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Comment Re:Hallo Windows man (Score 4, Insightful) 201

I've received two calls from these scammers... and the example you provided is not far from the truth. When they claim to call from "The Windows" as the company name, it's painfully obvious what they are up to for about 99% of the computer using population. The problem is that 1%. They probably get a hit every once in a while that makes it profitable enough.

Comment Games requiring a server that has been shut down? (Score 1) 572

Is there a list of single player games that required some type of server connection but has been shut down since introduction? The closest thing I can find is this:

http://mmohuts.com/editorials/mmo-graveyard

It's not a perfect analogy since MMOs have a reasonable need for a connection to the server, unlike single player. It would be nice to reference whenever someone argues for always-on DRM.

Comment Local Equipment, Usable Skills (Score 2) 172

I've been setting up and teaching computer skills part-time in northwestern Cambodia for about 8 years now.

Getting equipment to a remote location is an expensive and perilous task. Damage, theft, bribes, delays, fees, more bribes, and unforeseen problems will cause you more headaches than you can imagine. I buy my equipment locally from a seller I have built up a relationship with. Because I'm a repeat customer, he goes out of his way to make sure the computers keep running when I'm not there, which is most of the year.

Because Cambodia is one of the poorest countries in the world, the idea of spending $300 on a copy of Microsoft Office is unthinkable. That's enough to run a small household for a couple months. You can install open source alternatives if you like, but it might not be a necessity since the machines are chock full of apps.

Getting the lab running is frankly the easy part. Your lesson plan needs to take precedence. Teach skills that are commercially viable in the country, inspire them to learn more, and give a solid foundation of basic skills. I have former students that can directly tie their lessons to helping them find jobs later on. They then take these skills and teach others, which creates a virtuous cycle. Good luck!

Comment Stealing Electricity (Score 4, Insightful) 884

If someone had an extension cord plugged into my outside outlet and it ran to their house to steal power, I would walk over, knock on the door, and ask them to stop it. And yes, I would also unplug it.

If you have the means to determine where they are it's worth asking them to stop. That alone might change their attitude toward poking at networks.

Submission + - LSD 'helps alcoholics to give up drinking' (bbc.co.uk) 1

CambodiaSam writes: One dose of the hallucinogenic drug LSD could help alcoholics give up drinking, according to an analysis of studies performed in the 1960s.

A study, presented in the Journal of Psychopharmacology, looked at data from six trials and more than 500 patients.

It said there was a "significant beneficial effect" on alcohol abuse, which lasted several months after the drug was taken.

An expert said this was "as good as anything we've got".

Comment Local Cost (Score 3, Informative) 236

I've seen Cambodia's IT infrastructure improve over the last several years, but they still rely on much older, used equipment as their primary source of hardware. The most basic factor is cost. For someone earning about $100 a month (generally considered middle-class and able to reasonably sustain a small family), the prospect of a brand new computer, phone, or other device is unthinkable. Even a PC setup with monitor, UPS, keyboard, and mouse will run you $250. It'll be about 4 years old, but it runs Windows XP or Vista quite well because of lack of service packs. Plus, it's fully loaded with software since the concept of copyright hasn't been fully embraced.

I guess if you could bring low cost, reasonable electronics to the developing world they would embrace it instead of used equipment. I'll let you know when I see it for sale on the streets of Phnom Penh or Siem Reap. For now, it's all used PCs (mostly Dell and HP) and Nokia phones.

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