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Comments

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Land Rover Demos "Transparent Hood"

aclarke Re:invisible hood is "beyond criticism" (172 comments)

Do you actually drive off-road? This addresses a real issue, which is how to safely straddle obstacles in the road to protect your undercarraige. You may only see Land Rovers driven by "soccer moms", but they are one of the few companies producing vehicles that can genuinely be driven off-road.

I'm a curmudgeon driving an '80s Land Rover completely devoid of computers, but I have a large and increasing amount of respect for the capabilities of new Land Rovers.

about two weeks ago
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Land Rover Demos "Transparent Hood"

aclarke Rocks (172 comments)

The other advantage is where you place an obstacle under your vehicle. If there's a large sharp rock, you want to drive over it such that it doesn't rip open your differential, for example. Now, all modern Land Rovers have independent suspension, but you still want to be straddling obstacles in the safest way possible.

about two weeks ago
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3D Printing: Have You Taken the Plunge Yet? Planning To?

aclarke Parts are too small (251 comments)

Anything I can think of wanting to spend the time designing and printing is too big to fit in hobbyist printers. I thought about printing a replacement dash for my '80s Land Rover. Clearly even breaking that into pieces it was going to be too big for most printers. Then I looked at the cost of having it made, and decided I'd rather just go to a metal shop and have them bend something up for me out of stainless steel or aluminium.

Then I just puit my crappy old dash back in.

about three weeks ago
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Ask Slashdot: Moving From Tech Support To Development?

aclarke Work for free (133 comments)

Way back a long time ago I graduated from university with an engineering degree unrelated to programming. By that point, however, I had decided that I wanted to be a software developer. This was the mid '90s, and I took a job with an un-funded startup for equity and no pay. From there I worked at a friend's company doing Perl, again for no pay but I crashed with my friend and he paid for my food. So in that sense it's not that different from your situation.

Things are different now, as there are plenty of sites where employers offer contracts for unreasonably low wages. You could start bidding on those, and take some smaller projects and complete them. There's also the option to put your time into some sort of labour of your own love. Write some sotware that demos well, and bootstrap yourself up from there. A lot of companies would be happy to hire an enthusiastic junior Java developer with demonstrated experience that they had the drive to accomplish themselves.

Just do everything you can to pick up as much experience as you can. Keep a positive attitude, and work on all the "soft skills" like listening to your boss and coworkers, doing what you say you're going to do, communicating effectively, etc. With a year or so of this, you should find yourself very employable, assuming there are jobs where you're looking.

about a month ago
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Ford Rolls the Dice With Breakthrough F-150 Aluminum Pickup Truck

aclarke Re:Audi have been doing this for years (521 comments)

The current Defender has aluminium body panels, but a steel ladder chassis and bulkhead. I imagine that the new one, whenever it comes out, might be all aluminium since that's the way Land Rover's going with their other vehicles.

about 4 months ago
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Ford Rolls the Dice With Breakthrough F-150 Aluminum Pickup Truck

aclarke Range Rover (521 comments)

It's true that Ford sells probably 10x as many F150s as Land Rover sells Range Rovers. However, Land Rover is probably selling about 50k Range Rovers a year (vague number as I couldn't find specifics). They saved 700lbs off their previous model by going to all aluminium. Sound familiar? The 2014 Range Rover Sport is also aluminium and they are moving all Jaguars and Land Rovers in that direction.

Land Rover currently runs the world's largest aluminium body shop, so they're hardly a "niche manufacturer". It's great that Ford is going this way with the high-volume F150, and they are breaking new ground in that they are going to produce MORE aluminium vehicles than other manufacturers. However, because many of the engineering challenges have already been solved by manufacturers like Jaguar Land Rover, it's a shame that none of the referenced articles even mention the word "Rover".

about 4 months ago
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British NHS May Soon No Longer Offer Free Care

aclarke Re:My spider sense in tingling.... (634 comments)

I don't remember exactly, but they were gone maybe 3-5 hours including cab rides.

about 6 months ago
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Redesigned Seats Let Airlines Squeeze In More Passengers

aclarke Re:Seat weight (466 comments)

Why shouldn't I expect you to keep your seat upright? I have no problem making a trans-continental redeye flight with my seat upright. It's not what I'd call "comfortable", but it's not "comfortable" with the seat back either.

I could contend that if you want a more comfortable seat with reclining room, then YOU should be the one buying the more expensive seat.

