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Comment Re:interesting idea but not FB (Score 1) 224

Not just moral... legal... facebook is under the scrutiny of privacy comittees for violating privacy laws in many different countries... That said, I don't see them lasting long if they offer absolutely no privacy to their users if they desire so. (yes, they changed multiple times what was available... but that is part of the reason they are investigated and even then, they allowed people to opt out of new features)

Comment interesting idea but not FB (Score 3, Insightful) 224

I do think Facebook is a bad example. Their API is open and the SDK is open too... yes, the code is executed remotely... but that is the whole point because it interacts with the user data... that is the beauty behind technologies like XML-RPC or soap... good luck to facebook opening up access to their whole database... they don't care about privacy but even they would not do that

now, it is true that a lot of companies provide an open SDK with a binary part... a good example would be video drivers which are open source yet include a binary part that is not open source. Games are another example.

Even then, I would still consider it progress because before that there was no SDK, the only way to modify existing products was through a hex editor... at least now, software editors provide an api to interact.

The concept is not even new... windows operating system is based on binary DLLs that many times only microsoft has the source code... yet visual studio comes with sourcecode and a very complete toolkit... but even that was not the first time open api was provided to a binary core... I guess that is just the way software is done

Comment Re:Lunar Water Not Discovered by NASA (Score 3, Informative) 218

My apologies, it was Chandrayaan indeed... Though, it is interesting to note Nasa did contribute the M3 mineral maper module that made the discovery... I may be wrong but without it, I do not think that without this instrument, it would have been possible to make the discovery (not to diminish in any way Chandrayaan's accomplishment... awesome to see a new country doing something interesting, Kudos to the Indians). To be fair, I was more referring to the Nasa LCROSS mission which actually settled for sure there water was present in big quantities... before that, there was a lot of speculation

Comment Re:Uh, yeah (Score 4, Interesting) 218

Not denigrating Nasa efforts... discovery of water on the moon is awesome... can't wait for curiosity to land... but china is definitely moving forward for MANNED exploration... while the world is in a recession. When they announced they wanted 10 space stations in orbit (not a typo), i thought they were mad... now, I am thinking... hey it might not have been such a crazy announcement after all... all that because they were not allowed to participate in the ISS.

It actually may be a good thing for Nasa too... because soon china space program will increasingly be doing more interesting stuff, there may be a new space race and therefore an incentive to increase the budget.

The problem with Nasa is so many awesome projects get canceled every new election as its direction changes... and they keep reinventing the wheel... stalling the space program, wasting resources.

Comment Amusing how many oppose technology for education (Score 1) 349

this is slashdot... a good 99.3% of you were geeks as kids and it got you to where you were. chances are you learned complex technology despite the fact most people around you sucked at it (sometimes even teachers) and often tried to distract you or discourage you from these endeavours... willpower kicks ass when you are motivated and technology is a knowledge enablers.

Technology can be helpful but you have to teach the children boundaries and focus them - and this is as much a responsability of the teacher and the students. Yes, technology can be a distraction, so can a bee be one too. Students are easily distracted.. at all ages.

Even playing can be a learning experience... it can be argued some people get paid to play games they played as a kid under different settings (sports, singing, ...)

Don't blame the distraction, blame the distractee (the student) and the distractor (the teacher failing to focus the attention of its student)

Comment Re:You're off by a factor of 2 (Score 1) 126

But if you have a car pool or drive with a friend, you can mitigate this issue somewhat. Other one drives the car there, and your friend drives it back. Now you have doubled your reliability.

Technically, your reliability remains the same because reliability is a percentage of total... and total number of trips will decrease accordingly

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