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Comment College Funds? (Score 1) 74

Do you need to earn "Crime pays" kind of money to fund college funds for 4 children in America?

I don't know whether he wants his kids to have a good education or whether he thinks they'll make better master criminals with a degree & a job in Wall Street :)

But at the very least he thinks a child's education is important, which is more than most.

Comment A whole generation grew up with PCQ Linux (Score 3, Informative) 39

I started using Linux before I got internet or was in a university. I wouldn't have started on Linux (and eventually interned at FSF India) if not for those streams of CDs that were available for a very expensive 100rs (approx 3$ back then).

This wouldn't have been possible without the efforts of toolz. And several others who were behind the curtain (I remember calling up the Digit phone # to ask for help with my i810 video card).

The result was a grass-roots up linux community that sprung up all over India, out of curiousity and tolerating lots of lost partitions.

Both toolz & OldMonk, linux-india old-timers recently lost to us, will not be forgotten (at least by me).

Comment Is "Securing elections" a euphemism? (Score 2) 85

That guy: I can secure that election for you, very cheap & virtually bulletproof.

I don't mean to challenge whatever white-hat work that Kevin Mitnick is doing, but the phrase does indeed strike me as something a lobbyist (or well, tout) would tell me. Perhaps I'm just cynical.

Trust in the democratic process is as important as the actual security of the process. So I would suspect that anything Mitnick finds will be discussed behind closed doors - and it's none of my business, but this does not add any more unless I trust Mitnick (viz not at all).

Submission + - Flash for Mobile phones is dead! (

Gopal.V writes: "Adobe is recognizing what was a square peg for a round hole and killing Flash for mobile devices. But they're not going away, instead shifting focus towards the more capable (but same 'ol, same 'ol) Air platform for mobile devices. But the brief interlude at least will help the HTML5 bandwagon gain some traction & finally agree on some codecs and not just the markup. And perhaps, just perhaps the authoring tools (unfortunately, what's there other than Adobe Edge?) will catch up too."

Comment You morons! You are playing right into their plot! (Score 4, Insightful) 129

Wrong forum to say this, but listen to me, all you call yourselves Anonymous!

Forget about "V for Vendetta". Now, take a history lesson from someone who's not of the first world and grew up in a communist paradise.

Guy Fawkes did British revolutionaries a complete disservice. First up, he was a religious nutjob who wanted to kill a king for religious intolerance. The end result of which was that finally the king had a real good & proper reason to hunt down the catholics. The ordinary catholics ended up in a long drawn struggle and bore most of the collateral damage out of the actions of an anarchistic commune. Those thirteen proved to be as bad for the catholics as the original.

With the new "Guy Fawkes" vigilantes are similarly giving ammunition to the government to grab control of the internet, choke down every protest fair or otherwise. You assholes aren't fighting authority, you're just the reason giving their oppression legitimacy in the eyes of the people who don't want to be accidentally your targets for the lulz.

And here's some advice from my dad, "If you really want to be a rebel, live for the rebellion, don't die for it". Now, if you want to be a martyr instead ... don't take me down with you.

Comment NIMBY - Let France do it (Score 1) 364

From what I can see, I hope the European Union survives till then (with Greece, Portugal and Ireland in it), but if it does, most of the new nuclear reactors in France would be powering the industrial complex of Germany.

In some sense, that does make a lot of sense to have a single nation throw their weight behind a tech and sort of specialize in it. On the other hand, naming Fukushima as a cause is just political pandering of the lowest kind.

Comment Yeah! ... The Almighty buck is no more! (Score 2, Insightful) 519

As someone sitting in India, I love this move. Sure my paycheck is going to suffer once they start cashing in all the dollars from their reserves and the rupee strengthens. But as a long term measure this is just absolutely required.

The dollar jumped to the forefront of all this because (IMHO) they managed to ensure OPEC only sells using dollars. But if Russia, China, Brazil and (hopefully) Iran starts selling things in other currencies, US loses the critical ability to just print out more dollars to pay off their deficits or the bring down the world economy just to get out of jail free. Which is what China's aiming for, I guess. And Manmohan Singh was one of the most famous finance ministers in India, responsible for the economic liberalization of the 90s, I guess he knows what he's doing as well.

