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Comment Documents from 1984 or so... (Score 1) 498

I had couple of articles written between 1984 - 1987, all restored without any problems. Reason? They were written on paper, which shows that that's probably one of the longest-lasting and most transferable/restorable data storage media. Then again, the access time, especially the random access time, is not really good. Anyway, I could restore them to harddisc easily and without any mistakes - I could actually fix some mistakes in the original file. Joking aside, I have an original NeXTcube OD and would like to restore some data from that, but I can't find a NeXTcube OD drive anymore... Any help?

Comment Re:Constitution, People! (Score 1) 131

Luckily, there is also the European High Court of Human Rights as well as other EU regulations, which would prohibit such a law. Sometimes, the EU, even though it's a bureaucratic monster, seems to be the last resort for citizens of countries like Italy. (Yes, I know, the EU itself also introduces some stupid, unconstitutional regulations, but again, there we have the European Courts of Appeal ...)

Comment Re:I'm sure it didn't help. (Score 3, Informative) 1040

Actually, throughout Schengen countries (this is around 23 in Europe), you don't need any ID to travel except for airline travel where they check your name on your boarding pass against your name on a photo ID (but this could also be just a drivers license, or any other official looking photo ID) - and this check is done by airline personnel only.

When you travel by car, feet, train or ship throughout Schengen countries, you will notice the border crossing only by change of street signs, language or car plates - or by the ratio of beer:wine, good cuisine:bad cuisine, and so on.

Comment Re:I'm sure it didn't help. (Score 1) 1040

Check out Wikipedia on the terrorism in Turkey:

According to official figures released by the Turkish military for the 1984-2008 period, the conflict has resulted in the capture of 14,000 PKK members, and the death of 17,000 PKK members, 6,482 soldiers, and 5,560 civilians.[5] The conflict particularly affected the tourism industry.

And still traveling to Turkey is as easy as to most other European countries, especially as a EU-citizen, you only need an ID-card, nothing more.

Comment Re:And this is the government... (Score 1) 222

I doubt that there are anyone in our current government here in Germany with any sense at all: talking about shooting down planes, collecting internet usage data, introducing "stop-signs" in order to "prevent" child pornography, banning violent games, heck they even briefly discussed banning "Gotcha".

No, seriously, I lost the believe that there is any one person in politics in Germany with any sense at all. They are all "... a bunch of jerks to be put... " - to paraphrase Douglas Adams (rip).

Comment Inheriting Software (Score 1) 731

Back in 1988/89, while I was working for a small HW/SW company in Berlin, I inherited code from four different "groups" of people:

1. From one external developer who was supposed to write some embedded stuff in C:

He delivered the code and went on holidays to the caribbean (I am not exaggerating). Imagine, this was the time without email and mobile phones. Actually, I didn't inherit it directly but a colleague. And someone else had given the contract to that external person without asking us.

Anyway, we had to install it on a mission-critical power amplifying thingy (I don't know what it was, I'm a software guy). It just didn't work... Then my colleague, who didn't know C, asked me if I could have a look at the code because he didn't really understand it (he was an assembler coder only). The code looked like this: ...
#define BEGIN {
#define END }
#define THEN {
#define IF if
#define WHILE while
#define FOR for
#define FUNCTION
#define PROCEDURE void
#define REAL float ... (you get the picture here) ... ...
      FOR (...) BEGIN
      END ...
      IF (...) THEN

--- I started crying

2. It was from a physicist who worked there as programmer for a while and left. He developed in Turbo Pascal.

The code was really nicely structured, he had written a really nice guide how to structure and write code. It was readably without any comment - perfect.

The one thing... it was the most inefficient code I had ever seen and it used some tricks of Turbo Pascal 3, which drove me really crazy when I tried to bring it forward to TP4/TP5 (was it OVLs? I dunno anymore)

3. Two external guys developed another piece of software as a new module for (2) above. They insisted that they should use Turbo-C. I don't know who said "yes", but after a while I received their code to integrate it as a separate module (actually separate exe) to our package.

Integration was no problem, it worked, everything was fine. Except when a client asked for some changes. I had to dive into the code and try doing some changes... Well, ... it was object-oriented C - no, it was NOT C++, it was their own flavour of object-oriented C they had developed...

--- I started crying again.

