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Comment Civil disobedience should have purpose (Score 1) 78

Otherwise is not effective, it becomes just er, disobedience.

Here in London the people that occupied a space in front of St Pauls Cathedral and later on in Finsbury Park (both at the heart of the financial heart of London) were demonized, but in all honesty their nonsensical antics, purposeless rantings on national TV and lack of clear political aims and grievances made it a piece of cake to portrait them like a bunch of nutcases.

You may say whatever you want about the Tea Parters, but you can't say the money is what makes them stand. They know what they want, they organize and fight for it, and they have shaped part of the political landscape in the US (to the point that their pressure has lost the Republicans 2 Presidential elections. May that continue).

Political organization requires far more than a flash mob called with Facebook.

Comment Be professional (Score 1) 66

I recently attended a meetup about another topic in which the organizers were trying to stablish a new group.

The intention was to show cool toys and then show a work flow to obtain results. They had 4 working prototypes of the gadgets, one area with 2 big screens, a chill out area (with drinks and sandwiches) and 4 people that could have provided a guided tour through the topic of interest (we were supposed to leave with a present built there and then, which would have been a nice touch).

First of all they could not control who was assisting.

Then they just said "oh well, just follow one of us and we will make four groups" without making sure all the groups were about the same size.

They didn't have a plan of action, which meant people began to wander from one group to the next until they felt comfortable, this meant one guy, perceived as more informed, had way too many people (and because he was better looking, all the women stayed with him) while another guy, far more knowledgeable but a bit shy, ended standing almost on his own.

One of the guys supposed to organize things was hysterical because he knew it was all a mess and made everybody else moody.

They haven't tested that they could use the screens for a presentation,they didn't work which mean they resorted to sit with their laptops (Apple ones of course) on their knees "showing" others how things are done (how many people can stand close by and see anything at all?)

You see, some basic planning (dividing groups, assigning them leaders, sketching a plan for the meeting, testing equipment) would have made a success of the meeting.

As it is I am pretty sure they will be lucky to have half of the people back (several of them were actually investors interested in the technology, talk about wasted opportunities, I saw several of those people shaking their heads in disbelief).

We techies forget about these things, but they are important, this fashion of "unconferences" and doing things in the spur of the moment are great in paper, but frankly only scream "our group is lazy and disorganized", if you are organizing a LUG, do it properly, it will take lots of time and effort, but if you can't put this then you shouldn't bother at all, but if you do it properly you will make friends for life and connections for the future who will remember you as the organized guy that kept things going.

Comment Confusing reliable with available. (Score 1) 409

A replicated system may be less reliable, but is more available.

That means that in your single computer scenario, if your server goes down, you are toast.

But in a replicated environment although you will have more failures overall, they won't kill the service, since the redundancy will give you a higher degree of certainty that whatever you are running keeps ticking.

These kind of redundancy solutions are normally sold as Highly Available, not highly reliable. The clue is in the name,

Comment My comment is in the form of recent trivia (Score 1) 436

Which film won all accolades last year?

Hints: it is mostly silent, black and white and most definitively 2D.

3D is the overall strategy of the big studios to keep milking the blockbuster, a cinematic product whose cost is spiraling out of control and will continue to make money only as long as the average public is shown new shiny gimmicks.

Comment There are few things as amusing.... (Score 0, Flamebait) 1013

.... as watching USians debate gun safety.

The assumptions made, the supposed rights implied and what appears reasonable are completely alien to most other people, this reasonings avoid the patently obvious: in other places people don't need guns to defend themselves or to feel safe, and certainly don't harbour the ridiculous notion that you need them just in case you have to fight by violent means your own government (in a civilb war situation guns will be readily available, you don't need to stockpile weapons during peace time) or a foreign invader (wouldn't your armed forces fight in home soil ? Or what is the deal?)

Comment Come to London and check the speed. (Score 5, Informative) 201

I take the bus regularly in London, most times in the upper floor of a double decker.

From there one can follow the progress of individual cyclists, and is undeniable that most of them move pretty much at the same speed as the motorized vehicles, even some runners can keep up with traffic speed for a while.

Most of the world is or will be urban, so fast vehicles will be completely redundant to the actual needs of urban dwellers.

Comment Lamy multifunction pens (Score 1) 712

I'm sure you all have seen those cheap pens with multiple colors, German manufacturer Lamy used that concept and produces pens with 2, 3 or 4 functions.

I have the 4 functions one, currently black ink pen, red ink pen, mechanic pencil and PDA stylus (not of much use anymore... fortunately one can put another ink cartridge instead).

The pens are metallic ball point cartridges, because they have to fit in a very small space the ball point is small, producing neat writing.

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