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Comments

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Microsoft, Facebook Declare European Kids Clueless About Coding, Too

tsa Re:Fundamentals (213 comments)

Indeed! It was horrendously bad in the 1990s in the Netherlands. I have a friend who was graduating from 'teaching school' then. She sent me emails riddled with spelling errors and crooked sentences. Amazingly she got her degree no problem. Later, in the early 2000s the govenment finally found out that something had to be done and they settled for a mandatory writing and math test for everyone who wanted to teach 4 - 12 year olds. The majority of the people who took those tests failed miserably. Things have improved a lot since then. My friend also improved and I get messages from her with normal Dutch sentences and well-spelled words. She even teaches dyslectic kids how to read and write now.

about a week ago
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PETA Is Not Happy That Google Used a Camel To Get a Desert "StreetView"

tsa Re:And? (367 comments)

I've eaten quite a lot of desserts in my life but I never found any camels in them.

about two weeks ago
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US Says It Can Hack Foreign Servers Without Warrants

tsa Drones (335 comments)

Well, if you can fly drones and kill innocent people with them in Pakistan without asking the government I guess you can hack their servers too.

about two weeks ago
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Is an Octopus Too Smart For Us To Eat?

tsa Re:People (481 comments)

Me too. I don't really understand why your comment is marked Funny. People eat chimpanzees too, and I've never read about the ethical problems with that except for the fact that eating endangered species is not such a good idea.

about three weeks ago
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Consumer Reports: New iPhones Not As Bendy As Believed

tsa Scientific? (304 comments)

I don't really understand why Consumer Report doesn't know the difference between force and mass. You measure force in Newtons (N) and mass in kilograms (kg) or, even less scientific because it's not a SI unit, pounds (lb).

about a month ago
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IBM Solar Concentrator Can Produce12kW/day, Clean Water, and AC

tsa Re:OK (268 comments)

The world is bigger than the US you know.

about a month ago
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Users Report Warping of Apple's iPhone 6 Plus

tsa Re:Third option (421 comments)

So if they had made the back so thick that the camera didn't stick out everything would have been OK.

about a month ago
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Users Report Warping of Apple's iPhone 6 Plus

tsa Re:Let me guess... (421 comments)

So you're wearing a skirt to work?

about a month ago
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How Our Botched Understanding of "Science" Ruins Everything

tsa Re:Summary is Troll Rant (795 comments)

Of course that is true but our discussions are mostly about religion or alternative medicine, or ghosts and angels and the like. I don't dismiss them outright but I am very scepticle about claims people make about these.

I believe science is based on beliefs. Not only can you do no science if you keep having to check if h, and e still have the same value, but much of science begins with the belief that a certain hypothesis might be the base of a good theory. On the other hand, if someone writes down an alternative to an established theory, many scientists will often dismiss it outright because of their strong beliefs in the existing theory.

about a month ago
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How Our Botched Understanding of "Science" Ruins Everything

tsa Re:We like to feel smart (795 comments)

I kicked IFLS off my FB timeline because IFLS has nothing to do with science and I found it quite annoying.

about a month ago
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How Our Botched Understanding of "Science" Ruins Everything

tsa Re:Summary is Troll Rant (795 comments)

I often argue with my mother about many things including religion, and she once told me: "You believe nothing, you with your stupid science!" I was quite shocked, because she was right but called science 'stupid' in one go.

about a month ago
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Ask Slashdot: Is iOS 8 a Pig?

tsa Re:Alright smart guy (504 comments)

If you connect your iPhone to a computer that has iTunes running you don't have to throw things away. That saves you a lot of work. Besides, many people recommend to make a full backup of your iDevice first and then do a clean install. I never do that :).

about a month ago
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Ask Slashdot: Is iOS 8 a Pig?

tsa iPad 3 (504 comments)

On my iPad 3 it works fine.

about a month ago
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Why You Can't Manufacture Like Apple

tsa Re: Dear Apple, (408 comments)

I agree. I found it quite offensive actually.

about a month ago
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Microsoft Kills Off Its Trustworthy Computing Group

tsa Re:I've never shorted a stock (99 comments)

You think XP was bad, but Win95 made me switch to Linux. And Linux made me switch to OSX 10 years later.

about a month ago
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How Flickr Is Courting the Next Generation of Photographers

tsa Re:Thankfully, everyone is a photographer now... (97 comments)

It's always 90% photgrapher, 10% equipment. You have to learn to use your equipment, and that holds for a mobile phone as well as a DSLR with good lenses. And you need talent. That's all in the 90%.

about a month ago
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I think next winter will be:

tsa Re:Severe (148 comments)

