a French doctor will bill 21 Euro for a visit, of which you will pay 1 Euro as co-payment. A New Jersey doctor will bill you 125$ and your co-payment will be 25$ (or 23$ can't remember, I'm not sick often). This is just for a "I have a cold visit"
    You can't easily compare systems in this way. You miss taxes you pay in your country and there in USA, that, maybe, are different (i.e., you might have more money at the end of the month). There is nothing worse than a (apparently cheap, but remember taxes) public service that simply doesn't work, but you have to pay anyway, and to turn to private one when you really need. Guido
  9. Re: Greed[ Go to top ]

    There is nothing worse than a (apparently cheap, but remember taxes) public service that simply doesn't work, but you have to pay anyway, and to turn to private one when you really need.

    Guido
    Being from the US, I'd love to champion how great our health care system is. Unfortunately, I cannot. The only objective study (as much as any study can truly be objective) I've found ranks our system 37th out of 191 countries. We spend a greater portion of our GDP on medical care than any other country and are not near the top for major indicators, e.g. infant mortality rate. Furthermore, we have > 40 million citizens without health care coverage. The myth is that it's all transients. The reality is that a large percentage are families who work jobs that don't provide health care. Here's a link to the study. http://www.who.int/whr/2000/media_centre/press_release/en/
  10. Re: Greed[ Go to top ]

    There is nothing worse than a (apparently cheap, but remember taxes) public service that simply doesn't work, but you have to pay anyway, and to turn to private one when you really need.

    Guido


    Being from the US, I'd love to champion how great our health care system is. Unfortunately, I cannot. The only objective study (as much as any study can truly be objective) I've found ranks our system 37th out of 191 countries. We spend a greater portion of our GDP on medical care than any other country and are not near the top for major indicators, e.g. infant mortality rate.

    Furthermore, we have > 40 million citizens without health care coverage. The myth is that it's all transients. The reality is that a large percentage are families who work jobs that don't provide health care.

    Here's a link to the study.

    http://www.who.int/whr/2000/media_centre/press_release/en/
    Oh, don't get me wrong. I am not saying that USA medical care system is good, I am just saying that can't be easily compared. And the equation public == good and accessible for anyone vs private == (eventually) good but for those who have money doesn't necessarily hold. I mean, if the principle is "healthcare only for those who can", this is wrong whatever the system is. But a "healthcare only for those who can" system can perfectly fit in a "public for (apparently) everyone". Several years ago I heard an interview to a total handicapped that needed 24x7 assistance and public healthcare was able to provide only 8x5. And for the remaining 168-40=128 hours/week ? Do it yourself!! For a cost for the community of about 10.000 euros/month. Guido
  11. Re: Something Rotten in Hungary[ Go to top ]

    The end of Teachers' Unions, increased student vouchers, and the end of government education. Next question.
    Cool, so when school is private, and nobody can afford $20K/year, we can have a 90% illiteracy rate. Nice, good planning!
  12. Re: Something Rotten in Hungary[ Go to top ]

    Yeah, we shouldn't mess with the unions' control of the educational system because right now they're doing such a good job of educating everyone in the U.S. right now. It's ironic how the people who screech about Microsoft being a monopoly don't have any problem with the unions' and the politicians they give massive amounts of money to maintaining a monopoly of a kind that Microsoft could only dream about.
  13. If Titan ends up binding a syllabus to Microsoft - then students run the risk of learning specific technology, leaving them unprepared for real work. (After all, chances are good that what seemed important to you, as a student, is far less important in the "real world," and one hopes that what you actually learned prepared you for the life in which you found yourself.)
    It would be good to have an idea of what is being taught. Ms is much more open these days than many years ago. And learning using MS technologies doesn't mean that you give a poor education. A good IT education should be technology agnostic.
    It's ironic how the people who screech about Microsoft being a monopoly don't have any problem with the unions' and the politicians they give massive amounts of money to maintaining a monopoly
    Well the difference is that you *vote* for these folks.
  14. It's ironic how the people who screech about Microsoft being a monopoly don't have any problem with the unions' and the politicians they give massive amounts of money to maintaining a monopoly


    Well the difference is that you *vote* for these folks.
    No, the difference is that while Microsoft has enormous advantages due to its market position, ultimately each individual and group can freely decide whether or not they are going to voluntarily give their money to Microsoft in exchange for their products. Microsoft's market share may make it more difficult or inconvenient to use non-Microsoft products instead of just taking the path of least resistance and doing what almost everyone else is, but if you decide you'd rather buy Macs or machines running Linux or whatever else, Microsoft can't come to your house and arrest you. On the other hand, if you decide that the corrupt, incompetent, spendthrift shambles that we call an educational system in this country isn't doing a good enough job educating your kids, you're free to find another option for educating them, but you still have to pay for the government-run monopoly system. Imagine if you were free to run MacOS X or Linux, but in order to do so, you still had to buy a Windows license. That's the difference.
  15. Imagine if you were free to run MacOS X or Linux, but in order to do so, you still had to buy a Windows license.
    Try buying a laptop on the high street with Linux pre-installed and you will find that is indeed the case.
  16. On the other hand, if you decide that the corrupt, incompetent, spendthrift shambles that we call an educational system in this country isn't doing a good enough job educating your kids, you're free to find another option for educating them, but you still have to pay for the government-run monopoly system. Imagine if you were free to run MacOS X or Linux, but in order to do so, you still had to buy a Windows license. That's the difference.
    As someone else pointed out, it is indeed the case that you will most likely pay for a Windows license to get a machine running Linux. Compared to the defense budget, the federal money spent on education is a paltry sum. American pacifists must pay around 50% of the taxes for a corrupt military-industrial complex. What's the difference other than the vast difference in scale?
  17. Compared to the defense budget, the federal money spent on education is a paltry sum. American pacifists must pay around 50% of the taxes for a corrupt military-industrial complex.
    Actually, in 2007, the US government spendt roughly 20% on defense (and it was as low as 15%). That accounts for less than 4% of GDP (and was as low as 3% in 1999/2000). Spending in the US is based on traditional division of responsibility in a federal system. Education is largely funded at a state, county and local (city, township, etc.) level. Where I live (Massachusetts), our property taxes and state income taxes are used to fund education. The local funding is 51.8%, state is 42.2% (the state allocates $12 billion out of its $28 billion budget to education) and federal is 5.9%. Keep in mind that the federal numbers keep rising, much to the chagrin of many Americans who don't care to have local education tied up in Washington D.C. red tape to get that money, i.e. it is not just "funding" if it comes with a huge number of bureaucratic strings attached, e.g. "no child left behind"). In the US, we spend 4.65% of "personal income" (I am not entirely sure if that is the same as GDP) on education, and 3.7% of GDP on defense. To be clear, I have no desire to argue the relative merits of spending more or less on anything. I just wanted to correct the figures being thrown about ;-) Peace, Cameron Purdy Oracle Coherence: Data Grid for Java, .NET and C++
  18. Actually, in 2007, the US government spendt roughly 20% on defense (and it was as low as 15%). That accounts for less than 4% of GDP (and was as low as 3% in 1999/2000).
    Spent or budgeted? That figure is also misleading because Social Security is included as part of the spending. And everyone knows FICA isn't part your federal income tax, right? (wink wink) It's a payroll tax, er I mean forced savings. Then you have to consider all the 'discretionary spending' on the current military actions. Some people argue this isn't military spending but that doesn't make much sense to me.
    Spending in the US is based on traditional division of responsibility in a federal system. Education is largely funded at a state, county and local (city, township, etc.) level. Where I live (Massachusetts), our property taxes and state income taxes are used to fund education. The local funding is 51.8%, state is 42.2% (the state allocates $12 billion out of its $28 billion budget to education) and federal is 5.9%.
    What source are you using? What I see is that 2007 federal budget for education was 3.1% (where Social Security is included in the budget.) And you are actually muddying the waters by conflating the federal budget and the state and local budgets and averaging it across the country. I can 'choose' to pay less in school taxes by moving a 1/4 mile. Of course the schools suck there so it's consider a less desirable place to live. I cannot 'choose' to stop paying for Hawaiian vacations for defense contractors and DOD employees.
  19. Re: Something Rotten in Hungary[ Go to top ]

