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Set Your Watches For the End of Windows XP

wwwillem Re:Is this the point in time.. (712 comments)

Do you know any non-technical Linux users?

You're wrong. For the last five years my wife is a happy CentOS user. And as non technical as you can get it.

Yes she needs help with her PC, but roughly the same as when she used Windows before that. And for me it's less support work because of the reduced amount of bloatware and exploits targeting Linux.

When she moved from IE to FireFox and Outlook Express to Thunderbird the only thing I had to explain was what multi-tab browsing is. For the rest it was to her "all the same thing".

The main reason that non-technical users don't use Linux is that you can't buy preconfigured Linux systems in the big-box stores.

But this starts to become a moot point, because non-technical users just use a phone instead of a desktop or laptop.

about 2 years ago

Smart Phone Gets Driver Out of a Speeding Ticket

wwwillem Re:The smart phone got him off? (254 comments)

I fully agree, but given the average age of judges, he probably doesn't know what the word "upload" means. :-)

more than 3 years ago

Why Google Wants Your Kid's SSN

wwwillem Re:Well duh (391 comments)

.... do use a primary key of Lastname + birthdate, and then verify secondly with address or first name ....

Which makes me remember what happened to me ten years ago. "Just of the Boat" :-) in Canada I signed up for my companies healthcare. Got a first dental claim cheque but it had on it the wrong company name. Called the insurance guys and, long story short, there was another guy in Canada with the same last name (which is a weird Dutch one "Van Schatter", not your "Smith" or "Johnson") but also the same birthdate. Which is pretty rare, but he also had the same first name (again, not "Joe" or "Brian"), now that becomes creepy. OK, the address was different.......

more than 3 years ago

White House Fingers PlayStation As Obesity Culprit

wwwillem Re:Huge Idiot (477 comments)

You're so right, but it is even worse. There is lots of unnecessarily added stuff (like glucose) in our food, but it happens even more in cheap food (read: processed food) than fresh food (read: expensive food). And therefore the part of the population that could really need a "health boost" simply can't afford it. Hey, a single cucumber in my supermarket is more expensive than a burger in the fast food chain around the corner. Which should be completely the opposite. How tough is it to grow a cucumber and put it on a truck, while even a simple burger involves tens of ingredients and processing steps.

The worst is that this is all a matter of politics. Because Ohio has been a swing state for years and years, every president in the last decades has been pushing money to subsidize the production of corn. Sometimes with the argument that Americans need methanol (which recently caused a severe "tortilla problem" in Mexico), but most of it ends up unnecessarily in our food. As an example, glucose gets added to meat products like burgers. Mind you, even "0% fat yoghurt", made for the health fanatics among us, still has sugar products added. Check it yourself, read those damn "ingredients" small print on the labels. And BTW, I prefer the full-fat stuff, but still I want to decide myself if I like to add sugar or not.

The food industry is really, really sick. Lack of diversity, full of political lobbyism. 100% about money.

When it comes to how to cure this problem, first of all I agree with a former poster who said simply "let capitalism do it, and stop subsidies". That would absolutely be a good first step. Still I think that with something as important as food (which is the underlying foundation for health care) I wouldn't like to keep "the market" without control. Better have some stricter rules. Like banning hormones in beef, which currently results in you eating testosterone in your BigMagic. They are also in your daughter's burger, who - because of that - is now having her first period two years younger than the generation before her.

more than 4 years ago

Building the Zero-Fatality Car

wwwillem Re:In a Volvo? (509 comments)

The missing piece in the article:

by 2020, nobody shall be seriously injured or killed by a new Volvo

more than 4 years ago

Illumos Sporks OpenSolaris

wwwillem Re:Is it worth the effort? (161 comments)

From the post it is not completely clear, but I guess this sporked OpenSolaris will still include the possibility of zones. Now I know Linux has similar features, but Containers/Zones have been a hit in the Solaris world from day one. And are widely used, including production environments where it does the segmentation / isolation of Oracle databases.

(I'm former Sun guy, been there, done that.)

more than 4 years ago

Electric Cars Won't Strain the Power Grid

wwwillem Re:This sort of thing can only be good for wind/so (438 comments)

In future, it won't be enough to let a consumer make the decision on when to consume and encourage him with discounts in low peak hours. The model should be that for those loads where "time doesn't matter" we (the consumer) can indicate our constraints and then the electricity company will work within those boundaries. Of course, the more lenient the consumer is, the better rate he gets.

For this example, if I park my car at the office I don't care if the battery gets reloaded at 11 am of after lunch. As long as it's done before I drive home at 5 PM. Same for the return trip, the car could be rechared at 11PM or at 3AM, I don't care.

The crucial thing here is that fore heavier, but also time independent loads like this, your utility company gets control over when you are using electricity. We're still quite a bit away from that, but with smart grids, that's the way we're going.

And it will all benefit green power that produces electricity at "unexpected moments".

more than 4 years ago

NZ Plan For Fiber To the Home

wwwillem Re:good plan (169 comments)

True unlimited is the way to go.

Unlimited simply means that the 90% of users with low usage are subsidizing the 10% with high usage.

When I go to McDonalds for just a burger, I don't want to pay for your Big Mac with super-sized fries.

