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Comment: Re:It says something bad about the US (Score 1) 676

by xaxa (#49197517) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Should I Let My Kids Become American Citizens?

I've done four road trips, about 8-10 weeks travel in total, stopping in at least 26 states. I've passed through or changed planes in a few more, but I don't count those. (In fairness, all except three of these states were when I was a child, and we only visited France and Ireland as a family.)

My US relatives (in their 40s) get two weeks leave a year, and tend to visit family.

The lack of Americans is most evident when backpacking. I was in Ecuador last year. You can divide the backpackers into students and non-students. There are some American students, but disproportionately few American non-students. (I'd expected to see more Americans on my first trip to South America, but it was little different to Asia.)

Comment: Re:It says something bad about the US (Score 1) 676

by xaxa (#49195107) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Should I Let My Kids Become American Citizens?

Americans don't travel as much, even in the US. They don't have much holiday time.

Many Europeans don't leave the EU, although I'd guess it's more common to visit the US than the other way round.

US culture between states is less diverse than Europe, but it does differ. Geography and climate differs more, although you need to remember some of northern Europe is arctic, which makes up for not having any desert. I think you'll find a bigger difference between Ireland, Austria, Estonia and France than any four US states you care to pick. If non-EU is allowed how about Belarus, Albania, Iceland and Georgia?

I've been to West Virginia, Texas, Ohio and Colorado. I've travelled through Alabama, by train (brief stop in Birmingham). I've been to/through Sioux City, so it seems I just missed Minnesota. I've not yet met an American who's been to more states than I have! But my parents' idea of a family holiday was a road trip.

Comment: Re:It says something bad about the US (Score 1) 676

by xaxa (#49192515) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Should I Let My Kids Become American Citizens?

I can't think of any disadvantage to me gaining an additional European Union citizenship, with some exceptions (e.g. Estonia has military service).

Many millions of Europeans live in a different country to their citizenship. It's probably a lot more common than for US citizens, for all kinds of people (from the unemployed to millionaires), so the issues were solved long ago.

(I think there can be cases where if you don't live in a country "full time" you can lose the right to things like free healthcare, but that's separate.)

Comment: Re:Why not run with it? (Score 1) 221

by xaxa (#49184011) Attached to: <em>Star Trek</em> Fans Told To Stop "Spocking" Canadian $5 Bill

British paper money currently features (£5-10-20-50) Elizabeth Fry (prison reformer), Charles Darwin, Adam Smith (philosopher) and James Watt and Matthew Boulton (engineers), so there shouldn't be a problem from the queen. But I think people tend to have been dead for a while.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/B...

Comment: Re:Lack of appropriate options gripe: (Score 1) 230

by xaxa (#49175135) Attached to: Will you be using a mobile payment system?

I pay with a contactless credit card very frequently, which uses the same technology (at least outside the USA). I don't see the attraction for paying with my phone: I have to get something out of my pocket, and it's easier to touch a plastic card to a reader than unlock a phone, presumably open an app, authorise, etc.

Comment: Re: White board is and will always be the best way (Score 1) 164

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) 389

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) 210

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) 163

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: http://rocksmith.ubi.com/rocks...

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) 304

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) 304

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.

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