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Comment: Re:So - who's in love with the government again? (Score 1) 316

by jandersen (#46798265) Attached to: Beer Price Crisis On the Horizon

How about composting it, then? Just a thought, and it may well not be profitable. However, living in the city I have often had the opportunity to observe how, on one hand, there's a lot people with small gardens, who spend small fortunes on expensive soil mixtures - basically peat or compost - while on the other hand, just a few miles away there are livery stables that actually pay farmers to come and take away horse manure, which would have been an excellent basis for production of compost. I can't quite understand this sort of thing.

When in deep shit, sell manure.

Comment: Re:Why? (Score 1) 96

by jandersen (#46798245) Attached to: Google's New Camera App Simulates Shallow Depth of Field

That candid picture of your Mom sharing a moment with your aunt would look great if it were not for the Ronald McDonald billboard in the background.

Hmm, perhaps. But I have increasingly over the last few years seen so many, brilliantly clear photos with fabulous colour etc etc which are so achingly dull because the photographer has no sense of the artistic and no experimental curiousity. Despite the fact that with a digital SLR camera it is cheaper and easier than ever to experiment: just try and then throw out the failures.

Personally, I have started on taking deliberately imperfect pictures; I am particularly fond of under-exposure - it is surprising how much structure you can find in a seemingly black photo, using eg. edge-detection in GIMP.

Comment: What are the benefits? (Score 1) 54

by jandersen (#46793501) Attached to: The Internet of Things and Humans

Are there any benefits to having everything connected to just one vast address space? I certainly can't spot them. I think this is a solution to a problem that has already been solved in another (and better) way.

Although I may concede that it could potentially be useful to have a larger address space, I think it would be massively stupid to start frittering it away on insignificant frivolities like an "internet of things". I mean, would you want your fridge to have 'friends' on Facebook or start tweeting about its contents? When we're all worried about privacy?

Comment: Re:Are you kidding (Score 1) 803

by jandersen (#46785791) Attached to: Study Finds US Is an Oligarchy, Not a Democracy

This makes me think of the ideas of certain thinkers, who said that this kind of society is inherently unstable - the social inequality will keep growing, the rich becoming richer by extracting wealth from the poorer, until there is nothing left, the value of wealth vanishes because there nothing the spend it on, and the whole thing comes tumbling down. I think it was Karl Marx who said it, actually. He was sometimes a very clear thinker.

I believe it is true that he also advocated bringing on a revolution, but the main message was that at some point something will by necessity happen to overturn the system and level out the imbalances, not for ideological reasons, but because the economic dynamics make it unavoidable, no matter what we do. He also imagined that a perfect society would be something like communism or socialism, and he may well have been right; but it will have to evolve naturally, as people become convinced that this is what they want. Well, one can dream.

Comment: A good idea, if ... (Score 1) 451

by jandersen (#46723235) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: How To Start With Linux In the Workplace?

Since I am the only guy with Linux experience I would have to support the Linux installations. Now the problem is what works perfectly fine for me may be a horrible experience for some of my coworkers, and even if they would only be using Firefox, Thunderbird and LibreOffice I don't know if I could seriously recommend using Linux as a desktop OS in a business. Instead I want to set up one test machine for users to try it and ask THEM if they like it. The test machine should be as easy and painless to use as possible and not look too different compared to Windows. Which distro and what configuration should I choose for this demo box?

All changes are painful, and there will always be some that will whinge and tell you that can't live with it. So, you have to prepare the ground, persuade people that it is worth it, all the same. Having worked in the industry for 30 years, I have seen a lot of changes, and the thing that I have learned is that you absolutely must do your groundwork if you want to succeed. It doesn't actually matter whether the programs are best in class or whatever - it is amazing what people can put up with if they feel it makes sense; after all, they have lived with Windows and Office, which for most of the past decades has been unstalbe and poorly designed - it is only since XP that Windows didn't unversally require reboot several times per day. I mean, just run that last sentence past your mental SYSRDR one more time - other OSes have stayed up for years since the 60es.

So, prepare people and get them on board (one really can't say this too much); after that, it will be fine. Linux is great on the desktop, as you already know, and if you do have to support people, you can use ssh -X or even Xnest, so you won't even have to climb around in the compund all that much.

IOW: make good preparations (sorry if I repeat myself). Ask people what they use their systems for, what they really want to be able to do in Linux (including the non-work things!) and find out to do it. Make plans for how you will support them and how you will teach them things. Done well, this can be great for everyone.

