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Comments

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Ask Slashdot: 2nd Spoken/Written Language For Software Developer?

stevedcc Anything that swaps thousand/decimal separators (514 comments)

I moved to Germany for my now wife. I've learned to speak fluent but grammatically poor German. My colleagues are all German. The biggest difference I've noticed, is dealing with the pain-in-the ass , . separator issues. English speaking developers who have their computers configured for English-language separators have NO IDEA how much hassle it is for the rest of the world. The single most useful thing you could do, is run your computer in another language, including different thousand/decimal separators. You'll find a whole pile of bugs, it'll be a build nightmare at first, but the code WILL make less assumptions about how people use their numbers. We even found third party software where the XML we were using to control it changes, based on your current language settings. APART from one of it's features, that's always in English, whatever your language settings. The firm that wrote it hadn't realised, because all of their developers used German. Ugly, ugly ugly.

about 2 years ago
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LHC Scientists Create and Capture Antimatter

stevedcc Quoting an American about a European Experiment? (269 comments)

Then at least disclose that it's a European experiment. We spent billions on it, credit where its due please. Americans generally work on the principle that if nothing is said about location, it's American. Quoting an American regarding the experiment reinforces this view.

more than 3 years ago
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Emigrating To a Freer Country?

stevedcc I've done this! (1359 comments)

I left the UK and moved to Germany, about 18 months ago. I barely spoke a word of German when I arrived. Admittedly the main reason was that my fiancee is German, but I'd been uncomfortable about the same issues you mention regarding the UK and the direction it's heading. It's the best thing I ever did.

I learned German for 4 months, then started looking for work. I had an MSc in IT, but no IT experience. I got a job within 1 month of looking, the firm speaks German, but most of the developers speak good English. At first I only spoke English at work, but now I speak German where I can, English the rest of the time

I have to say that Germany is FAR better than the UK on most of these issues. Whilst they do have ID cards here, they're not electronic and probably only exist as a hangover from being an occupied state after WWII (the allies required it).

My advice would be take the plunge! Don't worry about language too much within the EU if you're going for IT jobs (maybe apart from France, but that could be just reputation).

more than 5 years ago
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Why Isn't the US Government Funding Research?

stevedcc ITER (599 comments)

ITER is the world's best chance of obtaining almost infinite amounts of clean energy. Most of the recent press about the National Ignition Facility has ignored one key fact - the NIF is about creating fusion explosions to model bombs. Sure, it can also be used for fusion power research, but that's not the primary reason it received it's funding. ITER is about developing commercial fusion using a tokamak.

Also, the way the US cancelled all funding for ITER for 2008 was pretty disgusting. If a country becomes a partner in such large science projects, they need to stick with it, rather than screwing everyone around

more than 5 years ago
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LOTR fan film: The Hunt for Gollum

stevedcc Rushed submission (1 comments)

Sorry, I didn't think enough about what else to write: The plot is drawn from the appendixes of the book, it's about Gandalf and Aragorn's hunt for Gollum, which takes place between the hobbit and the Lord of the Rings. There are two stunning trailers available. The film will be released on Sunday, 3rd March at 16:00 GMT.

more than 5 years ago
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I'd rather measure my days by means of ...

stevedcc Re:What, no atomic decomposition? (534 comments)

Atomic decomposition is not the most accurate known means of keeping time. AFAIR Quasars are. At the least, they're more accurate than atomic clocks - when someone first tried measuring how accurate quasars are by comparing them to an atomic clock, they found that ALL quasars were drifting at the same amount relative to the atomic clock - the drift was the clock, not the quasars. Unfortunately, individualy they skip the occasional tick, but that can be evened out.

more than 5 years ago
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My top-level book organization is based on ...

stevedcc Insertion-optimised (423 comments)

Always the best way to sort anything... LATER!

more than 5 years ago
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What the Papers Don't Say About Vaccines

stevedcc Re:Parents ARE to blame (737 comments)

So... what do you do when people are too sheeplike to make sane decisions on their own? Coddle them and make them more like sheep?

Get them to vote for you!

more than 5 years ago
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What the Papers Don't Say About Vaccines

stevedcc Re:Parents ARE to blame (737 comments)

I assume you've read Brave New World? That kind of thinking can lead to extreme conclusions.

