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Comment: Re:Pavlovian classroom? (Score 2) 66

I know it may sound a bit crass the way it's worded, but positive and negative reinforcement are extremely powerful motivation methods for both animals and people.

Reward charts are a long time proven method to keep kids motivated without using punishment. Punishment is also very useful, and like positive methods must be tailored for the recipient. Not all people respond the same to positive things, and punishment (or fear of it) is not always beneficially motivational.

Things like ClassDojo are a convenient 'digital' way of having a child 'carry around' a reward chart that can be seen/used by both parents and teachers. Functionally, it is quite effective.

However, as the summary points out, data mining and exposure of otherwise private information pertaining to a child is a problem. And something that needs to be addressed.

Comment: Re:most of that info used to be tracked on paper (Score 4, Interesting) 66

According to slashdot, copying data does not take anything away from the owner of the data, so there is no harm done.

Oh, wait... you mean it can harm them in other ways, like loss of market for the product, or loss of privacy? You don't say....

No, the prevailing ideology around here is that once data has been made public (ie. publication), it is no longer private and therefore cannot be 'taken' or 'stolen'. And that the action of copying this data doesn't necessarily cause a net harm to the original creator(s) of the work.

However, data that is private can be stolen and that is why this type of thing is frowned upon. Just because some 5 year old kid is in some private database does not mean that it is now free for everyman and his dog to mine or archive. Likewise to your private photo collection, your conversations in your living room, your bedside diary, etc.

TV images of when you ran through the town square naked? Not private either.

See the difference between reality and your straw man?

Comment: Re: Umm no (Score 1) 470

by pipedwho (#48016335) Attached to: The Physics of Space Battles

That assumes the target doesn't change speed or direction in a non-predictable way. Otherwise, the missile will be significantly off-course and potentially millions of miles away unless it fires up its correction thrusters early enough.

I'd be more worried about all the super fast micro-particle engine ejecta that are whizzing through space. Chasing another ship with a reactionary drive would be quite dangerous as you'd want pretty powerful force fields to stop your ship or missile getting perforated as the target ship manoeuvred to protect itself, intentionally keeping the attacking missile and/or ship in the hard to detect ultra fast moving micro-particle ejecta field.

Comment: Re:The simple fact that we can't talk about this.. (Score 1) 207

by pipedwho (#47980605) Attached to: Study Links Pacific Coastal Warming To Changing Winds

And now the 97% consensus have updated their models to include the new data. Prior to that discovery, their assumptions were based on what they previously knew or thought to be true. Once including that new information, their assumptions have been updated and the vast majority now assume differently.

But, most importantly, they are still aware the difference between what they hold as assumptions/beliefs and what has been observationally confirmed.

Comment: Re:Star Trek Communicators (Score 1) 139

by pipedwho (#47980399) Attached to: Sci-fi Predictions, True and False (Video 1)

Maybe they are just verifying the remote telemetry that had already been sent.

"McCoy to Enterprise. 85 degrees Celsius!!! Celsius man! Beam up now!!!"

Meanwhile, back in the transporter room...
"Ooops. My bad. Someone in the previous shift must have changed the telemetry readout from Fahrenheit."

Comment: Re:Star Trek Communicators (Score 1) 139

by pipedwho (#47980303) Attached to: Sci-fi Predictions, True and False (Video 1)

There's a point that everyone, yes even you, seems to miss about ST communicators as a precursor to cellphones:

Only officers had them.

The world where everyone carries their own communicator, all the time, was not foreseen in TOS.

Maybe it was, and then they bypassed that phase of society by edict.

"Hey Redshirt! Get off that communicator and help us deal with this ugly alien, or it's going to end badly for you!"

"Oh crap, we just lost another Redshirt! Enough of this shit, from now on only officers get to bring communicators down to the planet surface."

Comment: Re:iOS NFC Only Being Used for Apple Pay (Score 1) 336

by pipedwho (#47935495) Attached to: Apple Locks iPhone 6/6+ NFC To Apple Pay Only

Security of the transport is not what is at issue. The security of the entire stack needs to be evaluated for a weak link further down the chain before security could be claimed to be a non-issue.

You are right though that the API probably isn't completely ready and/or Apple want to release their apps first. Probably not a bad idea while they iron out any problems before all and sundry spew forth apps. It is much easier to deprecate an API element to fix a major security or other problem when your own implementation is all you have to worry about breaking.

Comment: Re:NFC isn't used for just payment (Score 3, Interesting) 336

by pipedwho (#47935417) Attached to: Apple Locks iPhone 6/6+ NFC To Apple Pay Only

The speed of NFC is a few hundred kbps and is not designed for bulk data transfer. The NFC is most likely used to setup a much faster Bluetooth or Wifi transfer in a way that guarantees that the transfer has been initiated by a device in close proximity.

With longer range protocols (Wifi/Bluetooth/etc), you need other ways to pair the devices to make sure you're transferring your naked photos to the right endpoint.

With NFC, what you see is what you get, but the NFC layer is only used for connection setup.

Comment: Re:Too Late for Aus (Score 2) 336

by pipedwho (#47935317) Attached to: Apple Locks iPhone 6/6+ NFC To Apple Pay Only

In Aus, the NFC terminals (Paypass/Tap&Go/etc) all use the same protocol, in the same way that all the Visa/Mastercard/Bankcard magstripes were written in a common industry format. American Express/Diners were outliers and originally required their own terminals, which is why they always had to fight an uphill battle to be accepted by smaller merchants. These days, the EFTPOS machines and banks have facilities for multiple card types, and the EMV standards encompass implementations for both NFC and Chip&PIN.

The NFC in smart phones use the same RF protocols that are in place for other wireless payment cards (and can easily be updated to provide slight protocol changes if necessary). The hard part is that Apple needs to partner with the big payment providers to allow their generated 'one-time' payments to be correctly cleared in the same way any given issued credit card is cleard. Currently Visa/Mastercard/etc do this for their branded cards and are the biggest players in this sector, which is why Apple needs to work with them to avoid having to set up any of its own infrastructure (beyond it's internal payment gateway and integration with backends at Mastercard/Visa/etc).

There is no reason once deals are struck between Apple and Visa/Mastercard in Australia, that any merchant here would require a change to their installed Paypass/Tap&Go systems. There may be some technical integration problems between Apple and Visa/Mastercard that need to be sorted out first, but that work has most likely already been done (or mostly done), otherwise Apple wouldn't have announced it with such fanfare.

Like everything, for some reason these deals take longer to happen in Aus when the technical and business solutions may have already played out elsewhere in the world. Take iTunes for instance; we had to wait much longer than the US, because it took longer to get the distribution agreements worked out thanks to our local incumbents with pre-existing contracts being reluctant to renegotiate and move with the times.

The first rule of intelligent tinkering is to save all the parts. -- Paul Erlich