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Trojan-Infected Computer Linked To 2008 Spanair Crash

Acer500 Re:Shit. (324 comments)

We had a case recently where there was an odd source of infection on a supposedly secure PC... seems the user was more tech-savvy than most, and purchased a 3G USB modem and then proceeded to spread spyware all over the place with his browsing (to be fair he had an extremely boring job but...)

more than 3 years ago

Inside the Mechanical Turk Sweatshop

Acer500 Re:Guess Wal-mart's not so bad after all (267 comments)

It IS available for most of us (us being people reading /.)

Hmm... I'd be willing to bet that half the readership is not physically in the U.S. (see for example the 4th of July poll - 55% voted it meant "nothing" or "something else")

about 4 years ago

Inside the Mechanical Turk Sweatshop

Acer500 Re:I've got news for you... (267 comments)

Across the river, in Argentina, I'm making 5 pounds, about 8 USD, after taxes too. I'm underpaid too, as there is a higher salary in most other companies.

Yes, Argentina has higher salaries for IT, I'd heard that. And Chile, even better.

about 4 years ago

Inside the Mechanical Turk Sweatshop

Acer500 Re:I've got news for you... (267 comments)

Thank you for your suggestion.

I'm seriously contemplating taking that plunge, I've been afraid to leave the safety net of the easy 8 to 6 job, though

Uruguay has laws that promote staying in a steady job - if I got fired, I'd get 3 months's salary as compensation plus 6 months of unemployment benefits, against being in the local IRS equivalent's target if you freelance online.

Still, I do believe I'd make way more on Elance or similar. Thanks again, I just have to gather the nerve (and some small savings).

about 4 years ago

Inside the Mechanical Turk Sweatshop

Acer500 Re:I've got news for you... (267 comments)

Stop accepting what they offer, and demand more.

When there's more than half the programming workforce making less than I do? Not a good idea.

I plan on starting my own company and selling stuff to the U.S. and Europe (seriously :) ), and employing people for 3 pounds sterling :P

about 4 years ago

Inside the Mechanical Turk Sweatshop

Acer500 Re:3 Pounds per hour? (267 comments)

Er... yeah, seriously... you're being taken for a ride. Minimum wage is nearly double that and a legal requirement...(snip) If you are genuinely working for a large and well known corporation, time to name and shame them.

He's in Romania, similar situation to mine I guess. Here in Uruguay, all the major corps (and McDonalds of course) pay way less than 3 pounds sterling per hour. McDonalds in particular pays about 80 pounds a month.

about 4 years ago

Inside the Mechanical Turk Sweatshop

Acer500 Re:Guess Wal-mart's not so bad after all (267 comments)

In case you haven't read the FAQ, /. is a US centric website.

Hi Mr. Coward, I know you've been around forever, but I've been posting here since 2005 :) - I think I picked that up :)

I was just trying to point out (somewhat sarcastically) to those that wonder "who would sign up for this, when Wal-mart is available", that no, it's NOT available for most of us ("us" being the 6 billion and a half of non-US citizens).

about 4 years ago

Inside the Mechanical Turk Sweatshop

Acer500 Re:I've got news for you... (267 comments)

what can you buy for £3 in Uruguay?

Let's see - assuming 3 pounds is roughly 100 Uruguayan Pesos:

* 10 loaves of bread
* 50 cigarettes (2 packs and a half)
* 6 bus tickets and change
More interestingly:
* A kilo of nice, prime quality beef
* 6 liters of milk
* Dinner for two (cheap) or a good meal for one, dining out
* An hour of cleaning lady
* Two shifts of laundry at a laundromat (with service, not self-service)

The government index for basic food for a family for a month is set at 72 pounds ( ), so 24 hours of hypothetical work could feed a family for a month.
I pay U$ 200 for rent (16 square meters apartment), average is about U$ 400 - but they don't include all the amenities included in an US rent.

Anything electronics or luxury imports are HEAVILY taxed, we probably have the most expensive cars in the world, and stuff like consoles cost 300% of US price, etc.

You can check the prices on an expensive supermarket with an online webpage, Tienda Inglesa:

about 4 years ago

Inside the Mechanical Turk Sweatshop

Acer500 Re:Well... to be fair... (267 comments)

Money is paid to USA and Indian workers only. Everyone else gets to use their earnings as gift certificates at

Didn't know about that, how annoying - but it's standard to have problems collecting over here - Paypal doesn't have bank accounts here either IIRC.