It might seem a nice idea, but implementing any social system around that kind of concept would be very difficult to do without extreme consequences for society. Unfortunately most people are more sheep-like and are easily scared

more than 5 years ago

Submissions

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LOTR fan film: The Hunt for Gollum

stevedcc stevedcc writes  |  more than 5 years ago

stevedcc writes "This weekend sees the release of The Hunt for Gollum a Lord of the Ringrs fan-film. It'll be available on the web for free. The BBC are running an article about the making of the film, with a budget of £3,000 (spent mostly on costumes and make-up). There were 160 contributors involved, many over the internet."
Link to Original Source
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Stallman Says Cloud Computing is a Trap

stevedcc stevedcc writes  |  more than 6 years ago

stevedcc writes "The Guardian is running a story about RMS's views on cloud computing, with a particular focus on user's access to data and the sacrifices made for convenience. From the article:



"It's stupidity. It's worse than stupidity: it's a marketing hype campaign," he told The Guardian. "Somebody is saying this is inevitable — and whenever you hear somebody saying that, it's very likely to be a set of businesses campaigning to make it true."

"

Link to Original Source
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EU regulator raids Intel offices

stevedcc stevedcc writes  |  more than 6 years ago

stevedcc writes "BBC news is reporting that Intel's offices in Munich, Germany have been raided by European Union competition regulators. From the article:

"I can confirm that there has been a raid on our offices in Munich," Mr Mulloy said. "As is our normal practice, we are co-operating with authorities," he added. Regulators have the power to fine Intel up to 10% of annual turnover if they find it guilty of stifling competition.
"

Link to Original Source
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Writers Guild of America and the Open Source Model

stevedcc stevedcc writes  |  more than 6 years ago

stevedcc writes "The Guardian is running an article about seven groups of writers creating their own ventures to deliver content over the internet, bypassing the movie studios. There is a mention of one particular project involving A-list talent that will be released in 50 or so daily segments. From the article:

"It's a whole new model to bring content directly to the masses," said screenwriter Aaron Mendelsohn. "We're gathering together a team of A-list TV and film writers, along with their A-list equivalent from Silicon Valley."
Are consumers finally going to see the internet used to distribute movie content in a sensible way?"

Link to Original Source
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Security expert used Tor to collect government e-m

stevedcc stevedcc writes  |  more than 7 years ago

stevedcc writes "You may have heard about Swedish security expert Dan Egerstad exposing password and login information for various embassy accounts and government servers. Well, anandtech are running a story about how he got the information: he ran a specialised packet sniffer on 5 Tor exit nodes ran by his corporation. From the article

Unfortunately, many Tor users do not realize that all of their network traffic is being exposed to Tor nodes. Tor users who do not use encryption are broadly exposing themselves to identity theft. Egerstad was originally doing a study on e-mail encryption, but during the course of the research project, he decided to create the packet sniffer and expose sensitive e-mail login data in order to increase awareness of the fact that Tor exposes sensitive information when not used with encryption.


I've heard people criticise anonymising networks before, saying you never know who's running them or watching them. Is this a taste of goverments' own medicine?"

Link to Original Source
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Breathalyzed? Ask for the source code!

stevedcc stevedcc writes  |  more than 7 years ago

stevedcc writes "Anandtech are running an article about a Minnesota man who is asking for the breathlyzer source code as part of his defence against a drunk driving charge. From the article:

One of the common criticisms (which is also made of voting machines) of breath devices is that the "state-certified" models are updated even after they are certified. The companies that manufacture the machines make tweaks, bug fixes, and even add new features, but the machines are not generally recertified after every single source code change. This means that any given machine could potentially be running non-certified code, code which may or may not have errors.....As a bonus, if a company proves unwilling to turn over the code, the case often gets thrown out without any need to prove that the source code is in fact flawed.
"

Link to Original Source
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Wars of ideas - Technology's top 10 legal battles

stevedcc stevedcc writes  |  more than 7 years ago

stevedcc writes "The UK Guardian is running an article with discussions of what they consider to be the top 10 legal battles of all time, from the Statute of Anne (1709) to Apple v Apple, via Betamax and US v Microsoft. From the article:

...we have become used to a constant roundabout of hi-tech legal wrangling. Barely a month goes by without the threat of legal action against one tech giant or another. The gigantic — and often monopolistic — nature of the telecommunications, computing and internet industries has meant that there is always somebody ready to take a shot in the courts (and that there is often plenty of money to pay for an army of lawyers).
"

