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Comment Re:Smalltalk (Score 1) 414

Smalltalk failed in the 90s more for poor vendor business decisions than technical merits - charging $1000s dollar per seat versus zero cost Java. Scroll down to "merger of ParcPlace and Digitalk" here...

The lack of an open source business oriented Smalltalk platform is being addressed today by Pharo (a fork of Squeak). They are slowly building consortium to provide stability in funding improvements...

You can see some success stories here...

Comment keyword "switching" (Score 1) 344

As others have previously implied... if there are only two products A and B, anyone "switching" to A implicitly was previously using B.
If there are more products but B has the majority share, implicitly the "majority of those switching" come from B.

Next he'll be complaining that 40% of work sick days are taken on Mondays and Fridays.

cheers -ben

Comment Last week's "60 Minutes" TV show - Reverse Stroke (Score 1) 552

Cast a wide net, and somewhere in the billion people in the world "maybe" there is something that can help.

Just last week I saw this on TV...

which references this...

This is pertinent for me since a few months ago my Aunt had a stroke and is now suffering speech and motor difficulties.

Comment Hungry Guppy, Happy Pig, Pit Droids, Flow (Score 1) 165

I have a 4yr and 2yr old girls, so I have read other comments with interest. Will definitely be trying some of those out. I've only used Amazing Alex and agree its a great puzzle for my 4yr old.

Here are some of my own suggestions.

Motion Math Hungry Guppy - For very simple addition. You need to join together bubbles holding 1, 2 or 3 dots to make a new bubble matching the number stuck on the side of a cute orange fish, which then swims over and eats the matching bubble and gets bigger and bigger until end of round.

Happy Pig - Children's Logic Game - fill in missing items in a pattern arrangement - my 4yr old knocked this over in a couple of days but I am happy it served its purpose in that time. It was interesting to see her cognition go from incomprehension to mastery in that short time. Revisits occasionally.

Pit Droids - A generator spawns different coloured droids in one direction, and matching coloured arrows need to placed on the ground in front of them to turn them towards matching coloured pits. I've enjoyed helping her get started and now she can now do some levels herself. Got it after reading this review which discusses it being a preliminary training for programming.

Chess Pro With Coach by Christophe Theron - training for strategic thinking - not that my 4yr old is anywhere near that! but the computer can be set really dumb and slowly turned up over the next few years. It graphically suggests good moves and pieces under threat.

Timmy's Preschool Adventure - Simple pattern/puzzle solving. Animation is a little B grade but still engaging for both 2yr and 4yr old.

Kid Klok - shows numbers around the circumference for both hours and minutes - each a separate colour matching hour/minute hands and digital clock reading.

Flow Free - path planning - 4yr old picked it up much faster than I thought she would.

Team Umizoomi - numbers and simple math in an engaging presentation for both the 2yr and 4yr old

Bugs and Buttons - lots of cognitive mini-games - 2yr and 4yr both love it.

ToonTastic - just to round out with a non-science app - yet the decision making learnt from creative play is an important skill. Drag cartoon characters onto a background then record an animation with voice-over by the kids.

Comment The proper way to praise children (Score 1) 659

Concerning getting through school too easily and then giving up when hitting the wall, this following article is quite important....

        Dweck sent four female research assistants into New York fifth-grade classrooms. The researchers would take a single child out of the classroom for a nonverbal IQ test consisting of a series of puzzles—puzzles easy enough that all the children would do fairly well. Once the child finished the test, the researchers told each student his score, then gave him a single line of praise. Randomly divided into groups, some were praised for their intelligence. They were told, “You must be smart at this.” Other students were praised for their effort: “You must have worked really hard.”

        Then the students were given a choice of test for the second round. One choice was a test that would be more difficult than the first, but the researchers told the kids that they’d learn a lot from attempting the puzzles. The other choice, Dweck’s team explained, was an easy test, just like the first. Of those praised for their effort, 90 percent chose the harder set of puzzles. Of those praised for their intelligence, a majority chose the easy test. The “smart” kids took the cop-out.

