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Comment Back in the old days... (Score 3, Informative) 318 318

We used to call that eXtreme Programming: that was the rage a while ago, then went out of fashion in favour of other agile development methods. But that happened a lifetime ago (the early 2000s :p ), and computer fashion have changed more times than I can really keep track.

I guess that the people who were actually programming 10 years ago are now managers, gurus or architects and want to bring back their happy childhood memories (id est, programming with their buddy) back to reality, imposing it on the newer generations.

Comment Re:MiniTel was a Come-Lately, too late, too little (Score 2) 137 137

Interesting.

I always saw the minitel as a technological leap forwards (the first data network targeted at the general public), and a terrible anchor that weighted us down and prevented most of us French people from moving to the Internet : that's the usual consensus about the impact of the Internet on the human beings that used/could have used it.

But I never looked at it from the interactions between the technological service provider and the business models relying on such new media.

Comment Good riddance. (Score 0) 137 137

As a French student, 10 ago, we were still spending time during our telecomunications class to study the X.25 protocol (the Minitel protocol covering the layers 3/4 in the OSI model) ...which was an aberration at the time when compared to the (much simpler, and much more useful) TCP/IP protocols that were used in the Internet. But it was the turn of the millenium, Internet was not that used in France (except maybe by the students, hardcore gamers and porn addicts) while the Minitel was the last remnant of French technology, even if it was losing ground in the main population in the battle against the

Anyway, I believe I still have nightmares, sometimes, waking only to scream "Noooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo, not the X.25". I guess that 's better than "Cauchy-Schwart theorem!", but only marginaly.

Comment Free bikes ? (Score 1) 356 356

In France (and probably in some other European countries as well), several cities propose a cheap bike sharing public service. For a small fee (less than 30€ per year in Paris, might even be cheaper in smaller cities), you can borrow a bike anywhere in the city and check it out at some other bike station. Since there are a lot of bikes available and one bike station every 300 meters or so, it's really easy to find a bike or a empty slot to park your bike, and the system is really working well.

I find this a nice alternative to the traditionnal bus/subway public transportation service (which in itself is WAAAAAY better than the personal car paradigm in our small overcrowded European cities and their narrow streets). Even if the bikes are heavy and clumsy, not having to worry about your bike being stolen or broken while you're away, and not having to perform any maintenance by yourself is invaluable. Plus you can always to a party using a bike, and get back home with a bus or taxi. Or the other way around if you feel adventurous and like to enjoy Paris at 3 am slightly inebriated :p

You can find some more information in English on wikipedia ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Velib ).

Comment How to speed up space transport industry (Score 1) 65 65

SpaceX should rename to Space(Se)X, and switch to a less traditionnal space tourism business-model. The porn industry has been pivotal in spreading the use of the Internet (much more than sharing art pieces, scientific papers and all that nonsense) : likewise, it will be strip clubs in geosynchronous orbit and zero-G sex experience that will make space travel popular.

Medicine

Bionic Eye Gives Blind Man Sight 203 203

AmigaMMC writes "A man who lost his sight 30 years ago says he can now see flashes of light after being fitted with a bionic eye. Ron, 73, had the experimental surgery seven months ago at London's Moorfield's eye hospital. He says he can now follow white lines on the road, and even sort socks using the bionic eye, known as Argus II. I wouldn't go as far as claiming he regained his sight, but this certainly is a biotechnological breakthrough."
Portables (Games)

Assassin's Creed, LittleBigPlanet Coming To PSP 49 49

Sony unveiled their PSP lineup for 2009 today, and it contains a number of major games and franchies. Assassin's Creed is on the way, as is a portable version of LittleBigPlanet , which will still allow players to share their levels with the community. A Motorstorm game set in Alaska is also coming, and Rock Band: Unplugged is in development as well. "There will not be a peripheral attachment available... Instead, all input is handled by the 'Left,' 'Up,' 'Triangle,' and 'Circle' buttons. The player can switch between guitar, drums, bass, and "vocals" (although he won't physically be singing, merely tapping buttons) using the L and R shoulder buttons. ... The player can actually choose to switch instruments at anytime, but switching prematurely will cause him to lose his multiplier."

"When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro..." -- Hunter S. Thompson

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