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Comment Scratch book...or minecraft programming (Score 1) 238

More programming than math, but they are related:

The book Coding Games in Scratch

I highly recommend this book. It's very well illustrated and self explanatory. My 7 & 10 year olds devoured this book.

They also enjoyed a minecraft programming course I subscribed to for them for a year: Learn to mod

Comment Re:It was me! (Score 1) 290

Sure he benefits. By coercing third world countries to adopt U.S. style IP laws, he (and his heirs) have more future sources of revenue from their patents. By partnering with Monsanto and their ilk, IF they are successful in supplanting non-GMO food sources, they would be sitting on the most valuable IP patents of all time (seed patents).

He benefits more from that than he does from good will, so if anything doesn't make sense, it's his philanthropy imo.

Comment Re:It was me! (Score 1) 290

No it's actually well researched and true. Don't for a second think ol' billy boy is doing it out of the goodness of his heart.

Just google the the links between the Gates foundation, Monsanto and Syngenta (GMO) and his investment into the doomsday seed bank (which houses non-GMO seed there thank you very much). There's a lot of strings attached to his "donations".

Comment Re:You mean... (Score 2) 144

Where's my mod points when I need 'em.

This is one thing that really disgusted me about engineering. A good bunch of people in my classes at the time wanted to go and build weapons systems. I doubt any of them actually did end up doing that, but for so called educated people to have the desire to do that in the first place is...puzzling.

Comment Re:I have a 7 yo and a 9 yo, both boys. (Score 1) 726

Almost the same here. Except I've started my 6 yr old on Logo (ACSLogo on the Mac) and Robozzle. Robozzle didn't last long though, when she learned she could solve it by trial and error rather than thinking through it.

I'll have to check out RubyKids. Lego NXT and possibly Arduino is on the horizon when she's a bit older.

Comment Fundamental Disconnect (Score 1) 199

This is why the human species is ultimately doomed. There is a basic disconnect at some basic level for too many people such that there is no respect for life. Sure, I understand the research and educational aspect, blah blah blah. Fine. Yes it's "only" a cockroach. Fine. Yes there are bigger atrocities everyday. Fine. I'm not saying we should never use a cockroach for research. But to see recreational "fun" in the discomfort of another creature (however small) shows that homo sapiens are mentally deficient. Yes, learning is necessary, research is required, but there should be no amusement aspect in it if we're wired correctly. Ultimately, and we already do, we shit on our own life support system. If we don't understand this, and it's apparent that by and large we don't as a species, we're ultimately doomed because we don't respect the systems that allow us to continue. If there's no respect, we will not do what is necessary to sustain those systems.

No I will not waste time debating this.

Comment Re:DNS Hijacking (Score 1) 260

Sometimes the best technological solution is none. Except I'd suggest a variation to your idea: put it in a secure case that physically blocks the home button instead. That way you don't damage the tablet.

Although, in the case of the original submitter, I'd be more worried about the theft of said tablet rather than people using it for other purposes. If it was in a case, you could tether it down physically as well.

Comment Re:doh! (Score 3) 38

Yeah sure, those big evil environmental groups that want to ensure smart use of natural resources, with their grandmother volunteers are repressing the entire third world.

You don't suppose it might have to do with IMF loans making debt slaves out of entire counties? Or the fact that certain developed nations meddle in the affairs of third world countries and destabilize them or prevent them from developing certain technologies? Or that it is caused by dictatorships in those countries? Or the systemic corruption and in-fighting/wars? Or all of the above and more?

If you really think about it, a nation's wealth ultimately comes from its natural resources. If there are none, the country has little to use/trade/sell to develop their industrial infrastructure and educate its citizens. What's left to offer? The cheap labour force. Combined with all the above, you have what many would call a third world country.

But in your view, hey, let's get those "oppressive" environmentalists (who advocate not wasting reources) out of the way and allow unfettered industrialization to occur, and wreck/waste/plunder that small amount of natural capital, rather than using it smartly. And using it smartly often means using the LATEST technology. So no, it's not environmentalists keeping anyone down.

Comment Jim Butterfield, Karl Hildon, Brad Templeton (Score 1) 263

I owe it all to those guys, especially Butterfield (RIP). That guy was like a hero to us back then.

A C64, Jim Butterfield's memory maps, Brad Templeton's PAL assembler and The Transactor Anthology (thanks too Karl J.H. Hildon). Man, what computing fun! I spent thousands of hours on C64's (and the PET too). I think I have that PET green phosphor glow permanently burned into my brain.

Jim Butterfield was a major force for that platform. Without his detailed hardware and ROM breakdowns of the machine, I don't think it would have reached the audience it did.

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