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    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RK_z2CXq6O0

    Supercut of the announced Rift games. All my hype!

    https://www.oculus.com/en-us/blog/introducing-30-games-coming-to-oculus-on-march-28/

    Aaaand all my money :P

    Soooo. I just watched the VR Demo. Couldnt get inside it, but it looked pretty cool, Very responsive. Seemed to work well.

    I went to the doctors yesterday about my food issues and he made me feel a lot better.
    I need to only lose 5 kilos to be my appropriate weight, so I'm not too bad.
    I also need to eat more fruit and vegetables. I'm thinking to replace snacks with them.

      Fruit is my weakness, I eat more fruit than any human probably should.
      I need to drop about 5kg as well to be at my recommended weight. I spend some time each night cutting up veges and putting them in containers with water in them, and snack on those the next day. There is also a Kale salad at Coles with a yoghurt dressing that is amazingly delicious, I use it for larger snack attacks. I'm hopeful that I will be back to my fighting weight for supanova sydney.

        I'm planning on grabbing some carrots and some baby cucumbers

    Spaghett checking in

    Last song played game time!! for me it was probably the album Paracosm by Washed Out

    But on my commute this morning I was listening to VORW - The Voice of The Report of the Week

    And it's Thursday!! So keeeeeeeeen for the weekend!

      Steely Dan - Deacon Blues

      They got a name for the winners in the world, I want a name when I lose. They call Alabama the 'Crimson Tide', call me Deacon Blues.

      Bit late, but I'm still getting in on this action.

      Xavii - Russian Circles

    Happy St. Patrick's Day!

      And to you! I need to go out and get some stout.

        Yeah. Go to a BWS & pick up a 6 pack of Guinness for $10 when you spend $29 or more in store! (which you can do by buying a carton of Sol!) :P

        Aw now I wish I knew of a pub around here with it on tap :(

          Ew, Sol...

            Basically my reaction & my bosses & everyone I work with :P It's so average. Also it's made in the Netherlands, yet it's a 'Mexican' beer.

              One of the most magnificent trolls I have ever seen was on a homebrewing forum, someone asked for a recipe to make corona (pretty largely derided in the HB community, who tend to favour big dark and/or hoppy beers); a forum regular posted an absolute monster of a recipe with every possible detail covered - it would've taken 5-10 minutes to read through it quickly - then concluded with "once the bottle fermentation is complete, invite a few friends over and drink a case of this and remember to save the bottles! Then, when you need to relieve yourself of all your fine work, piss into the bottles and recap them - there is your corona".

          That's a good deal, but I have two craft breweries down the road >:D
          Although usually, I just get a long neck of Cooper's Best Extra Stout and have that. It has lovely coffee tones to it.

            I'd be picking Coopers too. Since Guinness from a bottle or even can is meh at best i've found D=

      This is one of the few days of the year that I genuinely miss being at university. 9am lecture, bar at 11 for a guinness, crazy green stuff everywhere.

        Whether or not to break my diet for a stout tonight. Should've thought about this yesterday and gone and got ingredients for a steak and guinness pie, could've had a couple of blades in the slow cooker as we speak... maybe a fish and potato pie instead.

          I have the diet conundrum too. I think I will choose the beer and stick to my otherwise healthy dinner.

            I've got 4 Pines Stout in the fridge, which basically guarantees that I'll drink it. Mmm.... space beer.

              The 4 pines brewery is just up the road, one of my beer-purchasing options today :)

      Oh crap. I was going to go out and have a drink tonight. Well. That's probably a bad idea.

    Mornin' everyone.

    It's a lovely day here so far after the last few days being rainy & miserable. I can hear magpies singing which is always awesome.

      Sid chases the magpies. =P

        Chilli tried once but the magpies chased her back, it was funny.

          Sid doesn't care if they chase him. He also enjoys chasing crows, if he hears them, he's after them.

    iOS you're weird. For some reason it went & decided a few friends in my messages needed pictures so it took their Facebook pictures, yet I don't have it set up to do that..

    Woo, The Living End debuted a new song this week & it sounds pretty freakin' awesome.

    Zero Time Dilemma trailer! Woo!

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E8z9yogpeUA

    Vietnamese salad for lunch. Taking this diet thing seriously

      Cornish pastie and an iced coffee.
      ... I'm not.

        Good patriotic SA lunch *nods head approvingly*

        I'm assuming this means it's made from something that's kind of like corn but not.

        Iced coffee is so delicious, but an astounding amount of kj's

          Can't disagree but giving up my lunchtime FUIC is a sacrifice I'm not willing to make.

      Wholegrain crackers, cream cheese, smoked oysters + hotsauce, tomato, and handfuls of baby spinach and rocket. So good.

      Try and have some carbs and protein for lunch scree as you're active before and after that meal. If you're going to cut back on a meal do so for dinner; ideally something high GI that takes time to digest so you don't get hungry in bed.

        It had prawns in it. And I'm just pushing Mum around the shopping centre. Then a nap. =P

      A swig of fairly weak cordial from my drink bottle.

