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Ask Slashdot: Fastest, Cheapest Path To a Bachelor's Degree?

ryzvonusef Computer screening (370 comments)

Maybe there was a Computer CV screening, and the boss, instead of bothering to hassle with the programming, just made the three into a four?

about 10 months ago

The Quest To Build Xbox One and PS4 Emulators

ryzvonusef I would be happy if I got a 3ds emulator (227 comments)

If emulating a handheld is so hard, emulating a console would be much harder.

This isn't the Bleem days anymore :D

about a year ago

Inside South Africa's First Fully Digital Government School

ryzvonusef Re:"Saved" them money? (47 comments)

Hmm, maybe it was like in Kenya, where we "rented" books?

I spent 5 years (94-99) in Kenya, and every year, we would go to the moldy old book room to get books, which we would return at the year end (if you lost one, you had to replace at your own cost) I think they charged a fix rental, regardless of how many books, and they would regularly replace the books falling apart. I can't recall how much because we paid a lump sum every (four-month) term which included tuition, books and notebooks.

Which was good, because it was cheaper to rent books than to buy them out right, because with 35-36 textbooks for the 13 subjects we had, it would have prohibitively expensive.

If this is the same, then I guess maintaining digital copies is easier. You just issue a cheap tablet (a good chinese make cost for like ~$200 retail) and just copy the year's books on them.

about a year ago

Printable Smart Labels Tell You When the Milk's Gone Bad

ryzvonusef I AM ANOSMIC (68 comments)

You insensitive clod!


No really, I am anosmic, (complete inability to smell)

I would love things like these.

Maybe a portable detector signalling foul odours, coz if you baked me a cake literally full of shit, I wouldn't know.

about a year ago

Pakistan Earthquake Raises New Island

ryzvonusef Re:Uh oh. (88 comments)

+1 for Leshp reference :D

about a year ago

Boston Marathon Bomber Charged With Using 'Weapon of Mass Destruction'

ryzvonusef Regulation of Pressure cookers? (533 comments)

I mean seriously, how far does this go?

I live in Pakistan, and I have a pressure cooker.

If I happen to be walking outside with my cooker, will I be carrying a WMD?

If a drone kills me, will I be counted as a terrorist?


But screw me, *you* are the guys who are really fucked.

I never had rights in the first place, but you...

Good luck carrying a utensil around. Frankly it's hilarious.

about a year and a half ago

Stolen Laptop Owner Outwits Mugger, Police, and the Media

ryzvonusef Re:Slashdot replacement (272 comments)

I just unsubscribed from the Slashdot RSS. It's a shame :(

about 2 years ago

Baseball Software Can't Score What Jean Segura Did Friday

ryzvonusef Re:George Carlin: Baseball vs Football (223 comments)

WHOA! That's a..lot...of explanation

(anybody got a tl;dr? ;p)

Thank you for taking the time to explain this to an internet stranger, let me parse this, then I will ask any questions that I have.

about 2 years ago

British Woman's Twitter Comments Spark Expensive Libel Claims

ryzvonusef Re:The Truth is Never Libelous (303 comments)

This is the Alliteration Police, Hand over the alliteration tables right now! ;p

about 2 years ago

Baseball Software Can't Score What Jean Segura Did Friday

ryzvonusef Re:George Carlin: Baseball vs Football (223 comments)

Does England not have the room for a proper field

Hilarious, because cricket grounds are *much* bigger than baseball grounds ;p

Okay here is a deal: Explain me baseball, and I will explain you Cricket, because frankly baseball is totally whacky for me (not that cricket is any simpler, mind you...)

about 2 years ago

Google Glass Specs Hit the Web

ryzvonusef Re:so what am i supposed to do with them again? (198 comments)

I *think* the idea is, pre-plan a route on your android device, then transfer/connect to the google glass, and wear that. Now you don't need to check your phone every time you face a corner, the route will be hovering over you all the time.

No more random wandering, checking map, wander some more...Leaves your hands free to drive, cycle, carry stuff etc. You could give it to pizza deliverers, bike messengers and post carriers, and pre-plan their route for the day, and even update it from base station.

( Whether this actually a good thing is a different question)

At least that's what I took from it. Anything else (take pictures, check calendar etc) can be done easier, better and possibly quicker from your cellphone (*most* of the time). Sure there will be time when PoV camera tricks would be beneficial, but I doubt the battery life would support that endeavor for long.

about 2 years ago

Most UK GPs Have Prescribed Placebos

ryzvonusef Re:Vial infections (240 comments)

Funnily enough I recall a case of "vial infection", where a patient was administered a dose from a vial that had had minute fractures in it, causing its contents to be compromised, and the resulting injection severely disabled the patient (IIRC it was in the back bone, and he was left paralysed).

