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Radar Changing the Face of Cycling

henni16 Deaf people (235 comments)

I had the same reaction at first ("useless") .

Then I remembered my father whose hearing has gotten pretty bad over the years.
When my parents were out together riding their bicycles somewhere, my mom noticed that he clearly didn't hear some cars approaching from behind. She said that it was kinda worrying in some situations.
I guess when your hearing gets gradually worse, you can sometimes forget that not hearing a car doesn't mean there isn't one close by.

And thinking a bit more about it, I've already seen ("heard" would be wrong) an incredibly silent hybrid car; the loudest noise it generated was the dirt being crushed between the tires and the asphalt.

Then again, turning your head now and then or some of those rear-view mirrors for the handlebars will be a lot cheaper.

about a month and a half ago
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Why Improbable Things Really Aren't

henni16 Re:Lottery scratch tickets; not so random (166 comments)

but this guy can tell which scratch tickets will pay off by by reading their serial numbers, winning wasn't as improbable as one is led to believe

CSB:
My elementary school set up a sort of lottery during a yearly festival.

So two classes were tasked with preparing the winning and losing lots for the lottery by writing the kind of price or something like "no win" on little paper squares.
They then folded the paper squares and stapled them shut so you couldn't tell what was written inside.
During the festivities the kids ran a stand were you could buy and draw the lots from a couple of big, open bowls.

Almost all of the prices went to a handful of kids from my class:
A couple of guys from my class drew winning lots for smallish stuff, noticed something that had escaped everyone else, came up with a theory and successfully put their theory to the test by buying more winners.
As 10-year-olds are, they bragged to their best friends about it who then proceeded to buy most of the remaining winners.

Well, the winning and losing lots had been prepared separately and, not thinking about it and lacking the direct comparison, the teachers in charge of the two groups had been unaware that their staplers were loaded with silver- and copper-colored staples respectively.
So by looking at the color of the staples, you were able to pick only winners out of the open bowls.

about 6 months ago
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Why Improbable Things Really Aren't

henni16 Re:Wooosh (166 comments)

Furthermore, in some books the million-to-one-chance even has an embodiment of sorts as "The Lady", one of the Discworld Gods http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/D...

But yeah, Pratchett was mostly poking fun at the heroes in stories alway succeeding against all odds.
Another Discworld example would be a group of people being hesitant to attack a single guy if the guy looks harmless and smiles or if he shows characteristics in line with being a story's hero - because everybody just knows ta a vastly outnumbered hero always wins the fight.

Making fun of or playing with such story cliches is something that Practhett does a lot - to a point that such cliches have become something like a natural law and an (al)chemical element (Narrative causality / Narrativium) on the Discworld.

Some characters like the witches are even very aware of it and try to manipulate the narrative (e.g. Witches Abroad is a lot about stories (not) running their "natural" course).

about 6 months ago
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Thousands of Germans Threatened With €250 Fines For Streaming Porn

henni16 Re:Oh Dear. (192 comments)

Only if the church in question asks and pays for it.
It's a service the government offers to churches in exchange for a percentage of the collected money.

about 8 months ago
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Firefox 23 Makes JavaScript Obligatory

henni16 Re:noscript (778 comments)

I love all those sites which have noscript tags and the only thing that's in it is references to pixel.quantserve and all the other tracker services the site uses.

Yay, another page impression!
Who cares if the user actually saw the ads or *gasp* any content.

about a year ago
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Firefox 23 Makes JavaScript Obligatory

henni16 Re:Really, they should make it easier to do (778 comments)

If you're using Firefox or Seamonkey, you might like the "prefbar" addon.
It adds a freely customizable preferences toolbar that lets you add stuff like checkboxes and buttons for enabling/disabling Javascript, Java, Flash, Cookies, Popups, Images, Referrer sending/switching(*), website colors, navigation buttons ("back"/"forward" is handy for popups without navigation). clearing cookies, clearing cache, switching proxy servers .. you name it.
You can even alter existing or program your own buttons if what you want isn't already available for selection.

(*)
It pays to add Googlebot as a referrer because lots of (news) websites with registration/pay walls (e.g NYTimes) or sites that force you to enable Javascript will happily produce the content if you claim to be Google.

about a year ago
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Google Gets Consumer Service Ultimatum From German Consumer Groups

henni16 Re:What about small websites? (351 comments)

You don't have to provide support that way.
It's more about being able to contact the operator of a website.
Google's problem isn't so much that they say "We don't provide end-user support via this email address", it's that they flat-out state "emails to this address won't be read".

