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The Brief Rise and Long Fall of Russia's Robot Tank

RobertinXinyang Re:Not a Bolo? (79 comments)

The reference was to the Bolo was this on (from Wiipedia) "A Bolo is a fictional type of artificially intelligent superheavy tank. They were first imagined by Keith Laumer, and have since been featured in science fiction novels and short story anthologies by him and others."

I doubt that the person I was responding to was thinking of the Douglas B-18 "Bolo" medium bomber.

about 7 months ago
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The Brief Rise and Long Fall of Russia's Robot Tank

RobertinXinyang Re:Not a Bolo? (79 comments)

Somehow I doubt that the T-26 Teletank was self aware.

about 7 months ago
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A Tech Entrepreneur's Guide To Visiting Shenzhen

RobertinXinyang Dont bother (49 comments)

I live in China and I have compared prices in China with the US. For almost any consumer electronic good, the prices are higher in China. There is a reason that the Chinese go on shopping sprees when they go to the US. The only way you can get prices that beat US prices of to get something several generations old or accept significantly lower quality. It does not matter if the product is made in China, it is more expensive in China.

It is often cheaper to purchase made in China goods online and have them shipped to China.

about 7 months ago
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College Board To Rethink the SAT, Partner With Khan Academy

RobertinXinyang Re:nice... (134 comments)

From another Gen X'er, just face it, we're screwed. By the time the boomers die (because a small number of them cashed in on dismantling the pensions; so no one can afford to retire) employers will be wanting young millennials, fresh out of college.

about 7 months ago
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Should programming be a required curriculum in public schools?

RobertinXinyang Re:Better question, before or after algebra (313 comments)

I disagree. Many people understand the concept of variables long before their introduction to Algebra.

I remember Algebra being a course about factoring and moving variables within the equation. I am not going to deny that the skills gained in these exercises are useful; but, they should not be a barrier.

I remember being in High School and not being permitted to take a computer class because I was not in Calculus. This didn't motivate me to study Calculus; further, computer classes should not be used as a carrot for some other part of the curriculum. They should be used through the educational process where appropriate (I really cannot believe we are going back to this discussion after thirty years).

about 7 months ago
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Oklahoma Schools Required To Teach Students Personal Finance

RobertinXinyang Re:Good (304 comments)

No, there was working at various jobs along the way. First, after my BA I returned to the industry I had been in, of course I had a BA a that point instead of just a Community College technical certificate, so I was paid less than I had been making before.

Then I did some "professional" jobs that paid slightly more; but are much less secure. After getting laid off twice I returned to the original plan and finished my MBA. Total process, about ten years.

I did have a clear plan when I started the process. I would still love to do it. However, I now realize the jobs are just not there. I wanted to be a teacher (which is why I am in China, I teach at, and direct, a small high-school). I chose the MBA because after talking to community college instructors and hiring personnel I saw the MBA as being the most versatile. I wanted to teach at the community college level and an MBA can teach in several departments.

Every summer I do come back to the states to apply for jobs; but the only jobs available pay too low (and yes, it kills my years savings each time). In the last two years the only offers I have gotten were as a telemarketer ($10/hr), an entry level security guard and a dishwasher (both about 9/hr). Yes, I spend my spare time filling out applications, one is open on my computer in another tab right now. One problem with applying in America is that American employers will not skype interview. As such an applicant must have the money, and time, to travel to the interview and often to several other pre-offer meetings or activities. That puts a lot of jobs out of my price-range.

about 7 months ago
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Oklahoma Schools Required To Teach Students Personal Finance

RobertinXinyang Re:Good (304 comments)

I am in that program. I made the mistake of getting an MBA at a state college. I kid you not, after finishing my College degrees, which took about ten years, I make less in nominal, let alone real, dollars, than I made before I went to college.

Yes, I got fooled.

about 7 months ago
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Former Second Largest Linux Distributor Red Flag Software Has Shut Down

RobertinXinyang Re:Mismanagement, you say... (92 comments)

And those State Owned Enterprises create yet another powerful faction in the government that make it even harder to direct the country. The SOEs have their own agendas that often differ from that of the central party leadership.