His lawsuit was dismissed, as I recall, because the administration could not have know about those minute fractures, and had otherwise taken all reasonable care to maintain those vials in proper condition.

Just a interesting anecdote I though i would share, sorry for the OT.

about 2 years ago

Why Earth Hour Is a Waste of Time and Energy

ryzvonusef Re:How did this moronic submission make it here? (466 comments)

So what exactly was your point, really?

My point, my dear rustled jimmies, is in the very sentence you quote from my previous comment:

for a certain value of democracy

There is no point of a "democracy" if it's a farce; at least a military dictator is straight forward in admitting they don't give a shit.

We don't HAVE democracy, even if it looks like it; ballot stuffing and poll rigging does not make a govt democratic.

That does not mean *actual* democracy (where "elected" officials can face consequences for their actions, and a re actually answerable to their electorate) is bad, I have no idea where you took that from.

For five years, our govt has been busy:

- making sure their irregularly elected officials are not ousted (irregularities include fake degrees, dual nationalities, corruption case, other criminal acts etc)

- making sure their crooked president is NOT convicted by Switzerland (He isn't called Mr 10% for nothing)

- maintain the unconstitutional National Reconciliation Ordinance, which give Carte Blanche to all previous crimes

In addition to the usual corruption and bribery etc etc

What they *aren't* doing is sustaining and improving a fuel structure, which is what a democratic govt should care about. So we have massive fuel shortages, and factories are closing down and moving to such countries as Kenya and Bangladesh (not exactly top-of-the chart, but at least they give a shit).

Heck they promoted the man responsible for our electrical crises, and made him prime minister!

So my point, my dear friend, is that if infrastructure is better in Egypt than in Pakistan...and where our govt more concerned about saving crooks than factories...then what we have is NOT democracy.

about 2 years ago

Why Earth Hour Is a Waste of Time and Energy

ryzvonusef Re:Why don't we use the billions the US gives us? (466 comments)

Sigh, mr confirmation bias, let me spell it out for you:

Military aid: services rendered, keeping generals happy

Economic aid: bribes to keep bought politicians bought

Happy now? I thought it was clear.

And sorry, but I am not an ungrateful shit, coz I haven't got a cent of US aid to be grateful for ;p

You give aid to buy off politicians, and keep them bought.

Btw, found this in your link:

Furthermore a significant proportion of U.S. economic aid for Pakistan has ended up in back in the U.S., as funds are channelled through large U.S. contractors. A U.S. lawmaker also said majority of U.S. economic aid has not left the U.S. as it spent on consulting fees and overhead cost

Seriously though, I absolutely agree with you, cut off the damn aid. Let's not fund corrupt politicians. No one will accuse your govt being a murderer for not giving aid, you are not our nanny (well, there *is* the drone thing...guess why you were paying the heavy bribes ;p)

You hate the aid, I hate it, but what can one do when our governments love it?

about 2 years ago

How a Programmer Gets By On $16K/Yr: He Moves to Malaysia

ryzvonusef Re:Forgot to mention... (523 comments)

EVERY where you go, you will find tons of objectionable behaviour, norms and social mores. You will often be saying "we didn't do it like this back home" or "it wasn't like this back home". It's called cultural shock for a reason.

But's that's price you pay. No one is saying you must accept that...merely that if you can't accept it, it would be suitable for you to stay home.

The Person in the article could accept it, hence Malaysia.

about 2 years ago

Why Earth Hour Is a Waste of Time and Energy

ryzvonusef Re:How did this moronic submission make it here? (466 comments)

True that, it's just...well I won't lie to you, but you would naturally presume things would be worse in a country undergoing a revolution than one without....His comment just brought things into perspective for me just *how* bad things are here.

We need to have stable governments so we can build some infrastructure.

about 2 years ago

Why Earth Hour Is a Waste of Time and Energy

ryzvonusef Why don't we use the billions the US gives us? (466 comments)

From the VERY FIRST LINE of your own link:

Pakistan receives foreign aid from several different countries and the international community. Those fundings are meant for the civil projects within the country but unfortunately most of it never reaches the common public because of corrupt politicians.

Also, further on in the same first paragraph of your link:

-Why you pay us:

The bulk of international aid to Pakistan is from the Coalition Support Fund which is reimbursement "to Pakistan for expenses already incurred and compensation for facilities made available to the coalition forces such as the Shamsi Airfield and Dalbandin air bases by Pakistan as well as $4 billion has been billed to CSF for the training and services provided by American Military and contractors.

-Why you keep paying

The amount transferred to the Pakistani Treasury in cash over 10 years has been $8.647 billion.The misuse of funding by the authorities in Pakistani is often ignored from the US government as their main interest is to use the military base in Pakistan as a passage to Afghanistan in fight against Taliban.


- Your government pays our government mostly for services rendered, not gratis.

- Your government KNOWS the money is going to crooks, but you still keep giving; i.e. your government is complicit.