It adds one more step: buy something at Amazon, smuggle it in here and then sell it at a huge profit, as taxes here are outrageous - a Kindle can be easily sold for U$ 300 or more - the Sony reader sells for U$ 600 at a shopping center. Even better, books and CDs can be imported legitimately so it wouldn't be smuggling (you have to pay the heavy shipping costs though).

In all, if you're materialistic and US-centric (like I am) it sucks a bit to live in Uruguay (too bad the US is currently so harsh on immigrants, not to mention emigrating is hard - leaving family and friends behind and all that)

about 4 years ago

Inside the Mechanical Turk Sweatshop

Acer500 Re:It's not for you (267 comments)

Not to mention it's "extra" income (on top of whatever salary they have), and probably untaxed.

about 4 years ago

Inside the Mechanical Turk Sweatshop

Acer500 Re:Guess Wal-mart's not so bad after all (267 comments)

They pay $8 in a nice, clean, air conditioned environment.

So US-centric. Please point me to the nearest Wal-Mart here in Montevideo (Uruguay, South America) that pays those wages, and I'll sign up instantly.

about 4 years ago

Inside the Mechanical Turk Sweatshop

Acer500 I've got news for you... (267 comments)

I've got news for you... I have a degree in Information Systems, and I work for 3 pounds sterling an hour (of course my employer gets a discount rate since I work for them 200 hours a month guaranteed, and it's after-taxes money - Government gets 40% of what I make before taxes since I'm obviously "rich").

You think filling out YouGov forms or whatever (hadn't heard of them before) for that same amount of money isn't a good deal?

I live in Montevideo, Uruguay, and yes, I believe I will eventually make better money, but over half the programmers here make less than that.

about 4 years ago

How many languages do you speak on a daily basis?

Acer500 Re:Hooray Rosetta Stone Kiosk (674 comments)

It's easier for us foreigners to become fluent in English, as (depending on the career choice) we're immersed in it whether we want it or not:

Not a day goes by where I don't post something in English, watch a video or otherwise hear some English, and occasionally make a phone call - in English, all the time using English terminology, googling in English and going home to read a book.. in English.

Upper class kids (like I was) in South America are often taught in English as well (in my case at )

In my case part of my family emigrated to Canada, and some of my sisters speak ONLY English, but even if they hadn't, I would believe myself to be fluent, and to read and write better than most native speakers.

And I would believe this of my English-taught classmates as well.

about 4 years ago

Where I am now, it's ...

Acer500 Canada in Winter (525 comments)

You know, when I went to Canada (Toronto actually) I was prepared to endure extreme cold.

What I wasn't prepared was for a winter experience MUCH milder than the one in my home country (Uruguay).

The thing is, it doesn't matter if the temperature outside is cold, you guys have everything insulated and central heating and even the cold isn't humid and you don't have blasts of cold wind (google "Pampero" ).

Not to mention I was able to wear a t-shirt outside for Christmas day (2006). Toronto at least isn't as cold as you make it out to be.

more than 4 years ago

Stem Cell Tourists Take Costa Rica Off the Agenda

Acer500 Re:'serious country' (206 comments)

You know, some countries in South America have such serious problems inspiring confidence, that Argentina ran ad campaigns on neighbouring countries and potential investors touting themselves as "a Serious Country" ("Argentina, un país en serio").

At the same time they were stealing from the pension funds, setting a blockade to the neighbouring country Uruguay (where I come from), and lots of other stuff (just search for the words of the ad, and you'll find lots of criticism). Not to mention they had just defaulted from their debt and all that.

And actually, Costa Rica is one of the most serious countries in Latin America, and way more credible than their "joke" neighbours.

more than 4 years ago

Bank Employee Plants Malware on ATMs

Acer500 Re:Question.... (171 comments)

IDK about the US, but over here withdrawing from the teller costs money, and you're subject to the absurd working hours of the bank.

OTOH, if you withdraw from the ATM you're liable to the sort of things you mention (I'm still out U$ 300 from the Bank Boston - now Banco Itaú in Uruguay, and will never do business with them again whenever possible, from an ATM failure that resulted on withdrawal from my account without me receiving the money, and even appealing to the bank didn't work)

more than 4 years ago

Hedge Fund Offers $2 Billion For Novell

Acer500 Re:Interesting how fortunes turn (144 comments)

Anyone who's been a systems administrator for many years has probably dealt with Novell at one point or another in their career.

