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Comment: training!=teaching (Score 1) 213

by dominux (#49318445) Attached to: Finland's Education System Supersedes "Subjects" With "Topics"

this "preparing for the workplace" mantra is the thing that ripped computing out of primary and secondary schools and replaced it with Microsoft Office training. The assorted coding in schools initiatives (Codeclub, the Barclays code playground, Rewired State Codecademy and so on) are the rest of the industry trying to put teaching back into schools. Even Microsoft know they went too far pushing training and want to get teaching of coding back into schools.
I have a suspicion that Finland will make this work (they have a good track record of making stuff work) but I think it is important to distinguish between training and teaching.

Comment: it solves the bit that isn't a problem (Score 1) 91

by dominux (#49145521) Attached to: 3D Printers Making Inroads In Kitchens

so you have to make the pasta, make the filling, then load the machine with dough and filling, then wait two minutes per ravioli, then apply pressure to each one to check it is sealed and waterproof then drop them in the water to cook them. Or, seeing as you have made the dough already, roll it out, pop it over a ravioli tray http://www.amazon.co.uk/World-... put a spoonfull of filling in each bit and roll over another sheet of pasta, job done 12 at a time.
I can see 3d printing as being interesting for high end intricate and decorative chocolate/sugar creations. Most pasta is formed by extrusion anyway, and you probably could do something interesting with 3d printing pasta, but not ravioli.

Comment: if done by sane people this could work (Score 1) 690

by dominux (#49016149) Attached to: Free-As-In-Beer Electricity In Greece?

The initial plan of austerity meant huge unemployment and poverty, paying off debt as fast as possible whilst the economy tanked, making it harder and harder to pay off the debt. This isn't a great plan for anyone involved including the creditors.
A revised plan which involves jobs and productivity and increasing their ability to pay would be a plausible way out. If they want a restructuring of the debt on the basis of giving free electricity to poor people I can't see what is in it for the creditors. Raising the minimum wage is a fairly neutral thing to do, it cuts some rubbish jobs and increases the value of some more reasonable jobs, in itself it isn't a huge deal either way in terms of repaying the debt (or making the debt more affordable, nobody actually wants the debt repaid, they just want it to be reliably serviced)

Comment: coding should be taught as coding (Score 3, Insightful) 212

by dominux (#48913837) Attached to: Why Coding Is Not the New Literacy

I want people to understand loops. Loops that happen a number of times, loops that run at least once and end on a condition, loops that are entered on a condition and may never run. I want people to get an understanding of how fast computers are at calculating things. I want people to understand functions, datatypes and recursion. These are all completely academic topics, nothing harder than long division. There is no reason not to teach this stuff. You can do it all with block based languages (scratch/blockly) or with various text languages. That doesn't matter. It is the fundamental concepts that everyone needs to be introduced to, just like everyone gets to do a bit of algebra and a bit of chemistry and a bit of geography.

Comment: I read the report and was perplexed (Score 1) 118

by dominux (#48629875) Attached to: Grinch Vulnerability Could Put a Hole In Your Linux Stocking

being an Ubuntu user I don't have a wheel group, but this seems to be related to the fact that local users don't need root to install packages from the repositories. If there is a bad package in a trusted repository, then an untrusted local user could install it and the bad package could give that user root access. This is expected behaviour, I don't think you can install local packages through this rule (if you can then there is a vulnerability, create your own deb package with an install script that gives you root, then install it) but the point of trusted repositories is that you trust them, so you can install updates and new packages without admin access. The report seemed more concerned about talking about wheels and grinches than actually explaining the vulnerability.

Comment: Re:it can be air filled (Score 2) 200

by dominux (#48618679) Attached to: NASA Study Proposes Airships, Cloud Cities For Venus Exploration

fair point, I don't think putting humans in the Venus atmosphere is a massively good idea until it is a viable place for full time colonisation, which it could be. If we are going to colonise another planet it is better than Mars in terms of energy and resources. I think in the shorter term airship probes would be good, as well as solar powered fixed wing flyers.

Comment: it can be air filled (Score 4, Interesting) 200

by dominux (#48617195) Attached to: NASA Study Proposes Airships, Cloud Cities For Venus Exploration

earth atmosphere air is a lifting gas on Venus, the airship could be full of normal air, and the people live inside it, not slung under it in a gondola. The pressure inside would only be a little different to the pressure outside, so a small hole in the skin of the airship wouldn't be an explosively big problem, air would just mix with the corrosive and fairly nasty outside atmosphere. It would need fixing, but it is nothing like a hole with a vacuum outside. Venus is a fairly nice place overall, lots of solar, interesting chemicals in the atmosphere. The only problem is that the ground is too far down.