Thank you for sharing the link and making it easy for me, parent! ;p


I wasn't asking for sympathy anyway, I was just sharing the realisation that things in Egypt are *still* better than Pakistan, despite the revolutionary chaos there. I know things are shitty here, but his comment just brought into perspective just *how* shitty they are.

about 2 years ago

Why Earth Hour Is a Waste of Time and Energy

ryzvonusef Re:How did this moronic submission make it here? (466 comments)

I experience low-shedding 1 hour every second day.

So you get electricity 47 hours out of 48? That too in a country that is chaotic and just underwent a revolution?

Then I in Pakistan can only envy you, we have load-shedding of 6 hrs minimum daily, often more for random reasons. And this is in spring, with no fans or other cooling equipment running... In summer it easily becomes ~14 hrs or more daily.

We just had our first democratically (for a certain value of democracy) elected govt to actually complete their term. So much for democracy...

about 2 years ago



What is the NPV of your College Education?

ryzvonusef ryzvonusef writes  |  about 2 years ago

ryzvonusef (1151717) writes "College is seen as a investment for a better future, but just just how good an investment is it?

One Redditor decided to use govt. databases (such as National Center for Education Statistics and U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics) to analyse it like any other investment, and calculate the NPV of various colleges and their individual degrees.

The Result: College education is a far more risky financial investment than presumed, and are no longer a guarantee to a stable middle class living.

Caveat: The reports are as good as the govt databases they are formed on, and currently do not factor in scholarships."

Link to Original Source

Mozilla reveals two developer phones for Firefox OS

ryzvonusef ryzvonusef writes  |  about 2 years ago

ryzvonusef (1151717) writes "Mozilla has today revealed a partnership with Spanish startup Geeksphone for a pair of Firefox OS developer devices, "Keon" and "Peak".

"Keon" is a very basic device more akin to a featurephone, having a single-core 1GHz processor Snapdragon S1 (similar to a Nokia Lumia 610) and 512MB of RAM, expected to arrive next month. "Peak" bumps the processor to a beefier 1.2GHz dual-core Snapdragon S4.

There are no details on cost or release date for the device just yet, but Geeksphone says it'll arrive with a price tag "you could never have imagined," so we expect it to be priced very competitively.


But fear not, Mozilla has not abandoned the browser, since it revealed it is busy developing a version specifically for the OUYA."

Link to Original Source

Russian Scientists make a dry, egg-boiling, carton

ryzvonusef ryzvonusef writes  |  more than 2 years ago

ryzvonusef (1151717) writes "Made by Evgeny Morgalev, one of a team of inventors called KIAN, the invention is called the Gogol-Mogol (after a Russian egg recipe), it has won an award by the European Packaging Design Association.

Although single use only, it has been made out of recyclable materials to reduce waste, and provide an easy way for people to enjoy some nutritious food on the go.

The egg is placed in the carton which is covered by layers of chemicals on the inside, and closed. Upon pulling a tab, the Calcium hydroxide reacts with a "smart" layer of water, to create a exothermic reaction, which can fully boil an egg in two-to-three minutes, though you can open it earlier, if you like your eggs runny."

Link to Original Source

Google.com.pk and 284 Other .PK Domains Hacked

ryzvonusef ryzvonusef writes  |  more than 2 years ago

ryzvonusef (1151717) writes "Start page for majority of Pakistanis – when they first visited it this morning – was found hacked and defaced. Yes, Google.Com.PK along with 284 other .PK domains were hacked today (and are still defaced).

According to Irfan Ahmed, an expert on Pakistani websites and web-servers, this defacement is due to change in DNS entries for 284 .PK domains that are managed by MarkMoniter.

Defaced domains include Microsoft.PK, apple.PK, paypal.PK, ebay.PK, blogspot.PK, chrome.PK, Cisco.PK and others.

Apparently no one has claimed the responsibility for the incident, but a message appearing on defaced pages, including on Google.com.pk is displaying a message in Turkish language, hinting that the hacker could be Turkish in origin.

Hacker hasn’t left any message for anyone, unlike the norm that hackers follow to convey their message through such defacements.

However, there is a phrase saying “Downed Pakistan”, a sign of victory for hackers when the deface a website."

Link to Original Source

Jolla unveils Sailfish OS

ryzvonusef ryzvonusef writes  |  more than 2 years ago

ryzvonusef (1151717) writes "The date we were promised an introduction to Sailfish is here, and it turns out Jolla's not just targeting smartphones with its MeeGo-based OS, but tablets, smart TVs and other devices, too. Jolla has kept its OS under wraps until now, but it wants Sailfish to be an open-source affair which "will be built through community involvement and participation." The SDK is being released today, and we should get a look at the UI during a presentation occurring shortly. We're assured superb multitasking capabilities, as well as deep personalization and "fast and effortless interaction." Jolla has said Sailfish will be available for use with "multiple chipset technologies," and is already supported on ST-Ericsson's NovaThor platforms. It's also reported that it's partnering with Finnish carrier DNA to promote and sell Sailfish smartphones on home turf.

