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Research Shows E-Cigs Might Be As Good For Quitting As Nicotine Patches

nbert Re:second hand e-smoke (314 comments)

Nicotine and caffeine are in different leagues: Coffee is available everywhere, can be consumed in almost every situation and the withdrawal symptoms are short and mild compared to nicotine.

I quit smoking after 15 years and not having to look for the next place to buy or smoke cigarettes is a big relief. E-Cigs can be used in more places , but you still need a steady supply (plus batteries!) and there is always a chance that the thing breaks when you can't buy a new one easily.
Another problem is that since it makes smoking easier quitting becomes less desirable. I know some heavy smokers who use them during work hours and switch back to cigarettes whenever they can smoke freely.

about a year ago
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Ministry of Sound Suing Spotify Over User Playlists

nbert Re:Oh for pete's sake (201 comments)

I don't think they would sue a company that actually helps them sell their stuff. However, I think it is quite difficult for MOS to argue that Spotify is infringing copyright while Amazon isn't.

about a year ago
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Ministry of Sound Suing Spotify Over User Playlists

nbert Re:Oh for pete's sake (201 comments)

By that logic Ministry of Sound should sue Amazon for publishing track lists for almost every MOS compilation

about a year ago
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Ancient Teeth Bacteria Record Disease Evolution

nbert Re:humans (97 comments)

Plants and animals generally have a lifespan long enough to procreate - then they are a waste.

Not necessarily. Being alive (and relatively fit) when your grandchildren are born might increase their chances of survival and therefore the probability of your genes being passed on to the next generations. After all you are the only backup plan in case something happens to the parents.

However, I totally agree on your views regarding the human diet. I try to eat paleo whenever I can.

about 2 years ago
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North Korea Conducts Third Nuclear Test

nbert Re:Making Peace? (270 comments)

I don't agree that Korea would be in the same position as Germany. A Korean reunification would be far more challenging for a number of reasons. First of all the population ratio is more in favor of the north (2:1 compared to 3.5:1 in Germany). It's also noteworthy that East Germany was an industrialized country with educated workforce and a functioning agricultural sector. The GDR wasn't great but compared to North Korea it was highly developed and the standard of living was at least similar to that of the western population. Apart from the economical differences the societies didn't have so much time to drift apart and the GDR was more open to external influences (people had Radio/TV from the west, relatives were allowed to visit etc).
Based on the way the unification went in Germany I'm not really sure South Korea could cope with a collapse of the NK regime in the same manner.

about 2 years ago
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Symantec Finds Server Containing 44 Million Stolen Gaming Credentials

nbert Re:I must be new here (146 comments)

Probably not, but reputation must be worth something in criminal enterprises. Giving out a bunch of bogus products kills the word-of-mouth.

I can't imagine how they could sell those individually to gamers. For them it makes more sense to single out invalid accounts and to sell large blocks to less skilled criminals at a premium. Just like in the normal business world one would pay more than twice for a product which has a 0% failure rate instead of 50%. Of course one could just pretend that all accounts are valid, but word of mouth would be your least least problem in that scenario ;)

more than 3 years ago
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Global "Last Mile" Performance Stats Going Public

nbert Re:Moldova? (233 comments)

Anyway, cheers to all of us for being ahead of North Korea. At the end of the day, when we think our country has thoroughly embarrassed and disappointed us, we can still usually say "At least we're not in North Korea."

They don't appear in the stats because they are using a satellite link to a Berlin based ISP. So whenever someone privileged enough runs such a test in NK it appears as if it came from Germany.

There used to be a connection via China, but I guess they wanted to avoid the great firewall (most likely they are censoring themselves). I never heard of IPB in any other context, even though my office is quite close to theirs. I guess NK is their main customer.

more than 4 years ago
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Palin Email Snoop Found Guilty On 2 Charges

nbert Re:Why is this different? (291 comments)

The quality of the password, or the size of the lock doesn't matter.

In real life I'd totally agree. But you don't secure your house with a lock which opens if you state the place where you met your future husband as prove of your identity. Just imagine how a case of trespassing would end in court if you had such kind of security.

He crossed a line, but is it really computer fraud if you bypass a system by common knowledge?

Whenever I'm forced to state my favorite dog or my mother's maiden name I type some random stuff - everything else would be highly irresponsible.

more than 4 years ago
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Kid Health Experts Attack Video Game Summer Camp

nbert Re:Last I checked... (123 comments)

Prof. Mckay seems to be more concerned about "obesity levels" according to the article. However, I highly doubt that a summer camp is the right place to fix this issue and 3 hours of computer games a day won't make anyone fatter than he/she already is. It is hard for me to see any point in this story.

more than 4 years ago
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Digitizing and Geocoding Old Maps?

nbert Re:Blue print company (235 comments)

On 55 on the other hand it's near perfect. I can't provide you with my own samples, but take a look at this.

I don't know which solution provides better image quality, but I don't like the idea of being just half done after taking the shots.

more than 4 years ago
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Digitizing and Geocoding Old Maps?

nbert Re:Blue print company (235 comments)

Even if your numbers are right it's so much cheaper to use 2 or 4 DSLRs with kit lenses (Canon's EF-S 18-55mm 1:3.5-5.6 IS for example has practically no distortion, so no reason to spend more than $ 175 on a lense). Most projects I've seen in the last year use the 450D, which costs roughly $ 600 including the lense I mentioned above. It features 12.2 MP and IIRC its successor will feature 15 MP for the same price. Canon is very popular in that field because they are the only manufacturer offering a stable API for accessing their cameras.

You can find further information here. There is also Atiz which offers very promising sets including software. I haven't seen their products in action yet (they don't do much business in Europe) and AFAIK they only offer book scanning devices, but the software should be able to do maps as well.

