Education marking

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“Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.”

– Albert Einstein

in-our-education-system-know-your-strengths

I won’t lie, I have quoted this to people who weren’t doing well for school however I think its a pretty big load of bull crap. Yes, its true, some people have talents in different areas however honestly I think the school system returns a very good representation of everyones capability. Some people are better at logic subjects, Math, Physics, Chem, etc. Others are better at the vaguer, ‘justify yourself and win’ subjects such as English, Multimedia, Art and History.

For a good idea of how ‘smart’ someone is, the best way to go about it is to let them choose the topics in which they do well in and enjoy, teach them help them learn themselves and then test to see how much they understand and retain in comparison to the rest of the world. I couldn’t think of a fairer way to test people. There are some subjects that are often required, such as math and english. Some people completely suck at those subjects, just are totally crap with them. I am one of those people, math comes second nature to me however english is a really hard slog, lessons seam to drag on for hours and I put in hours of work to get less then average results. It sucks because english is a compulsory subject for me to do, however I don’t consider this a bad thing. English is the language my country speaks, most likely all verbal communication I do for the rest of my life (well until china takes over the world at least) will be done in english, I need it, I’m bad at it so I get bad marks for it. Simple.

I do not see how that is unfair, or “judging a fish by its ability to climb a tree” It’s much closer to judging a fish on its ability to swim, a fish that cant swim well. Of course my other strengths are also taken in, I can do math with my eyes shut, and I do fairly well in sciences.

If someone picks subjects they consider themselves to be best at and ends up with a bad result then they either do not understand as much as most people or they didn’t put in effort, either way this is a valid time to give a bad mark, if this is being used to get into a University/Collage course or looking for employment then of course an accurate representation of what the student is capable of is required. School marks are accurate representations, the school system is not as flawed as people claim (its not perfect, I know, there are some major poo poos in there) but school does exactly what it is supposed to do, and gives you a mark which shows exactly how well you went. This fish tree thing is total crap.

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QR codes

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Preface: I have left QR codes with a link to this article in random public places as a test to see if people do infact scan random codes, if you are here as a result of scanning a code, I am sorry if I offend you in any point of the article (Also this kinda proves a point you have no idea what you’re visiting when you scan a code)

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So this morning I saw a poster, with basically a title and a QR code. This is possibly the worst marketing since Buried in Verona’s Facebook page (Honestly, I know about your ‘new’ single I am Hate, It’s been out for 18 months now stop spamming me) But this poster, really, do you expect me to stop, astounded by your generic title, pull out my phone, download a QR code reader (does anyone actually keep those apps?) and scan your code just to get a link to your website, which is probably not mobile ready, and would have taken half the time to just type in the damn URL, in the end I don’t want your extra absorbent tampons, I am a teenage boy I just had no idea what I was scanning because your freaking poster had no freaking information in it about your freaking product.

Ok, calmer now.. sorry about that. All that goes through my head every time I see your poster with a large QR code on it, stop doing it, They have their uses, giving me a 10 character url is not one of them.

Let me list some real and incredibly stupid uses for QR codes I have seen

  • All posters and advertisements
  • The side of coffee cups (to show give a link to their website, why do they even need your website idiots)
  • Art assignments (literally paintings with QR codes next to them, just print the bloody information)
  • Product boxes (really? What information do you need to give me which you could write on the box)
  • The side of a freaking racecar, it is going 300km/h how is anyone meant to scan that?

There are actually good uses for QR codes, they aren’t always crappy (however they are most of the time) I have seen some excellent uses for these things. I think one of the best was a digital coffee stamp app, you know those systems where you buy 10 coffees and get a free one? Like with the cards and little stamps? Well a digital version of them, it was a brilliant idea. Basicly you downloaded this app, which worked for multiple coffee shops (I love it when the world does things right).

When you bought a coffee you simply opened this app, which opened directly to a scanner, scanned the code on the cup (individual for each cup) and your free coffee was counted, when you had earn’t your free coffee redeeming it was as simple as showing the person serving you the code given back from the app, which they mark off and you get a free drink. This was brilliant, a use of a QR code which actually simplified a general task.

