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Comment Constitutional viewpoint (Score 1) 989

Majority opinion here on /. may be that creationism/ID should at most be taught in a religion course, not a science course. However I find it interesting that nobody has commented from a constitutional or federalist viewpoint. Shouldn't the power of federal or state governments continue to be limited such that local school boards can do as they please? National or state-level standards can be established via standardized tests etc. If local school board buffoons want to teach garbage, then their students can be left to cry when they are unable to pass standardized tests and continue on to higher education outside of their localities. Sure, I'd like to teach all kids everywhere the things I believe are correct & useful, but I'd most prefer that government leave me alone to decide for myself. Nationally mandated curricula sound good in this case, but what about if that curricula also includes a strong bias toward socialism in its sections on Government & Civics? Or only highlights the evils (and not the benefits) of gun ownership? Or only presents certain sides of sensitive historical topics? Or *insert issue of your choice here* ?

Comment Not new, not nearly. (Score 1) 494

Ho hum. Electric assist bicycles have been on the streets for years over here in Japan, most often seen on the "Mama-rin" or shopping/school commute bikes used by mothers around town. Moms load them up with groceries and one or even two kids. Typically can be had for around 800-1000 USD in price. Ugly beasts but practical and popular. Por ejemplo:

http://www.yamaha-motor.jp/pas/
Social Networks

Facebook and the Merging of Games and Social Networks 40

Gamasutra has an in-depth interview with Gareth Davis, Facebook's platform manager, about how social networks and online gaming are intersecting more and more as each industry matures. He says, "There's a cultural shift towards people being willing, excited, and preferring to use their real world identities online. We all know that 10 years ago, you were as anonymous as possible online, right? And today, we spend a lot of our time putting our real world identities out there and sharing them ... And we've seen this occur on Facebook.com, where as more and more people join Facebook and your social graph is more complete, you have the ability to have these social experiences with people you've never had before, and you're playing games with people whom you didn't play games with before, with your family members, with your parents, with friends in remote locations. There's this new gaming activity happening that we believe will translate to the consoles as well."
Hardware Hacking

Submission + - Guiding a budding young hacker

SuperGus writes: I have a 5 year old who, much to my delight, is turning into quite the curious little hacker. He likes the mechanical stuff — bikes, cars, telescopes — and happily tinkers with my tools. However, he's gotten very curious about electronics, like our home-brew PCs. As a mechanical engineer I learned by analogy to physical systems, so I imagine playing with springs, dampers, and rubber bands before attempting capacitors, resistors, and batteries. In a few years I'm sure we'll have fun programming (Lego Mindstorm?) but for now I'd like to help him grasp how stuff works at the physical level. How best to help him explore electronics — stick with mechanical concepts first? Turn him loose on a simple electronics DIY kit now?
Music

Submission + - AllOfMP3 gone for good this time?

SuperGus writes: Back in June AllOfMP3 released the following statement:

"On September 1, 2006 the changes to the Russian copyright legislation will come into force. Since January 2006 the site has been making direct agreements with rightholders and authors at the same time increasing the price of the music compositions and transferring the royalties directly to the artists and record companies. The aim of AllofMP3.com is to agree with all rightholders on the prices and royalties amounts by September 1, 2006."

Starting in September MP3 stopped accepting credit cards as payment. Now it appears the site is down (at least from my country), and it's not the first time since August. Did the RIAA and BPI finally have their way with AllOfMP3? Its sister site AllTunes is still alive, but perhaps not for long?

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