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Why Apple, Google, and FB Have Their Own Programming Languages

hjf Re:The real conspiracy... (161 comments)

I have Programming Perl. Bought 15 years ago, and I used to consult it a lot.

Now I just google the information. Easier to find than on the book...

Books are nice and have a romantic feeling about them. But e-docs are oh god so much more convenient.

about two weeks ago

Ask Slashdot: Why Is the Power Grid So Crummy In So Many Places?

hjf Re:Aerial or underground ? (516 comments)

Where I live, both 13.2KV and 220V wires used to hang from the same posts. 13.2KV ones much higher. During a storm with heavy winds, I used to see them swing and arc and boom - power was out. Until the storm ended and then they restored power.

In the 90s they did a massive rebuilding of the distribution grid. All 13.2KV lines were buried and all 220V "naked" wire was replaced with insulated, quadruple, "twisted" cable hanging mostly from house fronts (mostly city houses one right next to another).

This eliminated almost all of the storm problems. No more wind or lightning knocking down power. Sometimes yes, you hear a very loud thunder and power goes out but that's most likely the product of a direct or very nearby hit that makes protections trip.

Unfortunately now we have other problems. Growing pains. Too many new apartment buildings taking a lot of juice and the grid isn't being upgraded. On very hot days power goes out and you have all sorts of brownouts and blackouts. This is sheer corruption: every apartment building, over a certain number of houses, is supposed to have its own 13.2KV->220V transformer but they just pay some power company officials (yes, state-owned company) and they hook em up to 220V. Suddenly you have 60 new houses sucking juice from the already loaded transformer...

about three weeks ago

The Nintendo DS Turns 10

hjf Re:Considering the success Nintendo has had. . . (61 comments)

You don't talk to kids, do you?

Remember when ALL YOU WANTED was your own computer?
Kids are over that.
They're also over the ALL I WANT IS A LAPTOP

Now, all they want is a tablet. Kids don't want PCs anymore. It's unbelievable.

And even worse: many don't even want a tablet. they want just a smartphone.

about a month ago

CNN Anchors Caught On Camera Using Microsoft Surface As an iPad Stand

hjf Re:Could have been worse (236 comments)

Objection! Speculative.

about a month and a half ago

FTDI Removes Driver From Windows Update That Bricked Cloned Chips

hjf Re:My prediction Short term effect on FTDI (572 comments)

just FYI: I've had MCP2200 stop working for whatever reason. One day, boom, bye bye MCP. No idea why.
Also you have to manually install drivers for them, which may or may not be something important to you.

about 2 months ago

How Sony, Intel, and Unix Made Apple's Mac a PC Competitor

hjf Re:Yawn... (296 comments)

i'm pretty sure it refers to IBM's inability to deliver enough chips (powerPC), which caused problems for Sony, and was the reason Apple moved to Intel.

about 2 months ago

FTDI Reportedly Bricking Devices Using Competitors' Chips.

hjf Re:On the other hand... (700 comments)

No, it's because if they release a firmware that just refuses to work, the people that made these fakes will just release hacked drivers, based on FTDI's.
FTDI wants to destroy your hardware so you, as a consumer, will go to the manufacturer of your device. This will eventually teach them to follow the "pedigree" of their chips, and buy them from reputable sources. And not from "the cheapest seller in china".

about 2 months ago

FTDI Reportedly Bricking Devices Using Competitors' Chips.

hjf Re:On the other hand... (700 comments)

Huh? This is criminal? But "impersonating" a chip isn't?

I'm pretty sure DMCA or friends WON'T let you, legally, make a chip that pretends to be another chip. Especially if it's not marked "compatible" but it's just a plain FAKE.

So some company makes a fake Ford, which has acceleration problems. It crashes, kills someone, and Ford is to blame because it had a Ford badge? ...

about 2 months ago

An Algorithm to End the Lines for Ice at Burning Man

hjf Re: Agner Krarup Erlang - The telephone in 1909! (342 comments)

Carrefour does this in Argentina. People don't really understand the concept but they're starting to get used to it. Most banks have been doing it for a long time as well.

"Hyper-efficient" McDonald's and Walmart? Nope.

about 2 months ago

HBO To Offer Online Streaming Without TV Subscription

hjf Re:I am not alone when I say.... (139 comments)

I find this interesting. I'm in Argentina, and my cable HD is better than TV 720p rips. It looks just incredible.

