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Comment Class of 2001, California (Score 1) 632

I took APCS A in 11th grade as part of a class; I completed APCS AB through independent study under the same instructor in 12th grade. That was the extent of my formal computer education in high school.

In middle school, I completed our district-wise computer requirement, which focused entirely on typing skill. I had a computing elective for about eight weeks in 6th grade and a similar course in 7th grade. Beyond improving my typing, I didn't learn anything useful--and what improved my typing even more was email, chatting, and IM, all things I did at home and not on some ancient Apple IIe at school.

One of my elementary school teachers used computer time as a reward, but we didn't have any sort of ongoing computer class.

The vast majority of what I learned in middle and high school was learned at home, not in the classroom. Not that we didn't have fun playing Counter-Strike in the APCS lab at lunchtime, but I wouldn't call it a spectacular computing education. Our curriculum was considered stronger than most other schools in our county at the time.


Drug Testing Entire Cities at Once 562

Ellis D. Tripp writes "Researchers have developed a technique for determining what illicit drugs people might be consuming in a given area, by testing a sample from the local sewage treatment plant. As little as a teaspoonful of untreated wastewater can reveal drug use patterns in a given community. Obviously, any drugs found can't be tied to any specific user, but how much longer until the drug warriors want to deploy automatic sampling units farther upstream of the sewage treatment plant?" From the article: "one fairly affluent community scored low for illicit drugs except for cocaine. Cocaine and ecstasy tended to peak on weekends and drop on weekdays, she said, while methamphetamine and prescription drugs were steady throughout the week."

Submission + - Patent Nonsense extends to retiring a medication

CodeShark writes: "Yesterday I went to the pharmacy to pick up a new Asthma rescue inhaler for the beginning of the school year that the school keeps on hand for my daughter. Usually this requires a $10 copay for the generic — but now the generic is no longer available, leaving my only choices to be very expensive patented versions of the same medicine. When I went up on the web to find out why, I found this article from US News and World Report that just happens to explain that that Asthma inhalers no longer qualify for the "essential use" of a CFC propellant, therefore the only choices left happen to be those patented medications — even if the only difference is the propellant that delivers the albuterol from the inhaler.

Those patents don't run out until around 2012 — and it strikes me that this is more about corporate greed than it is about health, the ozone layer, or any other good reason for the FDA to make the change. Doesn't this strike you as governmental regulation gone horribly terribly wrong? And more importantly, how can we do something about it?"

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