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Comment Re:That's stupid. (Score 1) 118

First, I really don't understand the US legal system and am pretty glad that I am not subjected to it.

Second, thanks for taking the time to explain, honestly.

Third, in my humble opinion the length of a prison sentence should not be a function of which person is implied in the legal process at any level nor of any other variable that has no relation to the crime committed itself, like prison overcrowding as you mentioned. Perhaps there shouldn't even, under any circumstances, be the *possibility* that someone could serve 30 years for mere theft/fraud w/o violence...

I am naive, I know.

Comment That's stupid. (Score 1, Troll) 118

One should get a life sentence (to which 30 years might be pretty close depending on your age) for murder, but for a financial scam ? That will be pretty costly for the taxpayers and would not be much more of a deterrent to his colleages than, say 3 or 5 years in prison. Let's hope the guy gets to pay the money back and then some and somehow kept away from computers for 30 years...

Comment CD player (Score 1) 481

When I finally decided I had enough CDs to warrant my own player (borrowed my parent's one up to that point all the time), I afforded the cheapest one that could be found in the local store. I realized fairly quickly that it really did lack one thing: the screen for track number etc. was just LCD, no backlight. I pulled the reflective foil on the back, put some white plastic for scattering the light and two LEDs behind it and that was it.

While doing the above hack I realized that the inputs from the buttons for play, stop, skipping tracks etc. were connected in a matrix that had quite a few unused interconnects... It turned out that some of them did trigger undocumented functions like fast forward, repeat from A to B and the like. I wired buttons for those functions and - well - never used them.

As for dishwashers and the like: buy the best quality stuff for a resonable price in decent used condition and never worry again. Mine was 10 years old at the time and I it's still happily chugging away 15 years later !

Comment Re:Truly (Score 2) 200

Anyone has tried to think why this is so ? My 2 cts FWIW:

I think that the world today is so much more commercialized than it was when we were kids (I'm born in the early 70's) and the whole show only works with ever expanding market volumes. Which implies that the tinkering kid is not as nearly a good consumer as the one who never gets beyond the next and the next unboxing event of some premade stuff. And some of us are even shareholders of that economy... In short, we all are much more consumers than we were a few decades ago.

A lot of stuff gets passed down from one generation to another also, which means that my kids would have had a nice collection of Legos even without ever getting a gift on their own. Now add to that what is to be foud under the christmas tree. There's too much stuff around to get bored.

I try to teach the kids to screw around with stuff, to make them understand that a bicycle from that thrash that we've fixed is so much better than a new one etc. but it's hard when those bloody grandparents come along with yet another gift...

Comment Re:Good! (Score 1) 161

No, it isn't, you're right on that example. I cannot see why some one would flag your comment as trollish.

Nevertheless, I happen to be quite a bit around kids from 10 to 18 and I have yet see more than perhaps 1% of intelligent use of that stuff. On one hand they use it as a de facto replacement for email which imho is bad becuse of the walled garden of FB and the like but still a valuable communication tool. On the other hand it's largely used for hesaidshesaid-stuff which I'd rather see happen live from face to face or even over the phone for multiple reasons or rather not at all.

As for your example, I'd rather expect intelligent advice or useful discussion happen on an online forum. You don't look into xyz FB group for a solution to your programming (or else) problem, do you ?

Comment Re:Damned if you do and damned if you don't (Score 2) 248

Scenario 3: Leave the traditional world where under let's-all-agree-not-to-think-further-than-the-length-of-a-news-headline reasoning there are only scenarios 1 and 2 and go like:

Do not ban protests und tell everyone that in deciding this there is a risk but in our opinion it's worth it. Say: "Be aware of this if you take part in the protest and we encourage you to use your freedom to do so but you may want to leave the kids at home". A terrorist attack might occur, yes.

Comment What if... (Score 2) 41

...the doubts on the reality of any kind of imagery cannot be overcome and we need to abandon the idea that images (moving or not) can be trusted as evidence ? Would the world stop spinning ? I highly doubt this.

Perhaps there can be an exception in cases where the entire chain of taking and handling an image can be verified in one way or another ?

Unalterable checksum produced by the camera perhaps ? I know that we can already do this with GPS flight logs (track/altitude) coming from certified flight recorders. (See ) It would certainly require certification of the camera used for taking such an image.

Comment Hydraulics (Score 1) 124

I've recently listened to a nice interview with an ex-Concorde captain from British Airways and I've learned quite a few interesting things about that plane. One of the last questions was his opinion about if the existing Concordes could be put back into the air. The answer was 'rather not' because of the apparently notoriously difficult maintenance of the hydraulic system and the fact that it needed constant caring while in use. Sitting around for quite a few years now without any care or without having been properly stored it would probably not be repairable.

There would certainly be a way to remanufacture parts or even replace parts of or the whole system, but I doubt this is within the financial reach of the project...

If you have two hours to spend and like technical discussions of this kind of machine, I'd highly recommend the podcast.

Comment Fuck off (Score 1) 142

No entity with commercial interests or rather: with interests other than those of a democratically elected government or it's air authority organization shall have anything to say on the use of airspace. That's much too important for all of us. Just imagine those dickheads making a proposal for a special delivery lane for their trucks between lanes for cars and bikes on the road... The private sector already has got too much control over the electromagnetic spectrum and such.

To be clear: fuck off, Amazon.

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Politics: A strife of interests masquerading as a contest of principles. The conduct of public affairs for private advantage. -- Ambrose Bierce