Max_W writes: There are currently 15 major types of electrical outlet plugs in use today. A lot is being said nowadays about global warming, still the producers of electrical appliances have to include several plugs in a box. Besides, people who are to travel internationally must buy numerous adapters. I have got at least a dozen of them.
Would it be possible to standardize the electrical plugs & sockets globally? Which one is better, which one could be taken as a standard, — the EU, US, Swiss, Italian, or UK one? Or maybe the South African, Israel, or Denmark one?
Or perhaps a new universal plug & socket type could be developed? Does anyone work on that? Some international work-group? Or will we continue to produce billions of senseless adapters and include multiple plugs into boxes with new appliances (and at the same time to hear from high tribunes about global warming threat)?
Max_W writes: More and more countries stop using the DST, daylight saving time. These are India, China, Russia, Brazil, etc. The LED technology significantly reduces energy consumption on lighting. Do we really need this trouble of changing time on our clocks twice a year? Besides, the DST makes the software excessively complicated and prone to "fluid time" bugs.
Max_W writes: How could such head-on collisions still happen? Why not make it obligatory for train drivers to install on a smartphone an app with an GPS access which rings an alarm if another train goes on the same track in the opposite direction closer than one kilometer? At least train drivers can reduce speed and inform passengers to brace themselves for a collision. Link to Original Source
Max_W writes: Every year we hear about people dying in plane crashes. This does not have to continue as there is a new revolutionary pod plane design. A passenger pod is not heavy because it does not contain fuel, engines, avionics, etc., so in case of an accident it can be ejected and land on parachutes. The obstacle to this new invention is that the whole obsolete airport and airline infrastructure must be rebuild. So what? Shall we continue to get killed because it is easier to produce aircraft with a design from 1950s?
Why not to record GPS/GLONASS track constantly into a text file on say twenty flash USB drives enclosed into orange styrofoam with an serial aircraft number on it? In case of an accident, these waterproof USB flash drives are released outside overboard. Certainly the text file is encrypted.
Such a floating USB flash drive would cost maximum a hundred USD even if equipped with a tiny LED lamp; while an aircraft costs millions, and a search may costs billions let alone thousands of tons of burned fossil fuel.
Max_W writes: Why we read such news about passenger airplane near-collisions or collisions with a drone, but there is never a video? Do these large manned airplanes have an equivalent of a Dashboard Video Camera? And if not, then why? Why a car which costs say ten thousand has got it, and a jumbo jet which costs millions does not?
The technical support, new equipment shipments are over. The IT fears that existing licenses will stop working too. Now the IT departments of these enterprises are facing a formidable task of switching from Microsoft, Oracle, HP products to open source solutions just in a few days(!).
Cozy days of corporate soft, of white shirts and ties are over for these ITs, now they are in the harsh cold brave world of the Open Source on their own.
Max_W writes: Edward Snowden has not received any international award. Neither the Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought, nor the Nobel Peace Prize.
Snowden had stopped releasing any new documents and stopped giving press-conferences. We had a glimpse under the hood, into the machinations of the world, and it seems to be over.
So, is jinn back in the bottle and we can carry on as before with "secure computing", "unbreakable encryption", "safe browsing", "social networking", etc.? Or are the Internet and computing will never be the same again?
As for me, I am a bit worried nowadays anytime I switch on a computer or smartphone. Who or what is lurking beneath a glossy hardware and graphical user interfaces? How can a feeling of security could be returned? Or are the Internet and computing in general inherently unsafe?
Edward Snowden's deeds could be debatable, but I am absolutely fascinated by his father's courage. He is calm and absolutely fearless in trying to save his son. Is it a former Coast Guard character? As we know Coast Guard officers are facing grave danger on a daily basis. Or would anybody act like this in his place?
Max_W writes: Here is the text of the Article #12 http://www.un.org/en/documents/udhr/index.shtml#a12 : "No one shall be subjected to arbitrary interference with his privacy, family, home or correspondence, nor to attacks upon his honour and reputation. Everyone has the right to the protection of the law against such interference or attacks."
The United Nations insists on the compliance. U.N. human rights chief Navi Pillay said yesterday http://news.yahoo.com/snowden-case-shows-leakers-protection-u-n-rights-192207562.html : "While concerns about national security and criminal activity may justify the exceptional and narrowly-tailored use of surveillance programs, surveillance without adequate safeguards to protect the right to privacy actually risks impacting negatively on the enjoyment of human rights and fundamental freedoms."
Is it realistic to expect the compliance with this article from the world's major players in the age of large storage disks, fast networks and computers? Or are we entering a new brave world, a new phase of human civilization, where quaint notions of privacy and traditional moral principles are becoming ridiculous?
Then what to do with the Article #12? Shall it be "intentionally left blank"? Shall it be updated to a new wording? What words could they be?
Max_W writes: Aleksey Dymovskiy, an officer of the Russian militia, whose videos on Youtube were seen by millions of Russian speaking viewers, is arrested on January 22, 2010. He is in prison in the south of Russia.
It seems only a president is allowed to have a video blog in Russia.
Max_W writes: The government of Russian Federation selects open source PHP programming language for its central portal www.gosuslugi.ru (short for "gosudarsvennye usugi" — state services). One even can see ".php" file extensions.
This website is being updated directly from more than 60 ministries. It will work for one year in the testing mode, but it provides even now the real forms, for example, to get a civil passport, travel passport, etc.
We were talking a lot about Russian government's plans to use Open Source OSs on desktops, but it seems it became a reality first in a server-client environment.
It is not clear to me what database is being used. But if it is MySQL this thing may work after all.