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Comment: The article refers to an article with pictures (Score 3, Informative) 205

by ansak (#46368855) Attached to: Water Filtration With a Tree Branch
The article quoted above points to a paper that has some diagrams that shows how water would go through a branch -- no hoax here.

In brief, find a stalk of sappy wood -- my Dad showed us every spring how to make a whistle out of alder branches that look what the picture shows -- peel it, whittle it to size and then plug it into the end of a tube and gravity feed water through it.

simple...ank

Comment: PBS -- CBC -- BBC (Score 1) 314

by ansak (#46050591) Attached to: Office Space: TV Documentary Looks At the Dreadful Open Office
The CBC is almost like PBS without the begging. That's because (a) it gets a certain amount of money from government and (b) it actually runs commercials.

Its funding base was never as secure as that of the BBC (which used to be entirely funded from Television licenses) but once upon a time Canada used to practice "Universality" (not socialism, just good-neighbourliness) and living in a town in the 60s where the only available media was CBC (the then-equivalent of Radio 1 and CBC TV), we were thankful that their funding was stable and that they weren't an outright organ of any government.

As I said, it used to get a lot more money from the government than it does now, but thanks to Reagan-Thatcher-Murdoch and their local toad-in-Canada (Brian Mulroney) these moneys have shrunk, not quite to insignificance but substantially. Our current RTM-toad, Stephen Harper, has been cutting this cash still further -- along with his near Koch-like commitment to small government, this is also thought to be in revenge for the voice the CBC gave to folks from Ontario who were scared of him. (as his behaviour in office shows that they were right to be)

But other than a tendency to idolize Barbara Frum (skewer question) and Peter Gzowski (friendly to the point of deferential) too much, it still produces stuff like this.

Peace, Order and Good Governance forever! ...ank

Comment: The database is called "Olson", you find it here (Score 4, Informative) 405

by ansak (#43945557) Attached to: Oracle Discontinues Free Java Time Zone Updates
I clearly hadn't read more than the first few lines of the help on Java TimeZone info or I could have found out that the answer was already there, without having to wait for it. As another poster pointed out IBM already provides free Java timezone updates.

Let me google that for you! But more to the point, writing a tool that will grab those updates for yourself and storing it where you need it looks like a bash script or batch file candidate. Our brains are more than a match for Oracle's bean counters. Let's use them!

cheers...ank

Comment: What to do... (Score 4, Insightful) 405

by ansak (#43945485) Attached to: Oracle Discontinues Free Java Time Zone Updates
So, who is surprised by Oracle's move here? Nobody with a eyes and a brain. Oracle just doesn't know what to do with a community.
Does this make Microsoft or C# look so great? No way! They started out less free than Oracle is now and haven't really changed.
Why do I develop in Java (I also know C, C++ [and the assembler code they generate], Python, SQL [MS and non-MS dialects] -- so why choose Java?)? Because I want to write programs for my slightly less shackled Android phone.
And the next plan of action is...?

There are a bunch of options... for starters, google the problem. Next, just wait: some bright spark will put out a tool that uses local time zone info (configurable) to update some Java installation's (configurable) idea of time zones automatically (or not, configurable).

It happened with MySQL, it'll happen with Java. "The more you tighten your grip, the more star systems will slip through your fingers."

Douglas Adams' fictional book cover still has the right initial instruction: "Don't Panic!"

cheers...ank

Comment: I voted some other (Score 1) 137

by ansak (#41843283) Attached to: Best reader-submitted /. logo of October 2012?

If you must have a pong, Heiko Selber's honourable mention beats Piotr Dabrowski's hands down, in my opinion -- yours is pretty classy Piotr but I prefer the full field, myself (same reason I detest tablet-ized interfaces).

But I don't think the logo should go crazy on sideways references; hence I cannot vote for any of the other "presented" options. My top 6 are, therefore, #1, #7 and #9 from the accepted list, and Pocholo Peralta's, Erik Berglund's and Pete Mendoza's honourable mention entries.

* #1 refers to these polls, a strong feature of slashdot from so long ago that it might as well be the beginning.
* #7 has classic lines and is self-referential to its topic
* #9 is almost Matrix-y and ASCII-art-ish without being a 100% send-up of either
* I preferred Pocholo Peralta's logo over Sean Murphy's #31 because I view animated graphics, generally, as abominable. This works in the 15th anniversary theme tastefully and effectively.
* Erik Berglund's logo embodies slashdot's quirky take on everything -- give it a twist!
* I like Pete Mendoza's contribution for the same reason I prefer #7 to the ones to vote for. I'm disappointed that nobody used the default Slashdot logo font in the same way, actually.

I think I'd have to vote for #1, as much as anything because I can suffix my vote with

you insensitive clod...ank

Comment: No RSI hint #1: Don't use the mouse (Score 2) 262

by ansak (#40961057) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: What Is the Best Position To Work For Long Hours?

In 27 years of professional software development I have watched numerous co-workers succumb to various RSIs, require ergonomic keyboards just to be able to bear the pain of working. The one difference I notice between me and these unfortunate folks is this: I avoid using the mouse.

I use keyboard shortcuts, I prefer a text editor that allows me to do everything including navigating from a standard QWERTY keyboard (in my case, the One True Editor, vim but there are other options -- I've also used BRIEF, OS-9's stylograph and IBM's Personal Editor in my time). Hot-keys, short-cut keys, accelerators, anything that keeps my hands on home row have been my safeguard.

It's also fair to say that I have been playing piano since I was 5 but I still think that "stay away from the mouse" is the best advice anyone will give you.

cheers...ank

Stellar rays prove fibbing never pays. Embezzlement is another matter.

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