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Comment: Re:The majority? (Score 1) 277

by ByzantineAlex (#49215149) Attached to: Daylight Saving Time Change On Sunday For N. America
In my experience, whenever I showed up early at work, it was my net loss - I could never leave early because then everybody would look funny at me, and also because most people (including my bosses) would give me tasks / schedule meetings right before my time to go home. So in the end I worked more hours than everybody, and I still left work at 6+ PM or later. So then flexi-time for me now means "show up at work as late as you can so you don't work too many hours". So yes, I do enjoy DST - at least I can still see the sun when I get home in the evening.

Comment: Only in the park, on weekends (Score 1) 304

by ByzantineAlex (#49162515) Attached to: I ride a bike ...
1. Way too dangerous to use it in our traffic. You'd be run over pretty soon. I don't plan to spend the rest of my life in crutches. There are way too many aggresive idiots on our roads, driving their stupid BMW's like they own the roads. 2. The bike would be stolen/vandalized in no time. I would give it a summer, at most. Unless, of course, I would carry it everywhere, and that's not possible. I cannot take it up the 6th flloor where I live, and at work there's no way the boss would allow me to "park" it in the office. And if I leave it outside....well.... as I said. 3. I cannot ride the bike on the sidewalk. a) there are cars many parked on the sidewalk, often times transversally. There's simply no place between the cars and the buildings. b) there are no sidewalk curb ramps anywhere. c) sidewalks are crowded with pedestrians. Conclusion: I would LOVE to use a bike every day, but the cities are (for historical reasons) extremely crowded, and there is absolutely zero infrastructure. Plus the insane traffic. Plus the stealing. Plus the vandalization.

Comment: This only works in North America (Score 1) 215

by ByzantineAlex (#49065171) Attached to: Japan Now Has More Car Charging Points Than Gas Stations
where people tend to own houses. In Europe, that is very-very rare. Most people live in appartment complexes, and in the evening they always jockey for a parking spot on the street (there are vert few underground garages, and there are never enough parking spots in the reserved parking lots). So the vast majority of people park wherever they can find a little bit of space on the street, and in most cases the cars are parked in complete disorder on the curb. For instance, at work, people park under a viaduct (theoretically that's a no-parking zone, but there are absolutely not enough spots, so the police never enforces the existing laws and rules). No, this will never work with the existing technology. I'm waiting for double-triple the range and super-fast charging time - say, 5...10 minutes max. Until then, I'm not even thinking about electric cars.

Comment: Long lasting batteries (Score 1) 162

by ByzantineAlex (#48791217) Attached to: What are you most interested in seeing out of CES?
They would almost revolutionize our world. Think only of electric cars. They will never become commonplace (especially in areas of the world where people live in crowded cities, where very-very fortunate few have driveways, and the vast majority park wherever they can find a bit of place). And, ahem, cellphones ! :-) I find it odd to have to religiously recharge my phone every night, or else... And many other things.

Comment: Re:It is a ripoff, indeed (Score 1) 273

by ByzantineAlex (#46446775) Attached to: WSJ: Americans' Phone Bills Are Going Up
No, I really meant 50MB. Yes, I know it's VERY little data, almost nothing, but I have specified that for data there are other options (plans). This is for talking only, with VERY occasional wireless access. But still... This is 7$. I don't really use mobile data, since I can find wifi pretty much anywhere in the city (stores, malls, coffee shops, restaurants, etc), so approx 7$ covers a month of phone usage. I would say it's reasonable. Now calculate the profits made at the American tariffs. On the other hand, yes, I know, the up-front investment on the infrastructure was huge at the scale of both Canada and US (Romania is only the size of Colorado) - but that investment should have been amortized by now, I assume.

Comment: It is a ripoff, indeed (Score 1) 273

by ByzantineAlex (#46444403) Attached to: WSJ: Americans' Phone Bills Are Going Up
In Romania (which is in Europe), 5 euro (almost 7 US$) brings you about 2500 in-the-network national SMS/minutes + 200 out-of-network or international SMS/minutes + 50MB of data. For other usages, like higher data consumption, there are other plans/promotions. There are occasional bonuses as well, like unlimited minutes during a certain time-frame (say, 21 days). Of course, they still make lots of money, let's not pity them. So the North-American prices (especially the Canadian ones) are pure theft. Been there, done that. I was paying about 40$/month for an extremely light usage.

Comment: Strange, when you think of it (Score 2) 318

by ByzantineAlex (#45079153) Attached to: The Ridiculous Tech Fees You're Still Paying
Meanwhile, in Romania, of all places, a provider (RDS) announced deployment of a new "pipe" (fiber-optic) that would allow (they say) up to 1 GB/sec down, all that for around 10..12 euro/mo, which is the cost of a one-person lunch in a mid-scale restaurant in town. I currently have about 40Mb/sec and pay 23 euro/mo for the whole package (internet, 70 channnels IPTV, and landline phone). In other words, if the situation is this bad in Australia, as per previous posts... it clearly is a huge money grab.

Comment: Bing is fine, except one thing... (Score 4, Interesting) 514

by ByzantineAlex (#30147682) Attached to: Bing Gains 10% Marketshare
  • So many people have such a blinding hate for everything Microsoft that they lose all semblance of moral and logical integrity. Therefore the argument becomes puerile, unfortunately, like many of the replies above.
  • Anyway, back to the subject: in my opinion Bing is quite good, and has some interesting qualities. Are they enough to make people leave their "google" comfort-zone ? No, not yet. There's nothing revolutionary enough. Anyway, I really wish them well - competition is always welcome.
  • Note. In my experience one area where Bing really fails badly at this time is searching for references to people. Search for instance for "bruce springsteen" (with quotes). How many hits you get ? In Google you get almost 11 mils. In Bing you get around 4.5 mils. In this case, of course, there's no difference (comparing two almost infinite numbers doesn't make sense - nobody will go past page 10 anyway), but searching for less well-known people will be something else - you'll get, say, 334 hits in Google, and 2 in Bing. Now that's a huge difference ! Some of the 334 hits in google were real hits. Search for instance for your own name, or for the names of your friends, not for "celebs". That's Bing's biggest downside right now, imho.

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