      Went to a french bakery nearby and had a bacon, pumpkin, and blue cheese thingo. With an Orange Juice.

      Also I have a baguette to eat half of during the afternoon because mmm fresh french bread is the bessssssst

        Possibly, the only thing better than fresh french bread is fresh vietnamese bread. Which is just like french bread but has more chilli ;)

          Apparently this one is made with French Flour which apparently makes it better or so the french lady who ran the bakery told me

    I have some bad news. I cannot post dad jokes tomorrow (and probably not any future Friday) due to working away in an agency's office so won't have access to Kotaku.
    I trust that you will all contribute in my absence.

      What?! HOW CAN YOU DO THIS TO US?! I thought things were going great and you drop this out of nowhere?!?!? How am I supposed to react to this?!

      *runs away crying*

      I put one in my latest song! I'm sure you'd be proud! ;)

    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-03-17/maths-must-be-mandatory-university-degree-prerequisite-experts/7253286

    Why should it be up to universities to deny access to students without a piece of paper that says they completed mathematics? Surely a bunch of fails in first semester for those who can't achieve the requirements is sufficient, without denying access to those who can.
    NSW secondary curriculae, on the other hand, need to stop watering down maths intensive subjects by not forcing students to take the full mathematics course alongside them. Physics needs calculus and, perhaps more controversially, I think software design could really benefit from more probability and some discrete mathematics.

      Discrete maths was cool, one of my favourite classes at uni. Although it helped that the lecturer was great.

        I quite enjoy it, but simply considering at a high-school level - understanding that we implement plenty of mathematics within software, and we cannot truly execute an iterative continuous function like that of a derivative or integral within software - and some of the simple ways around it, would be useful for students. Also, the fields of statistics and probability have huge use for software developers, but teaching something as simple as a monte carlo estimation couldn't be in the current curriculum because there might be students there who aren't doing any maths.
        In either case, these thing are more useful than being taught the specification of single-precision floating point numbers, which was there when I did the subject.

          I totally can't even remember what derivatives or integrals are. Or what they're for. Actually I'm not sure I ever knew what they were for, other than torturing us in maths class.

            One of my points in my response to @cookingmama - unless you go into STEM, you probably don't need them. I use them weekly, if not more frequently.

              I went into Computer Science, and later games programming, thankfully never had to use them :P

            psst they are for finding velocity from acceleration or vice versa

              That doesn't even sound remotely familiar. Geez, what were they even teaching us? :P

              Actually I just remembered one of them was something about calculating the area under the line on the graph. But again, nfi what relevance that had to anything beyond "so this is kinda neat".

                Integrating a curve finds the area. It's good for stuff like cumulative amounts- if you know how fast water has been flowing into a dam over time when the rate hasn't been consistent, you can find how much water is in the dam (as a real basic example). Another use of integrals is finding bisections of shapes and volumes, which has all sorts of engineering uses

                The first derivative of a graph of position over time is the velocity at a given point (The velocity being the rate of change in position over time), and the second derivative is the acceleration (The rate of change of the velocity).

      It's actually more a problem outside the traditional STEM subjects. Education and Psychology both require a robust understanding of statistics, but unless it's a pre-requesite, there are students going into those subjects without having done ANY maths since year 10. It's just not good enough that mathematics isn't a compulsory subject in year 11 and 12. The problem is the "general" course doesn't contain enough data and finance, and the calculus courses aren't really appropriate if you're not heading into STEM.

      Unfortunately, tweaking curriculum is a slow process, and the states are already struggling under the demands of the National Curriculum and NAPLAN.

        Tweaking curriculum is a process implemented by committees, and like most government sponsored/run/implemented things, the end result is a product of many requirements long removed from the desired outcome. If you were to try and "fix" the maths courses, how would you go about it?
        I'd start by defining the desired outcomes for a student having taken one of the courses - you have the lowest tier, what was once called Maths for (in?) Society, you have an upper tier that is probably equivalent to Extension I in NSW that is ideally Maths for STEM (Maybe Maths for STE) and probably both an intermediate for people who need a broader understanding of maths than the lower tier, and a super extension hard unit for the students to really stretch themselves. So, although I didn't intend on it, I've ended up with 4 levels much like NSW. The intermediate level, you'd be comparing to the full course as it is, and a vast majority of people don't need calculus. Similarly, the lowest tier has no need of plenty of the stuff they're exposed to - they do need more stats, probability, tax and arithmetic though.

          I know a teacher who was just lamenting the fact that she has a kid who's graduating next year and still can't write every letter of the alphabet. Never been held back a year to y'know... fix that.

          We don't hold kids back anymore, apparently. Parents freak the fuck out and blame teachers for not teaching properly, and then turn to the plentiful evidence to support that retention damages their esteem, which is apparently more important than knowing how to read or write.

          Because kids who are behind are obviously going to go great at catching up not only what they missed in the last year, but what they missed while they were catching up...

