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Comment: Point of science (Score 1) 55

by giuseppemag (#41474753) Attached to: Can Foursquare Data Predict Where You Live?

Too many people here saying it's obvious and trivial.

Saying it is easy does not make it so. Academic research is often about finding precise quantitative methods to realize intuitive goals by thus explaining and formalizing the original intuition.

Newton "explained that objects fall to the ground": easy? No, because he actually used quantitative models and knew how and to what accuracy he could compute predictions.

Same for this paper.

Comment: Nothing (really) new (Score 1) 191

by giuseppemag (#40343975) Attached to: The $100 Masters Degree From Udacity

Computer Science degrees have been publicly available since the birth of the modern Internet: most papers and tutorials, ranging from basic programming language introductions to lambda calculus and AI, have been freely available for years for whoever is curious about the topics.

The things that a university really offers are accreditation that you have truly mastered the topics and professionals who put together a reasonable, sequential curriculum and help you absorb it. Did they solve it here? Doesn't seem so...

Also, European universities are essentially free, at least for their good students: an Italian PhD student has a total net cost of about -20000 euros, that is after your PhD between scholarships and taxes you have earned 20k (personal experience!).

So this is really of limited interest, and it is so only for the US...

Comment: US vs Europe (Score 5, Insightful) 339

by giuseppemag (#40241359) Attached to: Online Courses and the $100 Graduate Degree

I paid a total of 10000$ to get a BSc, an MSc and a PhD in Computer Science in Italy. I now work happily as a researcher in the Netherlands.

Higher education should not be treated as an enterprise. Higher knowledge is a very scarce commodity (an online recording system/whatever is not the same thing, otherwise the easily available books would be more than sufficient to get any degree); this means that schools are effectively a monopoly without much competition.

Who can solve this? The state. Look all over Europe for the simple solution: higher education benefits everyone and is paid (because paid it must be) by the state mostly and the end user a little bit. The little bit in some cases is increased if the student is not passing enough exams. There are also *lots* of scholarships that both look at ability and low income, and these often end up supporting poorer students who do not necessarily have excellent results but just ok results.

Why does the state need to step in? Because Communism is great and Mother Russia is close-by? No: the state needs to step in because the gain with more educated citizens is of the collective, not just the subject of the education.

Comment: Quite crappy headline (Score 5, Informative) 319

by giuseppemag (#37654498) Attached to: .NET Programmers In Demand, Despite MS Moves To Metro

Metro is a UI on top of Windows 8.

WinRT is the new Windows 8 runtime, which will be accessible by C++, C# and any .Net language. The .Net standard libraries will be available for Windows 8 Desktop applications but not for Metro applications, which will be written targeting WinRT.

So, the summary is wrong because:
a) Metro is not a development framework
b) .Net-related skills remain central in Windows 8 even when targeting Metro

Comment: Re:First of all, who the fuck are these guys... (Score 1) 295

by giuseppemag (#37479040) Attached to: Game Devs Predict Death of Flash, Installed Games

Ok, not AI but physics and game logic run at 60 fps.

Still, js is not a viable platform for many (not all) games, and will never replace other traditional means of development. It will certainly gain lots of support, and it *may* kill some alternatives, but there are loads of shades of gray in this field...

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