Link to Original Source
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Brain implants allow patient to eat drink and talk

stevedcc stevedcc writes  |  more than 7 years ago

stevedcc writes "The UK newspaper, the Guardian are running a story about a minimally conscious patient who spent more than six years in a near-vegetative state. He used to be fed through a straw and communicated through ocassionally mouthing words. He has received a brain implant. He can now eat normally, talk and brush his hair. From the article:

With the parents' agreement, the man was fitted with brain electrodes that fed into twin regions of the central thalamus and hooked up to a pacemaker implanted under the skin of the chest during a 10-hour operation. He was then treated with electrical pulses for 480 days.....It is the first time the technique, called deep brain stimulation, has been used to treat a patient in what neuroscientists refer to as a minimally conscious state. It is also the first clear sign that it may be possible to rehabilitate people with such severe brain damage that they have previously been considered untreatable by modern medicine.
"

Link to Original Source
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Game worlds show their human side

stevedcc stevedcc writes  |  more than 7 years ago

stevedcc writes "BBC News is running an article about social science researchers using virtual worlds like World of Warcraft and Second Life as research tools, allowing some research that would not otherwise be possible, as well as reducing the cost for other research issues. From the article:

Online worlds offer great potential to social scientists because they overcome some of the problems these researchers encounter when gathering subjects in the real world, Dr William Bainbridge, head of Human-Centred Computing at the US National Science Foundation, wrote in the journal... The games could let scientists carry out large-scale studies of alternative governmental regimes that would be "next to impossible in society at large," he wrote.
"

Link to Original Source
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Mobile phones may soon be used on planes

stevedcc stevedcc writes  |  more than 7 years ago

stevedcc writes "New Scientist is running a story about a technology that allows travellers to make mobile phone calls at high altitude. The European Aviation Safety Agency have given permission for the technology to be fitted to commercial jets. From the article:

It's the first time anywhere in the world that a system has been authorised and confirmed for the safe operation of phones and BlackBerry-type devices on aircraft.
"

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

stevedcc writes "New Scientist are running an article about using sound waves to communicate between different devices attached to a user's body, avoiding the potential interception issues of wireless signals. From the article:

They want to use the human skeleton to transmit commands reliably and securely to wearable gadgets and medical implants. Their research, funded by Microsoft and Texas Instruments, could also lead to new ways for people with disabilities to control devices such as computers and PDAs.
"

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

stevedcc writes "Ars Technica is running a story about next week's release of AACS, which is intended to fix the current compromises. The only problem is, the patched version has already been cracked. From the article:

Despite the best efforts of the Advanced Access Content System (AACS) Licensing Administration (AACS LA), content pirates remain one step ahead. A new volume key used by high-def films scheduled for release next week has already been cracked.
"
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stevedcc stevedcc writes  |  more than 7 years ago

stevedcc writes "The BBC is running a story about web 2.0 and usability, including comments from Jakob Nielsen stating "Hype about Web 2.0 is making web firms neglect the basics of good design".

From the article:

He warned that the rush to make webpages more dynamic often meant users were badly served.

He said sites peppered with personalisation tools were in danger of resembling the "glossy but useless" sites at the height of the dotcom boom.
"
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stevedcc stevedcc writes  |  more than 7 years ago

stevedcc writes "A story at NewScientist discusses pushing magnetic regions along nanowires at 110 metres per second, 100 times faster than previously possible. This reduces mechanical parts and could result in much more robust storage devices."
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stevedcc stevedcc writes  |  more than 8 years ago

stevedcc writes "So, this is an anecdotal account. But since I can't find any details of security warnings for MSN messenger more recent than April (http://www.microsoft.com/athome/security/update/b ulletins/200504_msnmessenger.mspx), and they did their forced upgrade in May, and I got hacked through a friend's compromised MSN account earlier today, i thought i'd submit: A friend from years ago that i don't talked to much messaged me with MSN earlier today. Shortly after, I was logged out. I ran a virus scanner, then booted into linux. By that time, my Gmail and Skype accounts had had their passwords changed (different password to MSN, but the same as each other). After talking to the friend by 'phone, his account had been compromised too. Anyone got any details on this?"

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