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Comment Re:Totally not gloating (Score 1) 174

When did they start to prepare for fiber/broadband by installing empty conduits in Norway?

The first time I saw them here in the Netherlands was in the mid to late '90s, in a 'rural' area (farmland, the nearest town with school & supermarket was 5km away, but that's about as rural as it gets round here).

That's twenty years ago and as a result our broadband penetration is top notch. Fiber roll out is going fast too.

If the USA wants to keep up, they'd better buy a time machine.

Comment Re:Pointless (Score 1) 199

A lot of secondary railroads all over Europe are not electrified, and that's where these diesel-powered Lint-trains show up. So that's the target market for these trains, not the main railroads.

And as said by others, there's a big problem with the fluctuations in energy output from wind and solar, especially in Germany. Instead of just throwing the energy away (like they do now), they could just as well use it to create hydrogen, even if it only has 50% efficiency.

That's why they're targeting the German market with this train.

Comment If it ain't broken... (Score 4, Informative) 160

It's still alive and kicking here in the Netherlands, known as Teletekst. Every journalist wants to be on page 101.

There's even a web-interface and an iPhone app for it, which is a no-nonsense, clutter-free, low-bandwidth source of news, weather, stocks and sport results. I can't live without it :)

http://teletekst.nos.nl/

I must say that I rarely use it on my tv anymore. Which is kind of funny, because nowadays it's still trapped inside the low-tech interface of the 70s although it's mostly used on devices so advanced that even the big visionaries of that age couldn't even dream about it.

Is it nostalgia? Or more like the Stockholm Syndrome? Or does it just hit a sweet spot of usability and simplicity?

Comment What if... (Score 4, Insightful) 136

What if Agile is better suited for other tasks than software development? I think Agile is an elegant way of approaching some kinds of creativity, but it just doesn't seem to work for most aspects of software-development.

Making radio shows is more of an iterative kind of creativity with lots of loosely-coupled ingredients where throwing away an item and replacing it with another won't destroy the whole format, so you can start off with a format, broadcast it, and add/remove items as you go.

Software is completely different. You create it once and after the first release you have to support it for eternity. Every new addition adds another layer of complexity, you can't just remove a feature without breaking other things or add a feature without duplicating functionality. For every iteration you'll need an overview and a deep knowledge of the whole system.

Comment Re:Good thing is... (Score 1) 228

[quote] but lets just wait how happy they will be when the telcos change strategy (e.g. higher fees and data caps) to get their investments back.

With the current scheme, the users who still use sms pay for the too cheap data plans of others. And the majority with low/occasional data usage pay for the minority that use 2+GB per month. That's not very fair. Prices will rise, bandwith caps will be tightened, but I'd rather pay a fair price than being robbed by insane sms rates, roaming charges and blocked services.

Comment Good thing is... (Score 2) 228

This idea comes frome one of the most corporate-friendly governments the country has had in a long time. The three ruling parties are all right-wing:
1. VVD: liberal, capitalist, pro privatization of state-run companies;
2. CDA: christian democrats. They're the initiators of this law;
3. PVV: anti-muslim, anti-immigration, populist. Not really part of the government, but they promised to agree on most things (except for their anti-Muslim stance).

The opposing parties are labour, socialist, environmentalist, liberal and two small christian parties.

I can't imagine why any of those parties would vote against this law (except for one or two small ones), so I would be very, very surprised if this law won't be passed.

Comment work pc = scrap heap (Score 1) 498

Since work pc's mostly are more than one generation older than enthusiast's pc's, it might even be feasible to give your own written-off (and unsellable) hardware a second life at work. At home I upgraded my 22" Samsung monitor to a 24" monitor, while my boss still mandates a 19" screen (because 1280x1024 is the target resolution for our product). I brought my 22" screen and a cheap dual-head graphics board to work so now I have 22" for Visual Studio and 19" for Outlook/internet/testing/comparing. Works like a charm while only costing me about 25 euros (for the gpu), which is a lot cheaper than the hassle of getting a work-provided second monitor.

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