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Comment: Invest the money in attending Google I/O instead (Score 1) 421

by ciurana (#46302055) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Should I Get Google Glass?


As a fellow developer (and someone who doesn't care much for Google's products like Android and Glass), my advise would be to invest the $1,500 toward attending the Google I/O conference instead. You will get a chance to meet all kinds of cool, smart people with whom you can share/bounce ideas. They may offer discounted or flat out hand Glass to attendees (they have some nice toys every year), and the presentations are some of the best in the industry. There'll be plenty of sessions covering Glass there, and the conference will give you a great chance to learn about the device, dev tools, potential future ecosystem, etc. far better than what you're getting from the responses here on Slashdot.



Comment: Pro Tip: Take the train (Score 5, Informative) 261

by ciurana (#46268573) Attached to: Edward Snowden's Lawyer Claims Harassment From Heathrow Border Agent


After having been harassed a few times during business trips to London after having worked for two London-based companies, I decided to never fly into London again if I can help it. Instead, I fly into Paris from either Moscow or the US, have a nice lunch somewhere near Gare du Nord, then take the Eurostar into London (about a 2-hour ride). The UK immigration officials at the rail station are way nicer and more polite, the process is much faster, and in general the suckage is much lower.



Comment: Patent? (Score 3, Insightful) 226

by ciurana (#45878683) Attached to: BlackBerry Sues iPhone Keyboard Maker Typo

The article doesn't clarify if BlackBerry patented the keyboard layout and set up, and whether the patent is still in effect.

If so, they are well within their rights to enforce it. Typo Products can probably work out a deal with them, et tutti contenti.

If the patent has expired, or if it was never granted/never filed... suck it, BlackBerry. You should know better.


Comment: Re:What a waste of time. (Score 2) 102

by ciurana (#45763443) Attached to: FBI's Secret Interrogation Manual: Now At the Library of Congress


Works in the Library of Congress may be reviewed but not copied. The person(s) who reviewed this manual, and found the discrepancies, noted them and made them public. The original copyright holder must give permission for this work to be reproduced. That's why there are no copies, just mentions of the discrepancies.

Not sure without checking with my IP attorney how to get around this, since it's unlikely that the copyright holder will grant further copying permission. Perhaps a FOIA request to the Library of Congress will allow them to release the document?


Comment: Re:Hook turn maneuver: Apparently wrong (Score 1) 332

by ciurana (#45460743) Attached to: Skydiving Accident Leaves Security Guru Cedric 'Sid' Blancher Dead At 37

Cool - thanks for the link.

I suspect that the French parachuting federation issues incident reports, analysis, and corrective measures bulletins just like the USPA does. We'll find out the whole story when that happens; if it's like here, give it 90 days or so.


Comment: Hook turn maneuver (Score 5, Informative) 332

by ciurana (#45451527) Attached to: Skydiving Accident Leaves Security Guru Cedric 'Sid' Blancher Dead At 37

From the report, it sounds like Cédric performed a maneuver called "hook turn" -- it's a high speed turn in your final approach, 100' or less from the ground, considered deadly and stupid by USPA, the French Federation of Parachutism, and pretty much anyone who's been jumping for a while.

The rate of descent increased as a parachute (square, ram air canopy) banks. The sharper the turn, the faster the descent. The hook turn swings the jumper fast, like a pendulum, and an experienced jumper will guesstimate ending the swing at about the same time as his or her feet would touch the ground. The margin of error for a hook turn, by an experienced jumper riding a small canopy (the more experience the smaller the canopy), is between 5' and 10'.

Start the turn too soon, and you'll end up 3' to 10' above the ground, with a stalled parachute, falling straight down. On a good day, a few bruises or a parachute landing fall, a dirty jump suit, and teasing from your pals. On a bad day, a twisted or broken ankle, yet survivable.

Start the turn too late, and you'll slam the ground with enough force to kill you. And remember: too late is a difference of only about 5'.

