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Comment Re:Buy APs, not Wireless Routers (Score 1) 77

I'm not sure I follow. Most home "routers" also have wifi capabilities. They allow you to connect to your ISPs modem, connect several LAN computers to the modem, as well as connect WiFi devices.

How would your setup work? Do you have a LAN router that connects to the WAN modem, and then a separate AP for Wifi devices? That seems expensive, and not easy to maintain.

Comment Regis has a point. (Score 1) 684

I'm amazed at how otherwise rational people get bamboozled into the idea of space colonization or asteroid mining, which are endeavors so expensive and perilous and with little practical value as to be impossible.

Take asteroid mining. The costs alone are incredibly prohibited, not to mention the fact that if you did mine gold, for instance, it would be the most expensive gold ever to be sold, because the costs would be so high. There will never be a point at which the rate of return on space-gold exceeds the cost.

But these techno-utopians won't listen to reason and always just dismiss the real-world or technical limitations inherit in a venture like this as Ludditism, when it's just realism.

Comment Re:Evidence of the Great Filter? (Score 5, Insightful) 365

Even within our own human population it seems that only a relatively small number of people have allowed us to advance past the age of agriculture, into the age of electronics and interconnected networks.

I don't think that's true at all. Anyone who studies technological advancement, or the philosophy of science, can tell that it's a heuristic process. In other words, it's the result of many, sometimes "average" people taking a crack at a problem over a long period of time, until someone is finally able to put all that work together to get a solution.

The oft-cited "genius" making a technological breakthrough by himself is really just a myth.

Comment Just don't buy RMS a Parrot! (Score 1) 135

I like cats if they are friendly, but they are not good for me; I am somewhat allergic to them. This allergy makes my face itch and my eyes water. So the bed, and the room I will usually be staying in, need to be clean of cat hair. However, it is no problem if there is a cat elsewhere in the house—I might even enjoy it if the cat is friendly.

Dogs that bark angrily and/or jump up on me frighten me, unless they are small and cannot reach much above my knees. But if they only bark or jump when we enter the house, I can cope, as long as you hold the dog away from me at that time. Aside from that issue, I'm ok with dogs.

If you can find a host for me that has a friendly parrot, I will be very very glad. If you can find someone who has a friendly parrot I can visit with, that will be nice too.

DON'T buy a parrot figuring that it will be a fun surprise for me. To acquire a parrot is a major decision: it is likely to outlive you. If you don't know how to treat the parrot, it could be emotionally scarred and spend many decades feeling frightened and unhappy. If you buy a captured wild parrot, you will promote a cruel and devastating practice, and the parrot will be emotionally scarred before you get it. Meeting that sad animal is not an agreeable surprise.


Facebook's Solution To 'One of Education's Biggest Problems' Is a Dashboard 63

theodp writes: Gushing in July that Facebook engineers had solved one of education's biggest problems, Melinda Gates perhaps set up Segway-like expectations for Facebook's education software. And while The Verge sings the praises of what appears to be progress-tracking dashboards that connect students to mostly free 3rd-party lessons — not unlike Khan Academy or even the 50-year-old PLATO system — it's hard to get jazzed based on the screenshots (1, 2, 3) that Facebook provided in a .zip file accompanying its announcement. The "personalized learning plan" dashboards are a joint effort of Facebook and the Meg Whitman-led and backed Summit charter schools. In a nice circle-of-tech-CEO-education-reform-life twist, the first Summit high school opened in a building in Redwood City after students attending the Bill Gates-touted and backed Silicon Valley High Tech High charter there were evicted to make way, and the Gates Foundation is now spending $8M to bring HP CEO Whitman's Summit charter schools — and presumably Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg's personalized learning plans — to Seattle children.

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