I guess maybe it's because we only get about 30 HD channels and the remaining 120 are SD.

about 2 months ago

Ask Slashdot: Why Can't Google Block Spam In Gmail?

hjf Re:Juggle multiple gmail accounts (265 comments)

seriously? gmail as disposable address? Haven't you heard of Mailinator? or bugmenot?

about 2 months ago

JP Morgan Chase Breach: Shades of a Cyber Cold War?

hjf Re:Boot them from the Swift system for a few weeks (96 comments)

Argentina paid to repsol MORE than its market value estimation.
And what they did was not "illegal". If it was, they couldn't have done it.

about 2 months ago

BitHammer, the BitTorrent Banhammer

hjf Re:It's okay when I do it... (429 comments)

You may want to see what a Routerboard can do for less than $50. Try the RB750 or 950 (751 or 951 if you want wifi too)

about 2 months ago

BitHammer, the BitTorrent Banhammer

hjf Re:It's okay when I do it... (429 comments)

A $50 RouterBoard can do tens of thousands of connections. My trusty old RB333 (7 years non stop) can handle, according to its GUI, 90720 max entries in the CONNTRACK table.

about 2 months ago

Drones Reveal Widespread Tax Evasion In Argentina

hjf Re:Why not google (208 comments)

the images I see on google maps, from my city, are (C) 2014. GSV are dated june/14

about 3 months ago

Kickstarter Lays Down New Rules For When a Project Fails

hjf Re:think globally (203 comments)

Error, I'm not blaming others for the problems of my country. I am 100% convinced that ALL of my country's problems are caused by CORRUPTION. But as I stated earlier, whenever we try to do something about it, it's questioned as if it was a totalitarian regime move. In the meanwhile, companies continue to be emptied.

As for the other countries: keep in mind that:
1. Brazil may be in the top 10 world economies but their social problems are way greater than Argentina's. Look at the distribution of income and you'll see only a few "extremely rich" people skewing the total percentage.
2. Chile has a lot of natural resources and their economy is simply based on exporting, basically, copper. Chile has more mines than Argentina (because of their geography) and only 1/3 of the population. Do the math.
3. Chile doesn't have a public university system. Thousands of their students come to Argentina to graduate here.
4. Bolivia and Paraguay don't have any serious public health system. Their citizens come to Argentina for treatment. For free.
5. Argentina has ENORMOUS shantytowns with populations that sometimes reach 40% foreigners.

It's very convenient to be a neighbor of Argentina, since we take care of your people for free. Due to "human rights" associations it's impossible to even put this issue up for discussion. You're called simply a RACIST if you talk about charging foreigners for healthcare or education. And only now someone's been talking about deporting criminals...

As for paying what we owe, well, I see this as a sacrifice. You see, you say the consequences of a default are worse. This isn't true. If Argentina pays now, we're forced to pay $200B more - money Argentina doesn't have, and can't borrow, and yes, it will be a REAL default with REAL consequences. The only thing we can do is wait in a "partial default" until january and negotiate then, after the RUFO clause expires. It's pretty obvious the government is doing all this loudmouthing now, but they will be paying in january. Let me explain again: Argentina, right now, CAN NOT pay. Our central bank reserves amount only to $28 billion.

The solution for argentina's short term economic probems is simple:

Wait until january and pay the debt.
Take a huge loan, to be used to develop the very needed:
- roads: there has been a project to do this for over 20 years - it even includes eliminating all toll roads
- railways: Argentina has over 35.000km of railroads of which only about 1700km are active
Eliminate "social aid" programs in a period of several years. Starting with men in working age. If they can't find a job, they should be assigned to building the roads or railways. Then continue with women - hundreds of thousands of "cleaning ladies" quit their job once they started getting government aid. There is now a shortage of this service.
Eliminate the shantytowns, deport all illegal immigrants (maybe with an amnesty for those who can prove they've been actively working in the past years and not just "living here"). Relocate all Argentinians to their original cities.
Forced labor for prisoners: in Argentina, prisoners actually get government aid for being in jail AND their wives too. This needs to be eliminated. Prisoners oughta work cleaning the sides of roads or whatever.
Instauration of the Death Penalty. Criminals have turned extremely violent in Argentina - high profile rape and murder cases are in the news every day. Lawyers say we can't do this because we are subscribed to the Costa Rica treaty - Interesting: Argentina is a sovereign state when it comes to not paying debts but apparenly we can't unsubscribe from a treaty.
Reinstauration of conscription. There are now MILLIONS of youths that left school and never had a supportive family (a consequence of indiscriminate social aid). This is a time bomb, and crime rates are expected to soar to incredible levels because of these people.
These are just a few points. I could go on for days about this. But sadly, for all things to happen, what Argentina needs right now is, unfortunately, violence. Argentina is in serious need of a violent, bloody revolution - with politicians lynched. This is an extreme situation caused by what i call the "naturalization of corruption". People don't become politicians to be politicians. They become politicians to be CORRUPT. That is their main target. And because of this, you have higher rank politicians that never go away and are senators for decades. The same also happens with unions. There are union leaders (like Barrionuevo) who have been doing this for over 30 years. These guys aren't going away - and the only way to remove them is by violence. The justice is not going to.

