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Comment: Re:The day the music and freedom died. (Score 4, Informative) 90

by jedidiah (#48641393) Attached to: The Beatles, Bob Dylan and the 50-Year Copyright Itch

Mickey Mouse is a trademark.

That's a different kettle of fish. That's the problem with everything getting thrown together as "intellectual property". It muddles together things with very different requirements and considerations.

Abuses and backlash will be inappriately applied.

Comment: Re:Good god (Score 1) 109

by serviscope_minor (#48640955) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Resources For Kids Who Want To Make Games?

Jesus christ, man, he's 11. Get him RPG Maker and let him figure out how to make a game with his own made-up story behind it.


I don't think I'm exceptional by the standards of kids who learned to program. I started programming at age 11 because I wanted to write games. I managed to get a simple space invaders type game written myself from scratch in BASIC.

I the kid wants to learn to program games, 11 is an OK age to start.

Comment: Re:What about that stupid book is worth US$244? (Score 1) 152

by serviscope_minor (#48640915) Attached to: Calculus Textbook Author James Stewart Has Died

I really fucking hate this about academia.

Nope, you mean "American undergraduate university teaching", not academia.

This is not an academic thing. This is something very peculiar to undergraduate teaching in the US.

I think partly it is the obsession with setting millions of questions for students to do. That way one can make it easy on the lecturer by declaring that the student just do a bunch from a textbook.

The system I went through doesn't even remotely work in that way. At the very beginning the lecturer in question (which eventually included me, at least for a while) made a list of recommended books. There were usually about 4 or 5 of unspecified edition, and there would be a bunch of some of them in the various libraries. Students were very much NOT expected to buy any of them unless they really wanted to. As the courses got more specialised, the list of textbooks would get longer (as no book covered everything), then disappeared completely when it became too cutting edge.

Some of the lecturers more advanced in years would occasionally give a glowing recommendation to a book that went out of print some time during the paleocene. I suspect it was a book they found useful as an undergrad and never checked to see if was still in print.

We then lectured. Every so often, a sheet of about 10-15 questions was handed out such that there were about 4 sheets in a 16 lecture course. The questions and lecture notes are generally handed to the next person when the course moves on to a new lecturer for them to use or ignore as they see fit.

It works well. The question sheet means that a specfic edition of a book or even a specific book at all is not required. Us writing the questions means that there's more incentive to have a small number of good questions rather than vast heaps of busy work.

Comment: Re:What are the implications for the textbook mark (Score 1) 152

by serviscope_minor (#48640895) Attached to: Calculus Textbook Author James Stewart Has Died

I teach out of a thermodynamics text that gets churned every year or so.

Well, then don't. I went through university in the English system, up to and including being a lecturer for a while. The simple solution to this problem is simply to NOT teach out of a text book in this way. It is simply not in the unicersity culture here to to that.

Textbooks are helpful but the students do not need THAT specific textbook.

The first thing to do is write the questions yourself[*]. They're not nearly as hard to write as exam questions because frankly if you screw up a bit on one or two it matters much, much less, they also don't have to be a consistent length or difficulty. You also have a textbook full of questions for insipration. On the courses I was teaching, the lecturers would always hand materials to the next person, and the question sheets often had the year in which the questions were written. One nice undergraduate reminded my of my age by declaring that some of the questions were older than he was.

So, find a few good textbooks and recommend them to the students at the beginning of the course, as a genuine recommendation and not a recommend but I actually mean you have to buy this kind of thing. Then give your lectures and set your questions. The students can then work from the lectures, or any edition of any textbook.

[*] One problem is it seems the American system is based on setting vastly insane numers of questions, which may make this more difficult.

Comment: Re: Math author dies rich... (Score 2) 152

by serviscope_minor (#48640877) Attached to: Calculus Textbook Author James Stewart Has Died

Really though, the last ethics class I took required an e-book with a 3 use license and six month expiration that cost $130. So, after six months, there is no access to the material at all, like a returned library book without even the value of a paper-bound book that could be burned for warmth.

Well, ironically that probably taught you a lot about ethics.

Comment: Re:Copenhagen interpretation != less complicated (Score 1) 181

by Carewolf (#48638655) Attached to: Quantum Physics Just Got Less Complicated

requires exponential resources to simulate

WTF is an exponential resource?

Exponential refers to the amount of resources, not the type. It basically means it takes e^n resources to simulate. While the GP left n unspecified, lets assume it is either particles or wave functions.

Comment: Re:How long things take.. (Score 1) 219

by roman_mir (#48637749) Attached to: Marissa Mayer's Reinvention of Yahoo! Stumbles

How about I prove you wrong in such an embarrassing way that you will have to eat your words? I have that account because at some point I bought Rogers Internet service, and email was part of what I was buying in the package. Eventually Rogers outsourced their email to Yahoo!, so I have an email account that is paid for and that I never imagined would be handled by Yahoo! I am actually a paying customer, you dumb shit.

Comment: Re: Who? (Score 1) 530

by jedidiah (#48634131) Attached to: FBI Confirms Open Investigation Into Gamergate

Unless you've ever interacted with the cops you really have no reason to say anything about anything. Many people have this romantic idealized notion of the cops (or FBI) giving a f*ck when they usually do not.

One troll threatening another on the Internet is probably not enough to get them interested.

These people have important things to do and they have their careers to think about. They aren't going to waste their time chasing their tails over every random piece of bullsh*t. Sorry, but YOU and your problem are probably not important enough for them.

A threat against a school is probably something that they are more interested in. Better collar. More interesting media potential.

Comment: Re:Media blackout (Score 1) 530

by jedidiah (#48633985) Attached to: FBI Confirms Open Investigation Into Gamergate

The "corruption" angle of this is far more pervasive than just games or game reviews. It was an interesting coincidence that a Jewish reporter in Israel was complaining about media corruption from a different angle when this story was being broken.

Her perspective was that inconvenient facts and stories are not published. Things that don't support the dogma that your editors want to push are suppressed. Reality doesn't matter. The media wants to push it's view of things and "the news" is really just a work of fiction. Anything that doesn't support the narrative they want to present is ignored.

I'm not sure if it's shared ideology driven by the state of journalism academia or if it's mainly more crass corporate considerations but there's a definite group think at work.

Professional journalism at this point can be at best described as a form of political propaganda.

Comment: Re:Most Unbiased Slashdot Gamergate Article (Score 4, Insightful) 530

by jedidiah (#48633895) Attached to: FBI Confirms Open Investigation Into Gamergate

If you troll all of your customers, don't be surprised if you end up with a few wing nuts going off the deep end.

The "journalism" response to this entire affair has been shameless pandering to some notion of political correctness and shameless exploitation of the situation. That's been true pretty much across the entire media spectrum starting with the very first set of trolling click-bait articles generated by the gaming and tech press.

Anyone that disagrees is branded as some sort of anti-feminist misogynistic scum who's opinions don't matter.

It's a perfect example of the "liberal media" that tea baggers like to whine about. The dogma behind the narrative is more important than anything else.

Comment: Re:Who? (Score 2, Insightful) 530

by jedidiah (#48633801) Attached to: FBI Confirms Open Investigation Into Gamergate

Being a victim requires actual harm. What actual harm does a threat from some chickenshit web troll really do you?

If anything, the so-called victims here are happily basking in the glow of the spotlight happy to be the center of attention.

The real victims are people that have bought into all of this nonsense and have had the view of their own real world warped by it. There's the real psychological harm.

An inclined plane is a slope up. -- Willard Espy, "An Almanac of Words at Play"