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The Real 'Stuff White People Like' 286

Here's an interesting and funny look at 526,000 OkCupid users, divided into groups by race and gender and all the the things each groups says it likes or is interested in. While it is far from being definitive, the groupings give a glimpse of what makes each culture unique. According to the results, white men like nothing better than Tom Clancy, Van Halen, and golfing.

Google Wants To Be Your Electricity Meter 206

An anonymous reader writes "Google has teamed up with microcontroller maker Microchip to develop an API for a piece of software called Google PowerMeter, according this EE Times story. Why? Because Google wants to host all the details of the electricity and other energy consumption of people's homes. It wants to do this so that it can show people on their iGoogle homepages when and where they are consuming energy so that they can start to reduce their power consumption. The good news is that it is an opt-in service and free so you don't have to make Google your energy-monitor if you don't want to do so."

Comment Re:I call bullshit (Score 1) 1345

The argument isn't that a random parent can teach better than a professional teacher, it is:
"Can a parent can teach one student in whom they are personally invested to the level a professional teacher can teach a particular student in a class of thirty without a personal involvement in that student."

Think of your parents' cooking vs. a cafeteria chef's cooking. The chef is better trained, has better equipment, more experience, and recipes prepared by experts, but almost all of that advantage is wasted on you because they have to cook for hundreds of people, not just a family of four. Yes, there are some people who just shouldn't cook, but I don't think that writing off all home cooking because of your aunt who only makes fried bologna is fair.

Comment I was 'Unschooled' (Score 1) 1345

It was a fantastic experience. I don't think there was a name for it when we started--I've been using the name retroactively since I've learned about it because it describes what I grew up with better than anything I could come up with.

When my mother decided that we needed to know US geography, my mother, my sister, my brother and I got in our beat-up minivan and drove the US for two months, camping and eating PB&J out of a cooler. I may not know the capitol of New Mexico, but I know the climate, and the geography, and what the cities are like, and what the people look like. If I need statistics or facts, I can look them up. Looking things up was a bit part of unschooling--we spent hours every week in the library, learning how to use the reference section, learning how to find information, and how to compare resources.

Math was the hardest part to learn--my parents were not math people, and they ran out of things to teach me at about algebra. But I was interested, and so they found a local engineer who agreed to tutor me before work in exchange for cutting his grass every week. He taught me out of the same textbook I used later in college, and he chose harder practice problems than my professor did.

By state law we were required to take standardized testing every other year, and we actually did it every year--all of my siblings scored above the 60th percentile in everything, and above the 90th percentile in most things.

It had down-sides, of course. When I went away to college, I didn't know how to take notes or format papers, and sitting through a two hour lecture was painfully boring and unproductive--I'd learn more by reading the textbook in class than I would listening. The upside was that I knew how to learn things, and how to motivate myself to get things accomplished. My grades were not great--that's a problem with unschoolers, because you haven't been taught to be motivated by letter grades. You learn things to learn them, and if you feel like you've learned something, jumping through hoops to please a professor doesn't seem like a useful way to spend your time. I got an A in any class I cared about, and a B- in any class I didn't--that was my threshold for 'passing'.

Unstopping can be very productive, and is a valid way to learn things, if it's 'taught' by someone who is curious themselves and is willing to try things. You have to grow up, I think, in a household that values education and learning for it to work, but I don't feel at all like it has held me back.

Comment Re:Config option, not all that bad (Score 2, Informative) 35

If you have a very large network and no centralized configuration manager, you're going to have a lot of problems every time any issue comes up that requires a change. Config managers don't have to be complicated or expensive (see RANCID or CatTools), but not having them inplace means a lot of needless legwork.

Comment Add the player (Score 1) 633

I would not only buy the media, but the computer as well. If you buy a cheap netbook, then you're sure she will have something to view the media on. And if it has SSD disk it will work in 16 years+. Have all the relatives store the stuff on usb disk and then pack it all air sealed.

Comment Re:"It's the Network" (Score 1) 745

Knowing Verizon:
That "Crazy shit" you speak of will be 6-9 months behind when other carriers release similar phones.

In the case of phones that Sprint also releases, the Verizon version will be crippled significantly compared to the Sprint one in addition to being behind schedule due to "network certification issues". (Translation - "we're not done crippling it yet")

Palm Treo 650 (Bluetooth DUN crippled on Verizon version, and was 9 months after Sprint)
Verizon XV6800 (An HTC device, had a diff name on Sprint - PPC-6800 maybe?) - 6+ months behind on Verizon compared to sprint for "network certification issues". I don't know what they crippled, after seeing that phrase I went to AT&T because my VZW contract was up. By the time the 6800 was released by Verizon, AT&T released the Tilt (aka HTC TyTn II) which was a generation ahead.

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