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Comment measuring creativity (Score 1) 94

procrastinators' ideas were 28 percent more creative

How do you measure creativity? According to them, how creative were Da Vinci? Bach? The idea that you can measure creativity is silly. Furthermore, I think we can agree that thinking deeply about a problem is more likely to lead to a good solution than not, but procrastinating is not the same thing as actively engaging a subject. This reeks of psycho babble clickbait -- after all, who doesn't want to read that procrastinating is good?

Comment What is higher education? (Score 2, Insightful) 393

Is higher education vocational training, or is it it how we instill the broad knowledge and critical thinking skills necessary for an informed population? Vocational training doesn't belong in universities. Of course, people learn useful skills and develop specialization while in college, but the real end goal for students is to emerge as critical thinkers who then pursue their career of choice. In some cases, that means an advanced degree, and in other cases it means the job market, with on-the-job training.

A major problem is that a lot of people go to college when really they just need job training. They don't care for, and don't receive, the real education that college degrees represent.

Comment Who controls the device? (Score 2) 80

If the government takes over a device and starts masquerading as the owner, how do we know? Could they hack your phone, use it to view a forbidden website, and then land you in jail because of it? Conversely, does this give people plausible deniability for actions performed on their digital equipment?

Submission + - AMD clocks 500x spreadsheet speed boost via hardware acceleration in LibreOffice (

samtuke writes: AMD processors get rated and reviewed based on performance. It is in our self-interest to make things work really, really fast on AMD hardware. AMD engineers contribute to LibreOffice, for good reason. Think about what happens behind a spreadsheet calculation. There can be a huge amount of math. Writing software to take advantage of a Graphics Processing Unit (GPU) for general purpose computing is non-trivial. We know how to do it. AMD engineers wrote OpenCL kernels, and contributed them to the open source code base. Turning on the OpenCL option to enable GPU Compute resulted in a 500X+ speedup, about ¼ second vs. 2minutes, 21 seconds.

Clinton Foundation: Kids' Lack of CS Savvy Threatens the US Economy 208

theodp writes: As the press digs for details on Clinton Foundation donations, including a reported $26+ million from Microsoft and Bill Gates, it's probably worth noting the interest the Clintons have developed in computer science and the role they have played — and continue to play — in the national K-12 CS and tech immigration crisis that materialized after Microsoft proposed creating such a crisis to advance its 'two-pronged' National Talent Strategy, which aims to increase K-12 CS education and the number of H-1B visas. Next thing you know, Bill is the face of CS at the launch of Then Hillary uses the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) conference to launch a Facebook, Microsoft, and Google initiative to boost the ranks of female and students of color in CS, and starts decrying woeful CS enrollment. Not to be left out, Chelsea keynotes the NCWIT Summit and launches Google's $50M girls-only Made With Code initiative with now-U.S. CTO Megan Smith. And last December, the Clinton Foundation touted its initiatives to engage middle school girls in CS, revamp the nation's AP CS program, and retrain out-of-work Americans as coders. At next month's CGI America 2015, the conference will kick off with a Beer Bust that CGI says "will also provide an opportunity to learn about Tech Girls Rock, a CGI Commitment to Action launched by CA Technologies in partnership with the Boys & Girls Clubs of America that helps girls discover an interest in tech-related educational opportunities and careers." On the following days, CGI sessions will discuss tech's need for a strong and diverse talent pipeline for computer and information technology jobs, which it says is threatened by "the persistent poor performance of American students in science, technology, engineering, and math," presenting "serious implications for the long-term competitiveness of the U.S. economy." So what's the long-term solution? Expanding CS education, of course!

Comment Re:The Free Market (Score 1) 75

If we actually had a competitive ISP market, where I could choose between, say, a hundred different providers at my residential address, then perhaps allowing the ISPs to compete in such a manner as you describe would make sense. As it is, we have 1-2 ISPs, and generally poor competition. Once one of the ISPs decides to pull prioritization shenanigans, then we the consumer is powerless to do anything about it. The only vote we have with our wallet is to forego an internet connection completely.

Researchers Design a Self-Powered Digital Camera 85

Jason Koebler writes: Researchers at Columbia University have designed a fully electric digital camera that powers itself using ambient light. Put in a well-lit room, it would work indefinitely. The camera's image sensor does double duty. It measures the light needed to make the photograph, and it also takes excess light and uses it to power a capacitor (it has no battery) that runs the camera (PDF). The research team says the technology can be used to create self-powered cameras that can live on the internet of things.

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