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Comment Re:Already Implemented in Ontario, Canada (Score 1) 228

It's funny, my wife & I were talking about that the other day. Her cousin's kid can't do multiplication to save her life and neither of us could fathom why they dropped the multiplication table approach. Great, calculators are useful, but if you don't have one, you can't even *do* long-form multiplication if you don't have the Ten Times Table memorized. We agreed that whatever the hell the schools did, our kids are going to know their goddamn multiplication tables.

Comment Already Implemented in Ontario, Canada (Score 4, Insightful) 228

My wife is a kindergarten teacher, and over the last four years there's been a push to 'play based learning', presumably resulting from the same kind of research mentioned in the article.

By and large it seems fine, though it doesn't alleviate some of the problems they mention; specifically my wife still feels the pressure to move through the curriculum, but it's a little less clear how. Part of the 'learning through play' initiative also pushes heavily on 'self guided learning', and while all of this seems great, there's not a lot of guidance given on how to execute. I think most of us would agree that it's better if the student is interested & wants to learn the subject, but there's no real help about what to do if the student /isn't/ interested. Presumably the teacher just forces the kid to learn what has to be learned, but all the material provided leans heavily on instructing teachers not to do that.

At any rate, this is mostly just typical of governments adopting something and not thinking through how to implement fully. Still, the impression I get from my wife & her colleagues is that the ideas are good (play-based learning) but it'd have been nice if there was better instruction on how to follow through.

Comment Re:I'm actually OK with this (Score 1) 592

Fair enough, though every time this is mentioned on the news I can't help but wonder if this wasn't standard practice for the last few Secretaries of State. Do we actually *know* this is unusual? I mean, I know the Fox anchors have an orgasm every time they can talk about this, but I'd feel better knowing that this really was unusual. I honestly have no idea, and I'm suspicious only because it wouldn't be the first time political opponents made a mountain out of a mole hill.

Comment Re:Good and bad about 5X (Score 1, Interesting) 208

I would be bummed b the wireless charging removal except that its so terrible relative to the USB-C charging. The latter has quick charge: 4 hours of life in 10 minutes, and in general, is just way, way faster to charge. Wireless is nice, but it's always super sloooooooow.

Someday there'll be QuckCharge wireless, and I'll be chomping at the bit. But with USB-C (no more mangling of ports!) I really don't care about wireless anymore.

Comment Re:Women Count Too Low (Score 3, Insightful) 450

A fair point. Plus, one has to consider that if harming AM was their primary aim here, releasing the data is bad, but releasing a subset of the data that demonstrates that kind of male-to-female ratio is perhaps far worse (for AM). If the ratio was 10:1, they're providing a fair service and just not having much luck attracting women; look at all those scumbags who are trying to cheat on their wives! If the ratio is 8000:1 though, look at all those scumbags running the site who are cheating people out of money! If you wanted to put a nail in their coffin, this is a great way to do it -- out the men, embarrass them, give them call to sue AM. Then doubly embarrass them as chumps; surely that'll push a few fence-sitters over the edge.

It does make me wonder. The only way we could verify this is if a bunch of women who had accounts looked themselves up, didn't find themselves, and then self-reported. So we may never know either way on this.

Comment Re:The App Store stuff is more interesting (Score 1) 269

I think the 47% you're thinking of is sales last quarter or the North American breakdown. I remember seeing the 47% vs 46% cited, but only recently, and I remember it was not the overall figure. Worldwide, Android is sitting at something like 76.6% (it dropped 2% after the iPhone 6, and that translated into a 2% jump for Apple to 19.7%). The mobile profit numbers are inverted and wider though ;)

Beyond that, I agree with the rest of your post. I think one of the points the article was trying to make though was that standing out is difficult. Even if you make a quality app, one that most people would be willing to pay a reasonable amount, it lost in the sea of crap. Which goes back in part to your point about the knock-offs -- they're getting as much prominence as you, and they're cheaper, so why wouldn't someone try that first?

It seems clear that everyone would benefit from a system that pushed quality to the top of the search list, but so far no one has figured out a way to make that happen reliably.

Comment The App Store stuff is more interesting (Score 5, Insightful) 269

At least in the fourth article, the one posted. I read the first three and found them to be largely unconvincing. I think you can like the flat look or not, like Material Design (barely mentioned, but brought up a few times) or not, and that's cool. But one of the main thrusts of his argument in the first three articles was that the defense of these designs was riddled with 'artspeak', a nonsense language used to dissuade criticism. I don't dispute it; I like Material Design (Android user here) but having watched the Material Design sessions from I/O 2014, I definitely got annoyed at all the 'artspeak' going on from the lead guy at Google (Duarte I think his name is). What's funny is that what rubbed me the wrong way about him was how 'Apple-ish' he sounded, so go figure.

But back to the first three articles -- they seemed riddled with a different kind of 'artspeak'. Churlishing comparing the simplish people imagery from Google with Children's books and comparing Apple's design to the child who can paint like Pollock didn't feel particularly high-brow.

Still, the over-arching point that I felt was useful was that criticism is not well-received at Apple (or Google from the sounds of it). That's a point worth dwelling on, especially since Apple in particular has the reputation of having the 'zealots' come out in force whenever anyone says anything ill of Apple. It was quite interesting to hear in the fourth article that -- unless I misunderstood it? -- there's someone at Apple whose job is to rile up the crazies when they get wind of that kind of thing on the interwebz.

But ultimately, the discussion about the problems of the App Store is more interesting. The 'race to the bottom' is something anyone with half a brain can see, and anyone who's a developer looks at that and must feel some gnawing fear. Maybe I'm wrong, but I feel like we're all pushed to mobile (if you're not on mobile, you're out of touch!) and when I look at the market, it gives me the willies. I don't think the Google Play Store is doing any better in that regard either. Worse, I don't have the foggiest idea of how to correct the problem, not even one that would take Herculean effort from either company to employ.

Comment Hold On (Score 5, Insightful) 271

If I'm reading the article correctly, the information that says that ads in the Facebook style are far more effective than Google's comes from...a study by Facebook. Gee, that seems totally unbiased and could in no way be slanted by them to help them convince potential advertisers to sign up. All of this seems very bizarre after reading -- for years -- about how the Facebook ad model is so deeply flawed.

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