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Comments

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Quebec Language Police Target Store Owner's Facebook Page

xaxa Re:We are looser, that's it. (506 comments)

On the other hand, if you want to write down the word "table", you have to memorise the spelling.

Tabul... tabel... taebel... tabol... ah, table.

about 2 months ago
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Electric Bikes Get More Elegant Every Year (Video)

xaxa Re:Not in my experience (164 comments)

I also cycle to work, and it's about the same distance (6.5km). I use an upright position.

Out of about 80 bikes that are locked outside my building, only 4-5 are racing bikes. If I was in the Netherlands, Germany or Denmark it would be more like 1 / 80.

about 2 months ago
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Electric Bikes Get More Elegant Every Year (Video)

xaxa Re:They aren't really bicycles. (164 comments)

I think those figures are average speeds. My top speed (on the way to work) is about 30km/h, which is just under 20mph. I don't attain that speed for long before I need to slow to turn or stop at lights, so my average is much less.

The British recommendation is, "As a general rule, if you want to cycle quickly, say in excess of 18 mph/30 kph, then you should be riding on the road." (that seems a bit fast to me, but I'm not sure what kind of non-road they mean.)

about 2 months ago
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Electric Bikes Get More Elegant Every Year (Video)

xaxa Re:Still ugly (164 comments)

I don't get why all these electric bikes have you sitting in such an upright position.

The racing position is favoured by people who race bikes. Those people wouldn't want an electric bike.

The upright position is preferred by most people going to work, school etc by bicycle -- there's a better view, and it's more comfortable. Most people aren't bothered by the slight inefficiency, especially if the motor is helping.

about 2 months ago
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'Google Buses' Are Bad For Cities, Says New York MTA Official

xaxa Re:Ain't no body got time for that (606 comments)

What's odd is that Google runs the buses. Why doesn't the city public transport system run buses to somewhere like Mountain View?

about 2 months ago
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'Google Buses' Are Bad For Cities, Says New York MTA Official

xaxa Re:Ain't no body got time for that (606 comments)

Contrary to the GP, I think London is an example of a city with spread-out employment. See http://luminocitymap.org/Emplo...

However, that doesn't mean people necessarily live close to work -- living close to work for one job might mean living far away for the next.

about 2 months ago
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'Google Buses' Are Bad For Cities, Says New York MTA Official

xaxa Re:Ain't no body got time for that (606 comments)

Worse still, because of the "peaky" nature of commuter traffic, you have to spec your mass-transit systems to handle the peaks and accept that they'll be pulling around mostly fresh air for at least 18 hours every day.

This is equally true for roads.

It's actually better for railways: off-peak tickets can be priced cheaply, to make better use of the capacity and reduce road congestion / pollution etc.

(London's Congestion Charge Zone means it costs ~£8 to drive in the centre between 7am-7pm, but not many cities do that. The time when peak transport fares apply is much shorter, 7-9 and 16-19h, I think.)

about 2 months ago
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'Google Buses' Are Bad For Cities, Says New York MTA Official

xaxa Re:Ain't no body got time for that (606 comments)

London is a terrible example. Population density is far higher in the centre. Employment density is also relatively even -- London's businesses are spread over many large areas.

Except for finance, London does have "small-to-medium sized business conglomerations around a city". And the bankers can afford to live close to the City / Canary Wharf anyway.

about 2 months ago
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Fake Pub Studies Drinking Habits

xaxa Re:B.A.R. Lab (118 comments)

I don't understand the need for excuses. In Belgium if we want to drink/sell beers on the campus, we just do it.

Obviously, the excuse is only needed in the US.

Like all (or almost all?) universities, London South Bank University already has a proper pub within the student union. It might have one not run by the student union, but that's probably less likely, since there will be hundreds of normal pubs within a few minutes walk.

about 2 months ago
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A Primer on Data Backup for Small- to Medium-Sized Companies (Video)

xaxa Re:Old-School (76 comments)

I don't think a set figure makes any sense. You'd need to identify the risks places have in common and work from there.

