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Comment I studied English and I work at Google (Score 1) 358

Getting a high mark for English (which I didn't!) was very hard work, and required rigorous thinking and incredible discipline: read, re-read, analyse, research, discuss, write about (and memorise passages from) thousands of pages from dozens of texts. Too bad some people still have odd, old-fashioned ideas about the humanities – I'd be very interested in a candidate for a software engineer job who had CS skills and a top English degree.

Comment The Chrome Dev Tools are brilliant (Score 1) 575

I've replied to a comment earlier, but I'd like to give a big thumbs-up to the Chrome Dev Tools.

The Chrome tools are great to work with and at least as powerful as any of the other browser tools -- as this blog post shows.

If you haven't used them for a while, I suggest you give them another try.

(Full disclosure -- I work for Google.)

Comment Re:Why is this surprising? (Score 1) 129

'Now, how about using Web sockets to set up some kind of P2P network whereby if someone else is viewing the same region as you are, your machines collaborate on the calculations...'
Now we're talking! And an API for that while we're at it.

Submission + - National Curriculum recommends BASIC and Logo (wordpress.com)

samdutton writes: In the ICT in Mathematics curriculum for key stages 1 & 2, BASIC and Logo are suggested as programming languages appropriate for teaching ICT skills:

http://curriculum.qcda.gov.uk/key-stages-1-and-2/learning-across-the-curriculum/ictinsubjectteaching/ictinmathematics/index.aspx#main-tab-4

Are these really still the best languages for kids?

Maybe, but I wonder if Python or JavaScript (for something else) might be a better bet now.

Comment The elephant in the room... (Score 1) 280

...is Microsoft's lack of comment on video and audio. Who cares about the aside element?

The future of HTML 5 in terms of hardware, software and the law is difficult to predict:

  • Mobile devices, gaming consoles, set-top boxes, Blu-ray players and other consumer platforms continue to take internet market share from desktop or laptop computer browsers. (It's worth remembering that Xbox 360 TV and movie downloads consume nearly half as much bandwidth as YouTube.)
  • Within the next two years, movie downloads are predicted to amount to around one billion DVDs' worth of traffic per month.
  • Under European law, Microsoft may be forced to offer users a choice of browser when they install Windows.
  • Firefox, Safari and Chrome have all had significant recent updates. All now support the video and audio elements, along with other HTML 5 technologies. This may boost market share as developers dream up more HTML 5 applications.
  • The Adobe Air platform, Microsoft Silverlight and JavaFX and other RIA platforms are competing for dominance and blur the distinction between browser and desktop applications.
  • Three increasingly popular smartphone platforms – iPhone, Palm Pre and Android – run WebKit and not Flash or Silverlight. Microsoft has, as yet, been less successful with consumers on mobile platforms.
  • If widely implemented, HTTP Live Streaming might reduce the cost of video hosting and enable segmentation and clipping.
  • Google Wave could encourage take-up of the Google Chrome browser and the forthcoming web-oriented Google OS could make the HTML media element and other HTML 5 technologies far more ubiquitous.
  • The biggest and least predictable change may come from take up (or not) of push technologies such as Comet or Web Sockets.

Comment Already on the Mac: Show Password checkbox (Score 1) 849

You already get this on Mac OS X, in some dialogs at least: a checkbox to select whether or not you want to hide the password while you're typing. Very useful when you're either not worried about the password, you're on your own, or trying to enter a slightly tricky password and not sure whether you got it right.
Education

Submission + - Are interactive whiteboards a Good Thing? (samdutton.com)

samdutton writes: "Interactive whiteboards are now installed in almost all primary and secondary schools in the UK — and that probably goes for many other countries as well.

Teachers and kids seem to love them — but are interactive whiteboards really better than blackboards, non-interactive whiteboards and 'Big Book' learning? Given the high cost of purchase, installation, maintenance and replacement — do they give value for money?

...and is it OK that (in rich countries, at least) more and more of life, including school, is now a televisual experience?"

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