You can watch the livestream here: http://new.livestream.com/slushlive/mainstage"

Link to Original Source

Jolla to unveil Sailfish OS on November 21st

ryzvonusef ryzvonusef writes  |  more than 2 years ago

ryzvonusef (1151717) writes "Jolla, as it has been discussed previously, is the phoenix that claims to be rising from the ashes of Nokia's MeeGo plans.

Their iteration of the MeeGo OS, known as "Sailfish OS" will be revealed, alongside an SDK, on a two-day SLUSH event in Helsinki.

This is to hoping that the umpteenth raising of this rocky platform will prove fruitful. Will you be interested in buying and developing for it?"

Link to Original Source

Samsung / Apple UK judgment

ryzvonusef ryzvonusef writes  |  more than 2 years ago

ryzvonusef (1151717) writes "On 9th July 2012 the High Court of Justice of England and Wales ruled that Samsung Electronic (UK) Limited’s Galaxy Tablet Computer, namely the Galaxy Tab 10.1, Tab 8.9 and Tab 7.7 do not infringe Apple’s registered design No. 0000181607-0001. A copy of the full judgment of the High court is available on the following link www.bailii.org/ew/cases/EWHC/Patents/2012/1882.html.

In the ruling, the judge made several important points comparing the designs of the Apple and Samsung products:

"The extreme simplicity of the Apple design is striking. Overall it has undecorated flat surfaces with a plate of glass on the front all the way out to a very thin rim and a blank back. There is a crisp edge around the rim and a combination of curves, both at the corners and the sides. The design looks like an object the informed user would want to pick up and hold. It is an understated, smooth and simple product. It is a cool design."

"The informed user's overall impression of each of the Samsung Galaxy Tablets is the following. From the front they belong to the family which includes the Apple design; but the Samsung products are very thin, almost insubstantial members of that family with unusual details on the back. They do not have the same understated and extreme simplicity which is possessed by the Apple design. They are not as cool."

That Judgment has effect throughout the European Union and was upheld by the Court of Appeal on 18 October 2012. A copy of the Court of Appeal’s judgment is available on the following link www.bailii.org/ew/cases/EWCA/Civ/2012/1339.html. There is no injunction in respect of the registered design in force anywhere in Europe.

However, in a case tried in Germany regarding the same patent, the court found that Samsung engaged in unfair competition by copying the iPad design. A U.S. jury also found Samsung guilty of infringing on Apple's design and utility patents, awarding over one billion U.S. dollars in damages to Apple Inc. So while the U.K. court did not find Samsung guilty of infringement, other courts have recognized that in the course of creating its Galaxy tablet, Samsung willfully copied Apple's far more popular iPad."

Link to Original Source

U.S. sues Bank of America over "Hustle" mortgage fraud

ryzvonusef ryzvonusef writes  |  more than 2 years ago

ryzvonusef (1151717) writes "The United States filed a fraud lawsuit against Bank of America Corp, accusing it of causing taxpayers more than $1 billion of losses by selling thousands of toxic mortgage loans to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

Wednesday's case, originally brought by a whistleblower, is the U.S. Department of Justice's first civil fraud lawsuit over mortgage loans sold to the big mortgage financiers, bailed out in 2008.

According to a complaint filed in Manhattan federal court, Countrywide in 2007 invented and Bank of America continued a scheme known as the "Hustle" to speed up processing of residential home loans.

The program, also known as HSSL for "High Speed Swim Lane," operated under the motto "Loans Move Forward, Never Backward," and tried to eliminate "toll gates" designed to ensure that loans were sound and not tainted by fraud, the government said.

The program removed underwriters from all but the riskiest loans and replaced them with loan specialists, previously considered unqualified even to answer borrower questions.

This led to "defect rates" approaching 40 percent, roughly nine times the industry norm, but Countrywide concealed this from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and even awarded bonuses to staff to "rebut" the problems being found, the government added."

Link to Original Source

Informant: NYPD paid me to 'bait' Muslims

ryzvonusef ryzvonusef writes  |  more than 2 years ago

ryzvonusef (1151717) writes "

A paid informant for the New York Police Department's intelligence unit was under orders to "bait" Muslims into saying inflammatory things as he lived a double life, snapping pictures inside mosques and collecting the names of innocent people attending study groups on Islam, he told The Associated Press. Shamiur Rahman, a 19-year-old American of Bangladeshi descent who has now denounced his work as an informant, said police told him to embrace a strategy called "create and capture." He said it involved creating a conversation about jihad or terrorism, then capturing the response to send to the NYPD. For his work, he earned as much as $1,000 a month and goodwill from the police after a string of minor marijuana arrests.