Comment: I really don't understand Americans (Score 1) 722

by jandersen (#46723141) Attached to: Can the ObamaCare Enrollment Numbers Be Believed?

I really don't understand you guys. I really, REALLY don't. I mean, how can anyone believe that a for-profit healthcare can be both better, cheaper and more fair than something run by society? But as soon as anybody opens their mouth to challenge this view, they get 1) modded down, and 2) called 'socialist' or 'communists'. I can only assume that this is an expression of what goes for 'faith': the ability to reject clear facts in order to avoid having to change your mind.

To paraphrase Terry Pratchett - there are certain people who one one hand wouldn't believe it if a high Priest told them the sky was blue, and could show them signed affidavits to that effect from any number of people of good standing, but on the other hand are perfectly willing to bet their lives on the word of a stranger they've met in the pub.

Now, to my mind, and you can call me socialist or worse - and I shall wear that title with pride - that mindset is exactly why America is no longer the greatest nation in the world. You seem to have closed you minds, so how could it be any other way?

Comment: Geocentric? Sure. (Score 1) 640

In a universe that seems to be infinite in size (or a closed manifold), any point can be declared to be the centre. The reason for saying that Earth and the other planets circle the Sun is that it makes it easy to understand the observable orbits of the planets. But, it is perfectly valid to put Earth in the middle, if you have a wish to do so, just not very useful.

Comment: Re:Accused? We planned to do it. (Score 1) 137

by jandersen (#46712491) Attached to: Cuba: US Using New Weapon Against Us -- Spam

- paid for by the tax-payer.

I like no 5:

5. Contaminated cigar. They may have given up on the TNT stogie, but the idea of spiking his smokes was still being floated around. The CIA even went as far as to recruit a double agent who would slip Castro a cigar filled with botulin, a toxin that would kill the leader in short order. The double agent was allegedly given the cigars in February of 1961, but he apparently got cold feet.

Cold feet, or maybe he was just dying for a smoke.

Comment: Re:software (Score 3, Interesting) 169

by jandersen (#46684503) Attached to: Fifty Years Ago IBM 'Bet the Company' On the 360 Series Mainframe

Mainframes are not user friendly, and youngsters are not likely to devote two or three years learning something from the grannies, on a very harsh learning environment, with a step learning curve, when all their peers are talking about creating a new app and selling to Google for a gazillion dollars.

Well, that's the problem to solve, then.

1) Make it less difficult to learn - this is only a matter of investing in producing good teaching material and making it easily available.
2) Make the idea of mainframes much more appealing. There's loads of stuff in a mainframe and even in z/OS, that is way cooler than the average PC crap.
3) Make it legal for people to download and run z/OS etc on the Hercules emulator for development and study purposes after a similar model like Oracle's

People have taught themselves Linux and Windows, not because it is more interesting, really, but because it is much more approachable; and within the reach of a tight budget. Which teenager is going to invest tens of millions in a mainframe? Make it free, like Oracle did with their database - it worked for them.

Comment: Re:Wearable device feasibility (Score 1) 180

by jandersen (#46639767) Attached to: A Third of Consumers Who Bought Wearable Devices Have Ditched Them

Wearable devices will not be massively popular unless they will be as simple to use as headphones

- and give the user something they actually want or need. The smartphone is popular because it is flexible enough to cover a wide range of needs that people have, not because it is cool or "wearable". In fact, I suspect that being wearable often counts against a device, because it so often has to be worn in a highly specific way, unlike a phone, which you just stuff into a pocket, bag, glove compartment or whatever.

Comment: Re:Projections (Score 1) 987

by jandersen (#46637283) Attached to: UN Report: Climate Changes Overwhelming

Any time someone cites personal observations that don't support global warming, they get smacked with "ZOMG! ANECDOTE, YOU FUCKTARD!" by the climate orthodoxy.

Yes? That is of course not right - anecdotal evidence is valid evidence, but one anecdote is not enough evidence to either support or reject a theory. My postulate, if you will, is that is we collect all anecdotal evidence and review it without bias, what we will see is that:

1) There is a growing trend towards more unusual or even extreme weather, and
2) Overall, there will be more anecdotes about unusually warm events than about unusually cold ones.

There, I have now put forward two predictions; if you want to be scientific about it, go and find evidence to falsify them. It is a large undertaking, of course, but it is something most people with access to Internet, libraries etc can do if they want.

Simplicity does not precede complexity, but follows it.