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Comment: Re:Canon or Nikon (Score 1) 569

by johan_from_cape_town (#38169722) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Best Camera For Getting Into Photography?
I would recommend the Canon Rebel T3/ 1100D. The fact of the matter is you get all the "settings"/options to play with that real photographers get so that you can actually learn about taking photographs. From a theory perspective you can do pretty much anything with these cameras, and if you really get into it you have a upgrade path. There are also other pluses to DSLR: 1) AMAZING battery life (if you use the optical viewfinder instead of life view). On a trip to Japan I took 1000 photos over two weeks without requiring a recharge. 2) Optical view finder is the bomb. It actually makes it possible for you to see the result much better. 3) They use AF sensors instead of trying to use digital processing to determine focus point. Much easier to get the right focus. 4) You have an upgrade path if you like it - including lenses. The best thing is that I can actually loan lenses from my camera geek friends every once in a while, including telephoto lenses - and it works fine on my camera. 5) you do get a satisfying THUNK sound each time you take a photo when the mirror moves out of the way, instead of an electronic "click" noise you get with point and shoots.

Comment: Mail Addresses are not verified (Score 1) 497

by johan_from_cape_town (#36429118) Attached to: Hackers Expose 26,000 Sex Website Passwords
After actually looking at the list for a minute I came to the conclusion that the mail addresses were not verified (domain names spelt wrong :-) . The question really is - what percentage of these mail addresses are fake and which are real? Anybody can punch in your mail address in a webform. It doesn't proof anything. I would be very careful drawing any conclusions from this list, or trying to do anything with the data - it can land you in a lot of trouble. Specific example of domain name problems. I searched for all e-mail addresses for South African companies (.co.za) and came across "0789746848@mtnloeded.co.za". The real domain name should be mtnloaded.co.za - mtnloeded.co.za does not exist. If the spelling mistake slipped through it means that the mail address is unverified. Now I would love to give "Cecil" a call on +27 78 974 6848, but I cannot be sure it is in fact him. The sheer number of wrong e-mails I receive on my e-mail is of further concern in this situation - somebody could by accident type in my mail address and I would suddenly appear on a list like this! So all in good fun - chances are the more controversial mail addresses are fake.

Comment: The Problem of Induction (Score 1) 1486

by johan_from_cape_town (#35750662) Attached to: Is Science Just a Matter of Faith?
Scientific principle relies on induction It would be good for hard core science fans to read about the problem of induction. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Problem_of_induction Ignoring it and its possible implications makes a you bad scientist, not a good one. In fact it makes you a rabid fanatic which just happens to use science as smokescreen. So science definitely requires a level of faith: Believe that the laws of physics will continue to behave consistently. We cannot actually proof that :-)

Comment: The Positive Side (Score 1) 901

by johan_from_cape_town (#35276624) Attached to: German Foreign Office Going Back To Windows
I am pretty sure that the German Foreign Office will get flamed like crazy now - but I think it is important to see the positive side of it all. It was a big experiment, with a non-zero cost (for the German Government) to it. Instead of ripping the German Foreign Office the open source community should take this and try to learn as much as possible from what happened. To quote Thomas Edison:"I have not failed. I've just found 10000 ways that won't work." Information Technology is not just about the technology, or the ideals behind the technology. It is also about people, about organizational change and social systems and structures. The German Foreign Office is an ideal lesson in all of this.

Comment: Re:Now you know (Score 2) 236

by johan_from_cape_town (#35224942) Attached to: The True Cost of Publishing On the Amazon Kindle
Well it makes sense. I am a international Kindle user (from South Africa) and whispernet works like a charm here. As far as I understand Amazon uses the AT&T network and the reason why it works is because Amazon actually uses pays roaming data charges - and data roaming is expense in most countries ( I think it is in the region of $0.01/KB, e.g. approx $10/MB). So they might have a better deal than consumers get, but $0.15/MB does not look so bad if you have to compare it to other data roaming charges.....

Comment: Business real culprit, no model will change that.. (Score 1) 223

by johan_from_cape_town (#33967820) Attached to: Red Hat CEO Says Software Vendor Model Is Broken
I happen to consult on packages software in the financial service industry - and while the technology is yucky, the sales drive/strategy model is broken the fundamental issue is ALWAYS business. Businesses should stop blaming everybody else for their problems. In the end of the day business is responsible for choosing their vendors and their implementation partners. They are free to set project constraints. They are free to do contracting in ways that better suit them. 1) Businesses should make sure procurement is done by people who know what they are doing. 2) Businesses should implement decent program and project management from the very beginning. So while I keep hearing that vendor X software is bad because the project failed - in me I know: Customer selected wrong vendor/technology, or customer selected wrong implementation partner, or customer did not manage the job from their side, or they had some political infighting (one of the sites I worked on had 18 data warehouses. and none of them could give a complete picture of organization. of course the reason for that is that they were essentially under control of different factions within the organization. ) Red Hat can say all they want about "Enterprise Software Sale Model", but I can guarantee that if the world was fundamentally different and all software was GPL open source --- the wastage would have been exactly the same. People would blow money on implementation cost. People would use the argument "but it is open source so you can modify it" so that each organization would end up maintaining its own individual branch (which would negate all the benefits of community development ). Business would keep on spending millions on getting consultants with science and engineer degrees to change fonts on screens. So while I do like open source, and I dislike enterprise license and "maintenance" fees the port of call would be to actually start managing your business efficiently. This is the reason I suspect "cloud computing" will be successful. Not because of technical reasons, but because it literally takes away a lot of the power AWAY from business and package it is as something else.

