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Teach coding with games: a review of Codewars and CodeCombat

LXer -

I recently stumbled upon two websites for learning coding and programming skills: CodeCombat and Codewars. Both use a free software philosophy (all code examples are open source licensed and/or available GitHub) and help teach different computer programming languages. I tested CodeCombat and Codewars out when some of my students were seeking to learn the Python programming language.read more

Are We Reaching the Electric Car Tipping Point?

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HughPickens.com writes: Geoff Ralston has an interesting essay explaining why is likely that electric car penetration in the US will take off at an exponential rate over the next 5-10 years rendering laughable the paltry predictions of future electric car sales being made today. Present projections assume that electric car sales will slowly increase as the technology gets marginally better, and as more and more customers choose to forsake a better product (the gasoline car) for a worse, yet "greener" version. According to Ralston this view of the future is, simply, wrong. — electric cars will take over our roads because consumers will demand them. "Electric cars will be better than any alternative, including the loud, inconvenient, gas-powered jalopy," says Ralston. "The Tesla Model S has demonstrated that a well made, well designed electric car is far superior to anything else on the road. This has changed everything." The Tesla Model S has sold so well because, compared to old-fashioned gasoline cars it is more fun to drive, quieter, always "full" every morning, more roomy, and it continuously gets better with automatic updates and software improvements. According to Ralston the tipping point will come when gas stations, not a massively profitable business, start to go out of business as many more electric cars are sold, making gasoline powered vehicles even more inconvenient. When that happens even more gasoline car owners will be convinced to switch. Rapidly a tipping point will be reached, at which point finding a convenient gas station will be nearly impossible and owning a gasoline powered car will positively suck. "Elon Musk has ushered in the age of the electric car, and whether or not it, too, was inevitable, it has certainly begun," concludes Ralston. "The future of automotive transportation is an electric one and you can expect that future to be here soon."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Asus unveils Zenfone 2 Deluxe and Laser editions

Liliputing -

The Zenfone 2 is probably one of the most popular smartphones Asus has released to date. But it’s not just a single phone. There’s a whole family of products that Asus sells under the Zenfone 2 name, and now that family is getting a little bigger. Asus has announced plans for several new phones, including the […]

Asus unveils Zenfone 2 Deluxe and Laser editions is a post from: Liliputing

Britain Shuts Off 750,000 Streetlights With No Impact On Crime Or Crashes

Slashdot -

Flash Modin writes: English cities are hard up for cash as the national government dolls out cuts. And in response, the country's councils — local governing bodies — have slashed costs by turning off an estimated 750,000 streetlights. Fans of the night sky and reduced energy usage are happy, but the move has also sparked a national debate. The Automobile Association claims six people have died as a direct result of dimming the lights. But a new study released Wednesday looked at 14 years of data from 63 local authorities across England and Wales and found that residents' chances of being attacked, robbed, or struck by a car were no worse on the darker streets.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Welcome to the Matrix

LXer -

But, of course, we won’t be careful. Nor will we keep guns and worse out of the hands of our self aware and much smarter than we robots. Just the opposite, if history is any guide. As far as I know, we have never developed a technology that we haven’t militarized. In fact, the most rapid development of technologies comes when the military begins to see a use for them.

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