I live in a metropolis, not too far from the river. Flooding seems like the only disaster that could also affect buildings further than, say, 1km from here, and only if they're also near the river.

So, I think I'd be fine so long as the backups are >1km from here, and perhaps not on on below ground level.

(Within 100-1000m I still can't think of many risks two buildings have in common. Arson after a riot?)

about 2 months ago
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Your 60-Hour Work Week Is Not a Badge of Honor

xaxa Re:Your Boss (717 comments)

My manager has never asked me to do overtime, although I think we have a similar arrangement.

However, sometimes I work late, particularly if I have no plans for the evenings, the office is quiet, and I'm busy concentrating on something. I leave early later that week, or if there are enough hours (like if the weather is really bad), take an afternoon or day.

I'm not sure what would happen if I didn't take my holiday. I think nothing, so long as I've taken the legal minimum (20 days in the UK, though I get 32).

(Inequality in the UK isn't that much better than in the US: http://inequalitybriefing.org/... )

about 2 months ago
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Your 60-Hour Work Week Is Not a Badge of Honor

xaxa Re:When I hear "I work 60 hours a week"... (717 comments)

But other fields like law, medicine, finance? The common perception is that when you're starting out as an intern or assistant, the way you get ahead is working 12 hours days or weekends or whatnot.

An "intern" (not a very British word) at a bank in London died recently, perhaps from overwork after working 72 hours straight.

http://www.theguardian.com/bus...

(Respect for the banking industry has fallen so far, I'm not sure there was much sympathy...)

about 2 months ago
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Your 60-Hour Work Week Is Not a Badge of Honor

xaxa Re:When I hear "I work 60 hours a week"... (717 comments)

You aren't going back enough.

Before the industrial revolution, "according to Oxford Professor James E. Thorold Rogers, the medieval workday was not more than eight hours".

"Detailed accounts of artisans' workdays are available. Knoop and jones' figures for the fourteenth century work out to a yearly average of 9 hours (exclusive of meals and breaktimes)[3]. Brown, Colwin and Taylor's figures for masons suggest an average workday of 8.6 hours[4]. "

about 2 months ago
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Massive Storm Buries US East Coast In Snow and Ice

xaxa Re:You southerns are a bunch of wimps. (290 comments)

You missed the point: this was southern Britain, where most cities can keep all the salt/grit they need in a few heaps somewhere. It might snow once or twice, maybe 1-5cm. It hasn't snowed so far this winter.

When it snowed for two weeks, across the whole island, every city, town and village wanted more grit, and there wasn't enough available. Why would the grit-selling company have a 5 year supply on hand?

(Colleagues described the weather today is "bloody freezing". It was 10C. YMMV.)

about 2 months ago
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Massive Storm Buries US East Coast In Snow and Ice

xaxa Re:Peace and quiet. (290 comments)

I've only ever lived in neighbourhoods that have had all-buried utilities for decades and decades, and none of it has ever exploded. I can't remember a power cut lasting longer than a couple of hours; normally there's a brief interruption (seconds to ~10 minutes) every two-three years or less.

However, I don't live in the US, and probably pay 2-3x what you do for electricity.

about 2 months ago
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Ask Slashdot: Local Sync Options For Android Mobile To PC?

xaxa Re:Duh? (146 comments)

I use the rsync app linked above. I already had a server (low-power ARM thing), so it took a few minutes to create a username and public key. The app has a list of defined rsync commands, I run it every so often.

about 2 months ago
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Ask Slashdot: Should Developers Fix Bugs They Cause On Their Own Time?

xaxa Re:I'm no programmer, but... (716 comments)

Aren't bugs impossible to avoid in programming, especially in complex projects?

No, you just need to pay a lot. Examples: railway signalling, air/spacecraft, industrial control equipment, ...

