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Comment Deployment (Score 2) 40

The rest of the article is actually pretty interesting. It sounds like there wasn't a clear plan (or at least the teachers weren't onboard) about how to work these into the classroom. OLPC had this problem too - tech people thought you could just hand out shiny things and everything would work out. It frequently doesn't work like this in the education setting. To be clear, BBC:Micro bit is really neat, and I think it will be useful, but it seems like figuring out how to effectively use stuff like this in the classroom continues to be a hard problem.

Comment Wrong move (Score 1) 428

I think that Uber is making the wrong decisions in these disaster scenarios. At least if you have an algorithm that responds to demand, you can stand behind it and say "this works as it is supposed to, and is designed to get the most number of people rides as quickly as possible". Once they start turning it on and off (when people complain), it starts to feel a lot more arbitrary and less fair.

Comment We aren't all hardcore gamers (Score 4, Insightful) 115

I feel like MS has missed the fact that there are a lot of Xbox users out there that bought the machine specifically for the Kinect and associated content. If I wanted an ultimate gaming platform I would have bought a PC. I bought the Xbox because the Kinect is fun and gets you off the couch. Just because non-gamers don't rant and rave on the internet about Xbox vs PS4 specs doesn't mean they shouldn't have some say about how the platform develops.

Comment Stuff costs money (Score 2) 119

I'm going to go out on limb here and suggest that it might have less to do with greed and more to do with the fact that infrastructure and people cost money. As much as I would like it if everything in life were free, it isn't, which means that the people that build and maintain their infrastructure need a salary (not to mention what I imagine are non-trivial hosting costs), and that money has to come from somewhere.

Comment Gentle introduction (Score 4, Interesting) 157

As someone who has worked with young students, high school teachers, university students, and university faculty getting Pi's into the classroom (e.g. http://clean.energyscience.ca/..., http://rpi.science.uoit.ca/ I can say that the micro:bit may be a better starting point for really young kids and their tech phobic teachers than the Pi. From what I can tell, the micro:bit isn't really a computer (unlike the RaspberryPi), but rather a peripheral that enables some physical computing.

There are some ugly sides to the Pi for the uninitiated. I'm not saying one is better than the other (I really like the Pi), but I do think the micro:bit could be a welcome addition to the ecosystem.

I'm disappointed that BBC isn't making them available to the general community from the get go (or even before release to schools). We have a way better chance and troubleshooting (and populating stackoverflow) issues than they do. Despite the fact that this is intended to be plug-and-play, things never are (especially when they involve locked-down machines like those present at most schools).

In any case, I'm looking forward to getting one of these things!

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