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Will This Flying Car Get Crowdfunded?

GauteL They've received EUR 140 in contributions (157 comments)

It may not produce many flying cars, but it may pay for a few rounds of drinks! And thankfully they use flexible funding, so they'll get their bar bill covered even if only four people have donated so far.

From the page:
"This campaign will receive all funds raised even if it does not reach its goal. Funding duration: March 31, 2014 - May 15, 2014 (11:59pm PT)."

5 days ago
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Slashdot Asks: Will You Need the Windows XP Black Market?

GauteL Re:XP users don't care (245 comments)

Home users either won't know how or won't care to bother. Most people I know who are still running XP have been virus-infected for months or even years. As long as it lets them play YouTubes, check their gMail, and surf Crackbook they just flat out don't *care* that the machine is infected.

I hear you, but I hope they just might care if someone grabs their credit card and bank details, or much worse; their PC gets turned into a file server for child porn and they have to defend themselves in both the proper courts and the courts of public opinion.

about two weeks ago
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Brendan Eich Steps Down As Mozilla CEO

GauteL Very sensible decision. (1746 comments)

I know the overwhelming majority of posts here seem to be about this being a sad day for freedom of speech. But nobody has taken away Mr Eichs right to speak.
A large group of users (and donors) have, however, made it clear that they may want to excercise their right to use and donate to whatever they want, and Mr Eichs campaigning and donating to remove people's rights may impact on that decision.

Given that Mr Eich was the CEO and not some low-level employee, it is much harder to separate his personal beliefs from that of the organisation. Furthermore, a lot of donors may be uncomfortable with the idea that their donations may well go towards funding campaigns for anti-Gay legislation. Yes, that is always a possibility as employees of an organisation are allowed to do what they want with their salary, but nobody would be as well-enumerated and as public as Mr Eich.

about two weeks ago
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Ask Slashdot: Will Older Programmers Always Have a Harder Time Getting a Job?

GauteL Re:False premise (379 comments)

I believe most of your arguments have been answered by other posters... except this one:

Finally, who wants to hire somebody they know won't be working more than a few more years?

What is the difference between hiring a good 60 year old and good 25-year old? You will probably have the 60 year old for 4-5 years. The 25-year old will leave after 2-3 years for greener grass elsewhere. If you really want a steady hand who will stay for a long while, hire a 50-55-year old with grandchildren nearby and target extra incentives to make them stay longer. I'm not talking about throwing money at them, but rather things like 5 days extra holiday a year and the option of an unpaid sabbatical. 50+ year olds are likely to have seen it all and knows better than to jump ship whenever something fancy comes along. As long as they feel valued and well treated they are more likely to stick around.

about 1 month ago
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Is DIY Brainhacking Safe?

GauteL I'm all for it (183 comments)

As long as foc.us will also sell me a replacement brain if something goes wrong.

about a month ago
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Sony & Panasonic Next-Gen Optical Discs Moving Forward

GauteL Re:What are these shiny discs you speak of? (250 comments)

While I get what you are saying, the difference in quality between Blu-Ray and Netflix/OtherStreamingServices[tm] is quite astounding. I completely agree that Streaming is good enough for most purposes, but if you want to watch a high quality picture on a top quality TV, then the streaming services don't yet cut it. That is a reason to (sometimes) collect physical media.

But the amount of films I'd care enough to have on physical media is severely limited. When Sony fought tooth and nail against HD-DVD to make Blu-Ray the "Standard" optical HD-format, I expect they thought they'd be able to milk that cow a bit longer.

about a month ago
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PC Game Prices — Valve Starts the Race To Zero

GauteL Oh good. (212 comments)

Now the "for sale" list will be an utterly useless way of finding a good deal because it will be filled with spam and god awful "freemium" games from the publishers. Every game will be continuously "on sale" and if Valve has any rules against this, the publishers will use the same tricks high street retailers use to always advertise a sale even in countries with marketing laws regarding sales (i.e. introduce a product at a ridiculously high price so that they can then advertise it at 50% sale the next week).

about a month and a half ago
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Bitcoin Exchange Flexcoin Wiped Out By Theft

GauteL Re:Unregulated currency (704 comments)

"You do not need to use an exchange"

If you actually want to use your bitcoins for anything, you probably do need an exchange. You obviously don't have to just use one exchange and store all your bitcoins there perpetually. If you still believe in Bitcoin, store your bitcoins yourself and only transfer a portion of them to an exchange when you want normal currency.

about a month and a half ago
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Pro-Vaccination Efforts May Be Scaring Wary Parents From Shots

GauteL Re:Solution - Face-saving way out (482 comments)

"I'm not a real fan of compulsory things like this."

