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Comment Re:WTF is happening (Score 1) 198

I think I've mentioned it before in the past, though in another context: "The Time Ships", by Stephen Baxter. It's an official sequel to H. G. Wells' "The Time Machine".

The book itself is obviously not about education, but that subject is brought about when the protagonist gets into contact with another species (which I'll not name lest I spoil the book). Basically, the approach to education for that species is that children would be taught how to seek information, and then pretty much just told to go educate themselves, seeking out whatever they want.

Of course that would be utopia for humans, because we are mostly hedonistic by nature, but all the same this idea from that book really stuck with me, and made me realize in which way our educational system is a failure: children are usually just told to memorize stuff, a big part of which they will never really use, when they really should be taught how to "think" - how to seek information, stimulate curiosity and solve problems with information they gather themselves.

Fortunately, with initiatives such as these, it seems as though this is slowly changing.

Comment Re:A prisoner could just as easily read the works. (Score 2) 527

This "plainly" here is difficult to judge. How can we be sure any unbelievable religious text wasn't some sort of "pointed political statement" or "satire"?

You're right, we can't be sure. The difference from this to the FSM cult, however (and what probably influenced the judge's ruling), is historical context - yes, we can't be sure the biblical accounts were derived as a political statement or satire, and what little historical context we have don't seem to point this way, so there's plenty of room for interpretation either by religious people or atheists.

The historical context for the FSM cult, however, is well-known, as is known that it is a political statement and satire.

Comment Re: Classic? Only if you lived in the UK. (Score 4, Interesting) 110

The thing though is - and maybe the GP was trolling and I'm falling for the bait - as far as the rest of the world that is not North America (and maybe Japan too) was concerned, the Spectrum *was* a world-wide phenomenon. He could have used the argument that the C64 was technically superior, and then there would be few people to argue that. But market-wise, as you correctly pointed out, the Spectrum beat the shit out of the C64, and not only on the UK, but most of the world.

Case in point: I'm from Brazil, we didn't have legit Spectrums here back then, but we had locally-made clones, which amounted to the same thing and ended up getting exported to all of South America, and you know what? The only way anyone on Latin America knew the C64 actually existed was that it was often mentioned on computer magazines, and that was it - I never knew anyone who even heard about of the C64 around here, let alone owned one. We heard a lot about the TRS-80, Apple II (or rather its clones that were produced locally), MSX and so on, and it wasn't uncommon to find users of such systems, but the C64? Nada. I understand the C64 actually managed to chew a bit more of the market on some parts of europe, but the Spectrum was still far more popular. IIRC, on Russia the situation was similar to South America, in that they had Spectrum clones, and the C64 was a computer only the US cared about.

Comment Re: So what you're telling me (Score 1) 146

I'd like to bring this discussion down a few notches and ask a more "stupid" question, to which I haven't yet seen a definite answer yet, and it looks like you guys could easily answer that. Sorry if it's a too a stupid question.

What is the performance impact of encrypting an Android device? I'm not talking necessarily about Android L, but any previous version that supports encryption (it was added on ICS, I think?). My concern in fact is with older devices, think 2012 or '13 phones. Are any of such older devices capable of hardware accelerating crypto operations (besides RNG)?

Comment Re:Ok but if that's your attitude (Score 1) 1501


The impression I'm getting here is that people is siding with Linus without really understanding what the discussion was about, and how it really unfolded. It's like people are painting the girl who started it as a diva who gets offended at cursing.

I read the whole thread though (gasp!), and it was a rather civil, insightful, and even funny discussion, at both sides of the argument. Ironically, I think the girl who started the discussion cursed even more than Linus during the discussion. Reading the thread, I've got the impression that the subject wasn't so much about cursing and being disproportionately mad at times, but just "toning it a bit down", and minding to whom Linus would burst out, and I can she has a point. The problem is, Linus tends to burst out at top-level developers (because of their greater responsibility, making mistakes for them are more damaging), and this tends to scare away inexperienced developers, while also impacting morale and reducing top-developers authority. And it's hard not to agree with that - there's only so much abuse a top-developer can take (Alan Cox anyone?).

I'm not sure I'm really siding with the girl either though, because I can see Linus has some valid reasons for acting like that, I could see *myself* acting the same way in his position, and I'm a generally a laid back guy. That's the kind of discussion that it's not all black and white.

Comment Unimpressed (Score 3, Informative) 95

There has been a lot of backlash on their blog about this: Why didn't they just go with XMPP? What their protocol have that XMPP doesn't, or couldn't be extended to support?

Personally - just a guess (also, btw, disclaimer: I'm a subscriber) - I think they're dying. Their client haven't been getting any significant development for the past year, current issues with some protocols have been going unaddressed, and new features like Lync protocol support (which there are working OSS implementations) have been going completely ignored despite many people clamoring for it.

