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Cuba Says the Internet Now a Priority

root_42 Re:The access is not as dire as you would imagi (85 comments)

I have been to Cuba earlier this year. We travelled around by car from the west to roughly the middle of the island. We slept in private casa particulars and talked to the local people. While it is obviously true that the villages are somewhat impoverished, I can tell you that Cuba seemed so much better developed than other latin american countries, like Peru. In Cuba, our hosts all had internet access. It was slow (dialup), but people were using AirBnB and the like to advertise their casas. They would use Facebook, Google and Gmail and some even had iPhones and iCloud.
Even in the small villages, people's homes were sort of neat, even if they were old and a bit run down. Everywhere it was obvious that people did take care. And yes, there were obvious shortcomings of goods like meat, toilet paper. A bottle of coca cola was insanely expensive.
In Peru on the other hand there was an abundance of internet access -- internet cafes and free WiFi even in the most remote village. Coca Cola and Inka Cola everywhere. However, the whole country was much more littered, homes were absolutely shabby outside of the neat centre of Lima and the tourist spots. The poverty of the poorest was so unbelievable.
I certainly hope that Cuba evolves into something better, that the gap between poor and rich doesn't get as bad as that in Peru. And of course I hope that Peru also gets better... Cuba definitely has got a chance to reform and evolve now. I hope that the Cuban people are up to it!

1 hour ago
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What day of the week is your most productive?

root_42 Tuesday, according to FishEye (91 comments)

I guess most people are just guessing their productivity. However I could look it up in FishEye, which tells me my number of commits per day and hour. Wednesday wins, as does 15:00h. Monday on the other hand is my least productive day.... But I do not really hate mondays...

about 9 months ago
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Tesla Model S Has Bizarre 'Vampire-Like' Thirst For Electricity At Night

root_42 Re: kWh/day is stupid. (424 comments)

Then they should just write how many Joules it was. :)

1 year,25 days
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Mercury Astronaut Scott Carpenter Dies At 88

root_42 Re:He flew into space in a beetle-sized capsule (81 comments)

Is it really the size of a VW beetle? At Kennedy Space Center they have a mockup, which I think is accurately sized. Including a seat, in which you can sit. I didn't fit, because, I was too tall -- at 1.80m! That thing was tiny. Really tiny!

about a year ago
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Over 100 Missing Episodes of Doctor Who Located

root_42 Re:What a damp blanket you must be: (158 comments)

Do you also blow out candles on adult's birthday cakes and then sternly lecture them about how "That's just for kids"?

He's Vulcan. He blows out the candles because there was a fire hazard.

about a year ago
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Apple Unveils iPhone 5C, iPhone 5S

root_42 Re: Hand over your fingerprint! (773 comments)

Look at it from the NSA/FBI's point of view: they already have backdoor access to your phone's data, so the fingerprint scanner isn't about keeping Them out, but about securing biometric data from users voluntarily. If They tried to fingerprint or retina-scan a whole nation Themselves (like our troops do to occupied Afganistan and before in Iraq) there would be resistance; we only got away with it in Afghanistan and Iraq because we were an armed, occupying force. At home, they'll start integrating biometric scanners into cheap, gaudy (GOLD!) baubles so the Sheeple fingerprint themselves instead.

Your government already has my fingerprints. Every time I travel to the US, I have to leave my fingerprint at the border controls in the airport. Several years back, it was just a thumb print. But last time I went, it was all ten fingerprints.

about a year ago
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Interview With Professor Potrykus, Inventor of Golden Rice

root_42 Evolution (400 comments)

I wonder if humans would evolve further, maybe producing their own beta carotene or Vitamin A? I do not condone the suffering of millions of people, but I wonder if giving our bodies everything in plenty is good in the long run (like generations).

Also, can't this deficiency be solved with existing crops and/or vegetables? The rice looks nice, though...

about a year ago
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My ISP...

root_42 ISP is ok-ish, Mobile ISP is bad (290 comments)

I am using German Telekom for my mobile ISP. They cap after 300MB. Way, way too low. After that it's 64kbit/s!

