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+ - The Language of the Future is French,say the French-> 1

Submitted by Painted
Painted writes: By carefully cherry picking their data, the Observatory of the French Language is convinced that eventually, somehow, French is going to become the world's dominant language. Because of Africa, of all things.

This will certainly put a damper on my bugging the francophones I know by asking them what the Lingua Franca is...

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Comment: Re:Great (Score 2) 222

by Painted (#45908721) Attached to: Japan To Create a Nuclear Meltdown
After Chernobyl, there was a ton of concern as to where the fuel had ended up, raising concerns that the deterioration of the structure could result in further "events". After much heroic and life threatening investigation, it was discovered that the core in melting through the base of the containment vessel had breached a thick layer of sand placed there as shielding. The sand melted into a glass, completely entombing the fuel and then solidifying into various flow patterns in the basement. This was completely unexpected, and was a huge relief to those involved.

If they had had proper modeling and testing of the containment vessel, they would have been much more sure that the fuel was unlikely to further react, and would not have had to risk the team's lives entering hard radiation areas.

There was an excellent Nova episode on this in the early 90's, but unfortunately due to some licencing issue it is unavailable from PBS. Snagged a ratty VHS copy of it a few years ago though- do wish there were some HQ versions of it kicking around.

Comment: Re:What it will be used for... (Score 1) 178

by Painted (#45481329) Attached to: Galileo Navigation System Gets Go-Ahead From EU Parliament

ANPR has several problems - you need cameras on every street corner, it lets the government know everywhere you go, people can put false plates on their cars, etc.

(No, the government probably won't see any of those as a problem, but their opposition will...)

A GPS system could just measure distance traveled, not locations or any other data. The car could refuse to work if it doesn't receive a GPS signal that makes sense. If it's in a tamper-proof box then hacking it could be difficult enough that most people wouldn't bother.

So you don't trust plate readers, as the government can track you, but you believe that a GPS system will be used to ONLY measure "distance traveled, not locations or other data."

Do you have any basic understanding on how GPS type systems work?

Comment: Re:Red light / green light (Score 1) 1440

by Painted (#44934181) Attached to: Georgia Cop Issues 800 Tickets To Drivers Texting At Red Lights
They invented a wonderful device for people like you, it's called a HORN. You wait 1-2 seconds for them to move, then you utilize your HORN ACTIVATION circuit in your automobile, and it emits a "tootling" noise to alert the person in front of you to direct their attention to the petroleum distillate input foot lever, which in turn will allow their automobile to resume it's joyful progress.

A whole light cycle, really? >.>

Comment: Re:Which is why I always put my car in [P]ark (Score 1) 1440

by Painted (#44934009) Attached to: Georgia Cop Issues 800 Tickets To Drivers Texting At Red Lights
Where I live (Alberta) you are considered "operating" your vehicle if you are in it and you have your keys on your person.

That's right, you can be in the back seat, asleep, and you can be ticketed for DUI or whatever else they decide to stick you with. When our distracted driving law came in about 18 months ago, they specifically highlighted that pulling over to the side of the road and parking was NOT sufficient.

The funny part was when someone mentioned that the cops had put up, not 6 months before, signs saying that if you see a drunk driver, you should call them and trail them while the 911 operator coordinates a cop to nab the drunk. So they specifically made an exception for calling to report a drunk driver on a non-handsfree phone.... So I guess being distracted while following a drunk is for the greater good, or something....

Comment: Re:Amazon's own fault (Score 1) 207

by Painted (#43494037) Attached to: Kobo CEO Says Not Selling Washing Machines Key To Overtaking Amazon
"And now Kobo is HUGE in Canada."

You sound like my boss. Full disclosure, I work at the largest independent publisher in Canada (if you cook in Canada, you probably have one of our titles)- and we went with Kobo exclusively for our ePubs. As a six million dollar paper publisher we sold... ... $15k in ePubs last year via Kobo, "the #2 ebookstore in the world, with 48% of the market!!"

I've also noticed that when I travel, or talk to people about ePubs, eBooks, etc, I see iPhones/iPads (quite possibly running iBooks, Kindle App, or Kobo apps), Kindles, Nooks, etc.... I have seen exactly ONE Kobo actually owned by an end-user. I know that anecdotes are not data, but....

Comment: Re:Kill it (Score 1) 646

by Painted (#43159743) Attached to: Is Daylight Saving Time Worth Saving?
How the hell does changing the clock help more in Northern locales? I'm over 54 degrees north, and I can tell you DST simply is moving the goalposts. In the winter I go to work in the dark, I go home in the dark. 1h of oscillation in the clock does nothing* to help that. In the summer, the sun is up at 4 am, and goes down at about 10:30pm (right when I really* want more light, just when I'm trying to sleep).

DST is moronic, and gives absolutely no benefit except for a very narrow band of locations and a very few people whose schedules happen to match the changes. But the rest of us get to come along for the stupid pretend time changes. In an earlier post in this thread, someone mentioned that DST doubles* the time that many of us spend driving directly into the setting/rising sun, and I know that is my #1 problem with the stupid time dance every year.

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