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Comments

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As NASA Seeks Next Mission, Russia Holds the Trump Card

RogerWilco Re:So many mistakes. (250 comments)

The point of the ISS was to figure out long term space habitation and how to build a big space station.

I don't know how to do that any other way, please enlighten me.

about 5 months ago
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Driverless Cars Could Cripple Law Enforcement Budgets

RogerWilco Re:Just Tack on a Fee (626 comments)

The problem with that philosophy is the less able drivers, like the elderly, who need that amount of attention to function at, or too often, well below the speed limit.

The speed limit doesn't exist for you, roads are designed so that grandma can drive it. That's why it is boring for most able bodied younger people.

The second problem is that a lot of people underestimate their reaction time. This is because your body lies to you and delays your perception to make it seem you react much faster than you actually do.

The combination of these two factors is that with higher speed limits, or when speeding, you end up with lot's of crashes between high speed vehicles and "grandma".

There is plenty of evidence. for example, traffic accidents in Belgium used to be 4x higher than in the Netherlands, until they changed their law to allow speed cameras, just like in the Netherlands. This dropped the number of traffic accidents by a factor of 3 as people stopped speeding.
That's a HUGE difference.

about 5 months ago
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Ask Slashdot: Can Star Wars Episode VII Be Saved?

RogerWilco Re:painted into a corner... (403 comments)

My problem with the new Star Trek movies is that they're fun, but they're not Star Trek. They're an SF action movie in Star Trek clothes.

Star Trek is always about the human condition. When I leave the theatre after a ST movie, I want to be asking myself if I would have done the same thing as in the movie.

The Adams ST movies have none of that, they're as empty as a Transformers movie.

A Star Trek movie needs to make me wonder and question myself.

about 5 months ago
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Who Helped Kill Patent Troll Reform In the Senate

RogerWilco Re: Your system of government killed it (157 comments)

I think the first-part-the-pole district based system is very flawed.

- It makes lawmakers more beholden to local constituencies that to the general good of the country.
- It leads to a two party system.
- It makes it really hard to create new parties to keep the system fresh and with-the-times.
- Because everything is represented in only two parties, these parties are overly broad and tend to have a lot of infighting.
- It makes things like gerrymandering possible.
- It makes some votes much more valuable than others. (swing states).

It's only advantage is that you're almost sure to always have a governing majority. Unless you split your government into multiple chambers and elections of course...

about 5 months ago
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Piracy Rates Plummet As Legal Alternatives Come To Norway

RogerWilco Re:still too expensive (261 comments)

If pay-per-month streaming services would be available in my country. (The Netherlands).

The only options I have are Spotify and iTunes. And iTunes only started selling a few movies last year, before that they only had music.

iTunes USA refuses to sell to me, as do Netflix, Hulu and the like, because I'm in the wrong country.

If I'm lucky something will be released on DVD two or more years after it was aired for the first time, if it's released in Region 2 at all, sometimes there is only a Region 1 release.

No wonder illegal downloading is big in my country.

about a year ago
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Piracy Rates Plummet As Legal Alternatives Come To Norway

RogerWilco Piracy offers a better service (261 comments)

Unfortunately Netflix and such aren't available in my country. I do have a Spotify premium account and I like it a lot.

It all comes down to being able to watch/listen where, when and how I want without limitations.

Spotify allows me to download my playlists to my phone or my laptop and listen to it everywhere.

I had cases where I had legitimately bought the Blu-Ray, but the system crapped out when I tried to run it and it needed a software update. After messing with it for over an hour, I just downloaded a ripped version and watched that, it was easier than trying to get the Blu-Ray disk to work. (Avatar if you're interested, there were a lot of people with problems with that one).

I also might want to watch some episodes of a TV series I have on my phone or tablet. But this is a pain as well.

I hardly download anything. Nowadays if I can't easily watch/listen to it legally in the way I want, I just don't buy it. (I haven't bought a Blu-Ray disk since the pain I had with the Avatar disk, even though I did get it to run after messing with the software update some more on a later date).

If it's harder to use the legal medium than it is to use the illegal medium, then they need t fix things.

about a year ago
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Students, Start-Up Team To Create Android 'Master Key' Patch App

RogerWilco Re:patching (87 comments)

Which in turn is Google's fault for designing Android to be sold that way. They deliberately choose not to have control over the fragmentation and issues like this.

about a year ago
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Ask Slashdot: Scientific Research Positions For Programmers?

