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Comment: Re:Not surprised (Score 1) 327 327

You know nothing.

France established the taxi licenses at the demand of taxi drivers, to help them self-organize. Then the taxi drivers pressured for quotas of licenses to stop new-comers from entering the business and establish a corporate monopoly.

The licenses were issued free of charge by the state, and were not to be transferred to someone else by the isuee. The taxi drivers are trading and reselling these licenses illegally, for large sums of money (on par with house prices). The taxi drivers are doing this to themselves, just so they can keep strangling the market and their customers.

And now, they're violently defending this stranglehold, by smashing cars and bludgeoning people in the streets, while at the same time complaining with a straight face that their competition is "illegal".

Comment: Re:Does Uber need executives in France? (Score 5, Informative) 327 327

France has a heavily unionized workforce

Nope. Norway or Italy have heavily unionized workforces, whereas France has the least-unionized workforce (7.7%) in Europe save for Estonia (6.8%).

However, France has some of the richest, most politically influential unions, by a huge margin. To put it simply, unions in France are like parallel political parties, with their own occult sources of funding, high-ranking members inflitrated in every institution, and legal priviledges that protect their position.

But french taxis V.S. Uber is an entirely different, though related, issue.

To make light of the sorry state of Uber in France, you only need to know a few things:
- just a few months ago, Agnès Saal was mediatically ousted from her position as head of the INA for allegedly squandering taxpayers' money on... taxi rides (40 000 euros' worth)
- then a couple weeks ago, we learned that the amount squandered was actually an order of magnitude larger than previously stated - there was simply noway to spend that much on taxis
- also notice that Jean-Jacques Augier, the previous CEO of G7 taxis, the biggest taxi company in France, was the financing director of François Hollande's presidential campaign in 2012
- G7 taxis' current CEO is a close friend of Hollande's Parti Socialiste, and was involved in François Mitterrand's own campaigns too

The intimidation campaign that is raging on against Uber in France is simply how the politicians currently in power are defending some of their illegal sources of funding. The seemingly "out of proportion" violence of this campaign is simply a reminder that, in France, you just don't ask about political parties' or unions' money unless you're ready to die (just like Robert Boulin, Pierre Bérégovoy and judge Pierre Michel died).

Comment: Information-poor article (Score 4, Informative) 51 51

I read the linked article hoping for insight on how to identify redundant infrastructure, steer divergent IT departments towards common solutions, or at least practical examples of uniformisation / centralization of *something*, anything, but there were none. It's all just a tech-free summary of the guy's accomplishments, as you'd present in a management meeting to tout your success as an IT manager. That's good for him and for the ACS, I guess, but it's pretty pointless to post it here.

Comment: Re:No wonder it graphene sponge will move (Score 2) 265 265

If I read this correctly, the decisive advantage this has over conventional solar sails, is that instead of turning a fraction of the (feeble) momentum of photons into useful movement (basically by bouncing photons around), this discovery turns (apparently, most of) the energy of those photons into a coherent emission of electrons, which give off orders of magnitude more useful momentum.

So, it's not quite a solar sail, but rather a very very very light and efficient solar-powered electron cannon.

Comment: Re:This works 100% (Score 1) 260 260

The only thing I know that works is actually eating less.

Not for everyone, no.

"Resistant obese" people have been known since the 1960s in nutrition science: they are people who won't lose weight even when locked in a metabolic ward (=unable to cheat) and limited to just 600 calories a day of food. Read one such study here for example (see page 742: no weight loss on hospital-controlled, drastically restricted-calorie diet). Your advice will NOT work for these people.

I wonder how one can gain weight by putting less calories in their system.

Yeah, the scientists involved in these studies like to call the resistant obese people "walking thermodynamic paradoxes" because they can only wonder, too. And calling them that won't help them in any way, nor will it help science understand why. You have to change paradigm to do that.

+ - Ask Slashdot best way to solve a unique networking issue

petro-tech writes: I work as a service technician, maintaining and repairing gas pumps and POS equipment.

In my day to day activities, one that consumes a ton of time and is relatively regular is the process of upgrading the software on pumps.
This is done by connecting to the pump via direct ethernet from my laptop, then running a manufacturer provided program that connects to the device and pushes the new software.

Some sites have 8+ pumps with 2 devices in each, and at 20-30 minutes apiece this can be quite time consuming.

Unfortunately the devices are not actually on a network, and as such cannot be updated remotely, also since they are not on a network, they are all configured with the same IP address. Additionally the software doesn't allow you to specify the adapter to use.

I would like to be able to get to a site, connect a cable to each pump, and load them all at the same time.

The only way I can figure to accomplish this with the software we've been provided is to do this:

Get a 16 port powered usb hub, with a usb-ethernet adaptor in each port. Set up 16 VM's with extremely stripped down XP running on each, with only one usb-ethernet adaptor assigned to each VM. Set xp to boot the application for loading software as its shell. and load each device that way at the same time.

Is there a better way to accomplish this?

+ - Satellites make a load of difference to bridge safety->

__roo writes: In an effort to detect crumbling infrastructure before it causes damage and costs lives, the European Space Agency is working with the UK’s University of Nottingham to monitor the movements of large structures as they happen using satellite navigation sensors. The team uses highly sensitive satnav receivers that transmit real-time data to detect movements as small as 1 cm combined with historical Earth observation satellite data. By placing sensors at key locations on the Forth Road Bridge in Scotland, they detected stressed structural members and unexpected deformations.
Link to Original Source

+ - The Problem of "Teaching the Controversy" in Infosec

MrBingoBoingo writes: Recently a group calling itself No Such lAbs created a service called the Phuctor and began digesting an sks keyserver dump and began finding weak keys, beginning with a subkey attached to Kernel developer hpa's key which was divisible by three. In the aftermath discussion of the issue was hijacked by social engineers who immediately set to growing a controversy and instead of discussing how to mitigate similar issues in the future or identify the problem tat created this scenario, insisted there was no problem at all.

If it's not in the computer, it doesn't exist.