This is probably related to the a 6 year spying scheme by the NYPD’s secret Demographics Unit, who finally admitted in court that the spying lead to no leads or convictions."
Link to Original Source


IMF's epic plan to conjure away debt and dethrone bankers

ryzvonusef ryzvonusef writes  |  more than 2 years ago

ryzvonusef (1151717) writes "The IMF study, entitled "The Chicago Plan Revisited", by Jaromir Benes and Michael Kumhof, which came out in August and has begun to acquire a cult following around the world, revives the scheme first put forward by professors Henry Simons and Irving Fisher in 1936 during the ferment of creative thinking in the late Depression.

One could slash private debt by 100pc of GDP, boost growth, stabilize prices, and dethrone bankers all at the same time. It could be done cleanly and painlessly, by legislative command, far more quickly than anybody imagined.

The conjuring trick is to replace our system of private bank-created money — roughly 97pc of the money supply — with state-created money. We return to the historical norm, before Charles II placed control of the money supply in private hands with the English Free Coinage Act of 1666.

Specifically, it means an assault on "fractional reserve banking". If lenders are forced to put up 100pc reserve backing for deposits, they lose the exorbitant privilege of creating money out of thin air.

The nation regains sovereign control over the money supply. There are no more banks runs, and fewer boom-bust credit cycles. Accounting legerdemain will do the rest. That at least is the argument.


Link to Original Source

YouTube Ban Disrupts Other Google Services in Pakistan

ryzvonusef ryzvonusef writes  |  more than 2 years ago

ryzvonusef (1151717) writes "The move for banning YouTube in Pakistan over anti-Islam movie on the video website has resulted into sluggish overall internet experience and notably high latency rates for Google Services, mainly on PTCL and EVO networks, ProPakistani users have reported to us.

We are told that almost all Google Services have slowed down or are not available in many cases. Google Search, Blogger, Google Drive, Google Maps, Google Play, Google Docs and other Google services are apparently impacted due to a technical glitch on ISPs’ part.

Google’s Transparency report is also hinting reduced traffic from Pakistan for all Google products, however, due to delayed reporting it is likely that we get a clearer picture from Google by evening.

ISPs aren’t commenting anything on the situation but said that they will look for any abnormalities in services to get them fixed.

A network expert, while commenting on the situation, opined that this delay or inaccessibility of other Google services could be due to cross-site objects that are now blocked because of YouTube ban but are necessary for running other Google services. This includes, and is not limited to, account information services, javascripts, style templates and other similar things that are now a days stored at centralized locations to enhance speeds and user experience.

Users on Chrome Browser are likely to be more exposed to such Google services issues.

A possible solution could be to allow certain file types from YouTube (such as .js, .css and others) while disallowing Video Content through filters that ISPs are using.

Internet users in Pakistan are calling for better filter management from ISPs during the YouTube ban, which is likely to last for at least a week – if not more."

Link to Original Source

Palestinians design solar car not to avoid buying petrol from Israel

ryzvonusef ryzvonusef writes  |  more than 2 years ago

ryzvonusef (1151717) writes "Necessity is the mother of invention, and for Palestinians living on the West Bank trying to break their dependence on Israel for energy has resulted in a new solar powered vehicle.
The four-seater is covered in solar panels to convert the suns rays into energy to power a small electric motor which pushes the vehicle along at 20 Kph for about 10 hours. And if the sun doesn't shine it can be plugged into the wall, and the battery recharged from the mains.
It looks a bit like an oversized golf cart and took the Royal Industrial Trading Company around two months and $5000 to develop.
Israel has control over the fuel supply to the Palestinian population, and according to the Oslo agreements, the Palestinian Authority is obliged not to sell its gasoline for less than 15 percent of Israel’s market price, reports the The Electronic Intifada.
Palestinian efforts to reduce its dependency on Israeli energy have met strong opposition from Tel Aviv.
In March RT reported on Israel’s plans to bulldoze eight solar panels in the West Bank. They were donated by a number of international charities in 2009, yet have were deemed “illegal” by Israeli authorities due to the lack of an appropriate building permit."

Link to Original Source

NYPD official: Muslim spying by secret unit generated no leads, terrorism cases

ryzvonusef ryzvonusef writes  |  more than 2 years ago

ryzvonusef (1151717) writes "In more than six years of spying on Muslim neighborhoods, eavesdropping on conversations and cataloguing mosques, the New York Police Department’s secret Demographics Unit never generated a lead or triggered a terrorism investigation, the department acknowledged in court testimony unsealed late Monday.

Galati, the commanding officer of the NYPD Intelligence Division, offered the first official look at the Demographics Unit (now operating under the name Zone Assessment Unit), which the NYPD denied ever existed when it was revealed by the AP last year. He described how police gather information on people even when there is no evidence of wrongdoing, simply because of their ethnicity and native language.