RogerWilco Scientific Programmer (237 comments)

There are definitely positions at the Bachelor and Master level (In Comp.Sci or equivalent) at universities and research institutes.
Also don't forget large oil firms and the like.

There are two types:
- Scientific Programmers: Those that work on implementing, scaling and optimizing algorithms for number crunching purposes. Knowledge of the specific field is certainly an advantage here.
- Generic Programmers: From lab automation to webpages, database backends, archives and various other things that organisations need to do their work.

It's hard to get a permanent contract though, as a lot of the funding is on projects for 2-5 years.

Job adverts might be on the sites of the organisations themselves and sometimes the employers have a combined website. In the Netherlands there is AcademicTransfer for example, where all publicly funded research organisations pool their job adds.

about a year ago
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NYC Data Centers Struggle To Recover After Sandy

RogerWilco Re:Why are generators in the basement? (231 comments)

I think in places like NYC it has to do with real estate prices. Everything above ground is probably expensive as humans can live/work there. It's the underground places where no sunlight penetrates that gets the machines and utilities as nobody cares if they have any windows. Also these machines are usually heavy so it's easy to put them into basements as no lifting is required and means the structure of the building can be lighter.

It's not a good idea in case of disasters, but it makes a lot of economic sense in the short term for a lot of reasons. The problem is that especially the USA isn't very good at having their infrastructure and buildings robust against disasters. To an outsider it's obvious that the choice in the US seems to be that it's cheaper to rebuild than to make things hurricane/flooding/tornado/earthquake-proof. The best example is Katrina. Areas in the Netherlands have separate organisations for managing the water. It's not part of government and has it's own taxes and separate elections. A lot of these go back to medieval times. They care for the waterways, dikes, levies, shelters, disaster relief and similar structures. It's their sole responsibility and absolute priority. So there is never a trade-off against healthcare, military, education, transportation or any other government function. It's like if you would make FEMA and the corps of engineers into completely independent organisations with their own taxes and elections.

about 2 years ago
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Why Apple Replaced iOS Maps

RogerWilco Re:They're really playing for keeps, aren't they? (561 comments)

Well, they are using data from TomTom as far as I understand.

I have the TomTom app on my iPhone and it's a lot better than the iOS 6 maps though. It's expensive and takes a lot of storage space, but it's great, especially if you might find yourself without network/internet in a foreign country or just a remote location. I have literally crossed 3 continents with it. The quality of the app, POI and map data is very very good. I must have spent about $100 to get North America, Europe and Oceania, but its well worth it. It knows all speed cameras and speed limits, it must have saved me a multitude of my investment in speeding fines alone.

Given that Apple apparently uses the same data, I'm surprised at how much worse their results are.

about 2 years ago
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Why Apple Replaced iOS Maps

RogerWilco Re:Competition (561 comments)

I find that the TomTom apps for the iPhone have both very good POI and map data. I've literally crossed 3 continents with them and they're really really good. They're not free though and take a lot of storage space.

Apple has done much worse with the same data than TomTom itself. I was rather surprised and disappointed.

about 2 years ago
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Why Apple Replaced iOS Maps

RogerWilco Re:Competition (561 comments)

I have the TomTom apps on my iPhone for several continents. They take a lot of space, but work very very well. I've travelled in Europe, North America and Australia/New Zealand, it has been very accurate, has a very good points-of-interest database, voice navigation, lane assist, traffic assist and up to date and correct maps.

I am very surprised that the quality of the iOS map application is so much less. It's very not-Apple (maybe post Steve Jobs?) to release like this, and also I would not like to be TomTom at this moment, if must rub off on them a little as well.

The TomTom applications aren't cheap, and take many GB of space (about 5 GB per continent), but they allow you full offline navigation. Personally I haven't regretted spending the money one second, and several times it has saved me a lot of time and trouble, especially in rural areas of places like Nevada, Australia, Sweden if you need to find a fuel station, restaurant, place to sleep or get to one you one you booked earlier. But it also works in NYC or Paris.

I'm just surprised.

about 2 years ago
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Ask Slashdot: How To Ask College To Change Intro To Computing?

RogerWilco Re:Why bother? Working as intended. (337 comments)

I was under the impression that education at the university level was not job training but about concepts and understanding.

I would expect a new student at a university to already know these things.

about 2 years ago
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Pakistan's PM Demands International Blasphemy Laws From UN

RogerWilco Re:Really? (957 comments)

You are very correct. the Middle East is a very different place than it was 30-40 years ago.

