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Comment: Re:Bookstores - are you trying to change hard enou (Score 2) 83

by excelsior_gr (#46748689) Attached to: Seattle Bookstores Embrace Amazon.com

Maybe if they could figure out how to adapt 3d printing to books

It's called "printing". It was pretty much 2D the last time I checked, but it worked.

Joking aside, this model is used by publishers and is called "print on demand". It sucks mostly because the quality of the print varies enormously. I've had both very good and horrible experiences. On the other hand, I would expect professional grade printing equipment to cost way more than shelf space, so I doubt that such an idea could save the traditional bookstores.

Comment: Re:It may work for German (Score 1) 431

by excelsior_gr (#46748241) Attached to: Is Germany Raising a Generation of Illiterates?

All these phonetic rules you mentioned depend more on the dialect than on how Hochdeutsch is supposed to sound. I've lived in NRW and in Bavaria for 8 years and the second "e" in segeln is quite loud (although admittedly in Bavaria much louder than in NRW). If you don't believe me, try hitting on the play button next to segeln in LEO: http://dict.leo.org/ende/?lang... I don't think that someone would spell it "segln" after hearing this. When writing an unknown word for the first time if you use the "write as you speak" method you will be just fine 95% of the time. With a little bit of experience, you'll easily get to 99%.

About the learning method, what the article describes is the core of the Montessori system, which has been applied across Europe for many years now (depending on the school and the country either in full or partially). We have yet to discover if it is better or worse.

Comment: Re:Can the writings be read? (Score 2) 431

by excelsior_gr (#46742381) Attached to: Is Germany Raising a Generation of Illiterates?

Interesting, but I think your causation is backwards.

Kids that are not taught to appreciate form and style and who are not taught to be analytic and think on a different level, will never bother to write elegantly (not to mention about finding something elegant to write about). Forcing grammar rules on kids will not make them deeper thinkers, it will just piss them off. Give the kids a good book to read, discuss with them about it afterwards and show them that there is more than meets the eye, and they will want to be better writers.

Comment: It may work for German (Score 2) 431

by excelsior_gr (#46742207) Attached to: Is Germany Raising a Generation of Illiterates?

Spelling in German is quite trivial, because you spell a word exactly as you pronounce it. There are some exceptions, but they are, too, bound by rules that one will learn eventually; they don't have to be force-fed to schoolchildren. So, considering this is a language where a spelling-bee makes almost no sense, no, Germany isn't raising a generation of illiterates.

Comment: Re:Is anything actually burning? (Score 2) 630

by excelsior_gr (#46708499) Attached to: Navy Debuts New Railgun That Launches Shells at Mach 7

Yes, an ionized gas glows on its own, just like a neon light. I don't know if this is the case though. The case someone made above about the oxidization of fine metal particles seems plausible, too.

In the case of a normal fire though, the glow comes from the red-hot soot particles that come from the inefficient combustion of carbon fuel, so it's not the gasses glowing from the heat.

Comment: nonsense (Score 2) 218

by excelsior_gr (#46672739) Attached to: Why No One Trusts Facebook To Power the Future

Facebook is transitioning from a simple social network to a full-fledged technology company that rivals Google

In what world is Facebook a full-fledged technology company that rivals Google? Let's see what each company offers me:
Google's search engine was a big thing when it started; it meant that you didn't have to use a shitload of search engines to find stuff (meta-search engines, anyone?) and now it rightfully dominates this market. Google gave me free email that didn't suck (well maybe some redesigns did) and has tons of space: people left Hotmail and never had to look back. Google Maps and Earth are just mind-blowing if you come to think of it, so I don't really have to comment on those. Google bought YouTube, and now serves us our vids, too. Google has stuff like the Google Art project that produces high-quality scans of artwork around the globe and silently delivers them to Wikipedia, so that we can all enjoy them for free. Google produced the OS that powers my phone and its browser, so that we get some diversity at least in the mobile world and don't get MS and Apple dominating that market as well (admittedly, it gets boring).

With Facebook, I can stay in touch with my friends that are in remote locations, upload my photos for them to see, and watch theirs. There is also some simple gaming going on (I'm not into it, but lots of people are). Oh, and with Instagram I can apply crappy filters to my photos. All these things, btw, I can do with Google+, but Google was late in the social media space, so I prefer FB since pretty much everybody that I know is already there.

FB is not a fully fledged tech company, they are a website for wasting your time. That's about it. I don't care how many little old ladies play candy crush or whatever the newest hot app is on FB, this won't make them a tech company unless they start developing some new tech. Continuously. If Google has been as stagnant as FB they wouldn't have gone past the development of their search engine.

It is contrary to reasoning to say that there is a vacuum or space in which there is absolutely nothing. -- Descartes

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