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Putin Government Moves To Take Control of Russia's largest space company Energia

SiggyRadiation Re:Not a bad idea (252 comments)

Another poster discussed that letting government provide vital services often results in those services being used / abused for political gain. Abusing regulations is a lot less effective for politicians and so they tend to be manipulated less in my opinion.

Let the free market do the producing.

But let the government keep them in check with regulations. You are right that regulations tend to be thinned out when politicians see no other way to promote growth anymore but I'm still not convinced that that is in any way worse than when the government would be responsible for production itself. Governments are perfectly able and willing to cut back on vital infrastucture below any responsible levels. The New Orleans levee's were not built nor maintained nor were policies and budgets set by commercial entities!

If the government is your only supplier you are left with no recourse should you be dissatisfied with their services. You can actually buy meat that has not been "improved" with all kinds of chemicals and pharmaceuticals. But you probably choose the convenience of buying the cheap meat at you local grocery store.

about 4 months ago

Putin Government Moves To Take Control of Russia's largest space company Energia

SiggyRadiation Re:Not a bad idea (252 comments)

Ok, so you talk about "Services that people need in order to live - energy, water, medical".

There is a lot that people need to live. Would you argue nationalising all of them? Energy, water and medical aren't the only things that would make that list. What about food, transportation and clothing? You'll die very soon if they aren't in order. Houses - in a lot of climates you need them for shelter and defects in houses could cause them to collapse so they are crucial to survival - hygienic products, etc.

Now, why stop there? If you want energy, water, medical and maybe al those other things that I listed to be state supplied, why should their suppliers be excluded? Why nationalize the hospitals but not the farmaceuticals? They use up a large chunk of our health care budgets and the quality of their products is just as critical to our survival. So we add the farmaceuticals. And the producers of diagnostic equipment of course, can't have any defective MRI's. But MRI's have software. So those are in as well. We also need dependable medical oxygen suppliers. Suppliers for mainframes, PC's, lightbulbs, desktops (the ones you can tough), concrete, glass, sand, catering, bread, beef, cows, grass, fertilizer, oil.

My point is: we are very much used to putting our lives in the hands of commercial entities. From a car or an airliner to the contractor that built my house to the caterer that made that nice chicken filet that I just ate. They're all commercial entities, large multinationals or small mom-and-pops. They are regulated so I know what quality I can expect at minimum and if they don't deliver that quality either they get busted by the state or I sue them. This system actually works very well!

Now, why is water or a hospital that much different?

I ask this as someone who works at a healthcare provider in a "socialized healthcare" country.

about 4 months ago

Ask Slashdot: Easy-To-Use Alternative To MS Access For a Charity's Database?

SiggyRadiation podio (281 comments)

For simple tables and forms that can have a lot of social interactions, i have found Podio to be great. Podio is something of a crossbreed between yammer and Access. I use it a lot for to-do lists within projects, small incident lists, notes, agendas and minutes. It's great for tables / forms that contain 10's to 1000's of records... not for millions. First 5 users within a domain are for free. It is a web application though, so your users need to be able to be on-line all the time.

about 7 months ago

I wish my cell phone was...

SiggyRadiation Re:had 50% better signal reception (495 comments)

If it may be a colsolation; no in this case I'm talking about the Netherlands. A country that some characterize as the country in Europe most resembling the USA. Now that is subjective of course, but in the end the problem is all about to little competition and short-sightedness that to drive such improvements. Actually I think the reason I cannot use my cell phone inside my house has more to do with the fact that it is a very recently built house (3 years ago). For insulation purposes they but blocks of foam with aluminium on one side between the inner and outer wall. I will actually never need a tin foil hat. That's been taken care of. Still, people with a different phone / cellular operator do get through and are able to make calls.

1 year,17 days

I wish my cell phone was...

SiggyRadiation Re:had 50% better signal reception (495 comments)

I voted for "faster"....

Are you sure you are holding it right?

I see... maybe I am holding it too tight. If I let it go, it will probaby go *faster*... but in a more physical, downward velocity, sense.

1 year,20 days

I wish my cell phone was...

SiggyRadiation had 50% better signal reception (495 comments)

I voted for "faster" since my iPhone can barely keep up with the iOS. But my biggest problem is with reception. It is actually unusable at both my office within our building and in my home. That reduces usability to only in my car.

