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Comment: Re:Pearson (Score 1) 321

by khchung (#49490605) Attached to: LA Schools Seeking Refund Over Botched iPad Plan

I can get that they don't like the app, but at this cost they can just write an app.

Pearson is basically selling electronic textbooks that use iPad as the device. You can't "just write an app" for it. Or, sure, you can "just write an app" like you can just write a Kindle App yourself, good luck getting any content on it though.

I have seen Pearson's stuff on iPads (though it may not be what this contract is about), and the real value (if any) is in the contents. The iPad and the app is just the medium.

If the schools signed the contract without going through ALL of the contents first, then they are no different from ordering a ton of textbooks without reading any of it first, and then complain about it "not meeting their needs" when the distributor sent truckloads of the books to them. The fault lies entirely upon the buyer. It would have been the same if those are Kindles instead of iPads.

Comment: Re:Horse, cart (Score 1) 460

by khchung (#49422723) Attached to: Planes Without Pilots

90%+ of comments here have been regarding lack of onboard pilots with commercial passenger flights.

Naturally, the first offboard pilot flights would be with cargo only. And that is way more relevant and less sexy discussion.

It is the same on stories about autonomous cars. 90%+ comments talk about how *they* prefer to be in control of the vehicle, while the most economically beneficial application is for trucks.

Comment: The last 1% is nothing to worry about (Score 2) 258

by khchung (#49408143) Attached to: A Robo-Car Just Drove Across the Country

IF, and that's a big pessimistic if, eventually autonomous car is deemed unable to navigate local city streets, then what you will see are large parking lots springing up around highway exits, where robo-cars will park itself when it leaves the highway.

There, either the human driver takes over immediately and go away, or more likely, the car alert the sleeping driver to wake up. The driver, after sleeping all the way since he got on the highway, gets off and have a meal and refresh himself, then drove off.

OR, the passengers don't even know how to drive. Some other driver drove to the lot next the highway, get off, the car take over to get on the highway, reach the lot near destination, and some other driver came and drive the car to the destination. Think kids of divorced parent, or kids going to visit grandparents.

Same approach applies much more easily to trucks. Now truck drivers only need to go round and round between the last leg on both sides, letting the truck drive itself over the long haul. That means cheap transport, no need for long tiring trips away from home, and fewer accidents.

JUST automating the highway portion is going to give huge benefits, there is no need over worry about the last 1% of the trip.

Comment: Re:Certainty in Science (Score 4, Insightful) 236

by khchung (#49359121) Attached to: Dark Matter Is Even More of a Mystery Than Expected

The quote that bothers me somewhat is this one:

          The data here is on the very edge of reality, built on too many assumptions.

Data is data. Assumptions are the stuff of models and theories. Don't mix the two.

Data is nothing if you do not have any way to interpret it. Models and theories provide the context for interpreting the data.

It is like saying "bits are bits, assumptions are the stuff of encoding and decoding". Problem is, without any assumption to decode your bits, it would be as useful as any random noise. The fact that we can have a conversation here is because I (or rather, my browser) made the assumption that the bits are encoded with a certain pattern, and so did you.

Without any assumptions, models, or theories, the signals we received from Hubble would be no different from random noise.

Without the assumption that the photons came from a distant galaxy, we cannot form the image we can see.
Without the assumption of what they saw were the result of the collision of two galaxies, it would just be a bunch of stars in a strange shape.
Without the assumption of the current model of our universe, we cannot guess what would be the most probably original form of the two galaxies.
Without the assumption of the Theory of Gravity, no one can make sense of what could have happened when two galaxies collide, and thus compare with this observation.
Without the assumption of the model of gases and stars, we cannot reach the conclusion that gases should interact and slow down, while stars would not.

The problem is, with our currently best assumptions, models and theories, those that are able to explain most of our observable universe, we found that it would require the present of some undetectable matter in all the galaxies to make everything consistent -- hence "dark matter".

Yeah, you can claim that is too many levels of assumptions. Feel free to build up your own that could consistently match all the known data even better than the one commonly used.

Comment: Pay more (Score 1) 407

by khchung (#49351673) Attached to: Millennial Tech Workers Losing Ground In US

how can it introduce more (qualified) STEM people into the market?

