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Comment: Last week's "60 Minutes" TV show - Reverse Stroke (Score 1) 552

by arkarumba (#47075329) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Communication With Locked-in Syndrome Patient?

Cast a wide net, and somewhere in the billion people in the world "maybe" there is something that can help.

Just last week I saw this on TV...

which references this...

This is pertinent for me since a few months ago my Aunt had a stroke and is now suffering speech and motor difficulties.

Comment: Hungry Guppy, Happy Pig, Pit Droids, Flow (Score 1) 165

by arkarumba (#42082479) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Math and Science iOS Apps For Young Kids?

I have a 4yr and 2yr old girls, so I have read other comments with interest. Will definitely be trying some of those out. I've only used Amazing Alex and agree its a great puzzle for my 4yr old.

Here are some of my own suggestions.

Motion Math Hungry Guppy - For very simple addition. You need to join together bubbles holding 1, 2 or 3 dots to make a new bubble matching the number stuck on the side of a cute orange fish, which then swims over and eats the matching bubble and gets bigger and bigger until end of round.

Happy Pig - Children's Logic Game - fill in missing items in a pattern arrangement - my 4yr old knocked this over in a couple of days but I am happy it served its purpose in that time. It was interesting to see her cognition go from incomprehension to mastery in that short time. Revisits occasionally.

Pit Droids - A generator spawns different coloured droids in one direction, and matching coloured arrows need to placed on the ground in front of them to turn them towards matching coloured pits. I've enjoyed helping her get started and now she can now do some levels herself. Got it after reading this review which discusses it being a preliminary training for programming.

Chess Pro With Coach by Christophe Theron - training for strategic thinking - not that my 4yr old is anywhere near that! but the computer can be set really dumb and slowly turned up over the next few years. It graphically suggests good moves and pieces under threat.

Timmy's Preschool Adventure - Simple pattern/puzzle solving. Animation is a little B grade but still engaging for both 2yr and 4yr old.

Kid Klok - shows numbers around the circumference for both hours and minutes - each a separate colour matching hour/minute hands and digital clock reading.

Flow Free - path planning - 4yr old picked it up much faster than I thought she would.

Team Umizoomi - numbers and simple math in an engaging presentation for both the 2yr and 4yr old

Bugs and Buttons - lots of cognitive mini-games - 2yr and 4yr both love it.

ToonTastic - just to round out with a non-science app - yet the decision making learnt from creative play is an important skill. Drag cartoon characters onto a background then record an animation with voice-over by the kids.

Comment: The proper way to praise children (Score 1) 659

by arkarumba (#37690006) Attached to: How Do You Educate a Prodigy?

Concerning getting through school too easily and then giving up when hitting the wall, this following article is quite important....

        Dweck sent four female research assistants into New York fifth-grade classrooms. The researchers would take a single child out of the classroom for a nonverbal IQ test consisting of a series of puzzles—puzzles easy enough that all the children would do fairly well. Once the child finished the test, the researchers told each student his score, then gave him a single line of praise. Randomly divided into groups, some were praised for their intelligence. They were told, “You must be smart at this.” Other students were praised for their effort: “You must have worked really hard.”

        Then the students were given a choice of test for the second round. One choice was a test that would be more difficult than the first, but the researchers told the kids that they’d learn a lot from attempting the puzzles. The other choice, Dweck’s team explained, was an easy test, just like the first. Of those praised for their effort, 90 percent chose the harder set of puzzles. Of those praised for their intelligence, a majority chose the easy test. The “smart” kids took the cop-out.

Two more stages of testing provided this startling finding:

        Those who had been praised for their effort significantly improved on their first score—by about 30 percent. Those who’d been told they were smart did worse than they had at the very beginning—by about 20 percent.

