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Comment: E-readers fail on all counts (Score 1) 376

by twitcher101 (#38808501) Attached to: Apple Nets 350K Textbook Downloads In 3 Days
"Physical textbooks lack portability, durability, accessibility, consistent quality, interactivity and searchability, and they're not environmentally friendly." Poppycock! An e-reader, dropped once will break, unlike a book, making the durability and portability questionable. While the quality of an iPad, may be consistent, so are conventional books. As far as interactivity, a book requires you to physically manipulate a page to get more information, activating parts of your brain associated with learning. An e-reader requires you to stare at a screen that is as easy to ignore as any TV commercial. Searchability? That is called an index. If you don't know how to use one, you won't do much better with keywords. Finally, environmentally friendly? E-readers are made of non-renewable resources that must be mined, causing environmental destruction, toxic byproducts, and greenhouse gasses to power them. Books are made from trees, which unlike rare earth metals are renewable.

Comment: A lack of government is also regulation (Score 2) 705

by twitcher101 (#34645194) Attached to: Is Net Neutrality Really Needed?
To assume that a lack of government regulation is the same as no regulation is to completely overlook the corporate regulation that those who want net neutrality oppose. I would always rather have the government regulating instead of the profit driven anti-competitive private sector.
Science

+ - A Lego (tm) Antikythera Device->

Submitted by twitcher101
twitcher101 (1712418) writes "Some ingenious folks have produced a video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RLPVCJjTNgk in which they demonstrate a Lego version of the 2000 year-old celestial calculator http://www.nature.com/news/2010/101124/full/468496a.html found of the coast of Antikythera in 1906. Is there nothing those blocks cannot do?"
Link to Original Source

+ - JBI's Plastic To Oil Gets Operating Permit-> 2

Submitted by Whammy666
Whammy666 (589169) writes "JBI, Inc. announced that it has entered into a formal Consent Order with the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Region 9, which will allow the Company to immediately run its Plastic2Oil (P2O) process commercially and begin construction of an additional processor at its Niagara Falls, New York P2O facility. JBI has developed a process that takes waste plastic destined for landfills and converts it into diesel fuel, gasoline, and natural gas with very little residue. The process is said to be very efficient thanks to a special catalyst developed by JBI and an attention to process optimization. That plastic water bottle you tossed in the trash could soon be fueling your car instead of sitting in a landfill for 1000 years."
Link to Original Source

Comment: Re:some professors get kickbacks from book sales (Score 1) 419

by twitcher101 (#34018048) Attached to: Colleges May Start Forcing Switch To eTextbooks
So go to another school, if you don't want to study under Keown. A professor teaching his own thoughts is what you sign up for, and I am sure his isn't the only classroom that uses the text, otherwise it wouldn't be published. I also make students read things I have written. If they don't want to learn what I have to say, they ought not take my class! That isn't a kickback, that is the publishing industry fighting fair use by making his students pay for his books. He could distribute it for free, but he has a contract telling him not to do that...
Education

Hard-to-Read Fonts Improve Learning 175

Posted by timothy
from the slashdot-design-philosophy-revealed dept.
arkenian writes "Difficult-to-read fonts make for better learning, according to scientists. The finding is about to be published in the international journal Cognition. Researchers at Princeton University employed volunteers to learn made-up information about different types of aliens — and found that those reading harder fonts recalled more when tested 15 minutes later. The article goes on to note a second test in a real school environment: 'Keen to see if their findings actually worked in practice, the Princeton University team then tested their results on 222 students aged between 15 and 18 at a secondary school in Chesterfield, Ohio.'... 'Students given the harder-to-read materials scored higher in their classroom assessments than those in the control group. This was the case across a range of subjects — from English, to Physics to History.'"
Transportation

Heroic Engineer Crashes Own Vehicle To Save a Life 486

Posted by kdawson
from the delta-vee dept.
scottbomb sends in this feel-good story of an engineer-hero, calling it "one of the coolest stories I've read in a long time." "A manager of Boeing's F22 fighter-jet program, Innes dodged the truck, then looked back to see that the driver was slumped over the wheel. He knew a busy intersection was just ahead, and he had to act fast. Without consulting the passengers in his minivan — 'there was no time to take a vote' — Innes kicked into engineer mode. 'Basic physics: If I could get in front of him and let him hit me, the delta difference in speed would just be a few miles an hour, and we could slow down together,' Innes explained."
Image

Inventor Creates Flotation Device Bazooka 144

Posted by samzenpus
from the point-shoot-and-save dept.
Australian inventor Sam Adeloju has won the £20,000 ($32,000) James Dyson Award for inventing the coolest piece of life-saving equipment ever. The Longreach is a modified bazooka which can fire an expanding flotation device up to 150m to a person in distress. From the article: "Mr Adeloju told NEWS.com.au that the Longreach was inspired by a grenade-launch training session with the Army Reserves. Weighing just 3.5kg, it shoots the rescue device 150m in a manner similar to the way the army uses a grenade launcher to deliver flares and aerial observation devices. Hitting the water activates an expanding foam unit in the Longreach rescue unit, which also incorporates LED illumination and a vortex air whistle."

Comment: Re:Farmers are often on the cutting edge (Score 1) 153

by twitcher101 (#33405460) Attached to: Video Adverts On the Printed Page
Duly noted. I work with a wide variety of farmers, so I really shouldn't overgeneralize. Unfortunately, for every farmer I meet who wants to farm smarter, I meet 10 who don't think about their actions, they just think about making money. The organics studies show that labor input goes up per acre, but you have higher drought resistance and therefore about 4% higher yield over time. The problem I have seen is that people are so far into debt with the chemical companies, they can't afford the transition. But in the long term, that fertilizer bill goes away... As long as consumers buy wider variety...

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