It isn't compulsory. It is a requirement for receiving some public privileges. I.e. when you put your child in a public nursery, you may be asked to show evidence that your child has followed the normal public health service vaccination plan, some equivalent alternative, or has some valid medical reason not to.

You are not required to put your child in a public nursery. I'd rather argue that the other children in that nursery has a right to an environment being made as safe as practically possible, which includes making sure children are vaccinated.

about a month and a half ago
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WhatsApp Founder Used Unchangable Airline Ticket To Pressure Facebook

GauteL Re:Facebook was dumb. (144 comments)

Whatsapp is useful if you have moved country and would like to keep receiving texts from your old friends without putting them out. It is one of those cases where politeness dictates that you can't expect people to keep texting you, even though you would have no issue paying the £10 it would cost per month to send 50 text messages.

That said, catering for us is not an 'insanely hot' business idea and a lot may well be swayed to move to Google Hangouts or Skype quite easily.

about 2 months ago
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How To Hack Subway Fares Using Fare Arbitrage

GauteL Re:Reminds me of the "split tickets" system in the (240 comments)

"Bizarrely I'm pretty sure the system came about as a way to 'simplify' ticket costing and avoid companies abusing it :|"

I have no doubt. The result is of course a system which appears blatantly unfair to people in the same way that buying two small packets of biscuits in the super-market may end up cheaper than buying the double size "economy, always better value, package". It is just not right. It should be dead easy to price the journeys to have the same price per "stage" regardless of whether you buy the full journey or buy each stage individually.

The ridiculous thing is that it IS easy. This is proven by all the third party websites that offer you this service (SplitYourTicket, SplitMyFare, RailEasy, etc.). It really should be easy to sort this out through the official channels.

about 2 months ago
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How To Hack Subway Fares Using Fare Arbitrage

GauteL Re:Reminds me of the "split tickets" system in the (240 comments)

"Airlines have a pretty good reason to charge almost the same for singles as they do for returns on international flights"

This is EU internal, so this is completely irrelevant. Companies such as RyanAir, Easyjet, Norwegian, etc. are more than capable of giving you a decent offer for a one-way ticket for the same routes, the same goes for some of the traditional airliners. I'm afraid this must be KLM internal policy.

about 2 months ago
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How To Hack Subway Fares Using Fare Arbitrage

GauteL Reminds me of the "split tickets" system in the UK (240 comments)

Go from Swindon to London at peak hours costs an extortionate £60.50.

Book the ticket from Swindon to Reading and then Reading to London Paddington costs £34 + £22.20 = £56.20, saving you £4.30.

The train from Swindon to London always stops at Reading anyway and you will spend your journey in the exact same train taking the exact same amount of time and you will stand just as uncomfortably for your slightly less extortionate fee. And as opposed to swapping tickets with someone, this is perfectly legit and not against the terms of service.

There may have been some original sensible reason, but it sure feels like a scam to me.

Also, some airliners (KLM, I'm looking at you), charge you MORE for a single flight than they do for a return flight. When I moved country (and consequently only wanted to book a single), I had to book a return ticket which I simply didn't turn up for, otherwise it would have cost me £500 more. There may be some logic in what KLM is doing, but it feels like a big "fuck you" to me.

about 2 months ago
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Ugly Trends Threaten Aviation Industry

GauteL Re:Not Cost! (473 comments)

"The cost of an airplane is not the issue. If you look back to at least the 1960s, an airplane cost about as much as a middle class house. That has not changed."

