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Education

+ - UK Physics Curriculum Going Down the Tubes

Submitted by ultracool
ultracool (883965) writes "Wellington Grey, a physics teacher in the UK and notable creator of the Slashdot flowchart and other flowcharts wrote an open letter to the AQA and Department for Education begging for his subject back. The physics GCSE questions have become vague, politicized, and even non-scientific. The course leaves students with an overall negative impression of science and almost no new understanding of physics."
Education

+ - English physics teachers asks for his subject back->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "An open letter to the English government regarding the ways in which they've broken physics education in secondary schools. The gist is that students are being taught a qualitative, subjective subject instead of physics in its quantitative glory. From the letter:

I am a young and once-enthusiastic physics teacher. I despair at what I am forced to teach. I have potentially thirty years of lessons to give, but I didn't sign up for this — and the business world still calls. There I won't have to endure the pain of trying to animate a crippled subject. The rigorous of physics been torn down and replaced with impotent science media studies."

Link to Original Source
Role Playing (Games)

EVE Online Scandal Deliberate Frame-Job? 382

Posted by Zonk
from the don't-believe-everything-you-read dept.
Last Friday, we discussed serious allegations leveled against CCP by players of the game. The comments on the discussion were lively, and pointed. Perhaps a bit too pointed, as CCP's internal affairs investigation claims that a plot to smear the company with false accusations over the long holiday weekend was behind the flurry of online activity. "The objective of this scheme was to permanently paint CCP as a biased and corrupt company that favors a select group of players over the rest of our community. In this particular case, instead of receiving notification of a possible problem and sufficient time to examine and address it, we faced a coordinated and hostile attack executed on our forums, Digg, Wikipedia, Slashdot, and other outlets at the beginning of a three-day weekend. We believe this speaks volumes of the intention of the person(s) responsible for orchestrating this scheme. Verification of this can be readily found on the forums of the people responsible--or at least could, the last time we looked." Scott Jennings over at Broken Toys points the finger at the Goon Fleet corporation, an organization based out of the Something Awful forums. As I noted in the original post, the evidence presented on both sides is challenging to verify independently. Take everything you read about these events with a grain of salt.
Education

+ - Expensive maths tutoring software

Submitted by
gavinjolly
gavinjolly writes "My question is what do other SDers use or recommend to ensure their kids understand maths?

We had a visit from a salesman last night for maths tutor software for our kids. The software is called Mathematic Computer Tutor from the Australian Institute of Mathematics (Google Search). It costs a whopping $4950 New Zealand Dollars or US$3,603.59. The licence is one off and for the entire family so it could be reused for three of my children.

The software itself seemed good but not NZ$4,950 worth of good IMHO. Key features of the software I observed included:
  • You can select the level/year
  • Select the Area and Topic. It seemed to cover most of the maths curriculum.
  • Multi user
  • Tracks each users performance in each exercise providing an overall scorecard for User, Year, Area and Topic
  • There is also phone support for the kids to call a tutor


I did a quick search and few sites with comments regarding the software.

My wife quite likes the software but I am sceptical interest by my kids will fade over time. Also, I believe there should be more interaction in learning, not just putting the kids in front of a computer and saying Go for it. I have a maths background (Engineering) and am happy to spend the time with my kids.

$4950 would buy some really good maths books and a top of the line Maths Software (Wolfram.com — Mathematica, graphcalc, livemath, Pacific Tech) and there are a lot of resources out there on the interweb."
It's funny.  Laugh.

+ - LOLCODE: scripting code for a new generation

Submitted by
Tumbleweed
Tumbleweed writes " LOLCODE is a new scripting language being designed to more closely match current trends in language grammar and syntax; LOLCODE will likely appeal to a new generation of web coders.

