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A Beginner's Guide To Programming With Swift

Half-pint HAL Re:Prerequisites (68 comments)

and most indy devs won't throw out a grand for a machine with no guaranteed payback.

Good. With 1.3 million apps in the Apple App Store, there's enough already. Cutting out people who by their choice of PC show themselves to be less aware of good design is no bad thing.

That, mate, is what we call "bigotry". There are many factors influencing choice of development machine. For the dev with a family, that includes paying for the kids' clothes.

13 hours ago
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A Beginner's Guide To Programming With Swift

Half-pint HAL Re:Prerequisites (68 comments)

I don't buy that logic. Some people who go to conferences will be posers who are still playing at being devs, but will never release a product.

13 hours ago
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Europeans Came From Three Ancestry Groupings

Half-pint HAL Re:Fair and darker skin (81 comments)

Horde nuts (like a squirrel) then throw a few spears at deer and geese. I don't see the problem.

yesterday
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Europeans Came From Three Ancestry Groupings

Half-pint HAL Re:Not True, I Saw It Online: (81 comments)

There's no measurable genetic differences. There's only one race: the human race, and that's all that ever was and ever will be.

Nope, there's no race... because it's not a competition.

yesterday
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Europeans Came From Three Ancestry Groupings

Half-pint HAL Re:French are from (81 comments)

Aliens.

Great film. Well written, and very cleverly avoided the trap many monster-stalker sequels fall into whereby they attempt to be monster-stalker again when the monster's already been seen. The switch to "monster horde" was well judged and well executed.

yesterday
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Europeans Came From Three Ancestry Groupings

Half-pint HAL Re:Didn't we already know this? (81 comments)

You can imagine 10 different sects popping up with different versions of the dietary rules. The ones that happened to align with health and reduced death would have an evolutionary advantage, and ultimately become dominant.

That's possible, but it involves a very weird assumption: that human intelligence only evolved about 2000 years ago, and before that we were utterly moronic.

Dangerous foods become painfully obvious painfully quickly. Nowadays we may have a sophisticated understanding of why they are dangerous, but "Montezuma is unhappy you ate the day old prawn" is still a theory based on the observation of the guy doubling over and vomiting his guts up.

Some of the weirder laws are clearly born out of coincidence, the same as any other superstition. But that doesn't mean that the ban on pork isn't down to seeing what pig-borne diseases can do to humans.

yesterday
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A Beginner's Guide To Programming With Swift

Half-pint HAL Re:Prerequisites (68 comments)

Well here's a question for you then... do most indy devs go to indy dev conferences? I've never been to one....

yesterday
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A Beginner's Guide To Programming With Swift

Half-pint HAL Re:Prerequisites (68 comments)

"You need a Mac that can run OS X Mavericks"

A key takeaway:No wonder Android has more Apps(sic) than iOS after starting from behind.

Because your dev machine for this new language can't be more then 6 years old? Yeah, sure.

No, because your dev machine for this new language has to run a particular operating system, and most indy devs won't throw out a grand for a machine with no guaranteed payback.

2 days ago
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The MOOC Revolution That Wasn't

Half-pint HAL Re:MOOC is designed like a physical classroom (182 comments)

Nope. Homework is unsupervised work, and the reason for it in traditional education is that teacher time is a limited resource. When your "teacher" is an algorithm, you have no excuse not to have all work supervised. Except laziness... on the part of the course writer.

about a week ago
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The MOOC Revolution That Wasn't

Half-pint HAL Re:That hundreds of thousands of wins (182 comments)

Does it have a major effect in the material nature of our existence? No? Then it's not revolutionary.

about a week ago
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The MOOC Revolution That Wasn't

Half-pint HAL Re:MOOC is designed like a physical classroom (182 comments)

We want courses designed for casual learning and that means flexible hours, fewer homework assignments.

That's why a online class will never educate anyone.

You're assuming he's being lazy, rather than analysing his point. The main promise of internet learning was supposed to be accessibility in terms of where you want and when you want. The timetable in MOOCs is often just too rigid, and if you've got something big on at work, you might just need to be able to tune out for two weeks.

about a week ago
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The MOOC Revolution That Wasn't

Half-pint HAL Re:Slashvertisement (182 comments)

They get "achievements" for lots of things like taking classes, doing tests to make sure they understand the material, etc. The education-as-a-game incentive system is a fun way to encourage continuing education.

Nah. If you need to gamify then the material and methods are not intrinsically stimulating. You learn by stimulation. Little badges may encourage you to continue using the platform, but they rarely encourage learning. None of the MOOCs I've seen use any of the potential of computing to personalise the learning process - for example, Udacity shows you the same "feedback" video after a "quiz" regardless of the answer you choose.

What are you even talking about? Why are you dissing ANY free program for people to educate themselves? If even ONE person did it, it is not a failure. The fact that thousand of self-motivated, self-paced individuals take advantage of world-class education systems, all for free-- it's by definition a success.