    I cannot 'choose' to stop paying for Hawaiian vacations for defense contractors and DOD employees.
    Sure you can. Move to France, that way I'll be stuck paying for your protection. ;-)
  20. Re: Something Rotten in Hungary[ Go to top ]

    I cannot 'choose' to stop paying for Hawaiian vacations for defense contractors and DOD employees.


    Sure you can. Move to France, that way I'll be stuck paying for your protection. ;-)
    It always ends up be about France somehow. We should ship that big statue in New York harbor back to them. I'm not automatically the case that if you move to another country you no longer have to pay U.S. taxes. You have to renounce your U.S. citizenship and even then you may be subject to federal income tax. http://www.irs.gov/businesses/small/international/article/0,,id=97245,00.html
  21. I'm not automatically the case that if you move to another country you no longer have to pay U.S. taxes. You have to renounce your U.S. citizenship and even then you may be subject to federal income tax.

    http://www.irs.gov/businesses/small/international/article/0,,id=97245,00.html
    Wow, and I thought slavery was abolished.. I can understand that if you live in a country, you abide by that countries laws and pay your taxes there. But if you move away, and have even gone so far as renouncing your citizenship? What moral right can a government claim to be able to dictate the rules for someone who is not a citizen and does not even live in the country? As far as I am concerned, that is nothing short of slavery.
  22. Educational spending[ Go to top ]

    Actually, in 2007, the US government spendt roughly 20% on defense (and it was as low as 15%). That accounts for less than 4% of GDP (and was as low as 3% in 1999/2000).


    Spent or budgeted? That figure is also misleading because Social Security is included as part of the spending. And everyone knows FICA isn't part your federal income tax, right? (wink wink) It's a payroll tax, er I mean forced savings.
    Yes, it does include social security, which I believe was just over 20% of spending (higher than defense). You can also choose to separate out social security, since it isn't technically part of the federal budget, but if the government takes my money I call it a tax, and if they spend it, I call it a budget ;-)
    Then you have to consider all the 'discretionary spending' on the current military actions. Some people argue this isn't military spending but that doesn't make much sense to me.
    Again, like with social security, it's the politicians and bureaucrats playing games. They inflate the defense budget because of the conflict, but exclude all of the direct conflict-related costs from the budget so they can go back and get that money via supplemental appropriations. Also, note that most of the military spending falls under "discretionary spending", which in the US just means that the spending isn't dictated by law. Spending on social security and most of the other social programs is dictated by law, and thus is "automatic" (not discretionary) spending. Once you take all the automatic spending and military spending out of the picture, there really is no money left for true discretionary spending. That basically means that the budget is largely set in stone (by law) and the budget process is just a bunch of posturing.
    The local funding is 51.8%, state is 42.2% (the state allocates $12 billion out of its $28 billion budget to education) and federal is 5.9%.


    What source are you using? What I see is that 2007 federal budget for education was 3.1% (where Social Security is included in the budget.) Massachusetts numbers. Out of every dollar spent for education in Massachusetts, $.52 comes from local taxes, $.42 from state taxes and $.06 from federal taxes. In the town where I live, our public education system spends $13,574 per student per year.
    And you are actually muddying the waters by conflating the federal budget and the state and local budgets and averaging it across the country.
    Yes, you are correct. That stat came from the teachers' association in Massachusetts; they use that statistic to show that we spend less here in proportion to income than the national average. Their goal of course is to increase educational spending in order to increase teacher compensation and funds for other teaching-related resources. Peace, Cameron Purdy Oracle Coherence: Data Grid for Java, .NET and C++
  23. Re: Educational spending[ Go to top ]

    They inflate the defense budget because of the conflict, but exclude all of the direct conflict-related costs from the budget so they can go back and get that money via supplemental appropriations.
    Right. I'm not going to defend the 50% number since I can't back it up with a source but it was a non-official calculation which attempted to remove the gaming of the budget. So excluding Social Security, defense spending is at least 30% of the federal budget. Dropping the 3 or 6 percent spent on education would not significantly affect amount of taxes we pay, especially when you consider that the federal budget runs way in the red. In fact more is spent on interest on the federal debt than on federal education spending.
  24. Re: Educational spending[ Go to top ]

    So excluding Social Security, defense spending is at least 30% of the federal budget. Dropping the 3 or 6 percent spent on education would not significantly affect amount of taxes we pay, especially when you consider that the federal budget runs way in the red. In fact more is spent on interest on the federal debt than on federal education spending.
    I won't argue the point. I simply have a different perspective, because I count all of my taxes as being a single expense (taxes), and evaluate the services I receive in return as coming from a single entity (public services). From my point of view, it doesn't matter which level of government (federal, state or local) pays the bill for the education, because it all comes out of my "taxes". Peace, Cameron Purdy Oracle Coherence: Data Grid for Java, .NET and C++
  25. Re: Educational spending[ Go to top ]

    I simply have a different perspective, because I count all of my taxes as being a single expense (taxes), and evaluate the services I receive in return as coming from a single entity (public services). From my point of view, it doesn't matter which level of government (federal, state or local) pays the bill for the education, because it all comes out of my "taxes".
    You can change your local and state government much easier than your federal government. That's why the distinction matters. You, Frank, and myself all live in different states (I live in NY). Our local and state taxes and services are not common to each other. The only government we share is the federal government. If you or Frank don't like what your local or state government is doing with regard to taxes and services, it's not my business.
  26. Keep in mind that the federal numbers keep rising
    Actually federal education spending dropped over 125 billion in 2006 to around 100 billion in 2007. The Here's a chart that shows education spending as flat against growing overall federal spending. Education is the red line lining the lower bound of the chart. link to usgovernmentspending.com (edited to shorten link) Message was edited by: joeo@enigmastation.com
  27. Re: Something Rotten in Hungary[ Go to top ]

    Actually federal education spending dropped over 125 billion in 2006 to around 100 billion in 2007. The

    Here's a chart that shows education spending as flat against growing overall federal spending. Education is the red line lining the lower bound of the chart.