Two more stages of testing provided this startling finding:

        Those who had been praised for their effort significantly improved on their first score—by about 30 percent. Those who’d been told they were smart did worse than they had at the very beginning—by about 20 percent.

Comment Re:Ubuntu seems to have hit the big time (Score 1) 324

Don't say: "not having the overhead of antivirus software"
It has been drummed into the masses that they need virus protection and it will just confuse them.
Instead say: "virus protection included" - well Linux does protect you from viruses

Also, the masses may be suspect of "freedom to copy." Perhaps just make it look like the free CDs on magazine covers like "4GB of free software"

Comment stops apoptosis? maybe useful for heart attacks. (Score 1) 385

Perhaps a little offtopic, but stopping apoptosis may be useful to prevent systemic self-dectruction of cells during reperfusion of heart attack victims or other victims deprived of oxygen - allowing people to recovery from being deprived of oxygen for an hour.
To Treat the Dead --
Currently they use a hypothermia protocol to reduce the damage done during reperfusion.

Comment Arduino (Score 1) 364
Multiple variations and suppliers

Arduino is an open-source electronics prototyping platform based on flexible, easy-to-use hardware and software. It's intended for artists, designers, hobbyists, and anyone interested in creating interactive objects or environments.

Arduino can sense the environment by receiving input from a variety of sensors and can affect its surroundings by controlling lights, motors, and other actuators. The microcontroller on the board is programmed using the Arduino programming language (based on Wiring) and the Arduino development environment (based on Processing). Arduino projects can be stand-alone or they can communicate with software on running on a computer (e.g. Flash, Processing, MaxMSP).

Comment combined FPGA and ARM processor (Score 1) 185

I not really sure how this compares to other options.
I'd be interested in the thoughts of those more expereienced.
500Mhz ARM9 CPU running Linux
onboard 12,000 LUT on-board programmable Lattice FPGA
250MHz ARM9 CPU running Linux
onboard 5000 LUT Lattice FPGA

Comment Re:Protect Your Intellectual Rights Before You Sel (Score 1) 131

[Disclaimer: I've no experience implementing these ideas. They are based on comments from mate who developed a small utility with a delayed nag as the only "protection". There is a delay of about four months between download and sales graphs, but he has a reasonable conversion rate.]
What about like the delayed start timer reminders like WinZip used to have. Have only one full-version binary distributable. During the demo period there are no nags. After the demo period expires, during startup have a timer that delays the start - with a message about the demo expiring. Perhaps here ask for feedback from people of their first impressions - link to a subforum discussion site. As time goes on, the delay timer gets longer.
Getting good feedback can be difficult and may be worth something to you. Possibly for good feedback, have a method to extend their demo period. If you respond well to them and develop a conversation and rapport, then you have more chance of converting a sale. Also you get feedback from beginning users not just expert users. First impressions count so you need to cater to both. For selected demo users, perhaps their writing a blog entry of how they are using it (not just a review) may also extend their demo period.
Make the demo longish, and perhaps based on operational time, not just date periods. Busy users (ie professional - your best authorative bloggers and potential payers) may download it to try, but them be distracted for a while before they have a project to use it on. You want users to have time for it to become "part of their process" before the nags start.
The nags can include a startup dialog, a status bar being replaced at random intervals by one cycle of a ticker. The nags and/or product cost shouldn't be so intrusive that its easier reinstall or upgrade to the next version However after an extended period of time have a modal alert discussing your distribution philosophy might appear. Use humour, you want them onside. Then this model alert might now shut down the program - with a gracious option to delay the shutdown (for a decreasing amounts of time). This however is fine balance.
The nag delay screens should show an accumulation of delays. Get the user to enter their payrate so that the cost of the nags is apparent to them. When it comes to a business decision, that can be overlooked. After an extended period the program might shut down at intervals - but provide plenty of
During you can build in some usability statistics gathering that is only acctive during the demo period. At the least would want to get an idea of when the nags become too onerous and people unistall your software. You might also get an idea of where new users go wrong.
anyway thats my 2.5 cents worth

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