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DIY electronic news games nintendo

IRL Mario Kart

This week is a plethora of re-creating childhood memories in real life.  Next up is the classic game of Mario Kart.  Go Karting is nothing new, power ups are sorely lacking from the experience however.  Four students of Colorado State University’s mechatronics class, Alex Zenk, Katie Johnson, Floyd Bundrant, and Jacob Gover decided to make a working version of it for their class.  It came out pretty darn good if you ask me.  My only gripe is that they’re not fast enough.  Not nearly fast enough.  That’s something that can easily be fixed though, just give it more power.

{MAKE}

Categories
computer electronic news photo science video

Self Powered Camera

self powered camera

Last year researchers at Columbia came up with a camera that was self-powered.  Using the energy from light itself the camera’s sensor, they not only record an image, but power the camera completely.  They say this was achieved with regular off the shelf items, and I pretty much believe that.  But it’s quite a long way away from becoming something useful.  The camera only produces an image in the resolution of 30×40 pixels, which as you can see below, is pretty poor by our super quality 8k screens.  Additionally, it works best indoors in well lit environments.  For less then ideal conditions, or varying conditions, they came up with an algorithm to modulate the recording speed of the camera.

I think this could have potential, but like I said, it’s quite a few years away from being useful.  Too bad too, as I could totally use it in my 12 day stint in the middle of Alaska, which is where I currently am right now…

{The Verge|Eureka Alert}

Categories
awesome computer science video

How Sorts Work

Sorting things is hard, there’s various different methods involved, some better than others based on the data you’re given and so on.  All of them are involved be it memory, or time.  Some are easy to explain, but overall unless you’re really paying attention to the math at hand, you don’t get it.  This is where the AlgoRythmics YouTube channel comes in.  They use traditional Hungarian folk dancing to visually explain 6 of the most common sorting methods.  It’s very easy to see how the algorithms work.  If it’s not, I think it should be included in introductory classes

{reddit}

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awesome haha! internet photo

Soviet Bear Will Fix You

Soviet Bear

As a general rule of thumb, I hate Communists.  Any and all, they are the sworn enemy of all that is Good and Free and American.  However, a particular unique student, or students have started their own campaign for Student Council elections.  It’s hard to tell how serious the whole campaign is, but it’s pretty damn funny, that’s for sure.

They have taken to making parodies of all the officially entered student’s posters.  The Soviet Bear posters are better.  About 100x better, that’s for sure.  I especially like the irony one of the Class poster:

This is the first poster I’d gather:

Class

Here’s the counter by Soviet Bear:

Bear Class

Indeed.  I wonder how many heads that went over at that High School?

Anyway, this is all fun and games, but let me just tell you this.  I would not be voting for Soviet Bear in that election.  He’s Communist, and Commies are the enemy, always.

{Reddit|Imgur}

Categories
a stumble computer DIY electronic news internet science

The internet university

Some Israeli wants to make a global university that’s tuition free and called the University of the People.  I say that that’s a really great idea, except Wikipedia beat him to it.  Well, it did in my mind anyway.  While a true university setting for online courses would be interesting, it wouldn’t be feasable for all types of education.  Computer Science, Business, both of those could be taught over the internet pretty simply (those are the two degrees that the university will offer to begin with in the fall), but Engineering, anything Medical, those require hands on learning with a teacher who’s hopefully had years of practice, and at least a few failures under his/her belt.  Those two will never fully move to online, it’s just not possible.

It’s a nice concept but I still think that Wikipedia is better.  On a side note, this school better allow the use of Wikipedia as a source in any papers they assign.  I fucking hate professors that ban Wikipedia, fucking old people who refuse to evolve and are stuborn old hags…

Categories
awesome Deadly Computer

Open request to College Professors

Stop. Please, just stop.

That’s the simplest thing i can say to you.  Stop doing things the way you currently are, it’s not working, its annoying, and, most importantly, I don’t like it.
I just started my 5th year, and last semester of college here at the lovely University of Hartford, and I must say, some things never change, especially professors, and the way they teach/treat their students. This is sad, because professors have a big impact on students.