Most of this change seems to be fueled by oil money from Saudi-Arabia. Nearly all Qurans printed are using their version of interpretation of the texts. At least that's what I've heard.

The unresolved conflict between Israel and Palestina isn't helping either. Every time it errupts it reopens old wounds.

about 2 years ago
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Why America's School "Lag" Has Never Mattered

RogerWilco Re:Not really (361 comments)

The USA has had a lot of advantages by being a largely immigrant country.

It's not just education, but also things like healthcare, age and health of the workforce, etc.

If you stop the immigration, you all of a sudden need to start caring for your own population much more. I think that in 50 years, America will look much more like Europe than today.

more than 2 years ago
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Most Torrent Downloaders Are Monitored, Study Finds

RogerWilco Re:Incorrect title (309 comments)

And that's assuming you live in the USA.

I can't watch movies onine legally anywhere. Not Netflix, Hulu, Amazon.com, iTunes, etc.

more than 2 years ago
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Most Torrent Downloaders Are Monitored, Study Finds

RogerWilco Re:Better products (309 comments)

I got onto the BluRay bandwagon just over a year ago. It lasted for about 4 months.

The 6th or so disk I bought was for Avatar. I couldn't get it to play. When googling I found out that it probably required a software update to my Pioneer player. Due to some weird incompatibility with my TV, the software update menu doesn't work. I fiddled with it for an entire evening, over 3 hours.

In the end I downloaded the movie and watched it that way, despite having a legal copy.

I decided then and there never to buy a BluRay movie again, despite having paid good money for a decent player.

more than 2 years ago
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Will Developers Finally Start Coding On the iPad?

RogerWilco Re:Are JS, PHP, and Python "macro systems"? (463 comments)

The market is not what gave us PCs

IBM, a participant in the market, gave us PCs. Before that, other participants in the market gave us 8-bit home microcomputers.

Of which Apple made the first one.

And the PC market exists mostly because of the deal Bill Gates made over MS-DOS. The PC hardware was nothing new, I have an ICL machine from 1979 with the same components as the first PC, it runs CP/M-86.

more than 2 years ago
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Torvalds Takes Issue With De Icaza's Linux Desktop Claims

RogerWilco Re:If you are looking for someone to blame for the (616 comments)

I don't agree with you. The success of the PC industry has been because of this high flexibility.

The problem I have with the Linux kernel, is that as a programmer, the abstraction isn't of a high enough level, so a lot of stuff needs to be done by the desktop environment. Maybe there should be a layer between the kernel and the desktop environment, or the level of abstraction should be much higher within the kernel itself.

My knowledge is somewhat dated, as I left Linux land about 5 years ago, but my problem was that often the abstraction stopped at the level of character/block device, while I wanted to talk to "scanner"/"modem"/"TVtuner"/"camera".

Without good abstraction at that level, there is no way for a device manufacturer to write a proper driver, and then I'm not even touching the binary/source debate.

There is no way to expand the interfaces, as the capabilities of a type of devices expand, if the kernel doesn't even have an abstraction at that level.

more than 2 years ago
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The Mathematics of 'Legitimate Rape' and Pregnancy

RogerWilco Re:Doesn't really answer the question (1469 comments)

The numbers I've seen are 5-7% for rape and 3.5% for consensual intercourse. The explanation being that often rapists target the most fertile women in the 15-25% age bracket.

more than 2 years ago

Submissions

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Dutch government bans electronic voting

RogerWilco RogerWilco writes  |  more than 6 years ago

RogerWilco (99615) writes "The Dutch government had decided on 16-5-2008 to only use pencil and paper for future elections until electronic voting can be made safe. Their main reasoning is that currently no device is available that can not be eavesdropped upon to detect what people vote, given sufficiently sensitive equipement. The government has considered developing an electronic voting machine that leaves a paper trail, but as this could still be eavesdropped on, it was considered to not guarentee safe and anonymous elections and not worth the developement cost. The official government announcement (In Dutch)"

Journals

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Let's start a Slashdot Journal

RogerWilco RogerWilco writes  |  about 5 years ago

I'm not sure if this is a good thing to do, or if I'll keep doing it, but it seems as good a place as any.

I'm thinking a bit about writing some kind of open letter to the Entertainment industry, as I'm fed up with their practices. I don't know how to go about it, or to gather support for such an endeavour. I'm thinking of mainly center it around the question of why they make it so hard for me to pay them. What I mean is that I'm often blocked from purchasing stuff I want because I'm not in the right region, country, operating system, age group or whatever.

That's all for now. Cheers.

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