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high_rolla writes "Whenever there's an election on, or some other good enough reason, I'm inundated with political advertising literature. I imagine everyone is. What a waste of paper. What if we could instigate a list and if you were on it politicians were not allowed to post you advertising literature but had to send it by email? We could save a lot of paper being wasted and do our bit for the environment. If you didn't want to receive the messages it would also be trivial for you to create a filter for it as well. So what do you think? Politicians would no doubt hate it but if enough people got behind it could we get it going?" Link to Original Source top
high_rolla writes "3D printing is starting to pick up pace. There's no doubt that once it improves to a certain level and reaches a certain price point it has the potential to change the world and impact on many different market segments. Just as the entertainment industry is fighting heavily to protect their outdated business model through legislation, do you reckon that manufacturers and many others that could be in danger from 3d printing will start to push for legislation to heavily restrict and control their usage? We've already seen the potential to print weapons such as guns. Will events like this really just play right into their hands? Or do you foresee a different future?" Link to Original Source top
high_rolla writes "Lately the fun and games in the smartphone market have been hitting new levels of silly. Perfect material for a spoof: A Game of Phones Instead of kings we have Apple, Google, HTC, Samsung etc. They each command armies of lawyers and have stockpiles of patents to defend with. The throne is ultimate market share and the destruction of other players. There also seems to be just as much treason, incest and adultery going on as in the books. It seems that we can draw plenty of parallels here so I thought I'd ask Slashdot: If you were tasked with creating this spoof, what material would you add? Who would you cast as which characters? What major events would play out? etc. Have fun and I look forward to reading what you come up with." Link to Original Source top
high_rolla writes "I was recently asked, by someone wanting to get into programming, what they could do to help prepare themselves. I figured that working out what the underlying principle of programming is and then attacking that would be a good place to start. My initial thoughts are that it is problem solving. Pretty much everything you write will have the aim of solving a problem. So if you want to become a better programmer, start by becoming a better problem solver. Would be keen to get your opinions on this. Is there a flaw in my thinking or is there a better foundation that I'm missing?" Link to Original Source top
Could US Default increase Linux certification need
high_rolla writes "Let's say that the US fails to reach an agreement and they default. This will obviously have a potentially huge impact on the economy globally. I'm wondering if this will push companies to evaluate cloud computing more aggressively as a means to cut costs. Given this could mean that there will be fewer jobs (as cloud computing allows resources to be centralized and a lot of work automated), and that those jobs will require higher skill sets, is Linux certification going to be more important in the future? Only 4% of job listings are seeking some form of Linux certification at the moment, is this an area that will see a dramatic change? If so, what Linux certifications do you think would be the most important to have?" Link to Original Source top
How would we react to the discovery of true magic?
high_rolla (1068540) writes "Science seems able to explain just about everything nowadays. What if someone discovered true magic however. They could fly or shoot fireballs out the fingers or levitate items or the like. And science had absolutely no explanation for how they were doing it. In medieval times it wouldn't have gone down too well.
What about now though. Has science and our increased understanding of things made us less fearful of the unknown? Have movies and computer games made us more relaxed in terms of this sort of stuff? Do you think we would react with the fear and hatred of previous times or would we treat it differently?" Link to Original Source top
high_rolla (1068540) writes "The recent developments between Nokia and MS have come as a surprise to many (and not to others considering Elop's background). What if this is part of a grand plan however for Nokia to become the exclusive manufacturer of hardware for MS phones and tablets? It is a strategy that has worked well for Apple and Nokia is big enough that MS could cut it's ties with all other manufacturers and still have a large presence. It would allow Nokia and MS to focus on one tightly integrated set of products." Link to Original Source top
high_rolla (1068540) writes "Page rank is a great idea. Unfortunately it suffers from two small problems. People consistently trying to game the system and peoples natural tendency to click on the first result (or one of the first) meaning popular results tend to get more popular over time. Which means a lot of great content and resources potentially go unnoticed. How would you go about creating a search engine that had a focus on exploring as well as quality? On the linked article one suggestion has been to randomize the results on each page as well as inject one or two results from lower pages at random. I'm sure there must be better ideas out there however." Link to Original Source top
high_rolla (1068540) writes "Smartphones are all the rage right now. Yet all the innovation appears to be in software. On the hardware side of things we are stagnating. Each device is essentially a touch screen that takes up most of the front face, maybe a few buttons thrown in and possibly a slide out keyboard. There are subtle differences in the implementation but essentially the features are the same. I would like to propose my idea for the next breakthrough in smartphone design. Why not put a full touch screen on both sides of the device? It would afford many possibilities for new interaction methods. What are your ideas for new hardware designs for smartphones?" Link to Original Source top
