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Comment Re:LOL at 'native Australians' (Score 1) 103 103

Did you invent the handgun? Did you invent gunpowder? Did you invent fire? No, no and no, yet you benefit from the chain of invention that led from the last to the first, irrespective of your personal level of intelligence. Technology is not genetic. Aboriginal Australians were isolated from the development of technology elsewhere having migrated before even the invention of counting. Just as fertile ground produces no food until a seed is planted, so does an intelligent mind need external input.

Comment Re:Intercourse. (Score 1) 103 103

For the moment, I think we need to point to the simplest hypothesis, which is these genes were present in at least of the proto-Indian populations that went over the land bridge. That's not to exclude the possibility of new evidence pointing towards some sort of trans-Pacific input into the Americas, but the evidence, as small a body as it is, simply does not support that conclusion.

The evidence doesn't support any conclusion, so we should make any. Choosing a single hypothesis is tantamount to drawing a conclusion. There are precious few operational decisions that rely on a having a hypothesis, so I'm personally happy maintaining a nice wide "search space" of possibilities and admitting that I just don't know.

Comment Re:qmail and Microsoft (Score 1) 85 85

MS killed shared source with an overreaching license agreement -- it effectively said "if you look at this source, you may never write a single similar piece of software from niw until the end of time. Accepting a shared source license was a career-limiting thing to do, so no-one did it.

Comment Re:qmail and Microsoft (Score 1) 85 85

The problem is that the OP wants to have users contribute patches, not plugins. They want customers to write code for them and ascribe the copyright back to them. This is not only inequitous, but also potentially illegal, as it may constitute unpaid labour, something which is prohibited in most jurisdictions.

Comment Re:Paper (Score 1) 162 162

I'm not really understanding. What does this Facebook solotion do that couldn't be done on a piece of paper?

The advantage is that the solotion can be applied by one person.

Reread the GP's post and rethink your selective quoting. The software manages lessons, but you still have to write them in the first place. As with most teacher-enabling technologies (as opposed to teacher-replacing technologies), the tool has a large time-cost in initial setup, and the teacher won't get any payoff for several years. The best example of this pattern would be the question bank. The idea was that teachers would collect their problem sets year-on-year, so that they could alter their worksheets and create new ones at will. However, as the main question sheets don't need to change every year, the teachers wouldn't gain anything from the exercise until and unless there was a major change to the curriculum, but even in that case, the collected extra questions (taken from tests written fresh each year) would be just as out-of-date as any of the main classwork problems that were invalidated by the curriculum changes.

Comment Re:I would sell it (Score 1) 654 654

I blame grid-iron. Most major cities in Europe have a radial construction which makes bus and train routes very efficient. With buses converging and diverging ipon the radial routes, and a couple of "circles" intersecting them, you can usually get to most places with just a single change. In smaller cities, you don't even need the circle routes.

Comment Re:In the USA (Score 1) 654 654

SUVs for people who need those.

Nobody needs SUVs. Some people need true utility vehicles, but SUV was a category invented for posers who want to look like lumberjacks. I loathe SUVs because they eschew many of the principles of car design that are aimed at reducing injury to pedestrians in the case of accidents, and all as some pitiful fashion statement or a selfish (misplaced) feeling of increased personal safety.

Comment Re:I would sell it (Score 1) 654 654

Let's not single out the SUV's. A bicycle loses against even a Smart ForTwo...

Why not single out SUVs? For decades, cars have been designed to minimise the damage to pedestrians by having a low bonnet/hood that would connect with an adult below the pelvis and all major organs and below the centre of gravity, throwing them onto the hood. This allows the kinetic energy to be delivered over time, decreasing injury and improving survival rates.

An SUV, on the other hand, typically has high suspension and a tall vertical grille. I've not seen an SUV that wouldn't shatter my pelvis if it hit me, and I've seen plenty bug enough that they would liquify every vital organ in my body except the brain if they hit me at speed.

The old safety designs also were safer for cyclists, as the same mechanism that throws the pedestrian over the bonnet lifts the cyclist. However, with an SUV, you can get brought down under the vehicle, bringing your head down to the height of the grille.

SUVs need singled out, because driving one is a sign of either ignorance of the safety of others of sheer selfishness.

Fools ignore complexity. Pragmatists suffer it. Some can avoid it. Geniuses remove it. -- Perlis's Programming Proverb #58, SIGPLAN Notices, Sept. 1982