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Comment: Re:I'm surprised ... (Score 1) 79

by Ragica (#46314151) Attached to: Open Source Video Editor Pitivi Seeks Crowdfunding to Reach 1.0

Kdenlive is awesome, and has been awesome for a long time. Even when it was horrifically unstable it was still better than anything else on linux (and usually resumed right where you left off when it crashed). And it's been awesome all this time without constantly begging for money.

It seems like another tragic blind spot in the larger linux community for superior KDE based software, thanks to ubuntu and other distros with their gnominess.

Comment: Re:Cycling not the Answer (Score 1) 947

by Ragica (#45226097) Attached to: How Safe Is Cycling?

Another person checking in to say he's done all of these things. And it's really not that bad in most cases as people who have not done it seem to think.

First of all, most of those weather conditions are actually very rare. Even bike communiting every day in Canadian winter is not that bad in a city. Most roads are sufficiently poughed, that snowfall depth really is irrelvant (just make sure you have suitable bike tires). And you'd be surprised how warm you stay when cycling; it was often more of a problem for me being overheating than being too cold in the winter. That's why dressing with layers is key! So you can adjust...

Significant rain (at last where I am, which is pretty average) is usually not an issue. Rain comes and goes; shift your schedule slightly and watch local weather radar and you usually can find a relatively tame window to travel through. Days where it rains hard all day are relatively rare.

Other weather is mostly a matter of some simple gear. People would be amazed when I'd show up from a torrential downpour on my bike, get into the office and strip my rain pants, shoe covers, and rain jacket, gloves, wipe my glasses & face, and be 100% dry. It's no big deal; but just an alien concept to them. The people driving to work could be wetter than me! (Because they had to run from their car parking.... and where not equipped for the weather.)

Riding a bike year round makes you very intimate with weather, and it's not bad at all (usually). In fact it feels quite wonderful to have that connection with weather, and not be controlled by weather. I describe above staying completely dry biking in rain; but actually the other lesson you learn is that actually it's not so bad being wet either! You just go with it and learn not to worry about it...

Most of the people complaining about bikes never try it! Try it! It's great, and a whole new perspective. (Unless maybe your bike is exceptionally crappy.)

Comment: Re:Here's your debate (Score 1) 566

by Ragica (#44810257) Attached to: Linus Responds To RdRand Petition With Scorn

I appreciate your attempt to apply logic, but apparently Linus did already prove the premises, as stated in your post, to be incorrect (or incomplete).

Your premises seem to assume rdrand is the sole source of random numbers; Linus explained that it is not the source of random numbers, but just one possible source which is mixed up with other sources in such a way that a single input is essentially meaningless. "Long answer: we use rdrand as _one_ of many inputs into the random pool, and we use it as a way to _improve_ that random pool."

Now, you (and they) need to prove that LInus' premise and/or conclusion is false.

Comment: Re:rise of the digital public library (Score 1) 330

I check out a lot of ebooks from my library. It's pretty great. The main problem is that libraries don't have the technical ability to serve the books with DRM and whatever licencing agreements are required... so they farm the digital service to a third party. And that third party (Overdrive) is a virtual monopoly source for libraries... every library I know of around the region I live in uses Overdrive ... and have mostly the same books on offer. It's like Overdrive is the Amazon of ebook lending... only with even less competition.

Besides the technicalities of serving ebooks in an out-moded artificial physical book model (limited numbers of copies available, limited borrowing time), it's probably managing the adobe-controlled DRM (another monopoly) that is the biggest hurdle. I only hope in the future things become saner, and can be more diverse again. Both for publishers & readers... and reading devices.

Comment: Re:It's not JUST the Nook (Score 1) 330

Just an FYI on point one, in case you don't know. GoodReads will email you a handy monthly report of all new books by authors you've shown interest in on their site. Their recommendation engine can be helpful also, though it is kind of wonky. All this and they aren't even trying to sell you anything (though they do have links to buy via "partners"... i've never used them.)

Comment: Check the Source, Luke (Score 1) 590

by Ragica (#43837659) Attached to: PETA Wants To Sue Anonymous HuffPo Commenters

Lets see... New York *Post* (tabloid, basically) is the source of the info. Actual article linked is on the Yahoo "Contributer Network" (content farm). But PETA, favorite slashdot whipping boy, is in the headline; with vague indication of freedom-of-speech issues. Yep, this is going to be big on Slashdot, better promote it immediately.

Queue the endless stream of weirdly rabid PETA hate... 3... 2... 1... go.

I know RTFA is not to be encouraged, but y'all might want to head over the the Post article in this case. It has a picture of half-nude PETA protesters, for no good reason, that you'll probably enjoy laughing at featured at the top of the pathetic and insubstantial little article. After that you might enjoy the current top story on there when I loaded the main page: about local bike shops being run out of business by rich corporate bike-share programs in New York. Serious stuff!

