Tuesday, August 23, 2005

An Educational Shift From Coding and Science

The topic I want to talk about today is actually a big deal: it's a growing trend in what college students are learning nowadays. Bill Gates has been in the news for expressing his concern over less bright students in Computer Science because less kids are majoring in it nowadays. It turns out that many are becoming more focused on other fields and the applications of computer literacy. A lot of people seem to encourage this, and there's nothing wrong with it, but without CS majors we wouldn't have real innovation. Everything would be pretty run-of-the-mill without the many advances that are still left to discover (namely, a more user-friendly computer on the whole). A columnist at the BBC even realizes how little our government cares about the advancement of scientific research in this country, though they probably pump tons of money into developing new weapons. If you regularly read my blog you probably know how much cool stuff Japan comes up with and they're just a group of islands! The sadder issue to me though is the exodus from CS. What happened to people getting excited about creating useful software?

I'm going to start out the tech news by putting to rest the rumors regarding Google's new communication tool. It is, in fact, an instant messenger called Google Talk. You can start using right away if you have gmail and you use Gaim, Trillian, iChat, or another Jabber client. I have some bad news: Sony and Toshiba have officially ended talks to create a unified next-generation DVD format. I'm sure it was hard for either side to cave after all the R&D they put into their respective product, but now one of them will have to go the way of the Betamax unfortunately. If you don't know much about open source or why you should care about it this is a great article for you to get introduced to it. It's concise and definitely a must-read if you don't know much about open source. If you'd rather hear about the top 10 computer destruction disasters then check this out. Lastly, there's a good article here about the use of technology in the classroom and whether or not it's just a fad. I think it's not big now, but it will be someday when it's more affordable.

The movie news is going to be a tad short because AICN went down right after I loaded the home page, but maybe I'll just catch up tomorrow. Fox, Universal, and Microsoft have reached an agreement on how the Halo movie will be handled and it is now set for a 2007 release. I'm curious as to what kind of plot they came up for it. CBS has nabbed some pictures from the set of the Da Vinci Code movie, and it is kind of neat to see all the main actors though no real scenes from the movie are shown. Empire is putting out a magazine this month with a shot of King Kong in NYC on the cover (as designed by WETA), and is the first picture anyone has seen of the big ape on the Empire State Building. There hasn't been much news regarding the screen adaptation of Spy Hunter, but The Rock confirms that things are going along well for the action-thriller. Lastly, the improved site for Corpse Bride has gone live for those of you who enjoy cool-looking Flash sites.

For this week's Ten on Tuesday I'm going to pretend that I'm in Austin right now since I'm there 3/4 of the year anyway:

10 Things You Love About Your City
10. It's the greatest place to live in Texas.
9. The indie music scene.
8. The people are generally nice and happy to be there.
7. It's not too crowded for a big city and state capitol.
6. It's so much easier to navigate than Houston.
5. The weather is only really, really hot in the summer, not every month but December and January like Houston.
4. Having such a great college campus at the heart of it.
3. The awesome night life.
2. The beautiful hill country that surrounds the city.
1. The sheer amount of babes.

I want the last thing in this post to reflect how I feel right now: kinda sedate and sad. It's not that I don't want to go back to Austin, but I hate packing and my linking problems in Visual C++ for my program aren't helping things. This postcard from PostSecret reflects a concern that's always in the back of my head though, but I try not to show it.

Click to enlarge the secret

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