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Comment Backup camera (Score 1) 356

One of the few cool pieces of tech I've seen in a car lately is the backup camera, because it's directly applicable to the task of driving. The rest of this is just stuff nobody cares about

Yes, the backup camera is amazingly useful in a lot of scenarios. Probably the best new car tech since they added blinker lights to the mirrors.

Automatic parking would be an advantage in some environments and utterly useless in others. Lots of people almost never need to parallel park.

Comment Basic Sciences taught wrong (Score 1) 233

Basic sciences generally tend be taught wrong--it's too much learning by rote exercise, almost no exploratory learning. It turns out real science isn't that hard, and you could have kids doing real experiements pretty much from the time they start learning. The way they teach it makes it much less interesting and fun.

Comment Re:Control the living room (Score 1) 198

> billions...Control of the living room

Funny how I've never seen an XBox in anyone's living room that doesn't work for Microsoft. I live in Bellevue, WA, home to much of Microsoft and not far from their headquarters in Redmond, and I have never seen a non-Microsoft employee with an XBox. Microsoft is failing at their plan.

14 million xbox ones sold, 100K MSFT employees, they're clearly in some living rooms.

Comment Re:Leadership and Activities (Score 1) 183

Yes, absolutely. I remember watching two brothers with serious schooling and psych problems figure out how to sail a small boat on their own. It was amazingly good for them and the kind of learning and experience that you would *never* get in a structured setting.

It should be the kid's choice what he does with his time, but the parent should be making some strong suggestions, basically get the kid in the habit of going to almost every group activity once and see what they like...

Comment Leadership and Activities (Score 1) 183

In 12 years, it is not hard to prepare enough to do well on the SAT/ACT. They don't even cover calculus. Get that out of the way in a few hours, then spend the rest of the time on more interesting things.

Getting into a good college isn't about testing--good testing is a necessary condition, not a sufficient one. You need to show that you are going to contribute to the community. You need to have lots of extracurriculars and serious leadership in some of them--and ideally in some volunteer group not connected to the school. Serious leadership and success in one is more impressive than having fifty groups with no leadership or success, but the basic idea is if the kid is curious and really applies himself at everything he does, he has a really great chance of getting in to a good school.

That includes grades and test scores, but they're not enough.

And better, if a kid does that then they learn *how*, and that gives them a richer life going forward.

Comment Control the living room (Score 1) 198

Control the living room.

Why do you think Microsoft spent billions of dollars to develop its gaming platform? Control of the living room and of the house is a huge deal. Google has made major inroads in the area by its purchase of NEST and this is an extension of that. In thirty years they want to be the company running every home's electronics.

Comment Re:I don't think K-12 CS is a good idea anyway (Score 3, Interesting) 183

No, it doesn't work like that at all, at least in California. Much of the math is taught on-line and self-paced. Solving problems with the computer is actually encouraged, and the programming classes are often integrated with the math curriculum.

Let me guess: You actually don't have kids, you have no idea what the public schools are teaching, or how they teach it, and everything you know about "Common Core", you learned from Donald Trump. Right?

What you describe is so radically different than what we grew up with and than what I've heard described by non-California parents that it is difficult to believe it is the norm rather than you happening to live in a neighborhood with a very good school. It sounds like your public schools have basically gone Montessori.

Comment Is K-12 CS really necessary? (Score 1) 183

How useful is K-12 Computer Science in terms of getting kids to go into the major? It's a huge unstated assumption that it is important to have people do CS in high school.

There are some courses where you really need a high school background to take a college course--math and music theory are the only two that really come to mind as "we assume you already know how to do some stuff and don't offer an intro class for people with no training in this subject."

Comment Seems to be (Score 3, Insightful) 286

Seems to be at odds with having an affair.

"Seems to be" is one key phrase here. People can sleep around and still love an SO, or can do that when they are unhappy and later they become happy. Turns out people are more complicated than "thou shalt not covet thy neighbor's wife." Who knew?

Any sufficiently advanced bug is indistinguishable from a feature. -- Rich Kulawiec