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Comment My recollection of Kindergarten, circa 1986 (Score 3, Insightful) 228

We had only half-day kindergarten. We went outside at least twice a day. During the day, we sang songs, did water coloring, played with clay, construction paper and scissors, the sandbox, sock puppets. There was lots of arts and crafts. There was always story time, where our teacher would read aloud to us. The only academic work I can ever recall was studying the alphabet, learning how to count to ten, how to count money, and learning how to write our name.

I still work in a school, in Minnesota, and now kindergarten is full day. Kids are expected to learn how to read. They do lots of worksheets, spelling tests, spend time learning how to use computers, and learn basic adding and subtracting. There's also lots of social behavior practice (how to stand in lines, how to be quiet and raise your hand, how to take turns, not interrupt others, etc.) And writing...lots and lots of writing. Long story short, what I covered in 1st grade 30 years ago is now what is expected in Kindergarten. Play is a thing of the past.

At this rate, expect them to be bringing home Algebra textbooks by the turn of the century.

Comment And that's the problem (Score 1) 367

Whether it's Monsanto and RoundUp-resistant weeds, or bananas and Panama disease : Nature adapts, while man-made genes don't. If humans modify their genes, the "most-popular genes" will become a larger and larger portion of the population, leading to a lack of genetic diversity, making for a wonderful opportunity for some disease to conquer them all, or some natural change to make it difficult for that portion of the population to adapt. As it's been said before, "Nature finds a way."

Comment Re:Publishing mediums have changed (Score 1) 465

You want the old, print media publisher rules to apply.

Can't they? Twitter doesn't allow child porn; they seem to do a good job policing that. What if Twitter had said, "Well, I guess we can't do anything about child porn, because, well, we're Twitter." Even in the digital realm we can establish and enforce limits.

I work in school districts where kids everyday get bullied into oblivion, the majority of it of the digital form. To see them brought to tears because they're called the worst of names from cowards who would never say such things to their face leads me to believe that there must be a better solution than tolerating this filth. Because, if we don't, any of us could just as easily become the target one day.

Comment Publishing mediums have changed (Score 2, Interesting) 465

But publishing standards should not.

What anyone posts on Twitter is, by every definition of the word, publishing. So, if People Magazine makes a statement like, "Pollux is a child molester," they are making an untrue public statement that may easily be subject to a libel suit. Trolls everyday on Twitter say the same, so why don't we hold Twitter to the same standard? They are the medium and should be held as equally responsible as any paper printing of the same libelous statement.

"We'll do it if we believe we are required to by law." No, you aren't.

Comment I can't tell if you're trolling or not... (Score 1) 1145

Because I know there are tens of millions, if not at least a hundred million Americans, that believe your statement sincerely. I even have a few family members that have espoused such sentiments. And so I will reply accordingly.

We Americans have been bred to honor and respect property rights. It is ingrained so deeply, even so far as our honorable Constitution itself, that the hard-working-man's "honest wages" are as sanctimonious as Holy Communion in the eyes of the red, white, and blue. So, no matter how absurd and adulterous ones income, I understand that taking money from those that "work hard" to distribute among those that "hardly work" is no different than the priest taking a piss into the chalice as his way of blessing the wine.

I get it. Really, I do.

But I just have one question for you: Are you OK with 20 people in our nation controlling more wealth than one hundred and fifty five million? Are you -really- OK with this? Because that's where our continued ignorance and/or unwillingness has gotten us. Your bull-headedness is putting the ridiculous wealth of 20 individuals in our nation ahead of the general welfare of 155 million. In any other nation throughout the course of human history, this level of wealth unbalance has instigated violent revolt and revolution among the masses. And it's only a matter of time before it happens here, as long as people like you continue to believe what you've just said.

Comment If you own an Acer G73j... (Score 2) 126

...let me save you some time. Don't bother updating the laptop to Windows 10. It has driver compatibility issues that cause the laptop to freeze minutes after you boot the machine.

My mom has one, and I spent six hours over the 4th of July weekend trying to upgrade it. After a bunch of searching online, I came to the conclusion that some geeky workarounds like disabling the network port and using unsigned drivers was just not the right solution for mother. Instead, I just installed an SSD into the spare drive bay and installed a fresh copy of Windows 7. She says it runs like a brand new laptop. I figure that will buy her another two, maybe three years.

Comment Easier said than done (Score 2) 259

Never ever believe anything you hear... and only half of what you see.

It would be nice if we were all capable of being skeptics to the truth. Unfortunately, we're not physiologically built for that. As Wired Magazine explained so well in an article back in 2009, our dorsolateral prefrontal cortex filters out information it determines to be unnecessary, including information that does not agree with our perception of the world. The vast majority of people do not understand this, so they naturally prefer to listen and associate themselves with information that only reinforces their world view, rather than challenge it.

