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Comments

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Ask Slashdot: What Tech Products Were Built To Last?

tsa Re:Win XP (691 comments)

OSX is as old as XP and still going strong.

4 days ago
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Ask Slashdot: What Tech Products Were Built To Last?

tsa Re:iPhone 4 Meets Washing Machine (691 comments)

Talking about washing machines: mine will be twenty years old next year. It's still as good as new. Miele, there is no better one.

4 days ago
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Ask Slashdot: What Tech Products Were Built To Last?

tsa Re:Anything built before 2001 (691 comments)

My father always had Simcas in the 1970s. Those cars were so bad that people who were born in the 1980s probably can't even imagine it. It was normal for those cars to be totally rusted through in places after three years. Still, they were very popular at the time.

4 days ago
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Ask Slashdot: What Tech Products Were Built To Last?

tsa Re:HP LaserJet 4M+ (691 comments)

Those things were almost indestructible. We had one at work that had printed about ten times more than was possible according to its manual before it was replaced.

4 days ago
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Ask Slashdot: What Tech Products Were Built To Last?

tsa Re:Atari 800 (691 comments)

Has been serving me well.

4 days ago
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Ask Slashdot: What Tech Products Were Built To Last?

tsa Re:Atari 800 (691 comments)

You must be very hard on your mice.
I have a Logitech trackball that has served me well for almost twenty years now. I hope it will never break because they're not on sale anymore. They have been for a very long time though.

4 days ago
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Ask Slashdot: What Tech Products Were Built To Last?

tsa Re:Commodore Amiga 3000T (691 comments)

Same here. Mine is a cheap Chinese one I bought 30 years ago and is still working fine.

4 days ago
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Mercedes Pooh-Poohs Tesla, Says It Has "Limited Potential"

tsa Re:Yeah? (356 comments)

But those cars are all developed and built in Europe.

4 days ago
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Mercedes Pooh-Poohs Tesla, Says It Has "Limited Potential"

tsa Re:Yeah? (356 comments)

You prove my point. You preferred all those cars over American cars. American cars are just not as well put together as European and Japanese cars. That's why you hardly see any American cars in Europe.

5 days ago
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Mercedes Pooh-Poohs Tesla, Says It Has "Limited Potential"

tsa Re:Yeah? (356 comments)

Here in Europe we are see to a much higher build quality of cars than Americans are. The Tesla S is one of the few American cars that Europeans want to drive because it's so well put together.

5 days ago
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Kids Can Swipe a Screen But Can't Use LEGOs

tsa Re:most lego's are a rip off (355 comments)

You forgot to mention that 40 years after manufacturing the pieces still do their job just as well as when they just came out of the box. That is truly amazing.

about a week ago
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Kids Can Swipe a Screen But Can't Use LEGOs

tsa Re:most lego's are a rip off (355 comments)

Very good point. And while we're ranting about modern society, let's expand your point a bit. Together with patience, thinking also went out the door for most people. Everybody bases their opinions on what they 'feel' these days, without bothering to think their feelings through or looking at things from different angles. Even scientific facts are considered just opinions by many. It's hard to get young people to think about certain things, especially when those things are outside their world and the things they are interested in. And when they finally get their brains in gear they are distracted by their phones beeping all the time announcing new tweets and Whatsapp messages and whatnot.

about a week ago
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Kids Can Swipe a Screen But Can't Use LEGOs

tsa Re:Specialized Pieces (355 comments)

No so easily nowadays. Lego comes with huge numbers of very specialized pieces which are taylor made for that particular model. You can get the basic bricks but most Lego today is aimed at building one model and then playing with it rather than getting a pile of bricks and letting your imagination run wild.

Actually luckily that is not entirely true anymore. In the 1990s, just before the company almost went bankrupt they indeed had a lot of sets containing just a few pieces that you had to put together to make what was in the picture on the box. When Lego discovered that they were on the edge of bankruptcy they decided that they had to go back to what Lego made Lego: the brick. So they scrapped about 10000 bricks from their enormous database and started anew. Today Lego still makes specialized pieces for particular sets but they are usually small and not essential.

Sources: my own experience and the beautiful book Brick by Brick: How LEGO Rewrote the Rules of Innovation and Conquered the Global Toy Industry by Robertson, David and Breen, Bill (Jun 27, 2013)

about a week ago
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Netflix Gets What It Pays For: Comcast Streaming Speeds Skyrocket

tsa Re:Seriously (325 comments)

That's why in the EU this kind of shenanigans is now illegal.

about a week ago
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Will This Flying Car Get Crowdfunded?

tsa Re:Getting started (157 comments)

Here in the Netherlands people do that all the time.

about a week ago
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Will This Flying Car Get Crowdfunded?

tsa Re:Getting started (157 comments)

In rural areas you use a bike or the tube. Flying cars will only create more chaos and accidents. And we have enough of them already in urban areas.

about a week ago
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First Glow-In-the-Dark Road Debuts In Netherlands

tsa Nature (187 comments)

Most animals and plants who live alongside the roads will love this. Finally they can sleep in the dark!

about two weeks ago
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Ask Slashdot: Are You Apocalypse-Useful?

tsa Re:Medical doctor (736 comments)

So every mother is about 70% as useful as a real doctor.

about two weeks ago
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Ask Slashdot: Are You Apocalypse-Useful?

tsa Re:Medical doctor (736 comments)

No, we just raid a drug store.

about two weeks ago
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Ask Slashdot: Are You Apocalypse-Useful?

tsa Re:Antibiotics (736 comments)

It was a 'historical document.'

about two weeks ago

Submissions

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Commercial Mars mission planned

tsa tsa writes  |  about a year and a half 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."

Link to Original Source
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State of the climate: warming, no sign of waning

tsa tsa writes  |  more than 3 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  |  more than 4 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 4 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  |  about 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  |  more than 4 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  |  more than 5 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  |  more than 5 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 5 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 5 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 5 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  |  about 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  |  about 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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