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Comment: Re: White board is and will always be the best way (Score 1) 130

by xaxa (#49157053) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Whiteboard Substitutes For Distributed Teams?

I'm surprised by how expensive they are ($1000). There was a push to get them in schools in Britain starting around 2002-3, and the three schools I've seen in the last couple of years have had them in every room.

They're accurate enough for my Chinese evening class. Share a screen with MS Paint, and get a decent conference microphone.

Comment: Re:fees (Score 1) 359

by xaxa (#49150821) Attached to: Verizon Posts Message In Morse Code To Mock FCC's Net Neutrality Ruling

I want Gigabit symmetrical with 1 TB of transfer for $50/mo.. This is absolutely 100% possible with current technology.

Then why don't you start a company that offers that service?

Here's an example (British, and £50/month, but £1 = $1 is pretty normal for technology...)

They're only installing into apartment buildings at the moment, and I think they ask the building owner to subsidise the installation, but I don't doubt it increases the rental value.

Comment: Re: Bloatware?! (Score 1) 200

by xaxa (#49150311) Attached to: Lenovo Saying Goodbye To Bloatware

Pay them to not fill your brand new machine with crap? Name another market where you do that...

Some people fly with Ryanair, who play advertisements several times in the flight. That annoyed me more than anything else last time I flew with Ryanair. They also have more up-sells on their website, which can be tricky for some people (e.g. old pensioners) to avoid, who end up buying insurance they don't need.

Paying for TV means paying for a load of advertisements.

Same with magazines and newspapers.

Comment: Re:MAKE SOMETHING NEW! (Score 3, Informative) 156

by xaxa (#49149963) Attached to: Can the Guitar Games Market Be Resurrected?

For example, the guitar would not be a cheap piece of plastic, but perhaps a real one that can be strung and played as normal once someone got tired of the game.

My sister has that, I think it might be this:

In any case, it's a real guitar that does something like Guitar Hero.

Make different instruments. Allow multiple players to play the instruments at the same time, either coop, or one after the other in a battle of the bands.

Don't they do this already? Again, my sister has a drumkit and microphone for Guitar Hero, and I'm sure I've played both with and against her, consecutively and concurrently.

Even go with odd things, such as a chainsaw

OK, that would be new.

Comment: Re:I wish I could ride a bike (Score 1) 269

by xaxa (#49135857) Attached to: I ride a bike ...

I'm single, so carrying enough food isn't difficult. I have some panniers for my bike. I'd guess many more people live within a few minutes walk or cycle to a decent shop in the UK than the USA. Mine is about 2 minutes out of my way when I'm on my way home. (And I'm not in the middle of a city, I'm in monotonous London suburbia.)

I was more impressed when I visited a friend in Sweden a couple of weeks ago for a party his parents put on. His mother had bought food for the week + for the party in one bicycle trip. She had a trailer for the bike. I don't know why they didn't own a car — both parents are software developers, so it's not through lack of money. Perhaps to stay healthy? Or for the environment?

Comment: Re:"Free" exercise (Score 1) 269

by xaxa (#49120867) Attached to: I ride a bike ...

How many miles? I wonder if anyone bike over 35 miles 1/one way to commute for work. I don't mean electronic types like motorcycles.

Google says 5 miles. The off-road path is really off-road, it's not paved -- avoiding the bumps and ruts slows me down quite a bit.

I used to have a colleague who cycled about 40 miles each way around three days a week. There was a fast train parallel with his route, which gave him good flexibility in case of unexpected rain, tiredness etc.

Comment: Re:I wish I could ride a bike (Score 5, Interesting) 269

by xaxa (#49119499) Attached to: I ride a bike ...

Where I live in Illinois there are no bike lanes and no shoulders large enough to allow for safe cycling.

Cycling infrastructure didn't appear in countries like the Netherlands by itself, it took a lot of campaigning. There's a summary here:

I'd like to see something similar in the UK, perhaps based on childhood obesity rather than road danger. There's some progress in some areas, but nothing national.

Comment: Re:"Free" exercise (Score 2) 269

by xaxa (#49119103) Attached to: I ride a bike ...

Oh, other relevant things:

- Southern English climate, so a temperature range of about -2 to 30C and relative humidity 50-90%. 30-50% "wet days" (although it's not so frequent for the rain to coincide with my commute, and "wet day" is defined as over 0.1mm rain, which really isn't much). See the bottom of

- I rent my home, so it was easy to live such that cycling to work includes about 500m on quiet roads, then the rest on an off-road cycle path. For most other trips I pick a route avoiding any busy roads, which makes learning the route a bit harder, but the journey so much more enjoyable (and safer).

Comment: "Free" exercise (Score 5, Interesting) 269

by xaxa (#49119005) Attached to: I ride a bike ...

I cycle to work, which takes about 30 minutes. I don't go fast enough to need to change clothes when I arrive, but sometimes I go faster on the way home.

It's free exercise. I doubt I'd find the motivation to go to a gym, or run round a park, in my spare time. Cycling to work is easy: it's about 10-15 minutes faster than the bus, and at most 5 minutes slower than driving (which can take a *lot* longer if there's bad traffic). It's also a lot cheaper than either of those, even with a nice bicycle.

I do miss not having an obvious time to check email, read the news, read a magazine or book etc — I used to do that when sitting on the train.

Comment: Re:Remarkable feat (Score 4, Informative) 192

by xaxa (#49091629) Attached to: How NSA Spies Stole the Keys To the Encryption Castle

Remarkable feat! Guys from Bletchley Park — who also intercepted and decrypted everything they possibly could — would've been proud...

These are the "guys from Bletchley Park" -- in the sense that it's the same government organisation.

"During the Second World War, GC&CS was based largely at Bletchley Park ... GC&CS was renamed the "Government Communications Headquarters" in June 1946"

When the weight of the paperwork equals the weight of the plane, the plane will fly. -- Donald Douglas