So, yes, if the leader of a British political party says that being an EU member has a bad return on investment, and enough people feel that is true, then the society will not challenge that viewpoint. Even when individuals like John Oliver thoroughly debunk those perceptions, those opposing viewpoints are dismissed quicker than you can type "> /dev/null". And it's why, no matter how many times Donald Trump praises the leadership qualities of despots, he still has a much stronger chance than he should at becoming president. All it takes is enough people to "feel" that he's the better candidate.

Comment Some purposeful changes in PC designs (Score 4, Interesting) 75

I'm just now in the process of replacing PCs in our school. We're buying Dell Micro PC's that you can mount immediately behind your monitor. When we throw in a SSD and fast-booting the BIOS, boot time for Windows 7 is less than 10 seconds.

Now that PCs are smaller and faster, and electronic storage is becoming standard, it doesn't surprise me that they're becoming more appealing again.

Comment There's a simple answer (Score 5, Informative) 205

Sue Amazon. Well, get a patent on your product first, then sell it on Amazon, -then- sue Amazon for selling items that infringe on your patent. Wouldn't be the first time.

A related anecdote...Back in 2014, I received a solicited free iPad case to try that was a Griffin case knockoff. Looked exactly the same, just missing the logo, and $40 cheaper. I was interested, but curious why it was the exact same case w/o the cost. Long story short, the guy went right to Griffin's suppliers in China and paid them to make the exact same case for his company. His mistake was that he setup an office in the United States, and Griffin sued him into oblivion.

Comment Insight on Chromebooks (Score 4, Informative) 18

As a technology director who finished their first year with 1:1 Chromebooks, let me share a few thoughts on touchscreens:

1) They just don't fit with the OS... Chrome wasn't designed as a touch OS. The icons & screen objects are too small. Websites render pages as full-size HTML pages, not mobile-designed pages, so text and links aren't large enough to tap in an easy way. You can flick, you can scroll, you can tap, yes. But do you need to? Only as much as you need to on a Windows 7 OS, i.e. not so much.

2) Screens are more costly to repair... Our districts has New Dell Chromebook 3120's. The touchscreen Chromebooks cost about $85 more. Replacing a broken touchscreen costs $65 more than its counterpart. Is that worth the ability to flick, scroll, and tap? Our district decided it was not.

3) Chromebooks are not getting any faster... Last year, the average 11" Chromebook shipped with an Intel Celeron N2830, clocked at 2.16GHz w/ a 7.5W TDP. This year's models (for those who have released a new model) ship with the N3050, clocked at 1.6GHz w/ a 6W TDP. The processor benchmarks a few percentage points -lower-. If you'd like a Chromebook, find a model with an Intel quad-core. (Avoid the ARM & Rockchip devices.)

4) Remember that the device will only remain active for five years, at which time Google will discontinue updating the device. So don't buy the year-old devices on discount. You'll only get 4 years of life out of them instead of five, then.

Comment Supplies in Guangdong & Shenzhen (Score 2) 231

It's the same reason why 1366x768 laptop displays aren't going away. There's a huge supply of them, they work, and they're cheap.

Guangdong and Shenzhen are mass producing cheap and common tablet parts like mad. You can find and buy them yourself on Alibaba; there's tons of cheap 8 and 16GB eMMC chips, 1GB RAM chips, and ARM processors. Companies like Samsung make higher quality and newer, pioneering products, like chips that integrate the storage & RAM together. Soon, the Chinese generics will add these to their lineup, making tablets even smaller and cheaper.

If you want something different, vote with your wallet and buy something different. Then, if enough people do, that's what will become cheap and mass-produced.

Comment That's the textbook answer (Score 1) 145

For a textbook world. But in the world we live in, things are never so clear cut. Ask a small business owner whose store was broken into whether they received justice when the perpetrator was allowed to walk after the evidence used to convict him was illegally obtained (pg. 3). Ask a woman if she receives justice when the man who rapes her is allowed to walk because illegally obtained evidence is suppressed from trial. As the previously quoted article from "The Atlantic" says, "It is highly important that we protect the constitutional rights of criminals. But it appears that we sometimes forget that the Constitution was meant to protect the rights of law-abiding citizens as well."

Comment Because society tacitly asks for it (Score 2) 145

We as a society want crime off our streets. So, we want officers to do their job as effectively and efficiently as possible. If someone's in the process of committing a crime, we want it stopped. Waiting for a warrant to get processed is time the perps have to get away and for the crime to go unpunished, and nobody wants that except the criminal.

As I've said repeatedly before, Law Comic is your friend. Borrowing from this page: "Rules are respectable. They're how things are supposed to work. But police officers sometimes see the rules as obstacles that get in the way of justice. And some criminals see the rules as handicaps they can take advantage of, to get away with it. And so, in real life, the rules are often ignored in favor of a kind of rough "street justice"." Besides, as this comic notes in a later section, most arrests get plea bargained anyways, making illegally obtained evidence a moot point.

To put it another way, ask yourself this question: What would upset you more, allowing a criminal to go free because evidence cannot be obtained legally, or arresting a criminal using evidence that was obtained illegally? (For the purpose of the question, assume the person has indeed committed a crime.)

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