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Comments

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David Cameron Says Brits Should Be Taught Imperial Measures

Builder Re:Science curriculum (602 comments)

Laws governing some guns here still use foot pound second as the legal measurement.

5 hours ago
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NASA's Manned Rocket Contract: $4.2 Billion To Boeing, $2.6 Billion To SpaceX

Builder Re:I hate to be this guy... (188 comments)

Firstly, where do you plan to evacuate a significant percentage of the world's population to ? Secondly, how are you going to decide who is worthy of evacuation and who has just put his gun down and is hiding with the locals to make sure he can carry on the abuse and oppression in their new location ? Finally, how are you going to get this food to them ?

Food nutrition or availability isn't the problem - the problem is identifying valid recipients and then getting it past every government agent, checkpoint thug and warlord into the region.

I've worked in strange places in Africa and I've seen a lot of this first hand. The only fix is for people to organise and setup governments that are fair and have their people's interests at heart. That won't happen without massive amounts of education and people believing they can change things, and vested external interests stepping aside so that this can happen. I doubt very much that this will happen in my lifetime, short of a massively powerful nation deciding it is in their best interests.

Watching China's march into Africa is very interesting to me for these reasons.

about two weeks ago
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NASA's Manned Rocket Contract: $4.2 Billion To Boeing, $2.6 Billion To SpaceX

Builder Re:I hate to be this guy... (188 comments)

The biggest problem getting food into remote areas and is making sure it reaches the people who need it. We could feed the whole world today, but there are people with vested interests in making sure that we don't.

about two weeks ago
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The Growing Illusion of Single Player Gaming

Builder Re:Summary is ridiculous. (292 comments)

Lots of places don't have stable enough connections to rely on for always-on gaming.

about two weeks ago
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Hackers Break Into HealthCare.gov

Builder Re:Jesus wept, will people never learn? (150 comments)

The network admins will have all of that. But they'll be a shared resource covering thousands of ports across hundreds of services. And if you raise a request saying that I need on the internet accessible network, chances are, you'll get it. Because of how we structure our SLAs, performance reviews and outsourcing contracts, more often than not, the job of the network admin (or server admin, or proxy admin, etc.) is to carry out the instructions in the ticket. If an approved ticket requests something, the network admin has to do it if he wants to keep out of the bottom part of the stack rank.

about a month ago
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Operating Systems Still Matter In a Containerized World

Builder Re:what are you smoking? (129 comments)

It's worth mentioning that device passthrough requires CPU extensions and motherboard support, and this doesn't seem well supported outside of solid server gear.

about a month and a half ago
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The Daily Harassment of Women In the Game Industry

Builder Re:The problem is the other way round... (962 comments)

Most women who are in professional environments have had the experience where they propose a course of action, and people ignore them and keep talking, and then some guy proposes the same exact course of action, and everyone agrees with it, and concludes that the guy had the idea. Watch carefully in meetings and you can see it too. It's sort of magical.

Most guys have had that happen too.

about 2 months ago
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Ask Slashdot: Future-Proof Jobs?

Builder Re:Plumber (509 comments)

I know LOADS of out-of-work lawyers in the UK. Many firms now get by with 1/5th the number of staff that they used to because a lot of the preparation and document related work is offshored.

about 2 months ago
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UK Seeks To Hold Terrorism Trial In Secret

Builder Dodgy arrests under the terrorism act (240 comments)

People have been detained or arrested in the UK under various iterations of the terrorism act for really pathetic things. In one example, a woman was arrested for walking on a cycle path.

http://news.sky.com/story/3792...

Given that we have already abused the terrorism laws by using them to detain and arrest people for offences that are clearly not terrorism related, how can we trust our system to hold trials in secret just because they are terrorism related ?

For all we know, these people walked on a cycle path - we have arrested people under terrorism related acts for things like this, so how can we be sure that the cause for arresting these people wasn't this trivial ?

about 4 months ago
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Professors: US "In Denial" Over Poor Maths Standards

Builder Re:public employee unions poison (688 comments)

Dude,

Let me know which desk you sit at and I'll stop by for coffee tomorrow. We MUST be in the same building!

about 4 months ago
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London Black Cabs Threaten Chaos To Stop Uber

Builder Re: This (417 comments)

The comment I replied to was
> You can still get raped and cheated with London taxis.

From that comment, it wasn't clear that the OP was just talking about black cabs. Mini cabs are also taxis in London.

about 5 months ago
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Really, Why Are Smartphones Still Tied To Contracts?

Builder Not a problem elsewhere (482 comments)

This is only a problem in America from what I can tell.

In the UK and elsewhere in Europe, I buy my phone outright then buy connectivity to a network separately. I currently pay £12 per month (including taxes) for 300 minutes, 500 SMSs and unlimited data. The unlimited data seems truly unlimited so far.

We don't pay to receive calls or SMSs, so the low looking amounts shown there are more than adequate for my needs.

