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Comment Re:Lego Mindstorm (Score 1) 962

I am also a fan of mindstorms, as many others replying in this thread, but I have seen that kids tend to "get stuck" simply building Lego... With motors and whatever of course, but the actual programming part has become parenthetical and very simplistic.

There is nothing wrong with that, of course! I have recommended mindstorms as a xmas present just a few days ago, but if you are really looking at teaching programming, then you will have to work a little extra to make the kids focus on the programming part.

Squeak is quite similar to the mindstorms programming environment, all graphical, and the kids will have a blast.

So, buy the kids Lego Mindstorms for christmas and use Squeak for teaching programming...

Comment Re:LOGO! (Score 1) 962

My 12-year old son has had a great time with squeak, and so has a couple of his friends. You can make some simple but fun games and you work with graphics all the time, which that age group really wants.

Using squeak, you get acquainted with all the basic concepts of programming, so I believe it is a terrific starting point. Both my son and a friend of his are now ready for the next level, writing programs, and we just have to find what would be the suitable continuation (no pun intended!)

Government

IT Cutbacks For 2012 London Olympics 190

Slatterz writes "The IT backbone for the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games is to be cut. According to the Games' chief integrator, Michele Hyron of Atos Origin, each section of the computing infrastructure will be made more efficient in order to minimise redundant equipment and hopefully reduce energy consumption. Unlike the Beijing Games, the results will be relayed via the public wireless network which will be available in the Olympic Park — this means cutting out the 2,500 results terminals. The team of workers will deliver more than 1,000 servers, 10,000 PCs and 4,000 printers."
Education

Computer For a Child? 556

jameswing writes "I am thinking of buying a UMPC, such as an Eee PC or a Wind for my son, and wanted to get input from Slashdot. He is almost 2 and really curious about our computers, and anything electronic. I want to foster this in him, without having him on my desktop or laptop. I also don't really like the idea of getting one of those cheap 'Learning Laptops' that have a tiny screen and are really limited. Does anybody have one that they use with their children? How sturdy is it? Will it stand up to a 2-year-old? If not, what are good alternatives? What are your thoughts? Suggestions?"

Comment Re:The opposite of Glenn (Score 1) 470

While he did not explicitly state his assumption that the traveler would remain on a great circle path, it *is* true that any two points on a sphere (in this case the starting point and the destination) are connected by exactly one great circle.
Assuming the two points are not at exactly opposite sides of the earth, in which case there are an infinite number.
Education

Does It Suck To Be An Engineering Student? 971

Pickens writes "Aaron Rower has an interesting post on Wired with the "Top 5 Reasons it Sucks to be an Engineering Student" that includes awful textbooks, professors who are rarely encouraging, the dearth of quality counseling, and every assignment feels the same. Our favorite is that other disciplines have inflated grades. "Brilliant engineering students may earn surprisingly low grades while slackers in other departments score straight As for writing book reports and throwing together papers about their favorite zombie films," writes Rower. "Many of the brightest students may struggle while mediocre scholars can earn top scores." For many students, earning a degree in engineering is less than enjoyable and far from what they expected. If you want to complain about your education, this is your chance."
It's funny.  Laugh.

Gaffes That Keep IT Geeks From the Boardroom 652

buzzardsbay writes "Yes, it's all in good fun to point out the mismatched belt and shoes and the atrocious hairstyles, but honestly, I'm committing three of these errors right now! Is that why I can't get a key to the executive washroom? Or is it my rebellious attitude and pungent man-scent that's keeping me down? The shocker in here was pigtails on women... I love pigtails on women!"
The Almighty Buck

Nokia Buys Trolltech 311

egil writes "Trolltech announced this morning (CET) that they have accepted a bid from Nokia to buy the entire company. The bid was for 16 NOK per share, which values the company at an equivalent of approximately 150 million USD. The stock currently trades at 15.70 on the Oslo stack exchange, up from around 10 on Friday. The offer has already been accepted by the Trolltech BOD."
The Internet

W3C Publishes First Public Working Draft of HTML 5 310

Lachlan Hunt writes "Today W3C announced that the HTML Working Group has published the first public working draft of HTML 5 — A vocabulary and associated APIs for HTML and XHTML. It's been over 9 months since the working group began in March 2007 and this long awaited milestone has finally been achieved. '"HTML is of course a very important standard," said Tim Berners-Lee, author of the first version of HTML and W3C Director. "I am glad to see that the community of developers, including browser vendors, is working together to create the best possible path for the Web..." Some of the most interesting new features for authors are APIs for drawing two-dimensional graphics, embedding and controlling audio and video content, maintaining persistent client-side data storage, and for enabling users to edit documents and parts of documents interactively.' An updated draft of HTML 5 differences from HTML 4 has also been published to help guide you through the changes."
Mozilla

Firefox Struggling to Compete as Corporate Browser 364

ericatcw brings us an article describing some of the obstacles Firefox is facing while competing with Internet Explorer for business use. Quoting Computerworld: "Now nearly three-and-a-half years old and nearing the release of Version 3, Firefox no longer can be accused of being callow. And while many IE-only apps remain, plenty of others have been overhauled to support Firefox as well. However, other obstacles to broader adoption have emerged. Mozilla thus far has neglected to develop tools to help IT departments deploy and manage Firefox, and it doesn't offer paid technical support services to risk-averse corporate users. Janco Associates Inc. in Park City, Utah, currently gives Firefox a 16% usage share among visitors to 17 business-to-business Web sites that it monitors. Janco puts IE's share at 67% while giving 9% to Netscape and 3% to Google Desktop."
The Internet

YouTube Breeding Harmful Scientific Misinformation 816

Invisible Pink Unicorn writes "University of Toronto researchers have uncovered widespread misinformation in videos on YouTube related to vaccination and immunization. In the first-ever study of its kind, they found that over half of the 153 videos analyzed portrayed childhood, HPV, flu and other vaccinations negatively or ambiguously. They also found that videos highly skeptical of vaccinations received more views and better ratings by users than those videos that portray immunizations in a positive light. According to the lead researcher, 'YouTube is increasingly a resource people consult for health information, including vaccination. Our study shows that a significant amount of immunization content on YouTube contradicts the best scientific evidence at large. From a public health perspective, this is very concerning.' An extract from the Journal of the American Medical Association is available online."
Biotech

Study Suggests Genome Instability Hotspots 72

Dr. Eggman writes "Ars Technica reports on a new study that suggests not only that certain areas of the mouse genome undergo more changes, but that changes to those areas are more tolerable by the organism than changes in other areas. Recently published in Nature Genetics, the study examined the certain copy number variations of the C57Bl/6 strain in mice that have been diverging for less than 1,000 generations. The results were a surprising number of variations. While the study does not address it, Ars Technica goes on to recount suggestions that genomes evolved to the point where they work well with evolution."

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