          That's where we're at. Kids who can't read or write, graduating from primary. Because emotional health is more important than an ability to successfully navigate one of the most important methods for interaction in this world.

            Yep, and this is the difficulty. Attending university really is a privilege, and universities have the luxury of choosing their students, but schools do not. So we can't just debate the nuances of education for the top 20% going to uni, we also need to be worrying about the bottom 20% who might graduate school lacking functional literacy and numeracy (and by functional, I mean they can read and write, but lack the comprehension to do things like understand a bank letter or fill in a form).

            Not true, I am a teacher, and repeating kids is still done, we have around 6 a year or so, at a school with 800 kids, but there is huge pressure from some parents not to, and some parents do refuse to believe that home lif also needs to be adjusted if their child has learning or behavioural problems. They believe the school should 'fix it' or that the problem is with anyone but them and their child.

            If the person is 18 and still can't write each letter of the alphabet, then repeating a year would not have helped, that points to a pretty serious problem.

            If kids can't read or write when coming out of primary, again, there is either a learning disability that is not being addressed, or serious problems at home, or both.
            We have reading recovery programs, aides that work with one child at a time on reading specifically, and funding is available if a learning disability is acknowledged.
            A few of the problems we regularly are seeing now is parents refusing to acknowledge that the child has a learning disability, so not allowing them to go into the more intensive programs, and not allowing the schools to get funding. We have kids coming into kindy that can barely speak or be understood, and have quite literally never had a book read to them, or even know how to hold a book or which way up it goes. We have other kids coming into Kindy that can already read and have had literally thousands of books read to them since birth. In the hours you have at school, when some kids are already effectively 3 years behind when they start, and unsupportive parents, it is extremely difficult to get all of them caught up, no matter what happens within the school.

            ICE addiction has become a massive problem too, the amount of parents who are ice addicts would astound you, and their kids have little chance.

            A big problem is the curriculum, so much has been jammed in there, because it is easy politically and also gets community support to put 'more' in the curriculum. Kids learning 'more' has to be better, right? No politician would ever dare say, 'let's have kids learn less things', but that is precisely what needs to happen. There is so much jammed into the curriculum, that it is difficult to get any depth. So the kids learn 100 things in a shallow manner, rather than learning 50 things deeply and well. The focus on having to 'prove' that you have met the thousands of 'learning outcomes' in the curriculum also means that teachers are often nearly forced into using worksheets, as it is difficult otherwise to prove you have met the standards, keep your accreditation and keep the department and parents happy. Most want a 'big thick book of work' to see that the kids are working, where it often is not the right way, it is an impressive big thick book of shallowly understood concepts.

            It is a lot more complex than not wanting to hurt kids' feelings, teachers are expected to be more highly qualified than ever, there is a push to make a Masters qualification mandatory, because of low funding we spend on average over $4000 per year on class materials for students out of our own pockets, and are amongst the lowest paid profession that requires a university degree, and the workforce is being pushed to casual work, with no job security. The holidays are good, but the unpaid hours are huge, and class sizes are forever creeping higher, our school had a 22 per class policy, but every class is 30+ now, and many have classes with multiple kids from families with drug, alcohol and gambling problems, which often means *severe* behavioural problems.
            Last year my partner, who is a full time teacher had a knife thrown at her in class, by a 10 year old girl, and months later the same student bought a weapon to school with the stated intent of harming another student, and when I say harming, you know what I mean.

            A good look at the curriculum, with a focus on learning deeply, more funding for schools (I can't believe they are pulling the Gonski funding, it is so critical!), and some government policies to address the social breakdown that has allowed gambling, drugs and alcohol to gain such a foothold in families, would be more than welcome.

            Last edited 18/03/16 10:01 am

        My Mum, her sister, and their friends are all teachers dealing with cirriculum/NAPLAN bullshit, and oh my god does that sound hellish to me as an outsider.

        We have so many competing priorities which now are including emotional well-being and rounding that the basics are being left behind because it's almost as if you can't insist that all teachers be registered nurses with no lunch-breaks, losing kids from core maths/english periods for the sake of social studies, music, LOTE, fitness, and in some places, religion... and not have something give way.

        There has to be some point where sanity prevails and teachers stop being pushed to be basically de facto parents and guardians instead of what they're supposed to be: educators.

        Mum's always claimed I'd do really well in teaching and enjoy it, and brought it up again when I mentioned how much I was enjoying these training programs I've been running... but there's no way in hell I could tolerate the pure bullshit that is the education system right now.

          I disagree with your point on maths/english vs social studies. It's a common utilitarian view of education that the 3 Rs are the end all and be all, but it's not true. All topics in high school- and yes, that includes 'softer' topics like social studies and art and music- are aimed at producing more well-rounded members of society, not "good workers." Without art, without social studies, we may turn out kids who can add and write, but we don't turn out humans with knowledge of society, or humans who can express themselves, or humans motivated by passions to improve themselves in other areas. And that's important.

