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Study: Ad-Free Internet Would Cost Everyone $230-a-Year

qpqp Re:$230 (596 comments)

There's also DuckDuckGo.com. Despite the name, it's actually quite decent, and the "related" non-boolean search lands on top.

5 days ago
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Involuntary Eye Movement May Provide Definitive Diagnosis of ADHD

qpqp Re:I would be very interested... (200 comments)

Notice the "regardless of the circumstances".

Yeah, however I just took this as a generalization, since it'd be quite a statement to say that someone tried everything.

I didn't even realize what people meant by saying "just concentrate" until I took my first methylphenedate when I was 25.

Not meaning to troll, but if you try some acid, you'll realize there's a whole spectrum of "awareness" and "concentration" that you weren't aware of, if you feel such a difference from methylphenidate. (Just make sure to have some good weed and relaxing, interesting, positive music, in case it gets too much.)

Medicating with amphetamine all the time is obviosuly quite moronic.

I'd even say it's dangerous and should be a criminal offense to prescribe that without having 99.99999% proof, judging from my (extensive) experience with party kids and goers.

about two weeks ago
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Involuntary Eye Movement May Provide Definitive Diagnosis of ADHD

qpqp Re:I would be very interested... (200 comments)

ADHD/ADD are real but often overdiagnosed

That was exactly my point.

Expecting things to be customized to our particular level of interest in unrealistic.

That's also true (mostly), however some kids adapt better and some worse.

about two weeks ago
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Berlin Bans Car Service Uber

qpqp Re:Uber is quite retarded (341 comments)

It is, but if they'd force Uber and other apps to do so, they'd also encroach on the territory of the "original" ride-sharing services, which are rather established in Germany. Also, it'd make Uber's (main) model meaningless, so obviously they're going to fight it.
An interesting tidbit, is that it's quite difficult to have a technically insecure car in Germany, due to the heavy regulation and police checking anything suspicious, so I believe they (Uber) should just find an insurance company willing to fully insure their drivers (or provide a quick and easy process for them to do so themselves) and it'd probably be fine.

about two weeks ago
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Involuntary Eye Movement May Provide Definitive Diagnosis of ADHD

qpqp Re:I would be very interested... (200 comments)

She has trouble focusing on anything regardless of environmental variables.

As others have pointed out, in most cases this is called "being a kid." If something's presented in a boring way, try to do that differently. And, more importantly, try to think outside your box and find out things on which she does focus pretty well.

about two weeks ago
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Berlin Bans Car Service Uber

qpqp Re:Uber is quite retarded (341 comments)

Yes, except that people use ride-sharing to get more than just their gas, without getting a commercial license (technically this is probably illegal). So similar rules should apply to Uber as well, as we could assume that drivers only take others for a ride with it, if it's "on their way" (never-mind their "way" being "cruising around town").

about two weeks ago
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Hemp Fibers Make Better Supercapacitors Than Graphene

qpqp Re:Potheads assemble! (178 comments)

Certainly, he had a disposition towards this happening, but it was marijuana that pushed it over the limit and completely fucked his entire life.

That would have happened in any case. Stop scaring the kids! Just remember, it's all in your head.

about two weeks ago
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Microsoft Research Brings Kinect-Style Depth Perception to Ordinary Cameras

qpqp Re:Doesn't the kinect use an ordinary camera? (31 comments)

I believe, the question was, whether there's been an advance in the depth-sensing algorithm in the sense that you don't need a specific IR pattern (i.e. a grid) like in the Kinect anymore, but that just a couple of IR emitters are enough.

about two weeks ago
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Injecting Liquid Metal Into Blood Vessels Could Help Kill Tumors

qpqp Re:The side effect (111 comments)

Yeah, chemo and radiotherapy is so much *FUN* (especially with grade 3 and 4 types) !!
What I meant was: when do we get our nano-bots that swim in the lymphatic and vascular systems and destroys any cancer that spreads already?

about two weeks ago
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Injecting Liquid Metal Into Blood Vessels Could Help Kill Tumors

qpqp Re:The side effect (111 comments)

You seem to live with the misconception that oncologists try to heal the patient (well, maybe some do). Their job is to get rid of cancer. Sadly.

about two weeks ago
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Slashdot Asks: Should Schooling Be Year-Round?

qpqp Re: Books (421 comments)