4. The last example was actually an operating system we developed for a small self-developed computer based on C-64 (it was for QS-systems for car manufacturers; this piece of hardware had built-in analogue and digital measurement-device inputs and so on). The code was beautiful, it was fast, efficient and ... readable. It did everything we wanted and I understood everything. It was faster than a C64 and so on...

I really loved that "OS"... the drawback?? He was such a genius that he became an alcoholic and had to leave the company and we couldn't continue developing the stuff anymore...

Throughout my 27 years of computing, the worst thing that happened to me was inheriting software from various different sources at the same time. But other than that, all the other stuff I can only say: "Been there, done that" (yes, even punch-cards, PDP/11s, Vixens... ahm, VAXens, etc. -- no, no magnetic cylinders)

Comment Re:READ THIS! There is no protest! (Score 2, Insightful) 235

You're right.

I am also living in Germany, but the problem is that it's really difficult to do anything against these things.

I tried to be politically active, and even joined a party. But since I have a fulltime job, I don't have as much as time for political activism as I would like to and as others have. There are so many going-to-become-professional-politicians in those parties with really enough time (some of them have fulltime jobs, but in civil service or such, where they have enough time for politics), that you don't really get the slightest chance to get to the upper levels of the party.

You have to invest so much time that it's really nearly impossible to have a fulltime job and become a politician, who has the people's interest in his mind first and foremost.

In order to get to the top, you have to become a "Political Man", a Homo Politicus. You have to brown-nose, become a real a**hole to get there... And I decided that the price is not worth paying for changing a system which most people seem to accept as "well, good enough" and about which most people don't even give a shit...

And provided you reach the top, you have either become one of "them" or you can't really change anything because there are so many particular-interests, you have to keep brown-nosing so much, do horse-trading, tit-for-tat, that you really lose contact with the people...

Sorry for the rant, but saying "change the system" is easy, doing so is not. And as you said: Since most of the people don't care as long as they get something to eat and some entertainment (Panem et Circenses), they are happy and they don't want to change the system.

My suggestion? Try changing your "small world environment", i.e. help your friends, neighbours and relatives in circumventing such censorships, help them express their anger and inacceptance of the system and help them start to think...

Comment Why not get those sites on the list closed? (Score 2, Insightful) 235

What I don't understand is that they put the URL on this list, meaning the BKA knows
So my question is: Why don't they get those sites closed?

There was an article in c't, the German IT magazine. I'm citing from the online version

Vor diesem Hintergrund machte jüngst die Kinderschutzorganisation Carechild ein aufschlussreiches Experiment. Sie verwendete dazu 20 Adressen aus der im Netz aufgetauchten dÃnischen Sperrliste. 17 der Seiten waren in den USA gehostet, jeweils eine in den Niederlanden, Südkorea und England. Carechild schrieb an die Abuse-Mail-Adressen der Hostingprovider und bat um Entfernung der Inhalte. Das Ergebnis: acht US-amerikanische Provider haben die Domains innerhalb der ersten drei Stunden nach Versand der Mitteilung abgeschaltet. Innerhalb eines Tages waren 16 Adressen nicht mehr erreichbar, bei drei Websites teilte der jeweilige Provider laut Carechild glaubhaft mit, dass die Inhalte nach augenscheinlicher Prüfung keine Gesetze verletzen oder der Betreiber für die abgebildeten Personen entsprechende Altersnachweise vorlegen konnte.

Short sumary: The child proteciton organization Carechild did an interesting experiment: They used 20 of the entries from the Danish blocklist. 17 of those URLs were in the US, one each in Netherlands, South Korea, and UK. They contacted the hosters via the abuse-mail adresses and asked them to close down those child porn sites. Eight of the US hosters closed the sites within three hours of contact, 16 of the sites were closed within one day. Three sites were reported (truthfully) by hosters (after checking) to not contain child porn and not against any laws.

My question now is: If Childcare can do it, why not the mighty BKA (FBI of Germany)? I thought closing down might be more effective than trying to block them, which won't work anyway...

*sigh* - politicians really drive me crazy...


