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Submission + - HackerBoxes - Monthly Subscription Box for Electronics, Computers, and Makers (

An anonymous reader writes: Currently live with a Kickstarter Campaign, HackerBoxes is a monthly subscription box (kinda like Loot Crate) but comprising surprises for electronics hobbyists, computer geeks, makers, and hackers. Kits, tools, toys, and goodies to include projects like: Single Board Computers (e.g. Arduino, Raspberry Pi, BeagleBone, CHIP), Retro Gaming (such as Uzebox or Hydra), Morse Code Keyer/Decoder, Hacker Multi-Bus-Tool (like the Bus Pirate), Digital Oscilloscope, RF or Laser Communications, DSP, RFID for Geocaching of General Tagging, Analog/Digital/Microcontroller Circuit Exploration Lab, Robot Platform (turtle, line tracer, avoidance nav), Logic Analyzer, Pseudorandom Number Generator, Cipher Box, Software Defined Radio (SDR) Transceiver, Controllable LED grids and cubes, Audio Synth and Sequencer (a la Groovesizer), Brainwave Light and Sound Machine, and so forth. Hack the Planet!

Comment "Real world" problems require "real world" problem (Score 1) 330

It depends on what your course is, but if you want them to solve problems in a real world setting, you give them real world problems. Last time I checked, even with the vast amount of information that's available on the internet, there are still problems out there that need solving. Offer those up.

If you simply ask them to solve equations, that's not really solving problems in the real world. But if you ask them to design a bridge/circuit, that's something else. The problems should also be open-ended. If you have simple questions with only answer, that's easy to cheat. But having open-ended questions with multiple paths and/or multiple solutions makes it much more difficult to cheat. (And are probably better examples of real world situations.)

The more steps that need to be taken, the more 'samples' you have to see if people are simply rote cheating or not. If I'm solving an equation and I need twenty steps, and someone else does it in the same twenty steps - guess what? One of us copied off of the other. Even if they are smart enough to not copy all twenty steps verbatim, that still requires some level of intelligence. :)

As the likelihood of catching someone cheating decreases, the penalty should likewise increase. Just make it clear that if you're caught cheating, you get a zero on the exam, and it doesn't matter if you were the person doing the copying or being copied from.


Submission + - Adobe releases PDF to ISO, now a standard

Randall Bennett writes: "Adobe's PDF format has long been consdiered the standard for moving print-quality documents around the interwebs... and now it looks like the successor to the Fax machine will be heading away from Adobe's stable, and will become a standardized format. They're giving the spec to ISO, and now ISO will control the future of the portable document format"
PC Games (Games)

Submission + - Vanguard:Saga of Heroes Releases Today

An anonymous reader writes: Sigil Games Online and SOE finally released Vanguard today. I've been playing the pre-release the last few days and it's actually really fun. I scoffed at SOE and the idea of diplomacy in a game but Sigil has done something with it I've never seen before. They made it a card game...within a game. This will have to be the standard for other games in the future. Well, I'm goin' back in.

Water From Wind 411

ghostcorps recommends a writeup in The Australian by columnist Phillip Adams about a new windmill design that extracts water from air. The article gives few details of how it works, because patent protection is not yet in place, but what is revealed sounds promising. "[Max] Whisson's design has many blades, each as aerodynamic as an aircraft wing, and each employing 'lift' to get the device spinning... They don't face into the wind like a conventional windmill; they're arranged vertically, within an elegant column, and take the wind from any direction... The secret of Max's design is how his windmills, whirring away in the merest hint of a wind, cool the air as it passes by... With three or four of Max's magical machines on hills at our farm we could fill the tanks and troughs, and weather the drought. One small Whisson windmill on the roof of a suburban house could keep your taps flowing. Biggies on office buildings, whoppers on skyscrapers, could give independence from the city's water supply. And plonk a few hundred in marginal outback land — specifically to water tree-lots — and you could start to improve local rainfall."
It's funny.  Laugh.

Submission + - Your Favorite Comic Strip?

russfeld writes: Dilbert Far Side Calvin and Hobbes Garfield Zits Doonesbury Foxtrot Boondocks Peanuts CoyboyNeal's World

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