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Comment: Re:Will the training really matter? No. (Score 1) 388

by garcia (#48805845) Attached to: UK Computing Teachers Concerned That Pupils Know More Than Them

I'm preaching to the 4-digit choir here, I know. Let me issue the disclaimer that I am not a teacher but a bunch of my friends are, and my job does depend on staying up to date.

I am not sure what my ability to remember the login information for an account I created in 1997 has anything to do w/the discussion; however, EVERYONE's job depends on them staying up-to-date, it's just that most people choose not to and fall behind.

Comment: Will the training really matter? No. (Score 4, Insightful) 388

by garcia (#48804057) Attached to: UK Computing Teachers Concerned That Pupils Know More Than Them

Technology funding in school districts (in my area these are tax levies) is already insanely high; mostly because we're pushing for tablet devices in schools driven, behind the scenes, by extremely lucrative vendor deals.

Without adequate training, the related curricula are severely limited and thus the added benefits when compared to related cost are low, if at all positive.

Now, this research, as well as the districts, are rightly saying the teachers need more training in order to leverage the technology effectively; however, what really needs to be understood is just how much training is really necessary and whether the tech gap between teachers and their students can really be mitigated.

It is my unfounded opinion that it will never be mitigated enough as teachers are not usually well enough equipped at their own subject matter, let alone keeping up with the taxing knowledge demands of technology.

What we need to do is take a step back and ensure that these additional tax investments in technology are actually doing anything to further student development and because they aren't, think about what we can do to actually concentrate on doing that instead of buying the new and shiny and letting it, effectively, collect dust in the corner while levy after levy is passed to support it.

Comment: Re:Who gives a fuck (Score 5, Insightful) 104

by Mr_Silver (#48791947) Attached to: Chrome For OS X Catches Up With Safari's Emoji Support

I consider then harmful.
I suspect Emoji are like those smileys with mustaches, beer steins, and birthday cakes that show up in skype chat. I hate that garbage. Many a time, I write a sentence that contains a parenhtesis, using grammar correctly, and then my message comes across as some random retarded shit sprinkled with smileys. I have a hard enough time avoiding typos, I don't really need the client mucking it up even worse.

That's not the fault of Emoji, that is the fault of the client replacing things like ":)" and ";P" with pictures in order to simulate Emjoi.

As bizarre as it sounds, you actually want to be embracing the support of Emoji! This is because all the searching and replacing logic (which, as you rightly pointed out, tends to make unwanted changes to your text) is now redundant and can be removed by the developers.

The net result is that people can still insert smileys with moustaches, beer steins, and birthday cakes and you can still type grammatically correct messages (or code) without fear of them being replaced with pictures. A win for everyone.

+ - Scientist Says Curiosity May Have Found Fossils on Mars->

Submitted by mpicpp
mpicpp (3454017) writes "A scientist named Nora Noffke says she thinks that the Curiosity rover may have found fossils on Mars. Noffke’s findings have been published in the journal Astrobiology. The study theorizes that certain rocks on Mars might have been formed by microbes, Discovery reports.

To create her hypothesis, Noffke closely examined photographs taken by Curiosity and compared them to rocks on Earth that have definitely been formed by living organisms. She says the pictures returned by the rover look extremely similar to microbe-created rocks on our own planet. The specific photos Noffke studied were taken in Gale Crater, specifically in the Yellowknife Bay area which houses the Gillespie Lake outcrop. The bottom of the lake and bay, which once contained water, consists of sedimentary sandstone.

While there have been previous papers theorizing that certain rocks prove life on Mars due to the presence of fossils, those have often been debunked. Noffke’s work has been so thorough, though, that even NASA is impressed.

NASA spokesperson Chris McKay explained, “I’ve seen many papers that say ‘Look, here’s a pile of dirt on Mars, and here’s a pile of dirt on Earth. And because they look the same, the same mechanism must have made each pile on the two planets. That’s an easy argument to make, and it’s typically not very convincing. However, Noffke’s paper is the most carefully done analysis of the sort that I’ve seen, which is why it’s the first of its kind published in Astrobiology.”"

Link to Original Source

Comment: Oh dear (Score 1) 391

by Mr_Silver (#48746635) Attached to: Sony Thinks You'll Pay $1200 For a Digital Walkman

At some point, my iPod Classic is going to bite the dust and I'd love something that is a similar size that can store my large music (and video) collection and have a decent battery life.

This could have been it, but with an old version of Android and a stupid price point, I think I'll pass. Hopefully they'll come up with something that is less audiophile and more useful for the masses.

Comment: Re:No... (Score 1) 598

by Mr_Silver (#48739177) Attached to: Tumblr Co-Founder: Apple's Software Is In a Nosedive

But they are right about the software, never has it been more insecure and more geared towards grabbing up your data and marketing/profiting from it.

The only thing I can think of that involves "grabbing up your data and marketing/profiting from it" would be iAd and that's hardly a large part of Apple.

What's your proof that Apple are making a massive play to slurp up your personal data and use it in the way Google would?

Comment: Partial solution (Score 1) 598

by Mr_Silver (#48738389) Attached to: Tumblr Co-Founder: Apple's Software Is In a Nosedive

Part of the solution would be for Apple to decouple application updates from operating system updates.

I see no reason why a bug fix to Safari (of which there are plenty required) has to be delivered in the same way as an iOS update when they already have a perfectly good app updating mechanism (the App Store). Plus customers are used to apps updating frequently and automatically, adding Apple to the mix isn't going to be something strange for them.