Examples offered include NYPD eavesdroppers (called "rakers") listening on Urdu speakers grumbling about airport security, simply due to their language, which the article notes is spoken by about 15 million Pakistanis and 60 million Indians. Another example includes listening on conversations carried out in Lebanese cafes, even if the topic is innocuous, on the off chance they might be Hezbollah supporters.

Dozens of members of Congress have asked the Justice Department to investigate the NYPD. Attorney General Eric Holder has said he was disturbed by the reports. But John Brennan, President Barack Obama’s top counterterrorism adviser, has said he is confident the NYPD’s activities are lawful and have kept the city safe."

Link to Original Source

How Google+ Punk'd The Oatmeal

ryzvonusef ryzvonusef writes  |  more than 2 years ago

ryzvonusef (1151717) writes "This summer, the artist (Matthew Inman) wrote that Google+ comment threads sound like *crickets*, poking fun at the social network's lack of engagement. He also criticized not being able to “set up a fancy profile URL so I don't have to link people to http://plus.google.com/blergasdf1234thimbleturdorgasm99meatpoopypoopxv9donkeypie ” — a made-up, ridiculously long string of random characters.

In retaliation, the Google+ team didn’t cite its user growth stats or give an excuse for why there are no custom profile URLs. Instead, Tech Crunchreports that they just redirected the vanity URL *back* to The Oatmeal author Matthew Inman’s Google+ profile .

Congrats, Matt, you’ve now got “donkey pie” at the end of your own special Google+ vanity URL."

Link to Original Source

Maps in Fiction; Yay or Nay?

ryzvonusef ryzvonusef writes  |  more than 2 years ago

ryzvonusef (1151717) writes "How do you feel about maps as a reader of fantasy fiction? Does a good map make the world feel more believable? Does it ground it in reality for you? Or do you feel like firm boundaries limit your own imagination as a reader?

Do you prefer the detailed maps of Tolkein and LoTR, or do you prefer to your own imaginations, as with Pratchett and Discworld?"

Link to Original Source

What is the Value of something that can never be sold?

ryzvonusef ryzvonusef writes  |  more than 2 years ago

ryzvonusef (1151717) writes "Robert Maas tells us an interesting story about the craziness of the IRS.

The late Ileana Sonnabend recently died, leaving her will's executor's with a dilemma. In her possession was a collage by Robert Rauschenberg called "Canyon", which unfortunately contains a bald eagle, and thus illegal to sale or even transfer abroad, from the United States.

Three independent art valuers have all agreed that this particular problem render the art has having a nil value (basically, worth $0), since it cannot be priced. The IRS disagree.

The insist that, apparently, that the executors should be able to find "a reclusive Chinese billionaire who would buy the artwork on the black market and smuggle it out of the USA in order to hide it away".

This mythical Chinese billionaire recluse would value the art at $65 million in the IRS's estimate, which means IRS is entitled to $29 million of taxes on this illegal sale. The IRS is also penalising $11.7 million for “gross valuation misstatement” in accepting the unanimous view of the three separate professional valuers that the artwork had a nil value.

All this, after paying $471million in estate taxes."

Link to Original Source

Samsung to Merge Tizen with Bada

ryzvonusef ryzvonusef writes  |  about 3 years ago

ryzvonusef (1151717) writes "Samsung said it is working on merging its homegrown “bada” smartphone operating system with Tizen, an operating system project the company is conducting with chipmaker Intel.

When the integration is finished, Tizen will support mobile applications written with bada’s SDK (software development kit). That support will include backwards compatibility for previously published bada apps.

Post-integration, bada and Tizen developers will be given the same software tools (SDKs and APIs), said Kang. The idea is that if developers know how to program in bada, they will understand how to make Tizen apps, too.

There are also basic similarities between the two operating systems, such as the fact they are Linux-based. Kang said the core of the merged OS will be Linux-based, as well.

Bada/Tizen could eventually power a lot of Samsung products, but the transition will take time. Kang said Tizen will probably find its way to “at least one to two” Samsung devices this year. ”Tizen will not become Samsung’s main operating platform anytime soon,” he added."

Link to Original Source

Samsung Releases Tizen, The successor to MeeGo

ryzvonusef ryzvonusef writes  |  about 3 years ago

ryzvonusef (1151717) writes "SamMobile, (a Samsung Fan site) sourcing a spanish language website[1], has provided a preview to Tizen, Samsung's successor to MeeGo, which runs on a "Samsung I9500" device.

Meanwhile, CNXSoft[2] has provided links to the Tizen source code and even has a link to the SDK preview, which seem to confirm the above leaked pictures.

Given a recent[3] Slashdot story about Samsung twisting Google's arm, could Tizen be that twister?


