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Comment Re:Fiddling while Rome burns? (Score 3, Interesting) 236

For the record, I also don't like Metro on a desktop PC.

That said ... Metro was optimized for touch and keyboard (but definitely not mouse). Type to search is usually faster than drilling through the Start menu with a mouse if you go more than a menu or two deep. Old-school shortcuts like alt-tab to switch windows and alt-F4 to close the current window are still there. If anyone cares, here's a list -- http://windows.microsoft.com/e... . We're going back 30 years or so, but I believe that some of those shortcuts go all the way back to WordStar (ctrl-c to copy, for instance).

FWIW, I don't think it's Metro that MS bungled, but rather how the plain old desktop, Metro, and settings were intermingled, especially in 8.0. Metro is fine for what it is: a UI designed for single / double-tasking media consumption. The default full-screen view is slick for Netflix and YouTube, while the default Mail and Calendar apps are good enough for my mom, but horrible for work needs. My biggest gripe is that the default apps for image viewing, the calculator, user settings and so on were all Metro apps -- even when launched from the desktop. One of the absolute stupidest things I've ever seen on a PC was day 2 or 3 with 8.0. I was writing an email in Outlook and wanted to double check some math. I fired up the calculator and was presented with a 22" fullscreen 4 function calculator that completely obscured the numbers I wanted to check.

Throw in how some OS settings were only available in Metro ... and, yeah.

But my issues with Metro were, by and large, focused on how I kept on being punted into it even when I most definitely did not want to be.

As for the icons? I think MS is simply going for consistency across the different flavours of device (phone, tablet, desktop). As 8.1 stands right now, it has two sets of icons, one for desktop, one for Metro. With 10's move towards windowed Metro apps, it doesn't really make much sense to maintain multiple sets of icons -- that lack of consistency, in and of itself, I believe, is poor UI design.

Comment Pods are stupid expensive (Score 1) 369

I know it's been said before (and most likely even within this thread), but it's worth repeating: coffee pods are stupidly expensive. Keurig's business is model is to package up beans that cost between $6 and $12 per pound at retail and jack the price up to, at the high end, $40 per pound.

If you're in a household that drinks 3 or 4 cups a day, you can buy an all-in-one coffeemaker like a Jura (whole beans on one side, water on the other, coffee out the middle) and come out ahead in 2 or three 3 years. You also get a similar level of convenience, wider selection of coffee (especially at the higher end of the coffee spectrum), less trash (the grounds get dumped into a container, ready for composting) and, generally, a better cuppa (freshly ground beans make a difference).

Yes, refilling your own pods is cheaper -- as is using a French press. But, when it comes to convenience and TCO, you've got better options.

Comment Re:What's wrong with this? (Score 1) 634

Errrr ... who said anything about removing other courses?

Also, FWIW, classes get added to and removed from curricula all the time. I just googled up my old school. The intro courses still contain some old favourites from 20 years ago; the second year+ courses are mostly unrecognizable.

Comment What's wrong with this? (Score 1) 634

Seriously, guys, what's wrong with this? What's wrong with getting more women into engineering?

It's not like the curriculum is changing to be all SJW-y. Or that the courses are any less rigorous. Or that women simply can't handle math, science and engineering at a high level. So why the consternation over adding some programs in applied engineering? Was there this level of consternation when science was hived off from philosophy? Or science into chemistry, physics, and biology? Or when branches of science were thrown back together (biochem)? When electrical engineering became its own thing?

Before anyone gets too POed at me, there is also a SJW-y movement afoot aimed at tackling the over-feminisation of elementary school education. Yes -- it really is a thing, and it relates to boys underperforming girls in elementary schools. It flares up and down in Canada (and I think also in the States). And it's something that my kids' Toronto-area school is working very hard to fix, to the point of hiring moderately under-qualified men (like the grade 7 / 8 English teacher who, demonstrably, doesn't read what he assigns and pulls all of his lesson plans off the intertubes) at the expense of better qualified women. That's right, if you're a male elementary school teacher, you will be actively recruited by a variety of schools to close the gender gap.

Comment Re:bring it to Toronto Canada (Score 1) 886

Yeah, they do shoot -- http://www.thestar.com/news/cr...

Canada has a no-fly list -- http://globalnews.ca/news/1801...