1 year,21 days

Snowden Says He Took No Secret Files To Russia

SiggyRadiation 1 year temp visa (220 comments)

Wait until the Russians tell him his Visa will expire and they're planning to send him off back to his old friends at the CIA. He'll give them his dropbox address in an instant. :-)

about a year ago

Fukushima Fish Still Radioactive

SiggyRadiation Re:The seafloor and Bikinis (107 comments)

Interesting point... that begs the question... How does Fukushima compare to Bikini Atoll or the other nuclear bomb testing in terms of radioactive materials released?

more than 2 years ago

PostgreSQL 8.4 Out

SiggyRadiation ask... (191 comments)


more than 5 years ago

Drug-Sniffing Drones Take To the Skies In the Netherlands

SiggyRadiation Re:Question for you Dutch. (229 comments)

Bij deze is uw geek-card ingetrokken.

more than 5 years ago

Cell Phone Radiation Detectors Proposed to Protect Against Nukes

SiggyRadiation High school terrorists (think of the children) (238 comments)

When I was in high school (in the Netherlands, mind you) in physics class our lab has a small glass container with a little rod of uranium (or plutonium or something else radioactive). It must have been small and relatively riskless, but still radioactive.
Very handy to show the classic experiments, such as showing a condensation-trail, or letting a geiger counter go wild.

Nowadays, highschool classes are filled with mobile phones, probably more phones than persons. It'd be interresting to see something like a NORAD-style "USDHS nuclear materials movement alerts screen" light up like a christmass tree once they activate this system.

more than 6 years ago



Snowden granted three more years in Russia

SiggyRadiation SiggyRadiation writes  |  about 4 months ago

SiggyRadiation (628651) writes "Edward Snowden is allowed to stay in Russia for three more years. According to the NYPost:
"His lawyer, Analtoly Kucherena, was quoted by Russian news agencies on Thursday as saying Snowden now has been granted residency for three more years, but that he had not been granted political asylum. That status, which would allow him to stay in Russia permanently, must be decided by a separate procedure, Kucherena said, but didn’t say whether Snowden is seeking it."

The question that remains of course is, did the Russians use this as leverage over him to get to more information or influence him or is the positive PR in itself enough for the Russians in the current climate of tensions and economic sanctions relating to the Ukraine crisis?"

Off to jail for Pirate Bay founders

SiggyRadiation SiggyRadiation writes  |  more than 5 years ago

SiggyRadiation (628651) writes "The Pirate Bay founders have lost their case and have been sentenced to a year in jail. Now, finally, "all authors all around the world" will be protected from this dreaded evil "because what is going on now is actually a plundering of the author's works". This goes to show that if you are presenting yourself as a pirate, then the defense "I am only providing an infrastructure and when and if my users choose to plunder is non of my concern", might not always work. Check the cnn article for some wonderfull quotes by the industry reps.
And before you all start downloading your pr0n ^h^h^h^h linux distros at once; the Pirate Bay site is expected to keep on operating for quite some time."

Link to Original Source

Faulty sensor + no error checking = plane crashes

SiggyRadiation SiggyRadiation writes  |  more than 5 years ago

SiggyRadiation writes "A few days ago the dutch transport safety board presented a preliminary report regarding the crash of a Turkish Airline Boeing 737.
The cause was a radio altimeter that suddenly went from 1950 feet to -8 feet. This altimeter was connected to the autopilot which continuously decelerated the plane, thinking it was close to touching the runway, and caused a stall. Of course, the pilots should have checked the auto pilot and should have noticed in time that they were not following the correct glide-path.
But, as a software ingeneer, I can't think of any reason why this error couldn't have been detected in software; there are redundant altimeters; the system could check for differences between those altimeters, and the system could even have detected the huge jump from 1850 feet to -8 feet and decided that this was an implausible reading and alert the pilots of "suspect" or "tainted" input.
Are all those sofisticated autopilots and flight management systems really as advanced as the industry wants us to believe or has the first random website better input-checks these days?"

