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Comments

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Kentucky: Programming Language = Foreign Language

wonkavader Re:I like this idea (426 comments)

Let me add just a bit to your comment on Spanish. Spanish is the single easiest commonly used, spoken language an American can learn. It has a TINY vocabulary (you can claim fluency knowling well less than 10,000 words). There are native speakers all around you who love talking to English speakers in Spanish (not only is it hilarious, the English speakers are buying things and helping them makes them repeat customers). It's actually USEFUL, and you can start putting it to good use right away in almost any state. Try that with German! And then there's what you said.

ASL is also dead-easy, but it's not spoken, per se, not really written, and only useful in deaf schools. That said, you lean ASL and you can pick up other SLs accross the globe faster than anyone can pick up a new spoken language, and there's deaf folk in every country.

about 3 months ago
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Kentucky: Programming Language = Foreign Language

wonkavader Re:you know (426 comments)

If you learn a second lanuage, a third is much easier. Yes, learning Spanish helps you learn Korean.

[Yes, Japanese would help a lot more, but it's still helpful.]

about 3 months ago
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Kentucky: Programming Language = Foreign Language

wonkavader Re: KY SB 16 2014 (426 comments)

Then you wasted your years in college.

about 3 months ago
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Kentucky: Programming Language = Foreign Language

wonkavader Re:headline fix (426 comments)

I think you're missing the real point here. Computer languages are NOT foreign languages. Foreign languages teach mental dexterity in the verbal domain and allow people to experiences worldviews other than their own. Computer languages teach systematic thinking.

So what you really need here is:

"Kentucky: Logic = Foreign Language."

about 3 months ago
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Nobel Prize Winning Economist: Legalize Sale of Human Organs

wonkavader Re:False equivalence much? (518 comments)

Do they recognize you can kill political prisoners and make a fortune by selling their innards?

In the American south, prison labor used to be common. You'd pay the warden and he'd share that money downward to the guards and police, etc., and prisoners would be sent to work for you for no pay to them. Oddly, the prisons were always full of people who were guilty of being black. There was a financial incentive to keep the prisons full.

If we legalize pay for organs, there's a great incentive for people you don't like to not only wind up in prison, but for them to commit suicide, get shot trying to escape, have accidents, etc.

about 3 months ago
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Is Bruce Schneier Leaving His Job At BT?

wonkavader Re:job prospects (96 comments)

How about head of the TSA?

about 4 months ago
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Microsoft Research Uses Kinect To Translate Between Spoken and Sign Languages

wonkavader Re:Hardly revolutionary (79 comments)

And these people are NOT doing real time translation. They're having people sign each sign stilted isolation.

As

Though

They

Talked

Like

This

about 6 months ago
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Microsoft Research Uses Kinect To Translate Between Spoken and Sign Languages

wonkavader Re:Does it translate... (79 comments)

In ASL the bird is directional. Not sure about CSL. But you don't point it upward in ASL, you point it as the moron you're insulting.

about 6 months ago
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Nokia's Elop Set To Receive $25 Million Bonus After Acquisition

wonkavader Re:Ahhh ... (196 comments)

This is hogwash. Elop killed the company's feature phone business which was doing fine for the time being. Yes, Nokia needed help. Yes, it was on a slope downward and needed to figure out how to compete. But Elop didn't do that. Elop jumped forward without covering the company's behind.

That he made a wrong choice of where to jump to, that it suspicious in hindsight, those are irrelevant. He didn't work to preserve the part of the business which worked and would have kept working for several more years if he hadn't driven a stake into it -- that is his massive sin of incompetance, or perhaps worse.

about 7 months ago
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Secret Court Upholds Phone Data Collection

wonkavader Re:No Surprise (174 comments)

Why would a 'for profit' corporation go out of its way to not do something the goverment which it can charge for?

I suspect if the goverment didn't pay for this data, we'd see a bunch of lawsuits to "protect the rights of consumers."

about 6 months ago
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Why Apple Went 64-Bit With the iPhone 5s

wonkavader Re: 64-bit BS (512 comments)

Nicely put.

about 7 months ago
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Former DHS Official Blames Privacy Advocates For TSA's Aggressive Procedures

wonkavader Re:Accountability (325 comments)

I like this idea a LOT. Security would go WAY down, lines would speed up, the searches would be polite. If a plane blew up, the airline would get sued for about a figure that an actuary could neatly estimate. They'd only inconvenience their customers up to a point where the chance that they'd lose repeat business was cost-effective. Perfect.

But the TSA grabs everyone at the start of the terminal. The terminals are used by multiple airlines. How do you see that getting broken up by airline? Pooling? That spoils the effect. Mutliple lines?

The airlines would be forced to get some real security on the tickets, to avoid them being forged. Heck we might see some real security instead of security theatre if someone's money was on the line, as opposed to a politician's job.

But some airlines would muff it badly. You'd need to issue some proof of going through security and verify it when you boarded, so that folks didn't go through some lax airline's security and then board their real flight.

