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Comment: Re:Attention - Young Turks (Score 1) 78

by Archon-X (#43893887) Attached to: Disposable VPN: Tor Gateways With EC2 Free Tiers

I',m not trying to enter into a pissing contest - all I am attemtping to illustrate is the incfedible support for this movement - it is most definitely larger, and much more intense than occupy ever was.

You can see this in even one clip i shot from last night: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9ZBsdYCOLuY

Comment: RE: Connectivity (Score 5, Informative) 78

by Archon-X (#43893355) Attached to: Disposable VPN: Tor Gateways With EC2 Free Tiers

Actually, connectivity here is pretty damned great. The movement is a lot, lot bigger than the US-Occupy efforts - and is supported by many companies and businesses.

Yesterday for the rallies / riots, TurkCell had installed several mobile cell-repeaters. Even during the most intense of confrontations with the cops, I had perfect cell, data and voice reception.

Comment: Re:Attention - Young Turks (Score 4, Interesting) 78

by Archon-X (#43893347) Attached to: Disposable VPN: Tor Gateways With EC2 Free Tiers

I flew 3,500km this weekend to support the Turks w/ their cause. It's absolutely not just 'Young Turks' - it's young, old, male, female, working class, middle class, upper class - aethiest, christian, islam - all in it together.

The US-based occupy movements were formed on arguably shaky foundations. This isn't - the park was simply a trigger point for what has been a 10 year gradual decay of rights, liberties and privledges.

It's certainly far from Attaturk's legacy.

Comment: Re:Instead of hunting graffiti (Score 4, Interesting) 208

by Archon-X (#43835817) Attached to: German Railways To Test Anti-Graffiti Drones

You realise that often times train delays are caused by graffiti?

The London Tube essentially killed graffiti by refusing to run any trains with any graffiti at all - panels or throwups.

Obviously, this leads directly to delays.
Furthermore, if the company is dropping 10M on cleaning per year, that's 10M on maintenance that it's (presumably) not spending..

Comment: Re:I predict... (Score 2) 400

by Archon-X (#43407189) Attached to: Speeding Ticket Robots — Laws As Algorithms

The flipside is the extreme opposite - there's a stretch of road just outside Paris (A86, for those playing at home) - that is a tunnel of about 10km long. It's got a speed camera placed every 1 - 2KM (hidden, with infra-red flashes). Even though it's the same stretch of road, with an incredibly short distance between each camera, if you're doing 10km/h over the limit, you will end up with 6 tickets (at 80EU each) - AND have the points withdrawn.

That is to say, you can lose 500EU + your licence for the same offence?

What's next? Cameras every 20m? Where is the limit?

Comment: GoPro sucks (Score 5, Interesting) 232

by Archon-X (#43240229) Attached to: GoPro Issues DMCA Takedown Over Negative Review

This beahviour is sadly is very typical of GoPro.

1. I bought a GoPro HD Hero a few years ago, to take video and stills on a car trip from Paris to Mongolia. We were shooting timelapse of the entire trip, to be compiled at the end.
However, when we were in the middle of Kazakhstan, one day, the camera stops working. I poke around, and see that the filenames havd gone up to DCIM_9999.jpg - and worked out that they had never engineered them to loop back to zero, so the unit had a buffer overflow, and wouldn't work.

We finally got phone access to call a friend, who saw similar threads on their forum. GP refused to acknowledge the bug - they said you had to take out the battery for at least 12 hours, and then it would work. Naturally, this didn't work. Their suggestion was: "If you believe" your unit is faulty, you can send it back to GP in the USA, but you will be liable for freight both ways, and customs import again upon reception."

I emailed them, expecting that because they put such a customer-oriented public face forward, that they'd be decent guys. They were absolutely not.
Finally, 6 months later, they released a firmwire upgrade that fixed the issue. The fix wasn't mentioned in the CHANGELOG.

2. Friend driving across the USA, his unit started recording everything in a deep magenta, for no reason, with no fix.

3. Fast forward to this year, doing an enduro motorbike race across africa. Two friends have the new GP3 cameras - which constantly bug. Out of 15 days of riding, they managed to get about 3 hours of video. The unit would power on - when switched to 'video' mode, the screen would freeze, the unit would suck down power, and empty the battery in 20 minutes. This happened on both units, on the latest firmware.

I have been constantly amazed that a company that tries to push an 'extreme' image hates their customers - and the very people that are trying to do 'extreme' stuff. You have the impression they're just guys making hardware for people doing amazing stuff, and they love what they do. This isn't at all the case, as this latest episode only goes to further illustrate.

Comment: Re:Paris First (Score 1) 178

by Archon-X (#42989793) Attached to: France Plans 20-Billion Euro National Broadband Plan

I'm in the 14th (near Montsouris) - yet am on the Raspail exchange (as opposed to the Blvd Brune) exchange.

When I was in australia - I was actually closer to the exchange than here..

With that said, all the exchanges in the 14th are running at capacity:
http://francois04.free.fr/connex_dslam.php?dslam=ras75-7&nra=RAS75&periode=C

I've heard so, so, so many bad things about numericable ( especially how everything is very vague - they say they 'generally' offer FTTB, but there's no fibre in the 14th, so it'll be cable to the building.. ) that I couldn't bring myself to making the switch..