          I'm a science graduate: I studied hard sciences at school, and at university, but a common trap people in that area fall into (myself included) is denigrating stuff that's not hard science based. That's a trap, and it's a view I've moved from and now disagree with. Humanities are important

            The point is that there's no room for it. At some point you need parents to educate as well - the way it used to be. When you only have 6hrs in the day and you cram in all those extra activities plus all the other 'emotional health' bullshit that they shouldn't have to do, you end up with exactly what a teacher was lamenting to me:

            They have two kids who cannot read and write, who are graduating from Primary next year. One of them can't even draw every letter of the alphabet.

            But I'll bet that kid sure is well-rounded and emotionally healthy!

            That's why what we're doing is failing. And no amount of penalizing school funding based on their NAPLAN results is going to fix that.

            Parents need to be taking more responsibility for their part in education.

              So what are you gonna do? Sit in every parent's house and poke them until they take an interest in little timmy's education? Isn't going to happen. Never has happened- the "way it used to be" never, ever was. There's always been a percentage of kids that, tragically, got left behind because of their upbringing, or because their learning difficulties weren't identified. Now, my were both teachers (retired now), and my dad will tell you that of course drugs have had an impact on families, but pretending in the past that "things were better" is plum not true.

              In an ideal world schools would have the funding to help students who were falling behind, and enough teachers employed to help them, and a greater focus on students moving into VET education when university isn't going to be for them. You'd have spaces where kids whose home life isn't great could go and get their questions answered and study done, and access to greater numbers of counselors and mental health resources that they felt safe in accessing.

                To clarify, I think the humanities are vital, but I think they're also less suited to the school system, with 35 kids packed into a room. Oh, I know, it's ideally only meant to be 20-25 kids packed into a room, but this is the real world, and this is what happens when we don't give two shits about education spending.

                What're we gonna do beyond monitoring parenting? Be less involved. Cut back on those programs. Give awareness of the fact that the humanities exist, point to where they can do co-curricular learning. Let the vacuum be filled organically.

                Motivation to engage in those humanities' learnings is always much higher from students than for the things that they HAVE to be there for, so their out-of-school engagement will likely be stronger anyway... if their guardians can be bothered to support it. Music, art, literature, sports... all things many kids would be into even if they weren't forced to learn about them, without being given two periods a week for each subject. And they can absolutely still touch on them but if you've ever seen a teacher wrestle with a modern lesson plan and the spaces they have available to squeeze in some basic maths you'd be horrified at how little a percentage of the week it's allocated.

                And that's before you even get into the factor that basic psychology plays in which times of day kids are receptive to learning different types of things (morning vs afternoon, before/after lunch - ask your parents, they'll tell you), which conflicts directly with the cost-effective logistics of paying the externals who teach those warm-fuzzies.

                Teacher staff-room real-talk is this: Teachers have to compete and get political about who can get good slots for their kids to actually learn a damn thing when they don't have music/sports/art/lote/religion/feelgoods. That's just... so wrong.

                Now I don't have the qualifications to expertly critique the curriculum, but it's very, very hard to see increasingly worse results for basic literacy and numeracy, and a correlating reduced allocation of time for basic literacy and numeracy in the curriculum, and not assume that maybe there's a causal effect.

                The key problem in my opinion is that we don't want it to take a village to raise a child... we want to put them in the school system and let it take care of everything, without increasing the time or money they have to do it, or acknowledging that some fields are better learned outside of the rigid-by-necessity formalized education system.

                You see it in the tone of the complaints that hit social media any time there's a possibility of pupil-free days or teacher strikes, or any other kind of interruption to education... parents don't give a shit that this is the week they were supposed to learn about numerators and denominators. They're pissed that the state-run babysitter isn't available.

                What are we going to do?

                Museums, art galleries, theatres, conservatoriums, and libraries could be deputized in the education process in a much bigger way. They're already state/privately-funded, and already have attention-starved staff designing and running programs which need attendance... get kids attending! Out of school hours.

                (Edit: But what if they don't turn up? Well. What if they don't turn up to school at all? Truancy is already a tired joke. Discipline is no longer something that schools are capable of enforcing beyond kicking a student out. That's it. Litigation has increased, and teachers go on suspension on a kid's word faster than ever before, and over far less. God help you if you're a male teacher, in particular, with all of the open and utterly unashamed assumptions of unspeakable motivations.)

                'Things were better' is difficult to argue in terms of emotional health, but literacy and numeracy is decreasing. It's measurable. It's being tracked. It's getting worse. That part was better 'in the olden days'. And the confidence that comes with having the tools you need to analyze and navigate the world, to be employable, to seek out opportunities... it has to be worth something in the emotional well-being stakes.

                Last edited 17/03/16 5:33 pm

                  The idea of co-curricular activities being provided outside of school as a substitute for learning at school is, frankly, a way to entrench disadvantage. I've got no problem with schools partnering with local organisations/museums/providers to deliver stuff, but if you rely on them to teach stuff in place of schools you're only enabling those with the time/money to get ahead. You're also privileging students based on geography- I went to primary school in a country town, museums/theatres/conservatoriums were nowhere near available, Now, I was lucky- if the nearest museum (> 1 hour away) had had a program out of school hours, my parents would have got me there, but the next kid over, whose parents aren't as well off/work shifts/ can't otherwise get there? No chance.

