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Comment What could possibly... (Score 1) 816

Obligatory: what could possibly go wrong? Surely they can't do worse than the first three episodes (heh), but I'm not holding my breath. My poor childhood memories... a dead horse that's constantly being beaten. Yeah, I know that the horse spits out dollars with each hit, but please stop hitting it... please.

Comment What's better is when the laptops replace teachers (Score 4, Interesting) 1217

Yeah, my wife taught at a high school that bought every student and teacher a Macbook Pro. Yes, Pro. At the cost of several million dollars to the school district, no less... oh, but that wasn't the REAL cost. The REAL cost was that the teachers could no longer buy books to teach with. They were supposed to use only the laptops. Oh, and at the end of the year, the school laid off 50 teachers.

They closed down one school in the district entirely, electing instead to privatize it and lay off all of the teachers to "save some money." The private company that came in was supposed to "specialize in teaching underperforming students using technology." Good luck with that... Remind me again when technology became better than books and teacher interaction for students.

Then again, I guess I can't expect much, given my state's history in education. (Hint: We're the dumbest, poorest state in the US.)

Comment Non-intrusive? (Score 2, Insightful) 295

Why is everyone saying that Steam is non-intrusive? It forces you to install it on your system and constantly whines when you don't have a net connection. Steam is only good if you have a good, reliable broadband connection. I know that encompasses most people now, but there are some people who simply don't have the option. I live in a rural area without broadband access, but *gasp* I enjoy playing games. Back when Half-Life 2 was released, I was still on dialup, and Steam was a MAJOR pain. It would work fine in offline mode for a few days, but then it would decide that it just had to authenticate online again. Unfortunately, after dialing in, Steam told me that I just HAD to download some new 200mb patch in order to play my single player game. Why? I have no idea. So this cycle would continue... some days it would be a never ending cycle of patches, since as soon as I got one finished, Steam would prompt me to download the next one. It took me months to finish a simple game due to that crapware. I have satellite now, which is marginally better because I can at least download patches, but the connection to Steam is still spotty. Besides, I shouldn't NEED to connect to play a single player game that I own. So for all of you who love singing Steam's praises, congratulations. Steam does what you want, and in your mind, the DRM is worth the hassle. That's not the case for me, so I can't support it. As an avid Civ 4 player, this is disappointing.

Scientists To Breed the Auroch From Extinction 277

ImNotARealPerson writes "Scientists in Italy are hoping to breed back from extinction the mighty auroch, a bovine species which has been extinct since 1627. The auroch weighed 2,200 pounds (1000kg) and its shoulders stood at 6'6". The beasts once roamed most of Asia and northern Africa. The animal was depicted in cave paintings and Julius Caesar described it as being a little less in size than an elephant. A member of the Consortium for Experimental Biotechnology suggests that 99% of the auroch's DNA can be recreated from genetic material found in surviving bone material. Wikipedia mentions that researchers in Poland are working on the same problem."

Comment As someone who can't get broadband... (Score 1) 140

If the government didn't foot the bill for much of the infrastructure, rural areas wouldn't have electricity or telephone service. I don't think it's a good idea to leave much of your population without access to basic utilities that everyone else takes for granted. I know someone will say "but broadband isn't necessary," but it makes life a major inconvenience (in the tech field, I can't work from home, can't use vpn, can't download updates, can't stream media, can't play online games, etc, etc). And no, moving to a new house isn't always an option. Unless you want areas of the country to fall massively behind in landing good jobs, getting a good education, and having a decent technical quality of life, you need to provide them access to some kind of low latency broadband. Besides, there are worse things for the government to spend money on.

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