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Comment Re:Well that's all interesting and good... (Score 1, Insightful) 396

But how come no story on Susan Rice having unmasked multiple people in the Trump camp. It should be noted that she stated "she didn't do it, and had no knowledge of it." And of course that was proven untrue. And now we're seeing the claims making the rounds of "It wasn't political" but why wasn't the FBI involved then? Why did she do something that was outside of the preview of her job(advise the President and consume intelligence summaries)? Why does this appear to have been a case of her setting a new precedent(the unmasking). Why were they unmasked by her, when all 3 letter agencies could do this on their own if they're conducting an investigation.

And of course, why are so many of the media silent on this. When they were all over other major events similar to this and licking their chops like a dog seeing a steak. Well you can all have fun now.

Name a media outlet that was silent on the Susan Rice story. I'll wait...

Unmasking is rare in her job, but not unprecedented. She most likely didn't know that she was unmasking Trump associates until she actually asked for them to be unmasked. Unmasking isn't something she can do without asking permission from the relevant intelligence agency.

Comment Re:oh, great (Score 1) 332

People in Africa were already slaves; they were made slaves by black people.

The first legally recognized owner of slaves, under common law, in what would become the United States was Anthony Johnson, a black man.

Until Anthony Johnson, white people purchased African slaves and treated them instead as indentured servants, who would become freed men with their own land after a certain number of years of service; white men, such as the Irish, were also indentured servants in this way. White people were the last ones into the slave trade, and white people were then the ones who ultimately ended slavery.

So, yes. There was slavery, but you never get taught the whole story.

It sounds like you're trying to lay all the blame on slavery on black people. Yes, there was slavery in Africa, but the practice expanded greatly because of white Americans. Also, saying Anthony Johnson was the first legally recognized slaveowner is tricky because his case against a slave was the first ever brought to court even though he was not the first slave owner. There is plenty of evidence of slavery before Johnson.

Comment Re:They can't dynamically figure this out? (Score 1) 164

My Surface Pro 3 dynamically figures out the time left. It will show me how much time I have left if I continue to use the computer in the same way. Light work naturally will show more time left than playing a video game.

That's exactly how it works on the Mac. It's frustrating that people can't understand that browsing the web and then switching to a videogame will change the amount of time remaining. I love the feature and will hate to see it go.

Comment Re:And this is a surprise? Why? (Score 2) 76

My school has used software like this in the past and the program we used didn't keep a log of anything. It was just to see in real-time what was happening on each student's computer. You could freeze the machines if you needed to get the attention of the class or broadcast the teacher's computer to the kids' machines. Software like this is almost essential for managing a computer class, but I would be wary if there was software that actually collected data, but that hasn't been the case in my experience.

Submission + - WikiLeaks: Clinton Campaign Advised Computer Science Education Wins Elections

theodp writes: "Computer Science is about jobs and equity in every state in America, and it wins elections," begins co-founder Ali Partovi in a leaked May 2015 email to Hillary for America CTO Stephanie Hannon and others (including LinkedIn Executive Chairman Reid Hoffman), according to WikiLeaks. "Whichever candidate embraces it first will be seen as a visionary leader when it comes to about jobs, economic growth, and America's future [...] Computer Science is real and resonates with voters (far more than 'STEM'). Computer Science helped win the recent election in Arkansas for Gov. Asa Hutchinson (R)." Brother Hadi Partovi, CEO of tech-backed, adds: "One thing to consider, *Any* time Hillary says 'STEM', if she instead said 'Computer science' she'd have more voters understand and support her [...] for winning an election, 'STEM' is not what voters react to. " The Clinton camp seemed keen on the idea. "The founders of are eager to see Hillary make statements in support of computer science education and to have us participate in the hour of code," wrote Hannon in an email to Clinton Chief Digital Strategist Teddy Goff. "I would definitely be for participating in the hour of code as POTUS did last year," replied Goff. Three months later, Hour of Code computer science tutorials were offered at a Clinton Presidential Center event celebrating back-to-school and the ex-President's birthday, which was sponsored by the Clinton Foundation in partnership with the Office of Governor Asa Hutchinson. During last December's national Hour of Code, which is run by, @HillaryClinton tweeted her support. Last July, Hadi Partovi noted that U.S. politicians are bringing K-12 computer science to the campaign trail, citing Clinton's recently released tech agenda, which vowed to "provide every student in America an opportunity to learn computer science" and "engage the private sector and nonprofits to train up to 50,000 computer science teachers in the next decade."

