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Comment People seem to act like (Score 1) 346

... without Bing there is no competition.

The Search Engine market is HUGE. Yahoo's been around forever, and the only way that google ousted them was by having a better product.

Microsoft just plain doesn't deliver to the consumer. Algorithms alone don't make a search engine. I like google because right away on the first page I get straightforward results, usually a wikipedia article, images and videos with thumbnails, news results, a pdf-to-html converter, etc. etc. etc.

First result I seem to always get on bing is ebay. Yeah, google has ads, but they don't hide them amidst the regular results, they keep them off to the side.

Google still just has a better product. Microsoft can complain about proper competition when they have a product that competes.

Comment Pseudo-agreed. (Score 1) 1142

The problem though with critical thinking is that it encourages students to challenge their teachers, and when you have standardized curricula and testing then you can't really challenge what is going to be considered "fact" on the testing. This is why critical thinking isn't really encouraged until post-secondary, when challenging your professors is part of what will give you a good grade.

Let me put it this way: let's pretend that I'm writing a Biology paper, and it comes up with a question asking about the function of adrenaline. Let's say that I recently read a peer-reviewed journal article that says it doesn't directly affect your sympathetic nervous system at all and they have studies that prove this, and that stimulation of the sympathetic nervous system is actually caused by something that is almost always secreted simultaneously as adrenaline (this is a huge hypothetical, and probably could be disproven rather easily, but for the case of this example let's pretend it's so).

So final exam, question saying "Explain the function of adrenalin" and you spend a two-page essay theorizing its other uses based on this study and looking towards other evidence gathered in support of the adrenalin-stimulates-sympathetic theory.

In High School, this would get you an 0, because the teachers marking it have to mark papers for ~1000 students and they don't have the time to verify your studying, and their standardized key shows just that it stimulates the sympathetic nervous system.

In secondary school, however, your TA only has about 150 papers to mark, and so they'll do some minor fact-checking, realize that you've now discovered this original and revolutionary theory, and quite probably give you an A.

The thing is, science isn't exact and it never is. However, so that we can actually grade the masses on their understanding of what we're pretty sure we know so far, we pretty much treat it like it is in high school.

High school isn't designed to make you think, it's designed to teach you what we think we know. The value in a post-secondary education is that it shows that you know how to actually understand and challenge a topic as opposed to just regurgitating learned information. Teaching critical thinking in high school would just confuse the majority and devalue a college education.

That being said, if you really think your kids should be learning critical thinking in high school, see if you can get them enrolled in some college-level exams, such as the AP exams. They actually do teach you a lot about critical thinking. I took three AP courses and was insanely thankful I did. Biology was especially interesting, since I got to learn DNA fingerprinting, and got to transform bacteria to become penicillin-resistant. IN HIGH SCHOOL. Also, my provincial exams became a cake-walk because I knew all I had to do for them was just memorize shit, and the _REAL_ tough exams were like a month before my provincials, where I had to critically think about things during the exam. Heck, I even came across a bunch of questions that I didn't even know the answer to before the exam, and I actually had to figure through the question to get the answer. Insanely valuable skills that paid off tenfold in first year.

Comment Not surprised in the least. (Score 1) 214

In my one experience with Tiger Direct, the following occurred:
- 1 year warranty on the product they were offering, only for me to discover once it broke that they were just reselling the manufacturer's 90-day warranty. Of course, they changed their website prior to me realizing this and I didn't get a screenshot so I couldn't report them.
- Claiming to be without duties (even at the .ca domain, with big Canadian flags saying "NO DUTY"), and when the product arrived at my door it had a $150 COD for... dum dum DAAAAAAA... duty, as they shipped from PA.
- A toll free number advertised on their CANADIAN site that only worked from the states, forcing me to call long distance to get their customer service who were essentially inept and couldn't answer any of my questions shy of "talk to the manufacturer."

Never again.

Comment If he was smart... (Score 1) 461

he kept /home on a separate partition and the upgrade is a moot process. Provided your /home drive isn't reformatted, you should feasibly be able to completely overhaul your whole system and have it look exactly as it was just before you reinstalled it. Then it's just a matter of having your local linux geek over to your house once every six months. I know a fair number of people that would do this service for friends for payment of beer.

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