Geek

Why Are Some Wealthy Kids Getting Extra Time To Finish Their SAT Tests?

Slashdot - 32 min 48 sec ago
Students from wealthy high schools are more than twice as likely to qualify for extra time to finish their SAT or ACT college entrance tests than students from poor schools -- and in some cases, they're getting 50% more time. An anonymous reader quotes CBS News: About 4.2 percent of students at wealthy high schools qualified for a 504 designation, a plan that enables the students to qualify for accommodations such as extra test-taking time, according to an analysis of federal data for 9,000 by public schools by The Wall Street Journal. By comparison, only 1.6 percent of students in poor high schools qualified for the same designation.... These plans, named after a federal statute prohibiting discrimination against students with disabilities, can cover a wide range of issues, ranging from anxiety to deafness and other impairments. But critics of 504 plans say some families may be abusing the system in order to secure much-needed extra time for their children on the high-stakes exams... About one-sixth of ACT test-takers don't complete the exam within its normal time limit, the Journal noted. And a redesign of the SAT in 2014 signaled how many students struggle with finishing on time, as fewer than half of students completed the math section in a prototype of the new test. Naturally, gaining an extra 50 percent of the allotted time can alleviate some of the stress of time management. And the SATs and ACTs don't alert colleges about whether a student received extra time to complete the tests, eliminating a disincentive for students to request the accommodation. It's apparently been going on for years, according to CBS. In 2000 a California state report found that students getting extra time for their tests "were predominately white, wealthy, and from private schools." And now in Boston's "well-heeled" Newton suburb, about one-third of students qualified for extra time.

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Researcher exposes vulnerability in macOS Gatekeeper security mechanism

9to5Mac - 1 hour 14 min ago

Security researcher Filippo Cavallarin has publicized what he says is a way to bypass the Gatekeeper security functionality of macOS. The bypass remains unaddressed by Apple as of last week’s macOS 10.14.5 release.

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'How I Cheated On My Microsoft Job Interview'

Slashdot - 1 hour 32 min ago
Robert Sweeney spent 10 years working as a software engineer at Microsoft and Netflix, before becoming founder and CEO of the software development agency Facet. This week he blogged about how he cheated on his 2004 interview for a job at Microsoft. It was his first job interview ever, when he was still a college senior majoring in computer science, and a Microsoft recruiter had invited him to an interview at an on-campus career fair: I immediately called my good friend Eli who had just started a new job at Microsoft. I asked him what the on campus interviews were like and how I should prepare for them. He explained that they would ask a random programming question that I would need to solve on a sheet of paper. If you did well, then they would fly you out for a full day of interviews at the Microsoft headquarters in Redmond, Washington. He had been asked to write a function that, when given an array of length n + 1 containing integers 1 through n, find the duplicate integer in an array. I wasn't sure how to prepare for answering a "random programming question", so I decided to just use the question Eli had been asked as practice and hope for the best... Most of the interview is a blur, but I remember the interviewer being nice and I remember the programming question he asked me... I couldn't believe it. He asked me the exact same question as Eli. Should I tell him? I hesitated for a moment, pretending to be thinking about how to solve the problem. In reality I was having an intense internal debate on the ethics of interviewing. He didn't ask me if I had heard the question before, he just asked me to solve it. So I decided to just answer the question... I slowly wrote out the solution I had come up with over days of thinking about the problem, being sure to pause periodically as if I was figuring it out for the first time... A few days later I received an invite to fly out to the Microsoft main offices. I interviewed with two teams over a period of 6+ hours. I didn't get asked any questions I had heard before this time, but I did my best... Sure enough, that next week I had a job offer from Microsoft from both teams... Within a couple of years of graduating from college, I had shipped software that was being used by nearly a billion people... I've struggled with this a lot over the years, but I finally decided to share my story. I don't think I would have made it past the first round of interviews at Microsoft if I hadn't gotten so lucky. So pretty much, my entire career is built on one amazing stroke of luck. I also think my experience is a great example of one of the many reasons why the coding problems we use in developer interviews are so problematic: on the spot coding is just not a good way to judge technical ability. Stack Overflow's CEO founder Joel Spolsky actually wrote some of Microsoft's internal programmer-testing guidelines when he worked there in the mid-1990s, and he later publicized them in a 2006 blog post which he says was later adopted by other tech companies, including Google. He has since said that recruiting for IT is broken, adding "I think that I'm responsible." Microsoft has since changed its interviewing practices.