And Novell NetWare was ROCK SOLID as a file server. I have good memories of that. OTOH, it was basically not very flexible, and GroupWise sucked when last I saw it.

more than 4 years ago

Civilization V Announced For This Fall

Acer500 Re:Fall 2010? Meh. (326 comments)

There's also Australia and South Africa (though I'm in South America myself)

more than 4 years ago



Anecdotes of the OLPC in Uruguay

Acer500 Acer500 writes  |  more than 5 years ago

Acer500 (846698) writes "Uruguayan teacher Óscar Cabrera compiled a list of anecdotes about the first year of the OLPC project in a rural community in Cerro Largo (Uruguay).

(as you may recall, Uruguay was the first to do a countrywide deployment of the XO laptop, as previously covered here ). Among the most interesting (translated):

"It was unthinkable for most of these children to own a computer. A girl told me that his father said that he would buy her a computer when chicken grew teeth", said Cabrera.

It became a part of daily life, as evidenced by these messages he received:

"I'm not letting Nicolás get his XO because he ignores me and doesn't respect me."

"Nelson is late because he forgot his XO in the drawer"

For the teacher, the arrival of the OLPC project (locally called Plan Ceibal) "is something very positive, one of the most important things done in the last years", because of the acquired knowledge and because of the fact that "any child, no matter his economic status, has access to the same tool"."

Link to Original Source

Uruguay OLPC rollout delivers 100.000th laptop

Acer500 Acer500 writes  |  about 6 years ago

Acer500 (846698) writes "President Tabaré Vazquez of Uruguay delivered yesterday the 100.000th OLPC laptop, starting the Ceibal Plan (Uruguay's OLPC initiative) rollout in the capital city of Montevideo, where an additional 300.000 laptops will be delivered (an impressive feat considering that Uruguay has a population of 3.000.000).

The laptop itself was received by a 6-year old child of School N 157 from Villa García. The first grade children received the laptops one by one, but were unable to open them before the teachers showed them the mechanism. Fourth graders, on the other hand, were already making plans: "we will study, listen to music and play with the computers".

The Ceibal project has been involved in several other activities, including a book, " Ceibal in the society of the 21st century — References for parents and educators", and "Programming Jam" style activities for developing much-needed software for the laptops (there are future Jams programmed for August 8th, and September 6th. A (spanish-language) mailing list for those of you that want to help can be found here:"

Trust drug may cure social phobia

Acer500 Acer500 writes  |  more than 6 years ago

Acer500 (846698) writes "BBC reports that a nasal spray based on the "love hormone" oxytocin, which increases trust for strangers, is showing promise as a treatment for social phobia according to scientists from Zurich University.

They found that people who inhaled the "love hormone" oxytocin continued to trust strangers with their money — even after they were betrayed. Brain scans showed the hormone lowered activity in the amygdala — a region which is overactive in social phobics.

These findings were initially reported to Nature, according to an earlier article titled "Scientists create 'trust potion' ""

Slashdot discussed similar findings (not oxytocin specifically) in this story:

And the obligatory Wikipedia reference:"

Link to Original Source

Acer500 Acer500 writes  |  more than 7 years ago

Acer500 writes "The One Laptop Per Child project became a reality yesterday in Uruguay, as the 160 children of the school number 24 "Italy" in the humble town of Cardal received their XO computers from the hands of president Tabaré Vazquez, as most newspapers in the country headlined yesterday (in Spanish)

El Observador aspx?id=76129.
El Pais

In what has become a matter of national pride in being the first country to realize the project's goal, the target is that by 2009, every school-age child in Uruguay will have one, and an initial 15 million dollars have already been allocated to the project.

From the newspaper articles "The happines of having a PC in their hands, some of them for the first time, had the kids in ecstasy, which didn't wait to turn on their computers, introduce their personal information (required the first time they're turned on), choose the screen colors, and start experimenting with them. What initially made them more enthusiastic was the possibility of taking photographs and filming each others with the included webcams"

According to the unofficial blog of the Uruguayan project, named "proyecto Ceibal", , the infrastructure for wireless is not yet in place but will be provided in the next few days by the national telco ANTEL. No photos of the event have been posted online, but you can see an institutional video on Youtube here

One interesting point is that it has not yet been decided that the XO will be the laptop of choice for the entire project. Two other companies want to be considered: Intel, with their Classmate PC , and israeli-manufactured ITP-C. In a press conference, Intel manager for the southern cone Esteban Galluzzi went as far as to compare the XO to a Pentium II, and stressed that the Classmate is able to run Windows XP.

