Want to read Slashdot from your mobile device? Point it at m.slashdot.org and keep reading!


Forgot your password?
DEAL: For $25 - Add A Second Phone Number To Your Smartphone for life! Use promo code SLASHDOT25. Also, Slashdot's Facebook page has a chat bot now. Message it for stories and more. Check out the new SourceForge HTML5 Internet speed test! ×

Comment Re:Anti-shoplift interferes with rating effectiven (Score 1) 119

Once you're looking at a particular game (or a choice among a few), it's pretty trivial to ask the Wal-Mart employee to open the case and let you flip over the box.

Assuming you can even find an electronics associate who isn't busy with another customer. Or knows anything about their department.

In my experience, a parent was either concerned about the content of a particular game ("Joey said to get BloodSlaughter 5 for his birthday - is it appropriate?"), is asking for a recommendation from the staff ("What's good for a 13 year-old boy? Uh-huh, and is there a lot of adult stuff?") or was familiar enough with the games him/herself and not in need of running down each game.

In my experience (and I've been working as a cashier the last ~7 months at a Walmart), parents usually don't give a damn. I cite the mother who sent her ~11 year old to buy his M-rated game by himself (I made him go get his mom before I made the sale... she didn't seem to understand why I needed to talk to her before making the sale). Or maybe they've just made their decision by the time they get to the register. I've really only run into one set of parents that was really knowledgeable about the rating system despite not being gamers themselves.

Comment Re:Anti-shoplift interferes with rating effectiven (Score 1) 119

Walmart keeps its console games behind locked glass.

For accuracy's sake, this is not true at all Walmarts. The one I work at doesn't keep games behind glass, and I don't think any of the other local ones do, either (that's another 4+ stores in a 1.5 hour driving radius).

They're supposed to be putting the glass back up at all stores, though. Nationwide, apparently the theft rate went up ~1000% after the glass was removed.

a parent in a Walmart store will probably look at the one-letter summary if anything.

I think it's more accurate to say that the parents just buy what their kids want. As a cashier, I have to go through the rating speech if there's a kid present and 90% of the time I get as far as "You're aware that this game has a rating of..." before I get cut off. Heck, I had one parent send her ~11 year old to buy his M-rated game by himself. Only once have I had an actual discussion with parents about game ratings, and they found that they much preferred the content in M-rated games to the content in T-rated games for their son. Even the kid agreed that he'd found more questionable content in T-rated games than M-rated ones.

For context, I live in a very rural part of New York, about 30 minutes south of Canada.

Comment Re:It's not my fault! (Score 2) 155

Tell your roommate to use headphones.

My boyfriend watches TV on his laptop to help him sleep, but he uses headphones so that my falling asleep isn't affected by it. I had to get used to the extra brightness, but that didn't take very long. I couldn't fall asleep at all, though, when he didn't use headphones.

Comment Re:Are dogs really learning anything? (Score 1) 716

There's a dog in Europe that started retrieving its toys on its own when the word describing that toy was said, regardless of whether or not it that word was said to the dog. The dog has a "vocabulary" now of over 300 words. They also tested to see if the dog could look at a picture of one of its toys and retrieve the actual toy from another room; it did. Similar tests can be run on small children to test their development progress. (Source: PBS Nova "Dogs Decoded" - unfortunately not available to stream.)

You also have to consider that we teach kids in a very similar way that we train dogs. When a kid does something good, you usually reward them - just like giving a dog a treat when it does something good. The reward for a kid doesn't have to be treat, but it is sometimes.

Dogs can also learn from another dog's behavior. If you have a dog that's trained well but is nearing the end of its life, one of the options of speeding up a new dog's training is getting the new dog prior to the death of the old dog, so it can pick up behavior from the old dog. For my own dog, I've had a dog behaviorist and a trainer tell me that if I want to actually get my dog to play nice with other dogs (he was never exposed to other dogs before I adopted him at age 2), I needed to have him spend time with a very calm dog that wouldn't get irritated by my dog's erratic behavior (and that introducing him to a hyper dog could just make his erratic behavior worse).