And I'd take Obama over Harper in a heartbeat.

That said, hells yeah, big gaming convention in town? My kids and I would be all over that.

Comment Re:Leave then (Score 1) 886

Actually, it isn't. The US constitution guarantees the rights to assemble and to petition the government. Freedom of association was inferred via a court decision from, somewhat ironically in this case, the NAACP v. Alabama.

Yeah, look. The legislation in question is horse shit. It's not made to redress any actual wrongs; it's window dressing meant to pander to a certain kind of social conservative. Further, it, pretty much by definition, allows for state sanctioning of particular kinds of discrimination which is, at best, icky, and, at worst OMG wrong.

Comment Re:Network layer and education (Score 1) 260

>

A good example is alcohol, when i was in school many of the other kids in my class were forbidden from touching alcohol and that made them seek out ways to obtain alcohol... Myself and a few others were never forbidden, our parents allowed us to try alcohol if we wanted... I found alcoholic drinks tasted quite disgusting, and lost interest in them.

I liked the taste and (ultimately) became a brewer.

Comment Re:A quick summation (Score 1) 700

I should also clarify something.

Being involved in your kids' education is not just about nagging them to do homework. It's about encouraging them to read; it's about talking to them about the merits of one movie over another; it's about museums and galleries; it's about board games and puzzles; it's about what is the nerdiest rock and roll song ever recorded (I think it's "Ramble On" because of the hobbits, the kids voted for "Why Does the Sun Shine"); it's about talking over current events; it's about the kid with 7 years' worth of violin lessons teaching you how to do vibrato on a guitar.

Comment A quick summation (Score 1) 700

To homeschool or not to homeschool: that is the question, but the answer is not binary.

The research is absolutely clear: the kids who do best academically tend to have parents who are interested in their education and, specifically, read to their kids from an early age.

After that, everything is mostly details. You will find kids who do well academically in public schools, in private schools, in charter schools, in homeschools. And you will find kids who are pulled from one and placed into another because the latter didn't pan out.

The main takeaway is that you have to be engaged in your kid's education; that's really the only thing homeschooling has, by definition, over other educational avenues.

Time for my anecdote. Our eldest daughter had a rough time with bullying at her public school a few years ago. She is, at heart, a nerdy kid who had issues wondering why other kids couldn't relate to her ... which is, for better or worse, like chum to a bullying shark in elementary school. We talked to the vice principal, her teacher, and the piece of dog ***t's parents. The bullying mostly came under control. And then, we tried to figure out what to do to make sure our kid didn't look like chum. For us, it involved two things she loves: dance and swimming. Dance gave her good posture and the ability to look confident and strong even when she's nervous. Lifesaving classes taught her to be in control of a situation. And now, she's a confident teenager whose former bully politely ask her for tutoring (and she gets taken out, gratis, for tea and pastries).

If we had pulled her from her public school and homeschooled her, I'm not sure she would've learned that degree of self confidence and poise. And she still would have looked like chum in a private school, but we would have been paying for her to be bullied by well-heeled brats.

FWIW, that's not what my parents did under similar conditions ... and I HATED elementary school. My parents were oblivious, and I've never really learned how to deal with difficult people.

Our other daughter is a different kid; she got an award from her school last year mostly for standing up for classmates who were being bullied. She's ... intense. Public school is a good place for her to be.

Comment Re:Not about mobile (Score 1) 489

For laptops (and even desktops) whether touch makes sense depends on the application. I've seen, for example, medical apps that work well on laptops and desktops with touch screen monitors. I've also seen DJ apps that, while designed for mouse control, are easier to use with a touch screen. And where I work, the "Prototype Manufacturing" lab has switched all their monitors to touch screen monitors (keyboards and mice are still available, but a lot of the time, the techs use just the touch screens).

The great divide between touch and mouse seems to come down to text. As soon as you need to highlight or edit text, touch rapidly starts becoming a hindrance to doing work. FWIW, one of my kids a touchscreen notebook. Much of her tech life revolves around touchscreens, from the family's smartphones to the Wii U to tablets. But the combination of horrible touchpad and Office ribbons had her rummaging in a junk drawer for a corded mouse that is almost as old as she is.

To downgrade the human mind is bad theology. - C. K. Chesterton

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