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AirBeamTV mirrors your iOS or macOS device to a TV without Apple TV [sponsor]

iDownloadBlog - 2 hours 5 min ago

With the AirBeamTV app on your iOS or macOS device, you can share your screen and cast content onto your television whether you have a Roku, Chromecast, or Amazon FireTV.
Categories: Geek

Tim Cook shows off ‘Chronicles of San Francisco’ mural with unique iPhone integration

9to5Mac - 2 hours 6 min ago

Tim Cook took to Twitter this morning to showcase a new mural from the artist JR. Entitled “Chronicles of San Francisco,” the video mural is currently on display in San Francisco, and features unique integration with an accompanying iOS app.

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Categories: Geek

Replacing JavaScript: How eBay Made a Web App 50x Faster With WebAssembly

Slashdot - 2 hours 32 min ago
"Online marketplace eBay has revealed how it boosted performance of a demanding web app by 50x using WebAssembly," reports TechRepublic: The "astonishing" speed-up after switching from a JavaScript-based to a largely WebAssembly-based web app was detailed by the eBay engineering team, who say the performance boost helped make it possible to build a highly-accurate barcode scanner as a web app... a feature it offers in its Android and iOS apps to allow sellers to scan items they are auctioning. "WebAssembly was different. It has tremendous potential, we just did not have the right use case. Well, that changed recently," write the eBay software engineering team. One of the advantages of WebAssembly (Wasm) is that it offers code portability for a variety of languages, allowing developers to take code they've written for other platforms and compile to WebAssembly so it can run in major web browsers. Consequently eBay was able to take the existing version of its barcode scanner written in C++ and compile that to Wasm using Emscripten, adopting the Docker and Node.js-based approach outlined here. After a few minor teething problems, the eBay team were able to run the barcode scanner in the browser, using a Worker thread and JavaScript glue code. The Wasm-based scanner was able to process images of the barcode at 50 Frames per Second (FPS), compared to about 1FPS in an earlier JavaScript-based scanner eBay had tested, a speed-up the team described as "astonishing". Unfortunately, the Wasm code only successfully completed scans 60% of the time, because it wasn't using the inbuilt APIs available for the C++ code to either autofocus or provide user tap focus for the center of the scanned object. eBay's team ultimately ended up implementing three separate worker threads running the Wasm code, the open-source barcode reader ZBar, and their original JavaScript-based scanner code. "The winning response (i.e. the first one to send a valid barcode) is sent to the main thread, and all workers are terminated... With three threads racing against each other, the success rate was indeed close to 100%."

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WSJ: Snapchat planning to compete with TikTok, add deeper music integration

9to5Mac - 2 hours 48 min ago

As TikTok continues to prove incredibly popular around the world, Snapchat is looking to expand its support for music. The Wall Street Journal reports that Snap is in talks with record labels to “expand the ways users can include music in posts” on Snapchat.

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Categories: Geek

NASA Announces First Commercial Partner For A Space Station Orbiting The Moon

Slashdot - 3 hours 32 min ago
"NASA has chosen its first commercial partner for a proposed space station, known as the Lunar Gateway, to be built near the Moon," reports Ars Technica: On Thursday, NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine said Maxar Technologies would build the first component of the Gateway -- the power and propulsion element. Like the name suggests, it will provide electricity to the Gateway and help move it around. "This time when we go to the Moon, we're actually going to stay," Bridenstine said in making the announcement... Under NASA's current plans to land humans on the Moon by 2024, this is where astronauts will launch to from Earth before climbing aboard pre-positioned landers to take them down to the lunar surface.... The contract announced Thursday is worth a maximum of $375 million. Intriguingly, Maxar said Blue Origin and Draper will join the team in designing, building, and operating the spacecraft. Such a partnership raises the possibility that the power and propulsion element, which will weigh about 5 tons fully fueled, could be launched on Blue Origin's New Glenn rocket. During a teleconference with media, Maxar's Mike Gold said the company would choose a commercial rocket for the power and propulsion element launch in the next 12 to 18 months... The station will use solar electric propulsion to maintain its orbit and have the ability to maneuver into other orbits around the Moon. Before humans visit the Gateway in 2024, the space agency plans to add a small "habitat" module.

