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Comment: Who is saying STEM-ONLY? (Score 2) 317

by EmagGeek (#49380013) Attached to: Why America's Obsession With STEM Education Is Dangerous

To my knowledge, nobody is saying that we should teach STEM and STEM only. Of course a complete education is necessary, but a complete education is one that does not fail to teach STEM to students who are interested and proficient at it.

That is the main problem with our education system - there is little or no STEM before late in high school, and by then it is too late.

I was playing with batteries, motors, and a 200-in-one electronic project kit from Radio Shack when I was 5 years old. I got my amateur radio license when I was 12. Fortunately my dad is an engineer and saw my interest and cultivated it at a young age. THAT is what we need to do with STEM.

Fareed needs to stop setting up strawmen he can knock down and actually make himself abreast of the facts about what is, and more important, is not being said.

+ - Systemd Devs Fork Linux Kernel-> 3

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Now it appears as though the systemd developers have found a solution to kernel compatibility problems and a way to extend their philosophy of placing all key operating system components in one repository. According to Ivan Gotyaovich, one of the developers working on systemd, the project intends to maintain its own fork of the Linux kernel. "There are problems, problems in collaboration, problems with compatibility across versions. Forking the kernel gives us control over these issues, gives us control over almost all key parts of the stack.""
Link to Original Source
United Kingdom

UK Government Admits Intelligence Services Allowed To Break Into Any System 107

Posted by samzenpus
from the whenever-we-feel-like-it dept.
An anonymous reader writes Recently, Techdirt noted that the FBI may soon have permission to break into computers anywhere on the planet. It will come as no surprise to learn that the U.S.'s partner in crime, the UK, granted similar powers to its own intelligence services some time back. What's more unexpected is that it has now publicly said as much, as Privacy International explains: "The British Government has admitted its intelligence services have the broad power to hack into personal phones, computers, and communications networks, and claims they are legally justified to hack anyone, anywhere in the world, even if the target is not a threat to national security nor suspected of any crime." That important admission was made in what the UK government calls its "Open Response" to court cases started last year against GCHQ.

Apple May Start Accepting Android Phones As Trade-Ins 148

Posted by timothy
from the whatever-you've-got dept. writes Bloomberg reports that according to a person with knowledge of the matter, Apple plans to start accepting non-Apple devices as trade-ins as the company seeks to extend market-share gains against Android smartphones. Apple is seeking to fuel even more iPhone 6 and 6 Plus sales after selling 74.5 million units in the last three months of 2014. Thanks to record sales, shipments of iPhones surpassed Android in the US with 47.7 percent of the market compared with Android's 47.6 percent. According to Apple CEO Tim Cook Apple "experienced the highest Android switcher rate in any of the last three launches in the three previous years." While Android phones don't hold their value as well as iPhones, it still makes sense for Apple Stores to accept them, says Israel Ganot, former CEO of Gazelle Inc., an online mobile device trade-in company. "Apple can afford to pay more than the market value to get you to switch over," says Ganot, "on the idea that you're going to fall in love with the iOS ecosystem and stay for a long time."

Comment: Re:Your justice system is flawed, too. (Score 4, Informative) 1081

by JesseMcDonald (#49258975) Attached to: How To Execute People In the 21st Century

There is something called "The Social Contract", which is something of a "shrink wrap license" you agree to by being born into a society, that by doing so, you agree to abide by that societies rules.

Ridiculous. You can't agree to anything just by being born; you aren't even sentient at that point. There is no meeting of the minds, no clear agreement. If this so-called "social contract" existed, it would be a contract of adhesion which no human being in history ever explicitly agreed to, and any competent court would throw it out with prejudice after a cursory hearing.

Comment: Re:Conversation went roughly like... (Score 1) 78

...a fix money supply like the gold standard or bitcoin is much more horrible system than having to deal with something like the Fed.

On the contrary, there is no need to adjust the quantity of money to reflect population growth or GDP or anything else. The value of the money will adjust automatically based on supply and demand; it's impossible to have a shortage or surplus, as the units are arbitrary and have no direct use apart from serving as money. Changing the quantity of money in an attempt to regulate the price ruins an extremely useful economic signal regarding the demand for money and the balance between consumption and investment, leading to overconsumption and/or malinvestment.

Bitcoin is inflationary for now—any new currency must be, during the initial distribution phase—but over the long term the supply will be relatively constant and the price thus will be fully determined by the demand for bitcoins. Variations in the price will thus signal changes in the demand for money—to the extent bitcoins are used; the effect is diluted by the presence of other, centrally-managed currencies—which in turn informs the market about which investments are better or worse than average. Assuming a growing economy, any investment which does not outperform the expected price deflation is worse than average: investing in it would reduce the rate of growth. Under forced inflation there is more investment, but some of it is malinvestment, driven by the fact that simply holding the money causes it to lose value (artificially, due to the increased supply), and thus contributes to a lower average return and a poorer economy.

Comment: Re:This is some serious sci-fi drama (Score 1) 78

No, mathematics like science is purely an invention of the human mind...

One could argue that the entire universe as we know it is nothing more than "an invention of the human mind", leaving no scope at all for discovery, but that is hardly a useful position to take in this context. Even if you did take that approach, mathematics should still be excluded, because mathematical relationships exist independently of human thought. The ratio of a circle's radius to its circumference is tau, and would remain tau even if no human ever existed to discover that fact.

Invention implies an element of creativity, deliberate choice among the available alternatives. The only choices in math are in the selection of axioms. Mathematical axioms may be invented (under significant constraints necessary to keep the results applicable to the physical universe, though there remains some flexibility), but everything beyond that follows mechanically from the axioms—and is thus discovered. Similarly, once your requirements are known, developing a software algorithm comes down to little more than solving the system of constraints described by the requirements—given the requirements specified in a formal language, this is something that could be solved in principle by a search through the solution space using tools similar to mechanical theorem-provers. Intuition helps in narrowing the search space (at the cost of possibly missing the solution entirely), but it isn't essential given sufficient time and memory. Of course, an actual program includes additional elements such as comments, identifiers and code style which are chosen by the programmer and have no effect on the program's behavior; these creative elements would be invented rather than discovered.

Science, moreover, is not "purely an invention of the human mind" any more than mathematics is. It consists of both discovery and invention. Science is essentially the process of making observations and developing statistically consistent models. There is more flexibility here than in math; models can fit the data to a greater or lesser extent, and the best-fitting model is not always the most useful. A useful approximation can thus be considered an invention; just the same, most of science consists of discovery rather than invention of new models, even more so when the goal is simply to fit a standard statistical model to the available data, pure math combined with discovered observations.

BitCoin's main [algorithms] go back about 30 years.

The algorithms have been known for about 30 years, but they've always existed as a solution to the problem Bitcoin was intended to solve, waiting for someone to discover them.

Comment: Re:This is some serious sci-fi drama (Score 1) 78

discoverer of Bitcoin

The word you are looking for is inventor. A discoverer is someone who finds something that was there all along.

In that case, the correct word is "discoverer". The name Bitcoin was invented, but the fundamental algorithms with which Bitcoin solves the distributed ledger problem have always existed; it just took someone asking the right questions to discover them. You don't invent solutions to math problems, you discover them, and that goes for software algorithms just as much as any other form of math.

"In matters of principle, stand like a rock; in matters of taste, swim with the current." -- Thomas Jefferson