Follow Slashdot blog updates by subscribing to our blog RSS feed


Forgot your password?
Check out the new SourceForge HTML5 internet speed test! No Flash necessary and runs on all devices. ×

Comment I don't know, turtles are kind of cool. (Score 1) 241

Maybe some kind of simple programming language elementary dealing with turtles? A command based system where you tell it to go 5 spaces, draw a line and turn and have the students predict where it goes?

Seriously, high-school= C. Maybe stripped down without any of that pointer stuff or, make that a separate class, and that covers the basic syntax of every other major language out there. I learned fucking pascal off a Mac LC and it nearly failed me in programming 101 in college cause no one used that stuff. But elementary students who can't spell and you want to teach algebra? Go with Logo. I might not remember much about pascal (till recently at-least) but I sure as hell remember spending hours in front of an Apple 2, trying to draw little people, then running them over with my turtle.

And YES. Strip out all that pointer stuff. To pass references, tell students to use &. I KNOW its not in the C spec, but anyone who as ever sat down and actually tried to teach someone programming realizes that people have problems with what a pointer is. I don't know why, but peoples eyes just glaze over. Its a complicated subject especially when you start throwing operator presidence in there like like *ptr++ or *(ptr-4). Those are just the basic examples. If you can get them to comprehend what a references are, then you are half way there.

If you can just get them to sit down and program something because they wanted to and not needed to, then they will learn themselves. Getting to that point is what everyone is trying to do. Just don't try to teach people flavor-of-the-month languages.

Comment Two words: Rosetta Stone (Score 2) 305

This is pretty neat progress, but IMO it's pretty disheartening that after several decades we're still not anywhere near understanding their language. If we can't figure out how to communicate with fellow mammals sharing a common lineage, it really challenges the common sci-fi trope of having any kind of meaningful discourse with a creature from the other side of the galaxy.

The problem is context. You have to assume that a dolphin, if they have a language, has hundreds of words for fish. But without semantics, all you can do is guess. For all anyone knew, Egyptian's hieroglyphs were just pretty pictures till the Rosetta Stone came around. Even then it took 20 years before anyone could confidently say what were drawn on those walls. We still aren't confident on how you say some of the phonemes either. It could be a "finding out dinosaurs had feathers all this time" event.

Still we should try. I don't think its disheartening because people are trying HARD at this. The lessens we learn in decoding the raw speech patterns of our planet's creatures will help us on truly alien species. I just hope when we do discover alien artifacts, that they aren't passed around as pretty door stops like alto of the Egyptian's ones were.

"Hey fred! That black monolith looks great behind my flat screen TV!"

Comment Re:Another use for my Arduino (Score 1) 256

Now, Microsoft is willing to pay me to wiggle a mouse around and occasionally click. Hmm ... :)

I remember, back in college maybe 1998, my roomate signed up for this startup company that would pay him per click on advertisments. He wrote a script that would reload the website, move the mouse, and click on the link evey 2 seconds.

He made close to 300 bucks over 3 months before the company went belly up. I wish I got in the action but I was taking ethics:P

Comment Re:I'm sure they will fully comply (Score 1) 120

You know what the sad part of all this is? All they have to offer is phone number blocking per account. That would solve large part of my robot calls. No limits either, none of this "you can only block 10 numbers for $10" crap. I know what blocks they are coming from (FUCK YOU FLORIDA) It would cost them NOTHING to implement this. Sigh.

Comment Re:He did NOT build it "to play tetris" (Score 2) 127

I am sure even non-techies think this is impressive. Each one of those modules for that computer would of had to be assembled and tested by hand. Even then this is no simple HACK computer. It has square root for christ sakes (even if it is a bit long in cycles). This thing is WAY over-engineered yet very pretty to look at.

I'd be interested to know how modeler it is. That is can you move the logic modules around to change the instructions with the way he has those cables connected. I always liked the idea of the DEC plug in modules. Where all you needed was a properly wired back-plane and poof, computer.

Comment Re:Double-standard (Score 5, Funny) 341

It's an interesting insight into Apple's view of the world. All music must be either ripped (and thus backed up) or bought from iTunes. Therefore, deleting it isn't an issue, you can now stream it and iTunes will re-download it if you have an iPod. There are no other use cases, all other workflows are incorrect. iTunes manages all your audio files, you shouldn't even be looking at them. You click play in iTunes, it plays (subject to internet connection, fees may apply), it works perfectly and in the most intuitive and revolutionary manner possible.

