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Comment: Re:Don't bother with AP CS (Score 1) 144

A quick look at the Barrons AP CS Book on Amazon led me to believe that there is little more to it than "Learn Java". I could see there being real use for an AP class in something like "data processing for non-CS majors" but Java would not be my first choice of language for that.

As it is, it seems to me that the intended beneficiaries of the exam are the politicians and the schools (to tout their getting girls into CS credentials) and whoever most benefits from having Java programmers (the big SAS providers perhaps). Benefit to the kids taking the exam doesn't seem to be high on the list of priorities.

Comment: Re:Magic Doesn't Help (Score 2) 478

by bugs2squash (#48116147) Attached to: The CDC Is Carefully Controlling How Scared You Are About Ebola

I was listening to someone on the radio saying that some cultures have developed superstitions that may have a positive effect though. I can't remember the word he used, but there is a superstition that puts family disputes on hold, puts someone who has survived infection in the past in charge of caring for the sick, limits sex, there were some special eating practices etc. Many of these things sound helpful even if they are not backed by clinical trials.

This can't be the first time Africa has seen outbreaks of infections diseases

Comment: Re:No bigger (Score 1) 100

by bugs2squash (#48112377) Attached to: Scientists Coax Human Embryonic Stem Cells Into Making Insulin
Presumably a healthy pancreas can regulate the amount of insulin, not just produce it blindly which perhaps could lead to what you describe happening. There's more to the pancreas than just insulin production and presumably diabetics still have some pancreatic functionality, what will it do when it sees some upstart cells usurping its role ?

Comment: support - that's +5 Funny ! (Score 1) 236

by bugs2squash (#48103093) Attached to: Outsourced Tech Jobs Are Increasingly Being Automated

My experiences with support for commercial products has been much worse than the support I've enjoyed from open source communities. It seems like all they want to do is accept money to allow their customer to check the box to say there is support for audit purposes. It's cynical, and the fact it can be relegated entirely to IVR is more proof.

Now, if they would put fewer, better qualified people into a moderated forum that would be an improvement and save money, but then it would expose too many precious secrets

Comment: Dallas is not a backwater (Score 2) 480

by bugs2squash (#48098655) Attached to: Texas Ebola Patient Dies

Dallas is a major, cosmopolitan, city with one of the world's busiest international airports. It is inevitable that at some point someone with a life-threatening and contagious disease will come to such a city. I'm sure it has happened before and that it will again.

I'm not a medical professional, but to my untutored eye the preparedness of Dallas' medical professionals is tragically lacking. It seems the original patient's first contact with the medical system was mishandled, the family were reportedly treated badly and now a sheriff's deputy has contracted the disease.

It's not enough to just offer the guy gloves, he needed good advice and someone to ensure he followed it (I'll bet he got neither).

If Dallas' medical profession is going to conduct itself in this way, then maybe African airports should consider closing to mitigate the risk of contagion from Dallas

Comment: Re: misleading (Score 1) 208

by bugs2squash (#48086157) Attached to: Studies Conclude Hands-Free-calling and Apple Siri Distract Drivers

Talking to another person in the car seems to be a part of the usual driving experience since cars were invented. Presumably no-one believes that is something that one should ban. I understand that the passenger might be looking out the window which overall ups the total amount of attention being spent on the road, but that's not always the case.

I think that there is something else about the experience of using hands-free phones that makes them more of a distraction at all phases of the call. I'd be interested to see what happens to the level of driver distraction as the audio quality of the call improves. I have certainly felt I need to shout and stare at the bluetooth handsfree adapter to communicate at times.

If it could render every mumble with high fidelity, cut down on the latency and otherwise meet or beat the standard of audio that is achieved by having the intercourse in the car (so to speak !) I think the amount of distraction might go down. In any case, it is something that cellular providers and car audio equipment makers can monetize.

What this country needs is a good five dollar plasma weapon.