Link to Original Source

Apple's list of work-around options for Samsung

ryzvonusef ryzvonusef writes  |  more than 3 years ago

ryzvonusef (1151717) writes "One of Samsung's arguments in its defence against Apple's injunction is that Apple is trying to improperly cover various functional (utilitarian) elements required in any modern smart-phone or tablet device: essentially, that it had no other realistic design options available when it created devices like the Galaxy S, Infuse and Galaxy Tab 10.1.

Apple obviously disagrees: it argues that Samsung had many other non-infringing design alternatives at its disposal and didn't need to copy the aesthetic features of the iPhone and iPad devices. To make that argument stick Apple had no choice but to identify exactly what those alternatives were.

On the smart-phone side of things, the following is a list of some of the alternative design options Apple felt Samsung should have looked into further:
*Front surface that isn't black.
*Overall shape that isn't rectangular, or doesn't have rounded corners.
*Display screens that aren't centered on the front face and have substantial lateral borders.
*Non-horizontal speaker slots.
*Front surfaces with substantial adornment.
*No front bezel at all.

As for tablets, Apple identified a similar list of alternative designs available to Samsung:
*Overall shape that isn't rectangular, or doesn't have rounded corners.
*Thick frames rather than a thin rim around the front surface.
*Front surface that isn't entirely flat.
*Profiles that aren't thin.
*Cluttered appearance.

This isn't an exhaustive list of the alternative designs offered up by Apple, but it's a summary of the most interesting ones."

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My personal history with linux

ryzvonusef ryzvonusef writes  |  more than 2 years ago

I decided to test my journal by reposting my comment on the Ask Slashdot: How Would You Fix the Linux Desktop?thread


(Warning, long ass post, I will try to put a tl;dr if I can)

I face the same bullshit in my country's politics, oh it's not us, it's the foreign secret agencies, our unfriendly neighbour countries that want to occupy us, the evil western countries whose aid we will still take, the global jewish conspiracy, it's everything else EXCEPT us that's wrong...yeah right.

Seriously, the day we admit this is the day we can start fixing it. (Admitting is the first step to recovery....)

First of all, my background. As my sig says, I am a student of accountancy, so as far away from the typical linux and computer sciences/programming as you can get. When I was in highschool, I was browsing the interwebz randomly one day, and came across this product called "Ubuntu" that was all in rage over the forums for some reason.

I googled for their website, and came across this product called "Hoary Hedgehog" (5.04, incase you are wondering). I said weird name, never mind I have windows, these crazy computer geeks and their crazy Finnish OS. I would have ignored it except for a link that said they would send linux CDs, for *free!*, to me. ( I am in a 3rd world country, and dialup was what I had back then, so the concept of downloading and testing couldn't possibly have crossed my mind) I said, what the heck, wouldn't hurt, and applied. Surprise Surprise, when Canonical actually send me five of those things! (and for which I am deeply grateful to Canonical)

Actually ten CDs, five installers and five "live-cds", I kept one setand passed the rest to my friends and the computer science teacher in my school. I don't know about the teacher, but I know none of my friends actually ever used them.

But I did. You see, I was insanely curious. I tried this "live CD" thingie, and despite the fact that the modem didn't work, the sound didn't work, a zillion things didn't work, I was still impressed by it to actually go ahead and install it! I didn't for the life of me know how drives worked in linux, and had never partitioned a drive in my life, but googling around, I understood how the SDA system works, and actually installed the damn thing! (oh and this was in the days before the graphical installer, I had to face this crazy command prompt interface, but damn it, come hell or high water, I was going to install the darn thing, and I did!)

That day and this day, I have never had a computer in which there wasn't a linux dual-boot of some kind.

But I have never kept any *one* linux install for more than an year either. And neither have I have I moved to linux completely even for my casual work.

Clearly something must be wrong. It's not like I don't like linux, or I wouldn't be installing it to every computer my family has, nor I would always be keeping a live-usb by me at all times.

I never blamed linux when I couldn't play mp3, or the sound didn't work for some weird reason, or the modems didn't work, or flash didn't work... I never blamed for problems that were caused by others not sharing code, drivers whatever.

I also never blamed linux for *not* having a feature in the first place, after all, you are giving me this gift free of charge, it's not my place to look a gift horse in the mouth.

I don't mind it asking to use the console, I understand that command prompt is a good way to effortless get data or implement instructions *exactly* as they should happen, and that GUIs can become cumbersome whilst troubleshooting. I perfectly understand, and this has made me learn quite a few commands and appreciate a lot of console-only programs, some of which have become my favourite (htop and bmon come to mind as my install-first-before-anything-else tools)

I don't mind linux is not flashy, given that I purposely go to "windows classic" mode on any windows I use, I prefer function over form anyways. I am also forgiving of the hodgepodge of GTK and QT based GUIs, if it can give me the certain functionality, I couldn't give a damn whether it looks like a duck or a swan.

