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Comment: Anyone else dislike 'prepare for working life'? (Score 2) 213

by hughbar (#49318239) Attached to: Finland's Education System Supersedes "Subjects" With "Topics"
My opinion is that education is about a great deal more than becoming a trained worker ant for some [US usually] multinational. Hey, a topic could be 'optimal picking in an Amazon warehouse', what joy! That would combine sports, graph theory, manual dexterity and subservience to the man.

Against this, I don't know exactly what the 'plan' is, so my comments could be wide of the mark. I hope so, in fact.

Comment: Re:Yes, I'd be afraid of Amazon (Score 1) 110

by hughbar (#49302585) Attached to: Amazon Launches One-Hour Delivery Service In Baltimore and Miami
Yes, agree, I use hive.co.uk here, they try and support local bookshops to some extent too. I don't hate Amazon and have programmed for one of their subsidiaries for a while, but I feel there are dangers that I expressed. Same kind of thing we had with IBM [in the old days], Microsoft [more recently] and Amazon, Google, eBay etc. now.

However that was nearly always one class of products, this is a lot more 'horizontal', everything needs to pass through the Amazon door, if it comes to that.

Comment: Yes, I'd be afraid of Amazon (Score 3, Informative) 110

by hughbar (#49299775) Attached to: Amazon Launches One-Hour Delivery Service In Baltimore and Miami
I live in the UK and have cut down on Amazon for nearly 'everything'. I appreciate their efficiency, their systems and their prices but I don't want to live in a world where there's just one shop. That's the thing for everybody to be afraid of. They treat their staff pretty badly too.

With great power comes great responsibility, with late-stage capitalism comes winner takes all. I'm prepared to give up optimal pricing and some of the the rational economic man stuff for 'choice' and 'quality of life'.

Comment: Slogan driven development (Score 1) 112

by hughbar (#49289761) Attached to: How To Make Moonshots
Or SDD as it is known in HughBar-Labs [inventors of llama-case, one capital letter at the beginning of stuff] has been in use since about 1930. Some blame it for the rise of the Nazis in Germany, they used plenty of slogans, too. Our lawyer tried to sue them, but we never heard from him again, last thing was a postcard from some place sounding like Tribblinka, maybe the tribbles ate him?

Seriously though folks.

Comment: Re:It is an attempt to lock in customers (Score 1) 32

by hughbar (#48940667) Attached to: UK Broadcaster Sky To Launch Mobile Service
Also, you're supporting the Murdoch empire, including the Sun etc. etc. As for the rest, 'quad play' and 'bundles' used to be called bundling in the computer industry and several large lawsuits [somewhat] abolished it. When everything comes from one supplier, they give you the service they want at a price that they want.

Comment: Re:Competition is good (Score 3, Insightful) 280

by hughbar (#48937637) Attached to: Microsoft To Invest In Rogue Android Startup Cyanogen
As a bit of an eco-nazi, I don't see any of this as 'good', more 'features' every year, none of them particularly useful [do you really want to watch crappy music videos on a tiny screen, judging by my commute people do though] and more phones made/destroyed/in landfill.

Actually cell phones are a nuisance anyway, people can't walk and text or phone and text, so they bump into you. On bicycles, they risk life and limb [theirs and unhappily others] in London by using headphones [though admittedly a walkman or ipod is just as 'good' for this].

Despite what you see above, I love tech, having been in/around it for 40 years, but I really, really believe we need to step back from our current destructive and rather purposeless [except for making cash, of course] product cycles. Fat chance.

Comment: Re:Crusty Hardware (Score 2) 189

by hughbar (#48875469) Attached to: User Plea Means EISA Support Not Removed From Linux
This way, sanity lies too, the resource cost of manufacturing new PC is enormous: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/G... so doing it just to put money in the pockets of Microsoft, Apple etc. is an aberration.

I recently changed my desktop but it was about 10 years old and I've given it to a recycling company. I've been able to do that because I'm a Linux user, it would have worked for BSD etc. too.

Comment: Where's the Linux phones? (Score 1) 243

by hughbar (#48855203) Attached to: Could Tizen Be the Next Android?
I regard Android as an abomination, basically engineered to geo-locate us, sell us stuff, isolate us from the web, 'give' us tons of mutually incompatible insecure 'apps' all in an unnecessary thick 'sauce' of Java, the COBOL of the 1990s. See also, this rant: http://techcrunch.com/2011/12/... and this: http://blog.codinghorror.com/a.... Of course, it's Google too, though, in principle, open-source, another huge reason to avoid.

So I'm waiting for Linux phones, essentially I probably trust Canonical more than I trust Google. That may make me a fool, we'll see...

Comment: Re:Don't forget stats & much has changed since (Score 1) 77

by hughbar (#48851069) Attached to: Winston Churchill's Scientists
Thanks, great essay. I was lucky enough to do public school [that's a private fee-paying 'prep' school for those in the US, it has a very unhelpful name] and I got to write FORTRAN program in 1965. We ran it on a mainframe in a steel mill in a nearby town. That mill has, of course. closed now.

Secondly I and a pretty-much-genius friend built OSTEC, Oundle School Transistorised Electronic Computer, something that was pretty much just a full adder and a bit of core-store [ferrite core, they still use it in space]. It had a backplane and [fairly standardised] printed circuits that I etched with ferric chloride. I also etched a number of shirts, to the disgust of my mother.

I'm really happy that 'proper' computing seems to be coming back with Arduino, Pi and Scratch. At time of writing I've just come back from a local school where we're just starting a Code Club: https://www.codeclub.org.uk/ So I feel that things are picking up a little, people are, at least, aware that we've been neglecting science and technology for quite a while.

The worry I have left is that education should be about human potential not just about 'jobs', commerce is lobbying hard, so expensive to train people, so they prefer school to output pre-trained/compliant workers with low expectations. Go figure.

Comment: Re:Most Secret War (Score 2) 77

by hughbar (#48845205) Attached to: Winston Churchill's Scientists
Thanks, I probably shouldn't have picked on that, as a chemist who also did 12 years of Latin. It's the 'only the Greats' and 'only PPE' that's the worry. We should be broad. Funnily enough, when I entered IT, there were no degrees and a lot of the better programmers were classics scholars, Latin and Greek seemed to help them with COBOL and PL/1, go figure.

Comment: Most Secret War (Score 4, Interesting) 77

by hughbar (#48844733) Attached to: Winston Churchill's Scientists
Although I'm old enough to have seen Churchill's funeral, I wasn't really aware of this. There's a good clue in his quote 'give them what they want' for Bletchley Park. Anyway, a good read about science and intelligence [apart from Collosus etc.] in WW2 is: http://www.hive.co.uk/book/mos...

We're coming up to an election in UK and we don't seem to have anyone much that appreciates science amongst our politicians. It's a real problem since the actual world is now full of pure science and technology. Still, we have lawyers and people that understand ancient Greek, they are always -really- useful.

Make it right before you make it faster.