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Comment: Early exposure to programming (Score 2) 125

by dthirteen (#46975017) Attached to: Reading, Writing, Arithmetic, and Lately, Coding

My school district provided early exposure via apple II computers. They showed up one summer with an extracurricular summer workshop and then one to two per classroom, and a computer lab in Jr. High. And while there was an Atari computer at home, I basically had all of my meaningful early exposure to programming via the school district, and the teachers who were willing to spend extra time learning about and then sharing how to use them. Starting at probably age 8 or 9, I used basic and then later logo. The logo continuing off and on until 8th grade when I was using functions/procedures, getting user input, redrawing the screen, etc. By 8th grade my programming was beyond the scope of the curriculum or programming knowledge of the teacher. These skills then lay dormant for 4-5 years resurfacing in college with the first two years of CS course work. Which then led to computer support employment and then high end systems/networking employment.

It is impossible to attribute my skills to nature v. nurture, but I believe that any meaningful early exposure to computer languages, problem solving, or independent exploration of programming to solve a problem or provide something new is a worthwhile investment.

Comment: Vegetarian (Score 3, Interesting) 291

Hate to be the one to point out the obvious... but the solution is not in changing the meat it is in reducing and/or eliminating the meat. A very large part of world has done very well for a very long time on limited or no meat, eating beans and rice, lentils and rice, and tofu and rice. Meat requires vast quantities of water, creates vast quantities of waste, and is a huge caloric loss if you are feeding the animal grains or other foodstuffs that humans can eat directly. Beef being the worst offender for water use, and pollution.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/E...

Comment: Thanks for all the Fish Wrapper (Score 5, Interesting) 1521

by chrisd (#37204264) Attached to: Rob "CmdrTaco" Malda Resigns From Slashdot
In 1997, right after Chips n' Dips had faded away, to be replaced by the enigmatically named http:///..org, all of us free software nerds hung on its every story, comment and poll like it was carved on tablet and flung from a burning bush. A year later I had started at hardware maker VA Research and /. was falling down for lack of machinery, so we rummaged through our returns piles and sent Rob and Jeff some 2u servers to help out. That was for me the beginning of some of the most important friendships in my adult life.

Its hard to explain how important Slashdot was to all of us 10 years ago. Indeed, without it it would be hard to imagine HN, Reddit, Digg, Fark or any of a thousand lesser sites. The editorial perspective of Rob and the other editors of /. is what kept people coming back and for a long time that perspective was Rob's, then Rob and Jeff and a bunch of us (some, like Timothy and samzenpus, still around!), but then Jeff left, now Rob. In some way I see this as a passing of an era in free software.

Throughout, while some have left for those greener shores, slashdot abided even while buffeted by the markets and the de/evolving internet news world, and it has remained a default tab in my and many others' browsers.

I didn't mean this post to be about Slashdot though, but about my friend Rob. I'll only say that while the site will be the lessor for you leaving, I firmly believe that computer science will gain my. While this note reads like an epitaph or the last pages of a book, it is really no more than a thank you note from me and many I know to your for your decade+ of work on the site. So...

Thanks.

Slashdot.org

Rob "CmdrTaco" Malda Resigns From Slashdot 1521

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the steve-got-front-cutsies dept.
After 14 years and over 15,000 stories posted, it's finally time for me to say Good-Bye to Slashdot. I created this place with my best friends in a run down house while still in college. Since then it has grown to be read by more than a million people, and has served Billions and Billions of Pages (yes, in my head I hear the voice). During my tenure I have done my best to keep Slashdot firmly grounded in its origins, but now it's time for someone else to come aboard and find the *future*. Personally I don't have any plans, but if you need to get ahold of me for any reason, you can find me as @cmdrtaco on twitter or Rob Malda on Google+. You could also update my mail address to be malda at cmdrtaco dot net. Hit the link below if you want to read some nostalgic saccharine crap that I need to get out of my system before I sign off for the last time.
NASA

NASA Discovers 7th Closest Star 137

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the practically-in-my-back-yard dept.
Thorfinn.au says "Scientists using data from NASA's Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE) have discovered the coldest class of star-like bodies, with temperatures as cool as the human body. Astronomers hunted these dark orbs, termed Y dwarfs, for more than a decade without success. When viewed with a visible-light telescope, they are nearly impossible to see. WISE's infrared vision allowed the telescope to finally spot the faint glow of six Y dwarfs relatively close to our sun, within a distance of about 40 light-years. 'WISE scanned the entire sky for these and other objects, and was able to spot their feeble light with its highly sensitive infrared vision,' said Jon Morse, Astrophysics Division director at NASA Headquarters in Washington. 'They are 5,000 times brighter at the longer infrared wavelengths WISE observed from space than those observable from the ground.'"
Real Time Strategy (Games)

Sports Bars Changing Channels For Video Gamers 351

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the we-watch-channel-zero dept.
dtmos wrote in to say that "This summer, StarCraft II has become the newest bar room spectator sport. Fans organize so-called Barcraft events, taking over pubs and bistros from Honolulu to Florida and switching big-screen TV sets to Internet broadcasts of professional game matches. As they root for their on-screen superstars, StarCraft enthusiasts can sow confusion among regular patrons... But for sports-bar owners, StarCraft viewers represent a key new source of revenue from a demographic—self-described geeks—they hadn't attracted before."
Security

Researchers Report Spike In Boot Time Malware 132

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the can't-fight-the-fever dept.
wiredmikey writes "In their most recent intelligence report, Symantec researchers pointed out a massive increase in the amount of boot time malware striking users, noting there have already been as many new boot time malware threats detected in the first seven months of 2011 as there were in the previous three years. Also known as MBR (master boot record) threats, the malware infect an area of the hard disk that makes them one of the first things to be read and executed when a computer is turned on. This enables the threats to effectively dodge many security defenses."

+ - Facebook Data Collection Under Fire Again->

Submitted by
JohnBert
JohnBert writes "A German privacy protection authority is calling on organizations there to close their Facebook fan pages and remove the social networking site's "Like" button from their websites, arguing that Facebook harvests data in violation of German and European Union law.

The Independent Centre for Privacy Protection (ULD), the privacy protection agency for the German state of Schleswig-Holstein, issued a news release on Friday saying Facebook builds a broad, individualized profile for people who view Facebook content on third-party websites.

Data is sent back to Facebook's servers in the U.S., which the agency alleges violates the German Telemedia Act, the German Federal Data Protection Act and the Data Protection Act of Schleswig-Holstein. The agency alleges the data is held by Facebook for two years, and wants website owners in the state to remove links to Facebook by the end of next month or possibly face a fine."

Link to Original Source
NASA

Humanoid Robot Wakes In Space, Tweets 91

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the kill-all-humans dept.
DeviceGuru writes to note that "Robonaut 2 (aka R2), the first humanoid robot to become a permanent resident of the International Space Station (ISS), was awakened from stasis this week after six months in orbit. R2s first words? 'Those electrons feel GOOD!' The success of R2's activation on the ISS paves the way for putting R2 through its first movements in orbit on Sept. 1, when R2 will be sent commands for moving its arms and hands. Assuming these and other tests proceed without a hitch, R2 will start assisting the ISS crew with simple tasks in 2012. Coffee? Tea? Cigarettes?"

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