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Microsoft Rolls Back Faulty Windows 7 Update

computer updateMicrosoft is advising Windows 7 users to patch an update from earlier this week that has been causing problems for users and disabling anti-virus software.

The faulty update began to be pushed out on Tuesday. It was meant to close a pair of obscure security vulnerabilities, but instead resulted in some computers being unable to restart or load applications. Some people received a “fatal system error,” while others got errors with their antivirus software, implying their PCs were unprotected.

Microsoft addressed the issues in a blog post yesterday and stopped pushing the update. The company says that the issue only affected users who also had certain third-party software installed when they applied the update.

A fix has been rolled out and PCs set to update automatically should download and apply it on their own.

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The Benefits of Teaching Young Children to Write Code

While programming computers sounds like a complicated ordeal that would bore the average person to tears, it can be a great boon to young children who are beginning their education.

The act of programming something unifies numerous concepts that children are acquiring in school. It requires critical thinking, foresight, and logic. Additionally, coding can help bolster a child’s understanding of abstractions and linguistic constructs. As media theorist Douglas Rushkoff pointed out in a column on CNN, all children are taught an algorithm, one of the fundamental concepts of computer science, when they learn to perform long division. He believes that once a child has mastered long division, he or she is ready to begin learning how to program.

teaching children to programThe point of this movement is not to have small children churning out advanced code, but to grow their familiarity with the technology that surrounds them and improve their understanding of the various kinds of thinking that go into creating and improving something of their own.

The push to improve computer education beyond learning how to use existing software into writing code is relatively young, but is quickly gaining widespread support. Estonia recently began to teach programming skills to first graders, hoping to nurture the idea that computers can be used to be creative and solve problems.

There are various interfaces that exist to make these concepts digestible for youngsters. Scratch, for example, teaches object-oriented programming skills by allowing kids to build programs out of blocks that fit together in specific ways. It provides a controlled environment that won’t let users make serious syntactical errors, so they can acquire key programming concepts without the added difficulty and frustrations that come with acquiring high-level programming languages.

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