The answer to this is simple: Pay more to qualified STEM people.

But of course, we all know that the real questions is actually:

how can it introduce more (qualified) STEM people into the market while keeping the price just as low?

That, would require artificially flooding the market with oversupply, but luring qualified people with false promises through continuous propaganda of "STEM shortages".

Comment: Re:In Finland, teacher spots are hyper-competitive (Score 1) 213

by khchung (#49318415) Attached to: Finland's Education System Supersedes "Subjects" With "Topics"

Consequently, we have a lot of geeky straight-A's teachers (mostly female) who are unable to handle the rougher kids.

Disclaimer: I'm a Finnish teacher, having taken a longer, more hands-on route into the career, but I still find myself a bit too geeky for the worst cases.

But why would you think someone with not-as-good academic credentials will fare any better?

In my experience when I was in school, the best teachers I have encountered were always passionate about the subject they teach. You rarely get people passionate about a subject they are bad at.

Yes, they may not be very well equipped to deal with kids who don't want to learn, but on the balance, it would be better to let down kids who don't want to learn by a teacher good at the subject but at handling rough kids, than to let down kids who DO want to learn by a teacher good at handling rough kids but bad at the subject.

Comment: Re:BINGO (Score 2) 213

by khchung (#49317849) Attached to: Finland's Education System Supersedes "Subjects" With "Topics"

If you have never experienced the clear, exacting system of thought in physics, mathematics or chemistry, you will always be an IDIOT who can be sold ANYTHING. You will be completely at the mercy of the person selling you some shit or some truth or a mix of both.

Unfortunately, that exacting system of thought is beyond the capability of most of the general populace (including most students still in school). So we are all doomed.

Comment: Re:I'm Torn. (Score 1) 117

by khchung (#49317823) Attached to: Universal Reportedly Wants Spotify To Scale Back Its Free Streaming

If this translated to, say, a hundred sales on iTunes, well it'd be somethng.

For all the ridicule /.ers like to heap on Apple fans, at least those Apple fans are usually willing to pay for stuff.

The amount of money I spend on iTunes for content is comparable to the money I paid for Apple hardware, and is already way more than what I had ever spent on CD/DVD/etc combined.

Comment: Fix gameplay related issues first (Score 5, Insightful) 225

by khchung (#49213165) Attached to: Another Upscaled Console Game: Battlefield Hardline

As a BF4 player, I would rather they focus on gameplay related issues (rubberbanding, etc), rather than spending a huge effort on getting the last 180 pixels on the screen.

Sure, it's nice to have 1080p resolution, but it's worthless if the game isn't fun. If the game is fun at 900px, who cares about that last 180px.

Comment: Re:this is one more reason (Score 4, Interesting) 136

by khchung (#49156583) Attached to: Under US Pressure, PayPal Stops Working With Mega

banks should not be free to decide who they can do business with. If a baker cant decide they dont want to do business with a couple they disagree with, a bank should not be able to do so either.

It cut both ways.

Are you saying that banks should also NOT refuse to open accounts directly for terrorist organisations, drug lords, government of Iran, and North Korea?

How about their representatives? Or known associates? Or some front business that don't seems to do transactions like the business they claimed to be, but more like they are just a front for the drug lords?

How about just some normal foreign rich people (e.g. from the US, or China) who had no other business in that country (e.g. Switzerland) but wanting to put millions of dollars (in cash) into the account? BTW, through a company registered somewhere else (e.g. some country in South America)?

How about some no so rich foreign people doing the same for just a few hundred thousand dollars?

How about some random business (e.g. Mega) that the US government just told you not to (or else your bank's will feel their pressure... *hint* *hint*)?

Yes, it is a slippery slope. So, where do you draw the line?

Comment: Re:Give up the source? Ain't gonna happen (Score 2) 127

by khchung (#48943847) Attached to: Tech Companies Worried Over China's New Rules For Selling To Banks

China can ask for the source, but I don't see any US firm agreeing.

Sure, that automatically disqualifies them from selling to any China banks, which means all the money that would have gone to foreign software companies now go to local Chinese software companies, thus kickstarting their growth and eventually they will grow big enough to compete outside of China.

It would not surprise me if that was the real goal here.

Ma Bell is a mean mother!