My DSL ISP is ok. No caps, but the uplink is tiny. I've got 6 MBit downlink, but only 512kbit uplink. Terrible for uploading photos or other stuff.

about a year ago
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GNUstep Kickstarter Campaign Launched

root_42 GNUStep is a great project (131 comments)

I like this campaign. Objective C is continually in the Top 5 of the most widely used languages (http://www.tiobe.com/index.php/content/paperinfo/tpci/index.html). It is a very nice, simple object oriented C dialect. It is used on OS X and iOS, the latter of which is installed on hundreds of millions of devices (http://www.engadget.com/2013/01/23/apple-over-500-million-ios-devices-sold/). Both operating systems heavily utilize Cocoa as their framework

Having better or even any Cocoa support on Linux would help to get developers to target both world. Linux on the one side, and iOS/OS X on the other side. I think this is well worth for all Linux users to chip in some money (even if it's only $1).

about a year ago
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Futurama Cancelled (Again)

root_42 Re: Oh you and your sentimentality. (390 comments)

This, this, a thousand times this! "The Late Philip J. Fry" is my favorite Futurama episode. So witty and full of good jokes and quotable lines. ("Just slow it down, I'll shoot Hitler out the window.")

But I must concur, the quality of the episodes varies in the last two seasons. I hope there'll be new, excitong shows around the corner.

about a year ago
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Ask Slashdot: How Do You Stay Fit At Work?

root_42 Walk or cycle more, get a dog (635 comments)

I go to work by bus, but I still have to work ~1km to and from the bus. Also you could take a bicycle to work. Many workplaces offer showers for bike commuters (ours does). Also I have a dog and have to walk her 3x a day, rain or shine. Thus I get to about 6km of walking each day. Helps a lot.

about 2 years ago
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Is "Left" Vs. "Right" Hard-coded Into Your Brain?

root_42 Re:Reversed in America? (758 comments)

Please stop. You're suggesting that the brains from one country are somehow different from that of another country. If we change 'country' out for 'race', it should be painfully obvious what the problem here is.

Maybe the brains actually are different from country to country, depending on cultural and environmental influences. What you shouldn't suggest is that either brain would be better than another. Difference doesn't mean that actually something has to be better, just that it works differently, while maybe achieving the same goal.

about 2 years ago
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Ask Slashdot: Easiest Way To Consolidate Household Media?

root_42 Re:Software side... (272 comments)

Do you have a reference for the phoning home stuff? I am using Plex on the Mac and like it very much. However, if there were serious problems like unwantedly transmitting data, I'd really like to know.

about 2 years ago
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Linus Chews Up Kernel Maintainer For Introducing Userspace Bug

root_42 Re:Arsehole (1051 comments)

I wish my boss would show the same concern for the quality of our software, and scream at the programmers that break it every day. Unfortunately it doesn't happen, and other programmers end up fixing the broken code (and quietly grumbling) because otherwise they would not be able to do their jobs.

Sometimes harsh words can send a message better than a general "please check your code before you commit".

There is a difference between being concerned for software quality and humiliating someone in front of colleagues. If my boss would punish a workmate (or me) like that, I would be looking for a different job rather quickly if this behaviour wouldn't change rather quickly.

about 2 years ago
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What Will NASA Do With Its Gifted Spy 'Scopes?

root_42 Re: The choice is obvious (129 comments)

Well then: who volunteers to draw the cable from L4 to L5?

about 2 years ago
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Senate Bill Rewrite Lets Feds Read Your E-mail Without Warrants

root_42 Re:Reality (403 comments)

Opening a letter is very easy to do, and yet it is forbidden by law (at least here in Europe) without a warrant. The ability that you /can/ open or read something does not imply that you should be allowed to do that.

more than 2 years ago
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Foxconn Thinks the iPhone 5 Is a Pain

root_42 Re:Hey if China is whining about building them.... (312 comments)

But to be honest, the major reason is that companies like Foxconn are extremely good at getting an assembly line for a new product set up in a very short space of time. This was the reason the Raspberry Pi, for example, was outsourced to a non-Western country - Western manufacturers could match the price, but would take months to set up their production lines. Non-Western manufacturers could get everything set up in weeks.