    (link shortened)
    Thats Fed spending.... so your property taxes aren't counted in that, and they likely count Fed University grant and loan amounts in that. Message was edited by: joeo@enigmastation.com
  28. Re: Something Rotten in Hungary[ Go to top ]

    Actually federal education spending dropped over 125 billion in 2006 to around 100 billion in 2007. The

    Here's a chart that shows education spending as flat against growing overall federal spending. Education is the red line lining the lower bound of the chart.

    (link shortened)


    Thats Fed spending.... so your property taxes aren't counted in that, and they likely count Fed University grant and loan amounts in that.
    That's the point. No one's forcing you to live in an area with high school taxes. You can move to Alabama or some other similar state. Where I live the taxes vary by each minor locality and I chose the one with the better schools (and higher property taxes.) That was your gripe, right? You want choice. The reality is that you already have it. Actually a lot of people live in my locality even after their kids are out of school because it's a much nicer place to live than the lower property tax areas. You can literally see the a vast difference distance of a couple blocks. I don't really have a problem with your view on government funded education. It's the nonsense that we are being forced to pay for tons of money and that most citizen wish to see the end of government funded education. Message was edited by: joeo@enigmastation.com
  29. Re: Something Rotten in Hungary[ Go to top ]

    No one's forcing you to live in an area with high school taxes.
    I'm near ATL, with very low taxes, and one of the best school districts in the state. I'm not worried about my children's access to good schooling... I have choice: Great public schools or great private schools. As for the lower classes in this country, government schooling and forced busing has done wonders for them. I mean, really, the inner-city is just full of geniuses these days. ;-)
    That was your gripe, right? You want choice.
    No. I want quality schooling for myself and everyone in our society.
    It's the nonsense that we are being forced to pay for tons of money and that most citizen wish to see the end of government funded education.
    Those, like me, that want to see the end of government-funded education are a minority, so fear not. The status-quo will continue, and as usual, the wealthy will benefit the most from the current system. ;-)
  30. Re: Something Rotten in Hungary[ Go to top ]

    I'm near ATL, with very low taxes, and one of the best school districts in the state. I'm not worried about my children's access to good schooling...
    How about compared to school districts in the nation?
    I have choice: Great public schools or great private schools.

    As for the lower classes in this country, government schooling and forced busing has done wonders for them. I mean, really, the inner-city is just full of geniuses these days.
    This is the kind of silly argument that irritates me. It makes it impossible to have a meaningful discussion. Firstly, statistically speaking the education level of a child's parents is the most important factor predicting academic success. I doubt any government program is going to change that and I don't think it's a good idea to try. Secondly, I never said anything about busing. Thirdly, pretty anyone who has the ability to leave the inner-city does so it's not very surprising that you won't find many 'geniuses' there. I'll say the same about much of the South. Having been born and raised there I think I can get away with it. What I don't believe is that we should just throw children on the trash heap of society just because they were born into the wrong circumstances. Most will not rise above their circumstances but many do. I don't disagree that there are problems with public schools but making everyone pay their own way isn't going to help poor children.
    Those, like me, that want to see the end of government-funded education are a minority, so fear not.
    Well you could always move to Argentina and live in their wonderfully utopian laissez-faire society. And I'm not afraid. I pointed out that you were in the minority. It wasn't a hope or a prayer. It's factual.
    The status-quo will continue, and as usual, the wealthy will benefit the most from the current system.
    Please, humor me and explain how the wealthy benefit from the current system.
  31. Hi James, I didn't want to be left out of the fun, and thought I'd add my 2 cents: 1. As a Brit It as always amazed me how much better you Americans are at understanding the value of a dollar. Over here we seldom think of taxes as our money. Most taxes in the UK are taken from your salary before you get it, so a lot of people look at taxes as government (The Crowns) money. I guess that's the difference between being a Citizen and a Subject :^). 2. In the UK there has been a post war consensus that advocates free education for all. Like our National Health System, we try to promote our Education system as one of the things that unites rather than divides us. We still have private schooling, but people just don't brag about it :) 3. I don't think having Corporate entities owning your education system has that much to do with whether the Education is effective or not. My concern is the wider issues around values and ethos. Is education there to provide a bunch of robots effective in MS Word? Or is it there to promote free thinking, able and responsible citizens/subjects? Most in the UK would say the latter. Which is whether public or private most would be extremely uncomfortable with a company like Microsoft running a school :) An interestng aside, back in the eighties, the personal computer used in most UK schools was the BBC Micro. It had a near monopoly. The difference is though is that Auntie Beeb is a trusted national institution, with high standards, serving all at a subsidised cost. So I guess for us Brits using computers from the BBC in schools was in keeping with our values :) Paul.
  32. Hi James,

    I didn't want to be left out of the fun, and thought I'd add my 2 cents:

    1. As a Brit It as always amazed me how much better you Americans are at understanding the value of a dollar. Over here we seldom think of taxes as our money. Most taxes in the UK are taken from your salary before you get it, so a lot of people look at taxes as government (The Crowns) money. I guess that's the difference between being a Citizen and a Subject :^)
    It depends on how you make your money but for most people it's taken out of your check before you get it in the US too. A lot of people get tax refunds which effectively means they loan the government money at a 0% interest rate. Most of the Americans on forums like these are more educated on these kinds of things than the average American. On a side note, there's also a lot more Libertarians in US software and IT than in the average population so if you base your understanding of Americans on these forums, you will get a skewed view.
    2. In the UK there has been a post war consensus that advocates free education for all. Like our National Health System, we try to promote our Education system as one of the things that unites rather than divides us. We still have private schooling, but people just don't brag about it.
    Isn't it the case in Britian the names are reversed, as in what we call private schools are called public schools or something? There's something there that confuses me.
    3. I don't think having Corporate entities owning your education system has that much to do with whether the Education is effective or not. My concern is the wider issues around values and ethos. Is education there to provide a bunch of robots effective in MS Word? Or is it there to promote free thinking, able and responsible citizens/subjects?
    I don't think there's a formula to teaching or running school. My personal experience is that it's all about the teacher's passion for teaching and their own knowledge. I personally don't think that I was served all that well by public education as a whole where I grew up but kids from the local public housing projects got access to the same schooling as heiresses. My writing and literature teachers were pretty good but math was spotty and science was dismal.
    Most in the UK would say the latter. Which is whether public or private most would be extremely uncomfortable with a company like Microsoft running a school :)

    An interestng aside, back in the eighties, the personal computer used in most UK schools was the BBC Micro. It had a near monopoly. The difference is though is that Auntie Beeb is a trusted national institution, with high standards, serving all at a subsidised cost. So I guess for us Brits using computers from the BBC in schools was in keeping with our values :)


    Paul.
    So what's used today?
  33. Most in the UK would say the latter. Which is whether public or private most would be extremely uncomfortable with a company like Microsoft running a school :)

    An interestng aside, back in the eighties, the personal computer used in most UK schools was the BBC Micro. It had a near monopoly. The difference is though is that Auntie Beeb is a trusted national institution, with high standards, serving all at a subsidised cost. So I guess for us Brits using computers from the BBC in schools was in keeping with our values :)


    Paul.