Another option is to use traditional overhead scanners. They are extremely expensive but their quality is unmatched. Zeutschel and Imageware are pretty large manufacturers.

more than 4 years ago
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2010 Bug Plagues Germany

nbert Re:Untested software (233 comments)

So those cards would work in the US and Germany. But it wouldn't work in most of Europe and many other places.

more than 4 years ago
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2010 Bug Plagues Germany

nbert Re:Untested software (233 comments)

Covering the connectors will force the reader to take the stripe if it can, and many do.

That's exactly how many retailers in Germany currently deal with the situation. If the customer's card doesn't work they just put some sticky tape on it. The banks affected have also modified their ATMs to fall back to stripe-mode in case the chip has the bug. Of course that is just a workaround, because this "fix" doesn't work internationally.

more than 4 years ago
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Lichtblick and Volkswagen To Build 'Swarm' Power Plants

nbert Re:Uh? (327 comments)

That's good, so if I'm helping them pay for two nuclear power plants, I'm getting paid for the use of my basement, or at least getting it for free, right?

Like I said they are not actually replacing two nuclear power plants. The company providing the generators doesn't own any nuclear power plants (would be strange since Lichtblick is a "green" electricity provider)
The generator provides warm water to the house and electricity to the grid. Of course the homeowner gets paid for the electricity. I don't know any details, but this deal could be pretty attractive if your replacing you'r heating system anyways.

more than 5 years ago
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Lichtblick and Volkswagen To Build 'Swarm' Power Plants

nbert Re:Uh? (327 comments)

The quote is a little misleading. They are not planning to shut down 2 power plants when the swarm comes online. They are simply stating that it will generate power equivalent to two average nuclear power plants.

Different story: Technically it might actually replace those plants, because the government decided in 2000 that all nuclear power plants will be shut down until ~2019. But we have elections coming up and it's possible that this decision gets revoked.

more than 5 years ago
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US Supercomputer Uses Flash Storage Drives

nbert Re:Problems to solve with it: (72 comments)

My favorite computer magazine once tested an ordinary USB flash drive and it still worked after 16 million write cycles on the same file. Since they are using Intel SATA-SSD at SDSC I'm assuming that those drives are SLC, which last ~10x longer than (cheaper) multi-cell drives.

But even if drives start to fail they'll just replace them like they do with any other supercomputer setup, so it's more a cost factor than a problem.

more than 5 years ago
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Best Free Open Source Software For Windows

nbert Re:Enterprise ready winners (324 comments)

What about Communigate? While not exactly free, it seems to be a decent replacement of Exchange. It also works with iCal and Korganizer.

I'll test it next week for my start-up. Won't even cost us anything since there is a community version which allows up to 5 users.

more than 5 years ago
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First MS Retail Stores Will be In Scottsdale, AZ and Mission Viejo, CA

nbert Re:Anyone Going? (189 comments)

There is just one thing that interests me about those stores: According to the leaked ppts they are actually considering to have private birthday parties there. I'd like to know who would actually pay for celebrating in a MS store and what the program for that would look like.

I just can't think of any way which doesn't result in utter embarrassment for everyone involved.

more than 5 years ago
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Your Commuting Costs By Car Vs. Train?

nbert Re:depends (1137 comments)

Your example is a little off base. 1857 inhabitants/km vs 20696 inhabitants (sorry for the kms, but it wouldn't look much better in miles).

Nevertheless I agree that small cities can have proper public transport. I guess that there are many cultural and history related reasons why public transport isn't a priority in the US. And since it doesn't work well most people don't consider it - it's a chicken-egg problem...

more than 5 years ago
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A $99 Graphics Card Might Be All You Need

nbert Re:Once upon a time (618 comments)

I absolutely agree.

This reminds me of a conversation I once had with some guy at a (rather geeky) birthday party. I asked him about the SLI setup he bought two month ago. He told me that he'll replace it soon because "there are random frame drops when I play a recent game and watch a DVD on the other screen". He was really serious about this. I pretended to be interested for another 3 minutes and left him alone before my urge to punch him in the face became overwhelming ;)

So in other words: I believe that there will be a market for such cards as long as there are enough clueless people who earn enough money to barely afford them. In my experience this target group is pretty immune to arguments - there is no reason to assume that they'll ever wise up...

more than 5 years ago

Submissions

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Nuclear plant in Slovenia causes major concern

nbert nbert writes  |  more than 6 years ago

nbert (785663) writes "ECURIE (European Community Urgent Radiological Information Exchange) issued a warning yesterday at 5:38 pm local time regarding a malfunction of a Slovenian reactor in Krsko near the Croatian border. ECURIE was founded in reaction to the Chernobyl disaster in 1986. The system obligates members of the EU to inform other members in the case of a critical incident within their borders. Since such warnings are only issued if the affected country is taking measures to save the population it is fairly raw to receive such warnings. For this reason the warning has caused major coverage in European news shortly after the incident.

However, current articles imply that the situation is under control. Apparently cooling fluid has leaked from the primary circle but has been kept contained within the reactor.

The reactor in Krsko was built over 60 years ago and has been criticized by organizations like Greenpeace for its lack of maintenance and general design. Croatia and other neighboring countries have previously protested against ongoing operation.

Since I wasn't able to find English sources I can only refer to the following non-English sites: Spiegel.de and ElPaís.com"

Journals

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AC's are important, but annoying

nbert nbert writes  |  more than 6 years ago I ignore AC replies to my posts, so don't reply anonymously if you want me to read it.

I do believe that the option to post anonymously is important in general and I read AC's post when I have mod-points or if they are at the start of a long thread. But many people use the option to troll or insult OPs without having to fear negative karma and I simply don't see any reason why I should reward this behavior in any way.

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