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Comment To the right... even further to the right... (Score 1) 639

Great caption from german "left leaning" daily Taz for a photo showing only two people in an article on the the (still legal) ultra-right-wing german NPD-party -- many of whose members apparently actively aided and abetted the nazi-terrorists of the NSU-gang:

NPD-Spitzenkandidat Matthias Faust (rechts) und Parteichef Udo Voigt (noch weiter rechts) am Mittwoch in Bremen.
NPD front runner Matthias Faust (right) and party leader Udo Voigt (even further right) in [the town of] Bremen on wednesday.

By the way: the connections between NSU and NPD are serious -- very, very serious -- business (NSU committed at least ten murders over the last 10 years). The way those terrorists were underestimated and the hunt for them was botched (sometimes deliberately as it appears) will hopefully be a major issue for german law enforcement in the years to come.

Still a good caption, though.

Comment Re:RIP please? (Score 1) 122

You, as a hotmail-user, may not have had a problem with receiving spam, but many people (me included) had massive problems with spam from hotmail-accounts during the late nineties/early noughts. It's not for nothing that hotmail at some point became synonymous with "dodgy-offer-by-nigerian-royalty-mail". Those were the days before many of us had good hosters/providers with grade-A server-side spam-filtering. At one point I simply stopped bothering, set up a local rule that would automatically move anything received from a hotmail-account to the thrash and told anyone I knew to stay the hell away from hotmail if they still wanted to communicate with me via e-mail.

hotmail may be a decent mail provider today, but they burned a lot of trust in the early days. So much, that to this day anyone with a @hotmail.com-address feels kind of dodgy/unprofessional to me, even though I know hotmail isn't as bad as it used to be.

Comment Been there, done that (Score 1) 243

The polish science fiction author Stanislaw Lem describes this (in a humorous fashion) in one of his Ijon Tichy / Professor A. Donda short stories.

Prof. Donda has the theory that information = mass, proceeds to create a new field of study as a pretext to cram the maximum amount of information into the smallest space possible. He succeeds, creating an information singularity that makes all of the fixed, stored information in the universe go kablooie. Tichy and Donda end up somewhere in the jungle, looking at old copies of Playboy magazine.

Comment Re:After losing the carts and the cost of each gam (Score 1) 425

The iPod Touch just seems a whole lot sturdier too

Seconded. My 4 year old daughter has been using my old 1st Gen. Touch for a year now... dropped it, smeared it with whatever gunk was on her fingers... sometimes the screen was so encrusted with god-knows-what it felt like a relief-map of the alps. At one point some sugary goo must have entered the device, because the home-button stopped working. I figured I hadn't much to lose, so I soaked the bottom half in an alcoholic cleaner... whaddaya know -- it works again like on day one.

I initially bought the thing as a (rather expensive) toy for myself, but it turned out to be an invaluable Device For Peace And Harmony On Long Road Trips And Train Rides. :-)

She doesn't yet play games, but loves to watch old Sesame Street clips, Shaun The Sheep, look at the family photos I loaded onto it and listens to music. At 3 years old she had the interface figured out in about two days.

P.S.: Being a Responsible Parent I obviously severely limit her time with the iPod, also I used the parental controls to lower the maximum volume.

Comment To zap my history on a Mac I use Automator... (Score 2) 110

... I created an Automator-Script that moves these files/folders:

~/Library/Cookies/Cookies.plist
~/Library/Safari/History.plist
~/Library/Safari/HistoryIndex.sk
~/Library/Safari/LastSession.plist
~/Library/Safari/Downloads.plist
~/Library/Safari/Databases
~/Library/Safari/LocalStorage
~/Library/Safari/TopSites.plist
~/Library/Safari/WebpageIcons.db
~/Library/Preferences/Macromedia/Flash Player
~/Library/Caches/com.apple.Safari
~/Library/Caches/QuickTime
~/Library/Caches/Adobe/Flash Player/AssetCache
~/Library/Caches/Metadata/Safari

... to the thrash.

Did I miss anything?

Comment Re:That's not the professional term (Score 1) 487

Linguists say "African-American Vernacular English".
What does it say about our society if a group we need to integrate is so isolated it's developing an incompatible dialect?

Ah -- a problem I've been trying to raise awareness to for ages: how to incorporate Linguists into our society, make them valuable and productive members, even. Sadly Linguists appear to be a bunch of stubborn bastards who relish in the esoteric obscurity and unfathomable tenebrity of their patois.

Comment Re:It's somewhat expected. (Score 1) 436

"[...] say what you want about Steve Jobs, but it will be a cold day in hell before a product comes out of his company that can be described as "unusable.""

Well, there was the infamous "Hockey Puck"-mouse.
I worked at a multimedia roadshow and workshop in 1999 and could see first hand how a large sample of users (of various levels of skill) interacted with this abomination. We ended up having to buy clip-on thingies for the mice so people would be able to use them(*). Say what you will about Macs and the Mac OS (I've always liked them), but I've yet to see a good mouse produced by Apple (and that includes the current generation mice).

(*) Yes, we could have just used any other USB-Mouse, but for some (contractual? sponsor?) reason we were required to use only Apple equipment.

Comment Re:This would be a great loss (Score 1) 398

VLC just happily bypasses [region codes] and plays anything.

Sadly there are a number of CD/DVD-drives around where the drive itself checks the region code of the inserted disk and acts (or rather: refuses to act) accordingly -- nothing VLC (or any other software DVD-ripper for that matter) can do. The Matshita-drives used in most portable Macs come to mind. The only workaround would be to re-flash the drive with a different firmware, but often the drives/laptops ar obsolete by the time someone comes up with an alternative firmware. Oh, and of course your warranty's shot if anything goes wrong.

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