It's like companies being required by law to have a valid postal address and Google is using a running paper shredder as its mailbox.

about a year ago
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Google Gets Consumer Service Ultimatum From German Consumer Groups

henni16 This is NOT about customer service (351 comments)

If you provide a webservice - especially a commercial one - you are required to prominently display valid identity and contact information, including ways that provide quick and immediate ways to communicate with you (the laws especially mentions/requires "electronic post" ).

The background of that German law isn't really about forcing companies to provide customer service (besides making it clear who your business partner is - you have to be able to get hold of whoever is behind a website in case you pay them and they don't deliver).
You have to think about it more in terms of DMCA/cease&desist/law enforcement and it might make more sense to Americans:

"Oh, that DMCA complaint about some user using our service to provide a Super Bowl livestream? That went to our post box on the Bahamas. Three weeks later when it arrived at the main office and out internal mail processing had delivered it to our tech department, they immediately took down the stream."

about a year ago
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Doctor Who's Dalek Designer Dies At 84

henni16 Panzer *is* German for tank (106 comments)

"Panzer" is the word Germans use for "tank".
And you're also right, "Panzer" means armor.
I don't know if the German military uses PKW as an abbreviation for Panzer, but I think it's highly unlikely because most Germans will definitely NOT think of a Panzer when they hear "PKW".

PKW is the very, very common abbreviation for "Personenkraftwagen", i.e. it refers to ordinary passenger cars.
A somewhat literal translation of PKW would be "people motor vehicle".
The most common and general way to classify cars in German is to distinguish between PKW and LKW - with LKW being an abbreviation referring to (heavy) freight trucks ("Lastkraftwagen" or short "Lastwagen" or "Laster" - see "Panzer" instead of "Panzerkampfwagen)

Disclaimer: IAAG ;-)

Btw: according to German wikipedia, the abbreviation for "Panzerkampfwagen" is "PzKpfw".

about a year and a half ago
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The End Is Near for GameStop

henni16 Re:Retailers went too far (393 comments)

Why is it I don't see [..]

I'll tell you why. Because these retailers have already got their damn money once, and don't feel they should be paid again.

Another way to look at it:
it's an admittance that the replayability of the games sucks.

about a year and a half ago
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To Encourage Biking, Lose the Helmets

henni16 Re:But that's not the real problem. (1651 comments)

If you wear a helmet then you are significantly more likely to be involved in an accident.

There are several reasons for the last point. Cyclists wearing helmets subconsciously think that they are safer and take more risks. Drivers drive closer to cyclists with helmets because they perceive them as less fragile. Helmets upset the airflow around your head and so reduce your spacial and situational awareness.

AFAIK the biggest reason for this is likely that the ones most likely to take a risk and have an accident are more likely to wear one, i.e. if you have someone who does racing, does mountain biking, is a messenger, rides daily etc, then that someone is
a) more likely to have an accident serious enough to show up in reports/statistics
b) more likely to own and wear a helmet than someone who rides just now and then

So you might have (numbers courtesy of my backside) something like 10% of _all_ bikers wearing helmets, while the percentage for those who cycle the most miles or engage in riskier (not stupider, like riding without lights) forms of cycling might be 40%.
So you might end up with 15% of riders involved in accidents wearing a helmet while their number "should" only be 10%.

about 2 years ago
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Why Internet Pirates Always Win

henni16 Re:Whack-A-Mole (360 comments)

Just change your browser's user-agent string to make it look like Google; helps to access others sites, too (e.g. every site of the Gawker-family: for those you either have to enable Javascript or pretend to be Googlebot)

If you use a Mozilla-based browser, there are plug-ins to make switching the string comfortable; user-agent switching is one of the things that I use "prefbar" for.

about 2 years ago
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EU Commission: CETA 'Totally Different From ACTA'

henni16 Re:European comisars (112 comments)

To quote wikipedia:

One of the 27 is the Commission President proposed by the European Council[..] and elected by the European Parliament.
The Council then appoints the other 26 members of the Commission in agreement with the nominated President, and then the 27 members as a single body are subject to a vote of approval by the European Parliament.

So the parliament has an all-of-them-or-nobody right of approval for the whole commission whose members are picked by the heads of the member states' governments .

more than 2 years ago
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NY Couple On "Wanted" Poster For Filming Police

henni16 Re:Amazing (541 comments)

the only people that anti-gun laws are preventing from carrying a gun in Chicago are the law abiding citizens that are currently forced by the government to be defenseless sheep for the slaughter for any armed Chicago thug

I've no idea about the situation in Chicago, but I wonder how many of those murders are actually law abiding defenseless sheep being slaughtered and how many are not-so-law-abiding citizens killing each other.

more than 2 years ago
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Lenovo Ordered To Refund 'Microsoft Tax'

henni16 Re:There is no Microsoft Tax (475 comments)

Since I was shopping for a new notebook recently:
there are sometimes notebooks without Windows preinstalled and they're usually cheaper.

