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Comment Re:At least tech support is a local call (Score 1) 227

Sometimes, they are actually mandated by their clients to do all this. They hate all this fakery as much as you do, and would love to use their real names.

Sometimes? It's always the clients who mandate the accent "training", the "local knowledge" and the fake names. Why would an Indian call center agent bother if he or she didn't have to? It's not as if any of them actually enjoy their jobs.

Comment Re:Long nursing shifts (Score 1) 520

I just returned home yesterday after a week in the hospital following a 9-hour surgery, so have some context for this.

When my attending nurse was signing out of his/her shift, he/she would come in with all my files into my room, with his/her replacement, and spend up to 20 minutes going through a very detailed handover. They were so efficient at it that even a casual remark by the doctor, "Get him a shave, he'll fell better" was passed on by the night nurse to the day nurse so that they could call the hospital barber.

Granted, this was in India, not in the US, but I was impressed by the detailed communications.

Comment Re:Heomeopathy = Placebo (Score 1) 507

Tell that to South American and African cultures still practicing this successfully after ages.

A good example of homeopathic remedy ... is good old fashioned marijuana.

Please tell me you are just trolling? Firstly, "Homeopathy" was INVENTED by Samuel Hahnemann in 1796. It did not exist before that in any form whatsoever. I don't know if "ages" for you means 2 centuries, but I would submit that in the context of traditional medicine, it means much more than that.

Secondly, marijuana for cancer sufferers has nothing to do with homeopathy or even alternative medicine. Its effects of reducing nausea, increasing appetite and relieving pain are well studied and understood. Homeopathic use of marijuana would not be able to provide these effects due to the extreme dilutions specified by the inventor of homeopathy.

Nice try at conflating traditional/alternative healing with homeopathy, which is neither traditional not a system of healing. The closest comparison I can give you is that it is as much a system of medicine as phrenology is science.

Comment Re:Sigh (Score 1) 186

You have no clue what you are talking about. BTW, good job with selectively misquoting Wikipedia. That article goes on to read, ""It should be noted, however, that unlike China, successive administrations (through RBI, the central bank) have not followed a policy of pegging the INR to a specific foreign currency at a particular exchange rate. RBI intervention in currency markets is solely to deliver low volatility in the exchange rates, and not to take a view on the rate or direction of the Indian rupee in relation to other currencies."

The rupee was never fixed against the dollar - it fluctuates continuously. The RBI (India's Central Bank, like the US Federal Reserve) intervenes periodically, buying or selling dollars IN THE MARKET, AT MARKET RATE to reduce volatility. This is called a managed float. Developing countries do this to reduce sudden runs on their currency.

However, the general trend has been that the Rupee has been steadily declining. One factor has been the huge public debt that the Indian government has built up.

And India never "violated" any patents. Indian law provided for "process" patents, instead of "product" patents, in pharmaceuticals. This meant that the same molecule could be created by a different process by another company without violating patent law. This is a far more sensible approach - the company creating the molecule has a head start of a year or two while others create alternative processes.

Seriously, stop generalising and read up some of the stuff you're pontificating about.

Comment Re:GMail is a joke compared to Outlook (Score 1) 394

The only thing stopping our company from moving to Gmail is lack of REAL BlackBerry/iPhone push support. What is taking Google so long to implement ActiveSync? They licensed it from Microsoft, implemented it for Calendar and Contacts. LET'S GO, GOOGLE!

Google Apps Connector for BlackBerry Enterprise Server

Experience the benefits of Google Apps with the BlackBerry experience you're already accustomed to. Integrate the Google Apps messaging suite with BlackBerry Enterprise Server (BES), letting employees use built-in BlackBerry applications for access to their Google Apps email, calendar, and contacts.

Google Apps Connector for BES is currently in beta and will be publicly available in Google Apps Premier Edition and Education Edition in July of 2009. If you'd like to speak to an Apps sales rep, please submit your contact information.

        * Messages sent to your Gmail inbox are pushed to your BlackBerry within 60 seconds.
        * Emails read/deleted on your BlackBerry are marked as read/deleted in Gmail, and vice-versa.
        * Synchronize BlackBerry folders with labels in Gmail.
        * Search for email addresses and phone numbers of other users on your company domain.
        * View your Google Calendar schedule on your native BlackBerry application, with one-way synchronization from Google Calendar to your BlackBerry device.
        * Contacts in Gmail are automatically synchronized with your BlackBerry address book.

Data Storage

US District Court Says Calculating a Hash Value = Search 623

bfwebster writes "Orin Kerr over at The Volokh Conspiracy (a great legal blog, BTW) reports on a US District Court ruling issued just last week which finds that doing hash calculations on a hard drive is a form of search and thus subject to 4th Amendment limitations. In this particular case, the US District Court suppressed evidence of child pornography on a hard drive because proper warrants were not obtained before imaging the hard drive and calculating MD5 hash values for the individual files on the drive, some of which ended up matching known MD5 hash values for known child pornography image and video files. More details at Kerr's posting." Update: 10/28 16:23 GMT by T : Headline updated to reflect that this is a Federal District Court located in Pennsylvania, rather than a court of the Commonwealth itself.

Submission + - Breastfeed your colleagues, says new fatwa

ramsun writes: A lecturer at the prestigious al-Azhar Islamic University in Cairo, Egypt, has been suspended after suggesting that one way to work around the Islamicist's ban on men and women working together could be to have the women symbolically breastfeed the men, which according to the Hadith, the Prophet Mohammed's sayings, creates a familial relationship. "The Dubai-based channel Al Arabiya quoted him as saying that after five breastfeedings the man and woman could be alone together without violating Islamic law and the woman could remove her headscarf to reveal her hair."

However, the Positive Liberty blog interprets this as Voltairean satire

What do you think? Should women breastfeed their male colleagues?

Self-Healing Plastic Skin 104

An anonymous reader writes "Scientists have developed a form of plastic skin that can heal itself when damaged. The material relies on an underlying network of vessels — similar to blood capillaries — that carry a healing agent to areas on the material's surface that sustain damage. Unlike previous self-healing systems that relied on capsules of agent buried in the polymer and which became depleted after one use, the new system can respond to damage at the same point many times over."
Operating Systems

OpenBSD 4.1 Released 218

adstro writes to quote from the BSD mailing list: "We are pleased to announce the official release of OpenBSD 4.1. This is our 21st release on CD-ROM (and 22nd via FTP). We remain proud of OpenBSD's record of ten years with only two remote holes in the default install. As in our previous releases, 4.1 provides significant improvements, including new features, in nearly all areas of the system."

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Systems programmers are the high priests of a low cult. -- R.S. Barton