What must be avoid at all costs is the airport providing the security as a service to the airline. Then there's no global standard, no one with a lot to lose, disregard for the customer, etc.

about 7 months ago
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Why PBS Won't Do Android

wonkavader Re:Android not as big as it appears (331 comments)

They don't charge for thier app. They charge for the ads on the videos inside their app. So all of the above is just noise.

They make more money by hitting more people, so they should have an adroid app.

(Their list of advertisers is small, but they show over and over. I have "Viking River Cruises" DRILLED into my head by so many repititions of their ad while watching videos on the iPad PBS app.)

about 8 months ago
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Why PBS Won't Do Android

wonkavader Re:Back up... Why would PBS write an app? (331 comments)

The videos play and people watch them. The start with an ad and are interrupted by advertising. The advertizers pay PBS.

It's actually BETTER for PBS if people watch the shows on the app, rather than on TV.

about 8 months ago
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Why PBS Won't Do Android

wonkavader Re:The perfect is the enemy of the good. (331 comments)

Since the PBS app is made to look like the website or vice versa, this intelligent point unfortunately has no relation to the current dicussion. PBS is not thinking about human factors at all. They're thinking about keeping exactly the same over-wigeted look on all platforms.

about 8 months ago
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Why PBS Won't Do Android

wonkavader Re:Mobile apps and screen sizes, legit problem (331 comments)

I used to work with one of these people. I liked him a lot. But he came from the advertising world and from printed media. He was used (years of experience) to being able to start a project with a SIZE.

So the first thing he did on any web project was define a box of a fixed size, and float it in the middle of the page. Change the page size all you liked, the content stayed the same size.

Then he nailed down all the fonts so you couldn't adjust them. He used pictures for text all over the place, because they looked exactly like the fonts he was using, so there was no difference. You wouldn't change the font yourself, right? You'd never know.

And you see this all the time, on the web. Not sure if all the culprits come from print media, but they seem to have that same urge: Control the experience. Completely. Utterly ignore the fact that people have bigger and smaller screens, disabilities which cause them to prefer different font sizes or colors, etc.

about 8 months ago

Submissions

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Iron-air batteries look promising all of a sudden. And cheap.

wonkavader wonkavader writes  |  about a year and a half ago

wonkavader (605434) writes "USC researchers have an article in JES on improvements to iron-air batteries. They seemed like a good idea 40 years ago, but were abandoned because hydrolysis cost them 50% of their energy. The researchers have solved the hydrolysis problem. Because iron is incredibly cheap, these batteries could be 25% the cost of lithium-ion batteries per kWh."
Link to Original Source
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India's "$35" tablet becomes real

wonkavader wonkavader writes  |  more than 2 years ago

wonkavader (605434) writes "There's talk of it costing a little more (perhaps $49) and the low price is in quantity 1 million, but the device works, and it looks like the Indian government is poised to make good on their idea. They'll pay half the cost of the device and the schools providing these to their students will pay the other half. The $35 (or $49) price isn't retail — expect to pay more for these if you want one yourself."
Link to Original Source
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Nufront ARM Cortex-A9 at 2Ghz Aimed at Desktop

wonkavader wonkavader writes  |  more than 3 years ago

wonkavader (605434) writes "Nufront's Cortex ARM-A9 Dual core chip now runs at 2Ghz, and they have a couple of examples of systems using it. Articles/videos showing it in a desktop, and a laptop/netbook can be found at here, here and here.
Details which can be gleaned from the videos include: The laptop's target price is about $200, as is the desktop's. The chip itself should cost about $30. It needs a heat sink, right now (though not a fan, even though one is mounted in one of the videos) but is being optimized to try to eliminate even that heatsink. The chip represents a PC on a chip, such that few if any support chips are necessary and will run at something below 2 watts. The laptop they show is very thin, and I certainly want one. They currently run Android and Ubuntu. The desktop system is snappy, though it seems like their Ubuntu setup doesn't benefit from any hardware video acceleration, currently. They are partnered with Microsoft, and clearly really aiming at being a desktop for the new ARM-compatible Windows which is supposed to be in the works."

Link to Original Source
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Turns out BP is comprised entirely of saints

wonkavader wonkavader writes  |  more than 3 years ago

wonkavader (605434) writes "Not in one single instance did BP cut corners to minimize costs. It's official. The government investigative panel says so. "'We have not seen a single instance where a human being made a conscious decision to favor dollars over safety,' Fred Bartlit, the trial lawyer in charge of the investigation, said today." Not one."
Link to Original Source
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BP Cofferdams Explained via Fishtank

wonkavader wonkavader writes  |  more than 3 years ago

wonkavader (605434) writes "The Guardian has a cute little video demonstration [http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/video/2010/may/06/cofferdams-bp-solution-deepwater-horizon] of what BP has in mind to stop the oil leaks which are creating the mess in the gulf of Mexico, which just recently made landfall [http://www.bellona.org/articles/articles_2010/spill_hits]. Apparently, BP has constructed a 180 ton plastic water bottle, then cut it in half and... well, the video makes things pretty clear."
Link to Original Source
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Foxconn and Hon Hai both planning ARM smartbooks

wonkavader wonkavader writes  |  more than 4 years ago

wonkavader (605434) writes "Tuesday was a good day for smartbook news. News articles from Sep 8 tell us that both Foxconn and Hon Hai are developing ARM-based smartbooks.