I change providers roughly once every 6 months as deals change to ensure that I'm getting the best possible deal, and I take my existing number with me at no extra charge.

about 5 months ago
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Child Porn Arrest For Cameron Aide Who Helped Plan UK Net Filters

Builder Re:victimless crime (205 comments)

Don't forget NetMums!

about 7 months ago
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U.S. Teenagers Are Driving Much Less: 4 Theories About Why

Builder Re:Gas price probably has more to do with it. (635 comments)

I think that really depends on your field. There's certainly loads more work available for me in London, and the pay outside of London for similar roles with similar hours is around 20% less.

Similar properties in Stamford (only place I know well enough to compare to) are not cheaper enough to impact my mortgage and travel options are more restricted there.

about 8 months ago
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U.S. Teenagers Are Driving Much Less: 4 Theories About Why

Builder Re:Murica Fuck yea! (635 comments)

No idea - just thought I'd share what I personally see. I've never seen an accurate stat from a reseller, so I pay no attention to them other than to compare different engine options within the same model of vehicle from the same manufacturer.

about 8 months ago
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U.S. Teenagers Are Driving Much Less: 4 Theories About Why

Builder Re:Gas price probably has more to do with it. (635 comments)

> I'm always amazed at people in the US who are happy to spend more than the equivalent of one working day a week just getting to and from work.

A significant number of people in London do that and more. The average commute for the people in my office is 45 minutes unless there are delays. At least twice a week, someone has a delay extend their journey.

about 8 months ago
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U.S. Teenagers Are Driving Much Less: 4 Theories About Why

Builder Re:Murica Fuck yea! (635 comments)

I get between 11.5 km/l and 13.1 km/l depending on what kind of driving I'm doing on that tank. This is on a 3 year old Mazda 3. My previous Mazda 3 gave similar consumption figures.

My Honda CB500F gets between 22km/l and 24km/l depending on the type of travel.

about 8 months ago

Submissions

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Digital content in conservative countries

Builder Builder writes  |  more than 7 years ago

Builder writes "I'm going to be travelling in some interesting parts of Africa for the next 6 months (Niger, CAR, Gabon, etc.) Having read some of the 'What gadgets to take on my travels?' Ask Slashdot stories, I believe that a number of readers are very familiar with wandering around the world, so I'm throwing myself on your not so tender mercies and asking for the wisdom of your miles.

I'm ok with the 'what to take' bit, and I've limited the technology down to just what I need to do my job. I'm not carrying any creature comfort devices and I've minimised what I need for work. But I am taking a laptop. I need it to do my job, so I figure I may as well get some personal use out of it too.

So here comes my question... Some of the countries I'm visiting have large Muslim populations and are not entirely secular. Should I avoid taking ripped copies of some of my DVDs and TV shows with me? While acceptable for most western TV stations to show, I'm concerned that some shows might be suitably offensive to my host country and I could find myself in a difficult position. I'm not talking about anything particularly controversial, only stuff that has aired on UK television during prime time viewing.

There's not a lot of clarity to be found on Google about taking digital content for personal use into these countries, but with some stricter countries banning Christian bibles and so on, I'd rather seek advice.

I can't just setup a Truecopy partition because I'm using OS X, and Apple's home directory encryption doesn't give me plausible deniability in any form."
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Digital content in conservative countries

Builder Builder writes  |  more than 7 years ago

Builder writes "I'm going to be travelling in some interesting parts of Africa for the next 6 months (Niger, CAR, Gabon, etc.) Having read some of the 'What gadgets to take on my travels?' Ask Slashdot stories, I believe that a number of readers are very familiar with wandering around the world, so I'm throwing myself on your not so tender mercies and asking for the wisdom of your miles.

I'm ok with the 'what to take' bit, and I've limited the technology down to just what I need to do my job. I'm not carrying any creature comfort devices and I've minimised what I need for work. But I am taking a laptop. I need it to do my job, so I figure I may as well get some personal use out of it too.

So here comes my question... Some of the countries I'm visiting have large Muslim populations and are not entirely secular. Should I avoid taking ripped copies of some of my DVDs and TV shows with me? The content I'm worried about includes things like the Soprano's TV show (and please, don't post spoilers here — the final series hasn't aired in the UK yet! :)), Die Hard movies, etc. While acceptable for most western TV stations to show, I'm concerned that some of the nudity or language in these shows might be suitably offensive to my host country and I could find myself in a difficult position.

There's not a lot of clarity to be found on Google about taking digital content for personal use into these countries, but with some stricter countries banning Christian bibles and so on, I'd rather seek advice.

I can't just setup a Truecopy partition because I'm using OS X, and Apple's home directory encryption doesn't give me plausible deniability in any form."
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Builder Builder writes  |  more than 7 years ago

Builder writes "The Register are reporting that Halliburton have lost a patent appeal in the UK.

What makes this interesting are the appeal judge's reasons for rejecting the patent.
"The English court took a rigorous approach to analysing the patents and found that it did not adequately describe the system it sought to patent. In order to be valid a patent must describe a process so completely that a person who knows that subject area must be able to replicate it using only the contents of the patent."

He went on to say that the patent was missing vital details, contained wrong equations, demanded a higher level of expertise than allowed and that it relied on material external to the patent, and therefore was not a valid patent. Sadly this patent was upheld in the USA, but is this a good way to fight patents in the future ?"

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