top Slashdot Asks: Should Schooling Be Year-Round?
mod parent up.
kids dont deserve to be in jail all year
top Lots Of People Really Want Slideout-Keyboard Phones: Where Are They?
a device with a slideout keyboard is inherently more prone to breaking than a one piece phone.
i've never had a problem using a touch screen for typing short messages, and if you really do want to write an essay, a lil phone keyboard is still inferior to a real full-size keyboard (which can be paired to any bluetooth equipped phone anyway) — you shouldnt be using your phone to be typing manuscripts anyway — the lil tiny keys — real or not — or still inadequate.
touch screen keyboards work really well in my experience; and they dont suffer the inherent mechanical breakability of a slide-out phone.
2cents from toronto
top Why My LG Optimus Cellphone Is Worse Than It's Supposed To Be
its not supposed to work good — that's why its the bottom of the line.
if you want it to work good, you gotta buy the good model..
top Chinese State Media Declares iPhone a Threat To National Security
they want — we find you.
find my iphone — no good.
about a month and a half ago
top Philips Ethernet-Powered Lighting Transmits Data To Mobile Devices Via Light
if every lightbulb is going to have an IP address — they better be using IPv6..
top Reading, Writing, Arithmetic, and Lately, Coding
what would really help prepare children better than writing code is playing chess — it will help them learn how to think logically and consistently — if they learn it in chess first — learning all the various changing semantics of languages that may come and go will be trivial — if they got a good grounding in thinking properly through chess. a couple years of chess for grades 5-10 should be mandatory in every school curriculum.
chess is even more important than learning to how to code — because to get anywhere with code, you have to immerse yourself in a language, an API, an IDE, and a way of thinking that is large, legacy, and arcane. by contrast, chess gets it down to the critical skills in a pretty efficient way.
teach chess, then code later will be a piece of cake — because chess teaches the essential skills of grasping clear thoughts/moves in a facile way with the mind — and this mind muscle can be brought to higher level of logical consistency and clarity of thought with chess. something that is simple, yet lends itself to the greatest sophistication.
another reason to teach chess is science standards — lack of critical thinking in regards to science is a reflection of a nation that has lost its ability to think clearly upon basic subjects. chess is the remedy for a lack of clear and lucid thinking on many subjects.
one must work the mind, or it becomes weak, and unable to judge things very well — and then tends to be easily manipulated by political and emotional cues.
top US Nuclear Missile Silos Use Safe, Secure 8" Floppy Disks
but how would you load the java 6 v22 update for the toaster interface!?!? (groan)
top US Nuclear Missile Silos Use Safe, Secure 8" Floppy Disks
galactica computers werent secure because they were old — what they didnt want is to have the machines NETWORKED.
top NYC's 19th-Century Horse Carriages Spawn Weird, Truck-Size Electric Car
I have always considered that the substitution of the Internal Combustion Engine for the horse marked a very gloomy passage in the progress of mankind.
top Mathematical Proof That the Cosmos Could Have Formed Spontaneously From Nothing
zero doesnt equal one — no matter how much fancy math you got to prove it.
top 93 Harvard Faculty Members Call On the University To Divest From Fossil Fuels
when they start selling their (fuel consuming) cars, and start riding bikes —then i'll take them seriously.
top How Many People Does It Take To Colonize Another Star System?
the GMO mono-culture which wipes out all with roundup, and allows to live only sterile copyright gmo seeds at the expensive of the natural diversity of nature — in mexico, the many many varieties of corn are replaced in america with a mono-culture of sterile gmo seeds — it is insidious destruction of our own planet's natural and abundant diversity.
top Will Peggy the Programmer Be the New Rosie the Riveter?
i've met some really good women programmers over several decades in the tech world —but precious few.
to make things fit our statistical ideal — we strive to glamourize writing code, the good pay, how easy it is to start, and the cool places you can work if you do. yet these things, have little to do with actually being interesting in numbers and algorithms.
if you have a real interest, the difficulty doesnt stop you, no more than salmon swimming upstream. the insatiable desire to grok code is its own reason. if we cant draw more people into computer science by showing how fascinating powers of 2 arithmetic, binary logic, and how neat pointer references are — then i'm afraid there's little hope — sometimes it seems they just dont like it. they have other less abstract, more practical concerns. so often, in perplexity, i have wondered — why are there so precious few women who are intrinsically interested in writing code? guys dig chicks with whom they can talk C++ —— but where are they!?!?
so i dont know if they are being shut out, or if they are simply averse. for the ones that arent — please, come code. the guys more than want more female programmers around. because of this, i've spent a lot of time trying to help women grok technology more deeply.
one thing i've noticed though, while machinery speaks in hexadecimal; the women are using the machinery more. instead of 'how it works', their quesion is 'how to use'? instead of making machines, they would rather use them. it reminds me of an old quote from Heinrich Heine's mom — 'the man thinks, and the women steers'.
in the end — it is for women to decide.
all we can do is encourage, and hold the door open. :-D please come.
top With 'Virgin' Developers, Microsoft Could Fork Android
at it again.. the way everyone had to code everything twice.. once for explorer and once for netscape.. well its going to be even more fun for android and android-like devs.. then droid will fracture, leaving a more coherent market for ios dev.. allowing ios to hold on to 30% longer than it would.
maybe it works out w each of the big three (google, apple, microsoft) with a third of the market - with incompatible clouds and digital thunderstorms - more fun ahead!
