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Comment Re:Some colleges are renting textbooks as well. (Score 3, Insightful) 398

^^^^^ THIS.

The online material for textbooks is how the textbook publishers assassinated the second-hand market. The one-time-use codes for Mastering Chemistry/Mastering Calculus/Mastering Physics/whatever are the biggest racket these criminals could have added to their already-a-racket.

Textbooks are turning into extortion.

Comment Re:What's the fascination? (Score 2, Insightful) 54

Guitar Hero, etc. are not guitar simulators. They are rock star simulators. People play guitar rhythm games for similar reasons to playing e.g. flight sims or military games -- immediate access to a role that would otherwise take years of training and luck to get, combined with the ability to use resources that even learning "The Real Thing" wouldn't get you to.

You can take flying lessons on your own, but you're never going to get to fly an F16 and blow shit up. You can enlist in the Army and be trained as infantry, but you're (very likely) not going to get to go on covert missions on a disputed island stealing Russian tanks to use against them.

You *can* learn how to play the guitar, but the vast majority of people who know how to play are never going to stand in front of a crowd of 30K people and wow them by tipping your guitar up at the right time.

The wide array of rhythm games have very little to do with music. The sooner that elitist amateur musicians like yourself get over that fact, the sooner you can accept that these games can be *fun* while not diminishing your hobby at all. Those who don't accept it can continue to feel threatened by these games and make the same tired argument you posted.


Submission + - British Toddlers Prepped to Code

Jen writes: "The Early Years Foundation Curriculum, to be installed in 2007 is a list of 'early-learning goals for all schoolchildren and schoolchildren-to-be, starting in infancy. An article in The Guardian gives some details of the plan. Of note to Slashdot, on the list for 40-60+ months is the standard "Complete a simple program on a computer." Since most of the adult population I'm aware of can't do this, it seems a pretty ambitious goal, but maybe it'll solve that upcoming coder deficit in the news a few days back."
Wireless Networking

Submission + - Military system offers worldwide cell phone access

coondoggie writes: "U.S. soldiers stationed in remote regions of Iraq and Afghanistan can flip open their Razr or LG mobile phones and place calls, thanks to a new portable cellular communications system from LGS, the U.S. government marketing arm of Alcatel-Lucent. LGS announced its Tactical Base Station Router (TacBSR), which was developed by Bell Laboratories, in February. The TacBSR is a single box that provides instant commercial cellular communications and serves as a gateway between cellular and VoIP networks. The TacBSR is available for U.S. government customers only. Applications include field deployments, disaster recovery, reverse 911, and search and rescue operations. http://www.networkworld.com/news/2007/031507-milit ary-systems-provide-instant-cell-phones.html"
The Internet

Researchers Scheming to Rebuild Internet From Scratch 254

BobB writes "Stanford University researchers have launched an initiative called the Clean Slate Design for the Internet. The project aims to make the network more secure, have higher throughput, and support better applications, all by essentially rebuilding the Internet from scratch. From the article: 'Among McKeown's cohorts on the effort is electrical engineering Professor Bernd Girod, a pioneer of Internet multimedia delivery. Vendors such as Cisco, Deutsche Telekom and NEC are also involved. The researchers already have projects underway to support their effort: Flow-level models for the future Internet; clean slate approach to wireless spectrum usage; fast dynamic optical light paths for the Internet core; and a clean slate approach to enterprise network security (Ethane).'"

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