                  On the other topics you mentioned- all other topics at school have components that support literacy and numeracy and communication. if a kid is passionate about technology studies over maths, but gets his maths through doing tech stuff that will lead him to a trade? go him.

                  Hoping that outside institutions arise to fill a vacuum? They tried that, in the UK, as part of the "big society" concept, and libraries and other services closed. More funding, better targeted funding to schools, more teachers, better support, and increased individualisation in learning. these are the way that great education systems are built

                  A School, ideally, is a great equaliser. A kid should be able to succeed at school with no outside activities, provided they get the support they need at home. I agree, many parents don't provide that support, so we should invest in schools and services that can provide that support. I'm not abrogating parents of support, not by a long stretch, but the truth is there's any number of reasons parents aren't able to provide support. Again, that doesn't absolve them, but we can either sit here and wish parents got their shit together or we can invest in other things.

                  As for the decline in literacy and numeracy (hard to measure, for sure)? There's lots of factors that could impact there. In previous years we've measured it differently. We were closer to a monoculture, so we were dealing with less cultural barriers. We plain didn't count many groups. Kids stay in school longer, where perhaps previously they would have dropped out.

                  At the end of the day, I don't think we're fundamentally disagreeing on the point the education is important, and should be better. I'd rather improve it by turbocharging and innovating the institutions we have, and as I said, supporting students to be whole humans rather than prioritising literacy and numeracy at the expense of other stuff

            Of course, we could also keep kids at school for longer, extending the hours in the day... but growing bodies and minds are likely not receptive to that kind of intensity over longer periods. And good luck convincing the public to pay teachers more for being there longer.

            Not when we already have ignorant twits who think teaching's a cushy 9-3 job because they don't know the first fucking thing about what teachers actually do.

              Hah. The thing about extending the school day is this: It would benefit the kids who are already succeeding, but it wouldn't lift the kids who are on the bottom. Especially in hard socioeconomic areas, the kids on the bottom who are already being sent to school without breakfast starve for longer, the kids who have sleep disrupted for whatever reason get tireder, and little is gained for them.

                We have a breakfast club at our school, available to all kids, and it works fantastically. There is no stigma as all students can access it, and for many kids, yep it is the only real meal they will get that day.
                There were no 'good old days' but the social fabric is coming apart at the seams, and you see it first at the schools, they are the canary in the coalmine so to speak, and as a society, we really should start to listen.

      1st year Uni maths was reheated year 12 maths, from memory. For me it was easy going, but if like @cookingmama says you haven't done maths since year 10 I imagine it's a pretty steep learning curve

        What program did you do, if you don't mind me asking? First year maths, as I remember it in Engineering, took about 6 weeks and blasted through the important parts of 11/12 maths + extension I, and then it was into the year 12 extension II, and new content.

        Edit: Blasted through the year 11/12 content in 6 weeks, and then continued for another 7 weeks, to be clear - it wasn't a 6 week course.

        Last edited 17/03/16 1:29 pm

          Nanotechnology. It covered some extra stuff, but especially first semester was a redo of Maths Studies and Specialist Maths.

          This Mathematics topic covered sciences and engineering.

        I remember our first two lectures went through the entire Ext.2 syllabus, then we moved straight on to differential equations and linear algebra... Needless to say, lot of people struggled to keep up - trial by fire, I guess. Reminds me of my HSC math teacher giving me a "[2U topic] in 5 minutes" run-through to prepare me for some Ext.2 topics when we started outpacing the 2U and Ext.1 lesson plans. :P

          I will never forget being years out of school and going back to uni, doing my first introductory physics course...

          The first lecture of the semester took about 45min to run through everything we covered in Years 11 and 12, and finished the summary with an eyeroll, shrug, and comment, "...Duh." Like this was all shit that should be fresh in our memories and basic foundation that we know backwards. The other students laughed. I widened my eyes and started sweating at how much catch-up I needed to do.

            Actually, I recall university physics going something along the lines of

            "Forget everything you learned in high school. It's either wrong or oversimplified"

              heh. The problem with HS physics is that because it's taught at the same time as the maths needed to understand it, it can't use those mathematical tools to explain it.

              Looking back, I don't know how you can be expected to understand anything about electromagnetism without waveforms

                Ah yes, the old high school physics teacher dilemma. "F=ma" "Why?" "..."

                My favourite part of Ext.2 maths was deriving all the formulae for Newtonian mechanics I'd taken for granted.

                  Well, F=ma because that's what we've defined to mean force.

                  @redartifice Indeed... I swear I remember deriving mechanics stuff back then... must have just confused the algebra/geometry derivations with the mechanics stuff.