As advisor and local guru Juan Grompone stated, "who will ultimately benefit from this is education". This will be an interesting test to see if the OLPC project meets its intended goals of "learning learning". Let's hope this project is the means that will foster among some of the children the desire to learn and to tinker; I, for one, will be eagerly awaiting the first feedback from this."

Acer500 Acer500 writes  |  more than 7 years ago

Acer500 writes "May 10th will be the date where the One Laptop Per Child pilot project will officialy start in Uruguay, according to uruguayan newspaper "El Pais", the OLPC wiki, and the project's unofficial blog el-lanzamiento-del-primer.html (all resources in Spanish mostly)

Teachers at the rural school in the modest town of Cardal, which will be first in the project, are already being trained. On May 8th a press conference will be held.

There's also an official video on YouTube of the uruguayan OLPC project, named "Proyecto Ceibal" (named after our national flower the Ceibo).

Government's official webpage (not very up to date) 006/12/2006121402.htm

According to an ONG webpage article2856, the OLPC project wasn't the only one considered, Intel and Microsoft offered their alternative, the ClassMate PC, whose main selling point was running Windows XP. The Intel representative also downplayed the OLPCs capabilities comparing it to a "Pentium II, obsolete". After the Cardal pilot project, government-sponsored LATU (Technological laboratories of Uruguay) will evaluate the OLPC and two other competitors, the ClassMate — brochure here hure.pdf (PDF Warning), and Israel's ITP-C s=126

As a Uruguayan, I can only hope that all this competition will result in a good, usable computer for the education of my country's children."

Acer500 Acer500 writes  |  more than 7 years ago

Acer500 writes "New Medium Enterprises in U.K. has announced that they have successfully developed a Versatile MultiLayer Disc (VMD) which is capable of holding anywhere between 20GB up to 100GB of data stored across 10 layers and read via conventional red laser technology.

Originally, it appears, the format was developed by two companies called MultiDisc and TriGm.

The big surprise is that the first players will be launched in January already and cost a pittance compared to rival formats HD-DVD and Blu-Ray at less than $180 (£95). On top of that, the VMD discs have a significantly larger storage capacity, according to the company's website: starting with a minimum storage capacity of 20GB today.

"Looking ahead to 2007, if and when the blue laser becomes more reliable, for greater capacities such as VIDEO ON DEMAND (100-200GB), Blue laser Multi layer Discs using VMD technology can be developed along traditional lines. VMD has the capability to enhance Blue Laser through its Multi Layering technology, increasing capacity of its currently proposed 50GB maximal possible capacity to 100GB and 200GB." (from the company's website)

At CeBIT in March 2006, NME demonstrated a prototype VMD player and announced that they were expecting to launch the format in the third quarter of 2006. Rather than competing head-to-head with the HD DVD and Blu-ray Disc formats, they intend to market their format in China and India initially with a possible expansion into Eastern Europe, Russia and South America coming later. With this in mind, they have signed a deal with Bollywood production company Eros Group who intend to release 50 Bollywood features on the format before the end of 2006 (information from Wikipedia).

Reuters is also running a story: New technology could nip DVD format war in the bud"

Acer500 Acer500 writes  |  more than 7 years ago

Acer500 writes "I am looking for ideas for an university project, and I've noticed that some small companies or development teams use several different tools for each part of the project management life cycle (requirements, project schedule & time tracking, bugs/issues, etc), often by different vendors, using different kinds of databases and interfaces (for example, Project & Bugzilla).

I want to know if this is prevalent or just a few isolated cases, and if there is a need for an integration/middleware system, so I'm asking for your help in determining this:

Does your small company or software development team use more than one tool for the project management life cycle?

Do you find that you have to look at information from those several different programs to get information about the project's status?

Is information entered twice into your systems (for example, hours worked on a bug fix in both the bug program and the project schedule)?

Do you think this problem has been solved (for example by the integrated approach of Microsoft Team System)? Or are there companies that would need or desire this approach?

Would having the information in a central location be useful for a project manager? Or would it be better if the middleware interacted with each program, updating them each time information is entered in one of them, keeping them synchronized (say, a bug is entered, and the project schedule tool is updated to reflect this)?

Thanks in advance"



Acer500 Acer500 writes  |  more than 9 years ago At the moment, I'm a Network Administrator for a software company in Montevideo, Uruguay.

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