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Comment: Re:Stop whining. (Score 1) 664

by skroops (#31429254) Attached to: Professors Banning Laptops In the Lecture Hall
I agree with many of your points. But I pay my own way through school and don't need a babysitter to tell me how to effectively use my time. A blanket no laptop policy is not the answer. Forcing students to pay attention? How about personal responsibility, these are adults. Being mature enough to attend college is something that the parents should have considered before paying for their kids to go.

Comment: Re:Professors need to stop reading just from the b (Score 1) 664

by skroops (#31429060) Attached to: Professors Banning Laptops In the Lecture Hall
"4. People who are real good test takers that don't need to pay attention to what the Professor says."
Can you expand on this? I don't pay need to pay attention to what the professor says and I do well on tests, but I always thought that was because I'm a self-motivated learner. I've never taken a test where I did good on it because of anything other than knowing the material.

Comment: Re:This is College (Score 1) 664

by skroops (#31428624) Attached to: Professors Banning Laptops In the Lecture Hall
I've had a handful of classes at three schools that took attendance, and it did not work that way. Attendance was a calculated part of the grade and was recorded "just in case". I often lost points because I did not attend every lecture (as is my choice), despite having 80-100% on every assignment. One thing teachers are doing nowadays is using "clickers", small remote controls that wirelessly record answers to in-class questions. They are not attendance per se, but as the correct answer is irrelevent to scoring, and getting the points requires being in class, it is a de facto attendance monitor. I have seen this in two schools. Interestingly in the first class I had it in it was at least of some benefit, the teacher would put up a short question and then allow students who had answered in the two majority choices to defend their responses, and would therefore find what part of the concept the students were not understanding. But the one I have now is pretty much using it to waste time and make sure that we are present to have our time wasted. Leaving 10 minutes sometimes to answer simple problems and then moving right on to the next one with no explanation or useful discussion.
Biotech

Printing Replacement Body Parts 101

Posted by kdawson
from the portrait-mode dept.
Deep Penguin sends in a piece that appeared in The Economist a couple of weeks back about a developing technology to "print" body parts for transplant. "A US and an Australian company have developed the $200,000 machine, which works by depositing stem cells and a 'sugar-based hydrogel' scaffolding material. (The stem cells are harvested from a transplant patient's own fat and bone marrow, to avoid rejection down the line.) The companies are Organovo, from San Diego, specializing in regenerative medicine, and Invetech, an engineering and automation firm in Melbourne, Australia. The initial targets are skin, muscle, and 'short stretches of blood vessels,' which they hope to have available for human implantation within five years. Down the line, they expect the technology could even print directly into the body, bypassing the in-vitro portion of the current process."
Earth

Officials Sue Couple Who Removed Their Lawn 819

Posted by kdawson
from the revenge-of-the-lawn dept.
Hugh Pickens writes "The LA Times reports that Orange County officials are locked in a legal battle with a couple accused of violating city ordinances for replacing the grass on their lawn with wood chips and drought-tolerant plants, reducing their water usage from 299,221 gallons in 2007 to 58,348 gallons in 2009. The dispute began two years ago, when Quan and Angelina Ha tore out the grass in their front yard. In drought-plagued Southern California, the couple said, the lush grass had been soaking up tens of thousands of gallons of water — and hundreds of dollars — each year. 'We've got a newborn, so we want to start worrying about her future,' said Quan Ha, an information technology manager for Kelley Blue Book. But city officials told the Has they were violating several city laws that require that 40% of residential yards to be landscaped predominantly with live plants. Last summer, the couple tried to appease the city by building a fence around the yard and planting drought-tolerant greenery — lavender, rosemary, horsetail, and pittosporum, among others. But according to the city, their landscaping still did not comply with city standards. At the end of January, the Has received a letter saying they had been charged with a misdemeanor violation and must appear in court. The couple could face a maximum penalty of six months in jail and a $1,000 fine for their grass-free, eco-friendly landscaping scheme. 'It's just funny that we pay our taxes to the city and the city is now prosecuting us with our own money,' says Quan Ha."
Image

One Quarter of Germans Happy To Have Chip Implants 170

Posted by samzenpus
from the identified-coward dept.
justice4all writes "If it means shorter lines at the supermarket, a quarter of Germans would be happy to have a chip implanted under their skin. The head of Germany's main IT trade body told the audience at the opening ceremony of the CeBIT technology exhibition that one in four of his countrymen are happy to have a microchip inserted for ID purposes."

Comment: This is a great opportunity (Score 1) 411

by skroops (#28487583) Attached to: Amazon Cuts Off North Carolina Affiliates
This is a great opportunity for someone to build an alternative North Carolina referrer network. This would have the effect of localizing the job that Amazon was doing, which can only strengthen NC. It's possible that most if not all of what was being offered at Amazon could be recreated; if there is a demand for a product, then maybe a local company can begin to fill that demand.

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