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Comment: Media coverage (Score 5, Interesting) 1006

by thepike (#43271737) Attached to: Video Game Industry Starting To Feel Heat On Gun Massacres
If we're going to blame some form of popular media, it should be the news media, in my opinion. Sure, you can argue that maybe video games desensitize people to violence and (apparently) allow people to keep score (ban Parcheesi too, or cribbage), but I would say that the constant coverage of killers and whatnot on the news is what makes it worse. I have no evidence to back this up, but it certainly gives people ideas about what to do or how to do it, as well as showing them that if they do this sort of thing they're going to live on in news coverage long after they're dead. If these are, as often portrayed, lost souls reaching out for something (in a very inappropriate way), what better way to go than to emblazon your name across all news outlets?

Comment: Re:Comcast tried to steal my money (Score 2) 250

by thepike (#40740931) Attached to: I most recently switched ISPs ...

Yeah, there was something in our lease shortly after the lead paint abatement section about how "previous tenants may have been involved in illicit activity involving the manufacture and/or sale of narcotics" or something, but who really reads that stuff? Turns out that after such "activity" they have to pretty much gut the place, so it ended with us having a nice kitchen.

Comment: Re:Comcast tried to steal my money (Score 4, Interesting) 250

by thepike (#40731979) Attached to: I most recently switched ISPs ...

At least you can get comcast. I have verizon because comcast refuses to give us service (Baltimore, same options as you)

When my roommates and I moved into our house, we tried to get comcast (cable and internet) but everytime we tried to set it up they said there was a hold on our account. Eventually it came out that a few years back our house had been a meth lab and the people who lived there didn't pay their bill for about a year. Why they didn't have their service cut off before then is beyond me, but our house is now on some sort of black list. Even after going to a comcast service center with our lease and ids to prove that we are different people, we still can't get comcast. So verizon DSL it is. Not that I particularly want comcast, but I like having options. And not being associated with cooking meth.

Comment: Re:Ender's game (Score 1) 726

by thepike (#40389047) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Best Science-Fiction/Fantasy For Kids?

Seconded. Good storyline, doesn't drag too much, and with the age things kids can relate. Maybe.

But, as others have said, don't push too hard to get him to like them. Just show them that you like them and he'll think they're cool by association. If he wants to try other stuff, let him, but make sure he sees you reading some of these books and he'll copy you.

Comment: Re:STAR WARS (Score 1) 726

by thepike (#40389029) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Best Science-Fiction/Fantasy For Kids?

Whoa. This order just blew my mind. My girlfriend has never seen them (obligatory joke blah blah, yes she's real, and it's faults like never having seen Star Wars that I have to put up with to have one), and she's now going to watch them in this order. My sister is about to have a kid too, and I might suggest this.

Comment: Re:Misleading headline? (Score 4, Insightful) 488

by thepike (#40372815) Attached to: U.S. Students Struggle With Reasoning Skills

Agreed, I'd like to see the scores from other countries.

Also, I'd like to see this with adults in different professions. For instance, are scientists better at this than artists? And what about creativity scores?

My gut says that a) all children will probably not be great at this and b) adults probably aren't either. And sadly it probably doesn't match up as well with profession as we might like. I'm a molecular biologist and plenty of my colleagues would probably struggle with these tasks. I wish I could take the test to see how I do (but I'm also afraid I would fail miserably).

Comment: Re:Lots of people could do this (Score 1) 303

by thepike (#40210723) Attached to: The Real-Life Doogie Howser

Personally I want to know how they managed to get through the school system before the age of 18. The system which seems designed more to keep young people off the streets than it is to educate them.

It depends a lot on your parents. Aside from the possibility of home schooling (which has to bring about all sorts of problems for university admissions) they can do a lot to push you through more quickly, or not allow it. For one thing, they can send you to better schools that will actually look for gifted students and help them along. Alternatively, they can fight for (or against) advancement. For instance, it was twice suggested that I skip a grade, but my parents wouldn't let me because I was already small for my age and they were worried about me being picked on. Similarly, if my parents had fought for it, I could have graduated high school in 3 years. Probably could have done college in 3 years too, if I'd worked harder at it.

That said, I'm glad my parents did what they did. I'm working on my PhD in molecular biology now, and I'm in no hurry to be done. All those extra years in school didn't teach me any more bio, or math, or better writing skills, but I had a lot of fun during that time and definitely formed a lot of relationships that are important to me. That's what I always think people like this are missing out on.

Cellphones

Tizen, webOS, & the Future of Mobile Open Source 94

Posted by Soulskill
from the distro-wars-coming-to-a-phone-near-you dept.
jfruhlinger writes "When HP announced it would release webOS as open source, it added a competitor to a narrow niche: there's already Tizen, the descendant of MeeGo, which is, like webOS, an open source Linux-based operating system for smartphones. Can they co-exist, or will one come out on top? One built-in advantage for webOS is that already has hardware, in the form of all those $99 TouchPad's being snapped up on eBay."

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