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Don't Help Your Kids With Their Homework

fyoder What the teacher said (278 comments)

There is also a subjective element to a lot of courses. A parent might think they know the answer to a question, but if you weren't in that teacher's class, know their take, their biases, even how they like things formatted, you could do more harm than good. The correct answer on a test is what the marker thinks the correct answer is, not what you think, not some absolute (except in hard sciences and math perhaps, but even there tread carefully).

about 4 months ago

Therapy Over IP Draws the Young, Isolated

fyoder Re:Privacy Implications are Horrible (93 comments)

It varies by therapist. Many keep as few records as possible because they don't trust the state to respect client confidentiality. You can't surrender what you don't have.

more than 2 years ago

Ask Slashdot: What OS For a Donated Computer?

fyoder Re:Licensing? (360 comments)

Exactly, don't expose yourself to licensing grief. Once the computers are out of your hands the recipients can do what they like with them, including pirating Windows 7 or XP if that's what they want. But that will be Not Your Problem.

Free Geek in Vancouver, BC does this. I don't know if they've ever done a survey where they follow up 6 months later and see what OS the computer is running now. Would be interesting.

more than 2 years ago

Nokia Killing Symbian and S40 In North America

fyoder Might work (148 comments)

They've failed from a marketing perspective in the North American market. Partnering with a large US corporation which seems to know a thing or two about marketing could work out for them. Though it would be more reassuring if they partnered with someone who didn't define 'partner' as 'someone you work with until you eat them'.

more than 2 years ago

I get most of my books...

fyoder (283 comments) is a front end for used bookstores around the world. Because most of them charge shipping and handling, it can be cheaper to buy new from an online retailer who offers free shipping if you buy over a certain amount, but it's definitely worth checking out. Some books you can find cheaper even including s/h. If cost wasn't a factor, I'd buy via abebooks exclusively to support small business.

As for ebooks, they've been around for awhile, but still waiting for a reader not associated with a retailer who can nip in and delete stuff off it, which supports multiple non-drmed formats, and costs under $100.

about 3 years ago

Could PSTN Go Away By 2018?

fyoder Re:Then apply the same protections as PSTN (305 comments)

nothing stops them from inserted advertisements

That would be very annoying on a 911 call. Could be popular with insurance companies. "When disaster strikes, are you covered?"

about 3 years ago

US, UK Targeting Piracy Websites Outside Their Borders

fyoder Re:Sad ... (214 comments)

This is truly sad, and it means American laws have been totally taken over by corporate interests.

Totally? I don't think so. Maybe 80%. You'll know it has reached 'totally' when the creeping corporatism that's been going on for a long time finally morphs into its even more evil sister, fascism. That's not an inevitability, just the current trajectory.

about 3 years ago

"Expert Body" To Decide Which Sites To Block For Copyright Infringement

fyoder Re:Don't doubt the experts (173 comments)

Remember, citizen, opposition to the opinions of the educated is anti-intellectualism.

Oh! That's why the intellectuals are always first against the wall when the revolution comes. I learned something today.

more than 3 years ago

No Additional Firefox 4 Security Updates

fyoder Re:Time to fork! (445 comments)

Or a legacy support group (if a 3 month old browser is going to be considered 'legacy'). There's a lot I like about firefox, but 3 months then EOL suggests that they're either unable or unwilling to do something which needs doing. It wouldn't be as glamorous as a fork with new name, new vision, new blah, but I'll bet it would be appreciated by a shitload of people.

more than 3 years ago

Canada Rolls Out Plastic Money

fyoder Re:You're already making more progress... (444 comments)

My understanding is that the US does indeed have $1 coins, but no one ever uses them. I guess it will take the government ditching the bill altogether to get people to switch.

