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Comment Re:Please block portrait mode video (Score 1) 291

I absolutely agree with this; but, my guess is that it's another outcome of many people's hate for "the black bars". Depending on how old you are, you might remember how every movie used to be cropped and pan-and-scanned on VHS. It was a rarity for a movie to be presented in letterbox. So many people used to tell me how they "hated the black bars" when I was younger. I'd try to argue that cropping the film and applying panning in post was, to some degree, destroying the vision after which the movie was made. That argument didn't work very often.

So, yeah: the zoom + blurred background is probably just to put something there so the black bars aren't.

Comment Re:success (Score 1) 326

The biggest threat I see is the inability for people to parse mass media of info. Stats says violence is down but we feel like it is worse. Because we see all the worlds problems in a one hour segment every day.

I've said flavors of this many times, and I really do believe this is one of the greatest challenges we face, today. Most people just aren't naturally equipped with the meta-sense to parse this stuff and come out the other side. I have no idea what the solution is.

Comment Re: Really? How does this work? (Score 1) 117

Additionally, most Powershell commands have a long form and a set of preconfigured aliases (along with the option to define your own). For example, Get-ChildItem comes with gci, ls and dir out of the box.

When writing Powershell scripts, I usually use the long form for future maintainability and ease of understanding; but, when writing a quick script at the command prompt, I'll almost always use the short form.

Comment Re:Waste of time (Score 1) 321

I'm pretty sure YouTube doesn't send you an unencrypted stream (anyone know for sure?). I've always assumed you run their EULA-bound, DMCA-protected software in order to decrypt that stream and watch it. Easy enough to save that, of course, but you have to bypass the DRM.

Depending on the quality, but at HD+ for sure, the videos are downloaded as video and audio streams separately from public sources, without any kind of DRM. It's possible to manually grab those files and mux them locally (that's what the player is doing in real time). I used to do that before I found an acceptable local downloader program that handles that for me.

Comment Re:Something Fun, not Math (Score 1) 140

This is probably the best response I've seen. It summarizes the valuable point that there's no way high school introductory programming curriculum should have introductory-college-level-computer-science-like elements in it. (You're trying to excite the students about the possibilities of something they might not have considered before, not bore them to death and scare them off forever! If they decide to not only go into "programming", but also into "software engineering" via a degree in Computer Science, then they'll get plenty of that later on.) And, it asserts that programming that produces visual results is the most likely kind to spark interest and keep attention while tricking the students into learning by doing. (You can tell a new software engineer that this or that is the best practice and they may pay lip service and go through the motions, but until they see the need in their own code or in the course of their own work, they won't really believe you.)

I will add that it has been demonstrated time and again that framing learning in the context of a game can dramatically improve uptake. If there's any way to start with something like what rockmuelle suggested and transition into creating games, I feel like that would be the best! Providing good introductory curriculum at this level almost always will require more of the instructor in terms of planning and environment set up than it will require of the students during execution of that curriculum. Though, you wouldn't be asking if you didn't want to spend that time, I suppose.

--(a different) Chris

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