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Comment: good in short, bad in long run (Score 1) 358

by jarkus4 (#46487131) Attached to: EU Votes For Universal Phone Charger

I think its quite good decision in short run, since it will kill all those weird connectors with no merit to them aside from being unique and driving charger sales for manufacturer. On the other hand in the long run its bad, since it actually hampers ("why bother if we have to put usb anyway") or even completely blocks some possible innovation (eg wirelessly charged waterproof phone with no external connections at all).
IMO the best course would be to keep this legislation for a several years (5-10) to get everyone to standardize and then repeal it. Given its EU though, I expect we are stuck with those connectors long after it will become completely obsolete...

+ - Bitcoin Price Drops as Mt. Gox Exchange Closes Indefinitely

Submitted by knightmad
knightmad (931578) writes "According to Business Week bitcoin plunged more more than 7 percent today after a major Tokyo-based exchange halted withdrawals of the digital currency.

Citing technical problems Mt. Gox said in a blog post that it needed to "temporarily pause on all withdrawal requests to obtain a clear technical view of the currency processes.""

Comment: Re:I would NOT second this (Score 1) 166

by jarkus4 (#43899441) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: How To Begin Simple Robotics As a Hobby?

about 2 and 3: get some normal programming language instead of provided blocks. When I played with it in college we were using some C API with it, so we pretty much had a normal language available. Obviously there were still API limitations on our hardware interfaces, but for normal calculations, delays etc we could do pretty much whatever we wanted (it was simple unix programing with some hardware api).

as for 1: yeah, number of in and out slots was always a bit of a problem. Still you can do quite a lot within those limits.

Comment: Re:Lego Mindstorms kit (Score 2) 166

by jarkus4 (#43899033) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: How To Begin Simple Robotics As a Hobby?

Ill second this: this is what we used in Introduction to Robotics course in my college.
During practicals we had to build and program robots to accomplish some moderately complex tasks on its own. It was great fun trying to program and work around hardware limitations in my teams robot - we overcomplicated it quite a bit and it turned out a bit inferior to its competitors. Still it gave me great impression of difference between controlling pure software stuff vs a real life hardware.

Comment: Re:That's nothing! (Score 1) 362

by jarkus4 (#41989287) Attached to: US Air Force Scraps ERP Project After $1 Billion Spent

2B figure relates to the total cost of program (including PR spendings and other stuff). .
On the other hand there is also some extra computer related costs:
"(...) $227 million in computer costs, including complicated application forms that slow processing times; and $332 million for other programming costs, including money to pay staff to process the forms (...)"

Comment: it will about balance itself (Score 2) 212

by jarkus4 (#40538555) Attached to: EU Parliament Adopts eCall Resolution

I guess it may help some people that crash in some remote place in the night (so basically where none would report it anyway).
Unfortunately it solves pretty much the wrong problem. The biggest issue with help is not that it is not notified in time, but that it cant arrive in time. There is not enough ambulances and they often have to travel vast distance to help. Adding new source of calls wont help.
Whats more they will now get more distracting calls from accidents that are resolved by participants or cops (no serious injuries - sensors cant tell about this) or even completely bogus from defective cars, so the ambulances will move around needlessly at some times (likely failing to help some extra people due to extra distance).

"If you want to eat hippopatomus, you've got to pay the freight." -- attributed to an IBM guy, about why IBM software uses so much memory