Comment: Let Darwin take care of it from here on. (Score 1) 709

by johan_from_cape_town (#33738892) Attached to: Could Anti-Texting Laws Make Roads More Dangerous?
Seriously - how stupid can people get. I *never* understood why anybody would think texting is safer than just calling, which is a hazard in itself. Driving is an activity that requires all of your concentration, all of the time. Most people think it is ok because they keep comparing the concentration levels required to the average reaction time required - which is wrong, it is the PEAK reaction time which is relevant. You might not need millisecond reaction time when going in a straight line on the highway on a daily basis- but that INSTANTLY changes when you or any of the cars around you hit an unexpected obstacle, or slippery surface.

Comment: Re:Keeping us Safe... (Score 1) 253

by johan_from_cape_town (#33627636) Attached to: Criminal Charges Against Speed Trap Tweeter
Well I just loved how you threw that "fact" in. "South Africa has the highest homicide rate in the world." Wowwee. 1) Qualify the statement. If you said "of countries that reports homicide figures" then it would have at least halfway believable. 2) Do a bit of research. If you have a peek at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_homicide_rate then you will see South Africa is not even on the top of the list of countries reporting homicides! And what is maybe not clear is that the "Metro Police" handle traffic violations (traffic cops), while the "South African Police Service" is the actual police (and they don't care about traffic fines) and they are responsible with dealing with homicides.

Comment: Best Investment Yet (Score 1) 377

by johan_from_cape_town (#33301088) Attached to: Intel Buys McAfee

Wow - somebody is thinking outside the box, and actually spending money wisely.

It might not be obvious but consider the scenario. Intel needs to double performance of its equipment every 2 years, with Moore's Law and everything. So how do they do it...

1) Spend $7 billion on making transistors smaller and maybe get a 1% performance increase -
OR
2) Spend $7 billion to buy McAfee and KILL IT and get a 1000% performance increase guaranteed.

Comment: Re:WoW was ruined (Score 5, Insightful) 238

by johan_from_cape_town (#29451515) Attached to: Casual Games Quickly Transforming the MMO Market
I somewhat understand your problem. But you see my problem - I have a full time job and a life. I also want to play WoW. So should I just always suck - never able to actually complete an instance? I don't think so. Maybe Blizzard should create "I don't have a job and my parents pay my way realms" (for people like you) and "I can only spend a couple of hours a week on a computer game" servers for people like me.
Wireless Networking

AT&T Changes TOS, Limits Streaming, Tethering 86

Posted by Soulskill
from the wait-this-could-cost-us-money dept.
MojoKid writes "Just one day after announcing plans to subsidize netbooks, AT&T wised up to the fact that those netbooks and connections could be used to download movies and enjoy other bandwidth-intensive applications. Apparently trying to avoid bogging down their network, the company revised its data plan service terms to single out and prohibit 'downloading movies using P2P file-sharing services, customer initiated redirection of television or other video or audio signals via any technology from a fixed location to a mobile device, and web broadcasting...' The license agreement further prohibits tethering the device to PCs or other equipment. That's a pretty strict set of rules. After all, the new terms of service seems to limit applications such as SlingPlayer, Qik, Skype, and Jaikuspot, which many AT&T customers are currently using without issue." Update — April 4, 02:50 GMT by SS: Reader evn points out an Engadget report that AT&T quickly retracted the changes.

Comment: Re:"Finished" software (Score 1) 676

by johan_from_cape_town (#26277577) Attached to: Michael Meeks Says OO.o Project is "Profoundly Sick"
You risk being quoted and mocked not a few years from now. "Everything that can be invented has been invented." You can argue that the spreadsheet was finished when VisiCalc v1 was done. But if you really use spreadsheets to do real work you will definitively realise that there is a lot more to be done. Why? Because you want to keep doing your work faster, more efficiently and more intuitively. And bash Microsoft all you want - their PivotTable add-on to Excel was a game changer in its day - it revolutionized spreadsheets. Freezing open office now and you might risk loosing out on inventions like this. You think OpenOffice is finished? Let me throw a few things your way: 1) More rows in Calc 2) Optimized Multithreaded Calculation ... leading to ... 3) Server Version of Calc 4) Publish Spreadsheet as Web Service button in Calc. So there are four new things that will add a lot of value to a lot of people (except people doing their home budget or their timesheets). From Write's perspective - do you know how much font and layout technology there still is to implement? Oh wait - monospace is all you'll ever need. Where is the rudimentary grammar checker? Software is never ever finished. Bloat is not features. Bloat is features getting in the way of productivity. I don't mind a Office Suite of 20GB as long as it is fast, gets done what I want to in the best way possible.

"Only the hypocrite is really rotten to the core." -- Hannah Arendt.

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