Fuck. I can't tell if your trolling, being sarcastic, explaining or being a fanboy. Excellent Post!

Comment Re:So forgetting a password (Score 1) 796

" If the evidence already exists (as encrypted data on the hard drive)" Ah, but it's NOT known to exist. The prosecution only suspects there's evidence on the hard drive, and they're fishing.

Thats the catch. In this case they have evidence from his sister that she saw child porn on his monitor. Its how they got the warrant. Its been stated better elsewhere in comments, but the police is in the good here. They tracked this guy for weeks, they KNOW he was using his computer this time at a child porn site. So yea, he was boned way before they got the hands on the drives. They raided the house specifically for these drives.

It be different if he was arrested for another charge and the procureruter wanted the hard drives decrypted to "find possable child porn" I honestly don't know why everyone is up and arms over this non issue:P

Comment Re:Soil surcharging (Score 2) 102

Its the reason why the NASA space ports are at Huston and Cape Canaveral. They are on the coast so when a rocket goes crazy, it can go crazy in the sea.

As for the dirt, yea. Even way inland, your looking at 4 to upwards of 8 meters till you reach bedrock and a lot of that filler is clay. You can't have basements here either, cause that clay will drain water into it daily.

My grandpa realized this 30 years ago when he built his home and spent an extra 30k drilling these 5 meter cement pillars for his home. He hasn't had any foundation issues while our neighbor had to repair his 3 times over the same period.

Comment A Small World Disney ride anyone? (Score 1) 158

All I thought, when I saw the video, is the old ride "Its a Small World" Like those 40 year old animatronics that sing and try to open that damn prison. Don't get me wrong, its amazing he did this at all, especially for the budget. I am sure now that he knows what he is doing he could do it even at half the cost or less. While, at-least for me, its on the low end of the Uncanny valley, it just feels/sounds/looks so robotic for me to consider it even real.

Still, the 3D print of the rib-cage and pelvis was cool, even if that itself felt creepy:P

Comment And this is why I block china. (Score 1) 77

Seriously, I refresh the IP space evey week for China, Russa, Africa and starting to look at South America. I can say it helped immensely on the spam to my grandma even before it gets to spam assassin. If I have to virtually visit those county, it all goes though a vmware image though an anonymous internet vpn. It sounds insane till you get ping ddosed from a site you just visited:P

Comment Re:Watching it in Elementary School (Score 1) 320

Yea same. I was in 2rd grade? My mother had me going to our church's school. It was very small, like 25 kids per grade and only kindergarten to 3th. Grades 1-3 were (kindergarten was in nap time I think) were in the TV room that had the big 29 inch floor TV that we watched PBS shows on. We watched it launch and explode. I still remember it today even though most of the rest of that school time there was a blur. Oh that and Halley's Comet. Funny how the only two things I really remember from those grades relate to space.

Honestly I don't remember how I felt about it, what everyone talked about, not even what I did that day. Just remembering it happen and where I was. Its like your mind marks that event not to be garbage collected even though it doesn't tag emotions or even who you were with at the time.

Comment Re:it's a cultural problem, unfixable via tech or (Score 1) 257

This is a symptom of a deep cultural problem, and I don't think either law or technology is going to fix it. At best, it'll just be another "law nobody knows about" that can be used for selective enforcement.

This need to post every microscopic facet of one's life to Facebook is rather sick, even under less tragic circumstances than a traffic accident. It's something that's badly broken about our narcissistic culture. It's bad enough when it's one's own private data, but when it involves some other human being who didn't agree, and in fact may have just suffered either the worst day of their life, or the last day of their life, it's even worse. It's a symptom of lack of empathy for other human beings.

The only way I see to fix this is long term and cultural, not short term and legal.

My grandfather recently told me this story. About 45 years ago he was saw an accident where the car hit something, flipped and had the occupant fly out, his head chopped off at the poll. He got out, picked up his 35mm camera and took a few shots. He came back to his car and drove off. This is not a "now" thing, People have been doing this since they have invented the camera. Hell, you see it in paintings from even before that. Any kind of long term solution means teaching everyone empathy. Considering the most exciting thing you can see when your in your teens is a dead guy and poking him with a stick, I doubt this will ever be solved.

I am not a hypocrite though, I asked if he still had the pictures but he said he didn't because a friend used his camera before him and removed the film. Hence his lessen, "Always make sure you have film in your camera"

Slashdot Top Deals

Any program which runs right is obsolete.