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+ - How tech is transforming teaching in a South African township->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "The founders of the African School for Excellence have an ambitious goal — nothing less than redefining low cost, scaleaable teaching that brings international standards to the poorest schools in Africa. And their first model school is off to a good start: in just 18 months, all grade 9 students are achieving more than 50% pass rates the Cambridge Curriculum and only one scored less than that in maths. The national average score in maths is 14%. The school relies on technology to and a locally designed piece of marking software to function, but its foundation is committed, innovative teachers who just use the tech to spread themselves further — teacher:pupil ratios are high, but when they need it learners get a lot of one-on-one support.
What's most remarkable is that the school's running costs are already half the cost of a traditional government school, and the quality of education much, much better. And they're only a year and a half in."

Link to Original Source

+ - Earth Has 52 Percent Fewer Wild Animals Today Than in 1970

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Since 1970, more than half of the world's population of wild vertebrate animals have died off, according to a biennial report from the World Wildlife Fund.
The organization's "Living Planet Report" studies the populations of more than 10,000 populations of mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, and fish. According to the study, 52 percent of the overall total population of wild animals died between 1970 and 2010."

+ - Microsoft Revives Its Hardware Conference->

Submitted by jfruh
jfruh (300774) writes "Microsoft's Windows Hardware Engineering Conference, or WinHEC, was an annual staple of the '90s and '00s: every year, execs from Redmond would tell OEMs what to expect when it came to Windows servers and PCs. The conference was wrapped with software into Build in 2009, but now it's being revived to deal with not just computers but also the tablets and cell phone Microsoft has found itself in the business of selling and even making. It's also being moved from the U.S. to China, as an acknowledgement of where the heart of the tech hardware business is now."
Link to Original Source

+ - Is Tesla A Fringe Brand? Bob Lutz Thinks So

Submitted by cartechboy
cartechboy (2660665) writes "There's been plenty of skepticism when it comes to Tesla. The Silicon Valley startup unveiled an all-electric car that stunned the world and had many other automakers rolling their eyes. Fast forward to 2014 and Tesla's preparing to launch its second model, the Model S. Production of the Model S sedan is humming along, and this new automaker continues to make headlines multiple times a week. Industry veteran Bob Lutz was the champion behind the Chevrolet Volt, and has been quite vocal about Tesla from the beginning. So what's his views on the company now? He said Tesla will remain a "fringe brand" until it launches its next generation of vehicles and the smaller, less expensive Model 3. Speaking Wednesday on CNBC's "Squawk Alley" finance show he said that Tesla's stock price was "kinda high" at the moment. Is Lutz right, or is he just sour over Tesla's success?"

+ - Google to Require as Many as 20 of Its Apps to be Preinstalled on Android Device->

Submitted by schwit1
schwit1 (797399) writes "Google is looking to exert more pressure on device OEMs that wish to continue using the Android mobile operating system. Earlier this year, Google laid its vision to reduce fragmentation by forcing OEMs to ship new devices with more recent version of Android. Those OEMs that choose not to comply lose access to Google Mobile Services (GMS) apps like Gmail, Google Play, and YouTube."
Link to Original Source

+ - Irish Girls Win Google Science Fair With Astonishing Crop Yield Breakthrough-> 1

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Irish teenagers Ciara Judge, Émer Hickey and Sophie Healy-Thow, all 16, have won the Google Science Fair 2014. Their project, Combating the Global Food Crisis, aims to provide a solution to low crop yields by pairing a nitrogen-fixing bacteria that naturally occurs in the soil with cereal crops it does not normally associate with, such as barley and oats. The results were incredible: the girls found their test crops germinated in half the time and had a drymass yield up to 74 percent greater than usual."
Link to Original Source

+ - iOS 8.0.1 update disabling cellular and TouchID-> 1

Submitted by SternisheFan
SternisheFan (2529412) writes "Update: Some users are reporting that the update is disabling cell service and TouchID buttons on some phones. I can confirm that this happened on my AT&T iPhone 6, though a Verizon iPhone 5 still seems to be getting service just fine. For now we recommend holding off—do not download and install this update yet.

Update 2: Apple has pulled the 8.0.1 update. Affected iPhone 6 users are allegedly being told by Apple support to try restoring their phones with iTunes.

Update 3: On our iPhone 6, restoring through iTunes has re-installed iOS 8.0 and it appears to be working normally. This process erases your data from the phone, but it appears to be the best way to get back up and running as of this writing."

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+ - Forest Service clamps down on free speech

Submitted by schwit1
schwit1 (797399) writes "The U.S. Forest Service has instituted rules requiring journalists to get a permit before they can take pictures or videos on federal land. The Bill of Rights is such an inconvenient thing.

Under rules being finalized in November, a reporter who met a biologist, wildlife advocate or whistleblower alleging neglect in any of the nation’s 100 million acres of wilderness would first need special approval to shoot photos or videos even on an iPhone. Permits cost up to $1,500, says Forest Service spokesman Larry Chambers, and reporters who don’t get a permit could face fines up to $1,000.

First Amendment advocates say the rules ignore press freedoms and are so vague they’d allow the Forest Service to grant permits only to favored reporters shooting videos for positive stories.

The fascist nature of these new rules is revealed by this quote near the end of the article:

[T]he Forest Service is giving its supervisors discretion to decide whether a news outlet’s planned video or photo shoots would meet the Wilderness Act’s goals. “If you were engaged on reporting that was in support of wilderness characteristics, that would be permitted,” [said Liz Close, the Forest Service's acting wilderness director].

But if you are reporting on something the Forest Service disagrees with they obviously believe they have the right to deny you a permit to film or videotape."

Comment: Re:Not just iPhone (Score 3, Interesting) 420

by SternisheFan (#47984165) Attached to: Users Report Warping of Apple's iPhone 6 Plus

Bah! Nonsense. Ridiculous nonsense.

First, it doesn't cost $800, unless you get it contract free & 64GB, and that's a specific choice you make.

Second, it doesn't get "easily bent". You can bend any phone with enough force. If you're applying the kind of force that will bend a cell phone, then you're being careless and deserve what you get.

You're disaster hyping like Fox News.

1) "Free" - That is the subsidized cost over a 2 year contract, which actually costs more than buying it outright.

2) - Forcibly bending it is stupid to do. Having it in a pocket and it warps out of shape from normal body bending is just poor design. I have expectations that such an expensive device would be strong enough to endure 'normal usage'.

3 - Fox News is well known for creating hype-stories out of nowhere that fit their own agenda, not the case here. I didn't start the fire.

Comment: Re:Not just iPhone (Score 1) 420

by SternisheFan (#47983247) Attached to: Users Report Warping of Apple's iPhone 6 Plus
Apple released an inferior product, plain and simple. $800 for a device that gets easily bent is just unacceptable.

It should have been thicker, or at least made of a stronger material such as (gasp!) polycarbonate plastic. Profit over reliability, I suppose. Expect to hear more about this issue as time goes by.

"In matters of principle, stand like a rock; in matters of taste, swim with the current." -- Thomas Jefferson

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