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Comment Re:Nuclear dangers... (Score 0) 125

No, you're not welcome to go live in Fukushima. First, it's almost impossible to get a residency visa to live in Japan, unless you are being sponsored for a job that nobody in Japan can do. There aren't any of these jobs in Fukushima. Second, even if you do manage to get a visa, the government has forcibly evacuated the area around Fukushima and is not allowing residents to return. The odds of a new resident being allowed to move into the area are zero.

All up, even well informed people, who are willing to accept the risks (if any) of low level radiation exposure, are not allowed to live in Fukushima. It must really suck for the people who were forced to leave their lives behind.

Comment Re:the androidness of it all (Score 1) 303

I followed a similar path to you when my n900 died, but one thing that I've never managed to get android to do well is multitasking. I loved that on my n900 I could leave any application actually running in the background for as long as I wanted, but on Android it will be tombstoned after a while if I'm using a different app. For example, I haven't found a way to keep Firefox from reloading all of it's tabs after a long pone call. Have any of your mods to Android made a difference with this?

4 Microsoft Engineers Predicted DRM Would Fail 10 Years Ago 142

An anonymous reader writes "Ars is running an article about a paper written just over a decade ago by four engineers at Microsoft. In it, they talk about the darknet, and how it applies to distributing content online. They correctly predicted the uselessness of DRM: 'In the presence of an infinitely efficient darknet — which allows instantaneous transmission of objects to all interested users — even sophisticated DRM systems are inherently ineffective.' The paper's lead author, Peter Biddle, said he almost got fired over the paper at the time. 'Biddle tried to get buy-in from senior Microsoft executives prior to releasing the paper. But he says they didn't really understand the paper's implications — and particularly how it could strain relationships with content companies — until after it was released. Once the paper was released, Microsoft's got stuck in bureaucratic paralysis. Redmond neither repudiated Biddle's paper nor allowed him to publicly defend it.' The paper itself is available in .DOC format."

Submission + - Lasers to replace sparkplugs in engines? (scienceblog.com) 2

An anonymous reader writes: For more than 150 years, spark plugs have powered internal combustion engines. Automakers are now getting close to being able to replace this long-standing technology with laser igniters, which should enable cleaner, more efficient, and more economical vehicles. Price and size have been issues holding up such an advance, but a Japanese team is set to announce they've overcome those hurdles.

Submission + - Honest Achmed wants to sell certificates (mozilla.org)

crabel writes: "Honest Achmed", from "Honest Achmed's Used Cars and Certificates" has asked Mozilla to add his CA root certificate. Honest Achmed plans to authorise certificate issuance by at least, but not limited to, his cousin Osman, his uncles Mehmet and Iskender, and possibly his cousin's friend Emin.

His business plan is to sell sell bucketloads of other certificates, make a lot of money and become too big too fail.

For some odd reason, his request was denied...


Submission + - Graphene Super Paper is 10x Stronger Than Steel (inhabitat.com) 1

Elliot Chang writes: The University of Technology in Sydney recently unveiled a new type of graphene nano paper that is ten times stronger than a sheet of steel. Composed of processed and pressed graphite, the material is as thin as a sheet of paper yet incredible durable — this strength and thinness gives it remarkable applications in many industries, and it is completely recyclable to boot.

Submission + - Nokia - no more Symbian phones after 2012 (i-programmer.info) 1

mikejuk writes: After the decision to go with Windows Phone 7 it has been obvious that the fate of the Symbian Phone — the phone that sold more than iPhone or Android — wasn't good. However where there is life there is hope and some developers and users clung to the hope that there might be more Symbian phones in the future. Perhaps they could coexist with Nokia Windows Phone 7 devices. Now, in a open letter to developers Nokia have made it clear that they will create no more Symbian phones after 2012 and they will just wait for the old phones to fade way while trying to sell Windows Phones to the existing users.
The Media