The fall of the dollar is a big deal for the developing world.

Comment But is it heavier than air? (Score 1) 152

Somehow I get the weird feeling that this is a helium filled lighter than air or at least neutral buoyancy device with wings.

On the other hand, in the video it's uncannily like a bird in its flght movements and extremely agile on turns. I'm guessing this is an experiment to work out the mechanics of creating a flapping wing rather than on figuring out how to deliver lifting power off it.

Comment Pedigree speaks for itself (Score 4, Insightful) 246

The guy's more comfortable with Microsoft, he's got shares in it, he talks to the people, he knows Microsoft. Now, Google is a totally different beast there - they're doing exactly the same thing, i.e just make an OS, but they're not really Mr Elop's circle.

And oh, yeah ... it is also a very distinct conflict of interest when SEC stops him from selling all his MS Stock and buying NOK instead. It's like the rules tilted this particular crusade to a windmill.

I love my Nokia phones and I've never bought any other. For the brief period I worked for Ericsson, I was shocked to realize the depth of their patent portfolio, especially when it comes to UX stuff. I can guess those guns will be aimed at Apple first, while it's leaderless without Steve, but eventually the aim's going to turn around and point at Android.

Comment What do you mean by "know better?" (Score 5, Insightful) 154

The whole idea of an SEO budget is to push your name out to the top line of google, bing or anything else people use to search.

The intent was to game the system. And by doing so, make a ton of money. There are no laws for internet search ... unless you can use trademark laws to push a competitor who's doing that to your brand name.

Unscrupulous yes, ruthless yes, but that is the true face of capitalism anyway. Google can try regulating, but only enough to make the same people put in pennies into their sidebar offering of less-worth, but clearly marked advertising.

Comment OLPC revolutionized Laptops - time to do it again? (Score 5, Interesting) 160

I never thought I'd be a beneficiary from the OLPC project. I'd never be able to use an OLPC for anything I do. But I love how the project has put a bent in the technical landscape of portable devices industry. It was a failure as an education project perhaps, but it succeeded in more than one way as a laptop research project.

When OLPC came out in 2007, the laptops were on a lap-melting, back-breaking rush towards bigger & faster. Nearly everything came in with a Core2 or a Core2 Duo, with lots of RAM (yeah, guess what you can't save power on, RAM needs a strobe whether it has data or not). The fact that OLPC came out in 2007, sort of forced the geeks to look at weight as a valid concern for a consumer device. Not to mention questions about why a 1995 top-end laptop ran for 4 hours on batteries, when a 2005 one won't do the same at the same weight.

Less than a year after OLPC came the rush of netbooks. Finally machines that people can afford to buy (like here in India) and carry around without being tied to a wall plug. Scroll paste a few years, it is not only consumers, using them. I see Rasmus post PHP benchmarks off his netbook, I see entire teams (like Inkscape) suddenly sit up and re-work their UI workflows/dialog-space for it. I see the Notion Ink use OLPC Pixel Qi tech in the new tablet.

Socially speaking, the project has been a great failure. But technologically, it has left a huge impact on portable devices everywhere. As for the former, the project probably forgot that "Charity begins at Home". Refusing to sell full-price to americans wanting them shows a complete lack of understanding of how economies of scale & price segmentation would've worked out. I'm not going to mourn the failure of Negroponte, but I'll just give the technical folks at OLPC a big thumbs-up.

I'll happily pay 200$ for an arm netbook'ish if they'll sell me one in India. Hell, I'll even fix all the things that don't work for me - for FREE. Not all of us are poor & in need of a hand-out. Heck, I'm at the verge of putting in a pre-order for a Notion Ink Adam, for double the price, if the hype pans out.


Submission + - KDE Conf India (

Gopal.V writes: KDE India has announced it's hosting, a five day long event in March to introduce & promote contributions to KDE from India. Should be an interesting effort to push the youth of India towards writing more free & open software, especially on the desktop where it desperately needs some love.

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It is masked but always present. I don't know who built to it. It came before the first kernel.