That's it exactly. We might still be using ones (not twos, they're considered bad luck for some reason) if we had been given a choice. We weren't. Now we're used to the coins, though I like one dollar bills when visiting the states. More of my money is in my wallet, rather than in pockets and on dressers and various other surfaces where they accumulate.

more than 3 years ago

LulzSec Teams With Anonymous, In Operation AntiSec

fyoder Re:Inflated sense of self-importance (419 comments)

Maybe they should have a policy of easy to remember pass phrases -- lots of characters but no need to write them down. I was at a bank today where there was what appeared to be a new hire. She was having trouble with something, consulted her notes right there in front of me, points to a word and asks another worker, "is it this password?". I averted my eyes politely, but I should probably have stared pointedly at it and spoken it out loud a character at a time, just to make the point.

more than 3 years ago

LimeWire Settles For $105 Million

fyoder Re:Does anybody actually buy music anymore? (167 comments)

You said it. Compared to the magnitude of the rip off that is copyright term extension, piracy is trivial. Copyright in its original form was a good deal for everyone, but that deal is now very much broken. Act according to your own conscience, keeping in mind that artists have to eat, and few are raking in what the top names get.

more than 3 years ago

Hypertext Creator: Structure of the Web 'Completely Wrong'

fyoder link to depth of copyright block (357 comments)

Thanks for the link. Drawbacks would appear to be display size, and copyright. His source document is public domain, and for those you could have deep linkage back to source. But in a copyright crazy world the sourcing aspect would have some annoying limits. Still, I can imagine it being useful for all manner of other things. I would like to see a demo of what he described with regard to multimedia editing.

more than 3 years ago

Egyptian Father Names His Daughter "Facebook"

fyoder Makes sense now but (162 comments)

What if a parent had named their kid Myspace some years ago. I wonder if the kid will be perpetually explaining internet history when she's older. "When I was born, social networking was controlled by private companies. One in particular was very influential."

more than 3 years ago

Why Dumbphones Still Dominate, For Now

fyoder Re:Dumb phones are for phoning (618 comments)

Nokia is facing heat at both ends of the price spectrum.

Although it continues to rank number one among handheld producers, it holds on primarily because of its dominance at the low end, where it faces significant challenges from Chinese competitors who make smaller, lighter, quicker, more capable phones at competitive prices.

Fortunately the new CEO seems to get it. Unfortunately, he seems to believe that the answer is to team up with Microsoft. The market isn't impressed.

more than 3 years ago

Why Special Effects No Longer Impress

fyoder Re:All the time! STOP (532 comments)

No horses! It moves, but there are no horses! I don't think I'll ever get used to that (note, if you think there might be small horses under the hood, open it up and prepare to be amazed.)

more than 3 years ago

The Woman Who's Making Your Privacy Her Business

fyoder Re:Idealist (120 comments)

I don't think it would have been different in any other Canadian city. Say Calgary, for example. They sent their cops to the G20 in Toronto to help out:

The officers, who are from the Calgary police public safety unit, said the Toronto event was a chance for them to practise their crowd-control training.

"We just never have had to use those tactics to that degree in Calgary. It was a fantastic opportunity for us to test them out and show that yeah they really do work," said Pecksen.

I think it would have played out pretty much the same in any Canadian city. The times they are a-changin'.

more than 3 years ago

The Woman Who's Making Your Privacy Her Business

fyoder Re:Idealist (120 comments)

And this is Canada, we go for security through co-operation and support, rather than intimidation and manipulation.

I would have agreed with you prior to the G20 in Toronto in June. But Canada is becoming just as fascist as any other western state, maybe more so, complete with intimidation, beatings, and groundless mass arrest. You may be thinking of the old Canada, where if they wanted to abrogate rights, they had to do so legally through an act like the War Measures Act. Now they don't even bother with the legal niceties.

How I Got Arrested and Abused at the G20 in Toronto, Canada

more than 3 years ago

What security policy will the TSA adopt next?

fyoder Re:Good choices (554 comments)

That would explain all the taxes and fees as well. Thought you got a cheap flight? Guess again. There are no cheap flights once they add the cost of a cheap flight in additional charges.

more than 3 years ago



OLPC's Richard Smith on XO stuck keys problem

fyoder fyoder writes  |  more than 6 years ago

fyoder (857358) writes "Richard Smith of One Laptop Per Child responds to recent stories on blogs and Slashdot regarding the problem some XO's have with stuck keys. According to Richard, XOs have a one percent RMA rate, only a small part of which are for stuck keys. Stuck keys were a problem primarily with early production runs and is largely fixed. People with XOs with stuck keys are invited to register them to help OLPC collect statistics on the problem"
Link to Original Source

fyoder fyoder writes  |  more than 7 years ago

fyoder (857358) writes " doesn't seem to exist anymore. It was a site initially offering linux and freebsd ISOs, then when bandwidth became an issue, links to ISOs. Looks like is similar, but it would be interesting to know what happened to what was an interesting resource."