Even if the turn starts fine, and the jumper is the king of experienced up jumpers, other factors may come into play. A little thermal near the ground may force the canopy up or sideways near the ground. Or a cold air pocket (e.g. flying over a small puddle, or a dark patch on the ground) may drop the canopy a few feet faster.

Most if not all drop zones since at least 1994 ban people caught doing hook turns because of the danger they present to the jumpers doing them and others around them. Every once in a while some hot shot with a few thousand jumps thinks he's above physics and chance, and does a bandit turn if nobody is watching.

Maybe Cédric ran out of air on final and thought that hooking the turn would help him land into the wind. Maybe he was just hot dogging. Regardless, if he was an up jumper and he did a hook turn, he should've known better and performed a different maneuver. Sad to loose him, but not feeling sorry about the accident itself. Stuff like this is what gives a bad reputation to skydiving in the eyes of people with little or no knowledge of the sport.


Comment: Re:Agreed - my story (Score 1) 313

One more thing I thought about:

OkCupid, and everyone else go to painful lengths to do the questionnaire and focus on "relationship" -- that's a huge barrier to entry for new people. It's just too annoying and boring. Newer services like Badoo, Kizzle, Twoo, etc. focus more on "meeting new people" and letting things evolve from there. Post a couple of photos, say a little about yourself, and you're off using the system. I always found Match et. al. a pain in the ass.


Comment: Re:Agreed - my story (Score 1) 313

Depends to a greater extent if you are male or female. The ratio of men to women is often 40:1 or thereabouts, so for women they can pick and choose but men not so much.

True - that was another interesting thing about Badoo in Russia - the ratio of men to women is closer to 5:1 (or was at the time). Other services in Russia/Ukraine/etc. had lower ratios. It seemed that women are more adept at on-line dating in those countries. Badoo in the US, at the same time, was a total ghetto. It had evolved only from minority groups, lots more men than women, and we had to winnow out quite a few "professionals" all the time. The kinds of women who used the service in Russia was very different from the US peeps: many university-educated girls, good jobs, nice people. There were pros, sure, like in all dating services. But I was always surprised at how good a demographic we had there compared to other markets -- the contrast was astounding.

From Badoo I had a chance to date a plastic surgeon, a nuclear scientist (no shit -- went to the university in Obninsk), several business women, and my fiancée who has a very nice for a major luxury firm there. The number of nice girls was very high. I have no idea what it's like now -- I haven't had a need for the service since I met my fiancée and left the company.


Comment: Agreed - my story (Score 3, Interesting) 313

Dang it - I wasn't logged on last time and my post ended in Anonymous Coward limbo...

My girlfriend and I met through a dating service when I was living in Russia. We've lived happily for two years, have a child, and I wouldn't change anything in how we met, or the wonderful times we've spent all over the world since (we've lived in Russia, the Ukraine, Mexico, Switzerland and San Francisco since). The best part about the on-line dating aspect was that we could spend lots and lots of time discussing various topics of interest to both of us, comparing our values, and otherwise communicating in a cool way that would've taken a lot longer in-person.

Another great aspect of on-line dating is that you aren't limited to one person at a time. You can screen (and be screened) much faster, and you can then cherry pick with whom you'll invest time for the in-person dates and so on.

Disclaimer: at the time I was the VP of technology for Badoo, so I was in a position to use the service as much as I could or wanted. I didn't have to pay for the additional services (e.g. gifts, Super Powers, etc.) so it was easy for us to spend as much time on the service as we wished. My opinions on the subject are biased because of this -- but I'd still recommend anyone looking for a mate to try the on-line dating service that better works for their tastes.



Comment: Re:This is how it should be done ... (Score 1) 75

by ciurana (#43374923) Attached to: R 3.0.0 Released

LOL! Octave is a finished product? That's news to me. Horrible package when compared against R Project and its satellite projects (e.g. RStudio).

Not trolling, just can't say that Octave is usable with a straight face. Poor UI, bad copy of MatLab, and horrible performance. Friends don't let friends use Octave. They show them the path to R.


Shortest distance between two jokes = A straight line