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Comment Re:He just used more solar cells (Score 2) 410

The article is just his personal explanation of his experiment. Not why they rewarded him or whether the results are actually useful in practice. The 'about the award' page gives the impression that it's about the scientific process and encouraging inquiring minds. Neither could I find anything about cell count in the tree versus the array in the text, or about the average elevation of both models.

So what am I missing here?

Comment Re:He just used more solar cells (Score 3, Informative) 410

What seems to count for this award is a scientific investigation driven by a well-posed question. He did just that -- he tested a hypothesis by making a setup, doing repeated measurements, and drawing conclusions. Awards such as these want to encourage exactly what this boy has done. That he made a basic mistake in his setup is probably simply not all that relevant.

Comment Re:Yes (Score 1) 1077

No you don't. They just need to know the function of the word and what it looks like. No meaningful knowledge of English is necessary. Children and teens can well learn how to program before knowing any English. Heck, even in an English OS once they know on which icons and words to click.

Comment Re:Sesame Street & the Importance of Bilingual (Score 1) 1077

Being Dutch (close to English), I concur. As a child me and my friends saw and heard quite a bit of English on TV or through music. We could never understand (nor really care) except a handful of words we were taught. When "singing" some popular song, we just mimicked the sounds and used Dutch words or syllables to replace them. Words which often made zero sense. But that did not matter.

Comment Re:hmm. (Score 1) 271

Ah the good old 'but at least we're less evil than Saddam' defense.

Ubuntu's track record is a lot better than Microsoft's, but that does not mean a 14 month delay is acceptable. Especially since comments from 2006 already mention the -B parameter to hdparm as a possible fix.

Comment Re:Or (Score 1) 476

Yes, but the reason why Microsoft has a monopoly is not relevant to the school. They see that their kids will use Windows. So they teach Windows.

A case to deploy Linux can only be made once learning Linux makes you also capable of using Windows. I think that's not a big problem since most basic concepts are the same, but it is required. It's no use teaching exotic tools which most of the students are never going to use.

Comment Re:What about books and roofs and pencils first? (Score 1) 379

That the kids need books and schools is a bit naive for many African countries. Corruption starts at the very bottom of society. For instance, the teacher demands money or items from the kids every day, otherwise they won't get taught. The teacher has to demand money in order to obtain food himself. In order to obtain a license to teach, as well. Being corrupt is required to survive, and most have invested too much to really want to change the system. Those who want to, don't get a license, or even get put in jail or shot.

A pretty school building or books don't make any difference in such cases. And if the books are dangerous to the status quo, they're likely to get banned altogether.

Theory is gray, but the golden tree of life is green. -- Goethe