            Yea, it was kindof a bait-and-switch by the uni... the course guide only recommended Ext.1 maths. It was brutal - it had taken me 6-8 months of study to master what they were trying to come to grips with in two weeks.

            On the up side, I was suddenly a popular study-buddy :3

      For my money, this is a good move to stop the waste of time and resources and student debt that is allowing people to fail who are very clearly going to fail.

      Resourcing is an issue. It's the primary reason that grade requirements to get into courses aren't based on how academically-intensive a subject might be, but rather how popular it is, and how many places they have for it vs expressed interest.

      Every student you allow into a course who shouldn't be there is edging out someone else.

      And minimizing the impact on drop-outs who now have HELP debt and nothing to show for it because they were allowed to engage in an activity they had no business attempting? That's just socially responsible.

      Last edited 17/03/16 4:02 pm

        I had an interesting conversation with a university professor a couple months ago. He was from the school of psychology and was using big data analytics to investigate students that were dropping out in the first year, using all of the data the university had gathered from their online and library resources.

        Basically, he had established (unsurprisingly) that the students who were more likely to succeed were the ones who were more active on the chat boards and using university resources more- asking questions, using the library, using the email. He had refined his model to the point where he could predict if a student was going to drop out by week 6. Only problem is, by week six, often times the ship has sailed and the student already knows they are going to drop. He was currently working on refining his model so he could predict it earlier, so that a lecturer or tutor could engage with them and course-correct. Fascinating use of big data analytics.

        The other problem he admitted to me is that he could only see what the University could see, so If a student was asking on reddit or facebook for assistance he couldn't see it

    Bugger, Dick Smiths looks to be totally sold out of PS4 Eye Cameras.
    Hopefully someone does a decent bundle when PSVR comes out cause damned if I'm paying near $90 for one.

      Yea, their online site was out of stock within an hour of that article yesterday. Oh well, I'm sure someone'll put together a bundle. Sony may be targeting early adopters, but retailers will want as many potential sales as possible, and will see the demand for it.

    Oh wow.. This Telstra 4G/4GX is insane. I just got download speeds of 177 Mbps & upload speed of 29Mbps. I know the upload could be better buuuuuut holy shit.

      Holy way to use up your entire months data in 2 mins batman!

        I know right? Haha. That speedtest used something like 100MB of data heh.

    When I was a kid, my parents would always say, "Excuse my French" just after a swear word.
    I'll never forget the first day at school when my teacher asked if any of us knew French.

    #DadJokeBeforeILeaveForTheDay

      I came home from work early one night to find my wife and my best mate, sweaty and breathless in the living room. I said, "What's going on?"
      My wife said, "Erm... We've been playing on the Wii Fit." She winked at my mate and said, "Dave did VERY well."
      As I walked out of the room, I heard them giggling and calling me an idiot, but I had the last laugh. I checked the next day, and none of his scores had even registered!

      Just put a fruit and vegetable garden out the back
      I must say I feel good from my head tomatoes.

      My daughter wanted a Cinderella theme party. So I invited all of her friends over to clean my house.

      I've been admitted to Hospital. I wont be on line for a while. I've just gone and poisoned myself.
      I ate what I thought was an onion but it was a Daffodil Bulb.
      They said I'll be out sometime in the Spring.

      Just sold a Lawn Mower on eBay.
      That will be the last time my neighbor wakes me up on a Saturday morning.

      One day a panda walks into a bar. Orders a meal and quietly eats it. When the bartender comes with the check, the panda pulls out a gun, shoots the bartender, and starts to leave the bar. The bartender screams “Why?!” The panda pulls out a dictionary, points to the entry on pandas, which reads: Panda (n.) – Eats shoots and leaves

      Yay! I didn't see this yesterday so technically I still got my Dadjokefriday! :D I have to admit to suffering some withdrawal symptoms at the start of the day....

    "What's your surname Gooky? I'm a bit ocd about entries in my phone and yours is bothering meeeee!"

    Uh oh. Not sure if thinly-veiled stalking attempt.

      Have you told them that you don't have a social media presence?

        Yes, that was how I obtained the phone number in the first place. Well, I said I don't have Facebook, so I guess that doesn't necessarily rule out the possibility of other things to find. And while I do try to keep my surname as far away from the internet as possible, the occasional thing does annoyingly slip through.

      It'll bother her even more when you tell her your name is Gooky Mr Taco.

        All I gave her was an initial. Then we went through this whole thing where I ended up guessing hers so she was trying to guess mine even though it's pretty impossible to give clues for, so I asked if I should just tell her the answer. Then gave her the initial again :P

        Been called a jerk several times now, I think things are going well.

    Lol. Someone told me off for buying an iPhone 6S when I should've waited for the iPhone 7, they tell me. With that logic I should wait indefinitely. The next iPhone is still 6 or 7 months away from being shown off & released to the sheep. Also I deserve this dang it!

      I never get the "regular" version. I wait for the S because it's the same product with tweaks/improvements. Handily, my phone contract rolls over a few months after the S usually comes out. Got my 6S in January.