Comment: Re:Ubuntu seems to have hit the big time (Score 1) 324

by arkarumba (#29882669) Attached to: Canonical Halts Ubuntu CD Free-for-all

Don't say: "not having the overhead of antivirus software"
It has been drummed into the masses that they need virus protection and it will just confuse them.
Instead say: "virus protection included" - well Linux does protect you from viruses

Also, the masses may be suspect of "freedom to copy." Perhaps just make it look like the free CDs on magazine covers like "4GB of free software"

Comment: stops apoptosis? maybe useful for heart attacks. (Score 1) 385

by arkarumba (#28740783) Attached to: Cure For Radiation Sickness Found?

Perhaps a little offtopic, but stopping apoptosis may be useful to prevent systemic self-dectruction of cells during reperfusion of heart attack victims or other victims deprived of oxygen - allowing people to recovery from being deprived of oxygen for an hour.
To Treat the Dead --
Currently they use a hypothermia protocol to reduce the damage done during reperfusion.

Comment: Arduino (Score 1) 364

by arkarumba (#28731099) Attached to: Low-Budget Electronics Projects For High School?
Multiple variations and suppliers

Arduino is an open-source electronics prototyping platform based on flexible, easy-to-use hardware and software. It's intended for artists, designers, hobbyists, and anyone interested in creating interactive objects or environments.

Arduino can sense the environment by receiving input from a variety of sensors and can affect its surroundings by controlling lights, motors, and other actuators. The microcontroller on the board is programmed using the Arduino programming language (based on Wiring) and the Arduino development environment (based on Processing). Arduino projects can be stand-alone or they can communicate with software on running on a computer (e.g. Flash, Processing, MaxMSP).

Comment: combined FPGA and ARM processor (Score 1) 185

by arkarumba (#28703105) Attached to: Suggestions For Learning FPGA Development At Home?

I not really sure how this compares to other options.
I'd be interested in the thoughts of those more expereienced.
500Mhz ARM9 CPU running Linux
onboard 12,000 LUT on-board programmable Lattice FPGA
250MHz ARM9 CPU running Linux
onboard 5000 LUT Lattice FPGA

Comment: Re:Protect Your Intellectual Rights Before You Sel (Score 1) 131

by arkarumba (#28586305) Attached to: How To Get Your Program Professionally Marketed?

[Disclaimer: I've no experience implementing these ideas. They are based on comments from mate who developed a small utility with a delayed nag as the only "protection". There is a delay of about four months between download and sales graphs, but he has a reasonable conversion rate.]
What about like the delayed start timer reminders like WinZip used to have. Have only one full-version binary distributable. During the demo period there are no nags. After the demo period expires, during startup have a timer that delays the start - with a message about the demo expiring. Perhaps here ask for feedback from people of their first impressions - link to a subforum discussion site. As time goes on, the delay timer gets longer.
Getting good feedback can be difficult and may be worth something to you. Possibly for good feedback, have a method to extend their demo period. If you respond well to them and develop a conversation and rapport, then you have more chance of converting a sale. Also you get feedback from beginning users not just expert users. First impressions count so you need to cater to both. For selected demo users, perhaps their writing a blog entry of how they are using it (not just a review) may also extend their demo period.
Make the demo longish, and perhaps based on operational time, not just date periods. Busy users (ie professional - your best authorative bloggers and potential payers) may download it to try, but them be distracted for a while before they have a project to use it on. You want users to have time for it to become "part of their process" before the nags start.
The nags can include a startup dialog, a status bar being replaced at random intervals by one cycle of a ticker. The nags and/or product cost shouldn't be so intrusive that its easier reinstall or upgrade to the next version However after an extended period of time have a modal alert discussing your distribution philosophy might appear. Use humour, you want them onside. Then this model alert might now shut down the program - with a gracious option to delay the shutdown (for a decreasing amounts of time). This however is fine balance.
The nag delay screens should show an accumulation of delays. Get the user to enter their payrate so that the cost of the nags is apparent to them. When it comes to a business decision, that can be overlooked. After an extended period the program might shut down at intervals - but provide plenty of
During you can build in some usability statistics gathering that is only acctive during the demo period. At the least would want to get an idea of when the nags become too onerous and people unistall your software. You might also get an idea of where new users go wrong.
anyway thats my 2.5 cents worth

