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Apple Outrages Users By Automatically Installing U2's Album On Their Devices

johnrpenner its a gift (608 comments)

when the ipod came out, apple paid the artists to provide about 300 free songs for users for free - it was a gift - it was like them paying to give us a free mix tape. i found some good tunes on there, and deleted the rest. thx apple.

again, instead of paying for this music, apple is paying (or in cahoots depending on yr pov) for a gift of music that they believe to be good. if you like u2 - its a gift. if you dont, it is easy to delete - you wont even see it unless you go digging for it.

thanks apple.
2cents from toronto

3 days ago

Surprise! More Than Twice As Much Mercury In Environment As Thought

johnrpenner CFL Bulbs (173 comments)

Its all the compact flourescent light bulbs.. have you ever read the disposal instructions for one of those!?!?

about two weeks ago

Ask Slashdot: What Are the Best Games To Have In Your Collection?

johnrpenner OIDS (382 comments)

OIDS — for the Atari ST, and the Mac OSX (powerPC) — combines the best elements of Defender, Lunar Lander, Asteroids, Gravitar and Thrust, with its inertia based movement, and level editor. one of the best early games. :-D

Mac OSX version by David Hewit:

Atari ST ROM by David Hewit:

about three weeks ago

Lots Of People Really Want Slideout-Keyboard Phones: Where Are They?

johnrpenner no they dont (544 comments)

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

about 1 month ago

Why My LG Optimus Cellphone Is Worse Than It's Supposed To Be

johnrpenner you get what you pay for.. (291 comments)

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..

about 2 months ago

Chinese State Media Declares iPhone a Threat To National Security

johnrpenner find my iphone (143 comments)

they want — we find you.

find my iphone — no good.

about 2 months ago

Philips Ethernet-Powered Lighting Transmits Data To Mobile Devices Via Light

johnrpenner IPv6 (104 comments)

if every lightbulb is going to have an IP address — they better be using IPv6.. ;-]


about 2 months ago

Reading, Writing, Arithmetic, and Lately, Coding

johnrpenner reading writing arithmetic & CHESS (125 comments)

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.


about 4 months ago

US Nuclear Missile Silos Use Safe, Secure 8" Floppy Disks

johnrpenner Re:this is reassuring (481 comments)

but how would you load the java 6 v22 update for the toaster interface!?!? (groan)

about 5 months ago

US Nuclear Missile Silos Use Safe, Secure 8" Floppy Disks

johnrpenner Re:Security through Antiquity? (481 comments)

galactica computers werent secure because they were old — what they didnt want is to have the machines NETWORKED.

about 5 months ago

NYC's 19th-Century Horse Carriages Spawn Weird, Truck-Size Electric Car

johnrpenner substitution of the Internal Combustion Engine (204 comments)

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.
(Winston Churchill)

about 5 months ago

Mathematical Proof That the Cosmos Could Have Formed Spontaneously From Nothing

johnrpenner zero doesnt equal one (612 comments)

zero doesnt equal one — no matter how much fancy math you got to prove it. :-p

about 5 months ago

93 Harvard Faculty Members Call On the University To Divest From Fossil Fuels

johnrpenner fuel for their cars?? (214 comments)

when they start selling their (fuel consuming) cars, and start riding bikes —then i'll take them seriously.

about 5 months ago

How Many People Does It Take To Colonize Another Star System?

johnrpenner monocultures (392 comments)

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.

about 5 months ago

Will Peggy the Programmer Be the New Rosie the Riveter?

johnrpenner where are the entwives? (333 comments)

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.

about 7 months ago

With 'Virgin' Developers, Microsoft Could Fork Android

johnrpenner embrace and extend (241 comments)

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)

about 7 months ago

Game Developers' Quest To Cross the Uncanny Valley

johnrpenner Re:realism doesnt improve gameplay (134 comments)

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. :-)

about 7 months ago

Game Developers' Quest To Cross the Uncanny Valley

johnrpenner realism doesnt improve gameplay (134 comments)

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

about 7 months ago

Should Everybody Learn To Code?

johnrpenner CHESS (387 comments)

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
john penner

about 8 months ago



johnrpenner johnrpenner writes  |  more than 7 years ago

johnrpenner writes "Because it had to be done — N.Chikada of Japan has written Pacelman — Pacman for Excel. All actions are expressed by rewriting of a cell background colour. If that's not enough, he's also written a version of Space Invaders for Excel called Cellvader, also available for download from the site."


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