PC World reports that Foxconn's devices "use a few different Linux operating systems, including one similar to the Intel-backed Moblin OS and one developed by Foxconn. The company is currently looking into Google's Android mobile OS for possible use as well."

Reuters reports that Hon Hai is also developing them. Hon Hai makes the iPhone and the Wii."
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Dell selling ARM based SmartBooks?

wonkavader wonkavader writes  |  more than 4 years ago

wonkavader (605434) writes "According to the Article: "In an effort to expand its Linux offerings, Dell is researching new netbook-type devices and will soon offer netbook Linux OS upgrades, a company official said on Wednesday. ... The company is researching the possibility of offering new Linux-based mobile devices called smartbooks, said Todd Finch, senior product marketing manager for Linux clients, at the OpenSourceWorld conference in San Francisco. ... Smartbooks are netbook-type devices that are powered by chips designed by Arm."

I don't think Finch said "ARM" but he apparently did say "SmartBook". Then again, he also said "researching the possibility"."

Link to Original Source
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Subaru's opposed diesel hitting the streets

wonkavader wonkavader writes  |  more than 6 years ago

wonkavader (605434) writes "Subaru has made opposed enginies for a long time — this means that the cylinders pound directly into one another, which when properly tuned, reduces vibration, amongst other things. They came up with an opposed diesel engine, last year, and now are putting it in cars. They expect "fuel economy of 49.6mpg and a 151g/km CO2 rating" on one of their first offerings. They also expect it to be very quiet.

These sources are somewhat old, but talk about the opposed engine:However Car Keys has a much more modern article, which talks about the cars which are about to come out."

Link to Original Source
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Newegg's a lot better than Buy.com on rebates

wonkavader wonkavader writes  |  more than 6 years ago

wonkavader (605434) writes "Two small articles in the Consumerist juxtapose the policies on rebates of Newegg and buy.com. Newegg will, at least sometimes, honor rebates for companies which go out of business. Buy.com implies that it won't. This doesn't absolutely mean that Newegg would do it every time, or that buy.com would never make good in any situation, but the responses:
  • Newegg: "All rebates are issued through the manufacturers directly. However, as you are our valued customer, we have made an exception and credited you $20.00..."
  • Buy.com [paraphrased]: "...buy.com was currently legally pursuing Connect 3D and a full rebate would not be issued."
seem to confirm a general impression of the two retailers."

Link to Original Source
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Constitution Visitors Expelled for Caps/T-Shirts

wonkavader wonkavader writes  |  more than 6 years ago

wonkavader (605434) writes ""On Jan 12, members of John Niremberg's impeachment march (which started over a month ago in Boston) were either denied entry to or expelled from the National Archives for wearing clothing printed with the articles of the Constitution concerning impeachment."

The National Archives bars or boots people with parts of the constitution printed on T-Shirts? Yikes. The excuse used was that the Archives security should prevent protests in the Archives, but clearly, the people were expelled because of who they were, not what they did (which was apparently nothing other than get in line to see the Constitution). Does a national resource have the right to expel anyone based on political leanings? (The audio referenced is a little shrill, but has some interesting details.)

Stories are here and here."

Link to Original Source
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Judiciary Chair Conyers Make It Clear

wonkavader wonkavader writes  |  more than 6 years ago

wonkavader (605434) writes "Detroit's Metro Times has a story on U.S. House Judiciary Committee Chairman John Conyers, and his dilemma over impeachment. On one hand, he says, his best friends urge him to impeach. And as the article says, "He knows, more than most people, how deeply lawless President Bush is. He knows he deserves impeachment, and knows that Cheney does, probably even more so."

But Conyer's priority isn't the constitution or justice or limiting presidential power. "Listen." he told me. "The most important thing is that we don't elect another Republican. That is the most important issue. I am supporting Obama, but any of the Democrats would be better than any Republican."

Is he saving his country or placing the needs of his party over the needs of the people?"

Link to Original Source
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wonkavader wonkavader writes  |  more than 6 years ago

wonkavader (605434) writes "The New York Times [UR:http://www.nytimes.com/2006/09/18/technology/1 8chip.html?ref=technology] reports today that "Researchers plan to announce on Monday that they have created a silicon-based chip that can produce laser beams. The advance will make it possible to use laser light rather than wires to send data between chips, removing the most significant bottleneck in computer design." The work is from Intel and the University of California, Santa Barbara. This suggests breakthroughs in both computing performance and networking."

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