Catch up on stories from the past week (and beyond) at the Slashdot story archive


Forgot your password?
DEAL: For $25 - Add A Second Phone Number To Your Smartphone for life! Use promo code SLASHDOT25. Also, Slashdot's Facebook page has a chat bot now. Message it for stories and more. Check out the new SourceForge HTML5 Internet speed test! ×

Comment Re:Is it a general computing device? (Score 1) 577

If it can load a program of your choice and run it, it's in the right area as a general purpose computing device, and if it's yours, it's PC.

This definition excludes iPads, as you can only run the programs that Apple allows. It also arguably excludes phones due to the legal restrictions on unlocking with respect to carriers, because how can it really be "yours" if someone else is capable of exerting such control over it?

Comment Re:Can we speak in clear terms? (Score 1) 412

I agree with you that the difference in standards of living is fair game. It strikes me as somewhat disingenuous to say "well, assuming that unsavoury crowd over there wasn't dragging down our scores..." and that is what the review appears to be trying to do in some respects.

But check out the things in the "also noted" summary:

There is an achievement gap between more and less disadvantaged students in every country; surprisingly, that gap is smaller in the United States than in similar post-industrial countries, and not much larger than in the very highest scoring countries.

Achievement of U.S. disadvantaged students has been rising rapidly over time, while achievement of disadvantaged students in countries to which the United States is frequently unfavorably compared – Canada, Finland and Korea, for example – has been falling rapidly.

But the highest social class students in United States do worse than their peers in other nations, and this gap widened from 2000 to 2009 on the PISA.

U.S. PISA scores are depressed partly because of a sampling flaw resulting in a disproportionate number of students from high-poverty schools among the test-takers. About 40 percent of the PISA sample in the United States was drawn from schools where half or more of the students are eligible for the free lunch program, though only 23 percent of students nationwide attend such schools.

So it seems the point is that we actually aren't doing as badly as some like to insist, and that the future isn't quite so gloomy. Well, neither of those are resoundingly optimistic statements, but hey.

Comment Re:I smell Astro-turf (Score 1) 853

How many of you pro-nuke posters would be willing to have a nuclear plant within 20 miles of were you live? How many would be willing to have the toxic waste stored on-site of the plant? I thought so.

I would be willing to have all of that far closer to me than I would like to have a coal plant, which is what nuclear would be intended to replace.

Comment No win situation (Score 1) 73

At first look at the article, I wondered how people would respond to the United States bombing the moon. Then a more careful reading highlighted that we are in fact not "bombing" the moon, to which I immediately thought, "wait, what do you mean we're not bombing the moon? Why the hell not?!"

Maybe that'll just have to be saved for a future mission.

Comment Re:Snow White Theme (Score 1) 1397

This was the theme used by a school I went to. When the school got a set of laptops the naming scheme for the new computers switched from Snow White dwarves to LotR dwarves, mostly drawing from Bilbo's company. The system was set up where you would ask for the computer you needed by name, but eventually one of the less fun loving teachers decided to give them all numbers and it seemed like the names fell out of convention. This naming scheme is probably fairly common, but it's amusing anyways.

Involving Kids In Free Software Through Games 33

SynrG writes "Platinum Arts Sandbox puts into childrens' hands the ability to role play in a 3D world and edit that world using simplified controls. The expressions on the faces of our kids as they played were priceless; both the ups and the downs. I wanted to capture this on video and share it. After having established a rapport with upstream, we took a 20 minute clip of one of our play sessions and gave a copy to them to use to help further their work. Here is the edited result. They were very pleased to have that kind of feedback and found the video valuable for determining where the software still needed improvement and to notice which aspects particularly pleased the children."
Book Reviews

PCI Compliance 115

Ben Rothke writes "It has long been rumored that manufacturers of items such as razors and batteries specifically produce their products to an inferior level in order to ensure repeat business. A similar paradox is occurring in the information security space where many are complaining that the PCI Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) is too complex and costly. What is most troubling is that such opinions are being written in periodicals and by people that should know better." Read on for the rest of Ben's review.

Slashdot Top Deals

Pound for pound, the amoeba is the most vicious animal on earth.