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Comment: Re:OK... (Score 1) 205

by walter_f (#46115595) Attached to: Valve Offers Free Subscription To Debian Developers: Paying It Forward

The FOSS nutjobs don't want to allow you the freedom to give up a particular freedom of your choice for a particular time in exchange for something. They are selfish, they want to propagate their ideology of "freedom" by restricting your freedom of choice.

Don't like freedom? You choose, go for serfdom.

The latter option ain't GNU, it isn't even new.

And as to

to give up a particular freedom of your choice for a particular time in exchange for something.

Good ol' Benjamin Franklin had to say a bit about that. Ever heard his name?

Comment: Re:SubjectsInCommentsAreStupid (Score 1) 458

by walter_f (#46071623) Attached to: Stephen Hawking: 'There Are No Black Holes'

Clearly christianity (as well as the contents of most other theistic beliefs) isn't compatible with tthe Second Law of Thermodynamics?

Just imagine an allegedly almighty god, helplessly aging towards the "mildly warm" soup that will be the final state - and "fate", so to speak - of everything...

Comment: Re:Eventually people will look up... (Score 1) 894

"The NSA and other Alphabet Agencies only wish they had the authority to do what the Gestapo and Stasi did."

They don't have it yet. (There are still obstacles left to be cleared on the way, Judges like Richard Leon* among them.)

But they (the Alphabet Agencies) are looking forward to getting comparable authority eventually.

* The Federal Judge who ordered December 16, 2013:
"... for all the above reasons, I will grant Larry Klayman’s and Charles Strange’s request for an injunction and enter an order that (1) bars the Government from collecting, as part of the NSA’s Bulk Telephony Metadata Program, any telephony metadata associated with their personal Verizon accounts and (2) requires the Government to destroy any such metadata in its possession that was collected through the bulk collection program. ”
—Judge Richard Leon,"

"... However, in light of the significant national security interests at stake in this case and the novelty of the constitutional issues, I will stay my order pending appeal. In doing so, I hereby give the Government fair notice that should my ruling be upheld, this order will go into effect forthwith. Accordingly, I fully expect that during the appellate process, which will consume at least the next six months, the Government will take whatever steps necessary to prepare itself to comply with this order when, and if, it is upheld. Suffice it to say, requesting further time to comply with this order months from now will not be well received and could result in collateral sanctions."

Comment: Re:Android compatibility (Score 1) 307

by walter_f (#45546581) Attached to: Jolla's First Phone Goes On Sale

When the native apps are better or just simply faster?

Hopefully, this might be a crucial point.

Still, the sheer number of android apps could turn out to be overwhelming in the eyes of some aspiring developers of native ones.

(And yes, I'm massively biased in favour of the Jolla/SailfishOS. Bon voyage, brave little Jolla dinghy!)

Comment: Mars, or How To Maintain an Atmosphere (Score 1) 55

by walter_f (#45458781) Attached to: MAVEN Ready To Launch Today

"... with magnetic fields strong enough to maintain an atmosphere"

I guess this concept works best with an atmosphere that consists of magnetic nitrogen, magnetic oxygen, a dash of magnetic carbon dioxide and so on.

Sounds fancier than poor old gravity maintaining a boring non-magnetic atmosphere.

"Let's sing another song, boys. This one has grown old and bitter."
- Bob Dylan

Comment: Re: about a "dumbphone"? - Nokia 1280, shop in UK (Score 1) 111

by walter_f (#45317229) Attached to: OpenPhoenux Neo900 Bills Itself As Successor To Nokia's N900

The Nokia 1280 has been originally designed for India and some of the East African Markets (hence, Swahili as one of the languages selectable for the menus).

The Nokia 1280 is readily available in a number of case colours in the U.K. these days (around 23 pounds).
I bought my Nokia 1280 in Germany, where just the black variety seems to be available (between 26 and 30 euros).

And for the original poster who mentioned the Motophone (which was called the Motorola F3 hereabouts):

Among other things, I especially like the 1280's black-and-white display.
Another very simplistic but well made phone with a black-and-white display is the Motorola W156. It can still be bought in Germany, maybe in other European markets as well (around 30 euros). I have a W156 here as a fallback option to the 1280, but the Nokia doesn't show any weaknesses. ;-)

The Moto W156 does not have the unique electrophoretic display technology like the Motophone. So it does not offer the F3's exceptional battery time, but when it comes to reading or writing SMS or just to looking at a long international telephone number, it's advantage W156 (which still has very good battery time).

Comment: Re:Con CERN (Score 1) 164

by walter_f (#44841231) Attached to: Black Holes Grow By Eating Quantum Foam

It's the mass to size ratio that is relevant here.

If you manage to compress an object the mass of the Himalayas (i.e. a minuscule mass on an astronomical scale) way down to the size of an elementary particle, you end up with a black hole in your laboratory. Enjoy, but enjoy quick, as the thing will start to eat your laboratory immediately...

Should you prefer to make a black hole out of Grandpa's old lawn mower instead, just make sure to compress it down to a far, far tinier size than you'd have compressed the Himalayans to. A nice little black hole will be the reward for your efforts...

Comment: $30 million for 30,000 iPads? (Score 1) 232

by walter_f (#44142053) Attached to: L.A. School District's 30,000 iPads May Come With Free Lock-In

That's a refreshing $1,000 a pop.

Wasn't "high volume purchase" meant to work the other way, originally?

Did I just miss another great innovation by Pearson and Apple, along the lines of
"The more you buy, the higher the per-item price"?

Not to mention the fact that iPads are, by design, nearly non-repairable. What a bad idea to give such an example of non-sustainability to young people these days.

Not to mention that an all purpose computing platform, like a netbook, with a choice of OSes and application software (preferably OSS/FOSS), not just single task "apps", would render a better service to high school students

Money is the root of all wealth.