        Yep. That's the way I see it. All the good new fancy shit comes out in the S variant so why wouldn't I want that over the regular numbered model anyway :P

      I'm probably getting the 7S immediately when it comes out and is unfortunately at its most expensive. My 5S is getting far too long in the tooth, but I'm strongly opposed to having to use one of the giant phones that have defined the current generation.

      Last edited 18/03/16 10:32 am

        What about the 5SE that's rumoured to be debuting this month? It's meant to have the same internals as the 6. I presume by the time the 7S rolls around they'd have an equivalent 4 inch model. Also imo the 4.7 screen is great. Then again I have large hands so it works for me heh.

          I did not know such a thing existed. Hmmmmmm.

            Yeah it's rumoured apple are gonna show it off at their conference on the 21st so yeah if you prefer the 4 inch variant sounds like it might be fore you.

    Bravely Second

    Thanks to the awesome efforts of @blaghman for sending me a fresh 3DS & the not so awesome efforts of another lung infection I've been able to put a good few hours in.

    @negativezero 's fears that the game was somehow diminished by the moral choices being gimped has been negated by the fact (& this is surely due to my love of the job system) that choices not only choose a side story outcome but also which old job (from Bravely Default) you get. For me, the harder choice is not the moral outcomes, but which job I'm opening up & which I'm blocking.

    So far so good on the gameplay front, same as the first game but with these new, non-traditional jobs (they've only mildly changed since Final Fantasy III), it's forcing me to apply new tactics that I wouldn't have normally relied on. It's great, because it's still similar but different enough to be interesting without the feeling of having to relearn everything.

    So peeps like @nobulus ( or is it @sernobulus ?) needn't be afeared. This game is tops & if there isn't late game repetitious boredom, it will knock Bravely Default from my personal second favourite 3DS game.

    Quality stuff! :-)

      Been wanting to get Bravely Second finished before DS3 hits the shelves, few days since release has been unproductive due to heat and laziness in general, troubling to hear about that job problem but I did some reading and I think post game they unlock everything?

      Last edited 17/03/16 9:52 pm

        I didn't see it as a problem so much as an interesting choice. And yeah, I believe later on you can get the others. So the choice is more about which job is the most useful at the time.

        Because I love this job system so much, the choice carries a lot more weight for me than the story bit.

        But that's more me, I get a lot more from gameplay than story (not to dis the story).

        I think I'll wait for the GotY DS3, since I've yet to finish Demons, DS2 or BB.

        I couldn't put DS1 down until I'd completed it, the others are taking me a lot longer.

      Meh. It's not out here until the end of April and I'm in no rush to play it. The cuts and asinine censorship bother me a lot and I'm still not even sure I'll buy it at all.

        Wrong decision »:-[

          If you're still enjoying it despite all the compromises then that's good for you. It doesn't mean I have to feel the same about it though.

          FWIW I haven't even unwrapped my copy of Fire Emblem Fates yet because of the same sort of localization bullshit. Most people don't care and I recognize that, but I do. It's not like there's a shortage of games for me to enjoy. I'll stick to the ones that aren't localized by conservatives with their heads firmly lodged up their asses.

        Have they specified if the cuts were only for the US version? Were different changes made for the EU/AU region? I haven't seen anything indicating that there is one overall Western version for all countries and one Japanese version.

          EU version of Bravely Second has cuts. US isn't out until April.

          US version of Fire Emblem has cuts. EU isn't out until May.

          Normally the EU versions are less likely to have stuff cut than the US ones.

            I'm hoping that EU Fire Emblem is less mutilated that the US version. If it is the same, I'm considering not bothering to pick it up.

            Heck, even Project X Zone 2 has some pretty blatant instances where localisation completely rewrote the original Japanese dialogue but I can kinda give them a pass due to different cultural references. I'm not as willing to be so generous to Fire Emblem and I haven't made my mind up on Bravely Second yet.

              I'd be stunned if the EU one was different in dialogue. Maybe less censoring of random images in the game, though I don't know if there was any of that to begin with.

              The EU version of Awakening didn't have censorship of visual stuff, but had a bunch of dialogue changed. Specifically one of Nowi's dialogue sequences where she's talking about being jealous of Tharja's "boingy bits" is changed to talking about her hair. There's a few others like that. Pretty minor though. But Awakening was localized by 8-4, not Treehouse, and 8-4 actually give a damn.

    Fuck... I can't stay awake...
    It was too hot to sleep last night, and now it's almost too wet to do anything.
    Can we just skip today and go straight to Saturday?

    Murder Mystery parties - suggestions, experiences, reviews? I've got a couple of capable roleplayers among my dnd groups, and a couple of friends right into cosplay - I think I could rustle together a pretty good group for a MM.

    MELBURNIANS

    My Brother's comedy show ANGUS HODGE - GUY ALONE is at the Melbourne International Comedy Festival!

    Downstairs Lounge, Grand Mercure Hotel, 10:15pm

    Runs March 24-April 3, taking a break only for Mon 28th

    Tickets: http://www.comedyfestival.com.au/2016/season/shows/guy-alone-angus-hodge

    Go on, he owes me money.