    So what's used today?
    Last time I looked it was IBM Compatible PCs running MS Windows :) Paul.
  34. Re: Something Rotten in Hungary[ Go to top ]

    How about compared to school districts in the nation?
    Comparitively? Our kids are retards. (Seriously)
    Firstly, statistically speaking the education level of a child's parents is the most important factor predicting academic success.
    So lets aim for breaking the cycle, no?
    I don't disagree that there are problems with public schools but making everyone pay their own way isn't going to help poor children.
    Take the money we toss in to the black-hole, privatize the system, and make teachers and schools compete for my tax dollars. THATs how you fix the problem. Or do you enjoy the thought of having bureaucrats and unions in charge of educating your children?
    Well you could always move to Argentina and live in their wonderfully utopian laissez-faire society.
    I'm more comfortable here pushing my Libertarian views.
    Please, humor me and explain how the wealthy benefit from the current system.
    The wealthy have the means to escape bad areas/schools and have vastly more "choice". Go ask a citizen in inner-city Atlanta or Miami what "choice" they have in schooling their children. These people are walled in to a zone where they are forced to send their kids to zoos. Hand these people vouchers and let them vote on where they want to send their kids. Its about choice, right?
  35. Re: Something Rotten in Hungary[ Go to top ]

    How about compared to school districts in the nation?


    Comparitively? Our kids are retards.
    Well, I live in one best school districts in the country. It something you might want to think about. We pay for it in taxes of course. Actually there's been a side benefit to that: no housing bubble.
    So lets aim for breaking the cycle, no?


    I don't disagree that there are problems with public schools but making everyone pay their own way isn't going to help poor children.


    Take the money we toss in to the black-hole, privatize the system, and make teachers and schools compete for my tax dollars. THATs how you fix the problem.
    Possibly. I'm not completely convinced. I spent a number of years in government contracting and privatizing government work is more often than not an easy way to siphon off a lot of money with little to show for it. It all depends on how it's managed by the government. Privatizing by itself is not an answer. It's touted as a magical fix too often.
    Or do you enjoy the thought of having bureaucrats and unions in charge of educating your children?
    Personally I'm perfectly comfortable with the public school system my in my area.
    Please, humor me and explain how the wealthy benefit from the current system.


    The wealthy have the means to escape bad areas/schools and have vastly more "choice". Go ask a citizen in inner-city Atlanta or Miami what "choice" they have in schooling their children. These people are walled in to a zone where they are forced to send their kids to zoos. Hand these people vouchers and let them vote on where they want to send their kids. Its about choice, right?
    It's a possible solution. I thought you were advocating the removal of government funding from the equation. The only way I see government vouchers for schools work is if federal/state funding is increased. As long as it's up to localities, poorer districts will never have the equivalent funding. That's not a profound statement or anything. It should be obvious. But I don't think that throwing money at it will solve the problem either. Personally, I think educating parents would make a bigger difference.
  36. Re: Something Rotten in Hungary[ Go to top ]

    Firstly, statistically speaking the education level of a child's parents is the most important factor predicting academic success.


    So lets aim for breaking the cycle, no?

    To break the cycle, you have to address the reasons for the cycle - supposing that one knows the reasons. Simply painting the picture as government=bad/teachers=bad doesn't address the issues: lack of jobs with livable pay, underfunded or non-existent places for children to stay after school when parents are working, lack of health benefits (part of my definition of livable pay) causing greater health problems in families, text books dating back to the mid-20th century, etc.
    Take the money we toss in to the black-hole, privatize the system, and make teachers and schools compete for my tax dollars. THATs how you fix the problem.
    Great. What metrics do you use for this competition? Number of students graduated: fine, you'll see a lot of people pushed through the system with no real education. Test scores on a standardized exam: isn't that what we have with No Child Left Behind? Teachers are pushing kids on exam material rather than educating them. (Just for some quick background, memorizing isn't necessarily learning although forming memories is a necessary component of learning.) Any other possibilities for metrics?
    Or do you enjoy the thought of having bureaucrats and unions in charge of educating your children?
    I hope you're not implying that there are no bureaucrats in the private sector?
    Go ask a citizen in inner-city Atlanta or Miami what "choice" they have in schooling their children. These people are walled in to a zone where they are forced to send their kids to zoos. Hand these people vouchers and let them vote on where they want to send their kids. Its about choice, right?
    So, you've spent meaningful amounts of time in the inner city? Perhaps hung out in the inner city? Lived near projects? Spent time after dark hanging out with people there? Frankly, parents in the inner city want a good education for their kids and would rather have them closer to home. People in the inner city tend to be a little more practical than ideological. From my own perspective, communities are stronger, more vibrant, when people can live, work, and kids can grow up in them. Inner city problems started when employment started moving out. Factories that formerly provided work in the community suddenly moved. Jobs were more scarce. People started moving out of the cities to follow the jobs and, suddenly, the tax base dropped in city neighborhoods. Schools there are under funded. They are also mostly older infrastructures that either need to be repaired or condemned due to overlong neglect. Sending children out of those communities and continuing to neglect schools in them will not "break the cycle". At best, it might drain a community of the brightest kids while leaving the most needy and desperate. Of course, rebuilding these communities must involve jobs that pay a sustainable wage and provide medical benefits.
  37. Re: Something Rotten in Hungary[ Go to top ]

    lack of jobs with livable pay, underfunded or non-existent places for children to stay after school when parents are working, lack of health benefits (part of my definition of livable pay) causing greater health problems in families, text books dating back to the mid-20th century, etc.
    Funny... most of the points you cite, are an effect of having crap educational systems in the inner-city. Bad education may not be the only cause, but it certainly helps fuel the cycle.
    Test scores on a standardized exam: isn't that what we have with No Child Left Behind? Teachers are pushing kids on exam material rather than educating them. (Just for some quick background, memorizing isn't necessarily learning although forming memories is a necessary component of learning.)
    Yes on the standardized tests. Obviously the teachers need to have adult-supervision as well, in this case.
    I hope you're not implying that there are no bureaucrats in the private sector?
    Given the choice, I'm going to choose a bureaucrat in the private sector every time. The difference here is that the private sector will have to compete for my dollar.
    So, you've spent meaningful amounts of time in the inner city? Perhaps hung out in the inner city? Lived near projects? Spent time after dark hanging out with people there?
    Do you *really* want to know my life story? Wait til I publish my memoirs. ;-)
    Inner city problems started when employment started moving out. Factories that formerly provided work in the community suddenly moved. Jobs were more scarce. People started moving out of the cities to follow the jobs and, suddenly, the tax base dropped in city neighborhoods.
    Jobs follow cheap and educated labor. We have cheap and dumb.
    Of course, rebuilding these communities must involve jobs that pay a sustainable wage and provide medical benefits.
    Sorry, I don't believe in the Federal minimum wage or welfare either.
  38. Re: Something Rotten in Hungary[ Go to top ]

    No one's forcing you to live in an area with high school taxes.