EU slams Microsoft with new record breaking fine

SiggyRadiation SiggyRadiation writes  |  more than 6 years ago

SiggyRadiation (628651) writes "Microsoft didn't share their specifications. When forced to they opened up, a little, but charged anyone wanting to take a peek an arm and a leg. After lengthy battles with the EU and the EU's courts they dropped their demands to something like $14.000. Nothing for a fortune-500 company but still a lot for most open source projects. The EU is apparently fed up with these unreasonable prices and has decided to return the favor.
From the FT:"Microsoft was the first company in 50 years of EU competition policy that the European Commission has had to fine for failure to comply with an anti-trust decision," said Neelie Kroes, EU competition commissioner."

SiggyRadiation SiggyRadiation writes  |  more than 7 years ago

SiggyRadiation writes "According to their newletter the Dutch group that "doesn't trust the voting computers" has won a round against the industry and the civil servants that seem hell-bent on reintroducing voting machines that the Dutch minister of the interior has suspended. The NewVote machine, made by SDU is now suspended for the upcoming election (Dutch letter from the minister). Apparently SDU provided 5 slightly different samples of its machine to the Dutch version of the NSA (well... the very humble Dutch version anyway) for testing-purposes. Of those five, four machines emitted radiation in such a way that the votes cast could be monitored. SDU's NewVote received its final deathblow when it became clear that the one machine that stayed within the radiation-limits used a green-on-red color-scheme for its screen. And that would be a small problem for the 4% of all men that cannot tell the differences between red and green. For those that are not so fluent in Dutch I have made a quick translation of key parts of the newsletter."



letter to the USA

SiggyRadiation SiggyRadiation writes  |  more than 10 years ago

Dear citizens of the United States of America,

As a citizen of a very friendly nation, an admirer of your democratic principles and an enthusiast regarding travelling your beautiful country, I'd like to share with you some of my thoughts.

For starters let me offer you my condolences regarding the loss of sanity of at least 50% of your popular voters.

Four years ago I was able to comprehend that you chose the Grand Old Partie's nominee. You are after all quite a conservative country and I respect that. And the man did promise to reunite the country after the intense election-battles.

But that you, after the evidence of four years of Mr. Bush junior's presidency, could not be convinced of his being unfit for the job can only baffle me. No, baffling isn't the right word. It appals me. This result (and the race has not been decided as I write this) shows a total lack of commitment to basic democratic values such as "holding someone with power accountable for what he does with this power". Let me put it straight for you: The man lied.

He did not lie about having sexual intercourse. He did not lie about or try to cover up subversive activities by his re-election committee. He did not lie about covertly allowing drugs smuggling to occur in order to assure cash flow for a friendly guerilla-warfaring fraction in Nicaragua. He did not allow or turn a blind eye to armaments-shipments to a fanatic Islamic country in order to negotiate a release for US-embassy personnel.

No, he lied to get you, the American People, and your legislature to let him go to war. WAR! That is not a blowjob. It is not a break-in. Neither is it a CIA-operation. It is W-A-R. Total Destruction! Loss of human life. Theirs. AND YOURS. What does a normal democratically "checked and balanced" system do with its leaders that lie and mislead in such important matters? It removes them from office, by impeachment or by the casting of the ballot.

What you have done, my dear friends, is say to the American Politics: "You can lie. You can go to war. You can smuggle drugs. You can do any of the things that our high standard of moral justly finds reprehensible. And we are never going to hold you accountable as long as you handle politically petty details, such as the right to bear sub-machine guns, the way we like it." That's a nice exchange: sub-machine gun versus accountability for political officers. I think you are going to see much of those guns in the near future. And the good part is: you are not going to have to pay for them. They will all be subsidised by Uncle Sam. To be specific: by the department of defence that sends you or a loved one into one of the many combat zones that Uncle Dubbaya is creating.

Please don't see this letter as a piece of critique by a European that has no idea of what is going on in your country. I have visited your beautiful country a great many times and I will always respect your choices regarding your politics and your society. With this letter I only mean to show you my disappointment because I believed that you would be able to judge the ability of Mr. Bush to lead your country more -in my eyes- realistically. Maybe it's the way you have set-up your democratic system, but I feel that as a non-US citizen I am not in the position to lecture you regarding your electoral processes. If it needs change or evaluation, you have to do that.

I wish you the very best of luck, strength, wisdom and a touch of Gods subtle grace,
I think you need it.


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