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Comment Re:programming should be taught in all schools (Score 1) 69

Depends what you consider basic programming. There's already software out there that allows kids to do problem solving and create/test algorithms by dragging tokens onto the screen and creating relationships between them. It's even used in many Grade 2 curricula, and all students seem to enjoy bits of it, even if they don't all end up creating really complex bits of software with it.

Comment Re:If it's important maybe it shouldn't be taught (Score 1) 69

I didn't have the Internet to pull from, but that's pretty much what happened with me too. Bad math teaching in elementary school turned me off Math, and the only thing that got me back into it was programming. I started writing software when I was 9, and by the time highschool came around, I was getting algorithm books out of the library, and realized how it all depended on optimization maths. So I took some advanced math/calc courses in HS, but the damage was already done... mathematics weren't intuitive for me, so crunching the numbers was hard work.

So what K-12 REALLY needs to teach is a math segment on algorithms and optimization. Simple bits in the early years, more complex bits later on. Make it applied, so the kids have to solve real world problems with it (like writing some software, supporting a popsicle stick bridge, etc). All the bits are already supposedly in the curriculum, they just haven't been put together in a compelling way. No need for a required CS class, just slip it into the existing curriculum (write physics simulators, chem calculators, bio models, etc. instead of buying short-lived expensive software that does it all for the kids and lets them sit back and watch).

Comment Re:Obvious solution (Score 1) 172

This is what TrueCrypt did. However, as the GP pointed out, it will do nothing. SF will shut down the repo, and replace the product offering with their own bundled version taken from github or wherever the live source is located.

I find this sad, because I used SF a lot pre-Dice to host small projects.

Comment Re:Good luck with that. (Score 2) 408

If a Canadian drives to the US to buy products in a US store, don't they have to declare them to customs? I think they mostly don't care about the bottle of Coca-Cola in your cup holder, but if you buy something expensive they might charge you some kind of import duty and/or taxes on it.

I think this is the kind of argument the Bell Media person was more or less trying to make. She owns the exclusive rights to a basket of content in Canada. If someone is going overseas to acquire this content, they are doing basically the same thing that a physical shopper is doing when they go to the US to buy a product that some Canadian store also wants to sell.

I think the purpose of tarrifs and duties is to specifically hinder this kind of ad-hoc cross-border arbitrage. Of course it's well nigh impossible to do for intellectual content.

There are good arguments to be made that Bell Media is just greedy and using monopoly position to extract rent from Canadians.

But there may be other arguments -- Bell's costs may be higher for reasons outside their control (ie, higher taxes, weak exchange rate, etc).

Actually, NAFTA means that Canadians/Americans/Mexicans generally don't have to pay customs fees when crossing the border. What Canadians pay when coming back from the US is GST (federal tax) on the value of the products purchased outside the country.
And if a Canadian buys a NetFlix subscription, the GST is added on in Canada. So there's no theft from this angle.

Comment Re:"stealing just like stealing anything else" (Score 1) 408

I'd rather go about this a different way. If the president of Bell Media wants to call infringement stealing, I'd like to compile a list of things stolen by Bell Media.

If the definition of "stealing" is that loose, we can surmise that the president of Bell Media:

Has stolen US programming -- it is also available from Bell Media under license, which steals from the US: after all, residents can step over the border and legally view the programming, so Bell Media is stealing viewers from the US.

Has stolen broadcasting technologies from people everywhere -- You know that TCP/IP? It wasn't invented in Canada. You stole it.

Has likely stolen all sorts of documentation -- a quick pass through the office would be enough for me to find multiple cases of infringement.

Just because Bell Media has come to an agreement with US distributors of media doesn't mean that individuals have to go through Bell, no matter what Bell ExpressVu was able to pass into law regarding satellite broadcasts.

Comment Flash for consoles? (Score 1) 20

So is this basically a framework that allows people to port all their Flash games to the console? Because at the end of the day, that's what it sounds like.

Adding another layer of abstraction means adding another layer of non-optimization in the coding process. For desktop apps, that's not too big an issue; but consoles have a longer upgrade cycle and a restricted memory footprint.

So for games that don't push the hardware in the first place, this should work fine -- such as porting a bunch of Web Flash games. But for doing anything serious, you're going to want to get as close to the metal as possible.

What I'd REALLY like to see for consoles is an asset optimization system -- something that will package up game assets in the optimal format for storage/loading on each platform. Then the coding becomes much simpler.

Comment Re:Chinese Hyper-competitiveness (Score 1) 94

Something that makes it more interesting is infrastructure sharing. In China, you'll often get a plant that was set up to produce reliable parts for some global corp where someone who works at the factory sets up an independent company that comes in at night with lower-grade source materials and uses the exact same facilities with a different staff. Kickbacks then go to the management of the original company.

As a result, you can get precision-crafted products that look just like top-of-the-line materials, but are made with alloys etc. that are total junk.

And even worse, every once in a while, some of the "night shift" stock accidentally makes it into the "day shift" pipeline -- which is where you get the unexplainable runs of super-sub-par stuff coming out with odd serial numbers.

"If Diet Coke did not exist it would have been neccessary to invent it." -- Karl Lehenbauer