Comment Re:Coordination? (Score 1) 203

Fully agreed. I made the mistake of taking a course on culture from a literary perspective. I can usually read difficult, boring things, but I wanted to gouge my eyes and my brain out reading some of those texts. I just could not keep track of the necessary information to be able to make heads or tails of several texts.

My other concern might be for physically disabled students. I knew a kid in CS whose right hand pretty much didn't develop, so there weren't usable fingers on that hand. He often would mouse left-handed (but still using the right-handed controls, with the mouse still on the right-hand side of the keyboard). I know he plays video games, but I haven't the foggiest clue what exactly he played or what platform he used. I assume he found a way to play proficiently, I just never knew him well enough to play video games with him or even discuss them with him.

That's just my completely unorganized and probably totally irrelevant couple of cents.

Comment Re:FTFA (Score 1) 344

So /that's/ what Moodle is. A link for it showed up on the student portal at some point this semester or last. I couldn't figure out what it was, nor did I care enough to look it up. I'm guessing some math/CS professors got fed up with Blackboard and finally twisted IT's arm far enough to get them to set it up. Most professors still use Blackboard.

Comment Re:More likely, (Score 1) 344

Hell, the university still has Computer Science classes given in a lecture hall on pen and paper! That's just ridiculous!

What's ridiculous about that? All of my software engineering courses had their lectures done in a lecture hall/computer-less classroom (except for a 400-level class in UI development/design). The intro course had a lab period once a week. The two intro CS courses are structured the same. The CS/EE networks courses are structured the same (400-level courses). I've had one 300-level CS course taught solely in a computer-less classroom, and another that was supposed to only happen in a computer-less classroom (by student vote, it was moved to the CS lab, mostly so people could fuck around online during lecture). My college is considered one of the "most wired" (whatever that actually means) colleges in the US, so it's not like we don't have the appropriate resources. I actually prefer, and have done better in, the classes that were not done solely in a computer lab.

Comment Re:More likely, (Score 1) 344

AD/Exchange allows such restrictions, and my college has us set our passwords through AD, and then we use them for all campus systems (PeopleSoft, BlackBoard, the webserver, AD, Exchange). I mean, aside from the insecurity of using the same password for so many systems, it does get around BlackBoard not allowing such restrictions to be set.

Comment Re:More likely, (Score 1) 344

At my college, even if you manage your own server, IT can still cause serious issues. One of my professors set up a class wiki on the software engineering server (which, as far as I know, is maintained by various professors) and IT was fucking up our access every day. Sometimes no-one could access it, sometimes only people on campus could access it, sometimes they'd change its supposedly static IP without notification, sometimes we had to directly use the IP (if it was the same as the day before...) to access it...

My school's IT also managed to destroy another professors laptop while installing Visual Studio (we're still trying to figure out why a professor who teaches software engineering classes needed IT to install Visual Studio).

Comment Re:Pepsi and Mountain Dew Throwback! (Score 1, Informative) 542

My boyfriend and I picked up a bottle of the "throwback" Pepsi at WalMart. The checker said she'd heard it tasted like diet. I took one sip and wanted to throw up. Which is the same response I have to diet Pepsi. On the other hand, Coke from Mexico doesn't use corn syrup, and it's absolutely amazing.

Comment Re:I am scared. I am intrigued. (Score 1) 820

I wouldn't think it would be kosher. My boyfriend has explained to me that things essentially transfer by touch (eg, if a pan is ever used for meat and you cook veggies in it, you can't eat those veggies with dairy), so if a sample of cells can be traced back to having been in contact with a pig, I doubt it would be kosher.

Slashdot Top Deals

"Truth never comes into the world but like a bastard, to the ignominy of him that brought her birth." -- Milton