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David Cameron Says Brits Should Be Taught Imperial Measures

JaredOfEuropa Re:Feet and inches (822 comments)

The arcane prefixes are what make metric units easy to use, without having to invent new names for the same quantity at different scales (inches, feet, yards). "1E-3 liter", "a thousand grams", "a hundredth of a meter" are quantities you'll encounter every day, but these don't exactly roll off the tongue. "Milliliter", "kilogram" (or kilo) and "centimeter" are used in everyday life instead. And once you know what a kilogram is, you know what a kilometer is as well.

1 minute ago
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David Cameron Says Brits Should Be Taught Imperial Measures

JaredOfEuropa Re:Feet and inches (822 comments)

try and work will millimeters in engineering and you soon find out that thousands of an inch are the only way to measure small tolerances

What's wrong with thousands of a mm? Here in Europe, engineers, machinists and the like have happily worked with metric for ages.

yesterday
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David Cameron Says Brits Should Be Taught Imperial Measures

JaredOfEuropa Re:Simple answer (822 comments)

I doubt he actually cares much about this issue; he is just pandering to a group of people currently not voting for him but to whom the issue has a lot of emotional baggage, on an issue that is not too important (since such a change would never see the light of day anyway). Kind of like how el-Sisi is suddenly cracking down on Egypt's GLBT community; it's not really an issue to him and he certainly has bigger fish to fry right now, but the affected group is small enough to make it a political non-issue, and it panders to the large group of traditionally minded / religious people who think he is too secular.

yesterday
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The Executive Order That Redefines Data Collection

JaredOfEuropa Doubleplusgood Newspeak (119 comments)

Can't change the law, or don't want to? Just redefine the words.

In the introductory class on law I took ages ago, they already told us that "one can be led astray by relying on the generic or commonly understood definition of a particular word.", and advised to always examine the meaning of words like "accused", "summons", etc, as they have a specific legal definition that often differs from the commonly understood meaning. Now I know why...

yesterday
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New Research Casts Doubt On the "10,000 Hour Rule" of Expertise

JaredOfEuropa Re:In our time and age? (187 comments)

Not true for skills in themselves, but nevertheless sound career advice. Don't neglect those people skills, they are important for most knowledge worker careers. And not just because the office environment happens to have a strong bias towards extroverts; these skills are actually useful for the next level job in your profession. Yes, even techies. In real life, BOFH finds himself stuck in the basement for life, if he doesn't find himself out in the street. The good news is: people and networking skills can be acquired, even by us basement dwelling nerds, work on these skills and your network early on in your career; don't wait until you think you need them.

2 days ago
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Microsoft Co-opts Ice Bucket Challenge Idea To Promote Coding In Latin America

JaredOfEuropa Re:Complexity (96 comments)

Everyone can code in the same way that everyone can play soccer or bowling. Only a small number of people will be genuinely incapable of it, most people can master the basics, but it takes skill and perseverance to become good enough to make a living doing it, and only a handful make it to the top.

3 days ago
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The Great Lightbulb Conspiracy

JaredOfEuropa Re:I'm sold on LED bulbs... (596 comments)

You'll likely end up trying a few brands. The thing is that with incandescents, you pretty much always get what you expect; the worst thing that can happen is that the thing dies prematurely. With LEDs, I have been burned in a few different ways: lights not being as bright as advertised, or giving off a horrible green/yellow light instead of "warm white", or a nasty blue-ish hue instead of bright white. When LEDs were relatively new, it wasn't uncommon to find differences in hue or brightness even between different production runs of the same brand and model. I finally found a consistently good brand for regular bulbs, but now the (costly) quest to find good spotlights begins.

5 days ago
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Indian Mars Mission Beams Back First Photographs

JaredOfEuropa Re:The best photo... (113 comments)

GP and GGP posts were very much about attractiveness.

