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Comment: Re:Good (Score 1) 61

by MrHanky (#47799237) Attached to: Post-Microsoft Nokia Offering Mapping Services To Samsung

Reporting errors in Google Maps used to be fairly simple, if you knew how, but the constant changes in the UI makes it difficult. When they first introduced bicycle maps, there were quite a few grave errors initially (up/down a stairway, along a motorway where bicycling is prohibited). They were fixed pretty soon after I reported them.

After messing around in Maps for a while (web version), I see that it's still easy enough to report errors. Just click the speech bubble.

Comment: Re:Today's "Natives" eliminated the Clovis culture (Score 4, Interesting) 49

by Savage-Rabbit (#47797245) Attached to: DNA Reveals History of Vanished "Paleo-Eskimos"

There is a lot of scientific reasons to doubt the Solutrean hypothesis, and very little scientific reason to back it. For instance, the lack of DNA or linguistic similarities. As of now, it is a theory mostly supported by the Discovery channel and such.

40 thousand years of contact, with no evidence to show for it? It seems very unlikely. There's been pretty good written records in Europe for more than 2,000 years, surely if there was constant contact with the New World there would have been some kind of record.

Leaving the Solutrean hypothesis aside for a minute some of these 'crazy' ideas that our ancestors were more mobile than we give them credit for have been stigmatized by the great egos in the scientific community in the past to the point where putting serious effort into investigating them was the equivalent of professional suicide. Even so sometimes, not always, but sometimes, they deserve better than to be ignored. In fact there is a written record that goes back at least a thousand years about contact between Europe and N-America:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saga_of_Erik_the_Red
These records have been well know for a long time but nevertheless until the discovery of L'Anse aux Meadows was rubbed in their faces some scientists thought accounts of Viking travel to the Americas were folk tales that should not be taken seriously. Since then Native American DNA has been found in Icelanders and that DNA is thought to be the result of pre-Columbian contact. Basically there is now genetic evidence that at least one Native American woman was brought to Iceland where she married a local man resulting in a group of living descendants:
http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2010/11/101123-native-american-indian-vikings-iceland-genetic-dna-science-europe/
This is not really so surprising if you think about it. If the Vikings, who count among the greatest navigators and seafarers in history, could find America. Why is it unthinkable that some Native Americans could not have gone back with them to Europe? There is no mention of this in the Sagas or contemporary annals but does that mean it didn't happen? The DNA seems to tell a different story. Another good example is that there is a growing body of evidence that Native Americans had pre Columbian contact with Polynesians which was considered laughable not so long ago. In retrospect it seems pretty ridiculous to think that scientists once considered it obvious a people who are arguably the greatest navigators on earth and who were capable of sailing for thousands of miles over open ocean between tiny islands with primitive technology would have missed what are by far the two biggest islands in the Pacific but that's sicentists for you. In the end they are only human and it takes a change of generations for the thinking to change.

Comment: Re:But is it reaslistic? (Score 2) 353

The final point to remember with terrorism is one of motivation. Terror attacks only work to achieve the terrorists' aims if they are very carefully targetted and choreographed along with a political campaign, to make them look like attacks against a mutually-disliked foe. This is why the IRA in Eire and Northern Ireland are largely silent these days; they changed from being seen as freedom fighters to being thought of as a general blight upon the entire society. Islamic terrorists are already being cast as such a blight, and never really get the chance to put over their side of the argument.

The IRA in the Irish Republic largely achieve it's aims, independence from Britain and they are not exactly gone. They supported the IRA in N-Ireland operationally and logistically throughout the troubles. As for the IRA in N-Ireland they weren't exactly angels but then the UVF wasn't exactly a legion of boy scouts either (anybody remember the Shankill Butchers?). I'm not in favor of either organization but the IRA does have one good point: the Irish situation in its entirety is a witches broth cooked up by the British and they deserve no pity when they complain about it's foul taste. Whether intentionally or not, by stamping the IRA 'terrorists', you simplify the situation in Ireland and make it sound as if the IRA 'terrorists' unbalanced a previously peaceful British province where everybody lived in harmony and contentment. Britain built a society in Ireland where Catholics were second class people and it is not surprising that when the Catholic challenges of that social order during the 20th century caused the Protestant elite to feel threatened, the ongoing and centuries long project of brutal religious and ethnic reengineering of Ireland blew up in the Britain's face (yet again). That is the real root cause of the Irish troubles. Organizations like the IRA, UVF and for that matter ISIS, Hamas and the likes are just a symptom of some deeper problem.

Comment: Re:Urgh (Score 2) 525

The first Christian church in history was a festering den of socialism.

This tells me that a lot of "Christians" need to reconsider their politics, or at least their committment to cut-throat capitalism.

Precisesely and he was also a card carrying pacifist. The really funny part is that I still got modded down as "Overrated" for pointing this out his socialist tendencies. I suppose in the minds of Slashdot modpoint wielding christian conservatives, Jesus Christ must have been a militaristic advocate of predatory corporate capitalism....

Comment: Change for Change's Sake (Score 4, Insightful) 251

by fallen1 (#47756769) Attached to: New Windows Coming In Late September -- But Which One?