    I'm near ATL, with very low taxes, and one of the best school districts in the state. I'm not worried about my children's access to good schooling... I have choice: Great public schools or great private schools.

    As for the lower classes in this country, government schooling and forced busing has done wonders for them. I mean, really, the inner-city is just full of geniuses these days. ;-)


    That was your gripe, right? You want choice.


    No. I want quality schooling for myself and everyone in our society.

    It's the nonsense that we are being forced to pay for tons of money and that most citizen wish to see the end of government funded education.


    Those, like me, that want to see the end of government-funded education are a minority, so fear not.

    The status-quo will continue, and as usual, the wealthy will benefit the most from the current system. ;-)
    Well, your district has low taxes and good school probably because it is a growth district. Growth brings more tax revenue. I live in a wealthy town, one of the best school districts in the state, yet, the school budget is being squeezed tremendously. Why? No more land to grow, build homes. The town is aging and seniors vote while voters with kids are usually too busy to attend town meetings. So, seniors get what they want. Steady taxes, senior centers, increased police/fire. The school budget was the only service that shrank in our town this year. Meanwhile, teachers haven't gotten a raise in a few years. They've cut art and music and increased class sizes. I've seen the salaries of teachers in our district. No way they could live anywhere near our town. So, probably a decent commute with higher gas prices cutting even deeper into their salaries. So, really, there isn't anywhere left to cut. Unless you want to increase class sizes even more... Even your so-called silver bullet of vouchers isn't working. (Yes Massachusetts has a voucher program!). Our school is actually a place voucher kids WANT to go. The school committee went out of its way to recruit voucher kids to bring in more money. Know what happened? The town voted to take away the money they brought in and disperse it to other services. Why? Again, budgets are tight. Finally, why do you think its so bad in the inner-city? Maybe its because you have parents (or just one parent) working 12 hours a day just to make ends meat. What kids really need is love and attention, and they aren't getting it. Add this to the popular right wing "No Child Left behind", and the schools can't get rid of the kids that are disrupting things, selling drugs, causing chaos. As usual the majority has to suffer for the individual. Sorry for this long rant, but I'm sick and tired of hearing crazy libertarians or wealthy Republicans say how a "free market" can change things without actually understanding what is really going on. Bill
  39. Re: Something Rotten in Hungary[ Go to top ]

    Cool, so when school is private, and nobody can afford $20K/year, we can have a 90% illiteracy rate. Nice, good planning!
    Competition brings prices down. BTW, you're already paying close to that, and the schools are turning out turnips.
  40. When the demand is high, the prices climb up. Also there are already too many private universities in US and the prices are still high. I am not arguing privatization is bad per se, but nothing is as black and white as you think.
  41. When the demand is high, the prices climb up.
    Unless supply meets demand... which is why you privatize and remove inefficiencies by doing so.
    Also there are already too many private universities in US and the prices are still high.
    Thats what happens when the government subsidizes education. Give more to student loans, universities raise their prices... its free money to them and tax-payers are just a grab-bag.
  42. Re: Something Rotten in Hungary[ Go to top ]

    Cool, so when school is private, and nobody can afford $20K/year, we can have a 90% illiteracy rate. Nice, good planning!


    Competition brings prices down. BTW, you're already paying close to that, and the schools are turning out turnips.
    I don't know, our school system is pretty damn good. Have vouchers and everything. Hasn't brought taxes down, but I think we're turning out some pretty good melons. BTW, have you ever been to a town budget meeting or school board meeting? When you start analyzing teacher salaries and such, and how many hours they work, and how many students they teach, you'll find that they make very little money. Since the majority of school costs are in people, there ain't much more to drive prices down. Unless of course you start bringing in some illegal immigrants in...
  43. Re: Something Rotten in Hungary[ Go to top ]

    When you start analyzing teacher salaries and such, and how many hours they work, and how many students they teach, you'll find that they make very little money. Since the majority of school costs are in people, there ain't much more to drive prices down. Unless of course you start bringing in some illegal immigrants in...
    To your point, where I live you must have a masters degree to teach and you must take part in continuing education. Given the education requirements, teachers salaries are fairly low. You have to take into account that they don't work in the summer but they still aren't being paid all that well. They get paid more than the average teacher salary however. On the other hand, the union system makes it such that your pay is based on seniority and not your effectiveness as a teacher. I've had some pretty rotten teachers (one screamed at me what I asked about irrational numbers: "numbers aren't irrational!" and it's sickening to think they get paid as much or more than the great teachers I had. The problem I see with the voucher system is that for it to really provide better schools, you'd have to have way more seats than children. Otherwise kids will end up having to go to the less desirable schools (most likely based on price) when the seats at better schools fill up. If you do have way more schools than are needed, you will end up with failing (in the business sense) schools and at least some kids will be effected by this.
  44. Re: Something Rotten in Hungary[ Go to top ]

    The end of Teachers' Unions, increased student vouchers, and the end of government education. Next question.


    Cool, so when school is private, and nobody can afford $20K/year, we can have a 90% illiteracy rate. Nice, good planning!
    The teachers union is what keeps us paying bad teachers good salaries. [And, yes, given the months out of the year teachers work the salaries in many areas really are not too bad.] I don't have anything against public education -- far from it. There needs to be competition, though, both within the public education system and between it and alternatives -- else it will just get fat, lazy, and pathetic. Step one in this competition is for the teachers union to allow meritless teachers to be easily fired and for teachers with merit to be paid and promoted accordingly. On a slightly different note, "no child left behind" was one of the stupidest things done to education. There needs to be some way for harmful mandates to be identified and rejected...
  45. Re: Something Rotten in Hungary[ Go to top ]

    we can have a 90% illiteracy rate. Nice, good planning!
    Exactly. Illiteracy will go down!
  46. Re: Something Rotten in Hungary[ Go to top ]

    Exactly. Illiteracy will go down!
    How sad, I missed that too. Chalk me up as yet another product of the government school system. ;-)
  47. Re: Something Rotten in Hungary[ Go to top ]

    Exactly. Illiteracy will go down!


    How sad, I missed that too. Chalk me up as yet another product of the government school system. ;-)
    And how does it go down when 90 out of a 100 people are illiterate. Are you assuming that 100% of the people in the USA are illiterate. If thats your assumption, then illiteracy will go down (according to your logic), but the fact is that illiteracy rate in USA and Canada is less than 1%. So a 90% rate will increase illiteracy, rather than decrease it :)
  48. When the government and the big corporation hug on another this is what happening. Another case is while in Hungary the state is near about to bankruptcy, the government spends huge amount of money on digital tables. Unfortunately the phenomenon is specific to a federal, centralizing government. Congresman Ron Paul says that - "The federal government does not own our children. Yet we act as if it does by letting it decide when, how, and what our children will learn. We have turned their futures over to lobbyists and bureaucrats." - This is exactly what happening! Just read the bestseller "The Revolution - A Manifesto" by Ron Paul. While a local government, like in Hungary, it is so hard for the people to control through democracy, what if a Lisabon Treaty is getting ratified and is installing federal power over national sovereignity?! I hope that the Irish people will reject the Treaty of Lisbon at the referendum in Juni! (see x09.eu)
  49. Re: Something Rotten in Hungary[ Go to top ]



    After all, education is about learning and sharing...