You have a point there. We also had loads of rain. Luckily we coped well with it, no floods here, which is quite an achievement for a country which has one half lying below sea level. But snow is something we don't handle well anymore since the 1990s.

about a month ago
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I think next winter will be:

tsa Severe (148 comments)

The Netherlands had a very warm winter last year so this one must be quite severe compared to the last one. It would be nice to have a thick layer of snow again for a change. Last time that happened is already a few years ago.

about a month ago

Submissions

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Commercial Mars mission planned

tsa tsa writes  |  about 2 years ago

tsa writes "The Dutch entrepeneur Lars Benschop has started Mars-One. From his website:
"Mars One will take humanity to Mars in 2023, to establish the foundation of a permanent settlement from which we will prosper, learn, and grow. Before the first crew lands, Mars One will have established a habitable, sustainable settlement designed to receive new astronauts every two years. To accomplish this, Mars One has developed a precise, realistic plan based entirely upon existing technologies. It is both economically and logistically feasible, in motion through the integration of existing suppliers and experts in space exploration."
The idea is to form several groups of four space explorers, make a TV channel that follows them 24/7 while they prepare for the launch, and let the public choose the order in which the teams leave Earth."

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State of the climate: warming, no sign of waning

tsa tsa writes  |  more than 4 years ago

tsa (15680) writes "Ars Technica has a nice and concise piece about the annual report of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. The 2009 report reveals that global average surface temperatures have risen 0.2C above the 1990s average and 0.3C above the 1980s average. Those values are large given the short time span, but seem mild considering that the report estimates 90 percent of the warming over the past 50 years has been absorbed by the oceans. I was also pretty shocked to hear on the news yesterday that the amount of plankton in the seas has almost halved in the last 60 years."
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Interview with Steve Ballmer on Dutch TV

tsa tsa writes  |  about 5 years ago

tsa (15680) writes "Yesterday there was an interesting and very funny interview with Steve Ballmer on our national TV. The audience were 600 students of our Erasmus University, who were allowed to ask questions. There is a small part that is in Dutch because Steve happened to have a Belgian teacher for a while. She tells us what kind of a kid he was when he was 8 years old. During the interview Steve gets some tough questions that he answeres like a pro. Despite the fact that they don't ask him about the chair, it's worth watching!"
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Google CEO to discuss his future as an Apple direc

tsa tsa writes  |  more than 5 years ago

tsa writes "AppleInsider tells us that Google chief executive Eric Schmidt's position at Apple's board of directors gets more and more precarious now that Andoid, Google Chrome, and Chrome OS are on, or coming to, the market. From the article: "Even before Google announced plans for the new Chrome OS based off its nine-month-old web browser, the Federal Trade Commission began looking into the whether the companies were in violation of the Section 8 provision of The Clayton Antitrust Act of 1914, which forbids "interlocking directorates." In addition to Schmidt, Genentech chief executive Arthur Levinson also sits on the board of both companies.""
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Heilein's house is for sale

tsa tsa writes  |  more than 5 years ago

tsa writes "The house Robert A Heinlein had built for himself and his wife in Colorado Springs is up for sale for a mere $650,000. Features "private wooded lot w/three cascading ponds." See here for details."
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Lego loses its unique right to make lego blocks

tsa tsa writes  |  more than 5 years ago

tsa writes "The European Department of Justice has decided that the Danish company Lego does not have exclusive rights to the lego building block anymore (sorry, it's in Dutch). Lego went to court after a Canadian firm had made blocks that were so like lego blocks that they even fitted the real blocks made by Lego. The European judge decided that the design of the lego blocks is not protected by European trade marks and so anyone can make the blocks."
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Telco appeals city's fiber-optic win

tsa tsa writes  |  more than 5 years ago

tsa writes "In a predictable move, TDS Telecom filed an appeal after its complaint against Monticello, Minnesota's new fiber network was tossed by a county judge in early October. As you may remember, the city decided to build its own fibre optic network after the telco made it clear they wouldn't build it because it wouldn't be economically feasible for them. TDS Telecom then changed its mind and sued the city for unfair competition."
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Dutch court punishes theft of virtual property

tsa tsa writes  |  about 6 years ago

tsa writes "Last week, the Dutch court subjected two kids of ages 15 and 14 to 160 hours of unpaid work or 80 days in jail, because they stole virtual property from a 13 year old boy. The boy was kicked and beaten and threatened with a knife while forced to log into Runescape and giving his assets to the two perpetrators. This ruling is the first of its kind for the Netherlands. Ars Technica has som more background information."
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Judge tosses telco suit over city-owned network

