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Comment timing is everything (Score 1) 515

Our early programming experiences are dictated by the tech when we first start.

For me it was basic on apple ][+ in K-6 and then logo.

The real learning began in Jr. High when I wanted to do more than draw on the screen, and had to figure out how to get user input, and how to use procedures/functions.

Later in college I nearly quit programming due to a bullshit pascal course that was way to heavy on computer history, with the repeat I got lucky with a professor who didn't spoon feed us, but gave us enough so we could figure things out.

Those lucky enough to have gifted teachers/professors and/or who have the fortitude to put in the work will definitely benefit.

Comment Early exposure to programming (Score 2) 125

My school district provided early exposure via apple II computers. They showed up one summer with an extracurricular summer workshop and then one to two per classroom, and a computer lab in Jr. High. And while there was an Atari computer at home, I basically had all of my meaningful early exposure to programming via the school district, and the teachers who were willing to spend extra time learning about and then sharing how to use them. Starting at probably age 8 or 9, I used basic and then later logo. The logo continuing off and on until 8th grade when I was using functions/procedures, getting user input, redrawing the screen, etc. By 8th grade my programming was beyond the scope of the curriculum or programming knowledge of the teacher. These skills then lay dormant for 4-5 years resurfacing in college with the first two years of CS course work. Which then led to computer support employment and then high end systems/networking employment.

It is impossible to attribute my skills to nature v. nurture, but I believe that any meaningful early exposure to computer languages, problem solving, or independent exploration of programming to solve a problem or provide something new is a worthwhile investment.

Comment Vegetarian (Score 3, Interesting) 291

Hate to be the one to point out the obvious... but the solution is not in changing the meat it is in reducing and/or eliminating the meat. A very large part of world has done very well for a very long time on limited or no meat, eating beans and rice, lentils and rice, and tofu and rice. Meat requires vast quantities of water, creates vast quantities of waste, and is a huge caloric loss if you are feeding the animal grains or other foodstuffs that humans can eat directly. Beef being the worst offender for water use, and pollution.


Submission + - Dangerous Prototypes: Open Source Hardware Seeding (

MojoKid writes: "Dangerous Prototypes is a two-year old organization with the stated mission of producing "one new open source project every month." In its nearly two years in existence, DP has created about 30 projects, such as the Flash Destroyer. All are being sold by another interesting company, Seeed Studio. Seeed is a contract manufacturing/sales channel for hire. It helps hardware designers get their ideas manufactured in China and sold worldwide. If you have a completed project, Seeed has a service called Propagate for manufacturing small quantities (100+) of open source hardware."

Comment Behavior modification (Score 1) 619

If you do anything to correct the situation, you are reinforcing the bad behavior, and it will continue to happen with greater frequency.

You actually get punished more for trying to do the right thing.

You should just delete them, mark as spam, etc.

From a behavior stand point you would want to avoid reinforcing the behavior, and possibly also identify a way to punish the behavior -- one could do the wrong thing and publish them online, which might be a punishment (while probably technically legal, this behavior could increase the frequency with which you interact with lawyers).

In my case, someone has the same name modulo middle name, and his gmail is one character more than mine, so I get a few of their emails a month, at first I tried to respond to the sender, or forward them along, but it just kept happening so I now I delete them or mark them as spam.


Submission + - Dark Side of Android (

An anonymous reader writes: The dark side of android is that carriers/manufacturers can abandon phones/users/customers without having to release the source or host/assist customer upgrade efforts. This issue is very prominently typified by the Motorola I1 debacle.

In late spring of 2010 Motorola released an Android 1.5 IDEN push-to-talk phone, and the masses obviously wanted and expected an Android update as apps for the 1.5 were already dwindiing. Then in Feb 2011 it was announced that the i1 would remain version 1.5 forever. This PR nightmare is evident on the official Motorola support forums with a thread that topped out at 682 posts before being locked by the admins. The thread had morphed into a place to vent frustrations with Motorola/Boost and to discuss options for custom firmware for the abandoned phone.

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