By the way, the Sari and that other dress (forgot the name) are not "traditional" in the same way that tuxedos and tailcoats are traditional or worn at formal occasions only. When I visited India, I saw these everywhere in public life as well as in the office. In our own office in Europe, visiting Indians sometimes wear them as well.

about a week ago
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BlackBerry Launches Square-Screened Passport Phone

JaredOfEuropa Re:As a BlackBerry user (189 comments)

Out of interest, what sets those Blackberries apart from the Samsung (and presumably other smartphones), making one a productivity tool and the others toys?

about a week ago
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South Australia Hits 33% Renewal Energy Target 6 Years Early

JaredOfEuropa Re:costs (169 comments)

Hydro and geothermal are cheap compared to other renewables in terms of cost per kWh. The cost for wind and solar is coming down a little as technology improves, but it is still very high compared to gas or coal fired plants. Hydro and geothermal also have some other important advantages over other renewables: output can be adjusted to demand, and continues day and night: you can often use these as baseload generators without having to store energy (with hydro, the lake behind the dam is the energy store). Consider yourself very lucky to live in a country where hydro can be implemented on such a large scale.

about a week ago
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Mangalyaan Successfully Put Into Mars Orbit

JaredOfEuropa Re:good (173 comments)

It may be more about the price tag than anything else.
Ezekiel 23:20

What version of the Bible is that!?

about a week ago
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Mangalyaan Successfully Put Into Mars Orbit

JaredOfEuropa Kudos to PM Modi as well... (173 comments)

Nice of the PM to visit and sit in on the last stage of the journey, putting science and scientists in the spotlight. Over here (NL) we hardly ever celebrate scientific successes, and accomplished scientists receive less attention and recognition from politicians than sports heroes.

about a week ago
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Bioethicist At National Institutes of Health: "Why I Hope To Die At 75"

JaredOfEuropa Re:Solution: Exoskeleton (478 comments)

That's fine until the brats from next door hack into your exoskeleton and make you do the Gangnam routine for 48 hours straight.

about two weeks ago
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Bioethicist At National Institutes of Health: "Why I Hope To Die At 75"

JaredOfEuropa Re:Quality, not quantity (478 comments)

The stuff he scoffs at, exercise, mental puzzles, weird cocktails, have little to do with prolonging life and everything with improving the quality of life, or at least trying to. I wouldn't mind living to 90 in relatively good health, and if there's something I can do when I'm 70 to improve my chances, I'll be doing it.

about two weeks ago
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Researchers Propose a Revocable Identity-Based Encryption Scheme

JaredOfEuropa Re:Something seems off... (76 comments)

Very good point, thanks.

about two weeks ago
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Kickstarter Lays Down New Rules For When a Project Fails

JaredOfEuropa Re:Screening process (203 comments)

How does this work in Kickstarter? You'd think the campaigners should receive only the amount they initially sought, with maybe up to 10% extra if the pledged amount exceeds that. Once the first backers receive the product, the rest of the funds can be released to fulfill those orders. And if there's a cost overrun, the 2nd tier backers can be given the opportunity to pull out or let their money ride, after which the project can receive additional funding from the remaining backers. That way, the projects are encouraged to spend sensibly, and are required to provide a solid explanation in case they go over budget.

about two weeks ago
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Kickstarter Lays Down New Rules For When a Project Fails

JaredOfEuropa Re:Changes nothing (203 comments)

You pay for a product that might otherwise not see the light of day. In some cases it's worth the gamble, and I've gotten a few useful products through crowd-funding.

For some projects, I'd be interested in getting a slice of the company (i.e. a chance at financial reward) instead of the finished product in exchange for my contribution. But I suppose there might be a lot of extra legal requirements for such a scheme.

about two weeks ago
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Researchers Propose a Revocable Identity-Based Encryption Scheme

JaredOfEuropa Re:Something seems off... (76 comments)

If IBE requires a trusted third party, it seems to me that its only advantage over having a public key repository is that it can work offline, i.e. you do not need access to the trusted 3rd party to generate someone's public key from an email address, you only need to get and remember the master public key (once). In that case, a public key repository (a service that spits out someone's public key when given their email address) seems to have a lot of advantages, especially in the sense that this repository does not need to be trusted. And it'll handle revocations as well.

Any encryption scheme that requires a trusted third party is not sufficiently private in this day and age.

about two weeks ago
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'Reactive' Development Turns 2.0

JaredOfEuropa Re:Methodologies are like religion (101 comments)

Context, exactly. This makes sense in certain environments only. Take meetings and context switching. In my own environment the problem is not too many meetings, but not enough of them (or not the right kind of meetings). Good meetings are where new ideas get brainstormed, differences worked out, and hasty assumptions get identified and resolved. Just the kind of stuff that often is allowed to linger to detrimental effect in async environments. Context switching? In my environment this happens a lot, but it's not the result of meetings (where you'll still be dealing with the usual projects), but with being assigned to too many projects at once.

about two weeks ago
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Boeing To Take Space Tourists On Its CST-100 Spacecraft To the ISS

JaredOfEuropa Re:Public access (47 comments)

Will the tourists stay on the ISS, or just ride the taxi to it, and come back down on the same flight?

about two weeks ago

Submissions

JaredOfEuropa hasn't submitted any stories.