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Class action lawsuit accuses Apple of selling iTunes customers’ listening data

9to5Mac - 3 hours 53 min ago

While Apple is a strong proponent of user privacy, a new lawsuit accuses the company of disclosing and selling certain iTunes purchase data. Bloomberg reports that Apple has been hit with a class action alleging that it discloses and sells information about iTunes listening habits.

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Categories: Geek

Vignette, Remind Me Faster, Blow and other apps to check out this weekend

iDownloadBlog - 4 hours 36 min ago

Apps of the week

It's Saturday, and you know what that means: time for another installment of our Apps of the Week roundup. In this week's episode we have an app for sprucing up your contact lists, a super-fast reminders app and a one-tap video editor. And as always, we've selected two great new games for you to check out.
Categories: Geek

Making The Grade: Rebuilding Apple School Manager

9to5Mac - 5 hours 6 min ago

Apple School Manager is the cornerstone of Apple’s K–12 strategy. When Apple began to push the iPad in K–12, their tools were a little disjointed. They had the Volume Purchase Program, Device Enrollment Program, and Profile Manager built into macOS Server. more…

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Categories: Geek

An RV Camp Sprang Up Outside Google's HQ. Now Mountain View Wants To Ban It

Slashdot - 5 hours 6 min ago
schwit1 shares an excerpt from a report via Bloomberg: In a quiet neighborhood near Google's headquarters last month, rusty, oleaginous sewage was seeping from a parked RV onto the otherwise pristine street. Sergeant Wahed Magee, of the Mountain View Police Department, was furious. Mountain View is a wealthy town that's home to Alphabet, the world's fourth-most valuable public corporation and Google's owner. Magee spends a lot of his time knocking on the doors of RVs parked on the city's streets, logging license plates and marking rigs that haven't moved for several days. This is the epicenter of a Silicon Valley tech boom that is minting millionaires but also fueling a homelessness crisis that the United Nations recently deemed a human rights violation. Thousands of people live in RVs across San Francisco and the broader Bay Area because they can't afford to rent or buy homes. In December, Mountain View police logged almost 300 RVs that appeared to be used as primary residences. Palo Alto, Berkeley and other Bay Area towns have similar numbers. Some Silicon Valley towns have cracked down in recent months, creating an even more uncertain future for RV residents. At a March city council meeting, Mountain View voted to ban RVs from parking overnight on public streets. The ban hasn't taken effect yet, but soon, the town's van dwellers will need to go elsewhere. The city council also declared a shelter crisis and passed a new ordinance to ticket vehicles that "discharge domestic sewage on the public right of way." At the meeting, some people opposing the ban blamed Google for the housing crisis. When asked whether the RV situation will ultimately be resolved, Magee looked tired as he thought about the answer. After a 12-hour day, he had a long drive ahead to get home -- he can't afford to live in Mountain View. "The way things are going, I don't see how it's all gonna disappear," he said. "Where are we gonna put everyone?" The Bay Area wants to enjoy wealth concentration like Manhattan, but also the population spread of the suburbs. Something's gotta give.

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Sileo Team releases Sileo v1.0.9 with improvements to source handling

iDownloadBlog - 5 hours 21 min ago

The Sileo Team released Sileo version 1.0.9 Saturday morning with improvements for the package manager’s Source handling.
Categories: Geek

AppCrumb replaces iOS’ Breadcrumb links with something better

iDownloadBlog - 5 hours 36 min ago

If you're interested in augmenting iOS' native Breadcrumb links with a full-featured windowed app experience, then you should give this tweak a try.
Categories: Geek

Electra Team releases Chimera v1.0.7 with a faster jailbreak process

iDownloadBlog - 5 hours 55 min ago

The Electra Team has just released Chimera version 1.0.7 with significant speed boosts to the jailbreaking process.
Categories: Geek

Pagebar lets you customize how your Home screen’s page indicator looks

iDownloadBlog - 6 hours 6 min ago

The Home screen's page dots have remained mostly unchanged for a while now, but this tweak gives you more themability over the page indicator.
Categories: Geek

Unlock true browsing privacy with 2 years of Windscribe VPN, now $44

iDownloadBlog - 6 hours 36 min ago

With Windscribe VPN, you’ll be able to protect your most sensitive information while anonymously browsing the web on any of your devices.
Categories: Geek

