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US Midterm Elections Discussion

sasha328 Re:Voter ID (401 comments)

In Australia, voting is compulsory, so turnout is in excess of 80%.

There is no requirement for IDs when voting, just making sure your name is crossed off the list in the seat you're registered for. This obviously means that you can, illegally, vote twice at two different locations, but the system will pick it up (when they scan the registers)
I'm not entirely sure, but I think the election officer can request some form of ID if they suspect foul play.

Anyway, it is possible to cheat, but the percentage of rejected votes is so small that there is no reason to change the system and increase the costs associated with it.

I guess, because the voting is compulsory hence a large turnout minimises the effects compared to a voluntary voting system where the turnout is low and the percentages become significant.

about 3 months ago

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

sasha328 Someone please translate the summary... (296 comments)

I don't understand the summary, and so I am scared to read the linked articles.
Can someone please translate the summary so I can make an informed decision whether to read the articles or not.

about 3 months ago

Should programming be a required curriculum in public schools?

sasha328 I Don't think it should be an elective (313 comments)

Speaking as someone who had to do a "computer" subject at school back in the mid 80s, I will say that I leared a lot from that time that still applies today. We basically only learned BASIC, but I can't remember the PCs. I think they were Casio.
Anyway, this subject was compulsory, even though it was not a core subject and was not part of final year exams. Most of us loved it, even though quite a few struggled with it.
Like some others have already mentioned, programming does teach you logic.
In my opinion and experience, I highly recommend it.

about a year ago

I've done my current job in X time zones ...

sasha328 I voted 3-6 but... (167 comments)

I remember a time when I was still working for HP, and was in charge of setting up support some global customers.
I was based in Sydney, had to deal with one of HP's call centre operations out of Chennai. This is normally fine becuase they were only 5 hours difference, so there were a few working hours overlap.
The problem was, this particular group operated for some reason on GMT time, so it really annoyed me because there were no working hours overlap, and they simply would not work with me during my business hours!

Anyway, back to the survey, I've only worked for a living in 5 distinct timezones, (not counting supporting anyone/thing in a different timezone)

about a year ago

I'd prefer my money be made of ...

sasha328 Plastic, but not the card type (532 comments)

I voted plastic, but really meant polymer.
Our notes are made of polymer material
These are so easy to identify, counterfeit proof and last quite long, even if washed many times.
I prefer to have lots and lots of them, but hardly seem to have any in my wallet! So I tend to use the other plastic there.

about a year ago

I'd most rather, of the following, search with:

sasha328 AltaVista... (277 comments)

I remember when AltaVista was the best search engine before google started.
It was quick and did have quite a lot of results, but that was in the day when a search term returned a limited number of pages and you could technically reach the end of the search results.
Ahhh... Information overload. Love it.

about a year and a half ago

I typically receive X pieces of misdelivered (postal) mail ...

sasha328 Been at my house for 13 years... (217 comments)

And I still get occasional letters for the previous owners. I used to write on them "return to sender" but after a few years I stopped. Most of the post is advertising and brochures, so I now read them. Some are interesting since he was an electrical contractor.
Occasionally I get letters from collections agencies for random people who I have no idea if they ever lived in the house!
It doen't bother me though.

about a year and a half ago

I Get Most of My Caffeine Through

sasha328 Some people are obsessed with coffee... (283 comments)

We grew up drinking coffee as a social drink: when visitors come you serve them coffee and it was also used when the family gathered to chat or chill.
You drink coffee slowly while sitting down.
Now, I only have one cup of coffee a day, which is usually when I first wake up and it literally takes me a good 20 minutes to finish it. This quietness helps me think through the day and also go through my junk mail (paper ones). It's a relaxing ritual.

I don't understand people who are so addicted to it that they would drink coffee while walking or catching the train. What's the point?

about 2 years ago

How Do You Backup Your Data?

sasha328 Hard Drive and Tapes (212 comments)

Personal PCs at home are backed up to an extrnal drive.
At work I backup to a hard drive (backup server) which is then replicated to another server. The backups are also copied to tape for external storage provider (mainly for monthly and yearly backups)
I suspect, in the future we will dispense with the tape backups unless we're really required to keep information indefinitely!