Not complex, but low-margin high-volume equipment -- a recall is very expensive. One of my tutors at university had worked for NASA, proving some systems on the ISS worked correctly, and an appliance manufacturer, proving washing machine software worked.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/F...

about 2 months ago
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How To Hack Subway Fares Using Fare Arbitrage

xaxa Re:Good, this may push more cities to flat rate. (240 comments)

I live in west London. Off-peak, I can travel to the centre of London for £2.20 (5 miles), or to Heathrow Airport (furthest west) for £1.50 (15 miles), or to the furthest point east for £3 (25 miles). At peak time, the fares and differences are all higher.

If the fare outside the centre wasn't so cheap, the massively underused capacity (train every 150 seconds) would be even more underused, and there'd probably be more traffic (and air pollution).

If the fare in the centre were cheaper, it would be even more crowded (trains are pretty full for much of the day -- standing room only). I suppose they could do that, but it would make journeys less reliable.

Most German metro systems are smaller, but seem to have "short trip tickets", which are a usually about half price and valid only for 3 or 4 stops. I like that idea too.

about 2 months ago
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How To Hack Subway Fares Using Fare Arbitrage

xaxa Re:Does any one really (240 comments)

People in London do, although I doubt it's the most important thing for many. Property listings (especially commercial ones) usually say what fare zone the nearest station is in -- of course, that's also another way of saying how central somewhere is, i.e. time/distance.

It can cost £200-400 more for an annual ticket to be the wrong side of the zone boundary. (Zone 1 only: £1256, Zone 1-4: £1800, Zone 1-9: £3256.) I've known people working low-paid jobs who'd take the train to the last station in Zone 2, then either walk or take a bus into Zone 1. (Zone 2-4 inc. bus: £1040).

However, the 'crappiness' of the neighbourhood isn't really connected to the transport price -- it's easy in London to walk for 30 minutes and pass from a dodgy area to a luxury one, to a nothing-special one, and still be in the same fare zone.

about 2 months ago
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A Dedicated Shell For Git Commands

xaxa Re:What you need is a new command shell (96 comments)

The dots aren't redundant:

Dim x

With y
    x = 1 ' Which x?
End with

But, as someone wrote up there ^^, you could use a while loop:
$ while true; do
> echo -n "GitShell:"
> read command
> git $command
> done

about 2 months ago

Submissions

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New UK government to reverse erosion of liberties

xaxa xaxa writes  |  more than 3 years ago

xaxa writes "In the UK, the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats have formed a coalition government. They have released an agreement document outlining their joint policies. In section 10 (Civil Liberties) the parties "agree to implement a full programme of measures to reverse the substantial erosion of civil liberties under the Labour Government and roll back state intrusion", including "A Freedom or Great Repeal Bill.", "The scrapping of ID card scheme, the National Identity register, the next generation of biometric passports and the Contact Point Database." "Outlawing the finger-printing of children at school without parental permission", "Adopting the protections of the Scottish model for the DNA database.", "The review of libel laws to protect freedom of speech.", "Safeguards against the misuse of anti-terrorism legislation", "Further regulation of CCTV.", "Ending of storage of internet and email records without good reason. (and others)."
Link to Original Source
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Rural areas overtake towns for broadband in the UK

xaxa xaxa writes  |  more than 5 years ago

xaxa (988988) writes "According to a report from OFCOM, the UK's independent communications regulator, for the first time rural households are now more likely to have a broadband connection than residents of towns. This could be the result of a drive to bring broadband to sparsely populated areas, enabling people to work from home. Overall, 57% of households have broadband Internet access. OFCOM also report that 20% of households now rely solely on mobile phones, 85% have digital television, 30% of adults have watched TV online, 20% have accessed the internet on a mobile phone.
Of the people without these services, most didn't want them or thought they were too expensive. Just 1% of consumers wanted them but found they were not available in their location.
The full report is available."

Link to Original Source

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