    Yes, in The Planet Bizarro. Here on Earth, education is a business.
    I live in Norway. Here, education is not a business. Schools may be private, but they are still partly funded by the state. Schools are not allowed to run at a profit. Most schools are not private, and education is affordable (I think I paid USD50 per semester at university).
    Considering that Norway is placed on the face of the earth, you are quite clearly wrong. Education is not necessarily a business.
    Personally, I think this is a good thing. There are things out there that are worth learning, but that is totally uninteresting to the business world.
  50. I live in Norway. Here, education is not a business.
    Same thing here in Israel. schools are free and even the few private schools are partly under the control and funding of the government. Unfortunately, we have the same problem. Ballmer came to Israel and signed an agreement with the government promising software for schools for almost free. This causes C# to be the language tought in most computer classes (others prefer to teach C++). Good thing that all universities here teach only open source technologies: C/C++ and Java for the OOP classes.
  51. Re: Something Rotten in Hungary[ Go to top ]

    I must be bored today. Read this entire Unabomber Manifesto.
    Theodore Kaczynski was actually a right-wing wing-nut.
  52. I must be bored today. Read this entire Unabomber Manifesto.


    Theodore Kaczynski was actually a right-wing wing-nut.
    I suppose I should say 'is' not 'was'.
  53. I must be bored today. Read this entire Unabomber Manifesto.


    Theodore Kaczynski was actually a right-wing wing-nut.
    Hey.. you put me on the wrong side of the tracks!!!! Kirk
  54. Student deserves an 'F'[ Go to top ]

    Written on the back of the students shirt was "Microsoft = Corruption."
    Assuming the student was a Computer Science major, the student clearly deserves an 'F'. The student was obviously trying to assert the boolean predicate "Microsoft == Corruption", but coded a simple assignment instead.
  55. Re: Student deserves an 'F'[ Go to top ]

    Not really. The '=' is also a comparison operator in languages such as VB/SQL (so some sort of corruption! in semantics)
  56. Languageist![ Go to top ]

    Assuming the student was a Computer Science major, the student clearly deserves an 'F'. The student was obviously trying to assert the boolean predicate "Microsoft == Corruption", but coded a simple assignment instead.
    You C-family bigot, spare some respect for the Algol family! - Assignent is := - Logical equals is =
  57. Well, Microsoft did some really strange business with the hungarian government in the last 10 years. I can remeber two treaties so far, when the government payed several billions HUF to Microsoft for using its software in education. There was no contest. hungarian government == corruption Regards, Laszlo from Budapest
  58. I am firmly in the capatalist camp and an Open Source supporter. I see Open Source as a much better model for market-driven competition than the older closed model. I attended a very good technical session on Open Source at JavaOne (I can look up the speaker's name if needed) and the speaker made the argument that Brazil is not choosing open source for idealogical (i.e. pinko) reasons but for reasons of national security and economic development. Instead of paying vast sums of money to foreign companies, they are creating their own software industry and have complete control over the systems they depend on. Given the backroom deals that MS has made with the DOD and other US government entities, I can understand why other countries are hesitant to depend on software from MS especially if they cannot see what it's doing behind the scenes.
  59. Instead of paying vast sums of money to foreign companies, they are creating their own software industry and have complete control over the systems they depend on.
    Vast sums of money must be relative. Brazil has an extremely high level of software piracy and this is not just confined to external companies but its own software industry. http://global.bsa.org/idcglobalstudy2007/pr/pr_brazil.pdf It would have been interesting to hear how much subscription money is paid to the companies funding the open source that is used by the Brazilian government or whether code enhancements/changes have been committed back assuming this is not an issue of "national security". [a different perspective] Could some of these MS+Government deals be window dressing on a license payment due from the obvious lack of adequate intellectual software protection and enforcement? Remember most software piracy is PC based. William
  60. Instead of paying vast sums of money to foreign companies, they are creating their own software industry and have complete control over the systems they depend on.


    Vast sums of money must be relative. Brazil has an extremely high level of software piracy and this is not just confined to external companies but its own software industry.
    What does that have to do with what I wrote? Are you suggesting that the governments of countries are obligated to purchase products from Microsoft because of alleged piracy by their citizens?
  61. Here in France, schools are mostly public, and in the public engineer school I attended, we learned the highly useful Eiffel language in OOP classes, Lisp, and GUI programming with X11, all marvelous open source things. Which I NEVER used in my 11 years experience (though I worked on many different platforms for all kinds of projects). If I hadn't lost so much of my time with all this, the assumption made in this article that learning Microsoft technologies might leave students unprepared for work would make me laugh loudly. Instead, I was achingly grinning throughout. Good education should prepare you for the different technologies out there, Microsoft or not, but it seems to be too much to ask to schools worldwide.
  62. Here in France, schools are mostly public, and in the public engineer school I attended, we learned the highly useful Eiffel language in OOP classes, Lisp, and GUI programming with X11, all marvelous open source things. Which I NEVER used in my 11 years experience
    I strongly suspect that your education prepared you better than you may believe. It most likely fed you with ideas and techniques that go beyond languages and tools. I believe that is the point of a good education. I did OO in Pascal. I've never written a commercial application using Pascal. However the lessons learned in doing OO in a procedural language have been enduring. Language is just a vehicle for expressing thoughts. And oh, ignoring what MS has to offer would also be a mistake. Regards, Kirk
  63. Based on the subject I just assumed someone released a JDO implementation in Hungary. Gotta love all the sterotypes in the thread - the arrogants, the condescendors, the dogmatic perspectives of perceived morality trumping law. Blandware just released AtLeap 0.56, isn't that a more relevant thread to be pumping? - Don
  64. >Blandware just released AtLeap 0.56, isn't that a more relevant thread to be pumping?