On a side note, but still on topic, my brother's got an iMac and a Time Capsule. He had to change the hard drive a couple of months ago, and when we rebotted the Mac with the new drive it rebuilt the iMac from the Time Capsule backup. I was quite impressed at how smooth the operation was.

about 2 years ago

Compared to my siblings ...

sasha328 Family of Seven Siblings (178 comments)

I voted the same as my siblings. I come from a family of seven siblings, and I am the youngest. 4 of us have got a university degree, and three only finished highschool.
The amazing part though is that my mum was illiterate and my dad has never has formal schooling (friends in the army taught him to read and write). They both valued education so much that sacrificed a lot for us to go to good schools.

more than 2 years ago

U.S. Election Day In Progress: What's Been Your Experience?

sasha328 America's voting system is a disgrace... (821 comments)

There was an article on CNN about the US voting system. http://edition.cnn.com/2012/11/05/opinion/frum-election-chaos/index.html

Pretty sad to be honest. We take voting system for granted here (Australia), it is run pretty smoothly, and even though it is paper ballots still, the results are known within hours unless it is pretty close. I have never heard of vote disputes. Usually recounts when the result is too close but that's about it.

more than 2 years ago

Ask Slashdot: What Were You Taught About Computers In High School?

sasha328 High School 1986 (632 comments)

1986 I was still in highschool. Our school brought in a few Casio (I think) PCs with the monochrome monitors.
We learned to program basic on them. It was great. Learned logic and helped with maths.
I remember we had one of these PCs connected to a TV and a tape player where we would read programs from. This is where we did the colour graphics.
I've loved working with computers and programming from that day on.

That was my introduction to computers. I only knew 3 people who had computers at that time.
I did not get to use computers again until I went to university in 1991 where we used Apollo then DEC 320(?) which had Mosaic.
In the university library they had Apple macintosh computers with Netscape Navigator. They were the easiest and best to use.

more than 2 years ago

Ask Slashdot: What Distros Have You Used, In What Order?

sasha328 Re:Trends and Timing (867 comments)

I started using Linux in the late 90s. It was the buzz back then and I needed a differentiator when going for IT positions. I did download a lot of distros at the time because I worked at a telco at the time, so had the speed. But most of my installs came from CDs with magazines or books. At one stage I even ordered CDs from both redhat and mandrake. I still have them as souvenirs.
Anyway, my timeline looks like this (gets fuzzy the more I got into Linux):
Redhat-> mandrake->Caldera-> suse-> lfs->slackware->debian->redhat. Stayed on redhat for quite a few years (with XFCE) then moved on to OSX. Later on I used Ubuntu but only sparingly. Haven't used Linux for a couple of years now!

more than 2 years ago

Favorite way to add capsaicin to a dish:

sasha328 Each has their own use... (348 comments)

I love spicy food wherever it comes from. Like someone else said, it accentuates the falvours of the main ingredients.
Anyway, at home we use the following:
1- Dried (powder or flakes) to add to some stew pots (after the main ingredients started cooking
2- Fresh Chilies are used if you want to add the spiceyness to the the base sause of the meal. Adds aroma as well, especially with garlic...
3- Pickled chilis as a condiement more than anything and added to "fresh meals" like some salads, sandwiches. Can also be eaten on their own (small bites) just like other pickles.
4- Hot sauces. Well, they are mainly used for marinades more than anything else.

These are geenralities, but they tend to be more the norm than otherwise.

more than 2 years ago

How Long Is Your Morning Commute?

sasha328 Bus to Work (353 comments)

My work pays me for not parking on site (street parking is about 5 minutes away) The sum is almost equal to what it cost me to catch a bus to work. So I have sold our second car and now I catch public transport. I change busses at the interchange, so the total time including a 10 minute walk to my bus transitway is around 45 minutes.
No traffic frustrations as there are dedicated bus lanes on both legs of the journey, and I have now gone back to my old hobby of reading!
It's actually a nice relaxing way to come to work. I miss being able to go home for lunch at time when I used to drive (I live around 15 minutes by car from work), but I actually like the public transport. No frustration or traffic jams in the afternoons.

more than 2 years ago

US Doctors Back Circumcision

sasha328 Re:I call BS (1264 comments)

I fall into this category, but I wouldn't call myself an adult when I was circumcised. I was somewhere between 11 and 13 years old. I am neither American, nor Muslim or Jew.
My dad is not circumcised, but for some reason, which I no longer remember I was circumcised in a hospital. I didn't feel any pain as a result. I was sore for a week afterwards. That's all I can remember from that time.

I am now a happily married man, and we haven't had any problems with stimulation, sensation or anything.
I don't know what I'd do if I have a son, but as it's not a tradition in our family, we'll talk it through. I think I'm in favour of it, but we'll know closer to the time.

more than 2 years ago

Being Honest In Exit Interviews Is Pointless

sasha328 Re:Easier headline... (550 comments)

I worked at HP quite a few years back. I loved the team I worked with for many years, but due to lost outsourcing opportunities and such, the team got split up, so I took the opportunity to move to another team and expand my experience. Ended up being a bad call on my part.
But for a couple of years, I built-up good experience and managed good projects, then they noticed and put me in a team where I was responsible for stuff I didn't want to do on the proviso that it was temporary. Temporary stretched for months for a role that was pretty stressful, and my manager was so unsupportive and clueless. I begged him for months to move me somewhere else, I even contacted HR and said I wanted to move teams. Nothing came out of it, so I told my boss that if he gives me any more projects (of the stressful type I didn't want to do) I will resign. He did and so I resigned the following day to his utter surprise because he knew I didn't have another job to go to. I was one of six people from a team of 20 who resigned within a space of two weeks.
I was not given an exit interview, but leaving that team was one of the best things I did.

