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Comment: Re:*sigh* (Score 1) 291

by readin (#49359653) Attached to: Iowa's Governor Terry Branstad Thinks He Doesn't Use E-mail

In spite of all this, Centers continues to insist that Branstad does not use e-mail. But checking your e-mail on your phone counts as using e-mail. Receiving e-mails from your staff counts as using e-mail. Sending accidental e-mails with your Blackberry counts as using e-mail.

Checking a group distribution list because that's how you get news is not really "using" e-mail.

Checking a group mail is not checking "your" e-mail.

Sending e-mails which demonstrate that you have no idea what you are doing does certainly not count as "using" "e-mail".

Obviously, this craptastically ignorant fuckstain is not tech savvy.

I was with you until you said he "obviously" is not "tech savvy". So we know from reading the article that he recognizes that his Blackberry is "old-fashioned". And he apparently doesn't waste a lot of time digging into how the company that makes Blackberry markets them (they call them "smart phones" but there are much smarter phones our there these days).

As for the email? He had his staff set something up and he checked in on a regular bases using an app that probably hid details from him. Did he need to care what those details were? I'm pretty tech savvy in some areas. i can build a large scale web app. I can tell you about a lot of different frameworks for building sites. I can tell you about strengths and weaknesses of those frameworks, strengths and weaknesses of the various languages for writing code, what common architectures, web servers, and application servers are. Yet here I sit using Slashdot and I haven't the faintest idea what language it is written in, what web server is serving the content, what frameworks are involved. If I viewed the source on the page to see the javascript I might get some clues, but I honestly just don't care. This governor may have viewed it the same way. It was an app set up by someone else for him and he didn't care to find out how it was implemented even if he could tell you details about various computer communication protocols.. He has other things to spend his time on.

Comment: Re:is this for real? (Score 1) 211

"Presently, only one in 10 schools nationwide offer computer science classes."

From 1992-1996 I went to a tiny high school in the middle of nowhere surrounded by corn fields, and even I had 4 computer programming courses - granted only like 5-6 kids were in the 4th class, they almost canceled it on us.

Maybe they teach programming and computers in the Midwest but not elsewhere?

Comment: Re:Coding? (Score 1) 211

I found this pretty frustrating when my kids took a computer course and found it basically consisted of learning to use Microsoft Office. No bytes, bits, binary calculations, parts of a computer (input, output, processing, RAM, etc.). In my mind the only useful part of the class was that they got a chance to practice keyboarding.

Comment: Re:Excellent idea! (Score 1) 211

Let's force everyone to learn how to code! We need more bad programmers!

After all, people who think they know something without really knowing anything are the best!

We need people who understand what computers are and what they are capable of. This is similar to how we teach biology to everyone even though most will never become doctors (or even bad doctors). We teach chemistry to everyone although most will never become physics. We teach literature to everyone even though many will never work at McDonald's or Starbucks.

Most people will never be doctors, but they will visit doctors, take medicines, deal with minor injuries at home, vote on issues related to impacts of chemicals on humans and animals, etc.
Most people will never be programmers, but they will use computers for a growing number of things throughout their lives and be affected by policies like net-nuetrality, big data mining, data retention, computerized vote fraud, etc.

Comment: Re:Maybe they should ... (Score 1) 211

Scratch is fine, but if you're going to teach any of the modern languages that use "=" for assignment, I would recommend waiting until algrebra is completed to avoid creating confusing between the mathematical "=" and the assignment "=".

But better would be to start with Pascal-like syntax where ":=" can be read as "becomes equal to" with the colon standing in for "becomes".

For the really high IQ kids it may not matter, but the average student who has trouble grasping the full implication of mathematical "equal", introducing a new meaning for the sign will cause trouble.

Comment: Re:Future? (Score 1) 451

by readin (#49292451) Attached to: Lyft CEO: Self-Driving Cars Aren't the Future
And soon we'll have self-driving vehicles in certain industrial applications where the environment can be controlled (if we don't have them already). Warehouses, golf courses, quarries, These are some examples of where self-driving vehicles can be useful without having to handle every conceivable obstacle that might be encountered in city or even highway driving. With an industrial base to fund further research the vehicles will get better. Griffin is right - it's just a question of when.

Comment: Re:Climate Deniers: What is your defence for this? (Score 1) 366

but banning basic scientific fact?

Even if there were such a thing as "basic scientific fact" this wouldn't come anywhere close to it. This is complex theory based on many diverse data points with no possibility of controlled testing. I'm not saying it's wrong. But it isn't basic and unfortunately it may not be fact until it is too late.

Comment: Re:Climate Deniers: What is your defence for this? (Score 2) 366

It will probably hold up easily so long as the restriction only applies while they're on the job.

As for beyond work, you might be surprised. I believe there are laws restricting federal employees from doing things like doing campaign work for candidates for federal office.

Comment: Re:Climate Deniers: What is your defence for this? (Score 4, Insightful) 366

I won't defend it by saying it is a good idea. But I will point out that it isn't unique and that companies and government quite often ban discussion of certain topics and use of certain words while on the job. Sometimes it even extends to what you can say or even which political causes you can donate to while off the job. It's not like Brenden Eich never received any pressure to step down.

Single tasking: Just Say No.