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Comments

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Australian Police Warn That Apple Maps Could Get Someone Killed

solferino Re:Cue stupid comments from non-Australians (452 comments)

It's also quite plausible that you can die - it has happened before. People get lost, they run out of fuel, they don't have water, the temperature easily gets up into the 40-50C range and - dead.

This happened only last month when two guys working on a station got their 4WD bogged 10 miles from the homestead and tried to walk back under the hot sun. One of them died from heat and dehydration.

about a year and a half ago
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UK Authorities Threaten To Storm Ecuadorian Embassy To Arrest Julian Assange

solferino Situation 6) Assange becomes an Australian senator (1065 comments)

Situation 6) Ecuador grants Assange asylum, the UK don't carry through their threat of storming the embassy and the situation remains as a stand-off with Assange holed up in the embassy ... until 2013 when an Australian election is due. Assange has already publicly stated that he is considering running for election to the senate next year. He does and is elected easily (as he would need only 14.3% of the population of whatever state he stands in to vote for him - probably Victoria). This escalates the situation to a much higher level - the UK/US/Sweden would now be looking at arresting an elected Australian politician.

about 2 years ago
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Japan Restarts Two of Its 50 Nuclear Reactors

solferino Re:Nuclear disaster nearly shut down Tokyo (224 comments)

The 400-page report, due to be released later this week, also describes a darkening mood at the prime minister's residence as a series of hydrogen explosions rocked the plant on March 14 and 15. It says Mr. Kan and other officials began discussing a worst-case outcome if workers at the Fukushima Daiichi plant were evacuated. This would have allowed the plant to spiral out of control, releasing even larger amounts of radioactive material into the atmosphere that would in turn force the evacuation of other nearby nuclear plants, causing further meltdowns.

The report quotes the chief cabinet secretary at the time, Yukio Edano, as having warned that such a 'demonic chain reaction' of plant meltdowns could result in the evacuation of Tokyo, 150 miles to the south.

"We would lose Fukushima Daini, then we would lose Tokai," Mr. Edano is quoted as saying, naming two other nuclear plants. "If that happened, it was only logical to conclude that we would also lose Tokyo itself."

Source: NY Times article on top-level report reviewing the disaster.

more than 2 years ago
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Japan Restarts Two of Its 50 Nuclear Reactors

solferino Nuclear disaster nearly shut down Tokyo (224 comments)

To all the uranium power nuclear boosters who will appear in this thread I have one fact to remind you of. The Japanese PM at the time of the disaster was seriously considering having to evacuate Tokyo. If he had not forced Tepco to be more proactive in their management of the disaster and thus managed to head-off a nuclear cascade (with the disaster spreading to nuclear reactors closer to Tokyo) this would have happened.

Imagine what that would have done to Japan and its economy. Not total wipe-out for the country but it would have certainly brought it to its knees. If there was a similar disaster in one of Taiwan's uranium reactors it would destroy the country as there is nowhere far enough to get away in that small island which has a population of over 20 million and is a key part of the IT supply chain.

These risks are too significant and severe to hazard and we have shown that we do not have the level of social and political sophistication to contain them.

I'm not saying that some of the existing reactors might not need to be restarted. But no new uranium reactors should ever be built and massive investment should be thrown into renewable energy and thorium nuclear.

more than 2 years ago
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VisiCalc's Dan Bricklin On the Tablet Revolution

solferino Defending environments that foster innovation (185 comments)

It's worth making it through the article for the final two paragraphs, which I found poignant.

Concerns? I'm concerned that too few people are focusing enough on what we haven't been able to do that's now possible. I want to make sure we can do what we want on these machines. We need the ability to experiment. We used to be able to experiment a lot more. But in the world of day-to-day trade-offs between security and innovation, we're out of balance. We talk a lot about what we need to do to keep things secure, but nowhere near enough about what we need to do to keep things fertile.

So long as we give people general-purpose tools that let them build things, we're OK. It's when we start to take them away that we get into trouble. I hope we always have popular machines people can use that aren't restricted, so that those who have the desire and ideas to do something can, and can share it with others.

more than 2 years ago
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Pirate Party Leader: Copyright Laws Ridiculous

solferino Widening the Overton Window (543 comments)

Rick, I'm glad you're saying this. We need to widen the Overton Window in this debate.

I tell my friends I simply don't believe in copyright, full stop. I don't have any qualms in ignoring it. I don't believe in trying for 'reasonable reform'. I only believe in the eradication of copyright monopolies of whatever duration.

more than 2 years ago
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Video Game Consoles Are 'Fundamentally Doomed,' Says Lord British

solferino Which Spider game is he talking about? (374 comments)

On the second page of the interview, Garriott talks about recent games that he has liked and mentions one called Spider.