more than 2 years ago

Online Courses and the $100 Graduate Degree

sasha328 Re:US vs Europe (339 comments)

Most of the proposition and the comments that follow come from US readers who's university eduction is exorbitently priced.
But they tend to live in such a cocoon of their own making that if it's state subsidised then it is a communist socialist tool and should be resisted at all costs. Look at what they did with their health care! Everyone in the rest of the western nations just shook their heads at the kind of language that came out in the debate.
It's the same kind of language or at least sentiment shown regarding higher ed here.

more than 2 years ago

Israel Passes Photoshop Law To Combat Anorexia

sasha328 Two Wrongs don't make a right (488 comments)

Apartheid, apartheid, apartheid, settlements, settlements, settlements.

All throughout Arabia, Shiite Muslims kill Sunni Muslims, nobody cares.
Sunni Muslims kill Shiite Muslims, nobody cars.
But if an Israeli kills a Palestinian - Apartheid, apartheid, apartheid.

Border disputes are border disputes all across the world. But if one party of a border dispute is Israel, it's occupation, settlement, apartheid racist.

So, Mr Coward, help me understand what you're trying to say:
Are you saying that since Sunnis and Shia kill each other it is OK for Israeli Jews to kill Palestinians?
Are you saying that we shouldn't care when Israeli Jews kill Palestinians?

By the way, border disputes are basically between two countries that recognise each other (generally) but have never formalised the drawing of their borders. Israeli settlements are built on land beyond the recognised borders, so it's apartheid, it's occupation.

more than 2 years ago

Last year, I spent the most on ...

sasha328 Re:Medical expenses? What's that? (651 comments)

I agree with you about the actual rate of taxation. I was only illustrating taxation and compulsory health cover still doesn't take over your whole income and leave you destitute.

Thanks for the correction.

more than 2 years ago



iPhone in Australia can be unlocked for $80

sasha328 sasha328 writes  |  more than 6 years ago

sasha328 writes "The SMH is reporting that Optus will be offering the iPhone on pre-paid plans and also give the option to unlock it for $80.

On pre-paid, the 8GB and 16GB models will cost $729 and $849, respectively. Optus is offering $30, $40 $50, $70 and $100 cap plans. The pre-paid handset can be unlocked for use on other mobile networks for an $80 fee.

Also, it looks like all major carriers except Three will be offering the iPhone. Telstra seems to have joined the party."


Ebay's Paypal Only being investigated by ACCC

sasha328 sasha328 writes  |  more than 6 years ago

sasha328 (203458) writes "Today I received an email regarding the ACCC investigation into eBay's decision to only allow paypal as a payment method on eBay Australia's site.

Here is the reply I got from the ACCC (consumer commission in Australia):

Dear Sir/Madam,

Thank you for your email to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) concerning the recent exclusive dealing arrangement proposed by eBay International.

The role of the ACCC is to ensure compliance with the Trade Practices Act 1974 (TPA), which is designed to encourage fair trading and discourage anti-competitive conduct through a specific set of competition and consumer protection rules. It is only when there is a contravention of the TPA that there may be a role for the ACCC.

As you are aware, on 10 April 2008, eBay announced that:

        * as of 21 May 2008, all items listed for sale on eBay.com.au must offer PayPal as one of the payment methods; and
        * as of 17 June 2008, all items listed for sale must only offer payment via PayPal (or credit card transactions processed by PayPal) or cash on delivery.

On 11 April 2008, eBay International AG lodged an exclusive dealing notification with the ACCC in relation to the above conduct, which provides eBay with immunity under the TPA from this date.

The ACCC has commenced a consultation process in relation to the notification. People who wish to raise concerns about the notified conduct should lodge a public submission via adjudication@accc.gov.au by 2 May 2008.

The ACCC can take steps to remove the immunity conferred by the notification if it is satisfied that:

        * the proposed conduct will result in a substantial lessening of competition;
        * the public benefit that may result from the proposed conduct would not outweigh the detriment to the public caused by the lessening of competition.

Further information, including a copy of eBay's notification, can be found at the ACCC's exclusive dealing notifications register, by going to www.accc.gov.au and following the "public registers" and "authorisations and notifications registers" links.

Thank you for contacting the ACCC with your concerns. I trust this information is of assistance.

Yours sincerely

ACCC Infocentre

1300 302 502

I think it would be good for the community at large to be aware of this and how Austrlaian slashdotters can help by contacting the ACCC. see here"


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