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Comment Re:Not the cause. (Score 1) 209

I notice this with my 12 year old son. He wants to be online and talk and chat and play games instead of doing anything that is actually connected to real people or that requires that he use his actual skills or body.

Although I've failed the Turing test a number of times, I promise you I am a real human being that is using his real human fingers to type on a real keyboard that sends real electronic impulses that are interpreted by computer hardware and software made by real people that send real network traffic over switches and routers configured by real people to servers built and maintained by real people and eventually sent back over the previously mentioned real network to be converted by real software and hardware into light that is seen with your real eyes and turned into something understandable via electrical impulses in your real brain.

If you want your son to be equipped to deal with the real world, make sure he reads books and learns to type. Everything else is finding out what you're interested in and working hard towards it.

tl;dr "What is real? How do you define real? If you're talking about what you can feel, what you can smell, what you can taste and see, then real is simply electrical signals interpreted by your brain."

Comment Re:If my clients are any indication few will notic (Score 1) 417

Many modern cars already have so many different things going on in the background that they're half driven by wire anyway. Taking this to the next step where you tell the car where to drive is progress and would likely result in many fewer dying in accidents.

Power tools are actually a great example of dumbing down things for safety's sake. The $20 drill you get at home depot that can barely go through an Ikea table isn't what people that make buildings for a living use and will do far less damage to you if your hand slips. More importantly, there are no metaphors to get with a drill. You point it at something, pull the trigger and it drills. People still manage to injure themselves on accident, as they are human. Ideally the drill would be able to look at where it's pointed at and *stop drilling* if it's looking at flesh.

Even airplanes are a great example. I have no idea how to fly a plane, but there is someone that can get paid a great deal of money to fly for me. All I have to do is figure out how to buy the damn tickets from a website somewhere (which could be made easier, really). And even pilots aren't controlling every element of the plane without assistance from a variety of computers.

Most people that use computers on a daily basis aren't computer experts. They're engineers, architects, scientists, lawyers, businesspeople, personal assistants, etc. The computers they use are tools to accomplish something. Some people get it, others don't. But forcing people to use metaphor after metaphor that has nothing to do with their jobs frequently doesn't result in someone that knows what the metaphors mean or how they interact, it simply results in someone that knows how to keep clicking a certain way until the black box gives them something the way it did in the past (at least until they upgraded it and everything moved around to make it more user friendly).

Comment Re:Sounds like hell (Score 1) 1306

I'm imagining the life you've created and how that will play out as you get older. Sitting in that efficiency staring at each other, kids sitting there wondering why you're too cheap to get a place where they don't have to stare at you 24 hours a day.

My significant other is a full time student. Living next to where she goes to college is really handy. I imagine we'll have more options in a few years when her income can be spent on something other than book and tuition. But given that neither of us want kids I'm pretty sure we'd be looking at either a 1 or 2 bedroom apartment or possibly a condo.

However, I'm not suggesting that people with kids move into the city, simply that they should consider something more dense than the suburbs. Taking my area as an example, I live in Capitol Hill in Seattle. I pay $905 a month in rent and utilities and am in an incredibly walkable area. If you're willing to live 6 miles away from downtown Seattle you can live in West Seattle and rent a 3 bedroom home for around $1600-$2000 a month *and still not need a car*. You're next to good schools, are within walking or biking distance of supermarkets and are away from all the "fun" stuff you might not want small children around while still being able to get them to the stuff you want them to experience. Want to take your kids to the Seattle Art Museum? You're one bus or bike ride away. Want to take them to some children's musical? Again, you're right there. Bike trails? Check. Want to drive 30 minutes so you can go hiking? Rent a zipcar for 5 hours (less than $50 in many cases, or $80 if you want it the whole day).

All of this may not be your thing. Which is great! People are different and should want different things. I want to experience a lot of things before I die. You really like having a lawn. But we all have choices, and your preferences don't mean that you only have the choice of living in a low density area and must drive a car everywhere. You can choose something else.

Comment Re:Sounds like a headache (Score 1) 1306

But that forumula almost presumes you can do without a car entirely, which most of us can't.

So ignore reality and create your own. ;)

Seriously though, I've been car free for years and zipcar (a car sharing service) helps a ton for those 4 times of a year when you must have a car. Other than that you just have to make lifestyle choices that make it easy to walk, bike and ride the bus.

I get that you like your lifestyle. I don't want to force you to live in the city and walk a block away to the supermarket, ride the bus 20 minutes to work, get off work and enjoy a happy hour with friends nearby, then catch an indie rock show at a dive bar and take the bus (or a taxi) home to enjoy some fine company with loved ones. Similarly, I hope you don't want to force me to have kids and live in a place that I spent the better part of my youth trying to get out of, just so they can go to a mediocre public school.

What I don't get is when people don't accept that these tradeoffs are *possible*. That I can make a middle class wage and still enjoy my life in my postage stamp sized studio with my significant other. Americans, even middle class ones, are extremely rich. We can chose what we want to spend our money and time on. And assuming that people with kids started moving into places that had some level of density we'd end up with better schools in those places with higher density. Just not big houses with lots of room for lots of crap.

And what do we really want for our kids? A place that bores the shit out of them so much that their choices are: "study like hell so they can leave" or "do drugs and fuck"? Because that is what suburban American was for myself and my friends growing up. I got out because I had good parents and was lucky. A lot of my friends didn't (even ones with good parents).


Submission + - Apple: Mac App Store hit 1M downloads in a day (networkworld.com)

alphadogg writes: Apple Friday said that more than 1 million apps were downloaded from the Mac App Store http://www.apple.com/mac/app-store/ on its first day.

The store launched Thursday at noon EST with more than 1,000 free and paid apps, and was available as part of Mac OS X 10.6.6 (a.k.a.,Snow Leopard) also released yesterday. The store leverages Apple’s iTunes app buying system that users are already so familiar with using for their iPhones and iPods, though requires a new app for access. Apple's own apps, along with those such as Angry Birds, have been among the most downloaded.

"We’re amazed at the incredible response the Mac App Store is getting," said Steve Jobs, Apple’s CEO. "Developers have done a great job bringing apps to the store and users are loving how easy and fun the Mac App Store is."

Not surprising: Hackers are already boasting http://www.informationweek.com/news/security/attacks/showArticle.jhtml?articleID=229000289&subSection=News about finding their way into the Mac App Store as well.

Submission + - College Students Lack Scientific Literacy

An anonymous reader writes: Most college students in the United States do not grasp the scientific basis of the carbon cycle – an essential skill in understanding the causes and consequences of climate change, according to research published in the January issue of BioScience. The study, whose authors include several current and former researchers from Michigan State University, calls for a new way of teaching – and, ultimately, comprehending – fundamental scientific principles such as the conservation of matter.

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