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Atlanta Man Shatters Coast-to-Coast Driving Record, Averaging 98MPH

Kergan Re:When will he be arrested? (666 comments)

If speed limits were uniformly and strictly enforced (rather than an occasional tax on the driver), there would likely be enough outrage to repeal them.

In some EU countries, they're uniformly and strictly enforced by automated radars. Think France, for instance. Best I'm aware, there's little outrage -- except from a very vocal group of reckless drivers.

Speaking for myself, I find it interesting that new generations of automated radars are becoming smart enough to reliably detect when a truck or a bus is speeding when their speed limit differs from those of automobiles, or when drivers fail to respect safety distances.

about a year ago
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Smartphone Sales: Apple Squeezed, Blackberry Squashed, Android 81.3%

Kergan Re:Apple Window Dressing Figures. (390 comments)

Puzzled here... How can an incredibly profitable product line be... "weak"?

about a year ago
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Ikea Foundation Introduces Better Refugee Shelter

Kergan *Cough* Ever heard of statelessness? (163 comments)

Six months sounds good enough, to me. That's longer than I would want to live in a temporary shelter. Much longer and you're not so much providing humanitarian aid, as you are shipping-in prefabricated houses for many thousands of people. (...)

After 6 months, you should be building-up an economy... Paying some of those local refugees (a truly tiny amount of) money, to construct real homes for their fellow refugees, and hopefully even a few commercial structures.

You don't seem to realize that there are millions of stateless people out there in the world.

Consider the breakups of Czechoslovakia and Yugoslavia for but recent examples. Not one of us says one country; not born here says the other. Stateless. Dramatically so when they end up in refugee camps, as was the case the Balkans.

What it means in practice: no citizenship in their home country; no citizenship in the country they're refugees in; no passport; no State willing to give them a passport; no State rushing to give them asylum; no right to work, let alone to travel; essentially no rights at all, in fact; nothing; zip. Just the right to sit there and wait in a camp. Sometimes for years.

Anyway, yeah, you're right on paper. It would be a lot better if you could just give them some money to move on with life. In practice, you'll find that they're simply not welcome to settle anywhere -- not even home.

about a year ago
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Student Project Could Kill Digital Ad Targeting

Kergan Re:Targeted ads are better than untargeted ads (177 comments)

Seriously, WTF people?

On top of that, all these extensions to block ads are going to end up backfiring in a huge way. When sites start to lose significant amounts of money, they're going to move to more and more annoying and integrated ads, until the ads become indistinguishable from the content itself. That's just making the web worse for everyone.

So block the annoying ads, let the non-annoying ones through, and don't destroy the internet.

Meh. Too late. AdBlock Plus is already receiving sponsorships/bribes to let "quality" ads through:

http://translate.google.com/translate?sl=de&tl=en&u=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.horizont.at%2Fhome%2Fdetail%2Fgoogle-ist-geldgeber-von-adblock-plus.html&act=url

about a year ago
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Biologists Program E. Coli To Patrol For Pathogens

Kergan Re:Was this publicly funded research? (38 comments)

- If so, why the fuck am I prompted to pay/log in to download the full text?

- And if so, why the fuck are these parasite website like Springer and ACS still allowed to paywall publicly funded research??

Because you only funded the research, and they're publishing the results?

Or perhaps because they need to pay for staff, keep the website alive, and send prints to the handful of universities. You know, logistics, distribution.

Oh, and they admittedly need to make boat loads of money, too. Publishing is still a great business to be into -- there probably wouldn't be any copyright laws without them.

Whichever it is, methinks it's less noteworthy than public research ending up as patent applications. (Especially when they're filed by drug companies, which rarely fund more than the last round of tests for things that public research has proven to work for all intents and purposes, the patent application, and the marketing.)

By the way, researchers with a sense of decency will post a late draft somewhere on their site. Just google its title:

http://dspace.mit.edu/handle/1721.1/75839

about a year ago
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Ask Slashdot: Is an Online Identity Important When Searching For Technical Jobs?

Kergan Stack Overflow? Github? Open Source pet projects? (358 comments)

I *might* do a search of technical forums to see what kind of tech questions and answers my applicant is giving / asking.

Let's get real here... Would you actually hire someone who isn't maintaining some kind of presence on StackOverflow, Github, or some open source pet project(s)? (Fwiw, Google head-hunts engineers based on the latter.)

about a year ago
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Did Steve Jobs Pick the Wrong Tablet Size?

Kergan Excuse me for asking, but... (433 comments)

Looking at industry-wide tablet sales numbers for January 2013, which show that the iPad Mini surprisingly outsold its larger sibling by a substantial margin (as did 7-inch Android tablets from competitors)

[citation needed].

about a year and a half ago
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Amsterdam Using Airbnb Listings To Identify Illegal Hotels

Kergan Re:"air matress bed and breakfast" (141 comments)

The stuff on it is crazy expensive, though. At least in the area I currently live in... The deals are much better over at justlanded.com or couchsurfing.com.

about a year and a half ago
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Amazon.com Suffers Outage: Nearly $5M Down the Drain?