Some online sources to make a habit of reading, that will improve your understanding of the real issues in China are, of course, The Economist and China daily; but I would add http://english.caixin.com/ I will add that I have years of China experience that I suspect you lack. I see many efforts to grasp power, such as the current anti-corruption campaign. It looks monolithic form the outside; but, unlike Americans and western Europeans, the Chinese have no culture of being law abiding. They place great value on appearing to be proper. But, appearances and reality are very different, it is a subtle difference that I really did not internalize until several years of China watching..

about 7 months ago
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Former Second Largest Linux Distributor Red Flag Software Has Shut Down

RobertinXinyang Re:What a Joke (92 comments)

Oh, I forgot to mention, qq doesn't work on Linux.

about 7 months ago
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Former Second Largest Linux Distributor Red Flag Software Has Shut Down

RobertinXinyang Re:Mismanagement, you say... (92 comments)

What you forget is that no one wanted it.

Unlike in the US, n China the central government has very little control. As such it had no real way to "push" an OS.

Second, red-flag had very little going for it. It was no cheaper, in fact, when you consider training costs, the cost is higher then XP, which is free in China. Keep in mind, you are in a culture with no meaningful understanding of free other than free beer. Linux is harder to use and there is less (user) software. Linux needs to be configured to individual machines instead of simply 'ghosting' a copy onto a drive and pluging it in as is done with XP (no, it doesn't work well; but it does work).

The only real argument for Linux, to users, is that it is free; but, in China all software is free (just search on baidu). In worst case I can spend real money at a legitimate market and get a copy of XP or office for about $2 USD. The super configuration ability of Linux really isn't true; and where it is all it means is "easy to break and near impossible to ever get working in the first place." We have one guy here in the office using Linux (Ubuntu) but he is using it because his hobby is tinkering with his OS. I gave it a solid two week try; but, i was loosing too much productivity and had to stop once the work load picked back up.

Oh, and the most popular IM program in China QQ does not work on Linux (yes, I know Tencent says it works; but it doesn't and no one can make it work. The instructions on the web are for old versions and no longer work).

about 7 months ago
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Former Second Largest Linux Distributor Red Flag Software Has Shut Down

RobertinXinyang Re:What a Joke (92 comments)

Yes, I have heard of QQ, in fact, it is running on my computer right now. I use it for daily chat with, and to pass files to, co-workers. However, I only ever saw red flag linux once. I was in a shop in Xian and I happened to see ti. i was looking at it because I was so surprised to actually see red flag.

A salesman came over and the first thing he said was "If you buy it we will put windows on it for you." In over eight years in China, that was the only time I ever saw red flag. Everyone uses pirated copies of XP other then the people with Apple. Apple is well liked because of the reality that the Apple has a, near assured, minimum level of quality; whereas the XP boxes are often several generations behind and any part that could be swapped out for something cheaper has been. However, i am not going to pretend that Apple is even near common; but it is seen, unlike red flag.

about 7 months ago
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Ask Slashdot: Is Linux Set To Be PC Gaming's Number Two Platform?

RobertinXinyang Re:Apple doesn't take gaming on computers seriousl (281 comments)

I am a bit of an apple fan, all the way back to using Apple IIs' in High School, and I have to say it, Macs are no good for gaming. Yes, I know there are a few games; but, nothing near the PC quantity.

I do not see that as a big problem, I probably should be reading a book rather than playing a game anyways; and, there are enough games, just not as many. It is just that, contrary to the popular misconception, the apple is much more of a business computer than the PC. No, I am not one of the "rich elite" I am embarrassed to say what I earn, other than I know I would make more if I went back to truck driving. I am also not an overly artsy type; I hold an MBA, not an MFA.

I have to agree with others, the Mac is a well built business machine, if you want to play games, get a pc or a console.

about 8 months ago
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Public Libraries Tinker With Offering Makerspaces

RobertinXinyang This used to be done in H.S Shops in the evenings (90 comments)

In the past High Schools made shop space available in the evenings for evening adult "classes." Classes meant you got access to the shop and whatever advice the shop teachers could give for your project.

In the 70s' my father turned a Fiat 500 into an electric car at Arroyo HS at the after school shop sessions. It involved ganging several motors and buildings a mount, and at the time a relay-relay logic controller. I knew people who spent the evenings at the HS wood shop making furniture.

