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Comment Some Places Have Done This for Years (Score 1) 328

Where I grew up, we were required to take 2 years of a foreign language or 2 years of some form of technical education (in addition to half a year of "using computers" which was effectively a keyboarding class) in high school. The technical education could be computer programming, auto mechanics, wood shop, metal shop, etc. I graduated high school in Flint, MI back in 2003 so it's not like I went to a very well funded school district anytime recently. Hell, my younger brother took a technical design class and learned AutoCAD as a freshman at the same high school a couple years later.

Learning computer languages stimulates the same parts of the brain that learning human languages does and, unless you were going to use it right then, our high school language courses weren't very effective at teaching for retention anyway. I took a foreign language in high school for two years since I had an empty slot and needed an elective to fill it with, I almost never use it so I remember nearly nothing. I definitely remember how to code in Java, even though I only use it for a couple months every year on a specific project.

Comment Almost Prescient (Score 1) 296

I feel almost prescient in the fact that I converted most of my BTC into goods by making purchases just before 4 AM EST. I made a bit of positive cash flow and didn't end up involved in the crash. It worked out for me.

Comment Re:Translation (Score 1) 183

I'm STILL waiting for the day when the whole keyboard surface is flat-but-springy (like, oh my god, a touchscreen!) so you can type on it, hold a pen on it, or use it as a giant trackpad in the keyboard layout of your choice (numpad or trackpad? Trackpad below and center or off to one side? etc.).

Tech moves SO SLOWLY in this regard until someone spots it after many years and puts out a mass-market device like that and everyone goes "at fucking last".

So, are you talking about the Lenovo Yoga Book that ships Monday? It's effectively a dual screen tablet with the second screen switching from an onscreen keyboard to a writing/drawing/trackpad surface (with an included Wacom pen.) It's being released in two forms, an Android tablet and a Windows 10 machine with identical specs (although the Windows version is $50 more expensive, presumably due to the licensing fee.)

Comment Re:What are they talking about? (Score 1) 65

My Charter bill doesn't. I'm considering jumping to Playstation Vue for video service and was examining my bill to see how much the internet service would increase by if I dropped video service ($6/month) and I noticed that there wasn't a modem rental charge (even though there are charges for the two DVR's).

Comment Re:Cool :D (Score 2) 114

Caffeine is an insecticide, it kills insects that eat too much of the plants leaves (it's bitter too). These bees seem to have built up a tolerance large enough to get the positive effects without dying. Don't forget that a few ounces (few dozen grams) of pure caffeine is enough to kill almost any human.

Comment Re:tldr (Score 1) 75

That's how I vote in Michigan. We've used that system since 2003 without any issues. In fact, the first election I voted in after turning 18 in 2003 (some local school board thing) was the first time my county used this system so, I've never actually voted using the old punch card system we used to have.

Comment Recovery Key Encryption? (Score 1) 314

My question here is, is the recovery key at least encrypted (by whatever method) with your account password on their servers or is it in the clear to MS? If the latter is true, then that's another reason to use some other method of system encryption. If the former then, yes, it's somewhat troubling that this can't be disabled prior to uploading the key but, it's really not the worst problem.

Comment A More Local View (Score 1) 303

So, I grew up in Flint and still live in the area (though outside of the city itself now) and I just wanted to provide another viewpoint on this.

Over the last couple decades, Detroit has been raising the rates for water it sells to other communities. Many communities in Genesee county purchased water from Detroit by way of a pipeline owned by the city of Flint. These communities decided that they'd had enough, set up a new water authority, and went about getting state approval to build their own pipeline to Lake Huron for water since, in the long run, it'd be much less expensive than continuing to buy from Detroit. This pipeline is scheduled for completion in June 2016 (it's even slightly ahead of schedule right now due to unseasonably good weather).

The problem with that is, Flint's most recent contract for water from Detroit ran out in April 2014. At that time, both Flint and Detroit were run by Emergency Financial Managers appointed by the Governor and Detroit was in bankruptcy causing a conflict of interest for the state. Did Michigan want to strengthen Detroit's financial position by forcing Flint to continue buying water from them at a dramatically increased rate? Or, did the state allow Flint to switch to the Flint River as a water source for about 27 months to save money? The state, through its financial manager, decided to switch Flint to Flint River water in the interim.

Here is where the real trouble starts. There's evidence that the state informed Flint's mayor about the need for testing and possibly the adding of anti-corrosives to the water to keep it from leaching lead from pipework but, this information wasn't given to the EFM (who was actually in both executive and legislative control at the time) and it seems strange that said information wouldn't also be sent to whoever was running the actual water system. As I said before, I don't live in the city anymore so I don't tend to watch its politics all that closely now but, I do know that the city council voted to reconnect to Detroit's water system after Detroit made a more sensible offer concerning the price of said connection but, the vote was ignored by the EFM. The mayor at the time was voted out of office last month, primarily over this debacle, and I heard from my brother that the new mayor was on MSNBC last night talking about this situation.

In the meantime, Flint has reconnected to Detroit for its water supply (which they have to pay even more for since they sold the connecting pipeline to the county since the surrounding communities never switched away from Detroit in the first place), rates have gone up (my mother's bill tops $100 every month with minimal usage), and everybody is hoping that the city's water infrastructure wasn't too damaged by the corrosive river water since Flint's treatment plant is supposed to be used for everyone once the pipeline is finished.

Comment Re:The solution is obvious (Score 2) 579

You do know why the Galaxy Nexus isn't being supported anymore right? It has a TI OMAP processor and TI decided to stop supporting their CPU's when they stopped manufacturing them. Me (and the toroplus I'm using to listen to music right now) don't really like it much but, without support from the processor manufacturer to optimize drivers you can end up with a suboptimal experience. I'm using a 4.4 ROM right now and it's just not as fast as the last 4.3 update.

Comment Re:The solution is obvious (Score 1) 579

Dumfrac's noting the fact that the Galaxy Nexus is a directly supported Google device that is stuck on 4.3 because Texas Instruments stopped supporting its CPU hardware when they got out of the CPU manufacturing business. Since Google directly pushes the updates for Nexus devices, there's no manufacturer or carrier interference to speak of. However, my Galaxy Nexus is running 4.4 since I installed a ROM of it months ago.

Comment Re:"Should we go back to paper ballots?" (Score 0) 127

My first election after I turned 18 (Genesee County, Michigan 2003) was the first time they used optical scan here. It's an excellent system for its accountability. You get most of the benefits of a digital system (easier tabulation of votes/easy to tell when someone spoils a ballot) and the re-countability of paper ballots all in one system. The only issue is the paper waste and that can be alleviated by recycling the paper ballots after a set amount of time (I hope they keep them for at least two years but I don't know how long they do).

Comment Re:Clear as mud (Score 1) 8

Each year the competition is different but, this year the primary goal is to move two foot diameter balls into either a low goal for one point or a seven foot high goal for 10 points. All with a robot that isn't allowed to be more than five feet tall. There are ways to work with the teams on your alliance to score more points per ball as well as a 62 inch tall truss at mid field to shoot over for an additional 10 points. Even though I work with a high school team every year (FIRE Team #0322), some years the scoring is...interesting to try to explain. Here is an animation created by FIRST to explain this years game. It'll probably do a better job than I can.

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