    Hello fronds! Are the melb-TAY folk enjoying todays shitty weather?

    To the point! - ARK SURVIVAL EVOLVED PLAYERS!

    so some friends and I (about 10 of us) have been playing on an official server. all was good, got about a months worth of progress, and everyone was having fun... then something really shitty happened. one of the big tribes in the game started attacking all the noob tribes, who stood no chance. So in retaliation, the biggest tribe on the server (bunch of cool guys) took in 2 Gigas and a bunch of other dinos and wiped out two of their bases.

    so anyway they figured they had nothing to lose, so went on a fucking rampage and wiped us out clean. so many hours wasted taming dinos and gathering resources. We attempted to start over, but they just kept coming back for like 2 weeks. Not cool.

    Then it got worse; the guys that went in and wiped out their base for being shitty started getting threats from the others; they had their real names, ip addresses, emails, skype details, etc posted in the live chat which we took screenshots of. Posted a griefing report, and they didnt even entertain it with a "we got your email" response.

    so at this point, we are setting up our own Server!

    as a result we have made some slight alterations. The idea behind this is that everyone has a social life, and we want to give everyone a fair chance to defend themselves!

    Taming speed 20% faster
    Resources Respawn 50% faster
    Food and Water drain 20% slower
    Grieving/Cheating NOT tolerated - You will be banned

    And the big one:

    NO RAIDING ON WEEKDAYS. Server mod prevents damage to other players structures. raiding is auto enabled Fridays at 8pm AEST till Sunday Midnight AEST.

    so yeah if you guys have groups, or want to join as lone wolves, message me on TAY or tweet me and ill let you know once the server is live (should be tonight)

      I'm enjoying the shitty weather because I can get stuff done

        It's finally cooling down at least for a day, I love it!
        I hate Metro at the moment though, leaving me out in the rain this morning. The trains were running late, so I waited for a city loop train, then the norse god Freyr decided to tip his bucket on me and it went from no rain to bucketing like crazy in under a minute. Then the train I managed to catch decided "Oh we're converting to not go through City Loop this morning" and I'm still drenched so I'm waiting out in the chilly wind with some wet pants that my umbrella couldn't help. Hopefully I won't get ill from all this later on.

        I'm a bit cranky at the moment as you might expect :P

      You've managed to point out both why I love the idea of public servers in Ark and why I'm never going to invest in playing on them.

      If I can catch up on where I'm up to with my current backlog I'll join in, but we'll see how that goes first. I think other people that have the game might be keen? @cakesmith @blaghman @sernobulus @gorzilla @pixel_the_ferret_viking @f4ction are some I remember.

        we have a bit of a longer term plan to utilize a seperate admin login to build an arena and hold monthly deathmatches for in game loot for the victors...

    Was thinking about booting up Dishonored again last night, but decided against it coz the more i thought about it, the more I realised how much that game annoyed me.

    Here - have all these awesome abilities. you cant use them though if you wanna get the 'good' ending.
    also, the stealth is a bit frustrating. 100% line of sight reliant. light has no effect whatsoever. that annoyed me. years of playing stealth games where darkness = concealment & then this.

    Dishonord 2 had better ease up on the 'you can only have 8 deaths happen (wether you caused them or not) throughout the whole game if you dont wanna get the bad ending' thing.

    anyway. I'll probably just hold hot until Ubi gets their shit together & puts out another Splinter Cell game.

      For me, Dishonored was all about listening to the heart reveal everyone's secrets. Even (especially) your 'allies'. And that art. Mmmmm, art.

      But yeah, it was kinda frustrating that like... 75% of the unlocks were for lethal playstyles.

        Wait... you could play the game and not murder everyone? That thought never crossed my mind...

          I only had accidental kills to my name in the base game, but when I played Knife of Dunwall I embraced the knife part of the name.

            I went into it blind, didn't know there was an alternate ending for actual stealth, and just murdered everyone.

            No ragrets.

    1) Discuss budget document with my boss and his bosses.
    2) I interpret discussion one way to make changes to document, make changes that way
    3) My boss calls and says "no, this is what should be shown."
    4) Change scenario and send out
    5) Get call from his boss saying "Actually what I wanted to show was XYZ"
    6) Change back to original scenario I had implemented but had rejected by my boss.

    GRRRR.

      tl;dr Your boss's job is non-existent?

        Noooope. He just delegated this one task to me so I could get some experience in creating budgets. The tl;dr is "My instincts were right and my boss made me change the pack anyway and then I just had to change it back. Grr."

    Woah, ExoBiz have just raised their yearly POS license price by 85%, and there are basically no new features compared to last year.
    Feeling gouged!

      What's Exobiz?

        A Point of Sale add-on for MYOB EXO.
        I don't see how they can justify nearly doubling the price.

          Because they're greedy?

      That's a fair increase for a Piece Of Shit licence.

        I thought that was actually what he was saying.

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