Why Paywalls Are Good, But NYT's Is Flawed 256

GMGruman writes "The New York Times has taken a lot of heat for daring to start charging for its product. (What nerve! Imagine if grocery stores, phone companies, or even employees began charging for their wares!) But the problem, InfoWorld columnist Galen Gruman argues, is that its paywall is poorly designed. It encourages unpaid usage in massive quantities via Twitter and other feeds, undermining its very purpose, and it makes multiple-device mobile users — the growing population — pay more than anyone else. Both should be fixed. But the more troubling underlying issue is that the Internet has devalued content nearly to the point where the business reason to create it is disappearing. In mobile, there's a chance to fix that, but in the way is not just the Web's free-loader mentality but the pricing of carriers for data transport that take a larger chunk out of people's budgets than they should, making it that much harder for people to pony up for the value of the content they get through those carriers' pipes."
United Kingdom

Submission + - UK union boss proposes email tax (telegraph.co.uk)

Squiff writes: We've heard of initiatives like this before, but surely this one takes some beating: Hard left UK rail union leader Bob Crow has proposed a penny tax on every email in an effort to reduce the UK national debt. Despite his comments apparently being made on a comedy show, we understand that he was not joking. This may be a development of Mr Crow's proposal last year for a similar tax on SMS text messages (http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/2010/dec/19/bob-crow-rmt-tax-text-messages)- which was quickly shown to be inadequate to address the size of the deficit. Maybe someone should tell him about UK uncut (http://www.ukuncut.org.uk/)?

Submission + - Madden picked the packers before the season starts (wired.com)

Just_Say_Duhhh writes: Before the NFL Season started, the guys at EA Sports simulated the entire season using Madden 2011. The sim told them the Packers would win the Super Bowl. If only we had listened. What's even more interesting is that according to the article, they've picked the winner 6 of the last 7 years. Make that 7 out of 8!

Submission + - Book Review: Moodle 1.9 Top Extensions Cookbook (packtpub.com)

KWay writes: Book Review: Moodle 1.9 Top Extensions Cookbook
Author: Michael de Raadt

Michael de Raadt has written a book (published by PacktPub) that can assist in identifying the most appropriate Moodle modules for your need, along with directions for installing and configuring the modules. As well, there are instructions for uninstalling modules in case they’re not what you want. This can be of great value since there are hundreds of modules available for various versions of Moodle. In addition, given the transition period from Moodle 1.9 to Moodle 2.0, it’s wise to give consideration to whether that module will be upgraded for Moodle 2.0.

This book is for anyone wanting to install and configure particular Moodle modules and plug-ins for their Moodle site or course, particularly a non-tech person like me. The step-by-step instructions are easy to follow and progress in an easy to implement pattern. The material covered in this book is very empowering, particularly for someone new to tech issues in Moodle. The extensions suggested by the author are certainly useful in creating dynamic differentiated learning environments. As well, course design tips and tricks are included so you can get the most out of your online classroom environment.

Chapter 1: Getting Modular with Moodle begins with the installation of Moodle on a test server to provide a place to play in your own Moodle. This allows you to add whatever modules, plug-ins, and courses with which you choose to experiment. Be sure to check that the modules and plug-ins that you want to install are compatible with your version of Moodle.

Chapter 2: Adding Content describes using the modules and plug-ins that have been installed. This is the longest chapter in the book and is well-packed with solid step-by-step instructions in the use of each activity or block module discussed. The use of some of these modules, such as emboodle and Flash video, allow for the embedding of rich media into a course. After explaining how to add content to each type of module, the author also provides a short list of practical purposes for each module.

Chapter 3: Connecting to the Outside World explains how to use particular modules to create experiences for your students outside of your online course with links inside your course. Links to web services, such as Google Translator and Search, Wikipedia, and Twitter, are covered. The advantages and disadvantages of the outside resources are addressed in the chapter.

Chapter 4: Getting Around in Moodle is a very important chapter and based on the chapter’s title I wondered why this information wasn’t presented at the very beginning of the book. Navigating one’s way around a Moodle site and in a course can potentially be a frustrating experience for someone new to Moodle. This chapter is not about navigating one’s way around Moodle, it’s about using extensions to create effective navigation functions, especially to assist the newbie and every day user. In addition, the author provides information on block modules that will ease navigation on a Moodle home page and in a course.