;-) 2cents from toronto island (snow and thunder tonight) jp
top Game Developers' Quest To Cross the Uncanny Valley
no slight against beautiful graphics — but to quote george bernard shaw — 'The quality of a play is the quality of its ideas'
i'd say the same is true for games — the quality of the game is in the quality of its ideas.
also there's also a certain rhythmic tempo which is pleasant to attain which makes gameplay satisfying.
the graphics can be great and everything, buts without a good gameplay, they fall flat.
when the ideas are good, and the gameplay is good — then the graphics just add to the special sauce and completes it.
top Game Developers' Quest To Cross the Uncanny Valley
in the hyper quest for realism — we forget that all those perfect pixels doesnt improve the story nor the gameplay.
pac man was a hit without all the fancy graphics
top Should Everybody Learn To Code?
before you do algebra, you need to learn to multiply, and before that you need to learn to add and subtract.
certain higher levels of abstract thinking require prior training in order to be of good use. getting a good grounding in the basics gives one better preparation to wield the forces of code.
for the earlier grades —when they're still learning to add and subtract, and count their ABCs.. up to grade two and three, you cant even really assume that kind of stuff yet — kids grow slow, just like plants, and you cant just stuff it into them like cabbages — give them time to develop basic skills like recognising the 26 letters of the alphabet before giving them the ASCII code 65, 66, and 67 — give them the simplest introductions of a subject area gives them a better ability to start a good core understanding which will help them for a lifetime.
a lot of what you learn in programming is not the requisite clear training in thought — but the semantics of a language, and the APIs which it is calling.. things which continuously change — distracting from the main thing — learning how to think clearly and logically.
stripping all the semantics and APIs away — and just left with the six rudiments of logic to contemplate — the motions and interactions of the king and queen — how the rook and bishop move along vectors; how how the knights intersect in circles, and how variables advance and pawn chains interact — these are the kind of things that get children to think in abstract arrays and logical collisions. i would start Chess in Schools in grade 2, and every year the classes play each other.. with as much reward given as they do for other sports activities.
train the national mind.. train the human mind.
once they got chess down for a couple years — programming, starting in grade 7 and 8 should be a piece of cake.
2cents from toronto island
top 23-Year-Old Chess Grandmaster Whips Bill Gates In 71 Seconds
you are right that it is unsurprising — as is the result of a game between a tennis champ and an amateur — but you are wrong in saying that the skills one squires in chess are unrelated to everything that matters in life.
you obviously have never taken up the sport, or you would soon see how it disciplines and trains the mind to meet everything else in life with more and better discrimination — just like science enables one to cut out a lot of the crap that people superstitiously believe — chess teaches your mind how to think clearly in a better way than anything else. it shows you how to overcome superstitious instincts, and train them towards better results — and this helps in almost every area of life.
As Benjamin Franklin wrote in 1750 in his article, The Morals of Chess — The Game of Chess is not merely an idle amusement; several very valuable qualities of mind, useful in the course of human life, are to be acquired and strengthened by it, so as to become habits ready on all occasions; for life is a kind of Chess... By playing at Chess then, we may learn:
1st, Foresight, which looks a little into futurity, and considers the consequences that may attend an action.
2nd, Circumspection, which surveys the whole Chess-board, or scene of action—the relation of the several pieces and their situations...
3rd, Caution, not to make our moves too hastily...
two cents from toronto island
top Weapons Systems That Kill According To Algorithms Are Coming. What To Do?
Arsenal of Freedom 'to be totally armed is to be totally secure'
top Ask Slashdot: What Are the Books Everyone Should Read?
a better translation:
There are two fundamental questions in the life of the human soul towards which everything to be discussed in this book is directed. One is: Is it possible to find a view of the essential nature of man such as will give us a foundation for everything else that comes to meet us — whether through life experience or through science — which we feel is otherwise not self-supporting and therefore liable to be driven by doubt and criticism into the realm of uncertainty? The other question is this: Is man entitled to claim for himself freedom of will, or is freedom a mere illusion begotten of his inability to recognize the threads of necessity on which his will, like any natural event, depends?
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