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Comment: Khan Academy (Score 1) 315

by Khomar (#49443865) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: How To Introduce a 7-Year-Old To Programming?

My son is just about to turn nine, and he is really enjoying the programming section on Khan Academy. The site was originally designed as a math curriculum but is rapidly expanding into other fields. It is free, and it uses JavaScript with immediate visual feedback while teaching them the basic concepts of programming. There are step by step instructions and helpful hints to help guide them through the concepts, but having some occasional parental help is sometimes required. Overall, though, I have been pretty impressed with it.

One thing though: I would make sure they learn how to type first as that will greatly help their ability to program.

Comment: Re:The retro bulbs look fantastic. (Score 4, Informative) 328

by Khomar (#49246109) Attached to: New Crop of LED Filament Bulbs Look Almost Exactly Like Incandescents

I am curious if they still have the property of not attracting insects. One of the things we discovered while in Texas is that LED bulbs were great for outdoor lighting when you didn't want to attract insects like a normal light bulb inevitably does. Apparently, it has to do with the LED lights not transmitting light at certain frequencies. With a warmer light, they may be transmitting frequencies now that will attract insects. It would be great for indoor lighting, but it loses the benefit when used outdoors.

Comment: Be a Good Listener (Score 4, Insightful) 214

by Khomar (#48920015) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: What Makes a Great Software Developer?

I think one of the most valuable abilities for a good programmer is to be a good listener. A big part of that is also being able to ask good questions. You need to be able to fully understand the problem to be able to develop the right solution -- remember, the solution that customer actually needs is not always the one they think they want. Also, being able to listen also means you will be better able to learn new skills.

Comment: Re:Not a cargo ship (Score 2) 116

by Khomar (#48619677) Attached to: New Cargo Ship Is 488 Meters Long

It sounds like the plan is for this ship to be the first of several, so the question is how much of that $20 billion investment is for upfront costs (design, shipyard upgrades, construction equipment) that will not be duplicated in subsequent ships. As it is, the first ship looks to probably at least break even or even make a decent profit (provided it works as expected) with bigger profits hopefully to follow. I am sure these numbers have been gone over very carefully. You don't make an investment this large on a whim.

Comment: Texas and Montana (Score 2) 525

by Khomar (#48497457) Attached to: Montana Lawmakers Propose 85 Mph Speed Limit On Interstates

I have driven that stretch in eastern Montana many times, and I have also driven that stretch of road in Texas. One thing the article doesn't mention about that toll road in Texas is that it was very expensive -- over $5 if I remember correctly. I tried it once not knowing the cost, and it was a lot of fun to drive on. But for that price, I can see why so few people use it, especially since you have to go out of your way. I was on my way from San Antonio to Dallas, so I didn't mind skipping Austin.

As for eastern Montana, the countryside is very open with gently rolling hills and long stretches of mostly straight sections of Interstate. Very often, you will not be able to see a vehicle in either direction (and just as often, no more than one or two buildings either), so the temptation to cruise is very high. Any wildlife can be seen from miles away, and there are very few trees. My only concern would be raising the speed limit on the western side of the state where there are more mountains and forests. There are some highways with 70 mph limits with limited visibility (both on the road and in the underbrush around) that makes for dangerous driving. As long as they take these things into account, it makes perfect sense. Montana already takes over a day's driving. just to get across.

Comment: Re:Another false dichotomy (Score 1) 434

by Khomar (#43942277) Attached to: Fear of Death Makes People Into Believers (of Science)

Absolutely. Actually, I believe that science works through God in that it is God who established and maintains the physical laws that we see. After all, where did they come from, and what keeps them running? So my faith in science is rooted in my faith in God and His faithfulness to keep the natural world around me running just like He did yesterday and the day before, etc. Science is therefore the study of God's faithfulness. He is so reliable that we can create formulas based upon it.

Comment: Re:True Justice (Score 1) 694

So long as humans are being tried and put up for justice, humans administer justice, humans define justice, and/or humans exist, I can guarantee this will absolutely never happen.

You are correct, but does that make it any less of a good goal? Should we not worry about corruption because there will always be corrupt people? Should we not try to help the poor because there will always be poor? If you simply give in to defeatism, you will always be defeated. To give up on living justly is to give into the worst forms of evil.

Comment: True Justice (Score 1) 694

I think Asaph put it best:

“How long will you judge unjustly
and show partiality to the wicked?
Give justice to the weak and the fatherless;
maintain the right of the afflicted and the destitute.
Rescue the weak and the needy;
deliver them from the hand of the wicked.” (Psalm 82:2-4)

The most important thing that our nation needs at this point is true justice without partiality toward the rich, the powerful, and the connected. We need the laws that we do have to be enforced with fairness and impartiality. Given the name of your party, this should be your central focus.

Comment: Home School Group (Score 0) 701

by Khomar (#40249283) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Teaching Chemistry To Home-Schooled Kids?

Are there any home school groups in your area? Getting involved in a local home school group is a great way to get materials and resources that you don't personally have. Many groups offer courses in subjects like Chemistry for all of the families in the area in addition to group activities like choir or sports. Even smaller towns are likely to have some sort of home school group if you look for it.

Also, are you sure he doesn't read as well as his peers, or does he just not read as well as you remember kids his age reading? From my experience, if he is not reading as well as his public educated peers, there is something very wrong. My boys are home-schooled, and while they started a little "slow" for the first year due to the different approach, they rapidly moved beyond the level of most public school kids and are now pretty advanced for their age. Reading in public schools (or the lack thereof) is a joke with close to half of the students graduating not being able to read. This skill is far more important than any other because it is through reading that you can learn virtually anything else. Make sure that is a priority.

Comment: Re:Who cares (Score 1) 191

by Khomar (#38563926) Attached to: Insiders Call HP's WebOS Software Fatally Flawed

I have not played with the iPhone much, but compared to the Android, I would choose WebOS hands down. I love the interface and the multitasking abilities. It is my hope that open sourcing WebOS will give it some new life, because I really would like to see the OS continue. It holds a lot of promise, and I would hate to see the UI ideas go away.

Disclaimer: I am an HP employee, but I have no connection with the WebOS or TouchPad team at all. I was able to get a hold of a TouchPad through the employee fire sale, but other than that, I come at it as simply another user.

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