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Comment: The real issue was the Saturn (Score 1) 151

by blueshift_1 (#49114205) Attached to: Is Sega the Next Atari?
Before there was sony entering there was the Saturn - which is really what caused the demise of Sega. The Saturn was basically the genesis - but a bit better. But not enough better to merit mass purchase. The last ditch attempt at the Dreamcast was really solid, but then they protection on the disks was too poor and piracy was just too easy. Though, I still occasionally dust off the game gear, genesis, or even the saturn if I want nostalgia kick, but it's easy to see why they went to the wayside.

Comment: Re:Visualization (Score 1) 175

by blueshift_1 (#48942567) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: How Do I Engage 5th-8th Graders In Computing?
Just to add some additional thoughts: It's great if you already have some code written. Let them modify it and see what happens. Like for example with the planetary simulation. It starts off with earth in standard orbit with a trace on it's path. Then you can use a slider (or even hard code and recompile) to adjust the mass of the earth/sun and watch it change. Or make an asteroid hit the earth at an angle and see - adjust the mass/velocity/dirction and watch it change. And with the path trace you can make cool patterns. This helps keep them from having to deal with having to understand a lot of the boring stuff that if they really enjoy it, they can learn later - while still keeping the interest of those who just want to make pretty things.

Comment: Visualization (Score 3, Informative) 175

by blueshift_1 (#48942483) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: How Do I Engage 5th-8th Graders In Computing?
You definitely want to jump into visually doing stuff as quick as possible. That age group wants to see things happen. "hello world" is nice, but not super exciting. Naturally, minecraft has been mentioned. So maybe doing command blocks or things like that (Maybe even some java to make a plugin or mod - but that is probably a bit advanced for an into).

I've use EJS (Easy Java Simulations) before to make quick visualizations. It's a bit more science/physics based but might be pretty neat. Like showing a rocket go the moon (and physically accurate!)

Another tool is vPython. It's nice because it is in python and can be neat - again, I mostly used it for physics stuff, like simulating planetary orbits, but being python, you can show these things in just a handful lines of code. It'd be a great way to crossfunctionally do science and computing.

Comment: Mix purchasing model. (Score 1) 570

by blueshift_1 (#48868693) Attached to: Microsoft Reveals Windows 10 Will Be a Free Upgrade
I really don't think that M$ (or maybe that is hope) will go into only OS subscription, maybe an OS + office + other goodies subscription that'll allow users to not have to lock in their versions. However, I feel like they know some will always want a buy it, keep it style. Similar to how Adobe now has the creative commons subscription as well as the standard buy it for their products.

With regard to the free update, it just makes sense. It'll allow earlier adoption, improving the new OSs market share from ther very beginning so they aren't banking on PC sales and the early adopters who want the latest thing and then reduce issues when the phase an OS out.

Comment: World domination. (Score 1) 386

by blueshift_1 (#48697205) Attached to: The One Mistake Google Keeps Making
What it comes down to is that google has incredibly profitable aspects of their company that allow them to fund the more futurescape products. Certainly there are patents and other fringe economical benefits to these. But in the end, every technological revolution starts small. Lots of prototypes and mistakes untile the groundwork is layed for others to build on. In the past this has been hobbyists and garage tinkerers. Google is creating this same environment with real money and time thrown to help speed up the whole system. In the end, they are trying to certainly guide the future on their terms but also, they are trying to do the rest of us a freaking service by getting the awesome stuff here sooner. Say what you will about google's motives, but I do feel like they are trying to improve the world while they dominate it.

"It's when they say 2 + 2 = 5 that I begin to argue." -- Eric Pepke