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Comment: Re:Non-magic Computing? SparkFun Inventor's Kit! (Score 1) 423

by Roxton (#41284823) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Best Computer For a 7-Year Old?

1) Microcontroller programming is the new BASIC. Buttons and lights are infinitely more compelling than magical and confusing text input and output.
2) Motors and sensors are highly enabling for aspiring makers.
3) It's a huge win for a kid to recognize a modern computer in within a proper taxonomy –as a powerful yet degenerate class of electronic device.

Comment: Non-magic Computing? SparkFun Inventor's Kit! (Score 1) 423

by Roxton (#41282523) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Best Computer For a 7-Year Old?

Rather than relying on the 80's BASIC experience, you can actually do better for your kid by buying the SparkFun Inventor's Kit, and helping him through every step of the tutorial. $100.

https://www.sparkfun.com/products/11022

To program the microcontroller, you can use a cheap, standard netbook, which will also help the kid in school.

Comment: Quora (Score 1) 629

by Roxton (#40313641) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Why Are Hearing Aids So Expensive?

When it comes to industry questions, I find myself going to Quora first.
http://www.quora.com/Hearing-Aids/Are-hearing-aid-manufacturers-price-gouging

"Tushar Katira, Industry Pro" knocking one /. talking point:

There is neither an expensive FDA approval process (except for hearing implants) nor are there IP related obstacles.

Affirming another:

As long as governments and insurance companies continue to cover the (high) costs, there is no incentive or reason for hearing aid companies to reduce prices and margins (as Andrew pointed out).

And a silver lining:

The iPhone does have all the components of a high quality hearing aid: A good mic, DSP amplifier, programmability. There are good output transducers available. There are some good apps for amplification and better ones are on the way.

One problem with using your iPhone as a hearing aid is the necessity of "cords / wires / cables". The current bluetooth headsets have a lot of latency delay resulting in the the sound and the movement of lips being out of sync. The new Bluetooth standard and other wireless devices will solve this very soon.

The Internet

W3C Member Proposes "Fix" For CSS Prefix Problem 144

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the worse-is-better-is-a-terrible-way-to-love dept.
Pieroxy writes "The W3C is proposing a set of new rules for CSS prefixing by browser vendors. This would greatly mitigate the problem caused today where vendor specific prefixing is seeing its way through production sites. The problem is so bad that some vendors are now tempted to support other browsers' prefixing. The article also has a link to an email from Mozilla's Henri Sivonen that does a nice job of addressing many potential issues and shortcomings of this new proposal." I was under the impression that browser prefixes existed to allow use of experimental CSS features before standardization; just ditching the vendor prefix seems like a step backward.
Microsoft

Microsoft Patent Hints At Search Results Tailored To User's Mood, Intelligence 146

Posted by timothy
from the looks-deep-within-your-soul dept.
theodp writes "A newly surfaced Microsoft patent application, reports GeekWire, describes a 'user-following engine' that analyzes your posts on Facebook, Twitter and other social media sites to deduce your mood, interests, and even your smarts. The system would then automatically adjust the search experience and results to better match those characteristics, explains Microsoft, such as changing the background color of the search interface to suit your mood, or bringing back only those search results that won't strain your feeble brain. From the patent application: 'In addition to skewing the search results to the user's inferred interests, the user-following engine may further tailor the search results to a user's comprehension level. For example, an intelligent processing module may be directed to discerning the sophistication and education level of the posts of a user. Based on that inference, the customization engine may vary the sophistication level of the customized search result.'"

Comment: Re:This seems a bit one-sided... (Score 1) 1208

by Roxton (#39623909) Attached to: Internet Responds To Racist Article, Gets Author Fired

A story about anti-black racism is an opportunity to call attention harmful, pervasive attitudes, which are relevant because power is... well, white. It's an important function. If you think giving equal time to anti-white racism is a step towards parity, then you've clearly failed to understand how incredibly far our society is from parity for blacks, and you're part of the God damned problem.

You think anti-white racism is any less harmful?

Yes! Obviously! That's the whole point.

Comment: Re:This seems a bit one-sided... (Score 1) 1208

by Roxton (#39622565) Attached to: Internet Responds To Racist Article, Gets Author Fired

It's not about whether a given activity or anecdote is racist. It's about the cumulative effect of these anecdotes on the daily lives of people. By and large, small business owners are white. HR decision makeres are white. The powerful social clubs are white. Angel investors are white. VC investors are white. The political machinery in your state is probably white. Your neighborhood watch is probably white. Your shrink is white. Your doctor is white. Your game designers are white. Except for a few localized situations, you're probably not going to be seriously adversely impacted by anti-white racism.

A story about anti-black racism is an opportunity to call attention harmful, pervasive attitudes, which are relevant because power is... well, white. It's an important function. If you think giving equal time to anti-white racism is a step towards parity, then you've clearly failed to understand how incredibly far our society is from parity for blacks, and you're part of the God damned problem.

Comment: Re:Dialog is good and all... (Score 1) 717

by Roxton (#37933910) Attached to: Censored Religious Debate Video Released After Public Outrage

...but debating these people only give them credibility they do not deserve. The people who believe in creationism will never be swayed away from it, because their reasons for believing in it it are not the same as ours are for believing evolution.

Given your statement, I think you'd appreciate Coyne's approach. It's self-admittedly pugnacious. He declares there's no room for dialog, only destructive monologuing. At first, the social signaling and negative attitudes are off-putting, but by the end, his signaling seems to successfully in-group the audience and ostracize the theologians. It's kind of fascinating.

Our business in life is not to succeed but to continue to fail in high spirits. -- Robert Louis Stevenson

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