Another technology with such potential, being used for all the wrong reasons and making life harder rather then simpler. PS if you came here via a link you scanned with your phone I take back everything I said, maybe people do actually take the time to do these. However I don’t recommend littering the world with QR codes to your website a valid method of advertising.

If you would like detail on how QR codes actually work, or if I haven’t convinced you how stupid they are most of the time check this post out http://gizmodo.com/5969312/how-qr-codes-work-and-why-they-suck-so-hard

Edit: I have forgotten a major use for these things, sending URL’s and app download links to mobile phones. This is a brilliant use, I have nothing against that, however I generally still just iMessage myself the link (someone really should create some sort of really easy method of sending links to phones)

Vegan

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(Disclaimer: Things I wish I could say)

I’d like to make my own dish on the menu instead

“—You’re vegan aren’t you”

“Yes..”

I’d recommend the vegan omelet, which has no eggs, cheese or milk, all baked in a tray. So basically a hot tray.

Instagram #notspam

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InstagramNotSpamEveryone quickly! repost this image with #notspam. Instagram is taking down spam and bot accounts but this will tell them that you are not spam and they will not delete your account.

Ok people it’s time to stop being stupid, over the past 48 hours this image has been bouncing around Instagram. People are genuinely believing that their account will be deleted if they do not repost an image with a hashtag.

Firstly check the actual privacy policy on the actual Instagram side, not only is this “Important update” not anywhere to be found but the thing hasn’t been changed in months! Now i’m not saying that Instagram are not culling spam accounts, of course they do and its fairy safe to say they have been for a long time.

From their terms of use

“You must not create accounts with the Service through unauthorized means, including but not limited to, by using an automated device, script, bot, spider, crawler or scraper. “

This is totally fair enough and quite simple, bots and spam Instagram accounts are a violation of their terms, as a result they reserve the right to close the account.

Violation of these Terms of Use may, in Instagram’s sole discretion, result in termination of your Instagram account. You understand and agree that Instagram cannot and will not be responsible for the Content posted on the Service and you use the Service at your own risk. If you violate the letter or spirit of these Terms of Use, or otherwise create risk or possible legal exposure for Instagram, we can stop providing all or part of the Service to you.

So here, clearly Instagram say themselves they they may delete bots and spam accounts however these accounts would be detected by complicated, very clever computer algorithms which are able detect common spam behaviour such as posting close to exactly on the minuet (obviously timer has been used), frequent posting of flyer style images and using many like fishing hashtags (it seems every 14 year old girl also falls under all the behavioural characteristics of a spamming computer).

Finally use some common sense people, why would posting to #notspam mean you aren’t a bot if this was real all the spammers would just post the same image and be ‘safe’.

Stupid people make me cry.

Epson Printers (please don’t sue me)

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Ok Epson. We really did have a good thing going.
Your 3200 series printer has served me well in the previous months, I like your typeface, and more importantly, that Honda NSX you guys sponsored in the 2008 Japanese Super GT Championship looked amazing.

But last night, that all changed.
This is the situation;
It’s 3am. A major chemistry assignment is due in approximately 6 hours time. I’m sleep deprived, mixing coffee with Red Bull, and desperately trying to avoid procrastination.

I finish the assignment. It’s done. All that’s left is to print.
This is where the problem starts.
The printer spits out a single page, before reporting a “Paper Jam”, immediately halting the print process. Fair enough.
However, on closer inspection, it become clear that there is no paper jam. The paper is loaded in the tray as per usual.

Forty Five minutes.
It took me forty five minutes of screaming at the printer, opening and closing the printer options panel, and staring at the distinct lack of a paper jam. I’ll admit, this was hard to deal with, but eventually, it roared back to life. The assignment was back on track.
But no.
As the final page spewed into the document tray, one thing became clear.
There was no ink.
Shit.

After searching desperately through drawers of crap, and perhaps sobbing a little, more cartridges were found, Hallelujah. The torture was over.

