rolandw writes "My daughter was complaining that she didn't like learning French because she didn't understand the equivalent English grammar. Despite my own classical education (same as the UK's Prime Minister, but at least I know what "Magna Carter" means in English) I also struggled with English grammar until I was in my 20's. I'm now striving to explain it to her so that it sinks in; I have adult grammar books but nothing for a child. Can anyone recommend a good book to help her understand?" top
rolandw writes "The crew of Larry Ellison's 72ft wing sailed catamaran took an unfortunate swim when it buried it's nose in the swell in San Francisco Bay and flipped over. Luckily no one was hurt. With a falling tide, the platform was swept out to sea and was 2 miles outside the Goldengate Bridge before a tow could be made to work. Much, if not all of the boat appears to be totalled. Many thousands of man hours have been put into this machine and many millions of dollars — it represented the state of art of sailing in the USA.
But the biggest losers could include you — the Oracle customer. I'd expect your license fees to be going up next year to help pay for the rebuild." Link to Original Source top
rolandw writes "The BBC's Michael Sparks blogs about teaching kids in northern England about coding at "Hack to the Future"
"Last month, the BBC went into a school in Preston to help some children get started with learning to code in order to inspire them and help answer some important questions around children, coding and the BBC. I helped with the preprations and went along to assist BBC Learning. This post gives you a little background, describes how it happened, what happened on the day, and why. I personally find the video giving a flavour of the event inspiring and hope you do too."
rolandw writes "The UK's Grauniad newspaper is reporting that RIM are essentially going back to basics focusing "its consumer efforts on targeted offerings that tap the company's strengths". This is because, as RIM CEO Thorsten Heins says, "We can't do everything ourselves but we can do what we're good at". We can all hear Apple and Google breath huge sighs of relief that they are no longer under threat from north of the border." Link to Original Source top
rolandw (1105017) writes "As I was approaching my home on the train from London to the depths of West Sussex last night a fellow passenger asked me if the iPad on the table was mine. It wasn't but equally it was clear that it's owner was no longer with us. As a frequent traveller I volunteered to take it with me and try to return it or leave it with the train staff.
For some reason, the iPad was not locked. I opened it and shut down the end of the Scrabble game to see if the owner was marked in the address book. No clear sign of anything so I checked for emails. Plenty of emails coming in for Paul (as I now knew he was called), few going out. No emails with signatures so no sign of a telephone number but at least I had an email address if the worst came to the worst. However, armed with Paul's name. I returned to the address book and there he was — with no contact details. Like most of us, he had added in contact details for lots of his family. I picked Jen at random and called. "Hi, I'm trying to find Paul because he's left his iPad on a train". A sigh. "He's my dad. What a plonker" . She gave me his number and I called. Paul returned my voicemail within 5 minutes and we arranged for its return.
This morning, holding the iPad, I leant out of the door of the train at the pre-arranged station and by 6:50am, Paul had his iPad back. He gave me £20 which I duly gave to charity (complete with Gift Aid which increases the donation by 25% thanks to HM Government) on-line.
There are a few lessons to be learnt. 1. Never leave your mobile device on a train — don't be "a plonker". 2. Always make sure that your device is clearly labelled on the outside just in case someone wants to return it. 3. You should set your device to lock — I could have done all sorts of mischief before giving it back, mischief that would have earned me substantially more than the value of the iPad.