I've been in the computer and IT industry in some form for over 20 years. I've seen a lot of changes come and go -- some I've embraced, some I've just dealt with, some I've beat my skull on a wall wondering WTF?!?!

Windows 8 was, in all ways, a very What The Fuck?!?! product. Microsoft did it so that they could increase their revenue stream and lock-in potential - not so they could increase the user experience. There is no situation in this world which you shove a phone/tablet interface onto a desktop or laptop computer with touchscreen penetration rates in those markets of, what?, 2 or 3%? It was bad idea from the beginning and it is still a bad idea now. When most users resort to third party software to give them back the interface that WORKS on desktop/laptop environments and/or adoption of the new operating system is only because users are being given no other choice, then the system was badly designed.

Fortune 1000/500/100 companies are NOT adopting Windows 8.x. Why in the hell would they want the lost productivity from a user being forced to learn a new interface that is not user friendly or conducive to a work environment? They don't. Which is one major reason Dell and HP both started offering Windows 7 Pro installed on Windows 8.x Pro downgraded systems for business.

Stardock is making money, even at $4.99 a pop, for Start8 as a replacement for Windows 8.x sorta-not-really-a-start menu. That says a lot about the state of Windows 8.x adoption and usability.

Even smaller companies that I deal with or have consulted for avoid Windows 8.x and use Windows 7. I've dealt with some hard-headed people who ask why it is cheaper to buy Windows 8 than 7 or "Why aren't we using the latest version?" and so on -- until I sit a laptop in front of them with a standard, out-of-the-box Windows 8.x configuration on it and tell them "Please turn the laptop off without using the power switch." Then I ask them if they could turn their Windows 7 laptops off right out of the box. You guessed it, they said YES, they could turn it off with no problems and I point out the lost productivity from their users needing to be trained on how the access everything and learning how to use the new interface(s). They always purchase Windows 7 systems. By the way, this puts LESS money in my pocket as a consultant because my company would be the ones training them to use Windows 8.x.

Windows 9, if Microsoft has ANY sense left in their Corporate brain, will go back to Windows 7 start menu functionality and leave the Metro interface for phones and tablets. Give desktop and laptop users the interface that works and that doesn't require retraining everyone. Individual user and most small-to-medium businesses I deal with are tired of vendor lock-in. Learn from your mistakes Microsoft.

Comment: Re:Urgh (Score 2, Interesting) 525

Socialism is simply about people cooperating with one another to work for the public good, which might be via the government, but can equally be in voluntary groups - the cooperative movement, for example, is considered socialist by virtually everyone, be they rabid anti-socialist or red hippie alike, yet has nothing to do with government. And let's not get started on unions... Robert Owen, considered by most the "Father of Socialism", had no government role at all in what he was working on, he'd be admired by many libertarians if it wasn't for that damned dirty S word blinkering

I always figured Jesus Christ predated Owen as a socialist thinker which, incidentally, also causes me to be amused over how so many socialist hating conservatives also claim to be devout Christians.

Comment: Re:My opinion on the matter. (Score 4, Insightful) 810

by Savage-Rabbit (#47751281) Attached to: Choose Your Side On the Linux Divide

Everyone hates X, so lets compare this thing I don't like to X. Even thought its obviously very different from X.

A few loud-mouths hate X. Most people who use X don't even know it exists. Those who use X the way it was designed (i.e. network transparency) can't understand why the loudmouths want to throw that away to build something like Windows, when Windows is dying.

I mostly hate X11 because I have to program for it... It's like eating a cactus and washing it down with a whole bottle of Carolina Reaper Chili Sauce.

Comment: Re:could've sworn this was not the case (Score 1) 129

"Because an institution of higher learning prefers its workers to be dumb and uninformed"

No...because an employer pays for their employee's Internet access so they can do the employer's business. It's not like there aren't multiple ways to access the Internet.

In other words people will switch to using smartphones and tablets to access Facebook, Wikipedia, politically correct websites, etc... and nothing really changes. Censorship is a game of Whac-A-Mole that the censors will always loose.

Comment: Re:No retraining costs the other way? (Score 1) 579

by Blakey Rat (#47705565) Attached to: Munich Reverses Course, May Ditch Linux For Microsoft

The Microsoft party-line has always been that retraining employees to use Linux is far more expensive than paying those license fees...

Does "Microsoft party-line" mean that Microsoft has actually expressed this? Or is it code for, "I heard a lot of Slashdotters bitching about this"?

Or in other words, cite please?

Comment: Re:The roads are designed for flooding in Iceland (Score 1) 69

by Savage-Rabbit (#47704041) Attached to: Iceland's Seismic Activity: A Repeat Show for Atmospheric Ash?

How do these bridges safeguard the airline traffic in Europe again?

The summary mentioned disruptions to air travel AND flooding and as card carrying nerds some of us are interested in the subject of flood proofing infrastructures. This event has the potential to cause a monstrous flood and it would make a unique case study, so go troll somebody else.

"The vast majority of successful major crimes against property are perpetrated by individuals abusing positions of trust." -- Lawrence Dalzell

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