The idea of a public tinkering space is not new. Further, it creates an innovative atmosphere as groups of tinkering minded people gather together.

about 8 months ago
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Building a Better Bike Helmet Out of Paper

RobertinXinyang Re:Rain (317 comments)

I actually thought about that. However, there are very few cost effective methods of waterproofing paper that work. Think of the waterproof corrugated paper packaging you have seen. It is fine for short exposure; but, it does not hold up to prolonged immersion and exposure.

A bike helmet will sit in puddles; it will spend hours in downpours. If you waterproof for the exposure conditions that bicycle helmets see, at some point it ceases to be paper.

about 9 months ago
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Building a Better Bike Helmet Out of Paper

RobertinXinyang Rain (317 comments)

One word says it all, "rain."

about 9 months ago
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Oregon Signs Up Just 44 People For Obamacare Despite Spending $300 Million

RobertinXinyang Re:Well lucky you (586 comments)

Nonsense, you are an empowered individual. You are able to stand up for yourself and demand a fair compensation for your labor. If it isn't fair then you just need to enter the free market for labor and sell your efforts to a higher bidder. You have the power here, not the weak and besieged corporations. . .

Isn't this what the republican party and its agents have told you when they were convincing you to fear labour unions?

about 10 months ago
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FCC Chair: It's Ok For ISPs To Discriminate Traffic

RobertinXinyang Re:They're already paying (365 comments)

Do you really think Netflix is paying for the proportion of the internet that it uses?

"The report from Sandvine, a company that sells Internet traffic-management systems, finds that Netflix use accounts for 33 percent of all downstream traffic in North America during the peak hours between 9 p.m. and 12 a.m. By contrast, Amazon and Hulu only account for 1.8 percent and 1.4 percent of downstream traffic, respectively." http://news.cnet.com/8301-1023_3-57546405-93/netflix-gobbles-a-third-of-peak-internet-traffic-in-north-america/

Very simply, netflix's business strategy is to shift the cost of business to other users. They are creating a negative externality. Not surprisingly, what results is exactly what economic theory says will happen; more of the good is produced than would be produced if the producer were paying the full costs of production. This effectively limits the potential for competitors to develop and it discourages netflix from pursuing more efficient means of production (more efficient transmission algorithms).

One might make th e"public good" argument about the internet; however, the marginal cost of adding another 'netflix' (a full competitor) would not be 'effectively zero.' thus, large consumers, like netflix can not treat the internet as a public good. Even though a smaller user, whose marginal cost IS effectively zero, can.

about 10 months ago
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Ask Slashdot: Top Black Friday Tech Picks?

RobertinXinyang Re:Ammo (189 comments)

You know, you sound like the kind of high strung nut that should make to choice to not own a gun.

about 10 months ago

Submissions

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A bigger kindle with a bigger price

RobertinXinyang RobertinXinyang writes  |  more than 5 years ago

RobertinXinyang (1001181) writes "The Wall Street Journal www.wsj.com reports that Amazon has released a new, bigger, kindle http://online.wsj.com/article/SB124162110396691937.html

However, even the WSJ has concerns about the price.

Amazon.com Inc. introduced a larger--and more expensive--Kindle electronic reader, and announced deals with major textbook and newspaper publishers as well as universities to expand the market for the device.

The new Kindle DX, which Amazon Chief Executive Jeff Bezos unveiled Wednesday at an event in New York, will cost $489 and begin shipping this summer.

At the $489 price point, it's unclear how much college students and other consumers will embrace the new Kindle. Amazon doesn't release Kindle sales figures, but Citigroup has estimated the current Kindle, which costs $359, will sell roughly one million units this year."
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Textbooks to be distributed on kindle

RobertinXinyang RobertinXinyang writes  |  more than 5 years ago

RobertinXinyang (1001181) writes "The Wall Street Journal www.wsj.com reported that the Kindle would soon be used to distribute text books http://online.wsj.com/article/SB124146996831184563.html

Beginning this fall, some students at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland will be given large-screen Kindles with textbooks for chemistry, computer science and a freshman seminar already installed, said Lev Gonick, the school's chief information officer. The university plans to compare the experiences of students who get the Kindles and those who use traditional textbooks, he said.

However, the last line in the article makes it clear that this may not be best for students

But digitizing academic books could also hurt the thriving market for used textbooks on college campuses."
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Student jailed for 10 months for suing ASUS

RobertinXinyang RobertinXinyang writes  |  more than 5 years ago

RobertinXinyang (1001181) writes "While the initial story is dated October 30th, it has just hit the student newspapers.