So in short: Argentina's problems are definitely NOT caused by the debt. And argentina's problems DON'T go away by paying off the debt. So it makes no economical or strategical sense to pay it right now, or to take any more loans to be wasted in more social aid.

about 3 months ago

Kickstarter Lays Down New Rules For When a Project Fails

hjf Re:think globally (203 comments)

Dude, in the end, you give money to a stranger. It can go right, or terribly wrong. And you're only lending a few bucks.

The point i'm trying to make is this: America is "the land of opportunity". Anyone there can start a business easily, make it grow, get rich. You can actually get some sort of loan (are you telling me you can't get a $5K loan from your bank?). There is a big advantage there.

In the rest of the world it's definitely not like that. Someone in the Philippines can't just start a business, and expect it to grow. You can't easily take a loan (and if you can, the sum is ridiculous and the interests are sky high). Third world countries run at a huge disadvantage.

The problem is pretty obvious here: you're serving people who don't really need the money. It's just a convenient place to do it (and I bet sooner or later banks will be suing Kickstarter for "providing financial services without a license"). What these kind of sites need to do is work outside Comfortable America and do something worth doing.

You know what disgusts me the most? A random idiot in the US can start a kickstarter project for "potato salad" in the US and get millons thrown at him, for fun. While some farmer in india has to go through all sorts of processes to get a "microcredit" (a $50 loan) from some agency, AND THEN he has to pay that $50 back + interests. Come on.

about 3 months ago

Kickstarter Lays Down New Rules For When a Project Fails

hjf Re:think globally (203 comments)

I didn't say we borrowed 80 million. NML bought the DEFAULTED bonds for 80 million. They bought worthless papers, from someone with terrible credit. And they sued, to collect 100% payment.

That's NOT how it works, man. On one hand, you have the "free market" buying and selling, and on the other hand, you have a judge ruling on the price of bonds. WTF? Let's put it another way: Why should Argentina pay a lot more interest than, say, Germany? Because there's a chance that Argentina won't pay? Obviously not. Since a judge can order you to pay in full.

As for Repsol, Argentina has paid for it already. The clown we have for minister of economy said, at one point, "Repsol won't receive a single cent". Then he, himself, negotiated something like a payment of 6 billion dollars for it in bonds (when the valuation was estimated in 5 billion). This was criticized because he overpaid. They did this to allow Repsol to sell the 6 billion in bonds for an estimated market value of 5 billion. (In my opinion, Argentina should have paid Repsol what repsol paid to the Argentinian government in the 90s for YPF: One Dollar. In fact, make it 10. Make it 100. Hell, let's make it 1 million dollars - man, that's a great return: pay 1 dollar, do nothing, then get paid 1 million 10 years later!)

The problem with Repsol is a lot deeper and it's only part of the problems with private investment in Argentina. Especially in the privatization business that happened in the early 90s. Argentina recently "found" an oil field, Vaca Muerta. I say "found" because it was known about for decades. In all these years, Repsol never bothered to exploit it. They simply used the existing wells and tapped the "easy" oil. Argentina's energy demands were higher than that so we import a lot of fuel.

Another case is electricity. In Buenos Aires, Edenor and Edesur exploited the already existing grid. They did not invest anything in over 20 years. Last summer there was a blackout that left a neighborhood without electricity for over a week. Edenor said it's because of Argentina's import restriction policies. The truth is, over 10 years ago, before any restrictions, a similar event happened. An entire neighborhood without power for over a week. So Edenor claims it's because the Argentine government has "frozen the cost of electricity". It's bullshit again, since Edenor/Edesur both receive several hundred million dollars a year in subsidies.