Journals

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Packaging, the scourge of the 21st century

JaredOfEuropa JaredOfEuropa writes  |  more than 5 years ago Packaging, in the broadest sense of the word, is starting to really piss me off.

Let's start with physical packaging. Whatever happened to the days when a fish would be packaged in yesterday's paper, small parts (screws and bolts) came in a little cardboard box or paper bag, and some stuff wouldn't be packaged at all? These days, some packaging (most notably the so called blister packaging) can be deathly dangerous to open. I'd like to propose one single, simple rule for packaging: one should be able to open it by hand. I'll make two exceptions: stuff that is notoriously easy to steal can go into blister packs, and it's acceptable to require a knife, key or any old sharp implement to cut packing tape.

Then there's labelling and pricing. Another simple rule: either provide a label or price tag that comes off clean, or don't label at all. When I buy a present for someone, a book, a DVD, a bit of wood that I intend to finish properly, a glass ornament, whatever, I would very much like the object in question to look nice. So why is it that shops insist on using labels that will tear when removed, and will leave a nasty gooey residy that won't come off no matter what? I can kind of understand putting such labels on packaging or on paperbacks... but not on expensive gifts.

And finally, there's the matter of "packaging" software. Some more rules:
- I DO NOT WANT software that I run only "on demand" to install some resident "helper" software to check for updates or whatever. You can check for updates when I start your program. Are you listening, Apple?
- I DO NOT WANT to answer the same questions over and over again whenever I install an update of your software. An update should be just that: replace the software that is already there with no questions asked; do not treat it as a more or less fresh reinstall. Are you listening, Zone Labs / Checkpoint?

Major issues to be sure... Come to think of it, if this is what I worry about, I suppose I have a pretty good life.

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Cat pictures!

JaredOfEuropa JaredOfEuropa writes  |  more than 10 years ago *sigh* No words of wisdom or idle banter to write in the journal today. Nevertheless, the question on my last journal entry has been answered, so time to push it off the top.

Today, I offer the bored reader who aimlessly wandered into here: cat pictures of Dolly and Mickey

These two little furballs are my cats. Enjoy!

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Hmm, stupidity

JaredOfEuropa JaredOfEuropa writes  |  more than 10 years ago "Against stupidity the very gods themselves contend in vain". If only I could remember who uttered this particular wisdom.

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Suspicious white dot in Slashdot

JaredOfEuropa JaredOfEuropa writes  |  more than 11 years ago So... what is this funny little white dot that appears on the slashdot pages just under the banner ad? *pokes the dot* I don't trust you.

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JaredOfEuropa JaredOfEuropa writes  |  more than 11 years ago As someone pointed out, it should be

find ~your -name '*base*' | xargs chown us

instead of

chown -R us ~your/*base*
as my sig currently reads. I'll change it later, I suppose...

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Redundant posts...

JaredOfEuropa JaredOfEuropa writes  |  more than 11 years ago From now on, these will automatically be metamoderated 'unfair'. Don't waste your moderator points on insightful posts that happen to be dupes. Mod some other insightfull stuff up, or mod the fluff down. That is all

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Most hated words and terms

JaredOfEuropa JaredOfEuropa writes  |  more than 10 years ago Boredom sets in once again, work is slow today. Anyways... There's a few annoying words that have wriggled their way into everyday idiom, at least in some circles. My personal top 3 of most hated ones.

3) Cracker. The rest of the world calls such a person a hacker, and will continue to use this word, no matter how much you try and drill the hacker/cracker distinction into them. Give it up already.

2) Wardriving. A term that fails in so many ways to convey what it actually means, and makes most people think of something having to do with Osama bin Laden.

1) Blog. An odd way to abbreviate the word 'weblog', and one that sounds like sicking up at that. Blog. Blogging. Yeck. Someone please come up with a better and nicer-sounding word.

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Slashdot oddities...

JaredOfEuropa JaredOfEuropa writes  |  more than 11 years ago Who the hell is Saskboy (id 600063) and what is he doing on my "preferences" page?

Also... one begins to wonder where my moderator points are after over a year of being at this place. What gives? (and yes, I did check the "want to moderate" box).

Oh well, time for another bottle of wine

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