high_rolla (1068540) writes "There are an estimated 247 billion emails sent every day. Of that they believe about 97% are spam. Have you ever thought about the energy involved in sending and processing this vast amount of spam? Spam is leading to increasing energy requirements (though spammers would have you believe it leads to a huge increase in something else but we won't go there). Could it be that putting an end to spam is one of the best things we can do for the environment? If we were to take this challenge seriously, how would you achieve it?" Link to Original Source top
high_rolla (1068540) writes "Creativity is an important skill. Yet it is something that is somewhat lacking in our current education systems. Sir Ken Robinson presents some rather strong opinions on the subject. Edward de Bono has also been involved in research suggesting that teaching thinking skills as a separate subject will improve performance in every other subject between 30 and 100%. Given evidence such as this, why are we not putting a greater emphasis on creative thinking in schools? To what extend do you think technology is hindering or encouraging creativity in education? Is the emergence of mobile/ touch sensitive devices having a positive impact on the ability to encourage and promote creativity?" Link to Original Source top
high_rolla (1068540) writes "Could renewable energy have adverse affects that we are not yet aware of? For instance is setting up solar panels over increasingly large areas effectively starving the land there of heat that it would normally receive and absorb? If so, how is this going to affect that surrounding environment long term?" Link to Original Source top
high_rolla (1068540) writes "If you look at it, every one of the 5 main browsers has an icon based around the concept of a circle. Internet Explorer is a round E, Firefox is a fox curled around a globe, Opera is an O, Chrome is a round 3 colour disc and Safari is a round compass. What is it about a circle that is synonymous with the internet? Or is it just complete coincidence that they all share this trait?" top
high_rolla (1068540) writes "Recently I have been helping teachers come up with creative ways to use the tools they have on Moodle (a VLE). They initially thought they would need custom tools developed for all the activities they wanted to do. We discovered that they largely didn't need to do this but could use the existing tools in creative ways. eg, we looked at holding student elections using the Choice activity and doing structured brainstorming using forums. It occurred to me that technical people do this all the time but it is not very natural for others.
I have two questions: What tools do you use in ways they were not intended? How do you think we can encourage others to think in this way?" Link to Original Source top
high_rolla (1068540) writes "It appears to me that a tablet is only part of what Apple is soon to release. I think that companies such as Toshiba were onto something when they had their tablet/ laptop hybrids such as the Portege M200. They were just clunky and didn't have an OS that could work with the tablet form factor well. Now imagine a cross between a 10" NetBook Air and a tablet with a sleek mechanism to transition between the two. This could have huge potential and be versatile enough to suit many situations." Link to Original Source top
high_rolla writes "This article talks about the issues of contracting engineers however I would be interested to hear if contract programmers face similar problems with respect to programming languages.
This article is specifically related to my experiences with Mechanical Engineering, but could equally apply to other disciplines. When I began to write, I had a very clear goal, I wanted to highlight the current difficulties being faced by both Contractors and Employers who work in Engineering which are caused by the large number of different CAD systems which are being used." Link to Original Source top
high_rolla (1068540) writes "This is my somewhat uninformed stab at predicting where the web is headed and what the next big thing is going to be. It appears to me that the internet is following a two step progression of innovation and organisation. I am not trying to say that this is the way it is so much as pose some thoughts and get others opinions in an attempt to understand the big picture better. I'm sure there are holes and flaws in my theory and would appreciate if you could point them out." Link to Original Source top
Ryan writes "The use of technology in education can be classified in three different ways. Demonstration, composition and creation. Demonstration is a poor use of technology in many circumstances. It is often implemented in the form of fast food for the mind and has the effect of making students lazy and shallow of knowledge. However it is easy to implement and assess. Creation is a better use of technology and offers many avenues for creating students with a rich and deep understanding of the material. It is often underutilised however as exercises are hard to come up with, harder to manage and not always easy to assess. For technology to make a definite advance in education we require more of the latter and less of the former." Link to Original Source top
high_rolla writes "Here we aim to compare not the different features of the Dock and the Start Menu but the work patterns that they encourage. Aims to look at why some tasks are better suited to Windows and why others OSX. You may not agree with the arguments presented however if it acts as the catalyst for some constructive discussion then it will still have been worthwhile." Link to Original Source top
Ryan Chadwick writes "I'm interested in learning more about the different ways in which people collaborate. Can anyone suggest books I should read, specialists on the topic and so on? I'd also be interested to hear your experiences. Not so much the tools you use but the processes you use. How do you encourage everyone to get involved? How do you keep people on track? Do you organise your work area differently to foster collaboration? How do you avoid conflict amongst different personality types? Do you find certain times of day/ locations work better than others? One big session or many smaller ones? Are people given different roles or is it more free flow. and so on...."