Anyone know what game this is and can provide a link?

more than 2 years ago
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Computing Pioneers Share Their First Tech Memories

solferino Re:Stallman ROFL (99 comments)

Nice sidestep Richard. How about just answering the simple question?

I don't think it's a sidestep. The question was about modern technology. Stallman answers that he thinks modern technology is getting worse not better 'in terms of freedom'. Stallman quite often says that he started the FSF in the 80's because he was nostalgic for computing in the 70's. He quite literally sees things in terms of freedom and so it is consistent for him to say that he doesn't wish he had current technology when he was growing up as he sees it as less free.

more than 2 years ago
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Who Killed Videogames?

solferino Terrible writing (401 comments)

He wasn't kidding about being 'The Worst Journalist In The World'.

more than 2 years ago
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How To Jailbreak and Upgrade Old Android Phones

solferino Re:It is worth it. (138 comments)

You might like to try putting Replicant on it.

more than 3 years ago
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Chris Dibona On Free Software and Google

solferino Re:Hmm (107 comments)

In the more familiar usage of the word 'Linux' to mean a distribution of familiar UNIXish tools from GNU, X.org, Moz Corp, GNOME/KDE, etc.

Which is why this usage is incorrect and why RMS was right in talking about GNU/Linux (what you are basically describing above).

As you say at the start of your comment, it is technically correct to call Android a linux based system because yes, it runs the Linux kernel. When talking about computers, technically correct speech is what matters.

more than 3 years ago
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Facebook Trapped In MySQL a 'Fate Worse Than Death'

solferino Michael Stonebraker & VoltDB (509 comments)

The guy in the article does have some cred. He was a professor at UC Berkeley for 29 years where he was project leader on Ingres and led the creation of its follow up, Postgres.

His new database, VoltDB, based on the 'NewSQL' ideas touched on in the article, is Free Software licensed under the GPLv3.

more than 3 years ago
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Who Killed the Netbook?

solferino Re:I don't get it (398 comments)

Tablets would be nice if you could attach a keyboard and mouse and had some sort of stand to place them vertically.

You mean, like this?

more than 3 years ago
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How Much Math Do We Really Need?

solferino Re:Why anything else? (1153 comments)

Mathematics is the language of science. (all science)

As someone who has studied mathematics and philosophy of mathematics at a university level I call bullshit on this statement. And you make the argument, I suspect, because your understanding of what is science is too limited and blinkered by seeing it through a mathematical perspective.

more than 3 years ago
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You Have Taste Receptors In Your Lungs

solferino Bitter scents from the natural environemnt (223 comments)

The idea that occurred to me while reading the summary is maybe this partially explains the sense of well-being gained from being in a forest or some leafy natural environment.

As we know, most plants taste bitter - perhaps plants are also releasing bitter tasting gasses which help to open up our lungs.

more than 3 years ago

Submissions

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The Guardian nominates 20 fighters for internet freedom

solferino solferino writes  |  more than 2 years ago

solferino writes "As part of their week long series on the Battle for the Internet, the Guardian newspaper has compiled a list of 20 people who they consider champions of the open internet and fighters for freedom online.

But have they picked the best twenty? If you don't agree with some of their choices or believe they have missed someone who is essential to the list, you can make your opinion known here."

Link to Original Source
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Conde Nast purchases Ars Technica

solferino solferino writes  |  more than 6 years ago

solferino writes "TechCrunch is reporting that Condé Nast has acquired popular technology blog Ars Technica. The site will become part of Wired Digital (Wired.com, Reddit) which in turn is under CondéNet. The acquisition price will not be disclosed, but sources say it is in the $25 million range, which is what Condé Nast paid for Wired.com in 2006. No official word yet, but the rumor is confirmed by an entry on the Wired blog."
Link to Original Source
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City of Paris distributes free software on USB

solferino solferino writes  |  more than 6 years ago

solferino writes "The Paris city government has begun distributing 220 thousand flash drives containing free software to teachers and students. The free 1GB drives come with Firefox, Thunderbird, OpenOffice.org and some other packages. Space is also left on the drive for storage. This initiative empowers users by providing them with their own personalised free software computing environment to use on library or institutional computers."
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Xena: Archive software using open formats

solferino solferino writes  |  more than 6 years ago

solferino writes "The National Archives of Australia has released Xena under GPL2. Xena detects the file format of digital objects and, where necessary, converts these objects into open formats. They define an open standard as 1) Full specification available without restriction, 2) Community developed, 3) Multiple implementations and 4) No licensing constraints. The list of file formats they detect and convert includes MS Word docs (converted to ODF). Their aim, as befits an archive, is the long term preservation of digital records."

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