The Pirate Bay primary distribution channel for Nasty Old People

fyoder fyoder writes  |  more than 4 years ago

Here's something refreshing, a filmmaker who not only doesn't gripe about The Pirate Bay, but uses it to distribute the film under a Creative Commons license. The film Nasty Old People was made for about 10,000 Euros, and at this time of writing has recovered about 2,000 Euros from donations. I'm hoping they prove this to be a viable model by making their money back and more.


What is the secret of the Stradivarius

fyoder fyoder writes  |  about 5 years ago

The secret to the Stradivarius is in the ground applied to the wood prior to varnish. Could the secret ingredient be powdered obsidian?


How to Vote in Canadian Election

fyoder fyoder writes  |  more than 5 years ago

If you're a Canadian and uncertain how to vote in the upcoming election, go to the Vote for Environment Google Map App, find your riding, and follow the advice. Even if you're not eligible to vote, you might want to check out this interesting map application.

The strategic voting philosophy of the site is probably not terribly useful any place that has a two party system (unless you're thinking about voting for Ralph Nader), but in a country like Canada where a plethora of parties threatens to split the left, this is very useful information indeed.


Tunguska More Woosh than Boom

fyoder fyoder writes  |  more than 6 years ago

The Tunguska event in which an asteroid air detonated over Siberia is approaching its 100th anniversary, which will be on June 30th. A lower re-estimation of the blast force (the devastation being more from the shock wave of the air blast than the explosion itself) suggests that asteroid events capable of this level of destruction may be more common than thought, possibly occurring every few centuries. Reflecting on these 'little guys' as the anniversary approaches, also causes one to consider their rarer, but more destructive, larger cousins. Should it not be a priority to establish a self-sustaining breeding population of humans on Mars as insurance against something really nasty happening here on earth?

Collision Course Earth


Negroponte vs. the open-source fundamentalists

fyoder fyoder writes  |  more than 6 years ago

Within the world of One Laptop per Child, both the Negropontistas and the Benderites envision a future for Sugar where it runs on multiple platforms, but the latter don't want Windows (or closed source anything) as part of that future.

Negroponte vs. the Open-Source Fundamentalists

OLPC's emphasis has always seemed to me to be on Sugar, with Linux simply being a smart technical choice for the underlying os. Yet what is becoming more explicit with the resignation of Walter Bender is that for many involved in the project there was a strong element of Linux advocacy, such that Negroponte's flirtation with Microsoft is felt to be pure sacrilege.


One Laptop per Child XO Borg

fyoder fyoder writes  |  more than 6 years ago Locutus of XO, a tricked out OLPC laptop, demonstrates that there's "nothing wrong with the hundred dollar laptop that a couple of hundred dollars worth of peripherals can't fix." It's fascinating the lengths people will go to to make what is essentially an educational appliance work more like a regular laptop. For the cost of the 'give one get one' program, plus the peripherals, they could get a regular laptop which would be a lot less bother. But I suppose the geeking involved is half the fun.


Make Your Own Naturally Carbonated Ginger Ale

fyoder fyoder writes  |  more than 6 years ago Make your own naturally carbonated ginger ale through the amazing process of fermentation! You may be thinking, "Gadzooks, that must be an expensive enterprise to undertake, involving difficult to obtain ingredients and equipment of no small monetary value." But if you thought that, you would be wrong! At an experiment was conducted following simple directions at the Barley Legal web site. The process and, perhaps even more so, the results may astound you.


Tech Prediction: 2008 Year of the Sexbot

fyoder fyoder writes  |  more than 6 years ago is predicting that 2008 will be the year that sexbots become generally available, or that it could be, provided standards for the sexbot aren't any higher than those for Ugobe's Pleo. Perhaps, but what would the battery life be for a human sized Pleo? 5 minutes? Granted, that's more than enough time for many.


Kubuntu != Kubuntu

fyoder fyoder writes  |  more than 6 years ago The results of installing Kubuntu are not the same as installing Ubuntu, then installing the KDE desktop environment. Even if you install Kubuntu and then the Gnome environment the results are not the same. Best results are achieved if you install Ubuntu first, then KDE. One person's experience and a mini review of the distro is outlined here.

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