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Comment Re:Try having an original idea (Score 1) 494

Well, that's not entirely true. Copyright does cover derivative works. For example there's the issue of The Wind Done Gone that was based on Gone with the Wind, but was written from the slaves' point of view. Much legal trouble ensued, and it had to be rebranded as a parody and the characters renamed (and some money spent) before the case could be settled.

Comment Re:Expensive (Score 1) 439

I don't have numbers to offer, but they could be banking on the iPad being cheaper in the long run than having to update dead-tree textbooks year after year. Also many of the open courseware digital textbooks are as good as, if not better than ye olde paper texts. And almost any school could easily replace their literature textbooks with e versions, so maybe they're looking to extend this beyond math. If so, they will almost certainly be saving money.

Besides, textbooks are sooo 20th century.

Comment Re:It should be: 4+3+2=x+2 (Solve for x) (Score 1) 1268

Very, very., very well said. Not only do I wish I had mod points, but I wish you could go higher than five for exceptional comments.

Complaining about how dumb American kids are, or how bad American schools are, is just one of those things people default to without ever giving it a shred of thought. I'm so glad to see that someone actually manages to think the situation through before whining.

Comment Re:Here's a better idea (Score 1) 562

Let's totally unplug all backwards theocracies from the internet.

Leaving them with only the propaganda permitted by said theocracies? What do you suppose would happen then, a sudden burst of enlightenment based on the same ideas that have made them "backwards" to begin with?

There's a reason tyrants block the flow of information. There is no greater threat to tyranny than the knowledge that people elsewhere are freer and happier than you are, and the information that explains how they got to be that way.

Gods I hope you were just being sarcastic and I missed it. I'm more than a little disturbed by the fact that you got an "insightful" mod for this.

Comment Was it just me or... (Score 1) 955

Was it just me or did it all end with the fate of the universe resting on the changing of a prehistoric stone light bulb? In fact, it must have been a Christmas light bulb, because if one went out, they all went out...

Comment Re:What... (Score 1) 174

How is this any different than the rampant and completely unsupervised genetic twiddling that has been happening in nature for the last few billion years?

It's very different. "Nature" takes existing sequences and changes them, seeing if they fit in with the rest of the existing organism and environment. The process is slow and competing sequences have an opportunity to try their own variations. Wholesale fabrication of an entire genome is several orders of magnitude more drastic.

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Machines certainly can solve problems, store information, correlate, and play games -- but not with pleasure. -- Leo Rosten