A protester interrupted a speech by Intel CEO Paul Otellini at Peking University yesterday, accusing the chip giant of covering up for Taiwan PC maker Asus in consumer rights litigation.

Otellini's speech was disrupted before security guards removed the protester from the conference hall. An Intel spokeperson said the firm respects "everyone's rights to express opinions".

Zhou's friend, Huang Jing, bought a flawed Asus laptop in February, 2006. After sending it to an Asus repair center, she found the CPU was replaced with an "engineering sample" from Intel, which should not sold on the open market, according to the chip giant's policy... Huang and Zhou then demanded $5 million compensation from Asus but were detained later for alleged blackmailing after they threatened to reveal the scandal to the media. (the student news paper, 21st century, adds that the demand for this this high amount of compensation was made at the recommendation of her lawyer. It is unclear if this amount is in USD or RMB).

In 2007, Haidian district procurators dropped the charges against Huang who had been jailed for 10 months, saying "the evidence was insufficient."

Zhou and Huang later informed Intel about the faulty CPU, but got no response. However, in 2006, an Intel public relations manager testified as a witness to support Asus' accusation."

Link to Original Source
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I reviewed a book, now I am in big trouble

RobertinXinyang RobertinXinyang writes  |  more than 6 years ago

RobertinXinyang writes "I wrote a review of a textbook, published in China, that contains full length copies of several movies, including: Ghandi, walk the line, World trade center, Hotel Rwanda, and others. These copies are burnt onto an unlabeled DVD that is included in the book.

In my review I was not positive and expressed concern for what appeared to be plagiarism. I am now being threatened with both civil and criminal action.

Is the inclusion of, several, full length movies within a textbook considered to be fair use?

What should I do to protect myself from the threatened civil and criminal action?"
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Hacking iPhone may be legal, expert says

RobertinXinyang RobertinXinyang writes  |  more than 7 years ago

RobertinXinyang writes ""It's an exception that's never been tested" in the courts, says Timothy Wu, a former telecomm lawyer and professor at Columbia Law School. "The copyright office wanted to say, 'This is for protecting DVDs, not to protect the cell phone industry.'""
Link to Original Source
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Pope: Creation vs. evolution clash an 'absurdity'

RobertinXinyang RobertinXinyang writes  |  more than 7 years ago

RobertinXinyang writes "The Pope has spoken out on both the issue of creation v. evolution and on the issue of the environment. Of course, many slashdot readers are such bigots that thtt will have to watch that their jerking knees do not hit their, foaming with ignorant hate, mouths when the pope is even mentioned; however, the facts are that a lot of people do listed to him. If the number of people who listen to him were taken as a sole concern, his comments are relevant.
"Pope Benedict XVI said the debate raging in some countries — particularly the United States and his native Germany — between creationism and evolution was an "absurdity," saying that evolution can coexist with faith... This clash is an absurdity because on one hand there is much scientific proof in favor of evolution, which appears as a reality that we must see and which enriches our understanding of life and being as such... Benedict also said the human race must listen to "the voice of the Earth" or risk destroying its very existence... We all see that today man can destroy the foundation of his existence, his Earth... We cannot simply do what we want with this Earth of ours, with what has been entrusted to us," said the pope."

Link to Original Source
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RobertinXinyang RobertinXinyang writes  |  more than 7 years ago

RobertinXinyang writes "An article on, not only, the failure of the $100 laptop project to meet its goals, but ist potential to harm people in developing mations by drawing 'mindsare' from working to solve real problems.

http://articles.moneycentral.msn.com/Investing/Ext ra/The100DollarLaptop.aspx "...the entire idea may be misguided and counterproductive. At least that's what Stanford journalism lecturer and Africa watcher G. Pascal Zachary thinks... this One Laptop Per Child scheme as folly or idealistic. The basic argument is that with $100 you could almost feed a village for a year, so why waste that sum on a laptop? What are they thinking?"

Zachary has a more profound point: "The fact that these people need electricity more than they need a laptop is only part of the problem," he says. "The real problem is lost mind share. The people are harmed because these sorts of schemes are sopping up mind-share time of the people who might be doing something actually useful."

To summarize, there are only so many hours in the day, and we should not be wasting them on this kind of naïve feel-good showboating. Let's face it: These high-tech gems are a laughable addition to a mud hut."

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