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Comment Re:Dragon 32 (Score 1) 857

Good times indeed! My brother had bought one of these, no cassette tape though, and a floppy was just out there (price-wise). So when using it, I had to re-enter any and all code by hand. Oh, and the family TV was blocked for that whole time. The Dragon's handbook was good though, I learned my first English from it, as well as BASIC.

When I finally got around to buying my own first computer, I got myself an Atari 1040STF with monochrome screen. At last, I had storage - 3 1/4" floppies! And I got some decent software... including FlightSimulator II - spent lots of hours on there.

The following computer was my first PC, a 286 - from DEC, no less, with a harddrive of whopping 20MB, standard VGA graphics, 14" screen, 1MB RAM. Kids these days have no idea what kind of power they have at hand with even a lowly smartphone or an RPi...

Comment O'Neill - The High Frontier, Sawyer - Flashforward (Score 1) 259

I'm currently reading
    * Gerard K. O'Neill - The High Frontier. A classic on space colonization (non-fiction), 3rd edition (c) 2000. Boy, have we missed out on possibilities...
    * Robert J. Sawyer - Flashforward (c) 1999. This is the base from which the TV series was built. Quite good scifi.
I've got several more scifi books in the pipeline, by Kim Stanley Robinson, Greg Bear, Alastair Reynolds, Neal Asher, Peter F. Hamilton.

I also intend to read-read the classic sagas from ancient Rome and Greece, it's been somewhere between 25 to 30 years since I last did those...

Comment Transplants (Score 1) 94

It seems that most commenters think about the scifi theme of thawing entire human bodies after cryo-preservation.

To me, it rather seems that a first application would concern transplants - more organs could be collected, and be kept around much longer than presently possible, to be transplanted later into patients really needing them (as opposed to being able to pay for them).

It could help with reducing waiting lists, enable more people in need to survive, with less crime revolving about collection of organs.

Comment Re:Uh...yeah! (Score 1) 391

"Once you send out the manufacturing jobs, once you send out the service jobs, once you send out the research jobs, what's left? There's nothing left,"

Well, thank goodness people are beginning to wake up. If you're doing business (i.e.: taking money from people) in a country, especially THIS country, you have a moral obligation to employ people from the community, if possible. Adjust your profit expectations accordingly. We're all in this together, or at least, we should be.
The H1-B scam has been going on long enough.

Umm... since when do morals get in the way of business? Go Ferengi style all the way.

On the other hand, I'm appalled that there's been no Snow Crash reference that I can see. There's still high-speed pizza delivery, lawyers and private prisons. But I guess no-one wants to listen to Reason.

Comment Re:Not to be a wet blanket... (Score 2) 355

I guess you misunderstood... it is not at all about sending stages to the Moon, to be assembled there, then launched. The point is to not have to launch great masses from Earth in the first place, but to build them on the Moon, from Moon materials, to fuel straight from there, and then launch. Or if it's not the Moon, then it will be asteroids.

Of course, this requires bootstrapping an industrial base from as small an invest as doable, i.e. sending robotic craft to start bringing in raw materials, and getting stuff done with them.

The trick is of course to figure out the details. Many ideas were already written up by Gerard K O'Neill back in 1976 - read "The High Frontier". Technology has since advanced, and there have been many proposals since. Private companies are digging into the problem, there are government invests.

The goal also is not to get to Mars, but to get mankind into Space, not just on a few short excursions, but for good. Moving heavy industry up there might also solve some problems down here (think energy, pollution).

Comment Re:EU Governments need to ban Windows 10. (Score 2) 161

That's one point. There's quite some domains where it's illegal to send production data across a border, especially if the target country has lesser protections (think safe harbor). I can't see how that's magically not going to happen if Win10 is used with its spyware in place.

Let's not forget professionals with obligations of privacy, such as lawyers, attorneys, doctors etc. I don't know how e.g. hospitals can go down the Windows road, or how medical equipment can be run with this OS.

And let's not forget either that per EULA, MS Windows is not to be used in critical infrastructure - there's plenty of examples where it's used anyway, including US warships.

Comment umpf... (Score 2) 139

I googled for "highest cpu clock speed" and got e.g. http://valid.x86.fr/records.html

It seems this is a far cry from what's been done elsewhere, with numbers there showing over 8.5GHz.

Anyway, my criteria are rather low-energy, low-noise computers than extreme clock frequencies, even if I can make use of them.

Comment Astro Stuff (Score 1) 204

How about a nice little Dobson telescope plus sky chart? You might add in a sun filter. You're good for many hours of admiring celestial objects with your kids.

For kids of a certain age, a light equatorial mount plus 'scope may enable them to start taking their own pictures.

There's also lots of opportunities to make your own accessories, way cheaper than what you can buy.

Comment Re:As a European... (Score 1, Informative) 373

Do you think the crazy people who deny the Holocaust will stop believing it just because you have a law against it? That is the problem with Europe in general: they pretend everything is fine but don't solve the root problems. It is better to identify the problem and come up with solutions.

You misunderstand. We're not banning the hate speech and pretend everything is fine, we actively educate our young so they know what happened and why, we show them, we make them understand that such a thing must never happen again. Everyone knows there's some nutcases that will still deny the Holocaust, but they are quite uniformly seen as misguided or sick, when not outright criminal. Unfortunately, young people also tend to be susceptible to "brainwashing" (e.g. political or religious), so education about these matters is not a totally failsafe proposition.

Populists (Le Pen in France, Wilders in the Netherlands, Trump in the US) often skirt the issues and are identified as dangerous by the educated, but fail to be understood by the less educated - as seen this weekend in Austria, where it is mostly the simple workers that voted for the (thankfully losing) far-right candidate. Note, I'm not bashing workers, simply pointing out insufficient knowledge about some things.
Here, we also try to make people understand that anyone selling simple solutions is probably full of BS, and things are probably more complex.

Comment As a European... (Score 0, Flamebait) 373

... I have a hard time with the typical US notion of free speech and no censorship.

To those of us whose parents or grandparents had to live and suffer through WW2, I is pretty much unthinkable to allow someone to deny the horrors of the concentration camps and all things associated. That is very much what the rules on hate speech are about, preventing those very things to happen again. If you propagate that kind of world view, you're going to find yourself in front of a judge, and will be punished for spreading, or trying to spread, such a mindset. [btw, from what I read from your president-elect's tweets, chances are high he'd have found himself in front of a judge too]

On the other hand, many of you USians can't stand the view of naked nipples, which for us is very simply something utterly natural. Nipplegate just couldn't happen over here, we're by far not that puritanical. Isn't refusing a picture of a naked nipple (say, a breastfeeding picture) also "censorship"? Talk about hypocrisy.

Comment Re:screw crApple (Score 1) 71

FTA:

> ...and those appeals will follow the ones already pending in Luxembourg, where the EU is headquartered.

No it's not. Try Brussels in Belgium.

Umm... the EU Commission is in Brussels, Belgium, yes. The EU Parliament is in Strasbourg, France. And the EU Court, which this is about, is indeed in Luxembourg City, Grand-Duchy of Luxembourg.

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