Then there's the telephone communications business. ENTel was split into two (Telecom+Telefonica) in 1990 or 91. For several years the situation didn't improve - at all. Until they started replacing the lines. Then it was great: service was excellent (in most cities), and it Just Worked. ENTel is remembered because of its terrible service (actually most of it was self-sabotage by their own employees who had been told if the company was privatized they'd get higher salaries - oops, most were fired).

Aerolineas Argentinas is the best example of this too. Aerolineas owned over 20 planes, 3 simulators, dozens of buildings across the world (in airports and outside), employeed thousands of people, and operated at a loss of about 1 million dollars a year. It was privatized. After 10 years of privatizations, Aerolineas leases all its planes, owns no simulators, liquidated most of their buildings, employs hundreds (not thousands) of people, and.. it operates at a loss of over 1 million dollars a year.

I could keep giving you examples here, but it's not needed. The pattern is pretty clear here: Own a privatized company, liquidate everything you can, and funnel ALL earnings outside the country. If the company needs some sort of investment, you only do it if it's critical (like Telecom, who could simply not operate because the lines were in terrible state), and all investments you do through a loan taken in Argentina and paid in Argentina (and then not pay it, take it to an extreme situation, and threaten to fire all employees. Then they go out to the street, protest, and the government takes care of the debt). You NEVER bring any money to Argentina.

And the best part: if the government tries to do anything about it, like jail executives or take over the company, you go to CNN, Financial Times, Bloomberg, etc. and whine that the "government of Argentina is trying to steal a private company".

The problem is a combination of both corruption from the Argentinian government that lets these characters do whatever they please with privatized companies, and the "free market" propaganda system, that makes you believe that Argentina is some sort of bully that wats to take over companies. And of course, it's only the propaganda system that says this sort of things. Or do you believe S&P or Fitch are so innocent they don't know how these companies (like Repsol and Marsans) operate in Argentina? Of course they know. But they shield themselves in the "technically what they're doing isn't illegal" argument.

Argentina is in serious need of investment right now. But what we need is real investors. People who want to start a business here AND make it grow - not some "get rich quick" type who wants to buy an already existing company to cash it out. The problem is no foreign investor ever wanted to do that. This is not new, it's not because of this government or the previous one. It's been like this since the early days, when England built a ton of infrastructure here (railroads mostly) to facilitate the transport of goods: Argentina supplied raw materials and England sold us manufactured stuff (England sold us BRICKS. Man, that's ridiculous). England was also clever (and shitty) enough to provide Brazil with a different rail gauge so there couldn't be trade between Brazil and Argentina.

So basically this country will never leave this situation. We have been like this for 200 years. This isn't going to change.

about 3 months ago



Amazon patents white background photography

hjf hjf writes  |  about 7 months ago

hjf (703092) writes "Photographers hate it. Designers love it. Balancing the right amount of light so that the background is pure white, and the subject is correctly lit is a technique that's been used for decades in photography. Brought to you by the same company that pantented 1-click buy, now we have a patent on white background photos. Never before the term "prior art" has been more relevant."

Diplomatic crisis with Argentna scales up

hjf hjf writes  |  more than 3 years ago

hjf (703092) writes "In an unprecedented series of events, Argentine customs have confiscated US military equipment. The cargo was supposed to be part of cooperation agreements between Argentina and the US. The US had clearance for weapons and ammunition (all specified here), but Argentine customs officers found a little more than that. First reports said the boxed contained drugs (Morfin and others). US reaction to the incident was strange, with several high ranking officers demanding immediate return of the material — pretty odd for a few doses of Morfin. Later, Argentine officers stated that, besides the medication, there was "communications interception equipment" and several other "high-tech" equipment, which wasn't declared. Argentina-US relations have been deteriorating in the last few years, to the point that Obama won't visit Argentina on his south-american tour. Argentina is a member of G-20 Major Economies, currently holds Charimanship for G-77, and has been a member of the UN Security Council for several times since 1948. You can follow the Argentine Chancellor on twitter, @hectortimerman, and the President of Argentina, @CFKArgentina."
Link to Original Source

hjf hjf writes  |  about 8 years ago

hjf (703092) writes "A few months after showing interest in buying 1 million "$ 100" computers from the OLPC program, Argentina is now trying Intel's $300 notebook. Intel made a donation of 500 computers to be tested. Argentina's government will choose one of the two computers after pilot testing them. The same announcement was made in Brazil."


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