A fair plan with metered use makes most sense. Problem is of course that too many Telcos and ISP's have scrapped the word fair from their spelling checker.

more than 4 years ago

Canada's Largest Cities Seeing the End of the Phone Book

wwwillem landlines only (206 comments)

This is a very good step!! Phonebooks are useless already because they don't contain cellphone numbers. Not that I would suggest that those should be included.

And grandma anyway can't find her reading glasses.... :-)

more than 4 years ago

Rubber Boots Charge Your Phone

wwwillem Re:Slow news day? (111 comments)

I ditched my "generator powered" light on my bicycle

Those are not a temporary fad that doesn't really work. In Holland (where there are more bicycles than people) those dynamo's are the standard way (at least were before LED lights) of powering bicycle lights.

It was the next progression after the carbid lantern, so I guess that started around WWII, maybe even earlier. At least I'm from 1957 and I can't remember anything else.

more than 4 years ago

The End of the 3.5-inch Floppy Continues

wwwillem Re:Reminder (472 comments)

| I suppose the easiest option for long-term support of such devices would
| be to emulate the floppy drive itself, and make a memory card reader that
| plugged into a floppy bus.

This exists already:


Don't know anything about this product, just googled for "floppy flash", but it seems someone thought already about this.

more than 4 years ago

25th Anniversary of Hackers

wwwillem Re:Not fair to run down the black/grey hat hackers (149 comments)

> But it's not 'nazi-wrong'.

You mean 'Wall-Street' wrong !! That's IMHO a better analogy.

This Goldman Sachs guy (OK, he was only partnering with GS, but still) that made $ 3 billion while screwing various pension funds. Compare that to 'stealing' some bandwidth from a telco company. Yes, both wrong, but......

more than 4 years ago

Google's Nexus One, a Steal At $49 Unlocked?

wwwillem Re:Oh god (311 comments)

she must have bought it with 40% off, told you it was 20%, and kept the difference :-)

more than 4 years ago

International Space Station Cupola Video Released

wwwillem Re:Two astronauts... (70 comments)

Yes, but with seven windows. And I didn't see curtains .....

more than 4 years ago

Intel Details Upcoming Gulftown Six-Core Processor

wwwillem Re:Are most programmes multi-processor? (219 comments)

Or on a simple Windows XP desktop: open Task Manager and add the "Threads" column. IExplorer 17 threads, System 56, some svchost.exe ranging from 15 to 70 threads. OK, many will be dormant, but I prefer them to sleep on another core. :)

more than 4 years ago

Intel Details Upcoming Gulftown Six-Core Processor

wwwillem Chicken or Egg (219 comments)

In the server space we've gone through the same thing. Sun introduced the T1 with 8 cores and 32 threads (now 64 on T2). Lots of software wasn't suitable for this type of horizontal scaling. But over a period of five years, that changed dramatically.

On the desktop, you can expect the same. For now, not many desktop apps will take advantage of the additional cores. But if Intel would have stuck with 1-2 cores, no software will be written to take advantage of multiple cores.

Chicken or egg ....

more than 4 years ago

Canadian Android Carrier Forcing Firmware Update

wwwillem Wireless by the Cable Companies (238 comments)

Well said!!

Let's hope that the various cable companies like Shaw here in the west and EastLink in the Atlantic are stepping into the cellphone market. Here in Calgary, ten years ago Shaw gave Telus a beating when it came to Fast Internet and currently they make pretty good inroads in the VoIP market.

On the other hand, also the pricing of cable companies seems to go up-and-up with no end in sight. So also they could use some more competition.

about 5 years ago

Analysis of 32 Million Breached Passwords

wwwillem Re:Password strength vs. how often you change it (499 comments)

unless these passwords are automatically assigned

In which case it is guaranteed to be written down somewhere on a piece of paper. Talking about "improved security".....

about 5 years ago

Analysis of 32 Million Breached Passwords

wwwillem Re:Password strength vs. Validation Rules (499 comments)

It is not just the mandatory password changes that increases the mess. It is also that each and every site has different validation rules. If I could use one-and-only strong password for many sites, then I could remember that. However, some sites _require_ special characters, while others _forbid_ it, etc, etc. So each time you end up inventing something on the spot, and then two months down the road you've forgotten it.

I guess that I've 50 passwords to remember, so if I can't do that with just a few (I don't use the same password for my online banking as for my slashdot login :-) then it quickly becomes Post-it time again. Or worse, that little file on the PC desktop with a list of userid/passwd combo's.

about 5 years ago

Newly-Found Windows Bug Affects All Versions Since NT

wwwillem Windows 7 (393 comments)

From the RFA: "He said he informed Microsoft security employees of the vulnerability in June".

So, Microsoft could at least have fixed this in Windows 7 (according to Wikipedia: "released to manufacturing on July 22, 2009").

about 5 years ago



European mobile phones will get universal charger

wwwillem wwwillem writes  |  more than 5 years ago

wwwillem writes "Ten companies including Apple, LG, Motorola, Nokia and Sony Ericsson have signed up to offer the charger, which will be based on a Micro-USB connector. Currently, when consumers buy a mobile phone they are provided with a new charger even if the old one still works.

The European commission had asked companies to work on harmonising chargers in the EU in a bid to cut down on waste. It said unused chargers amounted to thousands of tonnes of electronic waste a year and was threatening legislation unless a voluntary deal was reached.

Talks between the phone firms and commission officials produced a "Memorandum of Understanding" indicating that the first generation of "inter-chargeable" mobile phones will reach the EU market from 2010."

Link to Original Source


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