You know, I've imagined a more... elaborate comparison, with personal experience. But I guess thanks for the meaningless (no source, no age, no time...) statistics anyway.

about two weeks ago
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Slashdot Asks: Should Schooling Be Year-Round?

qpqp Re:Books (421 comments)

I never said or implied that there's one way to teach, I'm sorry that you got this impression. I duly acknowledge the fact that there's people who are more inclined to liberal arts or humanities than science, as well as people who "understand" sports better, and that different teaching methods should apply to an empathetic person than to one who's more rational.
What I did say is that lowering the bar because of a couple of mouth-breathing idiots is just as retarded, and, since the majority of the students in the three schools I've visited in Berlin + surroundings were peer-pressured into cultivating a "fuck it" attitude towards learning (reflected, btw, in my later studies at Berlin Tech, when people only worked through the required points of an assignment, instead of exploring further on their own), unfortunately, the kids that want to learn something are forced to go to extra-curricular activities, which further labels them as nerds and excludes them from their peer.
I really, really, strongly disliked this fact, and this has also been acknowledged as an issue (though I lack the proper source, right now).
To conclude, I believe raising the difficulty (or level, actually, since the stuff's not difficult and some of you guys have THIRTEEN years to finish!) does make sense. Fostering an intellectual community does make sense. And turning the tables to have the weaker students at least *try* to catch up to the rest of the class instead of them pulling the others (and eventually the whole economy) down, is a good idea.
The weak students are the ones, who should go and attend tutoring, not the other way around. (It's paid for by the government anyway, so the argument that weak students usually come from the lower layers of society is moot in this case.)
And if they're so bad that they can't finish a program that other students in other countries can, then draw consequences.

I sincerely doubt that teaching matrices in 7th grade raises "understanding and awareness".

It did at least in one case. I'd also have loved an intro to lambda calculus in the later years. Things have advanced since the 60's/70's but the curriculum adjusts in the opposite direction for some reason.

about two weeks ago
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Slashdot Asks: Should Schooling Be Year-Round?

qpqp Re:Books (421 comments)

I have to say that you seem to make the mistake of regarding quantity equivalent to quality. [...] I find it pretty hard to believe that you [...] actually read and not merely skimmed them.

Well, I personally didn't read all of them, only the ones I *knew* I was going to be questioned on (like War and Peace, for instance). This usually amounted to like 50% of the list (we had a liberal teacher). But, since the "examination" was quite deep and required an actual understanding of the plot, characters, historical context, and many other dimensions of the book in question, you *had* to *read* and *understand* the book or risk getting a bad grade. Then again, my cute neighbor read *ALL* of them!
Feel free to ask someone, who went to school in Moscow or St. Petersburg (don't know about other cities, but I'd wager the situation was very similar), if you need confirmation. I know it's hard to believe for someone used to sparing the "poor kids" and providing them pre-chewed information laced with the teacher's opinion, instead of pushing the kids to solve problems on their own.

we usually cover one book per month during lessons (if that much) but in detail.

Yeah, I remember being bored on the second week of some of Duerrenmatt's or Lessing's (shorter) works, when a minority came prepared and we were reading the whole book in class (especially great, when it's that idiot, who never learned how to read properly and couldn't bind two syllables together), instead of discussing the plot, analyzing the literary style, etc. We were "reading" The Judge and his Hangman for 3 (three!) months. Seriously! WTF?!?
What I'm trying to say here is that maybe it'd be worth a consideration by the education panel to give a list of 20 books and let the students choose at least 2 of them to read over the holidays, but no, that'd be against the almighty law of not giving them *any* homework over summer. ; )

Judging by my (subjective, of course) experience, I'd say the general literacy of the population that went to school in the USSR is way higher than the general literacy of the "average German". I wouldn't expect otherwise, after I've overheard parents in DE say things like: "Oh, I really don't think my kid should go to a gymnasium, the load's too high (LOL), he/she's better off in a real [10 years total] or hauptschule [8/9 years total]", or a teacher deciding where your kid's going instead of you and/or the kid.
Eventually, when people get out of school, their prospect is to find an apprenticeship as a salesman or some other job that's going to be virtually non-existent, when RFID & Co hit the market, or their job as a construction worker get's automated away by an oversized 3D printer.
I never understood why the level of expectations in DE is so low in general.
As a comparison, in 2010 the attainment rate of tertiary education in RU vs DE is 54 (1st place) vs 25.4 (23rd place) percent for (25 to 64 year olds) source: OECD interactive tool.

