Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Lower Education Failing CS

Today was a co-op social event, and it was good, but I wish they didn't force us into groups. I wanted to hang out with the people who I've already come to know and whose company I enjoy, not just random people. Oh well, the day ended well in details that are not too boring for this blog. What's more provocative is this article pointing out how the public school system is underpreparing students to major in CS. I think my high school was actually trying since they adopted Java to better appease the AP exams, but it's true that there's a misconception of computers and math and science almost seem to have been deemphasized. I was never pushed or encouraged whatsoever to consider CS, and I was actually deterred by many people not associated with my school. Once I took CS I was encouraged, but by then I had already decided that I wanted to go with that. I suppose you could argue the same thing about any other field, except that it's a shame how underenrolled CS programs are across the board. For a field to take such a dive means that something went wrong, and these associations are just trying to pinpoint it and work towards fixing it. Granted, the tech bust is a big factor, but I think hat people are just being turned off from computers. I have no way of supporting this though since being around so many engineers at TI and so many other smart people at UT I run into people who have taken a CS course and it just wasn't their thing, which is fine. But what about those kids who don't try it because they never thought to see if it was their thing? What if their school had a bad math program, so they never developed the interest that a lot of CS majors going to top schools (or double majoring in math if they're really geniuses)? I really do buy this report and I think that something should be done about the government's apathy towards what could potentially be a huge deal. Then you'll see real outsourcing because of a lack of supply, and so much for the potential jobs for our children (or our children's children for some of you out there).

Web browsers have become a hot topic in recent months, but I'm not really sure why. I guess that startups who predicated themselves on these ideas at the same time are all coming to the forefront at the same time as well. Anyway, one such browser, Flock, is now ready for public beta. I'm not trying it out personally because I'd rather clean out my system before installing more software, but it sounds pretty neat. It's not like it'll be less secure than Firefox since no one would know about any additional holes nor would a hacker care at this point. Google Earth has a new version in beta themselves, so those of you who are fans of playing with it will want to check into it. I'm going to hold off on this one as well since I don't know if I should dedicate 2GB of space to it at this point, but I really would get it otherwise. Weird Al said on his site that he's actually making less money off of iTunes sales than album sales, which I thought was rather strange. I think that it should either be even or more in favor of the digital version given that the record company doesn't have the cost of the jewel case, insert, CD, or their factory production itself. The overhead costs associated with the mp3 should be much less, though they definitely exist. Game industry sources seem to be hinting that the Wii will hit store shelves before the PS3, which definitely makes a lot of sense to me. It's not far at all from possible, and it would give Nintendo an awesome advantage, in my opinion, if they have enough killer apps (which I believe they understand thoroughly and will). At least Sony is promising free online play and added functionality, which implies that they want to deliver Xbox Live without the subscription fee. Still, I'd venture a guess that this will either fall apart or they'd end up doing a tiered service with a bare minimum free service. I wouldn't underestimate the effort Microsoft put into Live. I saw TI in the news, so I just thought I'd plug it. It's not happening in my factory (as far as I know, though I could be wrong), but somewhere on campus they're apparently going to be doubling the output per wafer of their processors (primarily embedded, it sounds like), which sounds pretty cool to me. Lastly, if sleep puzzles you, then you'll love this article.

Click to enlargeSince I know that there are closet (and open) Gael Bernal fans out there, I figured that you'd love seeing a poster for his new movie, which comes from the director of Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind writer/director Michel Gondry. I look forward to seeing the trailer, though we know that it'll involve romance once again. There's also a new one-sheet for Wicker Man, and it's the creepiest poster I've seen in a good while. If that wasn't enough, Sony has revealed the poster for Volver, which I mention because I think Penelope Cruz is hot and like that she does these cool international films. Eminem may star in another movie soon called Have Gun Will Travel, but I'd consider the logic behind the rumor kind of weak. Lastly, some Nacho Libre stuff. Yahoo Movies has a clip from Nacho Libre, but it doesn't really thrill me. I'm kind of on the edge about this movie, and, to boot, Danny Elfman asked to have his name removed from the credits because they changed some of his stuff around a bit and he wasn't happy. I'm surprised that they would treat Danny Elfman that way.

Now for the Tuesday Twosome:

What two words do you think of when you hear the words (and explain):

1. Hate
Fear and loathing, but not in Las Vegas ;) Seriously though, I just see that as a big part of hatred.

2. Love
Hearts and family: I think both are pretty obvious.

3. Forever
Ms. Jackson and Eternity: the former because of the Outkast song and the latter because it's just synonymous.

4. Never
Rilo Kiley: because I love the song "I Never"

5. Constant
Math and variables: constants are commonly used in math and CS, and variables are just the opposite (duh).


Tammy said...

Fun list :) I'm a HUGE movie person, but have a terrible memory for names and titles :)

JennYfer said...

Yo playa

Saturday sometime would be better for me. I'm actually driving in from Denton into Mesquite on Friday so I don't want to schedule something when inevitably there'll be some shoddy traffic.