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Comment Re:Does Ada count as 'little known'? (Score 1) 429

if I remember correct the library system at the university 15 years ago also ran on mumps..

And maybe not important (except for the company where I work) but definitely obscure : has anyone heard before of sydaid ?
That's what still is running on our operational systems (hp-ux), it's about 30 to 40 year old code..
I always wondered if it's used somewhere else in the world too..

Comment Re:Enroll in Martial Arts (Score 0) 372

You get trained to be fast and use power, but indeed in inefficient spots like parent says.

I do tkd myself, we get a combination of tkd and streetfighting.
The tkd part is real sports - learn all the basic movements,be fast and score points - any contact counts as a point.

In the streetfighting part we get hapkido on top of tkd, we train our reflexes, how to block and counter an attacker (barehanded, using knives, sticks, ..)
Our master usually explains how we have to do a movement for training, but also where to aim when it's really needed..
Like at training we punch into someones stomach, when attacked you don't aim for the middle of the stomach but higher to take away his breath, on the side into his ribs, or lower into his balls..

Comment Re:What am i missing? (Score 4, Interesting) 118

I saw these (or a similar type) last year here in Belgium when I was part of a test panel/opinion group.

Basically it was all possible types of payment systems thrown together in one card.

It had the debit card system we have here (Maestro / Bancontact), but at the same time you could use it as a credit card too (Visa / Mastercard). Most people in the group found this a good idea as all had multiple cards in their wallet.

As you can see it has the keypad type thing for extra authentication on the internet so you don't need an extra device for it. Nice, but less useful. Not everyone had a need for it, and we didn't get technical details about how secure it was or how it worked.

It also had some kind of contact-less system we don't have yet in Belgium but they said it was used in France. Small payments you could just make by holding your card above a reader, no need to enter a pin. As we don't know this, most found it insecure.

It also wasn't known if you could deactivate certain things or always had all features - like only use the debit/credit card combination but not the touchless thing.

I remember one disadvantage: the 'buttons' you had to push to generate the nr were difficult to operate. Had to push hard in exactly the right spot. Don't think elderly people could get along with it.

Technically I was impressed with this card for having battery electronics and lcd in it, as it was very thin and still flexible.

Comment Re:He's got a point, but. (Score 1) 198

Well in that case when technology can detect a problem, it could also warn about it. Entering a room with the wrong protective gear ? Have the door tell you or even block you out. That would be even better than fining you automatically afterwards.

Scotts ideas are mostly just brainstorming what-ifs which just do not work in reality. They're thought-provoking, but sometimes imo he thinks of the wrong solutions/consequences.

A recent example he had was about selfdriving cars, flexible speed limits and tickets.
Flexible speedlimits for selfdriving cars, I'm all for it. We all want to get as fast as possible somewhere, and if the computers/cars decide they can drive safe at 150mph on a specific road, then do it.

But his other idea: your car knows where you are, the speedlimit on the road, and you get a ticket when you speed.
Imo not a good idea. People speed now because they hope they don't get caught. Always getting a ticket would not be fun and will probably cause people not to drive too fast anymore.
But imo the only correct solution would be to limit the speed your car can do and not allow speeding at all.
Laws should be the same for everyone. His solution would bend the law: if you can't afford a ticket you can't speed, if you have money you can without other consequences. Once you start allowing this, it's easy to allow other things automatically. The division between groups of people, between rich/poor, .. would become bigger. Where would it end ? You can kill someone as long as you can afford it ?

Comment Re:He's got a point, but. (Score 1) 198

I follow his blog for a long time now.. his idea of an ideal society is a bit similar to what's been pictured in the Demolition Man movie.
A pieceful world without crime, partly because everyone is being tracked (without this being used against someone).

You don't want people to be tracked. His opinion is the total opposite: track everyone everywhere (but don't misuse that information).
If a crime happened, someone (police, government, a computer, ..) knows who was around and who did it. So people wouldn't do crimes anymore as they could not do them undetected.

And yes this is only one of his ideas, it would only work in an ideal work where there would be no way at all to circumvent this tracking.

Comment Re:Take some responsibility... (Score 1) 297

> Even if your boss is a jerk, you still have control of your own life.

That's the whole point - people with a strong external locus will think they do not have control of their own life, and whatever they do or happens to them is 'karma' or 'destiny' and they can't change it, no matter what they do. They expect the next job they'll have will be again for another jerk boss (and because they act with that attitude it may very well become a self fulfilling prophecy).

And all of this is also influenced by a lot of factors, like religion, language, ..
Most people don't think about it and take what we know/how we think now for granted, without realizing a lot of factors are involved.

I recently read a book about the history of statistics, and how religion/language/writing was also a factor.
Romans and Greeks were very intelligent people, used a lot of advanced math and calculations, and (iirc) never got the notion of chance.
One of the reasons was that their way of writing numbers (fractions) wasn't optimal for it (having 1 in 10 or 2/13 chance of an event is easier to read/calculate with than I/V or II/XIII).
Religion was also important - they just believed everything happened for a reason, because one of their gods decided it, .. They had dice and games with dice, but never tried to calculate how it worked - because they did not think that chance/luck existed. So there was no reason to start making formulas for something they believed did not exist..

So yes I believe the original study will have some merit - although we now live in a global world where everything is connected (and we speak/know of many languages), culture of certain countries is still passed trough many generations.
If your language does not allow you to talk well about present/future, it will in some way shape how you think and how you act.

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