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Comment Manna is finally coming (Score 2) 256

Manna's job was to manage the store, and it did this in a most interesting way. Think about a normal fast food restaurant. A group of employees worked at the store, typically 50 people in a normal restaurant, and they rotated in and out on a weekly schedule. The people did everything from making the burgers to taking the orders to cleaning the tables and taking out the trash. All of these employees reported to the store manager and a couple of assistant managers. The managers hired the employees, scheduled them and told them what to do each day. This was a completely normal arrangement. In the early twenty-first century, there were millions of businesses that operated in this way.

But the fast food industry had a problem, and Burger-G was no different. The problem was the quality of the fast food experience. Some restaurants were run perfectly. They had courteous and thoughtful crew members, clean restrooms, great customer service and high accuracy on the orders. Other restaurants were chaotic and uncomfortable to customers. Since one bad experience could turn a customer off to an entire chain of restaurants, these poorly-managed stores were the Achilles heel of any chain.

To solve the problem, Burger-G contracted with a software consultant and commissioned a piece of software. The goal of the software was to replace the managers and tell the employees what to do in a more controllable way. Manna version 1.0 was born. ...

The first part is a rather depression dystopia. The second part is pure utopia.

Comment The one and only reason to run AV (Score 1) 217

There is exactly one reason to run Anti Virus software: To be able to say you did, if something bad happens. E.g. your bank account gets hacked. Your bank will ask whether you were running AV software. Even it the software is crap, you have to run it otherwise they will try to put the blame on you. Same with your work computer: Somebody in the intranet (not necessarily you) catches a virus. The admin will check whether everybody runs AV. If you don't, you will be blamed. Even if the admin knows that AV is mostly snake oil, he will still try to put the blame on you so it isn't on him. Or if you are the admin yourself, you also probably want everybody run AV because otherwise the PHB will blame you.

Comment 199x bicyle (Score 2) 635

Or at least I wish I could still use it.

It had a steel frame, simple 21 gears derailleur gearshift, none of this fancy suspension fork crap and over all it simply was robust. I could repair and replace everything on it myself (but seldom needed to). The only parts I replaced with something more modern was the brakes and lighting.
I used to cycle to work on it until It was stolen out of my backyard half a year ago and I still miss it.

Comment Microsoft Natural Keyboard, before they fschked it (Score 3, Interesting) 635

I recently bought (used) a few of the old Microsoft Natural Keyboard Pro from before the 4000 series. Those that still included a USB hub and the lettering on the keys did not disappear after only a few months of normal usage.
Before that I had several of the 4000 Keyboards and all of them started to lose their lettering within a few months. They are just really bad quality.

I will probably be using them until they fall apart.

Comment Re:China will work to destroy this. again. (Score 2) 282

There are several goals in this:
1. develop the technology
2. build the storage systems
3. generate jobs in the process
4. make the technology cheap

China will assist in 4. and destroy some of the jobs generated in 3 in the process, but only some of them.
That's fine with me (I am from Germany)

Comment use BitTorrent Sync on your own server (Score 1) 200

Get BitTorrent Sync from and set up your own server, either locally or "in the cloud" (which you control). There are clients for all major platforms, including Android, and it works well. Traffic is encrypted and storage is only on computers you control yourself.
There is one drawback, though: It's not open source so you have to trust BitTorrent Inc.

Comment Stop concentrating on life like graphics and sound (Score 1) 337

but instead invest into gameplay.
Example: Civilization I was a great game, not because it had such nice graphics or sound effects but because of the complexity of the game play. But the interface was easy to use, the different types of terrain and units easy to recognize and it was easy to pick up the strategy. Also, it worked on rather minimalistic hardware. (And, I have to admit, I originally got it as a pirated copy, but I bought it later. But since the bought version came with copy protection I continued to use the pirated one.) Now look at the latest installments of that series. The graphics and sound are improved but that also results in units and terrain being much harder to recognize. The gameplay is basically unchanged. But it requires so much computing power that the later stages of the game become basically unplayable if you don't run it on a top of the notch machine.
I have switched back to playing Civilization I when I am in the mood.

Comment Der Steppenwolf (Score 1) 700

"Der Steppenwolf" from Hermann Hesse was required literature at school and despite that I read it and it possibly saved my life.
At that time I was thinking seriously about suicide and when I read the following quote from the main character, something along the lines "you can always commit suicide later if it gets too hard, so just keep going for now"
(I don't remember the exact words and it is in German anyway, so it wouldn't be of any use here)
That absolutely made sense to me. As long as you are alive, things can improve, once you are dead, you are dead and that's it.

There have been other important books later but I think the above is quite fundamental so no other became as significant as that one book.

Comment What about a "phablet" (Score 1) 415

Yes, I know, "phablet" is a stupid name, but the Samsung Galaxy Note (the smartphone, not the tablet) with the Kindle software makes an excellent e-book reader. You have to get used to the size, though. It is huge for a phone and maybe a little bit too small for a tablet, but in my view exactly right for an e-book.

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