And yet, after some months, the Raspberry Pi foundation moved manufacturing to the UK -- for the same retail price! (http://www.raspberrypi.org/archives/1925). So why shouldn't Apple be able to do the same thing? Granted, the RP Foundation isn't out to make a huge profit, but still, Apple should be able to source its components and products a little bit more ethically.

more than 2 years ago
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How Long Is Your Morning Commute?

root_42 Re:Varies from about 20-30 minutes (353 comments)

Wish I had modpoints right now. The Netherlands really have it figured out. I live in Germany, right across the border. And while we do have some nice bicycle paths, it's not comparable to what my neighbors have that live 15 minutes by bike over the border.

more than 2 years ago

Submissions

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Steve jobs had liver transplant

root_42 root_42 writes  |  more than 5 years ago

root_42 (103434) writes "The BBC reports that Steve Jobs, the chairman and CEO of Apple, has had a liver transplant:

The Wall Street Journal said the Apple chief executive would be returning to his job on schedule, but may initially work part-time. Neither Mr Jobs nor a company spokeswoman confirmed the report, the newspaper said.

As usual, this will probably have some effect on the Apple stocks, however irrational or rational that might be."

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Lord British flies into Space in October

root_42 root_42 writes  |  more than 6 years ago

root_42 (103434) writes "While the Soyuz TMA-12 has just blasted off into space on its way to the ISS with two Russian cosmonauts and a Korean astronaut onboard, Lord British, also known as Richard Garriot, is training for the next flight, Soyuz TMA-13. He will return with the current TMA-12 about two weeks later. He paid $30 million for his flight. I figure a lot of us here envy him for this. Space.com notes the following not-so widely known fact:

Garriott will be the sixth paying visitor to the ISS, but the first American second-generation spaceflyer to reach orbit. His father, Owen Garriott, is a retired NASA astronaut who flew aboard the U.S. Skylab space station and shuttle Columbia, and will serve as chief scientist for the coming spaceflight.
"
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Novell and Microsoft open Interoperability-Lab

root_42 root_42 writes  |  more than 6 years ago

root_42 (103434) writes "Novell and Microsoft officially the opening of their interoperability lab. From the article:

Located in Cambridge, the 2,500-square-foot lab and workspace will be home to a combined team of the best and brightest Microsoft and Novell engineers focused on making Windows Server and SUSE Linux Enterprise work better together. The first priority for the lab team will be to ensure interoperability between Microsoft and Novell virtualization technologies. Additional work will include standards-based systems management, identity federation, and compatibility of office document formats.
The collaboration between MS and Novell is usually frowned upon in the /. community, so I am wondering, what the interpretation of this collaboration will be this time. There is also a list of upcoming events about all rountable discussions concerning virtualization."
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U2 manager wants ISPs to cut off illegal downloads

root_42 root_42 writes  |  more than 6 years ago

root_42 (103434) writes "As the BBC writes, the manager of rock band U2, Paul McGuinness, has called on ISPs in France to cut off users that illegally download music.

He goes on to compare: "If you were a magazine advertising stolen cars, handling the money for stolen cars and seeing to the delivery of stolen cars, the police would soon be at your door".

"That's no different to an ISP, but they say they can't do anything about it. If you steal a laptop from a store or don't pay for your broadband service, you'll soon be cut off and nicked."

I think this comparison is more than unfair."
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Bionic hand makes it to market

root_42 root_42 writes  |  more than 7 years ago

root_42 writes "The BBC reports that a Scottish company has developed a bionic prosthetic hand, which is now going to market:

A highly functional bionic hand which was invented by a Scottish NHS worker has gone on the market. The thumb and fingers can move and grip just like a human hand and are controlled by the patient's mind and muscles.
The device really seems very "cool", compared to other prosthetics, and seems to allow the patients a wide variety of day-to-day activities. Also check out the patient gallery."

Link to Original Source
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root_42 root_42 writes  |  more than 7 years ago

root_42 (103434) writes "As the BBC reports US gamer David Harr created a small device to restart games of Perfect Dark Zero for him. As a devote gamer he collected all achievement points, except for the final 60. Those could only be achieved by playing 2,000 offline games of Perfect Dark Zero. So he just built a "robot" that pushed the buttons so as to start and re-start the games, instead of him, which would have taken 40 hours in front of the Xbox."
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root_42 root_42 writes  |  more than 7 years ago

root_42 (103434) writes "As the BBC reports the billionaire founder of amazon.com, Jeff Bezos, has released the first images of the launch of a private spacecraft that could bring space travel to the masses. The spacecraft is operated by his company Blue Origin and looks like a soft, cone shape. It is able to perform vertical lift-off and landings. During the first test flight in Texas a height of 285ft were achieved."

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