If its goal is to educate one person, and it educates one person, it has not failed. If its goal is to provide universal university level education, it has failed.

about a week ago
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The MOOC Revolution That Wasn't

Half-pint HAL Re: hahaaa.... (182 comments)

The history of education consists of many long traditions of direct interaction between teacher and student (and to a lesser extent between students). MOOCs undermine that, so really it would be more surprising if in any permutation they did work for any more than the small minority of autodidacts.

I'm not sure, but I think the potential is there. The problem with MOOCs is that no-one ever lived up to one of the big promises: improvement. As a teacher, if I deliver the same lesson repeatedly, I will try to improve it each time based on student difficulties in the previous session. I try to identify what gap in knowledge caused the student to fail, and take pre-emptive steps to fill that gap for future students. In some places, I've had 3 students in a class, in some places almost 30. Some university lecturers might have 100 or more. And after each cohort, the lesson improves. But MOOCs often take in a cohort of thousands, deliver an identical course to all of them, and then what...? Many courses only run once. No lessons learned. Ones that repeat may not change, and even if they do, there's not enough contact to determine whether the change is for the better... until after the course.

The revolution requires a change of mindset. Small cohorts and continual improvement. Run the course twice a month and you'll get more feedback and revision within 1 month than a university lecturer might get in 24 years of teaching the same course. This isn't cheap, which is why the free MOOC model is nonsense. Instead, free courses have to be nothing more than "Beta tests" of a future commercial course. 1 year of free with massive dev investment with the aim of selling the course for credit for five-ten years. Ideally it would be sold across institutions rather than just used in a single place.

about a week ago
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Early Reviews of Destiny: Unfulfilled Potential

Half-pint HAL Re:"console shooter" (93 comments)

Light guns only work on progressive-scan screens (CRTs and the like). They track the position by timing when the scan line moves in front of the point of focus to determine where it's pointing. This is why firing the gun led to the whole screen flashing - it needed the increased brightness to detect the scan beam.

about a week ago
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Researchers Working On Crystallizing Light

Half-pint HAL Re:Sounds familiar (129 comments)

Quoting what is presumably a Star Trek reference at someone who thinks Star Trek is cheap pulp fiction doesn't discourage the idea that Star Trek fans are cult-like....

about a week ago
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Massive Study Searching For Genes Behind Intelligence Finds Little

Half-pint HAL Re:In other words nobody is born smart (269 comments)

Of course intelligence exists. Differences in intelligence are detectable, even if only in a fuzzy, uncertain way. The point is that in the context in question -- the search for genetic indicators -- there is no detectable correlation. If there's no detectable correlation, the effect, if it exists is too small to worry about.

about a week ago
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Massive Study Searching For Genes Behind Intelligence Finds Little

Half-pint HAL Re:Great news (269 comments)

That's fine, on an individual scale, but at the level of society it's not visible.

about a week ago
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Researchers Working On Crystallizing Light

Half-pint HAL First commercial application... (129 comments)

Oil of Olay now comes with added liquid light complex to give your skin a warm glow.

about two weeks ago
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Researchers Working On Crystallizing Light

Half-pint HAL Re:Sounds familiar (129 comments)

Maybe it's the photons that bounce off the photons that you see? And maybe the force-field is there to stop those photons getting knocked out of place by every stray photon? Or maybe the Star Trek series is just cheap pulp that doesn't deserve the huge cult-like following it has....

about two weeks ago

Submissions

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Half-pint HAL Half-pint HAL writes  |  more than 7 years ago

Half-pint HAL (718102) writes "From Linutop.com:
Linutop is a Linux-based diskless computer. It offers a completely silent, low-power operation in an extremely small package. Its main purpose is to surf the Internet.
With Abiword, Firefox, GAIM, Totem media player and Evince PDF Reader, they expect to be able to sell the units to libraries and net cafes, and to developers of custom displays/interactive demos. No pricing information is on the website, but The Register reports a price of "280 ($368/£190)"."
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Half-pint HAL Half-pint HAL writes  |  more than 6 years ago

Half-pint HAL (718102) writes "The Register reports that a mobile software company has been granted a patent on customised dynamic content on mobile phones. From the article:
UK patent GB2408658 talks a great deal about notifying client devices using a special signal, such as an SMS, which then triggers the client to fetch information from a server using an HTTP connection — in exactly the same way as an MMS message. But the novel component of this invention is that when the client application contacts the server (having received the specially formatted SMS) the server puts together a package containing only the latest and most pertinent content for that particular user. This just-in-time generated package is then downloaded by the client.
Patent GB2408658 seems somewhat confused. How it works: user recieves notification of new content; user follows link to retrieve content; page is generated on-the-fly accounting for any changes (eg in sports scores) subsequent to the original notification. So is this little more than a patent on a link to a dynamic webpage? Where's the difference between this and — for example — an online wedding list?"

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