Comment: Re:Here's an idea ... (Score 1) 196

by Archon-X (#42654869) Attached to: France Proposes a Tax On Personal Information Collection

Well, replying to AC seems like a waste of time... but:
1. Actually, the SMIC (minimum wage) in france is not far from RMI / RSA (Not unempoyment benefits - fixed payments if you don't work. You can get unemployment benefits on top of that)

2. At no point did I say that social support structures were bad. Social support structures are good things. Taxes are good things. Everything in moderation, applied intelligently, is a good thing.

The reality is, social supports come from somewhere: typically, taxes. If a country does not support business and innovation, there's no "Big Business" to tax, and everyone suffers. There's a balance to everything, and in France, the balance skews in one direction.

If by chance one day you became poor, and you only had a minimum wage job, but suddenly you were paying increased taxes because your government had forced all business out of the country, I'd argue that you'd agree.

Comment: Re:Here's an idea ... (Score 3, Interesting) 196

by Archon-X (#42647157) Attached to: France Proposes a Tax On Personal Information Collection

Hah! Doesn't work like that in France.
I've been here for the better part of 7 or 8 years now.

Simply put, France stifles innovation and invention. There's heaps of smart people here, but pretty much all of them leave as quickly as possible. Here's (my understanding of) why:

The very nature of France.
France is a socialist country. There are so many laws weighted against employers that running business is a nightmare.

Sick of working, and fancy a paid holiday? Stop working! As long as you continue t show up physically to work, your employer can't actually fire you (without you taking him to the cleaners in the worker's courts), so you'll be fired with benefits.
What's fired with benefits? Up to two years getting 80% of your old salary.. Why on earth would you want to work?

Double dip salaries
Employers pay 100% of what they pay in salaries on social contribution taxes. If you pay someone $100k per year, you're $200k out of pocket. And then the fucker stops turning up to work, and you can't fire them.

The 35 hour work week
France still has a notion & law that no-one should work more than 35 hours per week. Evidently, you can't get anything done as such - even the french agree, and most work more than this limit. However, for each hour you work over the 35 hour limit - you get back in holidays or overtime. I know people that get at least 2 months holiday per year.

Then, on top of all of this, you have the 'normal' corporate taxes, and then personal income tax.
Until a year or so ago, you also had a Excessive wealth tax - this wasn't just for stupidly rich people - most people who had a few houses as investment or ran a company got nailed by this. Each year, in addition to all other taxes you'd pay a percentage on top of the taxes, just because you had 'too much stuff'. This never stopped (ie, you'd pay taxes on the same things over and over) until you were no longer considered 'rich'.

The upshot of this is a massive skew in the taxation gradients. In France, it's actually smarter to earn less. If you've got a salary for 50k - you'll take home more than someone running a company that turns over millions - you are actively punished for your success.

Naturally, with all of this, employers don't care nor dare to innovate - they simply go overseas - and no need to go far. Spain, Luxembourg, Ireland - all have better corporate tax laws.

Where did everyone go?
Life sucks for employees, too. Employers are so used to getting fucked, that they take as much care finding employees as possible - typically filtering by degrees. It's gotten to the stage now that you cannot get a decent career without at least a master's degree in the precise field. And 5 year's experience in the workforce. At the same time.

When you do get your position, there's no vertical evolution: you're stuck in that position for life. The best you can hope for is slightly adjusting your position by hopping from company to company, and finding great workmates. Then, embittered by this fact, you either leave france, or you decide to go on a two year's paid holiday (see above)

Finally - and I believe this is the biggest factor - is France's groupthink about capitalism. On whole, it's detested. Earning money is taboo in France. Running a company is seen to be incredibly bad. You're labelled 'rich', and people can't wait to see you come down.

The government, and Holland especially, campaign hard on this sentiment, and each year promise to tax business even harder. Holland promised to raise company taxes and upper bracket earners even more.

This makes sense to the masses, who hate the idea of rich, because they'll never get there. The guys who do have companies, who are taxed to oblivion, after years of tax rises, simply leave the country or evade tax, because they've got the means to do it - and the entire country suffers as a result - and you end up with this.

Comment: Re:Fellow travelers, and relax (Score 1) 293

by Archon-X (#42632677) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Anti-Theft Devices For Luggage?

Depending where you are travelling (and how you are travelling) - these things are really, really obvious.
They're also found during 'standard' patdowns.

For the last 8 years or so (travelling throughout the middle east, central asia, eastern europe, etc) - I got a small pouch to place the passport, cash and a card or two.

I hook the loop onto the button of my pants, and there you go. It's comfortable, it's totally out of sight, and noone - unless you've stumbled into major problems - is going to have their hand down the front of your pants - this goes for the vast majority of patdowns as well.

I found that certain travel towels (like: http://www.extreme-travel-gear.co.uk/29-95-thickbox/microfibre-travel-towel-set.jpg ) come with a breathable pouch of perfect passport dimensions. And you get a towel!

UNIX is hot. It's more than hot. It's steaming. It's quicksilver lightning with a laserbeam kicker. -- Michael Jay Tucker

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