And I realise that it's not the *big* things that bug me, oh no, it's the tiny stuff that makes me fed up and want to boot back into windows, despite it being a resource and battery hog.

When I am trying to do something, and it wants me to install a separate module for the for the functionality, I don't mind. But when it *links* to it, and the link is a non-functional carry on in the GUI from previous times, and it hasn't actually named the module, I am left without an option. Would it have killed you to atleast tell me the name? (In case you are wondering, there is a certain prompt somewhere in the networking section of Ubuntu, a certain functionality does this. I don't have Ubuntu installed right now, or I would have posted a screenshot.)

When I ask you for a certain problem, and you nonchalantly suggest "install samba!", what exactly am I to install? There is Samba, then there is samba4, then samba-qt and samba this and that, it wouldn't hurt you to be clear. Oh, and the worse part, when you install samba 4 thinking that's the latest version, and the you read that then you read a poster suggesting samba4 is buggy and and that you should just install regular samba and it will have this feature that isn't in samba4... (this used to be the case then, thankfully I haven't had to actually do any samba related stuff, so I don't know whether this craziness exists now or not)

When you ask me to "edit/copy/select the file in the program's folder" and I am like, where is the program installed? /usr? /bin? a hidden folder in my home folder? /whatever? or all of them? and which one of the many /[program name] folders spread all over the linux has the file? At least in windows, shit is usually either in C:\Program Files or My Documents. Now I am not *blaming* for the various install folders, I am sure there is a good reason for the diversification , but it wouldn't hurt to be clear. It's worse if the program itself doesn't know where the file it wants me to select is!

When I want to do something, and I know for certain this feature exists, but don't know how to avail it! In GUI, I can go looking around clicking various programs and buttons until I find something that does what I want it to, then go mad clicking it until it works [xkcd.com]. In console... how do I explore it? Man pages and -h are NOT the solution! Those contain language incomprehensible to novice users. Even worse if either the *actual* program name is different from what it appears, or worst of them all, you don't know which program to evoke in the first place! -h isn't going to help you if you don't know which program name to append it to!

Just because command is *quicker and efficient* does NOT mean there shouldn't exist a GUI to do the same task, not matter *how* cumbersome it is! Give us a GUI to explore, and we will not fill your forums with a zillion useless inquiries like "how do I change X" over and over again. Come on, if you *are* going to add a feature, it's not going to kill you to hash out a quick GUI for it too. Especially for simple things like adding repos, for example, why we edit files for that in this day and age, I cannot fathom. (Oh, and googling doesn't help, what works for one doesn't work for another, because you have a product from a different company, and the command doesn't have a solution for yours)

By far the WORST problem I have had is with GRUB. That damn rascal has crashed on me for absolutely no reason so many times that I hereby declare it worst linux item ever! It crashes, and then I am left with neither linux *nor* windows, and you can't even fix it, you are stuck to re-installing windows MBR, and then re-installing linux all over again... It's gotten so bad that I now install Easy BCD after every linux install, and use it to overwrite Grub with it's own loader on top. That way if grub crashes, at least windows will be there, unaffected. (and it's a sad day when *windows* is your stable, fall-back OS)

There are a zillion other niggles I could go through. Like if one distro has had a certain *basic* feature, but the other *still* doesn't have it! (and worse, you can't get it by installing it, either it would be incompatible, or not work as you wanted). What's the point of this open source bullshit if your over-inflated egos prevent you from peeking on the other's code! And I am not comparing some diverse distros like, say slackware and ubuntu, I am talking about something far more closer, like Linux Mint and Ubuntu, where the excuse is far less acceptable.

I don't mind the various different distros, of course you going to have different philosophies, but the whole "OMG, he chose blue! I wanted red! FORK! FORK! FORK!" and then never collaborating like as if the other killed your first born is what's hurting linux.

Ah, it's a long rant, and I am sure you couldn't care less. But I just wish there was a linux that didn't make me go stir crazy. Like, all these distros should go, okey, for one whole year, we are NOT going to introduce any *new* feature, but we are going to make sure the shit we have works like it should; it should be possible to COMPLETELY use linux via GUI, console should be our short cut but NOT our *only* cut; we are going to peak and cheat other distros' features to our fill, and we are not going to let our egos get in our way.

Right now, I have Puppy Linux (Slacko 5.3.3) installed. It works mostly alright, Barry made the WiFi work, so it's awesome. There's no way to change the screen brightness (xbacklight and acpitool work for toshibas and acers for some reason, but not sony vaios...), so it's it's not all fine and dandy, but for a quick-boot internet browsing machine, it works ok.

(I tried to spellcheck and grammar proof this as much as I could, my profuse apologies if any errors still pass through)

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