Submission + - Smartphones Are 'Contaminating' Family Life, Study Suggests (

An anonymous reader writes: Mobile devices like smartphones and tablets can be distracting from child-rearing, upending family routines and fueling stress in the home, a small, new study finds. Incoming communication from work, friends and the world at large is “contaminating” family mealtime, bedtime and playtime, said study lead author Dr. Jenny Radesky. She’s an assistant professor of developmental behavioral pediatrics at the University of Michigan Medical School. Her comments stem from her team’s study involving interviews with 35 parents and caregivers of young children in the Boston area. “This tension, this stress, of trying to balance newly emerging technologies with the established patterns and rituals of our lives is extremely common, and was expressed by almost all of our participants,” Radesky said. “We have to toggle between what might be stress-inducing or highly cognitively demanding mobile content and responding to our kids’ behavior,” she said. The result, said Radesky, is often a rise in parent-child tension and overall stress. Modern parents and caregivers interact with tablets, smartphones and other communication devices for about three hours a day, the study authors said in background notes. Radesky’s team previously found that when parents used mobile devices during meals they interacted less with their children, and became stressed when children tried to grab their attention away from the device. The new study included 22 mothers, nine fathers and four grandmothers. Participants were between 23 and 55 years old (average age 36) and cared for toddlers or young children up to age 8. Roughly one-third were single parents, and nearly six in 10 were white. On the plus side, many parents said that mobile devices facilitated their ability to work from home. But that could fuel anxiety, too. Some said smartphones provided access to the outside world, and alleviated some of the boredom and stress of child-rearing. On the down side, caregivers described being caught in a tug-of-war between their devices and their children.

Submission + - Facebook Guesses What's In Pictures To Help Visually Impaired ( 1

itwbennett writes: Taking the issue of bad image metadata into its own hands, starting today, Facebook will tell users of screen readers what appears in the photos on their timeline. Jeremy Kirk explains: 'To describe the images, Facebook built a computer vision system with a neural network trained to recognize a number of concepts, including places and the presence of people and objects. It analyzes each image for the presence of different elements, and then composes a short sentence describing it that is included in the web page as the 'alt' text of the image.'

Comment Re:what for? (Score 1) 57

I get that.

What I don't get is why that requires Minecraft. It seems counter-productive due to complexity. A good fraction of people don't have very good 3d imagination and would finding a top-down 2d world much easier to comprehend.

Normally I would agree with that statement. In the past I tried 2D systems such as GameMaker and other block-like languages. I tried Alice the past two years which ventured into 3D. The difference with Minecraft is the kids already know it. I took a poll of the kids on the first day of class and only 2 out of 60 had never played Minecraft. That helps quite a bit with the learning curve so we can just focus on the logic. Their final grades were also much better this year and attribute a lot of that to the engagement Minecraft provided.

Comment Re:what for? (Score 2) 57

I used it in my Computer Science courses to teach kids the basics of loops, variables, if statements, etc. before introducing them to a "real" programming language. The kids loved it and they had a much better understand of those basic programming constructs than they did in years past when I used Alice to introduce concepts. MinecraftEdu comes with "turtles" that the kids can program using a block-like language. Basically simulating the old Logo program.

Comment Re:We need a different term for this (Score 3, Interesting) 145

Pair programming is how you engage in affirmative action without having to spell it out in school policy. You pair up the students who can't/won't succeed with the students who can and will succeed. The successful student will do all the work to keep up their GPA and the shit student can coast his/her way to a passing grade. All while avoiding the political minefield that would come with forcing more girls, more people of color, or more of whatever group is the cause de jour into programming through social promotion and affirmative action.

That's pretty cynical. I use pair programming in my classes, but the kids can choose their pairs. It's not meant to give kids better grades. In fact, I usually only use it for tasks I won't be grading. It's meant so the kids can work with someone else and bounce ideas off each other to see a different perspective and hopefully gain a better understanding of CS. The kids have to take turns on the keyboard so even if one kid is a much better programmer, they are forced to talk about what to do instead of just typing all the code themselves in silence.

Comment Re:No (Score 1) 56

I've used Minecraft's redstone logic to teach my computer science students logical reasoning, which they then apply to actual computer programs. I know there have been many failed edutainment options in the past, but they only fail when they are not used in a thoughtful manner. I won't argue that there are probably teachers out there who just throw Minecraft at the kids and think something magic will happen, but it is an incredible tool if used thoughtfully.

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