Is There a New Geek Anti-Intellectualism?
"College is about training people so they can do a job."
This is why people start arguing that college is a waste of time. Because, this is WRONG.
Vocational schools are about job training. Working on practical projects (often part of college courses) is about job training. Internships are about job training.
College is about learning how to learn. Yes, a lot of what you need to know to be a good programmer can be learned without ever setting foot inside a classroom. A good college degree in computer science IS NOT about learning to be a programmer. This is like studying mechanical engineering because you want to be a mechanic.
People who are hard workers tend to be good at their specific job whether or not they went to college, but college forces you to study things you might not study on your own (why would I study Eastern Religions if all I want to do is write software!?) and THIS IS A GOOD THING! It makes you more adaptable. It's why you're degree holding boss is your boss, even though you can code circles around him.
Yes, many people throw themselves into too much debt because they feel obligated to go to college, when what they really want is vocational training and that's where I agree that college isn't for everyone (no matter how smart you are). But most of the time the people who say that "College is a waste of time" either lucked out and got into a position that they want to stay in forever on their own or wasted their time in college.
Researcher Builds Machines That Daydream
There's a common pitfall to the perceived advancement of AI... often once things work well, it's no longer considered AI. Don't pretend that machine translating isn't significantly better than it was in the '50s (or hell, even 10 years ago... think old Babble Fish compared to Google Translate today. Not perfect, but better.) Or recommender systems... I don't think Amazon has been pouring money into it's recommendation systems just for the academic masturbation of it. These are not simple heuristics (some systems take advantage of heuristics as part of the decision making process, but to simplify the process down to just heuristics shows a serious lack of understanding about the field).
No most consumer electronics don't make use of artificial intelligence like you've seen in movies. Just because radiation doesn't create Godzilla in real life, doesn't mean Marie Curie didn't do anything worthwhile.
The Advent of Religious Search Engines
Of course Dawkin's perfect Victorian china set isn't in orbit between the sun and the earth! Russell's teapot crashed into it! (stuff was made much more durably back then)
Hawking Picks Physics Over God For Big Bang
I really wish I had some mod points. This is spot on!
Why Are Indian Kids So Good At Spelling?
I would say that even if another nation has a higher average intelligence/academic accomplishment (how ever you want to measure that), the intellectually elite (those people who blow the bell curve and make all the "smart" kids feel dumb) in the US are just as smart at the elite in India, Japan, China, wherever.
The accomplishments you mentioned come from a relative handful of brilliant people. The US does have good academic resources available to those who want them and has a lot of wealth available for technology, research, and businesses to turn that intelligence into technology. I think that the US also encourages more "adventurous" pursuits of success which results in higher highs and lower lows for our great minds.
P.S. I now blame my (white) parents for the number of times I had to use spell check in this post.
Demo of Laptop/Tabletop Hybrid UI
Interesting fact: not all technology bursts into the world from Steve Jobs womb, polished by Jonathan Ives. Proof of concepts are ugly, slow, and clunky, but often they... provide proof that a concept can exist. This seems like a cool idea, but it's really not the job of these scientists to find a marketable use for it. Maybe it has a future, maybe it doesn't, honestly, who cares at this point! It's cool to see people trying things in new ways. Remember, the first mouse was carved out of a block of wood. Most people probably would have thought that was ugly, clunky, and useless too.
"Logan's Run" Syndrome In Programming
Let's face it, a lot of the code being written doesn't require 20ish years of programming experience to do correctly. Obviously, there are exceptions, but more often than not there are other aspects of software development that benefit more from that much time in the industry than simply doing all the code monkey work. If you're being paid the type of salary you should be paid after being in the industry that long, employers are going to want to get something out of you that they can't get out of someone with much less experience.
So, if you want to be writing code at 40, be able to write code that (most) people who are 20 or 30 aren't able to or be willing to work for the same salary you did at 20 or 30. It's really as simple as that.