Regarding PISA, of course you can dump most of the results, if they come during your last lesson and say whoever's finished can go home...*facepalm*
And regarding matrices (and other concepts): it just raises the student's general understanding and awareness of subjects. It's just one example of the "level-difference" that really stood out and that's why I mentioned it. I wish someone would have shown me this, back in school too, but maybe I'm just a nerd.

about two weeks ago
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Babylon 5 May Finally Get a Big-Screen Debut

qpqp Re: And so it begins... (252 comments)

It is also the only sci-fi series (AFAIK), where the characters have to go take a dump.

about two weeks ago
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Slashdot Asks: Should Schooling Be Year-Round?

qpqp Re:Books (421 comments)

Yeah, I had a memory slip there, 5-6 weeks is correct. Still too little, IMO.
And Latin or French; how many people chose Latin over French?
Austria has two types of high schools: real-gymnasium with a technically-focused curriculum (i.e. STEM, but still with a second foreign language of choice and availability, usually French, Latin, or Italian) and gymnasium with a liberal arts and languages focus (3 mandatory foreign languages, usually English, Latin, and French).

about two weeks ago
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Slashdot Asks: Should Schooling Be Year-Round?

qpqp Re:Books (421 comments)

I went to several in Berlin + surroundings, and it's hard to find latin here (not that I was looking for it either). I'd be interested to know how many kids actually chose to take Latin/ancient Greek themselves. ; )
Also, if you're talking about Bavaria (which is regarded as having the "hardest" schools in DE), my guess is that they're leaning more towards the Austrian system.

about two weeks ago
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Slashdot Asks: Should Schooling Be Year-Round?

qpqp Books (421 comments)

In the USSR summer vacation used to be roughly three months, however children got a list of books to read (and I'm not talking about one, or two. More like 10-15 mandatory and another 10-20 optional) and, come September, were questioned on them.
9th or 10th grade (don't remember) contained such gems as War and Peace (the complete four-tome!), Crime and Punishment, Eugene Onegin, Queen of Spades, and other quite serious works.

I've experienced several school systems and neither Austrian, German or US systems came even close to teaching as much as the Soviet did. I went to "good" schools, some of them quite expensive. In the latter three countries, students were quite vocal about objecting to having more than one exam in a week, even though they had to be announced up front. In the USSR, you just *had* to be prepared for *each* class or risk getting a bad grade for the quarter.
The Soviet system also separated literature and language, as well as math and geometry, whereas the other three systems lumped these subjects together into language+literature and math+geometry.
All in all, the Soviet system was *much* more satisfying and intellectually stimulating than any other system I had the "pleasure" of experiencing.

A short anecdote: we've learned matrices in 7th grade in the USSR. When I was called to the board to solve a system of linear equations in 9th grade in AT, it was quite amusing to experience the surprised teacher say that this is something people learn in University for their STEM degrees.
On the other hand, I had to catch up a year of Latin there, so I guess that even out the surprise. When I later moved to Germany and asked the principal there whether Latin is part of the local curriculum, he asked me if I was planning on listening to Radio Vatican. I thought that's funny at the time, but my little knowledge of Latin still helps me understand a great deal of languages I don't speak and I wish I'd have learned more.
The US school I visited was a jack of all trades, more focused on creative education and quite boring, as I've already went through most of the curriculum in other countries (i.e. it lagged behind all other systems! You people there really gotta work on that, before it's too late.).
BTW, Austria had two months of summer vacation, and Germany around 3-4 weeks (it sucked big time, so unproductive and slow the whole year!).
For my kids, I'd prefer them to go to school in Russia and Austria, as that's a very good mix IMO.

I've heard the Japanese school system is even more intense (with students even committing suicide over the workload, etc.). Maybe someone would like to provide a short comparison in a reply.

about two weeks ago
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Netflix Now Works On Linux With HTML5 DRM Video Support In Chrome

qpqp Re: Why is (201 comments)

I still have faith in humanity, so I'd put them in the first and second categories and assume that they are a minority.
Also, I'll assume that these cheapskates don't have enough income to distribute for all their consumption habits, so again, make it convenient enough (e.g. watch now pay later, pay as much as you can, etc.) or available for a flat fee and they'll pay.

about two weeks ago

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