Comment: other means of avoidance? (Score 3, Insightful) 272

by arkarumba (#28559293) Attached to: Linux Patch Clears the Air For Use of Microsoft's FAT Filesystem

(SFNDE = Short File Name Directory Entry)
Regarding the patent filed in 1993.
It seems that the aim is to implement a "different idea" than that expressed in Figure 6b. (free rego at freepatentsonline to see original PDF with figures)
What about all the references to "short filename including at most a maximum NUMBER OF CHARACTERS THAT IS PERMISSIBLE BY THE OPERATING SYSTEM."
Is the Linux Operating System limited to a only of 8.3 characters? To that effect, why does this patent apply to Linux at all?
I can't quite remember my history, but weren't long filenames (LFN) introduced with Windows 95 in 1995? Wasn't Win95 just a GUI layer on top of DOS and so bound by the filename length contraint of the DOS "OPERATING SYSTEM"? Wasn't it actually the Win95 GUI that interpreted and displayed the LFN?
Isn't Linux access to FAT different?
Even though the FAT filesystem was limited to 8.3 characters, don't you think that DOS was "hardcoded" to 8.3 characters. Thus it was a constraint of the "Operating System" that this patent was addressing. The Linux situation seems completely different. Linux does not have this constraint, thus the Linux "idea" for implemeting dual directory entries is different than the "idea" for Windows GUI on DOS as expressed in the given patent - ie thus the "idea" for Linux is compatability, whereas the "idea" for Windows was to get around the 8.3 constraint.
Fig 2 shows LFNDE alongside SFNDE. Is that required technically for compatability, or can they be stored apart?
Alternatively ONLY create long filename, then have some sweeper task come along and create the short filenames from the long ones.
It talks about only creating a LFN when it is longer than 8.3.
Well then, create a LFNDE "EVERY TIME".
The patent says "At a minimum, a short filename will be created."
Have linux do it differently, at a minimum create both a long and a short filename.
The patent describes using "both SFN APIs and LFN APIs".
Does linux have both or does it do it "differently" with just LFN APIs?

Comment: Re:Bussard (Score 1) 173

by arkarumba (#28378263) Attached to: EU Fusion Experiment's Financial Woes Get More Concrete

Not sure about the exact device naming but thats a pretty good summary.
Its worth pointing out that the funding for the project has apparently always been 10% of what was required, in order to keep it below the radar of the DOE - with the perception that the DOE career politics would have killed it off to protect their "investment" in ITER. Bussard has been slogging away at it for 20 years. The project was apparently killed only due to money being cut off to fund the Iraq war.
Off the top of my head I think it was WB6 that finally cracked it, with the result that "The physics has been proven, its now just an engineering problem." However the synchronicity of success at the last minute before the lights were turned off, that wasn't noticed until the data was analysed months later, was perhaps a bit suspect. Then Bussard died.
It has been the task of the well respected Dr Rick Nebel on sabatical from Los Almos Nataional Laboratory to confirm the WB6 results with WB7. With a news blackout back in force Dr Nebel has been very low key about the results but has said that "Results from WB7 have been positive and in line with expectations. There is nothing to indicate this wont work." This has been peer reviewed - but privately within the DoD. The DoD has provided continuing funding for the next round of experiments.
I find it interesting that Bussard as Assistant Director of the Atomic Energy Commission in the 1970s apaprently founded the Tokamak research project only as a means skimming some money to investigate a number of non-mainline nuclear ideas - of which the Polywell seems to have born fruit.
This google tech talk is quite interesting and was my introduction to the concept. The hopeful pundit in me finds it VERY INTERESTING that interest in ITER has seemed to wain as awareness of the Polywell results has increased - but perhaps thats just wishful thinking.
Whoops that turned out longer than I meant
Disclaimer: I'm just an interested bystander. All this is hear-say.

The universe is an island, surrounded by whatever it is that surrounds universes.