LOLCODE features keywords like these: can-has, gimmeh, hai, i-has-a, im-in-yr, im-outta-yr, kthxbye and
visible. My favourite example:

HAI
CAN HAS STDIO?
I HAS A VAR
GIMMEH VAR
IZ VAR BIGGER THAN 10 O RLY?
        YA RLY
                BTW this is true
                VISIBLE "BIG NUMBER!"
        NO WAI
                BTW this is false
                VISIBLE "LITTLE NUMBER!"
        KTHX
KTHXBYE"

Yet Another EVE Online Scandal? 259

Posted by Zonk
from the oi-vey dept.
Ariastis writes "An open letter, posted by former EVE Players, levels some new and serious accusations against CCP, the makers of the EVE Online MMOG. In the letter, chat logs & event timelines, along with description of in-game events from CCP-Approved reporting users, describe how most of the big role-playing events are rigged to favor specific alliances & players by CCP. More disturbingly, these users also appear to have CCP employees 'on call', ready to step in on behalf of the favoured players and alliances within the game. CCP reaction is member-only, but a forum thread has been left open to discuss about it." It should be pointed out at the moment all of the evidence put forward is circumstantial; take with a grain of salt. The issue of corruption in EVE was addressed in our interview with Magnus Bergsson at GDC.
PC Games (Games)

+ - Newest CCP scandal

Submitted by
Anonymous Coward
Anonymous Coward writes "People are being instantly banned from EvE for talking about it or
posting the link to this, the EvE forums have been disabled.
its going on right now

Hosted on GoonFleet's Sever @
http://goonfleet.com/open_letter_to_CCP.html

Dear CCP,

Once again, it seems that several of your employees have been up to
no good. We'll get into the details a little later, but the
highlights are quite juicy: CCP employees abusing their roles to
join player corporations and give themselves director access, RP-
events being rigged and what I really thought we were over, further
fraternization between your employees and members of BoB and the
subsequent cover-up. These latter two events actually stem from the
same source, a former ISD member.

Let us begin with CCP Sharkbait joining the corporation "DarkStar
1" and giving himself director access. This was not preceded by a
customer service request that would in any shape, way or form
require a CCP employee to join the corporation. Less then one
minute after joining the corporation, he added the role "Director"
to himself, roughly fourteen minutes later, he leaves the
corporation and surrenders the role.

        * http://images.goonfleet.com/images/ccp/2007.05.25. 15.19.48.jpg
        * http://images.goonfleet.com/images/ccp/CCP%20chark bait%202.png

Upon learning of this, corporate officers from DarkStar 1
immediately filed a petition in an effort to discover the reasons
for this. This petition was promptly deleted and CCP Sharkbait
would not respond to in-game conversations.

Why would a CCP Employee ever join a corporation without being
asked to do so or any prior communication indicating that this
would take place?

Why was the petition filed by officials from DarkStar 1 deleted
with no response or reason?

The second part of this sordid story is best told "as is". Below
I've included the account of one Raekhan, a former member of ISD.
His story is two-fold and will encompass both the rigging of RP-
events, as well as the fraternization between members of BoB and
CCP and its cover-up.

Without further ado, here is Raehkan's Story:

My apologies for the long delay.

I promised myself not to get involved in what, at the time, I
called "An internet nerd revenge scheme' that was this issue, I
felt that bringing this stuff to light would be cheap, and silly,
and completely beneath anyone who was actually able to 'move on'....

Months after, I planned to re-evaluate....that time has passed, I
still have no desire to play EVE, and thus, I can tell you some
things....

please PM me with an email address (any email you so choose) to
attach a file or two to...

Now, my story....

I am also known as Graelyn, a (once) big RP-community-guy. I was
the executor of the Aegis Militia Alliance. (We kicked the
Bloodraider NPC group out of the Bleak Lands Region, and recently
stomped those StarFraction people.)

The AM guys guys are great GREAT people, and since the below
incident ocured, they have safeguarded a very bad secret for a very
long time, one that would ensure the dissolution of the RP
community we tried so hard to maintain....

Mirial, once the executor of my Alliance, was banned, the center of
what would be referred to as the 'Tetrimon OOC affair'.

What occured was this:

Several members of the alliance Aegis Militia were ISD members
(completely in regulations and living that double-life as it was
intended to be played, by the rules), however, Mirial, who was once
an ISD member, managed to get the login/PW info to an ISD forum
from a director of her corp who happened to be in ISD. (How this
happened is still a mystery even to me, I am still inquiring)...

