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Comment: Re:Information-starved masses won't see the intern (Score 1) 175

by piemcfly (#33846988) Attached to: North Korea Opens<nobr> <wbr></nobr>.kp Sites On the Internet
Radios are quite normal in North Korea. They are sealed to specific ranges and checked every, I think, 3 months, to prevent people from listening to foreign media.
TV's are also prominent amongst the higher classes of the country. South Korean soap operas are apparently quite popular to watch illegally on imported DVD'

Comment: Nationalism, fuck yeah? (Score 1) 156

by piemcfly (#32855708) Attached to: Hack Exposes Pirate Bay User Data
I like how *random hacker group X* is not accountable to anybody.
It offers possibilities for good and bad... all depending on the poltiical agenda of said group

Which only makes it even more incredibly sad that so many hacker groups go for a ridiculous Nationalist-with-a-big-N route.

Chinese, Iranian, Turkish, American, Argentinian, Chilean... fucling pathetic for a subculture that generally prides itself on non-alliance and independence.

Comment: Re:Did I miss something? (Score 4, Insightful) 295

by piemcfly (#31576314) Attached to: Google's New Approach For China Is To Serve From Hong Kong
Another interpretation could be that this move to hong kong allows the Chinese government to save face. They've been very public about their issues with google's operation in mainland China, while google is far from the biggest player in the market.
The idea of the censorship is not just to totally block access to certain information. Reminding people where the line is drawn (no matter how vaguely) by public shows of power is just as important. Chinese censorship, afaik, is more concerned with the broadcasting side of communication than with the receiving end. It's hard to prevent people from looking for information (see ToR / proxies etc).

It's easier to go after the source ('dissidents') and scare people into not spreading information. Going after google in the state newspaper and on tv etc. is also a way of communicating to the chinese people that 'our rules are still in place'.

Moving to Hong Kong might allow google to continue their service to China, while at the same time the Chinese government can say that it 'won' the discussion and reach its goal of reminding it's public (the Chinese population) about its position on freedom of information / opinion.

If it works out that way it's a pretty smart business move from google, allowing for a way out of the zero-sum game they were in.

Comment: Re:WHY THE FUCK DO PEOPLE STILL USE IE? (Score 1) 259

by piemcfly (#31029730) Attached to: IE Flaw Gives Hackers Access To User Files


Because many online / network services won't work outside of IE.
At one of my temp jobs I had to work with a hotel management service that only ran on MS IE (v5, no less)... I had a good laugh when IE got fuxed up by some wonderful bonzibuddy toolbar variant thingy because one of my colleagues had managed to click one too many 'yes' buttons in popup windows.
Then I had to do all the administration by hand and couldn't access the billing system and didn't laugh anymore.
Of course, the day after it was fixed, somebody had installed the google toolbar as if nothing had ever happened. /fail

Comment: Vaguely related annecdote... (Score 1) 454

by piemcfly (#30890538) Attached to: The DIY $10 Prepaid Cellphone Remote Car Starter
My grandmother, who was going slightly deaf, recently had a very loud radio triggered beeper installed that went off everytime somebody rang the doorbell.
Turned out it worked on the same frequency as the neighbors DIY garage door system:

If he opened his garage, her alarm started ringing.
If somebody rang her doorbell, the neighbors garage door opened.

I changed the frequency for her, but I think I should have explored the pranking possibilities of that set up a bit more.

Comment: Re:This is funny if you're in the UK (Score 1) 183

by piemcfly (#30888328) Attached to: SAS Named Best Company To Work For In 2010
Seeing how computer-SAS wins partly because of their great food perks, I'm fairly certain army-SAS wouldn't be high on the list.
Some friends of mine are in the (dutch) army, one often in liaison functions, and try tasting foreign MRE's every chance they get.

They tell me British MRE's were some of the worst they ever tried, apart form some ex-soviet countries (pig fat? yum?). Not sure if the SAS ones are better, but I would suspect not.
Japanese and Korean rations are aparantly pretty good.

Comment: Re:Knows as much about ethics as he does mathemati (Score 1) 241

by piemcfly (#30520092) Attached to: Grigory Perelman and the Poincare Conjecture

He is refusing the prizes as a protest against the lack of ethics in the mathematical community. In his mind he believes this demonstrates how he is totally committed to mathematics, and that only.

This is also why I skipped math classes in high school.
I could have gotten straight A's... but you know, ethics, man.

Comment: Re:Paging Bernie Madoff Clients... (Score 1) 666

by piemcfly (#30296048) Attached to: Somali Pirates Open Up a "Stock Exchange"
The costs of arming every ship to such a degree that it can protect itself from heavily armed pirates is also pretty high. There's a gazillion ships out there, and you don't know which one they'll hit. The average sailor is also not trained (and probably unwilling) to go into a firefight.

Regular arms are also not a good sollution to the problem. The pirates of course show up unannounced, get on board before anybody can even get their guns out, and take the crew hostage. Guns can't counter that threat effectively.

It might also set off an arms race. Ships arm themselves -> pirates get bigger guns. Nobody wants that.

Jetman Attempts Intercontinental Flight 140

Posted by samzenpus
from the a-jetwing-and-a-prayer dept.
Last year we ran the story of Yves Rossy and his DIY jetwings. Yves spent $190,000 and countless hours building a set of jet-powered wings which he used to cross the English Channel. Rossy's next goal is to cross the Strait of Gibraltar, from Tangier in Morocco and Tarifa on the southwestern tip of Spain. From the article: "Using a four-cylinder jet pack and carbon fibre wings spanning over 8ft, he will jump out of a plane at 6,500 ft and cruise at 130 mph until he reaches the Spanish coast, when he will parachute to earth." Update 18:57 GMT: mytrip writes: "Yves Rossy took off from Tangiers but five minutes into an expected 15-minute flight he was obliged to ditch into the wind-swept waters."

Comment: Re:US vs UK... (Score 1) 1174

by piemcfly (#29990290) Attached to: Plug vs. Plug &mdash; Which Nation's Socket Is Best?
3 different plug types that don't fit in every type?

What 'the Netherlands' are you living in? In fact, what Europe have you been living in? I understand British people have a hard time understanding Europe, what with their Europhobia and gereral 'island' mindset... but really? Mistaking standardized two-prong plugs for something else?

I've never encountered any other plug than the standardized "Schuko" "Type F" plugs in the Netherlands. You know, the type with two prongs (and sometimes a seperate grounding), which means you can use grounded or ungrounded plugs ons both grounded and ungrounded outlets.... you know,the types that accept any europlug?

Perhaps you've been using 80s-era belgian and french plugs here? Or you've been buying imported electronics?

Real Users find the one combination of bizarre input values that shuts down the system for days.