No it wasn’t. My technical understanding of printers is limited, so bear with me. As I tried to replace the cartridge, certain that victory was near, came a whirring noise. You know the thing that holds the cartridge? Yeah. It came to life, and suddenly decided to move to the left at like 800 miles an hour. This sudden movement caused a sharp edge of the holder to run against the palm of my hand, creating a cut, which proceeded to bleed absolutely everywhere, including in my tea. My freaking tea.

As the clock ticked past 4am, muffled sobs could be heard, and a figure could be seen curled into the fetal position, seeking refuge under a desk.

In summary, Epson printers singled handedly ruined my life, in the space of about two hours. I vow not to use any of their products ever again until at least this time tomorrow.

Moral of the story:
The assignment was meant to be submitted electronically, and I am the purest form of stupidity.

Eat a dick Evernote (Also I love you)

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I use Evernote to sync all my notes between my laptop, phone, home computer and work computer. It’s brilliant and works flawlessly to hold all my notes and files, from school work to work presentations and shopping lists.

So yesterday I got home, plugged in my 11″ Macbook Air to charge and sat at my desk with my Hackintosh ready to get some assignments done. I open Evernote and the documents I was working on with my laptop are sitting there ready to go. I start working on my assignment, of course 2 minuets in the program crashes, not a problem, opened it back up. Only to be presented with a message telling me Evernote has updated and all my notes must be updated to be compatible with the new version, not a problem and I let it go ahead and update my notes.

While this was happening I realised that I had all automatic updates disabled (Being a Hackintosh I often have to avoid updates to keep the machine running) I checked the App store and sure enough there hasn’t been an update released in months and I was already running the latest version.

When my notes had finished converting (It took a few minuets, I have gigabytes worth and several thousand notes) everything seamed to be running fine, again until about 2 minuets in when the program displayed the error

“An internal database error has occurred that prevents Evernote from functioning properly. If the problem persists, please contact Evernote Support.”

I don’t have a clue what happened here but within 20 seconds of this error the program quit unexpectedly, not saving my work (which is very unlike Evernote, it seams to autosave every 0.4325 seconds. I’ve never lost work before)

I tried again several times, all with the exact same error followed by crash. Freaking annoying. I had an assignment due the next day which I couldn’t access and possibly should have done earlier but hey does anyone actually do assignments at any time other then the night before?

I gave up and went to go work on this on my laptop. The exact same thing happend; Crash, update notes, internal database error and constant crashes. My first thought was that there was an update pushed directly to the program that was causing the issue however after some googling I discovered.. absolutely nothing at all, it seamed no one was having the same error in the same context, there wasn’t a site about the error that was changed within the last 2 months.

I won’t keep you in tension, I did end up getting my assignment finished by logging into the Evernote web app (No idea why I didn’t think of this in the first place) and downloading a copy to work with from there. I’m assuming there was a corrupted file that somehow got synced to the other computer, causing them both to crash.

I fixed the macbook simply by deleting all the local files and reinstalling Evernote from the disk image on their website (I had the app store version before this) after leaving the computer for a few hours to download all my notes again (Netflix time) everything was working again and seems to be working correctly now.

In short Evernote failed me when I needed it most and although I love the service more then most people I they made a mistake once and I refuse to forgive them for that.

Roasting Nerd & Useless Analogy

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so i like coffee and by when i say that i mean i spend too much time researching nerdy science crap on it.

So if you are still reading you have some interest in roasting or coffee to a degree (pun intended).

Through being in the industry the common hipster trend is to offer lightly roasted single origins which I’m all for. Now certain places are restricting those to espresso only.

I normally enjoy drinking only espresso but how as an industry are we supposed to bring in consumers if we force them to either espresso single origins or boring house blend on milk only. To me this is just a reversal movement as it pushes people away from trying new stuff.

i will now incorporate a mildly politically incorrect analogy. I give you two options: a test drive in a Lamborghini or in a prius. the catch :O.
If you go in the Lamborghini nickleback will be playing in the car and the Greens will be narrating their tree policies to you.

unless you like nickleback in which case i cant help you my point should be as clear as mud through my disjointed metaphor. In conclusion drink tea…