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Comment: It's a balance (Score 1) 634

by ComputerDruid (#28818431) Attached to: The Best First Language For a Young Programmer

This is very similar to some of the strongly typed versus weakly typed language debates that seem to happen all the time. Should ease of use and fun programming come before or after learning about what's going on?

As a fan of both python and C/C++, I believe there needs to be a balance. When teaching a language to students new to CS, you have to gloss over some of the details in order to give them a basic understanding and excitement about what is going on.

My guess is that languages like scheme may inhibit this initial step, so that it is hard for students to catch on.

Comment: Gauging response? (Score 3, Interesting) 142

by ComputerDruid (#28465191) Attached to: China Starts/Stops Blocking Google

It seems to me that google is one of the sites on the internet that make china's censorship work much more difficult. It's not hard to imagine that they'd like google gone for good. Unfortunately, google is a very real part of a lot of people's lives.

Is it possible that this (and other similar actions) are attempts to see if they would be able to get away with blocking google for a longer period of time, and not cause a mass uproar?

Censorship

+ - Google Suggest Disabled in China Due to Porn->

Submitted by
I Don't Believe in Imaginary Property
I Don't Believe in Imaginary Property writes "The Chinese government has asked Google to disable Google Suggest because it has been suggesting that people search for pornography based on its analysis of the most popular search terms in China. This comes on the heels of a fake CCTV interview being used to support the government requirement that all new computers ship with the 'Green Damn' internet censoring program, which is still in force, despite reports to the contrary. Understandably, average Chinese citizens are not very happy about any of this."
Link to Original Source
Music

+ - Zune's Licensing is Plain Evil->

Submitted by
Rjak
Rjak writes "DRM is a bad idea, poorly implemented.

One of the many many valid reasons to drop Zune and it's marketplace is the DRM validation error you see below. The vast majority of the music I had purchased last year is completely gone. There's no refund, the music doesn't exist on the service anymore, the files are just garbage now.

Here's the unbelievable error:

"This item is no longer available at Zune Marketplace. Because of this, you can no longer play it or sync it with your Zune. There might be another iteration of it available in Zune Marketplace."

Screencap Here

Did anyone else have Microsoft's licensing policy as a reason to jump ship? Or was the word "Microsoft" enough?"

Link to Original Source

Comment: Opposing side? (Score 2, Funny) 381

by ComputerDruid (#28018749) Attached to: Cory Doctorow Draws the Line On Net Neutrality

I don't think I've ever heard an argument that was serious for the other side of this issue. Am I just ignorant? Or is this a non-issue that people like to discuss?

Regardless, censorship is a scary thing. Fortunately, the internet is probably bigger than most blacklist-based censorship attempts, and I don't think we're in such a bad position that people would tolerate anything more restrictive (whitelists or graylists). The great firewall of china is obviously the exception to this.

Comment: Military required? (Score 4, Insightful) 381

by ComputerDruid (#28017973) Attached to: Spy Satellite Photos Used To Fight Drug Smugglers

Is drug smuggling really such a big problem to require the use of military resources? It seems like something like this falls much more into the realm of law enforcement than something the military should get involved in.

I know that it is sometimes called the war on drugs, but is it really so bad that it deserves to be called a war?

One of the most overlooked advantages to computers is... If they do foul up, there's no law against whacking them around a little. -- Joe Martin

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