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Comment: Why is the US so paranoid? (Score 2, Insightful) 310

It makes no sense to me. You have by far the strongest military in the world. The USSR is gone. Ok, so there's China, but so far they have not made any seriously threatening moves. Who is left that is any threat?

I know 9/11 left some big scars on the collective psyche but seriously, it's been 10 years, you invaded Iraq and Afghanistan, killed Osama Bin Laden and Saddam Hussein. Surely there's been enough restitution?

I worry that one day the rest of the world is going to have to unite against the US as you decide to pacify or nuke us all since we are deemed a threat to national security.


China's Nine-Day Traffic Jam Tops 62 Miles 198

Posted by samzenpus
from the living-on-the-road dept.
A traffic jam on the Beijing-Tibet expressway has now entered its ninth day and has grown to over 62 miles in length. This mother-of-all delays has even spawned its own micro-economy of local merchants selling water and food at inflated prices to stranded drivers. Can you imagine how infuriating it must be to see someone leave their blinker on for 9 days?

Comment: Re:Sexist field (Score 1) 706

by drsparkly (#32706038) Attached to: Women Dropping Out of IT

In my last job, the female service delivery manager was like a bulldozer, she managed to alienate most of the IT department. It's not just me saying this. I found the male management more receptive to input and more attuned to the feedback coming from staff.

I did find the banding together of male staff against her sexist, and I think there's sexist attitudes prevalent in the society where I live. But on the other hand I think if she were fairer and considered her underlings when making decisions she would have had a much better reception. I think people would have given her a fair go if she did the same.

One of my female coworkers continually put down people with sarcastic comments. She would deliberately make distracting noises when people were trying to concentrate (I'm not the only one to notice this). So not all female coworkers are soft and cuddly!

Then again, a male employee where I work now was the typical programmer with no social skills type - would jump down your throat at the slightest opportunity to prove his superiority. Had no sense of humour. Would condescendingly point out things that any moron would have picked up.

There's all sorts I guess :) But I do agree that in general where I live, the IT departments are macho and competitive because of the fact that they are mostly made up of men. So it would be harder being the stereotypical female in these places.

Comment: Re:"First Female PM" is not news. (Score 1) 419

by drsparkly (#32674792) Attached to: Australia Gets Its First Female Prime Minister

You know that Australian political parties outside of minority parties have had a habit of dumping a senior female politician into a dog's breakfast role so she can lose an election? (I strongly doubt this is the case here though.)

I don't envy Julia Gillard, Rudd has screwed Labour's popularity and I don't think they have a hope in hell of winning the next election. But she is smart enough to know this, so I guess she just thought she'd get in the history books as the first female PM and if she does manage to turn things around that will be even more impressive.


WordPress 3.0 Released 79

Posted by timothy
from the now-even-wordier dept.
An anonymous reader writes "WordPress 3.0, the thirteenth major release of WordPress and the culmination of half a year of work by 218 contributors, is now available for download and comes with 1,217 bug fixes and feature enhancements. Major new features in this release include a new default theme called Twenty Ten. Theme developers have new APIs that allow them easily to implement custom backgrounds, headers, shortlinks, menus (no more file editing), post types, and taxonomies."

Comment: Re:America needs to wake up (Score 1) 346

by drsparkly (#30992150) Attached to: China Is Winning Global Race To Make Clean Energy

It seems from the outside that the easiest way to stifle a government project in the US is to label it "socialist". EG Obama's health plan.

We were talking about this on the weekend with my ex-US brother in law. It seems like you guys are indoctrinated in school with anti communist, pro US propoganda. This sounds as scary to me as the pro communist propoganda we always associate with China, USSR, North Korea etc.


Living In Tokyo's Capsule Hotels 269

Posted by samzenpus
from the living-in-the-hive dept.
afabbro writes "Capsule Hotel Shinjuku 510 once offered a night’s refuge to salarymen who had missed the last train home. Now with Japan enduring its worst recession since World War II, it is becoming an affordable option for people with nowhere else to go. The Hotel 510’s capsules are only 6 1/2 feet long by 5 feet wide. Guests must keep possessions, like shirts and shaving cream, in lockers outside of the capsules. Atsushi Nakanishi, jobless since Christmas says, 'It’s just a place to crawl into and sleep. You get used to it.'”

Comment: Re:Let me be the first to say (Score 1) 684

by drsparkly (#29419973) Attached to: IPhone 3.1 Update Disables Tethering

iPhone 3GS in Australia on the 3 network, on a mobile broadband plan, tethering still works on 3.1. I don't know if 3 officially support the iPhone but I don't believe they offer it on any of their plans.

On an aside, I'm no smartphone expert but this iPhone beats the crap out of my Nokia N95. I could get something with more geek cred but I don't have the time any more to customise every single thing on all my tech devices. Happy to have something that works well and does everything I want it to do without much fuss.

Optimism is the content of small men in high places. -- F. Scott Fitzgerald, "The Crack Up"