I also make allowances for the fact that a larger person is going to want more reclining space than a smaller person, and what time of day/night it is. My point remains though, if you're 5'1 and the person behind you is 6'4, you should take that into consideration before you put your seat all the way back, right after take-off, in the middle of the afternoon.

about 6 months ago
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British NHS May Soon No Longer Offer Free Care

aclarke Re:My spider sense in tingling.... (634 comments)

We had a similar experience (sort of) in the UK earlier this year. We had a 4 day stopover, and my daughter was sick with a fever and throwing up after getting off the plane. My wife took her to the emergency room, where she received top-knotch care from sympathetic and helpful medical staff. She received prescription antibiotics, and the entire process cost us a total of £0. Healthcare in the UK is free for children, whether they are citizens, residents, or visitors. We were really impressed and appreciative. Thanks, UK taxpayers!

I imagine that there's some limit, like maybe only emergency room visits are covered for visitors or something like that. Still, the process was simple, the staff were helpful, and my daughter got what she needed and she was fine as soon as the antibiotics kicked in.

about 6 months ago
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British NHS May Soon No Longer Offer Free Care

aclarke UK (634 comments)

That's an interesting post, but did you notice that the article is talking about the NHS? Regarding advertising, in the UK, http://www.mhra.gov.uk/Howweregulate/Medicines/Advertisingofmedicines/ states that "The Regulations prohibit the issue of any advertisement to the general public which is likely to lead to the use of a prescription only medicine (POM)."

Since you're talking about the US, that's an idea you Americans could take and run with. Once you've done that, we can all start dealing with the pharmaceutical industry's marketing towards doctors.

about 6 months ago
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Redesigned Seats Let Airlines Squeeze In More Passengers

aclarke Seat weight (466 comments)

I've wondered for a long time why airline seats are so (seemingly) heavy. It seemed like a no-brainer that they'd be spending money on lighter weight seats. So, I was really surprised upon reading the article that the guy from Recaro said that 5 years ago, their seats weight about 29 lbs. That's surprisingly light for a seat that size and apparent heft when you look at them. Even more incredible is they've managed to save a further 9 lbs off that with their lightest current seat.

At 6'4 I'm pretty protective over my legroom. In my opinion they should improve coach by just not allowing reclining seats. I know that will never "fly", but it really pisses me off when some 5'1 person in front of me reclines their seat all the way back into me once the plane takes off. I just pretend the seat is back in its upright position, and if that means they get bumped every two minutes, they can just move their seatback forward. I guess it's only going to get worse. Or, I have to get a lot richer and start flying in a more expensive class.

about 6 months ago
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Square Debuts New Email Payment System

aclarke Re:Interac (240 comments)

That's because you're Canadian (I assume). Try to think like an American, because they don't use Interac.

about 6 months ago
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NSA Scraping Buddy Lists and Address Books From Live Internet Traffic

aclarke It shouldn't matter, but it does. (188 comments)

If this is the case, why is it that most of these articles use phrases like "many of them belonging to Americans"? If it doesn't matter, why is the point made? The answer, of course, is that it does matter. That is, it matters to American law. For reference, see https://www.aclu.org/nsa-surveillance-procedures and highlight the word "Americans".

Speaking as a non-American, I think it shouldn't matter whether I'm American, Austrian, or Azerbaijani. We're all human and we all have the same rights. I find it offensive when I read these articles and there's always the "including Americans" tagged onto the article headline, like somehow it's OK if it's done to non-Americans. I realize it wouldn't be much different if any other country had been caught with their pants down. It's just that in this case it's the US (again).

about 6 months ago
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The Ridiculous Tech Fees You're Still Paying

aclarke Dialing 1 before a long distance number (318 comments)

This one could be considered the opposite of the rant in the tarticle. Why in Canada with Bell on my land line am I NOT ALLOWED to dial 1 before a local number, yet I HAVE to dial 1 before a long distance number? I DON'T CARE if it's local or long distance! I can afford the $0.04 per minute or whatever. Just let me make the call without having to hang up and dial again with or without the magic prepended 1.

At least my mobile phone just tells me it's local/long distance and puts the call through anyway. It's an improvement.

I switched from Bell to TekSavvy for my home phone a few years ago. I thought TekSavvy might make this problem go away then but it didn't.