Germany Institutes Censorship Infrastructure 235

An anonymous reader writes "Germany's government has passed a draft law for censorship of domains hosting content related to child pornography. A secret list of IPs will be created by the BKA, Germany's federal police; any attempted access to addresses on this list is blocked, logged (the draft seems to contradict press reports on this point) and redirected to a government page featuring a large stop sign. The law has not yet passed the assembly, however five of the largest ISPs have already agreed to voluntarily submit to the process even without a law in place. Critics argue that with the censorship infrastructure in place, the barrier for blocking access for various other reasons is very low. The fact that the current block can easily be circumvented may lead to more effective technologies to be used in the future. There are general elections as well as elections in several of the states later this year."

Japanese Astronaut Tests Stink-Free Underwear 69

Throw away your soap, detergent, and personal hygiene, the Japanese have invented odor-free underwear. Koichi Wakata, a Japanese astronaut living in the International Space Station, is testing the underwear created by textile experts at Japan Women's University in Tokyo. The shorts are designed to kill bacteria, absorb water, insulate the body and dry quickly. They also are flame-resistant, and anti-static. "The other astronauts become very sweaty, but he doesn't have any sweat. He didn't need to hang his clothes to dry. He can wear his trunks (underwear) more than a week," said Koji Yanagawa, an official with the Japanese Aerospace Exploration Agency.

Comment (Mc)Duck-Family (Score 1) 1397

Main Server: scrooge (always)
Secondary: donald
From there on: huey, louie, dewey, daisy
My notebooks: hortense, quackmore (Donald's parents)
Other servers: swamphole, pothole, SirQuackly, ...

Backup-Machines: scrooge-ii, donald-ii, huey-ii, etc...
Not used: Gladstone (don't like to have a server working based solely on luck...)

ASDEBLNXCH01 (AutoScout, Germany, Berlin, Exchange-Server 01) - that was because these were Windows machines (brrr) - while I was working for Scout24-Group...

Comment Re:there's a fallacy in there (Score 1) 229

I think, the right answer is: At any of one of the next Aston Martin dealers - provided, however, that you have enough of the scarce resource called "money".

Joke aside: I was once in one of those shops and the sales person was talking on the phone to a potential client. It seems, an Aston Martin is really a scarce resource as she was telling him that he needed to wait abut 5-6 months for his delivery (or something like that). But I believe, you could speed up delivery by doubling the price if you wanted an Aston Martin by tomorrow...

Comment NeXTSTEP had this probably earlier (Score 1, Informative) 250

I remember that NeXTstep had this in the Workspace Manager. ou could click a file and push CMD+3 to see a preview of the content of the file, if preview was supported. Preview worked for many file types (.tif, .snd, ...) and where it didn't work, you could write a "preview viewer" for the Workspace Manager as a plug-in.

Obviously, the preview was similar to a screenshot at the last edit stage of the file.

Comment Synology DS408 (Score 2, Informative) 517

I used 2 LaCies for a while, but they both had a throughput of 10MB/s (the NAS with XP as OS) and 6MB/s (LaCie with Linux).

Then I switched to Synology DS408. Mine has 4x Seagate 1.5TB HDs, RAID 5, so I have around 4TB of space.

The network throughput maxes out at around 60MB/s(!). But this might be due to my not-so-good switch. It's all on a Gbps-Network.

I used it only with Mac OS X (iMac, MBP, MBA, MB) with AFP. I haven't tested performance with SMB or NFS, but should be as fast as AFP (probably even faster).

One thing, which really convinced me of Synology, was their support. Since the Seagate 1.5TB HDs have some problems (make sure you buy those with Firmware >=SD1A), I had a lot of issues at the beginning and thought that it's a problem with the NAS. I even thought I lost data. When I contacted Synology, they offered to log-on on to the NAS and try recovery, local check and everything - for free. And in the end, they found the problem with the Seagate HDs, proposed the solution and I am now even more happy then before.

And no, I'm not working at Synology...

Comment Re:In other news ... (Score 1) 455

Yes, indeed (catholic==TRUE) would be more generic. But since I'm a die-hard NEXTSTEP/Mac OS X-developer, where "YES" and "NO" are preferred over "TRUE" and "FALSE", it was more natural for me to write "catholic==YES".

Then again, since we should generalize, you are right, the attribute should be "religion" with values like (christian-roman-catholic|christian-protestant|christian-orthodox|muslim|jewish|buddhist|...|other). This would be more generally applicable to (more or less) any human being.

The question is, of course: Would you be considered, even remotely, as a potential candidate, if you have an attribute with (potential) variable values?

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