Huawei Has Now Been Cut Off By the SD Association, Wi-Fi Alliance

Slashdot - 8 hours 6 min ago
Both the SD Association and Wi-Fi Alliance have cut ties with Huawei following President Trump's executive order barring companies from doing business with the Chinese company. PhoneDog reports: First up, Huawei has been removed the from the SD Association, a non-profit group that sets the standards for SD and microSD cards. Huawei's name has been removed from the organization's website, and the SD Association confirmed to Android Authority that it's complying with the recent executive order that placed Huawei on the Entity List. This news won't affect existing Huawei phones' ability to accept microSD cards, but the company declined to comment on the effect that it'll have on future models. It likely means that future Huawei devices won't be able to use microSD cards. Huawei does have its own Nano Memory Card format that it can use in its smartphones, though. Meanwhile, the Wi-Fi Alliance has confirmed to Nikkei that it's "temporarily restricted" Huawei's participation in its activities. "Huawei values its relationships with all partners and associations around the world and understands the difficult situation they are in," Huawei said in response to this news. "We are hopeful this situation will be resolved and are working to find the best solution." Google and ARM also recently stopped working with Huawei. Earlier this week, ARM told staff it must suspend business with the company. Google also suspended business with Huawei that requires the transfer of hardware and software products, except those covered by open source licenses.

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'Phenomenal' 2,300-Year-Old Bark Shield Found In Leicestershire

Slashdot - 11 hours 6 min ago
pgmrdlm shares a report from The Guardian: An "astonishing and unparalleled" 2,300-year-old shield made of tree bark has been discovered in Leicestershire, the only example of its kind ever found in Europe. The shield was discovered in 2015 by archaeologists from the University of Leicester Archaeological Service in a site close to the River Soar. Organic objects from the period very rarely survive, but the shield was preserved in waterlogged soil and may have been deposited in a water-filled pit, according to Matt Beamish, the lead archaeologist for the service. Bark shields of the period were entirely unknown in the northern hemisphere, he told the Guardian, and the assumption was that the material may have been too flimsy for use in war. However experiments to remake the weapon in alder and willow showed the 3mm-thick shield would have been tough enough for battle but incredibly light. It was likely that, contrary to assumptions, similar weapons were widespread, Beamish said. The shield is made from green bark that has been stiffened with internal wooden laths, described by Beamish as "like a whalebone corset of split hardwood," and surrounded by a rim of hazel, with a twisted willow boss. The malleable green wood would then tighten as it dried, giving the shield its strength and forming the rounded rectangles into a slightly "waisted" shape, like a subtle figure of eight. The University of York and University of Leicester have both released statements on the discovery.

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Parents Are Spending Thousands On YouTube Camps That Teach Kids How To Be Famous

Slashdot - Fri, 05/24/2019 - 23:30
An anonymous reader quotes a report from the Daily Dot: Various YouTube summer camps have begun launching across the nation, designed to turn regular elementary and middle-school-aged children into bonfire internet sensations. Per a recent report from the Wall Street Journal, parents are spending nearly $1,000 dollars a week for their children to learn how to create branded social media-related content. Though YouTube is not affiliated with or in any communication with any summer program, such camps are on the rise, and parents with means have made them a thing. One summer camp gaining traction is YouTube STAR Creator Studio. Located in Culver City, California, its website states that it "branches out from traditional storytelling to how to create the fun and hilarious content that kids love to watch." The camp is designed for those in first through sixth grade, according to the website, and charges $375 dollars a week. Another prominent company is Level Up, which, according to the organization, became the first company in North America to offer YouTube classes and camps when it opened five years ago. Level Up takes an educational approach toward the platform to attract kids who "want to learn how to create an awesome YouTube channel," and promises that the class will give students the "skills to create engaging videos." The topics covered in Level Up's the summer camp range from learning how to interview people, draft storyboard ideas, and source and sync audio files. "[At our program] younger students are only able to use their parents' accounts," Level Up Founder and CEO Jeff Hughes said. "We work hard to protect the child's and parent's privacy. All of the channels and videos are set as private. All comments are disabled for safety. In addition, we have some parents who want their children to learn the skills but don't want their videos posted yet. In that case, we go through the entire creation process with the exception of uploading. We store them on a thumb drive or Google drive for the parents to bring home."

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