</rant>

about 6 months ago
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What the Insurance Industry Thinks About Climate Change

aclarke No they can't. (385 comments)

No they can't really. The article is really about the reinsurance companies. These are the companies from which the insurance companies buy their insurance. Insurance company X maybe doesn't have $10B in the bank to underwrite all their policies. They may be bringing in $100M per year in policies, and pay $75M per year to underwrite their policies from reinsurance company Y. Note that I'm not in the business and I'm pulling these numbers out of a hat.

An established company is probably running similar risk numbers to everyone else and reaching similar conclusions. An upstart insurance company betting against global warming and offering lower policies is unlikely to have the cashflow to purchase their more expensive reinsurance. They're also the ones most likely to need reinsurance as they don't possess any significant assets to underwrite their policies themselves.

about 7 months ago
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BlackBerry Confirms 4,500 Job Cuts, Warns of $950 Million Loss

aclarke Re:Die already Blackberry (120 comments)

I live in the region, and right now I'm glad I work for a startup based in another country. There's going to be increasingly fierce competition for those open positions around here over the next few years. Of course, I'm good enough that it wouldn't matter to me personally ;-)

We'll see what, if anything, it does to the real estate market.

about 7 months ago
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Can GM Challenge Tesla With a Long-Range Electric Car?

aclarke Re:No. (466 comments)

That's been the problem with GM for as long as I can remember. They make cars that (they think) people want to buy.

The problem is, that people in general aren't thinking of the future. Most of us aren't very bright, and we want something big and shiny that we thought was pretty cool a few years ago when we first saw it. We also don't consider the true cost of our purchases, only thinking of the up-front costs. Most people when it come down to it also hate cars and hate driving, and don't really care directly about safety or fuel economy. So, GM ends up with vehicles like the H2 and the Escalade EST which are essentially automotive dinosaurs from a company that hadn't yet realized they were extinct.

GM needs to be (slightly) in front of the market if they truly want to be successful. Sadly, that just isn't their way.

about 7 months ago
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When it comes to (download) bandwidth needs, I require..

aclarke Re:150/10Mbps home connection (279 comments)

I think you a word there.

I'm aware of the fact that there are people with faster internet speeds. The main point of my comment was the second last sentence.

about 8 months ago
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When it comes to (download) bandwidth needs, I require..

aclarke 150/10Mbps home connection (279 comments)

I just tested my internet connection this morning at home and got 143.25 / 9.13 Mbps. While I probably don't need all the download speed, I work from home and I find it just amazing that I can get this here. Less than a year ago I was getting 5/0.6 and thought that was the best I could get. Yay me.

about 8 months ago
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Studying the Slow Decay of a Laptop Battery For an Entire Year

aclarke Re:Survey says... (363 comments)

Why are you telling me to "stop buying shit laptops"? I'm not sure why I'm bothering to respond to this, but in the last decade I have bought six Mac laptops for my family and zero non-Mac laptops. I was just trying to point out a piece of information to the GGP.

about 8 months ago

Submissions

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Canadian computer security professional arrested

aclarke aclarke writes  |  more than 3 years ago

aclarke writes "CBC News reports that Byron Sonne, a Toronto-based computer security specialist, has been charged with explosives and weapons offences in what police are calling a G20-related arrest.

According to The Star, Internet strategist and CBC contributor Jesse Hirsh said he met Sonne once in May when both men attended a Surveillance Club meeting, a monthly gathering of professors, artists and activists "interested in the democratic regulation of surveillance technology and practice," according to its website.

Hirsh also said Sonne told a May meeting of activists and professors that he planned to monitor police chatter about the G-20 summit and post it on Twitter. He also said he would buy items online to attract police attention.

"He was trying to essentially provoke a response," Hirsh said. Hirsh said Sonne wanted the public to know "the extent to which the $1 billion plus security bill was being spent here." Sonne appeared in court June 23, although a publication ban has been placed on that appearance."
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aclarke aclarke writes  |  more than 7 years ago

aclarke (307017) writes "From CNET: CNET editor James Kim, his wife Kati, and his two daughters, Penelope and Sabine, are missing. We're hoping and praying for their safe return, and we'd like your help. If you have any information about the Kims' whereabouts, please call the San Francisco police at 415-558-5508 during business hours and at 415-553-1071 after hours. You can also contact the Portland Police Bureau's Missing Persons Unit at 503-823-0446. For more information, including photos of James and his family, please read the story."

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