So, they have been silent for a long time, and now this. It's fishy.

Comment Re:And STILL No 64 Bit (Score 1) 93

I agree with this argument on Windows. On OSX though, 32-bit chrome is a problem incidentally because of Java: on recent updates (past year) the 32-bit Java plugin on OSX was disabled. You can say what you want about Java, its vulnerabilities and shortcomings as a platform, but the fact is that many sites (banks or such) still require it, and that means I have to use Safari for those sites. It's not a big problem, but it's incovenient, and OSX, compared to Windows, has a much higher ratio of software and system components with 64-bit binaries than Windows, so there's very little reason to keep Chrome clinging to a legacy binary format on that platform.

Comment Re:subject (Score 2) 284

Honest question: I do have an updated PS3 (yeah slashdot, judge me). I'm not interested on pirated games, but I may be interested on homebrew stuff (emulators and stuff like that). That leak will make that possible for me?

Comment Here's prior art for you (Score 5, Informative) 214

Oh, so you want prior art?

Last update was on December 2010 - so it's a fair to assume the first version was submitted even earlier. And that's just one example I could find quickly, of course. It wouldn't surprise me it there are many more other apps (for Android or iOS alike) that does the same thing and was made before.

And yeah, as rolfwind said, just because the idea was implemented only after 10 years after Microsoft entered the smartphone market, doesn't mean it's patentable. The technology needed for this idea wasn't ubiquotous on smartphones until some 4 or 5 years ago anyway, so you should rather start making the math at that point in time.

Comment Re:Mint is nice, but... (Score 1) 114

Well, for starters, LMDE is related to Debian Testing, not Squeeze (which is currently the Stable distribution). So you should get more updated packages on LMDE vs. Squeeze, yes, and contrary to Debian, LMDE's packages should be updated more frequently and often to the latest upstream software releases.

Basically, LMDE is Debian Testing with some specific Mint packages (that usually are intended to improve and simplify user experience and add the "Mint" branding over Debian) overlayed on it. You should read my reply above to wrook detailing how on the latest snapshot releases LMDE is not really using the Debian Testing repositories directly, but you can easily make it do so and there shouldn't be any problems by doing that - I haven't tried myself though, so YMMV; I'm quite happy as it is.

Comment Re:Thanks for mentioning that (Score 2) 114

I tried using it at the end of last year and I didn't get *any* updates for the 3 or 4 months I was using it. Not even security updates.

That's because since the penultimate snapshot release of LMDE (which was at some time on the last quarter of last year) they've switched the repositories to use their own copy of a snapshot of Debian Testing, and every 5 months or so they release what they call "update packs", which is basically a more recent snapshot of Debian Testing with the packages therein more throughly tested for bugs and such. Before they started doing that, LMDE used the standard Debian Testing repositories.

The intention on having a "snapshot repository" is to try to get the best of both worlds of rolling releases distributions and version-based distributions (i.e. Ubuntu). It's certainly not perfect, but works well enough for me, I don't mind it. Anyway, the maintainers says it's fine to swap out those Mint "snapshot repositories" with the standard Debian Testing repositories on sources.conf - of course, you're more likely to stumble into problems from time to time, and hence should be prepared to work around them or muddle through with them, but it shouldn't be any more problematic than using plain Debian Testing.

Comment Mint is nice, but... (Score 5, Informative) 114

Mint is nice, and it's the Linux flavor I'm using currently (although I use LMDE, not the standard Mint) after having left Ubuntu when they transitioned to Unity. The best thing about it is that the maintainer(s) actually listen to users regarding development directions, which was what drove them to develop Cinnamon and adopt MATE as an option - as opposed to Ubuntu / Canonical, that just forced down the users' throats their ideas and UI decisions, alienating a large part of their user base in the process.

Having said that, there's still one thing that keeps me from recommending it to new users or users migrating out of Ubuntu: lack of automated upgrade procedure to newer major versions - one thing that Ubuntu has and generally works nice there. On Mint, the official procedure is to backup you files/settings using the backup tool, install the newer version from scratch on top of the existing install, and then restore the backup after. That's just too cumbersome. Yes, it's possible to upgrade without reinstalling by manually editing the sources.list file and upgrading manually with apt-get, but it's considered unsafe and error prone by the maintainers and hence not recommended. I did it anyway on a past install, and sure enough I had hiccups - I still had a working install, but there were a lot of rough edges and inconsistencies on the upgraded install. Because of that I ended up installing LMDE so I didn't have to worry about major version upgrades anymore. It's not a fully smooth ride either, but it's far more manageable, and having previous experience with Debian, I'm totally at home with it. But it's obviously not something I'd recommend to casual / new users either.

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