There are shops where you can configure the OS and they charge you more depending on whether you selected "no OS" or on the Windows version (ultimate>pro>home).

Depending on the manufacturer and their deal with MS the amounts might differ, though.
Some examples:
* put Win 7 Ultimate instead of Win 7 Pro on a Latitude and your Laptop costs 61 EUR more on dell.de

* Schenker (mysn.de) allows for lots of configuration and the OS options (besides "no OS" for 0 EUR) are:
95EUR -108EUR for Home Premium OEM
133EUR-143EUR for Pro OEM
175EUR for Ultimate OEM

* at a local Lenovo reseller you can get notebooks without Windows; they have, for example, a Thinkpad Edge E525 for 399EUR without Windows and with similar specs and Home Premium for 494EUR

more than 2 years ago
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Upcoming EU Data Law Will Make Europe Tricky For Social Networks

henni16 Re:Other Peoples Photos of You (168 comments)

As to (a) and (b): under German law you have a right to your own likeness, i.e. in theory other people aren't even allowed to distribute materials depicting you without your permission. No idea how that is done in the rest of the EU, though

more than 2 years ago
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Upcoming EU Data Law Will Make Europe Tricky For Social Networks

henni16 Re:Other Peoples Photos of You (168 comments)

Not that surprising.
There's usually stuff you post yourself (e.g. this comment) and then there's information about you that the company collects (e.g. tracking what websites you've looked at or who you've interacted with).

more than 2 years ago
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Pirate Party Wins Seat In Berlin

henni16 Re:Reactions of other parties (241 comments)

Sorry, but this is simply not true.
Except for "When it became clear that the Pirate Party would likely get into the parliament (predicted to get 6.5% at most), they were already scandalized, how anybody could vote such loonies."

I'm not sure what you've watched, but it certainly wasn't the coverage by ARD or later the local RBB. Or not a lot of it.

Other parties had no problem naming them and dis so frequently as the success of the Pirates and the catastrophic result of the FDP were the main topics of most discussions.
Yeah, of course they also called the Pirates "new", but so did the Pirates themselves.
During a talk with representatives of all parties (that matter), they even did a little "special" analyzing where the pirates' 9% came from and asked everybody's opinion about that and why their parties didn't manage to get those votes.

Some politicians from the "established" parties even congratulated the Pirates. I remember people from the Greens and the Lefts doing so.
And they certainly didn't say "Congratulations to those others".

And I don't remember a Left party guy talking about "they overestimated themselves".
But I do remember one pointing out how the Pirates _under_estimated their own chances and that the Pirates obviously were surprised by their success as much as anybody else, citing (almost) not having enough candidates listed to fill the seats they won as a proof.
And he wasn't alone, several Pirate candidates repeatedly stated how they were "baff" (perplexed) or "still a bit in shock" in view of their success.

I also have no problem with Künast claiming they gained the most as those gains and losses are calculated in comparison to the last state election in 2006 and the Pirates weren't yet on the ballot back then.
If you say the Pirates gained 6% to reach their 9%, you're comparing their result today to the 3% they got in Berlin during the last national election in 2009, i.e. you're comparing apples and oranges because
a) people vote differently in state and national elections and
b) the gains and losses of the other parties were based on the results of a different election.
Yeah, technically the Pirates gained the most since they went from nothing to 9%, but I don't blame her for ignoring the n00bs when the main intent is to show how they are more awesome than the sucktitide that's their traditional enemies or their (realistic) competitors when it comes to building the government.

more than 2 years ago
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Why the Fax Machine Refuses To Die

henni16 Re:It's for signatures (835 comments)

In particular on a fax, it wouldn't be all that hard to scan a contract, photoshop a signature in and then send it to a fax machine.

I was tempted to do that.
I didn't have a fax, just a PC with an old fax modem specifically kept around to be able to send faxes.

So when I had to cancel a hosting contract and the hoster would only accept a hand-signed letter or fax, I had to print the letter, sign it, scan it back into the computer and then FAX the scanned image.

Since photoshopping (well, GIMPing) is a hobby, I was really tempted to do a "convert letter.pdf letter.jpg" (should turn out shiatty enough to look like a real fax) and slap a scan of a signature onto it.

more than 2 years ago
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China To Connect Its High-Speed Rail To Europe

henni16 Re:Ominous (691 comments)

You can already do that in the other direction.
A friend of mine went from Europe to Beijing by train for the experience and to visit a friend living in Beijing.
She took a train from Germany to Moscow, got onto the Trans-Siberian railway, took a break in Mongolia to go hiking through the prairie for a couple of days and then continued on the Trans-Mongolian route of the railway to reach Beijing.

more than 4 years ago

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