Comment: statistical details: the percentage is of "value" (Score 4, Interesting) 93

Anyone look at the original report? My scanning of it indicates that all the percentages being give are based on the "value" (i.e. money) of the UEPs (used electronic products). Am I wrong? In this light one would certainly expect that the most valuable and fully functional of the UEPs would remain domestic and be resold!

And, if true, this is quite possibly/probably not actually related at all to the 10+ year old statistic given offered by BAN, which gives me the impression to have been by volume (i.e. physical amount of junk); though the BAN report is not specific about this. The statistic in Bloomberg linked BAN report is offered hardly more than anedotally in a mere pull quote, attributed to "Informed recycling industry sources".

On the topic of data sources, I noticed in the new report, especially around the topic of "export", the data seems to be basically self-reported by the industry, and in places is guessed at as no one really knows what happens with a lot of the stuff that leaves the country. And probably not a lot of people in this industry in the US are anxious to give the impression that they are dumping on 3rd world countries, when reporting their data. Not to say the data isn't good or interesting data, but still there is room for questions as to the meaning and depth of some of the data.

It would also be interesting to know if things have changed significantly in the UEP industry in the last 10+ years. I'd imagine that it would have since the explosion of personal electronics. Surely there is a vastly greater amount of upgrade grind going on now, where people discard working devices just because their phone contract seduces them to upgrade, and the much higher prevalence of other devices such as laptops, tablets, audio players, etc. The percentages may have indeed significantly changed since BANs 10+ year old report.

It seems rather interesting how so many here are taking this as an opportunity to immediately attack Greenpeace, comparing a 10+ year old statistic (which may not even be based on the same units) with a brand new (probably well funded) industry report, reported via Bloomberg (not exactly a publication known for it's defense of the environment, or even science). This seems a little ridiculous, if not entirely pathetic.

Comment: short sighted (Score 1) 508

by Ragica (#43558773) Attached to: NYC Police Comm'r: Privacy Is 'Off the Table' After Boston Bombs

And of course, with police cameras on everyone, just hope that future such acts continue to be perpetrated by local amateurs who seem to have done virtually nothing to obscure their appearance, and even remarkably little to mask the planting of their payload.

I think the police should concentrate on their skills at apprehending fully identified criminals without requiring massive suburban shootouts (which they don't even win), and their finding-people-hiding-in-backyard-boat skills, before they get any more toys on the table.

Comment: love for kturtle (Score 1) 185

by Ragica (#43507241) Attached to: Localized (Visual) Programming Language For Kids?

Perhaps more basic than what you're looking for, but I've been having a lot of fun with my 5 & 6 year old with KTurtle. It's a Logo based drawing program where you have only a few basic commands to make the turtle draw stuff. It has variables, loops, functions and conditionals; not to mention graph coordinates, polygons, etc. It's also localisable... which is really cool.

To start the kid out I basically would make little programs that make shapes or patterns, and he'd then mess around with them... mostly just changing numbers to see what would happen. Over time his curiosity has caused him to explore more, to the point where he now writes his own code quite often. He doesn't really understand a lot of the concepts he uses... but just fiddles around with things until it does something cool... which is fine with me.

The KTurtle web page is sadly entirely non-inspiring. But the program is great, which gets too little love. http://edu.kde.org/kturtle/

Comment: kturtle & minecraft vs codespell (Score 2) 245

by Ragica (#43418403) Attached to: 'CodeSpells' Video Game Teaches Children Java Programming

My nearly six-year-old is doing great things (for a kindergartner) with KTurtle -- which is really a pretty cool environment (I was surprised to find). He also spends much time hacking crazy stuff with redstone in Minecraft. The next logical step to real programming language seems to me, keeping it fun and relevant to his interests, is to introduce some javascript (as much as I dislike it) so he can mess up web pages with little effort. From there it seems python is the friendliest, easiest and most resource-rich multi-purpose playground.

Maybe CodeSpell will be something to check out eventually. Though the java example on their blog doesn't look all that fun to me. I hope its fun. If it gets to the point where I'm teaching the kid OOP, and all the verbose java syntax requirements, he'll probably only want to make minecraft mods. That's what CodeSpell is up against in this house.

Comment: Re:It's very possible (Score 1) 526

by Ragica (#42162017) Attached to: Steve Jobs Was Wrong About Touchscreen Laptops

And before Transformer was the Lenovo IdeaPad S10-3t, which is still being used here daily, and quite liked. It runs Windows 7 most of the time, but I dual boot Linux on it sometimes... specifically Kubuntu with the plasma netbook interface. Linux works pretty well, the main thing missing for me is "long tap" support -- lenovo and/or windows detects long presses and pops up context menu (like mouse middle click). Interestingly the S10-3t extremely rarely gets the screen flipped around to tablet mode. It turns out the clamshell is more convenient 95% of the time. Even reading in bed with it... just sit the laptop on the bed beside pillow and have the desktop rotate the display (or use FBReader's built-in display rotation). It sits up nicely with no hands needed, while you lay comfortably reading.

The full size lenovo keyboard is very nice on such a small thing; being able to touch click/drag things is icing on the cake.

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