I’ve made a list of some things I think professors need to stop doing, and a few they need to start to do.  Because there’s more don’t’s, and I’m in a negative mood, I’m gonna start off with those:

Firstly

On the first day of class, DO NOT read the syllabus to us word for word.  For some reason, every single professor feels the need to spend the first day going over the entire syllabus back to front, letter for letter.  There is nothing worse then to  go to class, only to be forced to sit there and listen to your teacher read to you, like you were in 1st grade again, isn’t that just a bit degrading to students.  You are assuming that they don’t know how to read, and if they do they won’t read it.  Well, let me assure you, we can read.  If we couldn’t read, then you should be asking who did we bribe/sleep with/kill, to be admitted into this school.

Instead why don’t you hand out the syllabus to your class, give them 10 minutes to read it over, and ask any questions they may have.  At that point you can get on with life, be it class, or letting them out early, whatever you choose.  I’m paying something more then $300 per class, please don’t fucking read to me.

Secondly

You can no longer assume that you are smarter then your students.  Period. End of sentence.  With the advent of the internet, (well, mostly Wikipedia), anyone can learn (nearly) everything there is to know about anything.  This is especially relevant for web programing, and programing in general.  Also related to this, do not assume that you’re students don’t know anything about the course.  While it’s probably true for most classes, most of the time, it is not 111% true 111% of the time.

I have had teachers assume that they are automatically smarter then me, no matter how much i demonstrated that I knew the material, I knew shortcuts, and I knew more efficient ways to do what they wanted.  Not only did i feel like i was treated like crap, i got the impression that the professor really didn;t know what he was teaching, and that is NEVER something you want to convey to your students, ever.

Thirdly

Do not require students to do things your way.  Ever.  This goes for writing homework assignments, writing papers, coding (especially coding), doing equations, and pretty much anything.  Regardless of what you were taught, that was at best 10 years, and at worst 50+ years ago, things have (probably) changed.  Calculators were invented for a reason.  Just because you were forced to use a slide ruler to do your math doesn’t mean you can force us to use it.  It’s like saying a paper needs to be typed, but you can only use a typewriter, pointless right?

As soon as a professor tells me “This is how I was taught,” “This is the way i prefer you to do it,” or “You should do it this way” I immediately come up with my own way to do it.  Even if my way takes twice as many pages/lines and requires more time to do, I will insist on doing it my way, and that it’s easier.  Just to be different then you.

I cannot tell you how frustrating this is in coding.  I’ve had teachers tell me that my variable names weren’t specific enough.  I used “t” to represent time.  He wanted me to use “timeItTakesToFall”.  I’m sorry, but no.  I could list a thousand things wrong with your variable, and I will, because I hate you, and if you so much as even think of failing me, I will have the Dean on your ass/job (if not tenured), and you will learn what a proper variable is, when we play Russian Roulette…with a semi-automatic…and you go first…

Fourthly

Do not get the new edition of a book.  You don’t need it, your students don’t need it.  There is absolutely nothing wrong with the current version, copyright 2007, no need to get the version copyright 2008.  Cause guess what, the only difference between those two versions (besides the obligatory different colored cover), is that date. Everything else is the fucking same.

On the subject of books, do not require books for the class, if you have no intention of actually assigning work out of them.  Those can go in the recommended reading part of the book list.  There is nothing I hate more then spending $80 on a book I never used, and then not being able to sell it at the end of the semester because you’ve decided to get the new edition of the book you wont use.

Fifthly

Power Point slides.  This is a tricky situation.  On the one hand they are useful because you can do so much with them.  On the other, no one knows how to properly utilize Power Point.  Do Not read from the slide.  This is more of the same as the first point, but also, just plain boring.

If you say that you are posting these slides online somewhere I can guarantee you you have lost the attention of at least 75% of the class.  You have lost mine.  Because I am assuming that you are just gonna read from the slides, something I can do myself thankyouverymuch, I’ll be good just downloading them before the test/quiz and read them then.

Well, those were the bad things, now, onto the good things

One

Be fun.  Joke with your students.  Be politically INcorrect. Trust me, any class I have where the professor starts out with a question like “How many of you all are Jews?” (from a class on the Holocaust) makes for a fun time.  Especially when the teacher knows how to take a joke.  This is important.

