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Comment Open API (Score 1) 715

If you have a solid API that's all you need to be "ethical." It should let you put in the data you want processed, and access the data you want to access.

To me this whole thing is ridiculous, SaaS is not about software, its about service. Am i not supposed to go to a restaurant because I can't keep the plates? I could stay home and cook my own food and use my own plates but I would rather pay for the service.

Comment Re:School (Score 1) 252

I am currently starting up an initiative to collect old unwanted PCs and parts so that we can run a computer building workshop in a local community center. We already have a date set, with our first goal of building 5 computers for 5 kids. It's will be our first time doing this but already we have received overwhelmingly positive feedback, and computer parts!

The current plan is to wipe all harddrives, then test parts with the working machines and then take them all apart. We will then teach the kids how to put the computers together and test them. Finally we will help them install a linux distro. I came to this thread to find a post like this! We will definitely be trying out Qimo.

I will be emailing you as well mhall, and seeing you at the Jacksonville Florida Linux Expo!

Here is my post about the project on my blog:
http://enja.wordpress.com/2008/12/18/digital-divide-lets-build-a-bridge/

Comment Re:Most definitely.. (Score 1) 474

That's the problem! Instead of looking at this like "what else can we cram down their throats" we should approach it like "how can programming/CS make math more relevant."

I think teaching students basic programming to allow them to visualize geometry (algebra is inherent, because the hardest part about teaching algebra is the concept of variables). You can encourage problem solving along the way, and set up "realistic" problems.

If you want a really simple carrot on the stick, just talk about how much money people in the financial industry make, and all they do is math on computers. Hopefully teachers can get more creative than that, but I think programming would allow students to "hold math in their hands" so to speak.

Comment Re:Absolutely not! (Score 1) 474

I like your analysis of the computer in education. It should be treated as tool that makes things more efficient and allows for simulations that otherwise would be unaffordable.

There is a lot of software that can be used to teach art and music. Sure it would be digital art, or it could just be used as a portal to find information and examples about other mediums.

As for music, I think the computer is like the second coming. Software instruments and professional editing tools are becoming more available as opensource programs. These have infinite potential in young hands. It would be much more accessible than lugging a big wood or metal thing around (playing bassoon in middle school turned me off to music) and much easier to scale. All of the same principles could be taught, with the added bonus that kids could make music they find relevant with any sound they want.

What about business and accounting? Most people don't understand credit because they don't understand long term consequences, or how their daily actions sum up. This sounds like a job for a computer game! If you make it fun, kids might actually want to do their homework!

You are right though, the saddest thing is that computers are just being thrown at education like they are better pencils and paper. This makes a lot of people think computers are no good, when really it is they who are no good at teaching.

Comment Re:Yes! Absolutely not! Wait, what? (Score 1) 474

Everyone has computers at home? Clearly you are the one with a misconception about America.

There are a lot of kids without access to computers, which is an argument for including CS education in primary school. This way they don't fall as behind to the kids who do have computers.

Comment Amen, don't forget iTouch (Score 2, Insightful) 269

This is exactly what I saw. It's putting OS X on a phone, but in a way that doesn't feel like you are using a desktop OS. That's why I sprang for the iTouch. With the WiFi I essentially have a "netbook" in my hands!
Not to mention a development platform that shares a great deal of functionality with the iPhone.

"More software projects have gone awry for lack of calendar time than for all other causes combined." -- Fred Brooks, Jr., _The Mythical Man Month_

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