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Comment: Peanut Butter and Jelly (Score 1) 430

by Spazed (#37286614) Attached to: How Do You Explain Software Development To 2nd Graders?
I have had a few past teachers ask me to come in and talk to their classes about computer science/programming. The key to it is to show them the flashier sides of programming. Don't get into information theory, inheritance, memory usage, blah blah blah. Show them some javascript that makes all the images on a web page fly around. Show them a game you wrote. For the older kids you can usually bust out a TI-86 and show them that with a little code you don't really have to think about the math(let them figure out that to code it they will have to learn the math anyway).

For younger kids I recommend the Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwich algorithm. Bring in a loaf of bread, a jar of peanut butter, a jar of jelly, and a knife. Set them out on a desk and tell the class that you are going to be a computer and they are going to program you. They need to program you to make a PB&J. Tell them that as a computer you can only do what you are told, you don't know ANYTHING about making sandwiches. They will generally start out with "Open the bread", to which you reply, "What/Where is this bread you speak of?" You can get as specific or as general as you like, generally you can leave out things like how to undo the twist-tie on the bag, but when they tell you to spread the peanut butter you can really mash it in there and tear up the bread. It takes 15-30 minutes depending on the class to get an edible sandwich, but the kids love it.

Comment: Re:makes sense (Score 1) 103

by Spazed (#36628450) Attached to: UAV Hoisted Tower Powered By Laser Over Fiberoptic
Who said they were using glass? I've got two boxes of fiber sitting here, one glass and one plastic. Haven't touched the glass stuff in a few years, the bendability of the plastic just makes it a better choice. It is also about half the weight of the glass stuff. I would assume if this is meant for emergency or wartime use that it would be using the more forgiving, lighter, and more rugged plastic.

Comment: Re:Cliffs: We Are Fucked. (Score 1) 477

by Spazed (#33476158) Attached to: White House Fingers PlayStation As Obesity Culprit
At the very least it makes my insurance go up. If we continue down the path of socialized medicine, then I am forced to pay for their fat related illnesses.

Those are pretty direct ways their being obese harms me. That's without going into the environmental or social impacts of it, which are a bit more indirect but still noticeable.

Comment: Re:it makes me wonder (Score 1) 84

by Spazed (#32749806) Attached to: Some Google Searches Now Blocked In China
At the very least I doubt your ISP would be very happy about it. At worst you are responsible for any traffic that goes in and out of your system. Since you won't be able to prove your machine was acting as a botnet operative, but you instead let unknown people into your system, you will be liable for anything they download/do. So hacking, child porn, bestiality, terrorist threats, etc will all be on you.

While it is a noble burden to bear at first glance, the idea of letting people I don't know onto any of my networks(even if it is secluded from my own machines) does not sit well with me.

You probably don't have any worries from the Chinese government directly, but I also don't know what penalties there are for helping someone in another country commit a crime that isn't illegal where you are.

Comment: She has the wrong mindset for a judge (Score 5, Insightful) 664

by Spazed (#32715814) Attached to: SCOTUS Nominee Kagan On Free Speech Issues
She has the wrong mindset for a judge at any level. Her job is not to force her views and values down the public's throat, but to interpret the law as closely as the writers had in mind while trying to close the huge loopholes.

Any judge who speaks out in a professional manner about any activity's moral/ethical/philosophical components is not fit to rule. Those parts are reserved for the people to decide upon.
E3

Valve Delays Portal 2, Squashes Duke Nukem Rumors 135

Posted by Soulskill
from the duke-is-not-still-alive-still-alive dept.
SKYMTL writes "In a tongue-in-cheek commentary, Valve has announced the delay of Portal 2 and thrown water on the rumor fires regarding its E3 'surprise.' This surprise was rumored to be either Half-Life 3 or the revival of Duke Nukem, and it looks like neither will happen anytime soon."

Comment: Re:Only the Analytics are banned (Score 1) 562

by Spazed (#32521160) Attached to: Google Slams Apple Over iPhone Ad Ban
Users do have to agree to let an application use location data, when you open the app it asks if it is allowed to use the data.

There are other ways of determining where a user is and how long they were looking at an ad.

The idea behind iAd as far as I can tell is limit not only what advertisers can collect, but also what they can do with that data. The trade off is that Apple will hold all the data, taking a cut of the profits of course, but will have very detailed info on almost every iPhone user even if they only make that data available in specific ways to advertisers.

As a consumer it both protects you and makes sure you are still a viable target to ads. It is a give and take.

At least that is what I can see from the iAd sections of the new Developer Agreement.

Comment: Re:Only the Analytics are banned (Score 1) 562

by Spazed (#32520404) Attached to: Google Slams Apple Over iPhone Ad Ban
I own my satellite boxes and dish, but I still only get the programming that my provider approves.

I own my iPhone, but I still only get the applications/ads Apple approves.

The third party network line is thin at best. Apple has a partnership with ATT to provide the iPhone, yet they do not prevent other phones from working on ATT's towers. So while two giants are working together, they aren't stopping others from entering the market or competing.

This partnership is also irrelevant to the iAd. Apple is the one telling developers who can do what in code running inside iOS, it wouldn't matter if the iPhone were unlocked and worked on every network.

If what you are saying mattered, Apple would already be in trouble for being an ATT exclusive.

Comment: Re:Only the Analytics are banned (Score 2, Interesting) 562

by Spazed (#32520358) Attached to: Google Slams Apple Over iPhone Ad Ban
You mean how they control who gets to license the blu-ray spec? Or how they controlled Betamax and kept it away from porn?

The notion that company y has a right to company x's capabilities and information is absurd. Google doesn't have to hand over all their ad data on me to Hulu and Apple, even though they collect the same general info for the same purpose. Apple isn't saying you can't advertise, they are saying you don't get things without joining the club.

As for your TV example, you are basing that off the status quo, one that does not fit here. When you buy an iPhone you go into knowing it is a semi-closed platform and that certain actions will be limited. If TVs were the same you'd go into it knowing that Sony only plays Sony branded/approved media and not Disney's or Warner's content. A better example would have been not being able to update the firmware on your TV without permission from Sony.

Comment: Re:Only the Analytics are banned (Score 2, Informative) 562

by Spazed (#32520096) Attached to: Google Slams Apple Over iPhone Ad Ban
The main block Apple has put up is that user location can't be given out to advertisers outside of the iAd system, it is probably going to be pushed as a privacy issue.
Not having used iOS 4, I can't really say if this is a good thing or a bad thing overall, but I do like knowing that there are restrictions in place on who gets to handle what info about me.
Personally, I have location awareness turned off so this doesn't really apply much to me, but the idea is the same.


This isn't a monopoly move either, Apple isn't forcing anything on anyone outside their own platform to do anything. Apple is doing the same thing cable and satellite providers have been doing all along. . . picking and choosing who gets to advertise where and how.

It's hard to think of you as the end result of millions of years of evolution.

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