    - Don
    If you thing that it's important, write it up and submit it! This a community site ;-) Regards, Kirk Pepperdine
  65. Well you would be a complete fool to think that MS does not play this card and that it does not add some weight to discussions. I just stated what might else lies behind such agreements.
  66. Motivation[ Go to top ]

    It feels like a Friday today so I will stop and throw my philosophical slant on the fire (Can we get a separate section of TSS for political and religious discussions? That would be fun but would ultimately result in my company blocking the site.) Here you go: In the future, scientists will look back at this time in history and conclude that our problems and successes resulted from only having one motivating force - competition. We think we are so advanced, but moving to other forms of motivation will provide the next major advancement in society. As an American, I can easily conclude this change will not be started in the U.S.
  67. Brit Pair, Your statement is amazing! Competition is the natural desire to succeed and have stuff all within a legal framework. You can change the world and won't change that. Remove the legal framework and you get Gingis Han. Introduce other "motivations" and you get Marx and Stalin. Bring in scientists, aka sociologists and psychiatrists and you get Nazis camps. Focus on personal and economic freedom. Freedom, by the way is the strongest motivation that can ever be found, yet always late when oppression is deep. Oh, I love what the Fathers of this country stood for. I want my freedom back. I want my guns and my religion.
  68. Motivation[ Go to top ]

    There are many things that motivate us and I am not saying that competition is inherently bad. Nor am I saying communism or socialism is better (history has shown that not to be the case). Competition is a motivator that has helped elevate society above simple survival instincts. One of the problems with competition is that you can win by tearing others down just as easily and often more easily than improving yourself. Your statement about a legal framework is misleading because it implies the establishment of an equal playing field and fair rules for competition. The natural desire to succeed and more importantly to stay successful contradicts the desire for an equal playing field. If you are involved in a game you know is unfair and in which you have very little chance of winning, will you continue to play? More likely you will try to change the game, break the rules, quit, or tear down those who have an advantage. This thread and the discussion on Public Schools is a perfect example of society's attempt to establish an equal playing field that is failing. The public school system was established to produce a well qualified pool of workers. A pool of workers ready to compete in a fair game. If you want your country to be the best, you understand the need to make this pool of workers as large as possible. Lastly you speak of freedom as the strongest motivator. If that was the case I think more people would be living on a farm, growing their own food completely free and independent. Yet most people choose to be part of society and therefore give up some of their freedom. Social motivation does exist and is a good thing. I am ignoring your comment on scientists and sociologists.
  69. Re: Motivation[ Go to top ]

    The public school system was established to produce a well qualified pool of workers. A pool of workers ready to compete in a fair game. If you want your country to be the best, you understand the need to make this pool of workers as large as possible.
    This is correct. However, we must keep in mind that at least in the U.S., the public school system was designed to produce factory workers. It did very well at that but now the needs have changed and the schools haven't. This is where our public education problems stem from.
  70. What is the goal?[ Go to top ]

    I agree that the goal of the public school system needs to change, but what to. If you think the goal is to help create a better society then your views on funding of schools and school policy may change. A school can expel disruptive or poor performing students; society cannot. It is only a temporary solution that society ultimately pays for. You could argue that prison is a way to expel people from society but that is temporary and comes at a very high cost.
  71. Re: What is the goal?[ Go to top ]

    I agree that the goal of the public school system needs to change, but what to. If you think the goal is to help create a better society then your views on funding of schools and school policy may change.

    A school can expel disruptive or poor performing students; society cannot. It is only a temporary solution that society ultimately pays for.

    You could argue that prison is a way to expel people from society but that is temporary and comes at a very high cost.
    I have mixed feelings on this. On the one hand, I think it's terrible to take troubled children and basically put them into prison-schools but on the other hand, it's not fair to students who want to learn. I think that maybe a little less coddling might go a long way. Most kids don't want to be separated from their schoolmates and if they had real fear of it happening they might try to avoid it. I could be wrong though.
  72. Re: What is the goal?[ Go to top ]

    I agree that the goal of the public school system needs to change, but what to.
    On this, I say the number one goal of public education should be to produce voters that understand our system of government and have the basic skills required to be an effective member of a democratic system. Other goals should not be defined at a federal level, in my opinion.
  73. Re: What is the goal?[ Go to top ]

    I say the number one goal of public education should be to produce voters that understand our system of government and have the basic skills required to be an effective member of a democratic system.
    I think that is a good goal although "effective member" could have a wide range of meanings. Does "effective member" mean being able to understand the economics, legal, and moral issues involved in passing and enforcing laws? If so then the federal government would want basic humanist morals taught in school as well as finance. Does "effective member" mean being a positive financial contributor to our society? That could mean a person must posses desirable work skills but could also mean a person minimizes their financial drain on society by understanding what a healthy lifestyle is. If so then the federal government would want nutrition, health, as well as professional and trade skills taught in school. Does "effective member" mean being able to think logically and objectively to solve problems? If so then the federal government would want science and math taught in school? Does "effective member" mean being able to innovate and think outside the box? If so then the federal government would want art and philosophy taught in school? Defining the Federal government's goal for the school system could lead to even more responsibility at the Federal level. Lastly, once goals are defined certainly some communities would require more funding and different approaches than other communities.
  74. Re: What is the goal?[ Go to top ]

    I say the number one goal of public education should be to produce voters that understand our system of government and have the basic skills required to be an effective member of a democratic system.


    I think that is a good goal although "effective member" could have a wide range of meanings.
    1. Understand how the government is structured. 2. Understand the difference between rhetoric and meaningful debate. 3. Know some history (and I don't mean memorizing dates) especially constitutional history. 4. Understand statistics and logical arguments. This is a tall order but any improvement would be worth the effort.
  75. Re: What is the goal?[ Go to top ]

    On this, I say the number one goal of public education should be to produce voters that understand our system of government and have the basic skills required to be an effective member of a democratic system.
    Although I agree... You do realize that this does not benefit any government, right? Dumb and happy, makes for a good populace to manipulate.
  76. Re: What is the goal?[ Go to top ]

    On this, I say the number one goal of public education should be to produce voters that understand our system of government and have the basic skills required to be an effective member of a democratic system.


    Although I agree... You do realize that this does not benefit any government, right?

    Dumb and happy, makes for a good populace to manipulate.
    I hope the goal is not to benefit government but instead benefit the people.
  77. Yes ! Rotten..[ Go to top ]

    As the leader developer of hungarian Linux distribution... I would express my regret in that case, because while at the other part of the world the people can see and understand clearly the MS business strategy, our government do not want to understand the unambiguous goals of MS steps. Before that tender you mentioned in your article, the hungarian government had already pledged itself on MS technologies with the "Campus" agreement causing the state administrative sector to be MS dependent. If you see, it is a well built one way road. The Linux community argued of course against these treatments but remained without any reflection from state side. We wrote a tons of letters, treatises to the competent offices, the Ministry of Economy to make clear, that these steps serve only the MS interest, and the hungarian informatic market will lag behind. The present hungarian laws and orders declares the autharcy of MS technolgies - we collected on a site: http://www.blackpanther.hu/modules/wiwimod/index.php?page=Discrimination . We don't want to accept, that the hungarian government spend our money to fill up the pockets of some decision makers and MS. That is why we sued the Hungarian State and the Hungarian Office of Fair Trading did the same also. Despite of our efforts we think that we should go futher to the EU forums to break the MS monopolium here in Hungary, because the government seems to be not partner, rather enemy of the hungarian people. But we appriciate the world is listening to our fight.
  78. Re: Yes ! Rotten..[ Go to top ]