Google To End Support For IE6
I built this a little while ago, just for fun. Check it out in IE and in other browsers (FF, Safari, Chrome, etc)
Extinct Ibex Resurrected By Cloning
1 dinosaur, please!
MIT Grad To Make Digital "SixthSense" Open Source
This seems like the equivalent of making a big deal about the fact that Red Hat Linux cannot be worn on your head. You're focusing too much on the name (which is just a name used to draw attention to the "product") and ignoring a much more interesting discussion about cool technology. The number of senses that humans (or any other animals) have really isn't relevant to this device.
Cursive Writing Is a Fading Skill — Does It Matter?
Want to know the best way to discourage kids from engaging in practice and discipline? Try to make them do repetitive tasks to develop a skill that even a 3rd grader recognizes as archaic and inconsequential when compared to other subjects. I also remembered being annoyed that I was getting Cs in Handwriting while getting As in the other subjects (obviously your grades in 3rd/4th grade don't matter not, but at the time it was important to me).
Schooling, Homeschooling, and Now, "Unschooling"
This idea works great in a void. But unfortunately Child A will never meet the requirements to get into college and will have a very hard time getting that engineering job and will become incredibly frustrated by watching his intellectual inferiors get better opportunities to work with interesting systems just because they they found a way to work in a less than ideal system.
Digsby IM Client Quietly Installs Badware
I think this is a great idea. Make it transparent and let all their users know whats going on (Didsby did a great job with this and their alert system is simple enough for anybody to notice). I don't expect a company to just GIVE me software, if they don't want. They have to pay their developers, so they need revenue. I would MUCH rather have my free apps supported by use of my unused processing power than by ads (which I imagine will be harder and harder to pull revenue from in the future).
As long as it's transparent this seems like a good idea.
New Company Seeks to Bring Semantic Context To Numbers
I started a small project for something similar to this. It's called .digits and the idea is that every number is the answer to something. It's sort of a fun idea and people can submit new facts, check it out: digits.dinosaurseateverybody.com
The Rise of the Digital Nomad
This is certainly true. If 100% of what you do can be done remotely, then there is nothing stopping your employer from outsourcing your job to a cheaper worker in India. But if you can do 80-95% of what you do remotely, but ALSO be able to come into the office every once in a while for a full team face to face, or visit a client if need be (without the cost of a plane ticket to and from India), then this really is a good value. Even if you're not in the office, a good manager knows the difference between an employee who's 50 miles away and one who's 5000.
YouTube Phasing Out Support For IE6
I'm sure in 2001 that hamburger was fine. 8 years later, if it's still around, it's probably growing mold and smells like urine. It might be time to get a new hamburger...errr.... browser!
Does the Linux Desktop Innovate Too Much?
This is totally fine. Volunteer developers can care about whoever they want. But just don't complain when the majority of the population has no desire to use software that wasn't built with them in mind.
Making a Child Locating System
I remember when I was in first grade I got on the wrong bus and ended up at the bus garage at the end of the line. This was probably about 20 years ago when subdermal GPS was just a twinkle in some obsessive parent's eye. Getting a whole bunch of kids in one place is like herding LOLcats, it's tricky and children are slippery.
You know what happened? I was confused for a while, then someone drove me back to school. I don't remember how it all played out but I must have gotten home eventually because I remember finishing 1st grad. That was it. End of story. Stuff like this happens and it's not the end of the world. And I remember it was kind of interesting as a little kid to see where all the buses when after they were done dropping kids off!
Parents, think about the most interesting memories of your childhood. I bet a lot of them involve doing things your parents didn't know about. RAISE YOUR KIDS TO KNOW WHICH MISTAKES ARE OK TO MAKE!
Rumors Flying About New iPhone Capabilities
You're right, Apple should have probably learned their lesson about taking their time and getting features correct rather than trying to have the most features on the block after the whole iPod thing blew up in their faces.
"No wireless. Less space than a Nomad. Lame." (2001)
Mozilla Preparing To Scrap Tabbed Browsing?
Innovation makes science great. Marketing makes technology great.
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