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Comment Re:small asm, C, C++, python - in that order. (Score 0) 799

teaching him assembler so he knows what's actually going on.

You may think I'm crazy, but I'd go even more bare metal than that. Teach him resistors and capacitors (make weird noises through a speaker), then transistors and flip-flop logic with some projects that make LEDs blink.

Then jump asm (to learn to address the metal) to Basic/Python (to learn logic and structure and say Hello World) to C (put the two together). Use plug-together electronic kits (what radio shack used to make but is now rebranded as "Maker" type stuff or robots). The truly hands-on path worked wonders for me, kept me interested at all stages, and I tell you I was grateful to learn each new abstraction tool. My daughter is five and loves to fiddle with my scope/things on my bench; I can't wait.

The weakness in the teaching toolchain I see at the moment is the asm-teaching stage, at my young age it was the Apples and Commodores, nowdays I'm thinking microcontrollers but I haven't really looked for good intro projects yet, any particularly good specific suggestions?

Comment Unix. (Score 1) 799

The ideal programming language IMO to start him on is to make it clear that unix itself is a programming language, and show how it underlies so many modern electronic devices. Programs are functions, files are variables. I'd start by having him write some stuff for the command line. My first instinct to suggest is ruby, and I can't be objective on it but perl has always been a lot of fun for me, and then python, objectiveC, C, etc.. are all good options. Bash scripting is important to cover and mention from time to time but I'd not use it for a primary language.

The important thing is what you do with it. I don't know your son but in general the best way to grab a child's attention is by teaching them how to control something visual or audible and potentially cool. With this in mind, Javascript is another excellent choice due to the ease of changing visual elements and the natural lead-in to complexity. But there's a lot of noise between the differences of various html/css/javascript implementations so pick one and stick to it while he's learning - though a second well-chosen language would be helpful to teach generation of documents / programs / whatever in that second language.

Comment Re:If they do this.. (Score 1) 539

The original article was someone asking about problems with their dedicated server. What I guess I'm getting at is that EC2 isn't a dedicated server / VPS provider, and therefore not suitable for their use case. Which you agree with :-)

Yes, I know servers will fail. But as long as the disks still spin and haven't had crap written over them, then random VPS/dedicated server provider will be able to resurrect your box without you having to lift a finger. Which is a lot less work for you to do. I still keep backups myself :-)

Comment Re:Libertarians -- foot in mouth yet? (Score 1) 596

It is quite simple. You run out of money, get into debt and your assets are seized to pay off the debt.

You don't just "run out of money and get into debt" by accident, you run out of money and continue buying things that you cannot afford. It's not a passive-voice thing that just happens, it's an active choice that you have made. Prudence dictates that when you run out of money, you stop purchasing goods and services.

Of course, stopping that would mean admitting that you do not automatically deserve everything in life that you might want or need and therein lies the problem -- we have been raised to think that we are entitled to these things simply by virtue of existing, no effort required. Of course, making those things that we want or need requires effort and that has to come from somewhere. The universe is not so kind as to just materialize good things out of nothing more than our desire to have them.

When we get past scarcity, you can keep buying things after being out of money -- until then, you might want to stick to what you got.

Comment Better proposal for safer flying ... (Score 1) 888

... GTFO of Afghanistan and Iraq, apologize to muslims for the witch hunt and perhaps fewer of those misguided few youngsters will get funny ideas about blowing up civilians (if you believe the official accounts anyway). It's not that hard to accomplish, except for the arms industry...

Comment I gave up after the N95 (Score 1) 114

A day late and a dollar short for my money. Their interface was creaking as much as their design language five years back. I looked at an X6 today and it's basically an I phone clone, just a cheaper plasticky one. Come on nokia you need to genuinely innovate not just throw out new keypad layouts on the same old candy bar phones.

Comment Re:ponzi? (Score 3, Informative) 68

Not every MLM scheme is a ponzi scheme. They do lend themselves to shadiness, but there are some distinctions (which is why Amway, or whatever they call themselves these days, doesn't get prosecuted into oblivion).

The major distinction is, the flow of money is linked to production of something that serves a goal outside the system. In Amway's case, that would be a sale; in this case, it would be knowledge of the location of a balloon.

Comment Re:Privacy for what? (Score 1) 213

So you're saying that a clear, readable statement about privacy is more suspicious than total and complete silence on the issue? Or am I missing something? That's not really what you meant, right?

The OP wrote that "Their public statements say..." as if it was an answer to the questions and concerns in this thread. It's not, and I tried to explain why.

Google feels the need to do this because every time they offer a new service "privacy" is the very first word off everyone's lips. How many times have we all read diatribes against Latitude, Gmail, etc for lack of a clear disclosure of privacy terms before the service even goes beta? And now that Google has released clear, plain English privacy statements about a new service, it's suspicious behavior? Sounds to me like Google is giving the general public what they asked for.

Google isn't giving the public what they want, but not for lack of trying. What the public want's (as evidenced by this discussion and many similar on other sites) is to not be spied on and have issues of data privacy resolved in a sensible and stable manner. Companies making arbitrary, complicated and changing policies isn't enough. And again, it isn't just what Google does, or says, or if people trust them, but also the environment Google is working in, where others are spying and lying.

Comment Re:How about that calendar? (Score 1) 429

I liked the French Revolutionary Calendar idea.

Twelve months of exactly thirty days each.
The five leftover days at the end of the year are "free" days for partying, and sit outside the standard monthly calendar. They're yours.

It makes payroll and project planning and rent calculations simpler if every month is ALWAYS the same number of days). Leap year adjsutments are done by fiddling with the leftover days, not by changing the length of an individual month.

So if you're contracted to do a month's work, or you pay a month's rent, you don't have to worry about whether its a "long" month or a "short" month.

Comment Epic fail for the apology (Score 1) 572

This only shows that Yahoo is like a puppy -- eager to bark but not eager to bite. Show some balls and stop apologizing for something that is indeed pretty cool, out-of-the-box, and pretty damn creative for a tech conference.

First of all, this did not happen in a blue county in the United States. It happened in a country with a different set of norms. Have you ever tried doing business in Asia without entertaining your clients? If so, I'd be curious to know how that worked out. Every freaking meeting is a party! Secondly a lap dance is completely freaking harmless especially when the dancers are fully clothed and when they barely touch your body.

Well, it was a great idea but Yahoo did lobotomize it with the apology.

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