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Comment: Re:This is the solution how? (Score 2) 66

by Tx (#48803885) Attached to: South Africa Begins Ambitious Tablets In Schools Pilot Project

Content is key whether it is online or in a book. Handing out hardware doesn’t solve the content problem.

Good thing they're not just handing out hardware then.

FTA: "As with Sunward Park, the schools in this new pilot will be using a centralised portal developed by Bramley’s MIB Software for managing tablets and aggregating educational content into a single portal. MIB’s backend pulls in CAPS aligned digital textbooks from the likes of Via Afrika as well as extra resources from around the web."

Comment: Re:everytime this is tired (Score 2) 66

by Tx (#48803771) Attached to: South Africa Begins Ambitious Tablets In Schools Pilot Project

Just because it's been done wrong in the past doesn't mean it can't be done right in the future, although it doesn't bode well that this particular project appears to have been rushed, and significant questions not answered in detail. However there's nothing wrong with the theory; access to textbooks, collaboration and communications tools, monitoring of students progress while they perform activities (and as the article mentions, monitoring of teachers as well), the list of potential benefits to using tablets or laptops as a central educational tool is long. At some point, someone is going to get it right and actually realize many of the potential advantages.

Comment: Re:Established science CANNOT BE QUESTIONED! (Score 3, Informative) 719

by Tx (#48633471) Attached to: Skeptics Would Like Media To Stop Calling Science Deniers 'Skeptics'

Of course such people exist. There is no science whatsoever that says that the earth is only 6000 years old, for example, so creationists who believe that are simply denying the science. They don't question the science, they reject it; there's a difference.

I use that as an example because it is more clear-cut than the climate issue, where there are a lot of people who hold a spectrum of views which are probably somewhere between being very skeptical and being outright deniers, but for sure there are those who pretty clearly aren't interested in any science that says man-made climate change might be real.

Comment: Re:Established science CANNOT BE QUESTIONED! (Score 5, Informative) 719

by Tx (#48633243) Attached to: Skeptics Would Like Media To Stop Calling Science Deniers 'Skeptics'

The whole point of emphasising the difference between an actual sceptic and a denier is that the sceptic questions the science, whereas the denier ignores it entirely. The scientists and others referred to in the article have no problem with the actual sceptics. Questioning the science is fine, disregarding it is not.

Comment: Re:"Computer" failure? (Score 4, Informative) 68

by Tx (#48582653) Attached to: Computer Error Grounds Flights In the UK

The Register is reporting that it's actually a power failure, apparently according to a Heathrow Airport spokesperson.

“There is a power outage at the NATS control centre in Swanwick, which is affecting UK airspace. Flights are currently experiencing delays and we will update passengers as soon as we have more information," said a spokesman from Heathrow as the effects of the outage spread.

You'd think that such systems would have fully redundant power supply infrastructure though, so maybe that's misinformation.

Comment: Re:The thing that made the Sinclairs popular ... (Score 4, Informative) 110

by Tx (#48544521) Attached to: Spectrum Vega: A Blast From the Past

Not only that,but according to the article on The Register last week, they haven't actually got the games yet, they are just hoping that the rights holders are going to come forward and give permission for them to include the games for free. They've sent out a letter to the rights holders, no idea if they've had any replies yet. So even the games are in question.

Comment: The directive does not mention google. (Score 5, Informative) 237

by Whiney Mac Fanboy (#48476823) Attached to: Google Should Be Broken Up, Say European MPs

No Clue indeed. No clue from almost anyone reporting on this piece of news. (it is dissapointing that the BBC headline is so wrong)

Have a read of the Euro Parliament's Press release or (unbelievably better than the BBC) Tech Crunch.

Its a general resolution about online search engines bundling services & about the need to enforce European Competitions laws in the online space.

Comment: Re:Bad sign. (Score 1) 222

by Tx (#48425929) Attached to: Lessons Learned From Google's Green Energy Bust

I think this speaks a lot about how companies and the population are increasingly thinking in rather short terms and how little respect the modern tech elite have for those who came before them. There seems to be this attitude that difficult problems are only unsolved because the 'wrong' people have looked at it and flush with arrogance for solving comparatively simple internet related ones they believe that they are smarter and thus will quickly tackle what those 'researchers' and 'old fogies' could not.

I don't think that accurately reflects the attitude, although it might sometimes seem that way. There is nothing wrong with thinking that coming at old problems from a new direction, with fresh ideas, and bringing the latest science and technology to bear on the problems, might throw up new solutions. Sometimes it does, sometimes it doesn't. Having respect for "those who came before" doesn't mean assuming that problems can't be solved just because they haven't been solved already.

Comment: Cite for "Linux is a Cancer" (Score 4, Informative) 525

You are twisting his words. Ballmer was not talking about Linux, but about the GPL and it's 'viral' nature.

No. You are totally incorrect. Here's the quote, from it source in the Chicago Sun-Times (via the internet archive):

Q: Do you view Linux and the open-source movement as a threat to Microsoft?

A: Yeah. It's good competition. It will force us to be innovative. It will force us to justify the prices and value that we deliver. And that's only healthy. The only thing we have a problem with is when the government funds open-source work. Government funding should be for work that is available to everybody. Open source is not available to commercial companies. The way the license is written, if you use any open-source software, you have to make the rest of your software open source. If the government wants to put something in the public domain, it should. Linux is not in the public domain. Linux is a cancer that attaches itself in an intellectual property sense to everything it touches. That's the way that the license works.

Comment: Re:jury (Score 1) 200

by Tx (#48333099) Attached to: Amazon's Luxembourg Tax Deals

There is a big difference between an allowance and a loophole; where you are allowed to write down xyx against your tax bill, that is an intended tax allowance by your tax authority, put in play for whatever reason - balancing the tax system, encouraging certain types of spending, buying votes, etc. Such allowances are all part of making sure everyone pays a fair amount of tax, and everyone ultimately benefits.

A loophole however is not intended; a loophole is legal only because governments have not figured out how to close it. Clearly Amazon is expected to pay some tax on its non-US earnings, and it's not. This is not in any way the intent of the governments of the countries in which Amazon operates. Taking advantage of such loopholes benefits nobody except Amazon; taxpayers in the countries that Amazon operates in are deprived of tax revenue that would benefit them directly, and local competitors to Amazon who do pay their taxes are squeezed and put out of business, ultimately again to the detriment of everyone except Amazon.

Comment: Re:Finally a unique, original idea from Microsoft (Score 1) 135

by Tx (#48277999) Attached to: Microsoft Enters the Wearables Market With 'Band'

To be fair, nobody has really hit a mass-market sweet spot with this class of device yet, so it's worth a shot for Microsoft, normally they are later to the party than that. Although personally I think they've gone too niche with the health focus and the $200 price tag, and I wouldn't bet against you on the Microsoft Band being discontinued in a couple of years. Maybe they just wan to dip their toes in the water of the wearables market for now, and this is a fairly low-key, unambitious start that will pave the way for the Microsoft Watch :).

Comment: Re:A Theif's Dream Come True (Score 2) 66

Imagine... a phone you can steal tiny little parts out of, rather than the whole phone. It might be minutes or even hours before anybody even notices.

Are you serious? You think your little armchairy-10-seconds-of-analysis thought on the security of this device hasn't been covered by google's team of engineers?

Oh, it has:

Google says that there will be a “manager” app on the smartphone that controls some kind of locking mechanism, which keeps the modules from popping out when the phone is dropped or twisted.

"It's a dog-eat-dog world out there, and I'm wearing Milkbone underware." -- Norm, from _Cheers_