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Comment: Re:Tools make it easier to accomplish tasks. (Score 3, Insightful) 121

by TWX (#48948621) Attached to: Can Students Have Too Much Tech?
A general purpose computer is only useful if the student is willing to use it for a certain specific purpose. Given that there's a whole lot of temptation to use it for things that the student wants to do, rather than the things that the student is supposed to do, it can be incredibly easy to not be productive with the very machine that was intended to increase productivity.

I don' think that general-purpose computers should be used in schools without software to limit the use of the computers. That can be for a duration, like during class time or during the school day, or it can be full-time, so that a computer is still limited to its intended function in its entirety, but leaving computers open to do anything just means that much more opportunity to not do work.

Comment: Re: Japan: and the $0.02 market analysis. (Score 1) 381

by TWX (#48947321) Attached to: How, and Why, Apple Overtook Microsoft
It's not useless. It may not be as useful, but it's not useless. Consider that even the lowest-end Android phone is still synchronizing contacts, e-mail, calendar, task lists, and maps with Google's servers. If the phone is lost or damaged, another handset will automatically have those contacts, e-mail, calendar, task lists, and maps as soon as the user logs-in again.

Sure, it may not play Crysis, but it does a hell of a lot more than an old dumb phone.

Comment: Re:'Death' Star was just a terraforming laser (Score 1) 59

by TWX (#48944671) Attached to: How Gaseous, Neptune-Like Planets Can Become Habitable
Or, it was a literal plot-device, and it was created solely for the story to advance, without any real concern for backstory... Given that the original Star Wars was written to be like a middle-episode of a serialized show from the movies, like a Buster Crabbe Flash Gordon type of show, there wouldn't be a whole lot of backstory necessary in order to enjoy the show.

Comment: Re: "Support" != actually sacrifice for (Score 1) 408

by TWX (#48943363) Attached to: Most Americans Support Government Action On Climate Change
And while I live in an area that does emissions tests all of the way back to the 1967 model year, I still have long-tube headers, X-pipe, and dual exhaust on an emissions-mandated car. It passes the sniff test and the required-equipment test. I also have aftermarket mufflers that are loud on another car that needs to pass, no problems.

Comment: Re:So, what's the practical concern of this? (Score 1) 77

by TWX (#48942787) Attached to: Reverse Engineering the Nike+ FuelBand's Communications Protocol
Oh, for that I definitely agree, there is a very specific point where that security needs to take place. I just don't think that a bluetooth wrist band that is supposed to only intermittently connect to a host device (not even directly to the Internet) is that place. I'd rather see wireless keyboards and mice see their communications secured before I worry about this thing.

Comment: Re:"Support" != actually sacrifice for (Score 3, Insightful) 408

by TWX (#48942751) Attached to: Most Americans Support Government Action On Climate Change
What's the sacrifice though? Having cars that either get really excellent fuel economy or run on battery power? Forcing electrical utilities to switch to separate billing for grid-tie and power consumption, so that customers that want to put solar panels on their roofs aren't shafted in order to have overnight electrical service from base-load power? Mandating emissions inspections based on original standards at the time of manufacture on all vehicles newer than 30 years, so that gross-polluting vehicles that are not running right are either fixed or taken off the road?

Most of these things don't have all that much cost, and for some of them, they're a cost that the individual should have borne anyway.

Comment: Re:next daft question (Score 1) 59

by TWX (#48942711) Attached to: How Gaseous, Neptune-Like Planets Can Become Habitable

Maybe we're looking at what Earth has now completely in the wrong way, considering that even at 430km the ISS is being slowed by atmospheric drag - common assumption has it that "Space" occurs at what, shy of 100km?

Neptune's radius is about 25,000Km. Earth's radius plus the altitude of the ISS is about 6800Km. That's an awful lot of volume to burn-off.

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