Oh dear. You are comparing the airplane with something which has also increased massively in price compared to income over the last few decades. That middle class house costs many more times the average income than it used to. Not least due to easy availability of loans. What has changed is that both the housing and planes have gone up massively in price. Where some may have been able to afford both previously, they cannot now, and guess what? The hobby usually loses.

about 2 months ago
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How Russia Transformed a Subtropical Beach Resort To Host the Winter Olympics

GauteL Very inaccurate and deceptive (359 comments)

While the indoor activities may well be in the City of Sochi, the activities which actually requires a large amount of snow (alpine and nordic) are actually arranged in Rosa Khutor, which may only be 50 km away, but happens to be approximately 1000 meters above sea level, something which does have an impact on the climate.

There may be lots of things wrong with these Olympics, but there is no need to exaggerate.

about 2 months ago
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Meet the Electric Porsche From 1898

GauteL Re:Hmm (143 comments)

He's got a reputation as a Playboy and admittedly has a very punchable face. This seems to be enough to brand him a shameless opportunist and dickhead, despite the fact that he's both successful and has chosen to invest his time and money into companies that actually do properly cool stuff which may have positive impact on the world.

If he's a shameless dickhead I hope for more shameless dickheads in the world.

about 3 months ago
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Ask Slashdot: It's 2014 -- Which New Technologies Should I Learn?

GauteL Expand what you already know. (387 comments)

Unless you are simply passionate about web technologies and just really want to work with it, stop trying to chase the latest and greatest here. You will find it remarkably hard to compete for the Javascript/web/whatever jobs as the 20 year old wizz-kids will have more experience than you in web-stuff but will probably need much less money.

Instead focus on improving what you already do, and expand into new areas of the embedded sphere. All that fancy web tech will in the end use and require embedded devices. We will get many more embedded devices, rather than fewer of them. Furthermore, try to expand your embedded domain knowledge. Perhaps there are some really exciting new embedded devices (drones, wireless home management devices, etc) you'd enjoy working on as a hobbyist? Expand into other embedded languages as necessary to work on the range of devices you like (i.e. Objective-C if you want to write iOS apps). You will only really learn properly if you have something concrete you want to do anyway.

The point is; unless you hate what you're doing, you should work on ways to make all those 15 years of embedded experience count. Chasing some Javascript web-stuff will not achieve that.

about 3 months ago
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Study Doubts Quantum Computer Speed

GauteL Worthless BBC article (105 comments)

Since I haven't read the actual paper, I'll give the researchers the benefit of the doubt. But the BBC reporting is terrible. What I got from the story is that a study has demonstrated that this Quantum computer isn't better at everything. Well, duh! Everyone who has even very casually followed Quantum computing knows that they are a new class of computing which can solve a limited set of problems very quickly. I'm really not much wiser after reading this story.

about 3 months ago
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U.S. Teenagers Are Driving Much Less: 4 Theories About Why

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

"I've always taken jobs where I could either work remotely or walk / cycle less than 10 minutes each way. I wouldn't consider working somewhere where I'd need to drive to work, or where I'd spend more than 10 minutes commuting, and 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"

I'm pleased for you. But if both you and your spouse have specialised careers with limited numbers of possible job locations AND you've got children that are already settled in their current schools, then this isn't necessarily easy. Finding jobs and housing becomes an optimisation problem (limit the amount of commute and school travel for 3+ people, taking roads, public transport and obstacles into account) which rarely have a particularly fantastic minima.

about 3 months ago
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95% of ATMs Worldwide Are Still Using Windows XP

GauteL Re:Why XP? (346 comments)

XP was a very good choice compared to Linux as it was 12 years old. Cost of Windows ($50 per copy?) was entirely immaterial. The important things were maturity, support, features, and toolchain. Linux in the year 2000 was light on those.

So was Windows XP, given that it wasn't released until the autumn of 2001. Linux was already really quite mature in 2001 and pushed by some of the world's largest companies. You could get paid support from IBM for instance. The rest of your post is a buzzword-laden mess with handwaving and conclusions you completely lack the knowledge to make ... apart from the "not fixing what isn't broken"-part... that part is fair.

about 3 months ago

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