Basically, Mirial was accessing an AURORA website illegally, and
was banned for it (Something I cannot in any theory disagree with,
NDA was broken, and similarly, I can't argue with YOUR banning from
EVE, sir...try to understand....), but it was the nature of the
thing that caused so much distress....

You see, ISD claims that events are not rigged, that RP groups can
influence the events in the world. This is a lie, and one that,
after discovering, I did not reveal, in the fears that it would
demolish the already on-the-ropes RP community in EVE.

AM already had suspicions, as by the end of the Tetrimon affair, we
had been involved in more events that ANY other group in EVE
without exception. In the course of this we often 'succeeded' in
events that we later realized were not meant to be won, then
watched as AURORA actors deperately lost the scenario (when actors
have to resort to self-destructing thier own ships in the middle of
battle, you know you have an ulterior motive underway in the
story...*groan*...)

Mirial was in browsing (illegally) one of these ISD forums when one
of the 'recommended' story paths was mandated by CCP, namely "_____
side must win, see to this immediately."

Upon reading this decree by CCP, Mirial showed his cards and
revealed all on our alliance's Vent server.

2 hours after bringing this up in our Ventrillo channel, Mirial was
banned from EVE...for telling his Alliance members what was up.
Turns out I was only one of many members of ISD in my Alliance, and
the others had hit the alarm to the ISD dept heads as soon as this
talk beagn in our private Vent server....

Within 30 minutes (of the reveal in vent) I had 2 AURORA members
convoing us INGAME, OOC, trying to play down the fact. The two in
question argued with Mirial, but did NOT deny that rigging was
going on, rather emphasising that it was all for 'The Greater Good'.

At the same time, Nebulai, Head of the ISD program, convoed ME (I
was second in command of AM, an ISD-InterstallarCorespondents
member, and a Mirial banning process was already in motion by 10-
minutes into this, I was the primary focus of all damage control
efforts), telling a different story, namely that RIGGING NEVER
OCCURS, that all I had been hearing was nonsense....

AT THE SAME TIME, the document that I will give to you, was being
sent to me by SEP-DOGAL, the AURORA tier 3 producer in charge of
the Tetrimon Arc. He was sending it to me to show how much work had
been done/lost with the arc, not realizing that the last paragraphs
SPECIFICALLY DETAILED HOW THE ARC COULD BE RIGGED TO SUIT THE FINAL
CCP DESCISION.

The only hint anyone else who played EVE got as to what had
occured, came from this post:

http://myeve.eve-online.com/ingameboard.asp?a=topi c&threadID=405843

With that, all said 'compromised' arcs were completely terminated,
and all events in the matter hushed up quickly. The RP community
has longed cursed Mirial's name for 'ruining' all of these arcs,
unaware that he was banned for trying to bring this to the
community's attention....AM held thier tongues for the good of that
community, even after months of shit-talk...they never
spoke....bless-em....

It was a serious palm-to-forehead moment. It was the day I relized
how fucked up the game was.

It did not stop there.

Eventually, RP being ruined for me, I focused explicitly on my ISD
char (His name was Raekhan, a reporter with the ISD for 1.5 years
at his termination)

Complaining about the way Raekhan was banned seems odd to me,
considering how much I was able to use him to understand 0.0
realities in a way Alliance leaders can barely approach (I was an
Empire-space RP-alliance leader, so conflicts-of-interest never
became a problem, and with Raekahn, EVERY DAY I was able to simply
jump and watch, from perfect safety, any offensive any Alliance
happened to be engaging in. I used my jumpdrives more than any
other person in CCP for sure....), but the day I lost Raekhan?

Sickening and Stupid on the part of CCP, seriously, how could you
ever accept the following as proper and effective damage control???

