Follow Slashdot stories on Twitter


Forgot your password?

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:

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.

Comment Re:Yes, and there's nothing new with that (Score 1) 729

We can look at World of Warcraft for an example of how to avoid that problem with Entertainment. The WoW software is still sold as an end product, but that is only because the market allows them too. The real value is in the monthly subscriptions and the ever improving content that is provided over the medium created by the software.

I think Open Source only looks bad if you try to view software as anything other than a way to solve problems. People will always have problems that can be addressed by technology, so you will always be able to provide value if you can solve those problems.


Google Profiling Social Network Users 96

David Harry writes "Google is looking deeper into behavioral targeting of social network users with three more patents. A while back, one patent came to light in the poorly termed ‘friendrank’; Google could be profiling social network users. These three patents now bring the series to five in total."

No Naked Black Holes 317

Science News reports on a paper to be published in Physical Review Letters in which an international team of researchers describes their computer simulation of the most violent collision imaginable: two black holes colliding head-on at nearly light-speed. Even in this extreme scenario, Roger Penrose's weak cosmic censorship hypothesis seems to hold — the resulting black hole (after the gravitational waves have died down) retains its event horizon. "Mathematically, 'naked' singularities, or those without event horizons, can exist, but physicists wouldn't know what to make of them. All known mechanisms for the formation of singularities also create an event horizon, and Penrose conjectured that there must be some physical principle — a 'cosmic censor' — that forbids singularity nakedness ..."

Towards a Wiki For Formally Verified Mathematics 299

An anonymous reader writes "Cameron Freer, an instructor in pure mathematics at MIT, is working on an intriguing project called (video from O'Reilly Ignite Boston 4): a math wiki which only allows true theorems to be added! Based on Isabelle, a free-software theorem prover, the wiki will state all of known mathematics in a machine-readable language and verify all theorems for correctness, thus providing a knowledge base for interactive proof assistants. In addition to its benefits for education and research, such a project could reveal undiscovered connections between fields of mathematics, thus advancing some fields with no further work being necessary."

Carbon-Neutral Ziggurat Could House 1.1 Million In Dubai 393

Engadget is reporting that a new pyramid-shaped city of the future, dubbed a "Ziggurat," is being touted by Dubai-based environmental design company, Timelinks. Claiming that their design allows for an almost self-sufficient energy footprint and, obviously, economy of space, the real trick would be getting 1.1 million people to live in such close proximity. "Martijn Kramer, managing director of The International Institute for the Urban Environment told WAN: 'As a general reaction the Ziggurat Project is viable from a technical point of view. However reflecting from a more sustainable holistic approach we do wonder if the food supply and waste system are taken care for, as the concept seems rather based upon carbon neutrality and energy saving.' Kramer's initial reaction to 'Ziggurat' also raises a very important issue: are people willing to live in a mega building of 2.3 sq km? Will the thought of living in a machine comfort people?"
The Media

The Net's Effect on Journalism 149

An Associated Press article about the impact of the internet on journalism has a few interesting findings. A few years ago, it was expected that the internet would democratize news coverage. While print media is being rapidly reborn online, web-based news appears to be constraining the number of conversations instead of expanding them. "The news agenda actually seems to be narrowing, with many Web sites primarily packaging news that is produced elsewhere, according to the Project for Excellence in Journalism's annual State of the News Media report. Two stories - the war in Iraq and the 2008 presidential election campaign - represented more than a quarter of the stories in newspapers, on television and online last year, the project found. Take away Iraq, Iran and Pakistan, and news from all of the other countries in the world combined filled up less than 6 percent of the American news hole, the project said."

EA Launches 'Hostile' Bid for GTA Publisher 171

Games news sites are reporting that EA has issued a new offering to Take-Two's shareholders in an attempt to purchase the company outright. Last month EA offered some $2 billion to Take-Two in an effort to accomplish the same goal. Take-Two declined, and EA took their offer public. Now, Electronic Arts is offering the price of some $26 per share to Take-Two's holders, a generous valuation. "Within ten business days Take-Two is required by law to publish, send or give to shareholders (and file with the Securities and Exchange Commission), a statement as to whether it recommends acceptance or rejection of the latest offer ... Since EA launched its February bid Take-Two said that other parties had approached it regarding a merger, but that it hadn't entered into negotiations with other companies about a deal."

Open US GPS Data? 327

tobiasly writes "I read an article today about a map error on the popular Garmin GPS devices which often leads to truckers in a particular town becoming trapped. From my own experience, every electronic map I've ever seen (Google, Mapquest, my Mio GPS) has the layout of my neighborhood completely and frustratingly wrong. A quick search turned up only one open-source mapping project, but it's for New Zealand only. Why are there no comparable projects in the U.S. or elsewhere? Obviously such a project would need a good peer-review/moderation/trust system but I'd gladly put in the time necessary to drive around town with my GPS in "tracking" mode, then upload, tag, and verify my local data. Has anyone with more technical knowledge in maps and auto-routing looked more into this? Are there technical limitations to such a project? Should the government subsidize a project to create open, free, up-to-date electronic maps? Surely there is a public benefit available from such a project."

The program isn't debugged until the last user is dead.