Kergan Re:Hackers claim credit (173 comments)

Not to mention, adding to the funny aspect of the claim, the group deems itself as Nazis and got reported by Fox News.

Conspiracy 101: people who believe in conspiracy theories are usually very, very, very, very, very thick people.

about a year and a half ago
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EU Citizens Warned Not To Use US Cloud Services Over Spying Fears

Kergan Count on Europe (138 comments)

Methinks you can count on Europe to eventually get this right.

Twitter getting sued and losing to France's Jew student union over obnoxious hashtags is just the high profile round two of the same joust they had with Yahoo over nazi artifacts getting auctioned over a decade ago. They won last time; they'll win this time. And US companies will comply to French law on this matter just like last time. I suspect that the pitiful €1k/day fine is going to quickly balloon to obscene amounts of money until the courts get a reaction from Twitter.

In Germany, users are suing Facebook over the right to get deleted, and while they were the first, in typical German grassroots achievements, they no longer are the only ones. This is simply going to win, and they're just getting started. Sure enough, the Irish subsidiary is dragging its feet to comply. Presumably to Zuck's despair -- here's a continent with over 600M people willing not only in fighting for the right to be deleted but also in actually enforcing it. In the end, sane views will prevail, and the US laws will get kicked back across the Atlantic where they belong -- for US citizens to debate further, hopefully with new, more enlightened insights.

The same could arguably be told of countries like China, Egypt or Iran: ironically, US firms are made to comply with local law over there, plain and simple, much faster then they are to EU laws. But the EU is hopefully similar enough to the US that the latters' citizens will not shrug that the former are merely uneducated barbarians when their laws are sent back for review.

about a year and a half ago
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What Early Software Was Influential Enough To Deserve Acclaim?

Kergan M.U.L.E. and Ultima 3 (704 comments)

M.U.L.E., for all its descendants in the simulation genre, chief among them Civilization. Not that M.U.L.E. was the very very first, since Burten had written an economic simulation game prior to that, but it certainly popularized the genre.

Ultima III also comes to mind, for CRPGs. Best I'm aware, it was the first with a modern, graphical interface.

about a year and a half ago
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Samsung Amps Up Its Multi-Window Android Upgrade

Kergan MS patent lawsuit coming in 3... 2... 1... (229 comments)

Hasn't Samsung learned its lesson when it copied Apple and got fined a billion dollars for doing so?

about 2 years ago
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Amazon Sidesteps App Store Business Model, Plays Back MP3s From Safari

Kergan Nonsense... (114 comments)

Apple has been clear from the start on this: "Don't like the App store's policies? Make an html5 app!" In fact, it was the only way to build apps for the original iPhone -- with Apple's blessing, at that. (And it still is how unwelcome vendors, e.g. porn operators, build iOS apps.)

about 2 years ago
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iPod Engineer Tony Fadell On the Unique Nature of Apple's Design Process

Kergan Killing them early (193 comments)

Excuse me for asking, but... How is "products that pass certain internal milestones" (aka Steve Job's early scrutiny) in any way related or comparable to "9 products out of 10, even if a product was about to ship"?

about 2 years ago
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The Science of Game Strategy

Kergan Re:What about Magic? (136 comments)

As in Magic the Gathering? The card game with 12,000+ individual cards? In my honest opinion, it's the greatest game ever made. It's incredibly complex, and yet still understandable.

May I ask how many of those cards you actually use in practice? Think hard: how often have you built a deck that used that white 1/1 banding creature card (I forgot its name...)? It's not limited to uninteresting common cards, either. When I looked into selling my shoebox full of cards, I got told that players seldom fielded Serra Angels or Thunder Spirits anymore because there were better white creatures -- whereas back when I played, you'd find a few of either or both in nearly every white deck.

Back when I played, there were (give or take) a half dozen cards per extension that players (bar beginners) cared to use in practice. You'd be looking into perhaps two or three hundred cards when building your decks. Even less (though admittedly from a slightly different set) when building a highly themed deck -- those were the only reason you'd keep cards like Goblin Bombs in your shoebox. With a few hundred cards, you've more than enough to build a deck around pretty much every theme you want.

about 2 years ago
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Ask Slashdot: How To Stay Fit In the Office?

Kergan Take Rock'n Roll, Salsa, or Tango classes (372 comments)

Go dancing, really... As a bonus, you'll socialize and get to hang out with cute chicks, for potentially more interesting physical activity.

And walk there, if possible.

about 2 years ago

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