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Comment: Kudos to them (Score 5, Insightful) 307

by Anonymous Cowdog (#28616777) Attached to: Toyota Builds a Patent Thicket For Hybrid Cars

This is exactly what patents *should* be used for: secure rewards for innovators who take the risk of bringing out a future-leading product.

The US auto companies who had a product vision apparently inspired by Country & Western music unfortunately passed on the opportunity, and now they'll have to pay.

Comment: Re:Blocking results from certain sites... (Score 1) 171

by Lars Arvestad (#27948379) Attached to: Google Unveils Search Options and Google Squared
Sure, but that particular phrase won't help much (I tried), and I think it would be hard work to find a reliable set of words to filter away. Furthermore, you might remove more than what you want (for example the site you want, if it contains a link to sites for price comparisons).

The real problem is that you sometimes want to exclude classes of sites.

Comment: Re:Blocking results from certain sites... (Score 2, Interesting) 171

by Lars Arvestad (#27939943) Attached to: Google Unveils Search Options and Google Squared
That is useful if a single site is the problem, but how do I say "I do not want results from any price comparison site"? This is a problem I see more and more of: searching for a product can bring up pages of more or less lame price comparison sites before meaning ful sites. The actual producer of the product you are looking for is surprisingly often way down in my listings.

Comment: Wish they would cover the ocean surface (Score 1) 181

by Anonymous Cowdog (#26696685) Attached to: Google Earth To Show Ocean Floor

I wish they would cover the entire ocean surface. There is a lot of interesting stuff out there, and last time I checked they only show the coastlines. Would be fun to see tankers in the middle of the ocean, killer waves on the loose, plastic garbage collected in the middle of the south pacific, tiny sailboats in the middle of nowwhere, reefs, whales, giant squid, narwhal - maybe even Cthulhu is out there somewhere.

Comment: Re:Lego Mindstorm (Score 1) 962

by Lars Arvestad (#26072645) Attached to: Best Introduction To Programming For Bright 11-14-Year-Olds?
I am also a fan of mindstorms, as many others replying in this thread, but I have seen that kids tend to "get stuck" simply building Lego... With motors and whatever of course, but the actual programming part has become parenthetical and very simplistic.

There is nothing wrong with that, of course! I have recommended mindstorms as a xmas present just a few days ago, but if you are really looking at teaching programming, then you will have to work a little extra to make the kids focus on the programming part.

Squeak is quite similar to the mindstorms programming environment, all graphical, and the kids will have a blast.

So, buy the kids Lego Mindstorms for christmas and use Squeak for teaching programming...

Comment: Re:LOGO! (Score 1) 962

by Lars Arvestad (#26072599) Attached to: Best Introduction To Programming For Bright 11-14-Year-Olds?
My 12-year old son has had a great time with squeak, and so has a couple of his friends. You can make some simple but fun games and you work with graphics all the time, which that age group really wants.

Using squeak, you get acquainted with all the basic concepts of programming, so I believe it is a terrific starting point. Both my son and a friend of his are now ready for the next level, writing programs, and we just have to find what would be the suitable continuation (no pun intended!)

Government

IT Cutbacks For 2012 London Olympics 190

Posted by timothy
from the just-crowdsource-the-whole-thing dept.
Slatterz writes "The IT backbone for the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games is to be cut. According to the Games' chief integrator, Michele Hyron of Atos Origin, each section of the computing infrastructure will be made more efficient in order to minimise redundant equipment and hopefully reduce energy consumption. Unlike the Beijing Games, the results will be relayed via the public wireless network which will be available in the Olympic Park — this means cutting out the 2,500 results terminals. The team of workers will deliver more than 1,000 servers, 10,000 PCs and 4,000 printers."
Education

Stephen Hawking Going To Canada 204

Posted by timothy
from the making-reservations-on-a-guild-heighliner dept.
thepacketmaster writes "A previous Slashdot article I posted mentioned the possibility of Stephen Hawking coming to Canada. The Toronto Star now reports that he has accepted the position. Hawking will hold the title of distinguished research chair at the prestigious Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics."
Education

Computer For a Child? 556

Posted by samzenpus
from the start-them-young dept.
jameswing writes "I am thinking of buying a UMPC, such as an Eee PC or a Wind for my son, and wanted to get input from Slashdot. He is almost 2 and really curious about our computers, and anything electronic. I want to foster this in him, without having him on my desktop or laptop. I also don't really like the idea of getting one of those cheap 'Learning Laptops' that have a tiny screen and are really limited. Does anybody have one that they use with their children? How sturdy is it? Will it stand up to a 2-year-old? If not, what are good alternatives? What are your thoughts? Suggestions?"

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