Comment: Re:As expected... (Score 4, Informative) 400

by Mr_Silver (#48717323) Attached to: Box Office 2014: Moviegoing Hits Two-Decade Low

When you keep releasing a slew of poorly written movies, yet continue to demand unreasonable fees, this is the result. People aren't willing to shell out the bucks to see a B grade movie. It's just not worth it anymore.

This gets mentioned a lot on Slashdot but, in reality, the number of "good" movies has remained reasonably unchanged each year.

Here are the movies in the IMDB Top 250 grouped and counted by year:

Year Total
2014 6
2013 4
2012 5
2011 5
2010 6
2009 6
2008 4
2007 5
2006 5
2005 3
2004 7
2003 7
2002 4
2001 8
2000 6

In fact, 2014 (Interstellar, Boyhood, Gone Girl, Guardians of the Galaxy, The Grand Budapest Hotel and X-Men: Days of Future Past) was actually a better year than 2013 (The Wolf of Wall Street, Rush, 12 Years a Slave and Prisoners).

The "prime" year was 1995 but that only resulted in 10 films (Se7en, The Usual Suspects, Braveheart, Toy Story, Heat, Casino, Twelve Monkeys, Before Sunrise, La Haine and Underground).

(Nitpickers will point out that I really should run this over the entire DB and not the Top 250 and all take into account all film ratings - they'd be right, but that's a lot more work which I don't have the time to do).

Comment: Re:And this is why there's traffic... (Score 1) 611

by garcia (#48604087) Attached to: Waze Causing Anger Among LA Residents

Clearly you have never been to the UCLA campus because, if you had, you would have known this isn't true in the least. You can walk all over that place.

The problem in LA is the culture. People believe they are to be seen in their automobiles and they buy or lease expensive cars and drive them ridiculously short distances for that sole reason (if there is another reason, please do share but nothing really makes sense).

I worked for a company based out of LA for 2.5 years and we were there often. One guy lived a 10 minute walk from the office but chose to drive each and every day. He didn't buy an M3 to have it sit in his garage, after all. Nope, it sat in the company's garage instead.

SMH.

+ - No more Game of Thrones...-> 1

Submitted by mitcheli
mitcheli (894743) writes "From the "It's-all-fun-and-games-until-lawyers-get-involved" dept.

Police in Sweden carried out a raid in Stockholm today, seizing servers, computers, and other equipment. At the same time The Pirate Bay and several other torrent-related sites disappeared offline. Although no official statement has been made, TF sources confirm action against TPB.
For many years The Pirate Bay has been sailing by the seat of its pants so any downtime is met with concern from its millions of users.

This morning, for the first time in months, The Pirate Bay disappeared offline. A number of concerned users emailed TF for information but at that point technical issues seemed the most likely culprit.

However, over in Sweden authorities have just confirmed that local police carried out a raid in Stockholm this morning as part of an operation to protect intellectual property."

Link to Original Source

Comment: The Click is Dead Anyway (Score 1) 285

by garcia (#48555271) Attached to: AdNauseam Browser Extension Quietly Clicks On Blocked Ads

I work in marketing analytics and, specifically, in measuring the effectiveness of online marketing campaigns at a customer level. Straight up click tracking is dead and this will do nothing which is purports as organizations begin moving away from siloed measurement of IMP -> CLK within single channels at an aggregate level and instead go down to the very granular cross-channel customer-level attribution.

If you really want to avoid detection and behavior tracking, I highly suggest you entirely disable cookies entirely (yes, I realize this is not worth it at all), otherwise you will not have accomplished what you had hoped.

Comment: Didn't this help the demise of music DRM? (Score 1) 246

by Mr_Silver (#48501925) Attached to: 10-Year-Old iTunes DRM Lawsuit Heading To Trial

The lawsuit accuses Apple of violating U.S. and California antitrust law by restricting music purchased on iTunes from being played on devices other than iPods and by not allowing iPods to play music purchased on other digital music services.

Unless I'm mistaken, wasn't this also the cause of the eventual death of DRM?

The music industry didn't like Apple's desire to sell every track at the same price (instead preferring to charge higher for more in demand music) - yet found themselves in the uncomfortable position of not actually being able to do that on competing stores thanks to the very DRM (they insisted on all content having) not being compatible with iTunes.

I can't help wondering what would have happened if the same situation had also been played out with video and eBooks...

+ - Female TV Reporters Decry FHRITP Meme-Bomb

Submitted by Freshly Exhumed
Freshly Exhumed (105597) writes "If you’re a TV reporter on a remote feed in a public space, try for some crowd control beforehand because there’s a good chance someone will invade your broadcast with an increasingly prominent, viral meme called FHRITP, which has repeatedly appeared ever since January 4th 2014 when reporter John Cain did not realize that he was being broadcast live and made lewd comments about a missing 20-year-old girl. Cain was quickly fired for his on-air remarks, but they were immortalized just one month later when a hooded man with sunglasses named “Fred” jumped into the middle of a news report, grabbed the microphone and shouted the epithet before running off. Reporters are voicing their outrage, rightly or wrongly perceiving the pranks as overtly sexual harrassment of females. The meme has spread beyond the Internet and live TV, as in the case of this road warning sign."

Comment: Windows Media Center support? (Score 1) 313

by Mr_Silver (#48473953) Attached to: Windows 10 To Feature Native Support For MKV and FLAC

What I'd like to know is whether or not this means we don't have a install a codec park (like Shark007) just so we can get support for all the common video formats in Windows Media Center.

Talking of Windows Media Center, does Windows 10 actually improve on this awesome (but sadly neglected) piece of software - or are they going to squander the opportunity again like they did with Windows 8?

"If there isn't a population problem, why is the government putting cancer in the cigarettes?" -- the elder Steptoe, c. 1970

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