Chapter 5: Effective Use of Space continues to provide information on extensions that assist in creating a course design that provides for efficient navigation while also drawing students’ attention to important content. The author explains the use of blocks for links to content that is helpful to access throughout the course. He also discusses the benefit of nesting content using the Topics Tree format so that instead of Topics appearing in order when scrolling down the screen, the content is collapsed. Likewise, the use of Topics or Weekly Tabs can create an uncluttered look upon entering a course. For courses with a lengthy duration the use of monthly sections can be used.

Chapter 6: Assessing Students begins with the standard and conventional modules of assessment but with engaging exercises, such as a drag-and-drop matching quiz. The chapter details use of the Peer Review module which is a simpler version of the Workshop module, written by the author himself. This activity requires students to use higher order thinking skills, such as critical thinking, to evaluate their peers’ work. The teacher maintains the final say in the grade in case conflicts in peer reviews occur. To broaden the application of assessment, the author describes the audio assessment tool NanoGong.

Chapter 7: Organizing Students is about how to use modules for effective and efficient engagement. Modules discussed include those that allow students, and others involved in a Moodle site, to be placed into groups, such as a peer group for students working collaboratively, and using the My Peers block module. Another great module for organizing students is the Progress Bar block module that can assist them in developing time management skills. The author created this module and amply discusses how it functions.

Chapter 8: Encouraging Student Interaction through collaboration explains the use of the following block modules for Moodle: (1) Mindmap; (2) Social bookmarking; (3) Shoutout box; (4) Chat users; (5) Active Forums; and (6) Latest Blog Entries. Each of the modules has unique features and, if used appropriately, can create meaningful communication and engaging interaction.

Chapter 9: Informing Students is devoted to creating an online classroom community of learners to avoid feelings of isolation due to lack of face-to-face contact. My preferences for the modules explained for general communication in the Moodle online environment include FN-Announcements block and Online Users Google Map block, and I’m looking to add the Rate a Course block in the future.

Chapter 10: Handy Tools for Teachers is a thoughtful discussion about making a teacher’s work easier. Some of the terrific modules mentioned to make that happen include the Sharing Cart block for cloning activities and resources, Quickfind User List, and other blocks that provide data on user usage. Thanks!

Chapter 11: Just for Fun is just that – modules that are just for fun! If your students don’t mind, you can announce birthdays with the Birthday block. There is always fun to be found while using emoticons which is one of my favorite ways to communicate and lends credence to the saying “A picture is worth a thousand words.” Using a theme other than the standard Moodle theme can allow for the site to reflect you and brand your site. Certificates for completion of a course (or a project) are an excellent reward for diligent work in a course. Finally, having the Game module can allow students to just have fun!

In summary, this is a good book if you’re looking to create an effective and engaging homepage or course in Moodle, particularly if you’re new to Moodle or are stuck in the same old patterns of design. The author provides thorough instructions with screenshots that present ideas about how to use Moodle extensions effectively. I would recommend this book as a resource for course design if you are a site Administrator or a teacher.

~ The End ~

The book is available for purchase at the following sites:
www.amazon.com – take a look inside!


Submission + - Android Tablets Were Born Too Soon

adeelarshad82 writes: When you look at the Apple iPad's sales figures, it's not hard to see why every technology company on the planet is jumping on the tablet bandwagon, alot of which are Android tablets. Unfortunatley though, some of these Android tablets were born way too early. They are haunted with a series of problems including flimsy hardware, low-quality resistive touch screens, serious display resolution issues, and old Android versions with limited or non-existent access to apps. Even the Samsung Galaxy Tab came well before it's time. Even though it's fast, well-designed, and comes with a decent Android implementation, it's functionalities are limited to those of an Android smartphone. So here's to hoping that Honeycomb's functionalities make up for the lost ground.

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