rolandw (1105017) writes "Roo Slater, a school boy from Pennthorpe School, West Sussex, UK, has 11 minutes and 11 seconds past 11 on the 11th November 2000 recorded on his birth certificate as his date and time of birth. On 11/11/11 at 11:11:11, Roo will be exactly 11. As it is also Armistice Day, Roo has eschewed all presents and wants everyone to donate £11 to Help for Hero's. For those interested in numbers, co-incidences or just think that this is rather a cool thing for an eleven year old to do, Roo is hoping to raise £1,111." Link to Original Source top
rolandw (1105017) writes "For fairly obvious reasons, WePad GmbH have renamed themselves WeTab and are now accepting pre-orders via Amazon.de for their über-tablet. Although it promised camera, USB and an openness that is clearly missing from the market leader is it going to overcome the hype? Amazon.de will only ship in Germany; is that even legal in the EU? Regardless of its change, if this device gets into British schools, it's going to cause more than a few sniggers because of its name..." Link to Original Source top
rolandw writes "My soon to be 7 year old daughter declared an ambition to be the next Kate Adie (now there's a generation gap) and to make her own video news service. Eschewing all other presents, she has asked for cash for her birthday so that she can get herself her first camera. I've been charged to fit a camera that she can use to record both herself and her subjects, can connect to iMovie for editing, can use for replaying either on the camera or on a TV (all on her own I must add) to her as yet unknown budget. The camera has got to be pretty tough and reliable, seeing as it's going to knock about in her school bag, and, of course, simple to use. The budget is not going to be huge — maybe £150/$200. What would you recommend...?" top
rolandw writes "There must be many cases where one on-line advertiser inadvertently advertises their competition for free but following the bruhar of Google releasing Streetmap in London we checked our own office address only to find a London bus emblazoned with Yahoo! advertising. If Google are sensitive enough to remove an image of a man entering a London sex shop then perhaps they might want to remove this..." Link to Original Source top
rolandw (1105017) writes "This last week-end a small team led by former SAS Neil Laughton departed London bound for Tombouctou in Mali via the Sahara. This minimal vehicle has four wheels and a parafoil (or a big kite to you and me) enabling it to travel on the roads or through the air. It's powered by biofuel. If you are excited by the prospect of a new way to get to the office, hold on to your hats as there is a "road sport" version due next year!" Link to Original Source top
rolandw writes "We are trying to determine our dress code. As a small development and IT services company based in central London in the UK we have 12 people working full time and are trying to project an image of professionality and reliability with creativity and technical ability. We have been debating if we should establish a formal dress code or not. A psychologist has told us "polo shirts say manual labour; shirt and tie says city boys; casual dress says IT". That goes against the likes of RedHat and others where a branded shirt is the norm. Most developers would prefer to wear their favourite T-shirt of the moment, jeans and sneakers but that doesn't work when a potential IT services customer visits.
Is our psychologist right? Are branded shirts the way to go? Are we nuts to even be worrying about it? What do you think?" top
Iwanna Begreen (1105017) writes "Following yet another failure of a US designed, Chinese built laptop I am looking for a replacement. I have a new criteria: hardware miles. Its rather like food miles (buy food that has travelled the least or at least be aware of how far it has travelled). Being based in the UK this is rather hard. Has anyone else evaluated hardware based on how far it has travelled? Is there any laptop on the market in Europe that hasn't or the majority of components haven't travelled many thousands of miles before getting to you?" top
Roland Whitehead writes "Running a small enterprise software development company, I'm continuously looking for ways to keep the guys interested and looking for things to learn. I've recently come up with an idea that I hope will put a little fun into it, it being a leap year.
Based on the MacHack competition, I'm setting everyone a challenge to do something entirely new to them so that they learn something and challenge themselves. They can only do this on the 29th February. They can't do anything of any commercial value whatsoever but it really doesn't matter what it is. They will have to demo their work on the next working day, explaining what they have learned and trying to persuade their colleagues that what they have done is a really cool achievement for them. Everyone will rank the projects and the rankings will be added up. We have a moderator (me) who might add on ranking points to squash bribery, favouritism, commercialism or lack of ambition. The winner will be the person whose project has the best overall ranking; they will receive a suitable prize.
I mentioned this concept to a couple of friends in the industry and they thought it was a great idea and could they take part and do something similar within their own teams (with their own prizes). They've also suggested sharing it around. We've set up a page about the competition at http://www.quru.com/leaphack.
Who knows what this might produce?" Link to Original Source