Comment: it is fine, but not a great idea (Score 1) 74

by dominux (#48276841) Attached to: Charity Promotes Covert Surveillance App For Suicide Prevention

The privacy thing is utterly overblown, it is a tool for users to pick out interesting bits of the tweet streams they have access to, on criteria in this instance relating to depression. It could equally look for other sentiments and trends, analysing data available to you isn't a violation of anything in particular. It also isn't a particularly good idea. I know right now who would trigger it off for me. It would keep bleeping at several people I follow who are chronically depressed and possibly suicidal, who also live thousands of miles away and don't know me well enough for me to be in any way involved in any kind of productive intervention or words. We are not friends, we are not really acquaintances, I just follow them because they sometimes tweet interesting technical stuff and they seem like interesting people. This might kinda work for people who follow geographically close friends, maybe a school or university where you follow lots of people you actually know by sight, and have a decent chance of seeing. I am just not convinced that many people use twitter like that, and are going to be able to usefully support a friend with a problem that they wouldn't notice some other way.

Comment: advice from people who are wrong might be wrong (Score 1) 111

by dominux (#48159475) Attached to: Adobe: Click-to-Play Would Have Avoided Flood of Java Zero-days

a zero day vulnerability http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Z... does not become less zero dayish because you need to click to execute it. This is some executive who has misunderstood what his underlings actually do, and what they mean when they say they are dealing with a zero day issue.
He ends up being right, for all the wrong reasons, and he is just saying words he doesn't fully comprehend.

Comment: I got my tax yesterday, no problem (Score 1) 145

by dominux (#48044827) Attached to: UK Government Tax Disc Renewal Website Buckles Under Pressure

the website was a bit screwed in the morning, and I had the wrong reference number with me (a SORN number doesn't work, you need the V5 number, or the renewal if you haven't SORNed it) it was for a car I don't use much and it failed the MOT last month, so I got it fixed and parked it off road to tax this month without the disc. I kinda thought it would be more exciting as one of the first cars without a disc, but if you have a taxed car you can now just throw away the disc, so my 16 year old Fiesta is not as exclusive and exciting as I thought it would be.

Comment: wrong planet, try Venus. (Score 1) 549

by dominux (#48041895) Attached to: Elon Musk: We Must Put a Million People On Mars To Safeguard Humanity

Floating cities in the upper atmosphere of Venus would be much more inviting. Venus is a lovely planet, just the ground is a bit too low down. Loads of solar energy, air is a lifting gas, you could live in a bubble of regular air floating in the atmosphere (if the outer atmosphere doesn't melt your bubble due to being a bit sulphuric acidy) The sulphuric acid can be used for things, add copper oxide and you get copper sulphate plus water, it contains oxygen and you have loads of solar energy, so splitting things with electrolysis is viable. There are probably interesting resources on the surface (perhaps freed up nicely by all the acid rain) which robots could go down and extract.
I think it is the second best planet in the solar system.

Comment: Re:it is all going to go horribly wrong (Score 1) 494

by dominux (#47931535) Attached to: Scotland's Independence Vote Could Shake Up Industry

It is for Scotland to decide! They can apply for membership any time, just like Turkey, for instance.

sure, they can apply the day they become independent.

Errr... Ever heard of the Czech and the Slovaks?

Czechoslovakia split in two (peacefully) and both halves joined the EU right away, and were welcome with open arms, if memory serves well.

memory doesn't serve that well, they finalised the split in 1993 after the velvet revolution and then in 2004 both the Czech Republic and Slovakia joined the European Union.

I don't see why Scotland would be rejected, especially since the UK has been a pain in the arse ever since it joined the EU. As a matter of fact, many countries in the EU would welcome Scotland just to piss off the Brits. And even more so since the UK is set to vote on leaving the EU in a couple of years!

this is a reasonable point.

The Euro is not the EU, and vice-versa. There is a ton of countries that are EU members, but still have their national currencies. But don't take my word for it, click here instead

yeah, I know, but it is now the case that a commitment to joining the currency is a condition of joining the union.

You are not making any sense - again, the currency you use is totally independent from EU membership itself.

well we will find out in due course if there is a yes vote. I just can't see the rest of Europe being particularly excited about a region wanting to split out and join but not wanting to have the euro, pay it's debt or have it's own central bank. Right now Scotland is just looking like a smaller and more annoying version of the UK.

After Goliath's defeat, giants ceased to command respect. - Freeman Dyson