Spend some time not doing something related to class.  Show us a funny video you found online.  Class doesn’t always need to be serious all the time.

Two

Know when your class starts, and ends.  Show up on time, and let us out on time/early.  Unless there is an exam, there is really no excuse for keeping us late.  I’ve gotten up and left classes while the teacher was still talking because time was up, and I had somewhere else I had to be.  If/when that happens, don’t get mad.

Three

Tangents.  Like Power Point, tangents can be both wonderful, or deadly depending on how they are used.  Good tangent: humorous story about your weekend.  Bad tangent: 20 minute discussion about the football game that only you and one other student watched.  Talking about sports is good, but only if your class likes sports.  I hate sports, I don’t care about it.  You can ask if anyone watched the game last night, and then what did they think.  And thats it.  No discussion as to how so and so played, who was better.  Nothing.  The only exception is for the school’s actual game, and only when an athlete on that team is in your class.

There, that’s my list of things that professors need to start doing, or stop doing.  School life would be so much better.  I hope someone listens to me…

Categories
a stumble awesome Deadly Computer

More Proof that the country is going crazy

In the spirit of stupidity among the American Schools along the lines of What could have happened from August comes a story that although doesn’t top that one for sheer stupidity, it does come close.

The Guns N’ Roses song, “Welcome To The Jungle” A decent song in my opinion, I’m not a GNR fan, but I like that song. apparently, some teens in Connecticut really, really love that song, and decided to sing it over their school’s P.A. system after hours. Harmless right…

WRONG!

You see, there was a teacher staying after school probably getting some work done (I know, my mother is a teacher, she stays after many, many days doing things). Well, when she heard the line:

You’re in the jungle baby
You’re gonna die

She FREAKED THE FUCK OUT! Apparently, she must not have been paying attention at all while the whole beginning of the song was playing, and only heard that part. Because she barricaded herself inside her classroom, and called the police.

Lucky for these kids, the no less then six State Troopers, and 3 police dogs showed up, and we all know that State Troopers take no shit from no one, and they were cuffed and on the floor for 15 minutes or so while the troopers investigated, and asked questions. Eventually they were let go, and will not be charged with anything.

But come on, I don’t care who you are, “Welcome To The Jungle” is a very famous song, and all over the tv a few years ago when Rockstar used it for their Grand Theft Auto ads. If this lady doesn’t know that song she really did deserve to die like she thought.

And, now for the best part. Because if people are scared of pictures of guns, and apparently they are not smart enough to realize what songs about guns are (just you know, songs…), then i can combine the two together, and really rule the world. Because in my previous plan, i was alienating the blind people, for since they can’t see the pictures of guns, they can’t be scared.

Now that I’m gonna hijack commandeer all the radio stations, and broadcast all the most “threatening” songs I can think of. And top of the list will be “Welcome To The Jungle” and “The Hitler Techno Remix”, and of course, Johnny Cash’s “Folsom Prison Blues” because he “Shot a Man in Reno, Just to watch him die.” Oh My…I can only imagine the hysteria this will cause.

Next I will say,”Stop, join me, and I will provide you with these CDs of Billy Joel, you can use in your stereos and cars, to combat the new Radio of Death” However, I will make each CD so scratched, and unreadable, that after only 2 plays, it will be useless, and they will have to come back the next day for another one.

Then with the entire population of the world will be going crazy seeing pictures of Guns in papers, and hearing about how someone is going to kill them through music. And I will be able to rule once and for all.

On second thought, maybe I’ll just make those special CDs with some C4 one day, and this way I can kill off all the fucking-stupid-annoying-idiots in the world and just start over again. Actually, I kinda like that idea better……..

But oh no, I made a vague, no-where-near-plausible threat to the world as a whole, please don’t come arrest me.

(oh, and in case you were wondering, it was the Booth Free School in Roxbury Ct)

Categories
Deadly Computer DIY

UNEASYsilence!

This is the result of an ongoing effort to create “BUZZ” about UNEASYsilence.

Connected to the post here. After some time, we found a “useful” use for the 200 feet or so of cable we found the other day. We spelled out UNEASYsilence.com on the bridge for all the school to see. Hopefully this will create som “BUZZ”

In case you forgot the site: UNEASYsilence