I was floating around in my Polaris frig, watching one of the
massive, 270+-in-local battles in the south, BOB vs COALTION, BoB
had already destroyed thier second POS in the system....when I
'text-jumped' (using admin "tr/ 'playername' jumpto command) to a
certain Dread pilot I knew was in the action. Doing so teleports a
polaris frig to that players ship...at 1 FOOT distance. I jumped to
this position and immediately orbitted the gaggle of 20 dreads at
80KM, standard operating proceedure for ISD reporters....

A minute later, Daakon, of BoB, began yelling in local "Hey,
Reporter, you bumped our dread!!!" This was a falsehood, since the
dread I jumped to was on the outside of the group and I made sure
not to do just that.

I ignored him. A year and a half of Reportering and you get used to
ALL BoB members trying to order/bully you around. It is a common
practice (WAY TOO GODDAMN COMMON) that ISD members are ordered to
completely ignore.

Eventually, Mr. Daakon began giving me DIRECT ORDERS. "You must
leave the system. Now. Move, you shit!!"

My response?

"Um...no?"

Their response was pretty indicative of the manner in which BoB is
used to ordering CCP personnel around...in LOCAL CHANNEL of 250+,
Daakon replied:

"Well, I guess I'll have to call up my friends in CCP and get you
dealt with."

I was sitting in ISD's IRC channel, as is required anytime you are
logged in as an ISD char, and I decided to inform my dept. head of
this development. He seemed amused....

Until 40 seconds later....

ISD IRC acounts have a lot of symbols in their usernames. They
signify time-in-service, department membership, and other things,
but after 40 seconds, a BRAND NEW userID appeared, bereft of any
such demarcations or designations...an illegal and brand new ID...

"Hey, anyone know some reporter named Raekhan!?"
Me:"Um, yeah, that's me."
"LEAVE THAT SYSTEM NOW, YOU ARE EMBARRASSING THE ISD AND CCP THE
COMPANY!!"
  isd reporters are not to
interfere with gameplay
[ 2007.03.20 06:30:22 ] Orange Species > that includes getting too
close
[ 2007.03.20 06:30:25 ] Orange Species > to our ships
[ 2007.03.20 06:30:32 ] D4kkon > petition her
[ 2007.03.20 06:30:57 ] Orange Species > nah no petition
[ 2007.03.20 06:31:00 ] Orange Species > msn chat is enough
[ 2007.03.20 06:31:05 ] D4kkon > rgr

Orange Species merely needs MSN to get CCP help, according to this
log.

Employees of CCP are conducting themselves in an unbecoming manner
with regards to interfering in the game world. First there was the
T20 incident in the past, with the creation of Tech2 blueprints by
an employee who also happened to be the leader of RKK corp's
capital fleet, which were then handed to members of BoB. After the
debacle this caused, I was quite shocked, nay stunned to learn that
this relationship is still ongoing and quite healthy indeed. Then
we discovered that Nebulai, head of the notoriously corrupt Aurora
RP department, was a member of EVOL corp by the name of M Hoshi.
And now today we discover that CCP Admiral Chamrajnagar is at the
beck and call of BoB capital pilots.

I won't bore either of us with whiny details of how you enable
cheating, stealing and an unbalanced environment, we've been over
that. I will however try and instill a sense of urgency in you.
This is a serious situation and it warrants the highest levels of
attention on your part.

Sincerely,
The Customer."
Handhelds

+ - Portable CD players put hospital patients at risk

Submitted by
coondoggie
coondoggie writes "According to a new study released today you should be more worried about your portable CD player than cell phones in a hospital situation. And outside of that, those store theft alert systems aren't too good for your health either if you have heart problems. In a letter to the editor published in the journal details the first known case of a portable CD player causing an abnormal electrocardiographic (ECG) recording within a hospital setting. The recording returned to normal when the CD player, which the patient was holding close to the ECG lead, was turned off. So while most hospitals ban cell phone use, few restrict CD players. But they have it backwards apparently as calls made on cell phones have no negative impact on hospital medical devices, dispelling the long-held notion that they are unsafe to use in health care facilities, according to Mayo Clinic researchers. http://www.networkworld.com/community/?q=node/1226 9"

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