tsa tsa writes  |  about 6 years ago

tsa writes "The city of Monticello, Minnesota, was sued by their local telco Bridgewater Telephone Company because the city chose to build a fibre optics network of their own. The judge dismissed their complaint of competition by a governmental organization. From the article: The judge's ruling is noteworthy for two things: (1) the judge's complete dismissal of Bridgewater Telephone Company's complaint and (2) his obvious anger at the underfunding of Minnesota's state courts. Indeed, the longest footnote in the opinion is an extended jeremiad about how much work judges are under and why it took so long to decide this case."
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Norwegian standards body members resign over OOXML

tsa tsa writes  |  about 6 years ago

tsa writes "Arstechnica tells us that 13 of the 23 members of the technical committee of the Norwegian standards body Standards Norway, the organization that manages technical standards for the Scandinavian country, have resigned because of the way the OOXML standardization was handled. From the article: The standardization process for Microsoft's office format has been plagued with controversy. Critics have challenged the validity of its ISO approval and allege that procedural irregularities and outright misconduct marred the voting process in national standards bodies around the world. Norway has faced particularly close scrutiny because the country reversed its vote against approval despite strong opposition to the format by a majority of the members who participated in the technical committee."
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Apple wants you to use Nike exclusively

tsa tsa writes  |  more than 6 years ago

tsa writes "Arstechnica writes about Apple, who apparently wants to tie your shoes to your clothes with DRM. From the fine article: If you're a Nike+iPod Sport Kit fan, you may eventually find yourself being restricted to using it with Nike-branded sportswear, thanks to a recently-published Apple patent. The patent, filed for in March of 2007 and published last week, describes a "Smart Garment" that would allow a gadget to authenticate to a specific garment--whether that garment is shoes, pants, or a jacket. When the garment is authenticated, however, unapproved garments would be blocked from being able to use the device."
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Microsoft's Mojave website is live

tsa tsa writes  |  more than 6 years ago

tsa writes "Microsoft's Mojave Experiment website is up. They let people who had never seen Vista 'test their new upcoming OS', and afterwards told them they had been using Vista all along. They don't show what the subjects had to do however. Wtach the site and find out yourself what to think about it!"
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City sued by telco over fibre network

tsa tsa writes  |  more than 6 years ago

tsa writes "The small town of Monticello, Minnesota, wants to build its own fibre network. The town held a referendum; 74 percent of voters agreed to fund the $25 million scheme. The city sought the needed municipal bonds, but the day before it closed on them, the local telco, Bridgewater Telephone, filed suit to stop the plan. Its claim: taking out bonds to build a fiber network is illegal."
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Google Earth takes you inside refugee camps

tsa tsa writes  |  more than 6 years ago

tsa writes "A beautiful blend of technology and humanitarian aid is described in this article at ArsTechnica. From the article: "Refugee camps almost by definition have limited visibility. Often located in places that are hot, flooded, or at war, such camps go unseen by most of the world except for the occasional crisis segment on the evening news. Now, the office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) hopes to give more visibility to the work that it does in such camps around the world, bringing the reality of refugee life into the laptops and living rooms of web surfers thanks to the power of Google mapping tools.""
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Poltergeists explained by quantum physics

tsa tsa writes  |  more than 6 years ago

tsa writes "I know it's a bit late but New Scientist has a nice April fools prank about poltergeists being explained by quantum physics. From the article: Children generate poltergeist activity by channelling energy into the quantum mechanical vacuum. These disturbances would be similar in character to the quantum mechanical fluctuations that physicists believe occur in the vacuum, in which "virtual" particle and antiparticle pairs pop up for a fleeting moment, before they annihilate each other and disappear again. The extra fluctuations triggered by the pubescent brain would substantially enhance the presence of the virtual particles surrounding the person. This could slowly increase the pressure of air around them, moving objects and even sending them hurtling across the room."
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Dutch government moves to open standards

tsa tsa writes  |  more than 6 years ago

tsa writes "A motion (PDF) to start using open standards (ODF is mentioned in particular) as soon as April 2008 was accepted last Wednesday by a large mayority of the Dutch parliament. Government institutions will have to start using open standards, as well as open source software wherever and whenever possible from then on. Theo Rinsema, director of Microsoft Nederland, said in an interview that he feels Microsoft is discriminated against. The use of open standards as defined in the motion prevents people from using Microsoft's products. Reitsema wants the government to be able to use standards that are controlled by companies, like GSM, MP3 and PDF. In the Netherlands, 177.000 people work for MS, and Reitsema wonders if they will still have a license to operate after April 2008. He was largely ignored during the parliament's discussion."
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