    As t
    But we appriciate the world is listening to our fight.
    While I'm glad to have had a lesson in US taxes (thanks Cam for all those wonderful stats ;)) and schools (dito to James for your admonishment of your education 8^)). However the discussion seems to have hit the "Hitler principle". The point of the posting was to bring light to how the educational system is being used by businesses to further their own goals. Somethings this is ok but often it turns programs into something that resembles a LearningTree catalog. Not that I have anything against LearningTree, it is just that the serve a different purpose than Universities. Anyone remember PowerBuilder? I was at OOPSLA in Dallas in 93 when I heard PowerBuilder announced a list of all the Colleges that included PowerBuilder in their computer science curriculum. I was shocked because where I come from this was unheard of. H*ll, we didn't even get to use a commercial database as we had to build it ourselves. Now obviously one can't afford the time to go to first principles on everything that should be covered in a decent CS program but putting form building IDE in doesn't seem right. Maybe for technical diploma programs but surely not in degreed programs and certainly not in CS. I supose not all is bad for those who took PB, my search on monster drew 178 hits, but I digress. As you can see, Charles tried but being such a small voice against a large corporation he was simply out gunned. Possibly he could have had more assistance had he known about JEDI https://jedi.dev.java.net and other programs like it. A 40M Euro investment in programs like JEDI would seem to be a better choice. TITAN runs out in 2012. What then? I think the educators in the Philippines or Indonesia know because they've gone down this road and the experience wasn't pretty. JEDI was created as a way out. Funny thing is, investment in it helps everyone and the project doesn't turn into a pumpkin on Jan 1, 2012. My question is; what ideas or aid could we have given Charles?
  79. Re: Yes ! Rotten..[ Go to top ]

    Somethings this is ok but often it turns programs into something that resembles a LearningTree catalog. Not that I have anything against LearningTree, it is just that the serve a different purpose than Universities.
    I fear the senior whatevers out there are partly to blame for this. I ran a technical interview on friday. I was very happy to find a person who reflected on the technologies around him and how they worked. When discussing interview techniques, I have noticed that many people (counting myself in the past) have been very preoccupied with details like the java.lang.Object#equals contract. I guess that is an easily measured metric, at least. All the other stuff - does this person fit in, does he think the right way - is far harder for a person grounded in mathematic and computer science to evaluate. If the poor sods going to school knows that they will be grilled on the equals contract, that is what they are going to focus on. All the nice thoughtfulness we old'uns seem to cherish in our long speeches does not get valued in most interviews. Knowing the current fad does. Oh, dear. I must be getting old.
  80. Re: Yes ! Rotten..[ Go to top ]

    No offense but you've already listened to the guy as he lied to you, now he's getting some money for retirement, he won't be prime minister forever :-) Central/SE Europe sucks so bad.
  81. OT OT OT[ Go to top ]

    I think that public vs private educational is not the same as "no child left behind" vs "(good) education only for those who can". You can have both. And I don't think that the equations public == sane, private == dirty interests hold. It is a matter of systems. You can have a totally private, i.e. business oriented, educational system that can be for all: give money to the families and they choose which school is the best for their children. Schools would have money from the government in relation to their "success rate": good teacher == more money. The government (as always should be) should set the rules, the educational programs, the objectives. And control that the system does not create discriminations. Guido
  82. Great thanks for a very interesting post:-) Really enjoyed:-) I was wondering how would you describe the CodeGear deal with Russian educational authorities to provide 1 million copies of software tools to the whole school system of a given country in the context of your post? (http://tech.yahoo.com/blogs/raskin/17755) Pawel Glowacki CodeGear EMEA Technical Evangelist
  83. and link...[ Go to top ]

    http://dn.codegear.com/article/37606
  84. Great thanks for a very interesting post:-) Really enjoyed:-)

    I was wondering how would you describe the CodeGear deal with Russian educational authorities to provide 1 million copies of software tools to the whole school system of a given country in the context of your post? (http://tech.yahoo.com/blogs/raskin/17755)

    Pawel Glowacki
    CodeGear EMEA Technical Evangelist
    This is just a press release that really carries with it very few details. The post focuses on Delphi and C++, neither of which I would consider appropriate for introductory level language development. But the deal represents only 1% of the overall budget which makes it difficult evaluate what this means in the overall scheme of things. My opinion on this is; we need to protect out educational systems from being subverted by others for their own gain. Companies should not be able to buy or accrue future "customers" at the expense of public education. That said, this has to be tempered by the need to have education that is relevant or useful. I guess that is the question that the those that pay and consume education need to ask. Are these deals useful to us or are they useful the provider or is there a non-zero sum gain to be had. In the case of the Hungarian deal it is my opinion that it is highly stacked towards MS and in balance will damages public education in the longer term. I can't say this for this particular deal although I'd want people other than government to be able to scrutinize it. regards, Kirk
  85. The assumptions at the very begining of the artical are wrong. The writer should know why. He either got some guidlines to try to turn the story in this direction or just simple stupid and not informed about the real situation. If a government asks for a bid in a country - what are economically running downhill - let's say for cars and also stipulates that only companies selling Ford cars can bid and than pays enormous money (from the taxpayers money, who pay 50%+ of their joke salary as tax)then it should be also for outsiders at least suspecious. Then the president of the bid winning company (which is "surprizingly" Ford) comes to the contry and makes a show to the plebs how great his company is just simply discusting. Well, somebody at least rased his voice and tried to rase the worlds attention. This is the real story behind. Check his website (I know it is not a perfect design, not perfect English but we deal with limited resources here and even more are getting taken away now) Thanks for reading and thinking about it. This is his site: http://nagyorgy.uw.hu/
  86. The assumptions at the very begining of the artical are wrong. The writer should know why. He either got some guidlines to try to turn the story in this direction or just simple stupid and not informed about the real situation.

    If a government asks for a bid in a country - what are economically running downhill - let's say for cars and also stipulates that only companies selling Ford cars can bid and than pays enormous money (from the taxpayers money, who pay 50%+ of their joke salary as tax)then it should be also for outsiders at least suspecious.
    I'm sorry but I don't understand your point. I received no guidelines nor have I tried to spin the story in any direction. I also know the egg incident was about a much what was described in the link you've posted. Current government contracts are of little interest to me. However, the reason Balmer was in Budapest was to sign a deal that further committed the educational system (not just University) in a direction. If provided the opportunity for the protest. It made the story bigger than it would have been and provided yet another opportunity to highlight that other countries that have not had such a good time after signing these types of deals. In fact, one of the primary motivations for JEDI is the Philippino government trying to get our from under this type of deal. Indonesia has adopted the program as has Brazil (strong supporter of OSS). It maybe not be the best program at the moment but think of how 40,000,000 Euro could have helped. More over this is investment of public funds into a public project who's ownership remains in the public domain. You don't have a 2012 expiry date when the whole program turns into a pumpkin. Regards, Kirk Pepperdine
  87. health care without gov support[ Go to top ]

    This policy has been very successful for Brazil. They now have what is widely seen as one of the most advanced and cost effective health care administration systems, completely based on open source software.
    This isn't only in Brazil. for example take Oridion, which isn't Hungarian but more Israeli (Microsoft also got big departments in Israel, but that ain't got nothing to do with it) - this Oridion is a Medical Device company - which according to their website making capnography in the US & Germany. And it dosen't seems like the Israeli government is part of it. So what's the difference? (except the face Israel isn't part of the EU)