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Comment: Wish I knew exactly how! (Score 1) 190

by HnT (#49443129) Attached to: How do you contribute to open source projects?

I think there is a huge gap between people who could and would want to contribute and projects actually engaging and enabling them to. I have been using free and open source software for a long time but still have no clear idea how I could easily contribute; the few times I tried contributing to tutorials or documentation, I got a "sounds interesting, let's see it!" first and then no more replies and nothing came of it once I did send them what I had. This was a pretty big project (samba), no less, so I assumed I must have done something very wrong or broken some unspoken rule and thus stopped contributing altogether from then on.

I think open source projects would do well if they invested some effort into organizing and communicating what people can do to help, otherwise how can I know someone is not already working on a fix anyway and I just lean back?

Comment: Normal breathing in the face of murder and death (Score 2) 737

by HnT (#49344535) Attached to: Germanwings Plane Crash Was No Accident

From the news it sounds like they could hear the co-pilot breathing normally and calmly during the whole descent - in the face of murdering 150 people and killing yourself plus the actual pilot hammering against the door trying to get in, this suggests at least diminished empathy and remorse a.k.a. psychopathic tendencies.

Comment: Leave Mac OS out of this. (Score 1) 564

by HnT (#49171821) Attached to: Why We Should Stop Hiding File-Name Extensions

Leave Mac out of this discussion. The idea of using the file extension for anything is a more recent development on the Mac and one that was mainly driven by exchanging files with (mostly) the Windows world. On old Mac OS you had "type-codes", in OS X you still have "Uniform Type Identifiers". You cannot magically hide executes the same way you can on Windows.

On top of that "even" (or rather especially) in the most recent OS X version(s), by default you could not run anything unless the program was actually signed, approved and the certificate and app hadn't been revoked.

Comment: When applied correctly homeopathy is GREAT! (Score 2, Interesting) 320

by HnT (#49127099) Attached to: Use Astrology To Save Britain's Health System, Says MP

When applied correctly homeopathy is GREAT for treating not-actually-existing issues plaguing patients. Essentially you are applying a placebo to a patient who is feeling "nervous" or something else rather hypochondriac and if the placebo producer did not violate production regulations you end up giving them a bit of sugar and like that you cured the non-existing with the not-healing.
Despite tongue-in-cheek I do mean this serious because there are people who DO suffer from non-existing issues, yes it is all in their head, and that's where homeopathy can help. So even homeopathy does have its uses.

The real question is whether it should be covered by a national healthcare system and I am inclined to saying absolutely not.

Comment: That other "modern" payment competition (Score 1) 62

by HnT (#49093887) Attached to: Samsung Takes On Apple Pay By Acquiring Mobile Wallet Startup LoopPay

This looks almost as "promising" as that other "modern" payment competition to Apple Pay, you know the one with complicated QR codes, the one nobody can even remember the name of because it was so outdated, complicated and irrelevant even before it was actually launched.

Comment: Only got google to blame and apple to applaud (Score 1) 62

by HnT (#49093869) Attached to: Samsung Takes On Apple Pay By Acquiring Mobile Wallet Startup LoopPay

With their iTunes music and video store, Apple has proven to the "man" they can handle transactions and work with the "man" in a mutually beneficial way that also offers a (back then) new service for the customers. On top of that, Apple is in the device selling business and not in the data business. I am certain these were very important factors when they got their deals for Apple Pay with banks and CC companies.

No sane bankster or CC company would ever be caught publicly doing anything customer-data together with google, that would be PR suicide. Plus google did not have any positive track record of working with "the man" and very obviously they could not convince banks and CC companies to get Google Pay off the ground. They had a technology but not the environment to widely use it and instead pushed NFC as a gimmick, nobody cared about it.

Apple is so successful because they show time and again how well they understand that it's not technology alone that makes the success but you need an environment where the technology can actually be used, you need strong partners making that possible and you cannot make a payment system fly without getting a few major finance and banking players on your side.

Comment: Back to the original mission! (Score 1, Informative) 296

by HnT (#49001999) Attached to: Firefox Succeeded In Its Goal -- But What's Next?

Remember when FF was all about making it a lean, mean browsing machine compared to the silver-bullet one-for-everything Netscape behemoth? I think FF would really benefit from making these virtues of old their new priorities again, instead of the Mozilla Foundation and Corporation trying out-do Apple in feel-good, empty world-improvement campaigns and slogans and trying to out-do Apple and Google in UI design with yet another "UI improvement". Or doing things like completely crippling developers who are using self-signed certificates. This paternalism is just ridiculous.

Comment: Re:No, he's not (Score 1) 222

by HnT (#48996699) Attached to: GPG Programmer Werner Koch Is Running Out of Money

You cannot compare being an employer in the US to being an independent contractor with one employee in Germany. Things are very, VERY different here in terms of insurances and retirement. To give you just one example, the usual figure thrown around by workers in the US is to have at least 1 or 2 million for retirement. This is a figure absolutely no regular European employee will ever lay aside in all their working years unless they have a 1%er position.

90k Euros a year even as a contractor and after taxes and insurances translates to netting roughly 40k-50k Euros in a country where the estimated net salary is 2k a month and many, many people have to make do with significantly less than that. I would say average rent is somewhere between 500 and 800 a month not accounting for utilities.

Programmer median salary is 42k a year, senior developer median is 55k. Employees also give up almost half their pay for insurances, taxes etc.

You do the math. 90k a year is pretty great in Germany and definitely in the top 10% or 5%.

Comment: Do not mix up FOSS and running a business so fast! (Score 3, Interesting) 222

by HnT (#48996649) Attached to: GPG Programmer Werner Koch Is Running Out of Money

Note this part of TFA:

For almost two years, Koch continued to pay his programmer in the hope that he could find more funding.

So he is also a business owner making bad decisions and pays employees doing programming for him. Are FOSS projects not usually run by not financially dependent-on-each-other volunteers and on code submissions? It seems to me GPG has failed to establish something other projects have successfully done: a tightly knit community in which the whole project does not rest on the shoulders of one man alone. It seems Mr. Koch was trucking along on government funding alone and had no other source of income, this feels like another bad decision to me. This whole project feels like a very strange mixture of FOSS and running a business based on it while expecting to be paid as if it was a closed source, shareware program.

By all means, he deserves all the donations he can get but maybe it is high time to take a step back and look at how some things might have been run badly and how to improve on that.

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