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Comment Re:I beg to differ, sir (Score 1) 340

Prototypes of a modern calculator could be coded in Java-Script or Dart and presented
on a browser.

I seriously question whether JavaScript's internal number representation would be accurate enough to implement a calculator for use in education. All numbers in JavaScript are represented as double-precision floats, which IMHO are not going to be accurate enough for engineering or science use (except, perhaps, with some very fancy footwork on the part of the developer).

Also, my understanding is that phones, tablets and the like are not allowed in classrooms precisely because their broad programmability makes it easy for students to cheat. How hard would it be for a student to flip back and forth between an app that looks like a calculator and a browser window with all the answers in it? Hardware calculators offer educators some assurance that this isn't happening.

Comment Re:No they're not... (Score 1) 622

We have 90%+ herd immunity on measles.

If that level is not sufficient, then one needs to question whether the concept of herd immunity is valid.

You're confusing statistical herd immunity with factual herd immunity. If 90% of people in the United States have herd immunity, but a particular community of 2,000 people has only a 10% vaccination rate, then there is no herd immunity within that community.

Comment Re:No they're not... (Score 5, Insightful) 622

If not, then . . . who cares?

People who can't get vaccinated for medical reasons, for instance because they're babies and too young to get the vaccine yet, or they have compromised immune systems (for one reason or another). People in these groups have to rely on otherwise healthy people to do the right thing and get vaccinated.

Comment Leaked? (Score 5, Interesting) 427

So where did Der Spiegel get these documents? On Friday, Edward Snowden accused the US government of intentionally leaking documents to The Independent that were potentially damaging, in an effort to discredit the responsible reporting being done by The Guardian and the Washington Post. He said he had never worked with nor even spoken to anyone at The Independent. Is the same thing happening here?

Comment Re:A step in the right direction! (Score 2) 496

Not always, no. There are famous quotes by people from Henry Ford to Gene Roddenberry that all come down to "people don't know what they want". And it's true, if MS asked what people wanted, 90% would say XP, solely because they're used to it.

This is actually something I think about often. Steve Jobs' "genius" was that he always told people what they wanted, then gave it to them.

Microsoft, on the other hand, always CLAIMS to make changes because "that's what people want." They do endless research to see what buttons people click after they click this or that button, and then they make those buttons bigger so they're easier to click. They arrange the Office Ribbon based on what they see people doing. Everything, EVERYTHING is based on research, both through direct surveys and blind feedback from their software running in the wild... ...and yet, when they make the changes, most people seem to respond negatively. But Microsoft won't revise its changes -- or allow a smart, Steve Jobs-like human to make the decisions -- because they have all this research, so they "know" what people want. "You say you hate this? Well you're wrong, you don't hate it, and I can prove it."

TL;DR Microsoft actually seems hamstrung by its own design methodology. It designs by committee, vote, and statistical study, rather than by inspiration -- and its slavish adherence to those methods means it has a hard time recovering from its own mistakes.

Comment Re:Misleading headline (Score 1, Insightful) 496

Actually, the Start Button does include one benefit: you can right click it to get the system administrator's menu, which has a bunch of useful stuff on it. The same menu was available in Windows 8, but you had to know it was there because there was no icon to let you know about it, and there was no way to activate it on a touchscreen.

Comment Re:Still missing an option.. (Score 2) 496

I know it's not exactly what you want, but you can still specify a default app for files, same as you always could.

Actually, it's not quite the same as you always could. Unless you explicitly right-click a file and choose "Open with...", double-clicking an unregistered file type gets you a new, Metro-ized "Choose a program" menu that doesn't fit with the rest of the desktop look and feel and it requires more clicks to get the job done.

Comment Re:Too little too late (Score 1) 496

At least 8.1 lets you use your desktop wallpaper for the start screen background, so the transition isn't as jarring.

I bought this argument until I started using it. Then I realized that I always run with my main windows maximized or tiled so that I never actually even see the desktop most of the time. So the transition is every bit as jarring, because now when I hit the Windows key I see something that looks like my desktop but none of my stuff is on it.

Comment Re:Whatever you do... (Score 1) 109

But seriously..don't come here...I like it the way it is and don't want everyone messing it up with their bad attitudes.

Oh, the irony.

How about this one: All these people who have been fleeing San Francisco because of the ridiculously high rents are just doing to Oakland what they've been bitching about "rich yuppies" doing to San Francisco for years. Meanwhile, Oakland is a city with a long history, was a pivotal hub of the civil rights movement, has traditionally been home to generations of families (mostly black), and now all of the people who have called the East Bay their home for decades are being pushed out because all of these young, affluent white twentysomethings are moving there and pushing the locals out. Many of them just moved here a few years ago and have no real connection to Oakland or the Bay Area in general (other than writing articles and blog posts about how AMAZING the Oakland arts scene is) and their so-called cultural renaissance is really just classic market-driven gentrification, displacing the culture that was already there in favor of something totally manufactured and transient. The New Oaklanders will all move away eventually, leaving nothing behind but a bunch of rusty steel sculptures and higher rents. But call me cynical.

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